Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: Acorn on December 25, 2018, 10:30:27 AM

Title: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 25, 2018, 10:30:27 AM
My last thread:
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10524.0

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Our family is settling down to a cozy day together after some drama. 
I apologize for the length of this post.  But, you should have seen my unedited version.  It was much longer!  ;D

That shoe (more likely just one of many such shoes) dropped past few days.

H had a massive anger explosion against S2.  That’s the first time S2 was at the receiving end of H’s anger. 
His reasons(!) for the outburst does not make any sense to you, me or S2, and it’s beside the point.  The fact that he had an outburst is significant.

All of us were stunned because we hadn’t seen this type of behaviour from him in a long while.  At least for a year, maybe closer to 2 years.

He shouts and rails against S2, telling him, among other things, that his attendance at church is farcical because his heart is not in it.  H always tells S that he needs ‘the bread’ (God’s word) for his spiritual health even if he is not hungry for it and he should attend the church regularly for this reason.  Contradictory statements.  He was not in his right mind.  His emotion was talking. 

After S2 left home to walk off some steam, H rehashed to me his reasons for his anger.  Blames and excuses.  Trying to be a good father that guides his children in spiritual matters, blah, blah.  He talks and I listen. 

He shifts his focus to us and uses the word ‘farcical’ again, referring to us living under the same roof, pretending everything is well.   Boy, he is having an Eeyore day.

And then he asks, ‘do you have anything to say?’  Not in a mean or challenging manner but in a very subdued way.  I was caught off guard because this kind of invitation has never been extended to me since he entered the realm of MLC.  I recover and apply the rule of 3.

I decided that it’s the right time to say what I think (not the comments he was seeking) and offered the following:
(I did not comment on ‘farcical’ as there is nothing to be gained from engaging him on that.  That’s how he feels now and that’s his prerogative.)

- I like to say something since you asked.
- I’m truly thankful to see the renewal of relationship between you and God, and that is the most important thing.
- I can see how hard you are trying to live right.
- Kids and I love you unconditionally. 
- It is my sincere wish that you continue to heal and be able to live joyfully.
(Because he said that I support the kids over him) My way of supporting you for the last few years was to give you space and quietness.  If you need and want different kinds of support from me, please let me know.

He acknowledged me by offering quietly, ‘Thank you.  It’s good to know.’ 

It’s only after some TIME has passed that light dawns in my thick brain and see the naked truth of projection.  I cannot help but see the parallel between what he told S and then to me.  The word ‘farcical’ held the key.  He was projecting on S2 what he feels about our marital relationship on that particular day - the relationship between ‘S2 and God’ vs the way he perceives our relationship. 

The fact is different in that H has shown nothing of ‘farcical’ in the past year.  His heart was turned toward me and the kids.  He can’t fake that every day in his demeanour, body language and actions.

Now, in his depressive and angry state, everything looks glum and farcical.  His state of mind is the most important aspect, not his words to S and me.  I have noticed him brooding for the last few days and it culminated in the angry outburst.  Makes sense.

H was repentant the morning (Christmas eve) after.  He invited S2 out for coffee and had a long talk.  S told me a little about their conversation.  H talked about his ‘issues’, whatever they might be (S didn’t share and I didn’t ask) and how he thinks that might be the cause of his angry outbursts.  H then unreservedly apologized to S. 

I can clearly see Anger is not a phase.  Not for my H, anyway.  It has been present all through his MLC.  I do see why Conway and HB list it as a phase because there was a period when Anger dominated over all other marvellous features of H’s MLC.  However, it is ubiquitous in H’s MLC journey, not confined to one segment.  I hope he delves into himself further to figure out himself and find peace some day. 

I also see that his anger and depression are joined at the hip.  I sense brooding, hopelessness and ‘it’s my cross to bear’  resignation from him.  I feel the presence of the big black dog sitting at H’s feet. 

Depression, too, is not a phase, as outlined by Conway and HB.  I see its darkness hovering over H throughout H’s journey.  It was very dark indeed at the beginning.  Now it is like a fog in various intensities. 

‘Depression is anger turned inward’ and ‘Anger is depression expressed’ are not just popular psychology sayings, it seems.

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: GonerinGhana on December 25, 2018, 12:03:26 PM
Actually, HB isn't very organized in explaining her various stages (except the main article, which is very brief) but she does make a point of saying everyone must go through them all and in the same order (although they can alternate a bit).

She has one article about a phase that sits between the end of replay and the beginning of the depression phase that doesn't get the attention it deserves. I wonder whether that is where your H has been over the past year or two?

https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org/the-lessons-learned-will-also-be-tested/

Or it could just be holiday stress and a one-off outburst. Only time will tell.

I'd say fasten your seatbelts though, he may be entering a new phase, one that I have to admit seemed missing to me so far. If you trust the process, then I think this shoe HAD to drop. He had to become more depressed.

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 25, 2018, 01:14:22 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and HB’s article, Goner.
I have that in my gigantic MLC info folder.  Haven’t read it for ages!  Thanks for the reminder.

I must say his whereabouts in the tunnel has not been very interesting to me for a while.   
All I know and need to know is that he is not stuck but moving forward.  His occasional sharing of his thoughts and diagnosis of himself tell me he is busy figuring out himself. 

I just wish for him to heal and find peace and joy in his soul because I love him as I love myself.  If our marriage gets restored, it would be a great bonus, not the goal. 


Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Rosetintedglasses on December 25, 2018, 04:22:44 PM
Merry Christmas Acorn

So sorry you’ve had a rough few days and for S2 too. Glad H seemed to ‘get over it’ and apologise the next day.

Hope it hasn’t impacted too much on Christmas but annoying that it didn’t wait a couple of weeks!

Welcome to your new thread, interesting times
Rose 🌹

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Helpingme! on December 25, 2018, 04:31:17 PM
Following along Acorn.
I hate the drama and it's timing. But H did explain himself hopefully. That is a good thing.
Merry Christmas Acorn.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on December 25, 2018, 05:36:45 PM
Hope you've had a good Christmas, Acorn.

Welcome to your new thread.

RCR does not have anger as a phase. Anger exist is most of MLC, including in Rebirth, which is where your husband is at. I think the only phase where it does not exist is Reintegration, the last stage. In Rebirth it may be more or less present, and as Rebirth becomes more solid it tends to lessen or go away, but at least in the start of Rebirth it is comes up.

For some MLCer more than to others.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: osb on December 25, 2018, 05:40:19 PM
I have always felt the MLCer's anger as a symptom of depression - at least in men, don't they say rage is more common than expressions of despondency? My H raged for a long time even before BD, it came out of him in ugly bouts. For me, the solution (with a live-in MLCer) was to take myself out of the picture; i went for walks, i ducked out of conversations, i thought replies that I never opened my lips to utter. Gave him less to push back and rage against. One hand cannot clap. Didn't do much to change my H's MLC, but i think effacing myself made me safer. After one scary physical episode of rage, I didn't want to face that escalation again.

It may be that you're seeing a change in volume, but the trajectory of the journey still applies. Hang in there Acorn.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: 9393roo on December 26, 2018, 05:46:40 AM
Happy day after Christmas Acorn!  Sorry you had a couple days of struggle there.  You handled it beautifully.  It goes to show us all that reconnecting and getting through this entire process takes sooo long.  I too have gone back to read HB articles at many different phases.  They mean something different each time I read them depending on where I currently sit in my process. 

Hope the rest of your family time is uneventful and you are all able to enjoy each other’s company!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: FamilyIsMyGoal on December 26, 2018, 06:29:24 AM
I am so very impressed by your responses!  Wow, your behavior is totally inspiring.  I don't think I will ever have that opportunity, but if I did, I would like to think I could respond in a similar fashion.  Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 26, 2018, 07:13:09 AM
Rose and Helping, the anger incident happened Monday night, H and S had a good talk around lunch time on Christmas Eve, and by Christmas Day, we were having a wonderful family time together.  The memory of his outburst will stay but I hope its toxicity will fade with time.   

As for H, it seems as if his outburst was cleansing in some way.  I can see and feel his calmness.

Anjae, you have pointed out the most obvious (to me, anyway) differences between Conway/HB stages of MLC and RCR’s. 

The way I understand it, RCR describes the stages of metamorphosis of MLCer.  A growth chart, if you like.

I tend to view Conway/HB’s as a collection of dominant emotions and personal growth progress of MLCer in the course of their journey.  It is a mixture of emotional markers and a growth chart - apples and oranges in one basket. 

If I had to choose one over the other, I would pick RCR’s because it is a chart of singular element, MLCer’s growth.  Mind you, I must admit Conway/HB’s stages were much easier to grasp when I started learning about MLC. 

I have always felt the MLCer's anger as a symptom of depression - at least in men, don't they say rage is more common than expressions of despondency?

You have put your finger on it, osb.  Anger and depression are closely linked, I think.  I agree, no one should engage H when he is raging.  It is futile.  I learned to do that in the first year of his MLC and H has not sought me as his anger target practice for around 3 years, but, alas, S2 didn’t know about refraining from engaging.  No wonder, he had never been H’s target before.  I talked with S2 about it and now he understands what he needs to do if a similar situation ever takes place again.

H’s anger seems to be based on feelings of inadequacy or failure (eg. as a father) which in turn makes him feel vulnerable.  He appears to be distressed by his vulnerability, and that eats at him.  It seems to me his anger is an antidote, or a self defence mechanism, against very uncomfortable feelings of vulnerability.  Perhaps men hates that feeling more than women do because of societal conditioning?  Who knows...

Osb, I would really appreciate it if you could expand on the following, please.

It may be that you're seeing a change in volume, but the trajectory of the journey still applies.


Roo, things went back to normal and peaceful, rickety split, unlike in the past where malovelent air hung over the family for many days. 

Family, one thing I have learned through dealing with H’s MLC is not to follow his agenda.  He wanted me to agree with his justification for his ugly firework.  I try not to get sucked into his gaslighting, albeit indirectly to me, not to S2.  I say what I want to say, and not answer HIS questions and replies that he wants. 

———————
We had a wonderful Christmas Day.  Lots of good food and Mary Poppins at theatre in the evening.   H, S2, D and  SIL are running in a race today.  I will stay home and clean up in peace.   It is therapeutic for me to have some personal time and space.  Cleaning up all the mess in the kitchen  seems to do the same thing for my head. 

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!





 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Thunder on December 26, 2018, 08:55:16 AM
You handled that beautifully, Acorn.

If nothing else time teaches us not to react but to respond.  You took a few minutes, didn't react, and responded well.

I've often told my kids you need to pick your battles (fights with their father).  If you are going to, or have to, say something make sure it's worth saying, otherwise zip it.  Leave the little battles alone, their not worth starting a war over.

Glad you had a good Christmas.   :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 26, 2018, 09:39:49 AM
Thank you, Thunder, for your encouragement. 

Responding, not reacting.  Definitely one of the biggest lessons I have learned through H’s MLC.  Common sense, yet so very difficult to do.  Mistake after mistake with bad outcome was/is the only way for me to learn.  I apply this rule in all relationships. It gives me serenity.

The essence of my responding, if I may share, is sticking to my agenda, and not bite his bait and send him a signal that I agree with his warped thinking.   Validating (‘I understand’, not ‘I agree’) what he feels and thinks is one thing, agreeing to his views is equal to being manipulated by his gaslighting.   It seems MLCers excel in GL.  Not intentional but self justification to make them feel better about themselves.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 26, 2018, 09:50:16 AM
Very good point, Acorn, about feeding his agenda. Or indeed his projection.
Showing acceptance that this is how he feels but without agreeing with him is a tricky balance but sounds like an important one.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: osb on December 26, 2018, 09:50:58 AM
Osb, I would really appreciate it if you could expand on the following, please.
It may be that you're seeing a change in volume, but the trajectory of the journey still applies.

Sorry, was being kinda cryptic, let me try to unpack...
My H was on a MLC journey, I accepted that. We talked (when he was in a moment of quiet clarity) about that journey; that it was mental more than physical; that I couldn't carry his backpack for him (even if I desperately wanted to), he had to do it all himself; and if he and I didn't wind up in the same place at the end of it, so be it.  Those moments of quiet clarity were precious, but they were interspersed by periods of loud angry flailing ('Creature From the Black Lagoon' levels of rage and spitting nails). Eventually I made this shorthand for myself: he's walking quietly, or he's walking loudly this week. Sort of became an anthropological observation, rather than personal. When he was walking loudly, I got the hell outta the way, and mentally walked elsewhere (still had my own journey to complete, but it didn't sure have to be done while cringing away from the abuse). When he was walking quietly I got in some useful conversations, and then prepared myself for the noise that was sure to follow. It always did. Took a few years for the pattern to change.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 26, 2018, 10:09:31 AM
Thank you so much for further explainations, osb.  I’m sitting here nodding away. 
I understand and recoganize what you have just shared.  Almost identical situation played out the first 2 years.  The 3rd year saw much dialling down of the noise and the past year (4th year) was without one single angry episode.  That’s why it was such a surprise but also a wake up call for me to the fact that he is on a long journey and I need to stay out of his way, ie maintain ‘anthropological observation’ frame of mind.

You helped me a great deal, osb, by sharing your views, attitudes and experiences.  My heartfelt thanks.
I dare say that you see some parallels in our situations (at least with angry outbursts), albeit we are many steps behinds you.  It’s good to hear from someone who walked before me and understands.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 26, 2018, 10:13:53 AM
Very good point, Acorn, about feeding his agenda. Or indeed his projection.
Showing acceptance that this is how he feels but without agreeing with him is a tricky balance but sounds like an important one.

You are right, Treasur, it is not only important but necessary.  If I don’t, we could not maintain any form of positive relationship. He reminds me of a just born baby with very delicate skin that can be injured with a tiniest knock.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: BBhelp on December 26, 2018, 10:27:20 PM
Following along Acorn.

Stay Strong.

BB
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 27, 2018, 05:14:13 AM
BBhelp, so good to have you on board.  Welcome!
I hope you can expand on ‘stay strong’ one day. 

Farcical

That’s the word H used to refer to us living under the same roof.  In the context of what he had been saying to S2 a minute before that, he clearly means ‘pretend’. 

It did sting when he expressed how he was seeing our situation.  Stung only a bit like a tiny pin prick and it passed very quickly.  After all, it’s his word, not mine. 

I would have been a crying mess on the floor if this had happened when I was yet to detach from his emotions.  In other words, I would have taken his words personally and turned them into a serious indictment on me and our marriage.  Now they do sting a little for a short while, but I get back to seeing it as it really is.  It’s not about me, it’s all about him.  He is free to feel and think whatever, whenever.  The same applies to me.

As I get further from the incident (evening, Dec 23), I can see his depressed mood coloured everything dark grey.  I don’t think his enthusiastic alcohol consumption helped.  He has since recovered and we all enjoyed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  Wonderful family time and he joined in unreservedly. 

H and I are to leave to visit his family in our home country in a few days’ time.  H had thrown in this trip as an example of ‘farcical’ as well when he mentioned our co-existence under same roof as such - he said, ‘we are going to visit them and pretend everything is ok with us.  How farcical.’ 

The following was on my mind and I had no intention of uttering it.

‘Dear H, all your sisters know what you have done and how nutty you have been.  They see right through you.  Even your elderly parents could plainly see you are not right in your mind.  They can all see our relationship has been severely damaged.  Your pretence would appear rather comical to them.’

I will not let his ‘farcical’ affect my trip.  I love H’s family dearly and it’s reciprocal, and I intend to enjoy every minute of their company.  It will be interesting to see how he behaves.  Reports to follow.

Have a wonderful day! 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 27, 2018, 07:08:53 AM
It's just projection, isn't it? That he knows he is not being honest with himself or God or anyone else important.

As you say, let him bring the farce if he wishes - shame it isn't a more light-hearted version like a stage play with comical accents and people jumping out of cupboards  :) - and you bring the fun and enjoyment of spending time with good people you value.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: KeepItTogether on December 27, 2018, 07:09:55 AM
Your detachment is inspiring Acorn! Yes his comments are his alone. But they are also his truth. His likely guilt over what he’s done. And his depression getting out of control over the holidays and over consumption. Most of us would be very upset by hearing such things. How would we not take it personally? But you know better! He is beating himself up before you do. Clever man. But you are far too clever to fall into that trap!

Only thing farcical would be that “other” relationship (if you can call it that) he had. That fantasy escape from a reality he just couldn’t deal with. I don’t know, kind of looks like he’s having some thinky time.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 27, 2018, 07:21:21 AM
It's just projection, isn't it? That he knows he is not being honest with himself or God or anyone else important.

As you say, let him bring the farce if he wishes - shame it isn't a more light-hearted version like a stage play with comical accents and people jumping out of cupboards  :) - and you bring the fun and enjoyment of spending time with good people you value.

‘PROJECTION’ is written on his forehead in red, font size 24. 
He was projecting how he used to regard his faith and church attendance while in high Replay when he was talking to S2.   

Projection is his lingua franca.  It’s like a translation app.  Put whatever he says into the projection app, and, voila, it’s about himself.  Who knew?!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 27, 2018, 07:29:02 AM
Your detachment is inspiring Acorn! Yes his comments are his alone. But they are also his truth. His likely guilt over what he’s done. And his depression getting out of control over the holidays and over consumption. Most of us would be very upset by hearing such things. How would we not take it personally? But you know better! He is beating himself up before you do. Clever man. But you are far too clever to fall into that trap!

Only thing farcical would be that “other” relationship (if you can call it that) he had. That fantasy escape from a reality he just couldn’t deal with. I don’t know, kind of looks like he’s having some thinky time.

KIT, detachment is a life saver and sanity saver!  What he said was his truth of the moment.  It seems his truth flip flops.  I guess that’s all part of the process to solidify the new H.  If he didn’t, it would be a worry, and that would signal that he is entrenched in MLC and stay there for a long time.  That would be a waste of one life we each are given. 

You pointed out something very important, KIT.  Thank you for that! 
I didn’t even think about his A.  Blimey, how could I have missed that ‘farce’?!  The farce that destroyed our relationship.  No wonder he feels depressed about how low he had sunken. 

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 27, 2018, 10:26:28 AM
It helped me when my vanisher popped up and said weird things that were so obviously not true about me or the situation. Projection 101. That I wouldn't let him go (when I was just desperate to get the MLC divorce i'd never contested done). That I need to move on (when aI had not asked him to come back since way before he filed, not once, and when all my energy was focused on dragging myself forward). That we were different people now. (Well, one of us surely was). That he didn't accept my 'paradigm' that we would never talk again after the divorce. (Didn't ask him to, didn't need his permission).

Projection is a weird thing but once you get your eye in, I think you can start to spot it quite easily. And of course it makes no sense to argue it or defend yourself...it isn't about you, more like a war between two noisy pebbles in their head really.

What a sad thing it is and how exhausting and confusing it must be to feel like that.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: 9393roo on December 27, 2018, 10:52:52 AM
Interesting conversation combining projection and detachment. I haven’t been able to define what I have been witnessing lately so this helps tremendously.

The longer I practice detachment the clearer I’ve been able to see the projection.  It has been a sanity saver!  I take what belongs to me in my H’s words of projection and see clearly what belongs to him.  His words are very telling about what is going on in his head. He projects about his employees on a daily basis.  He seems exhausted on a daily basis looking for someone else to blame for his own behaviors.  Since I have stopped fighting it and letting his words roll off my back I have found peace. My hope is he finds the same sort of peace within himself one day.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 27, 2018, 12:06:40 PM
Projection is a weird thing but once you get your eye in, I think you can start to spot it quite easily. And of course it makes no sense to argue it or defend yourself...it isn't about you, more like a war between two noisy pebbles in their head really.

What a sad thing it is and how exhausting and confusing it must be to feel like that.

Yes!!!  Shout it from the mountain top, Treasur! 
Even if MLCer does not share anything about what’s in their muddled head, one can discern the content by his projection.   It is an open seceret, kind of.  A giveaway. 



The longer I practice detachment the clearer I’ve been able to see the projection.

This is true!  To be able to see the projection on the screen, one needs to be far enough from it.  Detachment affords us that distance and the resulting objectivity.  If you or I were to stand right in front of the projection and dance with it, we inject ourselves into the scenario.  Who wants that?!

I’m glad you are maintaining that objective distance, Roo, and found peace.  Detachment brought me peace also.  :)

I also wanted to add that once I got far enough from the storm and was able to see H’s heavy projection, it was as if I was given a golden key to understand him better.  I had/have to be careful, however, not to read too much into projection.  If I did/do, then I was merely projecting myself. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on December 27, 2018, 12:56:55 PM
Projection is his lingua franca.  It’s like a translation app.  Put whatever he says into the projection app, and, voila, it’s about himself.  Who knew?!

Yes, who knew? MLCers, phew!  ::)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Keep believing on December 28, 2018, 03:16:57 AM
Sometimes i don't realize the projection until a while later.   One time it was so clear. About a year ago he called me a coward for no apparent reason. I was like WOW.  I do wonder what he meant by that. Was it that he couldn't end it with other woman or was it that he couldn't confess to making the biggest mistake of his life and all the damage he did?
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: GonerinGhana on December 28, 2018, 05:40:42 AM
I overheard my H complaining to someone after we had an argument a few weeks ago, "She's acting like she's 20, not almost 50!"

Who's the one who has been acting like he is 20 the past few years?

Oh, and what made it really funny is we were arguing because he was projecting his own annoyances on me, and I told him to knock it off, that I wasn't him, and that the things that he was worrying would bother me only bother him.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 30, 2018, 09:21:35 AM
Anjae, Keep and Goner, thank you for sharing your thoughts!  Projection is an interesting topic, particularly relevant to MLCers and I hope to continue the discussion some time in the future.

We leave for Down Under in 2 days’ time.  It would be useful to put down my thoughts to reflect on after we return home.  I have this feeling that our trip may turn out be a significant step in H’s MLC journey.   We will see. 

H has been on edge and rather quiet after his furious outburst at S2 last Monday.  I finally see the reason.  I’m such a dimwit!  It took me a full week to see the light.  The reason has been under my nose all along.  It is our impending trip to visit his parents and siblings. 

His siblings read him like a book and have known all along something is amiss with H.  His sisters have known about his MLC and A.  I was with them (they are my best friends) when he mistakenly texted me instead of OW.  I had a meltdown and I told them why.  Some of them have witnessed his strange and wonderful MLC behaviour first hand and it broke their heart.   His pastor brother has been in contact with H for a year and a half and they had many heart to heart talks.  Simply put, H cannot hide behind a mask with them.  He must feel rather naked. 

And then, there is his father...

H’s relationship with his father is a mixed bag.  He has been/is in awe of the alpha male and has feared/fears to upset him.  He loves his father.  He also hates him, and angry at him for his self righteousness and other common human failings.  H’s anger issues were often pinned on FIL for not giving him a satisfactory level of validation while growing up and not being emotionally forthcoming.  H desperately wanted to feel loved, valued, fussed over, praised, encouraged - i.e. emotionally very needy -  but his father never lived up to that expectation.  H told me this many times. 

H had a major anger explosion at his father some time before ABD when H was visiting his FOO while on work trip.  (I was not with him.)  His sisters described the incident as truly insane moment - spittle flying, eyes bulging, uncontrollable shaking, screaming.  There was nothing one could do to calm him down.  In hindsight, maybe it was the apex of ‘anger’ phase before Replay. 

Now we are going back to see his FOO.  We did that a year and a half ago.  Then he was still in Replay mode.  He had that ‘stunned’ look about him as if he was visiting  Earth from Mars for the first time.  He went about family gatherings and encounters with childhood friends like an automaton.  He managed to avoid much of the get-togethers by committing himself to impossible amount of meetings and lectures.  Manic escape and avoid.

That was the last time he had an angry outburst.  I was the target.   His outburst then and last week are not coincidental.  His explosions are closely linked to his issues with FOO, specifically, his father. 

(Yes, I see he has FOO issues and I used to think they were the reasons for his MLC.  For some time now, I have seen that his childhood issues support a higher cause - H’s struggle to define himself, and not take on the identify what others, especially his father, may have dictated.  It is an epic struggle for individuation.)

His attitude to the trip this time around is very different.     He has not arranged any escape route by arranging to work while there.  From the time he suggested this trip, he had only one purpose - to see his family, especially his elderly parents.

His angry outburst at S2 a few days ago is an example of the stress he is feeling about the trip.  During the outburst, he mentioned all the key words and I see the significance of them just now.  I told you I’m a dimwit.  Sigh...

The key words that he used while raging at S2 and then talking to me afterwards:

- Farce (to me and S)
He is anticipating to act as if he, I and our R are OK.

- Alpha male struggle (to S)
His father vs H and H vs S

- “I’m right, you are wrong” (to S)
H is copying His father’s arrogance and righteousness
 
- “You don’t respect me”  (to S)
H does not respect his father and projects to S.

He was mirroring his thoughts about his father and R between them.  In some statements, he was parroting his father, in others, he was projecting himself on S. 

Since that anger episode, he mentioned the trip every day.  It is on his mind.  I wonder what is awaiting me...

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on December 30, 2018, 12:08:25 PM
Thank you for the update, Acorn.

Makes sense husband had an explosion because the visit to his family means people who can see through him and he cannot hide behind a mask.

Think that is the reason why MLCers explode at the LBS. Or run from the LBS. We can see through them. We know their MLC self is a farce.

I have no idea what/from whom is Mr J individuating from. He never did what FIL had wanted him to. He was already into music, etc. when we meet - concerts and film festivals were the reason we meet.

To be fair, I see no struggle for individuation in Mr J. Since we meet and until MLC hit he was a very unique man, different from most. Since, he become like many others.

It is more like he is trying to be like all those people he hangs around/djs with, etc. It has been 13 plus years since Mr J's crisis stated. More than enough time to individuate and ´full reintegration if you ask me.

I think things will go well down under.  :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on December 30, 2018, 04:47:20 PM
Acorn, I think you are right that your H's anxiety at seeing his FOO caused him to take it out on you. Hopefully, this trip will help him resolve some of those issues.

What a mess parents can make of their kids. But not everyone who has a parent like your H's has a MLC. I feel there has to be some additional factors, like with kids who become drug addicts/alcoholics. There needs to be a combination of factors for it to happen. I wonder what the 'other' factors in MLC could be.

I hope he manages to close some of those doors. Wishing you a happy trip with your H.

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 31, 2018, 06:59:30 AM
Milly, you are spot on!  H’s parents were no different from others in that they were the product of WW2 experience, stoic, hard working, no nonsense people who rebuilt their lives after immigrating from Europe to the land of opportunities.  I don’t think what they are and did to H were the reasons H ended up in MLC tunnel.  They were loving and protective toward their kids, and provided for their kids in the best way they could. 

As time goes on, in my H’s case at least, I understand that it has to do with the family history of mental illness (depression) and H’s personality. 

Some of his siblings, aunts and uncles were afflicted with, and then recovered from, depression. 

H was (I say ‘was’ because he is changing now) a pessimistic person.  He seemed to find something wrong even in a most positive circumstance.  ‘Glass nearly empty’ attitude. 

Combine that with Mr. Nice tendency.  Many took advange of him, with him seething in quiet anger and resentment.  That used to baffle me great deal.  ‘Why don’t you say NO?’ was my perennial question to him.   He seemed biologically programmed not to be able to say the word.  He has been addressing that for some time and is much more assertive and be able to say ‘no thank you’. 

Another aspect of him is escape and avoid.  It there is an issue, he would rather go and do something else rather than deal with it.  Eventually, all the things that he suppressed exploded into MLC. 

I don’t know personality traits of other MLCers, but my H seem to line up with what some MLC experts have said regarding the MLCer character profile.  I can’t recall where those articles are.  Does anyone know?



Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 31, 2018, 07:14:00 AM
My h had a pretty rotten FOO history too, mother with mental health issues and alcoholic father, plus surviving a fire at 15 which killed two family members. Which of course the family never openly discussed.

But on character....yup, same issues about avoidance, saying no and underpinning depression. I suspect we/I was his scaffolding until he imploded and decided I was actually the barrier to his real happy and ow became his new safe scaffolding. Shame really bc of course he would have been better served in building his own scaffolding before running into another marriage but hey ho, he got 18 years out of his first go so perhaps he thinks he'll do better second time around. Seems unlikely though as he'll just carry his baggage with him and ow is evidently not me but has her own dysfunctional stuff.

I do think it is depression plus a weak sense of self...both probably start as an effect of FOO stuff and then character and life experience resolves some and lets others brew until...boom.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on December 31, 2018, 07:15:21 AM
Very interesting observations. I to believe that mine was someone who never was able to say no. When he left, all of his complaints were things that I would just look at stunned and think things would have been so much easier if you had just not said yes when you meant no.

Isn’t it funny that the one time they are finally able to say no and stand firm is when they make the decision to leave us and refuse to come back, refuse to talk, refuse to listen, refuse to try? That always amazes me, because they don’t then immediately carry that newfound ability to say no into their new lives.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 31, 2018, 07:17:48 AM
So agree with that, Nas! For a man who didn't like to say no or to deal with conflict, I think my xh now has a PhD in both....frustrating though that it was aimed at me as opposed to some of the other people in his life who had treated him with a lot less love and respect.  ::)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 31, 2018, 07:45:16 AM
Interesting observations, Treasur and Nas.  Some commonalities are emerging already, namely, conflict avoidance and inability to assert oneself by saying NO.  I remember reading the exact thing somewhere.  If anyone knows the source, please do share.

I suspect we/I was his scaffolding until he imploded

This is almost word for word what H’s sisters told me at the time his MLC madness became apparent to them.  They said, ‘he could have lasted only this long because of you.  You held him together.’  Shoot, I don’t think I ever planned to be someone else’s net.  It tells me something about my emotional needs all those years ago.  I’ve been delving into that for the last few years.  What made me to be his ‘scaffolding’? 

I should add that his mother was clinically depressed when he was a teenager.  It is strange that he dismisses the negative impact her depression had had on the family because it was a bona fide ‘illness’.   I often wondered about his non-negative attitude toward her depression.   While we were courting, he did have a lot of anger at the neglect his mother had shown to the kids due to her depression.  For some reason, that evaporated many, many years ago.  Don’t know why. 

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 31, 2018, 07:54:34 AM
I've mused on this too. And a dear friend of ours, equally shocked, but who knows his family said 'well, I guess it is a testament to you both that he didn't blow up before now'
 :)

My take on me? I had no idea he was as broken as he was or that he had that kind of latent rage. I believed in teamwork, give and take, which works great until the other one stops. I was a bit niave about disordered people bc I had no experience of it. I was arrogant about how special I was to him and complacent about the strength of our relationship. I think I liked being special to someone and perhaps translated his need into love when they are not the same thing at all.i thought he was who he was, flaws and great qualities too, and had no idea that he had perhaps chosen to be that in order to get and keep me, v1, and that it was only part of who he was. I just had no idea of the darkness in him. So, niavety and arrogance were my fatal flaws in our m I suspect.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 31, 2018, 08:18:51 AM
Quote
  I was arrogant about how special I was to him and complacent about the strength of our relationship. I think I liked being special to someone and perhaps translated his need into love when they are not the same thing at all 

And then it became love.  Not much in this world is pure.  Connection between 2 adults is complicated.  Feelings and needs evolve. 

About arrogance and complacency you mentioned.   I would prefer to use the word ‘confidence’.  What do you think?  Would you revise it???  It is a challenge to you.   

I was, and I am, confident that I’m the most special person to my H’s life and the strength of our R built over the last 35 years is beyond any doubt. (I have no arrogance in my heart when I say this.) I don’t think he even realized it until he woke up a bit from his MLC nightmare.  He didn’t say so in those exact words but he did indicate that the life he built, with me in it, is not something he would ever give up. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 31, 2018, 09:21:55 AM
Quote
  I was arrogant about how special I was to him and complacent about the strength of our relationship. I think I liked being special to someone and perhaps translated his need into love when they are not the same thing at all 

And then it became love.  Not much in this world is pure.  Connection between 2 adults is complicated.  Feelings and needs evolve. 

About arrogance and complacency you mentioned.   I would prefer to use the word ‘confidence’.  What do you think?  Would you revise it???  It is a challenge to you.   

I honestly don't know now, Acorn.
My love for him, I have no doubt about at all. Before this, I would have staked my life on the solidity my h's love for me as would everyone who knew us probably. I never doubted it. Maybe that was confidence more than complacency? I had no reason in 18 years to doubt his love, commitment or trustworthiness on anything important. Not once.

But now, I don't know. Logically, I was wrong. But it didn't feel or look like I was wrong.

Arrogance? I'd still stand by that. I didn't rush into marriage but I did marry someone much younger and who I knew had some fragile bits...my arrogance I suppose was believing that love was enough and in entangling so much of myself and my financial independence bc that made me more vulnerable. I think if I had been less arrogant I might have managed the risks of a younger h and the person he was slightly better....but then that would have been at odds with my beliefs about commitment and marriage, so perhaps it would have been wiser to live together without marrying him.

I truly don't know, Acorn. Logic and the evidence in front of me says I was naive or arrogant about my h's feelings for me. But I honestly - and I have looked at it like a Supercharged Sherlock Holmes lol - just can't see any evidence before this crisis that what I thought I saw was not what was real. Whatever it really was, it was a thing of joy and solidity for both of us for many years. What his take on it became, I don't know but I suppose philosophically is love still love if the other person's crisis stops them feeling it? I don't know. I know that people who love you, even those who maybe gradually stop being in love with you, don't do what he did in the way he did it. I also know that I never doubted the strength of his love for me for a moment before he blew up and destroyed everything. And then it was like he had never loved me at all, not for a moment. It is a strange experience.

I'm not sure I will ever be able to square that circle. No one who knew us can either. The only way I have found is to think of them as two separate version; one who loved me and one who apparently despises everything I meant to him. The first is gone and essentially dead; the second is a stranger who loves another wife now. I don't even know if my xh thinks he lost anything of value tbh but I'm pretty clear that I did and it's ok to mourn it even if my xh might see it as a celebration lol.

Either way, no matter what I think, what is done is done and can't be undone. And his remarriage also burnt the very last possible bridge to any kind of reconnection or repair or even shared closure.. It is as it is and we will both have to do our best with where we are now.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on December 31, 2018, 09:54:53 AM
Mr J loved conflict more than I did and he was quite capable of saying no. He was also able to carry responsability for things he decided that didn't turn so well, like a concert we organized. It was his time to pick - I thought it was too risky and expensive. So that I wouldn't have troubles, at the time, things were only officially in my name, he went and got a steday job, something he never wanted to have.

As for being nice, he was a very nice man. I have no problems with someone that is nice. Let alone now, after dealing with MLC monster. 

We all like being special to someone. Otherwise, what is the point of a SO and marriage? I know I was very speacial to Mr J as he was to me. Nothing wrong with that.

The problem is not our love for them, their love for us pre-MLC or the relationship/marriage, MLC is not a marital problem. It is an individual problem. Single people have MLC.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 31, 2018, 10:17:17 AM
Yep, Treasur, Anjae is absolutely right.  MLC is all about the MLCer.  Not about LBS or M. 
He transformed into someone you no longer recognize.  You didn’t have anything to do with it. 

Your love for him and confidence you had in his love for you were all above reproach and to be expected in two people who are deeply committed to each other.

Anjae, I’m referring to Mr. Nice as someone who could not say ‘NO’, despite the others’ request causing anger and resentment.  People exploited his inability to say the word. 

I love all Mr. Nice in the world as long as their YES and NO are genuine, and not because they were unable to assert themselves.   
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on December 31, 2018, 10:43:56 AM
Anjae, I’m referring to Mr. Nice as someone who could not say ‘NO’, despite the others’ request causing anger and resentment.  People exploited his inability to say the word. 

I love all Mr. Nice in the world as long as their YES and NO are genuine, and not because they were unable to assert themselves.

Got it. Agree.  :) Happy New Year.  :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on December 31, 2018, 10:44:32 AM
I brought this over from Busy Bee’s thread.

Quote
I just want to say that your H still haven't reached that very dark truly depressive stage. It took me about 9 months to pull myself out of that abyss.
I wish you and your H both to pass this trial.   

Goner and Songanddance have said something similar.  Now from the mouth of a former MLCer as well.  Maybe I should sit up and take note.  My overall interest in H’s MLC journey is that he walks forward, not in where he is at.  However, I must say my interest in ‘where is Waldo’ has been piqued. When 3 people tell me the same thing, well, I wanna take a look, too! 

I truly don’t know if/when H has done this depressive/withdrawl/liminality phase.  I’m not privy to what he does in his suite on the third floor.  My policy is to leave him alone.  I don’t ask or talk about about his emotional journey unless he makes a direct request, which rarely happens.   

He did have a period more than a year ago, and lasting for a while (don’t know how long)  where he would sit in the dark in the basement with TV on and not really watching.  He didn’t talk to us much at all and kept to himself, except the obligatory supper with the family. As soon as supper is over, he would disappear in a flash.  Once that period was over, he became proactive about drinking less, excercise and nutrition.  Don’t know.  Could have have been just a depressive hole during his Replay.

From my observations of his words and actions, it seems as if he is stacking the MLC phases (simultaneous) , rather than going through them in linear fashion.   Withdrawn and deep thinking at times and then clear vocalization of what he figured out about himself, and actively reconnecting and showing corrective actions.  He is very confusing!

Anyway, I wanted to share this before I go and pack for the trip.  We leave tomorrow.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on December 31, 2018, 01:48:03 PM
Have a good trip, Acorn x
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 01, 2019, 06:17:04 AM
Thank you, Treasur!

I should be tidying up the house before I leave for the airport but I can’t be bothered. There is ALWAYS housework, isn’t there?!  >:( I have something in my mind and need to express it in my open diary here. 

Goner, Songanddance and Busy_Bee suggested that H is yet to reach, or on the threshold of, liminality, the ‘dark’ period.  Prompted by their observations, I refreshed my memory on the subject by reading my considerable stash of notes on MLC stages.  My main takeaway from reading all these articles is that MLC takes TIME (duh, who knew?!) and I would like to write about my reaction to this well known fact - I fully accept that his journey will take as long as it takes.

Reading the articles pushed me to review my mindset.  I need regular maintenance to reinforce what I believe are authentic and most fitting attitude for me in my situation with a live-in MLCer.   One point stands out which is anathema to the Fixers’ Club of which I used to be a passionate member - I must leave him alone.  Let him be and live my life to the full.  He will get there when he gets there.   

H noticed ‘leaving him alone’ according to what he revealed a few days ago.  He feels that I support our kids over him.  As I shared before, I replied that my support for him was giving him space and quietness, and if he needs different kind of support, please let me know.  He seemed to be satisfied with that answer. 

I’m curious as to what support MLCer needs from the spouse after some considerable healing have taken place and his heart is turned toward M and family.   (His support for me is a subject for another day.)

If you know, please share.   An educated guess is very welcome, too. 



Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Thunder on January 01, 2019, 08:12:35 AM
Acorn, I think what you are doing is perfect.  Be kind and friendly but leave him alone.
He knows you are there for him.  He knows you love him.  That's all that is important. No matter what pity party remarks he makes.

They need these quiet times to think and sort.  Interrupting that process is not a good thing.
When he's ready to talk he will come to you.  Then is when you just listen.

Just keep living your life to the fullest.   :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 01, 2019, 08:48:35 AM
Acorn, I think what you are doing is perfect.  Be kind and friendly but leave him alone.
He knows you are there for him.  He knows you love him.  That's all that is important. No matter what pity party remarks he makes.

They need these quiet times to think and sort.  Interrupting that process is not a good thing.
When he's ready to talk he will come to you.  Then is when you just listen.

Just keep living your life to the fullest.   :)

Thank you, Thunder, for your kind reminder.  I think it’s good he heard from my mouth that I love him, and will support him, if needed.  That seemed to settle him down. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Thunder on January 01, 2019, 08:58:28 AM
Of course, and he won't forget those words.   :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 01, 2019, 09:11:03 AM
Thinking back, I said almost identical words to him at the beginning of his serious Replay. 
His answer?   A loud snort.  So, he seems to have come a long way from that.  He didn’t want or need my love and support and scoffed at me then.  Now he finds comfort in hearing the same message from me.  I guess it’s good. 

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 01, 2019, 10:45:41 AM
Quote
  I was arrogant about how special I was to him and complacent about the strength of our relationship. I think I liked being special to someone and perhaps translated his need into love when they are not the same thing at all 

And then it became love.  Not much in this world is pure.  Connection between 2 adults is complicated.  Feelings and needs evolve. 

About arrogance and complacency you mentioned.   I would prefer to use the word ‘confidence’.  What do you think?  Would you revise it???  It is a challenge to you.   

I honestly don't know now, Acorn.
My love for him, I have no doubt about at all. Before this, I would have staked my life on the solidity my h's love for me as would everyone who knew us probably. I never doubted it. Maybe that was confidence more than complacency? I had no reason in 18 years to doubt his love, commitment or trustworthiness on anything important. Not once.

But now, I don't know. Logically, I was wrong. But it didn't feel or look like I was wrong.

Arrogance? I'd still stand by that. I didn't rush into marriage but I did marry someone much younger and who I knew had some fragile bits...my arrogance I suppose was believing that love was enough and in entangling so much of myself and my financial independence bc that made me more vulnerable. I think if I had been less arrogant I might have managed the risks of a younger h and the person he was slightly better....but then that would have been at odds with my beliefs about commitment and marriage, so perhaps it would have been wiser to live together without marrying him.

I truly don't know, Acorn. Logic and the evidence in front of me says I was naive or arrogant about my h's feelings for me. But I honestly - and I have looked at it like a Supercharged Sherlock Holmes lol - just can't see any evidence before this crisis that what I thought I saw was not what was real. Whatever it really was, it was a thing of joy and solidity for both of us for many years. What his take on it became, I don't know but I suppose philosophically is love still love if the other person's crisis stops them feeling it? I don't know. I know that people who love you, even those who maybe gradually stop being in love with you, don't do what he did in the way he did it. I also know that I never doubted the strength of his love for me for a moment before he blew up and destroyed everything. And then it was like he had never loved me at all, not for a moment. It is a strange experience.

I'm not sure I will ever be able to square that circle. No one who knew us can either. The only way I have found is to think of them as two separate version; one who loved me and one who apparently despises everything I meant to him. The first is gone and essentially dead; the second is a stranger who loves another wife now. I don't even know if my xh thinks he lost anything of value tbh but I'm pretty clear that I did and it's ok to mourn it even if my xh might see it as a celebration lol.

Either way, no matter what I think, what is done is done and can't be undone. And his remarriage also burnt the very last possible bridge to any kind of reconnection or repair or even shared closure.. It is as it is and we will both have to do our best with where we are now.


Acorn....I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.
Because you challenged me, and bc of the way you did it, and bc of the timing of it, you prompted something very important to shift in my head.
Which was a gift.
I meant what I said here but it was only part of what I eventually came to realise I think and feel now.
I'll post about that on my own thread.
I just wanted to say thank you though.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 01, 2019, 01:31:17 PM
Acorn, I think everything you've been doing is just perfect. I'm watching and learning from you.

I'm also fascinated to read that when you told your H in the beginning that you loved and supported him, he snorted, which is the usual MLC response that most of us are getting. But now, these same words are just what he needed to hear.  This gives me hope.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 01, 2019, 04:46:07 PM
Acorn, it is true your husband still hasn't reach the very dark period. However, I don't know if all MCLers reach it. Most yes, even I, with my very mild crisis, had it. My cousin's one was terrible, darkness and more darkness and lows. But it come before he was on the same point your husband is. It tends to come before. But, again, maybe it depends of MLCer.

We know a lot about Replay, but very little about the following stages.

MLC is not linear. At times all stages, aside from the last one, reintegration, can be present.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Songanddance on January 02, 2019, 04:03:53 AM
Quote
I need regular maintenance to reinforce what I believe are authentic and most fitting attitude for me in my situation with a live-in MLCer. 

We all do.  As humans in society we should always revise, maintain and re-inforce in us what is authentic and fitting for us all of the time.

Perhaps if that lesson were taught in schools and parenting skills and social media became a force for healthy mentality, we all might become healthy individuals  and MLC become a thing of the past!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: KeepItTogether on January 02, 2019, 06:44:39 AM

Anjae, I’m referring to Mr. Nice as someone who could not say ‘NO’, despite the others’ request causing anger and resentment.  People exploited his inability to say the word. 

I love all Mr. Nice in the world as long as their YES and NO are genuine, and not because they were unable to assert themselves.


This is my H to the T--Mr. Nice b/c he has a constant need to please. Funny though how his ability to say no started with me. Hoping I am not the only one he can exercise this newly found power to though!

That loud snort after your declaration of love and support--wow he has come a long way. Sometimes it takes looking back to those dark moments to fully appreciate how far we have come.

Your question regarding what support an MLCer needs was interesting to me. As I am still in the throws of it, I am probably not the best to even attempt. But in looking at your situation, it seems like you give just the right amount. In other words, you are there for him should he need it. But you also give him the space he requires to sort things out. You don't push or challenge him when he s being unreasonable. Your quiet patience allows him to get where he needs to go. It shows such a high degree of unconditional love--that you are confident that he can do it, without your intervention. My take on it anyway.  ;D

Have a wonderful trip Acorn.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: 9393roo on January 02, 2019, 10:18:04 AM
I continue to learn so much here.  Acorn, I’m waiting for the dark period to hit my H as well.  He had 2 months beginning last winter where he did not talk to me or anyone else.  I believe The was OW withdrawal though.  During one glimpse of awakness during this time he described his incredible physical pain during this time.  I’m pretty sure rock  bottom is coming, he is doing everything he can to avoid it.  He is on a cycle right now of watching all that I do for fear I may leave him,  all because I told him I’m starting to see an IC again and have several trips planned without him. His first response to both was “why do you need to go?”.  He has such a long way in coming to terms with it all.  I, like you, am very worried that he won’t be able to handle the devastation that he has caused.  I’m stepping back again after the holidays to more detachment.  This live in clinging MLCer has been a challenge lately, I’m learning to adjust daily.

Have a great vacation Acorn!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Sam I Am on January 02, 2019, 10:38:00 AM
finally caught up and following along on your story!  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 02, 2019, 10:42:34 AM
In other words, you are there for him should he need it. But you also give him the space he requires to sort things out. You don't push or challenge him when he s being unreasonable. Your quiet patience allows him to get where he needs to go. It shows such a high degree of unconditional love--that you are confident that he can do it, without your intervention. My take on it anyway.  ;D

Thank you, KIT, for your comment.  Isn’t it remarkable how many MLCers are conflict avoidant?  They say yes to avoid challenging the other.  It would be interesting to see how your H navigates this particular trait.  I’m guessing that’s one issue our Hs need to resolve and leave it behind.

Your comment ‘you are there for him should he need it’ reminded me what he said to S a few days ago just before he launched into a verbal tirade at him.  H was saying what a devoted mom I have always been, S could not have had any better person than me to support S, I was always the dependable solid rock for the family.  That was very interesting to say the least.  It seems he knows that ‘the rock’ doesn’t move.  It is just there. Its imovability is intrinsic and cannot be altered.  In the olden days I would have bristled at that kind of comment and felt like I was taken for granted, i.e. I would stay put, no matter what he did or didn’t do.  Now I take that as him meaning that I am the lighthouse and a steady point of anchor.  Even if I were wrong to assume this, I actually don’t care one tiny bit as it is the truth.

He knows of the confidence I have in him.  I didn’t say that in so many words but implied it when he asked me if I had anything to say to him. 

Roo, I’m glad you can find some useful things in my open diary.  I appreciate you sharing similar experiences in your own situation.  I look forward reading more about it on your thread.

We are half way through our travel to our homeland.  It takes so long to get there! 
Take care, everyone!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 02, 2019, 02:52:14 PM
Hope you reach your homeland soon.

I don't know what support a MLCer that is a spouse needs. I know how to do it with one that is a friend or a relative, which is a different situation.

The spouse MLCer usually causes a level of damages the friend or relative MLCers does not cause to us.

Think you're doing everything right, Acorn.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: barbiedoll on January 03, 2019, 02:24:22 AM
Quote
Isn’t it remarkable how many MLCers are conflict avoidant?  They say yes to avoid challenging the other.  It would be interesting to see how your H navigates this particular trait.  I’m guessing that’s one issue our Hs need to resolve and leave it behind.
.

I have mentioned this over and over and it has been my observation time and time again. Conflict avoidant partners are extremely difficult to have a relationship with ...because you cannot resolve anything . Ever. You do most of the "relationship" by yourself as the avoidant rarely shows up in your marriage in any meaningful way. Everything is "fine" with them. You can never actually trust or know them because you have never even met the "real" them. You are dealing with someone living 100% in their defence mechanism or avoidance and denial and as they travel thru life they are accumulating resentments and anger. Resentments as a result of denial, avoidance and having no boundaries. This remains a struggle for me that is NOT acceptable.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 03, 2019, 03:03:03 AM
Barbie, you completely described my H. He is the epitome of a conflict avoider, which as you say means you have to take all the decisions yourself because they won't give a direct answer. The result of this is that we never know if the decision we make is actually ok with them, and then the resentment is building up to be exploded at us later.

I wonder if replay with the OP, who tends to be a dictator, is to force the MLCer to stand up to them. All the fighting between them might be the MLCer attempting to have boundaries but not yet knowing how to put them in place correctly.

Acorn, I find your way of being with your H as he moves through the latter part of his crisis to be very inspiring.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nerissa on January 03, 2019, 03:37:18 AM
I think Barbie hits the nail on the head.  This book is good on counter dependency - a symptom of avoidant attachment and which depends upon having a co dependent with whom to interact.


https://weinholds.org/the-flight-from-intimacy-healing-counter-dependency/

Here is quite a good article too:  http://thecenter4lifechange.com/opposite-codependency-counter-dependency-love-avoidance/
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 04, 2019, 11:18:22 AM
Thank you, Anjae, Barbie, Milly and Nerissa, for sharing your thoughts.
It seems many MLCers are conflict avoiders.  I think there are degrees of avoidance.  Some are so severe that they cannot even choose which ice cream flavour they should choose.  There are some that are selective about their avoidance.  My H is one of them.  He avoids conflict with people in authority over him.

I’m severely jet lagged and sit in the kitchen quietly catching on news and HS.  I should probably head to bed before the sunrise! 

H and I visited his parents on our first day here.  H and his father were very reserved to each other and ill at ease.  Awkard!  I talked with my FIL most of the time, H with his mother. 

We visited his favourite sister and her family next and the conversation topic was interesting to say the least.  One of H’s nieces is going out with a most unsuitable boy.  I won’t go into details but let it suffice to say that I agree with the assessment of the boy after I met him.  H’s sister says, ‘I just have to bide my time and keep quiet.  Their infatuation with each other won’t last long.’  I agreed, H looked down.  I wonder why.  ;D H’s BIL walks in and says he has been talking with a family friend who just got caught having an affair.  H shuffles his feet and looks rather uncomfortable.  I wonder why again. ;D  You really can’t make this stuff up.  I don’t have to open my mouth at all and truth darts fly from most unsuspected source.  O well.  Palms up.  I’m not even one bit sorry for H.  Is that bad? ::)

Truth darts keep coming.  We are back at the holiday place and watch news.  A big headline: a politician in his mid 40’s is resigning because he was dilly dallying with women other than his wife.  Lots of unsavoury details.  This is not your average affair.  Sounds like this guy lost his mind.  Looks like a classic MLCer.  I didn’t look at H.  No need to.  Lots of shifting about on the couch.  ;D

I wonder what’s in store for us in the coming days. 

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 04, 2019, 11:58:44 AM
Oh my, Acorn, God is definitely rolling out some of his finest post it notes for your h isn't he? Sounds like your h is going to be caught in a permanent squirm  :)

But the lovely thing is that you don't have to do anything at all so I hope that allows you to really enjoy your vacation  :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 04, 2019, 03:18:06 PM
A person who cannot choose an ice cream flavour?  :o Does that really exists?

MLCers are perfectly capable of decide to leave. And several also don't seem to have problems getting into legal battles. I know, I know, it is both a form of control and of being attached.

Would say all is going well down there. Husband didn't run when uncomfortable things were mentioned.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 04, 2019, 03:29:03 PM
I was just having some fun with ice cream flavours, Anjae.  I should have put an emoji after it.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 04, 2019, 04:03:53 PM
I see. :) Well, there are probably people incapable of deciding wish ice cream flavour they want.  ::)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 05, 2019, 03:56:18 PM
Acorn, I'm following and feeling your jet lag, but glad you checked in with us, thank you. It's not that our Hs can't choose their ice cream flavours while they're in their crisis, but if the OP tells them to get a certain flavour, they probably would say ok. Maybe a stupid comparison, but not unrealistic.

I'm sort of glad your H got hit by some out-of-your-control darts. I hope that doesn't make me sound mean. He needs to squirm. Actually, I think that squirming shows his feelings of guilt. Wouldn't it be so much easier if he would own his guilt, say out loud how wrong these people are, how he did it too and now realizes it's not the right choice? Everyone would admire him for his candidness. But no, they look down and shift their feet. Oh, well.

I admire you for observing and moving on, good for you. Oh, and lucky you, too. I hope you have fun as well.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 09, 2019, 09:01:01 PM
Treasur, Anjae and Milly, thank you so much for reading and commenting! 

We had a R talk last night.  It grew organically out of another subject we were discussing in the car.

We were travelling back from a beachside cottage where we spent a few glorious days with H’s siblings and their spouses.  They are salt of the earth...  We shared lots of up laughter and tears, uproarious humour and serious talks.  Each one of them spoke to H and me individually, expressing their love and support.  All this talk turned my eyes to the reality of our R.  I think it was the same for H.  We had both been ‘letting’ everything be, and I guess it was time to break the status quo.

Apparently, H opened up with one of his sisters, talked and wept for a long time.  This SIL shared with me that H is completely turned toward God and he has intense desire to walk on the path of righteousness.  He confessed his unfaithfulness to me and not having been a good father.  He is determined to rebuild our family and M.  I’m thankful that SIL told me of this as the it confirms what I had been observing in H.

Driving back to our accommodation, I started talking about H’s prayer before the meal.  I expressed how much I appreciated his prayer and how it resonated with me.  It was God-focussed and H expressed his gratitude for the forgiveness of sins. 

I told him that his mention of God’s forgiveness in his prayer prompted me express what has been on my mind but yet to express to him verbally.  I said, ‘I forgive you, J.  I have absolutely no anger or animosity toward you.  I do not know when it happened but it dawned on me some time ago that I have truly let go of your debt.  I would like to voice that now.’  H cried...  He then told me he needs to forgive himself and he finds that very difficult.  He remembers and feels the depth of his wrongdoings (he specifically mentioned his unfaithfulness to me) so acutely that he is having trouble in forgiving himself.   

And then the floodgate of words opened for H and me.  It was a monumental R talk and my head is still spinning from it all.  I cannot remember all the subjects we talked about, let alone the order of them.  I can remember some points. 

H has been thinking a lot and showed the clarity of his extra large mirror.  He shared that he knows:

- he projects on our kids. (Wow, he is aware of that.)
- he is very sensitive and emotional.  He wishes it were different because he feels emotional pain so very deeply.
- he feels a void inside of him but he realizes that no one can fill that.  He seeks God’s help in this regard.
- the last counsellor didn’t help him much and would like to find another one.

I reiterated the same things I told him a few days before we left on this trip.

- I’m thankful for his return to God
- I love him unconditionally (I have previously lumped the kids in for this pronouncement.  I mentioned only myself this time.)

And then I plowed on and said many things. I remember saying the following:

- It is my desire to reconcile and rebuild our marriage.
- I’m not going to lie, it hurts me when you obviously avoid physical contact with me.

He replied:

 I’m scared of being rejected by you.  Sometimes you are very positive and friendly toward me but other times you are aloof and silent.  I’m delighted inside when you interact with me with cheer.  I’m sad when you are remote from me.  (I had NO idea!)

After that we talked a whole heap more until we were hoarse.  All about our sincere desire to commit to rebuilding.  And then a miracle of sorts happened.  H grabbed my hands and enveloped them in his big paws and said, ‘let’s go to God and pray.’  He prayed for healing in our M and family, for strengthening our desire to always serve God faithfully.  Since then, he has been physically more demonstrative toward me. 

The character of our interaction has changed since the R talk.  It is as if an invisible barrier between us has fallen.

I have so much compassion for his pain at not being able to forgive himself.  I pray fervently that God gives him a true understanding that if God can forgive him, H can forgive himself, too.

Am I sorry that we had R talk, unintentionally started by me?  Absolutely not.  I’m thankful that it happened.  In hindsight, it was needed and it was the right time.

P.S. I just re-read my previous post about the truth darts.  It is so in the past and irrelevant even though that was a mere days ago.  I sincerely hope he doesn’t get any more darts because they find the bull’s eye and hurt him so...  Besides, H has shown clearly in our R talk that he has more than a quiverful of his own darts.  Plenty (prehaps too much?) of self reflection and working very hard to mend himself and relationship with the loved ones.  I just remembered one of the things he said.  ‘I missed some parts of emotional growth when I was young.  I’m trying to catch up.’ 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: GonerinGhana on January 09, 2019, 10:08:58 PM


 I’m scared of being rejected by you.  Sometimes you are very positive and friendly toward me but other times you are aloof and silent.  I’m delighted inside when you interact with me with cheer.  I’m sad when you are remote from me. (I had NO idea!)


I just wanted to highlight this as it is what you have thought was the key to the progress all along. I'm not going to say it isn't necessary sometimes. But I also think a bit of being vulnerable and expressing our true feelings for them doesn't hurt either. They say do the opposite of what we did all along. I'll give you an example  My H always liked being chased, and hated being the chaser. If my true H is in there somewhere, then I really think I can't attract him back without that chase. Does that make sense? Yes, he might reject it too sometimes and run away, but that's the MLCer inside him running, not the man I want. So it really doesn't matter if I strike out sometimes as long as I am giving him confidence when he is receptive to it.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 09, 2019, 10:30:28 PM


 I’m scared of being rejected by you.  Sometimes you are very positive and friendly toward me but other times you are aloof and silent.  I’m delighted inside when you interact with me with cheer.  I’m sad when you are remote from me. (I had NO idea!)


I just wanted to highlight this as it is what you have thought was the key to the progress all along. I'm not going to say it isn't necessary sometimes. But I also think a bit of being vulnerable and expressing our true feelings for them doesn't hurt either.

I hear you loud and clear, Goner.  I believe that MLCer has to be far enough in their journey to even come to that state of mind where their emotional state is influenced by LBS.  Before then, it’s all about them and LBS does not hold meaningful space in their mind.  Well, that’s how I see it, anyway.

 I think R talk has to be the right time for it.  In the past, when I expressed similar sentiments to H, he arrogantly brushed them off, almost approaching ridicule.  This time he was grown enough and ready. It was the right time (holiday circumstances) and place (car, not facing each other).   If we had not been exposed to his siblings’ love, support and intense convos with each one of them about faith, life, marriage, children, etc. and were primed for the R talk, the same convo could not have taken place.  Or, if it did, our R may have gone south by a considerable distance.  One step forward, two steps back.

If MLCer has not grown sufficiently and developed a receptive heart and a listening ear, these sort of R talks would be like the proverbial spanner in the works.  Harmful to R and distracting for their journey.  I have no doubt about it. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 10, 2019, 12:22:13 AM
Acorn, what a wonderful update!! Love, love, love to hear good news like yours!

I wonder if what you call truth darts, that were just real life happening around your H, also brought him to the point where he needed to open up about his affair and tell you how bad he has been feeling about it. This might also have contributed to your R talk being at the right moment. I'm so glad he got it off his chest and that lead to him opening up about his feelings around you. So wonderful to hear to you've reached that place in your journey where you have completely forgiven him. What a relief that must be.

The physical touch comment is very interesting. We don't get to hear how the MLCer feels when we do the 'light but distant' routine. When I read about people connecting and the MLCer not being physical, I'm sorry for the LBS. The message portrayed is that the MLCer doesn't feel that kind of attraction yet for his spouse. But your H's revelation insinuates something else is going on, their fear of rejection, which is probably one of the fundamental factors at the root of their crisis.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: GonerinGhana on January 10, 2019, 02:19:31 AM
I think throughout the crisis there are moments when they are open. It might only be a brief window. I've had a few lately and I have been using a carrot and stick approach when they appear. For example, I say some nice stuff about him, show appreciation for the good things he is doing that he deserves praise for, but then I call him out on his excuses for not doing other things. I'm not initiating relationship talks per se and I find these truth darts are best delivered by text as it gives him the freedom to choose to ignore or respond. Leaving aside progress on his MLC itself, I don't think there would be much progress in our relationship as there has been so far if I had taken as hands off an approach as you have. Part of me says sometimes we need to act as if this isn't an MLC and just be ourselves in responding as we would under normal circumstances. Because that is who we are and who they stayed with all these years.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Mitzpah on January 10, 2019, 05:34:43 AM
Acorn,

What a moving post. It brought me to tears for both of you. I am so glad to witness this - may God continue to move powerfully in your lives.

Interesting that healing comes within the family - I have noticed in my case that progress (even as slight as it can be) often comes when the family is together, there is something special about being with the family.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: 9393roo on January 10, 2019, 05:45:24 AM
Acorn, this update is so heartwarming and continues to give me hope.  I am learning so much from everyone’s postings, taking what I need and applying it to my own situation.

I am in the give and take stage.  It is surely hard to know how much to give an MLC spouse. Last week I got dragged into a R talk and was so angry I didn’t want anything to do with my H for several days.  Little did I know that some of what I said sunk in and he has been trying a little more. I took a chance and sent him a text yesterday telling him that his efforts have not gone unnoticed and thanking him, I got no response. Last night he called before bed (hasn’t done this since pre BD)because he said he wanted to hear my voice.   Sometimes my heart aches for all of his pain.

I’m so glad all of the stars aligned for your talk.  This is huge and I believe I giant step forward for BOTH of you. Thank you for continuing to share your journey. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: xyzcf on January 10, 2019, 12:02:26 PM
Thank you for sharing Acorn.

Thank you God for bringing Acorn's husband closer to you and for opening his eyes to the love of his family.

May he understand that He is already forgiven...may he continue to open up to Acorn and to show her the love and respect of a husband.

May Acorn as well have the words that she needs to say and know when she needs to say them.

Thank you Lord, for restoring this marriage!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: serenity on January 10, 2019, 01:56:15 PM
Thank you for your prayer xy

X
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: serenity on January 10, 2019, 02:28:11 PM
Thank you for your post Acorn

Actually my H often tells me now that he desperately misses my touch. I can often see him craving it when we’re together and he’ll go to great lengths to try and touch me or get me to touch him!

The naughty side of me finds this quite amusing!

X
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Helpingme! on January 10, 2019, 02:30:38 PM
Loved reading last update Acorn. Keep them coming.
Wishing yall many more wonderful times. More good convos too.
That has to feel good, H opening up to you.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 10, 2019, 03:27:44 PM
Wonderful update, Acorn.  :) Very happy to know things are improving so well.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 11, 2019, 06:08:31 AM
Thank you, Milly, Goner, Mitzpah, Roo, Serenity, Helping and Anjae, for rejoicing with me and for your comments.

Xyzcf, I read your prayer many times as my own prayer of thanksgiving.  Thank you...

It appears on the surface as if some seismic shift has occurred in our R in the last few days.  However, I realize that the change has been ongoing for a while and all it needed to bubble up to the surface was a catalyst - my voicing of forgiveness.  It looks like H was ready to follow my lead, not the other way around.  He needed to witness my willingness to reconcile.  It was as if he was sitting and waiting at the door.  I’m so thankful that I accidentally grabbed the handle and opened the door when I did. . 

It’s been a few days since our R talk and there has been much progress.  We have turned our eyes toward each other and have been taking our love out of storage and carefully unwrapping it.  I cannot speak for him but it seems to be happening naturally with me without any conscious effort.  No thinking involved.  I used to wonder about proper timing and reasons for unwrapping my love and wearing it on my sleeve again.  It was a needless concern.

Our sincere desire to rebuild our relationship is palpable and our old connection is coming alive.  The fact that we are on holidays and are in each other’s company 24/7 is helping.  One can say the absence of our usual daily grind is a godsend in jumpstarting our reconciliation. 

I did not fully comprehend even a few days ago what was meant by each of us walking his/her own path and learning the necessary lessons.  I understand it now.  I feel that  H and I are at a similar stage of personal development.  I see this very clearly.  If one of us was lagging far behind I doubt that what we are experiencing right now could have happened.  We are on the same page at the same time.  I feel (see?) that  H and I have been walking two separate paths for many years and now have met each other at a junction where out paths finally merged and we are looking forward to travelling together on the same path.

Now on to practical side of things.  Tangible progress is shown in the following ways:

We have been getting more comfortable with physical contact.  We both initiate.  Nothing sexual.  We agreed to take our time because we are in for a long haul - the rest of our lives.

H suggested and then set up WhatsApp for our family.  He started taking photos and sending them to our kids with little commentaries.  Each kid texted me their delight at H’s latest attempt at rebuilding R within the family.  They have been enthusiastically responding to H.  This makes me cry a little...  H mentioned that he will keep sending photos and messages through WhatsApp when he travels for business.  I’m delighted!

About me.  I do not hesitate sharing what my wishes are for our shared future, however, I do not suggest any actions.  That would be unnecessary pressure for both of us.  We had been lunching with his brother and SIL today and they mentioned their upcoming trip to Europe.  As we were heading back to our accommodation I mused aloud how nice it was to hear people getting old together and enjoy travelling, and how much I would enjoy that.  H immediately suggested we look into his professional engagements overseas this year and see which places would be good for us to go together and stay awhile to look around.  Wow...

H mentioned how much he enjoys going to concerts and asked me to look for more.  I’m delighted.  We have a full season ticket to an orchestra but he wants more.  It’s music to my ears!

H’s attentiveness to me is without any restraint now.  He is looking after my needs and comfort everywhere we go.  Don’t get me wrong, he has mostly been polite and chivalrous toward me, except when he was in high Replay.  Now it is quite different in that he is doing it with his heart, not out of contrived courtesy. 

With all these positive developments, we did tell each other that we will take our rebuilding slow and steady.  There is no other way. 

It’s been beautiful few days of hope and gladness.  I’m thankful to be able share my story with you all. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Helpingme! on January 11, 2019, 06:30:07 AM
Thank you for posting another update. It not only gives hope, but it is helping for ones in the future that reach where y'all are at.
Now it should be easier for you both to grow together Acorn. No more following the lead, yall will be working together. 

Have a wonderful weekend Acorn
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: BBhelp on January 11, 2019, 06:40:29 AM
Great Job Acorn.  There will always be times where you are lucky enough to both open up at the same time...be vulnerable at the same time...and listen at the same time.  When those happen...huge distances can be crossed and so much info can be gathered.  You will continue to find so much of your husbands actions/inaction are based in fear.  Fear of his own thinking, fear of your response, fear that what he says or does will bring back bad memories, or most of all...fear that what they have done is just not forgivable.  My wife suffered from that for years.  It really wasn't until the last year that I can see her truly forgiving herself and letting it go.  It was honestly like a physical weight lifted from her.  She found that healing and forgiveness in our faith as well.  She continues to find great strength and peace in it.

Just keep plugging along.  Now you both have some new dynamics for you to both incorporate into your new world.  I am also so happy he started that for your kids.  That is such a tough bridge to cross...and my wife said it was so hard because she felt for so long she had to find a way to try and explain & apologize for the depth of what she had done and couldn't find the way...so she just didn't.  For her it was something as small as baking them their favorite desserts...watching a movie...etc.  It just started small...with small actions and small "reach outs"...and each time she found that their wasn't some huge "judgement bomb" dropped she found herself sneaking out & reaching out more.  (SOUND FAMILIAR?)

Stay Strong Acorn...you are doing great!

BB 

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: BBhelp on January 11, 2019, 06:50:55 AM


 I’m scared of being rejected by you.  Sometimes you are very positive and friendly toward me but other times you are aloof and silent.  I’m delighted inside when you interact with me with cheer.  I’m sad when you are remote from me. (I had NO idea!)


I just wanted to highlight this as it is what you have thought was the key to the progress all along. I'm not going to say it isn't necessary sometimes. But I also think a bit of being vulnerable and expressing our true feelings for them doesn't hurt either. They say do the opposite of what we did all along. I'll give you an example  My H always liked being chased, and hated being the chaser. If my true H is in there somewhere, then I really think I can't attract him back without that chase. Does that make sense? Yes, he might reject it too sometimes and run away, but that's the MLCer inside him running, not the man I want. So it really doesn't matter if I strike out sometimes as long as I am giving him confidence when he is receptive to it.

I found this to be very true GIG. 

I think we fear being vulnerable in any way after the nightmare we endured.  I also think our minds as a response to that expect some great penance to be paid before we are willing to be vulnerable again.  Our fear is just amplified.

But what I found was that as I got stronger...as I was able to separate her actions & MLC...that I was able to forgive the person easier.  The actions were still reprehensible...but as I understood better why things were happening and that they were happening to both of us.  But in that new strength & knowledge came the ability to reach out and be vulnerable at times...and to do it with no fear.  Because if it wasn't met well...I was able to brush off the attempt and let the failure go easier and easier each time.  I could be vulnerable without being SO vulnerable if that makes sense. 

Good observation GIG.

BB
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: serenity on January 11, 2019, 10:01:35 AM
BB

can I just ask you ...

Did your wife show no remorse or apologise at first when she was reconnecting? Did that come gradually or was it just a huge awakening to what she’d done?

Sorry I realise you’ve probably already posted about this already?

Sorry for the hijack Acorn

X
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: serenity on January 11, 2019, 10:22:52 AM
Thank you again Acorn for your honesty. It brought tears to my eyes

I suppose it’s what most LBS dream of

Wishing you both every happiness

Hugs

X
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: AleB on January 11, 2019, 01:48:46 PM
Dear Acorn, I am so so happy for you, I am following your story and many of your advices and insights! Thank you!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 11, 2019, 02:04:21 PM
Just to clarify, BBhelp.  The following was what H said to me, not the other way around. 

Quote
I’m scared of being rejected by you.  Sometimes you are very positive and friendly toward me but other times you are aloof and silent.  I’m delighted inside when you interact with me with cheer.  I’m sad when you are remote from me.

H has only been feeling this way since he started reconnecting.  I have become important to him.  Before then he didn’t really give much notice to my existence. 

If I had always maintained a high level of positivity and friendliness toward him, what’s there for him to miss?  I’m in a way glad that I appeared aloof and silent with him at times and that made him miss my warm interactions with him.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 11, 2019, 02:28:49 PM
Thank you, Helping, BBhelp, Serenity and AleB, for your encouraging words!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: BBhelp on January 11, 2019, 03:22:50 PM
BB

can I just ask you ...

Did your wife show no remorse or apologise at first when she was reconnecting? Did that come gradually or was it just a huge awakening to what she’d done?

Sorry I realise you’ve probably already posted about this already?

Sorry for the hijack Acorn

X

She said the words...but there was nothing behind it.  I knew she was sorry...but I didn't FEEL like she was sorry until I worked out all of my stuff.  She said it again and really meant it later...but by then I didn't need to hear it anymore...because  I KNEW she was.   
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 11, 2019, 03:32:59 PM
Thank you for the latest update, Acorn.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 11, 2019, 03:57:05 PM
Great Job Acorn.  There will always be times where you are lucky enough to both open up at the same time...be vulnerable at the same time...and listen at the same time.  When those happen...huge distances can be crossed and so much info can be gathered.    

You have described exactly what happened with us after the R talk.

You will continue to find so much of your husbands actions/inaction are based in fear.  Fear of his own thinking, fear of your response, fear that what he says or does will bring back bad memories, or most of all...fear that what they have done is just not forgivable. 

It’s as though you were in the back seat of our car listening to our monumental R talk.  FEAR is not something I even considered before that talk.  Now I’m very much aware of it.   Thanks for putting your finger on it and spelling it out.

It just started small...with small actions and small "reach outs"...and each time she found that their wasn't some huge "judgement bomb" dropped she found herself sneaking out & reaching out more.  (SOUND FAMILIAR?)

It’s as if my H talked to your W regarding reaching out to our kids.  He started doing it with much trepidation and determination.  Very small things first.  Just meeting the kids’ eyes and calling their names and saying hello.  And then convos about sports and politics, their school work. 

You made me realize that he was/is fearful of their rejection.  He told one of his sisters that he really messed up and been a lousy father, and didn’t exactly know how to go about fixing it.  He told her what he has been trying and she validated, praised and encouraged him.  She also told him to approach the kids in humility and not assert his authority as a father.  A wise woman.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Evermore on January 11, 2019, 04:56:50 PM
These are really lovely developments to read. I’m so happy for you, your H and entire family Acorn. As I’m right at the beginning of this I’m only just realising the knock-on effect this has for the whole family. So it’s wonderful to see your family rallying around and coming back together.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: KeepItTogether on January 11, 2019, 05:05:20 PM
Wow Acorn. This is just amazing! That fear can really paralyze them. And it did for so long. But you were a safe place—kind, understanding and not judgmental. This is where I start to see how important the lbs journey is. Bc if I’m completely honest right now, I’m not so sure I’m at that non-judgmental place just yet. I would be horrible at this conversation. But you handled it with such grace and humility. Not that I am surprised.

I do hope your H finds that forgiveness of himself too. I really think he will, especially since he prays for it. He seems to have the right priorities now. Isn’t that just amazing though? That this is the same person of 3 years ago?

I’m so happy for you Acorn.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Rosetintedglasses on January 12, 2019, 03:07:58 PM
Acorn

I have been behind with reading and look what I missed! So good! So happy for you all.

Two things I was going to say:
1) I remember last year you saying you were desperate to have a R talk while you were away somewhere but managed not to as you didn’t think it was the right time. Judged that right didn’t you?! Time indeed was needed.

2) It must seem like the best holiday romance ever! Things will be more real when you get home but can’t imagine much slipping back, or for too long, after this progress.

All smiles here for you!
Rose 🌹
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 12, 2019, 09:17:55 PM
Ever, KIT and Rose, thank you so much for your interest and happiness at how things are in our situation.  That means a lot to me... :-*

Journaling:

Reconnecting does not seem to describe our present relationship.   I’m not sure what to call it.  Reconciliation?  Rebuilding?  Maybe both?  I guess it doesn’t matter what you call it.   Simply put, we are getting closer to each other by the day and we have turned over a new page.  In fact, if seems we have started a new book, so dramatically  different is our relationship now, compared to even 2 weeks ago.  More importantly, we are on the same page/book where we desire a joyfully married future together.   We are determined to work at rebuilding our marriage, one step at a time as mature adults who have experienced much turmoil and gained better understanding of ourselves and have the same views on what constitutes a good and Godly marriage is. 

I harped on about it before but it is worth saying it again.  We had to be at the matching stage of growth for the tide of our relationship to turn.  We were each responsible for our own individual selves.  I couldn’t do a thing about his inner work, and vice versa.  It is a miracle that we are compatible as far as our personal growth is concerned. 

We are very peaceful when conversing.   We talk frankly about things we have each been internally musing about.  There is no blaming, no taking of the higher moral ground, no bitterness. (I don’t think you go anywhere but South when you blame, etc.)  Just careful listening, aching hearts for the other’s pain, showing our empathy by tightly grasping the other’s hand and saying, ‘I understand.’

For the fun bit:

I told H of my pain that still lingers in my heart when I remember him uttering ‘I love you but...’ and that he should not have married me.  He looked utterly stunned.  A goldfish look.  He said that he cannot recall that and even if he said those words it’s not true at all.  I cried...

I told him that I did feel sad and hopeless when he told me a few days before we left for Down Under that the trip was farcical and so was us living together under the same roof.  He chuckled!  He said that he was in a bad mood after having had a run in with S2.  He asked me please discard those words.   I wonder if he has learned the lesson that our words have a tremendous capacity to hurt or heal.  I think he has...

He told me that all that travelling gave him lots of alone time to think and figure things out.  I had thought the main driving engine of his travelling was escape and avoid.  Apparently, it served the purpose of withdrawl from normal life and facilitated deep thinking.

He also shared with me this morning that he still has some inner work to do will probably do so for the rest of his life.   He is not quitting half way, is he?!  I’m thankful for this. 

The same goes for me.  I have some things to work through.  I am a work in progress and so is he.  That’s the point of life, I guess - always learning and growing.

Have a good weekend, everyone! 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 12, 2019, 09:46:33 PM
Acorn, thank you so much for a new post/update.

Think it is still reconnecting which obviously is rebuilding. Maybe is the start or reconciliation. We don't know much about those stages since they are less talked/posted about. That is why your threads and posts, as well as the other reconnecting/reconciled, are so important.


I went a little back on your thread and, if it is OK with you, could you be so kind to further devoloped on this?

We are on the same page at the same time.  I feel (see?) that  H and I have been walking two separate paths for many years and now have met each other at a junction where out paths finally merged and we are looking forward to travelling together on the same path.

I find it very interesting. Mostly because, to me, it remains very confusing how LBS and MLCer can end up on the same page given their so very different journeys. In fact, that is one of the quite complicated things for me. I don't think my journey and Mr J journey will lead us to the same level. He is lacking in so, so many areas and I can't imagine how he is going to catch up.

And now you have said this:
It is a miracle that we are compatible as far as our personal growth is concerned. 

Agree it is a miracle.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 12, 2019, 10:25:22 PM
Re your question on ‘two paths becoming one’:

LBS’s situation is caused by MLCer.  LBS is at the receiving end of MLC fallout. 
My path at the time of BD was to pull myself up by the bootstraps and survive for the kids.  It gradually morphed into self discovery and growth which included growing my faith, letting go of self righteousness, becoming more patient, self control, striving after humility and understanding, etc.

H’s path was to sort out his identity.  According to what he has been sharing, especially in the last couple of week, his quest to find himself pulled him toward much the same things that I was learning.  Getting closer to God, leaving pride behind and working on humility, respect for other’s feelings and opinions and letting go of judgement of others. 

Mixed in with all that was our sincere common desire to have a joyful family and marriage (with each other and no other person) and serve God faithfully. 

One could say we had the same outlook and this was spoken of a few times while there were some clearing of the fog.  Now this common outlook has been confirmed beyond any doubt through our monumental R talk and many more mini convos since then.  Having written all this down (thanks to you, Anjae!) it is now clear to me that our 2 separate paths were paved with the same kind of stones and it is no wonder we joined up. 

I hope it makes sense.  Please keep your delving questions coming.  It is really helpful for me.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 12, 2019, 10:57:45 PM
Thank you for replying, Acorn.

Yes, what you wrote made sense.

I think my path took a swing when I had to look after grandmother. Or maybe that was the Universe plan all the way. Somehow, I knew how to do it. The hardest was how exausting it was, not how difficult, since it was not that difficult. Not on a practical level, at least.

I will have to leave God aside for myself and Mr J since we are not religious. Am I more patient? I am. But I am also far less tolerant of things that do not interest me - not that I ever been that tolerant of things that don't interest me. But now I am really selective. Self control I always had. It went out of the windown after BD which was a shock to me. What was I doing? What was I thinking? None of the BD and early post-BD times me was me.

We have no kids. I had to find of way of surviving the mess that come with Mr J's crisis, and that was on-going for many years, including while I was looking after grandmother. Two complicate things do deal with at once, among other things that were happening in the family.

I do not know what is Mr J's path nor the purpose of his crisis. He is still in Replay. He hasn't done anything truly horrible since Autumn 2014, but, other than that, no big change. He is still in his MLC life/world.

So far, his journey is one of clubs, djs, superficiality, drinking, living with someone else, have someone else in his life, etc. It does not seem he is learning anything positive. Maybe he is, but I see nothing of it. Mine had been one of dealing with real serious things.

I see him, and his journey, as frivolous - more than 12 years since he left clubbing, djing, parties, drinking is all there is. Mine was a little frivolous at first, then circunstances made if serious. Mr J never looked after a beloved relative until death. Nor had to deal with a relative cancer, then stroke. He never deal with a spouse MLC, his wife didn't cheat on him.

He never had money issues or had to move back with his family. Nothing in his life since he got involved with OW1 has a thing to do with mine.

I very much doubt he will be equiped to my level. He has no maturity or experience for it. I see him as a man child. The opposite I saw him when we start to date and he was 17, he was mature for a 17 years old and very different from most boys his age.

Of course I do not know how he is going to turn out. For some reason, he is not moving foward much and he seems emotionally were he was years ago. And he is very, very judgemental. At least towards me. Was still being last August. As if, with all he has done, he can be judgemental. Phew!  ::)

There were brief times when Mr J's fog cleared a little, during a phone talk, for example - like a good one we had in 2012, but that was 2012. Whatever little at times seemed an improvement, didn't last and no relevant changes come of it.


Maybe mine and Mr J's path aren't paved with the same kind of stones and the result is not to be getting closer again. I don't mean reconciliation. He has done too many horrendous things, just getting closer.

And yet, yesterday I had a dream. I had went with a band I was working with to an even in a seaside location (don't know what the location is, but it has appeared in several dreams). Mr J showed up later on. Several things connected with the event happened, at a point, we were in a cottage and Mr J said "I want to go home. I want to see you mum and your family". I replied "I also want to go home. We'll go when this (the event) is over". I am not currently working with bands, we both did in the past, but the dream was not in the past.

No idea what the dream means.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on January 13, 2019, 03:56:07 AM
 Really interesting dream, Anjae.  I never have really had dreams about H  since you left, but in the last month I have had several and they’ve all been very strange.

 Acorn, thanks for sharing your reconnection journey with so much detail. I find it so fascinating that he can’t remember even seeing the I love you but speech. For many of us that is the first traumatic event of BD and haunts us through our entire journey, and yet I’ve read several accounts where they don’t even remember saying it. It’s fascinating.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 13, 2019, 05:54:25 AM
Acorn, thanks for documenting your journey, so fascinating for us all. Like Nas, I find it so helpful to hear that your H has no recollection of the ILYB..and I should not have married you speech. And just like Nas, these words have haunted me the whole time. I have said to people close to me, if only he had said he'd loved me the whole time, until he didn't, instead of telling me the whole marriage was fake. Hearing these admissions from your H is sooo helpful to me. Thank you.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: 9393roo on January 14, 2019, 08:29:53 AM
Thank you so much for sharing Acorn.  I know how much pain and work had to be overcome to get to this point for you.  Your story gives my hope and guidance to stay my course navigating the choppy waters of reconnecting.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 14, 2019, 07:34:01 PM
Thank you, Anjae, Nas, Milly and Roo, for your comments.  I very much value the fact that you read my story and support my journey.  Thank you for frankly sharing your stories and reflections.  I find them immensely helpful and affirming the journey I’m on.



I wish to record a simple happening from this morning.  It was simple, yet profound for me.  I belatedly realized something.  When H speaks to God, he is also letting me into his mind.  I consider this way of revealing his heart more meaningful than any direct talk because God is our very present witness. 

Before we left the holiday accommodation to head home, H gathered my hands in his and prayed.  (I not suggest this.)  It was a prayer of thanksgiving.  Some of it stands out. ‘Lord, we thank you for restoring our relationship as husband and wife.  Please bless our future together and guide us to live in obedience to your will and commandments.’  The words were beautiful but his sincerity and emotion were mor so.

I wanted to share just before we board the plane.


Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: xyzcf on January 14, 2019, 07:43:06 PM
That is so beautiful Acorn...thank you for your witness.

It reminds me very much of a prayer that I say to Raphael, the Archangel..I hope you don't mind my posting it here in light of what your husband prayed with you. Perhaps it will help others who have yet to see their husband/wives make any moves towards them.

May God bless you both and your witness to what He is able to do!


St. Raphael Prayer for Troubled Marriages
O Glorious St. Raphael, Archangel of healing, intercede for our marriage today.
Bring our marriage the same heavenly gifts you brought Tobias and Sarah, the celestial graces of healing, deliverance, and marital unity.
Infuse into our hearts the peace and confidence that nothing is impossible with God concerning the renewal of our marriage.  Rekindle in our marriage new forgiveness, new humility, new grace, new peace, new purity, new trust, and new love.
O St. Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the throne of God, intercede to the Merciful Father for the miracle of peace and reconciliation in our marriage, through the infinite merits of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the consoling power of the Holy Spirit.
O blessed Raphael, guide us on the pathway of marital peace and unity.  Most loving Archangel of healing, I believe in you, I trust in you, and I thank you.  Amen.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Silver on January 15, 2019, 01:50:56 AM
Dear Acorn. This is so amazing. Can't believe my eyes. I mean, look at where you two were just a while ago!
So happy this happens especially to YOU. As reading back a bit further as I've been absent for a while.. He even seems to have learned to apologize stuff?? In his way at least?
Keep your LBS hat on but don't fear to take it off every time your heart and mind says so, they haven't been wrong this far.
I keep praying for you two.


Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 15, 2019, 01:58:04 AM
How lovely Acorn to see shoots of hope and healing for you both.
A nice reminder for all of us that, even if our own marriages are not healed, that there is always the hope for all of us of things unseen and hard to imagine ever happening.
Safe trip home  :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 15, 2019, 05:17:29 AM
Thank you for reading and commenting, xyzcf, Silver and Treasur.
We are sitting at an airport awaiting the next leg of the trip.

———————

Though not Catholic, I truly appreciate the prayer, xyzcf. Thank you.  :-*  Some words in the prayer struck me - forgiveness, humility and grace.  Without them, I don’t think reconciliation is even possible.  H and I both realize how much we need them and are working on them.

I used to think that forgiveness was to be granted by me to H, and no vice versa. I was definitely immature and self righteous.  When we had ‘the R talk’, H spoke of the things that I did that hurt him.  He hinted at those things before MLC but I didn’t pay much attention to them because I thought them frivolous.  How arrogant of me...  I realized how much my dismissiveness hurt him, I acutely felt his pain and unreservedly asked for his forgiveness.

He is yet to make a verbal apology to me.  I used to need it desperately but no longer.  Because that is not the way H is made.  I used to expect him to be like me in how he expressed his heart, to read my mind, to satisfy my definition of handling things in life.   His sincere apologies are in his corrective/restitutional actions, and in his eyes and demeanour that express so much regret and empathy for the pain he caused.  These are his ways.  I could demand a verbal apology.  Where is that going to get us?  It I ever feel the need of it again I will speak to him about it when the time is right. 

I must remind myself that these are very early days and it is almost like a ‘honeymoon’ period after the R talk.  Because I’m enveloped in the afterglow of re-established connection and ongoing bonding as a couple, I see myself slacking off in some aspects of LBS mode which I don’t think is helpful for us, going forward.  Granted, easing off on some things is necessary for the state of relationship we have at the moment.  For example, I talk a bit more than before.  However, I see that he still has quite some way to go in his journey.  I shall read through my MLC notes and refresh my memory. 

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 15, 2019, 06:13:49 AM
Good to remind yourself of the 'honeymoon' effect maybe. Lots of big emotions for both of you. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he withdraws a bit when you get back to 'normal' life although I hope not.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Stand Tall on January 15, 2019, 12:09:27 PM


As time goes on, in my H’s case at least, I understand that it has to do with the family history of mental illness (depression) and H’s personality. 

Some of his siblings, aunts and uncles were afflicted with, and then recovered from, depression. 

H was (I say ‘was’ because he is changing now) a pessimistic person.  He seemed to find something wrong even in a most positive circumstance.  ‘Glass nearly empty’ attitude. 

Combine that with Mr. Nice tendency.  Many took advantage of him, with him seething in quiet anger and resentment.  That used to baffle me great deal.  ‘Why don’t you say NO?’ was my perennial question to him.   He seemed biologically programmed not to be able to say the word.  He has been addressing that for some time and is much more assertive and be able to say ‘no thank you’. 

Another aspect of him is escape and avoid.  It there is an issue, he would rather go and do something else rather than deal with it.  Eventually, all the things that he suppressed exploded into MLC. 

I don’t know personality traits of other MLCers, but my H seem to line up with what some MLC experts have said regarding the MLCer character profile.  I can’t recall where those articles are.  Does anyone know?


Hi Acorn,
  You described my H perfectly. When I would ask my H to stand up and tell the people that were taking advantage of him he would say "why do you want me to look like the bad guy." We lost businesses and homes over this. Difference in our sitch is my H did have parents who have emotional support. One (D) can't show love and was not in H life and the M is an uncaring narcissist. We wonder why we got to where we are today.

-Stand
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Helpingme! on January 15, 2019, 02:43:06 PM
Acorn I read article once on stages of a marriage. There is a second Honeymoon stage. After kids are grown and couple grows back together.
Another article called it REUNION stage. Same thing. Couples have to grow back together.
First thing I thought of when I read your post.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 15, 2019, 02:49:46 PM
Even the non-religious me found the prayer beautiful, Xyzcf. Thank you.

Acorn, once more, thank you so much for you posts and for keep updating is. It is a joy to see how far your husband come and how you and him are building a new marriage/relationship.

Regarding the verbal apologie, I received a few from Mr J. Of course, from the crisis Mr J, in moments of lifted fog. They didn't meant a thing because I need actions and his actions didn't change. Do I mind the words? No. But unless there are actions, there are empty. Or maybe not empty. I know Mr J meant them. However, they didn't allow for anything to start to be mended. 7

I understand that someone may go with corrective/restitutional actions rather than words. I would, since I am more an acts os service person than of saying words. I can say "I am sorry", but that is not I show I am sorry. I show it with actions.

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: KeepItTogether on January 16, 2019, 03:11:24 PM

 ‘Lord, we thank you for restoring our relationship as husband and wife.  Please bless our future together and guide us to live in obedience to your will and commandments.’  The words were beautiful but his sincerity and emotion were mor so.



Amen.  Yes, his humility, grace and forgiveness will serve him well. And you too my friend. "...as husband and wife." I rather like the sound of that! Hugs.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 17, 2019, 03:19:48 AM
Treasur, StandTall, Helping, Anjae and KIT, thank you very much for your comments.

Treaur, exactly what I’ve been thinking.  I would rather that the ‘honeymoon’ phase settles down to steady state and it is already. 

——————

I’m home safely after a lovely time with H’s family.  I can now see that time with his family played a catalyst role in settling some issues within H.  No wonder he instinctively felt uneasy about this trip and called us travelling together ‘farcical’.   

I realize I didn’t appreciate H’s family enough before H’s MLC hit.  They have been a wonderful support for me from day 1.  They also persisted in reaching out to H every now and then to tell him of their unconditional love.  H finally responded to their love and encouragement when he was healed enough.  That was around the time he started to reconnect with me and the kids tentatively.  I wonder if H realizes how blessed he is to have a family that did not write him off but continued to support him in any way they could.

Some interesting observations from our many mini conversations since the R talk.

First, regarding the pillar of his FOO issues.  His father.
H shared his changing attitude toward F.  There are two main points in his new attitude:

- Accept his F the way he is.  Love him unconditionally.

- H no longer takes his F’s arrogance and other undesirable (to H’s eye) characteristics personally.  H accepts that his F’s traits are not about H. (I must note here that’s similar to what LBS try to learn - MLC is not about us but about MLCer.)

His new attitude is easily seen in the way he interacts with his F.  Gentle, respectful, loving and considerate.  One striking point is that H no longer relates to him as his master and commander -  the almighty and all knowing alpha male and the one he grudgingly paid homage to.  The power play that had been going on in H’s mind seems to have been more or less resolved.  H treats F respectfully because he is his father but as an equal as a person.  I see this as some kind of resolution to his FOO issue. 

I’m not privy to all the details of the path H took in coming to terms with his father.  There are little bits I do know.  He wrestled with the father-son relationship extensively.  First, it was all about why he felt angry toward F.  And then it was about moving onto dissecting his own attitude after having spent a lot of time analyzing F’s.  H shared that he realized he could not change his F but he could change the way H perceived F.   Profound stuff.  The issue was within him, not his F.  He understands this now. 

About us.

H started using his pet name for me when talking with his family.  (After the atomic BD, he stopped using it cold turkey.) However, he stil called me by my legal name for the first part of the trip.   That is changing now.  It is a mixture.  I’m bemused by the process but happy about it.  It reflects his changing attitude toward me.  From impersonal to personal.  From cold to warm.  From distant to familiar.  From moral duty re me to listening to his heart.  It is only about a name but nevertheless, an indicator of where his heart is at in relation to me.  Interesting. 

About me.

I find myself being impatient now and then with the ‘slow’ rate of progress in our relationship.  That is, until I realized how far and fast we have come to this point in our relationship in mere 2 weeks.  Greedy much?  Yes! 

I need to refocus on my life and keep doing what I tried to do for the last 4-plus years.  I would like to record here what that entails in order to remind myself.

- Count my blessings which are many
- Hold on to grace toward H
- Respond, not react in tough conversations but be spontaneous in light and positive ones.
- Be vigilant in holding onto what I have learned.  If I do not maintain the lessons, they will degrade and rot.
- Understand that MLC takes a long time to go through
- Take to heart that building a new R with H may take even longer than MLC

It’s very early days of reconciliation (I no longer hesitate to use this word) and the initial glow will die down.  However, I do know that this ‘glow’ is the pilot light that can ignite a steady fire of mature loving R with H. 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Mitzpah on January 17, 2019, 03:50:44 AM
Lovely reflection Acorn of where you are and a valuable reminder that reconnection/reconciliation is a long and winding road!

I love that he has gone back to using his pet name for you  :)  I sure do miss that. For many years of this crisis, my h. would not even refer to me by name, except in writing and then it would be my legal name. He never used that name with me, so I imagine that was the difficulty in face to face interactions. More recently, he has taken to saying my name out loud on a few occasions - it always takes me by surprise ::) - of course, to go back to using the endearing name he had for me, only if we were a couple again :P\

I think you do well to keep on doing what you have done over these last years... :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 17, 2019, 05:40:34 AM
How could I have forgotten to mention this!   As we were parting our ways in a city in Europe (I was heading home, he was staying on for a couple of days longer to attend some meetings), he looked me in the eye and said ‘I love you.’  :). I returned the favour. 

Another thing.  I realize time and again that he has done so much work on himself even when I thought he was stuck in the tunnel.  You just never know what MLCers are up to.  ‘Don’t assume anything’ is a good motto for me.  What appears on the surface (the part MLCer lets LBS see) is just the tip of the iceberg.  I’m not saying the part below the waterline always contains ‘working through their problems’.  But ‘he could be’ is all I’m saying.   I really didn’t give him enough credit to him for all his inner work.  He is a brave soul.  I can’t imagine how painful his inner work must have been. 

Mizpah, I know exactly what you mean about your pet name.  It is a heart connection expressed in a name. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 17, 2019, 06:40:04 AM
Somehow I lost your thread Acorn...
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 17, 2019, 10:52:58 AM
Oh, Acorn, how lovely!! Thank you for sharing the I love you moment with us. I feel like a teenager reading a romance novel. So happy for you!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 17, 2019, 12:46:46 PM
Wonderful updates, Acorn.

Your husband said "I Love You". That is a big one.  :)

Like with others, Mr J stop using my pet name at BD. During the first years he used by given name, then stop. He went back to use it in 2016. What he still didn't went back to is write kisses when sending an e-mail. It is the most odd thing to end and e-mail to me, and I to him, with kind regards. Especially in a country where even close business people use kisses and cheek kiss each other.

I realize time and again that he has done so much work on himself even when I thought he was stuck in the tunnel. 

‘Don’t assume anything’ is a good motto for me.  What appears on the surface (the part MLCer lets LBS see) is just the tip of the iceberg.

Can you further expand on those? What we usually say is that MCLers do not work on their issues while deep in the tunnel. My own personal crisis experience matches, no issues were worked by me. Maybe some MLCers do and some don't?

It is true that, to the LBS, nothing seems to be going on other the same Replay/MLC behaviour.

I feel like a teenager reading a romance novel.

So do I. It is a good feeling.  :)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 17, 2019, 01:31:27 PM
UM, I’m glad you found my thread.  Much has been happening in my R with H. 
Milly, it was good to hear those words.  More meaningful was the sincerity in them. 
Anjae, you asked a good question.  You have a knack for asking the right ones to delve deeper into the MLC process.  What I offer is my observation and in hindsight.

I do not think there was much thinking going on while H was in the darkest part of the tunnel where no light shined.  He was truly insane, talking and acting like someone I didn’t recognize at all. That period would have been between ABD and A was outed.  Around 14 months.  In fact, one of the SIL told me last week that when we visited them during that dark period, his eyes were truly frightening.  They were bulging, manic, startled and plain crazy.  She noted how his eyes are back to normal now.

He did have several crying spells in those 14 months.  I guess the truth of what he was doing was revealed in the pinprick of light that managed to get through the black hole. 

That pinprick of light grew larger and larger after those 14 months, though he was still busily engaged in Replay behaviours.  He had many quiet spells where he would not communicate much at all and shut himself up in his 3rd floor suite.  He would reveal a few bits and pieces, usually when he had some wine.  What I heard at those times are what I refer to as the tip of the iceberg.  There were a whole lot more, and lot deeper than what little he told me.  I know that because of the sheer amount of understanding of himself he has shared with me in the past two weeks.  He has also shown acceptance of certain issues (e.g. his father) and at peace with it.  I can see that neither understanding, nor acceptance came to him overnight but over a long period and in imperceptible increments.  He spent a lot of time asking himself questions and trying to answer them. 

Not sure if I even answered your questions, Anjae.  If not, I will come back to it when my head’s not so muddled up with the jet lag.  :D
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: KeepItTogether on January 17, 2019, 01:58:57 PM


Mizpah, I know exactly what you mean about your pet name.  It is a heart connection expressed in a name.

Yes my H will go from my full legal name to my pet name. That is generally how I am able to ascertain where his state of mind is at that moment. It is very strange. And heart-breaking at times. I know, more detachment necessary.

I love the "I love you" exchange. A perfect ending to a great vacation I would say.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 17, 2019, 02:07:24 PM
Thank you, Acorn.

What you wrote make sense.

Mr J has been in Replay for more than 12 years. Clearly, his time in the darkest of the tunnel is much longer than your husband’s one. Also, I have not been around him since May 2007.

There were still a lot of contact for a few years afterwards, then, by summer 2011, I cut it. The crazy was not going away and I needed peace. By summer 2011 Mr J had been gone for 5 years, more than your husband 4.5 years of crisis.

I think it may be totally different with long time and very long time MLCers. Same with deepth of crisis/Replay/deep in the tunnel along with MLC lifestyle.

That I am aware of, Mr J never had manic eyes, only dead eyes. His eyes remainded normal until the first half of 2009. Since, with the odd exception, it has been dead eyes and his left eye is almost closed.

Does light ever shine inside Mr J’t never ending tunnel? At times, and briefly, I think so. We had a very long and good phone talk in 2012 that is document in by then thread. He liked to talk so much he even phoned back to keep talking. But that was 2012 and the light that existed that day didn’t last long.

Other tiny similar things have happened, but they never lead to anything that can really be called progress, that is, to a real change of matters/situation.

I know Mr J does not want to leave his MLC style because if he stops he starts to think about all he has done and he cannot deal with it. He said so himself more than once. However, that only says he is not capable of addressing the consequences of his MLC actions. It says nothing about pre-existing issues he is dealing with, if indeed there are pre-existend issues he needs to deal with.

What is someone doing in Replay for more than 12 years? I don’t know. I know he hasn’t done anything truly nasty since October 2014 which is a miracle since up to that point it was one horrible thing after the other. In that sense, progress existed. It didn’t brought him out of his tunnel.

Progress can also be said to exist in him e-mailing me and using my name, and, for the most part, refrain from being nasty. The e-mailing is sparse and usually very short.

I saw him about a year ago by change on social setting here and when I went to say hi he was terrified of me. A while letter I got an e-mail asking for my address because he had found some journals of mine and would like to send them to me. He did send them. He has my address, always had. Did he forgot he has it? Was he trying to see if I had move? Was it just a way of trying to get in contact? I do not know. 

August 2018 I had to get in contact with him because of a major collective exhibition organized by the City Hall about music. We had records labels, etc. in the past and they wanted several material we had, most of which is still with Mr J.

The curators had tried to contact him but were ignored. They asked me if I could contact Mr J. I said I would. And did it for the curators/exhibition. It was not a good experience. Mr J was monster to me. But, at least, he confirm he had some materials he had been denying having up until that point.

OW2 real seems to be out of the picture. Yet, in itself, that does not mean much. OW1 come and went and Mr J remained inside the tunnel/in his MLC life.

What is holding him there? Is fear of dealing with the things he cannot deal with? That he is scared of me I know. He was scared back in 2012. He didn’t used to be scared before. Or, if he was, he didn’t show it.
 
Lets say he is scared of several things. Quite logical, given all his MLC caused. Remaining in MLC/Replay/deep in the tunnel for so long has not been of help. It only lead to more things that he will want to run from.

I truly do not know what keeps people like Mr J, Trusandlove’s husband, Xyzcf’s husband and several others in Replay for so long. We may only know when they start to come out of crisis and tell.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 17, 2019, 02:32:00 PM
I wondered about the perpetual Replayers as well, Anjae.  Something my H said stuck with me.  I asked him why he keeps on travelling so much and isn’t he sick of it.  (Travelling was one of the means of escape and avoid). He said, yes, I am sick and tired of travelling but this sort of thing becomes a way of life.  It is hard to get out of it though I don’t like it.

I guess it is much easier to maintain the status quo and numbly walk through life than to face difficult questions and responsibilities for their actions.

I’m wondering if there has to be some sort of catalyst to catapult them out of it.  It’s as if MLCers get caught in jet stream and only a much stronger cross wind can push them out of it. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: xyzcf on January 17, 2019, 05:02:43 PM
Quote
He said, yes, I am sick and tired of travelling but this sort of thing becomes a way of life.  It is hard to get out of it though I don’t like it.

This could be true for my husband. He has been doing this for 11 years. I do not know what could happen to change his life. 😪
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 17, 2019, 05:31:36 PM
The perpetual Replayers are interesting from a study perspective. It is not interesting to have a spouse who is one of them.

I asked him why he keeps on travelling so much and isn’t he sick of it.  (Travelling was one of the means of escape and avoid). He said, yes, I am sick and tired of travelling but this sort of thing becomes a way of life.  It is hard to get out of it though I don’t like it.

This is similar to Mr J's saying he is tired of djing. He has been saying it for years and went so far as saying it to my lawyer. He tried to cut down a few times, once almost managed to nearly stop, then went back to it. He always said he would stop because he didn’t want to be grandpa dj, last May he said in a interview he does wants to carry on.

I’m wondering if there has to be some sort of catalyst to catapult them out of it.

I don't know. For some that seems to be the case, for others it does not.  Like Xyzcf, I do know what needs to happen for Mr J to stop his MLC/dj life.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 17, 2019, 08:15:46 PM
It is curious that some MLCers can go on and on and I’m really sorry that they do.  We all have one life to live and the long timers seem to spend it in holding pattern or doldrums.  I had thought my H would do that too when he was in the throes of high replay.  It didn’t seem possible that anyone could break out of that kind of powerful grip.

I don’t know what a catalyst might be for MLCers.  As Anjae pointed out, some seem to have one that prod them awake, or they don’t have any definable catalyst and yet they move forward and out the tunnel. 

I cannot say that H had any outside cause to push him along the MLC process.  Because our daughter’s wedding and her leaving home was the start of descent for H, I had thought that some significant event in H’s life would push him toward the light.  However, there is nothing to suggest this.

Anjae, as usual, prompted me to think differently about what may have helped H to leave Replay behind.  (Mind you, he still has latent replay behaviours.  I see that all these ‘stages’ dovetail or compounded.  Nothing is clearly delineated.)  Well, I can’t stay asleep long because of this nasty jet lag and have had some time to think.

For my H, the catalyst for his positive movement seems to have been within him all along.  It was his inner work (not that he consciously ‘worked on himself’) that led him to a spiritual awakening.  It was a prodigal’s return to God.  Obeying a power far superior than his.  He did not have a ‘road to Damascus’ moment but a very gradual return.  His doubt diminished and his faith increased very, very slowly.   I know this because he talked about his doubts and faith at various points in the past 4+ years.

I’m wondering aloud here if similar spritual awakening, whether it be the ‘universe’, ‘a call of conscience’ or a profound sense of morality, might be the catalyst for some MLCers.  Something of higher order than themselves in their ‘fallen’ state. 

I think it is a worthwhile matter to ponder. 

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 17, 2019, 09:03:13 PM

(Mind you, he still has latent replay behaviours.  I see that all these ‘stages’ dovetail or compounded.  Nothing is clearly delineated.)

This is normal. Replay behaviours will not go at once. HB talks of closing doors. MLCers tend to go back to close some doors. And stages can, and do, overlap. Also, some MLCers run faster through stages than others.

If anything, for Mr J, it seems things that happened kept him in Replay. I was able to trace the start of his crisis to late Spring/early Summer 2005 when is paternal grandmother died. More than the death, it was that he only found after the funeral. FIL, who was supposed to tell Mr J didn’t. SIL called after the funeral because, of course, we were not there. We didn’t knew.

I think that the fact no one told Mr J is grandmother was so unwell also played a part, but it was mostly FIL not calling. I still remember how angry Mr J was with FIL after SIL call. And yet, in recente years, Mr J is all friendly with FIL and FIL steady OW that Mr J detested. All must had been forgoten.

Mr J visible crisis behaviours, that I had no idea what they were, start to be more obvious late March/Early April 2006. Then he was normal for a while. Then more odd behaviour, then normal and so on until after BD when he truly lost it after OW1 was made public.
In January 2010 his beloved maternal grandmother died and he dived deeper and deeper into Replay. Each time he did something truly nasty to me he was either having a psychotic episode, when he was physically abusive in 2006 after he left, or OW2 was pressuring. Afterwards, he dived deeper into Replay.

He was robbed and had all the records he carried stolen, he broke his ribs jumping in and out of the dj both, he drank to the point of oblivion, OW1 was gone, OW2 seems to be gone, he went djing with a flu too many times, he complained of aches, hangover, tiredness, etc. Both kittens died, including mine that was with him and the male that he adored. So far, nothing seems to get to him.

Spending nights in smoke filled hot places djing and having very little sleep for over a decade leaving him looking terrible is not enough to make him stop. Maybe because his many fans always says he looks handsome and that he is amazing. He looks horrible.


I come across this things form different sources, that may explain things a bit:

“If you never hit your lowest point, the dysfunctions continue to go unnoticed and unchecked, playing out under the denial radar and inevitably creating bigger dysfunctions and a harder fall down the track. Until the bubble bursts, you cleverly delude yourself into thinking everything is juuuuust great—and your life ends up being built on a big, fat lie and a false foundation.” from: https://dailygreatness.co/blogs/be-your-own-guru/52291205-12-reasons-why-hitting-rock-bottom-is-the-best-thing-that-can-ever-happen-to-you

“The problem with all my excesses is that, unlike those people who reach rock bottom with drugs, I could still function. Being a functioning addict is a curse; my life didn’t ever quite fall apart. I maintained a certain quality in my work that almost gave me a licence to misbehave. It wasn’t healthy.” Steve Cogan about his autobiography https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/oct/03/steve-coogan-autobiography-extract-comedy

And for Mr J’s obsession with dead expense vinyl records he never plays, he djs with cds or a memory stick: ‘Men disguise their shopping problem as “collecting”. Foraging and organising purchases become more important than consuming them’:
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/01/twice-as-many-cds-half-as-many-friends/ Except Mr J does not have half as many friends, he has tons of other maniac vinyl records collectors for friends.

Mr J got into aa perfect world for a MLCer. DJ life, work is a place that sells dj gear, vinyl collector life. Alcohol, all nighters, be in the club/bar in your late 40’s or 50’s, buy tons of records just do put on  shelves, no one cares because they all do the same.

And yet, far more famous people than him, at a point, put an end to their crazy life. Because such life is empty. Very empty. Thousands and thousands of records do not fill the hole/void inside. Same with djing, clubbing, drinking.

I’m wondering aloud here if similar spritual awakening, whether it be the ‘universe’, ‘a call of conscience’ or a profound sense of morality, might be the catalyst for some.  Something of higher order than themselves in their ‘fallen’ state. 

It could be. For some, at least. For others, I think like with addiction, one day they just don’t want to be that person anymore. Can't see Mr J being called by the Universe, having a profound sense of morality - he losts all of his. A "‘a call of conscience"? Who knows.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Silver on January 18, 2019, 12:53:18 AM
Acorn, wow he told you ILY without adding BINILWY?!
I would probably had just stared at him and ask "but??" after he said his ILY, waiting for the rest of sentence to come.
I'm glad you didn't have to!  ;D

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 18, 2019, 02:03:25 AM
Here I sit after a cat nap.  O boy, this jet lag is brutal!  TIME will cure it!  ;D

Thank you, Anjae, for sharing your perspective and your experiences.  Your quotes are thought provoking - nuggets of truth.

Quote
one day they just don’t want to be that person anymore. 

I heard this from H several times when Replay was winding down.  It was a loaded statement.  His explanation was that he didn’t like the way he was living during high replay and also because he didn’t want his thoughts and values to be dictated by others.  I think he had to hate himself enough to propel himself forward.

Silver, you are one funny guy!  I never thought about ILYBINILWY at the time.  You meant it as a joke but it revealed something very important.  BD usually starts with the ILYB.  It is fitting that the restoration of our relationship starts with ILY to negate that hurtful ILYBINILWY.  Good point!

Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Silver on January 18, 2019, 02:10:22 AM
Here I sit after a cat nap.  O boy, this jet lag is brutal!  TIME will cure it!  ;D

Yes my friend, you need TIME  ;D ;D ;D
Maybe you should LIST all the jet lag symptoms to conceptualize them and then we could talk about them?
 ;D ;)
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on January 18, 2019, 02:21:00 AM
Interesting, he didn’t want his thoughts and values to be dictated by others. I wonder how he came to that realization?

My H is definitely living a life right now that conforms to the thoughts and values of his long-deceased father, and to his mother, and to his maternal grandfather, to whom he was extremely close and whose death in 2014 I believe kicked this whole MLC into high gear.

I wonder if he will ever become self-aware enough to figure out what his own thoughts and values are.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 18, 2019, 02:29:35 AM
Quote
He said, yes, I am sick and tired of travelling but this sort of thing becomes a way of life.  It is hard to get out of it though I don’t like it.

This could be true for my husband. He has been doing this for 11 years. I do not know what could happen to change his life. 😪

Xyzcf, ((((((((HUGS))))))))
All I can say is that things happen totally unexpectedly.  Our R talk was the last thing I expected to happen on our trip and that dramatically changed the tone of our R.  His readiness and the circumstances were utterly beyond my control.  It just goes to show that the only thing LBS needs to, and can, do is to look after our own hearts.  Hold mercy, grace, kindness and unconditional love in our hearts with our dignity firmly protected, which includes strong boundaries.  I know you do all of that, my dearest xyz...  I wish nothing but the very best.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: UrsaMajor on January 18, 2019, 02:32:04 AM
Quote from: Anjae
“If you never hit your lowest point, the dysfunctions continue to go unnoticed and unchecked, playing out under the denial radar and inevitably creating bigger dysfunctions and a harder fall down the track. Until the bubble bursts, you cleverly delude yourself into thinking everything is juuuuust great—and your life ends up being built on a big, fat lie and a false foundation.”

If there was a picture associated with this quote, it would be one of FIL(RIP).  He finally hit rock-bottom with a resounding <splat> on his deathbed (literally). He spent his entire life in replay/Escape-and-avoid, going form one R to the next and each was shorter than the last. He always blamed "those horrible women that were out to get him" rather than EVER look at his own demons/actions/choices.

Therefore, I really think that it has MUCH more to do with the "I don't want to be like that" factor that propels them to Rock Bottom and out of Replay than anything else. As long as they are caught up in feeling good about their lives (even if it is total $#!t) and don't bother to think critically about their own actions, they may never emerge....

He was in Reply throughout my M to STBXW so I can chart at least 15 years of Reply and he was off and running LONG before that... from the time STBXW was in college so at least another 10 years prior....
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 18, 2019, 02:51:06 AM
Interesting, he didn’t want his thoughts and values to be dictated by others. I wonder how he came to that realization?

My H is definitely living a life right now that conforms to the thoughts and values of his long-deceased father, and to his mother, and to his maternal grandfather, to whom he was extremely close and whose death in 2014 I believe kicked this whole MLC into high gear.

I wonder if he will ever become self-aware enough to figure out what his own thoughts and values are.

You raise the fundamental point in my H’s MLC.  As I have shared before many times, H’s MLC was about searching his own identity.  Like your H, he ‘inherited’ values and ethics.  He wasn’t sure if they were his own, hence the struggle to ‘find’ himself.  That included analyzing why he took everything on from his parents, especially his F, and the society. Anger and rebellion against his father was rooted in his quest of autonomy.  H did not want to be dictated by his F in any way.  That should have happened in his teenage years but he missed out on it.  Very demanding studies and careers. 

Now he seems to be at peace with his own faith and values.  The funny thing is, they are more or less the same as before MLC.  Now he owns them.  Fascinating stuff. 

I cannot tell you how he became self aware about what was bothering him so much.  I guess that is the point of his MLC journey - figuring out why there was immense unease within him.  No one could show him the way.  It was/is a very private and lonely ‘war’. 

I firmly believe that while all this internal struggle is going on, all LBS can do is not to disturb them.  Poking and giving my 2 cents was most unwise in my situation.  I have done it at the beginning with the excuse of shooting truth darts and I regret that...   My ‘interference’ seemed to stop him in his tracks to deal with me.  His anger and dissatisfaction would swing around at me and waste his valuable mental focus and energy.  My job was about holding onto my boundaries, which was to fiercely guard my self respect and dignity.  He was NOT allowed to cross that line.  I think that shored up his respect for me and ‘respect’ was a vital ingredient in reconnecting.

I don’t even know if this helps at all, Nas.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 18, 2019, 04:07:37 AM
Quote
Therefore, I really think that it has MUCH more to do with the "I don't want to be like that" factor that propels them to Rock Bottom and out of Replay than anything else. 

Ain’t that the truth?!

As far as my H was concerned, the propellant to rock bottom was ‘I don’t want to be like that.’ - self critique.

It seemed to me that the propellant to get out of the RB was the return to God.  He had to have something bigger than himself to hold onto in order to rise from the bottom.  OK, I said this often enough, so I will leave it alone now.  ;D

Note: what I speak of is only about my H, no one else.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 18, 2019, 06:18:56 AM
I would like to thank everyone for their posts this morning as they have clarified certain aspects of my understanding of H’s MLC, especially pertaining to rock bottom and his rising from it. 

What was rather vague has become clearer with the help of your comments.  Since his MLC was the most puzzling ‘event’ that ever happened in my life, I continually search for the reasons for it and the manner in which he may leave it behind. 

I would like to summarize (for my own benefit):

- H’s Rock Bottom (detesting the person he had become) - ‘I’ve done so many bad things. I really don’t want to be like this.’

- H’s rise from it (looking for the higher power to raise him from the muck) -  ‘I believe in God.  He forgives my sins.  I want to live according to His teachings.’

It reads rather simple, doesn’t it?
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 18, 2019, 06:27:00 AM
It occurs to me reading this that the going in and the coming out may both be quite similar.
A deep uneasy sense of 'this is not who I want to be'.
All internal, largely unseen, nothing to do with us at all.
Pretty similar to anyone I've ever known who has recovered from addiction or alcoholism. Almost to the word.

I guess the ones who stay in Replay or stick with the life that MLC created just never quite get to that point for deep enough and long enough.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: xyzcf on January 18, 2019, 07:11:40 AM
Acorn, your documentation of this is incredibly helpful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You wrote:

Quote
Xyzcf, ((((((((HUGS))))))))
All I can say is that things happen totally unexpectedly.  Our R talk was the last thing I expected to happen on our trip and that dramatically changed the tone of our R.  His readiness and the circumstances were utterly beyond my control.  It just goes to show that the only thing LBS needs to, and can, do is to look after our own hearts.  Hold mercy, grace, kindness and unconditional love in our hearts with our dignity firmly protected, which includes strong boundaries.  I know you do all of that, my dearest xyz...  I wish nothing but the very best.

I am in tears by this, so worn out from this long journey and I feel that things are even "worse" now than ever before. I do understand that things can change and have see it several times in other's stories.

My husband has strong faith and I know that he is praying and going to mass. I pray that God will touch his heart.

I read this last evening:

Numbers 23:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill?

Thinking about Nas's situation this morning, I am so grateful for the life I have, the people in my life and the comfort that I have. I am ok now but the internal need for a family and the desire to protect my family (which is in shatters) is very strong.

I found this also very much confirms how I am living through this:

Quote
I firmly believe that while all this internal struggle is going on, all LBS can do is not to disturb them.  Poking and giving my 2 cents was most unwise in my situation.  I have done it at the beginning with the excuse of shooting truth darts and I regret that...   My ‘interference’ seemed to stop him in his tracks to deal with me.  His anger and dissatisfaction would swing around at me and waste his valuable mental focus and energy.  My job was about holding onto my boundaries, which was to fiercely guard my self respect and dignity.  He was NOT allowed to cross that line.  I think that shored up his respect for me and ‘respect’ was a vital ingredient in reconnecting.

Thank you, keeping all of us in prayer.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 18, 2019, 11:08:42 AM
Interesting poin of view regarding ILYBINILWY and ILY, Silver.

My short and mild personal experience of MLC goes with "I no longer wanted to be that person". Or to be precise "I no longer want to do that". That was going out and about, dancing until the sun come up including in Winter. I tired of bars, clubs, etc. I tired of the emptiness of it all. I remember being at a club, drink in my hand, and thinking, what I am doing here? The music is rubish, the place if full of smoke and hot, the company is fine, but will never be more than it (the company was a group of people that went out all the time), it is impossible to have a proper talk in this place. I said goodbye to the others and left. They were quite surprised since it was still early, read, 3am or so.

A little afterwards there was this big yearly party of a certain brand everyone wants to go to. I had an invitation and went. I stayed 10 minutes, if so, in the party. Same rubish music, same people, smoke filled hot room, impossible to get a drink since they were free. I left. Again, early, that time, around 1am, I think. I spend a good portion of the time in the manor and garden, the party was in the basement, marvelling of how beautiful it was. Everyone else was in the basement. I passed the next big, everyone kills for an invitation party and have been passing since. All those parties are alike. All clubs are alike.

I firmly believe that while all this internal struggle is going on, all LBS can do is not to disturb them.

More or less. Some MLCers are always around, always wanting to talk. Mr J was like that early on. He would talk, and talk and talk and even ask me to call him. I have been leaving him alone for many, many years. Didn't seem to make a difference for the better.

In fact, I think it made his Replay behaviour worst because he no longer could contact me all the time. Clingers seem to need to LBS around and to talk to the LBS. However, it does not mean the LBS cannot have boundaries. If the clinger is become a problem for our health, it does not make sense to keep allowing the clinger to contac us.

It occurs to me reading this that the going in and the coming out may both be quite similar.
A deep uneasy sense of 'this is not who I want to be'.
All internal, largely unseen, nothing to do with us at all.
Pretty similar to anyone I've ever known who has recovered from addiction or alcoholism. Almost to the word.

I guess the ones who stay in Replay or stick with the life that MLC created just never quite get to that point for deep enough and long enough.

Yes to all of the above.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on January 18, 2019, 11:32:00 AM
It occurs to me reading this that the going in and the coming out may both be quite similar.
A deep uneasy sense of 'this is not who I want to be'.
All internal, largely unseen, nothing to do with us at all.
Pretty similar to anyone I've ever known who has recovered from addiction or alcoholism. Almost to the word.

I guess the ones who stay in Replay or stick with the life that MLC created just never quite get to that point for deep enough and long enough.

My H may never come out then.  I think he is who he wants to be now in terms of job, at least.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 18, 2019, 12:13:23 PM
It occurs to me reading this that the going in and the coming out may both be quite similar.
A deep uneasy sense of 'this is not who I want to be'.
All internal, largely unseen, nothing to do with us at all.
Pretty similar to anyone I've ever known who has recovered from addiction or alcoholism. Almost to the word.

I guess the ones who stay in Replay or stick with the life that MLC created just never quite get to that point for deep enough and long enough.


My H may never come out then.  I think he is who he wants to be now in terms of job, at least.


I think most LBS reach a point where we assume that, Nas. I know I do.
Some - maybe only a few - are proved wrong but it often seems to catch the LBS by surprise.
And of course it is not possible to know is it?
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on January 18, 2019, 12:33:48 PM
I think there may be a difference in the journeys between the ones who leave and they lose their job/get demoted/their life falls apart and the ones, like mine, who leave and achieve even greater success.  There's no incentive really to get to the "I don't want to be this person" point if you're not seeing any losses or tough consequences for your choices.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Anjae on January 18, 2019, 12:41:57 PM
I think there may be a difference in the journeys between the ones who leave and they lose their job/get demoted/their life falls apart and the ones, like mine, who leave and achieve even greater success.  There's no incentive really to get to the "I don't want to be this person" point if you're not seeing any losses or tough consequences for your choices.

Not really. Mitz husband has lose his job, etc. I has been many years and he remains in MLC. And he is not the only one. My cousin never lost his job or marriage, his criris was short.

Mr J may have the money and the fans, but he looks terrible. He is bloated, has a pot belly, hunched shoulders, etc. How his many fans can say he looks great and he belive them I have no idea.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: 9393roo on January 18, 2019, 12:59:19 PM
 
Quote
Clingers seem to need to LBS around and to talk to the LBS. However, it does not mean the LBS cannot have boundaries.

Very interesting observations about coming out of the tunnel and needing to talk, talk, talk.  I was telling a friend the other day that I feel like I am my H's sponsor for AA.  He has been calling me several times a day everytime he travels to OW's town and texting right before bed. (High replay I never heard from him)   He even told me at one point that he was scared to go there anymore, he didn't specify of what just feeling scared.   I listen and sometimes give feedback.  It's still all about him though.

My H was faced with losing his family and his business and the respect of all of his employees.  I think that is what started him out just a year ago. 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 18, 2019, 01:34:59 PM
I think there may be a difference in the journeys between the ones who leave and they lose their job/get demoted/their life falls apart and the ones, like mine, who leave and achieve even greater success.  There's no incentive really to get to the "I don't want to be this person" point if you're not seeing any losses or tough consequences for your choices.

Fair point. Maybe it just makes the available distractions more pleasing. And more believable to others in RL.
At the same time, there are plenty of stories here of MLCers who lose almost everything, whose lives are an obvious car crash, but it makes no difference.
I have a sneaky sense that just as the external magic fixes don't work, neither do the external disasters. I think it is some kind of internal 'enough' feeling, a sense of no longer living in skin that fits...so highly individual too.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on January 18, 2019, 02:44:51 PM
I think you're right Treasur, that makes more sense.  If you read "A View of MLC from an MLCer" in the archives, he says just that.  He just woke up one day and felt "enough," but his life had not taken any real downward turn or anything (at least not that he says).
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 19, 2019, 01:27:02 AM
Wow, that was SOME discussion here while I was sleeping!  I went to bed at 4pm and woke up at 2am.  How’s that for jet lag, eh?!

Thank you very much, each and everyone or you, for your most helpful discourse.  I really enjoyed reading through all your comments! 

——————

Here is my thinking, for what is worth, on MLCer that chooses to talk to LBS.  Some do often, and others, occasionally.  After having read several accounts of such MLCers, I’d thought it worthwhile to continue our discussion on this matter.   

Spoken words can reveal aspects beyond the dictionary meanings of them.  They are accompanied by emotions by the means of the tone, speed, facial expressions and body language.  I often found that these extra elements were far more meaningful than the words themselves.  No brainer, since MLCer often garbles a stream of consciousness that often lacks logic and very narrowly focussed, namely, himself.    My H occasionally had a stream of consciousness moments.  Not too often but enough to generate the following observations. 

Note: based on my interactions with 1 MLCer.  It may not have any similarities to your situations. It’s a list. ;D

- Listening to and validating, not synonymous with ‘agreeing’, a chatty MLCer is paving the way.  (Some say paving can be done mostly at the beginning of MLC but I have experienced otherwise. Horses for courses.)   

- MLCer has the right to talk.  LBS has the right to listen to him or not.  This is fundamental.  (‘I’m very busy right now.’)

- MLCer can talk about any and all subjects.  That’s his prerogative.  LBS has the right to assert her boundaries if MLCer is insulting, abusive, rude or uses inappropriate language, such as swearing.

- MLEcer can talk as long as he likes.  LBS has a right to listen as long as it suits her.  (I have experienced that MLCer excels in circular talk...)

- I think that refraining from poking does not add to MLCer’s forward movement.  We don’t have that kind of power.  However, poking may halt MLCer in his tracks to ‘swat the fly’.   I have experienced this with my H.  I let loose too many ‘flies’ at the beginning.  Sigh....

- What is ‘poking’ as I define it?  It is explaining, debating, arguing with MLCer.  When I tried to do all these things, it was based on my desire to change his mind, i.e. to bend him my way which I perceived to be logical and common sense.   That was such a wasted effort as I was not dealing with a logical person.  He and, consequently, his words, were the product of his emotions.  One cannot argue with emotions.  Besides, all emotions are valid.  They are neither right nor wrong.  Hence, my verbal validation of those emotions was the only response I could give him when I learned not to engage him in fruitless debates.

At the moment, my H is more healed than broken.  He has shown a lot of clarity in some areas, but not all.   I see that listening and validating him with respect is still the best way to go most of the time.  He is far from being ready to debate with me and objectively listen to my explanations.

So, I march on with my LBS hat firmly planted on my head. 

Have a wonderful day, folks!



Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 19, 2019, 01:42:37 AM
Acorn
Like lots of others here who had no conversations or insight really into their spouses heads, I really appreciate your sharing your lessons and perspectives.
I am really struggling with anger and what was true/real before whatever happened, happened. If you have time and energy, I'd really apppreciate it if you could pop over to my thread and give me your perspective on your experience of anger and what was reality in your relationship as you see it. Equally understand if you are too jet lagged lol
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 19, 2019, 01:54:26 AM
Too funny, I just posted on your thread and came back to read mine and, voila, there is your post!
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 19, 2019, 03:49:41 AM
Too funny, I just posted on your thread and came back to read mine and, voila, there is your post!

Synchronicity  :)

Out of interest, Acorn, did you feel when you h was at his worst that he hated you? Or despised you? Or wanted you to just disappear?

Or was it more 'not love' than hate, indifference more than actively wanting to hurt you?

Both how it felt to you at the time and now with hindsight, or based on what he has said with hindsight?
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 19, 2019, 04:05:24 AM
Out of interest, Acorn, did you feel when you h was at his worst that he hated you? Or despised you? Or wanted you to just disappear?

The answer to that has been evolving.  It may still change but here is how I see it at this moment.  I initially thought yes, he hated, despised me and wanted me out of his life.  Now I think he was not thinking any of that.  I simply did not matter, did not exist.  I was just a thing, like a table.

Or was it more 'not love' than hate, indifference more than actively wanting to hurt you?

Lots in that question.

About ‘not love’ than hate.  I dont’ think he felt either way.  See, I was just a ‘thing’ to him.  There is nothing to love or hate about this ‘thing’.  Yes, indifference explains better than any other word. 

About hurting me.  One does not hurt a ‘table’.  Again, I didn’t matter to him. 

I’m speaking of the darkest period in his MLC.  Once he was over the hump, he knew that he had some kind emotional connection with me and that he would not leave me and M. His words. 


Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 19, 2019, 04:24:18 AM
Wow, such a great discussion on your thread, Acorn, and valuable views from you. Love your answer to Treasur's questions. They make sense when I apply them to how my H has treated me and how he said he felt about me.

My H appears to hate me, despise me, wish I were dead. Soon after BD, I asked him if he hated me and he said no, that he felt indifferent to me. Exact words. Of course I took that to mean he really did not care about me, almost wished he hated me at that point as at least that was an emotion. But when I describe how he would treat me whilst he was still at home those last two years, I always say he treated me like a piece of furniture. So very interesting for me to put the two things together.

Nas, I see your H's success as a form of running. His success at his job is working like a drug for him, nothing more. It's external pleasure. There often comes a time with a successful person when they think 'is this it?' And then the real questions appear. And it doesn't have to be with business, it can be anything. My friend, who is a doctor, I've spoken about her before, her H became a vet, then that didn't feel enough to him, MLC started,  so went back to school and became a doctor, and once he became a doctor and there was nothing more to achieve he crashed. It took a while, but he's now back. In his case, it was to do with his father who never praised him for his success so he kept chasing that praise throughout his life.

Anyway, Acorn thank you so much for sharing those insider thoughts from a MLCer that we are all so hungry to hear about.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Nas on January 19, 2019, 05:13:29 AM
Milly, I agree with you and thank you for sharing that story. Mine is also chasing the approval and praise he felt he never got from his father, who has been dead now for 21 years. He would tell me that he could score 22 points in a basketball game and after the game, instead of telling him how great he played, his father would just tell him all of the things he did wrong. Now, from others and just from knowing him, I imagine his father did tell him he played well, but all he remembers is that his father also told him about things he did wrong or could have improved on. His father was a basketball coach so it was his nature to critique a player, even his own son. But that is how H remembers it.

Very interesting discussion on hate versus indifference.  I have struggled with this a lot, so this conversation is helpful. When I first got diagnosed with cancer, he sent me a text message that sounded so obligatory and indifferent, it was remarkable. I think that is what really led me to believing more that he was in different whereas before I felt he hated me. Then he disappeared completely in a certain point changed his phone number.  Then I switched back-and-forth again to believing he hated me and feeling that he was indifferent.

Now I think I feel, just as Acorn says, I just don’t exist. So he’s not trying to hurt me, because you can’t hurt something that doesn’t exist.  Before BD, he mentioned many times his regret that when he was 18 and graduating high school, he chose a college in the same state because his mother wanted him to be somewhere within driving distance, when he really wanted to go to college somewhere far away. I think what he has done essentially his time traveled back to the age of 18. So he left me and went to live with his mother for 10 months, after which he “corrected“ the past  by leaving home and going far away. Heck, he even lived in an apartment on a college campus for the first few months before he moved in with OW.  And now he lives with her in a house that looks strikingly similar to the house he grew up in.

 So it does very much seem like he has corrected his past and now it has gone the way he always wanted it to and it’s as if his “time travel” caused a blip in the space-time continuum that caused me to simply never have existed.

 But at times when he is forced to remember that I exist, like when he had to euthanize the dog, his feelings for me are just indifferent.  Yet on some level, deep down there may have been a subconscious remembering because he seemed to need me to not be angry with him and he kept messaging and did not seem anxious to end the back-and-forth messaging that day.

I believe there is some emotion very, very deep down in a place he can’t reach, but I don’t believe the emotion will ever come back the way it has for Acorn’s H. I do think that circumstances and the exact course of each one’s journey will make a difference in whether they make it through or ever have any part of their old selves re-emerge. With my H, it might be like Ursa’s FIL, who didn’t hit rock bottom until he was literally on his death bed with no chance of making any amends.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Milly on January 19, 2019, 05:57:27 AM
Nas, in my friend's H's case, his father is still alive and spoke with my friend during his son's crisis. He said that his son achieved so easily, that he thought that if he praised him for that, he would stop making an effort. The effect on his son was that all his hard work was simply not enough. So much damage from parents. However, my friend's H didn't have some miraculous conversation with his dad where his dad disclosed this so he was able to come to terms with it. My friend's H just said 'enough.' That it was enough for himself. Actually, what her H said to her one day was that he just sort of woke up one day and realized that the only unhappy/angry person around him, was himself.

Regarding your H's progression since BD, sounds like a total MLC journey. I don't think he's now found the solution that he should have had, therefore you should never have been. He just hasn't completed that part of the journey where he realizes that choosing you was always right. He may never come out of it until his death bed as you say. I fear my H will be in the same position. I always thought that having money enabled replay to go on for ever, but my friend's H had money, so he never reached what we would interpret as rock bottom. I think it may have a lot to do with stubborness and lack of courage.

Acorn, sorry for hijacking your thread.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 19, 2019, 06:12:39 AM
You are not hijacking at all, Milly.  It’s very interesting discussion.  I value the threads that have a combination of what’s happening in their situation and a lively discussion on various aspects of MLC.


About seeking father’s approval.  Same for my H.
I read somewhere that if you dig deep enough into a man’s emotional struggle, you inevitably find his father at the bottom of it.  Very interesting.

I think the thread police will be chasing me soon! 
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Treasur on January 19, 2019, 06:22:31 AM
What an interesting discussion though.
I think if I had asked my xh at any point, he absolutely would have denied that he hated me. And yet kept doing things that looked remarkably like what you would do if you hated someone  :)

The idea of being a table. Probably an old table you barely recall from a room you had years ago lol.
The idea that, as Nas says, there is some kind of MLC space-time continuum where they un-exist us.
Maybe that is the root of why vanishers vanish. Because seeing us challenges that doesn't it?
And maybe for us as LBS we find it less painful for a while to feel hated than to feel non-existent.

My h had a father with a script my h did not follow, a mother who frequently told him he was nothing good after the age of 5 and an aunt who has a different unspoken script too. And I guess I had one as his wife even if it was based on how he behaved with me. I would assume ow has one too. I wonder if my xh has one even now?
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Acorn on January 19, 2019, 06:36:15 AM
My h had a father with a script my h did not follow, a mother who frequently told him he was nothing good after the age of 5 and an aunt who has a different unspoken script too. And I guess I had one as his wife even if it was based on how he behaved with me. I would assume ow has one too. I wonder if my xh has one even now?

Hummm...  Good old identity question.
Title: Re: Reconnecting. How???
Post by: Thunder on January 19, 2019, 07:31:55 AM
Thread police have arrived.  lol   :)