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Author Topic: My Story living is an opportunity

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My Story living is an opportunity
#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
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 !)

W

WHY

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living is an opportunity
#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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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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#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 !)

W

WHY

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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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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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#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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#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

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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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