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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 !)

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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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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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F
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#10: October 14, 2023, 12:28:53 PM
Thank you very much KD, Treasur and Reinventing for your nice messages and advices. I did not sent the mail regarding OM yet. I give myself at least two additional days in order to response, not answer.

So did everything go according to the plan today ? Not at all ! I slept very bad this night so I did not have to fake tiredness this morning. And I did'nt deal with W in the morning, it was D16 and D14 who challenged me to go, they strongly wanted to see their cousins. So good training for me : I was successful in setting a boundary with our teenagers, explaining them that I wanted to go but I was not feeling good enought to drive such a long time. W only insisted for me doing covid test, and I did it finaly during the morning after attempts of sleeping. Good for me, I was not lying : by saying "I can't not drive in my current state" I was honest. Old me would have driven even with tiredness and bad emotional state, so it is a victory for me to have not driven, not tried to exceed my limits in order to please. I am happy about that.

I hope I will provide an healthier example to D16 in the future, as me she is pushing hard her limits and pushes herself too much pressure. D14 understood quickly me showing my limits.

Quote from: Treasur
Perhaps that was the real gift of your last accident, to not take this trip now.
you are spot on again, the gift was even higher !

With W my emotional state was not good in the morning : I felt compulsive needs to snoop and I was almost caught by W 2 times in the day. I want to increase my level of detachment and fully end the snooping. At this stage snooping brings nothing good to me, even if in the first months it was useful to get insights from W's thoughts. I know enough. Today is my day 0 of not snooping.

After that vagary, my day has been good : I focussed on many activities around the house and it felt good doing things, fixing things, washing things and removing weeds. Then I shared good quality moments with the children. W disappeared in the afternoon, she had the grace to take S5 with her so my heart was at peace. It appears she has finally made something I asked her to do 9 months ago : going to the public library and renewing the children's cards that she had blocked, before BD I was often doing for her. Small step but meaningful. In the evening W was up, strangely, and after my proposal of restaurant for Sunday we decided to get pizzas tomorrow from a new pizzeria.

Coming back to the response I will decide, there is something I want to clarify
Quote from: Treasur
His superior already knows there is an issue
For me this is a case of spiritual abuse, this priest is abusing his position with likely other women and likely breaking other Christian marriages. I informed the bishop in Jan this year but at this time it was only EA and OM's responsibility was not clear to me. The bishop asked me to keep him informed. Well I did tell him in April that we were better, and from what I knew, OM was out the game and not communicating with W. Only end of August I got small hints that OM was communicating again with W.

So my case of conscience is now here : I believe the bishop has to know who is really this priest and what he is doing. Does he know already ? I don't know and I guess you don't. But knowing that this priest continues to deal with married women even knowing the bishop is informed and after firmly resolving not to continue, I see another level of rottenness within this guy. Keep quiet may have consequences for other families, other marriages. Open my mouth may help other people. Even this priest may need treatments ?

I see clearly the advantage of let go & let God. I will ask in my prayers a clear sign to know what I should do, and to get the discernment to understand it : Serenity Prayer will help me.
Anyway even if I decide finally to send this mail, I want it to be my last controlling action.

Help please ! No story available from vanishers reconciling ? Is there at least one example of one vanisher disvanishing ? (I know I should write "reapparing", disvanishing sounds good to my gobblefunky ears)
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2023, 12:52:28 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 !)

F
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#11: October 19, 2023, 03:09:06 AM
Hello all,

So at the end of the three days, I wrote to the bishop to inform him. I did not receive a big sign, the only sign I got is that I feel internal peace with this decision. I took the time to interogate my motives. What triggered the decision was the record of what happened in January when I confronted OM, the way he crawled when I threatened him to inform the bishop. Even if he promised me, I had felt very uneasy with his snake-like behaviour. That is why, in January, I had informed the bishop.

The bishop this time was very surprised, he told me. For him the situation had been clarified. Well, it wasn't.
From now I let God handle the rest.

Now I feel at peace. With W I feel more light and I jest with her, something I did'nt do for a while.

Tuesday during dinner I asked questions about her family and she did not answer, D14 rebounded with my question telling she wants also to know, then W shouted at D14. D14 was almost in tears and asked W why there are secrets, and she told W "you don't speak to us". At table I supported W, telling D14 that she should not intervene in our conversations. Then I told W that on the form I support her in front of the children, and on the substance I am agree with D14. I told her that she behaves as if she fell from the tree yesterday. That was not light, I summoned aslo W's FOO by recording her she has not to act as did her mother : abandoning the children. Well, a truth dart, I know, and W was not happy with it. I record it here, please don't imagine the worst : for all the other interactions I stay light, I don't react, and I give W a lot of space.
In addition to detachment, what helps me is the "grumpy aunt" policy and the "3 rule" that I have read here and there in the forum : no more eggshellwalking, I stay myself more and more, the new version of me that I want to be.

With the children, at work, and the parish I had many good moments in the last weeks. And I plan to have several other good moments in the next months. As a catechism animator in the parish, I got the grace to see many teenagers joining our group, some are not baptized and have not done any catechism until now. It is inspiring for me and for the older parishans.

Next week, there are school holidays. I plan to spend very good moments with the children and travel with them to see family and friends. W is not interested, she told me. Well I am so I will do 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 !)

R
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living is an opportunity
#12: October 19, 2023, 03:57:33 AM
FH, sounds good that you are acting more normal because that is a beginning sign of detaching.

One thing that stood out is asking your W a question, when you know that she doesn't want to interact with you and she is most likely lying anyway. This followed with her bringing out monster and your D14 being admonished.

Now that you see this pattern and because D14 is more important than W, perhaps you may choose to not question W, who is not going to give you a meaningful response now anyway, and focus on creating a stable environment for your children, in spite of W's instability.

You can't rely on anything W says or does right now. You are the only stability for your children.
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F
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#13: October 24, 2023, 02:53:40 AM
Thanks R for you answer, yes I am acting more normal. Until last week I was "do not go out from house because W might be seeing OM during this time". Now I switched to "let's go to holidays with childrend the more time available even if W is staying home".

You are right pointing out that I should not ask sensitive questions and not insist when there are no anwsers. But I disagree with you : W is more important for me than D14. I made the choice to support her, even in front of our children. Even when I know W is monstering or lying, even when I know she is not stable and not herself, I stay the same.

Nevertheless, I will follow your advice and step back further. Actually D14 gave me the same advice. We had two discussions about W's crisis, she beginned twice by asking "how are you dad ?", so I see she is worrying about me. I explained to her that I am fine and I have other sources of joy (including D14) and that giving without return is unconditional love. Main advices from D14 are : "do less with mom", and "that does not mean you should give up with hope". Sounds a lot to me like the vets here, not ? D14 saw me checking THS forum, so she asked what I was doing, then when we were alone I told her that I was "reading information on an anglophone forum with people living the same situation", and I told her that I do not want to share details with her, it is not her burden. Then D14 said this situation is a common one.

I am happy I had this discussion with D14, and I am glad I kept my line : not sharing details of W's wrongdoings.

Actually, I am so proud of our children. D16 is doing a lot of sport and she is also working a lot for school, preparing bachelor's degree and university competion. We are currently at my dad's place, and she studies in the kitchen and the living room, so she can participate to the conversations instead of being locked in a room.
Yesterday I cooked lasagne with D14, we spent a very good 1,5 hours togheter. Then when I accompanied S5 for his bath, she did she dishes and set the table without anyone asking her. Small things, ordinary things but so meaningful for me.

The one week holiday is welcome for all of us : the children and me are spending good time together, and I feel that W needs space and time without us.
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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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#14: October 24, 2023, 04:29:22 AM
You are right pointing out that I should not ask sensitive questions and not insist when there are no anwsers. But I disagree with you : W is more important for me than D14. I made the choice to support her, even in front of our children. Even when I know W is monstering or lying, even when I know she is not stable and not herself, I stay the same.

Nevertheless, I will follow your advice and step back further. Actually D14 gave me the same advice. We had two discussions about W's crisis, she beginned twice by asking "how are you dad ?", so I see she is worrying about me. I explained to her that I am fine and I have other sources of joy (including D14) and that giving without return is unconditional love. Main advices from D14 are : "do less with mom", and "that does not mean you should give up with hope". Sounds a lot to me like the vets here, not ?


I want to wave a couple of small flags at you, FH.
Not bc I am saying you ARE doing these things. And recognising that words on a screen, particularly in a second or third language, are not always good at capturing the details of a picture.

But bc I am concerned about some of the social messages we send out to young women about their role in relationships. And bc a lot of LBS with kids here have walked that tightrope between the needs of an MLC spouse and the needs of their kids, what we model for our kids about what is ok and not ok.

First of all, your D14 sounds very smart and you obviously have a solid relationship of trust if she feels she can say these things to you. And I think you have another slightly younger daughter too, as well as a son? It sounds very wise to choose not to share some of the adult details of what is going on with your kids, well done. And yet the conversation is also a reminder that kids often see more than we think, that they are trying to figure out how to deal with things too, that they have their own questions about what is true or not, ok or not, safe or not. It has always amazed me here that there are quite a few times when even young kids have seemed to see realities that the LBS is still wrestling with, that ‘MLCer is not the same as they used to be’ or that ‘people who love you don’t act that way’……

And none of these tendrils of human connection are as black and white usually as they seem.

Like your point about unconditional love without return. Are there times when this is so and a marvellous human gift? Of course. Are there times when young women are sent the message that their relationships would be better if they just loved more/harder? Or that they are responsible for emotionally regulating others? Or that ‘real’ love is unconditional so it is not right to have boundaries that say No to how someone behaves towards you? Tbh, at least as I understand it, even God has boundaries…he may love you but he will step back and say No, Not Now, Not like this or Not If. I worry that our societies send such strong messages to girls and women about their obligation to emotionally manage others that I think as a parent it may be even more important to show how it is important and just as ok to do good solid self-respecting boundaries. To not encourage them to see it as their job to make not ok things ok. And sadly these implicit messages make them more vulnerable to abusers and predators which I am sure is not what you want for your girls as they grow into the wider world.

And that leads me to the issue of accidental gaslighting, particularly with kids. Gaslighting is essentially when we send the message that says oh what you saw with your own eyes wasn’t what really happened. Or the message that your judgment about it isn’t relevant. Both imho can be tremendously damaging to one’s mental wellbeing. And most LBS have been on the receiving end of that and know how disorientating it can be.

Is your wife really more important than your kids, FH? Bc she is an adult, no matter how dysfunctional a one, and they are not.

Is supporting your wife when she is monstering or lying or unstable or irrational in her behaviour- whatever that looks like - really more important than creating a stable sense of reality and respect for your kids? Or modelling how one balances compassion and self-respect when dealing with difficult behaviour from others? How do you expect them to know what is real or not, ok or not or who/what to trust or not? Who protects them if your priority is about prioritising your wife’s needs? I’m not saying you should attack or challenge your wife in front of the kids, of course not, but I am asking you to consider the implied signals that your ‘wife first’ approach might be sending to your kids.

And I’m not saying this is easy either. Or that I’m some big expert about kids. I hope that others will come along to share their own experience of dealing with this MLC stuff while also reinforcing and supporting their young humans. But I am saying I think that a couple of comments in your post made me feel a little concerned about the messages you may be unintentionally sending out to your girls. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 04:40:04 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.


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#15: October 24, 2023, 04:30:02 PM
Treasur,

Very thought provoking post… incredibly hard to balance the message of unconditional love and boundaries esp when communicating that message to our kids and especially in terms of what it’s reasonable to accept in a healthy normal relationship, which I suppose most of us newbies are well removed from!
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#16: October 24, 2023, 11:27:30 PM
FH and Treasur, yes, my comment about D14 being more important than W is that D14 is still very dependent on you, FH, and is a developing human being.

Since W is not a stable parent right now, your children only have you as a stable parent. Their positive development right now will be with one stable parent and, indeed, in spite of an unstable parent.

This puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on the LBS with children, and especially young children. The children's moorings are with the stable parent.

I agree about being cognizant of the message to girls and young women about healthy boundaries. In my opinion, this is one of the most important messages that we can teach daughters. I wish I had grasped the concept that boundaries were MY actions regarding the limits of what I accept in my life. I think if I had one thing to choose to teach my younger self, it would have been that.

If my younger self could have sat with my feelings, reflected, and then decided on accepting or rejecting X,Y, or Z for my life, I would have been way better off and not wasted so much energy on fruitless and unfulfilling things.

Times when I look back and see that I did have boundaries I am always thankful for them and view them as smart decisions for my younger self.

I'm not saying I would have never faced a spouse with MLC, because that had nothing to do with me in the first place, but I would have not taken on the burden of making things better, right, etc etc for things that were really not in my locus of control in the first place.

One solid boundary I had after bomb drop was not being the OW to the OW and I am thankful for that boundary every day. I was so hurt, devastated, and reduced to dust that I'm thankful I had just enough substance to not do that.
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« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 11:57:54 PM by Reinventing »

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#17: October 25, 2023, 01:33:25 AM
Quote
I wish I had grasped the concept that boundaries were MY actions regarding the limits of what I accept in my life. I think if I had one thing to choose to teach my younger self, it would have been that.

Perhaps this issue is one that we older females see particularly, Reinventing, when we interact with girls and younger women? Idk. But I agree with you so much that how we ACT teaches young people so much more than our words.

I was very lucky for the first fifty years of my life in that I came from a family that did boundaries well and gave me the confidence to use them in my own life. What I found odd post BD is how very unlike myself I was  :)…..but it was a crazy and confusing time. Looking back, I think I was a bit of a novice in dealing with people in intimate relationships who are emotionally abusive. I think I thought - for a while - that my then h was metaphorically drowning and it was my job to try to save him. But, with more time, it became easier to see that the person who really was getting soaked was me, that what I thought was a life vest was more like a suicide vest that would blow me up too if I was close enough. It was a profoundly shocking thing to me to see how little my then h cared about the effects of his behaviour on me, my family, our friends, our home, everything we had created together over 20 years. I still find it odd tbh.

I wrestled with that issue of unconditional love bc I suppose my family boundaries to that point had been that love is unconditional even though people have the right to not like your choices or behaviour. I always knew that, no matter how much either of my parents disliked some of my choices or tore their hair out at my teenage stupidity, their love was immutable. In my post BD wrestling, I think I came to the conclusion that my love may be unconditional but the nature of a relationship IS conditional. I learned from friends who had adult children or family members who were addicts, for instance, that one can carry the same amount of love AND need to accept that the kind of relationship you offer changes when someone is unable or unwilling to behave with care and respect towards you. That what you think is the reason matters less than the pattern of their actions. And that this is not an easy thing to put into practice bc it requires swallowing some rather hard reality pills  :)

Again looking back, I think my love for the person who used to be my h was remarkably sticky long after his disappearance from my life and that much of that love was unconditional.  But my trust, my desire to speak to him, my assumptions about his intentions, my beliefs about who he is or what he was capable of doing…those all changed, all those working levers of a relationship. It got easier to see that some of my love was unconditional, but that a relationship with me wasn’t. Perhaps the shake up that comes with BD just makes it easier to see those boundary lines that were simply unspoken before then? Idk.

It has been years and I’m not sure I could honestly say that I love my former h now. He disappeared long ago and I don’t know him anymore; events suggested that perhaps I didn’t ever know him as I thought I did. Yet there is still a little something that means I do not wish him harm, that makes him a particular person on the planet to me, that allowed me not to respond in kind and that allows me now to appreciate parts of who we were. As I get older, I think my then h was very foolish indeed to treat that kind of unconditional love, regard and respect as if it were nothing of value…..I think perhaps I value those things even more when I see them in action. But I also see that it is likely that my former h came from a FOO where love and respect were both highly conditional and that truthfully he may never have seen them in the way I did and do. I suspect he still doesn’t or he would have felt compelled to belatedly acknowledge and apologise for some of the horror he unleashed on people who loved and trusted him even all these years later. Bc, as my gran used to say, if you really need to know what is in someone’s heart, don’t watch their mouth, watch their feet  :)
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#18: October 28, 2023, 01:09:07 PM
Hello Treasur, Biscuit, Reinventing,

thank you very much for your wise advices and the time you spent to write them. You are spot on for many things, Treasur, like always. Setting up boundaries is a new skill for me and I am already working on it, first for me and my relationships, and yes also to show example to our children.

Regarding the children, education is always a balance and I try to be the best I can do, however the situation is not black and white : I am not the 100% stable parent, W is not 100% unstable. Our coparenting together is working remarkably well considering the current level of our relationship, and I am fine with the choice I made some months ago. The relationship from W with the children is still alive even if it could be stronger and even there have been some disconnections. Strange as it may look like, W is often mirroring my words or my actions towards our children. And I do the same sometimes.

Now a bit of journaling : the holidays have been very good. We spent 6 days with my family, first my dad then my brother with his big family (SIL and 5 of their children). A lot of very good moments together, games together, walks, cooking. So very good holidays.
W has made the choice not to come, too bad for her.

When we came back, I had the pleasant surprise to see a slight reconnecting of W : she has used time to make many small things in the house, including washing my things and preparing a good dinner for us. This is again a confirmation for me that taking longest possible holiday time was the right choice.
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« Last Edit: October 28, 2023, 01:13:55 PM by FrenchHusband »
M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
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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)
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#19: October 30, 2023, 02:24:51 PM
FH-
I am very glad to hear that you had a nice time with family, they are the most important! Also glad to hear that W is doing things( small is ok too).
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#20: October 31, 2023, 06:03:27 AM
FH-
I am very glad to hear that you had a nice time with family, they are the most important! Also glad to hear that W is doing things( small is ok too).

Thanks B1 for your comment ! Now I think about it, W is doing more and more things at home. The times around BD she did the minimum and the children complained "mom you don't cook anymore". I took upon myself, said nothing, and did everything I could at home and for the children. Then gradually, W has come back to a better share of chores.

My own MLC : a change of perspective
I would like to talk about my own MLC. I don't know exactly when it started, I did not drop a bomb and it was mild (MLT ?) but for sure I was in crisis in January 2020. I was grumpy with children and W, I don't have many memories but I know I wasn't much available for them. My main symptoms were lack of attention, lack of presence with W and children, addiction to social networks, videogames and language applications like Duolingo. My main timeeater during the crisis was social network. I spent a lot of time on a Game of thrones forum, socializing with virtual friends, playing with them. Funny is, W now is using Duolingo also to learn English and she spends a lot of time with computer / cellphone, looks like she mirrors my own crisis.

My affair ?
Did I have an OP ? No I did not enter an affair, even emotional affair, but I know I was very receptive to women around, and if I had no affair it was not thanks to my virtue, rather due to circumstances. I imagined easily entering an affair with women around, it seemed very natural. I had a big desire to come back to my childhood love and I imagined in my head us having sex, even marrying and being happy. The fact that she is married, has two children and lives in another country was not a problem in my crisis brain. Thinking about consequences was not in my daily routine.
So I did not have OP but I could easily have had one with physical affair, and this knowledge makes it easy for me to understand and forgive W's affair.

further developments
For sure I hurt W during this time. Did she feel abandoned ? Likely. Did she appreciate all the time I was spending on computer, letting her alone and giving her few attention ? Not at all. Did she tell me that I was not behaving well ? Yes she did but I did'nt really take her blames into account, and she stopped to tell me.

Then in second half of 2022 W entered deeply in her own crisis and (I guess) she began to discuss more with OM. I think it is only at this time that I began to look at her and question myself, but I was still grumpy (Sept 22- Nov 22). The fog was lifting at this time. I went out of the crisis end of December 22 and it was very brutal : I discovered accidentallly the relationship with OM. In hindsight, my crisis lasted 3 years ; when I think about it it was foggy, mainly for my relationships with W, children, family, friends.

personal considerations
I do not want to say that my crisis was the cause of W's : it wasn't. But for sure my crisis triggered hers. And my crisis feeded the monster.

So, if I change perspective and I see myself as a MLCer and my W the LBS, what do I see ? Maybe W wanted me to apologize or to show remorse ? Well I did apologize and I begged her pardon (Feb 23). Does W want me to amend my MLC by doing changes on myself ? Well it is what I am doing, no ? And I can totally understand, even if it's frustrating, that W needs time to recognize my changes are real and not comedy. Anyway that is not a game changer for her MLC outcome, I do the changes willingly for myself.

Will I confess W one day I was in MLC/MLT or the fantasy affair dreams ? Maybe one day, if/when I see it is the right thing to do. Today it is clearly not the case.

lifting the fog ?
One last thing : from reading many stories here, I have seen a common pattern in many stories (not all) of MLC : the fog of MLC is lifting when the LBS enters or is ready to enter a relationship with another person : Shocksis, RCR, FindingJoy, my story by example. I know a French LBS whose reconnection path (ongoing since 6 months) has begun just when she had an affair (unknown from her husband, she thinks).
So what do I make about it ? I know there is no magic trick that can fix the MLC. And trying to fake an affair would be highly manipulative. I begin to consider a new relationship may happen for me, I am not ready for it and I am not seeking it right now.
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
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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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#21: October 31, 2023, 06:17:35 AM
I’ve seen the same pattern here and 100% believe LBS genuinely moving on with someone else is a catalyst for the fog lifting. 

This has also been confirmed by the one MLCer I’ve met who has recovered/remarried.  She said it took 3 years after she left the house for her fog to lift and it lifted when her husband fell in love with someone else.  He’d been dating but she didn’t care.  But when it got serious she snapped. 

HOWEVER, huge caveat here.  I think a minimum period of time needs to pass first before this catalyst can have an affect..  If they’re 6 months into replay, you could run off with Margot Robbie.  MLC W would not care one bit.  However, it seems like after two years, more likely 3 years, when this happens, MLCers can sense genuine loss and the fog seems to lift.

That’s why I think the MLCer I met didn’t care about her H dating in the interim period.  It was too soon into replay.  But after three years, she was able to sense that real loss. 

Does anyone recall how long it was after that shocksis fog lifted?  I remember she didn’t care about H being with someone else initially.  It only further justified her actions to leave.  But after enough time passed.  She felt that loss.
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#22: October 31, 2023, 06:18:30 AM
You seem to have a pretty good eye on your behaviour during your own MLT/MLC and are commendably honest about your failings during this time.

Do you know what the underlying cause was?
Or how you ‘fixed’ whatever it was that was broken or missing in you at that time?
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#23: October 31, 2023, 08:02:06 AM
Quote from: WHY
Does anyone recall how long it was after that shocksis fog lifted?  I remember she didn’t care about H being with someone else initially.  It only further justified her actions to leave.  But after enough time passed.  She felt that loss.
Hi WHY ! yes I am agree with the minimum period of time. Shocksis was in the fog during 4 years, and her husband was long ago in another relationship.
For the French LBS I mentioned up, it happened after 1 year, and luckily for her it was simultaneous with OW rejecting LBS's husband.

I fear there is no accurate timeline, each story is different.
EDIT "catalyst" is the right term, I agree : it does not lift the fog, but once the fog is lifting, the view of the LBS moving on with someone else may accelerate the process.
Quote from: Treasur

You seem to have a pretty good eye on your behaviour during your own MLT/MLC and are commendably honest about your failings during this time.

Do you know what the underlying cause was?
Hi Treasur and thanks for your nice compliment. Yes I know the underlying cause was partially in my FOO wounds, and the main trigger for both our MLC/T was a huge neighbouring conflict in which we were involved from 2014 to December 2021. To summarize a very loooong story, our neighbours never accepted us buying the upper appartment and they waged a long war, making all possible things to harm us (including repeated night uproars during months, verbal aggression towards us and our D, physical aggression, flating car tyres, false allegations to tax department or municipality, etc...). Finally after 2 positive court decisions in Summer 2021, we have been able to move out 1 km away in same village with our heads high.

So it was a victory but the cost was very high : we have spent a lot of energy during more than 7 years and "the neighbours" has been for long a cause of daily arguments between W and I, and our children were not well. W and I have been united during this trial but I have favoured efficiency on the law-related topics instead of listening to W, working on myself and working on our relationship. I am conviced that my MLC/T then the one from W have been triggered by this trial. Funny, just one week after BD, I went to co-owner meeting with our ex-neighbours and for the first time they have admitted they have done big sh§t and they want to find a way out of the conflict (their own conflict  ::)). W did not want to come to this meeting : she was done. I won't never trust these people, nevertheless the coming end of this story shows me that hope and prayers were not in vain.

One thing that Monster told me vey often regarding the neighbours topic : "you have not protected me". W has been for a long time upset by my way of fighting with non-violence and legal action, now she does not bring anymore this topic on table. In hindsight I am still conviced that our biggest victory was to keep our soul.

Quote from: Treasur
Or how you ‘fixed’ whatever it was that was broken or missing in you at that time?
How ? Prayer and work on myself. I have begun to "fix" myself around one week before BD, and after BD I have really worked hard on me, steadily. This Summer I have recognized my limits doing that alone, and now I am accompanied by an IC with whom I dig deep within my FOO wounds and my current bad patterns, and by a spiritual counselor.
So for my case, it is only when the fog was lifting that I have begun to work on myself and take into account the remarks from other people. Am I really out of the MLC/T ? I would say yes, but if you could ask W she may have another POV, mayn't she ?
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« Last Edit: October 31, 2023, 08:33:13 AM 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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#24: October 31, 2023, 09:49:18 AM
Here I found it.  For shocksis, it was 2.5 years post BD when her fog started to lift.   

This completely reinforces my belief that the 2-3 year mark post BD is when the fog CAN be lifted, but is waiting for a catalyst.  Similar to the way that the MLC is brewing 12-18 months before BD but is waiting for a catalyst to start BD (cough cough the affair….). 

It’s very interesting stuff.

My question is, does that 2-3 year window start after BD, or start after the MLCer is on their own? 

Because if MLCer BDs but is a wallower and only moves out after 2 years and 11 months.  I highly doubt the fog will lift anytime soon.  I’ve read stories of wallowers lasting for YEARS (wasn’t there one that was 7 years in????).     

I suspect that 3 year mark gets pushed upwards the longer the MLCer is living at home and doesn’t progress through the tunnel. 

RCR you have read so many stories over what, 15 years?   Any insights?   Thanks!

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10914.msg729166#msg729166
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#25: October 31, 2023, 01:36:04 PM
Quote from: WHY
Here I found it.  For shocksis, it was 2.5 years post BD when her fog started to lift.   

This completely reinforces my belief that the 2-3 year mark post BD is when the fog CAN be lifted, but is waiting for a catalyst.  Similar to the way that the MLC is brewing 12-18 months before BD but is waiting for a catalyst to start BD (cough cough the affair….). 

It’s very interesting stuff.

My question is, does that 2-3 year window start after BD, or start after the MLCer is on their own? 

Luckily there are stories with at-home spouses under MLC/T who reconnect and rebuild :

Acorn -> seriously reconnecting after 2,5 years post BD
Helpingme! -> ongoing reconnection (not recognized officialy by the staff)
StormChaser    -> reconnection and rebuilding in less than 2 years post BD (MLT ?)
Foreverstander -> reconnection and rebuilding in less than 2 years post BD (MLT?)

IMHO, the 2-3 year mark is not linked to the moving out, it is linked to the honeymoon phase, you know, the 3-year period during which our hormones make us blind and tell us strongly "it is time to reproduce". As long as the affair is ongoing & the honeymoon is not finished, I fear there is no hope of real reconnection.

If my assumption is correct, a window may open 3 years after the affair has begun, or even before if the affair has been stopped by the OP (case of the French LBS I spoke previously + 6 months mourning / cold monster).

I have even found a counter example that confirms in a sad way my personal theory : Confused dad dropped the rope and entered in a relationship 1,5 year after BD1. His wife came back and Confused dad believed they were reconnecting and reconciling. It displeases me to write it, 6 months after, the confusion and the crazyness were back.
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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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#26: November 01, 2023, 03:29:07 AM
IMHO, the 2-3 year mark is not linked to the moving out, it is linked to the honeymoon phase, you know, the 3-year period during which our hormones make us blind and tell us strongly "it is time to reproduce". As long as the affair is ongoing & the honeymoon is not finished, I fear there is no hope of real reconnection.

In reality, there is no hard and fast rule about any time frame being linked to lifting of the fog, catalyst or now. There may be some anecdotal evidence but nothing that points to a real trend.
If my assumption is correct, a window may open 3 years after the affair has begun, or even before if the affair has been stopped by the OP (case of the French LBS I spoke previously + 6 months mourning / cold monster).
Key word here is MAY  There is no guarantee that it will and if the LBS hangs on to that may and doesn't do their own work and living like the Mid-Lifer is not coming back, they are setting themselves up for disappointment... Unmet expectations = disappointment

I have even found a counter example that confirms in a sad way my personal theory : Confused dad dropped the rope and entered in a relationship 1,5 year after BD1. His wife came back and Confused dad believed they were reconnecting and reconciling. It displeases me to write it, 6 months after, the confusion and the crazyness were back.
That was no reconnection / reconciliation, that was an extensive Touch-and-go.... His MLCW went back to ensure that the rope was still firmly attached, despite the new R, found that it was and used the information to begin a new cycle of mind-firetruckery/replay behaviour.

That is why the 2-3 year "window" is to be viewed with a GREAT deal of skepticism.....
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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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living is an opportunity
#27: November 01, 2023, 05:36:58 AM
Ursa wrote:
Quote
In reality, there is no hard and fast rule about any time frame being linked to lifting of the fog, catalyst or now. There may be some anecdotal evidence but nothing that points to a real trend.

I totally agree. There is no way to "predict" timeframes or "patterns". The anecdotal stories are interesting, but cannot be applied to all or our own story.

Letting go of timelines, expectations or " if  he/she does this it means that" really helps the LBSer . Our spouses are in crisis and it will take as long as it takes and maybe even forever.

I also disagree that the "LBSer moving on with someone else is a catalyst that will shake them out of the fog"...remembering that their crisis is not about us.

In my own story, his attachment to me is still very much there 14 years later. He is still in "crisis". The most important thing is my daughter and I have made peace with this "stranger" and have become less focused on him...and that seems to be the healthiest place to be. Not to continue to watch them under a microscope and see those "dates" come and go without any resolution.

Many of us did this at first...many of us learned that there is no pattern.
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« Last Edit: November 01, 2023, 05:39:01 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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#28: November 01, 2023, 02:26:42 PM
Thanks Ursa and xyzcf for your wise comments. As I am still 10 months after BD, I see these questions as rhetorical now, I don't know where I will be in 1 year or 2. I write my assumptions here because they may help other people, for me they just confirm the rightness of the vets advices : no expectations, detach, step back, focus on myself and my children, and yes, forget the timelines !

A bit of journaling now. One strange thing happened yesterday evening : D16 and D14 are out of house for several days (sport training), so for dinner we were only three. S5 did not eat the onions in his plate, then W told him he needs to eat everything and she left the table for the room where she is sleeping now. Usually, when she disappears like that, I handle the rest, but the tears of S5 were maybe the last straw (in French we say "la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase", the drop of water that makes the vase overflow) ? So I entered to the room where W was wallowing with her cellphone on the bed, and I said : S5 is crying, Having children is not a matter of 5 minutes a day, now please come back in the kitchen.

And I came back in the kitchen. We waited 3 minutes, then I came back to "her" room, and gave W back her words from BD : "I never considered you as a genitor, those who make you believe this are manipulating you in order to separate you from me and our children" & "you are so disconnected from our children"
Then a small miracle happened : after 2 other minutes she came back in the kitchen, and she handled (well) the situation with S5. Then (as it was her turn) she made the ritual before bedtime, and for the first time since maybe 1 year it was a very high quality time : W song with S5, jested with S5, they laughed together. 
I was so happy to see this reconnection happening so deeply. And today W song several times. It means a lot for me because she sings very well and loves to sing, since one year W almost stopped singing at home as other things she has stopped to do with me and the children.

So this is what you call here a truth dart maybe ? I am not a big user of these darts, this time it was right time I guess ?
But today I made a mistake of sending a new one during our lunch, still pointing out how W is disconnected from S5 after she tried to dismiss me from casual conversation between her and S5. So I had a bit of Monster, I am happy I set up quickly a boundary : "if you have something to tell me, not in front of our children", and as she continued I calmly left the table for 10 minutes. When I came back to finish my meal, situation was back to our current normal.

So I am happy with myself because I have been able to use efficiently with W my new skill "set up boundary". Regarding truth darts, it is a very dangerous tool and I  want to let them fly very rarely.
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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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Re: living is an opportunity
#29: November 03, 2023, 12:31:47 PM
FH-

That sounds like great news. Boundaries are important but it’s also nice that you had some good quality time together. Like you I try to make family dinner a priority, W doesn’t join us but that’s fine, she’s on her own journey and I get time with the boys.
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Re: living is an opportunity
#30: November 07, 2023, 07:15:27 AM
Thanks B1 for your nice comment.

I would like today to ask about some words that I am not sure I understand well. Please correct me if I am wrong

the hero's spouse : this is intriguing for me, I guess there is a joke but I don't get it. Who is the hero ? the LBS or the person under MLC ? Is the word hero ironic or a way to describe the stander ?

the "rope" is for me a symbol representing the relationship. Detaching means symbolically detach the rope from myself and allow slack so that I am not reacting anymore to the emotional shocks coming from the other side of the rope. I understand there are different levels of detachment.

drop the rope = last step of detachment = let go and let God = not initiate anything regarding relationship with spouse

to be done = give up with hope of rebuilding the marriage = definitely drop (throw ?) the rope

to move out = willingly seek or enter a new relationship with another person

Then a bit of journaling
Nothing special at this time. My detachment is increasing, and after some weeks the "no snooping policy" is beginning to make me feel better. In the first days I felt a huge temptation to look inside W's bag or W's computer, each day it is less difficult to resist this temptation. Yesterday I had an IC and I continue to dig deeper inside my FOO wounds. I understand now why I have had some hurting behaviours towards other people that are dear to me, and I know better how to not reproduce this in the future. I understand that I was a pleaser, and I see that I become rigid when I am under pressure. More food for the work in progress I am.
There are positive things IMO with being a pleaser and being rigid and I don't want to give up with these, it is not a 180°. What I want to practice more is listening : listening to other people and accept new inputs even when I believe I have planned everything for the best. Listen to me, my needs, my wants and set up boundaries when I decide it is necessary.

In the last days, W is reconnecting more with our children, I see it is very positive for them : children need the best possible parents. The way W is reconnecting is through food with D16 & D14 and songs with S5, that sounds familiar to me because both are love languages* for W, and in the last 8 months I have cooked several times with our children (a 180 from previous-me who cooked alone) and I have taught songs to S5. Two days in a raw W has asked our daughters to cook with her. Too bad they preferred to do something else. Until 3 months ago I would have intervened when W asked our daughters in order to facilitate the reconnection. I am not this person anymore.

*For the record, in the worst times around BD W did not cook for us during one month, instead she cooked 2 times meals that nobody liked, saying one time she was bringing a part with her for dinner with a female friend's mother : I figured out later it was a lie.
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« Last Edit: November 07, 2023, 07:55:18 AM 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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living is an opportunity
#31: November 07, 2023, 08:37:24 AM
Well done on not intervening with the cooking situation with W and daughters - that’s for her and them to figure out. Or not bc I guess these things change with teenagers normally. But it’s a big positive step away from people pleasing and rigidity for you, FH, so well done indeed  :)
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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

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#32: November 15, 2023, 05:07:17 AM
Quote from: Treasur
Well done on not intervening with the cooking situation with W and daughters - that’s for her and them to figure out. Or not bc I guess these things change with teenagers normally. But it’s a big positive step away from people pleasing and rigidity for you, FH, so well done indeed  :)

Thank you for your compliment Treasur, and thank you for the humorous way you write it. Is that British humour  ;) ?

I see that we are discussing the Christmas times. Next weeks until New Year's Eve will be interesting for me. First my niece will come in our house from December 2d for a 1 month professional internship. The question of her living arrangement will need a solutio : we have 5 rooms in the house, normally we have a guest room, too bad W has taken possession of this room so all rooms are occupied ! I won't raise the topic with W until the last days, D14 told me that W asked D16 to leave her room, and she refused  ;D. So I know that W feels concerned. Let's see what happens, in the last months I have been the one to initiate discussions with W for this kind of topic, now I limit the topics to the minimum (children, basic logistics) and I don't ask questions.

Then for Christmas this year, my 2 brothers are coming with full family. Big Brother (B1) has 4 children (from 9 to 22 years) and Second Brother (B2) has 6 children (from 7 to 21 years). So big family gathering and full of stakes for me and W : one of her blames at BD was that she felt not welcomed by my family 20 years ago, and I recognize there is a truth in her words. My mother has been often mean and unfair with both my SILs & for my W, the fact she is a black African woman was even an aggravating factor. After the struggles I made a clear decision between my mother and my W and gone NC during one year with my mother. SIL2 is the one who has suffered the most from my intrusive mother, mainly because B2 did not protect her. In my family, SIL2 is also the only one with whom I have discussed W's MLC, mainly because she has been herself in 4-year MLC/T, but I have given no details to her regarding W's MLC.

I have told my 2 brothers few days after BD that W is still angry towards them, I know B1 has sent a letter to W to beg her pardon. He likes to joke with people, his jests are hurting sometimes, he has also hurt very often our SIL2, but he is not anymore the man he was, he has grown.
Funny thing about B1 : few days before BD, I had asked my brothers and other people to pray for W and me, and B1 told me immediately : "oh, it is a midlife crisis". I immediately answered "no it isn't" : I did not believe in MLC a this time...

Family gatherings are joyous moments and the cousins and parents are very happy to spend time together, but it happens regularly my brothers can go regressing (me also sometimes) and the warm atmosphere becomes heavy and painful for the Ws and the children. Last Christmas together in 2021 W did not join us, in hindsight it was pre-crisis. So I will make my personal duty to check that the atmosphere stays good for everybody and we all spend good time together. And - quis custodes ipsos custodiet ? -  I intend to ask either SIL1 either D14 to check me in case I become heavy or deaf.

For W, the big gathering of "my" family in our home is a challenge : there are the wounds from the past, the MLC, the living arrangements to settle for 4-5 days together : the rooms are big, the living room is huge, we have 2 bathrooms so normally there is no issue for anybody if everybody has good will... I am pretty sure that W will not take holidays during Christmas holidays, so she will continue to work every second day, meaning she has to wake up at 5:30 am. Let's see...

In September, I asked W to tell me clearly whether she wanted us to cancel this Christmas settlement that was planned 2 years ago. I made sure also she was agree to receive at our home my niece. She raised no objection, she only told me "I won't maybe be here for Christmas". At this time I assumed that W would travel in her country for holidays, but in hindsight I believe I was totally wrong : she was considering to abandon me, our children, her work, our house. In hindsight also, I am glad my assumption was wrong and I have not asked questions that might have pushed W out of the house. Now I still don't know whether W will still be in our house for Christmas : I don't snoop and I won't ask, I see no leaving preparations ongoing, I get ready for all scenarios. As usual, I will do my best so that we spend good time together ; my "rigid pleaser" skills may help ;). For the rest, let's see what happens.
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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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Re: living is an opportunity
#33: November 15, 2023, 06:23:32 PM
FH-

Having family over is always a great time, growing up we always had large family gatherings.
If W won’t be there maybe that’s ok, if she feels more comfortable going back to her home country then that might be the way to go. If you have room for one more at the table let me know!
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living is an opportunity
#34: November 21, 2023, 06:51:25 AM
Quote from: Baxter1
FH-

Having family over is always a great time, growing up we always had large family gatherings.
If W won’t be there maybe that’s ok, if she feels more comfortable going back to her home country then that might be the way to go. If you have room for one more at the table let me know!

19 in the house is a big number, but for sure we would find space for you !


Hello all,

something happened last Satturday that I would like to journal here. One of the gifts that MLC brought to me is that I have changed. In particular I am more open that I was in the past, more seeking company and good discussions. Before BD after I picked up S5 at school I went to park with other children and parents, and I talked sparsely with few parents. Since January I opened myself and now I speak with many parents. These discussions can be very deep sometimes and they make me feel good, they make me happy. Some mothers told me that they can see I worked on myself and they entrust me with their daily issues, sometimes also with their couple issues. Amongst many topics was discuss also spirituality, I am known to be a practising Christian and some mothers talk to me about their faith as they are willing to receive baptism or Christian education for them or their children. Part of GAL for me is not doing something new, but doing it with a new me, more present and attentive to the others. I am glad that I am becoming more the person I wanted to be.

There is one particular mom whose first child is one of the BF from S5. We are becoming closer with the time, in May this mom entrusted to me many details of her life, her divorce and the difficult relationships with her XH. She is now 28 yo, has two sons 5yo and 3yo, and she initiated divorce when her second son was 6m yo. Not a MLC IMO. In May I felt a strong desire to confide to this mom the status of my marriage and W's MLC. I resisted to this temptation : this is a red line for me.

Last Satturday I invited this young mom (YM) and her children to go in a park together with S5. We have spent a wonderful afternoon together, she confided to me many very personal and interior things. She has worked a lot on herself with an IC, she knows well her FOO wounds and is dealing with them. First time for me to meet someone IRL who is doing the work and is a grown/growing person as many of you LBS fellows in the forum. I am proud of myself because Satturday I have not crossed the red line even if the desire was big.

So what happened the next days ? I am thinking a lot of time about YM. I have had a big desire to send messages to her, to call her to see her, even to cross my red line. So I took time to see within myself what I want and what I am ready for.
At the end I recognize that I am not ready to move on. I want to continue the relationship with YM as a friend. She is making me feel good, I enjoy our discussions.

How does YM feel about me ? I don't know and I don't want to clarify. She is giving me many hints that she may be wanting a relationship with me, she is talking also what she wants/doesn't want in friendship/love relationships (in French the words have same root : amour-amitié->aimer)

In parallel I give less thought to W so my detachment level is increasing. Now it seems to me I am finally DROPPING THE ROPE. Yes !

W is still on her journey. Currently she is calling a lot in her country so she spends few time with our children, even less with me. I understand a bit her country languages so I know W is preparing a comemorative celebration in her country for FIL's death 30 years ago in one month. I observe the compartmentalization is huge : W is not involving our children or me in this ceremony. It seems so clear to me that the person in control of W is currently a 12yo wounded & grieving girl. I am thinking about ordering a mass for FIL in the church and inviting our family to participate. Maybe I will ask D14 for advice before doing 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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living is an opportunity
#35: November 21, 2023, 07:09:29 AM


It is VERY enticing to be noticed, respected, and trusted by someone after being disrespected, unwanted, and ignored......
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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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living is an opportunity
#36: November 21, 2023, 07:25:31 AM
I agree with UM that you are wise to see the red flag in your time spent with YM…..if for no other reason than a lot of children could be affected by your choices. But perhaps you see it as more of a pink flag than a red one?……

Talking of children, not sure why you would ask D14 about any memorial service for FiL. Is that not placing adult choices on a kid’s shoulders? And for a man she never knew and who sounds as if he comes with a bit of a minefield for your wife? Is it not your wife’s business alone to decide?
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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

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living is an opportunity
#37: November 21, 2023, 01:52:13 PM
Quote from: UrsaMajor
It is VERY enticing to be noticed, respected, and trusted by someone after being disrespected, unwanted, and ignored......
exactly, very enticing ! You are so right ! and as you and Treasur tell it, there is a lot of danger here even if I don't see what would be the pink flag ?
Yes I see the children could be affected so I won't be hasty, right now the only choice I make is to stay friends with YM and not cross the red line.

Regarding D14, you are right, I should not place adult choices on her frail shoulders (by the way she got her foot fractured yesterday, W spent 5 hours in clinic for her). D14 has been helping in the last weeks giving me good advices, but it is not a valid reason to ask her more. So I will have to discuss with myself to get a decision on this small topic. Since some months we make a weekly prayer in family. I am the one who has initiated, children and W are participating most of the time, sometimes W is telling S5 to lead the prayer and the does very well, no complaint. Within the prayer I make sure to pray for all our FOO (W having both FOO & adoptive family) and our friends, this includes also the dead people dear to us.
 
Organizing the mass for FIL would not be for W, it is for me and the children. FIL was a great man, a pillar of his parish in Africa, he always refused the witchcraft. He is also the grandfather of my children and I want him to be part of their life.
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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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living is an opportunity
#38: November 21, 2023, 04:46:46 PM
personally FH, I'd not make too much of a show organising a mass for FIL. Why not just say a prayer for him on the day with your kids and have a nice conversation with them, privately, about what a great man he was and what effect he had on you and your life. I think that speaks volumes more about how you view him and isn't in any way contentious. I think organising a mass might be seen as too controlling by your W.

As for the mum you've befriended and are enjoying time with, I'd tread extremely carefully. Maybe keep it platonic and friendly because I'm pretty sure you realise you'd be doing yourself, her and both your kids a disservice by treating it in any other way right now. I don't want to be preachy but I'm so glad that I rejected some early offers of female company when I stood where you are right now.
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#39: November 22, 2023, 04:30:40 AM
Quote from: Biscuit
personally FH, I'd not make too much of a show organising a mass for FIL. Why not just say a prayer for him on the day with your kids and have a nice conversation with them, privately, about what a great man he was and what effect he had on you and your life. I think that speaks volumes more about how you view him and isn't in any way contentious. I think organising a mass might be seen as too controlling by your W.
I guess I have used a bad word with organizing. What I mean is asking a prayer intention so that, during a scheduled mass, the priest calls a specific prayer for someone in front of the assembly. Usually it is done for deceased people (anniversary of death) or sick people. So not a big thing actually.
And thank for your advice, I will take it and adapt it with the children as I see it is right and fits my wants.

Quote from: Biscuit
As for the mum you've befriended and are enjoying time with, I'd tread extremely carefully. Maybe keep it platonic and friendly because I'm pretty sure you realise you'd be doing yourself, her and both your kids a disservice by treating it in any other way right now. I don't want to be preachy but I'm so glad that I rejected some early offers of female company when I stood where you are right now.
I agree with what you write, and I am resolved to keep my platonic line. Crossing the red line is similar to me to King David calling for Bathsheba : we all know where it leads...
I feel like I am walking in a big mountain. Behind me is a valley of sorrow where lies the rollercoaster, my attachment to W, my snooping, a lot of smog. I see clearly another valley, very tempting and full of visible and invisible dangers. I want to Stand on the ridge, walking ahead. I see a small path on the ridge for the next days, weeks, not so far ahead. Alone I am weak and with help of God and you fellow LBS I feel strong enough to continue my journey. Thank you !
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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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#40: November 28, 2023, 06:05:58 AM
A bit of journaling today.

First I am glad to have taken some days to look inside me and to read your messages : after the nice afternoon with YM I was  thinking a lot to her. I can now understand a bit how it feels to meet someone when you are under MLC. But I believe I am not under MLC, and since I took the decision to be "friends only", the nice feelings quickly evaporated. The drawback is that my detachment decreased a bit. And when I learned incidentally that W had taken 2 days of vacation without telling me, my brain imagined crazy scenarios that raised an inside anger. I have had the will to initiate a BIG discussion with W and to put everything on the table : OM, the affair, the abandonment of the children, the witchcraf, W not doing the work on herself...

Then I took a step back and I considered the situation quietly : I know the next weeks will be difficult for W : my niece is arriving this Satturday and she will stay at our home for 1 month. During this time W, as I know her, W will make some efforts to make discussions and will less lock herself in the room where she sleeps. Then, more difficult, my brothers and their many children will come for Christmas and W will likely stay. 14 additional people related to me at our home during 4-5 days, it will be very tough for her. So I took the decision to give peace to W. And what happened in the next days ? W spent a lot of time to wash home and cook meals. Last Satturday she even cooked my favourite meal  :P. And during this dinner she announced to the family that she will take 2 days of vacation. No justification given to me and the children, and I did not ask questions. Actually it was yesterday and today, and from what I know W did nothing special : mainly she called her relatives and friends in her country without hiding from me.

Next dinner on Sunday W announced to us that a friend from her will wed soon. What is new is that she is making a small step out of compartmentalization. Since I don't initiate discussions, sometimes W is talking to me for small things & I stay light. More significantly, during Sunday W cooked meals in anticipation for Christmas , children told me : spring rolls and African pastels (stuffed fritters). This is huge for me : cooking is one of W's LL, she involved our children (I gave a hand also for some minutes). And these meals that need hours of preparation are now in our freezer, ready for my "racist and not welcoming brothers". What W has done speaks a lot to me : another reason to let her in peace.

I speak a lot about W here, it is mainly for the record because my life is very fullfilled with the children, the family, the parish, the work, the friends, even YM who invited me at restaurant  :P. Many positive things currently in life that I thank God for !
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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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living is an opportunity
#41: December 05, 2023, 06:35:35 AM
A bit of journaling today.

I have very good days currently and each day I am able to find very good things that I thanks God for. Now my niece is at home as she is making an internship for her studies. It is a bit like having an additional daughter at home. So more talks, more good moments together. D14 has cooked something, again a recipe that she invented (soup of lasagne  :o) and again the result was very good. Together with S5 we were in the kitchen and have given a hand (my new pattern since BD) and it was a good moment also. Now D16 is asking for ingredients, she cooks scarcely and is less confident in herself so she cooks by the book (like me). From my side I try more often new recipes out of my comfort zone.

I have seen both spiritual and psychological counselor and it went very well. The spiritual counselor told me several times that my choices are wise. She is not Christian or pro-marriage so she challenged my choice of Standing (why don't you divorce ?), when I explained my position she told me once again that I am wise. I have no more FOO wound or hurting behaviour in mind now, so we agree to not have a new meeting right now. I'll see after New Year whether I'll set up a new meeting. The IC helped me very much to dig deep inside me and I am very grateful. She tells me I look fine, better than 3 months ago, and that she can see from my face and body language that I am serene. The IC has understood from my words that I have dropped the rope, and she asked me whether W is changing accordingly. My answer : I don't know. Actually I see very small signs, but it is too early to jump on conclusions. Good to know the IC believes that W will change, time will tell if she is right and, as I told her, I did not drop the rope expecting changes. It just happened.

The spiritual counselor told me that the daily prayer has changed me, now he has put words on it I see it is true : it changes the way I handle the situations that life is throwing to me. I talked with him about Young Mom, the forum THS and the way I took time and listened to your wise advices. I will continue the work with the spiritual counselor, once a month.

Now we are entered in December. This is a tough month for W : my niece at home is an effort for her, she has the grace to talk with her during our meals ; when my brothers and their big family will come it will become very tiring during some days. December 15th is the 30th anniversary of FIL's death (I told W that I have requested prayer intentions this day) ; December 31st is the 18th anniversary of my mother's death (I will also request a prayer intention).

I think W will stay at home during Christmas time (I am ready for all other possible scenarios btw) and that will be very tough for her . So I have reduced to the minimum the conversation topics and I tell her only once e.g. : "when it is fine for you we can discuss this [important topic for children], if you don't come back to me in 5 days, I'll take the decision that looks fine to me", or "for information, S5 has fever and is coughing, I have given to him [medicine] and he slept well, please keep me informed about his health".

I try to make the Christmas time in family most comfortable for everybody including W, not by walking on eggshells but by acting as if I have an Old Aunt at home. Please don't misunderstand me : W is currently making efforts, not by words but by her actions. As I keep "no expectation" in my policy, I am grateful for her actions. For sure I would prefer to have "words" + "actions", in the present situation I prefer "actions without words" than "words without consistent actions". And I see also that she is listening to me and she takes into account my (few) requests.
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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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Re: living is an opportunity
#42: December 12, 2023, 05:38:48 PM
FH-

Sounds like it is going well. The holidays I’m sure will be a challenge but it sounds like you are planing well, good luck!
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living is an opportunity
#43: December 13, 2023, 01:39:06 AM
FH, yes, your continued path toward detachment is helping you sound better and more stable. You sound like you've gotten off the rollercoaster of emotions that being tied to an MLCer's words and  actions can bring.

Agreed, nothing is cheaper in life than the words of an MLCer. They fall apart right away. Early on we put a lot of significance into them, but the person they are coming from is unstable.

We don't feel stable, especially at first, but we are the stable ones.
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« Last Edit: December 13, 2023, 01:41:22 AM by Reinventing »

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#44: December 15, 2023, 12:47:13 AM
thanks R and B1 for your nice comments. Life is beautiful and I enjoy every day.

The December month that I expected tough for W is half finished, and... so far so good. Yesterday my father arrived at home. I did not ask W anything, instead I gave to D16 and D14 some tasks to do in order to prepare the house, bed and meal (informations shared to W). What did W ? She cleaned very well the house and bought a dessert and bread. Again, small actions, very meaningful to me. To give the full picture (last addition to the post), W continues to spend a lot of time locked in the room where she sleeps and talks scarcely with me, instead she calls in her country. I write it to be accurate but I don't really mind anymore.

Today is the 30th anniversary of FIL's death. I will go to the mass in the evening with the children and my dad. W is free to come, if she wants she can arrange to end her work earlier and join us. Let's see what happens.

On another topic I am still spending good time with the young mom I am friend with. She wants to launch a lux company, a crazy and risky project that I believe can be successfull. I will propose her to become her associate, I have money that is not necessary to my family needs and that I can risk on her project. Then I will tell W (in January ! not in the tough December) and the children. My involvement in this company will officialize the time I spend with YM, it fits also with the support I intend to give to her, as a friend and with my deep wish from long to launch a company. The next days and years will be very thrilling !
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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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#45: December 15, 2023, 02:34:56 AM
Quote
On another topic I am still spending good time with the young mom I am friend with. She wants to launch a lux company, a crazy and risky project that I believe can be successfull. I will propose her to become her associate, I have money that is not necessary to my family needs and that I can risk on her project. Then I will tell W (in January ! not in the tough December) and the children. My involvement in this company will officialize the time I spend with YM, it fits also with the support I intend to give to her, as a friend and with my deep wish from long to launch a company. The next days and years will be very thrilling !

Oh dear, FH.
This has so many red flags that I have run out of red fabric…..

You will do what you are going to do, no doubt.
But
I have experience of setting up - and shutting down lol - businesses I have owned and co-owned in the past. Most new businesses fail in the first two years and you have already said it is a high risk proposition. You would be investing money that is part of your marital/family pot, whether legally or just morally, without your wife’s active Yes. And at a time when your family’s wellbeing could yet be upended if your wife decides to leave, and when any spare money and energy you have in reserve might be needed to safeguard your collective futures. You are openly saying that it will ‘officialise’ your time with YM - which of course has nothing to do with a business rationale - and indeed it will mean you spending a lot more time with YM, time that doubtless will feel like a lot more fun than time soent with your wife right now. Even if this does not result in a growing intimacy with YM, you will be investing time, energy and money outside your family…..

Do you have any previous experience of setting up a business like this?
Would you still do it if YM were not part of the mix?
How much do you know about YM’s previous experience, her objectives in doing it and doing it with you, and what she would be like to work with as a business partner?
If you find the idea thrilling, what has stopped you doing something similar in the past?

So, a ton of red flags, both business ones and personal ones….really a lot of red flags imho.

You’re going to do you doubtless  ::)
All I can encourage you to do is take your time to think about it from every angle possible and to be as honest with yourself as you can be.
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Re: living is an opportunity
#46: December 15, 2023, 03:35:36 AM
This says it all, "My involvement in this company will officialize the time I spend with YM."

You are potentially flushing funds down the drain to craft an excuse to spend yet more time with a woman outside of your marriage. Your train has gone off the rails.
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living is an opportunity
#47: December 15, 2023, 04:18:33 AM
And in case you forgot, less than a month ago, you wrote this….

Quote
There is one particular mom whose first child is one of the BF from S5. We are becoming closer with the time, in May this mom entrusted to me many details of her life, her divorce and the difficult relationships with her XH. She is now 28 yo, has two sons 5yo and 3yo, and she initiated divorce when her second son was 6m yo….am thinking a lot of time about YM. I have had a big desire to send messages to her, to call her to see her, even to cross my red line……At the end I recognize that I am not ready to move on. I want to continue the relationship with YM as a friend. She is making me feel good, I enjoy our discussions.

How does YM feel about me ? I don't know and I don't want to clarify. She is giving me many hints that she may be wanting a relationship with me, she is talking also what she wants/doesn't want in friendship/love relationships (in French the words have same root : amour-amitié->aimer)

Does that sound like a business relationship to you?
Or are you in danger of justifying and rationalising your behaviour in just the same way MLCers do?
As I said, you will do you. It’s your life and your choice.

If you are wise, you will explain to this young woman that you need to end all contact with her to protect your family right now bc you are vulnerable and like her very much. If she is as insightful and caring as you suggest, she will accept and understand that. If she does not, that will tell you something about who she is perhaps. Bc I find myself wondering about why this young woman would think it appropriate to have these kinds of conversations with an older married man with children….

If you decide not to, then hey ho, you will also be choosing the pretty predictable effects that may come with your choice. Bc, other than it making you feel good, I’m really not sure I can see how adding three more humans, two of them very young, will improve the mix of your current situation affecting five humans, three of them kids. Or indeed how it stacks up with the Christian beliefs you talk about as being so important to you and your family, other than as a reminder that all of us at times can be vulnerable to making choices that harm us and others and that this is part of why we hold hard to a set of beliefs that are about more than our own feelings at a given time.

I appreciate that this may seem like a tough choice for you and I am sending you my prayers that you choose well and wisely.

But hopefully someone else reading along will learn from your story regardless of your choice.
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« Last Edit: December 15, 2023, 04:35:39 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
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Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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living is an opportunity
#48: December 15, 2023, 04:24:57 AM
Dear FH,

It's very likely that you are vulnerable that the moment. I initially  hated this fact myself - of being vulnerable, because I consider myself quite a tough bird :) but we are all vulnerable at times. And being in the MLC storm, it upends our world too. So, for me, recognizing that I am vulnerable, conversely, it's a kind of strength. I approach most things with added caution and reflection, at the moment. Particularly new people who enter my life. I want to keep my same curiosity, sociability and joy, but I move slower.

A few years back, I was bereaved, and a new person entered my life. She turned out to be a complete nightmare (perhaps I'll write a book about it some time - I think Netflix would do a great mini-series  :) ). I look back now and see how the loss created a kind of void to be exploited. And I think I was a tiny bit limerant for this 'friend', if such a thing can exist with friendships. It's been a salient lesson for me.
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#49: December 15, 2023, 05:43:26 AM
On another topic I am still spending good time with the young mom I am friend with. She wants to launch a lux company, a crazy and risky project that I believe can be successfull. I will propose her to become her associate, I have money that is not necessary to my family needs and that I can risk on her project. Then I will tell W (in January ! not in the tough December) and the children. My involvement in this company will officialize the time I spend with YM, it fits also with the support I intend to give to her, as a friend and with my deep wish from long to launch a company. The next days and years will be very thrilling !

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#50: December 15, 2023, 11:00:59 AM
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« Last Edit: December 15, 2023, 11:02:48 AM by JohnnyBravo »
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#51: December 15, 2023, 11:18:43 PM
Hello dear fellow LBS,

thanks for your wise advices. I am thinking carefully about the situation in a whole : who I am, what I want for me, for my family, for this company that will start and the relationship I want with YM and her children.
I will keep you informed about my decisions and the events.
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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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#52: December 19, 2023, 07:52:57 AM
So here after a few days the answers of your questions

Quote from: Treasur
Do you have any previous experience of setting up a business like this?
No experience of setting up a business like this, that is why it is so thrilling. I know how difficult the first years of a new company can be.
I have 20 years experience in managing projects and working with people as project manager. I have already launched a training center from scratch 20 years ago. And I have been trained in a business school for creating a new company.
IMO, what makes a project successful is the people, not the project.

Quote from: Treasur
Would you still do it if YM were not part of the mix?
I would say yes and no. If there were a business opportunity including people with whom I can have efficient and friendly relationship, yes, likely.

Quote from: Treasur
How much do you know about YM’s previous experience, her objectives in doing it and doing it with you, and what she would be like to work with as a business partner?
I know a lot of her life, and her objective is to develop a new business and have incomes in one year. For her it is a "do or die" project.
At this time she did not accept my offer of money investment. Whatever her choice, I want to support her and I am already supporting her and her project, as a friend.

Quote from: Treasur
you will be investing time, energy and money outside your family…..
the truth is I have time and energy available currently. I take nothing from the family. Regarding money, the money I will use is company common stock that is normally blocked until 2028. This is money not available for our needs, already a risky investment. I have the possibility to "unblock" this money for creating a new company.

Quote from: Treasur
If you find the idea thrilling, what has stopped you doing something similar in the past?
Until recently, my priority N°1 was our family : house, food, school, holidays... Priority 2 was W's family and W's projects that I have always supported (and I still do). As a "pleaser", my own projects have been always in priority 3.
I have made a mental switch in October and now I want to raise my own projects in priority 2. The other priorities remain unchanged.

Am I vulnerable ? Am I in MLC ?
First things first : thanks to write your comments, I read them with great attention and they have great price for me. I fully understand that you may believe I am under MLC and/or I am vulnerable. On the other hand, I have recently seen my IC and my spiritual counselor and both found me wise and sensible.
I am thankful for everyday, for every little thing in my life including children, friends, family, colleagues, parishers, even W.
I don't feel angry towards W and towards the choices I made in the last 20 years.
I am not anymore impatient to live something different from the life I have. I accept what is even W's MLC.
I can make mine your wise words , KD :
Quote from: Kaydee
I approach most things with added caution and reflection, at the moment. Particularly new people who enter my life. I want to keep my same curiosity, sociability and joy, but I move slower.

Quote from: Treasur
And in case you forgot, less than a month ago, you wrote this….
[...]
Does that sound like a business relationship to you?
Or are you in danger of justifying and rationalising your behaviour in just the same way MLCers do?
[...]
If you decide not to, then hey ho, you will also be choosing the pretty predictable effects that may come with your choice. Bc, other than it making you feel good, I’m really not sure I can see how adding three more humans, two of them very young, will improve the mix of your current situation affecting five humans, three of them kids. Or indeed how it stacks up with the Christian beliefs you talk about as being so important to you and your family, other than as a reminder that all of us at times can be vulnerable to making choices that harm us and others and that this is part of why we hold hard to a set of beliefs that are about more than our own feelings at a given time.

I appreciate that this may seem like a tough choice for you and I am sending you my prayers that you choose well and wisely.

But hopefully someone else reading along will learn from your story regardless of your choice.
thanks to remind me my own words : I am not that man anymore. I cannot ignore the dangers I have myself highlighted to you and to my spiritual counselor.
My position is still the same since few days after the quote : I want to be a friend of YM, no more no less. The new business is not a magic fix I am seeking, it is sthing I wanted to do from long

Anyway, if I fall (fail ?) in MLC and become a MLCer, my testimony will become useful for the readers, won't it ? ;)

A bit of journalling :

One thing that was off the rails, I recognize, and that is why I used the word "officialize" by lack of a better term. "Bring under light" might be more appropriate ? Anyway, I corrected it and after reading your posts and thinking about it, I informed W that I want to support YM in her business, and maybe invest money in her company. So she knows. And I told also our children. D16 and D14 want more details and want to give me their feedback on the products.
Please don't misunderstand me ! I don't dream of a nice life with YM, my children and hers ! I am only bringing under light what should not be secret.

My dad stayed 2 days at our home, and it was fine : W participates actively to the meals, last meals were full of jokes and laughters. She spends more time with D16 and D14.
And W is washing more and more every room, the fridge, the bathroom. Again, actions speak louder than words. W is not collaborating with "the adult mail list preparing Christmas", but she is seriously preparing my family coming in a few days. What a contrast ! 1 year ago she was almost totally disconnected from all housechores.
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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)
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#53: December 30, 2023, 03:12:38 AM
Hello all, I have many things to journal here ! The tough month of December is almost gone as is this year and my first year post Bomb Dropping. W is still at home and I am still alive, happy and in peace. Life is wonderful !

I said December would be a tough month for W : my niece lived with us the 3 first weeks, my dad came for 2 full days, and finally my 2 brothers came with whole family for 5 days for Christmas. According to Monster, my family is a bunch of racists who did not welcome W well and who do not consider W. And in September, W told me she might not be at home for Christmas. Well, in that context, it went not that bad. The circumstances have been favourable

December 23th
W is gone for the full day. She says to the children and to me that she is sending medicaments in her country. I discover that, actually, she has taken a flight for Switzerland : back and forth in the day  :o. So a big lie. It does not upset me, and I choose not to say a word about it to W and to the children. I guess it is still the escape plan...
With the children we do a lot of cleaning in the house. In the evening my nephew N22 will arrive but he plans to arrive around 10pm. At 8pm I tell to the girls that I am tired and I will go to sleep soon, I ask them whether they can greet N22 . D14 shows me her forehead so that I can kiss her for goodnight, and I say "ho I will not sleep immediately, I have to do the dishes first". And D16 says immediately "dad, may I do the dishes ?" So glad am I with the children !

December 24th
As I am sometimes doubtful about Standing, I have asked the Lord to send me a sign in the previous days, and here I see today a small rosebud on our rosebush. Is it real ? Will it grow ?
We continue to prepare the rooms for Christmas. W is cleaning again what we have cleaned the day before (I let her do it).. I help D16 and D14 to finish their presents. Between other gifts, they have prepared a personalized game of "les loups garous de Thiercellin" (French game, very popular, that we are playing in family or with friends, you may know more by clicking on the link). They have replaced the original characters by members of our family including my brothers, their wives and children, my father and his wife. Each card is personalized, and our family is pictured as werewolves, the antagonists. S5 is a werewolk kid, D16 and D14 are ugly werewolves. For W and I they have taken same picture, only differences being the color of the fur, white for me and black for W.
My brothers arrive in the afternoon, together (adults and children) we prepare the food for the dinner. D14 and her cousin cooks two Christmas log cakes.
We are now 19 at home, 6 adults and 13 kids from 5 to 22 yo.
 At 5:20pm I go with some children in advance to the church as 3 children want to play music, 3 other children will read during the skit before the mass, and 4  will take part of the skit. The chosen thema is the peace and the priest gives us a well inspired homily. I play music at the beginning of the skit then I will sit to the only place left next to our family. It happens that I am next to W  ;D. During the mass she gives ostentatiously to me the gesture of peace, I extend my hand and she takes it. In a nutshell, the mass is beautiful moment together. Then we have a nice dinner. W is cold but answers when she is talked to. As she works the next day and wakes up very early, she will sleep in the room with the smallest children and we limit the noise level.

December 25th
It's Christmas ! many presents are in front of the chimney ! Better to open them before W comes back, not that the children can not wait, but that may be boring for W. I got one gift from D16 and D14 that they have chosen and W has paid.
We have organized all meals together in anticipation so that it goes smooth, and all the children are involved in the chores. And it works ! Every person does the work in joy and peace and we can all enjoy the nice moments and share the food. Unexpectely W comes back few minutes after noon (normally it is 1:30pm) and we can all eat together. W opens her gifts (she has the biggest pile ;D ) and thanks everybody in few words.
My brother B2 takes the train because he will work tomorrow. On one hand, I would have been glad to see him more, OTOH, it will be a bit easier for W.

December 26th
W is working today, again. In hindsight it is good that she works during these days, that limits the time with everybody and it is more progressive. We go in a very nice village between sea and moutain, almost everybody swims in the sea, then we eat and go for a walk/visit. Again a wonderful day. In the evening and during dinner W is less cold and talks more with all of us : small reconnection with the family.
Very nice evening, children play together and adults chat. W has nothing to do in the anticipated planning, and she does many small things unplanned that are fine : opening a good bottle of wine, offering chocolates, preparing tea or herbal infusion. Very fine !

December 27th
W is not working ! She knows the propositions for today, she even made proposals. Will she join us ? Yes, and that was unexpected : the morning she joins the village visit (with me). Nobody complains when she receives a call from her country and she stays 5 meter distance to answer the call in her language.
In the afternoon she takes her car to drive SIL and 2 children in another visit. Last evening and the reconnection with my family continues, steadily and cautiously. Baby steps.
In the evening, noise is coming from the kitchen as the adults are still seated : it is the children who have put the music on and they are dancing, kind of dance battle while 3 of them are still doing the dishes. Can you imagine it ? We adults begin to laugh, brother1 and I stand up also and try to dance.
 
December 28th
finally my brothers leave us. W accompanies the car salutations and kisses everybody. I am glad for the days we have spent together and I am glad I insisted with my brothers who wanted initially to make the visit shorter. I have not told them (but SIL2) about MLC, I only told them to pray for us in January, but they know something is wrong btwn us.
I am glad because our children have spent very good time together. I am glad that all the adults have spent very nice time together. Between the children it was wonderful : when they were smaller they were often in small groups, kind of clans excluding the others. Now they are a big clan, united and loving. It would be long (and boring for the readers  ;)) to list all the good moments together. There was only a moment of tension that lasted 2 minutes when one of the oldest girls expressed her dissatisfaction regarding the chore planning. 2 minutes. I humbly daresay that I see these 5 days were a small sign of the Kingdom of God. Whatever the future will bring, I am glad and blessed for these days.

Then, the same day, I had a discussion with W, I will journal it later as the post is long enough. Thank you all here for this site, for the nice advices and the time spent to help LBSs. Without your help and the help of God I would not be able to enjoy life as I am now.
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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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living is an opportunity
#54: December 30, 2023, 06:17:10 AM
Wonderful post. You sound good. And your posts are interesting and not too long. Include all the details you want too.
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living is an opportunity
#55: December 30, 2023, 07:05:00 AM
Quote
As I am sometimes doubtful about Standing, I have asked the Lord to send me a sign in the previous days, and here I see today a small rosebud on our rosebush.

I immediately thought of  St. Therese of Lisieux  :) and I was just looking her up to refresh my memory...and came upon the following quote  :) which summed up to me what your Christmas time was like:

True Charity consists in bearing with all the defects of our neighbor, in not being surprised at his failings, and in being edified by his least virtues; Charity must not remain shut up in the depths of the heart, for no man lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. (Cf. Matthew 5:15). It seems to me that this candle represents the Charity which ought to enlighten and make joyful, not only those who are dearest to me, but all who are in the house.

A word, a kindly smile, will often suffice to gladden a wounded and sorrowful heart.



Quote
I humbly daresay that I see these 5 days were a small sign of the Kingdom of God. Whatever the future will bring, I am glad and blessed for these days.

Without your help and the help of God I would not be able to enjoy life as I am now.

I am happy that you shared your Christmas with others. I too spent 6 days together as a family and it was one of the nicest Christmases that I have had in 14 years.

So many posters here struggled through this time, so many do not have family to surround them. It can be a very hard time for many people.

The support offered one another here is a "gift" for we, as a community, understand the pain that the others are feeling.

You have not closed your heart to her FrenchHusband and you have managed to create a life with your children and family that she can participate in or not.

Joyeux Noël en cette période bénie de l'année et paix à tous!
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2023, 07:06:28 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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#56: January 01, 2024, 11:14:39 PM
Thank you very much Reinventing and xyzcf for your nice comments ! Yes xyzcf you are spot on. I feel so much joy in this time, and funnily the rosebush and the lemon tree are flourishing like they never did : so many lemons !

Now I would like to tell here the discussion I had with W in the afternoon, same day the family left us. I was doing the dishes when I saw W crossing the living room, she was keeping her cellphone close (as always  ;D) and I heard a voice talking that  reminded me the one from OM. That was a boundary for me so I went out of the kitchen to be sure this voice was OM's. When I came next to W she was looking at her phone and she cried to me : what's up ? I said it is ok. Then she insisted crying, and I said : it is not OM, so it is OK.
It was clearly a slip up from my side, because it was not intentional. I know talking about OM is not bringing any good, and I don't want to push W further. On the other hand, I am glad I slipped up. Since one year I know who is You-Know-Who and I keep his name secret, this secret is burning sometimes and I imagine in my head conversations with W, that makes me no good. So I am relieved the name of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is out now. And now, I know she knew I knew (in hindsight, I guess from strange words she said, she knew it since June 23).

Then I am glad with myself, because I have been able to phrase it as a boundary (actually it was my boundary before) : I don't want to hear the voice of OM under our roof. W said that she can listen to whoever she wants, and I said yes you can, but not in our home. W immediately tried to push that boundary : "as you don't like it I will do it" (very teenage-ish  :o). So I had to say out loud the consequence : "If you do that then I will tell everybody who is that guy".

And I got Monster. Hey it's you ! long time no see  ;D. And once again, the blames from the past, many years ago. And, it was a nice surprise for me, it does not hurt anymore. I wrote here that I am detached and I have "dropped the rope". But until this discussion I was not sure of myself. Now, the way I have faced Monster this time confirms to me I have dropped the rope. (actually, even after this confirmation, I am still not fully conviced, I have still a few doubts, time will tell if I am right)

Monster does not hurt me anymore : when W is talking about bad behaviours I had in the past, I assertively answer : I take responsibility, I have worked on myself and I make sure to act differently today. When W is projecting on me her own fears and insecurities, I kindly answer that it's not me and I ask for examples. e.g. when have I been manipulative and to whom ? W has not been able to find and example in our 20 years common life, so she escaped : "search"  :o
I am glad I have not blamed W for anything. I am glad I have not patronized W during this discussion. I have given to W some hints about what I am doing "I have worked on my child wounds to understand my bad behaviours and to change them". She can do what she wants from my words.
And by being assertive and explaining the work on myself I am doing with IC and SC, I have seen a change in W. She has switched from Monster to a person who is listening and nodding. So, even with non-verbal communication (not my strong point) I understand I have managed well the discussion.

it is not the first time that, when I think about Monster, I find there is an analogy with the Boggart in Harry Potter world : "A Boggart is a shape-shifting creature that will assume the form of whatever most frightens the person who encounters it." and "Boggarts seem to embody the human emotion of fear, and consequently feed on other beings' fears"

I am not afraid by Monster anymore. I know I can face any "shape" taken by my W. When she is cold and distant, it is another shape. When she puts on the beeper on the phone for texts, that has no effect on me (she did that few weeks ago, I did not react and she stopped few days after  :D). I am not afraid of what she may throw to me in the future : my feet are well attached on the ground and I know, even when I am unprepared, I can respond and not react.

So to come back to the discussion, I got a new blame that was not something from the past, and not a projection. Please let's play the drum roll !
"why wait 20 years of marriage to become a saint ?" Me :  :o ;D ;D "I am not a saint, I am not perfect, it is true I want to become one but thanks to you, thanks to the children and the people I love I know that there are many things I have to improve within myself".

At the end of the discussion, W came back with fear and insecurity again, and same words from previous discussions : "I can not trust" "the couple is broken, you must accept it". Me : "I have accepted it since one year ago" (to be more precise, I should have said "I have been accepting it for one year)

I am still in holidays at home this week. New Year's Eve was very fine. After many days of feast with my brothers we have made something simple in family, only D14 was outside with a friend. I have cooked with D16 (who is not so skilled in cooking, so I was glad to cook this time with here) and S5 has given a hand. D14 had given very clear instructions for the lemon pie so it has been also a success. W finished her dinner very quick and stood up to do the dishes, and the children and me are not affected : we stayed at table, jesting and enjoying the time together, then after meal we played together more than usual while W is in the room where she sleeps.

Life is beautiful ! Happy New year to all of you and I wish you Peace, Love and Joy. Thanks the Lord I got plenty of those in 2023.
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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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living is an opportunity
#57: January 02, 2024, 02:53:49 AM
Quote
I am not afraid by Monster anymore.

That is a nice level of detachment to reach. Loved the Harry Potter quotes that describe monster.

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If you do that then I will tell everybody who is that guy.

An good example of the wording of a boundary. If you......then I........

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I can not trust

We've talked about this on this site before on different threads. They are untrustworthy so they project that on to you.

Also, switching the conversation and deflecting from the real issue--them and their infidelity--by bringing up your "issues".

You seem to see this pretty clearly, hence your detachment from monster. Glad you and your daughters are able to enjoy yourselves and each other, even when your W is acting out or removing herself and missing out.
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« Last Edit: January 02, 2024, 04:03:43 AM by Reinventing »

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Re: living is an opportunity
#58: January 03, 2024, 01:22:06 AM
FH-

Bravo! Standing up to monster is no easy task but with time comes the knowledge and strength to be able to do so. I haven’t seen monster in some time either, I’m just sticking to my boundaries and if he does show up I’m ready, this experience has given my the strength to take on anything that monster can send my way.
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BD 3/23
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W Still at Home
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living is an opportunity
#59: January 03, 2024, 10:09:43 AM
Thanks R for your kind answer. I loved to insert quotes and hints of JKR world in my post  ;D

Now I have reached and even overcome the aniversary of BD. This date (1/1/23) is meaningless for me but, as a New Year is coming, I guess it is time for me to write here a kind of "annual report" to summarize where I am and where I want to go.

Me one year ago and after
At BD I was totally lost, my nights were very short : 3 sleepless nights when I discovered about OM, then I waited few days and initiated "The" discussion that leaded to the BD "I don't love you anymore". Never would I have expected this to happen to us, to me, to W.
At this time, I wanted to end it in a few days : either divorce, either reconciliation. But quick, quick ! Each day was never ending. Thanks God I was already praying a lot, and I was working on myself. I thought it was a couple crisis and it would end it soon. Fool I was ! But this survival mode was what I needed, and I am glad I have been able to survive the first days without big damages.

The discovery of the OM few days before BD was also for me the day that I went off my own MLC/MLT. Good reminder for me of what I was and what progresses I made.

"Time can be your worst friend or your best friend"
Now I understand better and better this sentence. Since my first years, it looks to me that the time is accelerating. Recently, years have been passing like days. This process stopped brutally at BD and the first days seemed years, full of pain and shock. I am glad I have used the "gift given by W" (according to OldPilot) to become a better person.

Now I am not feeling pain, instead my life is full of joy. AND I feel I am blessed because the time is passing very slowly. I enjoy everyday : e.g. today I have cooked a lemon pie (with help of D14, it has become a masterpiece  ;D) then I spent many hours with S5, 4 parents in a public park where we sat, ate and discussed together outside while the 7 children played together. Now I am in our living room, S5 is playing near me and D16 is studying. After posting I will play with S5. Then we will eat together when W comes back from work.

MLC or MLT ?
I have been told by Standing Strong that I should wait one year  at least to guess whether it is MLT or MLC. So here we are, the 1-year mark. Now it seems to me less important to classify or to rank what I am facing.

When I compare to my fellows LBS, it looks to me the MLC is milder for the moment :
- there is no big change in clothes, no tatoo, no drug or alcohol addiction
- W never told me she wants to divorce, only twice she evocated that she might leave
- W is still at home and she reconnects with our children (more with S5)
- W has not crossed the few boundaries that I have set up
- the amount of damage is limited. For many people, friends, and far family, we are a "normal" couple, even a "model" one for those who see us mainly outside.

On the other hand :
- I know the destruction could happen anytime
- W is still working in secret on her escape path that includes abandonment of our children.
- W is still cold and distant with me. No progress.
- OM is still stuck and brings at least distraction, at worse very bad influence.

Other observation :
- W is spending a lot of time on her phone talking to and about her family. I hope this will help her to proceed in the tunnel, but honestly, I don't know if it will

Living with an at-home spouse under MLC + Low Energy / Wallower
I don't know what is the best situation between a spouse who leaves the family home, and a spouse who stays at home. I see there are pros and cons. The main cons are IMO the amount of damage. Currently, I can manage the few damages and continue to live well. So, I prefer that my W is at home. 
Would she leave our home, maybe it would accelerate the timeline of MLC, but that would affect our children and also that would increase hugely the number of people aware of the situation. So I prefer the situation as is.

Quote from: Reinventing
Glad you and your daughters are able to enjoy yourselves and each other, even when your W is acting out or removing herself and missing out.
Quote from: xyzcf
You have not closed your heart to her FrenchHusband and you have managed to create a life with your children and family that she can participate in or not.
It is exactly the point, thanks Reinventing and xyzcf to write it. The children & I are able to have a good life together. We are living "as if she would never come back" when she withdraws. And she is always welcome to join us, actuallys she joins us at almost all big events. As I am not expecting anything, I am each time glad by her presence and the things, small or big that she brings to these events. 2023 will stay in the memories of me and our children as a year full of very good moments, whatever the future will bring.

2024 !
2024 looks good ! I see many good events will happen, full of joy. January-March the birthdays of our children. February holidays, April holidays, May the Sacrament of Confirmation for D14. June the trek I organize with friends from Italy and France, and the final exam for D16 who will finish high school.
In July D16 will likely participate to the World Championships of her sport (representative of W's country  ;D).
Then in September D16 will likely leave our home and begin University (she is currently working hard for her dream of joining a prestigious political science University). D14 will begin High School and S5 will begin primary school.
I can't see already what will come for the last months. But I am already determined to have many very good moments in the life. I plan to invite frequently friends at our home to share meals in simplicity and joy. I will continue to fully support our children when they invite their friends at our home.
W might join or not these quality events, she might even initiate them ? Her place is here if she wants to. If she leaves us, too bad for her !
And that, without speaking of our new parish with many new young parishers, and work where I will work on new exciting projects. And maybe also YM's new company ?

Standing and Timeline ?
Am I still standing ? I guess yes. Walking would be more accurate to describe my position. It is an inner journey that I am experimenting and I want to continue it whatever will be W's journey. Will our roads cross again ? I hope they will, I don't expect it will be short term.
Many times during 2023 I have set for myself time limits : not have R discussions until this date. It has been reassuring to set time limits, not as expectations but as targets. The more time goes by, the less I needed time limits. I have no time limit now, as i now know that timelines bring expectations. I don't try to understand which phase is my wife.

I don't want to push or pressure W. I don't want to file or to divorce. My position might change in accordance with the events.
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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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#60: January 08, 2024, 04:25:08 AM
Hi all,

After many days up I had also a down. During lunch in family, I have been rigid with the children, asking them to eat sthing instead of another thing. D16 and D14 have done what I said (reluctantly). Then W arrived and gave to S5 the food that I just refused to the Ds. So a discussion raised in the table, and as I was not happy that W did not support me in coparenting, asked her to support my position. After she refused, I raised the voice and said to W that she is now breaking our family after she broke our couple, and I said to her to tell the truth to the children : she plans to abandon them.
D16 said outloud : "we don't want to hear that" (and she was right). So I left the table and calmed down during 10 minutes in the marital room. Then I came back in living room, had a small discussion with the children, and went out for a walk.

Finally I walked during 3 hours and I have been able to cool down my head. I need to work still on my rigidity first. Then I have understood my fear : I don't fear that W leaves our home, I am prepared and I know I will be good whatever the outcome. It is for the children that I have still some fears : I don't want them to be abandonned and to miss their mum. Especially for S5, but it is still important for D14 and D16. Now I said it outloud, in a way I am relieved the steam is out of the pressure cooker. W abandoning our children is something out of my control. It might happen but I can do nothing to stop it. So I have to let go and do nothing on that. Only thing I can do is pray. 

When I went back to the walk, W was cleaning the house. She had also tidied S5's room with him and was discussing with him in living room. In the evening I apologized to the children during dinner (W was out of house) and I told them I won't do it again. It is not their crisis, the less they are involved, the better it is for everybody.

On another topic, D14 and D16 told me that they don't want to have always guests at home because that gives them some work, and also they are conducting the conversation. I listened to them and explained that I will continue to invite guests at our home because it is important for me, I will decrease the rythm and I will ask less from them.
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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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living is an opportunity
#61: January 11, 2024, 08:09:22 PM
FH, don't beat yourself up.  We are not perfect.  And MLC is not an easy thing to live with.  I had many moments where my pressure cooker overflowed.

It was good you apologized to the D's.  They need to know that we are not perfect either, and that we can apologize when needed.

Thank goodness that every day brings a new clean slate and a new chance to do things differently.
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

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living is an opportunity
#62: January 18, 2024, 11:43:33 AM
My kids are adults, but I made mistakes along the way. When I got my wits about me I told them that if I did anything that brought them more anxiety or pain that I was sorry, but I was a human in deep pain and I was doing the best I could in the situation and if I could have done better I would have. 
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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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#63: January 19, 2024, 02:45:29 AM
Thank FW and ML for your nice comments. I am not beating me up (I hope). I know I am not perfect, I take all insights I can from all people around me to improve myself, and it makes me feel good. My relationship with the children is very good, and I agree it is important for them to see I am able to apologize when needed.
Recently during a car journey, D16 and D14 were playing together a "game" they invented : they were telling criticisms alternately beginning with "I do not appreciate when you...." and the answer was always "I hear what you say with a sincere heart..." and again "I do not appreciate when you..."
I found this "game" very healthy for their relationship, I asked to play with them one time during the travel. I love them and they love me.

I give some news of Young Mom (YM). Let's see whether I will get a lecture  ;) from Treasur ?
Last week I organized at our home a gathering of S5's friends. Obviously the parents were there, and it happens that there are very good relationships between us parents. So at home there were 7 parents and 9 children (3-5yo) to share the homemade (own made) "galette des rois / cake of the kings". It was a very good quality time, W said hello to everybody at the beginning before leaving for work, and D16 & D14 joined also the crew and (without me asking) took care of the youngest.

YM was here, for the first time in our house, and she confided to me that she had a boyfriend since 2 weeks, she even confided to me (and to another mum who is very close to both of us) a few details about their relationship. I am glad with my spontaneous internal reactions to this confidence : firstly I was glad for her, secondly I was glad for this confirmation that I am "friendzoned" !

2 days after, YM told me she seems her boyfriend is a narcissistic pervert, and now she has fired him. (Some people here will question this diagnosis by reading, and I totally understand your position. Well I have been confronted to a narcissistic pervert when I was 22, I spent almost 2 years to recover fully, and I can tell you I recognize the patterns from what YM told me). YM is angry with herself because she is aware she is attracted by this kind of guys, and she thought she had worked this point and she was safe. Well it is her story, I beg you not to question her, what I want to write is that I believe her, and as it is my story I want to highlight my reaction : even if I saw early signs of the bad behaviours from the boyfriend, I have not tried to save YM or to warn her. When she told me about her doubts, I kept listening and I have let her save herself from the situation. I am glad also for YM that she is now more able to recognize early the bad patterns from some guys, and why she seeks those guys (guess what, childhood wounds). I am glad for me that I am a "friendzoned" friend, it shows me I am staying the course that I have chosen.

W's birthday came and went. This time I have mirrored what W made for my last birthday : I have cooked a nice meal and bought cakes at the pastry. D14 volunteered to cook a lemon pie and we helped each other in the kitchen : quality time for both of us and for S5. For the gift I mirrored Christmas : I made a common gift with the children. Birthday meal has been simple with a lot of smile and laughs, children and I song "happy birthday".

The following day I was teleworking when I received a delivery from a cardboard box for W. When W arrived at home she opened it and asked me "who sent these flowers ?" I said "I don't know", what is true. I could have added "and I don't care" but that would be too much energy wasted than it deserves. Is it from a patient ? from OM ? from Belgium's King ?  ;D
I journal this story here only because I find it fun : really, who can send flowers in a cardboard box ??? ?
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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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living is an opportunity
#64: January 19, 2024, 03:57:27 AM
No lecture from me lol.
I actually wanted to say well done on the YM issue for giving yourself time to think before you allowed something to evolve beyond perhaps what you intentionally chose. And that perhaps the benefit of it is that you are now far more capable of being the kind of genuine respectful friend that YM might need as it sounds as if she has her own baggage to resolve.

On the kid’s game…..my only thought is that there is a lot of research on the balance most humans need between positive and negative feedback (about 7 to 1) and how our brains are wired to instinctively ‘record’ the negative more than the positive. The world can be very quick to give us negative messages and social media can feed that for younger folks, I think. It could be a useful life lesson for them to share that kind of info with them and even encourage them to switch the game to include some ‘things I appreciate about you’ messages too. I wonder why they have decided to play this game? Have you asked?

Your w asking YOU who sent HER birthday flowers is just plain weird. Of course she knows, or can find out from the company if she really wanted to. I suspect she was just testing your level of knowledge or interest…..but it’s not a normal response, is it? Weird. And perhaps just a bit tedious from your pov.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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

R
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#65: January 19, 2024, 10:40:39 PM
Quote
And perhaps just a bit tedious from your pov.

That's a good place to get to. When thoughtless and/or antics get to be tedious.
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#66: January 20, 2024, 06:20:42 AM
Quote from: Treasur
No lecture from me lol.
I actually wanted to say well done on the YM issue for giving yourself time to think before you allowed something to evolve beyond perhaps what you intentionally chose. And that perhaps the benefit of it is that you are now far more capable of being the kind of genuine respectful friend that YM might need as it sounds as if she has her own baggage to resolve.
so instead of lecture, I get compliments  :D. There is still danger for me, I am aware, but with time I feel more able to prevent it, and yes I try to be a genuine and respectful friend, you are right.

Quote from: Treasur
On the kid’s game…..my only thought is that there is a lot of research on the balance most humans need between positive and negative feedback (about 7 to 1) and how our brains are wired to instinctively ‘record’ the negative more than the positive. The world can be very quick to give us negative messages and social media can feed that for younger folks, I think. It could be a useful life lesson for them to share that kind of info with them and even encourage them to switch the game to include some ‘things I appreciate about you’ messages too. I wonder why they have decided to play this game? Have you asked?
good idea. For the appreciation, I do that often with kids (more often actually than before BD). But they are at an age where they have their own games, so I let them some space usually to make their own mistakes and discoveries, and I take action only when their interactions becomes damaging or when they ask.

Quote from: Treasur
Your w asking YOU who sent HER birthday flowers is just plain weird. Of course she knows, or can find out from the company if she really wanted to. I suspect she was just testing your level of knowledge or interest…..but it’s not a normal response, is it? Weird. And perhaps just a bit tedious from your pov.
Tests, that is the right guess I think. I got a few tests in the last months : new lingery drying in our common (me, W and S5) bathroom ; bips added to the phone for texts, YouTube African influencers blaming France policy on W's phone... Actually, it might be that W is trying to push my buttons ? Well, with detachment there are no buttons anymore and few interest, so I observe these tests disappear very soon as I don't react.

Quote from: Reinventing
Quote
And perhaps just a bit tedious from your pov.

That's a good place to get to. When thoughtless and/or antics get to be tedious.


Actually, the place I am now is fun, not tedious. These tests give me a small smile internally when I recognize them. It might be I am missing some of them ?
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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)
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Re: living is an opportunity
#67: January 26, 2024, 05:33:58 AM
Quote from: forthetrees
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.
In hindsight, I recognize that your October's warning was right : my action has come back to bite me in the butt as you, Treasur and Kaydee predicted it. You were right with your advice. And I don't regret what I have done, it felt right for me to do it and to denounce the abuse.

The bishop asked me recently "proofs" that there is a relationship between W and OM. So I snooped again and then sent to him account records of the personal banck account from W, with frequent highways tolls that show the secret contacts, and recent bank transfers from OM to W.
What happened ? The bishop says he has seen the priest, and he believes there is no relationship between him and W. And according to OM the money transferred is for FIL, after me having refused to give money to W. That is totally false : I have always supported W's family and gladly, I call frequently FIL and there was no money given to him recently, and no money need : when FIL receives money from us he always thanks me warmly.
So the bishop does not believe me and chooses to see elsewhere. I am fine with it, it is his responsibility and his belief, I have made my duty.

Then comes the (very small) pain in the butt : now W says she has seen her bank advisor, and "someone" has access to her bank account, and she says there will be an inquiry.
Again, on that point my reaction is low, the inquiry threat did not affect me : no sleep disorder, no ruminating. And I booked an appointment with a lawyer (a recent friend)

It was very good for me to have the appointment with the lawyer : now I am prepared to what may happen in case W files. To sum up, there are 2 possibilities in France : agreement divorce (when spouses can agree), or judicial divorce (when judge makes the decision). Main divorces are made by agreement, because judicial divorce is a big pain and takes years, and the judges and lawyers are pushing for it.
Now I am ready to a divorce. I don't want it, but I know how it works. I think W is not ready for the process : she has no clear idea of our assets and what she can expect, above all she does not know what she wants. I think she wants a quick fix to her pain, and judicial divorce are very long. And to get an agreement divorce, well, she needs to discuss with me and to say clearly what she wants, something she has been unable to do for a long time. It might be that W is afraid by her many elephants becoming visible in our living-room ? Then, before getting a divorce, we need to sell what we own : 2 appartments where we have lived and maybe the house where we live now.

"Good" news also : the split custody is now the norm, the judges force spouses to split custody in case of judicial divorce, and obviously it would be my choice.

Regarding the inquiry threat, there is nothing to do : there is no robbery between spouses in French laws (so no information robbery), there has been no harm. Policemen have many other things to do. The lawyer advised me also NOT to snoop anymore, because it makes me no good. Well, I knew it :)

Also on 204 topic, I informed W about all the events to come in the year, celebrations, holiday scenarios, world championship, etc... She knows all the agendas, in 2023 she took 4 days off for holidays with our family (I took more than 40). In 2024 she is free to join us and to propose her ideas. Let's see what happens, I am determined to enjoy every day to the most.
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
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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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#68: February 06, 2024, 04:04:34 AM
A bit of journaling for today. I had 2 discussions with W last week, one awful and one pretty good.

Afwul discussion
I was teleworking in the living room, S5 and D14 in their rooms and W came back from work. She began to blame me because the table in the kitchen was dirty. Told her I had eaten outside (on the terrace with S5). W continued to say I am at home so everything should be in order, and "it is always like that". Then I exploded and spit out many things that I keep inside me since more than 1 year. It was awful. At the end I came very close from W, she hit me on the face, I took her hands so that she could not hurt me, and D14 arrived in the living room. She was devastated, she told us that her and S5 can hear us, and we both disgust her.

Since that argument D16 and D14 are angry towards me, and I am also angry towards me. It was not the right time to have such a discussion. Above all, in the presence of the children. It has been hard for me to have D16 and D14 angry towards me because usually we have a good and strong relationship. For the first time, I reconsidered if I keep my position of Standing : until now I assumed I can endure the damages from MLC and at home spouse. My reaction is a warning, and my anger also.

On the other hand, what was inside me is out now, and it was a result of old snooping. Now this is out, and I don't fill the pain tank again as I am not snooping again. So I continue Standing, and I will continue to work on myself, I am still a work in progress.

Money discussion
2 days after the awful discussion, I came back to W with a discussion that I have put on hold since more than 1 year : the money. I had prepared the discussion well, I knew W could be afraid about this discussion because she has hidden from me a lot of money and expenses since Dec. 2019. So first I read a  letter, then we had the discussion. It went well, I got a few monstering at the beginning and I handled it well (with listening and empathy). I kept my line "no blame, no assumption, no emphasis on lies or approximations, mainly listening". W then went quiet and talked well. I set up the boundary I wanted to put regarding my own projects that have now levelled up in priority. I think that W is relieved because she was afraid me trying to control how she uses "her" money to "help her family", and I repeated to her it is fine for me.
 
The discussion evolved in "children education topic" (another sensitive topic), and it went well. W said that "you Westerners speak too much, about the friends, about the family". Well, it is even more obvious as W right now is almost non talking with the children, fully compartmentized. I told W why it is important for me to talk about these people, alive or dead, to make them alive in the life of our children. As W was repeating things that I had told to the children from my IC regarding my childhood wounds, I told W a bit about my counseling sessions and why it was important for me to share them. Still relationship with "my" family topic...

During the convo, W gave me hints a few times about her (crazy) plans : she wanted to extend the discussion saying "we won't have many opportunities to discuss again like that" or "I will pray that you don't raise the children against me". I know she is still plotting (crazy) plans to abandon me and the children, but she is not ready to tell the truth, so I did not force her to explain them now.

Outcomes of the 2 discussions
I am slowly reconnecting with our daughters, it goes faster with D16. No real change with W in the next days, she is again doing many chores at home but again very disconnected with the children. S5's birthday will happen in a few days. I will do my best to make it a nice event for all family first : I will make a good dinner and I invited S5's friend and her parents who are ukrainian refugges. Then together with a mom from another S5's friend, I organize a whole afternoon with 15 guests (+ parents + brothers and sisters).
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
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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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living is an opportunity
#69: February 15, 2024, 08:50:09 PM
Sorry about the awful conversation.  Hopefully things have had a chance to air out some since then, especially with your kids.
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#70: February 16, 2024, 06:15:11 AM
Sorry about the awful conversation.  Hopefully things have had a chance to air out some since then, especially with your kids.

thank you FW for your comment, yes things are better at home (I didn't know "air out"). With S5 there has been no difficulty (he says at least everyday : I love you dad.... I love you mom  :-*). During few days the dinners were a bit strange : me talking only with S5, D16 and D14 talking only with S5, and W talking only with S5... and usually same topic was followed up. And, within a day, the relationship between me and the girls has come back to normal. The toolbox given here on THS is really good for handling teenagers in crisis : no expectations, short interactions, mirror the greetings. The reconnection is very smooth. Three different women parishers asked me for news from W and tell me she looks withdrawn and not well. I said nothing. S6 told me that mum does speak only with one mum, YM says W is not saying "hello" anymore to the other parents.
On the other hand, the baker and one other parisher who don't see W often tell me how W is a great person, how she is kind, balanced and devoted woman. I
say nothing else, I just validate what they say : I am glad they can remember W from 1,5 year ago.   

S5 is now S6, his birthday in family went well, now I am preparing the event with an other mum. W is informed and will likely join us ? Next comes D16's birthday then D14's.
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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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#71: February 21, 2024, 01:23:21 PM
I got it today : a letter from W's lawyer stating that we are "living as cohabitants since several months" and it is "more and more difficult for W, given that the break is definitive". W says, tells the lawyer, that "the MC has failed".
W "wishes that the separation can be done in an amicable way".
The lawyer wants to discuss with my lawyer the "separation modalities", and without answer from me she will be "compelled to engage a divorce procedure".

That letter does not bring any big emotion to me. I am just a bit sad for the children, especially S6.
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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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living is an opportunity
#72: February 21, 2024, 01:54:56 PM
I am very sorry to hear that, FH.
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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.


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living is an opportunity
#73: February 21, 2024, 03:37:00 PM
Sorry about this news FH and doubly sorry it turned up in the impersonal form of a letter.

I know from your postings how strong you are for your kids and your family - but don't be too proud to give yourself a break and a little bit of slack today my friend, that's a tough thing to receive.

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Re: living is an opportunity
#74: February 21, 2024, 03:51:08 PM
Numb is a fairly normal response to such news. May you grant yourself grace as you process this news.
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#75: February 21, 2024, 05:42:50 PM
Sorry, FH. It's always tough to get it writing even if we were expecting it. It does at least give you tasks to focus on.

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#76: February 21, 2024, 08:14:30 PM
I’m so sorry FH.  You deserve better
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#77: February 22, 2024, 02:06:14 AM
Sorry about this news FH and doubly sorry it turned up in the impersonal form of a letter.

I know from your postings how strong you are for your kids and your family - but don't be too proud to give yourself a break and a little bit of slack today my friend, that's a tough thing to receive.

X
A break  ? :) Yes I plan a nice break this Satturday : as the holidays begin and both the daughters go to their sport, I will go in amusement park with S6 and one of his best friend, and yes the little brother and their mom YM.

I forgot to mention that W's lawyer is giving to me an ultimatum : if I don't respond in 15 days, she will file for a Divorce. I don't fear divorce and I am ready for it now.

Sorry, FH. It's always tough to get it writing even if we were expecting it. It does at least give you tasks to focus on.

JB
Just a few words to clarify my options.

What W's lawyer is proposing is called "séparation de corps" in French, meaning "judicial separation" or "legal separation" I guess. That means our matrimonial status must be set in "property separation" instead of "community of property". It is already our matrimonial status actually, so no change.
With "séparation de corps", what will be the real change is that the spouses are not obliged to live together, they are still married and bound by the legal vows of fidelity and mutual assistance.


What is W seeking ?

I feel she is pushed by the fear and the strong will to escape. I know her crazy secret plan is to go in Switzerland, likely with OM (and for those who remember who is OM, this is pretty crazy).
So, she is now ready to abandon me and the children.
What is a bit strange for me is that she seems to forget that she is a private nurse, she owns a nurse's institute and she MUST find another nurse rebuying her institute and taking care of the patients. Not my monkeys, just a question mark for the record.
Another monkey, I am curious to see what she will tell to our numerous friends who continue to see us as a model couple.

What do I want ?
this separation agreement sucks a little. I will get all disadvantages from being divorced without being divorced : with this status I am bound to fidelity and can not marry someone else. From "Standing" or religious point of view, it is a bit better than divorce.

Let's see what is the real "amicable" proposal, but it is very likely me who will keep the children at home 100%. I am OK to take care of the children because I love to do that. I am sad for them : it is better to have both parents at home.
If W is fair, she will continue to give money to our family (alimony). This will be even more necessary as D17 will study in University in September. If not, I have to find other solutions.

On the other hand, we own real property together : 2 appartments (rented) and the house where we live (this one with big mortgage loan) 93% is fruit from our work, and (I am proud of it) owned 50% by me and 50% by W.
In order to get a divorce, we should first sell at least the appartments and me try to rebuy to W her shares from the house. That might take time and W has not this time.

So, what do I want ? I do not want a separation, I do not want a divorce. But I won't put myself in the railway of the crazy train, so I will LET GO. I will try to protect myself and the children, particularly from financial point of view. So I will use my tricky mind (shrewd as snake) to protect my family (as innocent as dove). Let's hope the crazyness of MLC and guilt of indelity may help as I read in some stories here.

I am currently considering selling our 2 appartments. It is a financial move that is worthy whatever the outcome of the marriage. I don't want a divorce and I don't want to delay an eventual divorce anymore.

I won't rush it. I will take time to consider from different POV my options in the next days before responding to the lawyer.
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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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living is an opportunity
#78: February 22, 2024, 02:48:58 AM
Glad that you saw a lawyer and have such a clear perspective on the various options. Are there financial advantages for you in one option over another?

It sounds as if your wife, via her lawyer, is using the divorce option as a threat? So presumably your wife thinks this is your least preferred option and that she can get more of what she wants by threatening it? Is that true? And what does she want, as far as you can see?

I’d be tempted to keep an even closer eye on finances atm as your wife is obviously building up steam towards her escape, whatever that is, so she is likely to be even more focused on Me Me. And keep your distance emotionally from YM, my friend….think of it like a siren song to resist that kind of attention or affirmation…..this is not the time to add more complexity or other players into the situation that your family faces. If it is potentially something of substance, it can wait a few months at least until you and your kids are stood on more stable ground. If for no other reason than your kids deserve that stability and trustworthiness from you bc their mother is throwing a hand grenade into their lives that will irrevocably change a lot of things for them. And it is too early yet to predict accurately what that will look like in reality….so it is even more important that you represent the solid things of your family that will not change regardless of what your wife does bc that sense of solid ground under your mental feet matters a lot when life gets upended.
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« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 02:51:54 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

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living is an opportunity
#79: February 22, 2024, 03:31:21 AM
I'm sorry FH. I know you were expecting something like this, but the cold, formal language of this process is still very cutting.

I love the analogy of snake and dove. It can be really hard though, to be our best tacticians when emotions are at play. I'm usually a great strategic thinker, but sometimes dealing with MLC has felt like punching my way out of mist. I know the MLC theory (if we can call it that?), that they have affairs, that they hurl around a lot of hurt, that they leave. For me, my H moving in with OW has been the nail in the coffin. Even though I know that it was utterly predicable and the relationship is ridiculous. Even though we could have looked it up in the MLC handbook etc. I guess what I am saying is, you will likely go through a range of new emotions and shifts in thinking if/when your W runs off to Switzerland (only in MLC Land could we be having this exchange). I think Treasur is right, your W is building up a head of steam. I wonder if you can take some time to consider what you might want if she is living with OM?

Of course, the whole thing is batpoo crazy. The OM is a dysfunctional predator, the escape is a pipe dream, it will all collapse like an avalanche, but can your compassion outlast the damage?  Intellectually I know my H's crisis is not about me, but his actions affect me, as your W's affect you and the kids. Wishing you strength FH.
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« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 03:32:34 AM by KayDee »

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Re: living is an opportunity
#80: February 22, 2024, 03:56:07 AM
Only in MLC World can you expect your spouse to be legally separated and committed to fidelity while you go on an adventure with your OM. That right there is an example of the bat$hit crazy. Seems like a raw deal for you. What happens if you just do nothing and day 16 comes to pass? What happens if day 16 comes, she doesn´t file for divorce but she does take off with OM- how does your legal system treat a situation of abandonment in terms of child custody and property? Time for a chat with your lawyer. If she´s going to ever come back with a full and open heart that´s on her so in the meantime protect your financial situation and that of the kiddos. You cannot successfully guilt her into sticking around for S6.
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#81: February 22, 2024, 05:26:12 AM
Quote from: Treasur
Glad that you saw a lawyer and have such a clear perspective on the various options. Are there financial advantages for you in one option over another?

It sounds as if your wife, via her lawyer, is using the divorce option as a threat? So presumably your wife thinks this is your least preferred option and that she can get more of what she wants by threatening it? Is that true? And what does she want, as far as you can see?

I’d be tempted to keep an even closer eye on finances atm as your wife is obviously building up steam towards her escape, whatever that is, so she is likely to be even more focused on Me Me.
Actually I saw a lawyer one month ago, and last night as I woke up 2:30 am I checked the datas. From my costly experience I believe lawyers can be efficient when you know your case better than them, including the law texts.

yes I agree with you, W is assuming divorce is not my prefered option, she is wrong. My preferred option is no separation/ no divorce. But between those threats, actually I have no preference, and I do not see any financial advantage between them.

Regarding what W wants, well I can only guess. What is in the head of our dear spouses during their MLC ? They try to escape from themselves to find happiness ? What KD describes as "MLC theory" is sadly very accurate IMO.
The only advantage of my current situation is that W might be obliged to write down "what she wants" in term of shared custody, finance agreement, living arrangement. Actually I am not sure she will be able to formulate it "out of the steam". More popcorn ?

Thanks for your advice regarding money ! I will open both eyes.

Quote from: Treasur
And keep your distance emotionally from YM, my friend….think of it like a siren song to resist that kind of attention or affirmation…..this is not the time to add more complexity or other players into the situation that your family faces. If it is potentially something of substance, it can wait a few months at least until you and your kids are stood on more stable ground. If for no other reason than your kids deserve that stability and trustworthiness from you bc their mother is throwing a hand grenade into their lives that will irrevocably change a lot of things for them. And it is too early yet to predict accurately what that will look like in reality….so it is even more important that you represent the solid things of your family that will not change regardless of what your wife does bc that sense of solid ground under your mental feet matters a lot when life gets upended.
And again, a nice lecture from you Treasur  ;). You know, I love you !
Yes I remember the dangers, thanks for your advice ! I confess I am tempted to call YM since the letter arrived. And my mind is clear : for many reasons, she is currently not the right person to get comforted by. So, instead of calling YM, I called three friends that are aware of my current situation : two are recently divorced, the third is my new lawyer. And I write here  :-* :-* :-*

Quote from: KayDee
I'm sorry FH. I know you were expecting something like this, but the cold, formal language of this process is still very cutting.

I love the analogy of snake and dove. It can be really hard though, to be our best tacticians when emotions are at play. I'm usually a great strategic thinker, but sometimes dealing with MLC has felt like punching my way out of mist. I know the MLC theory (if we can call it that?), that they have affairs, that they hurl around a lot of hurt, that they leave. For me, my H moving in with OW has been the nail in the coffin. Even though I know that it was utterly predicable and the relationship is ridiculous. Even though we could have looked it up in the MLC handbook etc. I guess what I am saying is, you will likely go through a range of new emotions and shifts in thinking if/when your W runs off to Switzerland (only in MLC Land could we be having this exchange). I think Treasur is right, your W is building up a head of steam. I wonder if you can take some time to consider what you might want if she is living with OM?

Of course, the whole thing is batpoo crazy. The OM is a dysfunctional predator, the escape is a pipe dream, it will all collapse like an avalanche, but can your compassion outlast the damage?  Intellectually I know my H's crisis is not about me, but his actions affect me, as your W's affect you and the kids. Wishing you strength FH.
thank you very much for your nice comments. Yes it is true that I was "expecting" this to happen as the worst possible scenario since 2 months ago when I discovered that OM sent 1 K€ to W to finance her diplom recognition in Switzerland. 1 year ago I heard W who was telling by phone to a friend "If I had no children I would go in Switzerland. In October I learned by his superior that OM should come back in his country next Summer (not Switzerland, another continent). So I had time to be ready for it. Thanks to the many stories we read here, we can guess in anticipation the next moves of our spouses, sadly they are not very original.

So, what might I want if she is living with OM ? I don't know, but I hope I can focus on my life and spend good moments with the people that are near me, it is already what I try to do daily. Currently I am reading books from Carl Gustav Jung and it is great, what he writes resonates a lot with my current life : individuation, making my darkness conscious, embrace my whole Self.
Living with OM is maybe a good way to finish the journey of a spouse within MLC ? So it might help the journey.

Quote from: forthetrees
Only in MLC World can you expect your spouse to be legally separated and committed to fidelity while you go on an adventure with your OM. That right there is an example of the bat$hit crazy. Seems like a raw deal for you. What happens if you just do nothing and day 16 comes to pass? What happens if day 16 comes, she doesn´t file for divorce but she does take off with OM- how does your legal system treat a situation of abandonment in terms of child custody and property? Time for a chat with your lawyer. If she´s going to ever come back with a full and open heart that´s on her so in the meantime protect your financial situation and that of the kiddos. You cannot successfully guilt her into sticking around for S6.

day 16 passes is also one option (=call the bluff) I am currently considering, you are right, not my preferred one at the moment as I do not want to add bitterness to the acerb drink that MLC has cooked for our family.
and yes my legal system treats severely the situation of abandonment. I know the law also and how to make it applied, it is also 1 scenario I am preparing for. That would be a very bad move from W, now she is advised by a lawyer it is less likely IMO.
I am also considering writing something regarding (too many ings ?) fidelity vow in the separation agreement, I have no clear opinion now.

The real move is not for next month in my opinion, if it happens it will be end of Spring or Summer. Let's see...
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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
#82: February 23, 2024, 06:14:42 AM
FH-

Did your W call my W? Mine gave me an ultimatum as well: get an apartment or I will file. The deadline was this last Tuesday and I’ve heard nothing. She does this about every 2-3 months but so far nothing has happened. Heart’s blessing (and others here) give good advice, stand up to the threat. Just do nothing and see what happens. So far nothing has happened for me and it’s been a year. That’s not to say next time she will actually follow through, she might. She has a lot to lose, lawyer fees, we will have to sell the house, the kids will be angry since their lives are upended. I would say do what’s right for you. At this point personally I’m doing nothing and just staying in the house. I don’t want to move and I don’t want anyone else to move in so here I stay.

She ignores me when I’m in the house but other than that we coparent very well and the home is good for the family.  I’m ok with this arrangement for now, I/she may feel different in the future but for now this is ‘working’ for us. My 2 cents is do what you feel is right, Bonne chance!
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Re: living is an opportunity
#83: February 26, 2024, 06:28:43 AM
Thanks B1 for your nice comment.

I called my lawyer last friday. He is a recent friend, a practising Christian, husband and father like me who is teaching with me to the young parishers (including his and my daughter). AND he is an expert in divorces (big business here  :() So in this situation I am glad he is with me.

It might be I over interpreted the letter (and sorry for me making you loose time based on my interpretation) : the letter is a standard one for divorce. So no legal separation a priori, and the threat is just a copy paste of many divorce letters  ::).
My lawyer told me to write nothing to W's lawyer (fool, I was considering to answer with a big mail), but "I sent your letter to my lawyer, when he comes back from holidays he will come back to you". Now it is time for business. My instructions to my lawyer right now : ask what are the intentions of W. What does she want ?

The weekend went very well : D16 and D14 are together in sport competition then sport stage for 1 week. On Satturday I had very nice morning and dinner with S6, YM and her children. No emotion, only quality time as friends. Then afternoon and evening, I went with S6 to a very nice carnival festival, we song Provençal songs, we danced, we ate, we chatted. There were a lot of musicians so I let my instruments in the car. Come back home at midnight, not an issue for S6 as he has school holidays.
Then in the morning, W came in the marital room at 6 am before going to work. Her question : "where is S6 ?". My answer : "he is in his bed..." I am glad I did not say something else, like "you should know the programm, I gave you the informations few days ago.... You were free to join us if you wanted to have fun.

On Sunday I continued my usual GAL programm : bicycle ride with S6, then mass and monthly lunch with the parishers. Again a nice quality time with nice people.

And finally in the evening a little time with W, the dinner together. W has cooked a lot of food in the last days, more than usual. We have a lot of food cooked in the fridge now as both Ds are out. And, without an event to celebrate, W bought pastry at the bakery. At the end of the meal, she put in front of me the carton box with my favourite cake (lemon pie) without a word. "Actions speak louder than word", are we told here. Well, I would have appreciated also a few words... so I did not take the lemon pie -> go back to the fridge :D.
I journal this only for the record, I don't give a lot of attention to W's behaviour. It looks to me that she is currently the one walking on eggshells. What I feel from her is fear, guilt and escape & avoid : is she afraid by my reactions after the divorce letter ? Likely... My only reaction will be through the lawyer from now. When/if the situation is more clear, there will be a time to try to speak with her before talking to the children, family, friends. Before that time, I change nothing to what I do : I try to enjoy each day to the fullest.

End of March, a friend will come at our home during 4 days. She is also the godmother of D17, and a common friend from 22 years : I met W during her birthday, in W's african country. Last year in March she was planning to meet us before a big family move, now she is divorcing her husband, leaving her children and starting a totally new job. This story sounds familiar, not ? Well difficult to give a phone diagnosis... My intuition is that it is right to invite her at this time. After I asked her about her coming to our home, W answers "why not ?". This is actually a progress, in the last 6 months she answered to such a question with "you do what you want". 
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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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living is an opportunity
#84: March 01, 2024, 03:24:21 PM
Hell all,

this evening I got a discussion with W. Coming back from Church, I informed W about the possibility of selling one of the appartments we own together. She listened to me, then she said that she wants to discuss with me.
She told me that she wants to work in another country. She plans to take care of S6 (sic*) 3 days a week (Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday), and to work in Switzerland the 4 remaining days. She tells me she has already the permit to work in Switzerland, and a studio appartment in rental. And she knows someone who may buy her position at the nurse's institute.
W tells me she may move this month (!). The reason given to make this move are "we can not continue like this", "there are issues in the couple" and "you did'nt listen to me"

I mainly listened to W, I sent a few truth darts : I pointed W that she has always been unstable in her work and I am not surprised. I asked W whether she thinks her project is the will of God, that question made her unhappy (but no Monster, instead she told me I miss humility :o). I asked W whether she spoke about this project to someone amongst those who love her, she said she talked to "une amie" (a female friend)

So... Now I have to think about it.

In positive, W found the courage to discuss with me without a lawyer. And she warns me, that means there is a little space for discussion/negociation. What W has in mind is less destructive than a divorce. I would see the children every day. We will keep the house. I have more time to protect finance in anticipation of an eventual divorce. For the entourage and family, we can keep the facade.

In negative, the next arrangement will give more constraints to me and the children will have less time with their mum. There will be no common activity on week-ends. I will become more a  "left behind" who will take care of the children, the house, the garden, AND with 43% at home wife. For my professional life, that means I can not foresee travels on Thursday and Friday.

My feeling is that W is in big escape right now. I can do nothing to prevent or stop her moving. I need to focus on my boundaries, and on the children. I will take time and pray to find the right answer. The golden words I read on amazinglove's thread are inspiring me even if our situations are different.

Oh, and at the end of the discussion, W told me she is agree to sell the appartment. Good for me.

*yes, she has forgotten we have 2 other children. No surprise to me, she is disconnected.
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« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 03:30:36 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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living is an opportunity
#85: March 13, 2024, 07:31:14 AM
a bit of journaling

life is beautiful. Temperatures are increasing, even if there is still snow on the mountains. Today during lunch, it was too hot on our southern terrace, so S6 and I ate inside, not outside. On this southern patio, we can lunch only during winter  ;D.

The relationships with the children are very good right now. I have deep and light conversations  with the daughters. I got a convocation from the school for S6, and I had meeting with the teacher and the director. It happens that S6 is too advanced regarding all skills. He can read, calculate, and he gives motivation to other children. S6 will likely skip a grade next school year, and it will be smooth because he will join a double grade class next year : he will begin with his fellows from 3-year kindergarten, then continue with new fellows. D17 did the same in same school.

On the other hand, I know that the children are affected by our situation at home. W is disconnected with the and D15 and D17 & they have few interactions.  Both daughters know that many things are wrong, and S6 feels it. Almost everyday he says "I love you dad, I love you mum". I know I have to make sure that S6 will always know that he is loved, not abandoned (at least by me), and that he is not responsible of the situation between the parents.

This evening we will have D17's godfather for dinner, and at the end of the month her godmother will come for 3 days. I am always glad to have friends visiting us, and I know the next months will be very busy with family, church, friend and sport events.

At work, wy new manager since November is a woman and is younger than me, 2 first times in my 20 year career. She has been object of mockery in the last years : I work in industry, traditional male world, she is a girl, young, pretty and ambitious, she has switched positions several times, she lacks technical skills. I confess I was amongst the ones sneering in the last years before BD. Is it a change within myself ? I have welcomed the new manager (her first position as manager) with an open mind, and now I feel good with her management style : she talks openly, she is hard working, and she is honest and fair. I have hesitated in the last weeks to confide to her about my W's situation, and last week after she confided something personal about her (she is living with a work colleague since 2 years and they buy a house together) I have told her that I received a divorce letter. This is a new me because I would not have done it in the past. But I don't plan to tell many details, and I now know many details of the love life from my manager. World is changing, I accept it.

Yesterday W shared a few informations, is this a new trend ? She tells me she won't be here Friday because she will fly to Switzerland. I asked a few questions that were answered shortly : W will do "several" job interviews, she has not organized who will pick up S6 from school this day. I did not give my comments : IMO W should first find a new associate for her nurse's institute because that takes some months (3 ? 6 ?) to make a switch, warn the patients, transfer the work. And I will be surprised that all the job providers will gladly give to W the working days she is dreaming at (Thursday->Sunday) and wait for her to settle her switch. I am glad I zipped well my mouth  ;D

On the lawyer front, my lawyer has asked W's lawyer what are W's claims. Now that W has made a step in legal world, it is better to have something written. My main goal is to protect myself and the children, to stay in our house together. I am ready for everything that will be thrown in our life.
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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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living is an opportunity
#86: March 21, 2024, 07:38:15 AM
Time for journaling a bit since last week

on personal front I am exploring more and more my own shadow, alone and with help of spiritual counselor. And I am now writing down my dreams when I wake up. I remember more and more my dreams since I began 2 months ago. Both actions are continuation of my inner journey.
Work is fine. Parish activities are currently very busy with preparation of branches for Palm Sunday.

last week-end was D14's birthday : now she is D15  ;D. Time with children is very good, more and more.
And Friday and Satturday of same weekend, W was in Switzerland. I let her arrange who would pick up S6 at school (she asked D14 at last minute  ::)) Friday evening I asked the daughters about W and they told me that mum will come back Satturday. I told them mum did not tell me, but I did not insist on that topic.
It was another occasion for me to check how detached I am : I had no reaction with the news of W spending a night outside without telling me, and I spent a good evening with the children : the talking was really free and even more joyful than usual.

Satturday evening W came back, and I had no reaction. The dinner together has been a good moment, the children asked a few question to W regarding the travel and the job (me not). W answered shortly and evasively. So it happens that W told the children "behind my back" about her looking for a job in Switzerland. During same dinner D14 asked me to watch a movie together, and D17 asked mom to plait her hair, then after dinner W sat in the living room in front of the TV, so we spent the whole evening all together (but S6 in bed). That had not happened since ? 16 months ? D14 asked only me for the choice of the movie and set the languages in English/subtitle English, that is usual for both D and me, not for W. W did not complain but watched the movie ( :D) and at the end she even admitted that she liked the movie ( ;D ;D).
For D15 birthday I cooked together with her what she chose and I bought her the present that she wanted. Again a nice moment together joined by W.

Next day I had also a discussion with W that finished very fast. I wanted to share information about the selling of our appartment, regarding decisions that we may take together. And I set up a new boundary : no discussion without minimal greeting (hello, how are you). As W did not reciprocate or answer my greetings, I walked out of the room. After this failed discussion, I have been a bit in doubt : is my boundary too strong ? Am I too much rigid ?
In the past I was not good for setting up boundaries and upholding  them (is it correct English, please ?)
On one hand, politeness is important for me, it is a sign of the respect we have between ourselves. And it is important for me to set a good example for the children. Sometimes S6 or the daughters are not answering the greetings from W (not my problem) and S6 is recently less polite (my problem).
On the other hand, it is important for me to maintain a line of communication between W and me as we are still living together with the children. Currently I am using texts (W usually takes them into account). Regarding the selling of our appartment,
Do you have some advises on this topic ? Currently my position is to keep my boundary. Do you find it is too rigid ?

Then I got a call from my lawyer/friend. He told me that he discussed with the opposing lawyer. So the Switzeland project is confirmed, and W is not interested by our matrimonial property ( :o). The girls are old enought to choose with whom they will stay, but W wants to take S6 with her ( :o >:()
For me it is a clear NO. And for the lawyer also. In case of amicable agreement, I will never accept this. So if W wants to take S6 with her, she has to file. A judicial divorce takes 2 years, but the judge can take a temporary decision for that settlement.
According to the lawyer, the risk is less than 1% : S6 has the home, the friends, the school here. And judges never separate children from their sisters and brothers. BUT we have to be vigilant nevertheless : I don't want it to happen, I have to know it may happen. The advice from lawyer is to let time pass and create a "de facto situation" that the judge will eventually confirm. The weekly future planning from W is crazy, but, says my lawyer, it is her problem, not mine.
Last advice, if W wants to leave without an agreement signed, let her go.

For the umpteenth time, after last travel in Switzerland I see W trying to reconnect with the girls. Is it due to guilt, reconnection, or a desperate attempt to make them follow her ? idk, I am always happy to see the interactions increasing.

After the announcement , I wanted to tell many things to W : warnings, requests, lectures. I took time to prepare my response, and, with time, my response is becoming less and less. I am thinking about Treasur's words "the illusion of action". Finally I am slowly reaching this place where I am in peace with doing nothing.
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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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living is an opportunity
#87: March 21, 2024, 08:31:53 AM
Yes, upholding is le bon mot  :)
Yes, fwiw - although I understand your reasoning - I think you may be being a little rigid on the ‘dit bonjours’ or equivalent. Why? Bc you can only control you. You can treat her with resoect and politeness, you can want to be treated with respect and politeness but you can’t make her do it just bc it matters to you, can you? Bc perhaps it is a ritual that does not entirely reflect her reality. Maybe not yours completely? Bc there may be practical conversations you need to have and your boundary may make that harder. Above all, I think the fact that you are asking yourself if it is too rigid probably suggests that your instinct is that it may be.

But perhaps there is a similar boundary which is in the neighbourhood of that?

I’m not quite sure what the boundary is about for you, assuming you are not trying to ‘make’ her ‘behave nicely’? Are you informing or asking for something from her? Is it about her attention or participation? Is it about not tolerating being ignored or talked to in a rude way? Idk. But if you think about it, I’m sure you can adapt the boundary to fit what the issue really is.

We can all see how measured and increasingly detached you are becoming as your wife moves forward with her ‘plans’. (I say ‘plans’ bc obviously there are a lot of holes and secrets lol) What a blessing to get some advice from your lawyer/friend as things unfold and to have the time to think about what your future boundaries might be eg her taking S6 with her. I’m a little confused though….ha ha it’s an LBS habit  :)…with this talk about lawyers, not wanting matrimonial property and taking S6….is she still planning for a half time in Switzerland and half at home which I think you talked about earlier? Or has it evolved into a full Switzerland escape?

How are your kids reacting as her ‘plan’ starts to become a bit more real? I wouldn’t worry too much about the why when she increases or improves her level of interaction with the kids as long as it does not add to their distress. Whatever her reason is, most likely it will be a self serving one rather than a deep concern about the kids bc, well, MLC right?

The most important thing probably is how you will support your kids, and their own feelings and preferences, as things move forward so you can continue to be a safe and stable place for them regardless of what your wife chooses to do or not do. I hope you feel a little proud of how far you have come, my friend, bc you are coping remarkably well from what you post.
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« Last Edit: March 21, 2024, 08:38:00 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

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Re: living is an opportunity
#88: March 21, 2024, 09:11:41 AM
I agree that acknowledgement of your existence in the room could be a reasonable boundary. Including "How are you?" not so much because they do not care how you are and it may be better to just say, "I hope you are well."

It will probably work out in your favor to continue to refrain from warnings or lectures regarding S6 living arrangements. Let her find out after she has left the building that her plan required more planning. If she goes off to Switzerland without him it looks like abandonment and that will count against her. Do put S6´s passport in a safe place.

If she doesn´t care about the apartment, let her put it in writing so that you can continue the sale with no worries of backlash later.
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living is an opportunity
#89: March 22, 2024, 01:50:15 AM
Quote from: Treasur
Yes, fwiw - although I understand your reasoning - I think you may be being a little rigid on the ‘dit bonjours’ or equivalent. Why? Bc you can only control you. You can treat her with resoect and politeness, you can want to be treated with respect and politeness but you can’t make her do it just bc it matters to you, can you? Bc perhaps it is a ritual that does not entirely reflect her reality. Maybe not yours completely? Bc there may be practical conversations you need to have and your boundary may make that harder. Above all, I think the fact that you are asking yourself if it is too rigid probably suggests that your instinct is that it may be.

But perhaps there is a similar boundary which is in the neighbourhood of that?

I’m not quite sure what the boundary is about for you, assuming you are not trying to ‘make’ her ‘behave nicely’? Are you informing or asking for something from her? Is it about her attention or participation? Is it about not tolerating being ignored or talked to in a rude way? Idk. But if you think about it, I’m sure you can adapt the boundary to fit what the issue really is.
Yes I think you are right about me being too much rigid, and also needing sometimes practical conversations. I will lower a bit this boundary, but without telling it. I expressed to W that politeness is important for me as part of respect the other. And I will continue to be polite and respectful.
In the past 12 months I have slowly and successfully built boundaries that W is aware (and respecting) : no rude talking, no ignoring, no phone during meal and during convos, full attention given during convos. I wanted to step up with politeness, but it is prematurate I guess. And maybe a bit controlling, that's right.

To be complete, all the bad behaviors that I don't like in W are also a bit mine at my worse moments : I recognize I had these bad behaviors (not so intense) in the past, when I was tired, worried or busy. Especially during my grumpy times (own MLC/T). If that makes sense, I think W borrowed my drawbacks during her MLC, or does that mean I am projecting my issues on her ? On the other hand, I admit that many of my "new me/work in progress" is made of qualities I always loved in W : listening skills, reaching out to others, discretion and humility.

Quote from: Treasur
We can all see how measured and increasingly detached you are becoming as your wife moves forward with her ‘plans’. (I say ‘plans’ bc obviously there are a lot of holes and secrets lol) What a blessing to get some advice from your lawyer/friend as things unfold and to have the time to think about what your future boundaries might be eg her taking S6 with her. I’m a little confused though….ha ha it’s an LBS habit  :)…with this talk about lawyers, not wanting matrimonial property and taking S6….is she still planning for a half time in Switzerland and half at home which I think you talked about earlier? Or has it evolved into a full Switzerland escape?
Usually you choose your words with a lot of care, so I am surprised when I read that my W is moving forward. Is she  :D ? I can say for sure she is moving, but where :D ? From what I know, she told different things to different people : to me she said the half time plan and ongoing renting a studio appartment at border French side, to her lawyer she talked about full escape with S6 and eventually the daughters, to the daughters she told about looking for a job in S. To many people (our common friends and some of her close family) she said nothing at all. What is her real plan ? is there a plan with OM ? Is there ONE plan ? idk, but I can see already many contradictions btw the different "plans". And I see the escape plan is not something that she can speak openly to our friends, our acquaintances, or her patients. If she would do it, I would know it quickly I guess. Not my circus btw  :).
And yes it is comfortable for me to have a lot of support here in THS, from few friends, and from my friend/lawyer. I forgot to write here that W's lawyer is "not pushy nor vindicative", a good sign according to my lawyer  :). I guess it would be the case if I were described as an awful husband and father  ;D ?

Quote from: Treasur
How are your kids reacting as her ‘plan’ starts to become a bit more real? I wouldn’t worry too much about the why when she increases or improves her level of interaction with the kids as long as it does not add to their distress. Whatever her reason is, most likely it will be a self serving one rather than a deep concern about the kids bc, well, MLC right?

The most important thing probably is how you will support your kids, and their own feelings and preferences, as things move forward so you can continue to be a safe and stable place for them regardless of what your wife chooses to do or not do. I hope you feel a little proud of how far you have come, my friend, bc you are coping remarkably well from what you post.
The children are reacting well, for the moment nothing is actually becoming real, and they don't see the changes in our life. The assumption of everybody, I guess, is that I will continue to be the stable person who is listening to the needs and wants in the house, for groceries, for the school and the outside activities & for the holidays. It is what I am doing already : e.g. last year I took 40+ days holidays with the children, including the 4 days holidays that W took with us, W took no holiday with children alone  :o. The children are already planning school and activities here next year and I make the registrations (as usual).

Thanks about your compliments, I am suspicious about my own pride because I know from experience that, when I am proud of myself, I am near to fail in overconfidence and to make mistakes that I regret bitterly. It is a bit like drinking too much of Felix Felicis  ;).

Quote from: forthetrees
I agree that acknowledgement of your existence in the room could be a reasonable boundary. Including "How are you?" not so much because they do not care how you are and it may be better to just say, "I hope you are well."

It will probably work out in your favor to continue to refrain from warnings or lectures regarding S6 living arrangements. Let her find out after she has left the building that her plan required more planning. If she goes off to Switzerland without him it looks like abandonment and that will count against her. Do put S6´s passport in a safe place.

If she doesn´t care about the apartment, let her put it in writing so that you can continue the sale with no worries of backlash later.
Thank you very much for your advises. Yesterday I took S6's passport and changed the place, same for family civil status and family religious status books. Regarding W writing something about her wants and abandons, I can not see how I can make it happen. Maybe in case of formal separation agreement ? I will see how it goes and I will continue to play "active defense" : best plan to minimize losses IMO.
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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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living is an opportunity
#90: March 29, 2024, 05:49:29 AM
a bit of journalling

I had a discussion with my friend/lawyer last Sunday, he told me that W's lawyer called again to know my position, and he confirms she is wanting for a divorce. Then he told me that he will answer that I am thinking about it and he will stall the ongoing discussions.
The day after, I wrote a big letter to my lawyer to explain my current position :
- today I got 3 different versions of W's plans, so I don't know on which plan I have to give my position
- this is an additional confirmation to me that W is under MLC
- I want to LET GO and LET GOD (yes I used also the English words ), and I don't want to give the impression that we are stalling anything
- I trust him what to communicate, what not to communicate, and when.
- before giving my position, I want to get a full proposition from W taking in account everything : children care, living arrangements, financials, alimony, etc...

The days are quiet at home. D17 and D15 are sometimes mildly-monstering : teenage crisis, what else ? I feel W is guilty : she is not monstering at all, almost walking on eggshells ; she participates to the conversations that the girls are initiating with me ; she cooks more than usual ; after 10 days she refunded the swiss travel plane ticket : confirmation to me I was right not to react when she used our common account for this expense.

A common friend from 23 years is currently at home during 5 days. W and I met together at her birthday and she is the godmother of D17. I am not sure that W remembered this visit despite oral messages and text from me 1month+ ago ; as my new usual I have prepared everything, groceries, meals, cleaning house, cleaning guest room and bed (matrimonial BR actually because W is still in the guest room), taking day off during her days here.
Now that she is in our house, W is doing her best (the best that she is capable of, let's say) and she participates to the common tasks and common times. Our friend asked me really fast if W is unwell, and she told me she sees W is withdrawn. I said nothing else, I just confirmed that W is unwell. What is strange to me is that W is not talking about her "plans", but the facade is totally cracked anyway.
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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 !)

M
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living is an opportunity
#91: March 30, 2024, 06:06:03 AM
Quote
Our friend asked me really fast if W is unwell, and she told me she sees W is withdrawn. I said nothing else, I just confirmed that W is unwell
  for what it’s worth, I have found that when others noticed without a word from me, but just what they observed  them selves to be a small comfort and confirmation that it is them.
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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

F
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living is an opportunity
#92: April 01, 2024, 12:43:54 AM
Quote from: MadLuv
  for what it’s worth, I have found that when others noticed without a word from me, but just what they observed  them selves to be a small comfort and confirmation that it is them.
Thanks Madluv for your comment. Yes it is a comfort for me to know I don't need to tell people what is our situation and that I don't need to justify myself with words. Talking about our situation leads easily to badmouthing W, and I don't like to do it. Not talking, in a way, is also part of "paving the way". And yes, the words of friends and acquaintances is a confirmation that I am not the issue or the root cause of the issue.
W and our friend have spent a day together to do tourism activities, and without me asking, our friend told me that W remained withdrawn and did not confide.   And she told me that there are difficult periods in life, deserts, that we are a nice family and I was right to do what I do. Difficult for me to translate the exact words, it was something more emotional than word-expressed, again a comfort for me to hear these words.

D17 and her godmother reconnected smoothly and it was good for me. After her departure, D17 asked me what is wrong between her godmother and her husband (they are separated), I told her this is an adult story (I did not want to give to her the details and the confidences). Then D15 said : it is a forties crisis (MLC) and D17 told "no it is a fifties-crisis" (MLC too).
According to our friend and her observations, D17 and D15 are sparing their mother : they turn their aggressiveness towards me. What I understand is that, during their teenage crisis, they need a stable parent that they can confront. I agree with what she says, and I am glad to be mentally stable enough to bear a lot. To be true, their teenage crisis is mild and we have also a real complicity, so I don't complain and I would'nt change my position with anybody.
 
For Easter I have one reconciliation story to tell. During Easter Vigil I saw there was a woman some benches behind me. She is "managing" the catechism activities in our previous parish ; 6 years ago she was very upset at me so I left my volunteer activity in catechism. I tried to reconnect and reconcile with her at this time but it was impossible, so I prayed for her.
During the mass of Easter Vigil, I had the intuition that it was the right time to be bold, and I chose to move in her direction during the gesture of peace time. She welcomed my peace kiss with a beautiful smile. I am very glad I did it.
Next day during Easter lunch I told to the family what I had done as they knew the story from 6 years before. W sneered a bit but I don't care. I do it for me.

Just last words of journaling to confirm the recurring pattern : after first day of me + children doing everything during guest visit, W took back her role of house mistress, she made groceries and cooked very good meals. And as she is a better cook than me and the children have given a hand, we ate like hobbits. The daughters told me that they feel eating like rich people  ;D.
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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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Re: living is an opportunity
#93: April 03, 2024, 02:21:09 AM
FH-
It seems we are on the same path in some ways. W is slowly coming back, she is slowly getting t back into cooking and groceries. She’s home a lot more and doesn’t stay out all night any more.
I’m not reading anything into this but it just seems interesting.
Sorry your W is wanting a divorce. Sounds like it will be a challenge, dealing with someone who changes their mind daily will be tough! Good Luck
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BD 3/23
Standing
W Still at Home
M-47
W-46

F
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living is an opportunity
#94: April 10, 2024, 12:16:52 AM
Hi B1, yes we could laugh of the similarities btwn our Ws if the story was not a destruction of our families. High energy vs low energy ? Same craziness, same timeline until now.

So a bit of journaling for today
Last week W talked to D17 and D15 during my absence, and told them that I said they will come with me, said the lawyer. So they were upset at me and talked to me aggressively. They complained also that they were not informed about the divorce. So I told them that W talking without me knowing was unfair, then I told them about the OM. During 16 months I have been able to protect them about that shock, and I wanted to continue to protect them. But I am relieved I finally unloaded  the information, it was too heavy for me.
For D17, it was a shock and she did'nt want to believe me. D15, I think, was already aware of the situation.
 
Then W joined our discussion and the daughters blamed both of us. During this convo, the daughters behaved like adults ; W and I were more like teenagers.
D15 asked me about my position on divorce, I said we were free when I married, and W is free to leave the marriage : I will let her go.
I was blamed for snooping and I said I stopped and that makes me no good.
D17 and D15 blamed W for not talking at all, locking herself in the room and always phoning in Africa. W said she will make efforts.
I said then that the minimal politeness (hello, thanks) is important for me, and I don't want to be ignored as if I were a piece of furniture or an animal. W then said that she gave me the choice for the days with S6. I said I don't remember her giving me this choice. And she talked about the sale of the appartment.

The next days, W said hello to me, but made no effort for the daughter request ( :o) : she continues to lock herself in the bedroom and rarely talk to the girls. D17 and D15 are still very close to me after the big discussion : they come to me for their concerns and their daily needs.
I talked with my lawyer who said to me that he did'nt say to W's lawyer that the daughters will come with me. I don't know who lied in this story, I understand that W was afraid that I talked to the girls behind her back. Well I did'nt.

Yesterday W asked me for a talk today, I said : about what ? And W said "about everything". This is totally new since more than 1,5 year : W initiating a discussion and warning me before. So this evening I will do my best to be quiet and listening. I expect mainly a discussion about W's "projects".
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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 !)

K
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living is an opportunity
#95: April 10, 2024, 01:17:39 AM
I love your honesty FH. Your self-reflection emanates from your journalling. I can imagine you feel some relief from losing the burden of 'holding' your W's secret from your Ds, but I guess this is a turning of a new page and will have its own challenges. It's movement though - better than bitter stagnation I suppose. I wish you luck with the Everything Conversation :-X
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H
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living is an opportunity
#96: April 10, 2024, 09:47:55 AM
I am sorry that your kids have to go through this.  It is so hard, and I understand how it is both a burden, but also something you want to do.  Fathers are so important in their children's lives.  I know, as a society, we talk about the importance of the mother, but Fathers are so greatly needed.  It has been hard for me to watch what has happened with our children, but I know I can't control it.  I just worry about the future impact.  I think you are doing a great job of maintaining balance and stability for them. 

Not doing anything is so hard sometimes.  I told one of my few friends that knows of our situation and supports my stand that I feel like a crazy person for not doing anything when I feel like I am living out a reality TV show. 
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M-23y T24y
Me 47
H-49
S20,D16,D11
BD1 9-21 BD2 9-22 Atomic Bd3 & ILYBNILWY 2-23
Moved to RV 5/2023
OW Discovery 7/23
Touch and Gos since 6/23

F
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living is an opportunity
#97: April 11, 2024, 06:37:48 AM
thank you KD and HL for your nice comments, yes you totally get my points. I am glad the situation is moving forward. What you write about the "burden" of being a father makes me think to an old story, a little girl in Africa getting this comment : "how this burden on your back must be heavy !" She answers "it is not a burden, he's my little brother"

So yes, I get sometimes blames from the daughters because there are ants in the kitchen or because I am preparing too often the same meal. But on the other hand I am really happy to be a father, I am happy I am enough stable to endure the rigors of the children crisis and I am happy for the many little things I get from the children in our daily life . Please forgive my father's pride as I write here below 3 recent examples from last 24 hours.

Yesterday evening S6 asked me to stay in his bed a few minutes after the presleeping activities. I had foreseen he would ask and I wanted to pray a few minutes in order to prepare myself for THE conversation. And what happened ? S6 told me he wanted to pray, so we prayed together. A little thing that gives me tears of joy.
This morning during the breakfast D15 was upset because the English teacher had given homework at last minute (using stupid online agenda). So she asked me about the Constitution of the USA, the federal government, the governor's powers and the amendments. While she answered on the paper the teacher's questions, we had a deep conversation about the US Constitution : according to D15, the original writers did not plan that their text would be still used more than 200 years after, and their style is basic and heavy compared to the "Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789" (her opinion ;D). After I gave to D15 the classical examples to distinguish state law and federal law (death penalty, abortion rights, 2d amendment), we discussed about the stakes of next US presidential election regarding abortion right.
And to finish, D17 wanted me to read her philosophy examination paper on violence and war in society for which she had the best mark in the whole high school.

THE conversation
the conversation with wife went well (4 four-letter words beginning with W  ;D!). As I expected, under a nice wrapping of "the children are at the center and my priority", all the discussion was in fact "I, me, and myself". We have been able to listen to each other and keep the tone quiet during more than 2 hours, and I am glad about it. Whatever the future, it is good that we can discuss serenely.
Now I know more about W's projects : she wants to "progress professionaly" and work in Switzerland, and "the relationship is finished". Meaning = she wants to get more money and fly from her associate.
W gives me 3 choices for the next step : either legal separation, amicable separation/divorce or judicial divorce. But in the end she is still targetting divorce
And regarding the child custody, W gives me now the choice (in regard to my professional life) : either she takes care of S6 (and D15 now) during 3 days a week, either we split 1 week / 1 week.
Regarding living arrangement, W's proposal is to live in our house when she takes care of the children until she has the money to buy her own house. Regarding the shared real estate, W's opinion is same as mine : she wants to sell the appartments and to keep the house. I said first that I want to keep the house, then W said that if I wouldn't, she would keep this house.

I see clearly that W finally realized  what is the roadblock for a divorce (and ending coliving) : the sale of at least our biggest appartment. When we sell it, we should get enough money so that she can buy her own house and I can refinance the mortgage and buy W's share of the house. Assumption being W not too much greedy  ;). The main difficulty is that the housing market is in poor state. Since 1 month the appartment is on sale and from what I know there has been no visit. Lowering the already low price might not bring a buyer. For the record W has not signed the formal authorization to sell  ::). MLC, what else ? ::)

W told me that I should not say that she is abandoning the children. In fact I did'nt say it to her (her mindreading is right) and I am glad I did not point out that she plans to abandon our children at least half of the time.

During the convo, I talked more than I expected and I am glad I did : for the first time I highlighted what went wrong in our relationship from the beginning. I told W that her repeating many times that the relationship is broken sounds to me as if she is trying to convince herself and I repeated to her that I have accepted it since long. I said that the breakdown of the marriage has been in some ways a deliverance for me and I said what I expected from a new relationship.
And W thanked me for saying all that (again, something new)

During our friendly chat, I saw many small signs that W is not so absolute as her words. First she listens very carefully to what I say, e.g. she reported out of nowhere some (not all) of "my" past projects, clearly a reference to a previous conversation where I told W that I supported her projects and she did'nt support mine, and when she had asked me which projects I was talking about I had told her she should know. Then, even if I am not good to see the non verbal signals, I saw many small points showing connection between us and W mirroring my gestures and moves. In hindsight, the discussion turned into a relationship convo and went well : it is a huge progress.

Now what do I do with all those informations ? What do I do with my Standing ? I will talk again with my lawyer, and I will talk with myself  ;D, then I will slowly take some decisions. In the short term I will stay in the house with the children 100% of the time : very good news  ;D, and for the future I see big hope that I can keep the house and take care of the children at least 50% of the time : not so bad for minimizing losses :)

To the vets : does someone remember this kind of half coliving arrangements ? And, anecdotally, in which category should I switch when W will make her move : Keeps moving in and out ? Or Home but travels for work ?

Last minute information : as it was not clear, I asked W what is her future plan for S6 and the daughters and where she plans to live when she has the money. W says that she wants to bring at least S6 with her, near the Swiss border or in Swiss. She says it is a point to be discussed. W was not happy when I pointed that this information was not clear from her words after evening discussion, and my question turned quickly in a fight that I stopped quickly. Clearly the state of mind is very different btwn yesterday evening and today. A new bit of information that I have to integrate.
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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
#98: April 11, 2024, 08:00:01 AM

To the vets : does someone remember this kind of half coliving arrangements ? And, anecdotally, in which category should I switch when W will make her move : Keeps moving in and out ? Or Home but travels for work ?


I have the same problem to a certain extent.....I don't feel like mine moves in and out.  He moved to RV, which is really not a permanent setting, and only took enough for a trip.  We are not formally separated and most people don't even know we don't live together all the time.  He has spent an increasing number of nights at home.  Sometimes I think he stays at the RV because he wants to sleep in the next morning, but also because he is still in replay and the mindset that he said he doesn't want to live at home--even though all of his actions say most of the time that is where he wants to be.   I do believe some of the shine has worn off the life, but he isn't ready to admit he was completely wrong yet (he's admitted he was partially wrong in that he did say he wasn't in love with me, but now says he does love me very much). BUT, anyway, I don't feel like moving in and out is quite right, I don't really feel like we are separated, we aren't in the process of divorcing, and the majority of our life is still connected. I feel like maybe there needs to be an option like, in flux, changing, or "It's complicated" option.
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M-23y T24y
Me 47
H-49
S20,D16,D11
BD1 9-21 BD2 9-22 Atomic Bd3 & ILYBNILWY 2-23
Moved to RV 5/2023
OW Discovery 7/23
Touch and Gos since 6/23

 

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