Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: Betterdays on April 25, 2018, 05:52:12 PM

Title: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: Betterdays on April 25, 2018, 05:52:12 PM
So I'm one month in to a separation.  A month ago i heard the dreaded, "i loves you but I'm not in love with you". Everything is predictable MLC behaviour.  Started working out, got tatoos, found a 'friend'.  His behaviour is so erratic it's making me insane.  Last night we had a drink together, it was fantastic we had fun, No relationship talk.  Today He told me, all of the time we spend together makes him realize we are best friends and should only be friends, he anticipates being divorced in a year.  Do i give him the space he keeps saying he needs, stop texting, stop inviting it for drinks.  I'm. worried he'll just fill the void with his 'friend' and I'll lose him forever.  He is the love of my life.  We've been together since we were 15 and we've been married for 18 years.   Help!!!
Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: Velika on April 25, 2018, 06:19:14 PM
Better, I'm so sorry you are here and in this position.

It is not uncommon for someone in this high-charged fantasy state to attempt to turn you into a buddy. If you read about "theory of mind," it means that someone can truly understand that you are your own person with your own feelings and perspective. Many MLCers seem to lack empathy, and this can manifest as cruelty, or simply as treating their former spouse as a projection without feelings, who exists to be the thing they want them to be ("friend").

This kind of weird, robot-style, no autonomy "manifest destiny" statement ("We will be divorced in one year.") is not uncommon. I found it incredibly creepy how my ex would say things as if they were destined, like he didn't have free will and our divorce had been pre-ordained.

I can't advise you, because you are closer to your situation, and some people have found a way to keep a neutral friendship with their spouse without becoming overwhelmed or traumatized. A caveat: I would say if he is critical of you, do not spend time with him. Many times the LBS is so traumatized and conditioned she will accept "criticism" that is actually covert or overt abuse. Do not listen to his "reasons" for cheating on you or why the marriage failed. It will do your head in. Many will just change their minds over time. My ex initially made it seem that we had to get a divorce because I did not sleep with him enough. This later changed to us not having a good "romance." At some point he told me we didn't dance enough at our wedding, and he told our young son I didn't cut up enough fruit for him. (I cut up plenty of fruit.) You just can't win.

A warning: Your H is in a fantasy mindset and if you spend time with him, he will feel his fantasy is working out. Many MLCers appear euphoric or "high" when they meet the OW/OM, but then start to cycle into a mixed state where they will age quickly and seem out of it/angry/depressed/disconnected. It takes a few months for the initial high to wear off. This doesn't mean he will wake up and come to his senses as you would expect. Oftentimes this just means an escalation of crazy and crazy-making behavior, where you see an unhappy and erratic person who somehow cannot do what seems to be the only logical thing and end the affair and get professional help.

Whatever you do, protect your finances. If he doesn't live with you, please take my advice and get a legal separation — like, make a call tomorrow morning first thing. Find a lawyer who is tough but fair and who believes you that something is wrong with your H. Try to pinpoint financially what you would like and focus on this. It may be down the road you will decide you don't want him back, but you will always be glad you took this step.

Be sure to safeguard your own emotions and protect your feelings. Big hugs.
Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: Thunder on April 25, 2018, 07:03:30 PM

Please give us more information about your story.  Your ages for instance.

How long have you been married?  Do you have kids?
Please do not fall for "just being friends."

Trust me he is NOT your friend right now.  I would not meet him for drinks or anything else until you have figured out what is going on.

Do not worry about losing him, chances are...and I'm very sorry to say thing, but there is probably some one else in the picture you know nothing about.

I understand he is the love of your life, but he sounds like he is in a midlife crisis right now and there isn't much you can do about it.
They get very strange during this time.  Just take good care of yourself and let him go.

If you read the stories on here you will see so many similar stories.

Please read the articles on here to understand what he is going through...it does help to know you are not alone in this.

I'm so very sorry you are going through this.  Keep posting, and above all protect your finances.  We do understand.
Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: OldPilot on April 25, 2018, 08:43:15 PM
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.

Developing Detachment



Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon

Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: Betterdays on April 25, 2018, 08:47:11 PM
Thank you so much for acknowledging me so quickly.  Didn't expect that.   We have 3 kids,  8, 11 and 18.  Married for 18 years together 25. We had a great life.  I thought. ..  we both turn 40 this year.
Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: Whyus on April 25, 2018, 10:45:22 PM
Hi Better, sorry that your here.
Your Story is nothing which we havent heard before... for your own sake, please dont be his Buddy. It will just justify to him that hes making the right decision and make him feel "even" better about himself. Dont worry about him slipping away, he has already checked out im afraid. He has no idea what he is putting you through and when he sees your pain he will just block it out and carry on.
I too thought that my W and I were "safe", right up until BD, I suspected nothing and my W would never have an Affair for sure. Yeah right!!!!

Some here say "if your not good enough to be his W then not good enough to be a friend". Dont blame yourself, it is not your fault. This would have happened no matter who he is marreid too...
Time to detatach and just think of YOU and your Kids... it will most likely get worse before it gets better.

Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: Broken hearted 1971 on July 20, 2018, 02:25:04 PM
I echo everything everyone has said. I agree with whyus. My worst nightmare didn't include my w having an affair, i just didn't think it was possible. Why would I, 28yrs together at that point.
Title: Re: brand new and in need of advice
Post by: barbiedoll on July 20, 2018, 05:02:48 PM
Hi Better ...a kind welcome to our boat , sorry to see you here. But this IS the best place for support and understanding. We have all been where you are...trust me. I agree with everyone else ...please... YOU are NOT his BUDDY or FRIEND. YOU are the WIFE and mother of his children. PERIOD. Please stop trying to take on that role ..no drinks, no "friendship etc and very little pursuing . I understand you have small children, so some communication is a must. Please keep it only about the children as required. This is his crisis...you did not cause it and no matter what...you will not fix it.

I have included a link that might help