Author Topic: Interacting with Your MLCer What do you think it means to Pave the Way  (Read 843 times)

Offline OldPilot

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Interacting with Your MLCer 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.

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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Turns out this was from Marriage Builders and I found the author, named ark^^

here is a link to the post

Online 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 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 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 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 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, 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 gets you nowhere.    It means holding your head up high but not making the MLCer feel subserveant. 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

"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

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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