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Author Topic: Discussion  Old Timers thread 6

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Discussion Old Timers thread 6
#100: June 05, 2022, 01:23:42 PM
T&L,

Yes, very odd. I think some of these things point to the brain dysfunction some of us feel is involved in MLC. MLCers don't seem to think very carefully about what is appropriate or not. Of course, the biggest “inappropriate” thing they do is run from their M's, giving no effort towards exploring or resolving whatever feeble or ridiculous excuses they come up with for what is so wrong with their M's.

They don't seem to analyze very carefully what hooking up with whatever OW they have will lead to (& yes, yours must take the cake for a record number of OWs!). About 6 months after BD I rather sarcastically said (although he didn't pick up on the sarcasm), “You're giving up a lot. I hope it's worth it.” His serious reply was “Yes, I know. I hope so too...I think it will be.” You THINK it will be?! With all the devastation you should have known you would cause, you THINK it will be!

And then they continue to puzzle us with such messages as you have had, even when they are pretty much Vanishers, as mine is & as yours seems to be. I've gotten a handful of these types of messages over the 9 years since BD. The first couple I completely ignored. The last one involved him trying to enlist me to repair his R with S#1. I replied, reminding him that such advocacy was not my job any more & that he was on his own with that.

How you reply, or whether you reply, I think makes no difference, IMO. They must surely have some regrets, at least occasionally, & their actions have had such enormous consequences for people they once loved, & indeed, life has moved on for all involved. So, what actions can they take to make anyone (& in their world, most importantly themselves) “feel better”? They seem to get little spurts where they try to do a little good deed, like sending you some “news” or, in my case, passing on an acquaintance's message to me, that she admired me, even though it must have been a bit of a dig at him.

Continuing weirdness, continuing mysteries of MLC.
Hugs to you,
HT
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Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw
The Addictive Personality, Craig Nakken
https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

M'ed 41 years
BD-Jan 2013
Legally separated Feb 2013
D'ed without my consent July 2015
H M'ed OW Sept 2015

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Old Timers thread 6
#101: June 05, 2022, 02:31:13 PM
Quote
I haven't responded.  Mainly because I can't figure out how.  Saying "I'm sorry for your loss, thank you for the birthday wishes" is just ludicrous. 

I have no idea why he did these things. Makes sense that you don’t either.
Perhaps the strange ‘gift’ from them is the reminder of what is normal in your world and what is not, appropriate behaviour by other humans and not, of your baseline bc I suspect it gets a bit muddied for all of us for a while.
But the fact that you have no idea what you might say which doesn’t seem ludicrous is probably a pretty good sign that you are in a healthier saner place than you once were. That it is almost like that awkward feeling when a strange man on a train tells you he is Bonaparte......and wants to chat about it......you don’t want to be mean to an evidently troubled kind of person but what on earth does one say to that?  ::)
And that reminder of a healthy baseline imho is not nothing  :)

I think perhaps there is a difference in trying to taste green when one has an objective or are still trying to decipher MLC code to influence them or protect oneself in the early days/years vs that slight sense of ‘well that’s weird’ that seems to come when these folks pop up and do something like this years later. It’s a pretty normal human reaction, isn’t it? I guess one just has to check in with oneself that the speculation doesn’t take up an inappropriate amount of head/life space.
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T
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Old Timers thread 6
#102: June 05, 2022, 10:27:57 PM
Thank you, HT and treasur -- HT, I think of you and in particular how you worded your last response to your former H, regarding your S.  I will remember that if such a situation comes up, I thought it was great!  Treasur, I always value your words and insights. 

And yes, it's all now just weird, rather than anything else.  One friend of mine who knows the situation thought that for whatever reason, he wanted to say happy birthday, but felt he couldn't contact me (the guilt that you speak of) unless he had some other "news" to impart.  Another theory was that he was somehow harking back to old memories, all of which involve me, again perhaps those regrets that you speak of bubbling to the surface. 

A handful of times over the years he has said that he feels guilty, when I ask for what he says "for everything", which is of course a non-answer.  So it may just have been that cropping up again, and, like you say, him wanting to feel better, which has been the case before. 

He has tried that with our D; who just says that he is in "woe is me" mode, wanting some kind of reassurance, which she doesn't give.  Sad that it's all still that way even after many years.  Sad that he has had so many opportunities to make a difference, and that it's still all about making himself feel better. 

In any case it makes no particular difference; in the end I opted to just say thank you, no punctuation, no mention of anything, and that is the end of that. 

Thank you for reading!

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Old Timers thread 6
#103: June 06, 2022, 04:21:02 AM
Whats the old saying about being on your death bed and all your regrets come into play? Maybe the death of his friend triggered some small thought of regret with you, but if it had he certainly didn’t take the opportunity to address it still. I’m also not sure how you respond to a death and birthday message. I guess If I replied it would be “very sorry to hear about ( name) “ and not address the birthday at 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.

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Married July 1991
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Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
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Old Timers thread 6
#104: June 06, 2022, 05:48:16 AM
Quote
in the end I opted to just say thank you, no punctuation, no mention of anything, and that is the end of that.

That was a good way to respond and it corresponds to what you wanted.

I really do not think we can say why they do things. Our "theories" are only that, theories.

I do know that they do not forget us. They may "need" some kind of excuse to contact us and perhaps these sorts of messages create in them a sense of "peace".....they are not able it seems to engage in a normal relationship with us, but that doesn't mean they do not think about us and in my opinion, they may even care about us in a way that we cannot understand.

Thanks for the update. As we have said, MLC is the "gift that keeps on giving".
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Old Timers thread 6
#105: June 06, 2022, 06:44:50 AM
Hello there, this is the only thread I still get updates on. I apologize for being so absent, it is not that I don't want to communicate with you all, because you know that I am still in the throes of this crisis. ::)

I agree with most that we cannot really make any sense of what they do and say after so long.

I think your reply was quite sufficient.

By the way, happy birthday!!

I will see if I have time later to update my thread - not that anything has changed really. I had face to face contact with my beloved yesterday, he came to work on a motorbike with my eldest son. I welcomed them and then left to go to church and that was that ;)

Love to you all old timers!!
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BD 13 Dec 2010
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Old Timers thread 6
#106: June 07, 2022, 05:00:50 AM
Yes, MLC is the gift that keeps on giving.

I'm now seeing some of the deeper effects it has had on our children; for years it was just keeping them on an even keel, getting them through school, navigating the actual things that were happening.  Now that they are taking their first steps into the real world the deeper issues start to show -- how they feel about themselves, their own relationships, their own trust issues, all that.

It really does have an effect, no matter how much we say that they are resilient, no matter how hard we work to keep things normal for them, no matter how "good" we are at dealing with everything.   Everyone goes through this bit about finding their feet, but I have seen quite a bit that can only be attributed to this mess, and it both breaks my heart and makes me angry.  Yet my former H doesn't seem to consider this at all, which I know is "normal" for MLCers. 

I have my wistful moments; as we all age there are things that I would so very much like to talk to my H about -- and I mean my H, the person I loved and married, the only person who could possibly get it, not the person who now inhabits his body.  But of course I don't call.  I see my friends, mostly couples, looking at all the things to do together as children are growing up and see that my life is different.  My children wish that they had a father to talk to, they do know that if they were to call he wouldn't be what they want.  So they don't.  It's our reality.

But not everything is about MLC; who knows what other things life might have thrown at us if he hadn't left, I'm sure I would have had my wistful moments about other things even if he were here, even if he were the person I always believed he was.  I wouldn't say that life is better, but I have made it the best it can be under the circumstances.  Financially it is definitely harder.  But I adjust my expectations.

And I have also learned to deal with difficulties better, that I will say.  I don't collapse the way I once would have.   So small things!

But I do still read here, and keep learning; now it seems more about passing on things to my children as they deal with their difficulties, but what I learn here is still very relevant, and I am glad for it. 

It's nice to "speak" to people! 
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Old Timers thread 6
#107: June 07, 2022, 07:33:03 PM
T&L,

I could have written nearly every word of your last message. The thing I hate the most about all of this (and of course I hate every bit of it quite a lot!) is that my family is broken & my boys have been so hurt by this, in ways that frustrate them & in ways I don't think they even appreciate yet.

After BD a friend referred me to a friend of hers that she realized had gone through something quite similar. It had been maybe 8-10 years since her BD & we talked on the phone for a long time. Me, still holding out the hope that H would come home & she, realistically doubting that. Anyway, the thing that sticks with me to this day is that her S & D were late teens at BD, one just out of HS & one finishing HS, when her H left. Now, those years later neither had formed any bond with any partner. Now, I know that some folks want to remain single, etc, etc. But...

The nature of MLC distorts everything, of course for us, but also for our kids no matter their ages. I think especially for the teen or young adult MLC-affected child they have difficulty reconciling what they have come to believe about their parents & their parents' R, & how that has affected the way they see themselves conducting a R with a partner. My younger S said as much in our one family counseling session.

I so often think...If only I had known that he was "unhappy", if only he had talked to me, if only he hadn't confided in someone outside our M. It seems that all of this damage could somehow be prevented. But, no, it is the very nature of MLC, that none of that happens; there is no preventive action that can be taken.

Big Sigh. Hugs to all.
Hello, Mitzpah! Good to see you here.
HT
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Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw
The Addictive Personality, Craig Nakken
https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

M'ed 41 years
BD-Jan 2013
Legally separated Feb 2013
D'ed without my consent July 2015
H M'ed OW Sept 2015

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Old Timers thread 6
#108: June 08, 2022, 01:18:43 AM
I so often think...If only I had known that he was "unhappy", if only he had talked to me, if only he hadn't confided in someone outside our M. It seems that all of this damage could somehow be prevented. But, no, it is the very nature of MLC, that none of that happens; there is no preventive action that can be taken.

This is some down-home, tent-revival, Bible-thumping, Gospel-preaching truth.... "If Only..... <fill-in-the-blank>, all this could have been prevented."  Nope... Unfortunately not. Because there was never a chance for "If only...."  MLC made sure of that ... And so often, the kids are the victims... My D32 (from xW/MLC1) has also never formed any kind of real bond. She had one sort of LTR in college for a few months but that was all...
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Divorce final 30 August 2019
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Old Timers thread 6
#109: June 08, 2022, 08:33:46 AM
I've read that divorce and broken families can leave ripple effects through up to 7 generations. I thought- no way! But then I look back at grandparents who divorced or a parent that walked away...and definitely. My xh's grandma was left. She raised his mom by herself in the 40s on a farm. His mom was raised with little love and forced to grow up quickly. So when raising my xh, his mom was very rigid and lacked showing outward affection and praise to him. He was left with low self esteem and his relationship with his parents was more a social structure than loving and warm. And now his relationship with his kids. He did so great while they were younger, but as they grew into young adults- he got lost on what to do and how to treat them. No idea on how to parent- didn't want to follow his parent's example but wasn't sure what else to do. Feels insecure and unsure. And left them. Now my girls are experiencing trust issues and insecurities of their own.
 And that's just one example in our family. My mom's parents divorced- she didn't even know her dad until she met him for the first time in her 20s. She spent her whole childhood striving to be worthy of love. Because she felt her dad left because she wasn't enough in some way. She is still dealing with this. People pleasing and settling because something is better than nothing. She settled for my dad and he left her with three kids under 3. I thought it had the opposite affect on me, because I became self sufficient and independent. But now I see I settled too. I settled for someone who did not deserve me and yet I went above and beyond to make our family and marriage work. I settled for someone who doesn't deserve our children. And now they are dealing with a dad that left them. It breaks my heart.

So yes...broken homes, divorce and abandonment will send shock waves through 7 generations. And I'm so sorry for my kids. Because MLC just adds another level of f*cked up-edness to all this. So much damage.
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YOU keep interrupting his crisis. YOU keep him distracted with all your questions, statements and observations. YOU keep him from facing himself, from feeling the pain of missing his family (until he is ready to do something about it...or not ). YOU are keeping him from fully feeling and facing the man he is.  Leave him 100% to his own devices and crisis ...100% shut it all down.  Bow out...its not about you! I sometimes feel they have stranded themselves on some deserted island. They have done that to themselves as a result of their own actions, choices, behaviors. They need to figure out how to get off the island...the messy painful island they put themselves on. Stop taking him fresh water, food, homemade baking, clean clothes etc....why would he try to make himself better?

 

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