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Author Topic: My Story The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?

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My Story The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
OP: August 30, 2022, 06:39:59 AM
My story is a very familiar one, an extremely close and loving relationship for over 26 years. No children, rewarding careers, mine involving a lot of international travel. We met at college, both wanting to become writers, my career turned out to be the more successful one, which has been a reoccurring issue for my H over the years (he admits to envy), even though he never really tried to develop an independent writing practice. BD early July after I got home from a work trip overseas. Stating he is unhappy, that I have 'neglected' him and cannot give him the attention he needs. My career loomed large in this narrative ('there are three of us in the marriage etc) despite his professional career taking up equal time. We had, then, a deep and what I thought was cathartic, conversation. And he took a 360 turn, saying how much he loved me, admired me and the relationship was everything he wanted. That he did not believe that I would declare so much love for him when he confessed his unhappiness. He thought that I would leave. During this time, he also said some worrying things, for instance that he 'hated himself' and that he was 'broken' - he mentioned an earlier event when he had suicidal ideation. The previous 18 months have been consumed with his ailing mom and the reigniting of childhood wounds. A neglectful childhood and a really difficult relationship through adulthood (which I supported him with throughout). Now she is dying with no chance of redemption and yet he is pulled back into the family dynamic to help out. Slowly he has been both withdrawing from me and angry much of the time. He has also been regressing - hanging out with younger people, enjoying things from his childhood etc. I tried to get him to open up, but he kept deflecting. And yet still, we remained close and intimate. Second BD about 3 days after first, where he went from sending 'I love you' texts and trying to reassure me that the first BD was not what he wanted and that he was terrified he had broken everything etc, to this cold faced stranger. Said he had to leave, that my neglect was unforgivable and that we had 'no future'.  He moved into a spare room of a colleague (likely an EA, I don't think a PA - but who knows?). Has been gone 6 weeks. Communication was initially from him wanting to talk (I intuited a third voice in these communications, likely the EA). We talked once, but it all seemed to be about him, how he'd made the right decision etc. When it came to any emotions I might have, he seemed to just glaze over. In this conversation, his messages were again mixed - he wanted to separate for good but wants me in his life. Does not see a future but wants to keep talking. He has made no attempt to really move out of the house, leaving all his stuff (which he collects piecemeal, but without finality). He instantly started describing our home (which is half way through renovation) as 'my home'. It's like he's shut the door on this life with me, the home we were making, our shared friends, my family. And walked into a new one. Everyone who knows us is 'floored', say that it is out of character for him. No one can believe it. Although his family seem to have received a different message - the think it is some sort of mutual parting. Now I keep finding things out. He bought a new car about a week in. He opened a new bank account not much later. Thus far he has not transferred his part of this month's mortgage (despite him saying that he would - honourable style). To me, this feels so cold and calculating, that I now doubt everything I thought about in terms of MLC /depression. It's a new blow to me, but from what I have read on this forum, there will be more to come. I would appreciate any insights the forum might have. Thank you....
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« Last Edit: September 06, 2022, 03:26:02 PM by Rollercoasterider »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#1: August 30, 2022, 07:25:43 AM
Welcome to Hero's Spouse.

Although there is no way to diagnose MLC, there are several similarities in each of our stories. This is not a marriage that grew stale ...no.....we were blindsided and as you so amply stated, they are absolutely cold to us, to our needs, to any of our concerns.

Trying to understand them is as one of our members often states "is like trying to taste the color green".

They often go back and forth about what they want or "forget" that one day they told us one thing then another day something totally different...I think in the early days they themselves are not very sure what they want.

This is not about you or your marriage. I don't say that lightly, I believe it to be 100% true.

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Everyone who knows us is 'floored', say that it is out of character for him. No one can believe it. Although his family seem to have received a different message - the think it is some sort of mutual parting.

Perhaps you had some inkling that he was "distant", when you look back, many of us can say that they didn't seem quite themselves, but, there was no indication that our marriage was about to blow up...and as you said, people who knew us could not believe any of this.

There is shock, grief, anger, tears, pain....for the LBSer, the person who we trusted is gone...and at least in my case, I was left shattered...and it took a long time to heal....if ever really.

So you will hear alot of us say take care of yourself. Secure your financial assets..because MLCers lie, they are not fair and they can spend a great deal of money.

Find things that bring you peace and soothe you. Daily exercise, yoga, meeting new people, finding a new hobby, coming here..because we get it...sometime people in the outside world just want you to move on. It's not quite that easy...but as you will see as you read the stories here....we heal....

Yes, many want to remain friends.....from here on everything you do is your choice. You cannot make things any worse, he will do what he will do. Some people remain in contact, others find that too painful. You get to decide and as my therapist told me, I can change my mind about that...depending on where I am at and what I want.

Finding a therapist that deals with trauma is a good start. This is not a marriage problem so marriage counseling will not work as strange as that might seem.

Ask questions, this is a very supportive group with lots of experience with this mess.

Make sure to read RCR's articles...they are pure gold in helping you to understand what has happened.

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

There is a strange phrase that actually is quite helpful...live as though he is never coming back....I have always held onto hope that he would get through this and be the man I loved...one of the minority here after many many years...you will get through this.....
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« Last Edit: August 30, 2022, 07:30:12 AM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#2: August 30, 2022, 07:56:13 AM
Thank you so much xyzcf for you thoughtful reply. And I admire your faith in standing for you H.

I got a therapist in week 2, she is great and is helping me focus on my well-being. I have a lot of support from family and friends. It of course affects them too, my family are grieving, the friends angry for me and confused in themselves. I have read the Chapters, they are great and have given me so much more understanding. But I am also seeing now, so early on, that to Stand, takes the greatest of compassion and strength. Because the MLC behaviour is so emotionally damaging (I described it to friends as 'emotional violence') and it feels like you are dealing with a total stranger. Prior to this, he was a gentle, kind and thoughtful man, albeit one with significant self-esteem issues and what he would call a 'hole'. His actions have made me question everything. Yes, I saw the withdrawal (I even asked him on many occasions if he might be depressed), but this was only for about 12 months, in the context of all that had happened with his family.

I'm sure this will resonate with others - before BD, I was happy with a thriving career and it feels the MLC just handed me all his unhappiness and self-esteem issues in a big old bundle and walked away. It felt like he would rather destroy me than face his own issues - like somehow destroying me would make him be reborn. I understand this self-focus may be part of depression. I guess what I can't balance is the more caculating behaviour of, say, separating the bank account. So an early question I have is - Is this a typical behavior, or if typical is not a good word, a recognisable one?

My second question is - have other members had any experience with issues arising from low testosterone? My H has all the classic signs - ED, fatigue, depression and excessive sweating, and losing some strength/stamina too.

Thank you to everyone, it means a lot to have the support in these early, bewildering days.

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Is this a typical behavior, or if typical is not a good word, a recognisable one?

YES! So much of what you've written resonates, and takes me back to this time 11 years ago. Mine was suffering with ED and I believe low T too (but he was also on meds prior to BD that had ED as a side effect, so it's sort of chicken-or-the-egg, in my case). Also did the "your house" thing which caused so much cognitive dissonance for me. Piece-mealed money from the joint account that only I was paying to, into his own new accounts that could have had OW or his mother on them for all I know. Was threatened by my business, which he called his "stepchild" while I tried to bring him on as a creative partner. Essentially set me up as the face of his resentment while the former face, his father, became his hero.

You have amazing self-awareness, have educated yourself on MLC, and have a team around you of friends, family, and professionals who will see you through. This is very, very good. I would recommend disregarding his family and anything they think. The more you try to convince them of the "true story", the more he'll gaslight that you're in denial or something. Been there (many of us here have). He's not going to heal in the place that hurt him, you can trust that, so eventually he'll likely see them in a different light, too. But that isn't your concern. YOU are your concern. Protect your finances, do whatever you have to do for self-care, and trust that you will feel better, slowly but surely. Big hugs.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#4: August 31, 2022, 01:20:28 AM
Hi Ready2Transform,

Thank you so much for sharing. The 'stepchild' term is so interesting. What I am gleaning from so many of the stories on this forum is that the MLC is one that seems more prevailant in people with very low self-esteem (I note people often mention an 'identity crisis'). For my H, the issue of my career always seemed to resurface when he did not like the place he was in. I don't want to fall into the same trap as the MLC person, and rewrite history, so I should say that the majority of the time he was supportive, but when the envy reared up, it was always about me not caring enough for him, and that there was a 'third' in the marriage.

I've been thinking alot about the term LBS, and I may start a new discussion one day soon, because from what I read over and over, the LBS is usually the strong, stable and compassionate one. They may often be the one that remains in the home, but they continue to take responsibility for their commitments and loved ones, to self-reflect, help others and push forward with their lives.  So I actually don't feel 'left behind', in that I am actually moving forward (albeit with a bit of a limp  :)), forming stronger bonds with friends and family, continuing with my writing, taking up new interests, even finishing the rennovation on the house. Whereas he is living in a shared house, with a bag of clothes and a suitcase of denial - from where I am standing, he feels more like the one left behind (he has certainly stopped growing this last year), he is certainly stuck in old patterns of behaviour and can only think of himself at the moment.

I wonder what other people think about this? I am trying to think of a good term for myself - the Remaining Adult or the Stable Spouse? Maybe something better will come to mind. Until then, sending strength and hugs to everyone!
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#5: August 31, 2022, 02:28:39 AM
Welcome KayDee to the new Stamp Collecting for Fun and Profit Club... The club we all wished we had joined instead, but thank goodness for this existence as you will get some great positive support on here from new members and slightly longer term members.

So sorry you found us - like the idea of a more positive term for us bewildered spouses.

Bold step in making your first post and already you appear so positive. Well done!

xK.


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I'm digging where both of you are going with this. :)  8) I think back to when I chose a username about a month after I started reading along here and decided to pipe up with my own story, and I'm not quite sure why "Ready2Transform" seemed to fit (at times I felt like I was ready to fall over, ready to get a ticket to Bermuda and hide out until it was over, ready to scream my lungs out, etc.). But what we speak over ourselves really does matter. I don't think "GuttedLikeAFish" would have made me feel very empowered to get through this. And I think being "left behind" was also not accurate for me. Good on you both for starting off on the right foot with this!
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#7: August 31, 2022, 03:42:57 PM
The acronym of LBS comes from the header on RCR's forum: Midlife crisis: For those left behind.

I think it's also a term that is used on other sites dealing with MLC.

For me it doesn't matter. It's a term that indicates to me who I am dealing with when we refer to this term in a thread, rather than the MLCer (who in some cases may not be experiencing a MLC so that might not apply to them as well).

I don't see it as anything other than a very brief description of who we are because indeed we have been left behind. As many know, the MLCer started their journey long before they let us know that anything was wrong.

What we do moving forward is what to me is the important thing IMHO.

Oh I just had an "ah ha " thought...technically I was sent away...unlike many whose spouses leave them and go live elsewhere, he sent me away from the country we were living in, not "home" but to a city where we owned a house but where I really had no ties to (as we had not lived there long and we came here for his career) so I guess I could say I am a SAS (sent away spouse)..I know, semantics....regardless I do think I associate with LBS because he entered into a whole new life without me, I was not included or allowed to be a part of it.  :'(
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« Last Edit: August 31, 2022, 03:52:19 PM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#8: August 31, 2022, 07:30:56 PM
I go with "Living better spouse". Seems more apropos.
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When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#9: September 01, 2022, 01:34:24 AM
How are you doing, kayDee?

My thoughts on the bank a/c issue etc.....it’s tempting initially to put on our magic Mindreading Hat about why they do what they do, whether that takes us by surprise or not. And to pay a little too much attention to what they say as opposed to what they do. Tempting too - bc we are a good few steps behind their disengagement - to want to view them as ‘ill’ rather than ‘bad’ and to have compassion (amongst all our other feelings lol). And it can be tricksy to balance that feeling of compassion with self-protection initially (although some LBS do manage to find a balance over a longer timescale and with a bit of distance). The one thing that seems to hold true most of the time is that MLCers are breathtakingly self-centred and surprisingly capable of doing things that suit their wants/needs at a given time....even sometimes while seemingly unable to put one adult foot in front of the other in other parts of their lives  ::). The only playbook seems to be to expect them to do whatever they feel serves them without much regard for anyone else.....

On the LBS terminology....on some level it can be thought of as semantics, true enough, but imho words can shade our perspective so it is understandable to want to use a more inspirational ‘label’ perhaps. And it evolves. There are probably very few spouses here who went quickly from BD to Living ‘Better’. And most do feel, at least for a while, that either they have been Left Behind (in the sense of being discarded) or that they have been Left Behind with all the rubble and practicalities of an old life while their spouse seemingly skips off singing to a new one. Those are real feelings and tbh they are often a reflection of what has actually happened.

And the Living Better Spouse? Well, for sure, it turns into a Living Differently.....and it is possible to reach a stage where you feel you are Living Well in that different way, that you have indeed turned lemons into lemonade, while still wishing that life had not covered you in a big pile of lemons in the first place! While some LBS reach a stage where they feel that their marriage was not in fact as good for them pre-BD as they once believed it was, so DO feel that the life HAS become ‘better’. And a minority find themselves building a new relationship with their spouse that feels ‘better’ bc of ways in which they have learned new skills or changed bc of this experience. No one size fits all I think.

And ‘Better’ suggests comparison, doesn’t it? Better than pre-BD? Better than what one perceives as the MLCers life? Or ow? Better than other LBS? Bettef than ones RL peers who are not LBS? Better than the darkest days post BD? And tbh most of these are perspectives that one goes through before you find your own POV on where you’ve been, where you are and where it leads you to.

As a broad sweep, whilst a lot of these feelings are normal when you have been metaphorically punched in the face, I am always a bit wary of thoughts that are competitive in that way....most LBS go through a stage of feeling a lot of pressure and being pretty hard on themselves to do/be something other than just how/where they are. And it’s part of the process of Acceptance imho to feel able to honestly call it as you see it, at least to oneself. I WAS Left, and I WAS Left Behind with pretty much all of the rubble and treasures of our old life....that seems honest to say....do I think my xh Left Me Behind? Well, I have no idea if his new life has turned out to be a grand triumph or not lol, but it did feel honest to say that my vanisher did in some way leave me behind HIM as a closed chapter. Did I feel Left Behind? Oh my word, yes. Do I feel that now, years later? No, i’m not sure I do....it just feels like a different chapter in my own life and his actions may have led me here but they no longer feel relevant in my day to day life. Like cancer, weather or a serious car crash probably  :) And they never felt as if they were my fault or bc of my own failings and imperfections tbh.

In the meantime, while you navigate towards your own perspective, I suppose both LBS and MLCer are as good a shorthand as any imho  :)
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« Last Edit: September 01, 2022, 01:47:01 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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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#10: September 01, 2022, 06:25:11 AM
Hi Treasur,

I am doing OK ish. With a flash of practical energy, I have done my own banking strategy (set up a new account) and have finally got to thinking about how to keep financially afloat. My H has taken a new lease on an apartment (without, of course, conferring with me) and now wants to meet to discuss the fact that he can't really fully contribute to our existing mortgage. It is curious, isn't it, how someone who was just managing to pay one household, decides to add another. I suspect he wants me to figure it out - he is already using terms that relate to 'his' financial situation, as if we don't have shared commitments. And actually, when married, all our assets and income are still shared. Of course, I know now about the selfishness, and I have to now act and move forward as if he cannot/will not help.

The issue of terms - I agree about being 'left in the rubble', or at least, I suppose it is rubble to begin with, until we make things our own again. But yes, that feeling of being in the last chapter, as the MLC enters a 'new chapter' - maybe this chapter is the magical thinking dream chapter, or the prologue for the teenage years?  I guess, personally, the term LBS sort of jars with me - I don't want to feel like a victim (although I know I have had a horrible and uncalled for thing done to me). This said, I do completely take everyone's point, and it certainly is not good to be in competition about any of this.

Ill versus bad? Yes, that the zone I buffer in. Feeling supremely angry at his behaviour and then honestly feeling sad for him. My instinct is, he subconsciously choose between having a full break down or escaping into the fog. He chose the latter, and when I am less kind, I find that weak. If this was a house on fire, he chose to save himself and left me to the burn.

Question: my H seems so definite that he has made the right decision. Definite that we have no future. This is still hard for me to get my head around. Is this kind of super black and white, seemingly decisive (from someone who was previously more of a prevaricator / avoider of conflict) par for the course?

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#11: September 01, 2022, 06:26:10 AM
I just sent a long reply but it seems to have vanished!
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#12: September 01, 2022, 06:26:43 AM
Ah, page 2  :D
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#13: September 01, 2022, 10:13:51 AM
Interesting. Living better spouse to me means I am living better now than when I was being gaslighted before BD and has nothing to do with competition.

Amazing how words on paper/screens can have different meanings to people. I had no intention of offering up being subjected to MLC as any kind of competition because there are no real winners here.(and I mean that in the fresh out of the gate way)
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« Last Edit: September 01, 2022, 10:14:57 AM by OffRoad »
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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#14: September 01, 2022, 05:42:40 PM
Quote
Question: my H seems so definite that he has made the right decision. Definite that we have no future. This is still hard for me to get my head around. Is this kind of super black and white, seemingly decisive (from someone who was previously more of a prevaricator / avoider of conflict) par for the course?

Absolutely right on track for MLC.

On the joint bills becoming "yours" - that's a real mind freak I remember. Mine was even so daft, he sat across the kitchen table from me one day while we had one of our frequent "coffee talks" (he was a clinger for the first year, for sure) saying, "Don't worry, I know I am going to have to pay my own bills (referencing getting his own place when he moved out of his mother's basement), and that's a hard pill to swallow."  ??? ::) Meanwhile he was ignoring "his own bills" that I was paying at our home, that included his car insurance, his cellphone, his credit card, and his insurance licenses, as well as our joint bills and debts he'd run up on my cards. I don't think that was gaslighting - he really had just quantum leaped back to being a carefree teen, as though our life hadn't happened and he was visiting "my" house. It used to unsettle me like nothing else (even worse than the OW situation). But it's the kind of broken thinking that is common with this situation.
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The Rational versus the Crazy
#15: September 06, 2022, 02:26:25 PM
Hi everyone, I find myself a little in doubt, and I could do with some insight. I posted my first post here (sorry, I don't know how to cut and paste it).

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11981.0

Since this time, my H has found a new apartment with his EA (she is gay, so it really is an EA). She has just walked out on her wife and I am told by a mutual friend the relationship between her and H is indulgent and unhealthy, a kind of bonding through break up. I have not seen similar EAs of a platonic nature mentioned here on the forum and wonder if anyone else has a similar experience. Whenever I communicate with my H, I hear her voice, this new, direct and firm voice. It almost feels scripted.

Returning to my thread title, this is the thing that is causing me some doubt. H seems so reasonable about finances and is still contributing to our house finances without dispute. So much so, I am starting to doubt mental health / MLC disturbance. He even agreed to pay longer than I was expecting before a review. I have read so much here about MLCs burning through cash etc. This is seemingly not the case with my H. On the other hand, he has become quite legalese (when he never was before), focused on the value of the house, and protecting his stuff and so forth. I feel like he wants to fast-track selling the house (it's only been 6 or 7 weeks). On the other hand, he does have the 100 yard stare, and the focus is still completely on his needs.

A brief summary, married 20 years, no major issues, extremely close right up to BD. 

Any insights from you wise souls would really help rest my mind.
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« Last Edit: September 06, 2022, 02:31:49 PM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#16: September 06, 2022, 03:36:52 PM
 Kaydee,

I’m pretty new to this but my W is being totally fine about finances, the house etc. She’s not burning through cash as far as I can tell.
But she is exhibiting so many of the MLC common traits otherwise.

One of the old firm maybe able to answer your question better?
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#17: September 07, 2022, 12:26:13 AM
Well, as I read it, it seems that you feel ‘doubt’ bc he is not behaving worse? What’s the doubt about, kayDee? That if he isn’t MLC, then....he must be right in what he says about your ‘neglect’? Or that he/it won’t get ‘better’ and your marriage is over? Or that if you don’t excuse/explain some of his behaviour as MLC, you might change your POV on him as a person or your marriage? No right answers....but you might find it helpful to muse on the benefits and disadvantages to you currently of using the MLC frame. Bc most of us tussled with it for a bit and of course in RL people tend to see it differently unless they have experienced something similar.

From the cheap seats though, i’m going to remind you of some factual stuff.
The most important imho is that you are only a couple of months into this. As is he. Why does that matter? Bc you are still in shock to some degree and trying to find your feet in this new not very normal for you new normal. Hard to do our best clearest thinking then.  ::)...plus it is an unfolding picture bc there are things you don’t know yet. And he is in that early stage of running away to find his ‘magic happy’ when his new life will be full of shiny easy adoration lol but not yet at the point when RL consequences start to unfold.....Monster and Really Bonkers imho tend to show up when entirely predictable adult consequences show up. Or when the LBS (or lawyer’s or kids or bank accounts or OP) start saying No to things they want....

There are lots of things that would have shocked me in the past that no longer shock me. A gay EA? Or one that suddenly becomes bisexual? Or turns out to be an enabling friend of an unknown OW in some weird triangle? Or someone to take drugs or drink with?  Entirely possible in MLC land. Most LBS here learned things about their spouses’ behaviour as events unfolded that they never would have imagined in their wildest dreams....it’s common that this situation brings a series of aftershocks tbh as the universe has a way of uncovering deceit. And all MLCers lie like Olympic level lying athletes.....and will have been lying longer than you realised....all that changes is how much and what about. We’re conditioned, I think, to see an EA or PA as about us, as some kind of marital failure, but tbh it really is a symptom not a cause. And the nature of their interactions with other people is rarely as important in the overall picture as we think it is (although it may be emotionally very important to us, of course). Imho ow/om seem to offer some mix of two things....an enabling escape hatch and/or a big dollop of justifying cheerleading attention....

What does imho matter is your instinct about sensing a third party voice (and agenda) in your interactions with your h. Trust that instinct. And of course that this third party does not have your interests in their mind but their own, whatever those turn out to be. So it is sensible to assume that whenever you communicate with your h, you are also dealing with this third party and should adapt your expectations accordingly as you think best.

You are just weeks into this insanity, my friend. It’s normal to try to pin down some clarity or certainty amidst the chaos. We all did. What most of us find is that it isn’t so easy to do in that chaos...and that we have to learn to turn our eye away from our spouse in order to find pockets of it. To focus on the factual realities, awful as they might be, rather than trying to guess at whys and what next. And that takes time.

What do I mean by factual realities? Your h is living elsewhere with someone else. He is behaving as if his money is his money, his stuff is his stuff. He is keener than a keen thing to sell the house. He only cares about his needs and wants; yours are irrelevant and get the blank stare response like no one is home. There is no We in his head, only a Me. Well, there is a We that he blames, i’d guess, bc in his story, he’s the victim not the do-er. And, for whatever reason, MLC or not, he HAS chosen to metaphorically burn the house down with you in it. These are far from easy current realities to swallow, we know, truly we know, but safeguarding your own present and future wellbeing requires that you do.

There will be time enough for you to figure out what kind of story this is as things unfold, my friend. And tbh, if it is an MLC story, it will get worse and crazier before it gets better. And it will get better, for you, when you find your own solid ground that is not linked to his unstable ground. Whatever that looks like. But my word, it truly is such early days, it would be almost weird if you were able to do that yet. But you will, I promise you will.
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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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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#18: September 07, 2022, 01:17:46 AM
Hello Tresur,

Thank you so much for such a considered and thought provoking reply. I hope it is also of use to Biscuit (thank you also B for your reply) who is in a similar time frame to me.

Your initial question - probably all of the above :) Even though I know, in my heart, that the relationship was not broken, and this has been reflected back so many times via mutual friends and also close family, it still grabs you by the throat sometimes - that you were not loved in the way you thought you were, that somehow you are defective. The switch from the old him to the new one was in a heartbeat. He went from declaring his love and commitment to the relationship (the full, recognisable, emotional him) to announcing 'the end' with a cold script, just 12 hours later (after visiting with the EA). And I suppose that's part of the personal reflection for me, to get to a point where I can disaggregate the new H from the old. Because, if he is not in some sort of mental turmoil, if he has not shut down his emotional self and entered the fog, then it feels like the person I thought I was in a relationship was a kind of chimera. It really undermines everything. And as I type that, I know that this must be common to many of us here. Someone else once wrote (was it you Treasur?) that when they reflect back on memories that involve their H, their H is a kind of greyed out silhouette. That's currently where I am at.

I do try to look objectively at his behaviour - the observable facts of now - and you spell them out perfectly, and I thank you for grounding me in the timeline - it is very early, and as much as I hate the idea, from everything I have read, MLC is the gift that keeps on giving.

Having read so many comments on this forum (gratitude to everyone for sharing what is so painful, to help others in the same spot), I have tried to be calm and kind to my H. I manage the first part - calm. But in all other ways, it bothers me a little that I end up being a bit like him - cold and unemotional. Or perhaps formal is a better way to describe it. It's bothers me, because although I am intent on moving on because I really can't see a way back from the damage he has caused, I am open to leaving a thread, or path, between us - for use if he should ever come out of this crisis. But I just don't know how to do it. I think, like the silhouette memory, this remove I have adopted is self protection. Because the other factual is that he is the person who has hurt me the most - ever.

For now, I have gone no contact (he has agreed to this) and will be so for a few months. I realised quite quickly that the anticipation of communication from him left me on edge all the time. Without it, I started to be able to focus and revive a little. Fingers crossed for this, I really want to see friends and NOT talk about my situation all the blinking time :)
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« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 01:26:28 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#19: September 07, 2022, 04:26:11 AM
You really are doing tremendously well, my friend, for so early in. It may not feel like that to you so it can be useful to be reminded of it  :)

Calm is good (for you. Kind at this stage is imho not necessary....not being a vindictive a$$hat is quite sufficient.  :) Not bc of any effect on him....I really can’t emphasise enough how little they are affected by what we do, say or feel at this stage, bizarre as that seems, or how they can twist the smallest of things to fit their own story whatever that is......but bc it will matter over time that you feel as if you stayed close to your own values and standards of behaviour regardless of what others do.  That, as my gran used to say, you do not get sucked into playing in the mud with pigs bc they like it and are better at it than you  :) So, behave as you see fit because it feels right to YOU. Again, it just takes a little time to unhook from our old habits of paying attention to what they think one way or the other. A certain level of idk numbness, distance, formality is common too....which can be a bit frightening bc it can feel like another loss in a way....and again tbh those feelings evolve over time too. Xyzcf often reminds us that how we choose to act at a given time is not fixed in stone....it’s ok to give yourself permission to do what seems best for you right now and also accept that you might make different choices at a different time. (And a PS....you don’t need his agreement to be NC, or limited contact. That is entirely within your control and you don’t have to justify or explain it to him either. If he doesn’t like it? Well, tough luck he’s having as it’s a pretty normal response to his choices, right? Choices he gave you no vote or voice in. And agreements with MLC folks tend not to be worth much.....if he has a feelz or a sadz or wants something from you, he will most likely ignore it. Which is why it’s worth seeing it as YOUR choice and a boundary for you rather than some kind of mutual agreement that is conditional on him still agreeing to it if that makes sense)

It sounds weird - but fortunately not here  :) - to say that, all these years on, I honestly don’t know that I actually know his half of the bit of my life that involved him. It took me a very long time to learn to make peace with ‘I don’t know’. I do know that it felt real to me, that I would have bet my life and my last pound on me mattering to my then h as much as he mattered to me. I do know that he did things that were unimaginable to me and that, in a strange way, the fact that I could never quite ‘get’ it said nothing more profound than my head and spirit are just not wired that way. Which seems to me to be a blessing  :) I probably on balance think that what I thought was true WAS true....but not the whole truth if that makes sense. But I also accept that, if push came to shove, I don’t know and will likely never know. So I decided to sidle towards something that felt Truthy enough for me.....  :)....and that did not damage me more than I had already been damaged by blaming myself for things that were not my responsibility or bc of my choices based on what I (and everyone else lol) believed I knew at the time.

I think all LBS struggle with this and each of us finds our own conclusion, normally after some swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other, that feels as close to our sense of the truth as we can live with in some degree of peace.. And that takes time and winnowing too imho. It will come and it isn’t the kind of pressing priority that it probably feels like it is right now. It’s a bit like wanting to speak fluent Italian after your first lesson  :)....you can trust you’ll get there when you’re ready to get there. Urea Major has this great expression about shooting the wolf closer to your sled...that’s where you are right now....and sometimes the noisiest Wolf in your head is not actually the one closest to the RL sled at a given moment.  :)
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« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 04:37:02 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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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#20: September 07, 2022, 05:22:56 AM
Wow, that's such a great reply Treasur, thank you. It's sad that you did not get any kind of clear 'explanation' (I know that's not quite the right word, but you understand) and I suppose an apology is too much to ask. Looking at your timeline, it would seem that your H should be out of the otherside by now, but perhaps confronting the damage, reflecting on what he did to others - maybe that is too much for his fragile self to bear. But I hope it comes one day. This weakness is the polar opposite to your strength in coming to terms with his actions, owning your own memories and understanding of the relationship. It is inspiring.

My H has always had very low self-esteem (this seems to be a recurring theme on this forum) and there's some pretty dysfunctional FOO. I guess if you don't have low self esteem, it can be quite hard to understand. Because, although over the years, he said some quite devastating things about his sense of self (he was not complete, he was broken etc), I always thought he was adding a touch of drama. I couldn't see/feel it I suppose, because he seemed so solid and loving, confident in social groups, talented etc. But he did tend to adopt different personas with different groups of people (when I asked about this, he said that it was with me that he was his 'true' self). He was always very brittle about any form of rejection (imagine the amount of rejections you get as a writer!) and avoided confrontation. When push comes to shove, he dissassociates. Throughout our relationship, he was always a bit directionless, and it tended to be me that maintained friendships and arranged shared activity etc. I picked him up a lot, and supported him to grow in his career, which ironically he has done, only to b*gger off. I intuite that through his recent depression his self-esteem got so low that he could not bear how he saw himself through my eyes (not good English - I think he did not feel 'looked up to' / honoured by me) - this is not true, of course. I am not making excuses, these are his issues, but I do think that, perversely, our closesness (all the things we knew about each other) was one of the things he could not bear. That and my success in balance with what he feels he has achieved (and how he achieved it). I was a bad mirror and now he has a 'good' mirror :)  And a new group of younger friends, having jettisoned all long-standing mutual friends. It all seems a bit of a house of cards. It's been interesting to me, that pretty much all mutual friends have said (unprompted by me) that I am their main friend / person they know the best. It surprised me that my H did not really share intimacies with our friends, and this prevented a deeper closeness I suppose.

Thanks for re-empowering me regarding the 'no contact' issue. Actually, I told him this is what I want. I wanted to make that clear, because otherwise I would still get messages from him. And the idea of the message was often worse than the message. Here's to air silence!


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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#21: September 07, 2022, 05:46:21 AM
I can’t recall how much I shared on HS about my former h, but I could have pretty much written word for word what you wrote about your h.

Objectively speaking, I guess all that changed in my case was that I was my h’s safe/real person. Until I wasn’t. I believed that too. Until I didn’t. There were life events, true enough, but nothing fundamentally changed about who I was pre BD. What changed - and I can only speculate why - was how he saw me. And I suppose what he felt was an acceptable way (to him) to treat me after that. And I never ‘got’ that either.  ::)

I have no idea if he has been successful in replacing ow for me in that role, or if he has moved forward to some kind of healing in himself. I do see it as not my job tbh....just as my healing was not his. Although that was easier when he stopped throwing metaphorical hand grenades at me, so NC was healthy for me. I found it hard to heal when I still felt as if I was under fire  :)

What I hope you are beginning to see....and will be able to remind yourself of when you forget lol...is that the seeds for whatever it was happened to my h were sown long before I met him. What caused him to see me in such a 180 degree way than he had was in him too. What made him find his way of dealing with that ok enough to do it the way that he did? That was in him too. None of it was created by me or bc of me. The same is most likely true in your situation too.

Which is why it was/is so impossible for me to understand and hard to accept. My only contribution really was to also believe that I was his safe/real person....that was my blind spot bc I simply had no life experience of what it was like to be him or have his FOO issues. Maybe that was my arrogance or just naivety. Still didn’t imho warrant what was done to me lol. But, having battled to survive PTSD - which was horrific in ways I can’t even describe - I suppose that gives me some respect and compassion for how very strange it is to suffer some kind of life-altering emotional crisis that is often not so easy for others to see and hard to put words to even when you are up to your neck in it. My compassion is still speculative, I suppose, bc again I honestly don’t know what my former h’s experience was. And it still does not mean it was ok to treat me as he did....partial explanation rather than excuse perhaps....but I found it easier to accept what happened if I didn’t hate him bc I had loved him too much for too long to want to do that. Makes no difference to him at all now but that mattered to me. And i’m entitled to make my own peace the best I can, right?  :)
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« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 06:10:31 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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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#22: September 07, 2022, 07:44:17 AM
Hi Treasur, that's so interesting (or is it depressing :)) that our experiences are so alike. I expect there are others out there too. I read a really good academic paper on exactly this. How people with childhood neglect are much more likely to have this kind of crisis in midlife. So, I think I am in step with you, and I have been saying this to friends etc - this crisis was always going to happen to him and if he hadnt have been married to me, it would have been someone else left in the burning embers. My H's mother is a nacissist - she dominates the family, and the issues with this over the years often became unbearable (he has still not accepted her personality disorder).

I'm struck by what you say about your H suddenly seeing you differently. I too did not change prior to BD, although my career was taking off again after the pandemic. I feel with my H there are parallels - his gripe was very much centred on how I 'treat' him - I think his emotional needs became so great, I was no longer the right person for the job (he pretty much said that to me - basically I cannot give him the attention he needs, or some such claptrap). Pretty much everything he said to me during his departure, is what he has wanted to say to his mother but can't. I still think he was on the precipice of a full breakdown, and he has regressed to a more adolescent mindset, but it doesn't change the appalling behaviour. And yes, maybe I was arrogant too, in thinking I could 'mend' the broken bits, and perhaps neglectful in not seeing how broken he actually was. But then, as you say, the seeds were long since sowed. And it's impossible to know what someone is thinking if they don't share. When people hate themselves, where do you start?

When you say recovering from PTSD, are you referring to the situation with your H? It has astonished me how traumatic this has been. In the first weeks I had all the classic signs of trauma, plus a strange rash lol - I still have dry mouth and an occasional lump in my throat, but at least now I can eat OK (I lost 14 pounds). I don't think people who have not been through it can appreciate the trauma. That said, all my friends and family have been great, so maybe they sense it.

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« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 07:46:06 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#23: September 07, 2022, 09:21:50 AM
Quote
When you say recovering from PTSD, are you referring to the situation with your H?
Well, not exactly. My father had just died, then BD, then my mother developed dementia and declined very quickly, then I had cancer, then a couple of years of insane s$it including ‘anonymous’ death threats and uncovering a lot of financial losses followed by an MLC style divorce and relocation. No siblings, no kids and no family other than an aging Uncle who tried to do his best. I think the PTSD took a couple of years post-BD to unfurl looking back...I was just grieving, adrift, depressed and felt very alone before then  :)

But yes, some level of depression or anxiety is pretty common for LBS. And depending on the circumstances, a reasonable number of LBS seem to develop PTSD. In fact, a number of us here were formally diagnosed and received treatment for it. I have often said that if an LBS feels they need IC support, although they often look for someone who ‘gets’ MLC, it is wiser to look for someone who has experience of working with trauma even if they are not a trauma specialist.

Not uncommon either to have physical symptoms. And the LBS diet is a well known one here lol. I lost 3 stone in 3 months post BD....a smaller a$$ was a small recompense though  :) What are you doing to take care of your physical wellbeing and your nervous system? Different things work for different folks....walking and getting outside was a big help to me at my worst.
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H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#24: September 11, 2022, 02:23:56 AM
Quote
I was a bad mirror and now he has a 'good' mirror :)

Excellent way to describe OW.

And, yes, finding an individual counselor who understands trauma really helps.

I also needed to go NC so that I could heal. I recognized how damaging it was to me that he wanted me as his "friend" while also getting his "fix" with OW.

For me, healing and getting back my daily happy level became the most important thing. I needed to right my keel so that I didn't drown and so that I could weather the storm. I couldn't be attached to his crazy and right my keel at the same time.

I know that everyone is different, but what you said resonated with my journey. I wasn't mean. I split photos, sent important personal items to his attorney's office after the divorce, etc. But I was also business like about the divorce, which happened in 6 months. He left his job to be with OW and I didn't want to have to pay alimony since he was jobless and since I  took a job in an area of the country where salaries are naturally much higher.

Looking back, for me, there is little I would do different. I feel that I handled it with integrity. I healed as fast as I could. At first I was determined to heal so I could live through reconciliation--which thanks to this site I began to realize was no walk in the park--but later realized that it helped me just survive and, with time, heal.

The damage is so immense, I can only realize the extent now.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#25: September 11, 2022, 05:21:20 AM
Thanks Reinventing, it's reassuring to read your approach.

I guess formal was the best I could do - I am just not able to 'compartmentalise' my feelings that well, especially with people close to me. I can't pretend happy, when I am angry etc. So, yes, integrity is both important and essential. Typing that last part, I was trying to connect to what exactly I felt about my H when he last visited. I think I felt kind of repelled, in that I was in extreme defence mode. Like having been mugged and having the mugger in the room with you. I do not see him in the same way at the moment, but I understand that this will likely change over the coming period. For now, as with your journey, I need to right the ship, without the anticipation effect of having to dodge unexpected icebergs  I have not emotionally detached, I know that (and I know if I had after only 7 or 8 weeks that would be weird), but I am physically detaching, and I reckon that will help the former. I hope I have created some breathing space. And I have released myself from making any big decisions for the next few months. This is new to me - I live a little bit with a foot in the future, but accepting I don't know much at the moment, is surprisingly liberating :)
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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#26: September 14, 2022, 02:38:04 PM
I'm 12 years out and 3 years into therapy. I'm a survivor, and can take the cold behaviors, actually prefer zero contact. Moving forward.
But I've long said that there is no greater mother's tears, than the tears we cannot cry for our children.

I have a 28 year old son who is suffering due to his father's cold, mlc behavior. My son has early graves disease. He's also medically phobic. His father knows his son is ill and needs to see a doctor for an ultrasound for an update on the nodules on his thyroid gland. My son works two jobs, and is on food stamps and the only medical he has is through medical. 

He tried to go to one of those urgent care clinics, but was refused an appointment because he has Medical. My son offered cash, and the facility told him that because he's on medical and told them, they are not allowed to treat him and turned him away. My son called the Medical network, waited a few weeks to be seen, then when he was seen, the doctor referred him to a skin specialist...who did NOT accept medical. What a waste.

My son called me this morning and was actually crying. He knows he needs to be seen for TED, but is barred by a broken American medical system. He's more broken because he does not understand why his father won't help him get medical care. He was also upset that his father knows that our son's car broke down two weeks ago and he cannot get to and from his work. I've been trying to help when I can with his transportation, but just can't understand how a father can be so cold to his only son. His father refused to help with his son's repairs for the car, refused to help him get a rental car, and has refused to help him with a down payment or co-sign on a used car, which in CA is very difficult to obtain these days. My son does not see his father's behavior as MLC, as he doesn't understand the syndrome, but feels the 180 chill from who his father was. He's always called his dad his best friend.

I reached out to my son's father once in the last 6 years. I asked him to help our son get medical care. To maybe add him to the company insurance plan, anything to help our son treat his phobias and to be seen by a doctor.

Crickets. From my experience the cold behavior is a manifest response from a person still enduring the midlife fracture. The other cold behavior to our son is just another way my x husband takes a stab at me. Hurts me by hurting our son.

I asked my son to just go see his father face to face, and ask him for help. Ex's response? "Your mother has a million dollars stashed in an offshore account and she's only trying to steal my company, so go ask her for her money.

It is my opinion that the cold behavior so many of us are familiar with also extends to the mlcr children, or anyone who dare interfere with their narrative (re-invented history). Their mental fracture goes so deep that these mlcrs panic at anyone getting close to the truth...which the mlcr cannot accept. So many of these fractured folks run from facing their real truths and those closest to the flame, get the most burned.

I wish there was a site for children/family members of mid life transition fractured people. These kids/family members need a site to ask questions, and seek direction. My son has believed my ex's narrative now for 12 years. Ex sticks to the 1,000,000 off shore story and my son is caught in the middle so to speak, and is caught in the limbo.

I wished I could help my son get a used car. I wished I could find a doctor who still accepts cash for visits, and I wish my son was not caught in the middle of his father's mid life transition/fracture.  As a side note to this post, my former husband became afraid of dying at the beginning of his mlc, has medical phobias just like his son, but he cannot separate his fracture from his own son's needs. No empathy that his son suffers many of his own afflictions with the phobias. My therapist says that were there are one phobias, there are often times, many.

Both son and ex are afraid of heights. Becoming ill. Hearing anything medical that suggests they may be ill. Phobias of failure, phobias of intimacy, conflict avoidant tendency.

Sorry for the mini rant. I rarely post here but logged in today and saw this subject and the topic hit home.
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Married 18 years, 3 sons
BD and served divorce papers on same day, 9 months after I had surgery for a brain tumor.
EA and PA while I was recovering from surgery
Deep FOO
Ex filed for phony bankruptcy 11 days after family court concluded.
Ten years of litigation to save my life's work stolen by ex.

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#27: September 17, 2022, 11:00:45 AM
Jo, I'm so sorry this is all happened to you. I'm really new to all this, and I feel rather out of my depth commenting much, but I'm sure some of the veterans here will respond. All I can say is that it does seem as though you have this very special relationship with your son, and that is something to cherish.

I have been reading this blog by John Folk Williams
https://www.storiedmind.com/self-esteem/why-depressed-men-leave-1/comment-page-8/#comment-1112605

It made so much sense to me, in terms of my situation. He covers many other areas too. Much of it aligns with HS, but his words are from his own experience of depression, and the urge to escape.

Strength to you..
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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#28: September 17, 2022, 11:18:52 AM
Thank you for the thoughtful referral. I'll read it soon. And just when I thought the emotional abuse to my son could not get worse, I learned yesterday that my former husband crushed my son yesterday.

My son was in special ed all of his life. He barely made it out of high school, and that was with tutors five days a week. His dad is co-owner of a big head hunting business locally, and does quite well.  His son asked to come work for him at the business, you know, learn from his father.
His father told him that he only hires people with a bachelor's degree. That there, was a stab in my son's heart in that his father knows his son could not make it through college. He was as cold as ice.

Yesterday we learned that his father hired his girlfriend's son (same age as my son) to work at their San Diego office. No bachelor's degree. Gets full medical benefits, a company car, gas allowance, car washes, and a nice retirement account.

My ex's own son is on food stamps, has no working car, works two jobs, no medical insurance, and his father left for a three week vacation yesterday to Europe.

And sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread. I'll figure out how to start my own thread soon. lol
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Married 18 years, 3 sons
BD and served divorce papers on same day, 9 months after I had surgery for a brain tumor.
EA and PA while I was recovering from surgery
Deep FOO
Ex filed for phony bankruptcy 11 days after family court concluded.
Ten years of litigation to save my life's work stolen by ex.

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#29: October 17, 2022, 02:38:29 AM
It's been a while since I posted, mainly because I have little to share or vent with the community. This since deciding to going dark on comms with my H for a few months, to allow me to breath, heal and function, not much has occurred. I have been functioning. I would say GAL'ing, but it's more like re-joining my life (which is a far less interesting acronym), because my life was pretty full before BD. But I have added to the mix less TV watching, more socialising, going for runs and the obligatory yoga. I have secured and increased my finances and I am trying hard to pause on thinking about, let alone actioning, any big decisions. I am 3 months in - still tearful sometimes, with phases of anxiety. A flatness in the morning, perhaps because I wake up at 3 am and spin around in my brain until my brain has the sense to turn itself off again. Oh, and moments of manic activity, with a bit of elation. Probably all normal....? To make sense of it where I can, I have been leaning into HS - reading the many stories of the forum. After coming across the story of MadLuv, I would say I found a near match to my sitch. The FOO issues and abandonment. It sparked it me a memory from about 5 years ago. Away on vacation, going for a stroll with H along the beach, I was musing about us in 30 years time, still doing the same type of thing, and he made an uncharacteristically cold comment, something like 'if we make it'. This kicked-off an argument (more like an emotional exchange) within which his jealously of my career became clear, but also an undercurrent of how he struggled with my being away from home (that year I was away for 2 x month long writer's retreats). I know he really struggles to be alone, but hid it well, and managed to be supportive. After this, I travelled very little and then of course, the pandemic that grounded us all. I am not saying I think this was an earlier BD. I don't think that, because we remained strong and close. My H was not withdrawn and regressing  - he was actually in a good place. The triggers came later. But in his post-BD monologue, he recalled how I had said to him, a few months prior to BD, that I felt we were growing apart. He said he not could not handle hearing it, but this had rooted in his mind, it was the seed for separation. Of course, I could get little clarity on this after BD, but it remains bewildering to me because I raised it to ignite a conversation about his withdrawal.  But he really did not want to talk about it. I still think it is no coincidence that BD occurred when I started to travel again. I do know that it changes nothing in the terms of the observable facts. And I know that he is in crisis. But the possibility of him abandoning me before I 'abandoned' him feels like an addition layer of complexity. I am not blaming myself. I just felt the urge to journal it I suppose.

I do have a question for the forum - My H, like so many before him, is absolutely certain in his decision - OK, that seems par for the script (and it is very early days). But right from the start he told everyone close to him, and beyond, that our marriage is over, done, the end. With me then receiving sympathy messages from his family like 'I hope you can move on' etc (like another nail in the coffin, only one week in). In people's experience, is this usual (or at least, not unusual)? And does it affect things if the MLC has doubts or even change their mind? I I wonder about the issue of saving face and how this can affect any form of reconnection moving forward.  I more commonly read that the MLC will not tell people unless they have to, keep the whole thing secret. My sitch seems somehow more cast in stone now,  it has a shared ownership. I know as I write this, it may seem like straw-clutching, but increasingly now, I am focused on my own choices and decisions moving forward. This 'face-saving' issue is a niggling unaddressed question for me. At least some responses will stop me endlessly foraging  :)
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« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 02:42:10 AM by KayDee »

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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#30: October 17, 2022, 09:24:04 AM
It is normal that they do that. Mine did, and then he waivered a bit in the months afterward. But, my situation did not end up reconciling at all and 11 years after BD my xH is still completely out there.  FWIW, I got the "I had to leave you before you left me" literal speech, so I think that too is part of the script.

I spent many years as a stander making choices based on what would be best in the case of reconciliation, and in hindsight that wasted a lot of my time and positioned me differently than what I feel now. Just some food for thought, but if I could tell my earlier self anything it would be to take the "live like they're not coming back" portion of the welcome message here very seriously. It's extremely hurtful when you learn the people around you are less interested in asking, "What do you need?" instead of giving you platitudes about "moving on", but in some ways it helps you sort out who will be in your next chapter and who won't. That's a lot to think about in the timeline you're in now - but I'm glad you've focused on going dark and taking care of yourself. Three months in I was a complete wreck still, and you've got the main stuff covered, as well as the self-awareness to see your own patterns. AWESOME!
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#31: October 17, 2022, 10:02:29 AM
As Ready says, that’s pretty par for the course.
Interestingly for the few that do reappear, the ‘face saving’ thing does not seem to prevent them doing so. Many even say they have no real recollection of some of the awful things they said and did that are burned in most LBS’s memory  ::)
It can be an (understandable) brain hiccup imho to view their behaviour through a lens of normality, or ascribe the same kind of rationale as we might have done before with the person we knew.

I must admit that I agree with Ready too on the ‘live as if they are not coming back’ practically speaking. Partly bc relatively few do. Mostly bc it is an unknown and it seems wiser to do so. One can keep a sort of mental half-door open - and most of us did for a while - you will know when/if you reach a point when it feels right to shut the door completely.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#32: October 17, 2022, 11:46:17 AM
Thank you Ready and Treasur for answering this.

It's a strange schism for me in that my physical actions move in a way that he is not coming back, but my emotional self is trailing behind, hanging on to a dangling thread of hope. I know it at least :) And yet, at the same time, I also realise I don't want the old relationship back either. I suppose it takes time to stop fighting for something that only exists in memory.

It's also a schism, or more like a juggling act of the mind, for me to simultaneously believe that, on one hand, this isn't about us the LBS and the marriage, ergo our spouses did not fall out of love with us, were not unhappy for X amount of years etc etc  AND on the other, that relatively few return. It would seem, through the 'normal' lens, that if the first part is true, eventually all would want to return, or at least make some sort of peace with the spouse they abandoned. I know (hope :)) people will weigh in on this. My early understanding of this sh$t storm tells me that perhaps the reason this does not happen could be due to multiple (and layered) reasons - lack of introspection, the continual flight from self (or indeed a lack of complete self), shame, or....? I guess that was partly why I asked the question about saving face. And I also realise, I may never know. And as you say Treasur, maybe not having that mindset is not such a bad thing. Just some musings I suppose.
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« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 11:47:50 AM by KayDee »

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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#33: October 17, 2022, 03:11:11 PM
I don´t lean too far into the "saving face" camp. I think that the MLCer went as far as they could on a limited tool set and then when it all crashed down on them (all being whatever their FOO, life in general, existential who am I, where am I in life) they rarely went on to gain new skills in communication, reflection, self-awareness and self-care. (Fooling around like you´re 20 years younger is not self-care in my book.) Maybe in their quiet moments they do get hit with how horribly they treated the LBS and guilt keeps them from stepping forward to be accountable for what they´ve done.

 I just see my ex as broken. At bomb drop he painted me as the reason for all his complaints. As time went on, there were glimmers of how off his axis he was and you too will likely get wind of other rather very odd behaviors. I think very few come back because very few have the grit or direction to do the very hard internal work. Maybe they are content to be surface dwellers who glide through life and are truly happy to live a superficial life for if they were to go deep, it would inevitably mean dealing with some darker realms of self.

That is why as heart rendering as it is, you are likely to heal faster and regret less by acting and believing that they are not coming back. Ditching all those shared dreams is brutal, no doubt. You do get to envision a new future though and that counts for a whole lot.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#34: October 17, 2022, 04:42:30 PM
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My early understanding of this sh$t storm tells me that perhaps the reason this does not happen could be due to multiple (and layered) reasons - lack of introspection, the continual flight from self (or indeed a lack of complete self), shame, or....? I guess that was partly why I asked the question about saving face


I personally have thought on this so many times. My XH ran to not face issues and is still running to not face issues and will continue to run until he decides to face his issues and they are his to face.  You Kaydee are so far ahead on learning and understanding MLC. I was 6 months in before I found this site and I myself was fighting tooth and nail to fix him, save him, save the marriage and then get him to see the magnitude of what he was doing to his life. The level of hiding and betrayals to save himself did not become apparent until last may where I got so many more answers  of how deep he was into his lack of self awareness and denial.

I am in a better place. I am moving forward. I will let my life evolve as I still try and make sense of what was and what is, but I am moving forward without him now. With that said I still have people say he will come back and don’t take him back. To those people I am brutally honest. I say the man is not well. I don’t see that happening or even now see a possible future, but I do still believe he is in there somewhere and I also will not completely shut the door to someone I spent 31 years with. I think you can move on and be open to anything as long as it doesn’t keep you stuck. We are healing for years, so I personally don’t think it is healthy to start a new relationship, but if the right time and place it happens then I guess that door would be shut.

In the end they have to do the work. I like you wonder if my XH has the courage to ever face himself ,his mortality and the destruction of his wonderful life that is now in ruins. If he was running before he has more to run from now. However, I still have a small hope that he will get tired of running and take accountability for his life and appreciate what he had. I think thats ok. To not be empathetic to him would make me someone I don’t want to be. So, you move forward. Work on YOU. I had no idea how much I needed to look at within me and I am more patient and things roll off me now. I dont have time or space for negativity . You will be a better person for this.  You are guaranteed 2 things to make it through and be better for it. That doesn’t have to mean you are thankful for it., but it allows you to move on with hope. 
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« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 05:54:28 PM by MadLuv »
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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#35: October 18, 2022, 01:10:26 PM
I have a friend who told me of her own dad who did this several years ago.  At one point in a moment of clarity, he told her that he couldn't let himself think about what he had done because he couldn't live with himself.  At this point, he just is purposely choosing to not acknowledge and face what he did.  I would hazard a guess that a lot of these people have a hard time facing themselves.  I would love at one point if my H would at least feel some remorse.  I have come to realize that if he does feel remorse, it is unlikely he would ever express it to me.  He is also emphatic that I am everything wrong with the world and he's never coming back and he's so gloriously happy now.  Who knows what the real truth is but it does seem a little unfair at times I have to face this destruction and may or may not ever see him realize and be sorry for what he has done. 
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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#36: October 18, 2022, 03:00:36 PM
+1 on the 100% sure he's never coming back. He also told his entire family we were separating before he told me.. they knew what was about to happen days before me. I remember I was very upset about that..

I'm 5 years in and 4 and a half since he walked.. every story is different but in my case, things unraveled over time and whoever hears what happened over the last few years arrives to the same conclusion.. something along the lines of "there's something seriously wrong with him", "he's having some kind of crisis" or a simpler "he really lost his mind". So at this point I'm sure it's not just me who understands that he's not acting normally and is having some sort of crisis... Does this mean he will eventually come back? Imho, no. Even if he realises he made the worst mistake of his life, he will never admit it. He was always proud and I don't expect that will change, even if he does the internal work. Another reason why I think some don't come back is that they mess their lives so badly that there is no way back.. my H married OW (even though he's still married to me, long story) she's much younger that him (another cliché) and I know she wants to have babies. They haven't arrived yet but I think it's a matter of time.. how will he pedal back from that? I expect some get stuck living a life that they don't really want but they pretty much accept it as punishment for everything they did to the LBS

Obviously this is simply my opinion based on my experience and some stories I read here. I also agree with other comments about living like they are never coming back. I got the logistics sorted very quickly but the emotional part took a long time. In my case it happened in layers. Something would happen (like H bringing OW to his home country) and that would remove another layer of emotional attachment to H.. you'll get there too.. it's just a matter of time.
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H - 46 (40 @BD1)
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Together 15 years, M 8 @separation
No kids
BD1 - 26th Aug 2017 (Not happy, life has no purpose)
BD2 - 22nd March 2018 (Marriage is over, we want different things, confessed EA with someone 12,000 kms away although "she means nothing")
H moved in with parents 11th May 2018 (I asked him to leave as couldn't handle the EA rubbed all over my face)
H moved abroad 29th Dec 2018, not sure if OW will join him or if they are still in contact.
Confirmation H and OW are together, presume PA  - 3rd June 2019
H gets engaged with OW - Oct 2019
H "finally" asks for divorce - Aug 2020
H marries OW - March 2021.. We are not divorced!
Divorced - Dec 7th 2022

"One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change"

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#37: October 19, 2022, 01:18:19 AM
I have a friend who told me of her own dad who did this several years ago.  At one point in a moment of clarity, he told her that he couldn't let himself think about what he had done because he couldn't live with himself. 

And yet he lives! :) Excuse the glib comment, but I am finding this sort of life and death drama statement - that I heard from my H in a different form - quite granidiose. There's a kind of power play in it. I can't quite articulate why. Maybe something to do with the reverse heroics of it all.

Thanks to everyone else for their insights (MadLuv your description of you H is very close to mine). My H cannot cope with any form of rejection. I think this is why he cannot make any kind of decision entirely for himself (including the one to leave me IMO), because to decide is to act and that act may be rejected.  So, to add to what others have said, I can also see this as a block to making any sort of move that would address what he has done. I can see in the future, set adrift from the solid ground that was a partnership built on mutual support and trust, that he may well end up bobbing along in the sea of other peoples' opinions and influence.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#38: October 19, 2022, 07:30:21 AM
My XH has flat out said he cant think about it. When he looks at us we remind him of all his failures. If they ever do decide to address their issues I think it will be pretty clear that a change is happening. The best thing for me has been to keep moving forward and trust that a brighter future is ahead. Anything else is self defeating. I think however specially when you have children and they are forever affected then you are forever affected, so we do hang on to the hope that they will find themselves and show some resemblance of who they were. You’re soing great Kaydee.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#39: October 21, 2022, 12:53:24 AM
Really striking MadLuv that when he sees you he sees his failures - not feels a failure. As if you and your daughter are somehow objects, not fully autonomous, separate people with your own goals, desires and achievements. It's such an obvious projection, but it must be extremely hurtful nonetheless.
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#40: February 13, 2023, 09:25:23 AM
I have not updated for a while, but I have been following along with everyone else’s posts and learning a lot along the way. I didn’t have much to say for the longest time. I went NC quite soon after BD. A state of being that really helped me. This and being extremely busy workwise. I traveled a lot, met new people, made new friends (which has been very reaffirming) and when I returned home, I socialized a bit more than I needed too  8) In case I sound too together, while I was away, I would sometimes get overwhelmed and had to retreat, with some anxiety attacks plus the sudden onset swimming pool of tears moments. But now the anxiety has waned a bit and the tears are a bit more like puddles. I continue to cycle too much I fear, sometimes like the Tour de France until a WTF moment dismounts me half way up the Feeling Sorry for Myself slope.

On the departing H front, he has mainly respected my boundaries, although early on he was sending out tentacles for information. First to outer-circle, mutual friends, then, closer, to my BF. Sort of seeking information about my well-being but also throwing out what felt like a lot of self-pity too (he feels terrible, he is lost etc). I intuited these were meant to get back to me (that worked! they got back to me  ::)) Later, he wrote more meaningful, apologetic letters to my family (where’s my(cuss word) letter I still wonder).  Now it seems he has split with the mysterious OW/EA/PA/WTH and one of them (or both of them) is left with the cost of the remainder of the lease. Of course, I don’t believe what he tells me, but I do have external verification of the parting and the lease mess. Either way, it seems he has already reached the inevitably sticky bog of personal and financial difficulties and he can no longer pay his part of the mortgage. This is not a shock because with the help of basic math and the wise folk here I saw this coming. What was a bit more shocking is, that when I last saw him, he completely broke down. Honestly, it was pretty awful and it literally gave me chest pain (hmmm, not feeling detached just yet KD!). We did end up hugging and he kept saying he was sorry. I didn’t ask for what. I didn’t say much really, just some words of reassurance, because he seemed so very low. This was six weeks ago and since then

***crickets***

It’s on my mind today, I don’t know why today in particular, but I guess that’s why I’m journalling. I go back and forth on whether I should check in with him. Something neutral to see if he is OK. I guess I fear a vanisher. Although, intellectually I know it's not within my control. That’s the ‘back’. The ‘forth’ is that he needs to figure things out. He needs to have this time alone. Perhaps he is in OW withdrawal. Advice, wisdom, cheer-leading or hugs will be happily received  ;D
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#41: February 13, 2023, 11:57:06 AM
Kaydee- good for you on moving forward and going NC. It really does help to move forward in all ways, but there are still those anxiety moments. I had no contact with my XH for around 9 months, but at soon as I had to reach out ge responded. We have been in a lot of contact for 2 months now, but I do all the reaching out. Trying to sort through our 30 years of items that never were sorted through. One thing I want to offer as your H sounds much like mine. Very sorry but with no detailed explanation. Very sad.

What my XH did say was that he left and he doesn’t feel that he has the right to reach out to me. I know once I sort thru everything and I have no need to contact he will vanish again. They live with so much guilt. I don’t miss being around that misery, but I am empathetic and if he needs a friend or reaches out then I will be that friend. The best we can do is move forward knowing that if they don't have the courage to face themselves and they aren't making an effort to be in our lives then they haven't much to add to it right now. Things can change. Until they do we carry on and get stronger and wiser.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#42: February 13, 2023, 01:15:18 PM
Thank you MadLuv. I did see the similarities with your xH very early on. I feel in my bones that my H wants it to be me that reaches out to him. He too always responds swiftly if I send a message. Many of my close friends feel he would see himself as having no way back. My H cannot bear any form of rejection. It's wrapped up in shame and this is a big FOO issue for him. So yes to courage! And I don't underestimate what that would take. That's what I would wish for him, because if there is courage, there would be some sign that he had started to address the FOO issues that have kept him from maturing in certain areas of his life. And I wish it for me, so that, at the very least, he could tell me honestly what happened to him.
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#43: February 14, 2023, 12:37:29 AM
Quote
It’s on my mind today, I don’t know why today in particular, but I guess that’s why I’m journalling. I go back and forth on whether I should check in with him. Something neutral to see if he is OK. I guess I fear a vanisher. Although, intellectually I know it's not within my control. That’s the ‘back’. The ‘forth’ is that he needs to figure things out. He needs to have this time alone. Perhaps he is in OW withdrawal. Advice, wisdom, cheer-leading or hugs will be happily received  ;D

My best shot on this fwiw is that you do exactly what you are doing, that you use the rule of 3 gap to consider the why and what for yourself. There’s a school of thought that sees all communication as a series of ‘bids’....the signals we send out and the signals we choose to receive. If you did reach out, what signal are you sending? Or expecting to get back? If he said he was ok, what would you do with that? If he said he wasn’t ok, ditto? If the roles were reversed, what would you expect of him?

Imho - and jmo - the practical effect of their choices is to remove us from certain roles in their life we may have previously played and to remove the reciprocity in the relationship. That’s painful and most LBS struggle with it to greater or lesser degrees for quite a while I think. And we don’t like it or agree with it, of course, but most of us were not given a vote lol. There was no We in it. In fact, their behaviour usually sends pretty clear signals that either there is no We in their mind or there is a new We in town  ::) The landscape has changed and I think all LBS go through a process of figuring out what feels appropriate, or not, in that new landscape. Which remember was not of your choice or making.

So, imho, it makes sense to let it sit for a while to give yourself time to think about the signals you might want to send out and your own expectations, goals and boundaries.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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#44: February 14, 2023, 02:02:40 AM
If the roles were reversed, what would you expect of him?

Ah well, I gave up thinking that way for sure! Not so long ago, I was in a city that had a major incident, in fact it happened very, very near to where I was staying. My phone lit up with concerned messages. From people I was working with locally (new acquaintances with their own pressing worries about what was happening, but still kind enough to check on me) and of course, my friends and family at home. Absence of one. And my H knew I was in that location. This was one of those clarifying moments. At first I was very upset and took it personally, because the person I knew before would have been so very worried. But now I know that he can only see the world in a very limited way. He has limited this view because that's what he can cope with. If I try to visualize it, it's a very tight circle that ends about 30cm from his big toe. Like one of those spot lights that follows a theatre actor around a darkened stage.  Not an excuse, just a reality I think.

Thank you for your thoughts on communication. It made me realize that, quite obviously, I know the answer to how he is. He's not OK of course. One has to slap oneself (not too hard  :) ) not to fall into the rescue mode, even indirectly so. I have a friend who is clinically depressed, and has been for many years. I realize now that I have been practicing detachment with her for the last few years. We have periods where we have the most wonderful get-togethers, spend time with each other, speak regularly on the phone, and then she just vanishes. Does not reply to my messages, emails, calls. I used to be angry with her, take it personally. Now when this happens I know it is about her. That she has slipped into a depressive state, so I keep a thread between us and send her occasional photos or messages. But expect nothing back. Yes, I know this situation is different to the one with my H. At the moment my own mental well-being is vulnerable, and I am coiled into what my H sees as the problem. But I also see the parallels. I guess I will take each day as it comes. I am a natural proponent of the Rule of Three  ;)
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« Last Edit: February 14, 2023, 02:04:55 AM by KayDee »

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#45: March 29, 2023, 01:56:10 PM
Journalling a bit.

Since crickets of January, my H has again been in touch. He wrote me a long email, which, to give a flavour, was 10% practicalities, 30% missing me, 10% missing our conversations about literature (something he gave up as part of his withdrawal) and 40% missing my family (ha ha! They are the prize) and, I suppose, 10% self-pity/guilt abdication. The tone was pretty emotional. He signs off with love.  I joked with a friend that the email needed a forensic linguistic psychologist to decipher. The consistent theme was connecting – for us to keep talking. We have since been lightly messaging. He wants to talk. I’m journaling because I find myself in an unusual funk. Unusual for me because I am usually quite decisive. Part of me really wants to take a step, to weave a few strands together with him, but part of me is afraid of what this ‘stranger’ will say - even though, objectively, anything he could ever have said/done to hurt me has been done.  I know that the fear of harm is what is holding me back. Of late, I have managed to create a nice breathing space for myself, I am enjoying life again. It’s different but interesting. It is a full life, with love from other sources. So, I think my body is holding back from my H. Of course, it makes sense, like touching a hot cooker or something, and perhaps it tells me I am nowhere near healed. I am wondering, how do we navigate these choppy waters? Find the strength to engage with our spouses and make this part of our repair?
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#46: April 01, 2023, 06:10:29 AM
I have dealt with this recently as my XH stopped communication for 10 months and reopened it. I communicated business only and then some conversations became more friendly. I almost tested the waters if you will. Some truth darts followed and he took them and didn’t disengage. He showed some empathy and some interest in my life, but it was still slight. Once I realized that I wasn’t getting much from the interaction as he still wasn’t able to truly reciprocate a friendship I decided to stop communicating. I just made a choice. Not know to him. I just stopped. It can start again if I choose and if he chooses. If you can communicate and get something from it then no harm done. You could be opening the doors for more to come, but if you ever feel it is harming you in any way the. You can choose differently. That’s how I look at it. Just another friend in my circle I can decide when and how much I want them in my life by how they are adding to it.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#47: April 03, 2023, 05:28:05 AM
Thank you Madluv, your perspective is really helpful and reassuring. I hope to get to a better level of detachment where the conflict between my head and heart isn't so extreme. I do think we can end up switching emotional places with our MLCrs. I now feel that it is me that is on the run  :-\  I need more headspace, more time to heal. I feel like the scab on my wound is still in that gooey phase where the slightest knock will pull it off (sorry for the gross analogy  8) but it seems right). At the same time, my head knows that if I want any sort of relationship with my H in the future, or perhaps I should say, want the option of a relationship, I need to pull up the big girl pants, and engage.
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#48: April 03, 2023, 02:30:17 PM
Thank you Madluv, your perspective is really helpful and reassuring. I hope to get to a better level of detachment where the conflict between my head and heart isn't so extreme. I do think we can end up switching emotional places with our MLCrs. I now feel that it is me that is on the run  :-\  I need more headspace, more time to heal. I feel like the scab on my wound is still in that gooey phase where the slightest knock will pull it off (sorry for the gross analogy  8) but it seems right). At the same time, my head knows that if I want any sort of relationship with my H in the future, or perhaps I should say, want the option of a relationship, I need to pull up the big girl pants, and engage.

It might be icky but that’s a perfect analogy KD. I completely understand how you’re feeling. I’m in that same boat with you… or perhaps not even IN a boat? Just swimming through it all. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.  ;)
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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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I find myself more confused than normal. Would appreciate wisdom.

Since my last post, I have had on and off meet ups with my H. In between there is complete silence – for weeks. He always initiates and our coming together is generally positive. No R talk, but not superficial either. We talk a bit like we used to, about shared interests. There is a quality to our connection and often times it is almost comfortable. Shades of the old H, although it is obvious he is very emotionally fragile. He has not expressed explicitly that he is having doubts about leaving, although he circles close. He is not out of the woods by any stretch. I can tell this by things he says, but he is much more focused on me and he looks at me with affection again. OW1 is gone. No other OW that I know of. Last time we met, he said he wanted to do it again and soon. And then, again, crickets. Again. It goes weeks and weeks. No messages, calls, nothing. I do not initiate but now I am wondering if I should at least give something. Some encouragement. I reflect a lot on this. In the distance and pursuit dynamic, I think I have always been a bit of a distancer. By nature I guess. My H is actually aware of his FOO issues. Abandonment is major here. And relatedly, rejection is a huge fear for him. I don’t know what the future brings, or even what I want at this moment, but I know I was happy to spend time with my H and I am prepared to meet him along the path towards possible reconnection. Ahhhhh - it’s so hard to judge. I don’t want to fall into old relationship dynamics, but I wonder if me not giving an inch is also part of that.
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I don't have an answer for you really. I have been living this for 13 years. I can hypothesize but I truly do not have any idea why he disappears. Like you, I do not initiate contact but respond when he does.

it used to frighten me, what if I never heard from him again...yet somehow, I always do.

I also used to think, well since he continues contacting me, often texting a "joke" and often bringing me gifts from his travels...then it must mean something.

Whatever it means, it is quite bizarre after so many years to treat someone this way, especially your family, especially someone you spent years together with.

We are very comfortable talking about all kinds of topics and it's pleasant when I see him but for me, it's totally superficial for there isn't any discussion of feelings or mention of what we once had. It's all compartmentalized, that's about the only way to describe it.

I stopped looking for meaning a long time ago.

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And then, again, crickets. Again. It goes weeks and weeks. No messages, calls, nothing. I do not initiate but now I am wondering if I should at least give something. Some encouragement. I reflect a lot on this. In the distance and pursuit dynamic, I think I have always been a bit of a distancer. By nature I guess. My H is actually aware of his FOO issues. Abandonment is major here. And relatedly, rejection is a huge fear for him. I don’t know what the future brings, or even what I want at this moment, but I know I was happy to spend time with my H and I am prepared to meet him along the path towards possible reconnection.

If I contact him, it's usually for his birthday, Father's Day, anniversary dates of the death of his parents, occasionally I'll send him a joke.

It's ok to contact him and ok not to. The only thing I will caution, is not to expect that it will have any effect of impact on him one way or another.

I don't know what they do in those long stretches of time that we do not hear from them..I suspect they enter back into their other life, of which we have very little knowledge of..but that too is just a guess.
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Fwiw I think you are giving an inch (or more) by responding when he initiates and in how you treat him when he does.
You may be letting your anxiety get the best of you? After all, you are more likely to get some value from seeing him if it is his initiation? On the horse to water principle.....or so experience here usually suggests.
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I am prepared to meet him along the path towards possible reconnection

I really think that if you wish to reconcile, then openness to them in their crisis is necessary. Not essential but as we once used words such as "paving the way" or being a "lighthouse" or showing them unconditional and agape love...it cannot hurt to enter into some type of relationship with them. Knowing that "nothing we say or do" will ultimately affect them,

Detachment allows me to have contact without it causing me to suffer from the fear/anxiety/distress that I sometimes hear about when people never have contact and then for some reason contact happens....for a variety of reasons and it throws them completely and they don't know how to handle it.

In my mind, I will not allow his presence to be an impediment to my health and well being. However, he is a human being and those of us who have contact can see how very messed up they are...so from a different perspective, once I learned that I could protect myself from any "harm" then,  having contact, for whatever reason, was ok. I don't expect that contact to change him or bring him back..but to me it is the right thing to do.

Perhaps they have changed into a totally different person...or perhaps, there is still buried within them, memories of us...we just don't know.

We do get to choose and one of the most important things my therapist told me was I can change my mind.

We used to look for "clues" that they were coming out of their crisis and I think we have learned not to consider what they are doing, until they actually make a real effort (Acorn's story is a very good example of this) and perhaps only looking back will we see that they are wanting to return.

The big question for all, is will we allow them?


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« Last Edit: May 04, 2023, 12:06:27 PM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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Thank you xyzcf and Treasur. I just went for a run and feel so much better. Oh those endorphins  :) For those of you who don't know - bounce up and down on the spot until your heart pounds. You will feel soooo much better - or punch a bag repeatedly. Even better.

I am blessed with finding this forum and also lucky to have friends and family who are remarkably instep with much of the advice. They all love my H but think he needs to work it out for himself. To quote my mom 'the ball is in his court'.  I get it and overall I am enjoying life, albeit with an H size slice cut out. But I am so early in this, I am still scrutinizing  myself. Trying to find a pimple or wayward hair. Trying to look at my warts and disentangle what I may be 'guilty' of. If I find nothing major I worry I might be a narcissist ;)

xyzcf - the conversations I have had with my H have been deep. And I think he would talk about what happened and our R, but I put up a shield against this. I don't think it is the right time. He often seems on the verge of tears. He tries to hid it, but I can see it. I intuit his silence is because, never having been the initiator before, he doesn't know what to do. I suspect he wants me to do something This is what I meant by old patterns. I am metaphorically taping myself to a chair not to do this. But when I read other people's threads, so many seem to be more forthcoming about contact. I feel like I battened down the hatches and prepared for the mother of all storms right from the get go. It was necessary for me at the start, and it really helped me get back on my feet. Now I am reassessing I suppose. And we cycle too I suppose.
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I think it is very common after contact for them to disappear to some extent and process. This can go on for quite a bit and is necessary for them to work through their issues. If when you are together you can keep it light and let him leave with not feel burdened by the contact then the less he has to add to his already overwhelming thoughts he is sorting through. My XH has always been a martyr in this all and so he has no issues telling me when he was struggling and one thing I know is that he had to have time alone to clear his head, yet he feared being alone with his thoughts. They truly are at war with themselves.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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But I am so early in this, I am still scrutinizing  myself. Trying to find a pimple or wayward hair. Trying to look at my warts and disentangle what I may be 'guilty' of. If I find nothing major I worry I might be a narcissist ;)

Marriages and relationships are not perfect. We are not perfect and although it's always part of our personal growth  to look inward and reflect upon our weaknesses as well as our strengths, MLC is not about us and not about the marriage. We can analyze ourselves and come up with all sorts of reasons for them running..but ultimately it is their crisis and we are collateral damage.

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the conversations I have had with my H have been deep. And I think he would talk about what happened and our R, but I put up a shield against this. I don't think it is the right time. He often seems on the verge of tears. He tries to hid it, but I can see it.

You can see it, and possibly you can feel it...I trust my intuition. It is painful to see my loved one such a mess and painful to be so personally hurt by his mess........how I wish that something would break through his mask......still, having some insight into their world, allows me to step aside ( as you are doing by not going out of your way to contact with him)...but it is this sadness of theirs that perhaps causes me to take a second look at what has happened to them.....and be willing to respond back "in kind".....basically I mirror back to him what he writes to me. It is not an easy road for me, certainly not the type of relationship I have with any other person......

It helps me to consider that he has regressed to some area of his life that seems like he is at a much younger  age..I don't understand all the psychology behind this but I know what I have seen through the years. When I get my own feelings and emotions out of the way, it allows me to see him from a different perspective. This "boy man" is a very strange creature.

They are all different of course, and your husband has deep conversations with you. I am not sure they always remember from one day to the next what they spoke to us about...in that early time, we'd have seemingly regular talks and make plans for my return and then the next time we'd talk he would deny that he every said that. They are very confused about this.

I once asked RCR why he had left everything he owned with me.....and she said because he trusts you....over the years, I have seen this to be very true....he trusts me, there is no doubt of that and perhaps it is because I have never shut him out nor changed myself into something "different"..the love I have for him did not disappear because he is in crisis. That love is still there. My reality.

I learned not to put too many "rules" in place as to what I can and cannot do regarding "us".  You spoke about it being necessary at the start, to distance yourself and I totally get that. I actually had no physical contact with him for 19 months and little communication until the time came when I was ready to deal with my own feelings about seeing him.....

I really think the "permission" given to me that it's my choice whether to see him or not and I can change my mind helped me to understand that human relationships are fluid.....a list of rules of do's and don'ts cannot really explain matters of the heart..at least not for me they couldn't.

So listen to your own inner wisdom...at some point I considered how I would have wanted to be  treated if I were the one that had a crisis.

As madluv has so aptly stated:

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They truly are at war with themselves.
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« Last Edit: May 05, 2023, 06:07:25 AM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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Journalling a bit

I've dropped the rope. Ignoring my own tiny little nagging voice of reason (and all good people on HS who replied - sorry, you were right), I reached out and offered my H a neutral, but pushable door. And whadya know? He's back to jaunty teenager, as if the last emotional, love-lorn look infused, meeting never occurred. Did not seem to want to push that door at all. Although he did respond immediately, wanting to know what I was doing etc. But I am already fed up with pretending like all is peachy. I know this is the territory, I just want a really long vacation from this dysfunctional hinterland. Funny, in the end, I think my friends were more annoyed by his response than me. One said 'it's like his back at square one'. I guess I simultaneously expected it but hoped for something different.  The anger was great for me though. Truly. Another little switch clicked - can't say whether that would be 'on' or 'off', but something definitely clicked.

Hmm, so I guess the thing with dropping the rope is that you set yourself adrift a little. I mean, there is tension at both ends of the rope, no? That's how it feels at the moment. So, to ward off wafting around the mothership like an astronaut untethered by a meteorite storm, I am filling up my dance-card and deploying a bit of my own distraction tactics. Waiting for the void to close I suppose.

Thank you xycf for your deep and considered response. Thank you Madluv, I think you are right, although I think my H is still in the rapid cycle spin. Time will tell I suppose.

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« Last Edit: May 11, 2023, 07:44:38 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#57: July 05, 2023, 03:46:05 AM
A small update from the trials and tribulations of A Rope Dropper. If there was an MLC Olympics, featuring Truth Darts, Tossing the Blame and of course, Cycling (there must be more!), I would hope to get a Bronze in the art of the Rope Drop. But the Cycling has intervened and my H initiated another Talk. Which led to us meeting and speaking for the longest time since BD. Lots more moments of the former H, normal conversations and even some laughter, but a lot of overt depression. Of significance - he said that, at first he blamed the marriage for everything (he somehow forgot blaming me  ??? no, in fact, he certainly did not blame me :) ) but now, after time away and alone, he now knows it's something inside him. Some progress?
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#58: July 05, 2023, 05:32:20 AM
A small update from the trials and tribulations of A Rope Dropper. If there was an MLC Olympics, featuring Truth Darts, Tossing the Blame and of course, Cycling (there must be more!), I would hope to get a Bronze in the art of the Rope Drop. But the Cycling has intervened and my H initiated another Talk. Which led to us meeting and speaking for the longest time since BD. Lots more moments of the former H, normal conversations and even some laughter, but a lot of overt depression. Of significance - he said that, at first he blamed the marriage for everything (he somehow forgot blaming me  ??? no, in fact, he certainly did not blame me :) ) but now, after time away and alone, he now knows it's something inside him. Some progress?

Sounds like movement through the tunnel, but you have no idea how long his tunnel is.  He could still travel for years. 

Keep doing what you’re doing.  GAL. Drop the rope. And zero expectations. 

What you’re doing is helping him travel through his tunnel.   I wouldn’t change anything quite yet.

Well done Kaydee.   You’ve come such a long way.  We’re proud of you :)

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#59: July 05, 2023, 06:09:07 AM
but now, after time away and alone, he now knows it's something inside him. Some progress?

Maybe...... OK, fine, he might be getting the clue that it is something inside him and had nothing to do with the marriage.... Wonderful....

The $24,000.00 question though is, "What is he going to DO about it?" and THAT is where some MLC'ers get stuck.... Because they have to decide that they WANT to do something about it and then they have to follow through and actually DO something about it....

That is why WHY's advice
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Sounds like movement through the tunnel, but you have no idea how long his tunnel is.  He could still travel for years.

Keep doing what you’re doing.  GAL. Drop the rope. And zero expectations.

is spot on. You have no more idea how long his tunnel is or will be than you do as to what green tastes like....

So you do you and let him do him.....
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#60: July 05, 2023, 09:04:06 AM
Thanks WHY for the cheer-leading. It's great to have the support. And thanks UM for the word of wisdom - given the stakes, can we make it the million $ question ;) ? OK, so he says he's going to get therapy.  He's also been offering to do things for me, which I haven't taken up, because I feel it's too soon for this sort of thing.  I know the next steps are his, alone. He will do it or he won't. Nothing I can do. But, this statement, about what's inside of him, that, for me, was some confirmation. I know (and we tell each other continually), it is not the marriage, but there are still moments of doubt, especially early on. And this part can be a bit crazy making with hamster in the wheel thinking. I know it doesn't change the circumstances, but it does help me look at our past relationship with a less wonky lens. I suspect he will retreat again, but, who knows? I'm going to try to keep the ship steady, without holding a rope, while mixing my metaphors with gay abandon.
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« Last Edit: July 05, 2023, 09:10:38 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#61: July 05, 2023, 04:43:47 PM
Excellent on dropping the rope. We all agree that you can't cajole, push, pull, or any other outside impact on them. It's not you, and it wasn't the marriage, and he has work to do (thinky time is what some folks have called it). The stronger you are, the better for everyone.
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#62: July 05, 2023, 05:15:29 PM
I think continue to watch actions matching words. My XH has always said it him. Then he will have moments when he says things that feel like he blames me. The last convo I had with him he said, I’m Sorry. I don’t know what happened to me. Well, like others have said. He is stuck. They can know something is wrong, but it takes effort to do something.

I like he is going to therapy on his own and offering to help and even having conversations. All positive, but I have seen so many glimpses of hope to see it go no where significant. So, just keep doing you and let him do the work.  :)
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#63: July 06, 2023, 02:00:53 AM
Thank you Reinventing and Madluv.

These emotionally intense meetings, they really take a toll on me. I'm going to monitor this moving forward. Sounds clinical, there won't be a clipboard  ;D I just mean, keep an eye on the effect it has on me and be alert to stopping it if the price is too high. I felt exhausted for days afterwards. Now, I am honestly enjoying the space again.

All points taken, I am stepping back, with no expectations, and am sort of OK with this, for now.

Madluv - it comes down to courage in the end non? Will they or won't they have the courage to face themselves and try to make amends. It is no longer about us. It is about who they are and the coping skills + defenses they created in childhood. My H admitted to always running away. This is his MO. It's extremely hard for any of us to change our fundamentals. In moderation, I suppose our defenses can work for us, to keep us safe, but when they get like a fort in Minecraft, they will likely undermine, if not destroy, our relationships.

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#64: July 06, 2023, 02:37:43 PM
I agree. My XH has also admitted to just cutting people and moving on as it easier.  I dont think my XH will do the work, but yours is talking and starting some effort. You just never know. I personally at this point can only hope for my kids that my X does some work for them. Our relationship is over, but as I told him. He leaves OW/wife and wants help I will be there. Until then we have no friendship to be had. My boundry is firm now. We all have to just do what is right for us and our gut tells us at any given moment what those decisions for us will be.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#65: September 30, 2023, 08:06:04 AM
Avid readers may recall a shift in the time space MLC continuum of my H whence last we met, so full of regret, so seemingly awake. Crucially, yes, he wants to get therapy, he wants to work on himself. Well, it seems that this improvement plan involves OW2 - or should we call her OW1.5, as the first is still a smudgy question mark, although definitely an EA. I wrote on Loo30's thread about the danger of taking the positive MLC talk at face value, and boy don't I know it. He was in tears for treating me 'appallingly' and he 'did not know why he did it' - and yet, here he is doing it all over again. In fact, I would say this new revelation is like BD Redux. Back to the Mr Ice, Mr Reasonable, wants to divide the assets, wants me to jump to his demands. It's like the last year did not happen. We are back at the start of the yellow brick road, with no heart, no brain and no courage. I guess that's why it's called reply, huh?  And I am triggered and re-traumatised all over again. I could feel that pain in the jaw, the horrid taste in my mouth, then the dry mouth and aching chest. On the positive side, it has subsided so much quicker. But, I'm sad to say, I feel done. I don't think I can journey this next stage. When I think of severing all ties, it fills me with relief. When I think of the man he is now, I don't want to see him, let alone have him back in my home.

It's interesting that he seemed to poke his head out of the forest-fog-tunnel and not even 3 months later he's back to square one. Did he look at all the damage and think, yikes, that's bad, I'll never be able to fix that, I'm going to run off on an expensive trip with OW1.5. That will make me happy. Who needs therapy when you've got vacations and a shiny new ladeeeee.

UM - I NEED a gif.

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« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 08:07:24 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#66: September 30, 2023, 01:48:54 PM
I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with more entitled "give me what I want right now" craziness. I think a lot of MLCers claim they want to get therapy, some even go, but going to therapy without a real idea of what you want out of it and a real commitment to do the work doesn't do much good and I suspect most of them hope it'll be a magic fix. When they find out they have to put effort in, they move on to the next magic fix.

I have an old friend from when I was younger who is currently having something that appears to be an MLC. She's been living in a fantasy bubble in the Caribbean for almost a year now - well, she flits from her breathtaking island getaway to her breathtaking Italian getaway to an Airbnb in Japan and back to the island, not a worry about anyone but herself, no concerns about working or healthcare coverage or any "adulting" issues. Just go-go-go on an endless bucket list, and she's still miserable. Calls me, goes on and on about her loneliness while surrounded by people, her frustration at every minor inconvenience, her anger at so-and-so for this and such-and-such for that. Every time something upsets her, she sleeps with someone, buys something or travels somewhere. It's like watching a cliche play out IRL. Her husband seems to have fully detached recently (it's been about a year) and she's become increasingly more "bratty" as he's done so. A year of complaining about "he needs to let me go, he won't just let me go" and now it's "why should I care about him, he clearly doesn't care about me anymore."  ::)

It's like a child. So I totally get where you're at emotionally with feeling almost a relief to choose to be done. There's only so much of that kind of roller coaster a person can tolerate before realizing the kindest thing you can do for yourself is get off the ride. I hope he realizes one day that people and things won't fix him, but you'll be okay even if he doesn't.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#67: September 30, 2023, 05:12:32 PM
That's absolutely brutal. It's amazing that someone can be so blind or cavalier to a truly rare amount of empathy and kindness. I believe similar to you in that it feels like he surveyed the rubble and gave up on cleaning up, as if it were someone else's problem.

It's totally understandable to want to withdraw your support when it has been squandered so needlessly. Why would you want to put in more of that emotional energy when it just drips into a blackhole?
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#68: September 30, 2023, 09:24:59 PM
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We are back at the start of the yellow brick road, with no heart, no brain and no courage.

Had to highlight this. Made me laugh.
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#69: October 01, 2023, 01:24:08 AM
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We are back at the start of the yellow brick road, with no heart, no brain and no courage.

Had to highlight this. Made me laugh.

Glad I made you laugh Re -  Last night I went to a friends house for dinner. I was going to bail out of going, but I pushed myself to go and I'm so glad,  4 of us cooked together, danced to music and played cards. I laughed a lot - it feels like a magic elixir.
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#70: October 01, 2023, 01:48:58 AM
Thanks Nas - I read your recent post about cPTSD (H has childhood trauma - the depth of which was becoming clearer around BD), and I think you are right that people who unravel from this, they don't just click back into place. What I think I am witnessing with H is him swinging between meltdowns and grandiosity. The latter is when he attempts to reconstruct himself, present an image of someone who is together and in control. He's clinging onto this image like a life belt, but none of this can have any depth, because it is built on the detritus of the life and wife he shattered. When I last saw him he admitted to running away from things all is life. He really is a schism. But I suspect he will keep bouncing between these points, and various points in between for a while.  For me, it does really feel like groundhog day, and I know others will understand what I mean when I say I don't want to go back to year 1 after BD. Even if I get to hang out with Bill Murray  :)

Zarheit -thank you for the words of solidarity.  I do feel like I am in a different sort of grief phase. I know what you mean about black hole - in this case, it is a negative force - a vortex. My body tells me I don't want any contact with him, my heart (for want of a better word) is still letting go of the old H. I am mindful of not neglecting the people in my life that I love and love me in return. Too much good energy goes after bad in the MLC arena, and it's good energy wasted. That's where I'm at. Perhaps others can relate.
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« Last Edit: October 01, 2023, 02:07:16 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#71: October 01, 2023, 02:45:15 AM
Yes, we can relate. Put your own oxygen mask on first. Doesn't mean you are mean to the MLCer, just means you don't get sucked in their negative vortex. It doesn't help you and it doesn't help them. Only they can help them.

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I was going to bail out of going, but I pushed myself to go and I'm so glad,

This happens a lot. Push yourself to go and you end up having a great time.
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#72: October 01, 2023, 07:51:11 AM
I totally agree with you, I’m 6.5 yrs into this and I still have bad days but less and less, I’m learning to handle the situation differently and I don’t get drawn into the drama which keeps my sanity, my daughter is 41 and moved back in after a break up with her boyfriend, she’s showing all the signs of mlc and guess who’s getting the sh*t end of the stick again, I must be getting better because I don’t fall for it with her either, she’s been told that she was allowed to move back to get her finances and life back in order,  not to bring all of her drama into the house, she’s not happy so I guess they are never happy even when they ruin every good thing in their lives, im so done with it, and it’s not because I don’t love my husband or my daughter, not my problems to fix
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#73: October 01, 2023, 01:15:43 PM
Put your own oxygen mask on first. Doesn't mean you are mean to the MLCer, just means you don't get sucked in their negative vortex. It doesn't help you and it doesn't help them. Only they can help them.

I do indeed have the oxygen mask on, except when I take it off for a primal scream. It's hard sometimes  not be mean, when so many brilliant scorched earth remarks are to hand. But I know this is just bad energy again.

Cole - It must be hard to see your D in crisis, but at least you have done the training. Heck, you've done the Master's Degree. Maybe you will share your story one day.
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#74: October 01, 2023, 05:16:28 PM
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I do indeed have the oxygen mask on, except when I take it off for a primal scream

Can totally relate. I did my primal screams in the shower, car, when my head was in the water while swimming and noone else was in the pool, or when I was outside running and didn't seen anyone else around.
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« Last Edit: October 01, 2023, 05:18:55 PM by Reinventing »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#75: October 01, 2023, 07:50:33 PM
KD- I guess thats why the consistency with continued actions has to be seen. I don't think you have to be firm on anything. He isn’t ready and you are exhausted and mentally drained, so move forward. Let him go. Let it all go, because thats what you need. If he figures it out and comes back you will be able to make better decisions on what your willing to allow. What boundaries will be needed. Whether your heart is still open to trying. The only firm decision you are making is that you are making you #1.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

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BD1 2018 Jan moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
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#76: October 02, 2023, 03:49:51 AM
Thanks Madluv - I think his actions are consistent at the moment. Consistently destructive. I only know about OW1.5 because it got filtered through to my friends and family via FB (I am not on FB and I do not go snooping either). OW posting and tagging H about 3000 photos of their recent vacation. Happy Families. This is the man that completely abandoned all his financial responsibilities, leaving me with a huge mortgage. My father saw the photos - my H with OW1.5 father. You can imagine the hurt, because my father loved H very much and all my family were trying to be kind to what they saw as a man acting completely out of character. I am told by those who have seen the images of H that he has aged dramatically. My  brother said he looked like someone else had taken over his body. Sound familiar?

But! My H has not had the decency to tell me to my face that he is in this relationship. He prefers to let OW pull the trigger. Last time I saw him he wanted to 'do anything to help me' - he cried so much, it caused me pain. I understand well the process, as we see it here on HS, of this kind of crisis. But I don't think I will ever get how these MLC folk make choices that damage so many around them. And yes, he is nowhere near ready - ready to face himself. I am taking some time to let this current wave of cr@p settle, and then I will decide my next steps. Last night my sleep was so fully of weird dreams. I know, that for me, this means high adrenaline. My body says act.
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« Last Edit: October 02, 2023, 03:52:48 AM by KayDee »

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#77: October 02, 2023, 06:15:00 AM
I get it!!! I obviously divorced mine quickly while he was offering me the world and he married his OW. The aging,yep. Mine looks 20 years older. The disappointment of my family who loved him and have been kind, yep! My niece said. What’s wrong with him? Tell him to come home where he belongs!!!  You heighten anxiety and transforming your dreams, yep!! Yesterday was my deceased daughters birthday and OW posted a river front restaurant brunch with mimosas and “this is how I live my life” It was sent to me. My sister said, she has no clue. Her husband is suffering internally and she has no clue.

It does take such a long time to adjust our own thinking to realize that their life is not what it seems. Also, that they aren’t intentionally hurting us or those around us. They are just trying to find their own happiness in all the wrong places. With all the wrong methods. They are to confused to worry about anyone, but them. I do firmly believe that they can’t carey on forever like this. If they do it will eat them from the inside out .
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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#78: October 02, 2023, 02:10:33 PM
Yesterday was my deceased daughters birthday

A thought and pause for your daughter this week ML. These dates must be very hard. I hope you were surrounded by loved ones and were able to share good memories.
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#79: October 02, 2023, 05:32:38 PM
Thank you so much
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#80: October 02, 2023, 11:37:56 PM
Thoughts about you and your daughter. I am trying to think of words but really there are not any.  :'(

How did you get that message from OW?????

I try not to know what my husband is up to…..unfortunately, somehow I often find out….he’s all over the world these days…but then, I am sitting in Budapest enjoying my first cappuccino of the day so my life isn’t too shabby either.

Peace to you MadLuv and to all of us experiencing this crazy life.
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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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#81: October 04, 2023, 01:24:18 PM
Doing a little bit of journalling. I went to an event tonight with a friend and met some new people (mutual friends of my friend) who I clicked with instantly, and we have dinner plans for a couple of week time, plus planning to do a martial arts class with one, a woman, who wants a sparring partner. Love the idea of punching and kicking things at the mo  8) Chatting at the event, someone asked me if I was old enough to remember the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hahahaha - love this, being mistaken for someone who doesn't remember the early 90s, when my H looks like an old geezer. OK, maybe a bit unkind, but I am having a week of not feeling so charitable. Walking home, I was thinking how much my life has changed since BD. The new people I have met, the new activities I would not have done in favour of a night on the couch with H. Don't get me wrong, I loved an occasional night like this, but in hindsight his depression and anhedonia meant we stopped doing new things together. I am so much busier and I'm trying to imagine my H in this new landscape. I can't really - he feel like a stranger. He feels so remote. Question to the vets - is this normal? It's been just over a year.

Once again, I was going to bail out of the event, but I pushed myself and was glad I did. I have been reeling from the new revelation about OW1.5. The finding out via my family, via FB - it's a new low. Strange, my H doesn't seem to be running from responsibility, he seems to have taken on children with this new OW. That's confusing to me. Although, I suspect he was lonely and this woman (another coworker) (this is becoming embarrassing) (actually, his boss) (worse) (end brackets) well, it seemed like he kinda just segued into a relationship with her. This may not end well.
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« Last Edit: October 04, 2023, 01:26:29 PM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#82: October 05, 2023, 12:48:37 AM
Quote from: KayDee
I can't really - he feel like a stranger. He feels so remote. Question to the vets - is this normal? It's been just over a year.

Yes, this is pretty normal because, well.... The MLC'er IS a stranger.... The person formerly known as "Spouse" has been replaced by the Body Snatcher pod in the garden shed....

Quote from: KayDee
Although, I suspect he was lonely and this woman (another coworker) (this is becoming embarrassing) (actually, his boss) (worse) (end brackets) well, it seemed like he kinda just segued into a relationship with her. This may not end well.
Uhmmmmm .... He's doin the boss?  This may not end well? I'll guarantee it will not end well..... <smh>
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Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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#83: October 05, 2023, 01:19:24 AM
Uhmmmmm .... He's doin the boss?  This may not end well? I'll guarantee it will not end well..... <smh>

Uhmmmmm..... yes. And they've worked together for many, many years. She was not even a blip on the radar before the MLC (on this I am sure). Funny how these things go....
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#84: October 06, 2023, 02:10:17 PM
If you have read any of my journalling. My XH has EA and then married last one all from work. Al ones that came to him complaining. Some managers last hourly. Ge was fired after he married the hourly.  This is not a good road your H is taking. They just take the most easy convenient route that in the end is the most disastrous.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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#85: October 07, 2023, 06:36:51 AM
Some managers last hourly.

Hi Madluv - what did you mean by this? That they lasted in the post for an hour, or the relationship?

So true about being lazy. This current relationship seems so unconvincing. It wouldn't even work as a plot line if it was a soap opera. I imagine my H will look up one day and wonder how he ended up in someone else's family. When I last saw him he was completely happy to leave things (assets etc) as they were. We agreed to review things at the start of next year. Now suddenly he wants to take steps. Hmmm, I wonder why. The back and forward is quite breathtaking.

I feel I need another stretch of NC. This new revelation has knocked me over again. Hard to know what to do....
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#86: October 07, 2023, 09:05:46 PM
My XH was involved with managers and hourly employees. It didn’t matter. He was high up. If someone had an issue and came in to complain to him he ended up turning those into some type of EA. Becoming the hero and getting that validation somehow was an easy bridge for him to then cross over in to something else. Immature middle school type relationships via text and email more than in person, but the last one was an hourly and a problem. I think he quickly figured put he crossed the wrong road. Married her and still lost his job.

Funny, but what you said about ending up in someone elses family. I stated to my XH that very thing. One day you will be sitting at thansgiving and you are going to look around and some foods may be familiar, but you will be sitting at a table with people talking about their past that you weren’t part of and people that you never knew. That is exactly where he is and he has stated holidays are miserable. They get what they choose. They have to figure it out. NC certainly helps to focus on you and clear your head.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#87: October 09, 2023, 02:08:44 AM
When I last saw him he was completely happy to leave things (assets etc) as they were. We agreed to review things at the start of next year. Now suddenly he wants to take steps. Hmmm, I wonder why. The back and forward is quite breathtaking.

Quite possible is that the AD (Affair Down) is now agitating to get things under wraps and get their mitts on as much of the family jewels (pun intended)  as they possibly can.   For many LBS's, getting things settled while the MLC'er was still feeling somewhat guilty about the destruction they have caused has been the difference between bankrupt or boom because once the AD starts applying pressure, the MLC'er can change their minds at the drop of a hat.
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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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.
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#88: October 09, 2023, 08:30:30 AM
Quite possible is that the AD (Affair Down) is now agitating to get things under wraps and get their mitts on as much of the family jewels (pun intended)  as they possibly can.   For many LBS's, getting things settled while the MLC'er was still feeling somewhat guilty about the destruction they have caused has been the difference between bankrupt or boom because once the AD starts applying pressure.

Ah yes, exactly. This was the same pattern as last time, straight out of the gates with OW0.5(?) Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you view the world) there's not that much in the coffers to wrangle over. I suspect OW1.5 wants a man without a lovely (IMO  ;D ), kind wife in the frame.

the MLC'er can change their minds at the drop of a hat.
Ditto - and this works both ways I suppose.

My H wants to meet to work out how to 'do this'. I have not responded, as I am still reeling, and to be frank, seeing him is the last thing I need at the moment. I have to fight against myself not to answer these text messages though. Too darn conscientious. But he's caused such a new wave of damage - all my family and friends are livid. That's my landscape at the moment. What I need most is some peace.

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« Last Edit: October 09, 2023, 08:36:05 AM by KayDee »

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#89: October 09, 2023, 04:48:48 PM
Quote
Quite possible is that the AD (Affair Down) is now agitating to get things under wraps and get their mitts on as much of the family jewels (pun intended)  as they possibly can.   For many LBS's, getting things settled while the MLC'er was still feeling somewhat guilty about the destruction they have caused has been the difference between bankrupt or boom because once the AD starts applying pressure, the MLC'er can change their minds at the drop of a hat
well, I can definitely say that was true in my case. He agreed to all my terms and we were divorced in 90 days after BD. His new Wife/OW is bleeding him dry. I know it I waited I would still be where I am, but financially in horrific shape. With that said. A quick divorce when you don’t want one to begin with is devastating.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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#90: November 10, 2023, 10:48:26 AM
A bit of journalling. My therapist has a way of saying things that are ostensibly obvious, but seem to land at the right time for me. In my last session, she repeated to me that 'depression changes people' and that my paranoid depressed H is probably unable to hold onto a belief, even if intellectually he knows it to be true. He is thinking from the 'top layer' emotional part of his brain - she was speaking metaphorically here, meaning that he was reacting through pure emotion.  She used the phrase 'brain fog' and said it is known to inhibit people storing new memories. She went into some detail about how traumatised people are known to get stuck at the place of trauma, until they deal with that trauma. I wish I could be as articulate as my therapist, but this is the gist.

This wasn't the part that landed right.  That came when we got to the moment of 'OK and so what?'. In other words, the What of Importance is that I continue to suffer the detrimental effects of the actions of a traumatized man. So what do I need to do?

I read with interest on Ichoosefaith's thread, the discussion about whether or not the core person is still in there. I agree with Treasur that it is them and this is a version of them we have never encountered before. I also believe they have changed. We can roll this around endlessly (I have  :) ), but my therapist's well-landed So What is the what I need to focus on to stay calm and healthy. All a work in progress, naturally.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#91: November 10, 2023, 12:58:12 PM
I agree that this is a part of them that has always been a part of them. I know my XH said, “Now you see who really am.” I don’t know about all MLCers, but it seems to run pretty heavy that most were the kindest people, ever!!!  How? Why?? It’s all so shocking, but the more I see of these breaks ( and I do believe it is a crisis to avoid a total breakdown in alot of cases) that the avoidance in them allows this build up of unaddressed issues. They try to be everything and are ill equipped to handle lifes challenges. So, much like the postal worker everyone thought was the kindest man before he killed 50 people. It’s a break. “Going postal” They can’t keep up the facade of not having a true identity. Not speaking their mind, addressing their problems. This is definitely the case in my XH. That’s why you can try and be kind and supportive until it is to the detriment of you, but at some point you have to move forward and hope that they find their way knowing that you did all you could, until you couldn’t.
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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#92: November 10, 2023, 02:15:09 PM
Madluv- you could have written that same paragraph about my ex. I think they lived their lives according to how they thought other people thought they should be and never questioned who they wanted to be. Near the end there he had a new slogan, "No more Mr. Nice Guy."
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#93: November 10, 2023, 02:47:39 PM
For me, I am not sure that I know whether or not this was always who my H was/is. I do know he is changed. And I know this is who he is now.

I once worked with a guy who had to have extreme, medically induced, hormone 'cut off' to treat a benign tumor. His personality changed as a result. He went through some extremes states - was suicidal, angry and aggressive. He was such a happy go lucky kinda guy before. He was treated, and is OK now. Not so happy go lucky though - the trauma took it's toll. So this changed him also. I know this is a different case, both a chemical intervention and then a trauma response. I understand the former through my own hormonal issues. I had a period of going a bit nuts myself. I did not harm others, but I was not 'myself'. Perhaps the early emotional responses to stress, the ones we learn pre-language, they are our 'core'.

So my perspective on this is not so cut and dry. Because I don't know and that's why the So What - I can only respond to how my H is now. Yes he has significant FOO trauma. Yes to being avoidant as a result, but he has, in the past, been reflective on this. He has tried to address it. But he fractured when life stresses overwhelmed him. He may try to heal, and come through this more recognizable. Or not. I cannot say.

Sounding philosophical and mostly I am, but it's also a very hard thing to come to terms with.
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« Last Edit: November 10, 2023, 02:48:54 PM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#94: November 10, 2023, 03:43:46 PM
KayDee wrote:
Quote
Because I don't know and that's why the So What - I can only respond to how my H is now.
Quote
But he fractured when life stresses overwhelmed him. He may try to heal, and come through this more recognizable. Or not. I cannot say.

I agree. I cannot "blame" this on him for happening.

I have two friends whose husbands have dementia. One, picked her up and threw her against a wall breaking her arm and ribs. He is in assisted living right now and has been found in bed with another woman there. My friend visits him every day, sometimes he knows her, other times he doesn't..the women he was in bed with watches her like a hawk..and warns her to stay away from him because he is hers.

So many things can impact and change a loved one. Accidents, cancer, mental health issues, "war" and so I see MLC as a thing that happens, not planned, not preplanned and I doubt that it is in their control either. My point of view. Others see it differently.
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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

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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#95: November 10, 2023, 09:56:06 PM
Quote
. I think they lived their lives according to how they thought other people thought they should be and never questioned who they wanted to be. Near the end there he had a new slogan, "No more Mr. Nice Guy."
exactly!!

Like I said, not so cut and dry. As always, for many. I feel so many times when commenting that reading is not read carefully. I never cut and dry or blanket anything. It is what I see alot however. I dont think my XH was always this person, but that part of him had to be part of him somewhere. I still believe he is in crisis, but on his case he just never formed his own identity. He just does not know who he is.

With each MLCer there is just so much that makes each one's crisis. That’s why we share. Some will see their MLCer in others and some wont. The beauty of reading each others stories and matching to the ones most helpful to which resembles our MLCer. That’s what I love about everyones stories
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

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BD1 2018 Jan moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#96: November 11, 2023, 12:48:00 AM
Like I said, not so cut and dry. As always, for many. I feel so many times when commenting that reading is not read carefully.

Ah yes, double exactly  :) I just said I did not see things cut and dried, was not referring to you ML. Or anyone else. You and I, we share many similarities, your input is always valued.

Unrelated, I work up this morning realising why I am so dislodged by my H's latest set of correspondences. He acts like he is the super calm, in control driver of a shiny Rolce Royce, when in reality he is bouncing around in the back of a pick-up truck being driven by another broken person. I on the other hand have the car in the garage until the weather improves.

End Rant.
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#97: November 11, 2023, 06:23:24 AM
Like I said, not so cut and dry. As always, for many. I feel so many times when commenting that reading is not read carefully.

Ah yes, double exactly  :) I just said I did not see things cut and dried, was not referring to you ML. Or anyone else. You and I, we share many similarities, your input is always valued.

Unrelated, I work up this morning realising why I am so dislodged by my H's latest set of correspondences. He acts like he is the super calm, in control driver of a shiny Rolce Royce, when in reality he is bouncing around in the back of a pick-up truck being driven by another broken person. I on the other hand have the car in the garage until the weather improves.

End Rant.

Ok I really haven't grasped this technology yet. My apologies.

KD I read all these posts and I am both encouraged and saddened by his almost coming thru and then eventual pushing away again. But I love your comment about his calmness. My wife is exactly the same way, very professional, cold, and calm. It actually makes me mad but I try not to show it. We will get through this .......
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« Last Edit: November 11, 2023, 06:26:26 AM by mcm64d »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#98: November 11, 2023, 08:02:55 AM
I could not agree more with the analogy. I have seen it first hand. They try very hard to show a strong front of togetherness. Make no mistake about it. They are definitely that beaten back truck passenger. ( from what my MLCer view only of course) so, I relate :)
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#99: November 11, 2023, 10:56:00 AM
My W died at BD.  Her brain chemistry changed and she has a different identity now.  The previous version is dead. 

Is the original W still in there?  That’s a hard NOPE for me.  She’s a completely different human being.

Now can her brain chemistry revert back to something closer to the baseline she previously had.  Maybe.  Unlikely, but maybe.  Either way it will never be the same. 

So I’ve mourned the death of my W and am a moving forward spouse. 

The one thing I do not get though is the need to destroy the LBS.  if you’re a different person and want a different life.  Then by all means, please just leave and go live in fantasy land. Let me be. 

But the need to inflict pain. The vindictive nature of it.  The compulsion to torture the LBS and not set them free.  I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#100: November 11, 2023, 12:37:56 PM
Yes, Why I agree.

For so long I had to believe that she is still in there but I have realised she is not. That is ok. Acceptance matters.

The woman I loved is gone. Well so far as I am concerned. She is back the same with everyone else which is the maddening thing.

I guess her view of me as so entrenched that there is no way back.

I just mourn someone who lives. It is odd but how it is.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#101: November 11, 2023, 05:00:35 PM
They don’t like what they have become. If they have to truly look st themselves. So, we become the problemsto make it easier on them. It’s so twisted, isn’t it?  So sad.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#102: November 12, 2023, 03:46:50 AM
.
KD I read all these posts and I am both encouraged and saddened by his almost coming thru and then eventual pushing away again. But I love your comment about his calmness. My wife is exactly the same way, very professional, cold, and calm. It actually makes me mad but I try not to show it. We will get through this .......

I don't think he was coming through really. I mean, he is moving, yes. He'd lived alone for 6 months and he was starting to realize that the issues were with him. He referenced (slightly obliquely) FOO issues and the desire to get help. I think he wanted me to pick him up, but I knew that I wasn't able to do this, and it would be the wrong thing. He was staring at the damage - he said words to the effect of 'I know I can't fix it back to how it was'. A week or so later he was in the arms of a new OW. He was at a cross-roads, right to the hard path, left to easy 'safety' and not being alone and lonely anymore. He went left. When I am not angry, I am philosophical. If he came home, he would have left again. And I, I am actually in a new phase. I am fulfilled and more creatively productive than I have been in the longest time. It is tempting to rage or be jealous of the OW/OM. but in my case, she gets the person so lonely that they grasped onto the nearest life-raft. She also gets an abandoner. I don't mean to be unkind, this is not a win-win for anyone, but I know, at least intellectually, that I don't want to be in the midst of this particular drama.

Yes MCM, we will get through this. We ARE getting through this.
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« Last Edit: November 12, 2023, 03:47:57 AM by KayDee »

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#103: November 12, 2023, 03:58:01 AM
I also wanted to say something about the cold and formal language. In the case of my H, it correlates with his turmoil. The more turmoil, the stiffer the language. It also coincides with an OW in the picture. This may seem a bit contradictory, but the formality of the communication and the OW, I believe they are his 'decisive' moves towards taking back control after a period of extreme lows and neediness. A kind of RIGHT! This is what needs to be done! mantra. Head down and plough through. The high action is trying to take control of the confusion and turmoil. In other words, looking for external fixes for inside problems. Encore. I see this, because, in my situation, it is a pattern thus far. It still hurts like hell, to be disposed of again. And it doesn't help me much, other than know a little bit of landscape better.
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« Last Edit: November 12, 2023, 04:05:05 AM by KayDee »

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#104: November 12, 2023, 04:01:41 AM
Now can her brain chemistry revert back to something closer to the baseline she previously had.  Maybe.  Unlikely, but maybe.  Either way it will never be the same. 

I guess we just don't know. We have who they are now. And who we are now. We only have the present.

This whole situation has taught me to live much more in the present. It's one of the gifts among the carnage.
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#105: November 12, 2023, 05:30:26 AM
What I hate about it most is that she is relatively normal, from what I can tell, with everyone else. But with me it is uncaring, professional, and often times nasty if we discuss anything personal. I cannot imagine what everyone thinks about me.
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#106: November 12, 2023, 06:09:13 AM
What I hate about it most is that she is relatively normal, from what I can tell, with everyone else. But with me it is uncaring, professional, and often times nasty if we discuss anything personal. I cannot imagine what everyone thinks about me.

This part is very hard and at times crazy making. I met up with a mutual friend earlier this week. I do not bring up my H. I focus on my relationship with the friend. My friend can decide what he decides. If he believes in me and cares for me, then he is what I hope for in a friendship. If he doesn't and/or if he judges me, then it's not a mutually supportive relationship, and from my perspective, not healthy.

And speaking of healthy - is it 'normal', or more precisely, emotionally healthy, to be 'uncaring and often times nasty' to another person. I personally don't think so. Says more about the person behaving in this way than the one of the receiving end.

We can only be true to ourselves and our values. Someone wise, on this forum (probably Treasur  :) ) once said, words to the effect of - the universe has a way of uncovering the truth. Hmmm, that doesn't sound quite right. Maybe the author can assist  ;)
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#107: November 12, 2023, 06:43:30 AM
 Did I say that?..ha ha, I am so wordy that I can’t even recall  :)
There are quite a few wise heads here though so it could have been one of them!

But I agree with you, KayDee, about getting a firm grasp on your normal and letting everyone else be in charge of theirs. I don’t much like humans who are angry, contemptuous or unkind to me or anyone else, so I tend to move away from those kinds of folks. I do like people who are kind, fair minded, optimistic and interesting so I tend to try to get them across my threshold with offers of food and wine lol.

What’s that old saying about the right people don’t mind and the others don’t matter? It’s not uncommon here for LBS to lose some people along the way but it is almost universal that the really good ones who value you show up in your life and are a real blessing.
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« Last Edit: November 12, 2023, 06:45:05 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

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#108: November 12, 2023, 12:01:13 PM
Ah, it was you Treasur - quote: it’s common that this situation brings a series of aftershocks tbh as the universe has a way of uncovering deceit.  If you have too many words, maybe it is time for a book :)
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#109: November 12, 2023, 12:28:44 PM
What’s that old saying about the right people don’t mind and the others don’t matter? It’s not uncommon here for LBS to lose some people along the way but it is almost universal that the really good ones who value you show up in your life and are a real blessing.

“Those that matter don’t mind. Those that mind don’t matter”  ;)
(Agree BTW)
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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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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#110: November 13, 2023, 03:54:20 AM
What I hate about it most is that she is relatively normal, from what I can tell, with everyone else. But with me it is uncaring, professional, and often times nasty if we discuss anything personal. I cannot imagine what everyone thinks about me.

What you are seeing is the mask. It is the persona she wants everyone to see because it fills her needs & her justifications for her actions.  She can only wear it so long though before it becomes too heavy a load and the poop stored up behind the mask breaks out....

Now can her brain chemistry revert back to something closer to the baseline she previously had.  Maybe.  Unlikely, but maybe.  Either way it will never be the same. 

I guess we just don't know. We have who they are now. And who we are now. We only have the present.

This whole situation has taught me to live much more in the present. It's one of the gifts among the carnage.

Exactly correct..... We have the now and the situation of the "now." That is what we have to deal with. It is what we can control, what we can shape for our future. The past is what has happened. For normal people, it is not subject to change. It simply is. The future is what we choose to make of it within our spheres of influence (the MLC'er is NOT within that sphere).
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#111: November 13, 2023, 06:32:52 AM
UM......

With all the reading on here I haven't seen it so please excuse the question if it has been answered elsewhere. Is this mask common? And does it break or fall off when others do not agree with her actions? That would explain a lot.

A mutual friend of ours, and in fact mutual before I met my wife, apparently called my wife out on her actions when this first began. I don't know exactly what was said, never asked, but I do know this friend, who is very religious and anti-divorce, received quite the yelling at and cursing tirade from my wife. The friend had never seen her like that before and insisted I must have done something terrible to cause her to do that and to react that way. That was something I did not need.....additional illogical blasme to what I was already receiving.
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#112: November 13, 2023, 08:46:52 PM
And the mask is ever changing. Sometimes vulnerable and sometimes monster comes from their struggle to maintain it. My XH said it took all his energy all day to keep up his “I’m ok” but that he would have to walk off from people at times and go and cry.

On the other hand when our daughter called him out and said their relationship was determined by how much crap she would take from him, he responded to her he felt the same and laughed about it ( they haven't spoken since )  for him to cause the issues and then blame her as well was a shock to her. He has always been the sweet kind avoidant. He fell off the pedestal she had him on her whole life.

The mask is so hard for them to maintain, but they think they are. They think they have everyone fooled, but they know they can’t fool you or their kids.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#113: November 14, 2023, 02:28:20 AM
With all the reading on here I haven't seen it so please excuse the question if it has been answered elsewhere. Is this mask common? And does it break or fall off when others do not agree with her actions? That would explain a lot.

It's common with all of us and that's probably the best way to understand it (it being the 'mask', not MLC behaviour), from your own perspective. In the immediate aftermath of BD, I had to keep working. I had a major project to complete. I couldn't do it and be hot mess of snot and tears, so I pulled up my pants and dove in, to focus on the task. I also went to parties and dinners as part of the project. I still joked with people (I found humour really medicinal). I met a lot of new people during this project and I wonder now if they would know how devastated I was at that time. Of course, I would cry driving home, or at home. Punch things and scream. I was quite the split personality for a while. I have to remind myself, I have been thrown into my own crisis. We also have to wear our masks if we want to function.  From my experience, I also observe how good my H is as compartmentalising. I think it comes with the territory of the conflict avoider, they know how to disassociate from difficult situations, or feelings.
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« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 02:31:36 AM by KayDee »

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#114: November 14, 2023, 02:47:53 AM
The mask is so hard for them to maintain, but they think they are. They think they have everyone fooled, but they know they can’t fool you or their kids.

And THIS is why they monster at us because we know them too well. We know that they are wearing a mask to the rest of the world and they do not like the fact that we are seeing what is happening behind the mask....



Those that criticize the Mid-Lifers choices and actions become part of the "problem" and are transferred to the "enemy" camp because the MLC'er only wants people around that support them, enable them, and agree with them. Anyone else is to be pushed aside because those people are demanding accountability/responsibility and the Mid-Lifer is interested in neither....

It's common with all of us and that's probably the best way to understand it (it being the 'mask', not MLC behaviour), from your own perspective. In the immediate aftermath of BD, I had to keep working. I had a major project to complete. I couldn't do it and be hot mess of snot and tears, so I pulled up my pants and dove in, to focus on the task. I also went to parties and dinners as part of the project. I still joked with people (I found humour really medicinal). I met a lot of new people during this project and I wonder now if they would know how devastated I was at that time. Of course, I would cry driving home, or at home. Punch things and scream. I was quite the split personality for a while. I have to remind myself, I have been thrown into my own crisis. We also have to wear our masks if we want to function.  From my experience, I also observe how good my H is as compartmentalising. I think it comes with the territory of the conflict avoider, they know how to disassociate from difficult situations, or feelings.

I could not have said it better myself... For me, work was what kept me sane. I was the prime Operations Manager for the launch of a new earth observation satellite at the time of BD (3rd Advent 2015 - Merry Christmas to you too!) and essentially had more than €500 million on the pointy end of a rather large roman candle to deliver safely to orbit. I could NOT fall apart at work..... I could not read a "fun" book for a couple of years after BD (seriously, I would read something "normal" and by the time I had turned the page, I had already lost the plot on what happened the page before) but the Technical Volumes, Interface Control Documents, Launch Plans, Timelines, they were things I could concentrate on and remember. People around me at work never knew what was going on at home until after the launch and we had handed the satellite over to routine operations.... and even then, they only knew what I chose to divulge..... My dog, on the other hand, heard it all (Dogs are great listeners)
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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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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#115: November 14, 2023, 06:25:39 AM
 
Quote
My dog, on the other hand, heard it all (Dogs are great listeners)

 ;D
Quote
And THIS is why they monster at us because we know them too well. We know that they are wearing a mask to the rest of the world and they do not like the fact that we are seeing what is happening behind the mask.

That mask is their armor...to show the world how "right" they were for leaving a 32 year marriage. My husband and other MLCer's that I know are very "secretive" about their lives...to this day, he has a whole different set of people in his life..he only refers to them as "friends"...no names to either myself or our daughter. He has never introduced any of these"friends" to her. Are they male or female..who knows?

One place where the mask is unveiled is in photos of him, the eyes, the lack of expression, the lack of any "joie de vie"....when the mask falls, it is not a pretty sight.
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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

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#116: November 14, 2023, 10:12:04 AM
Thank you all for the info.

I just assumed my wife was fine and it was all my fault for a while. And now I just assumed she was fine because she got away from me. My mask.... well unfortunately that has been rather difficult. I like coming into the office because there are people here. I am not an extrovert, but I like the interaction a lot better than being alone at home. But somedays I have to run out of here without people knowing because the tears just start coming....and I don't want to be seen like that.

Like just a few minutes ago....my wife texts and asks to speak on the phone to see how the cat is and to verify some things. It's been a week and my contacting her has been longer.....not sure why she can't just let me be. I am sure it will be easy for her over the holidays when I will need someone. Anyway, thanks for the info on both sides' masks!!
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#117: November 14, 2023, 10:44:05 AM
 Just a reminder that you do not have to speak to her just bc she pops up and wants you to do so  :)

It’s ok to say no, I’d prefer not, I’m busy or send me an email……or indeed do nothing at all in response for a few hours/days. Your obligations and their expectations should change when a spouse decides to leave you imho….some things came with the old partner job but you’ve been fired from it so new ‘rules’ apply, but MLC spouses seem to take a rather pick and mix approach to it as suits them.

And it won’t make any significant difference to anything important other than your stress levels if you do. Rationally you probably know this, but we all need gentle reminders in the early days  :)
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#118: November 14, 2023, 10:53:41 AM
Yes thank you.

Thinking civil would be nice.
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#119: November 14, 2023, 11:02:45 AM
With all the reading on here I haven't seen it so please excuse the question if it has been answered elsewhere. Is this mask common? And does it break or fall off when others do not agree with her actions? That would explain a lot.

It's common with all of us and that's probably the best way to understand it (it being the 'mask', not MLC behaviour), from your own perspective. In the immediate aftermath of BD, I had to keep working. I had a major project to complete. I couldn't do it and be hot mess of snot and tears, so I pulled up my pants and dove in, to focus on the task. I also went to parties and dinners as part of the project. I still joked with people (I found humour really medicinal). I met a lot of new people during this project and I wonder now if they would know how devastated I was at that time. Of course, I would cry driving home, or at home. Punch things and scream. I was quite the split personality for a while. I have to remind myself, I have been thrown into my own crisis. We also have to wear our masks if we want to function.  From my experience, I also observe how good my H is as compartmentalising. I think it comes with the territory of the conflict avoider, they know how to disassociate from difficult situations, or feelings.

KD I am sorry you do the same things I am doing.....crying and driving. I haven't hit the screaming stage yet. Thank you for sharing. Much appreciated.
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#120: November 14, 2023, 11:08:22 AM
Maybe you could think about how (or even if) you want to communicate at the moment. Think about what you need at this moment in time. Not for ever, just for your health now. IMO, there's nothing wrong with communicating this to your W. Basically, establish a communication boundary that helps you keep your emotions on an even keel. I went NC quite soon after BD. I communicated this, and said why and for how long. I wasn't doing it to punish my H and I wasn't asking his permission, I just wanted to make things clear. And by and large, he respected my boundary. The space from this MLC turmoil really helped me get my footings.

I think many of us worry we will lose our spouses, but the sad thing is, they are lost. Maybe they will navigate their way back Maybe we still want to take them back. But we cannot find them.
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#121: November 14, 2023, 11:10:53 AM
With all the reading on here I haven't seen it so please excuse the question if it has been answered elsewhere. Is this mask common? And does it break or fall off when others do not agree with her actions? That would explain a lot.

It's common with all of us and that's probably the best way to understand it (it being the 'mask', not MLC behaviour), from your own perspective. In the immediate aftermath of BD, I had to keep working. I had a major project to complete. I couldn't do it and be hot mess of snot and tears, so I pulled up my pants and dove in, to focus on the task. I also went to parties and dinners as part of the project. I still joked with people (I found humour really medicinal). I met a lot of new people during this project and I wonder now if they would know how devastated I was at that time. Of course, I would cry driving home, or at home. Punch things and scream. I was quite the split personality for a while. I have to remind myself, I have been thrown into my own crisis. We also have to wear our masks if we want to function.  From my experience, I also observe how good my H is as compartmentalising. I think it comes with the territory of the conflict avoider, they know how to disassociate from difficult situations, or feelings.

KD I am sorry you do the same things I am doing.....crying and driving. I haven't hit the screaming stage yet. Thank you for sharing. Much appreciated.

Screaming in the middle of a field, with a friend, who also needs a scream? Really great. Also cycling furiously, smashing up spices in a mortar and pestle and, new to the list, drilling into concrete (with a purpose I must stress, otherwise someone will cart you away  ;D )
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#122: November 14, 2023, 11:13:50 AM
Yes KD. I was actually thinking about replying that the cat is good and she is welcome to have him back if he's missed that much and to please either email me the verification items or speak with my lawyer.

I am not comfortable telling her to go away. I did tell her in the past, during all of this (if she even remembers), that she could always talk to me. Not sure why she is asking permission to call. If I want to talk to her, or available to talk to her I will, otherwise I won't.

When I moved out I was debating taking the mortar and pestle. Now I am glad I have it!!!
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#123: November 14, 2023, 11:19:47 AM
Hi MCM, I'm going to cut and paste this onto your thread and answer. Not that I don't love company on my rather scantily populated thread, but I think it is more useful to you to have your story in your thread. See you over there  8)
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#124: November 14, 2023, 11:39:02 AM
Thanks.

I will keep posting others stuff on yours then so we can "build it up".  :D
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#125: November 14, 2023, 04:11:08 PM
...drilling into concrete (with a purpose I must stress, otherwise someone will cart you away  ;D )

Especially if it's not your concrete...
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#126: November 14, 2023, 10:45:46 PM
Exactly (where's the evil face emoticon?)  :)
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#127: November 15, 2023, 02:55:27 AM
Exactly (where's the evil face emoticon?)  :)
Ask and ye shall receive.....


or
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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
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Divorce final 30 August 2019
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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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#128: November 19, 2023, 11:43:40 AM
Exactly (where's the evil face emoticon?)  :)
Ask and ye shall receive.....


This one! Love it. If only I could be it all the time  :)
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#129: November 20, 2023, 01:27:54 AM
Exactly (where's the evil face emoticon?)  :)
Ask and ye shall receive.....


This one! Love it. If only I could be it all the time  :)

You need to paste it is as a picture. It is NOT part of the HS standard set...
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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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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#130: November 20, 2023, 08:42:46 AM
You need to paste it is as a picture. It is NOT part of the HS standard set...

But surely you are working on kit
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#131: November 28, 2023, 09:10:20 AM
Another poster called us the hive mind. I like this. I want to ask for thoughts from the hive.

Since my H’s sudden leap into a new relationship (not weeks after he told me how ashamed he was, how he wanted to make amends, do things to help me, la’dee, lah), I’ve set up communication boundaries, and now his emails are directed to another account that I have to specifically sign into to view. Last email he sent me, he brought up divorce for the first time ever, although he still seems to be asking me what I think. And his information about the process was all wrong.. In deed, I have completely dropped the rope, gone dim on communication, and am genuinely enjoying my life. But this first mention of divorce, it has really derailed me.

Now I find myself unable to log into that email account and I’m trying to untangle my emotions. On one hand, the freedom of not having his messages ping through, is such a relief. On the other hand, the anticipation of what lies within this account is likely so much worse than I imagine, and it looms over me. Thinking about it makes me anxious. Then (if I had a third hand ), I feel within my bones that getting the divorce done and dusted would be such an emotional relief for me. It is his communications I find so distressing. Not that he monsters particularly, although I suppose the throwing out there of divorce could be this – it’s the inconsistencies, the hot and cold. The cold feels super cutting.  I am not sure whether I am putting my hands over my ears and shouting ‘I can’t hear you!’, or taking a reasonable amount of space to heal – recover from the latest blow, which was only 2 months ago.

I throw it out to our wonderful hive for some thoughts.
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 09:11:27 AM by KayDee »

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#132: November 28, 2023, 09:13:11 AM
I should add, his last email seems to be saying that he wants to move forward with divorce and discuss the logistics with me.
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#133: November 28, 2023, 09:38:49 AM
“I do not want a divorce.  I believe in you.  I believe that when you’re ready, you will find the strength to work on yourself and finally find the inner healing you deserve. 

But until that time comes.  And as long as you’re with OW.  I can’t be a part of your life.   So I am moving forward with my life. And you do what you feel is right.”

Kay of course there may come a time when you think D is best. That’s purely up to you.  But you don’t have to make that decision today.  Or even tomorrow.  You can make it when you’re ready.  And you will know when you’re ready.  If you’re still asking questions.  You’re not ready.

I believe in the philosophy of setting them free.  Like KellBell’s story. I just read BB’s story and this at home wallower stuff for 9 years seems life destroying to me…..  I believe that some MLCers stall in the tunnel and their journey takes longer than it should (purely my opinion).  And at that point it makes sense to make some changes.

Right now your H is living his “best life” and having fun in fantasy land.  There’s nothing really holding him back.  You’re not really standing in his way of happiness.   So let him be.  And you focus on you and continue moving forward with your true best life.  And revisit the D discussion with him when you’re ready. 
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 09:40:20 AM by WHY »

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#134: November 28, 2023, 10:02:13 AM
I am not sure I have the answers, but....

On the email thing: Yes that is quite the conundrum. Either way, it looks like the same results happens. Guessing it just comes down to whether the "ping" of the message coming through is worse than the anticipation that there may be a message, suffering longer if there isn't and compounding the pain when you find one.

On the divorce..... I went with the thought that if she was not happy with my marriage and me, then I was not going to make her stay. I am in a no-fault state in the U.S., so the most I could have done was prolong the process. Now there are days, hours, and minutes when I question myself for doing that and there is a piece of me that feels I facilitated it.

But I will say.....I had one friend in particular that told me I had to fight for what I wanted, tooth and nail, he!! fire and brimstone, and to not give in and give her a piece of my mind....and so on and so on. Basically, I had to become my stbxw adversary. I never wanted that. Ever. Still don't. I haven't gotten mad at her directly yet. No matter how badly she hurts me, I cannot deliberately do that back. I want to hold her hand even through this process. I know she hurts. I know she is confused and scared. And although she will never admit it and she would never accept my help, I still want to. May be I am a doormat.

Neither are definitive answers.....only you have that and that answer may not be definitive. I am so sorry!!!



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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#135: November 28, 2023, 02:02:22 PM
Hmm, I used that hive mind expression today in a post on FB for a grammar question. As for you, perhaps the Universe is putting its elusive finger on the scale and weighed in with denial of access to the email account. It´s at least Freudian that you set it up and now don´t have access- yet.

If he really wants a D you will receive paperwork via the post requiring the equivalent of registered receipt to prove that it arrived. So, really no need to communicate until then. As WHY said you are not standing in the way of the la la life. I think maybe what you experience in the anxiety over the communication is akin to anticipatory grief- you tell yourself to expect crappy news so that when it comes you´re already part way down the path of processing it.

Hugs,
FTT
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#136: November 28, 2023, 02:44:35 PM
If you have no financial worries then make him do the work. Of course for me BD to divorce was 3 mths, but I had to secure finances. I hate that I handled it all and I mean ALL, but also in the end my pride would not allow me to stay with someone so sure they want yo leave. You have to go with what your gut is telling you.
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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.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan 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

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#137: November 28, 2023, 02:52:23 PM
Imho, if that is his choice, as FTT said, you are not obliged to have any discussion at all about a divorce you did not want (I assume that is so). Your only obligation is to meet the legal requirements as described by your own lawyer and not play games to stand in the way. That’s it. Let his lawyer talk to your lawyer and vice versa.

Again jmo but if a spouse chooses to divorce you without much prior discussion to repair a marriage, the time for discussion has gone. And if you are emotionally distressed, it makes you vulnerable in discussions that are unlikely to be of benefit to you and ones that will not give you the answers or resolution you seek. There may be a time for talking at some point in the future, but this is not it. Let your lawyer be your shield.

At a very basic level, a divorce is someone choosing to remove you from their life. You really are under no obligation to care much about what he wants to discuss or how he feels or wants you to feel or act. A divorce is like a big stop sign saying that none of it is now your circus or your monkeys - you will be plenty busy enough with your own.

Of course, if this happens, you will feel a lot of things including grief. That’s normal. And the source of the grief can’t help you with that. But there can also be a kind of peace far away from the rollercoaster on the other side, I promise.
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 02:59:24 PM 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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#138: November 28, 2023, 04:08:56 PM
My husband actually called me up after costly discussions through lawyers and mediation that went on for almost a year and he made a suggestion that actually was to my benefit. I am glad we had that conversation and were able to finalize the agreement.


We had a legal separation for 9 years (all assets were divided with that) and then he sent me a text message telling me he had filed for a divorce...9 years after BD...still have no clue why he felt that necessary. I knew the divorce papers would come via mail within 30 days and my daughter and son-in-law were coming to visit me so I put a hold on my mail for the 4 days they were here so I would not receive the paperwork...and sure enough the papers were in my hold mail.

I did not want to get the paperwork while my daughter was visiting me because even 9 years later, it upset me. Plus I lost my health insurance so it also cost me.

Quote
it’s the inconsistencies, the hot and cold.

My husband's pattern over many years, he draws a little bit closer and then withdraws for a time...then starts contacting me again....it is so regular that I know now to expect it when we have been together and had a nice time.

 
Quote
On one hand, the freedom of not having his messages ping through, is such a relief. On the other hand, the anticipation of what lies within this account is likely so much worse than I imagine, and it looms over me. Thinking about it makes me anxious.


I know some people say to wait to read or respond to messages but I found that added to my anxiety...so it was better for me to read and respond back so it wasn't hanging over my head. Eventually, certain issues had to be dealt with and it worked better for me to get it over with.

Depending how you see MLC, a "divorce" may not mean what a divorce means in other marriages. And in my situation, it changed nothing regarding his contact with me. I have a feeling I know why he "divorced" me but who knows what goes on in. their heads? They are all over the place and perhaps feel that a "divorce" will set them free..only to find out that doesn't help either.

We do go on vacation with our daughter and I smile when staff addresses us as Mr and Mrs xyzcf...he never corrects them.

Really, they cannot be understood!
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 04:10:34 PM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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#139: November 28, 2023, 10:03:36 PM
KayDee, what some have done is if you have a trusted family member or friend, is to have them read your emails from him and let you know if there is anything important to know. I did that for a time when I became determined to heal, but was still easily derailed by emails from him. It gave me that break that I needed at the time as I turned my focus on me and healing.

Obviously, it takes a special friend or family member and in this case it was someone who had gone through something similar and knew how to distinguish between important and not important information. It wasn't someone on this site, but just imagine a Treasur or someone like her that you have in your life was your filter for a bit. That's what I had for that time until I could catch my breath and move in the forward direction toward healing.

Once I picked up monitoring that email folder again, I did it weekly right before a long run, so I knew I could feel okay and lower my anxiety with exercise if something was upsetting. Then later I didn't need that guardrail, but it took time.
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 10:24:44 PM by Reinventing »

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#140: November 29, 2023, 03:03:56 AM
Thank you WHY, MCM, FTT, Treasure, XY, Madluv and Re. Not a hive so much, as I know you/we are not the Borg (Star Trek fans may understand :) ), thinking as one, but more a compassionate think-tank. You each bring something unique and I am truly grateful. I want to re-read a few times and digest.

I read backwards through my thread also and I realize that I post/journall when I am most confused. Or perhaps it's more when on a threshold, a step or at a decision point. This is when I most often feel the push and pull of brain versus heart. And the common theme is that contact with my H, whatever the flavour, is upending.

WHY, your post, and wording suggestions, were perfectly timed, because it made me think about whether that is what I would want to say. At this very moment, I don't think I am standing. But you are right, if I am asking questions still, I am not 100%. I believe this is because I've never truly had enough space to work things through. Each time I feel close to some sort of equilibrium - a place calm enough to properly reflect - I get another prod from H. If I didn't know better, I would suspect he knew  :) So the advice about prioritising my time and space, this makes sense. I think I needed the reassurance that it is not down to me to activate - I guess I sometimes worry that I am somehow stalling by doing nothing. I agree with T and FTT that H ought to be the one to do the leg work and file. But 'ought' won't look like I think it ought - will probably feel like a thousand paper-cuts. Thank you Re for your practical advice about comms. My idea was to open before therapy, although my therapist is away for a few weeks, so that has scuppered that carefully laid out plan. Your idea of prior to exercise is excellent.

Gosh, it's such a tangle of emotions this situation. We can cycle a lot ourselves.

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« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 03:06:01 AM by KayDee »

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#141: November 29, 2023, 09:20:19 AM
This hive mind comment is a powerful one.  I like it.  The people here have saved my life and for that I will forever be grateful. 

I do want to mention the flip side though.  I'm not sure what the right word is.  Mob mentality?  Where we keep repeating thoughts, principles, believes that give us comfort.  Where we keep telling each other the things we need to hear to feel better, which may not be reflective of each ones unique situation.

I believe it's very important for LBS to step back and look at their own unique situation to formulate their own beliefs on whats is going on in their life, and be honest with themselves.  I think this is the best way to keep evolving the philosophies at HS over the next 5, 10, 15 years.  Think about it.  What we knew 15 years ago about the body and healthcare, is vastly different to what we know today in some cases!

So I wish more LBS would find their way to the forum so we can expand the power of the hive and we can always keep evolving. 

ONWARD.
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#142: November 29, 2023, 09:39:39 AM
Quote
I do want to mention the flip side though.  I'm not sure what the right word is.  Mob mentality?  Where we keep repeating thoughts, principles, believes that give us comfort.  Where we keep telling each other the things we need to hear to feel better, which may not be reflective of each ones unique situation.

Group think?
Cognitive bias?
Both a very common human trait, of course.
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H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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WHY

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#143: November 29, 2023, 10:29:37 AM
Group think is a much better word :)

I'll give you an example.  A lot of folks here believe their spouse is still inside the MLC alien.  I'm not so convinced. 

We know people can change.  "He was a raging alcoholic but has been sober for 20 years after he nearly died".  "She was never the same person after her daughter died" etc.  So yes, people can change. 

And we also know that some MLCers never do the work and are lost forever, so their change is permanent and we never see their old selves again.

So if we know that people can change, and this change can be permanent, by default, I have to conclude that "my old spouse is still in there somewhere" cannot hold true. 

I believe their brain chemistry gets rewired and they become a different person.  Its possible that this change could be permanent.  Its also possible that they could revert to something closer to their original brain chemistry when their journey is over, but they wont be the same people.

So what does this mean for LBS?  Well my spouse may never change back.  Or my spouse will change back, but not to their original self, and I will have to learn to relove this new person.

Either way, I think the quicker LBS moves forward with their own life, akin to KellBell's approach, the better.  What moving forward means to each LBS.  Well thats up to them. 

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« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 10:36:25 AM by WHY »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#144: November 29, 2023, 10:45:24 AM
We can all "believe" what we feel is true for us, and as we always stress each situation is different.

Quote
So if we know that people can permanently change for the long-term, and we know that some MLCers never become their old selves again, by default, I have to conclude that "my old spouse is still in there somewhere" cannot hold true.

Permanently change for the long term...they also changed very suddenly so it is possible that they can change again, or multiple times....they might never come back to their marriages but the changes that occur during MLC are not permanent changes.....the anger, irritation, monster, disregarding their children, over time, these things change...the early angst of their crisis is gone, they reconnect with their children, some even reconcile  with their spouses.  :D

And for those whose spouses did return, these posters have clearly stated that their spouse is "back" to being their pre crisis self, some reconciled LBSers even state that their spouses are a better version of themselves.

It may be true for you WHY that you believe it cannot be true that your spouse is still in there...but that is not what other posters have written about in their reconciliation stories.

As well, there are MLCers who try to make amends and the LBSEr refuses any possibility of that......

Cannot generalize because each situation is different, each MLCer is different and each LBSer is different. I don't think saying something is an absolute can apply to any person. In life, we are evolving and changing constantly, there is no stasis, thus "no permanent changes"....just my opinion.
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#145: November 29, 2023, 10:54:07 AM
Let's hope that they all do return to their "previous" selves regardless of whether they return to their spouse. At least there would be a partial happy ending to the story......
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#146: November 29, 2023, 11:07:13 AM
And - confirmation bias. We are looking for certain MLC actions, or 'script' , or patterns, and that's what we see. I have to remind myself of this often.

And we also know that some MLCers never do the work and are lost forever, so their change is permanent and we never see their old selves again.

And, objectively, the 'work' is what we think ought to be done. That's what we look for, but, as we often repeat on the forum, it's not our journey. The work or recovery is what the crisis person chooses. It may not look like what we think it should.

So if we know that people can change, and this change can be permanent, by default, I have to conclude that "my old spouse is still in there somewhere" cannot hold true. I believe their brain chemistry gets rewired and they become a different person.  Its possible that this change could be permanent.  Its also possible that they could revert to something closer to their original brain chemistry when their journey is over, but they wont be the same people.

I suppose we all continue to evolve as we age and our life experiences change us. Women change through child birth, menopause etc. Trauma changes us and injury to the body. We may change due to an intense spiritual experience, therapy, a new calling. So I guess, to a greater or lesser degree, we are all 'works in progress'.

From my experience of relationships with long term friends and family members, people I have known all my life, they/we do change  - the change is generally gradual though and the 'core' still seems to be present. The dramatic change in MLC - the complete flip or break, that is an extreme and from what I know, not uncommon in mental health crises - one of the first things my therapist said to me was 'depression changes people', but I haven't read anywhere that this is irreversable. I imagine it would change us though. As to the impact and duration, it will be different for everyone. And we just cannot know.

Either way, I think the quicker LBS moves forward with their own life, akin to KellBell's approach, the better.  What moving forward means to each LBS.  Well thats up to them.
Except being more proactive with a divorce, I pretty much did the same things as KellBell. This was instinctual to me. The NC early on, the radical rope drop. But KB's husband is his unique self. There are so many moving parts - for instance he did not have OW. There are so many twists and turns to this, it's utterly unpredictable.

So, yes, I concur WHY, we must get well ourselves and stride forward.
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« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 11:12:42 AM by KayDee »

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#147: November 29, 2023, 12:44:48 PM
Your point about the core resonates with me.
I suspect part of this kind of crisis is that some of these folks did not have much of a stable core to start with. Maybe their ‘crisis’ ends up being how some of them build one, idk. And that may or may not look recognisable to us, again idk, not all humans follow the same path, do they?

Acorn, a wise poster here who did reconcile, has posted in the past that she thinks the most common mistake LBS make is conflating someone’s ‘recovery’ from their crisis with a ‘recovery’ of the relationship. We link hope to a specific outcome while also telling ourselves that their crisis was never about the marriage. But that actually these are two separate things and one does not necessarily lead to the other. So it seems logically consistent to me to think that their ‘recovery’, whatever that means for them, perhaps isn’t about the marriage either.

My former h was - whatever I call it - self evidently deeply unhappy and behaving in a rotten way towards others. I loved him for a long time, he mattered to me, and I think it’s fine to hope that he has found his own way out of that and is a less destructive person to be around. But I can do that quietly and from a distance without knowing if he does or hoping to reconcile too. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 12:48:31 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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

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Re: The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#148: November 29, 2023, 03:31:46 PM
There are some great post and ideas above. My personal understanding is there was an unstable core, and eventually it has deeply fractured and shattered. If you believe in that model, there is no “old self “that will simply just reappear. all of King's men and all of kings horses can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again. There is quite a difference between someone having a small crisis, or a midlife transition to someone who suddenly become someone else. This is a very drastic event. I’m not sure why anyone would believe that it would simply and suddenly reverse itself. You can’t unblow up a building with just waiting.

As others have said before it is perhaps possible if someone does a great deal of work that a new self emerges. But this doesn’t mean it is a better or improved version. It’s very well might be, but it also could just be a different one. I know in the case of my wife, she has “stabilized“ But this new construct is nothing like the person she used to be. And she doesn’t seem happy, she just seems to be coping enough to get along and I do not believe that she will do any serious work at anytime soon.

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No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#149: November 30, 2023, 01:16:10 AM
Quote
Except being more proactive with a divorce, I pretty much did the same things as KellBell. This was instinctual to me. The NC early on, the radical rope drop. But KB's husband is his unique self. There are so many moving parts - for instance he did not have OW. There are so many twists and turns to this, it's utterly unpredictable.

Agreed KayDee! I think KellBell and also Thissucks are two cases of 'early returners' but both didn't had a constant OW (KellBell's xH had a short 'fling' with an old GF which he walked away from on and Thissucks H was denied by his LO).

I also divorced pretty early on (5 months after BD to protect myself and my D financially and mentally) and completely dropped the rope on my xH. He only dived in deeper with his OW who was present in our life months before BD. I think the ones who have an constant OW or multiple ones go deeper in the tunnel once they experience all the 'freedom'. Each situation is unique but I think the presence and character of the OW certainly plays a big part..
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« Last Edit: November 30, 2023, 01:45:04 AM by titleholder »
Together for 15 years, married for 4 years
H: 33, me: 33, D: 1,5
BD: april '22 (EA + 'I want to live alone, have no responsibilities')
Left home: june '22
Divorce final: october '22

“They didn’t cheat because of who you are. They chose to cheat because of who they’re not.” ~ Charles J. Orlando

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#150: November 30, 2023, 05:06:40 AM
Quote
Except being more proactive with a divorce, I pretty much did the same things as KellBell. This was instinctual to me. The NC early on, the radical rope drop. But KB's husband is his unique self. There are so many moving parts - for instance he did not have OW. There are so many twists and turns to this, it's utterly unpredictable.

Agreed KayDee! I think KellBell and also Thissucks are two cases of 'early returners' but both didn't had a constant OW (KellBell's xH had a short 'fling' with an old GF which he walked away from on and Thissucks H was denied by his LO).

I also divorced pretty early on (5 months after BD to protect myself and my D financially and mentally) and completely dropped the rope on my xH. He only dived in deeper with his OW who was present in our life months before BD. I think the ones who have an constant OW or multiple ones go deeper in the tunnel once they experience all the 'freedom'. Each situation is unique but I think the presence and character of the OW certainly plays a big part..

I was going to respond to Marvin about the 'old self', or lack thereof. My H definitely fits under the Identity Crisis, capital I, banner. As I recall yours does too Title. My H has always been a bit of a chameleon, and morphs to other people. When he left he said 'I can't hear my own voice'. He'd been spending a lot of time with alienating forces (people getting divorced or Bachelor Boyz - none of whom knew me). With a crisis and depression, I can only imagine how easily influenced he is. I'm sure the OW is currently in control of the levers. At the one year mark, when he was living alone and not with OW, he showed major signs of wanting to reconnect. Then whoosh - he toddled off again. Feels a bit dispiriting, as I am not sure how he will build a core identity. Who knows?
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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#151: November 30, 2023, 05:50:18 AM
It's time for a new thread KayDee....

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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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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#152: November 30, 2023, 07:09:08 AM
I was going to respond to Marvin about the 'old self', or lack thereof. My H definitely fits under the Identity Crisis, capital I, banner. As I recall yours does too Title. My H has always been a bit of a chameleon, and morphs to other people. When he left he said 'I can't hear my own voice'. He'd been spending a lot of time with alienating forces (people getting divorced or Bachelor Boyz - none of whom knew me). With a crisis and depression, I can only imagine how easily influenced he is. I'm sure the OW is currently in control of the levers. At the one year mark, when he was living alone and not with OW, he showed major signs of wanting to reconnect. Then whoosh - he toddled off again. Feels a bit dispiriting, as I am not sure how he will build a core identity. Who knows?

Sorry UM, quick reaction for Kaydee!

But certainly, my xH is having a severe Identity Crisis just the same as your H. Mine also used phrases as 'I've been wearing a mask my whole life', 'I'm a chameleon', 'Who am I and why do I have a daughter' and the best of all a couple days after BD he stated that he didn't even knew if he should put on the washingmachine because for whom did he put in the dirty laundry for me or for himself (I thought it was because we didn't have any clean towels, but silly me  ::))

My xH also started hanging out with a much younger- and unmature crowd where OW certainly is a huge part of. I have the same feeling as you that she hugely influences him in the state of depression he has been in since our D was born (she has been in our lives since that time-period). I also had a T&G this summer when he and OW broke up and could pinpoint when they got together again because that's when the distance increased immediately.

Each of our stories are unique but also so much alike.. Weirdly sometimes it gives me comfort just in knowing that we're not alone and that we're certainly not the crazy ones.
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« Last Edit: November 30, 2023, 07:48:52 AM by titleholder »
Together for 15 years, married for 4 years
H: 33, me: 33, D: 1,5
BD: april '22 (EA + 'I want to live alone, have no responsibilities')
Left home: june '22
Divorce final: october '22

“They didn’t cheat because of who you are. They chose to cheat because of who they’re not.” ~ Charles J. Orlando

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The Cold Behaviors of MLC? Or just cold behaviour?
#153: November 30, 2023, 07:50:03 AM
I think the most important thing Marvin said is that the core was unstable to begin with. That, imho, is the most important thing to realize. A completely stable and healthy person didn't blow up and therefore they will eventually reassemble as their  "old self." The core WAS unstable. The reasons for that are unique to each person, but if that's not addressed, even a "reassembled" person after crisis will still be to varying degrees unhealthy - again, just my opinion.

And it's not as simple as it sounds. What needs to be addressed might take a huge amount of time and effort to even uncover. I know even in my own life, a year ago I wrote on the "articles and links" thread about a bunch of voicemails I stumbled upon from my deceased father - at the time, it was incredibly devastating. I had a really strong initial reaction to them, I did a lot of digging and introspection, I discussed it in therapy, I did "the work" and still, I only earlier this fall uncovered another unexpected way it had affected me so deeply and was impacting my thoughts and actions ever since I listened to them - it took that long to even identify some lingering stuff under the surface.

And that was with real concerted effort. I imagine that if I were a person with poor coping skills who wasn't making any effort to heal but instead was looking to dopamine hits from outside sources and leaning on another person to help me feel better, happy, etc, I'd never have gotten to the root and I'd still be unknowingly carrying it.

So IMO, the "old self" was comprised of parts we didn't know about and they might not even have been aware of in themselves, but that old self fractured, and it's not as clean as the pieces of a puzzle being scattered and needing to be reassembled. Some of the pieces won't exist anymore, others will be a different shape, and even the pieces that look exactly the same will fit differently. JMHO.
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« Last Edit: November 30, 2023, 07:51:47 AM by Nas »
“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

 

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