Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: 9393roo on May 06, 2019, 01:41:07 PM

Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 06, 2019, 01:41:07 PM
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
― Maya Angelou

New thread.  If someone would be so kind as to link my others that would be appreciated!

Heading into the 4th year in kind of a strange way.  It took me a few weeks to figure out what was going on with me but I think I hit the withdrawal stage of my own journey.  I have spent the last year in escape and avoid myself and things came to a halt after my trip to Cuba.  Friends and family have been checking up on me as I turned into a little bit of a hermit.  Lots of thinky time on my part.

H is still adamant about going to MC next week, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why.  It will be very interesting what version of my H shows up to the appointment.  Mr. angry, Mr. grumpy, Mr. I think I’m 16 again, or Mr. “what about my feelings?”   Anyone of these could make an appearance. 

As for me, the Last few days have brought about some interesting things.  Saturday morning I was outside talking to my neighbor.  They recently had some trees cut down in their yard and I was getting info from them as we have a tree in our backyard that needs to be cut.  Now, 4 years ago my H would have been horrified that I was thinking of hiring someone to do it as he used to be an adamant do it yourselfer. But the last 3 years I have ended up hiring more and more people to do things around our house.  When I came back inside I noticed my H had changed into some work clothes (he hasn’t done that in awhile). I asked what he was up to and he said “I’m cutting down the tree in the backyard”. Hmm.  Ok then.  I told him I would help.  We spent the whole day working on that tree. It much reminded me of when we first got married and we would spend all weekend working on house projects.  It’s been awhile since we have done this.  We cut up all the wood and I said let’s go get some dinner.  We sat in the sunshine and ate BBQ and drank beer.  It was actually normal.  The old normal from a long time ago.  When we were driving home an old 80’s love song came on the radio.  We sat in the driveway and listened to it.  Then my H says to me dead serious “you want to make out?”  Hmm, I thought you haven’t touched me in 3 months and you want to make out to a high school prom song?  I just laughed and my D happened to call right at that point.  Whew....it was too weird.  At least he considers me his girlfriend now.  I may be actually be moving past the mother stage. 

Second very strange incident happened just this morning.  I was working in my coffee shop and a homeless very dirty guy came in wanting coffee. My shop is not in a very good part of town so I’m used to this thing.  I asked him to leave and he started to become belligerent.  I opened the front door and told him he needed to leave.  Our company offices are upstairs and my H heard me yelling.  The guy came up to me and made a fist and said “someone needs to slap you bi*#$.” He then slapped me hard in the face and ran out the door.  I stood there stunned at first.  A customer called 911 and my H took off after him with another customer.  The other customer was a counselor and has worked with homeless drug addicts before and he was telling my H not to do anything to him.  My H was about ready to kill him.  The police came and arrested him.  I am going to prosecute him.  I wasn’t hurt as much as really shaken up.  It was all so odd. My H asked if I was ok once and then dropped it.  Many other people in the office could not believe it.  One guy that has worked for us a long time said “I hope you know that you may think about this for awhile and take some time to process it- I hope you are ok”. My H responded “She’s a tough cookie, she will be fine”.   He then asked me if I wanted to go to lunch because he was having a hard day and needed someone to talk to? I told him I was busy and went home and cried. 

My H is still out in lala land.  It’s all about him.  He still can’t face me or deal with ANY feeling I am having.  This is all so odd, so very very odd.  I miss the man who used to care more than anything about me. I wonder if he will ever come back. 

Year 4 here I come. 

Previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10505.0
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on May 06, 2019, 02:15:45 PM
My H responded “She’s a tough cookie, she will be fine”.   He then asked me if I wanted to go to lunch because he was having a hard day and needed someone to talk to? I told him I was busy and went home and cried. 

This is the very essence of MLC isn't it? I mean, how self-centered can one be?

I hope you are doing well Roo. What a horrific and traumatic experience. To be assaulted in a place you deem safe is such an invasion.  I am happy they arrested him though. Yes, I agree that you are a tough cookie for sure. But tough cookies can cry it out and be sad, scared, traumatized, etc when something like this happens too. Seriously, it all sounds just awful.

Anyway, following along with you on your journey into year 4, which is exactly where I am as well. I think you are pretty amazing.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on May 06, 2019, 05:50:21 PM
So sorry that happened today. It sounds awful. And your husband's reaction. Ugh. So bad.

LaLa Land is putting it nicely. I might say he's in "the land where no one else matters."  He and my W might be neighbors there.

You may have seen my (mis)adventures with MC. Ultimately it may turn out to have been really helpful. But it was pretty painful as well. I hope it goes well for you if you go through with it. If I could do it over, I would wait a while longer. Just my experience. Your mileage may vary.

I think you are pretty amazing.
I second this.

Have a great year Roo. You deserve it.

Hey Year 4, you better brace yourself! Roo is coming to kick your butt!!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: barbiedoll on May 06, 2019, 06:10:30 PM
He then asked me if I wanted to go to lunch because he was having a hard day and needed someone to talk to? I told him I was busy and went home and cried. 

My H is still out in lala land.  It’s all about him.  He still can’t face me or deal with ANY feeling I am having.  This is all so odd, so very very odd.  I miss the man who used to care more than anything about me. I wonder if he will ever come back. 

This is the hard part . I have this type of thing happen to me many many ....ah MANY times. Its incredibly painful to experience and scary. Should this just be "accepted" as part of MLC or is it a glaring red flag? Should you mention it and attempt to talk about how that all made you feel ?   Or deal with it yourself and move on. If you deal with it yourself..will you hold resentment ? All of these things I have asked myself ... I am sorry any of that happened . Horrible .
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on May 06, 2019, 06:16:25 PM
I'm so sorry about what happened in your shop.  That is horrible. You are a tough cookie, but your H should have, and I sure he would have if he was normal , to do a whole lot more to comfort you than what he did. 

Roo my W has never mentioned MC. If ahe did, I would give it a try. You will know if its going south, then all you have to do is stop. It may be a good thing though. You will know the first trip!!!
Year 4!?!?! Well I'm rt behind you. IDK if year 4 will be any better for our MLCer, but I know DAMN well it will be for us.  We have been there and done that. Now it's time to do what you want. If H want a to go with You, hey that's even better. If  he wants to stay in la la land, well that's his choice.

The driveway, listening to the song, lol. Well I knkw exactly what you mean. Mine still acts like a teenager too. Some if the things they do and say is really , well just WTF moment.
I've said are you serious!!! HA. Yep, she was. Weird stuff, MLC. I swear you can't make these things up.
Hang in there Roo. Have a good week.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on May 06, 2019, 06:45:37 PM
Roo, I am so sorry about the horrible incident in your coffee shop.  That sounds awful and traumatic.  You may be a tough cookie (we all are!) but tough cookies need comforting and empathy, too. 

Perhaps, for us, escape and avoid can be a good place to recover.  I am still impressed by your trip to Cuba, btw.  I agree, you are amazing.  Please take care. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 07, 2019, 05:32:07 AM
Thank you KIT, PJ, Helping, Mal and Barbie,

I’ve decided to take a mental health day today and paint some new outside chairs for my porch a deep shade of purple. 

I decided last night to talk to my H about how I was feeling.  I told him I felt like someone really violated me and now my sense of safety in my coffee shop is off.  He kind of looked at me funny and didn’t say anything.  I was doing dishes later and he came up to me and hugged me and said “I’m sorry this happened to you”.  This is the first really empathetic nice hug I’ve had for weeks.  There is still hope.

Barbie, I have to say I’ve been reading your threads and many things jump out at me too. I’m sorting through what was pre MLC and what behaviors did MLC cause. It’s quite a painful process when your eyes get opened to many things.  Thank you for your candid posts.

Stepping off the struggle bus today.  Making some plans for dinner with friends. 

Have a great day everyone.   
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: One day at a time on May 07, 2019, 05:56:32 AM
Roo, I'm so sorry to hear about the incident at your coffee shop.. And your H's dismissive comment, yep, I heard those too.. It's like they don't even care to ask how you feel about a particular thing. But you are supposed to care about THEIR feelings.. argh At least he gave you a hug after, maybe something got through the thick fog after all!

A lot of us do our own version of escape and avoid. My social life has been better than it was in years and I have done a lot of stuff in the last year. It helps to get through the day and it's good to have something to look forward to. The next dinner out with friends, the next meet up in a pub, I also have busied myself with little projects around the house.. but it's all to get my mind and body busy... Eventually I think we realize we are simply going through the motions and we need to face what we need to face.. I haven't become a hermit yet but I'm actually finding I need time by myself (quite a bit of it!).. Something I never needed before.

Year 4 will be your year Roo! You have come so far.  :)
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on May 07, 2019, 06:34:54 AM
Oh, dear Roo, I’m so sorry about what happened to you at the coffee shop...  (((((((HUGS))))))))
I agree, your H’s flippant (reactionary) comment, ‘tough cookie’, was inappropriate at best.  It is also possible to over-interpret MLCer’s words to line up with our perception of MLCer and a particular situation we are in. 

Inviting you for lunch because he is having a hard day?  A fully functioning adult doesn’t do that.  MLCer is like a little kid who is still very much focused on getting an ice cream though you tripped and broke your ankle on the way to the ice cream parlour.  Not because he is selfish, but because he is yet to grow up.   Some MLCers seem to regress so far back that it’s difficult for LBS to handle the dissonance of MLCer’s physical and emotional age...

Selfishness and immaturity are aspects of MLCer we see confirmed over and over again but it’s the truth.  So, you drop any kind of expectation that MLCer would act like an adult.  You kind of write them off from the adult register.  Life is easier for LBS when you do that.  No expectations, no disappointments and hurt.   

I sincerely hope you recover from the shock soon...
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Shining Star on May 07, 2019, 12:06:58 PM
Wow!  I say that - but of course I am not shocked.  I saw this same thing in my MLC world.  I wasn't slapped, but was hurt when a crowded arena got out of hand.  My H was all up in arms yelling at the security to arrest the people, blah blah blah  - it was strangers who helped me until medical arrived.  He showed a lot of anger, but no real empathy for me which wasn't the man I knew for all those years.  I will have a life long injury from the incident, but he was 100% into himself and distracted at the time.  I did not feel the safety and security of a loving H at the time, I just didn't understand why.  I am glad you are ok.  I am sorry your H is so selfish.  Hope he made it through his difficult day :(  Stay strong!   
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 08, 2019, 06:03:02 AM
Thank you for your thoughts and hugs Acorn, Shining Star and One Day,

My attempt to get off the struggle bus were short lived yesterday.  My day ended with a full on sobbing mental breakdown and I unloaded on my H.  Like really unloaded.  He just left for 2 days and I’m sure I won’t hear from him. This morning I’m thinking to myself “Is this what done really feels like?”  I’m not sure but I think I may be there.

My nice quiet day I had planned turned south quickly.  A rental house of ours had a sewer backup and I spent the entire day dealing with that.  I had to find a repair person and find our tenants somewhere to stay while they work on the house. In the middle of all he!! breaking loose, my H called to vent about an employee.  (I thought he was calling to help me-silly me for having those expectations) I said I can’t talk right now I’m dealing with this situation and hung up.  He sent a text and asked me if I was mad at him.  I didn’t respond.  I got home later in the day to a broken dishwasher and a dog that pooped in the house.  H texted to say that he was going to the gym and would be late.  I didn’t respond.  No checking on our rental house, nothing.

I sat down in my unpainted chair and just started to cry, like full on cry.  I called one of my sisters (who is a huge support for me) and told her what was happening.  She said” Roo all of us sisters care so much about you and we love you and we are so worried about you.  You have done everything you can to hold onto your marriage and only you can decide when you are done, you deserve peace, you deserve happiness and you deserve better”. I cried some more.

I pulled myself back together by the time my H came home.  As we were going to bed he said to me “ I feel like you don’t love me anymore Roo.  You don’t laugh at my jokes and you just don’t seem happy.” I unloaded about the last 2 days and about his complete lack of care or understanding, I didn’t stop there.  It went from that to his complete absorption in the company and not one care about me, our children, our home and our life outside the company.  I told him it felt like I was living with a robot. No love, no understanding and no empathy.  All he said was, you are doing things wrong too.  We need to go to marriage counseling so you can see it. Aughh.

He left without a word this morning.  I’m tired of being a “tough cookie” , I’m tired of taking care of everything, I’m tired of not showing my true feelings and my hurt, I’m tired of feeling so alone all the time, I’m just plain tired of it all. 

I know all of you understand.  You all have been in the same spot. Yesterday MLC beat me down, today I’m trying to get back up.  I’m just so tired of it all. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on May 08, 2019, 06:57:57 AM
Dear Roo....  ((((((HUGS))))))
You need to cry and vent sometimes.  The pressure is too much to suppress forever.
I get it. I really do.

There is only one person MLCer is truly concerned with - Himself.  I’m not saying this to denigrate your H.  I’m observing this obvious aspect of MLCers.  Your H has proven yet again that is so with his comment about you being wrong too and needing MC to prove HIS point.  MC is for whom?  Yep, for himself.  That’s why MC is worse than useless at this stage of full self absorption.  It validates MLCer’s POV and inadvertently encourages them to be more selfish.  Any insight you might gain into MLCer’s thinking during MC does not compensate for the harm it does, IMHO.

I get what you mean about you being tired of it all.  I can not even begin to count how many times I felt that way.  Until I gave up counting on him for anything in life.  He was totally written off, not just as a husband but as a sane human being.  He was as useless as the squirrel in the backyard as far as real life was concerned.   No expectations that the squirrel could fix the leaky faucet, and so was my understanding of him.   Some do not go down this route.  They kick MLCer out, legally separate or D.  Some write MLCer off as a dysfunctional and nutty uncle and leave him alone to lurk in the house.  All legitimate.  Many ways to cope with life with MLCer and I chose the nutty uncle route.  The choice is yours, Roo.  You will know when you’ve had enough.  You will choose the best way to walk forward. 

This, too, shall pass, Roo.  Just give it a few days of grace to yourself and recover.

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on May 08, 2019, 07:02:34 AM
I do understand how You feel and why you unloaded. As for even starting to try and explain MLC selfish, poor me bull$#!#!!!!! I don't have anything. That's all it is.
What being done means to me???? Not getting mad at what they do!!!!! How hard is that ???? Well, I haven't got there yet. So I'll see if I get there.
I hope you get back on solid ground Roo
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 08, 2019, 07:58:32 AM

The Mid-Lifers idea of empathy is....


and I think I found a pic of Acorns too when he was "in the groove' (at least squirrels in the back yard can be entertaining... unlike a Mid-Lifer...)

Seriously though, I am really sorry about the coffee shop incident.... We had something similar happen in our church one year during choir practice so I totally know what you were feeling...

And your H's total lack of feeling/understanding/empathy, combined with his completely 3 year old ÿou are too" tantrum speaks volumes about where HE is in the tunnel (like the middle)

Like Acorn said, we know when that line has been crossed....
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: One day at a time on May 08, 2019, 08:02:32 AM
Sorry you are having such a hard time Roo.. I had a similar blow up with H when he was still at home so I know how it feels. I felt invisible, it was all about him and essentially told I couldn't keep the weight of our marriage on my own shoulders.. Yes, it's not what's recommended "because it adds pressure" but we are humans!!! And we have emotions.. You have been handling this for a long time and it's testament to your commitment and grace, don't ever forget that!

Maybe your H's trip is a good thing right now. It will give you both time and space to think.. I'm glad to hear you have your sisters supporting you, we all need a shoulder to cry on now and again. They are right, you deserve better and it's up to you to decide if you continue to give your H a chance to prove he can provide it..  It won't happen overnight (unfortunately) and you know it. You will know when you have had enough. If you are unsure now, you are probably not quite there yet. Just let all this bottled up emotion out and you'll feel better after.

Big hugs!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on May 08, 2019, 08:25:06 AM
I hope it helped to vent here, Roo, bc yes we get it.
Their lack of empathy or anything but self-centredness is incomprehensibly huge and virtually impossible to explain in RL. But we get it.
I'm not given to big anger but the times when I felt most angry and resentful were when I was dealing with all the hard adult things that my h initially refused to deal with or talk about, and then ran away and abandoned me with the lot. It is very hard to be the adultier adult all the time with no back up adult.

You will pull yourself up and this moment will pass. As events and time unfolds, if you get to done and stay there, you will know. Meanwhile, here are some positives...your h's response was not normal for a reasonable adult and that gave you a pretty clear sign of where he is at and what he will be like in MC. And that might be useful info for you. The other positive is that he is away and you get a break; in fact you might want to muse on simple ways to give yourself more of a break from him in future. The other positive is that being the adultier adult (bc Acorn is quite right that he is a waste of space for anything that isn't about work and his feelings probably) means you get more control and a bigger vote on some of this stuff and that might lead you to make some new choices about the current responsibilities you carry.

But we get it, it isn't fair and it is exhausting...hug from here
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Not Your Monkey on May 08, 2019, 08:48:17 AM
I told him it felt like I was living with a robot. No love, no understanding and no empathy.  All he said was, you are doing things wrong too.  We need to go to marriage counseling so you can see it. Aughh.

Roo-I actually told my husband exactly the same thing 2 years ago. "You are like a robot. I push the buttons and you do what you are supposed to do but you feel nothing." His response? "That's an accurate assessment." I have to give him credit at least for seeing himself the same way I did and not denying it or trying to put it back on my head. This was 3 weeks after he told me he had no feelings for anyone and 2 weeks after he told me that if he got his feelings back, he would wish he was dead.

Personally, I think there must be a chip in the brain that controls both empathy and feeling their own pain. They want to shut off their own pain but in doing so they also shut off the empathy. I don't think it is something personal about us. Your H may be projecting with his comment about you having problems too.

I consider my H's lack of feelings the biggest problem between us. Because of the domino effect it has on so many other things and I have told him this more than once. Yet, at the same time, I know it can't be pleasant to be in this state of mind either and feel empathy for him.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on May 08, 2019, 10:21:03 AM
So sorry, Roo. The lack of empathy is truly astonishing.

I love everything that Acorn said.

You are strong. This too shall pass.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on May 08, 2019, 12:46:17 PM
I'm so sorry Roo. I remember when I first found Hero's Spouse and was assigned Medusa as my mentor. One of the many great questions she asked me was "Do you feel like you just need to be heard?" And the plain truth was yes. And still is. Except, even if they hear us, they just don't care. Well, about our feelings anyway. Every single time, without fail, that I tell H how much S misses him, his response is "I miss him too." and "I'm sad too." As if HIS pain should somehow cancel out S's.  And this is a 9-12 year old boy.

I'd say your H is struggling big time. And having to be the adult and not have someone to share your real feelings with would be exhausting and sad. And yes, you DO deserve better. Absolutely you do. Trouble is, I don't think your H, or any of them in MLC, are really capable of it for quite a while. May be worth it in the long run. But the road there is a hard one and definitely not for the weak. Hugs friend.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 09, 2019, 09:40:57 AM
Wanted to pop in here to thank all of you for your support the last few days.  I was cycling big time and with my H gone yesterday I was able to gain a little more clarity of the situation. 

I realized in my low cycle how many people do really care about me.  I had a coffee customer bring me flowers and told me how much it meant to him that we have stayed in business in this neighborhood.  I went to dinner with a good friend and laughed and laughed about the crazy things that have been happening the last few weeks.  All of my children called (called not texted- which is huge for my children) to make sure I was ok.  And all of you who came and supported me....thank you. 

I am back to being a “tough cookie”. I have decided that I am going to start making some decisions and moving forward.  Pre BD my H and I talked about selling our home and downsizing.  We have some property not far from us now and we were going to build there.  We often would sit together and plan out what each of us wanted in our new home.  Negotiating different things.  All of that stopped with MLC.  I have realized that I now feel stuck in our home. We remodeled it together for the last 25 years and it has always meant a lot to me. But now it’s too big and too much work.  I know we need to downsize.  I have made the decision that I am going to push for selling next spring.  I’m going to start cleaning it out room by room and getting a handle on it all. I know I want to spend one more Christmas here and I know I will be handling this mostly on my own.  I told my H the other day I wanted to move, he said you can pick somewhere to live I don’t care where we go. So, I guess I will be getting all the things I joked about getting in our new home.  :) I have started just looking a little and will be able to narrow it down by next year. 

I’ve decided in our new home there will be an extra bedroom for my crazy uncle (thanks Acorn) It’s up to him if he will be following along or not. 

I’m making plans, making decisions and moving my stuck self forward.  Today I feel good and back to being strong.  Pity party is over. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on May 09, 2019, 09:48:43 AM
Yep, I knew it.  You recovered! 
You are one tough cookie.  All for yourself.
No need to be one for him.  He can do that himself. 

The sun always comes out after a rain.  Ain’t that the truth!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on May 10, 2019, 05:58:34 PM
Hi Roo, Glad to hear you are feeling good and back to being strong.  It is amazing how the gesture of a customer with flowers or your children picking up a phone to check in on you can make a difference. Tough cookie is strong and in control!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on May 10, 2019, 10:02:11 PM
You recover quickly Roo! Glad to hear that you are making plans and moving forward.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on May 13, 2019, 05:20:24 PM
Something tells me that crazy uncle will definitely be following you to your new home.   8)
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 14, 2019, 02:44:34 AM
Something tells me that crazy uncle will definitely be following you to your new home.   8)

But you do NOT have to let him in if he does.. Your house, YOUR rules....
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on May 14, 2019, 03:14:21 PM
Roo, I'm really glad to see you're in fighting mode again. It was absolutely not fair that your H didn't come and help you out with the house problems or at least sympathize. And it's ok to tell him, too.

I like your downsizing plans. It makes so much sense at this point for us to live in a house that is affordable and doesn't require us to spend 1-2 hours a day just to keep it tidy. Better to cut the expenses and enjoy the money or save it. Plus it's fun to get a chance at a brand new home, especially after what we've been through. We get a clean palate to be a new us, and say f-it to everyone. We get to do the new house in whatever way we fancy. There's a great feeling in this.

Your H is still not finished with his crisis, but at least he still includes himself in your life, even if he's not participating. Very frustrating, I am not denying it, but the alternative is you sell and go separate ways. You get a smaller, all-you home, you don't rely on any help from him, you do things just to please you. Or you sell this big house, buy a smaller one and make the financials easier for both of you. You don't rely on any help from him, you do thing just to please you, but you still have your life partner sitting in a chair beside you at times, someone you can still talk history with, someone who is still talking to you face to face. It's not enough for most people, except the people on here. And the idea is that they are not going to remain like this for ever.

However, it's up to you what you can take. Letting him know how frustrated you were is perfectly fine as far as I'm concerned. Better he know what you're feeling, than you do the silent treatment and he get totally fed up.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 16, 2019, 07:33:28 PM
Just wanted to pop in here for a few minutes with a marriage counseling update.  Gulp.

Let me preface this this with a couple of things.  Tuesday evening I got an email from the counselor stating that she received my pre counseling paperwork but nothing from my H.  She told us we could not have the session without this paperwork.  I told my H what she said and he went grumbling off to the computer.  I went to bed.  When he got in bed later he said "well that was fun. nothing like telling my life story to a complete stranger" No word from me.  Wednesday morning H tells me he has a meeting right before counseling he may be late.  I gave him the address again and said I would meet him there.  I fully expected him at this point to bail.  Lo and behold he was in the waiting room when I got there.  He even said "I bet you thought I would be late!"

We started with the counselor and she told us her approach.  She told us this was not going to be fun and she was going to be blunt.  She said at the end we could both decide if we wanted to come back or not.  All I can say is wow, just wow. I really, really liked this woman.  She asked my h some very difficult questions and did not put up with any deflecting answers.  When he talked about his own therapy and what he has learned about himself she then turned it back to him to see what he has learned about how to be in a committed relationship.  She was blunt with both me and H asking why we didn't come in earlier and why we waited 3 years.  I told her neither of us were ready and we both had some growing up and changing to do to do. 

She was calm,she was direct and she may be just what we need.  She told us at the end that it would be up to each of us individually to come back and we should think about it.  She also said in order for us to move  forward we have to start from the beginning and it was going to be tough and she would not sugarcoat it.  She told my H he has to come clean and be able to answer any questions I have without any lies.  Because if he lied to me she knew I had come to a place I was ready to leave. He was stunned. 

When we left my H said to me.  "I want to go back because I want you and me back again.  I just want you to know that this going to be hard for me, very hard because I am a really terrible person" I told him he wasn't a terrible person but we have to address what brought us here and I thought she could help us.  I also told him I do not need details of his affair, I was over that and it would not do either of us any good to relive that. He then said something that just about floored me. he said. "I feel so bad that I put you through this, I don't think I would have stayed with you if you did this to me, I'm really sorry" He cracked the seal on his tightly closed empathy box!   

I have no idea where this is going to go, but I'm letting go and letting God.  It feels right and we will just see where it goes. I have my expectations in check and I'm still moving forward with my life.  This could be very interesting. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on May 16, 2019, 09:20:17 PM
Thanks for the update Roo. It sounds like MC went about as well as could be hoped for.

Empathy? Whoa! That sounds like a big step in the right direction.

You sound good Roo. You got this.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on May 17, 2019, 02:23:36 AM
Good update Roo. I hope he keeps it up. Sounding good so far.
Have a good one Roo
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on May 17, 2019, 02:29:54 AM
The MC sounds good...calm and direct sounds just the ticket.
And you sound good too Roo...perhaps bc as the MC says you have reached a point where you will leave if you must and are focusing on your own life regardless. Your h is playing catch up really isn't he? As you say, it will be interesting to see how he goes and thank you for sharing what you are learning.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on May 17, 2019, 06:03:34 AM
I like that your therapist is a tough cookie.
Is she familiar with MLC?
Seeing that MLC is not a marriage problem, some understanding of MLC would greatly help.
It’s not as if one can see problem A in marriage and fix it with solution B when MLC is involved.

I’d say attempting to fix the broken bits of a marriage would be possible if MLCer has progressed to a stage where they have more or less sorted through their internal struggle and have the emotional capacity to deal with all the fallouts, including M.

You have recently shared several anecdotes where he behaved in a most self focussed and immature manner. That’s why I have written the above. 

Sorry if I have poured some cold water over the situation...  I would hate to see you disappointed yet again. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 17, 2019, 06:11:53 AM

The MC experience sounds positive and that is great....

BUT (you KNEW there was going to be a BIG ol "BUT" hanging out there, didn't you?) expectations Level ZERO, consistent actions.... H has the verbage, he can talk the talk... The real question is whether or not he can walk the walk... I would REALLY hope that he can... Time will tell....
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 17, 2019, 04:52:04 PM
Thank you Ursa and Acorn,

I do know that I’m going into this with my eyes wide open.  The good news is that the IC that my H has been working with for over 8 months now recommended this MC.  They have reciprocity for info and my H very willingly signed a release of info so they could share.

I have left our visits entirely up to him.  I never wanted to go in the first place.  I really do have no expectations.  We made appointments for 3 more visits while we were there.  Last night H told me he might have some conflicts.  I told him to call and cancel or call and change if he wants to go.  I’m leaving this in his hands. 

I thank you friends for looking out for me on here.  I really do appreciate all of your comments and care.  I really feel like I’m not losing anything by going.  My H isn’t running away from me right now but I know he still is in the tunnel.  We were just in the car together for an 8 hour drive to see his parents for the weekend.  It was nice, and I will take nice right now!  Have a great weekend everyone.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on May 18, 2019, 04:07:36 PM
Roo, enjoy your 'nice.' You deserve it.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on May 19, 2019, 08:25:02 AM

 It was nice, and I will take nice right now! 

Yay! And you deserve it my friend.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 20, 2019, 03:00:01 AM
I'll take nice over a fork in the nose any day!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 21, 2019, 06:09:06 AM
Thought I would drop in here with some more information on this topsy turvy journey that we are all on. 

The 8 hour ride home was an eye opener and has begun to shed more light on my H and what he has been through and what he continues to go through.  6 of the 8 hours were spent with me biting my tongue, zipping my lip and just listening.  I have more things to sort through and understand.   

We spent the weekend with my H's parents at their farm in a quiet little town where H grew up.  My H's parents are in their 80's and farm life is becoming almost impossible for them.  This trip was an eye opener to that fact.  My H's sister was there too and we started talking about what can be done about them moving.  My H did not want to participate in the conversation.  When we left their house Sunday morning the first words out of my H's mouth were, "I did not like that trip at all"  when I asked him why. he replied " I don't like to see my parents get older, I want to keep the farm in the family, and every time I look at my Dad its like I'm looking in a mirror."  So much all at once.

As the car ride progressed my H started to turn to our R.  I tried to stay quiet when I could but sometimes I just had to talk.  It was pretty amazing.  He talked all about the last 3 years and what he went through and what he is still going through.  But he did not talk to me like his wife, he talked to me like his therapist.  No empathy for me or others, no remorse for what all has happened, just honestly lots of confusion.  It was at this point I had an Oprah Ah ha moment.  I think my H see me as part of him. (Very co-dependent) and if he doesn't see me as a separate person he has not hurt me.  For me to look at this from this perspective has been eye opening. 

Back to the last 3 years.  I just wanted to share his story in a small way to see what his thinking (or better lack of thinking was.)  He said that he has worked with his therapist and one of the things he has worked on was his lack of attention he felt he went through in childhood and adolescence.  Mainly lack of attention from girls about his physical appearance.   Almost 4 years ago he started to build an new section of our company. This new section hired many people but mostly women.  Many women started to pay attention to my H because he was the president of the company.  My H liked this attention and decided he was going to get into the best shape of his life, he started coloring his hair, working out incessantly and doing all that he could to look good for his admirers.  He explained to me that this attention fed his ego and it started to build.  He stopped thinking about me and our family or anyone else for that matter.  It was all about him.  This is where OW came on the scene.  She lived in another town and he pretty much started to "date" her.  He felt young, he felt free and he knew he could always come home to me.  I would be there to give him comfort.  It wasn't until I started to push back, that he started to realize it was all wrong, and it became uncomfortable for him.  I asked him if he was ever thinking of leaving me and he said no.  He didn't want to leave me, OW wanted his attention but she was not asking him to leave me either.  They were both just in it for fun.  There was no concept of hurting anyone else. 
he told me that I was an annoyance to him.  I was looking at all his emails, trying to make sense of it all and he was so bothered by me.  I was going to ruin his fun.  I was pretty much his mother while I was doing this.  He even used the word cake eating to describe his situation.  I told him this over a year ago and it stuck with him!

This is where it gets interesting.  It wasn't until last July when I dropped the rope, made him move out of our room and get therapy or leave that he started to realize it was all wrong.  When I let go and stopped caring for him he panicked. My boundaries freaked him out.  My traveling started to show him that I would be ok without him.  He said for a little while he felt that he could breathe but then he started to realize I could go away for good.  He knew he had to stop with all the women.  He confessed that he was like a single man trying to flirt with all women.  He thought everyone was looking at him.  A big old massive ego.  He says this has calmed down but he still is working on it and his internal validation. 

So, here is where we are.  He still has so much work to do on himself.  I talked to him about his loss of empathy and his lack of remorse and he agreed.  I also told him many stories of the times I saw his overwhelming empathy and love he has shown to me and the family.  He started to cry.  He said he always feels like such a bad person.  He says he doesn't know how to tell everyone he is sorry. I asked him if maybe we had become so co dependent that he doesn't see me a separate person? He said yes.   

His lack of empathy is overwhelming.  It's almost like he knows what he has to do and show but it's too hard for him to face.  I told him marriage counseling may not be the best thing for us right now until he works on himself first.  He wants to keep going.  I think he wants someone to show him the way back because he doesn't know how to find it himself.  He said he is working with his counselor weekly now.  He asked me to be patient and not leave.  I told him I had no plans to leave, but I was working on my own life too. 

So here we are.  I know without a doubt this whole MLC has NOTHING to do with me or our marriage. It really is all about them. My H is trying to find his way out,I really believe he is.  I am trying to find my way forward, I really am.  We keep going on together. 

Last night I got an email from a group I went to Cuba with.  We are planning on all going to a small town in Portugal in 2020 to do another English teaching stint.  There is a world out there waiting for me.  I'm going to keep seeing it. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 21, 2019, 06:26:51 AM
Interesting insight into the fog...

IF one assumes that his Therapist is able to get him to differentiate his self from you and IF that results in his empathy returning and IF he gets a rein on his ego and learns to be self-reliant as opposed to arrogant, he stands a chance of rejoining the human race....

Meanwhile, like you said, there is a world out there to enjoy....
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 21, 2019, 06:31:43 AM
Yep, all big “if’s” that I have no control over..... :)
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 21, 2019, 06:37:41 AM
Yep, all big “if’s” that I have no control over..... :)


That is why, when I am asked "Are you a Stander?" my answer is "No, I am an "If'er" because it's HER journey, not mine."

I said the same to RCR once upon a time...

IF she does the work she needs to do and IF it results in someone I am interested in and IF I am still single and IF I am someone she is interested in (because I am NOT sitting in a stasis box, my growth may not be something she is interested in) and IF SHE is still single, then MAYBE there MIGHT be a chance of forming a new R but the majority of it is really out of my hands... And, like you, I am NOT willing to waste my life sitting and waiting on possible "If's"
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on May 21, 2019, 06:50:13 AM
.So here we are.  I know without a doubt this whole MLC has NOTHING to do with me or our marriage. It really is all about them.   

Yes, I agree, MLC is really all about the MLCer as far as the causes and the content of their emotional struggles are concerned.

Taking the concept of ‘all about the MLCer’ a little further, while they are in MLC, everything they say and do are all about them, too.  Utterly selfish. No room for others.  From what I have observerded and heard from H, what seemed like kindness and empathy for others was really all about him.  It made HIM feel better about himself and less guilty.  He also saw himself in other’s suffering and he felt sorry for himself, not really for the other person.  He told me so...

Selfishness is the most prominent feature of the beast, I’d say.

I could just about guess where my H was in the MLC tunnel by the degree of selfishness. 
It is the MLC thermometer of sorts.

There is only one thing you CAN do.  Just listen, and listen well with the zip firmly in place. 
You are doing very well, Roo.  Proud of ya!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on May 21, 2019, 06:54:56 AM
Thank you for sharing, Roo. I think it is always helpful to get such a clear reminder that none of this - crisis, how they treat us, progress they make or damage they do - was about us. It may be partially about what we represent to them or what they project, but still not about US as people or spouses. It is so counter-intuitive to a normal adult after a long m and some of their behaviour that every practical reminder helps

Your 'I have no plans to leave right now but I am focusing on my own life' stance sounds just the ticket for you. Time and effort will show how your h progresses....
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on May 21, 2019, 07:21:37 AM
Thanks for sharing Roo. You're doing great.

That conversation sounds a lot to process. I'm glad your H is demonstrating at least a degree of self-awareness. Maybe someday he'll decide to come out of his rabbit hole for good.

But I'm really happy you're finding your way forward and exploring the great big world out there.

To life!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 30, 2019, 05:50:53 AM
Marriage counseling update round 2.

Yesterday was round 2 of marriage counseling.  It was a rough one once again.  Again, I gave my H the option to cancel at anytime and made it his decision to keep going.  He told me his therapist thought it was a good idea and he wanted to stay with it.  My H spent the last week in roller coaster mode.  Up, down, up, down.  sometimes almost hourly.  Much like the Jekyll and Hyde thing.  I tried to stay off and away as much as possible.  My D was home for the weekend and my S26 came over on Sunday for lunch.  My H pretty much ignored both of them and they noticed.  One minute he would be on the computer the next outside digging holes for some new trees.  Busy, busy, busy.  I ignored as best I could. 

Our marriage counselor is blunt and does not back down.  I let my H do most of the talking and she could see right through him.  He tried many times to deflect and rationalize and she called him on it.  He left there angry and upset.  I told him I would not be talking about our R outside of counseling, but he tried.  He seemed so confused.  I think for so long my H has told himself a story about what happened.  He made everything not so bad in his mind.  He took me out of the equation completely.  He told the counselor he loved me completely and never wanted to end our marriage.  I tried to stay quiet and most of the time I did.  I did explain how I was the fixer all the time and I believed this had nothing to do with me. 

We have a weekend trip planned just the two of us beginning tomorrow.  When we left counseling H told me he didn't think we should go.  I told him everything we non refundable and one of us should go at least.  I asked him if he would like to go by himself and he said no.  I told him I am going then and he could make the decision weather or not he goes with me.  (At this point I started to imagine this trip on my own and it was sounding pretty glorious.  A book, a pool and relaxation.)  He went quiet.  He came home from work early and planted some tree with no word to me.  When he was done he was sitting on the back porch alone.  I brought him out a beer and asked if I could sit with him.  He said yes.  He then said. "Do you think I have been a bad father?" I said absolutely no.  I said "our children were raised with love and laughter in our home and it was because of both of us.   They all love you so much I wish you could see it.  They all worry about you and they worry about us. "  He then said, "I don't understand what happened to me, my life seemed to fall apart"  We sat quietly for a little while then I said, "I want you to know that I have loved you for 34 years and I continue to love you, we have hit a really rough patch that we need to get through"  I told him we could quit marriage counseling if he wanted to. He told me he needs to keep going because he wants to be a better person and he needs to figure out how.  He told me he wants to go with me this weekend and we made a pact about no R talks. 

This morning I have a very freeing feeling.  I let go one more level.  I am calm and ok whatever might come my way.  I am heading into court this morning to help the foster kids that I am advocating for.   I am calm and relaxed and I feel that I have done all that I can to help them.  Now it is up to other people.  Quiet seems to be my mantra today.  I'm letting the world unfold and controlling only myself.  I think I may have found some peace for a little while.  I will take it.   
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on May 30, 2019, 10:26:01 AM
You sound like you're doing well, Roo. MC is tough. It sounds like it has gone better for you than it did for me. And your counselor sounds really good. I'm glad you were able to wait as long as you did to start MC, but I hope it helps your H to eventually face reality and face up to the damage he has caused.

I think for so long my H has told himself a story about what happened. He made everything not so bad in his mind.
Minimization is my W's favorite trick. Followed by projecting her negative emotions on me.

You are smart to give him the option to cancel anytime and to not talk about your relationship outside of counseling. These MLCers seem to only be able to handle reality a little at a time. Slow and steady Roo - you're doing great!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on May 30, 2019, 11:23:31 AM
Roo, if he goes you can still enjoy a book and relax.
MC sounds like it's helping. Just keep letting him lead the way in MC. If he wants to stop??? That's on him.
I hope he keeps trying to climb out of his hole.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on May 30, 2019, 11:48:04 AM

"Do you think I have been a bad father?" I said absolutely no. 

 He then said, "I don't understand what happened to me, my life seemed to fall apart" 

Seems like he takes a little time to fully digest the MC sessions. I am the same way. B/c during he is probably uber defensive, etc. Then, after reflecting, he gets down to the business of healing/thinking/learning.  I would say it is a very positive sign.  Also positive is how you managed to spin thinking your weekend will be wonderful whether H is there or not.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Not Your Monkey on May 30, 2019, 01:30:54 PM
I know it is painful but you both sound like you are on the right track that will move you forward and make this a little less painful.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on May 30, 2019, 06:09:02 PM
Roo, thinking of you. I am sorry it was a tough week on the rollercoaster- seeing the real H one day only to have him retreat again. Yet the aftermath of the MC session seems like progress - at least from my faraway vantage.  You do seem to have found some peace- I like your idea of simply letting the world unfold. I hope all went well in court with the foster kids. May the weekend unfold in a quiet calm way as well.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 06, 2019, 08:57:26 AM
MC round three update.

Just a quick update in my world.  My H and I ended up going on on weekend together and all was actually good until the last night when we both had too much to drink.  I saw him over in a corner texting and I had a MAJOR trigger, I went into “you are not going to do this to me again mode” and pretty much lost it.  He was angry, I was angry it was a bad situation.  The next morning when the fog had cleared a bit he came and talked to me.  He handed me his phone and said “I want you to have my password and I want you to look through my phone whenever you want.  I’m done hiding anything from you but I work much better when I’m not being attacked”. I agreed.  We both agreed alcohol played its part in the situation and we made a pact to stop drinking for 2 weeks to see if helps.  I’m 5 days in and didn’t realize how much I was drinking.  I have gotten pretty good at making my LBS margaritas and relying on them just about every evening. 

Marriage counseling was much different this time around.  When we left my H said “I know she talked to my therapist because this really helped me”. She started us looking at attachment styles and our childhoods and how we relate to everyone and each other.  It was really fascinating.  I learned much about my H and he learned about me.  There was no blaming, pointing, jabbing.  It was learning and we both got much out of it.  It’s like we are both going back to the beginning and reconfiguring things.  I think we both are ready for this now and it seems to be working.  We have continued to agree to no R talks outside of counseling. 

My H left for a 2 day work trip to the town where OW lives.  He called me the first night from his room and asked if I was Ok.  I was confused and said “yes, why? “. He said “I know you have had a hard time when I have traveled here before and I want to make sure you don’t feel like anything is happening because it’s not”. I almost hit the floor.  I said “Thank you, that’s very sweet of you”.  When he came home the next day he gave me a huge hug and said “I want you to know that the reason I’m not intimate with you is not because I don’t want to be, I’m just not ready” I told him I wasn’t ready either. 

I continue to be cautiously optimistic about these changes. Things are calm and he is doing lots of thinking.  I know many on here do not believe marriage counseling helps at this point, but I have to say for us it is.  We have a kicka$$ counselor who is working alongside my H’s counselor and it seems to be working.  I’m continuing to move forward in my own journey as well.  Our D comes home for the summer next week and I am looking forward to spending some quality time with her. 

Slow and steady we go forward. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on June 06, 2019, 10:00:25 AM
He said “I know you have had a hard time when I have traveled here before and I want to make sure you don’t feel like anything is happening because it’s not”. I almost hit the floor.  I said “Thank you, that’s very sweet of you”.  When he came home the next day he gave me a huge hug and said “I want you to know that the reason I’m not intimate with you is not because I don’t want to be, I’m just not ready” I told him I wasn’t ready either. 

This is HUGE. And so thoughtful, kind and considerate of your feelings. Dare I say....compassion?  So not very MLCish.  I'm happy you went on the weekender. I had to laugh at your LBS margaritas. I too have relied upon my Chard, Champs, Rose...to get through the tough times. It's easy to fall into. I still have my drinks, just not nearly as much. The answer was never at the bottom of a bottle for me, just made a bad situation about 10 times worse. But this is how we learn. We make mistakes, and learn and grow from it.  And please do not be too hard on yourself b/c after all, he did realize the phone is a trigger for you and he resolved that situation without you telling him what to do. Another major step I would say.

Slow and steady wins the race.  ;)
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on June 06, 2019, 11:26:59 AM
Roo, things are sounding very positive. Your H's concern and thoughtfulness are big actions in the right direction. I bet it feels good, also, to have had a blow up and get through it to the other side without destroying it all.

I don't think MC is unadvised at the stage you are at. Quite the contrary. You are both wanting the therapy, and being honest whilst there. I think it's a good thing at your point. I hope your H keeps moving forward and that you get to have some good times now.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 18, 2019, 09:28:43 AM
Marriage counseling Round 4 (final round for now)

Marriage counseling did not go so well yesterday.  I should say that it didn’t so so well for my H, it was eye opening for me.  After the last few times learning about our relationship styles we started to address some of the issues that brought us to that place.  Mostly OW. Before we went to counseling I found out my H sent the OW and email asking her to do some work for him and telling her what a valuable employee she is.  This was forwarded to me in chain with something else from another employee.  My boundary is this OW.  Last year he set up a line of people so they would not have direct contact.  I also found out recently that last spring he set up a block on his phone because she was trying to contact him.   I have told him that contact with her directly would have me stop all counseling, as it felt that he had not closed the door on her completely. We talked about it there and he didn’t seem to understand the depth of what that email did to me.  It is very clear that my H has not faced this issue yet.  He wants to sweep it all under the rug.  I’m done sweeping.  I’m done being angry, I’m done being upset, I’m done trying to fix. 

Today I emailed our counselor and told her that I’m suspending counseling for now and will wait until I feel My H is ready.  She knows the backstory and she has been in touch with his counselor.  I’m not upset that we tried marriage counseling, in fact I’m really happy that when/if he is ready we have someone who I really like in place.  I felt comfortable and listened to. 

This morning I’m back to detachment.  My H is struggling with lots of depression and anxiety.  My heart breaks for him it really does, but I can’t fix him.  I continue to move forward and have many many things to look forward to in the next month with 2 family reunions.  All of my babies (they will always be babies to me) are going to be together in one spot for a week and we will celebrate our family.  I am blessed and I am calm.  I feel that I may have reached acceptance. 

This forum has helped me so tremendously, I can’t say it enough.  I have taken much advice and applied it and had success and failures.  I’ve learned, lived and have grown.  With that I have decided to take a little time off of here to focus on me.  I will be back to update in the future, but I need a break from all MLC.  Thank you all for your comments and thoughts.  I’ve taken them all to heart.  I will be back with an update.  Wishing you all peace and joy as you find your way on your own journey. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on June 19, 2019, 08:25:08 AM
Your story is so familiar to me Roo. I also had 4 MC sessions. Sorry your H doesn't seem to get it. My W is the same way. My heart breaks for her, it really does. It's so hard being so powerless to help.

Enjoy your break!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on July 22, 2019, 09:37:31 AM
After a month off of here I thought I would drop by with an update.  Basically my H and I are still together, still working on things and going SLOWLY forward. Here are some updates.

Me: last month when I left this site I think I hit rock bottom.  I had found an email from my H to the OW mostly about work but an added paragraph on how great she was for the company and how much he appreciated her.  I lost it and became so incredibly angry.  I was angry at him for not seeing how much this hurt me, I was angry at myself for having expectations and starting to open myself back up to him and I was angry at God for allowing this MLC to continue.  I became the victim once again.  A role I had worked so hard in the last year to get rid of.  I called the marriage counselor and told her I was done, I told my H I was done, I really thought I was done.  Our counselor asked me to give it a few days and then come back in to meet with her on my own before I gave up joint counseling.  I agreed.  I went dark with my H and I sat with my anger.  It was not good.  I became this really terrible version of myself that I thought that I had shed.  I met with the counselor on my own and talked though what I had been through and how I had handled it.  She was kind and caring and started to talk about me, how I was raised and what I brought to the marriage before the big BD.  She opened my eyes to many things that I had never really addressed with myself.  The fact I had and continue to have abandonment issues related to my own childhood.  The fact that I am a very reactionary person.  I have been able to go from 0-10 very quickly. All of these things that I have had in a very small form were amplified by 1000 with my H’s MLC.  I started to realize how much all of his actions I took personally.  In my head I kept asking myself, why would he do this to me, to us and to our family? I completely lost sight once again that his issues really had nothing to do with me, us or our family.  I know I’ve heard on here many times how much you need to let go and let your MLC spouse work on themselves, I just wasn’t doing it fully.  I was getting in the way of him addressing his issues because I wanted him to address what he had done.  I was a roadblock.  I was asking him to take responsibility for himself yet I was not doing the same.  It was eye opening. 

After talking to the counselor I decided to return to joint counseling with my H. In my own session the counselor told me that she has noticed that my H will shut down when I start to get upset.  She thinks he compartmentalized so much of what has happened and stuffed it all down that he is scared to bring it all out.  She said she was going to slow things down and have us work on communication before we address any of the bigger issues.  We have been a few more times since then and we have really made some big changes on how we are communicating.  We have a new calmness between us that I had to take the lead on.  I feel a little like I’m having my own awakening as I continue to work on myself.  More layers of forgiveness continue to be shed. 

Since I started to work on myself my H has made great strides forward.  We have had 2 really great family reunions where there was lots of laughter and bonding as a family.  If I had to describe my H in one word right now it would be scared.  I think his box of compartmentalization is opening and he is starting to see the damage that was left in this path of destruction.  It must be a hard thing to do.  He asks me often if I am ok and he tells me often that he loves me.  Often I feel like he is about 2 steps behind me in figuring things out.  My birthday was the end of June during one of our reunions.  My kids made a really big deal about it and he just said happy birthday and gave me a kiss.  I was actually fine as I wasn’t even expecting that after 3 years of no real acknowledgement of the occasion.  The next day we were in the car together he silently slipped a card out of his pocket and said. “I should have given this to you yesterday but here it is today”.  He wrote me some really nice words about how much I mean to him and told me he made some train reservations to take me to a really nice resort.  I was pretty floored.  Before BD he never made any travel plans with me, I was always the one making the arrangements. 

When I look back at this time last year I realize just how much I’ve changed, my H has changed and our marriage has changed.  I am continuing my own things and have several trips with my Sisters, my H and one by myself that I am really looking forward to.  I discovering many things about myself that I thought I had lost with this crisis.  My H is waking up slowly and dealing with things at his own pace.  We are calm and it’s working for both of us. 

I hope each of you are able to find peace and a greater understanding of yourself through this mess, after all you are the only thing you can control.  It’s taken me three years to truly understand this.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on July 26, 2019, 03:18:09 AM
Hello roo,
Following along. I appreciate your level of calmness and peace and growth.  It all sounds good. Thank you for posting and sharing. May the steady progress and awakenings continue.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on July 26, 2019, 07:12:13 AM
Thanks for sharing Roo.

When I look back at this time last year I realize just how much I’ve changed, my H has changed and our marriage has changed.  I am continuing my own things and have several trips with my Sisters, my H and one by myself that I am really looking forward to.  I discovering many things about myself that I thought I had lost with this crisis.  My H is waking up slowly and dealing with things at his own pace.  We are calm and it’s working for both of us. 
Wonderful to hear.

I hope each of you are able to find peace and a greater understanding of yourself through this mess, after all you are the only thing you can control.  It’s taken me three years to truly understand this.
This is a hard lesson to learn. I'm a slow learner myself. It's hard to not try to fix things when someone we love is suffering and messing up.

You sound good, Roo. You've learned your lessons and I know you'll be a better person for it.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on July 30, 2019, 02:44:12 PM
So glad to hear you are good Roo. 
The it's not about us!!!!! Well that's a hard one to get by isn't it.
You sound like your doing the right thing. Working on you. YEP, let him follow your lead.  I understand what MC saud about your H locking up, I've said it before they can see if we are good or not. If they sense we are hurting??? Well they just can't handle that, hell thwy can barely handle anything.

I don't think they will open up to us until thwy feel we are fine. JMO. 
Roo, keep going as you are. If you have a bad day, just go do something. Don't let him see it. I do it regularly.  I think our time is as important or even more as their time. We need it too.
Looking forward to more updates.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on August 28, 2019, 10:35:39 AM
Thought I would update this am.  Reconnecting has taken a divebomb south as my H has now done a belly flop back into replay.

We have had a really good, calm summer for that I am grateful.  My D 19 was home and my H did some really good bonding with her.  We were moving along in marriage counseling and my H even proclaimed about a month ago that he was back and he felt like he was growing up.  (His exact words)
He told me how foolish he was and how he wanted to repair things.  We have had a lot of laughs and fun. 

I noticed the change about 2 weeks ago when he started to drink again every night.  Not just 1 or 2 drinks, a lot.  He stopped calling when he traveled and I saw receipts for bars late at night in the other town.  Last week I saw an Uber receipt for 1 am.  I really just kind of lost it on him.  I told him I don’t trust him and I told him that he either commits to our marriage or not. 

This morning I actually am feeling ok however this thing turns out.  I’ve reissued my boundaries and I told him I’m pretty much done.  I really thinkI am.  We are 3.5 years into this mess and I’m back to detachment.  He has so much work to do on himself, yet he continues to hide in alcohol and needing attention from people. 

He is cycling back and I am out for now.  MLC sucks and continues to suck.  I will not let it suck the life out of me today.  I’m holding my head up high and moving forward on my own path.  I don’t care if he follows along anymore or not, I’m not even going to look back to see if he is. 

Sorry for the rant.  I am letting go.  Really letting go.  He can go blow in the wind, or tornado in his case. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on August 28, 2019, 10:42:00 AM
No need to apologise. Besides you do very polite rants lol....no potty mouth at all  ;)

I'm sure others with live ins saw/see the same cycles...seems to be how it rolls...but yup, drawbridge back up and silver foil hat back on. Only sane sensible thing to do.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on August 28, 2019, 12:29:30 PM
Roo I think you are simply amazing handling this so well. I find that I am at my lowest and worst after more contact with Alien-H. The more he stays away, the better for me. So having a live in would be so hard.

No divebomb in the re connection. Just another cycle I am sure.

I did have to laugh when you H said he thought he was growing up. LOL. I wonder if they will ever fully grasp the full meaning of such comments, true though they may be.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on August 28, 2019, 03:05:33 PM
Hi Roo, I’m sorry to read that your H has been taking some backward steps.  I’d like to suggest that you see the big picture, not some snapshots of the moment.  It’s the overall forward movement that matters...  How would you compare him to a year ago?  Is he more self aware?  Is he less egocentric?  Is he more mature?  Has he faced some of his issues?

I tend to think his drinking and not calling you while travelling do not have much, if any, to do with you or your R.   You are perhaps taking his bad choices personally, seeing your reaction.  His behaviour is most likely to be an indicator of where he is at in MLC, not your R.   He does alright under your ‘supervision’, ie. he behaves in your company.  But when he is without his ‘mommy’, he imbibes at will because he can get away with it without getting told off.   That shows that he still needs to grow up a bit (a lot?) more so that he may be able to hold himself responsible for his actions and have the strength to control himself. 

For what it’s worth, it is my view that MLCer cannot really work on M until he is healed enough and has a good measure of self awareness AND take consistent action over a long period of time to fix whatever he needs to fix in himself.   A broken person cannot fix his broken relationships, in my opinion...   At the moment, you are wishing to see healing in your R with him and I can fully understand that.  However, his MLC behaviours (e.g. drinking), though it affects and frustrates you, it’s not about you or R.  Your state of being is ‘controlled’ by his actions and attitudes and that calls for your detachment from HIS personal crisis. 

Staying detached, ‘letting him go, he can go blow in the wind’ until further notice is a sound policy, IMHO.  I think attaching emotionally in a healthy way without becoming codependent comes naturally as you both heal.  I worried about it but to naught! 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on August 28, 2019, 03:55:38 PM
Thank you Acorn, KIT and Treasur 

Acorn, I know everything you are saying is true. 

I believe marriage counseling is giving me expectations.  I am going to talk to the counselor about possibly putting them on hold.  My H is adamant about going but all it is really doing is making me be his "mommy" with guidelines.  You are completely correct in stating that he was blowing off steam to get away from me.

I am most of all mad at myself for letting this co-dependency creep back in.  I am stronger than that.  It just kindof happened over time. 

In the big picture he is much better than last year at this time.  More importantly his relationship with our D has grown substantially. 

I've got lots on my plate right now to take the focus off of our marriage and off of him.  I'm really trying but he is a live in clinger and it's been difficult. 

Thanks for having my back.  And KIT, you are an incredibly strong person for dealing with your H in the manner that you do.  Don't sell yourself short in the strength department. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on August 28, 2019, 04:15:49 PM
Hi Roo, Following along.  I am glad that when you look at the big picture you can see that he is making some forward movement.  It has just been such a long haul, that I can understand how frustrating the backward steps must feel. And, how you want to hope, but...
I hope everything else is going okay. Take care and hugs. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on August 28, 2019, 05:11:55 PM
Thanks for checking back in Roo. Sorry your H has taken some steps back. I like what Acorn said. And hopefully the big picture trends in the right direction.

I told him that he either commits to our marriage or not.
A word of warning here. I told my W the same thing. She decided to not. In my case I knew she had already made up her mind and I'm glad it helped me to at least start to move forward in a new direction for myself. But just be extra super careful with ultimatums unless you're prepared for him to say no. I don't know what your H would do, but my W has always chosen to do whatever was easiest for her.

I don't know about living with a clinger, but living with a wallower was SO hard. I didn't know how hard it was until she left and felt so much better. Looking back now, my biggest regret is that I spent too much time working on the marriage, trying to fix things. I thought I was detached better than I was. But you seem to have a better handle on things.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on August 29, 2019, 09:06:59 AM
Thanks Mal and PJ. 

The light of a new day has brought new perspective as it seems to be doing a lot lately. 

I had a semi-coherent? Relationship talk with my H last night. We talked about marriage counseling and about his drinking and about disappearing when he travels.  He told me the company is not doing well, he’s worried about holding it all together and he just wanted to bring fun back into the company by taking people out for drinks.  Pretty much he wanted to make everything that is falling apart better by covering it up in a party.  I tried not to talk too much because I was trying to understand where he is coming from.  He told me he doesn’t think he has a drinking problem and that he was sorry he didn't contact me while he was traveling.  He said sometimes everything is just too much and he can’t remember he is supposed to do to help fix us. 

I asked him why he wanted to be in marriage counseling.  He said that he doesn’t want our marriage to end and he felt that counseling may give him a guidebook for how to fix it.  I realized at that moment that since I quit trying to fix everything he wants someone to tell him what to do.  He doesn’t want to look at himself, I don’t think he is ready to look at himself and was trying to go off of a script.  He was starting to resent me and the therapist because we were both becoming his mom.  He hasn’t grown up enough to gain the empathy and insight to fix things on his own.  Marriage counseling is pretty much doing more damage than good right now.  I know many people warned about this on here, but as with everything I take from here I try things until they don’t work.  I told my H last night that I want our marriage too but I felt that marriage counseling right now isn’t going to work.  It feels forced and fake.  He agreed.  He told me he was scared about us quitting.  I think he is worried about himself more than anything. 

This morning I feel better than I have in a few weeks.  I think I too was looking for a quick fix and that’s not going to happen.  A couple of things that counseling did do for us was to improve our communication.  We both have taken some skills we have learned from our sessions and have applied them.  I also think it helped me come to acceptance of our situation, which has brought a great deal of peace.  I do feel empathy for my H again as I can see he is in a great deal of pain.  Some days it takes everything I have not to try to step in and fix things. 

A bit of an update on myself.  The kids that I have been working with for almost 3 years now were moved this summer to a relatives house 4 states away.  They are living together for the first time in 3 years.  This is what I have been advocating for for the last 3 years in court.  I flew out to see them and drove 150 miles to get to their home.  I had to see for myself that they were ok.  They are better than ok, they are thriving in a really good situation.  My heart was full.  I spent 4 days on my own and realized that I am thriving too.  I’m going to be ok.

A bit of a funny story.  I stock my coffee shop up weekly at a restaurant supply store.  I have gotten to know the young guys that work the register pretty well.  I always decline help in loading my car as I think of it as getting more exercise.  I was there the other morning and had a huge cart full of stuff.  The store was having an audit and they had higher ups there.  As I checked out and headed out the door one of the managers said to the kid “you really should help that little lady out to her car”. The kid replied “ Oh don’t let her size fool you, she is one of the littlest bad a$$’s I know!”  He covered his mouth and said “I’m sorry ma’am I didn’t mean to say it that way!”  I laughed and said that it was one of the best compliments I’ve received in a long time”. Later at dinner I told my H and my D the story.  My D just laughed and said “ They’ve never seen you at the gym!”  (We have an ongoing joke about this). My H just shook his head and said “you are a bad a$$” and smiled. 

So I’m adding bad a$$ to my ongoing resume.  Life is moving forward and I don’t need to fix everything to make it move forward.  It’s all a learning process that is going to take time. 

Have a good day everyone, I hope you all find peace somewhere in your life. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on August 29, 2019, 10:00:12 AM
OMG that made me smile ROO! Yes, a total bada$$, among many other wonderful qualities.

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on August 29, 2019, 11:49:06 PM
That made me smile, too, Roo! Bad ass is a wonderful compliment!

Lovely to hear about the kids you were looking out for and how well they are now doing. Incredible journey to get there.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on August 30, 2019, 12:15:13 AM
Sounds as if your h is generally in a bit of a pickle...business, marriage, himself...and simply doesn't know what to do to fix it all. So he cycles between throwing metaphorical spaghetti at the wall and hunting for someone to give him a magic 'do this' list. His own version of trial and error. As if he knows some of what he wants but doesn't know how to get there from here.

Tbh most of us here probably know what that feels like.
You probably do too, roo. And you know how much grit and back and forwards effort it takes from your own experience.

It would be so much easier to see the wood for the trees if they didn't do the ow thing wouldn't it? Or blame monster at us? Bc those things trick us into believing it is a marriage problem - and tbh create a marriage problem on top of everything else - but your convo with your h shows so clearly that it isn't. That it is a depressed man with a His Life problem. Just another reason I suppose why MC is futile at best. I hope the convo helps you see it all for what it is, and consequently be able to worry less about the ow type stuff as part of your circus.

It's funny really bc it is almost as if trying to cover over the business problems with a bit of partying is like Business Replay isn't it? Your h will need to figure out which problems he is ready to tackle and how all by himself of course. I hope he does and when he does, i'm sure you will be able to undetach enough to hear him out. But I hope most of all the convo helped you see clearly that the blockage lies in him and your relationship is simply effected fallout from that. Not easy, but obviously true from over here in the cheap seats  ;)
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on August 30, 2019, 04:45:35 AM
You go ROO!!!
You are doing great. I agree on you stepping away from MC. 
It is too much to handle if they are not ready. Just let him keep working on his own. It sounds as he is trying. Yes, they have to do it on their own.
Have a good day you bad@$$ little woman!!!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on August 30, 2019, 05:49:28 AM
Thank you Treasur and Helping.

Treasur you are 100% correct in the business being the OW now.  In fact the business has been the OW for almost 20 years since we started it. 

Hindsight has brought insight the last few months.  The real OW is an employee that ran one section of the company.  At the time MLC hit she was a prime target for my H as he was building this part up.  She was helping him build the company, she took over my place in this.  He went through all the MLC shenanigans with her and then broke up with her about 1.5 years ago.  She still works in that section but has another boss.  This section is tanking and I have told my H in no uncertain terms that if steps in to save it I will be out.  He has stuck to this agreement as far as I can tell.  His partying included some people in this section (He says not OW I believe him as I think she scares him) so I think he was testing the waters to see if he could get back in.  My boundary is up was made very clear again yesterday. 

After the OW withdrawal my H dove in full force to all other sections of the company and grew it substantially.  I on the other hand began my process of stepping away and focusing on my own life.  The company now is a huge beast and not doing well anywhere.  My H's brother who started the company with him stepped out about a year ago stating he didn't like the direction it was going.  Many long term employees are not happy.  My H's midlife crisis has affected many, many people.  None of this is about $ it is about power and him getting attention.  The more I step back the more I see this.  There is absolutely nothing I can do to help him, I don't want to because I am craving our simple life. 

I know my H loves me and our family.  When he is away from the company I see the man I married.  The funny, sentimental loving man.  He is having an identity crisis that has nothing to do with me.  All I can do is stick to my boundaries and hold on as I brace for possibly a big fall from him as he can't keep all the balls up in the air for much longer. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on September 12, 2019, 06:29:54 AM
Good Morning Community!

Thought I would do an update as today is my 32nd wedding anniversary and I've been contemplating many things the last week or 2.

After my last update, my H and I had a talk and we made the mutual decision to stop marriage counseling. (Well, actually it was more my decision but he went along with it.)  Since this time I have felt better than I have in a couple of months.  I did not realize how much it was affecting me.  Going through counseling with someone who is still sorting things out on their own and isn't ready to address the marriage is a big mistake.  We did both agree it helped with our communication though.  More lessons learned in our ongoing journeys.  Since we have stopped counseling my H has made many steps forward.  He's doing it on his own without me holding a stick poking and prodding along the way.  I feel better and more detached and he feels better and less pressured.  It seems to be a win win for now.  We have hit a calm stride once again and I'll take it. 

In our marriage anniversaries have not been really celebrated much except for the big ones.  The last  three years we have had some doozies though. 
29 was 6 months after BD and horrible.  My life was spinning.  I wrote my H a heartfelt card pretty much begging him to come back to our marriage.  I wanted the life we had back, he ignored me.
30 was a trip (all of my doing) My H was doing major cake eating (affair was still on-I didn't know...well in hindsight I did but didn't want to believe) We went to Mexico, I picked out new wedding bands and wrote another heartfelt card about starting over I got nothing.  2 months later he told me he wasn't sure how he felt about us.  BD #2 happened 1 month after this when I found out OW was still in the picture. I took off the new wedding bands and put my old one back on, gave mine back to H. 

31 was 8 months after he officially broke up with OW.  He had just been caught texting a flight attendant he met while traveling.  We had plans to go to Hawaii, I traded his ticket in and took my sister instead.  Around this time I officially dropped the rope and started to find my own life.  He started IC

Here we are a year later we are still moving forward with many, many steps back.  I'm a new person today and I'm realizing that with all of the pain and suffering MLC has brought into our life it also has made me more aware of many joys.  I'm learning slowly that I am once again becoming my own person and I finally am starting to like and respect myself again.  This self respect is calming to both me and my H. 

My H is traveling this morning.  He did call me last night and we laughed about many things.  He is still in MLC, but I see glimpses of a really good man in there.  I hope he sees that someday too. I just sent him a text this morning all it said was "We made it to 32....whew!!"  He sent back a thumbs up sign and then he sent back our engagement picture and said "we were so young, I love you"  I had no idea he even had this picture. 

Today I will go to work at a job a really love, I will take my pug out for a walk, I will go to the gym and then I will order Thai take out have with a really nice glass of wine.  I will celebrate me, I've come a long way since this thing started.  Maybe next year we will celebrate us a little more.


Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on September 12, 2019, 07:19:10 AM
Happy Anniversary to YOU Roo!!! Have a good one for you!!
IMO you are doing just what you should do. It's bringing peace your way. Keep it up.
All good info you shared. We can see these things ince we are able to step away and look back. Hard to do that when we are still struggling. Keep it up Roo.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on September 13, 2019, 06:32:56 AM
Roo, I hope you had a wonderful anniversary. Thank you for sharing the stories of your recent anniversaries.  If my math is correct, we married within a few weeks of each other. 
The new Roo sounds joyful in the true meaning of the word.   All good!  Many blessings. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on September 13, 2019, 07:10:08 AM
Seem to be quite a few of us here with September wedding anniversaries  :)
Yup, celebrating you is quite nice too...just different...but just as worthwhile to celebrate.
A pug, Thai food and a glass of something nice sounds rather lovely  :)
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on September 13, 2019, 08:29:04 AM
Congrats on your WA, Roo!
I wholeheartedly agree with your decision to stop M counselling.  You are right, one needs to heal first in order to be able to address any R issues.  It is way too much pressure for both parties, especially the MLCer.  In essence, M counselling asks for what MLCer is unable to give because he still needs to heal himself a whole lot more. 

Good for you seeing the silver lining in MC, though.  You did gain some improvement in your communication!

One thing I discovered while reconnecting is that it wasn’t so much how/what/how often of the communication that mattered as much as what each one of us expected of communication.  It’s my subtle expectations of certain level of communication that H was yet unable to give at various points in his healing and the reconnection process that left me feeling dissatisfied and impatient.  Just as well I worked on curbing that notorious Expectations!  E is a pesky mole that pops it’s head out whenever I fail to keep it in check.  In due time, deeper and longer communications happened.  One can’t hurry these things. ::)

That self respect you mentioned is one of the fruits of growing and healing, in my view.
You are very observant - self respect is calming in R.  Not just in M but with all significant people in our lives.  It’s not a point brought up often but you nailed it.  Self respect brings along stability, quiet confidence, reliability, an aura of being comfortable in one’s own skin.  What’s there not to like?!  It is contagious. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on September 25, 2019, 09:44:28 AM

Today I will go to work at a job a really love, I will take my pug out for a walk, I will go to the gym and then I will order Thai take out have with a really nice glass of wine.  I will celebrate me, I've come a long way since this thing started.  Maybe next year we will celebrate us a little more.


Boy, you epitomize this whole mirror work, GAL thing! I truly feel that the only way one of these MLC marriages can ever come back together is when the LBS does their own growth and self analysis. And of course, once we realize we are ok on our own, that we have value, it is that much easier to see the good things in life, to be able to focus on the joy again. Not saying I am there--it is my goal though and you are an inspiration for sure.

Of course he has your wedding picture in his phone. And of course he loves you. That does not surprise me in the lease. He's made some great progress recently I think because you have been able to step out of the way. And you do that by focusing on yourself. Wow--it really is true what they say here isn't it? It is kind of an amorphous concept, but you just provided such a great example of how it works in practice.  Enjoy that Thai food and wine. Yum! And Happy Anniversary!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on October 13, 2019, 06:52:15 PM
Thought I would give a little update as things still seem to be moving and shifting around here quite a bit.  I returned from an amazing 10 day trip in Australia with my sister.  I was so ready to go when I left and now feel ready to be home again.  The leaves are changing, and we have entered my favorite of seasons, fall.  I guess I should start before I left about 13 days ago. 
As I was getting ready to leave my H decided to take a step back into the tunnel.  He was acting like a 15 year old boy, sometimes giddy and immature, sometimes dark and moody.  In the past before I have left for any trips I have always cooked and cleaned and made sure things would run smoothly while I have been away.  This time I decided to do neither.   There is a grocery store 4 blocks from our house and I thought it was time my H survived on his own.   What made this decision even more clear was a day before this I was at the store and asked my H if he wanted me to buy him anything before I left since I was at the store.  I didn’t hear back from him until much later when he sent a text asking me to buy beer and big box of gum???? Um, no.  (he has picked up this ridiculous gum smacking habit since MLC started…ugh)  I told him it was too late and he had to buy that on his own. 

The day before I left he became clingy mcclingster.  Telling me how hard it was going to be on him since I wasn’t going to be there.  A few hours before I left one of his employees was talking to me about a restaurant he had been to with my H in the town where the OW is.  He was telling me about a design of a bar and said “wait, I have a picture where we all went out to dinner I’ll send it to you”  In the picture there was a table full of people and sitting next to my H was the OW……My heart sank.  Like really, really sank.  I just sent it to my H and said “if this is still happening, I am done” Immediately my H called me.  He told me he was going to tell me and that she was only there for 5 minutes and he was trying to get away from her.  He said he was sorry and that he should have told me.  I told him I didn’t want to talk about it and time away from each other was probably a good thing so we can each figure out what we want. He freaked out and started to text nonstop about how much he loved me and would miss me.    I didn’t respond. 

I stepped on the plane and have never felt the need to get away and be free from all of this MLC crap as much as did that moment.  I was telling myself I was done.   I met up with my sister and began what became a truly amazing vacation.  I explored, shopped, drank wine, hiked and had one of the best times I’ve ever had.  I had long talks with my sister, and as much as she doesn’t fully understand all of this, she just made the comment that I seemed more at peace and very calm compared to what I was a year ago.  I heard very little from my H for the next 10 days.  A text here or there asking about logistical things, nothing else.  I watched my sister’s  H facetime her every morning talk about his day and then ask her about hers.  It was watching them that I realized how screwed up my life must seem to her right now. I also realized that what we are going through right now is so wacky, really wacky and far from normal.   
I had to fly home on my own as my sister stayed a few days more.  I sat next to the most charming older couple.  They had been married 60 years and the H said he was finally taking his wife on a proper honeymoon to the states.  The flight became really turbulent mid way through and the Man grabbed his wife’s hand and held it tight.  My H used to do this to me everytime we flew together. I almost started to cry.  It became even more turbulent the I grabbed on to the seat arms.  The woman turned to me and asked if she could hold my hand.  I said absolutely.  I felt safe and loved. 

I arrived home late and took an Uber home.  Our house was dark.  The front porch light was burned out and there were spider webs everywhere.  My H was upstairs watching TV.  He came down and gave me a hug.  The house was cold, the fridge was empty and my dishwasher was full of dishes that I had run just before I left.  I was so tired I just went to bed.   This morning my H got up and said he had to go to the office.  I spent the day picking up my dog, cleaning, replacing lightbulbs, grocery shopping.  I built a fire put on some music and made a good dinner.  My H   came home a couple of hours ago and I don’t think he could handle that it was so nice, warm and cozy.  Dinner was just finishing up and he announced that he needed to go back to the office and walked out the door.   I dished myself up, lit some candles and sat down to eat by myself.  Just as I sat down my sister texted me to tell me she missed me and loved me a lot and was so happy to be able to spend so much time together.   

I have no idea where my H is and where he is heading next in this crisis.  I’m continuing to step away and let him try to figure it all out.   One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that throughout these turbulent times, I have many, many people ready to hold my hand and help me through it.  For that I am so incredibly grateful. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Enyo on October 14, 2019, 12:19:47 AM

Just wanted to let you know that your post made me cry. You sound good though, but it must be tough having a live in MLCer and having to watch it all from up close. Trying to get on with our lives whilst keeping half an eye on our Hs is exhausting.

Wanted to just say this whole thing is so so sad.

Glad you had an amazing holiday

Enyo X
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 14, 2019, 12:48:56 AM
The vacation sounds amazing Roo.... H not so much...

Sounds like he is still on low -simmer rather than cooking...   :-\
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on October 14, 2019, 01:14:37 AM
Well, I'm sorry, Roo. All pretty predictable textbook and of course they lie a lot.

What I am so glad to hear is that you got a big dose of love from your sister and a chance to see and reset back to what is normal. It's easy to lose sight of that as we navigate the far from normal. I hope that both the love and the normal will help you adapt your own plans and actions as you move forward from here, whatever that looks like for you.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on October 14, 2019, 02:47:06 AM
I'm glad you had a good trip. You deserved every bit of it. What you mentioned about your sister and her H and the couple on the plane? I feel the same way, ALOT!!!
We have our spouse at home but it's not even close to what a marriage should be. 
It will not be easy but the best thing you can do(imo) is keep doing Roo. Actually a little more if you can. Dont let him see any of you being sad or sitting around. Keep the vacation going.
Let him spin away in the wind. As for the skank in the picture?? Well she could have planned that. Oh take my picture when I sit down!!!!! Maybe it was 5 minutes, maybe not. But your H knows that was hurtful and very disrespectful. 5 minutes or 5 seconds. So he needs to work on things a little more. No doubt.
Don't let this little bump slow you down Roo.
Just pick up the pace a little and jump over it!!!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on October 14, 2019, 06:26:12 AM
Thanks for the update Roo. I’m so sorry you had to see that photo of your H and OW sitting together.  I can totally understand how devastating that must have been for you. Good for you for ignoring him after that instead of having a shouting match. I’m very pleased to hear that you had an amazing holiday in spite of your H and his stuff. Your home and dinner sound so cosy. Your H no doubt is feeling really guilty, well,  because he got caught. I was having a bad day today myself and your update is helping me remember what MLC is.

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on October 14, 2019, 01:55:37 PM
Thank you Enyo, Ursa, Treasur, Milly and Helping. 

More of an update.  Last night when my H got home he asked if we could talk.  Usually not good.... He proceeded to tell me that it was important that I know that there is nothing going on with the OW.  He doesn't even think of her anymore.  He said that evening that the picture was taken he had taken some people out for dinner and a group of other employees just showed up, she was one of them.  She found a seat right next to him.  He said he was so far over her that it didn't even register that she was there. 

Who knows what to believe anymore.  I told him his words and his actions do not match up.  I will not believe his words until his actions show me proof. 

The thing is I really don't even care, I wasn't even upset.  I didn't miss this man who is posing as my H at all for the last 10 days.   Is this complete and total detachment?

Helping, I know at one point you said in one of your threads"I've come this far I guess I will just keep on going"   This is kind of how I feel today,I really just don't care what he does anymore.  My H has so far to go in all of this.  Who knows if he will actually outcome it.    Today he is a "Woe is me Eeyore" I'm doing my best to stay away. 

Not everything is peachy in the  world of the Rockstar, today he is blaming everyone else for his misery.  I'm starting to wonder if he will ever look at himself.....
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on October 14, 2019, 02:29:58 PM
When nobody pays any attention to him??? Him blaming everybody for his issues. ETC.
Then he will look at himself. Kinda like a kid throwing a temper tantrum on the floor. Well if he gets his way, he will do it again. I've even seen it when they get in trouble, they still do it. But most effective way is to just ignore them. Walk out of the room, trust me.  The kid will get up and go look and see where you went, ha.
It's not a laughing matter Roo. But you know what I mean. If you show them pitty, thwy will take advantage of you. If you get mad and fuel their monster, they like that too. Best thing is to smile and roll on. Just walk out if the room so to speak.
Next time you see a pic, Lord I hope there will not be any more. But if???? Don't even mention it. Let him see that Roo doesn't give a$h!t what he does. He's on his own!!
He will probably come looking around the corner for you!!!!!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 15, 2019, 04:11:35 AM
Awwwwww... Poor Eeyore....


I find that, when they run out of people to blame, things to blame, events to blame... When ALL their excuses are finally exhausted, THEN they MIGHT look inside..
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on October 15, 2019, 04:39:27 AM
What UM said. He makes more sense.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on October 15, 2019, 05:56:03 AM
Ursa, he actually looks like that this morning 😁

Someone on here ( forgive me as I cannot find who it was) posted about their H’s crisis looking like 3 stages:

1.  Hey I’m a rockstar.  Everyone look at me.  I’m great, you’re not.
2.  Hey I’m a rockstar, what’s wrong with you people, why aren’t you looking at me.  There’s something wrong with all of you.
3. Maybe I’m not a rockstar, I wonder if there is something wrong with me.

This is what I see is happening in hindsight.  He’s stuck in phase 2.  I went to our company offices yesterday to pick up some work and was pretty stunned by the atmosphere. It feels like nobody is happy there.  The atmosphere used to be light and happy (like my original H) now it is dark and moody.  I think the office feels like a LBS and they are all trying to figure out what the he!! happened to their leader.  I’m not going to step in and cover for him. I’m letting go and seeing what happens.  Hopefully all that he has worked for the last 30 years will not go down the toilet.

I’m off later today to find a new volunteer opportunity with kids.  I have found that working with kids is what I truly love and brings the greatest joy in my life. 

Forward I go.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on October 15, 2019, 07:15:40 AM
Hi Roo,  Just catching up.  Your vacation sounds fabulous and you do as well.  As it was said, H not so. 

I love your description of the older couple--that was my dream, to be that older couple someday.  I am glad they were there for you--I look at the kindness of strangers and think how many real life angels there are in the world.  Sometimes strangers can show us more love. 

Interesting rockstar analogy. I wonder how to describe stage 4? 

We often think the grass is greener to have H still at home, but you really do have to be tough to survive the process.  I am sorry about the picture of the company dinner.  Painful.  You handled the information with grace, a good stage of detachment.  When trust is gone, it is so hard to rebuild.  I am sorry about his company, too, as so many people are affected, not just (both of) your original dream and plans. 

I hope you find a wonderful new volunteer opportunity--so glad that you have found what brings you joy! Forward you go!!!!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 15, 2019, 07:25:08 AM
Interesting rockstar analogy. I wonder how to describe stage 4? 

Maybe "Who needs to be a Rock Star when life is good anyway?" or "OK, I am not a rock star... who cares?"
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on October 15, 2019, 07:57:56 AM
I’m still shaking my head at the gum and beer request.  They really are teenagers aren’t they?

Love your description of the vacation. It sounds so wonderful. I know when I’m away and with my family, really anywhere, I am so much more content. Almost like we get an mlc vacation too. And boy do we need it! Especially you bc yours lives at home!!!

Sorry about that photo—it would have upset me too. A lot. Poor H—why do these things keep happening to him? But I guess one just cannot help it as a rockstar!  ::). Those phases make perfect sense to me.

You always amaze me though bc your outlook and attitude are so great. Not sure I could do it. Hope you find a great new volunteer opportunity—I know you will!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on October 15, 2019, 08:18:58 AM
Maybe "Who needs to be a Rock Star when life is good anyway?" or "OK, I am not a rock star... who cares?"

Stage 4 is what I’m HOPING for.... notice I didn’t say expecting?  I’m learning 🙂
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Nerissa on October 15, 2019, 08:39:15 AM
I’m sorry your H is being such a tool.  A friend sent me this yesterday. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on October 15, 2019, 08:48:45 AM
A request for beer and gum, empty fridge, minimal house keeping while ‘mommy’ is away.
Yep, sounds like adulting is a tad too much for him.  Sigh...
What’s a woman to do?  Nothing.  He will have to do all the work himself. 

Good for you, detaching your adult self from this teenager and let him carry on cooking.  Those kids you volunteer for are the ones who need and want your attention and help.  You can make a difference to these kids, I’m sure!

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on October 24, 2019, 09:23:11 AM
Thought I would update my thread as things seem to be moving and shifting a little faster than a slugs pace lately.  Not sure if this is another cycle-which seem to be giving me whiplash watching.  But I'm learning more and more with a little hindsight. 

After I got home from my trip my H decided to do a major shut down.  For 6 days straight he busied himself with work, working out and anything else that took him away from home.  On the 6th night he came home, gave me an awkward hug and then tried to start to be intimate with me.  It was so strange.  Much like a teen aged boy going in for a move.  I pulled away and said "you don't talk to me for pretty much 3 weeks and now you want to be intimate?-I'm sorry, I don't work that way"   He looked at me confused.  I unzipped my lip and kind of let him have it.  I reminded him he never once has asked how my trip was, never checked up on me while I was away and has not been home one night since I had returned.  I told him I felt his complete and total emotional distance and was incredibly lonely.  I also told him I did a lot of thinking on my trip and was starting to wonder if there was even a point to us staying married.  He was stunned and said "I don't know what you are talking about I love you more than I ever have" I just said, you have a very interesting way of showing it.  He said he was sorry and then retreated into his shell.  I left it at that.  The following morning I found him sitting on the bed in silence with his phone in his hand.  He said look at this. He handed me his phone and there was a text from our oldest son 28.  My H had sent him a text the day before telling him how he was proud of the engineering work he had done on one of his projects that my s is helping with.  My S is not only a smart and talented engineer but he is an avid runner.  While I was in Australia my S ran a 100 mile run and took 3rd place!  Running is his passion.  I kept in touch with him the entire time he was running while I was away and I called him after his run.  Apparently my H did nothing to acknowledge it at all.  In fact he did something worse, he dismissed it. 

Here was my son's response to the text.  Thank you dad for letting me know that you are proud of my work, but I need to tell you something. I have lived in this town for 5 years now and you have not once come to visit me, see my life or take any interest in what I value. (I have visited on my own 3 times)  I asked if you wanted to come watch me run and your response was pretty much "I have better things to do".  While I know you love all of us kids, you need to take a step away from your world and and acknowledge what is important in ours. 

I read the text and then just started to cry.  I said,"he's right you know"  My H said "yes I know, I am failing at everything.  Being a boss, a husband and a father"  I told him the only one that could fix that was him.  I also said that he was so incredibly lucky that he has a wife, children and employees who are all still here and willing to work on making things better.  He just went quiet. 

My H continued his quiet streak until yesterday when out of the blue I received a text (Which I posted on another thread)  With an actual apology for the first time in 3.5 years for the damage done at BD #1.  I haven't heard from him since as he is traveling. 

I THINK there may be some empathy doors starting to be cracked open that he has tried so hard to keep closed as that means he will have to start working on himself.  I have no idea what comes next.  I'm trying to carry on and have no expectations.   It's an incredibly hard and incredibly lonely part of this process.  The good news is I'm not scared of the outcome anymore.  I'm going to be ok, my relationship with our children is going to be ok and my empathy of those around me is still intact.  I HOPE my H continues to open that door and find his way out of his miserable place.  I think that when he does he will see I whole group of people who love him and are ready to see a better man. 

He is so lucky that he still has this opportunity, I hope he takes it before its too late. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on October 24, 2019, 03:40:23 PM
OMG Roo. Your S's text gave me the chills. Amazing! And that is actually resonated. I think your unzipping of the lips and that text were the perfect 1-2 punch h needed. Hoping he continues to see the light and works on himself even more. But yes, you are quite right. He is one lucky man to have the support he does.

That you are unafraid of the outcome is truly amazing. But, being the eternal optimist, I think H is starting to see how blessed he is and will do all it takes to keep it.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on November 05, 2019, 09:11:49 AM
Thought I would update.  There seems to be more and more movement from my H lately.  I’ve been seeing lots of back and forth with emotions, lots of testing of my boundaries and pockets of such unbelievable clarity that sometimes take my breath away.  He’s actively working things out in in head and I’m learning to step back and only intervene when his actions affect me directly.  I see more and more what he is working through.  Most of the issues have to do with the company he started and the damage that was done to it the last 4 years since he started MLC. 

First I will start with pockets of clarity as that seems to be on an upwards cycle right now.  In the last couple of weeks I have heard.  “Roo it’s so nice to be with you, I often feel like the is always noise around me and you are so calm and quiet and I can relax around you”.  My H has made a point to reach out to our kids more and more.  H has shown empathy for my BIl who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 5 years ago and now needs help with some yard work (which he did very willingly and has plans to do more). The most unique show of empathy was towards our dog when she was sick.  My H grew up on a farm and animals were all outdoors and when they were sick they would most likely put them down.  My MLC (I got her year 2 much to his dismay). pug woke up one morning with a horrible choking cough.  My H has to travel that day but he called me three times to make sure I took her into the vet and checked on her prognosis.  Last night I fell asleep on the couch watching TV.  I got woken up by my H kissing me on the forehead telling me to go to bed.  This morning before he left for work he said “I hope you feel better Roo”. (I’ve been fighting a cold).  Some of the first honest and genuine signs I’ve had from him in a very long time.

Along with clarity my H is still in the process of trying to sweep the last 4 years under the rug when it come to business. Unfortunately since his affair was with an employee who still works for the company this has been and very, very difficult hurdle for me to work through.  When my H went through OW withdrawal he got out of direct management of the OW.  He promoted a guy in the office to take over and he split ties with her section.  He has been complaining more and more about this guy not doing his job and the section of the company where the OW works is suffering.  My H has alluded that he might get back into things section and try to fix things.  Which would mean working with the OW again.  I have had to draw a hard fast line on this.  If he works directly with her I’m out.  I told him him this in no uncertain terms.  I told him his actions have consequences and this is one of them.  I have no empathy for him in the department.  I told him I can’t control what he decides to do but I will respond if he does go back. 

So here we sit.  Back and forth, up and down trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and make a new picture.  I’ve changed, he’s trying to put thing back to pre BD and that doesn’t work for me.  The complete and total heartache that MLC brought to our lives is fading, the crushing blow of all the things his affair brought to our marriage is fading. Just trying to figure out what the future looks like for both of us now.  One piece at a time. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on November 05, 2019, 11:03:25 AM
You sound good Roo
Just keep easing along, let the time keep passing. My goodness it's slow. Damn MLC time is like slow motion.

My wife told me close to what you H said. She said twice she only feels comfortable around me. No one else. I hope that is a good thing.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: PJ Will Be OK on November 05, 2019, 08:15:30 PM
You do sound good Roo.

You've come a long way.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on November 06, 2019, 06:12:34 AM
I appreciate the way you give him the space to process, yet with your no-nonsense boundaries in place.  Good for you!

Let’s hope there is some fundamental change taking place in him, and not merely plugging holes to keep things (and you!) where he wants them.  Only time will tell.  You are so very well aware of this. 

In the mean time, nothing else to do but to keep living your each and everyday meaningfully.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on November 06, 2019, 06:52:05 AM
Thanks Helping, Acorn and PJ

Acorn, I know you are right and am moving CAUTIOUSLY forward. My H was the king of cake eating so I know what it means that he could be just keeping me in my place.  Unfortunately for him I’ve learned a lesson or two mostly from this site!  This feels a little different but only time will tell.

I am living my best life.  I convinced all of my children to come home for Thanksgiving.  Wives, girlfriends and boyfriends.  I can’t wait to have a full and happy house.  My youngest turns 20 this weekend.  I will be celebrating with her and the fact that I’ve officially survived going through the teenaged years with all 4 of them. 

Life is good, life is short. I intend to make the most of it. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on November 06, 2019, 07:19:06 AM
I hope you did not think I was dismissing his positive signs and interactions.
They are all good.  Enjoy! :)

This is what I so much appreciate about you: 

I am living my best life.  I convinced all of my children to come home for Thanksgiving.  Wives, girlfriends and boyfriends.  I can’t wait to have a full and happy house.  My youngest turns 20 this weekend.  I will be celebrating with her and the fact that I’ve officially survived going through the teenaged years with all 4 of them. 

Life is good, life is short. I intend to make the most of it. 

You have no time for a pity party.  You are waaay too busy focussing on your life and all the blessings therein.

That leads me to comment on:

am moving CAUTIOUSLY forward.

You needn’t actively move forward in your R with your H or your mindset about it.  Be serene, I’d say, about it all. 
Moving forward proactively brings along some baggage with it.  Expectations, assumptions, desire for control and then...... disappointment when all the stars don’t line up.   Ahem, speaking from my own experience.  ;D

Just my view. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on November 06, 2019, 08:19:06 AM
Acorn you continue to give me many wise things to ponder. 

For the last few weeks I have said to my H “Let’s keep moving forward” or “I’m moving forward”. I have also found myself getting let down by expectations that go along with trying to move forward.  A place of serenity sounds like it may be a better place then moving.   

There was no offense taken by any of your comments.  You continue to educate us all with your experience and make us all think about our own situations a bit differently then we are used to.  For that I thank you! 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on November 06, 2019, 08:57:40 AM
Roo, I’m glad you did not feel offended!

I don’t follow a lot of threads, even less number that I comment on. 
I have always felt you were a kindred spirit and so, I have personal interest in your story.  I also appreciate that you don’t balk at hard talk but consider them carefully for your own mirror work.  For, what chance of personal growth is there if one only wants to hear commiserations and praises?  That kind of attitude dooms a person to perpetual immaturity.  But, no fear, you could never be that!

Please do not ever underestimate how much you have learned and grown.   Not that I think you would! 
Your H’s MLC indeed has given you a gift. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on November 07, 2019, 01:43:19 PM
Roo, just quietly following along.  A place of serenity does seem like a very good place to be as we all continue to grow.  His moments of clarity seem good wherever they lead and I am impressed by your boundaries and your strength of character. 

Thrilled for you that everyone will be with you for Thanksgiving.  A full and happy house!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on November 07, 2019, 02:01:47 PM

I am living my best life.  I convinced all of my children to come home for Thanksgiving.  Wives, girlfriends and boyfriends.  I can’t wait to have a full and happy house.  My youngest turns 20 this weekend.  I will be celebrating with her and the fact that I’ve officially survived going through the teenaged years with all 4 of them. 

Life is good, life is short. I intend to make the most of it.

Nothing but smiles for you my friend. Your Thanksgiving sounds like perfection.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on November 08, 2019, 09:19:57 AM
Thank you KIT and MAL.  Wishing you both a calm Holiday season as well!

Your H’s MLC indeed has given you a gift.

Acorn, I keep trying to see it this way, some days are harder than others!

This reminded me of a funny story about the MLC gift.  I think I wrote about it on here but last Christmas my H bought me a bracelet to match his, he also bought the OW one a year before.  I had an IC appointment after Christmas and told my therapist about this.  Her response was " How sweet, the gift of trauma wrapped with a bow!"  We both had a good laugh about this one. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on November 14, 2019, 06:22:37 AM
Serenity:  the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.

Acorn, thank you again for this this word.  I have tried for a week now to stop trying to make myself and my M move forward and focus on the serene.  My H isn't doing anything bat sh!t crazy at the moment so nothing he is doing is affecting me directly right now.  I am choosing to be serene, and it has become very freeing and has brought some new things to me. 

I wasn't going to post for awhile but I had to share a situation that happened the other day.  A little background beforehand.  There is a woman who works at my H's office. (We will call her L) She's only been working with the company for year.  She has been with her partner for 15 years and they recently bought a house together.  About 6 months ago I was doing a project and had a 45 min ride with her in my car.  We started to talk about her partner and she told me at the time he was turning 50 in a few months and she was starting to worry about him.  She told me he started obsessively working out, joined an ultimate Frisbee club, got all new clothes and was never home.  I said "it sounds like a midlife crisis.  Believe me male midlife crisis is a very real thing"  I did not offer any thing else as my H is her boss. 

Fast forward to Monday.   My H called me in the afternoon and said he had a very strange meeting with L.  Here is what our conversation looked like. 

H: L came into my office before our meeting and said she needed to go home.  She started crying and told me her partner had moved out 10 days before and she did not know what was going on. 
M: That is very sad.  I hope she's ok.
H: I asked her if she thought her partner was having a midlife crisis.
M: (Gulp)
H: She told me she didn't think so.  I told her maybe she should think about moving on.  He sounds like a real jerk. 
M: (Gulp again and I decided to send out a small truth dart)  You know, many people told me the same thing a couple of years ago.  It's a very difficult situation. 
H: I know it is.
M: The choice to leave someone or to stay and fight both have their good and bad.  I really feel for her as I have been in this very position.  My heart breaks for her. 
H: I know you were.  I wasn't in this position because I was never going to leave.  ???
M: (Biting my tongue-because what I really wanted to say was "because you were just fine with cake eating")
H: I hope she's ok because we have a big presentation tomorrow (He hoped she was ok because it would affect him-still selfish)
M: I hope she's ok because this is life altering for her.
H then changed the subject. 

Later that evening when he got home from work I could tell he wanted to talk about it some more.
H: That was such a strange conversation with L today.
M: It's nice that she thought she could be honest with you. 
H: Do you think she should leave? He sounds pretty messed up. 
M: I have learned not to have an opinion about other's situations.  There are so many factors that go into a decision like this.  I have learned this because of us.  All the people who told me to leave don't understand why I have stayed.  Many people have judged me and you when they don't know the whole story. 
H: (Fidgeting)  You want to go watch a movie?

My H is thinking.  The great thing about this conversation is that I remained serene throughout.  There were no tears, no fighting, just a matter of fact conversation with someone who continues to be confused.

Serenity has also brought a new adventure to my feet.  I received an email the other day that a group of volunteers that I have worked with before is going to Ecuador for a week in January to work in a school.  I have jumped on the trip and am looking so forward to it. 
I plan on continuing serenity throughout the holidays.  I think I'm going to need it as my Thanksgiving dinner of 9 has now turned into a dinner of 15...Challenge accepted! 

Wishing you all a season of serenity.  Peaceful, calm and not being forced to move.  It's freeing, it really is. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on November 15, 2019, 11:51:01 AM
Always fascinating how much they lack self-awareness.  I guess if they didn't, they probably wouldn't fall so far into crisis right?

"Want to go watch a movie?" LOL.  Good that he was thinky for a while though!

You might have mentioned this before, but does your H realize HE had/is having a MLC?
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on November 15, 2019, 01:34:37 PM
KIT, My H has said before that he had a "Thing"  He doesn't label it midlife crisis he labels it "A thing".  I will call it a midlife crisis in front of him and he used to say "No that's not what happened here"  but he doesn't do that any more.  It was a lot like his affair.  When we went through brief marriage counseling the last time he told the counselor he didn't like the word "affair"  She asked what he would call it and he said "Inappropriate relationship" She said this inappropriate relationship you had was an affair you know, and she continued to call it that.  he now uses the word affair if we ever talk about it.....which isn't too often.   

In his mind sometimes I think he believes that if you don't call it what it was then it wasn't that bad.  I was kind of stunned that he didn't see a similarity between our situation and the woman who works for him.  He can't open that very compartmentalized box he has in his brain.  It's a very odd situation. 

He was in IC for over a year but recently quit.  I was the one who made him go or move out in July 2018 when he was doing replay crap.  In counseling he told me he worked on his issues of needing attention (External validation) mostly from women.  He recently quit going because he felt that these issues have been solved. He even uses phrases like "That's my external validation problem" Or "That is when I used to seek attention" I do see a change in this department and he seems to recognize when this is happening.  But I'm not sure if it's just time and coming more out of the fog or he has just pushed it aside to come back later.   

More and more I'm getting very little snippets of his thoughts. More and more they are acknowledging what has happened to him.  The quieter I become to more he comes forward.  I was so hurt for so long that every time he spoke I would cry.  That isn't the case anymore.  I think that my self healing has been making some great strides lately.  And that is exactly what it is self healing with no input from him. 

I don't think I will ever get a full blown "OMG Roo what have I done-I almost lost you" episode.  There will be no knight in shining armor coming riding in on a horse to take my pain way and fully acknowledge the situation.  It is going to be more like my H coming riding in on a turtle, taking breaks along the way.  Slow, slow, slow. 

Anyway, That was probably a little more info then you asked for!  Sorry for my rambling!
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on November 16, 2019, 02:26:14 PM
Roo, when you understand what serenity means and embrace it, your life changes.  Look at you, that’s what’s happening to you.  Such growth...  Serenity, to me, means peaceful repose in my core, because I have accepted my reality, given up my addiction to wishful thinking , and given my poor suffering H to God.  It’s giving up all over which I have no control.   

May serenity and peace be in your heart always.

By the way, I believe that your H had no intention of leaving you.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on December 03, 2019, 02:49:04 PM
Just catching up Roo.  You are doing very good imo.
Keep it up.
I'm still about same spot as you. My.W is not bat$h!t crazy, but still not done.
Your H is riding a slow a$$ turtle, but he may still rude up with the shining armor on. Ha.

Have a good one Roo
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on December 20, 2019, 09:39:23 AM
Hello everyone.  Thought I would send out a quick update in the topsy turvy world of reconnecting.  Just in time for the holidays my H has decided to take a trip back into the tunnel and do his best impression of the grinch and scrooge combined….it’s been a rough couple of weeks.

It all started right after Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving was actually really great.  All our children were home. We ate, drank and played games for 3 days straight.  My H was so much like my old H my heart was full.  Most of his time was spent on the sidelines observing all the action.  Which I see happening more and more these days.  We all spent one full day as a family cutting up a dead tree on his sister’s property and stacking firewood.  We used to do this every winter, but it ended 5 years ago.  Since that time, I have ordered wood and pretty much stacked it myself.   It was good to see his old self back, laughing and joking.  On the last night before everyone left he got into bed and hugged me and said “I’m sorry for everything, I really am”  I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say.  I just hugged him back. 

Everything started to change after that.  It was almost like I could see him walking slowly backwards into the tunnel.  Last summer when my H was going through a good cycle, he decided he wanted to start running marathons again. Pre bomb drop we traveled a lot together running.  He would run a full marathon and I would run a half.  We went many places together and always had a lot of fun.  He decided on the Honolulu marathon.  I hadn’t been running much so I decided to go as a spectator.  I booked a condo on the beach and was making plans.  A week before we were to go my H asked if it was too late to cancel as he said he didn’t feel like he could run it well.  I said that everything was non-cancelable at that point.  He said that he didn’t want to go.  I told him I was still going with or without him (I really meant that) and to let me know if he wasn’t going to join.  He ignored me. 

The night before we were going to go he started to pack.  I had already packed and was upstairs watching TV.  He came to me and asked some questions about what he should pack.  (Pre BD I always helped in packing)  I gave some advice and then he said.  “Remember in the good old days when you used to help me pack?”  to which I replied “Remember when you told me 2 years ago that helping you pack was an invasion of your privacy? “ He said “I never said that!”  to which I replied “You did and that’s when I stopped helping”   He walked away. 

From this point on, my H started to show signs of his narcissistic high replay self.   I watched it all unfold in front of me.  He was incredibly rude to me on the flight over and by the time we landed he asked what was wrong with me as I shut down.  I retold him all the things that he had said to me over the last 6 hours.  He said “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I said that?”   The next 4 days I tried my best to detach.  (Hard to do in a 600 sq ft condo on vacation)  I read a good book for the first time in 4 years, took walks on my own and watched some incredible sunsets while my H holed up and watched TV.   He would say the strangest things to me over and over.  The most odd was right after he ran the marathon.  We were walking past someone smoking and he said “I love the smell of cigarette smoke.  I think I might take up smoking???”  OW smokes and this was a huge trigger for me as I knew he was with her because he smelled like smoke afterwards.  I took a deep breath and said “Well that would be a really smart thing to do and I’m sure it would improve your marathon time”  He looked at me oddly.
I was so relieved to go home as I realized how detached I have become and how he has so far to go.  We both have retreated to our perspective corners and it’s much better that way for now. 
My D20 is home for the holidays and I have been shopping, baking and watching cheesy Christmas movies.  My H is far away in his mind and has become super crabby and often expresses his “woe is me attitude”    My D told me he texted her yesterday and asked if she would find, buy and wrap a gift for me for Christmas and he would pay her back ??? She told him she was done with her Christmas shopping and maybe he needed to shop for his own wife.   Christmas morning should be interesting.  I have NO expectations.  Receiving nothing would be better than last year’s bracelet that matched both his and the OW’s…..  We shall see. 

One step forward 3 steps back.  I’m finally starting to see the cycles coming and see when detachment is necessary.  He’s coming and going all the time for the last month.  He looks exhausted and sad.  I found him the other night asleep in front of the Christmas tree. He looked so calm and peaceful.  I was a little overcome with emotion and I went and kissed him on the forehead.  He said “Thanks Roo-I love you”.

On a side note, I just wanted to express my gratitude for many of you on this site.  I don’t know where I would be without the sound advice, open ears for venting and the reaffirmation that I’m not crazy for sticking with my H.   I’m wishing you all some peace this season and good changes for the new year. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Seahorse on December 21, 2019, 05:53:10 PM
Roo -
Following and just wanted to say that I'm sorry that he's heading back into the fog, but at least cycling is a good thing.  Progression toward the end; going back to work on what needs to be done.
You've seen glimpses and glances of the wonderful H, now getting to experience the MLC H again.  Keep the kisses and apologies close in your heart as you go through the rough patch again.
I'm hoping for you that his cycling will equate to a good Christmas day for you, and so happy that Thanksgiving was a great family time with everyone together.

Keep posting what you need or want to post.
Remember cycling is normal.

Have a happy holiday and let us know how it goes.

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on December 31, 2019, 10:24:29 AM
Thanks Sea for responding. 

I wanted to end my 2019 thread and wish you all a peaceful and forward moving 2020.  I've decided to take a 3 month break from here for the new year.  I find myself reading new threads and sometimes feeling stuck so I have decided to take a break.

My H has reentered the tunnel once again and has started back up replay.  I was shown videos yesterday from another employee of him singing karaoke at a bar with the OW sitting right beside him. He says it was nothing (I've heard that before) and has no concept of what he is doing.  Christmas threw him over the edge.  Family, friends, travel.  He is cycling wildly.  I'm practicing extreme detachment.  I am leaving for Ecuador in a week and have decided that I may move into our little apartment above the garage when I return.  I need some big time space from his cake eating, projection etc. 

I'm letting it all go, the hope, the expectations, the empathy.  I have nothing left in my tank.  I was the lighthouse and he used it all to his advantage.  Cake eating at it's finest. 

A three month extreme self care is in order.    MLC is not linear or predictable.  I'm coming up on 4 years and could not tell you where my H is at this point.  The only advice I have is what all the old timers have given time and time again:  Let go and let God and go and find yourself.  I'm doing both starting today. 

2020 is a year of change for me. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on February 11, 2020, 09:55:09 AM
Good Morning HS world.  Thought I would take a minute and update my thread as it has been a little while.  It's been an interesting and productive couple of months and I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned and the progress I have made on my own journey.  I started off 2020 by waking up New Years morning at 2 am asking myself "WTH am I doing with my life" I had just spent from Thanksgiving to Christmas dealing with lots of family, lots of stress and a H who decided the best way to deal with all of it was to go back into the tunnel and become his 16 year old self.  I was attached and was going along for his roller coaster ride.  I was upset, took everything that he was doing personally and spent most of my days worried about where he was headed next.  Was he getting ready for another BD?  The more I started to attach, the more he shut down and deeper he went.  I had to deal with our kids who were confused, long time employees who were confused and family who all looked to me to explain what was going on with him.  I laid in bed New Years Day and I formulated a plan of separation.  

The next morning I woke up and I told my H.  I wanted space.  I told him I wanted him to move out of our bedroom once again.  If he did not want to do that I was going to move into a small area we have above our garage.  I told him we both have some issues to deal with and all we were doing was holding each other back.  He was scared,but he agreed.  He moved out of our room.  I cleaned it all out, got some new lamps a new bedspread and made it my space.  I stopped all communication with him.  All the kids left to their own lives and our house was quiet, very quiet.  I stopped talking to him and he did likewise.  I had already planned a volunteer trip to Ecuador and it couldn't have come at a better time.  The day I left, he cried.  I told him we both needed to find out who we were as we both had become lost.  It was here I realized how codependent we had become in the last 35 years.  I also realized that I was ready to shed this codependency, but he wasn't.  I faced my fear of losing him, losing our life together and I cut the single thread that I was holding onto.  I got on a plane by myself to a foreign country I had never been to to meet up with a group of people who knew nothing about me.  It was most likely the best thing I have done in my life. 
For one week I was Roo.  The Roo I had lost before marriage, 4 kids and a life where for 35 years I had forgotten about me.  I helped build a wall around a daycare center in a small Ecuadorian town, I played with the cutest babies I had ever seen.  I met people who inspired me, made me laugh and made me realize that I kind of like myself, I'm actually kind of cool!  There was no MLC there was no preconceived notions of the person I was, it was pretty awesome.  I came home and have continued my quest to find separation in my life.  I am starting to realize that nothing will ever be the same in our marriage mostly because I have changed and there is no going back.   I've let go of trying to put things back together because I don't know what together looks like anymore.  My H is scared and cycling.  He said the other day that it felt like I was giving up on us.  I told him I'm not giving up but just letting go.  I have no control over what happens anymore. 
So here we are.  Both of us are trying to grow up and for the first time in 35 years we have to do it on our own.  We are in no position to try to put us back together until we each figure out who we are.  We are friendly but distant.  I have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring, I just know that today I am going to continue to build a life that I love on my own.  Its hard and it's scary, but in the end I truly believe it will all be worth it.  I will update in a few months on where my letting go has taken me.  I wish you all well in your own situations.  

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Helpingme! on February 11, 2020, 10:45:56 AM
Good to hear from you Roo
I said the same phrase , almost ha. I told ny.W I had to go find myself again. She didn't understand. 
I think it's a good thing Roo.  Your not giving up. Your still trying. Keep it up.
Roo you need to heal . Take all the time you need. It will never work if we (the lbs) do not fix ourselves. 2 broken people can't do anything but stay broke.
You enjoy life and go find Roo.  Your H is not going anywhere, but.in circles atm. He will be around if and when you need him.

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on February 12, 2020, 12:53:07 AM
Good Morning Roo,

It can take a while before we are able to pull our noses away from the tree on which we have had them pressed for years and realize that there is, in fact, an entire FOREST full of trees around us. When that happens, the Mid-Lifer, who has been leaning on us so heavily while trying to push us away, really tends to loose their balance and begin the long slow toppling over because we are no longer that anchor point that is holding them up.
Your trip sounds lovely and it sounds as if it was just the kick in the seat of the britches you needed to get moving forward in your own life, your own way.

If H chooses to do HIS work, maybe he will get his head out of his .... fog.... and try to catch up. Sounds though like he is running scared since he no longer has the anchor point he previously did.... THAT is a good thing...
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on February 12, 2020, 01:55:39 AM
Good to hear from you, Roo. Your trip sounded amazing. I wish you lots of strength to face this new phase in your life. You sound determined. xxx
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on February 12, 2020, 05:50:24 AM
Thank you Helping, Ursa and Milly.

Coming up on 4 years post BD #1 next month.  So MANY lessons learned in the last 4 years and so many people on here who have helped me through some of the darkest times of my life. 

It can take a while before we are able to pull our noses away from the tree on which we have had them pressed for years and realize that there is, in fact, an entire FOREST full of trees around us.

This couldn't be more true for me.  Not only am I seeing an entire forest of trees, I'm finding my own path out of the forest.   I hope at some point my H finds his path too, I really do. 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Acorn on February 12, 2020, 07:03:20 AM
Welcome back, Roo, and thank you for sharing what you’ve been up to.

I humbly offer my observation that you are well on your way to defining your own identity which leads you to hold yourself responsible for your own state of being (happy, sad, angry, resentful, etc.), your own words and actions, and consequences there of. 

No wonder this fine state of mind has led you to leave your MLCer to himself to work on defining his own identity.  No one can do it for him.  It always was and is his choice to cut the emotional apron string that ties him to you, and grow up.  This is the same lesson LBSs learn, of which you are taking a fast-track course.  :)

I will say this again because it is important: It always was and is your choice to be 100% accountable for your own emotions, attitudes, words and actions, and consequences. 

The forum does not lack for examples of LBS healing herself and thriving because she takes full responsibility for her Self, and not dwell in the emotional basement of blaming others or circumstances for her state of being, or  worse, wait for someone or something to change her state of being. Blame = perpetual misery.   

I am so happy to see you are choosing:

100% accountability for self = The ability to define Self. 

You go, Roo! 
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Treasur on February 12, 2020, 07:57:55 AM
I agree with Acorn.
I think there comes a point when - regardless of the reasons and regardless of our spouse's behaviour - we just say no, i don't want to live like this any longer. And off we set....
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on April 08, 2020, 03:28:10 PM
Hello,thought I would update as it seems like many of you I have a little time on my hands lately!

Life with my clinging boomerang H is honestly pretty stable and calm for the moment.  The pandemic has definitely added to this calm in that my H is finding it hard to run too far away from me! January and February were truly two of the worst months I have had since BD.  My H went full on back into the tunnel and I had to drop the rope completely.  All of the pain and hurt and crazy talk came at me with a force  like nothing I have seen in awhile.  My H started drinking like crazy, partying when he traveled to OW's town (I found this out recently while reconciling credit cards)  and pretty much ignoring me as best he could.  I was lost and lonely but it did kick my butt back into detachment gear.  I started making all sorts of plans for myself to travel and get myself more involved in the community.  We were very much strangers that were passing in the night.  I said to my H at one point that I think we should separate, he agreed and then went on a drinking binge.  Beginning of March things started to change a little for my H.  We started to slowly go out for dinner with each other, watch movies together and spend just a little more time together.  He asked if he could move back into our room and I agreed.  No intimacy but it is nice to have a warm body next to me now.  I think what may have had him start emerging  was two separate things.  1.  He felt safe to try because I was calm.  I didn’t show any emotion or sadness when talking to him.  For awhile there,I would come at him with both guns blazing.  2.  I was able to tell him that I forgave him.  He has not heard this from me before as I was not ina position to say it.  It’s been a few years of really honest soul searching to come to this point.  It was in our last R talk that this came out.  It started horribly as we started to talk about the last few years and he said “ I think my affair was a lot in your head, it wasn’t as bad as you think it was.....” Well I unloaded the cannons on that one.  I told him him his affair almost took us down.  It was devastating to me and our family and he wasn't going to be able to minimize that fact.  His response was “You will never forgive me” I told him I did forgive him and now he has to work on forgiving himself which is going to take some work.  He started to cry and walked away.  I got a text from him later that day that just said “Thank you”

I think this may have been the start of him attempting to come forward again.  Covid 19 hit and it started to change everything even more.  2 of my 4 children moved back home to ride this out. I had to close my coffee shop, and stop all my volunteer work.  My H’s company is essential so he is still going to work.  He still puts in long hours which may be good for both of us right now.  I’m noticing more and more that he is starting to turn back my way.  The biggest thing lately is he is asking me my opinions about things.  Especially his employees. He is actually listening to me and implementing my suggestions.  I’m using this time to re-evaluate some things.  The biggest change for me is that I am calm in this storm and people are noticing.  My kids have all commented on it and H too.  I keep telling them that we can’t control anything but our selves and our reactions so we have to take responsibility for that.  (One big big lesson I’ve learned from here).  I have no idea what the future holds for my marriage, my family or my life at this point.  I do know that I now get up in the morning happy, calm and grateful for another day.  I think I’ve reached total acceptance.  There’s some peace to that!  Yesterday I stripped down 2 old Adirondack chairs and painted them bright purple.  I’m not super handy so this was a big deal for me! I’m currently sitting in one with a glass of wine as I type this. 

Stay healthy, stay safe and focus on what you can control, yourself.  Take this time to find joy in the small things around youth at are good.  My marriage has a long way to go to be healed, but there is time for that as we slowly inch back towards each other. 
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on April 09, 2020, 01:38:21 PM
What a long and difficult journey you've been on. But what a wonderful reward.

I too have heard those words--"You will never forgive me." You are right. They cannot forgive themselves. They are disgusted with their actions. And while we sometimes worry that it is that same fear that will keep them in the tunnel so to speak, I do believe it is a positive in that they are able to at least accept and take responsibility for their actions, even if they do not change things immediately. Hard to be in the middle of it though. But you have always done such a great job at knowing this was not about you and detaching in such s healthy way. Of course I know that did not come without a terrible amount of pain and agony.

I am picturing you now with your glass of wine sitting on your beautiful purple Adirondack chair! Cheers friend.
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Evermore on April 09, 2020, 02:39:15 PM
Hello Roo.

I love the sound of of your purple Adirondack chairs! I usually go for muted neutral colours but I saw a picture the other day of the most beautiful colourful porch of a house in the French quarter in New Orleans and was drawn to how joyous and carefree it looked. When I think of you sitting all peaceful like sipping a glass of wine in your purple chair I get the same feeling. Thank you for conjuring the image and for modelling grace for us.

I’m struggling a little with stepping out of the victim role (part of me very good at it, part of me very bad). Reading posts from people like yourself reminds me what I’m aiming for so I can keep practising.

 I feel I have forgiven my H... but part of me is not making that forgiveness unconditional. Part of me is still holding an obvious grudge against him and won’t let it go UNLESS he shows remorse and regret and ‘changes his mind’ (ie dumps OW and tries to make his way back to me and the marriage). It’s like this unconscious bit of me that is clinging to wanting that control and I’m really having difficulty tackling it.

So, as I said, hearing from people such as yourself reminds me where I want to get to. I want to get to that place where I can simply be happy in my life and be happy for him to work out his own life, no guilt strings attached. I want to be able to genuinely miss him but wish him well on his journey wherever that takes him.

And now I’m just waffling, sorry. I find it hard to articulate exactly what I mean sometimes so I tend to go on and on! lol I hope you have many more peaceful days going forward and your husband comes more and more back to himself.
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 27, 2020, 10:01:53 PM
Hello HS world.  I decided it was time to update my thread.  I’m seeing more and more reconnecting stories on here and thought I would throw mine into the ring today.  Before I do, I want to say to many who have posted on here faithfully I am reading your threads and cheering you on.  I have seen so many on here grow by leaps and bounds, with or without your marriages intact.  I firmly believe that as a LBS there is a ton of inner work to be done before we escape from our own tunnel too.  It is so incredibly hard to look in the mirror sometimes and reclaim your identity.  I silently cheer when I see progress in many, and it gives me hope that I am doing the same.

In this new topsy turvey world we have all found ourselves in, my H has decided to dive into the tunnel and enter the world of liminality?.  It is very much a strange new thing for me as he is all over the place lately.  As a clinging boomerang the last 4 years my H has been very affectionate and clingy.  All of that has ended and now he is deeply depressed, withdrawn, and desperately tries to put things back to the way they were when he was feeling good in replay.  His new OW is for sure his business and unfortunately the first OW still works for us and is lingering in the background.  He is currently doing nothing to make her go away.  In fact he uses her often for her “knowledge”  about some parts of his business.  This is where I have had to draw a line in the sand.  In fact just today it happened again.  He had to be reminded again that I will not be doing this again and he has some choices to be making.  Boundaries have become my best friend lately.  I used to really suck at them, but the stronger I get the more enforcement I feel like I have.  I think my H is starting to realize that the old Roo is gone and the new Roo might be a force to be reckoned with?  But who really knows if he is realizing anything at all anymore.  2 weeks ago I got a phone call from him while he was traveling telling me he was sorry for everything and he was crying, today I find out he is in direct communication with OW.  Something we both set as a boundary over 2 years ago.  He continues to be lost and I continue to find myself. Kind of opposite ends of the spectrum now. He’s crabby, complains about everything and everyone and is generally not the person I want to be with.  I’m trying to leave him alone but every once in awhile I have to step in and protect all that I’ve worked towards.  My self respect, my happiness and my quality of life all depend on it.

The worlds pandemic has actually brought me a new peace and calmness.  2 of my 4 children moved home because of different circumstances.  My D20 and my S 27 have been the joy of this whole quarantine.  We have kind of made our own little family unit the last few months and it has really been wonderful.  Lots of cooking, laughter and projects around the house.  Our house has felt full and active as the past 2 years it has been pretty empty.  My S is a 4th grade teacher.  He and his wife had a whole plan to move to Amsterdam with her new job.  She left in Feb and he was going to stay until June to finish school.  They had 3 trips planned to see each other, needless to say they all got canceled.  He sold his house and moved home.  I’ve had the pleasure of watching him teach kids online.  He is really gifted with children and makes them laugh often.  My D is finishing her 2nd year of school here and is driven, smart as a whip and funny.  We have had many laughs and many talks some about their Dad.  My D was in thick of all of his replay stuff and pretty much ignores him.  My H hasn’t made a lot of efforts to be here with us all.  He works 13 hours a day.  Sometimes it feels like he is watching us through the window of a strangers house.  We all kind of ignore him, if he shows up for dinner great, if not that’s ok too. 

Me, I’ve had to shut down my coffee shop and pretty much all the GAL activities I was doing.  Of everything I miss traveling the most.  A huge homeless camp has set up outside my door of the shop and it doesn’t look like it will be moving anytime soon.  I’ve become more politically active than I thought I would ever be about this issue.  I’ve cried a few tears and mourned the loss of yet another thing in my life. It’s been very interesting.  I’m usually a fairly quiet person but have become pretty vocal about the situation.  I currently have the mayors aide texting me and trying to help.  It’s a big old mess. I’ve had some time to think these days and I am trying to think if I even want to reopen at all at this point. Our county has not reopened anything yet so I may have a little time.  I know that soon my S will be leaving and my D will be headed back to school in the fall, I may have to make some bigger decisions by then.  Both my H and I know we have to sell our house.  It’s much to big for the 2 of us. We have lived here for 25 years so it’s going to be hard.  For the last 4 years I’ve been doing most of the upkeep and I’m tired of it.  I just don’t know where the 2 of us are going to land.  Together? Separate?  Both possibilities are on the table.  We have some property that we had planned on building on, but now my H is looking at the plans himself.  He hired an architect without consulting me and said he wants to build something with retail underneath. (We live in a city) I have been pretty clear that I don’t want to live above retail.  I asked him if this plan was just for him or was it for us.  His answer was us.  I said shouldn’t we be working on it together and compromise?  He looked at me blankly.  I also said maybe we should sort out our marriage before we plan a home.  He reply. “I’m tired of working on our marriage”. Huh?  This from a man that I have had no relationship talks with in over 2 months. 

He still is really making not a lot of sense.  Still in the tunnel.  I think maybe replay is over and he is fighting having to look at himself. He has drown himself in work and his company.  The company right now is kind of a mess.  Ive stepped out of being the cheerleader and he can’t pick up the slack.  His employees look miserable.  My H is angry, and complains about employees often. The corona virus has brought out the worst in him. He is angry that employees are scared to come to the office and wants it all to just go away.  He is losing a lot of respect. 

The more time goes on the more I truly see this is all about him.  While I have empathy for him sometimes I also have seen things that have been there throughout our marriage that really need to change.  I have told him on several occasions that I would love to start a new relationship with him but he has to commit to meeting me half way making it work.  He has said he isn’t sure if he is up for that.

I continue to work on myself and trying to find my direction.  Leaving him alone to twist and turn has saved my sanity often.  There have been several things I have worked on changing about myself and I can see the results often.  I’m a much calmer, enjoyable, funny person now.  My kids have noticed the change and my S told me yesterday that he was proud of me.  I had a good friend over for outside lunch today.  She knows my whole journey.  I said to her “ I often wonder if my H really truly loved me”. She said “I’ve known you both for over 30 years and he did and still loves you deeply, he’s just lost”. I know he does too.  I just don’t know if he is willing to put the work in to face himself.  I do know I can’t help him right now. 

So here I sit the last week in May, 4 years into a journey I would never wish on anyone.  I’m making progress and for that I am proud.  I have so many, many really good things in my life.  My children who I adore, my sisters who are my rocks, my parents who are in their late 80’s and healthy, friends that I can turn to. I am thankful for this site and the friendships I have formed.  I was able to type out my frustrations in an angry PM to a friend on here this morning, and I knew she would understand me. 

I’m moving forward.  I really hope that my H can find his way out to follow me.  I still have hope. 
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 28, 2020, 03:41:49 AM
Hi Roo,

Thanks for the update but seriously, H seems to be in LBITG Mode (Lost Ball In Tall Grass) and looking out of his belly button (so you KNOW where his head is ::) ....)
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on May 28, 2020, 05:26:56 AM
Thanks for the update but seriously, H seems to be in LBITG Mode (Lost Ball In Tall Grass) and looking out of his belly button (so you KNOW where his head is ::) ....)

This pretty sums up my situation perfectly! 😁. Thanks for the laugh this morning UM!
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on June 02, 2020, 02:37:31 PM
I said to her “ I often wonder if my H really truly loved me”. She said “I’ve known you both for over 30 years and he did and still loves you deeply, he’s just lost”. I know he does too.  I just don’t know if he is willing to put the work in to face himself.  I do know I can’t help him right now. 

He definitely still loves you.  I think that the fact he is there and "trying" says a lot Roo, though I am sure it has to be excruciating to witness. When he says things like he is tired of working on the marriage, or that he isn't up for building a new relationship, I believe he means them. Right now anyway. If he is in liminality, it is exhausting.  And just recovering from replay in and of itself, the leading of a double life, all of it, must leave them utterly exhausted. I think one of the perks, if you can all it that, of withdrawal, etc., is that it gives them an opportunity to catch their breath. (These are not young men after all).

It makes sense to me too b/c I know my H is ready to come back to his old life, but cannot muster the energy b/c that means he would have to face OW consequences, not to mention breaking it off with OW herself creates more issues and problems than my H is willing, or even able to handle right now.

I think I've said it a million times. But living with the MLCer has got to be excruciating. Death by a million cuts. Constant reminders of the pain and hurt. And near impossible to not take it personally right? How could one not? Even the most enlightened LBS would have a rough go of it. And you are barely at 4 years?

From the cheap seats, it sure looks like your H is progressing in perfect MLCer time. One painful milometer at a time.

Sorry about your coffee chop. But happy you have found other ways to occupy your time. I am hoping the shop will make a reemergence after all this.

You still have hope. That right there says it all. To have gone through what you did and yet still posses such resilience speaks volumes of your maturity, grace, kindness and unconditional love, to name just a few.
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 04, 2020, 10:18:18 AM
Thanks for all the kind words KIT. 

I think one of the perks, if you can all it that, of withdrawal, etc., is that it gives them an opportunity to catch their breath. (These are not young men after all).

This is a very good point KIT.  I think that with all the clinging my H did (and still does to some extent) his withdrawal really freaked me out a bit.  When I start to look at it more, it seems like it is kind of a gift for both of us, as it makes me focus more on myself while he is focusing on himself (hopefully!)

Sometimes I see the little wheels spinning in his head, other times they seem to be grinding to a halt.  It’s a slow process for sure.  Live in has been hard, but him leaving would be just as painful.  I look at situations like yours and when the disappear completely and I don’t know how you all do it as well.  I don’t think there is a perfect scenario for having an MLC’er, they all pretty much suck!   

Focusing on ourselves is the only way out for us LBS’s.  I’m truly convinced of this now. 

Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on June 04, 2020, 03:24:53 PM
Great point, Roo, how having a live in must be really hard, but having one vanish is equally hard. Sometimes we don't point that out enough.
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 22, 2020, 06:11:50 AM
Thought I would drop in for an update as things seem to be moving again in my H’s MLC cycle.  I THINK he has entered liminality/ depression in a big way.  It’s been a rough few days with more interactions with him than I should be having.  He is spending much more time alone staring off into space in the dark, cutting himself down and generally feeling sorry for himself in any way possible.  I seem to have become the target of his thoughts and I believe that throughout his thinky thinky time it has now entered his head that if he could get rid of me and our house all of his problems would be solved.  It took me awhile to see what was going on but I see it clearly now.

He’s been dipping in and out of depression for awhile now and I’ve been trying to be supportive and kind.  I have decided now I won’t be doing that any longer and I need to take many steps back and let him fall.  I’ve been calling him out on some of the things he has said and done to me which have been rude and disrespectful so now I believe he honestly thinks that by making me me disappear I will stop talking.  I’ve raised 3 boys through their teenaged years and I’ve seen it all before.  So odd to have it come from my H.

It started last week as he had an employee come to town from the town where most of his replay occurred.  This employee is a 50 year old man who I think may be in some sort of MLC himself.  I also believe he is my H’s drinking buddy when my H travels there.  He came to our town and my H had dinner with him.  It was 10 pm and I went to bed.  At 10:30 I got a call from my H asking if his friend could spend the night?? I was a little groggy and said “what?”  He repeated it he said “Can “Jimmy” spend the night?”  Cue the 16 year old boy asking for a sleep over.  I said no “jimmy can’t spend the night, first of all our house is a mess, there are no clean sheets on the bed, “Jimmy “ is an employee and we are in Covid where we haven’t had too many people in our home Jimmy needs to get a hotel room like any other employee.”  My H got mad.  Really mad.  He didn’t come home until after midnight.

The next morning he was quiet until he was in his way out the door when he said” I don’t think that was very fair not having Jimmy here”. I laid into him (I shouldn’t have) about how odd that was for me and our family.  How I didn’t even know the guy, how he was an employee and he should not be spending the night at his bosses house and we have been in quarantine not having anyone over inside the house.  He was angry. For 2 days he didn’t say anything to me.  He sulked around the house I found him outside in a chair at 9:30 in the rain one night .  I told him to lock the door when he came in.  He was very much intending to punish me like a child to his mother.  I tried to have none of it.

The second big event came when I had to attend a meeting at his office.  There was me, him and 5 male employees sitting around a table.  We began talking about a construction project that is being built and my h says “jokingly-not funny” there a great place for my new apartment when Roo kicks me out of the house. Someone said “well it doesn’t have a washer /dryer hookup” and my H said “that’s ok I can bring over to Roo’s house and she will do it for me”.  Everyone in the room looked at me.  Many know our issues and were shocked and uncomfortable.  I said “well you better start building it sooner rather than later then”.  The guy sitting next to me who is a long time employee said “ok, moving on then”. The. He whispered “sorry” to me after he could see I was upset.  I decided not say anything. Rule of 3.  Later I had to go to the construction site and the contracted made some off hand remark about my H joking so much about his new apartment that he was wondering if he was moving out.  I had to deflect this as well.  I could tell my H had been thinking more and more about moving out.  I decided I would send him a text (should not have) and said “I would appreciate it if you would stop “joking “ to employees about moving out, it is making everyone uncomfortable and it’s disrespectful to me”. His response “you’re always angry at me, everything I do you get angry”. This is his go to phrase when I tell him anything about my feelings.  I did not respond. 

The big event happened Saturday night.  We had a couple of beers on our back porch and my my H started talking about selling our house and moving.  We have had talks about this before as we had always planned to build something on Some property we have. But through his talking he made it clear that he was thinking of building on his own.  The. He said to me “I think we should separate both move out of the house and remodel and sell it”. I sat looking at him.  He was figuring out how to get rid of me and the house in one swoop as these are two things he cannot face”.  I said “well, I’m not moving I’m staying here and if you move out that’s your decision”.  I was as calm as I could be.  This is the first time he has talked about leaving. I know in my heart of hearts it’s because he doesn’t want to face me. He didn’t say anything.

Yesterday he spent the day sulking.  My S 27 and my D 20 were here and wished him a happy Father’s Day with some gifts.  They all went for a run together.  When they returned he decided he needed to go into work (his hiding place) when he left my S said “All dad did was complain the entire run about how old he was and how he wasn’t a fast runner anymore.  I told him to be quiet and enjoy his kids while they were home”. My S was being his father...ugh. 

In the evening I was sitting outside and he came out and sat with me.  I said “Happy Fathers Day, you know your kids love you right?”  He said “yes” and then I said “You know I love you, right?” He said “yes” and then he started to cry. 

It’s a new stage and I’m reassessing how I’m dealing with it.  I do know I can’t help him or I will become the one with a target on my back.  I have no idea what way he will turn next.  I’m trying to keep myself on a calm and steady path forward.  My plan B that I have in my back burner is becoming more clear and may be used if he leaves.  I have a feeling he won’t, because as a clinger he gets clingy.   Backing off and letting him cycle as I more forward.  Trying not to look his way.   

Looking to have a great day today.  It will be great day because I’m not going to let his MLC determine my life.  Detachment is a calm and gentle place, I’m heading back into it. 

Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 22, 2020, 06:38:18 AM

He really is
Isn't he?
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 22, 2020, 07:07:58 AM
Once again UM, you are correct!  😂

My posts could be much shorter if I cleared them with you first!
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 22, 2020, 07:26:59 AM
Once again UM, you are correct!  😂

My posts could be much shorter if I cleared them with you first!

Well, the saying goes that "A picture is worth 1000 words."  and he is spinning like a top.... an out of control top... in a tornado...
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: KeepItTogether on June 22, 2020, 08:46:07 AM
“Can Jimmy spend the night?” I truly heard my 13 yo son asking as I read that. Wow. Just wow.

There is often truth in “jokes” too. And I’m sure he’s looking to bolt. Maybe he even has to in order to see that it won’t heal the pain.

But Roo, what is amazing here is how you’ve handled it. I think you were spot on in your responses even tho it fueled Hs belief that you are always angry at him. He’s angry at himself and he can’t figure it out yet. My Hs biggest reservation on returning seems to be the fear that I will forever be angry with him. And hey, he may be right. But a normal human would try to talk it out first right?

What strength for you to tell him that his children love him and that you love him. Hard to do when they are outwardly rejecting us. But truly, bottom line is, they hate themselves and cannot fathom how we can still love them. They can’t trust the love bc they have no trust in themselves. It is really sad.

And as you say, all you can do is look forward and keep going regardless of where H is. Hugs friend—challenging days indeed!
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 22, 2020, 09:25:02 AM
Thanks KIT, I know you understand the dynamics of a clinger (H) and an empath (me). It’s a tough one not help.  I heard this song this morning on my quarantine walk.  I laughed out loud for how fitting it is.  I thought about playing it for my H as he understands bar lingo probably better than anything!  My new detachment song:


Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: OffRoad on June 22, 2020, 02:01:12 PM
Great song, roo.

I love (not) how the mlcer is angry, does everything in their power to pick a fight, then when they are called on their poor behavior, blame it all on the lbs "always being angry at " the mlcer. When some one is vereally rude to another person, that other person is not going to be happy. That's just nuts.

I'm sorry he's heading down the "I'd be so happy if it weren't for you or being responsible" road.  Bringing it up in front of others is trying to bait you to get upset and show how "unreasonable" you are, imo. They have no clue how foolish they  actually look.
Title: Re: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Milly on June 22, 2020, 02:28:08 PM
Roo, well done for how you handled that very difficult conversation and his subsequent sulking. I would probably have been a mess at the conversation, and screaming mad afterwards. You were really great.
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 23, 2020, 02:58:44 PM
Thanks Off Road and Milly.

The craziness ensues.  H moved back into the guest bedroom (His idea) its super hot here now and that room has no conditioning.   He said he woke up this morning drenched in sweat.  I said "Hmm I slept like a baby"  No response. 

He is gone for a few days for work.  All a good thing.  He sent me a text awhile ago saying "We should really take a trip together just the two of us"  ???
From suggesting separation and selling our house to traveling with each other on a romantic holiday all within a matter of a few days?  It really is much like UM's picture.  Spin, spin, spin.   His poor brain must be exhausted. 

Hopefully a slow down happens soon.  He's trying so hard to keep all of his compartmentalized boxes in his head shut, it's not working anymore. 

I will turn away and not watch the show.  Detachment is super critical for me right now, for my own well being. 

Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 24, 2020, 05:33:38 AM
Your H is like THIS guy...... spinning AND juggling....

Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 24, 2020, 05:39:12 AM
UM,  my H isn’t coordinated enough to keep that one going!

A few of those balls are bound to drop soon.....
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 24, 2020, 06:05:44 AM
UM,  my H isn’t coordinated enough to keep that one going!

A few of those balls are bound to drop soon.....

Oh!  You mean like THIS guy.....

Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: 9393roo on June 24, 2020, 07:35:23 AM
UM 😂😂😂
Title: My New Normal 3.0
Post by: Maleficent on June 24, 2020, 01:00:12 PM
Simply sending hugs your way.

And I love UM's gifs - just perfect visuals.  Nothing to add beyond what the others have said, just hugs. You are amazing. 

And, loved the song, btw.