Author Topic: Interacting with Your MLCer What do you think it means to Pave the Way  (Read 841 times)

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Interacting with Your MLCer What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« on: July 05, 2019, 10:56:13 PM »
What do you think it means to Pave the Way?
OR
How do you define Paving the Way?
What do you believe it entails?


I'm asking because I have seen a lot of misunderstandings of this concept and would like to write a blog post about it--once I get the new blog's email sending system set up. So I want to address some specific misunderstandings or even questions. I've already started writing the post based on what I've read in posts, but would like a wider response to see how widespread any misunderstanding may be.

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 11:04:02 PM »
Kindness. Consideration. Shown and communicated empathy.

I think all these happen with genuine words, along with actions.
Doesn't have to be big, just things which are important to them.
Don't expect anything in return or that they even notice. I think they notice everything but it conflicts with the story they tell themselves (maybe elves did it!!!)

-SS

W - 38
M - 41
Together 24 years, M 21
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

Offline Treasur

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 11:11:00 PM »
I'm glad you are revisiting it bc I think some people believe it means you can 'Nice them back'. And there is very little anecdotal evidence to support that and sometimes the cost to the LBS is very high. I have never really understood the purpose of it but I chose to try hard to treat my spouse with respect and all the grace I could muster bc of who he was and who I am. As far as I could tell, that influenced him not a jot but it helped me hang on to who I was regardless.
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

Offline Nerissa

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 01:47:50 AM »
I think it is intended to mean that we should try to be the best version of ourselves we can be.  To live well and honestly and remain  compassionate when we interact with our spouses. To welcome positive contact but to maintain boundaries of respect on both sides.

In practice, with a very hurt lbs, hoping for a return and putting that need and the very understandable need for contact with the mlc spouse above everything else, it can mean losing boundaries and keeping oneself open to being hurt by not detaching and telling oneself one is paving the way.

I think people often forget or are in too much pain to understand just how clear you were, RCR, about boundaries for your own health in your own case.  Or sometimes people have spouses who are behaving in a really quite disordered way and then boundaries are really important.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 01:49:03 AM by Nerissa »

Offline Thunder

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2019, 02:59:07 AM »
I took it to mean, in the beginning they are still very unsure of themselves.  They are confused, do they go or do they stay?  One foot in, one foot out.  It's a time where you can plant seeds because they are still listening.

It's a time, before they go into the tunnel, where what you say to them, or how you act towards them, may have an effect down the road.  It may be things they start to remember when they are coming out of their fog.  They may remember the kindness you showed them, the support and patience.

Even just a "I have faith in you that you will figure this out."
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Offline Acorn

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2019, 06:08:59 AM »
This is how I understood ‘Paving the Way’ early in my LBS journey.

It is important to note that it wasn’t PTW itself so much, but ‘for whom’ and ‘for what’ that I focussed on. 

I interpreted PTW as being for MLCer.
I interpreted PTW as being for an outcome, namely, reconciliation.

As a newbie, my intention was get my H love me again and return to marriage and Paving the Way sounded like the best title for ‘how to get your MLCer back’ handbook. 

(From my readings of threads, especially those of newbies, I’m not alone in this way of thinking.)

‘Perfect!  Now I can do something to fix this MLC mess’ was my thinking.  That is a nicer and kinder expression than the cold truth about what I was trying to do - attempting to manipulate another person in an attempt to bend him to my personal goal; often pretending who I was not; shaping my time and effort to suit what I thought were his needs and wants; bending backwards to make myself appear as an attractive force to him. 

Not a flattering observation of myself.

This way of looking at PTW placed H and reconciliation smack in the middle of my life. 


‘Hey, am I doing what I’m doing to stage someone else’s comeback to whatever?  H can pave his own way, thank you.’ dawned on me once I recovered some wits.

My personal interpretation of PTW changed then.  Instead of Paving the Way for someone else and with an objective, namely, reconciliation, it became about paving my own way. . 

From then on, PTW meant to me:

- Being my authentic self.  For example, be kind and compassionate because that’s who I am, and not because of any ulterior motive to woo him back.

- It is about building my own path, not labouring to build a road for H, just in case he might walk on it toward me and M.

Perhaps the best way to ‘pave the way’ is to focus on LBS’s own healing, learning and growing.  If MLCer ever opens his eyes to LBS, he will see a strong, resilient, self-sufficient, empathetic, authentic person who overcame one of the worst trials in her life and living every day with joy and thankfulness.  In my view, that is the essence of Paving the Way and being the Light House.  ‘Paving’ is a state of ‘being’, not a ways and means, in my view.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 06:26:50 AM by Acorn »
Live-in MLCer
Feb 2015: BD.  H has a Nuclear meltdown. 
Oct 2015: ILYBIANILWY.
Apr 2016: Affair discovered
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

Online Mitzpah

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2019, 06:09:43 AM »
Paving the way means to me to make sure that I put up no obstacles to turning towards me, maintaining healthy boundaries that protect me from further damage yet do not make it impossible to contact me in an honest, safe manner.

It means making sure I am honest, respectful and sincere in all my interactions whether with my MLCer or with any other person of my acquaintance.

It means being committed to being consistent, calm and constant in all my interactions. Being honest to who I am and what I believe in so that there is no doubt as to where I stand.

This towards anyone and everyone, not only my h.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 06:14:13 AM by Mitzpah »
M 57
H 57
S 27
S 25
D 24
BD 13 Dec 2010
Divorced 27 Feb 2015 (30 years marriage)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2019, 06:36:48 AM »
I'm glad this thread started. I remember being very confused about "Paving the way" as a newbie.. How to find a good balance between PTW and being a doormat.. And also confused by the constant message that there was nothing we could do about their crisis and yet, PTW was important?

In the end what I did was to take the emotion out of our interactions. Treated him with compassion and respect, showed him it was safe to talk to me, not in a buddy kind of way, just calm and light conversations so he didn't feel attacked when he interacted with me. I also showed him by my actions that I would be open to talk to him in the future but I was letting him go to do what he felt he needed to do.. And then I moved to the side and off he went.

H - 42 (40 @BD1)
M - 42 (40 @BD1)
Together 15 years, M 8 @separation
No kids
BD1 - 26th Aug 2017 (Not happy, life has no purpose, "we have problems")
BD2 - 22nd March 2018 (Marriage is over, we want different things, confessed EA with someone 12,000 kms away although "she means nothing")
H moved in with parents 11th May 2018 (I asked him to leave as couldn't handle the EA rubbed all over my face)
H moved abroad 29th Dec 2018, not sure if OW will join him or if they are still in contact.
Confirmation H is with OW in her home country  - 3rd June 2019

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

Offline seahorse

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2019, 07:29:12 AM »
Good discussion -

Paving the way is all about unconditional love.
Being there for them when/if they need you.
Holding your tongue when you want to say nasty things.
Being patient, kind, understanding.

Others refer to it as being the "lighthouse".

That being said -- it is NOT about being a doormat or allowing yourself to be abused.

It's treating your spouse as you would want to be treated.

Sea
Seahorses have one mate for life...

Offline Nas

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2019, 09:08:46 AM »
Early days, I too thought paving the way was a means to getting my H back: respond to each and every contact with "fake it till you make it" positive responses, regardless of the circumstances and how detrimental his actions/choices were to me.  "Make him see that you are a source of light, you love him despite his actions, you are the one who has been and will always be there for him..."

I'm 4-plus years out.  On Monday, 4 days before the 4th anniversary of his abruptly moving out, I got a message out of the blue on Messenger (I still don't know his phone number or email address - not even sure I have his correct mailing address for that matter).

First contact since my parents died in February (I contacted him when my mother died, 3 weeks later he messaged me when he heard my father died.  Very alien, distant message, he told me to "hang in there.")

It was what in the very early days I would have considered a very positive contact:
"Hi. How are you? How is your health?"

There once was a time when I would have seized on this message as proof he cared, that he was "peaking out," that I needed to respond nicely to "pave the way" for him to know I hadn't given up on him.

But I've spent the last 3 years receiving ZERO financial help from him and barely hearing from him while he's built himself a new life.
In that time:
I was diagnosed with cancer and endured chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries - he never checked in on me , not once. (though he was receiving updates on me from his mother). While I was in chemo, he got a new phone number and the longest we went without contact was a year, and when he did contact, he apologized for the lack of contact by saying that "My phone went through the washing machine last year."  ???

He euthanized our beloved dog and I found out about it on Facebook.  When I contacted him to ask for the dog's collar, he responded like a toddler who knew mommy was mad.  He promised to send it.  He never did. (That was a year ago).

My mother died, then three weeks later, my father died.  While attempting to plan my father's funeral (and sell his car, which some jerk promptly stole the license plates off), I was also dealing with some stressful changes in the status of my cancer.

All of that, while still managing to do freelance work enough to pay my bills and survive.
All of that, with NO help from him and him changing his phone number and email (and I think his address), making my ability to contact him extremely difficult.

"Hi. How are you?  How is your health?"
How would one respond to that?  I have NOTHING right now.  Financially deceived before BD, left behind at BD, used up most funds on a lawyer pre-cancer, completely abandoned post-cancer, already in financial ruin and then cancer completely finished me off.

Again, early days, I would have responded to his message positively and calmly, thinking I was "paving the way."

Now I think about myself first.  What good will responding do ME?  He is still controlling the contact by sending a message via the only avenue HE's left open and expecting me to respond via that avenue while still having no other way to reach him.

It's a VERY difficult thing to attempt to rebuild your life after MLC.
It's become even more difficult for me to need to completely rebuild from the ground up, while not even knowing how much more life I have.  I recently read an article about how cancer robs you of the ability to plan for longer than 3 months at a time (the time in between scans). 

Yet, I have NO CHOICE but to rebuild and I am in a place where I have to plan for the long term while living in a situation where I've been essentially robbed of the ability to plan long term.  I live in 3-month increments, but have to rebuild from the ground up for a life I hope will be many years longer.  I believe it's a unique position to be in, and one that I would not wish on anyone.

If anything, I'm paving the way for him to have the opportunity to think about what he's done by NOT responding to his cold, oddly worded out of the blue message that does nothing to address the fact that I am struggling beyond imagination and he's done nothing to help.

But I no longer worry about paving the way - he has to come to realizations about what he's done to me on his own, if he's ever going to come to those realizations.  He may never.
Married 8 years at BD, together 16.
BD March 2015
H moved out July 2015
I found out about OW March 2016 (She went to high school with H, long distance EA since September 2014, became PA November 2015)
H moved 1100 miles to live with OW June 2016
I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer June 2017
H became a vanisher

Offline heroIam

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2019, 09:18:35 AM »







This is how I understood ‘Paving the Way’ early in my LBS journey.

It is important to note that it wasn’t PTW itself so much, but ‘for whom’ and ‘for what’ that I focussed on. 

I interpreted PTW as being for MLCer.
I interpreted PTW as being for an outcome, namely, reconciliation.

As a newbie, my intention was get my H love me again and return to marriage and Paving the Way sounded like the best title for ‘how to get your MLCer back’ handbook. 

(From my readings of threads, especially those of newbies, I’m not alone in this way of thinking.)

‘Perfect!  Now I can do something to fix this MLC mess’ was my thinking.  That is a nicer and kinder expression than the cold truth about what I was trying to do - attempting to manipulate another person in an attempt to bend him to my personal goal; often pretending who I was not; shaping my time and effort to suit what I thought were his needs and wants; bending backwards to make myself appear as an attractive force to him. 

Not a flattering observation of myself.

This way of looking at PTW placed H and reconciliation smack in the middle of my life. 


‘Hey, am I doing what I’m doing to stage someone else’s comeback to whatever?  H can pave his own way, thank you.’ dawned on me once I recovered some wits.

My personal interpretation of PTW changed then.  Instead of Paving the Way for someone else and with an objective, namely, reconciliation, it became about paving my own way. . 

From then on, PTW meant to me:

- Being my authentic self.  For example, be kind and compassionate because that’s who I am, and not because of any ulterior motive to woo him back.

- It is about building my own path, not labouring to build a road for H, just in case he might walk on it toward me and M.

Perhaps the best way to ‘pave the way’ is to focus on LBS’s own healing, learning and growing.  If MLCer ever opens his eyes to LBS, he will see a strong, resilient, self-sufficient, empathetic, authentic person who overcame one of the worst trials in her life and living every day with joy and thankfulness.  In my view, that is the essence of Paving the Way and being the Light House.  ‘Paving’ is a state of ‘being’, not a ways and means, in my view.



Absolutely everything Acorn said.
Took all the words right out of my mouth.
Perfectly said.
“In the end, you’ve got to be your own hero because everyone’s busy trying to save themselves.”

Offline Treasur

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2019, 09:49:49 AM »
I guess the issue for me is Paving the Way to What?
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

Offline Acorn

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2019, 10:38:43 AM »
I would have saved myself some time and energy if I had treated ‘Paving the Way’ as an appendage to ‘Mirror work’.  And, in much smaller font.  :P

In some ways, ‘paving the way’ is an escape clause for a chronic fixer like me.  Not saying any of us is.  ;D

I guess the issue for me is Paving the Way to What?

All the way to Rome, AKA reconciliation.  That was my personal interpretation.
Hello, my name is Acorn and I’m a fixer.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 10:59:24 AM by Acorn »
Live-in MLCer
Feb 2015: BD.  H has a Nuclear meltdown. 
Oct 2015: ILYBIANILWY.
Apr 2016: Affair discovered
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2019, 11:29:14 AM »
I interpreted it as paving the way for the MLCER to possibly come back by creating a road they would want to travel. As I walk along my path, I try (do not always succeed) to be kind and considerate, understanding with boundaries,  and compassionate. During the time XH intersects my path, whether at the beginning, all the way through or at the end, I am courteous, but do not accept poor behavior in a calm way, much as with my children. I definitely don't do everything he wants, but sometimes do with pleasure and hold my ground firmly, without anger, when I must say no.  I have, in my mind, paved the way for him to join me in my journey if he so desires, but if he doesn't my path takes me where I need to go. And even if he joins me, that doesn't mean reconciliation. It means we can tolerate or maybe enjoy each other's company. I have not built a wall behind me, or made sure he could not join me, though those are valid choices just not paving the way.

That's how I saw it.  I'm not standing, btw, just open to all possibilities, atm.
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

Offline Ready2Transform

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2019, 12:36:12 PM »
I too see Paving the Way as a standing action to create an easy path for the MLCer to travel back into the marriage. I think it applies to clingers more than anyone. You don't provide any resistance to reconciliation, you artfully place truth darts to make them thinky, and you form your life in such a way that they still have a valid re-entry point.

"Unconditional love is the highest of high standards, and while we are letting go of our need to control the process of anyone else, we are taking within our lives complete accountability for our own experience."

http://seriousvanity.com/how-to-cultivate-unconditional-love-and-change-the-world/

Offline Nas

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2019, 02:54:31 PM »
I too see Paving the Way as a standing action to create an easy path for the MLCer to travel back into the marriage. I think it applies to clingers more than anyone. You don't provide any resistance to reconciliation, you artfully place truth darts to make them thinky, and you form your life in such a way that they still have a valid re-entry point.

I think by this definition, I agree it applies to clingers.  And possibly those who are financially responsible.

It's very hard to pave the way for someone who is willfully abandoning you and leaving you with nothing and not acknowledging that they've done so. I think most LBS with that kind of MLCer (like me) aren't standing, but supposing one were, it would be near impossible to pave the way, a) because they've vanished and b) when they do pop up, important issues about finances can't be ignored.  They can't just show up out of nowhere and have a pleasant conversation as if there's not some giant starving, homeless elephant in the room. 
Married 8 years at BD, together 16.
BD March 2015
H moved out July 2015
I found out about OW March 2016 (She went to high school with H, long distance EA since September 2014, became PA November 2015)
H moved 1100 miles to live with OW June 2016
I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer June 2017
H became a vanisher

Offline Anjae

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2019, 05:09:49 PM »
I know what is in the articles about Paving The Way say, but for me it had no meaning. By BD and early times were years before HS existed. I have never heard of Paving The Way until I got here, years down the road.

Being here, Paving The Way always seemed to be like one more thing that put stress upon an already very stressed LBS. Especially because Paving The Way is more important early on. Early on LBS tend to be too shocked or in survival mode.

It has also confused me why Paving The Way is so important since most marriages will not reconcile. LBS wellbeing always seemed more important to me.

Going by HS and real life, a MLCer wanting back does not seem to be related to Paving The Way. Some LBS did nothing by Pave The Way and their MLCer is not back, others never Paved The Way and the MLCer is either back or wanting back.

It is not possible to Pave The Way with Vanishers. Paving The Way may be something that is useful for those who were standing early on and keep standing, but may not be of much use for the rest of us.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline Bewildered survivor

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2019, 01:08:19 AM »
My view of paving the way has nothing to do with paving the way for my H to come back. To me it means paving the way for me and my kids to a better quality of life. It’s paving the way for me to look back at the paved path without any regrets and be proud of my actions and strength at getting to where I need to be for me & my girls- weather with H or not. It’s more important to me that my girls grow up to be proud of me for navigating this nightmare and doing my best to ensure they grow up to be secure, confident & happy adults despite MLC. Treating MLCer with compassion and kindness isn’t about paving the way back to me but paving the way for me and my kids forward. That does not mean being a walk over or allowing MLCer to abuse me in order pave the way.

TBH I don’t like the term ‘pave the way’ and what it implies. Peoples understanding is varied and it’s a very ambiguous term and in my opinion contradicts the message to take eyes off MLCer and on to us.

Offline Treasur

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2019, 01:20:57 AM »
I agree with BS. I think the term is a bit ambiguous and can be a bear pit for newbies bc it is very easy to read into it what we desperately want to believe as true and possible immediately after BD.

Paving the way to a better healthier LBS future, regardless of what our h/w does, is probably more helpful. And it includes acting towards them in a way that fits who we are and want to be.
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

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2019, 07:52:06 AM »
When I first discovered HS, there was more discussion concerning "paving the way" and what that means. Thinking about this today, I dug up "The Lighthouse" which contains some of my personal ideas concerning how to be there for him. Maybe it applies, maybe not but for those who have not ever seen this, I found it helpful to understand what I could do to keep the door open for him.

Re: Resources: Standing Actions
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 05:21:16 AM »
•   Quote
The Lighthouse

Your spouse is in huge conflict. The good news is; and the truth is that they are totally incapable of a healthy relationship with anyone right now. The competition that we believe exists with the Other Person is a shallow, empty reflection of God's light in this world. It is empty and lonely no matter how good the rush.

Their actions are actions that they themselves do not like in themselves right now. Though the need to go back again and again and attempt to prove themselves wrong or right is strong, they do not like what they are doing.

Their actions toward you, the children, the Other Person, and themselves, as well as God, keep them from engaging in any type of real interaction with any real depth and truth.

All they offer are misguided attempts to fill the void that has appeared in their life. Yet the filling is way too fleeting to sustain them and the truth is with them each night he or she lies down, regardless of whom is next to them.

They are the living cliche of 'no matter where you go, there you are.'

They are lost to themselves.

And you stand at that point of being the lighthouse home, even though they create the waves that block their vision from seeing the beacon.

You become the lighthouse. You fill your home with light, calmness and sanctuary.

Just visualize yourself as a lighthouse.

You offer them glimpses into that sanctuary at every chance you get. You invite them toward it. Let them know it is there as much as you can in a most subtle way.

You cannot trust them right now, but you know that, so they can't hurt you right now. They will spend great energy to convince others differently...but you know better.

You show the path by also protecting the children from their painful actions. Set clear boundaries that the Other Person is not part of your children's lives...without Love Busting. Offer alternatives that let them see the children, but be clear that the Other Person is to have no access to them. You fill the children's lives with stability. They deserve it and need it more than anything else.

Do not discuss or powerstruggle with them on irrational movements. Seek out and validate the rational ones with lots of praise for when he or she chooses correctly.

Your spouse is very lonely and sad right now, but that is ok. No one can stay very long in that chaos. Remove yourself from any aspect of participating or adding to the chaos, and eventually they will see that you are the only one who stood with clarity and reason when they needed it most.

Be the lighthouse.
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This is from the DB website.
I do not think we have this posted anywhere but if we do please, make me aware of it and I will remove this.

I also belive this is written from someone else not on the DB website.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 05:29:01 AM by OldPilot »
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Offline OldPilot

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2019, 09:37:37 AM »
When I first discovered HS, there was more discussion concerning "paving the way" and what that means. Thinking about this today, I dug up "The Lighthouse" which contains some of my personal ideas concerning how to be there for him. Maybe it applies, maybe not but for those who have not ever seen this, I found it helpful to understand what I could do to keep the door open for him.

Re: Resources: Standing Actions
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 05:21:16 AM »
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The Lighthouse

Your spouse is in huge conflict. The good news is; and the truth is that they are totally incapable of a healthy relationship with anyone right now. The competition that we believe exists with the Other Person is a shallow, empty reflection of God's light in this world. It is empty and lonely no matter how good the rush.

Their actions are actions that they themselves do not like in themselves right now. Though the need to go back again and again and attempt to prove themselves wrong or right is strong, they do not like what they are doing.

Their actions toward you, the children, the Other Person, and themselves, as well as God, keep them from engaging in any type of real interaction with any real depth and truth.

All they offer are misguided attempts to fill the void that has appeared in their life. Yet the filling is way too fleeting to sustain them and the truth is with them each night he or she lies down, regardless of whom is next to them.

They are the living cliche of 'no matter where you go, there you are.'

They are lost to themselves.

And you stand at that point of being the lighthouse home, even though they create the waves that block their vision from seeing the beacon.

You become the lighthouse. You fill your home with light, calmness and sanctuary.

Just visualize yourself as a lighthouse.

You offer them glimpses into that sanctuary at every chance you get. You invite them toward it. Let them know it is there as much as you can in a most subtle way.

You cannot trust them right now, but you know that, so they can't hurt you right now. They will spend great energy to convince others differently...but you know better.

You show the path by also protecting the children from their painful actions. Set clear boundaries that the Other Person is not part of your children's lives...without Love Busting. Offer alternatives that let them see the children, but be clear that the Other Person is to have no access to them. You fill the children's lives with stability. They deserve it and need it more than anything else.

Do not discuss or powerstruggle with them on irrational movements. Seek out and validate the rational ones with lots of praise for when he or she chooses correctly.

Your spouse is very lonely and sad right now, but that is ok. No one can stay very long in that chaos. Remove yourself from any aspect of participating or adding to the chaos, and eventually they will see that you are the only one who stood with clarity and reason when they needed it most.

Be the lighthouse.
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This is from the DB website.
I do not think we have this posted anywhere but if we do please, make me aware of it and I will remove this.

I also belive this is written from someone else not on the DB website.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 05:29:01 AM by OldPilot »
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M-56,W-56
Turns out this was from Marriage Builders and I found the author, named ark^^

here is a link to the post
https://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php/topics/1105251/re-does-coming-home-then-going-back-to-other-person-prolong-an-affair.html#Post1105251


Offline Mortesbride

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2019, 01:13:42 PM »
I spent a lot of time confused between paving the way and cake eating at first.

It took me a while (and a bit of MLC experience) to flesh out the difference.

I think at times the actions can look very similar depending on where the MLCer and LBSer are.

Letting your MLCer come round for Sunday dinner, because you want to piss off the OW, you miss him...you want x, y , z.... is probably cake eating. You have a motive. You expect a result. You hope this will buy them over. That is being a door mat (and slightly manipulative), the MLCer benefits, generally at the cost of you/the kids.

Letting your MLCer eat dinner with you and the kids after he spent all day out in the garden is paving the way. You expect nothing in return. It is a common courtesy you would offer anyone who was working hard helping you. You know this will not fix them, or make them come home. You are just showing your children what is the 'kind' and 'polite' thing to do. Not for the MLCer benefit.

This is just one example from my experience but I think with a clinging boomerang the premise is the same. From the outside ''dinner with the MLCer'' looks the same, but the circumstance and premise are very different.

In general I am polite to him, I treat him how I would any distant friend, I don't stop him seeing his kids, I don't expect anything from him (intentionally). If he text me, I reply like I would anyone. I no longer reach out in text for him, and that took a very long time to stop. If I don't text him, he generally texts me within a day or so. He never waits very long. So paving the way here is just being a nice human being, regardless of the fact they probably don't deserve it after their actions. It's more about you than it is about them.

If he is over to see the kids and starts to spill his guts, I listen, and I joke as I normally would...but I keep my true feelings and the nasty remarks to myself. So in part 'paving the way' is controlling our anger and rage about the injustice, and keeping our lips zipped at times we just want to say ''Well who's fault is that?!'' ???.

I don't offer him to come to anything with me and the kids, but if he asks to come, or asks us out..I always allow it. Not for his benefit but for the kids. I will never deny him a relationship with his children because I know how damaging that can be. But at the same time, if he asks us to come (specifically including me) I know that this is his way of...trying out the waters so to speak. He is conflicted in his head about the story that we 'don't get on' and 'I am so evil' and 'a matron'...then we go out and he has a great time and the story doesn't align. I think those moments are important and definitely part of 'paving the way'. I believe they need moments like this where the story they tell themselves don't match reality, otherwise how can they ever question themselves?

In general there is nothing we can do to 'bring them home', but I think there is a hell of a lot we can do to drive them away. Paving the way is just about containing our pain and anger, and treating them like you would anyone else.... Yet allowing an opening for them to approach you when/if they decide to.

I think those openings come when we least expect it. A desperate phone call from 'prisoner'..that you listened to without judgement. An extended chat in the car park at a kids function where they ask your advice or opinion on something. A family day out when you catch them staring at you with the look they used to have.

If you can manage to contain all your emotion and rage to allow these moments to happen organically (not try and manufacture them) then eventually when/if they do wake up....reconnecting will be easier for them to face. And what is paving the way if not making the road to re-connection easier?
You know this is MLC when you have played emotional hot potato with a pair of crotch-less tights.

Offline hopeandfaith

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2019, 03:59:08 PM »
Great description Morte.  I have to agree. 

The lighthouse piece also resonated with me and my situation.

I think an offer of kindness from me might have been the catalyst for H's latest breakup with ow actually.  I had dropped H off at the airport last Sunday for work and then text him about something to do with our finances on Thursday afternoon and found out that he was flying back into our town.  I work 10 mins away from the airport and finished an hour after he landed so I offered him a lift back to his place. 

He was fairly emotional and a bit drunk and I found out that he'd broken up with ow a couple of hours earlier (about the time of my text?). He apologised to me on that trip home and was in awe over the fact that I would still offer to pick him up from work after all that he has done to me.  I had no way of knowing how the offer of a lift home would land on him that day but it seemed to be one of those times where it had a lot of meaning for him.  He knew I had no way of knowing what he was thinking about doing (or perhaps had just done) and knew it was just an act of kindness.  It's the little things as Morte said.
BD's in May 09, Sept 12 - suspected OW
Left home Jan 12 2013
OW confirmed Feb 2013
Moved home April 11 2014
BD again in April 2017 - clinging. 
Moved out July 2017
D19, D17 and S15

Offline Songanddance

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2019, 12:45:24 AM »
Great reading on here.

I agree with an awful lot that has been said on here and will point out those points that struck me personally:

1. The term Paving the Way is ambiguous - as Treasur said - paving the way to what?
2. Clingers probably "benefit" more from any actions arising from paving the way
3. If paving the way is for the LBS's personal growth then let's call it so.  Let's remove the concept that it is about eventually restoring the marriage and make it a focus plan for the LBS. 
4. If paving the way is about how to treat the MLCer ie set boundaries, truth darts, dark/dim/NC etc....then let's call it so.

Perhaps the term itself isn't ambiguous but the "actions" themselves are too wide and varied to be clear. 

Maybe paving the way is both - but then make it so clear that the combination of all the actions that  "pave the way"  help the LBS with their own growth and their treatment of the MLCer - but not with the concept of restoring the marriage.  That as we know has to happen much, much further down the road and ultimately has to become a personal decision whether you're a long time stander or not. 
BD march 2013
Stay at home MLCer
OW for 3.5 years - finishing Autumn 2016
Reconnection started 2017 through 2018.
2019 is the year of Decisions!

Online Sam I Am

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2019, 12:56:24 PM »
To me, paving the way, starts with respect.  I hope this all makes sense.

As a newbie, I had misconceptions of paving the way.  What was it...how do you do it when someone doesn't want to communicate?  Sadly I made the mistakes...reaching out...we need to communicate.  There is still a family....blah blah blah.

Finally I realized that he didn't want to communicate and pushing myself on him was not paving the way.  I had to learn to respect his decision even though I hated it and I didnt agree with it.

Once I did that....once I "didn't pursue"...once I respected his MLC decisions for what they were, then I believe paving the way began.

Realize that I also demanded mutual respect.  I am lucky to have a "NICE" mlcer thus far.  However, the few times he did go towards monster, I was quick to tell him settle down or I would leave the room and he was respectful enough to calm down.

I think the other part that is important in paving the way is to mimic their actions.  Do as they do...

If they distance...leave them alone.

If they contact via text....text them back.  If they call...call them back.  Just do it at a time that is appropriate for the LBS.  Just another form of respect. 

Keep communication simple.  Don't interject.  Listen to them.  MLC is all about them...so are the convos.  Don't try to tell them how you are doing.  It stinks but it can only be temporary.  So respect them by letting them focus on what they can focus on...themselves.

Everyone says "don't nice them"  I agree with this.  However as a newbie it comes off as contradictory because we are not yet detached enough.  Don't nice them basically mean don't try and do things for them.  Let them alone.  Let them take care of themselves.   What you need to do is take care of the basics for yourself....food, water, shelter, etc.  Pay the bills, take care of the house, eat, exercise, etc.  Let them do all that for themselves to not "nicing" to me.

However being nice is different.  Being nice is the unconditional love.  It is the forgiveness.  It is treating them as humans and not animals.  It is not name calling or trying to incite drama.  It is not throwing the circumstances back at them.  It is loving and respecting them even though they are not always treating us the same.  It means backing off and giving them what they think they want.  It means not being retalitory.  Yes you want to blame...it gets you nowhere.    It means holding your head up high but not making the MLCer feel subserveant. 


Basically...it means learning to let go of the pain and hurt and bitterness and growing so that you can handle the MLCer firmly but lovingly when and only when the opportunities present themself.  Other times....backoff.

Paving the way to me evolves as the MLCer changes.  At first it was convos when they were cycling.  Then it was leaving them alone when they were doing distant.  It will contstantly change.

Paving the way is not easy.  It means stepping up and being an adult when your world is falling apart.  It takes time and as the LBS evolves so will paving the way as the MLCer drawers near then backs away and repeats.

Just an FYI - I had a standard Boomerang.  I am sure paving the way is different for Clingers vs Off and Oners vs Vanishers.  Perhaps feed back for each type could be helpful.
10.29.17 BD-Moved out to OW/A began in  6.17
3.5.18 OW moved away/H moved in with F
3.19.18  H moved home into spare room 
7.14.18  Moved to be with OW (another state)
9.4.18  Moved back-Living with Parents 
11.1.18  OW moved back.  H living w/her in D's basement room. 
11.18 - H started visiting on holidays
11.26.19 Call from H.  BIL died suddenly.
1.19 - H announced to my inner circle that he moved to sisters  inc all belongings
2.19  H volunteers to house and dog sit whenever.
Spring 19  H visiting house and doing chores on a regular basis

4.83 Started Dating
8.10.85  Married

D -29 Married with 2 children  Lives Local
S - 27 Engaged in Prof School across country
3 Dogs (he left them all behind - taking care of them but not really visiting or interacting with them yet)

Offline Songanddance

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2019, 11:47:00 PM »
An excellent response Sam I Am - absolutely brilliant.
BD march 2013
Stay at home MLCer
OW for 3.5 years - finishing Autumn 2016
Reconnection started 2017 through 2018.
2019 is the year of Decisions!

Offline Treasur

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2019, 12:25:05 AM »
Fwiw I agree with the point about respect. Even with a vanisher. Bc then it becomes about self respect preventing you reacting in ways that won't serve you longer term and pushing yourself out of denial. Doesn't prevent even a vanisher throwing hand grenades to blow up any Paving stones lol...but self respect matters.

Hmmm Paving the way with a vanisher?
Well, I think that it can be easy to misinterpret when you're in shock and to keep you cycling for a while trying to throw rational olive branches on the rare points of contact. You can end up frantically trying to safeguard things while your MLCer is working very hard to burn them all to the ground. Not so helpful to either one probably.
I do think that behaving like a sane decent human with a vanisher is maybe more about NOT doing things than DOING things with regard to them. So perhaps Paving the way by getting out of the way as quickly as you can? Mitigating the damage perhaps by removing yourself as a target even? Were my xh to ever return to being a healthy adult again, the facts would suggest that - after the first few months of crazy - I was always respectful, honest and rarely vindictive in my responses and that I did not stand in the way of his exit. Maybe that is a different kind of Paving the way? And perhaps in years to come that may help both of us feel rather better about the value of the relationship we used to have.
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 AlvinTheMaker

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2019, 03:10:33 AM »
I'm a somewhat newbie, so maybe I don't know much. But to me paving the way is a two way street.

I do things (forgiveness, compassion, self-love, self-respect etc) that keep my heart open. Focus here  is on me and my wellbeing, I really don't want to turn into yet another grumpy resentful partner, way too many those running wild already.

And I do things that will show respect and love (sometimes tough love) to my MLCr - just because of her. If she ever wakes up and looks at the $h!te that hit the fan, she should see who looked after her and know I'll be always there at least for a good talk.

So basically it's keeping two hearts as open / undamaged as possible.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 03:47:41 AM by AlvinTheMaker »
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years
M: 43, W: 41 (Acts 20-25) - a low energy live-in wallower
BD: Feb 2019
G19,G18,G14,G12,S5

On LBS diet: started at 281 lbs, now 265 - goal is to lose 66 lbs while being suck at this

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: What do you think it means to Pave the Way
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2019, 10:48:16 PM »
I want to thank everyone for their input. This is helping me a lot. When I get closer, I may send some PMs out asking if I can use what you wrote as questions, or quotes, ideas... in the blog post--or series of posts...we will see how much I write and how many subheadings there are :).

Please keep the responses coming!

 

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