Author Topic: My Story Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude  (Read 4213 times)

Online megogirl

  • Subscriber, 6 Month
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1765
  • Gender: Female
  • "You must do the thing you think you can not do."
My Story Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 03:40:14 PM »
And perhaps my word choice was not perfect.  I am just getting so much unsolicited advice from everyone in RL who is well meaning--from my therapist to people who do not know the half of it--my mother, my cousins, my friends.  They are telling me that more than a year has gone by and he has disappeared and that I should walk away and D him before he does me and try to find some new happiness. 

UGH this is something we all have to deal with, and it sucks.

Because everyone else believes that they know what's best for you, which only gets the ball rolling.  Because YOU'VE done your homework and are fully educated on the subject and they know exactly *nothing,* but will insist that they're "just trying to help."  Then, if you begin talking about the tunnel, awakening, etc. they'll look at you sideways and believe you're in denial, if not a full-on lunatic.  The backlash is endless.

Moral of the story: talking to people in RL is FUTILE.  Vent here!

Offline OffRoad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3340
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2019, 05:39:14 PM »
I had but 23 years invested (total),  yet I have to say for my situation  (and I speak only for me) if my H had been as miserable all those years as he said, I wish he'd BD'D me sooner. When I was younger and had more of a chance of finding someone new, if I choose to. When my body was not so old and broken. When I had fewer stressors of my own in my life.  It's like he used me up and threw me away. Now, I choose not stay in whatever rubbish bin he thinks he threw me in, but this would have been a heck of a lot easier in my 40s than it is now. I do acknowledge that I am a fortunate one to be able to support myself, and only had to be single mom for a year and a half, and that is truly an advantage. But I put off so many things (like I think many of us did, with or without kids) thinking those things could come later. I'm just glad I did as much as I did when I did it.

And then again, I figure at least the kids were mostly grown, so maybe better for them. I couldn't say. All I can say is no matter when it happens, its horrible for all involved.

 I do suggest you do not hold back your anger, though. Express it in an appropriate manner and you will be ok. My X was confused every time I was calmly angry. "I have done nothing to you to justify your yelling at me that way. It makes me angry that you think that is acceptabke, so I'm going *wherever* until you can speak to me with courtesy" . He lived at home for 18 months before he moved out, so there was no way I could "not be angry" during that entire time he was leaving doors unlocked and open (yes, came home from work to a wide open front door and no one home), tricking our 15 year old son into drinking alcohol, when he had no desire to do so, and lying to mutual friends about me.

And you can always shout here. We'll  hear you.

When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

Online Treasur

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7610
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 11:29:51 PM »
Treasur,

You do ask the best questions.  Grace for me now is twofold.

First, it is a blessing from the divine that will heal and guide me. 

Second, I want to be that light in return.  I want to be able to treat H with compassion and understanding and kindness.  I want to continue to be able to hold back on my anger.  I have been trying to present him in a compassionate light to our friends and family.   There are days I want to shout to world that he has betrayed me and send fire breathing dragons to find him and protect me.  Anger and self-righteousness and fire breathing dragons will not bring him back.  I need to keep my own demons in check for my sake, for his sake and for my son's sake.  Grace and compassion and unconditional love are so hard to practice in the face of betrayal.  I do not know if I am strong enough.  Maleficent

Many of us here have found that our ability to lean on God has helped tremendously and our faith has become much stronger as a result.

OR makes a good point about anger. I'm not big on anger as you'll know if you read my recent posts but sometimes fire-breathing dragons do need to be acknowledged and let out to play in a safe place imho. Even if they are baby-sized dragons. It is possible to feel a whole bunch of emotions but still act with compassion and a kind of love, certainly respect. But it needs detachment and the release of expectations. And often it needs the hardest thing, to accept the factual reality of someone else's hurtful actions when we can't comprehend them. Most of us here have visited denial for a while, have used compassion as a kind of pre-paid Hopeful excuse...bc it is truly painful to look reality in the eye sometimes. Took me a very long time to really GET that my then h simply did not care about my thoughts, feelings or even my life. He just didn't. He had decided that I was irrelevant as long as he got what he wanted. Even now I find that unbelievable...but my belief or not didn't change his actions or inactions. Now, I am only talking about my situation and my then h...your situation may be quite different. But my inability to see it did keep me attached to the hope of connecting to my h as he was before and that kept me stuck for longer than I wish it had and longer than was good for me.

So by all means, do this bc of your son and bc it is who you are. But not to 'bring him back' bc it won't while he is in crisis. It may encourage him to try if he ever comes out but I have not read a single story her of anyone 'nicing' an MLCer back; actually more often they despise and abuse any grace they are shown as weakness. And protecting you and your son will often need you to care more about you and him than your h in order to set boundaries and deal with all the s$itty MLC behaviour.

I decided relatively early on, when it was obvious that my h did not want my support or love or compassion, that I would always try to treat him with respect. Which was hard sometimes bc it was so one-sided. But it stopped me adding to the damage or trying to change/fix what I couldn't. It included his right to f up his own life and carry the consequences of that without my opinion , but not mine so that was where I had to take different actions. I feel better that I did take that path. But for my self-respect and bc of my values.  I am not sure if my h even noticed and often the story in his head despite the facts seemed to be that I was some evil barrier to his true happiness or an inconvenient ghost linked to obligations he couldn't be bothered with and was irritated by. So, any grace you show your h - do it for your own reasons and for your son. JMO.

Which brings me to the truly important bit.
What is missing for me from what you say Maleficent is grace FROM you to YOU.
And tbh, you need it more right now than your h bc he is self-medicating in other ways.
What are you doing and thinking to show you the very kind of grace, compassion and unconditional love you talk about?

Barbie doll recommended a book called The ARt of Extreme Self Care....and it is a cracker. One of the things it suggests is a month in which you say 'I love you, Maleficent' every time you look in a mirror. I have been doing this for a bit over a week...you do feel weird initially...but in my case, I lost all the people closest to me who said that regularly so I had a bit of a vacuum here lol. There are some good ideas in this book and many of them talk to that sense of having traded in bits for those you love and now needing to restore a balance.

This stuff is hard, Maleficent, really hard. Mirror work. Accepting that life has suddenly taken a dramatic turn and not a good one, so the 'rules' are different now. From reading what you write, I suspect - but could be quite wrong as it echoes my own challenge so much - that it feels more difficult now bc you are adapting (which is healthy) but that is taking you to a place you always don't entirely want to go. And the big question of 'what was the point?' and accepting that - no matter what happens from here - the old life is gone for good. Or mostly. But you are still in there, everything that was wonderful and life affirming and joyous that you brought to your family life, all still in there. Finding out how to use it in a different way and in a different kind of life will help you. And it is possible and you and your son will be ok, whatever happens, bc of it.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 12:04:17 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

Online Enyo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 06:01:33 AM »
Hi Maleficent

Welcome to the forum.  I don’t post very much, mainly because I have a really rubbish PC and it takes ages to boot up, but I read you post this morning (on my iPad) and wanted to say Hi so I ventured onto my PC – really must buy new one!

You post made my cry also!

I completely understand the ‘If it were 5, or 10 or 15, I would walk away’, I know this statement was in no way meant to minimise the hurt and trauma caused to LBS of shorter marriages – I know it would have been just as traumatic then but I, like you, would have been a lot younger and, I think, maybe more able to rebuild a life.  When I have been married for 16 years I was 39/40, now 20 years on (my H left after 34 years) I am 60 and I have an additional 20 years of dreams to get past.

I recently went on a retirement course and they pointed out that on average IF WE ARE LUCKY from age 60 we would have 10 more active years followed, if we were lucky, by 10 more passively active years, anything after 80 is a bonus.  At 40 I would have had 20 more years between then and now so I completely get what you mean.

What I have just written makes me sound like a doddering old lady and I think I am far from that but at the same I am realistic about my situation (which most MLCers aren’t) and know that we planned for retirement as a couple, our joint pension pot though not huge would have allowed us to be very comfortable, our house is paid for and we have savings.  All of which will now be halved and life will ultimately be less comfortable.  This is why I have now chosen to continue to work for the foreseeable future so that I can at least afford some of the adventures we had planned for in retirement.

I have 2 sons aged 25 and 27 and I would say that this whole situation has been extremely difficult for both of them, S25 particularly has had a difficult year ending with him having to take time off work with anxiety and depression.  He finished university 6 months before BD and returned home, S27 was also living at home at the time after finishing university.  H was going through his denial and anger stage and this was obvious for all to see, and then came the affair!  For the both of them it seemed that everything we had brought them up to believe, in effect the foundation of their lives – all the values, morals and thoughts about what was important in life – was blown up along with their security.  S27s anger kicked in after 18months and he had some therapy, S25 is very much like H, he held in all his emotion until he couldn’t anymore, thankfully he is now in therapy and this seems to be helping.

I will leave it to Treasur to ask the difficult questions, she’s good at that and her questions always get you looking at your situation in constructive way.  She is also right that you can’t ‘nice’ your husband back but I always treat my H in a way that I would like to be treated myself and I have found over time that he has mirrored the way I act and communicate and this at least has helped me retain my dignity and ultimately made life – and contact with H – more pleasant.  Always a bonus!

I agree with Treasur – do come to Tuscany.  Treasur very interested in a shoe trip, can I join you - love Italian shoes!  I watched the film Me Before You (I know a weepy, but I slept like a baby after a good cry!), and the girl in the film had some really fabulous shoes.

Now I have my PC booted up might pop over to my thread and update!

Take care Enyo x


Me 60
MLCer 58
M37 years, Together 39 years
S27 & S26
Aug/Sept 15 - You are getting old before your time and I am never going to get old or retire
BD1 Dec 15 - you've been a wonderful wife and mother but it's not enough!
BD2 - 21 Aug16 - Moved out into our rental flat locally,
Feb 17 - Unhappy, need to move and start a new life with new friends - now know OW H had found out about the relationship - H ran!!!
May 17 - Moved to his parents home Spa town 200 miles away
Jan 18 - Hs mother dies
Oct 18 - Moved to Soulless town
Mar 19 - Hs father dies
June 10 - Moves back to Spa Town - bought a flat
Affair with my ex married friend - since around summer of 2015

Offline MaleficentTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 08:49:55 PM »
Dear Roos and Serenity and Megogirl and Enyo, Thank you for popping in to say hello.  Roos and Enyo, I am sorry my story hit home in such a way as to make you both cry.  What I have learned so far is that the hurt may never go away.... And, Enyo thanks for explaining the 5,10,15 more eloquently than I could articulate (Stillbaffled, I sincerely hope I did not offend you in any way). Enyo, your boys are about the same age as mine -26, so right in between.  And my son is in a pretty serious relationship and the whole situation has challenged what he thought about love and vows and trust and relationships. 

Treasur and Offroad, thanks for your thoughts yesterday on emotions.  I have so many different types of feelings at the same time and cycle from anger, compassion, grief and sadness in the flash of a moment.  But there are so many of them jumbled up that it appears that I am steady when I am actually a hot mess inside.  Please keep asking the hard questions to challenge me. 

I understand that I cannot "nice" him back, and I feel so powerless, having no control, but to watch and wait and often do nothing. Serenity, I think I read on one of your posts, that after a period of nothingness, you receive some random text about an issue relating to a child.  It does seem that when I am silent, I do get some random text as well. And, he always seems to know what I am doing.  In the beginning they were angry and triggering, but lately they seem a little less edgy and I am trying to be polite and simple.  Funny how it is such a challenge now to craft a text to the person you once knew better than anyone else in the world. There is so much I do not understand.

Thank you for keeping me company and making me feel less alone on this journey.  Tuscany sounds wonderful and I do love fabulous shoes!!  I will have to check out the movie (Does it have a happy ending?).
BD and moved out 9/2017
M 30 years at BD, together 34

Offline stillbaffled

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4345
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2019, 09:14:38 PM »

Dear Roos and Serenity and Megogirl and Enyo, Thank you for popping in to say hello.  Roos and Enyo, I am sorry my story hit home in such a way as to make you both cry.  What I have learned so far is that the hurt may never go away.... And, Enyo thanks for explaining the 5,10,15 more eloquently than I could articulate (Stillbaffled, I sincerely hope I did not offend you in any way). Enyo, your boys are about the same age as mine -26, so right in between.  And my son is in a pretty serious relationship and the whole situation has challenged what he thought about love and vows and trust and relationships. 


I'm certainly not offended, Maleficent.  No worries there. 

Continue to post and share your thoughts and feelings. 
After all, tomorrow is another day.
Together 16 years - married 6
BD - 1/1/16 - his 53rd birthday
His divorce final 7/16
Married OW - 7/17
a consistent semi-vanisher in the same small town

Online Enyo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2019, 12:10:01 AM »
Hi Maleficent

No the movie doesn’t really have a happy ending but the shoes are marvellous 👠

My to sons were both in serious long term relationships (5 and 6 years), unfortunately, for whatever reason, probably anger, both these relationships have ended in the last 12 months. Like your son they both (particulatly S25) have trust and anger (which was new) issues, and are both questioning their thoughts about love and relationships.  Its like a loss of their innocence if you will.

Enyo x
Me 60
MLCer 58
M37 years, Together 39 years
S27 & S26
Aug/Sept 15 - You are getting old before your time and I am never going to get old or retire
BD1 Dec 15 - you've been a wonderful wife and mother but it's not enough!
BD2 - 21 Aug16 - Moved out into our rental flat locally,
Feb 17 - Unhappy, need to move and start a new life with new friends - now know OW H had found out about the relationship - H ran!!!
May 17 - Moved to his parents home Spa town 200 miles away
Jan 18 - Hs mother dies
Oct 18 - Moved to Soulless town
Mar 19 - Hs father dies
June 10 - Moves back to Spa Town - bought a flat
Affair with my ex married friend - since around summer of 2015

Offline MaleficentTopic starter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2019, 07:21:53 AM »
Hello
Tough day out there yesterday (and this morning) and I understand what you have all been writing about how they are so lost they cannot handle a crisis.

So, my MIL had to have some nasty surgery and I drove her and my SIL to the hospital yesterday and hung out for the duration.  They are not from the immediate area and unfamiliar with location & etc, so I have been taking off work and bringing them for appointments and tests the last few months.  The surgery went well, but it was 6 1/2 hours and she has a long recovery ahead.

My own mother is giving me a hard time for getting involved ("Your husband left you, why are you helping his family?") Well, they have been my family, too for more than 30 years.   Part of me is wondering whether I am doing it for good motives or for sketchy motives (i.e. self preservation in the family).  But, they do need me right now because this is a major health issue and H is living in his own happy place.  I am feeling so much more connection with my MIL.  FIL died suddenly 3 years+ ago now and left his business in such disarray that MIL is in trouble financially.  She feels he did not look out for her and abandoned her.  And, well, I feel the same way about my situation.  Funny how this empathy and connection develops.  I think we have become closer and she is hurt that her son (my H) has largely cast her aside, going from he favorite, the responsible child to only showing up when convenient for him. She told me she loves me for the first time....

She and my SIL specifically asked me to be with them after the first appointment.  I have spent way too much time these last 20 years in hospitals with family members and I know my way around too many of them, including this one.  Ironically, one of my H's angry projections was that I spent too much time taking care of my mother - and he should have known better than to marry an only child.  Those of you who have been elderly caretakers know how draining it is.  He also told me upon his departure that he was not going to do the same for his own mother because he saw what it had done to me.  (That is not something I mention in RL).  So, I am also feeling a little guilty that I was so horrible that he left everybody in a bind so I am trying to do "our" share.

But my H was in rare selfish form yesterday.  My SIL was so angry at him--with 15 hours in the hospital together, we spoke more about him than we did in the last year.  She wrote to him and her other brother at 5:30 AM after check in (we left the house at 4:30) and he wrote back that he was up and busy and "working out at the gym."  (Well, he never worked out until he left and he certainly never got up before sunrise.)  He did not offer to help anywhere in this process.  SIL was killing herself for her mother and he was "at the gym." 

He did send me a random "thank you" at sunrise for taking care of his mother, so I responded with a quick status report about the surgeon and the length of the surgery.  No response.  Later in the day (from his car) he called my SIL who was sitting next to me (awkward) and expressed surprise at how long the surgery was and what happened.  Now, he had been told countless times what would happen.  He acted clueless and cavalier and completely in la la land.  He called SIL back again last night and asked her to text him and keep him posted.    At first I thought it was a good sign that he was showing some empathy toward his mother, but he said nothing about visiting or calling her.   SIL was so angry.  She said her brother had turned into some alien and she wanted the old brother back.

Late last night, SIL had an angina attack of sorts at my house (I feel awful--I was out cold and slept through it) so she saved herself with nitro.  Then we got up early and made 6 AM rounds at the hospital to see the surgeon and we learned MIL had a heart issue in the night as well. Nightmare.  Not a peep from H asking how his mother was. 

Well, I need to get cleaned up and make an appearance at work.  SIL went home to take care of things and rest.  It is going to be a long week, but I can handle a crisis.  Thanks for being there and letting me share.
BD and moved out 9/2017
M 30 years at BD, together 34

Offline LearningIamOk

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8291
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2019, 04:43:31 PM »
Hello Maleficent! I am on the side of fire-breathing dragons being sent to your H. When I was early on in this, the best idea that was tossed about, with another LBS, was to mail a box filled with rabid skunks to the dear MLCers. ;D Sorry to have less than the hoped for grace and compassion. I am over 8 years into this and have healed quite nicely.

Like you, I had a 30+ year marriage at BD. I didn't have an idyllic M, nor were we envied by any of our friends. I only found out after we separated that most of my friends found my now xH, pretty disrespectful and mean. I stayed because I had 4 kids and no career. Even tho' it wasn't a bed of roses, I consoled myself with the fact that he went to work every day, paid the bills, and didn't cheat. HA! That last one was a joke on me.

It is so hard to revive who we once were before the M and kids, but we're in there. I took up horseback riding again. I love it, but I stink at it. I also started falling asleep to the radio again. My xH wanted absolute SILENCE. It takes a really long time to feel normal in these abnormal circumstances.

I am so sorry you find yourself to be a caregiver to your MIL. I have done that job many times. It is exhausting and I was 20 years younger. But I am proud of myself for my response to the need.

Keep being true to your inner nature. Don't try to be somebody you are not. If being caring and compassionate is you, keep it up. You are also giving a life lesson to your son that you don't ABANDON people when things become difficult.
trying2bok

Offline barbiedoll

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2072
  • Gender: Female
Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2019, 05:46:56 PM »
Welcome Malficent and I am sorry you find yourself in this very difficult situation. Its a hard long road in front of you but we are all here sharing and caring about each other.  I too had a 30 year marriage when my husband went off the rails and I believe I lost parts of my identity in my marriage . Did not think about any of this deep "stuff" during the marriage , we worked, raised kids and paid the bills. I thought we were basically "normal" with good times and bad . NEVER did I see this coming and the shocked feeling has lasted for years.

Many belive ( including me ) that MLC is a direct result of childhood trauma or unresolved issues. What do you know about his childhood experience ?

Keep posting and reading ... we all have your back !
Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk
Legal Disclaimer

The information contained within The Hero's Spouse website family (www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com, http://theherosspouse.com and associated subdomains), (collectively 'website') is provided as general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal, medical or mental health advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The Hero's Spouse cannot be held responsible for the use of the information provided. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a trained medical or mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a legal professional for specific legal advice.

Any information, stories, examples, articles, or testimonials on this website do not constitute a guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual situation. Reading and/or posting at this website does not constitute a professional relationship between you and the website author, volunteer moderators or mentors or other community members. The moderators and mentors are peer-volunteers, and not functioning in a professional capacity and are therefore offering support and advice based solely upon their own experience and not upon legal, medical, or mental health training.