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Author Topic: My Story Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 15: "Who's the Master? Sho'Nuff!!!"

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WoooHoooo, part 15!!! HA!!
Previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11967.0

What is this "Who's the Master?" stuff......  ;D
Maybe my favorite movie of all time is The Last Dragon...... incredible movie. The villain is the Shogun of Harlem and he's always saying "Who's the Master?"...... all he cares about is being #1 and everyone else knowing it. HA!!!!!

For years I would ask W (jokingly)  "Who's the Master?" and she'd smile and then say "I'm the Master" (her, not me). HA!!!
It was always a funny thing...... and we'd both laugh.
Fast forward to today: I am the Master..... in all things... in all aspects of life. There isn't failure, anywhere..... and I don't allow bad things to creep into my life. I'm the king of my kingdom, and in my bubble of control and influence: life is very good (best ever).
"Who's the Master??!!??"..... I am.  :D

W has been opening up, and wanting to do things more and more......
The other night I went to bed (she had turned in early - I had stayed up late). Climb into bed..... she's awake, and *BOOM* - R talk. HA!!!! Oh good. We're overdue. She goes on a venting session with all her disappointments laid bare. I listen, ask questions, and am gentle. Her perspective is still twisted, and still incapable of positive thought. Glass half empty for her, instead of my glass half full outlook.
I can see her FOO issues still persisting as she lists them out. As she's talking about them, my heart breaks a little because they are things she can't control or fix. Her remaining core issues are the relationships she so desperately wants (she desires her side of the family to care/be involved, and a restored optimal connection to FIL) are probably not going to happen..... and she's struggling so hard to resolve this. I have a great family: strong, connected, loving, caring...... she wishes her family was the same - but they aren't. So very sad..... and how does someone let go of this?
She got into blaming FIL (who does have problems) and I stopped her. I pointed out it was MIL who destroyed their family, and wrecked FIL permanently..... she said "yes I know"...... she knows in her head, but her emotional damage and need to connected with ex-MLC MIL to overcome her abandonment issues means taking the perspective of MIL's justification. At least I'm in place to stop her, tell the truth, let her brain twist, and leave it at that. The rest is up to her.

We talked for a couple hours. At one point, she claims everyone is afraid of her... even me. I say "I'm not afraid of you" (with a small laugh). She says "you're afraid to talk to me", and reply "I'm not afraid to talk to you - I can do it any time" (with a bigger laugh). It's very obvious this person has no control, no power over me.... no more eggshells...... my gentleness is love, not fear. It's consideration, not avoidance. She continues her vent, and her fears of failure come spilling out. Her book isn't selling. The people she thought would support her haven't. Her friends haven't. Her family hasn't. In her perspective they are waiting and watching for her to fail. She is questioning and believing that she will fail. How horrible. Once again she thinks her life is stuck and there's no way out. She only sees negative.
I point out the good. I point out the accomplishments..... and I point out that she is too hard on herself, that her desire for perfection is impossible (for anyone). She grudgingly agrees, and then justifies...... I stop her again. We go into the past to find where this is rooted: where does it come from........ and we find it in the destruction of her family: Her necessary role change caused by the abandonment of her mother.
She is overwhelmed, and has no resolution. She knows what the problem is (this one anyway), and has no idea what to do with it. We leave the conversation there, and fall asleep.
The next day she apologizes for keeping me up so late.... it isn't a big deal to me, but it is to her.

Conversation is easy, and can go on and on once she is open, and once I flip my switch from listen to talk.
It was really nice to have "flow" once again.... it's always nice when that happens..... you know: sharing.
I don't know how this person resolves everything unless she comes to the point of accepting she can't have the things she's stuck on. She can't fix her father, she can't undo her mom's MLC, she can't make her side of the family act like a family.... she can't make people care.... she can't have her early teen years back..... and as a result of these connection problems can't get really close friends until she learns how to connect with people in a meaningful and trusting way. How does someone learn and allow themselves to be vulnerable when their whole life was spent trying to protect themselves in the midst of deep emotional damage?
It's a good question.... and I don't have an answer, beyond acceptance.

Thinking about her life and mine..... I can always keep going, because I can pick myself back up. I realize this has not been the way of her life, no matter what she says. She continues because all she knows how to do is fight. It is all struggle, it is all conflict. There is no joy because once some area is won, it's on to the next fight. She's never done, there's never a pause, all she knows is war. If she has no conflict with someone else, no issue to rage against, no cause to champion...... then she fights against herself.  :o 
My life is peace, and that nature is alien and unknown to her. How sad. I wish it was.
I wonder if the end of this process is this person surrendering, putting down their arms and not willing to fight anymore. The realization that we lose, and that dying on every hill isn't what makes life worth living. We try, we win, we lose, and thru it all we continue. Sportsmanship, but in life instead of a game.   

On to me!!! My mom finished her 1st series of cancer treatments Thursday. I don't know how long before we know if it worked or not. I have faith everything will be fine.
I booked a vacation to Vegas in Dec.... got the hotel and airfare...... I'm locked in.  8)
Different hotel than I've stayed at before..... one step closer in my quest to stay at every hotel on the strip (someday - not anytime soon).
I'm also excited because I bought the higher priced ticket for the return trip which allows the express line to check in.... never done that before.
Small and maybe a little silly, but I've always wanted to try it (especially when waiting in line at the airport).   :P
My need for something to look forward to is mostly small things..... I'm looking forward to this.
Sometime next year I'll have enough airline miles for a free ticket!! Also never had that happen before. Another thing to look forward to.

Someday, after I retire.... I hope to travel all the time. Amusement parks all the time. Vegas all the time. Maybe get into visiting all the museums I've always wanted to see. That sure would be nice. That circus museum in Florida would be amazing.
The older I get, the more I want to see with my own eyes, and experience.   

Things are mov'in mov'in.....  ;)

One day at a time,

-SS     
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M - 46
Together 28 years, M 25
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

B
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SS
Prayers for your mom, hope everything works out! As for the master I know it’s not me :W, kids,dog, way down at the bottom is where I ended up. Hope you have a great time in Vegas, we’ve done Paris, Luxor and Circus Circus. The Paris buffet is by far the best IMHO, sounds like you’re in for a good time!
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Hey B1  :D

The Paris buffet is gone!!! *POOF*
I was wanting to try that one again (I went maybe 20ish years ago..... but don't really remember it except it had a lot of good bread  :D ).
The place that had a lot of memories for me was Planet Hollywood (the restaurant at Forum Shops), and it just went under two months ago  :-[ . Even though it had gone way downhill over the years, I always would go on each trip. That was the 1st "nice" place W and I went to when we were 1st married. Always a treat to be young, broke, in love, and at a Planet Hollywood. Look at this, look at that.... that looks fake, is it really real? HA!!! What good memories. I wonder if that's one of the reasons I like going there so much. Probably.  :-X
   
It's crazy how expensive buffets are now days.... the one at Caesars is almost $100 a head, and the one at Wynn isn't too far behind (haven't tried either)...... but I bet they're wonderful. I remember when the buffets were $14.99  :o   
Really want to stay at Luxor and Paris sometime..... and Excalibur and NYNY. I like themed places too  8) Now that I think about it... I'm just shy of halfway to trying them all. Sure would be nice if all the family friendly stuff from the 90's was still there. I still think about that awesome pirate sign at Treasure Island and the amazing original show they'd do outside with the ships..... that was my favorite thing on the strip. Still think about Star Trek the Experience at the Hilton (incredible - I so wish that was still there)  ;D . I ran into Sigfried once at the Mirage a short time after BD. Seemed like a nice guy. Got to see Roy too, but he was in really bad shape. Poor guy. I always hoped he'd heal and they'd be able to do their show again. Now they are both gone.     

I wouldn't worry about being on the bottom - we are all there after BD.

-SS
 
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I miss the family friendly stuff from way back, too. Funny story, I was selling stained glass at a Renaissance Faire back in the day and a group of us were walking along the strip in garb (costume.)  I needed to get inside Treasure Island to use the restroom and just then the show started. The sea of people parted for me as I walked through, thought I was part of the show.  ;D

I hope you get to stay at whatever places you want to stay. I haven't been to the strip proper in years, but I used to like the themed places too. Are you a show person? I also just went to Omega Mart in Las Vegas, which was interesting. The Pinball Museum had some older machines that were interesting (like a 1980s Raiders of the Lost ark and Star Wars). And some interesting non working things, like the old injection mold machines from the early 60s.

Glad to hear your mom is finished with her first round. Hope it does what it needs to do for her.
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SS,
I really felt this update in my bones. The negative thoughts and feelings can be so pervasive in our MLCers - I don’t know if that’s specific to MLC or if it more broadly applies to depression. There are a lot of blurred lines between MLC and depression. It’s a hard thing to see - the “glass half empty” approach to life. Even when they recognize that tendency in themselves and try to overcome it, negativity is in many situations their first response. I know that early in her MLC, W talked about how deeply she felt things - and she said that because I hadn’t experienced the “downs” that she experiences, I couldn’t really understand joy. We never talked about that again, but I came to the realization that she couldn’t be more wrong… my emotional range may not be as broad, but that doesn’t make my emotions any less deeply felt than hers, or any less valid. And the same is true for you, and I am glad you thoroughly realize it… you are, indeed, the master of your own life.

I hope that your mom’s treatment has been successful and that she continues to do well. And I hope that you have a fantastic vacation later in the year; not that I have any doubt that you will.
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Hi C  ;D and OR  8)

Oh yes Offroad..... the Pinball Hall of Fame, one of my favorite places!! I go each time I visit (sometimes twice). If I lived there, I'd be volunteering to fix machines (maybe it's a good thing I don't live there..... HA!!!!).  I think it's hilarious that the crowds parted for you at Treasure Island....  8)

Yes that depression C.... it's so strong, and lasts so long. I can't imagine life like that. They need a rewiring for sure, how sad that whatever happened to them damaged them in such a way.

Journaling:
More and more W is trying to help....... cleaning the floor, walking the little dog (shock!!!), trying to talk in deeper conversations, empathy for others, checking in, offering to help, saying bye...... it really gives the possible impression that here is a person attempting to break out of the shell. Maybe she will, or maybe the turtle will retreat again...... doesn't really matter either way..... what will happen, will happen.
She's hard at work on her second book, and I think it's better than the 1st (much shorter, and illustrated this time). I see this and think "Hmmmmm, look at that.... she's trying again instead of being knocked down". Really good. More self confidence than was there before, and she's seemingly less risk averse about her dreams and goals. Good. Little steps, little steps.... they all add up over time.

She's about to go on her next vacation to South America and I get three weeks off. Good for me!!  ;D I've gotten so used to being alone, I enjoy it. Just me and the little dog. Not that her presence is trying or anything like that (it's easy), but only dealing with yourself is even easier (HA!!!).  :P
Maybe she'll rent her condo while she's out there, but she will be staying at it (part of the time, the whole time? I don't know.... it doesn't matter).
I think if she had her way, she'd quit her job and just float between here and there..... not a care in the world, just in her own world. I think that's her desire (but I could be wrong). I think she has found safety, and now she's searching for purpose...... and hasn't found it.... yet.
An interesting thing is: she's not biting at the bit to go down there. In the past, she'd be counting the days. This time I'll mention it, and it's almost like she has forgotten about it..... she remembers and then is happy that a break is coming up for her.  :o
Of course there has been no indication of wanting to join me on any of my trips (she hasn't asked, and I haven't offered). She has this trip set and another for the end of the year.

I think she is going to learn a lot of important things this year. She's gotten a lot of what she wanted, and dreamed about...... she worked hard for it too..... struggled. Now that it's here, what will she find? What is at the end of the rainbow? A pot of gold like she thought? Or (uh oh!!!!) part of herself waiting there in a leprechaun outfit? HA!!!!  :o HA!!

On to me!!! I worked on the pinball machine!!! And I didn't fix it!!! HAHAHAHAAHAH!!! But I did learn, and that's enough. I'll do better next time.
Try, fail, learn, try again. What a happy life.
I'm so anxious for another trip somewhere. I don't know why it's becoming more and more important, but it is.

****Update (tonight)****
Oh boy......
As always I start writing and a day or two goes by before I hit post :D HA!!
Big. Big. Big.

W comes home today...... she is frustrated, and lets me know that come the end of the year, once her bonus is paid out.... she intends to quit her job.
She's going to cash out her stock at the company, and completely try to make her dream work. Wow.
Lots of layers to this, and lots of potential effects and repercussions.

On one hand, this is wonderful: The corporate world has not been good for her. While she has been successful, the cost has been very high - especially in our M. So much time simply lost. She has no desire to do it again at a different company, so I believe this is the end of her recreating MIL's life (work life anyway).... and that has taken a lifetime to happen. To see what used to be the #1 importance to her, now ready to be discarded.... is amazing. Of course it also has a factor in that she has hit the glass ceiling in the corporate world, and she absolutely hates it. She has raged against that for a couple years now. I think maybe she is ready to stop fighting. She hasn't been winning on that front since MLC started.

Would I like to see her finally calm down and just be herself? Sure. I wanted that 12 years ago. I wanted that 20 years ago. In so many ways (looking back) I can't help but feel robbed, but I know I wasn't the only one...... she was robbed too.
She says "I'm probably going to make a lot less money..... but I don't care anymore".
Now I make enough to support us both, but it will be much tighter.... and that's not a bad thing potentially. I absolutely want her to get her shot at a dream..... everyone should have their shot.... and she hasn't taken hers. Totally get that, and I support it. I want her to succeed and have the internal value and "light" that every person should have. I used to think (way back) that her doing that in the corporate world accomplish that need (it's what she said - and I believed her), but of course that wasn't the case..... I didn't know, and she didn't either.

Fast forward to now...... I'm fine with her trying. That's great. I think she's getting closer and closer to being healed, and the layers of the onion have been getting peeled one after another.... maybe we're getting closer to the core, maybe there's several more layers to go. These are good things. I have dreamed of seeing a healed, complete, and happy W..... lord knows I have waited so long to see the day.

On to the other hand.....because we have to keep our eyes open and not shut....  :-[
She's getting close to mid-40's...... so she is going to be more independent, less family focused (which she wasn't to begin with once her career took over), and more internalized. This is all normal, I'm not raging against that..... but the time in life when the opposite of those things should have been common, that has been missed..... skipped.... wasted. I always thought when she got "better" then we would catch up on all that time. I don't believe this will be the case anymore, because time is the one thing which can't be replaced..... and I see that time has passed by. Several things (understanding) are clicking into place, I'm seeing things in a different light. SIL's niece and nephews are moving away..... they sorta anchored W in her family.... and it's a big thing to see them fly away. SIL for that matter now has a job and is throwing herself into it..... SIL no longer seems to really care too much about her H or what he thinks, she certainly isn't chasing him at all like she did before.. just like my mom did at that age (the need for purpose).... and I remember how much mom and dad drifted apart for years after that: the time for babies over, new priorities took hold..... new independence. I remember how hard that was for dad. I've seen the same thing in W's aunts..... all of them (years ago of course) and how all their M's suffered (but remained intact). I look at the women my age and a little older at work - they are all in the middle of relationship issues.... most have D'ed, but all are pursuing new interests..... radical changes. One of my closest co-workers told me the other day she's retiring early to become a real estate agent. Her dream..... which she just figured out several months ago ( :o )..... she told me her H was blindsided and is concerned. She said she "has to do it, she's not happy in her job". Not MLC.... just age. None of this is to disparage..... it's normal. No sense in fighting it, just to accept and understand it.

I know what I want..... and what men want (yeah yeah... generalization again. HAHAHAHAHA!!!). Men/I want someone to be crawling all over us. To be kind and warm and interested. To be a team, to share, to build and to help. I've read how the chemicals change, and the binding hormones grow weaker..... it would explain a lot. The drive to make and keep families together isn't as needed once there isn't going to be babies anymore. There has to be a deeper connection to hold it together, some sort of value that lasts beyond..... which I always assumed was love, and love was all you need. HA!!! The thing about men/I is: we don't change. We are static thru life. Our wants and needs don't really change.... and I like that about us. Simplicity. Maybe how driven we are changes, maybe we slow down a bit..... or maybe not..... but the core is unchanged.

Much to think about..... much to unravel. What life looks like as time goes on, and if you're ok with it or not (not that you can stop it  ;D ). There are several guys I work with closely (all a little older) who are D'ed.... and they never want to marry again. Girlfriends.... sure.... marriage.... nope. I've heard the same from women (less though) and plenty here on HS who say that. It is a curious thought and question.... the changing of R's over time.... and how we adjust..... what we want.... and what we do with what we find inside ourselves.
Men/I are driven naturally to provide, protect and care for.... that's natural. It was always a worthy goal to build something: a family, a life, a future..... what happens when one person (if they are healed, sane and normal), is no longer is interested in building? What happens when there's nothing left to build and the blueprint is complete? What happens when the girl doesn't need saving anymore? I wonder. I know for me the need to be heroic is so deeply ingrained..... I can't imagine not being called upon to be as such..... but what happens when there isn't a call for help anymore? What happens to us men? I know so many men over my life (older than I am now) who expressed to me how they were no longer useful anymore. Dozens.... hundreds..... maybe several hundred. I never understood this..... but I'm starting to understand it now. My, my, how time teaches.
 
I remember looking at the old people growing up with their golden anniversaries, and how much they still seemed to be in love, and how much they enjoyed the company of the other. Was it because they selected this as what was most important? Or was there less "other things" to pull them apart? I wonder. Perhaps they were blessed with simpler times, maybe they knew something we don't, or maybe they were just built of sterner stuff.
How simple and effortless they made it seem to my young and impressionable mind.

Such thoughts..... I know they will increase as the ultimate choosing gets closer and the end of MLC draws near. I know W will be having the same thoughts, need to make the same choices. It fills me with equal parts of wonder and dread (and peace?). Not just for what she could choose, but for what I could.
As my sister would say: "Creepy":o

One day at a time,  ;)

-SS 
         
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I know what I want..... and what men want (yeah yeah... generalization again. HAHAHAHAHA!!!). Men/I want someone to be crawling all over us. To be kind and warm and interested. To be a team, to share, to build and to help. I've read how the chemicals change, and the binding hormones grow weaker..... it would explain a lot. The drive to make and keep families together isn't as needed once there isn't going to be babies anymore. There has to be a deeper connection to hold it together, some sort of value that lasts beyond..... which I always assumed was love, and love was all you need. HA!!! The thing about men/I is: we don't change. We are static thru life. Our wants and needs don't really change.... and I like that about us. Simplicity. Maybe how driven we are changes, maybe we slow down a bit..... or maybe not..... but the core is unchanged.

So true (LOL) .... I was actually reading about this elsewhere not so long back.  It is very thought provoking, especially how both man and woman need to act mindfully to thrust the relationship over the stagnation phase that comes as we all age.

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

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

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

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

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Quote from: Standing Strong

I remember looking at the old people growing up with their golden anniversaries, and how much they still seemed to be in love, and how much they enjoyed the company of the other. Was it because they selected this as what was most important? Or was there less "other things" to pull them apart? I wonder. Perhaps they were blessed with simpler times, maybe they knew something we don't, or maybe they were just built of sterner stuff.

Hi Standing Strong,

I am happy for you that there is proggress, even little step you are managing very well.
One thing I understand from the age that we are throught is switching from "to have" to "to be". So you continue to build, but not outside, inside yourself.

What is positive with the new move from your W is that she understood she can not "have" everything. Giving up is sometimes becoming wiser.

Need for purpose ? yes that makes sense at the end of the tunnel, and after giving up with career.

Quote from: Standing Strong
I think she is going to learn a lot of important things this year. She's gotten a lot of what she wanted, and dreamed about...... she worked hard for it too..... struggled. Now that it's here, what will she find? What is at the end of the rainbow? A pot of gold like she thought? Or (uh oh!!!!) part of herself waiting there in a leprechaun outfit? HA!!!!  :o HA!!
very fun the gold and leprechaun ! You make my day ! At a time a person in MLC must stop fleeing and face herself.
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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 living at home 16 mths post BD, then keeps moving in & out "for work" in foreign country.
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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Well, I guess time will show if she a) follows through on that and b) if it is just another attempt at an external ‘magic happy fix’ that MLCers seem to invest their energy in or something more solid for her.

If she does do it, will you need to adapt your current financial arrangements? I get the sense that you are not overly concerned about money or seeing it as a significant risk but, given that she has recently bought an ‘investment’ apartment (not sure if this is just in her name or jointly) and is now talking about removing most of her half of your collective stable income, it would seem reasonable to me that you might choose to do so.
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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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Hi T, FH, and Alvin  :D

Journaling:

Super busy week.....barely time to think..... but such a great week!!!!
I actually don't have much to write about W (directly) this time...... she's been frustrated with work and that hasn't changed.... nor has her plans for her next vacation to South America, other than she will be staying at the condo the whole time. I guess I'm curious how much time she spends with MIL, but something inside tells me she is going to wean herself away from clinging to her. Not sure what that means, but I'm going to take it as a sign she is healing and her mommy issues are fading. Of course I could be wrong.... I'll find out later, or not at all.  ;)

This week I booked a vacation for myself in Sept..... going back to Orlando for the haunted houses (just like last year)....... I'm so looking forward to it. I feel so run down at work...... tired, but not tired. It's so nice to do something for yourself..... but after I booked it, I was reminded how it felt last time to see new things and wish someone (W) was there to take it in too. Well..... not this time...... someday, just not this time.
I think something is coming full circle inside me (how weird right?). You start out..... it's so hard and strange to do things alone..... time passes (years) and you get used to being alone..... you miss having a someone, but you get used to not having that, and you enjoy the time away....... now something is switching, like a door opening just a creak..... I wonder when it will widen, but I can say that I'm not opposed to not being alone on a trip..... whereas before I know it would be very difficult and not want that. HA!!!

Today I finally got around to fixing the pinball machine.  :D And I asked W to help me...... she jumped out of bed, and ran to where it is....... we fixed it together. It took twice to get it right...... we did one thing, and it was working.... then it broke again   :P..... then we did something else after a pause.... and now it's fixed again. Instead of her getting frustrated and mad..... she had patience, and acted like (gasp) a normal person. And she was a BIG help (small hands have a much easier time in small crowded places). Once it was done, we played together for an hour....... she kept going and going, wanting to keep playing. I taught her what the lights meant, and what the goals were. As she learned, she enjoyed it more. It's not just about mashing the flippers like she assumed...... HA!!!!  ;D After a bit she was pointing things out "look this thing is open now, shoot that" and she was getting the hang of the rules and objectives. She beat me on a couple games.... and no frustration like the 1st time I took her to play. She just had fun, and when it drained..... she was a good sport, laughed and smiled.
What improvement!!!
I'm using it as therapy (part of the intention the whole time). Get her to play instead of being serious and stuck. Let her figure out it's ok to lose.... and also the opportunity to WIN. Yeah it's minor.... but it's safe.  ;)

Well, it was a wonderful week. Now if that machine will stay fixed.  ;D

One day at a time,

-SS
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Great update SS,

I look forward to reading your updates and it’s so interesting to read the progress your W is making (and your continuing upward trajectory too of course).
Glad the pinball machine is operational - what fun. We had our works Xmas party at a vintage arcade / diner and the pinball machine was by far the biggest draw. I didn’t get a single go on it!

B
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The pinball machine workssssss!!  Very exciting. Interesting you see it as therapy for your wife as well.  I can see that in how she is handling frustrations and things “not going her way” etc…  I also think the way we look at the glass half empty or full is an important thing to view. I wish there was a way to explain how to get to a place of contentment within yourself. I have seen your wife use many outside sources to distract and fill voids. Specially that apartment! What is it about the distraction?  The next purchase or trip to occupy and look forward to? 

I will never forget the actual moment I came out of my grief from
The death of my daughter. I tried to explain it to my XH so he could understand that even in the depths of despair others have it worse. Things could be worse and you just have to appreciate the good. It isn’t explainable enough to help someone. It like blah blah blah in their ears and I get it. You have to have your own moment. I like the fact your wife is talking through her disappointments with you again. It is absolutely sharing. Also, that she even told you that you are scared of her. Opening the door for you ( if you want) to be more honest when needed.

She may not see it, but I do think she is headed in a great direction. I do think a negative mind is a hard thing the change. That is probably going to be her biggest hurdle.
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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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Hi Standing,

I really appreciate your being forthcoming about the preoccupation many other men share with you. I am a straight woman that has been thinking about how my ex-H operated, and I think your point about (some?) women changing their priorities and its impact on men like yourselves is important for me to hear personally. Here is a Reddit post that I think furnishes some background to the point you make which I find enlightening. Am still turning this over in my mind. (I may of course be wrong and the post may have little relevance to your point. If so I hope you'll overlook it.)

At any rate, I want to say that your constancy seems a marvel to me. Your wife has celestial luck. Bless.

-----

I don't mean to say that men have it hard, or that being a guy sucks, or anything like that, but one of the worst things to come out of gender roles in general is the idea that men are supposed to be stoic and emotionless. We are supposed to be free from pain and heartache and loss, and always be strong and powerful.

We can be enthusiastic. If a new movie comes out that's awesome, I can tell my friends how much it's awesome. If my favorite sports team loses, I can get mad or mopey, and my friends can rib me over it. If I'm stressed out by college or my job or something, I can let off steam by talking $h!te about someone with my friends. But when I'm sad, or upset, when I really feel down, I can't talk with most of them about it.

In many cases, we have to go it alone. Guys internalize pain because we don't have an outlet for sadness or depression or hardship. "Blowing off steam" is great in the short term, but it sucks for dealing with big, long-term problems. I spent my senior year of high school going to therapy for my depression. A few of my friends knew about it, but we couldn't talk about it. I couldn't reach out to them for that kind of emotional support, and they couldn't try to help me. I know they wanted to, and I know I wanted them to, but the barriers that we've grown up with stopped us.

Generalizing, girls can have conversations about their feelings and emotions with most of their friends, and it's expected, but guys can't do that. Even from our closest friends, we can feel isolated from the rest of the world, and it really feels like we have to go through everything alone. Falling in love means we don't have to go through it alone anymore. We have someone who we care for, who cares for us and won't judge us for being honest and open and real, instead of a steely-eyed caricature of stoic masculinity.

Of course it's not like this for everyone, and there are lots of other things as well (some people have mentioned some negatives, and there are lots of other positives), but what sticks out to me as something that is experienced by far more men than women in love is that emotional life-preserver feeling, the freedom to talk and think and feel complex emotions.

Reddit link: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/zmagw/men_of_reddit_what_is_it_like_to_fall_in_love/
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Hi Sach, ML and B  :D

That was a neat thread/link Sach..... that's one of the things I feel very strongly about: understanding the difference between the sexes. I think men don't understand women and women don't understand men...... but I know a whole lot more now than I ever have before.  ;D
I also believe that both men and women don't understand themselves: only able to identify with how they "feel" but not the real "why" behind those feelings...... thus women don't understand women and men don't really understand themselves either.... HA!!!!  :P

It is such an important subject - how a man's heart (and brain) work.... there's been a couple times when I've written about that and a lady will say "that's interesting, and so different than me"...... when to a man, it's like "well, of course it's like that..... how could it be otherwise?" (LOL!!!!) when it's just how a man processes and feels automatically vs. how a woman naturally feels and processes naturally. The difference when we "see" how each other works is magnetic because of our being polar opposites.  :D

It is true..... by and large what a man receives in love often times is someone to confide in, share with, and express feelings when there is nowhere else in life he shares these things. Unfortunately men have been conditioned to be this way, and relationships become a dumping ground for his insecurities, frustrations, and troubles (something women don't want exposure to ALL THE TIME). But why is this? Because men have nowhere to go otherwise.

In my "real" life  ;D I'm the leader of a technical unit, within the legal field. I worked from the very bottom to the very top (as it should be IMO), and am at the apex of my career. I've been the leader for five years now..... My unit consists of men, and all men..... and I've been under fire for not hiring a woman (at times) as we've grown. I'm not opposed to having a female on the team but I have been very resistant for very specific reasons.....it's VERY interesting to observe my guys (but not surprising, because I understand men). I'll explain. During Covid (and before/after) other units have had turnover of 100% and higher...... people leave, people were headhunted, people get mad, etc. I've never lost a single guy. Never. Complete retention. At a place with 500+ people, my unit is the only one, and the only one in its history to have 100% retention for five years..... it's unheard of. Heck, no other units have had 100% retention for one year, let alone five. I don't share this to pat myself on the back..... I want people to understand (and appreciate) the male condition.
My guys, they're amazing...... and the thing about it is: they're just normal, average, good, men. The thing about men is if you take away fear (the fear of being reprimanded for trying), give them something simple (and fair) to look look forward to (advancement), and also lift them up with their accomplishments and labors as a matter of course (recognition in private and in public)..... they gel and will move mountains not just for the job, but for each other. In that created environment (especially if it's high stress - which I my case it is), they become brothers not co-workers. It is beautiful. Not only do they survive in such an environment, they thrive in it. They love it. While the work is hard, they love the work, they love the team.... they retreat to work from their lives at home  8) and at work they are at ease because they are surrounded by men and not looking over their shoulder in the presence of women.
I have older men, younger men, and men in the middle..... and something wonderful and magical happens..... they begin teaching, mentoring and supporting one another. All of it is natural, and happens organically.... effortlessly.
I've had almost all of them turn down more money elsewhere, refuse job offers..... all to remain with the team. Our reputation is such that other men have requested repeatedly to join us.... and contractors, temps and even vendors who are exposed to us want to leave their employers to join us.
So that's how men work (in part)..... how we need a refuge for connection, for comradery, for support. Men will turn down lots of things just to have it..... it's very rare in general, and especially in the current setup of society to have such an environment. I have to say, they have all become better men because of it. It is both beautiful, unknown and unappreciated in today's makeup to understand these mechanics. It is also politically incorrect, and some would actively seek to undermine and destroy it (and at my work people have tried - every time the person has been a woman looking in at my insular unit with the jealousy of exclusion)..... each time I have to point at the results (which are undeniable and multiples higher than all industry standards). Each of my guys is recognized as a hero in the organization instead of some worker, or a nobody.... and from that, they derive great self-worth, satisfaction and value. Men just want a pat on the back from their peers and those they work to support...... and they don't want to ever be attacked for doing their best..... even in failure I applaud their efforts and tell them "try again" (in private) until they get it right.... and then they are congratulated publicly in front of all to share in their success. Thus men are "built" and my greatest personal success is in building men.

If women could be taught (and understand) this about men..... then their marriages in general could be so much better. Men need very little, and they'll go to the ends of the earth, sacrifice and endure....... just for a morsel of what they need to feel most of all: appreciated and needed. Women would see the weakness of men dissolve when they are reinforced to be strong..... and THAT is what men actually need/want from a woman.

Men also would be so much better if they were sent off to be with other (good) men. We rub off on one another, help one another, and build each other up...... but those environments have been stripped away, and what you see in it's place are men being islands unto themselves and hermits. It is not good for man to be alone. 

 ;)

-SS               
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BD - 27th April 2019
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Wow- it appears from that post that you knowingly discriminate against women in the hiring process in order to preserve your male team as a refuge.
It´s called discrimination and it´s illegal.
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me 51
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BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

R
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I agree. Thanks for reminding us how these sexist attitudes, beliefs and illegal actions are alive and well in the work place. Not surprised on the one hand, but to hear it so clearly explained as a "rational" reason was interesting to read in this day and age.
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I smell a sexual discrimination lawsuit looking for a place to happen....

Even the US Military (one of the last bastions of male machismo and bravado) has realized that women, when provided equivalent training to their male counterparts, can and do perform equally well in most combat units where things other than sheer physical strength are required....

I work with some of the best engineers in the field of astrodynamics and astrophysics, both men and women. This team managed to pull off the equivalent of shooting a 9mm bullet into the air in New York City, having it travel around the world 14 times and landing it in the center hub of the steering wheel of a Formula 1 Race Car moving at 200 mph on a race track in Japan. I can tell you from personal experience I can get more issues solved and solutions in place in 10 minutes around the table in the coffee shop with 2 of my favorite female flight dynamics engineers than I could in 10 meetings, 400 e-mails, 25 telephone calls and 3 weeks of discussions with their male counterparts.... Why? Because the men were interested in competition and preserving their status while the women were interested in solutions and getting the spacecraft in orbit.... so the generalizations described are, at least in my experience and in my field of work, nonsense.
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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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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Quote
Thus men are "built" and my greatest personal success is in building men.

If women could be taught (and understand) this about men..... then their marriages in general could be so much better. Men need very little, and they'll go to the ends of the earth, sacrifice and endure....... just for a morsel of what they need to feel most of all: appreciated and needed. Women would see the weakness of men dissolve when they are reinforced to be strong..... and THAT is what men actually need/want from a woman.

Hmmm, interesting.
Why do you see women as a threat to this work cohesion? (Or what my Aussie friends might call ‘mate-ship’  :) ) Do you see any potential disadvantages to it in a world which has a small majority of women and indeed a more fluid take on gender writ large? Do you see the ‘fault’ lying more with the way women might approach the job or with how the men might react? And what do you think about others’ concerns about discrimation and your legal obligations as a manager?

I find myself having a mixed bag of reactions to what you say tbh.
Like many other female LBS, I am now rather allergic (to the point of light outrage) about how often we seem to shift the responsibility to ‘build a man’ onto women’s shoulders in our society. I suspect, based on anecdotal evidence, most ow types speak to that very need in men….it’s a kind of Achille’s Heel in many men, I think, and a lot of we female LBS here paid a damned high price for our husband’s desire to be ‘appreciated and needed’…..grrr.

I find myself often bewildered by how crappy a lot of men are as humans, partners, fathers and citizens and their seeming avoidance of the responsibility to build themselves without rage or victimhood in relationship with women. And I grew up rather liking men  :)….but something seems to have gone rather awry with the way men do grown up and the way we women adult on their behalf overall. I have no idea why this seems to be so but I see it in everyday life, big and small. We seem to expect so much of women and so little conversely of men.

So I am personally happy to lay down any ‘build a man’ habits I may have had  :) and can only hope that more men get a bit more competent at taking responsibility for their own growing up.

Having said that, I recognise something in what you describe. My father would have recognised it and, in many ways, as a forces veteran and in his own managerial life in a male dominated environment, it described a lot of how he lived his life. (Although of course he was forty odd years older than you, a different generation in a different time.) But still I recognise it and I see that many men don’t have it and feel the lack of that kind of ‘mateship’ with other men….although imho in a work environment it can come with some other spins as UM described, if only a tendency to treat work as life to the exclusion of other parts of life.

I find some of the aggressive and misogynistic views of modern influencers on young men like Andrew Tate rather troubling….and yet I recognise something that seems to speak to a vacuum in young men that I can intellectually understand. The only difference I can see is something about, idk, a kind of rage towards women and the absence of what, for the lack of a better term, I might call a kind of chivalry where the measure of a man who not just his strength but also his decency towards women, children, the elderly, the more vulnerable perhaps. It’s as if the pendulum has swung towards a kind of male entitlement without much responsibility while for some women perhaps it is swinging towards a kind of detachment from men who are all puff and no substance, who make life harder not easier, where partnership seems to be simply not reciprocal enough tbh.

I have no idea what to do with any of these thoughts in my real life.
But I work hard to remind myself that there are decent grown up men out there just getting on with their lives and stepping up to their obligations as an adult human. I know some in RL. I see some here on this forum and I am grateful that I still see that bc it would be easy to not see that as a female LBS.
Maybe the not so decent ones just make more noise in our society, MLC or not  ::)
But sadly, I think I know more women of all ages who seem to show more grit, generosity of spirit and less self-centred entitlement than I do men. And I find that puzzling and rather sad.
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2023, 01:53:05 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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SS, is it possible for you to look at this differently. The idea that it is somehow the role of women to appreciate and make men feel needed is exactly the thing that needs to change. Women are equal contributors to the workforce (and I include parenting and keeping home in this) - we already have jobs - we don't need an extra job in the Male Appreciation Club. It suggests a hierarchy, where men must be continually praised. What they do is 'more praiseworthy'. That is unhealthy and needs to be demolished. I venture that we ALL might like to feel appreciated and needed. I'm not speaking for all women, I will speak for myself - I feel appreciated when I do something well and it has an impact. I feel needed when I am asked for input or support, and what I give has a positive effect. I don't need someone to give me a round of applause. In our marriages and partnerships, yes, absolutely, we should be mindful of making our loved ones feel wanted (I make the distinction between need and want here) and I hope I always show gratitude to my loved ones. But this is not a gendered thing.

I agree with what others have written, and add a recommendation -  Sherry Ortner's  'Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?'(written over 40 years ago now)
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2023, 09:52:12 AM by KayDee »

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Hello,

I have been recovering from knee surgery and at a conference to boot so my stamina and time to respond has been limited as well as my mental capacity to think. Funny when you spend a lot of time thinking about how you are going to get out of bed or into the car or deal with little steps.

Quote
My unit consists of men, and all men..... and I've been under fire for not hiring a woman (at times) as we've grown. I'm not opposed to having a female on the team but I have been very resistant for very specific reasons....

Research has shown that a team that is built with like minded people will start out of the gate faster then a diverse team. However, over time, the like minded group will plateau and the diverse group will outperform. 

Quote
If women could be taught (and understand) this about men..... then their marriages in general could be so much better. Men need very little, and they'll go to the ends of the earth, sacrifice and endure....... just for a morsel of what they need to feel most of all: appreciated and needed.

From my seat in the house, this goes both ways. I think as a man, I need to be just as encouraging and supportive of the females in my life at work and at home.  In many ways, the patriarchy that dominates our society leaves many women on the sidelines even to this day. In the US, females have 59 that have been in the Senate and 25 currently serve and in the House, 375 have been elected and currently 125 serve. This is approximately 25% of all seats. While this is low compared to the general population, it is an increase over time. On the corporate side of the US, 53 women are CEOs in the Fortune 500 which is a little over 10%. So I am not as concerned about lonely men at the top.

The other concern is that I don't want our newbies to walk away from this conversation thinking that if they had only appreciated their spouse more, they would not have had MLC or gone after the alienator. It took me a long, long time to realize that MLC had nothing to do with me or my marriage. You are not going to "love and encourage" your spouse through the tunnel.

My goal is not to attack or try to alienate your posts as I think you are doing very well on living your life as you deal with your spouse. From what you post, she has come a long way and you are still pursuing things that interest you. (Pinball machine sounds so much fun right now). I just think we walk onto thin ice when we speak in absolutes about any groups of people without understanding that on most areas we all fall on a continuum some more extreme than others on certain subjects. It is what makes all of us unique.

Have an amazing day,

(((Ready)))


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I have to say this has all hit a little cord with me as in I am not an over appreciator. I cook, clean, work, pamper, do special things and thoughtful gifts, but I am not a “OMG thank you sooooo much” kinda gal. What I did take note on is that my XH was a very needy man in that area. If he took out the trash or some basic thing he would want acknowledgment for it. I certainly never got it when I took it out. I think each and every person has to build themselves up. Its one thing to bring another person down, but we all have to have our sense of self and self pride and speak up  when our needs aren’t met.

What I am confused on as I am one that beat myself up for “maybe I didn't do enough” is that I took on more and more during his depression and to only discover that just seem to have him lose more and more respect and give him more time to escape and avoid. Now… to find out that his OW/wife treats him horrible. Doesn’t help him at all in basic home care our anything now baffles me.

 I don’t know what the answer is on all this except that it seems to be OUR responsibility to respect ourselves and have pride in ourselves. It is also our responsibility as mature adults to have a relationship where we can discuss our issues before walking out the door and then blaming it on the one that didn’t know, because we should be a mind reader.

Could I have boosted him more? Sure, but I now looking back realize that as an avoidant  men can appear to be very sweet. Non confrontational, but they are just really harboring their dislikes. I am sure that can go both ways with women who are also avoidant. What I have realized is that every year on my XH father death I recognized it. Knew it would be a tough day. He never acknowledged my parents deaths and I bet if you ask him. He cant even tell you when they died.

This has all been a great read as it is something that has taken me a long time to figure out. I kicked myself for not being more and then realized just how much more I actually gave. If someone is depleted there is not enough kudos you can give to solve their insecurities. i dont know. Just my jumbled thoughts on it all.
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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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Sure, but I now looking back realize that as an avoidant  men can appear to be very sweet. Non confrontational, but they are just really harboring their dislikes.

Yes. I read a good description of AVPD, where as the spouse, there is this amazing party, but when you get to the door, there is always something you are doing (or not doing) that prevents you from being let in and you leave to change whatever the thing is and then come back and then there is something else wrong as a reason you can't be let in the door.

Thought that was a good description.
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This is really interesting discussion, and I appreciate all of the different viewpoints. We've touched on this in various threads - the differences between men and women - and while it is absolutely fact that there are biological differences in how we are made and how we function, I believe that the vast majority of the differences are due to societal influence. Those differences start showing themselves before we are even born, with gender reveals and different nursery decor - of course, not everyone does these things, but many do. Breaking free from the expectations of society is never easy, but for people who don't fit neatly into the cisgender, heterosexual role presumed by much of society, at least they understand that those societal presumptions are exaggerated and overly narrow views of who and what a person is. And we are all social creatures, so we depend on each other for examples of how to be and how to relate to the people in our lives - but I think we can learn those lessons equally effectively (albeit probably in different ways) from men, women, or a mix of both. There may be a deeper level of identification with (and maybe even modeling ourselves on) someone in whom we can see some of our own traits, so the ideal situation is that we are exposed to a varied social group and can see a wide range of traits and behaviors as normal and accepted. But the idea that there are lessons men or boys can only learn from men, or that women or girls can only learn from women, is a result of society massively exaggerating the differences between us. Those differences are real, and they're important, but at the root of it, we're all humans and what we have in common is a lot more profound than those differences.
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Back from a break - and vacation!!  ;D 8)
Need to go back and read my own thread..... HAHAHAHAAH!!!

So much has happened in the last however long it's been (month? two months? whatever  :P )

W had a massive breakthru seven weeks ago...... she wakes me up in the middle of the night (as is her way) and wants to talk.
Ahhhhh, it's "R" talk time. I of course had taken melatonin that night (what are the odds) and was fighting the drowsy effects after being woken up at 1am.
So W tells me that she (thru her IC) has come to understand that she is "disconnected" with life and has been so for longer than she can remember being otherwise. This means that emotionally she has been completely unavailable (for years and years) and hasn't attached to anything in life.
Yes, that's right on all accounts - it's actually very surreal to hear her admit it, and for her to finally understand this about herself.
The next part is very difficult: she's been this way for so long - she has no idea how to proceed. She doesn't know how to be available or attached or live normally. She understands it goes back long before we were married (which I already knew) and she is in effect totally and completely lost.
Yup.

Next she (sorta) confesses  :o :o :o She says everyone who warned me against marrying her was right..... the idea that everyone had about her being a disaster, that she would run away and betray just like her mother, that she would destroy her family just like her mother........ she says they were all right, it was all true (everything they said about her). We both know (her and I) that the main thing her mom did was run away, have an affair/s and completely destroyed everything...... and now she says that she has done exactly the same thing (without listing what she has done).
Hmmmmm.... is this the "MLC'er confession"? Was that it? Don't know, but it was very difficult for her to say it.

Then she wants to know what I want for "us". She presses hard - and I shoot right back "No, you don't get an answer to that now. You will fix yourself FIRST before there is ANY talk about that". 
She cries.

W talks about now knowing what is wrong - and it's all her...... but she has no reference point to knowing what to do next. She doesn't know how to proceed. She's been broken all along, and she knows nothing other than being broken (her words).

So what do I think? I think it's wonderful she is finally at the meat and potatoes part..... she's been here quite a long time before finally having the strength and courage to tell me, and now she has to figure out how to move forward. She's had no example: her mom wasn't a role model, she had no mentoring female figure in her life - and now here she is. Her professional career is a dead-end, everything she lived and strived for was done in a disconnected state due to her massive damage, and now here she is at midlife with potentially everything lost. Not a good place to be, and having to face what to do next (and having to face what she has done - and what it has cost).
I can't really imagine what this is like for her (besides horrible beyond reason), but it isn't mine to worry about or fix.

On to me!!! I went on vacation - it was great. W stayed home and watched the dog... that's the 1st time ever. She walked him twice a day and everything. Wow. She was texting, interested, and it seemed like wishing she was there with me. Hmmmm.
So she has re-engaged with home life.
Speaking of home life - the night she opened up about herself, she talked about the apartment. HA!!
She said it was a nice place, quiet, clean, no animals...... and how she gets there and before she knows it..... she feels alone. She has overload as to what projects she COULD work on over there, ends up doing nothing, and then the desire to be home takes hold and she runs back here. She retreats to the MBR and zones out....... happy to be where she belongs. Thus she can only be there a couple hours and then is compelled to come home. Evidently it has been this way all along.  :o

So anyway, lots of movement - and she's not done yet...... but it's coming. I have no answer as to how someone who doesn't know what a normal and healthy life is figures out how to have a normal and healthy life..... I have empathy for her, but I can't fix it for her. I know the lack of good women over the course of her life has been such a detriment, and it isn't her fault that others let her down so terribly. Because of this she has let me down so completely, but what else was available to her? I hope (and think & believe) she will finish the process, she can't escape it now. I have done my part - she has had an anchor and a light to orbit around, and now she will finish of her own accord. What she is at the end, and what will be chosen is still to be seen - but there will be a healed person..... and that has been my prayer all along. My prayer which has lasted 28 years will finally be answered, and at a terrible price. Is it worth it? Yes. Would I ever want to do it again? No. HA!!!  ;)

Oh, back to me!!! Over 125K steps for my week of vacation - I'm ready to get back to strict dieting and working out. That 6-pack isn't going to happen on it's own  ;D. High time for a new push of accomplishing things on the bucket-list....... and I got so many bucket-list things done on vacation. Ate food (bad food  :D ) and checked off things there, looked at new things and checked things off there, and learned so much (awesome) to make next time even better. Maybe next time I won't be going alone. Who knows. I feel a turning and an acceleration underway - I'm going this way, and now I want to go FASTER. So I will.  ;D

Next month I go on another vacation - a pinball conference. HA!!! That's be something new. Another bucket-list item to check off, and maybe something to do again and again. Who knows. I sure like my life, it is wonderful..... I miss not sharing but I've gotten used to not doing so. I'm being chased, but I refuse to be caught. I was hit on a few times while on vacation, and it was like "Ewwwww gross..... go away". 

Oohhhhh..... I almost forgot. I caught up to one of my female MLC'er friends. Wow. This was a gal I worked with a long while back (before W went into MLC - heck, before I knew what MLC was  :P ). Anyway, this woman had a family and an H..... and she was in this weird (and intense and disgusting) sexual affair thing with cops  ::) . At the time she was all excited about quickies during lunch and fantasizing about running away with them to start a new life (what?). I always told her "go home to your H" and she'd look at me like I was from a different planet. Well, that was 14ish years ago. I know after a few years of this she did go home and try with her H. I know they went to counseling, he went on a diet, and it seemed like they were on the road to mending. She left the department, our mutual friends retired, and I lost all track of what happened to her. We become friends on FB (again) during my vacation and I noticed her name had changed. Well, they didn't make it. She had twins, and (I don't know for sure) but they could be by the AP, the timing is really close.  :-\ Seems like the M went away shortly after she gave birth. Needless to say, AP isn't in the picture at all, she moved to a different state, changed career (became a cop) and is "living her best life" (vomit). One thing in her posts that stuck out was she thought her H was going to die. How interesting - mine said the same about me (and no I wasn't going to die).  :o
How sad.
She has a boyfriend which began after several years of separation from her H, and D'ed H right before announcing it officially.
I wonder if she completed MLC.... I think not...... but I also think she "failed out": became someone else and will never finish her journey.
As for her H..... poor guy. I didn't know him, never met him, but he seemed like someone who really tried.
I can't imagine how difficult it'd be for a W to MLC and on top of it get preg with AP's twins (if that's what happened). What a reminder every day, and to potentially have the AP as part of your life moving forward. Yuck. No wonder it couldn't survive.
Where MLC goes, tragedy follows.
I hope my friend and her Ex-H have good lives in whatever form they take. She'll live on Fantasy Island for the rest of her life and I hope he heals.

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

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Quote
Then she wants to know what I want for "us". She presses hard - and I shoot right back "No, you don't get an answer to that now. You will fix yourself FIRST before there is ANY talk about that". 
She cries.

What a great example you give, Standing (particularly for other folks here with a live-in MLCer), on what detachment can look like in practice. How you can feel compassion and empathy AND resist being drawn into trying to fix someone else’s crisis. It’s hard for all of us to see that balancing point, so thank you for sharing it.
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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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Smiled as I read your update. The thing that hits me is your desire and prayer that she become healed...without needing the relationship back....

Thank you so  much for sharing your insights and observations about your W and the things you are doing in your own life that are pleasing and satisfying.

Quote
So W tells me that she (thru her IC) has come to understand that she is "disconnected" with life and has been so for longer than she can remember being otherwise. This means that emotionally she has been completely unavailable (for years and years) and hasn't attached to anything in life.

This insight is very important. I know that my husband was not as emotionally engaged in life as I am...one of his two reasons for leaving me was I am too intense and I talk too much.....this reminded me of a couple of times years before BD......one was getting the diagnosis that our dog had bone cancer...we had to go to a company function that night but when I got home,  in my finery, I laid down on the floor beside her...just hugging this 65 pound lab..after a few minutes he was heading up to bed and he said to me "are you going to lay there all night".....my response "maybe". Off he went....

This animal had been in our family for 13 years...it's just one example of many that I can look back at...because we always say there are some FOO
issues or other trauma that they experienced that prevented them from forming the necessary emotions and reactions that are common for most people.

Great to hear from you Standing!
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

B
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Great update SS….

As always your compassion and empathy shine through your writing and your lust for life is so great to read.

Thanks for the DM’s and checking in on me too, you’re a very good man!
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B
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Here here! SS is the man, his help has got me through some tough situations. Thank you for your insights!
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BD 3/23
Standing
W Still at Home
M-48
W-46

F
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Hi Standing Strong, I am so happy for you about these good news ! This confession is great and your W has made a huge step in the last weeks.

This part of your writing looks outstanding to me :
Quote from: Standing Strong
Then she wants to know what I want for "us". She presses hard - and I shoot right back "No, you don't get an answer to that now. You will fix yourself FIRST before there is ANY talk about that". 
She cries.

W talks about now knowing what is wrong - and it's all her...... but she has no reference point to knowing what to do next. She doesn't know how to proceed. She's been broken all along, and she knows nothing other than being broken (her words).
I totally understand your point : you ask your wife to heal before you can go back to a marriage relationship, right ? Only that, your W says she does not know  what to do, and it looks like to me she is expecting your support/direction/advice. She is already doing IC since a long time, so I can not see what she could do better or differently right now ?
Usually we LBS should not give advices because our sposes under MLC don't want advices and don't ask for them. But this time it is different, no ? What do you think about 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 living at home 16 mths post BD, then keeps moving in & out "for work" in foreign country.
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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Jmo FH - and Standing knows best - but the words sound as if what his wife asked was ‘what he wants for us’. She did not say ‘will you help me?’ Or ‘I need your help with x or y thing I am trying to do’. Or even ‘I have tried x and y which didn’t work so I am thinking I need to try z next but I don’t know how to do that’.

It sounds as if what she said was something like I don’t know what to do. And perhaps was hoping Standing would jump in with a magic to do list so she did not have to deal with the reality of her I don’t know what to do feeling.

Any decent therapist or coach knows that sometimes you have to sit with the discomfort of I don’t know until you feel a big enough need to get unstuck that you want to try something else. That the feeling serves a purpose. Often what you try matters less than the act of trying creates momentum. Tbh most veteran LBS know that feeling too….we come here looking for tips and answers and to do lists but don’t really start moving forwards until we reach our own similar stage. And until then tbh we rarely engage with any tips or advice beyond lip service until we are ready, do we?

Plus, if Standing’s wife does not know what she wants to do, perhaps hasn’t yet got to the point where she can pin down what she sees as the ‘problem’ she wants to tackle in a tangled ball of issues, how on earth could Standing get inside her head enough to know either? And it might inadvertently feed the message that Standing or the marriage is the problem by now being the answer. There’s a big risk imho in trying to play fixer, counsellor or coach to a spouse who is stuck when we have our own agenda and our own assumptions which may not be entirely accurate….even in normal times…..that’s why professionals can be useful. And why we all need to tread respectfully with each other too tbh bc life is rarely one size fits all.  :) It takes some humility and courage though to see where I end and you begin in situations like this, doesn’t it?
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« Last Edit: September 25, 2023, 04:52:00 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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Great to have you back,SS....  and thanks for sharing.

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

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

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

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

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I totally understand your point : you ask your wife to heal before you can go back to a marriage relationship, right ? Only that, your W says she does not know  what to do, and it looks like to me she is expecting your support/direction/advice. She is already doing IC since a long time, so I can not see what she could do better or differently right now ?
Usually we LBS should not give advices because our sposes under MLC don't want advices and don't ask for them. But this time it is different, no ? What do you think about it ?

Hey FH  :D
She has to answer and figure it out on her own...... I really do feel for her right here, but I'm not the answer.
Her core problem is so multifaceted...... and the real issue is - she can't go back. There STILL is no woman for her to learn from (no role model) and thus she has to figure it out on her own and make her best guess with everything she is TODAY.

The thing is, there is no answer to her problem..... and it can't be solved or avoided. That's the solution (IMO). The only thing which really exists is now.... not yesterday and not tomorrow..... now. She can't live in either of those places anymore and neither can I.

When she says "I don't know what to do or how to proceed", well of course she doesn't. When she was young, she needed good women to teach her how to be a woman and how to be a wife...... didn't happen. Just like young men (and boys) need good men to teach them how to be good men and husbands. Everyone needs direct teaching, learning by observation, and correction by those wiser than us....... remove that and you end up with lost people with these big holes in their understanding.
She can't get the past back nor can she undo her early life damage or learn all the needed lessons from missing women, and so she'll have to make her best guess with her new understanding and maturity brought forth by pain (just like we abandoned/betrayed have to also).

Sooooooo..... what I'm looking for is: the realization that she is broken (check), the understanding that her screwed up head stems from the distant past and with it a screwed up heart and perspective (check), genuine remorse for all the screwed up things and choices she's made (being checked now), realization that there's nothing she can do about the past and the maturity to accept what today is and move forward (starting to be checked), a choosing as to what she is going to be/life choice (not checked).

I think it's a very difficult thing for anyone to finally look at themselves and see all which is there (the missing pieces) without filling in the gaps, glossing over, justifying, telling stories, lying....... we are what we are (MLC'er and LBS) and no more than that.

A reoccurring theme of (healed) MLC'ers is "I bear scars"..... which (IMO) is a great sign of maturity and understanding..... a lack of a need to be flawless and perfect and unspoiled.
The wisest of old people I knew growing up, all had a defining characteristic about admitting their flaws and mistakes....... not that they could change them, but that their experiences were a part of them and changed them into someone who could understand. It was these flaws and mistakes and wisdom which made them into someone capable of teaching and guiding. Sadness and regret was there but also an acceptance of what can't be changed, along with a desire to improve, help and atone (thru their mentorship, teaching and guidance).   

LBS all needs this too. I myself bear scars, oh yes I do. Deep ones. Doesn't matter how they arrived, or who inflicted them..... they're here. Lucky for me, they are mine and thus I have power over them: they are not some outside force controlling me. I have pain of what has been lost because of the love given to another (just like all LBS) but I can only be stuck if I do not move forward from the past and accept that what has happened in my life has already happened. It only happens again and again if I live in the past - and people live in the past because they can't resolve that it can't be different.
This is how (I believe) we can forgive...... the hurt and pain is in the past - it is "there" and not "here". Today is today. This is too where the MLC'er has to get..... "today". The MLC'er lives in the past and tries to escape it by leaping into an alternate "future", the LBS lives in the past and tries to reconstruct a path back to a present which no longer exists (until it is finally abandoned). In both cases (IMO) the answer is arriving at "now" with the full knowledge and understanding of the past and ourselves and the revealing of our scars to ourselves and others. Then the "now" is here and a future can be chosen and plotted.
 :D

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

C
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Great updates, SS! And welcome back, sounds like you had a wonderful vacation… though given your positive outlook on life, it seems like even the mundane day to day stuff is pretty wonderful.

Your discussion of your W’s state of mind really resonated with me. My W has had depression off and on for years, since her early teens. She had a depressed mother who was untreated for much of her life… one of those situations where on the surface it looked like a happy family with two parents raising their daughters into successful adults. It’s actually shocking how much trauma can still occur in those families. I say this because my W has been in a pretty severe depression for a while, even as she made her way back to our home and our marriage. And she has talked a lot about the MLC time as “that was such a disaster; I wasn’t me during that time.” And it seems like your W is very much in that place.

It’s so essential as the LBS to do exactly what you are doing at this time - to show love and empathy and to absolutely avoid anything that resembles becoming a “fixer.” That disconnection, pain, trauma… that is hers, and she has to find her way through that. You can love her and support her and be on her team, but you can’t do it for her and you really can’t even tell her how to resolve those things herself. She has to take that journey.

I wish you both strength and peace as she works through her history and as you continue supporting her in whatever way you can. The way you show loving detachment, the balance you strike between wanting your marriage to work while being absolutely sure you will be fine regardless of the outcome - it’s admirable.
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SS, I think that adult women and men can learn from good role models, regardless of whether the role models are women or men.

Unless one espouses that women have only certain roles in a relationship and men have other defined roles, seeing other humans in healthy relationships can help any human learn about healthy relationships.
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So glad to read how well you are doing in this long process!
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Married 23 years
Husband is 46
Me-42
4 kids 9-18 years old
BD-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, 2 OW at different times.
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.
Oct 2019-Apologized for a years worth of monster behavior.  Still wants to start divorce this Spring, is distant, but friendly.  Tries more with kids, but superficial.
2020-He has continued to help out when asked and be polite.  I do think he questions his choices at times.  I do not believe he has OW.
Oct 2020-He wants to get back together.  I am unsure. 
August 2021-.  He has shown very gradual, but consistent progress.  He moved back home.
December 2022-He has been home for 1 1/2 years reconnecting, in the room with me for several months. I now consider us reconciled.
October 2023-After two years home and being the man he should be, I finally fully let him back into my heart.

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Hi SS,

Great to hear the progress with your W and the difficult things that she is slowly confronting.   Your journey sharing the brokenness and thoughts that your W is talking continues to be helpful to me.   Due to my kid's activities, I still see my XW all the time and I only get a glimpse into the brokenness.  I see that she is still lost and completely broken but I get a snapshot.   Your story helps me to at least understand and accept my situation.

Have a great time at the pin pall conference and maybe you'll make it to my area someday for for the pinball conference here in TX.

HF
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W - 42
M - 46
Together 19 years, M 17
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021
D Final - Jan 2022

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Journaling  :D

Hmmmmmm.... it's been a couple months (I think) since I last posted.
I'm doing awesome.
Went on vacation to the pinball expo in Chicago (hadn't been to Chicago in 26 years)..... the show was AMAZING!!! Another thing checked off the bucket list. HA!!! It exceeded my expectations, so much fun....... now to get anther pinball machine next year  :P 8)
That's two vacations in two months..... and another to come in Dec.
W asked "What are you doing??? What's with all these trips???"
"I'm having fun".  ;D
HAHAHAHAAHAHA

I don't remember if I mentioned a couple months ago she admitted what she's done in a very round-about way..... but she did. Since then she's occasionally been lightly asking about "us" (after that very direct asking that I turned down). Well, I'm still not biting and I'm not going to bite unless I'm happy to do so, and completely believe her (which I don't)..... AND..... the rest of my life (if it's going to be with her) has to be a good deal (for me) and I don't know if that's the case....... soooooooo.... I'm a wait and see and evaluate. I know thru and thru - the choice is mine..... so I'll make sure the next choice is a good one. I didn't brake anything, and I have my honor intact, so I'm just not obligated to automatically give everything for nothing. Now I get to be choosy and have conditions.

Last night the oddest thing happened...... well, actually the couple nights....... she's been coming home late again, working long hours..... anyway..... she comes home, and right to the piano she goes...... she plays for hours..... completely lost in her world, only now she isn't stuck on one song like during her MLC - she plays EVERYTHING that comes to mind. Last night she came home (not late for once) and played for three hours straight. After playing, she went into the kitchen AND COOKED DINNER!!! OMG!!! The last five years, cooking twice a year would be a lot for her. She didn't announce it, she just did it..... oh, and before she got on the piano, she got home before me and walked the dog so I wouldn't have to!!!!  :o
Who is this person?  ;)
She's even got on the pinball and played and played (by herself).


Not complaining, it's soooooo alien for there to be consideration without "LOOK AT ME!!!!".
Anyways, it was really nice..... she even asked "did it surprise you?"....... um, let's see..... YEAH!!!  ;D

She's getting ready for her Christmas trip to South America and paying off the condo. It'll be interesting to see if she even cares about it afterward (she doesn't seem to care about it at all now).
Here in a couple weeks is her birthday. I can ask her about it, and there's no emotion to it at all: completely neutral. How about that? It was so traumatic and unwanted the last several years. Has she given up with her fight against aging?
She's been very vocal about wanting to know what is next for her life, and wanting to start the next part of life with some task or role worthy of her time, effort, and it being fulfilling.
Sounds like she's getting close to the end (which I knew already). Who this person will be is still a mystery. Seems very similar to the person from before - but there is a change about how time is spent: "That isn't important" "I don't have time to waste on that" "That isn't interesting"...... so in a way, a certain type of peace is forming, and a more efficient use of time more tuned to things which actually matter to her (instead of worrying about everything) is coming into play.
Very interesting to see. Seems very obvious the next phase of her life is taking hold - and once it does, it'll never let go. So it really is goodbye to the old, and hello to whatever this will be.

As for me, I don't know what I feel about this. It's all theory until you're looking at it. As a man (  ;D ) it's easy to assume that "here's a broken woman, she's going to get patched up and then she'll like before but a little different" - only to really discover the rules are a changing. HA!!!!  :P
You ladies are lucky (IMO) = us guys don't really change over the course of our lives. But ladies on the other hand, you change a whole bunch don't you.....  ;)   That's not your fault, but us guys think that things will essentially be the same forever.  :-X We're funny aren't we? LOL!!!

Well anyway, that's my life. Com'on Dec!!! I'm ready for another vacation!!! Time to plan for next year!!!
Five years ago I was hesitant about one vacation a year...... I was so used to work work work, and doing things was a "someday". Now I can't get enough. I want to see things, do things, have fun, check things off the list. I must seem to be this whirlwind of activity to W. Now SHE is on the sidelines watching ME run.
Feels good.

One day at a time,

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

R
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Quote
You ladies are lucky (IMO) = us guys don't really change over the course of our lives.

What an interesting thing to say on this forum. You might want to take a look at some of the other threads
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« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 07:48:39 PM by Reinventing »

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Quote
You ladies are lucky (IMO) = us guys don't really change over the course of our lives.

What an interesting thing to say on this forum. You might want to take a look at some of the other threads
Hi Re,
Maybe I should have said unbroken men...... but even then, broken or not..... what do men want their whole lives? There's only a small handful of things. They always go back to those core wants/needs. Always. The only time they stop is when they don't believe it's possible anymore or the cost is too great.
You don't agree?
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M - 46
Together 28 years, M 25
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

R
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I think that all humans have basic needs of food, water, and usually shelter to stay alive, yes.

Beyond that, I think that all humans have core needs beyond basic needs--hence the word core--and more elaborate needs beyond the core based on culture, means, and experience.

I don't think gender identity has one gender stop at only core needs and another gender be more elaborate. I think humans fluctuate between meeting basic, core and more elaborate needs every day.

I think that simplifying or minimizing one human group as compared to another human group has been shown to be fraught with folly over and over and over in history. Be it gender identity, culture, race or any other category we construct to group humans into.
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M
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Quote
Quote
You ladies are lucky (IMO) = us guys don't really change over the course of our lives.

What an interesting thing to say on this forum. You might want to take a look at some of the other threads
Hi Re,
Maybe I should have said unbroken men...... but even then, broken or not..... what do men want their whole lives? There's only a small handful of things. They always go back to those core wants/needs. Always. The only time they stop is when they don't believe it's possible anymore or the cost is too great.
You don't agree?
Goodness. Little taken a back. I would have to say I totally disagree on this. Broken or not broken. Maybe your wife and experience has jaded things to not be so clearly? Viewing only by her brokenness??? IDK. I don’t think anyone can be grouped into any category of how things are. I could very easily say this about men, if I view it only by my XH. But…. Of course that would not be fair, because he is his own issues and comparing him to men in general would be extremely unfair. IDK….just my opinion, but I was a little shocked you stated this.
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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

N

Nas

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SS, I believe even our opinions and beliefs are often formed in service of our individual needs (even if they’re unconscious). So if I may be so bold, your insistence that you know ALL women and all men (to the point that you won’t hire women for your team) is serving something for you that’s worth exploring and challenging.
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« Last Edit: November 05, 2023, 07:18:32 AM by Nas »
“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

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Seconding Nas´suggestion.
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me 51
H 51
M 27
BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

E
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Quote
You ladies are lucky (IMO) = us guys don't really change over the course of our lives.

What an interesting thing to say on this forum. You might want to take a look at some of the other threads
Hi Re,
Maybe I should have said unbroken men...... but even then, broken or not..... what do men want their whole lives? There's only a small handful of things. They always go back to those core wants/needs. Always. The only time they stop is when they don't believe it's possible anymore or the cost is too great.
You don't agree?

You can't lump all woman and all men together (as others have stated). We're all individuals and we all change as we grow and age. Even you SS:

Quote
Five years ago I was hesitant about one vacation a year...... I was so used to work work work, and doing things was a "someday". Now I can't get enough. I want to see things, do things, have fun, check things off the list.

 ;)
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M: 53 (48 @ BD), H: 55 (51 @ BD); Married 20yrs, together 23yrs
D: 24 (19 @ BD), D: 22 (17 @ BD), 'Extra D': 22 (17 @ BD)
BD (that I didn't recognise as such) Easter 2018
BD 9th Sep 2018
OW - he (supposedly) met her in the pub a week before BD, told me about her a week after BD. Thinks 'their planets have collided' because 'their eyes met across the room' and they had an 'instant connection'. Lives with her. Is building a life with her.
Jun 20: H plans to buy a block of land and build a house with her (never happens).
May 22: Movement... (likely T&G? Time will tell I guess)
May 23: Yep, definitely a T&G last year. Still have contact but very minimal. He is a long way away from me these days. He doesn't seem particularly happy in his new life... but he's still there soooo....

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Journaling

I can't believe how fast time is flying by..... I haven't been able to figure out when the last time I posted here is either (maybe I should check the time stamps)  ;D

W....... Hmmmmm....... W.......
W is flying ahead. Her personality is drastically changing. She is "split" now.... which is very interesting to see. It's the complete opposite of what happened after BD: Part of the time, she is angry, frustrated, and seemingly wants to lash out at everything. This has increased recently.... before she was "cooking" and mostly passive with a whole lot of attempts to (sorta) reconnect. This newly more aggressive part has appeared several times in the last month. I'm not sure if I would call it monster because it's not directed at me.... anyway, it's a reappearance of something angry, dark and depressed.

Then there is the other part..... this part is happy, kind, fun, caring and has genuine empathy.  :o ;D ;) This part is showing up more and more. Just tonight, I was playing pinball, and she wanders over "I'll play a game" and then she plays three games....... unafraid to poke fun at herself as she drains, and commenting at how addictive the game is.  :o She plays with the animals, and when she notices a little creature is in need of love, she scoops it up, pets it and hugs it. Very wonderful to see.
It' funny how as they progress, and you see them making moves in the right direction.... how starved you are of the person you loved, and how sensitive you are to the pieces that pop up, and you're like "it's her!!!"...... and it is..... but it's a little of her, not the full-on version. HA!!!
Anyway...... this piece which keeps making appearances, it's the most complete "Version" of the person I once knew..... but it's a person from way, way, way in the past...... and also different. Different in a peaceful way which hasn't ever really existed before..... it "Feels" very different (and I know this person very well, of course), it's totally devoid of conflict. This part, I like. This part I like a lot...... but it's odd too. I was concerned about how I would feel about this person when all is said and done (you know, at the end)..... if this part is the "real" her that is emerging...... it isn't the person which has been around that last, forever. This person is way better than the woman I remember. At this point (I'm sad to say), I can no longer remember my wife being fun. It's been too long..... oh I have knowledge that it was there at some point in the very distant past, but I can't put my finger on when, or how...... isn't that the darnedest thing?

Well, here's hoping that this is what's happening.... time will tell, but I know this MLC experience is coming to an end. I can feel it, I know it. It's drawing closer and closer. A very curious thought is: how will this change me? It will. There's no escaping that. I guess I'll see.  :P

On to me!!!
Working out again..... the knees and back are either healed or close to healed...... good enough. Time to chase the mythical 6-pack and hunt down the beast. Into the bucket it will go, and I drag it back to my cave and tame it.  8) HA!!!
In a month it's time for another vacation, this time to Vegas. Once again alone, and then W goes to South America again. I get the feeling she doesn't really care about going other than it's a break to rest from work. There's no pressing anticipation like before, and even her condo closing and signing papers on this trip seem to hold zero excitement for her. She's asking about my trips for next year, and I think the odds are good that for the 1st time in five years - I'll not be traveling solo. I could be wrong. Either way, they'll be great - so it doesn't matter. All I know is, I'm super pumped about haunted houses at Universal in 2024!!!  ;D

On to the little hound!!
The terror of the neighborhood is ultra happy and spoiled. He just got a stuffed turkey (stuffed animal dog toy) and he loves it. W has been playing with him every night and loading him up with affection, play and love. I've never seen him so pleased as he is now. He has the good life, and it makes me very happy to see the joy this little creature has. There's nothing like the love a little dog so generously gives to their family.

On to the holidays!!
W is still deathly afraid of seeing my family. She's running away to her sister's for Thanksgiving, and then gone for Christmas and New Years.
I'll be visiting both sides of the family for both (as I have all along), so no skin off my nose. Just a "normal" (for MLC) holiday.
Oh, that reminds me..... time for Hallmark ornaments!!! I can't believe there hasn't been a tree since MLC began. Someday.... and it will be a joyful day when it comes.

That's my life, and I'm sticking to it.  ;)

One day at a time,

-SS
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Together 28 years, M 25
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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Good to see an update SS.  It's interesting to read your analysis on your wife's MLC.  You definitely have a good view front row.  I commend you for your patience in all of it.  It's not easy living with a MLC'er.
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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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SS-

Always great to hear these check ins. Glad it’s going well, let me know about Vegas, I’m overdue for a trip down that way!
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BD 3/23
Standing
W Still at Home
M-48
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Oh, that reminds me..... time for Hallmark ornaments!!! I can't believe there hasn't been a tree since MLC began. Someday.... and it will be a joyful day when it comes.

I’m staying in town this year and getting a tree. Two years ago, I didn’t think I would this soon, but life is short. I’m sure there will be some sadness decorating alone, and I probably won’t use “our” travel ornaments, but I’ve got plenty other great ones to use.

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! I am thankful that I have a mute button for all of the extra crap they shove into the parade… :)

JB
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Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of stops and starts. They're ends we don't desire, but they're inevitable and we have to face them. That's what being human is all about.  -Jet Black, Cowboy Bebop

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Thank you SS. Interesting to hear the progression of a live in MLCer.

Mine left immediately after BD and it’s only been 3+ months since. Will be my first holiday alone today. Pretty sure I won’t be decorating for Xmas either.

Debating which is worse- leaver or stayer. Probably pros and cons to each. Hoping the best for you and your family!!
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Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving.

I am thankful that you have been willing to share your observations about your wife's crisis. And how you have built your own life as well, without ever deserting her.

Your observations about the various "persona" that an MLCer becomes...sometimes it seems rather like "multiple personalities" although I know it is not.

I think they get exhausted from the many faces they show to the world.

Yet you have let her go do her thing, continuing to show respect for her as a person and love.

Thank you for sharing your story here. There are many who benefit from your story.
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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Quote from: xyzcf
Thank you for sharing your story here. There are many who benefit from your story.
I totally agree with this comment and I thank you to take the time to document your story here, as I am one of the many who benefits from readind it.

I wish you the best !

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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 living at home 16 mths post BD, then keeps moving in & out "for work" in foreign country.
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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Happy New Year!!!!

It's been.... months.  :P

Hmmmmm, what all has gone on? Well, I went on vacation (awesome) to Las Vegas, and then W went to her mom's for the holidays (the usual).
So little to report except that life is good and wonderful.
I came home in Dec and right away started booking trips for the whole year.  ;D Four vacations this year!!!! A new record for me!!!  :P

So, what about W? Well, she paid off her condo in South America and has a renter.... so I guess she's happy about that, but really..... it doesn't seem to matter one bit. The excitement is gone, now it's just something she has. Maybe it makes her feel more secure, or maybe some accomplishment, but whatever it is: it's done. She is extremely like herself before MLC, hard to tell the difference EXCEPT for the guilt she's carrying, and the unwillingness to face what she has done. Until she does that: I don't believe joy can return. Her foo/early damage: I think it's all buttoned up - now she only has the new damage she has created. This year she will come forward and begin to heal it, I will not allow this to drag on indefinitely. It will not be avoided forever. Of course, there could still be that final crash before it happens..... I can see why that would be so devastating to an LBS at this point. She is still going to her counseling on the regular, I see the receipts..... but I haven't heard a peep about it in a really long time. Part of me wonders what is going on there at this point, but it isn't my business so I remind myself of that fact.  :-X

On to me!!! I'm back on the full blown exercise regime and hardcore diet. Nothing to do with New Years, I just got tired of waiting for my injury to heal. FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
I'm going back to Vegas in five weeks...... new hotels to check off the list, new shows to go see.  :D
It's all rather funny: When W got back from the holidays (she was gone a month away) - I gave her the dates for all my trips this year...... she just looked at me and blinked. "ok". I has to be an eye opener that so much has changed, and she's been left behind. No neediness, no expectations, not even hopeful invitations...... just movement. Always movement. Catch me if you can.  ;)
When she wants something, I say "I'll put that on my list" (and I do).... but it's not a priority. When it aligns with my plans, it gets done (and not before). She still gets kindness, and minor thoughtful things, but nothing major. My little emotional black hole has to grow up and generate happiness on her own now...... and she's left to do exactly that. She's figuring it out very slowly, but she IS figuring it out. As for me: I'm possibly the happiest I've ever been in my life. No longer a power generator for someone else, I'm thriving on my own energy, and I burn bright!!  8)
You should see the people at work..... it's like "who is this guy?". Awesome.

On to the little hound!! He graduated to sleeping in the bed with us around Thanksgiving. I brought him in, and he's stayed there ever since. He LOVES IT!!!  ;D His mood is better, he's happier, more toned down..... and I like knowing the little guy is there. He squashes himself between us and always has one part touching W, and another part touching me. He is very spoiled, and very loved. The good life. In return he gives so much joy and affection.

MIL and her BF will be coming to stay for a couple months sometime later in the year. That means whatever potential drama will be tempered until they come and leave...... and I have noticed that ALL alternative plans W used to have are completely gone. She seems to think that everything is just going to cruse along from here on out. No, there will be a reckoning.

My MLC'er friend at work.... I hadn't talked to her since somewhere around Halloween...... I just knew she needed some time...... well, I went to see her the other day and check on her. It was time. She's doing fine, seemingly improved. I give her an update on W, and as always she is very curious and asks a lot of questions. Then I ask about her and her H........ she was at the breaking point last time (or at least she thought she was  ;D ) and she looks at me with this little smile and a small voice.... "I'm trying......". Oh yes!!! HA!! There it is, that's what I was looking for. She goes on to talk about how frustrated her H is with her, so I give her some tips on how to deal with him and also encourage her progress. It's a slow thing, but she has just a little hope..... and that's enough. Only need a grain of sand and the ocean can come back in.  :D The difference for her was hearing about W and how things have changed over time.... it has made her wonder if she could possibly follow the same path.... and so she's trying.
I think she's going to have a good year starting to inch forward in the right direction. I can see it. I'm so very happy: her life would have been a disaster trying to start over...... she joked about needing to lose some weight and how hard it is at her age.... we both laughed since it's something we're both trying to do.

I have two other women (at work) who were showing some warning signs that I've been helping (both good friends, but sheesh, I think I'm naturally drawn to these people. HA!!!!). Anyway, they were both showing early resentment towards their H's.... one in her late 30's the other in her late 40's about to turn 50...... one of them was starting to get sweet on me (oh no.... nip that in the bud), so I was asking questions (like always) and steering them back towards trust with their H's. One of them is taking her H on an entire week getaway next week  8), and the other is making plans to run away with her H also (reconnection trip).
It really makes me wonder about how important good people on the periphery to the MLC'er.... both in the early and later stages. It makes me wonder about how things were back in the old days when the world wasn't so connected and people actually had real relationships with their neighbors. So much bad stuff out there which is so easy to ingest, and it's the job of friends to care and step in when someone is having a rough time (instead of being a wimp and just siting on the sidelines watching = that's no friend at all).

Well, here's to the New Year..... and it's going to be a fabulous one (cause I said so).

One day, one year, at a time.....

-SS
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« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 08:14:23 PM by Standing Strong »
W - 43
M - 46
Together 28 years, M 25
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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Good to hear from you, SS.

Kind of funny to see both of us rolling into 6th year here soon. Where did all those years go as in the beginning even days and weeks seemed to crawl ;D

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

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

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

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

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Alvin!!!

Hey man, how are you doing?
6 years already? HA!! I guess that's right..... well, 5 years complete and starting on the 6th anyway.  :P

Time keeps on ticking.

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

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Hi SS!

So good to see your post and that you’re doing well. I always follow along.
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Together 12 yrs Married 5
5 kids 3- Step (21) (20) (18) Two together ( 8 ) (9)
BD1 March 2018 - I wish I could give you more of what you need
BD2 Aug 2018 - I want a divorce sent by text ILWYBNILWY

O/M Discovered Nov-18

Divorce final Nov-21

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Hey F5  ;D I hope you're doing good my friend  :D

Journaling:

Today is my 5 year anniversary of BD!!!  :o  ;)
Hard to believe so much time has gone by, I can scarcely recognize the person I was at the beginning next to the person I am now...... the same, and not.
Back then I was so worried about saving the marriage, and so concerned about "how long with this take?", "what about OM?", "what about vows, love, history......" on and on........ It had to be that way, but it sure wasn't fun.  ;)

The best time of my life is here right now, and ahead of me. I'm very blessed. Doesn't mean much hasn't been sacrificed - it has (and then some)..... but it has absolutely been worth it.
Shocking.... 5 years..... it some ways it has gone by so fast, and in some ways so slow. It is curious. I suppose it is the work which takes so long, and it certainly is the journey and not the destination which is so important (and rewarding). I have to say, I'm fortunate and lucky to experience MLC from this perspective and not from the broken-down person side. What I have gained I value beyond measure. The future, no matter what, is very bright.  8)

On to W!!! Almost there, almost there...... each time I think "she's almost there", I learn how much more she has to go!!! HA!!! The signs are all there, the changes are happening (most are done), and right when I think she just has to turn the light on and "Get it", there is more to the race, more distance to traverse, more fear to overcome.
She is at the point of being too fearful to reach out and connect to those she abandoned...... and this has to be one of the main final things to do. Her values are back, her thinking is back, memories are back, mannerisms back, smiles back, concern for others back...... so close, just that pesky finish line to drag herself over (something I can't do - nor would allow myself to do). At the end is the avoidance of what has been done and acknowledgement of pain inflicted,  oh I can't imagine how hard that would be to take responsibility and accountability for it...... she is at this point: it is known but unspoken. To admit would be to open the dam to a flood of consequence.... and I will allow this to continue for a time, and if she doesn't open the flood gates: I will. I'm proud she has come this far - I know it has been hell, and I know another hell will come when that last wall is broken down.

It is an interesting thing to think about though: what will happen then? Will "we" survive? Or be swept away by consequence? HA!! "We".... "we" was destroyed - can there be "we 2.0"? I know for certain she is very afraid of this, and a big reason why she is avoiding it. I on the other hand am not really concerned one way or the other. Everything has changed because I have changed. I no longer "need". I don't think she does either. My expectations of another human has dramatically fallen, and I accept that people are just people: flaws and all, even if some are beyond reason.  I know I have done my part, and had I not: she would have been lost forever many times over. In that respect, have I truly loved and upheld my promises? Yes. Oh yes. Do I expect anyone to ever do the same for me? No. That time has passed, it shall never come again. What I dreamed of having, I didn't have, and never did.... I projected what I was onto her, and expected her to be what I thought she should be. This was not right, but I didn't know any better. I had a broken woman from the start, and it was always her future to crack and buckle under her own stress. It was never my place or purpose to fix and mend her core self (even thought I thought it was thru love). It was my place and purpose to be unbroken so that she could have a chance to mend herself. She got her chance, and used it.

Well, here's to 5 years...... figured I'm come and let my brain dump out whatever is in it. HA!!!

One day, One year, at a time....

-SS
   
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So great to hear from you! Glad that you are doing well. It's been a long journey and hard work.

You flourish and yet still remained in very close contact with your wife. It can be done when we let go of all expectations. That of course is the difficult thing to do.

Your observations of your wife over the years and the changes in her have been very helpful, we see the cracks, we see their pain...and as much as we would like to do so, this is their journey, and the changes that happen to both of us do mean we are different ...but then, we would have been different over a span of 5 years anyway...but perhaps, the differences would have been "together" rather than such a wide distance apart.

Will there be a 2.0.? Time will tell. And I look forward to hearing more as time goes on.

These are broken people, broken from past history and whatever else caused their crisis.......broken people need love and you show her that love is still possible.

Thank you for your words, your dedication to your wife and your faith. Thank you for coming back and sharing your story.
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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Still following along, my friend.  And still two months ahead of you, LOL ::)

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

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

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

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

H
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SS,

How about an update on….

The six pack
Your vacation plans
Your furry friend
Pinball

Great work as always!

HD



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M58
Together 27 years & Married 22 at BD & 25 at D-Day
S24 S22
BD 9/29/19 (Moved out unannounced while I was away for weekend with no prior warning.)
Served D on 10/19/20 and D Final 11/10/2022

M
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Good journalling. I think one of the best things to come out of this mess has been learning to not have those expectations. Not expecting people to do what I would do. We set ourselves up for disappointment. That alone has been  freeing .
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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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So great to hear from you! Glad that you are doing well. It's been a long journey and hard work.

You flourish and yet still remained in very close contact with your wife. It can be done when we let go of all expectations. That of course is the difficult thing to do.

Your observations of your wife over the years and the changes in her have been very helpful, we see the cracks, we see their pain...and as much as we would like to do so, this is their journey, and the changes that happen to both of us do mean we are different ...but then, we would have been different over a span of 5 years anyway...but perhaps, the differences would have been "together" rather than such a wide distance apart.

Will there be a 2.0.? Time will tell. And I look forward to hearing more as time goes on.

These are broken people, broken from past history and whatever else caused their crisis.......broken people need love and you show her that love is still possible.

Thank you for your words, your dedication to your wife and your faith. Thank you for coming back and sharing your story.

Hi XYZ  ;D
It's really nice to see them healing, and slowly figuring themselves out. Mine is very similar to before, but also different. A weight of a sorts is gone, I think she is much more genuine than before...... but still, that weight has been replaced by another: now it is her which is walking on eggshells of a kind. How the tables turn..... wanting to connect, but not knowing how, and added to it: guilt, shame, and the intense desire to hide both. Not accountable yet...... but someday.

I wish it didn't take all these years, and all this damage, and the new knots to undo..... but there's no other way. Still..... I would see her healed than live a life which is false and pretend. I want my life to be REAL..... and it is. I can't imagine what it would be like any other way. For that, I'm very glad she will either get all the way there, or at least most of the way there. I wonder if any of them get all the way there.... it seems like (the ones I've talked to with MLC in their past) what is new is permanent but what was old, or damaged is like a regret and a loss.

Sure would be nice to have someone love you like we love our spouses. It almost seems fantasy-like. HA!!! But no one will ever love them like we loved them, and I think they come to know that too.

-SS
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Still following along, my friend.  And still two months ahead of you, LOL ::)

Alvin

Alvin!!! HA!!!  ;D

Two months ahead of me!!! NO WAY!!!!  ;)
How are you doing? I really need to catch up on your thread. I've been away so much, I don't even know how far back to go anymore.

-SS
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Together 28 years, M 25
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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SS,

How about an update on….

The six pack
Your vacation plans
Your furry friend
Pinball

Great work as always!

HD

HD!!!! Another thread I need to catchup on!!! How are you?  :D

I'm wonderful my friend!!! Life is gooooooodddddd!!!
Losing weight, the six pack will be mine!!!!  ;D 8) I'm about to start lifting again..... I think I've figured out that I do better lifting than tons of cardio. Soooooo, I'm going to put on 30lbs of muscle and see what that does. That used to be easy - guess I'll see how hard it is now that I'm a bit older. 20lbs would be ok. 

Lots of travel, one Vegas trip down, another at the end of the year..... pinball show in half a year, and Halloween at Universal once again!!! It's a packed year of travel..... and once again: all alone.  :D Well, at least for the time being. You never know...... HA!!!  I'm super excited because on one trip, I'm going 1st class!!! Wooohooo!!! I've never done that before, but it's on my bucket list. Got an incredible deal where it was the same price as a regular ticket - so I took it. Very exciting.

The little hound is a delight as always..... he has friends in the neighborhood and visits them two or three times a day on his walks...... always culminating with him peeing in their yard, on their plants, or on their wall. He is a little boy thru and thru..... and his daddy is very proud of him.
He still (as always) gravitates to W: he is her emotional support creature.... and he takes his job very seriously.  ;D He sleeps in the bed with us, last night he was growling in his sleep on woke us up. Very cute. He comes and gets me so I go to the bed and be with him and W..... he tries to be a little matchmaker.

Pinball? Oh yes!!!! I'm going to the show again this year (going to be awesome), and I've adopted a new rule: One machine a year..... so I'm gearing up to get another one (W doesn't know yet.... HA!!!). I figure by the time I retire, I'll have a small collection to put on location at an amusement & food joint I'd like to open. The funniest thing is, there's another Elvira pinball I'd absolutely love to have. HA!!! Not this year, but some other year? Oh yes.  ;D

Well, that's my life.... and it's a good one. Lots of work, lots to do, and a whole lot to enjoy and look forward to. Having something on the horizon has been super helpful, and I won't let another moment go by in my life without something planned. Even booked two trips to Vegas next year, just so that they're there (can always cancel or reschedule). More life, more fun, more things to see and do. How can W resist? I don't know, but I can't resist!!! HA!!!  :P

-SS
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BD - 27th April 2019
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Good journalling. I think one of the best things to come out of this mess has been learning to not have those expectations. Not expecting people to do what I would do. We set ourselves up for disappointment. That alone has been  freeing .

Hey ML!!! Long time no talk!!  ;)

Yes, no expectations, expectations are bad........

The tide came in and dragged W away........ the tide was still hungry and came in again to get me, and I played in the water. The tide was confused and went away.

W washed up on the beach, and found me still there. "You're still here?!?!? I thought you'd be gone"....... Nope..... like my sandcastle? (as the dog pees on the sandcastle = if daddy built it, it must be his)

HA!!!  8) ;D ;)

-SS
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Oh... I forgot something.......

My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary and were going to have lunch. I invited W....... her response: "Do they want me there?". You see, she still thinks they hate her...... of course when she says that, I ask "why would they hate you?"...... I get no answer.  ::) :P

So she didn't go..... they always need that out.... just aren't ready yet.
My father however, didn't want her there and asked that I not bring her (I didn't know this when I asked her).
So it all worked out ok..... but there is much work to be done.... not just in W, but in my family as well. It's very unfortunate that people are unable to forgive: not themselves, and not others.

There is no way forward without forgiveness.... and what reason do we have to not forgive? Sure, people hurt us..... things don't work out the way we want or imagine. Life isn't fair..... things we value are lost. Irreplaceable things are broken..... lives are changed without our choice.
But the one thing we do have control and power over, is ourselves..... what we are, how we are, and what we choose to be.
I have pain, and I have lost.... but I will forgive. No matter what: I will forgive. It is my choice, and it is within my power. How disappointing that others, who are either responsible, or have not shared in the pain to my extent are unable to forgive. I do not understand this, except that it is the only choice they are capable of at this time... and that they need patience and understanding if they are to be shown the way.... the right way..... the only way.

How easy it is to harden the heart, to be unworthy, to turn away, and close the eyes. How simple it would be to not feel again, to protect oneself until they are not even alive anymore. How seductive it would be to reject until one was truly and completely alone...... No. Not me. I will not bear hard feelings, mistrust, nor carry with me the ghosts of the past. Today I am alive, and free, and I shine. I forgive, I forgave, and someday I will forget. 

-SS
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Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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Your post is so beautiful SS. I admire you immensely. Thank you for sharing.
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Nice to read your post SS, as always!

Life sounds great for you, I'm so glad you're enjoying it to the full.
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I wonder if it is easier to forgive those who hurt us than it is to forgive those who hurt people we love and feel powerless to protect perhaps? Certainly I found it so.

Whether we - or our spouses - like it or not, years of this kind of behaviour changes the shared landscape and how others view them. And us maybe. That might be sad, but it’s normal and reasonable that it does.
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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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SS-

Great update! 5 years, I don’t know how you do it, but im glad you’re here helping us newbies out.
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W Still at Home
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Still following along, my friend.  And still two months ahead of you, LOL ::)

Alvin

Alvin!!! HA!!!  ;D

Two months ahead of me!!! NO WAY!!!!  ;)
How are you doing? I really need to catch up on your thread. I've been away so much, I don't even know how far back to go anymore.

-SS

Living best of my life too (if excluding some health woes ). And still growing and evolving to become best version me, LOL.

For better or worse my XW is still out there, with zero/minimum contact.  I guess it just shows how individual the MLCr timelines can be... But I'm definitely keeping my thumbs up for you two

Alvin
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« Last Edit: May 02, 2024, 10:04:32 AM by AlvinTheMaker »
At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

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

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

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

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There is no way forward without forgiveness.... and what reason do we have to not forgive? Sure, people hurt us..... things don't work out the way we want or imagine. Life isn't fair..... things we value are lost. Irreplaceable things are broken..... lives are changed without our choice.
But the one thing we do have control and power over, is ourselves..... what we are, how we are, and what we choose to be.
I have pain, and I have lost.... but I will forgive. No matter what: I will forgive. It is my choice, and it is within my power. How disappointing that others, who are either responsible, or have not shared in the pain to my extent are unable to forgive. I do not understand this, except that it is the only choice they are capable of at this time... and that they need patience and understanding if they are to be shown the way.... the right way..... the only way.

How easy it is to harden the heart, to be unworthy, to turn away, and close the eyes. How simple it would be to not feel again, to protect oneself until they are not even alive anymore. How seductive it would be to reject until one was truly and completely alone...... No. Not me. I will not bear hard feelings, mistrust, nor carry with me the ghosts of the past. Today I am alive, and free, and I shine. I forgive, I forgave, and someday I will forget. 

-SS

Hi SS,

Loved your post on forgiveness and 100% agree on the power of forgiveness as working to not let your heart be hardened by the hurt.   I am on the path to forgiveness but still have some internal work to open my heart to others.   

Glad to hear you are doing so well and a new pinball machine every year sounds fun.

HF
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M - 46
Together 19 years, M 17
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021
D Final - Jan 2022

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Wow, catching up and you sound like you are doing great!  Hopefully that last bit of healing and taking accountability happens.  It’s always been so fascinating to read the updates as I feel like it gives a window into MLC some of us don’t get. 
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Oh... I forgot something.......

My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary and were going to have lunch. I invited W....... her response: "Do they want me there?". You see, she still thinks they hate her...... of course when she says that, I ask "why would they hate you?"...... I get no answer.  ::) :P

So she didn't go..... they always need that out.... just aren't ready yet.
My father however, didn't want her there and asked that I not bring her (I didn't know this when I asked her).
So it all worked out ok..... but there is much work to be done.... not just in W, but in my family as well. It's very unfortunate that people are unable to forgive: not themselves, and not others.

There is no way forward without forgiveness.... and what reason do we have to not forgive? Sure, people hurt us..... things don't work out the way we want or imagine. Life isn't fair..... things we value are lost. Irreplaceable things are broken..... lives are changed without our choice.
But the one thing we do have control and power over, is ourselves..... what we are, how we are, and what we choose to be.
I have pain, and I have lost.... but I will forgive. No matter what: I will forgive. It is my choice, and it is within my power. How disappointing that others, who are either responsible, or have not shared in the pain to my extent are unable to forgive. I do not understand this, except that it is the only choice they are capable of at this time... and that they need patience and understanding if they are to be shown the way.... the right way..... the only way.

How easy it is to harden the heart, to be unworthy, to turn away, and close the eyes. How simple it would be to not feel again, to protect oneself until they are not even alive anymore. How seductive it would be to reject until one was truly and completely alone...... No. Not me. I will not bear hard feelings, mistrust, nor carry with me the ghosts of the past. Today I am alive, and free, and I shine. I forgive, I forgave, and someday I will forget. 

-SS
Here's the deal, though, SS. Your W has not asked for your father's forgiveness. Words seem to change meaning over time.  In my time, it was not my place to bestow my "Forgiveness" from on high if no one asked for forgiveness. Now, if one repents, then forgiveness is in order.

There is plenty of ways forward without "forgiveness" that is not asked for. My forgiving someone who does not want or think they need forgiveness is like giving an ice cream cone to a person who doesn't want or need one. It means nothing to them because it wasn't what they wanted or expected. People will say "Forgiveness is for you", but that is only the case if you feel you need for forgiveness for something you have done, not if YOU think someone else needs it. Who am I to bestow MY forgiveness on someone who doesn't want it? Who am I to mind read what someone else wants or needs? How condescending would that make me to think I know best what someone else wants?

In my world, acceptance it the key. I accept that whoever is going to do whatever. I then take a care of myself (and anyone or thing who is unable to care for themselves) knowing full well that that person is going to do whatever. If that person does hurtful things then I accept that they will do those things, but I don't need to "forgive" those hurtful things to keep going forward. Yet if there is repentance for those hurtful things, that is when forgiveness comes into play. At that point, the person acknowledges that their behavior has harmed another, apologizes for the behavior and asks for forgiveness, and usually seeks to make amends for what they have done. Forgiveness is for those who want it. That is how I was raised and what I still believe.

Your father may very well be able to forgive your W, if she ever repents. That part will be up to her. But he has every right to accept that she has been a not very good wife to you and not want to converse with that. I don't like talking to angry people. I don't need to forgive them, I just need to accept that that is who they are, and keep my distance because I get to choose who I want to hang with.

One person's perspective regarding semantics.
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When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

 

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