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Author Topic: My Story I just found out I am an LBS

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My Story I just found out I am an LBS
OP: July 13, 2019, 03:51:18 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first post.  Like so many before me I found this forum and realised that my W is in MLC and I have been trying to stand.  I have found great advice and support here.  I shall try to sequence the madness, forgive me for such a long post, but I have only just realized I am an LBS despite acting as one for a long time. 

My W and I met when we were 17 and were friends and fell in love when we both 19.  We moved in together after I finished university when we were both 21, we married in 1999 when we both 26.  We are now 46 years old and have four amazing children; D17, D15, D13 and S10.  Up until 2017 I thought we were a strong family.  I worked FT, whilst W stayed at home with kids as we both wanted one of us to see them grow up, we discussed and agreed all our major life choices.  I was emotionally available, caring and affectionate.  We had an active and fulfilling sex life and were constantly complimentary to each other about how lucky we were to be together, how much we each appreciated the other.  Every day I thought how lucky I was and told W so.

Summer 2017, after a tense family holiday with in-laws, I was distant, angry and stressed.  When we returned home, W was very angry with me and told me she thought I was suffering from depression.  She was correct, and I accepted my mistakes over the last few years where my work-related stress became depression and caused me to be negative, isolated and short tempered, although I was never abusive or controlling, despite what W has recently claimed. 

I undertook CBT in summer of 2017 and talked through with W my damage, right from childhood issues, loss in teenage years and my erroneous belief that I had to be strong and carry on working despite depression bought on by 20 plus years working with young people in crisis, dealing with the abuse and neglect of children daily.  I apologised again and again for how I had hurt her, and the kids and I worked every day to be a better husband and Dad - I strengthened my relationships with my kids, separated work and my family life. W and I spent more quality time together, I thought working on how we moved forward together as the kids grew up and we needed more connection between us.  We seemed happier and closer.

Feb 2018, I found out that W had been having a 3-month PA with a man 10 years her junior who she met at work.  I saw his message pop up on her phone and confronted her immediately.  The first thing I said to her that she had pushed me to the brink of a breakdown as I had suspected her for some time and she had denied all, blaming my depression and paranoia, in short that she had gaslighted me as well as betraying our family. 
I was devastated, destroyed and furious.  W begged me to forgive her – it was an awful mistake, she was flattered, feeling old, not in her right mind, etc.  My eldest daughter, then 16, overheard the row and whilst I was clearing my head outside my W told her what had happened. This knowledge had a very negative effect of my daughter and I was angry that W had done this in her distress. W told me that there was no major problem in our relationship, but later said she struggled to cope with my low mood.  I agreed to forgive her and for us to communicate honestly about our needs and work on a better life together. 
W was genuinely remorseful, recognising that her behaviour in the build up to her PA meant she had drifted away from me and the kids.  She was very focused on her appearance before the PA; makeup, hair, fillers, tattoos, gym, perfect selfies, going out drinking too much etc. After PA came to light she seemed to be back to herself, not distant and selfish.  Despite the pain of the PA I felt so happy for her to be back to the woman I loved so much, and we seemed to reconnect, although she later said this time felt like a dream, to me it felt more real than the previous few months. 
Summer 2018, W starts to spend time with a male neighbour (10 years younger than my W) who she met dropping S10 at local school.  Obviously, I was very anxious about this and was honest with W, who of course reassured me that it was platonic, and part of our future needed to her being free and trusted despite her PA. 
I fought hard to overcome my suspicions and begged her not to hurt me again, if not for me, for the children.

 She started to drink with this man midweek and spend more time together.  She started to learn guitar with him, vape with him, message him constantly.  The torture of trying to trust her as I watched her slip away was terrible.  She continued to tell me she loved me and be affectionate towards me, but I knew that things were about to get worse.  I had met this man and knew him to be charming and manipulative, whilst I knew my W was still vulnerable as I still believed she was in MLC.

October 2018, BD, I return from work W is quite drunk and has been with OM neighbour, she was distressed and wouldn’t discuss why.  Following day, she sent me a message whilst I was at work ‘I love you so much, but soon you will hate me as I deserve. I’m so sorry to hurt you.  I am sick.’  My D17 was told that morning by W that she had PA2, D17 ran away to friend’s house.

I returned home and out came PA2.  OM’s W had suspected and snooping, found pictures, videos and messages confirming my W and her H had been in an EA over summer becoming a PA in August, (some of this stuff was sent to me by OM W and to see her betrayal was agony). OM was kicked out by his W and quickly divorced.  The few days after BD featured a lot of what I now know are typical MLC/monster lines from W:

‘ILYBINILWY. We just don’t connect, maybe we never did. I realise from OM what I have missed out on and can’t get back.  OM was my best friend/soul mate (she knew him 4 months at this point). I have no respect for you.  You are a victim, you were still crying four months after PA1!  Everyone works, we didn’t need you to take promotions – we could have lived in a smaller house. I have modified myself for you.  I need to be free now. You will only ever be a friend.  I don’t care who I hurt now – its my time.  I have looked after everyone else, now I’m going to look after myself.  Its ok to be selfish. I feel nothing. Count yourself lucky you are the father of our four kids’

W seemed to suffer cognitive dissonance at this point, telling me that she felt guilt towards the OM’s W and children for helping destroy the marriage, but none towards me.  This guilt and her belief that she deserved more in life pushed her to self-harm and depression, rarely getting out of bed for the first two weeks, only eating when I forced her and seeing no one else.  During this time I tried to stop her destroying herself and keep the family safe. 

Caring for my distraught, furious D17 who wanted me and her to leave immediately, as W did not deserve us, whilst protecting youngest three children from W’s breakdown which at points was so serious at times I consider hospitalisation of W.  OM messaged me a few weeks after BD and told me that my wife had kissed another man in 2013 and had planned on leaving me, this seemed to be his final attempt to break us up.  To be told this by OM was like being stabbed, again.  A month or so after BD W informed me she was over guilt, 'coz thats how i roll'. She stopped self-harming.

 I was the major focus of her anger – my depression had broken her and now she had meet OM she could see how awful I was and all that she had missed out on.  She should have had more social life despite kids, should have gone back to work, (but she wanted 4 children and to raise them each day – told me this 5,000 times – ‘Im so lucky to be here, thank you for working so hard so I can be’).
 She was very aggressive and abusive towards me at this point, I think trying to force me to leave the family home.  Before I realised that R discussions with W were counterproductive as no logic or perspective could penetrate the anger and justification, there were some revelations that may be illuminating about W’s mental state.  I will detail a couple of things she initiated discussion about:

W asked me if I remember a night a couple of years previously when I could not sleep due to dealing with a very distressing case at work involving a boy who was subject to sexual abuse by a paedophile ring and then disappeared without trace. 
I had cared for this boy for two years in my job and was devastated that he was gone.  I sat on the edge of the bed and tried to accept the unacceptable – that I had done everything right, but still a child had been hurt or worse.  My W told me that on occasions like this she did not feel like she could sleep whilst I was awake.  She agreed that I had always told her to go to sleep I would be fine, but she was still under the impression that it would be disloyal in some way for her to sleep when I couldn’t.  I told her that I had worked very hard in the last two years to compartmentalize work and family life with some success.  W acknowledged this but said it was too late – I had already screwed her mind up.

W went to a therapist November 2018 and told me after the second and last session she attended that I had been emotionally abusive to her for 5-8 years.  When asked for an example she said that me wanting the kids to come and sit with me and watch a film for an hour before they went to bed, (kids much younger then and younger ones went to bed 8pm). 
I explained that I left for work before kids were up and after returning home, doing paper work, washing and eating it was 7pm and exhausted, I just wanted to spend some time with our kids.  W returned that this was controlling and abusive.  She agreed that I did not get angry if kids were not about for a film, but still felt that she was walking on egg shells.  Later she denied believing that I was emotionally abusive, but acknowledged that she said it.

November 2018 – June 2019,  I have stood by my W and family.  I became an LBS before I found out what that was.  I tried to emotionally detach before I knew how to do it.  I refused to leave home and despite W going to lawyer, we agreed to stay together for kids. W sleeps in D13 room and we speak little and she avoids touching me as if I am infected.  D17 knows too much and is on AD, we do not discuss W’s breakdown or affairs. I have not told D17 any of the sordid details and hope that keeping her out of it as much as possible will allow her to continue getting better with help of AD, which are helping her greatly. 

W is also on AD and they have helped her mood, but we are no closer as a couple.  W is happy with status quo and although to live in this environment has pushed me to the brink, I feel like I must stand for my kids.  I don’t want to look back and wish I had been stronger for them and have hurt the innocent, but each day is a battle to GAL, to detach and do that whilst appearing normal in front of kids.  Very rarely I see a flash of my wife through the cloud, she looks anxious, scared, but something about her beautiful eyes tells me that my real W is still there.  Then the fog returns, and she looks cold as ice.


July 2019, I find HS and realize that there are so many other LBS, I do my homework and become a better LBS.  I take great comfort from the stories of others who fight.  I wish I was stronger and hope with a mentor and the support of all members here I can be.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#1: July 13, 2019, 05:05:36 AM
I am so sorry for what you have been through.  I found this place in the midst of my H's MLC.  There are great people here and very supportive.  I dont know what I would have done without this site.  Get yourself a mentor.  It helped me A LOT!  It can help you too. 
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#2: July 13, 2019, 05:08:55 AM
I cried a little reading your story. I am so sorry LW for how much you and your oldest daughter have suffered in the last couple of years. Others will come along to support you bc you are not alone and I wanted to respond quickly so you knew that.

It will help us to help you if we are clear about a couple of practical things.
As far as you know, is your w continuing to see om2? Are you seeing any of the other textbook Replay-type behaviours?
And she went to therapy twice six months ago but is not doing IC now? Who is prescribing her ADs?
And have you returned to therapy as you navigate this situation? Or your daughter? And how are your younger kids doing?
Do you have much family support or another support system for you and your kids?
And she has seen a L but the two of you are 'staying together for the kids'? Does she see that as an in house separation or something else? And have you taken legal advice? Or done anything to protect your finances?
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 05:10:29 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#3: July 13, 2019, 05:41:49 AM
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.
GAL.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4.msg380#msg380

Developing Detachment
http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforcontrolissues/developdetachment.html

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/self-focus_releasers_detach.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

RCR has asked everyone to keep to one thread until  that thread is 150 posts

Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#4: July 13, 2019, 06:18:23 AM
Hi Little Wing, just jumping in to lend emotional support. It seems to me that you have done so many good things for your W and family. I thank you for posting your story, as hard as that must be, because for me to read how many 'right' things you did to try to keep your W from going in the tunnel but she went anyway, helps me accept that there was nothing I could have done to prevent my H from doing so, too.

In fact, reading your story, I'm surprised you are not the MLCer. But that just goes to show how a man can have some of those basic problems: depression, FOO issues, stress at work and not necessarily have a MLC of his own. You realized what was happening and got help. That's admirable.

If I understand correctly, your W is still at home. It must be really hard, but I would say this is the best option. If you can read all the articles here and on Hearts Blessings and take advice from veterans, especially the: Do not have relationship talks with your MLCer! then you should find that you will become stronger, might even like yourself more than you have done in years. 

Thank you also for tellings us about the many discussions you've had with your W since the first EA. Your W has shared a lot about her feelings, a side we rarely get to hear. Her accusing you of being a manipulator is so MLC. My H said that to me so many times, when in fact it was my H who was the manipulator and later his OW.

I feel for your D. She's at such a vulnerable age for a young girl. How you react to this situation and how you live your life is going to be very important for this D. She is going to be watching you for guidance. What I mean is that if you do ok, she will feel better. I'm glad you got her on ADs. She sounds fragile, many of us have one child like this, my oldest D25 is like your D. It seems you got on top of the situation right away. I would say keep the ugly details from her as she can't cope emotionally. Don't lie because she mustn't be given expectations, but just show her that no matter what, it's going to be ok.

Sending you a big hug, Little Wing, to help you cope with this terrible crisis.
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Married 1989, together since 1984 
BD May 2014,
D25, D22, S15
OW Physical Affair same one. He and she said she turned 34 the month of BD. She turned 52 this year.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#5: July 13, 2019, 08:02:16 AM
Hi all thanks for your messages of support, they mean a great deal. Treasur I will try to answer some of your Qs...


As far as you know, is your w continuing to see om2? Are you seeing any of the other textbook Replay-type behaviours?

I think not, W tells me not and I think I believe her, but i also believed the last two times she cheated on me!

Other replay behaviours seem to have really reduced in last 2 months - W has stopped going out drinking with friends, is not obsessed with appearance, seems more engaged in family life and is generally less selfish and teenage in her attitude, speech and action.  She told me about a month ago 'I have realised that I cant make up for lost time by behaving in certain ways that I did before'  Again I believe only that she believed it when she said it.  I trust nothing she says.

And she went to therapy twice six months ago but is not doing IC now? Who is prescribing her ADs?

W not in therapy and doesnt want to return, says she knows what the problem is - my depression made her stop loving me and have an MLC (which she acknowledges she has suffered).  She says she has behaved appalingly, but seems not to care that it has destroyed me in so many ways.  She says that she doesnt believe any therapy is going to change that, so we must just be friends for the kids.  Her doctor prescribed an SSRI which she has been on for about 9 weeks.

And have you returned to therapy as you navigate this situation? Or your daughter? And how are your younger kids doing?

I stopped therapy due to expense after two sessions, I used the money to pay for D17 to go instead.  She seems to be doing much better!

Do you have much family support or another support system for you and your kids?

My Mum and Dad and a few close friends know my marriage is in deep trouble, but none of the details on affairs etc.  I thought it best that few people knew to protect my kids and perhaps allow some relationship to continue between W and family/friends if she comes out of her MLC.  No one i speak to in IRL knows everything and the person who knows most is D17 and I dont discuss it with her for obvious reasons.


And she has seen a L but the two of you are 'staying together for the kids'? Does she see that as an in house separation or something else? And have you taken legal advice? Or done anything to protect your finances?

We live in same house with kids, we are pretend friends.  We play it out for the kids, but generally speak little and have no real affection.  To see her everyday and not be with her is agony and i feel so vulnerable even though i try to detach.  Its a tough balancing act.  I have spoken to L and in short the split would be very damaging to me and the kids, financially I would be very restricted in future and the logistics would be very negative for children.  I cannot bear the idea of not seeing my kids half my life. 

Protecting my finances is very tricky as i make most of the income and the payments for all the household go from the joint account in to which my pay is deposited.  Even with both of us working there is no spare money at end of month, so there is little she could take or spend.  We have no access to credit.  I cant control what she does with her wages, but they are low and mostly spent on the kids, she may be storing up some money from her wages, but it is certainly not a large amount.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#6: July 13, 2019, 08:16:10 AM
Welcome little wing,

Your story is very similar to mine. I only think you handled yours better at BD. My wife has since moved out and we don't talk. But I am working on me as you should work on yourself. You will get stronger in time. Listen to the vets they have some great insight into this mess.
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5 kids 3- Step (21) (20) (18) Two together ( 8 ) (9)
BD1 March 2018 - I wish I could give you more of what you need
BD2 Aug 2018 - I want a divorce sent by text ILWYBNILWY

O/M Discovered Nov-18

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#7: July 13, 2019, 08:49:29 AM
Thanks, LW...that helps us understand a bit more about how things are.

Your depression, and how you dealt with it, is how a fundamentally emotionally healthy person recovers. Your w is a different kettle of fish, a kind of depression plus....you are right to not believe much that she says and to see her blame as the twisted coping behaviour that it is.

If it is a comfort, there is very little anecdotal evidence here that either therapy or ADs make much difference once the lid is off the box. It sounds as if you have personal and professional skills that you can use to cope but I hope you understand, and I think you do, that you cannot be any kind of therapist or guide for your wife bc your thoughts are the last she wants to hear. I hope you have read some of Shockand Awe's sister's posts...just her own experience of course but some useful reminders about how different your w's reality might be currently.

I'm pleased you have considered all the sensible practical stuff...albeit none of it produces 'good' answers does it?...you may want to run a periodic credit check on your wife bc unfortunately MLCers can be tremendously ingenious about finding sources of money to play with, sorry.

I can hear how hard it is for you to live this half-life with someone who looks like your w but isn't. You might want to tell us if there are particular challenges you would welcome advice or suggestions on? There are people here who have survived, and are still sane lol, living with an MLCer in much the way you are.

My two penn'orth fwiw - and I think you instinctively know this - is that you are the cornerstone now for the wellbeing of you and your kids. There are lots of things you can't control and must simply trust that you will cope if or when you must. But I suspect you assume that being the strength like that means looking after others by putting them first? Actually, for now, that is the first thing that needs to change...you need to put you first. Bc if you are not physically and mentally strong and well, you cannot be the cornerstone for your kids. Reading what you have written, that makes me wonder if you need to muse on a couple of things:
- as money is an issue, some kind of free or cheap new activities or hobbies, not work related and ideally either some kind of exercise or something that involves normal humans outside your house. Many here have found exercise better than therapy for anxiety or stress  :)
- your work sounds as if it is emotionally demanding...depending on your situation and key relationships, are there ways in which you can reduce that as your home life is also emotionally stressful? Or even any kind of IC available through EAP at your workplace. Think about yourself as a bucket...you can't keep pouring stuff out on multiple fronts ad infinitum and your family needs you to be sane and emotionally resilient.
- which brings me to the 'tell no one' principle....again, no one right answer and many here have not told family and friends so as to protect their spouses ability to be as they were again or tbh to avoid dealing with other people's emotions or opinions when dealing with your own is hard enough. But...and it is an important but...that also means you have little or no personal support system for you or your kids, that you are carrying everything alone. You sound like a good, strong decent human but you are only one person with the responsibility for four smaller ones. You might want to muse on this a bit, think creatively perhaps about different kinds of support you might need and where you might find it? And linked to that, start to muse on how you might respond when/if your kids start to ask questions bc as time goes on they might. Most probably your w will be as much use as parental version of a chocolate fireguard for quite a while and all of the adultier adult stuff will fall on your solo shoulders. When you can't talk things over with your spouse as you used to, sometimes it helps to have time to think it over on your own.

Life has brought you to this strange time. It will pass. It does get easier. Time does help. But navigating it sometimes demands new skills or perspectives and we all mostly learn by trial and error. But the basics of your physical and emotional health are vital fuel no matter how things unfold.
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 09:05:16 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#8: July 13, 2019, 09:15:55 AM
Little Wing, welcome. I’m sorry you all are going through this, on top of the difficult stories you tend in your work outside the home and family.

I agree with others here, read the articles here and at HB. No relationship talks. My h did the same, casting the innocuous as controlling or abusive. It’s maddening but it shows you how raw and messed up their MLC mind and ethics are. H made mountains out of molehills for at least three or four years straight. Early this year I put him concisely in place on a few of those things and my brevity about it served as final word. He now knows certain accusations will never be heard by me again. So just trust that your reading and rereading will eventually leverage into your strength and calm boundaries. This takes a good deal of time.

Please do what you can to ensure your daughter and all children are shielded from the mess and details, and that they have a safe support to discuss their feelings and concerns about it all. In my county, in a divorce or custody circumstance, what your w said to your daughter can be legally penalized. Hearing anything like that at 17, I’d have run away too. My heart is with your kids.

You both are a little younger than h and I, but it was around 45 that he started hanging around with 35yos too. Casinos, bars, tons of drinking, totally obnoxious. He vapes too. I’m old school and wish if he were going to do that, he’d just use cigarettes.

It doesn’t seem like it in the moment, but you are going to find your center again. As someone in the helping and healing professions, it may be hard for you to let her be and not to “fix” her. We can’t fix them. Stay close with your kids and keep posting here, and just know you are not alone.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#9: July 13, 2019, 09:16:46 AM
Hello,

I am so sorry that you are here, but it is a great place to receive support from some great people.

Your script is the same as many others, but there are a lot of variables as well. I am going to break this down to four issues that need to be addressed.

1. You and your issues regarding your job, stress, depression, and MLC of your wife.
2. Your wife and her MLC.
3. Your D17
4. The other children in the household.

You have stated you suffered from depression as a result of your position. Due to the high stress of your occupation, you may qualify for therapy from your work. I don't know but some insurance plans offer IC as part of their coverage. Despite your w's MLC and the issues at home, the stress and issues you face at work will continue and it is hard to decompress from one stressful environment to another when you come home.

I don't have the answers as what your work offers varies from state to state. If a grocery clerk develops carpal tunnel syndrome from years of repetitive motion and the store is held liable for the surgery and rehab, I think your occupation may deserve the same consideration.

The one thing is to focus on yourself and the children at home. Think and try to live as if she is never going to come back. I did the "forced" family things and tried to pass it off to the kids and they saw right through it. In fact they said it added to the stress and made the events very uncomfortable because they knew it was fake.

Instead, find activities and things to do on your own or just you and the children. It creates a safe zone for you all to interact away from the presence of your w's MLC. You need to find your own safety zone to decompress and focus on the healing you need for your own system. I exercise. Others garden, paint, write, read, cook, and many other activities that pique their interest and allow them to take their minds off of the MLCer.

Not only will the activity you choose help you deal with the MLCer, it will help you deal with the stress from your job.

Now let's talk about your MLCer. I want to let you know that you can't talk, manipulate, force, or fix her crisis. It is her crisis and she will have to go through the tunnel on her own. Don't let her blame her crisis, actions, and choices on your depression. That is outward projection and are not connected. Lots of people deal with depression and stress of their spouse and they don't solve it by sleeping with the next door neighbor. That was her choice, she owns it.

In my situation, I had a wallower. She did not work and as her crisis continued, I took over more and more. I was cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. She just stayed in her room and did her thing. Looking back, I should not have enabled her. I may have cooked for myself and the kids, but should have made her fix her own meals. Take care of her own car, and if she wants to live a free life, then get a job and pay rent.

Eventually, we divorced and she left. She got a job and has a mortgage. Struggles with finances, but appears to be doing fine. Even though we are not together anymore, both of us are in a better place and so are our children.

The point is that you can't control her or her choices. However, you are not obligated to support her bad decisions nor accept and bend over backwards to appease the monster.

Which brings me to D17. She knows a lot and she sees through her mother. You need to acknowledge and support her. After all, she had her own BD when her mother blew her world apart be admitting to the affair. My ex did the same to my daughter by telling her at the mature and ripe age of 14. "I'm in love with a man that is not your father."

From what I gather, you work with youth that have experienced trauma. Your D is in the same situation and from what I gather, has chosen you over her mother. Remember, children at this age see most issues as black and white-no grays. So don't try to force her to accept her mother, just strengthen your ties and support of her as she heals in her own way.

Then the rest of the children. They may not know about the affair and they don't need to know. However, they don't live in a vacuum and you need to let them know that they are not responsible for the situation.  Based upon their ages, they too will try to choose sides. They may even see you as the villain and attack you. Of course they will attack you because you are safe and they know you won't strike back. That is out of fear and frustration as they feel they have no control.

Try your best to empower them of things they can control. Let them pick a place to eat or what is for dinner from time to time. They can take turns. Keep them focused on school and chores as necessary. Let them know there are issues and they are your and their mother's issues- not theirs.

Your are doing very well considering the circumstances and use my words as a guide, not the final word. I am not in your place. You have to read and select what will work best if any at all. Just know my intent is to support and help you.

((((Hugs)))) to you and your children,

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#10: July 13, 2019, 09:21:57 AM
Thanks Father and Tresur your comments are insightful as usual.

I am working on my self esteem and although it was taken a huge knock recently, i take pride in having fought hard.  I do not try to help my W with her crisis, i suggest nothing and we deal mostly with co parenting the kids.  I keep a close eye on the finances as much as i can.  I think it extremely unlikely my wife could obtain credit on her own, but appreciate how cunning she has been so far and is in a position where she cares nothing for me or the family finances.  I will be ware, but i wont snoop.

I am doing more exercise and spending time with my kids, close friends and parents.  Although these carers dont know of all W's offences, they know she has monstered in response to my depression.  They know everything except the affairs, so I do get some genuine support.  But only me and D17 knowing of APs is difficult to bear. 

I work hard each day on GAL, getting fit and thinking about me and not W.  Helping others in work and at home makes me feel stronger.  Being on HS makes me feel stronger.

One matter I would like opinions on is that my wife has secretly looking at buying a double bed for D13s room.  I presume this is so W can move from camp bed in D13s room to share bed with D13.  I presume this only as nothing has been discussed and I have not mentioned it. 

With most of W's behaviour I strive to not react and if pushed for a response try and stay neutral.  My question is...  if/when this purchase comes up, what do i say?  That im not sure this is good solution for D13?  That if he long term plan is not to return to our bed that she needs to think of a better solution?  I presume that youngest 3 kids just think we dont sleep together as we are both poor sleepers recently (for some reason!)  Should i just agree to the purchase and not venture an opinion?

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#11: July 13, 2019, 10:05:18 AM
What do YOU see as the different options? What are the constraints of configuring sleeping space differently?
And what is best for your daughter? Imho that comes first...and also influences if you need to intervene with a boundary for your w before she acts or not. Detaching does not mean that everyone else just swirls around what your w wants and sucks it up...you will probably get some Monster but if you need to protect your kids with a boundary, then so be it. How can she buy a bed if she doesn't have much independent money out of interest and how did you find out this possible 'secret'?
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 10:09:02 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#12: July 13, 2019, 10:38:22 AM
Well Treasur, there not many options for where W sleeps, there is one spare room downstairs where she slept initially after leaving our bed, but this room is used in the day and is used to access the main living space in our house, so meant that logistical issues ensued and W moved upstairs to share room with D13.  There is no other space, except with her loving husband of 27 years of course!  I know W will have to tell me of purchase because she wont have enough money and the only debit card is to joint account.  I found out because she put 3 beds in shopping basket online and i saw this on my phone.  I dont think its great setup for my D13, but how do i enforce this boundary?  She is already in D13s room! 
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#13: July 13, 2019, 10:44:55 AM
Well, I'd guess you could just say no and invite your w to come up with a better solution?
Bc it really isn't your problem to solve is it? Your w is an adult albeit not a very functional one.
Unless you think it would be better for your D13 to share with one of her sisters?
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 10:52:21 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#14: July 13, 2019, 11:04:45 AM
LW, presuming the double bed is for your house, if your wife is uncomfortable in a single bed and you should decide that you won't let her buy a double bed for her and D13, she could start thinking of other options. Just saying, because they don't think of the best options for their families, just the best options for themselves.

If you saw this on your phone, why not question her about it? No accusations, just ask whether she was thinking of changing the bed solutions. If she is uncomfortable, there is nothing you can do to get her to choose the marital bed. She will choose anything else, even a floor, rather than that. It's a cruel part of this crisis. If you read the threads of the live ins, they often have their MLCer living in their cave. Not really a cave, but just a word to symbolize a bad place in the house,  but their own space.

Personally, if I would have known about MLC before my H left, I would have done anything to have him stay at home and that includes giving them their needed space. I like Treasur's idea of having D13 sleep in one of her sibling's rooms for now? But I realize that might be unfair on the other siblings.
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OW Physical Affair same one. He and she said she turned 34 the month of BD. She turned 52 this year.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#15: July 13, 2019, 11:27:46 AM
For what it’s worth, at 13 I would not be wanting to share a bed with my mother. My daughter was that age very recently and although she has often taken to sleeping in my bed with me, it is never me asking her to do it. She has her own room and bed.

Your daughters are of ages when they should be free to their own individuation, dreams, and budding or active sexuality. As a parent, just as I would not expect them to share a bed with me at these ages, I also would not be buying them new double beds.

We have always been co-sleepers from babyhood and as the *child* decides necessary through the years. But I’d say no in the situation you’re talking about. It’s an energy thing. I don’t know how you would phrase any of it, but my thought would be that D13 doesn’t need the disruption of a new bigger bed with a mixed-up mother in it. Your daughters are on the brink of their own young womanhood and deserve their own privacy and dreams.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#16: July 13, 2019, 11:28:13 AM
I'm not sure I care about them sharing a bed, its more the permanence of the arrangement that concerns me.  To ask my D13 to share with sibling seems unfair on both siblings, why should they when this my W's problem?  I have not asked W about it as she has often made plans to leave, get house valued, get an amazing new job etc, etc but hasn't followed through on them, this may be another of those 'great ' ideas that doesn't happen.  Either way if she brings it up I will be clear that i think her sharing with D13 long term is not great for my child and i think she should seek another solution, no doubt monster will ensue and in reality she can get her mother to pay for a bed and i cant stop her doing it, but i can not help and not approve of her decision.  Co parenting is really hard when one of the parents in so selfish.  Thank you all for your help.  It is so useful to get a view from outside this bubble!
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#17: July 14, 2019, 12:03:57 AM
So sorry you're here Little Wing, but I'm glad you found us. I can see you've already received some advice from some wise veterans. I don't have much to add, except to encourage you to be good to yourself. What would you say if a buddy told you a story just like yours? Treat yourself the way you would treat that buddy.

You're doing well in an extremely difficult situation. Take care of yourself so you can be there for your kids.

So sorry for all of this. I'm really heartbroken for you and your family.
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Together 28 years, married 27
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BD #1: 2016 - EA
BD #2: 2018 - FA
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OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019
Divorce final - September 2019
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#18: July 14, 2019, 01:05:13 AM
Hi Little Wing,

If I understand correctly, the only other "bedroom" is a pass through room that everyone NEEDS to walk though to get to the main living area (an add on room? I'm trying to visualize) During the day when the kids are at school, no one is walking through that room. After the kids go to bed, you can also go to your room and no one will walk through that room. That leaves 6 hours where someone might walk through that room. Is there a way to partition off the room and make a "hallway" for pass through, say with an inexpensive or garage sale bookcase?

The reason I ask is that your wife should not be encroaching on any of your children because she has an issue. How do you think that will make D17 feel, that her mother who she is royally PO'd at, is sleeping in the same bed with D13?  That is a perfect storm for screwing up a sibling relationship when D13 seems to have no say in the matter. Then there is the issue of sleeping in the same bed. Wrong on so many levels because Your W is STEALING space from D13. D13 didn't say " Hey mom, come share my room and hey, why not  my BED, too?" I'd have been MORTIFIED to share a bed with my mother. I'd rather  have shared with a sibling. Or twin beds at the minimum. Actually, I'd have slept in the bathtub before I'd share a room with my mother.  Maybe ask D13 what she wants? Maybe she'd like to live in the pass through room if it meant having at least some space of her own. Maybe S10 would like to share with you? Is that an option for freeing up a room?

And I'd suggest you need at least one more appt with a counselor to help you figure out how to manage this with your kids. Sweeping it under the rug and pretending it's normal isn't going to cut it, unless you want one of them to have their own issues with parents gaslighting them. They are way too old for that.

This is a bad situation all the way around and I am so sorry you have to go through this. An at home MLCer is incredibly tough and unless you are able to set some boundaries and enforce them, accepting whatever consequences arise, then you are at the mercy of your MLCer. That's OK, if that is your choice, but know that if you are worried she will leave or divorce you or what have you, you will  be walking on eggshells for the duration. And if she does things like move in with D13, your kids will be walking on eggshells, too. Just be aware.

I would also suggest making sure nothing sits in your bank account waiting for an automatic payment. That money that was supposed to go to the mortgage? It might just be paying for that double bed and then the mortgage payment cannot be made. Financial logistics are very important.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#19: July 14, 2019, 01:46:36 AM
OR makes a lot of sense.
I think many livein LBS do feel like a bit of a hostage to the eggshells and whims of an MLCer either bc they believe if they leave there is no hope for the marriage or bc they are trying to protect their kids or finances from what they think might be worse.
And the MLCer knows us well enough to know that and they use it to manipulate us. And of course they lie and say things but don't do them.

The simple truth I suspect is that you need to stop caring if they stay or go.
And act as if you feel that way until you do. Many folks here do say that there is a sense of relief when/if they do go actually for them and the kids.
It is a hard pill to swallow that almost certainly your w does not care much what happens to any of you or how her behaviour effects any of you. If she did, she would be making different choices. But none of you can live an even close to sane life with someone who is like a suicide bomber in the corner of the room can you?

So I think OR is wise....quarantine what you can including finances as OR says bc this is no longer the w you knew and old rules do not apply. If it helps, maybe think about behaving the way you would with an addict? They steal and lie and avoid reality or responsibility while seeing themselves as a victim. You don't have to stop loving her, or hate her or give up hope for better....but you do have to deal with the current reality in the room and help your kids do so too bc they are too old to not see and feel how not normal this/she is.

Take control of what you can. Keep telling yourself that what your w thinks about it or you right now does not matter (as long as you know you are not being a vindictive a$$). She will think what her depressed crisis head wants to think regardless and you can't talk grown up to disordered. If she stays, it could be a holding pattern of a year plus. And she may go anyway at any given point....all she needs really is an OM with house room and a reasonable salary to pay her bills for a bit right?  If she stays or goes, it will have nothing to do with anything you do or say or the size of a bed.

To do all of that, you may need to work hard to almost push yourself to accept two things that you don't want to...that your old marriage is dead in the water and that your w will not probably be a sane decent adult for another couple of years at least even if she never leaves. I am so sorry that this is how it is but reading between the lines, I am genuinely concerned for just how heavy a load you are carrying and sometimes the only way to carry less is to choose to let go of some things, often quite a lot of things we really don't want to and before we feel ready to do so. It's an act of faith really that you and the kids will survive this, that you will be ok...and you will...even if life ends up looking rather different.

If you knew say that nothing would change in your w for say the next two years, would you make different choices now? Not saying you should or would, just suggesting that you might want to free your mind to chew on it in case it creates different options or clarifies your thinking.
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 01:52:32 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#20: July 14, 2019, 03:53:30 AM
Thanks OR and Treasur for your thoughts... they are exactly my thoughts.

  I have taken financial precautions in regards to payments for mortgage etc. they are all paid out on pay day and i am alerted immediately to any transactions from joint account.  I think the bed issue may be dead in the water, but i am prepared to challenge W if it comes up.  I do not care if she leaves, but she has no intention of leaving - she has what she wants at the moment.  W is clear that if she is involved emotionally or physically with OM I will leave and apply for court order to sell house.  I have no expectation that she will come out of this.  I am making preparations for dissolving our marriage and selling family home as much as I can.  I am standing but preparing for the worst.  I make a judgement every day as to how negatively the status quo effects me and our kids and deciding if the split option is better for all in the long run.  Currently the balance is that this situation is marginally better than a split, but I watch very closely W's behaviour and children's reaction.

  I have accepted the awful truth that if this situation deteriorates much further I will have to finish our marriage for the good of all concerned.  If this happens I will know that I have done all I can.

Thank you all for your kind words and support.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#21: July 14, 2019, 08:56:34 AM
Hi All,  I am interested if anyone has thoughts on the following: 

My W acknowledged about four months after BD that she had suffered a MLC.  Is it unusual for MLCer to recognise this?

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#22: July 14, 2019, 10:18:05 AM
Mine said she "might be having an MLC" with a little,  rueful laugh in marriage counseling.  At the beginning, before monster really showed up and OM was exposed, she also said she was "culpable."  Later, when I was moving out, I got a speech on hormones and how I should understand she needed to get over OM.  I think they have a clue, they just cant break the compulsions.   

In my case, this certainly wasn't the beginning of the end of MLC! She's still in the tunnel, still doing nasty things to me, and still making unilateral decisions about our life and our child without checking with me first.

She first announced she wanted a D in February of 2017.  She just recently filed, and has done nothing else to move forward.
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 10:19:06 AM by Disillusioned »
M=51
W=47
D=8
BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
Atomic BD June 17 Spying revealed OM at work
Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
Several mediations, mostly instigated by me.  Foot dragging by STBXW.  Nothing filed. Yet.
5/2019 STBXW filed D behind my back despite signed agreement to mediate.
I retain attorney.
STBXW still hasn't told me and no further action.
Elephant in the room has been addressed.  No further action atm.  Weighing my options.
12/16/19  She files financial paperwork.  Divorce proceeding.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#23: July 14, 2019, 12:30:17 PM
Mine said she "might be having an MLC" with a little,  rueful laugh in marriage counseling.  At the beginning, before monster really showed up and OM was exposed, she also said she was "culpable."  Later, when I was moving out, I got a speech on hormones and how I should understand she needed to get over OM.  I think they have a clue, they just cant break the compulsions.   

In my case, this certainly wasn't the beginning of the end of MLC! She's still in the tunnel, still doing nasty things to me, and still making unilateral decisions about our life and our child without checking with me first.

She first announced she wanted a D in February of 2017.  She just recently filed, and has done nothing else to move forward.

Thats very interesting Dis, mine said 'Its an awful, awful thing to be in a MLC'.  My W is so far in the tunnel I dont think she can see daylight. 

Know all about unilateral 'co-parenting'! Its a big challenge to draw boundaries..

 My W also made all the moves to D then changed her mind and said she would do nothing to D me.  I wish life as an LBSer was duller day to day.  The roller coaster is so draining.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#24: July 17, 2019, 02:45:16 AM
So just a quick update on last few days on living in with my MLCer..

Tackled W over bed issue two days ago, its not happening and she took this quite well, accepted it with just a bit of monster... mostly just angry looks, silence and avoiding me.  So not that different from normal.

 W was upset yesterday as she had visited her elderly friend in hospital and when she returned she came towards me for a hug, we haven't touched for about a month and I felt so much pressure!  I was very neutral and felt quite normal to hug her with no expectations. 

But within 5 minutes she returned to coldness - barely looking at me, not speaking and generally keeping away from me at all costs.  Some looks that could kill.

 I have to say i felt very down.  I thought I was doing better with detachment, but this just pulled me back in and I have felt low since then.  Still coping with work and being positive round kids, but inside I feel down.

 I was disappointed that she still has this hold over me.

I tried to remember how much better I am now than when i found out about previous  two PAs over last 18 months, but still had to spend some time on my own in garden last night trying to calm myself...  I fell to rumination and inevitably that led to anger; deciding I wanted out of the M - that I was no doormat, deserved better and had to control something!  Despite having dealt with these thought for getting on for two years, they came back so strong 

So I walked in the house ready to pack a bag and leave - enough is enough!

But I walked back in to the house angry and ready to pack a bag and I see my W and S10, D13,D15 all snuggled up on the couch chatting and laughing happily... and I realized what I would be doing if I felt I had to finish the marriage, that innocents would suffer. 

So i thought about my four beautiful children and carried on carrying on.

Hopefully today will be less painful...

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#25: July 20, 2019, 04:55:39 AM
Hi All

could really do with some advice here.  I am still standing despite the ups and downs.  BD was 11 months ago, although we had some false starts with W having an early PA and exhibiting replay behaviours for at least five years before BD.  I am standing for my kids and my wife.  My question is about wedding rings...

BD pushed my W to the edge of sanity, she committed serious self harm to herself and had other indications of depression and cognitive dissonance, I protected her and my four wonderful children from the worst of this, wearing my wedding ring with pride - that I was standing by her in her crisis, (At this stage I did not know what standing was, that I was an LBSer, although we both knew she was in MLC). 

About three months ago the situation was really bad - my W's anger and resentment came on very strongly and any guilt she felt transformed in to blaming me for her unhappiness, she was verbally abusive, dismissive of our marriage and clear that we had no future together.  Additionally at this time I found out other sordid details of her last PA and that she still spoke to OM on social media, OM had tried his absolute best to destroy our M at the time of BD.  I stopped wearing my wedding ring at this point as I felt that we had no chance of reconciliation, (I had not found HS at this point and didnt know what standing meant - i was ad-libbing poorly).  W continued to wear her ring up until a month ago when she also removed hers. I have not discussed this with her, avoiding any R talk.

What do I do now?  I think I want to wear my ring again as a sign that I am committed to our marriage, but does it look like pressure to my MLCer if she sees me wearing it again?  Should I leave it off or put it back on without comment?

Please help me, I have little support in my life at the moment and despite reading everything I can find, I still feel as if I am stepping through a minefield....  I cant work out if this is important only to me, or if its not important at all.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#26: July 20, 2019, 06:51:40 AM
Little Wing,

I don't know if my advice is worth much... I still wear a wedding band - it is not actually my wedding ring because about 18 months into this, my h. asked me to stop wearing my wedding ring out of respect for him. He was living with ow at the time, he had been out of the house for over a year. I thought about it, and I decided to buy a silver band and I had it inscribed with  Soli Deo Gloria, so I stopped wearing the offending wedding ring as he wished and started wearing a silver band on my wedding finger. I have never taken it off since. He divorced me over four years ago and I still wear it. I have no wish to show the world that I am divorced or unmarried.

I think that if you decide to put your wedding ring back on, you might want to tell your wife why, very briefly and without pressuring her to do the same. JMHO
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"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: I just found out I am an LBS
#27: July 20, 2019, 08:58:13 AM
Thank you Mitz for your reply.

I admire your courage and integrity. 

I strive to react with a minimum of emotion to W's MLC and to take time before deciding anything. So I will consider my options carefully.

 I do want to wear my wedding ring again, but am unsure if mentioning it all is a good idea.  Its a decision for myself, not for my W, I have no expectation that she will return from her MLC fog any time soon.  Perhaps my best path is to put it back on for me and if she asks I will take care to say that it is about my mindset not my expectations.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#28: July 20, 2019, 09:26:18 AM


What do I do now?  I think I want to wear my ring again as a sign that I am committed to our marriage, but does it look like pressure to my MLCer if she sees me wearing it again?  Should I leave it off or put it back on without comment?

Please help me, I have little support in my life at the moment and despite reading everything I can find, I still feel as if I am stepping through a minefield....  I cant work out if this is important only to me, or if its not important at all.

LW

I'm on the ring on/off club too.

On my first time (sometime after BD) I gave ring to my W to keep, as I was unsure of what to do. I requested it back few weeks later.

After that I've taken the ring off three times, as part of my detachment process (there was huge element of shame when taking /walking without it on finger, that was hard to process - I'm all done with it). Never told her I took it off or put back on, but as I know W sees and notices a lot more than she says, I know she knows....

Does she care? Maybe, maybe not... Possibly the wisest thing to say is that MCL is her inner crisis, and anything that does not come within her is not about to end it.
When you remove the fear from what you or she  does and what might happen next, you also remove the buttons that make you dance her dance.

Regardless of what happens, I plan to carry my ring along rest of my life. Whether it's on my finger or on my neck, it really doesn't matter. It is token of my love for her, and as such something that never truly dies. No reason for me to fully unwear it never.
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 10:02:07 AM by AlvinTheMaker »
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years
Me: 43, W: 41 (Acts 20-25) - a low energy live-in wallower
BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."... I'm filing for D): May 2020
Kids (at time of BD): G19,G18,G14,G12,S5


*** Every person on the planet is like you - a human being, most likely doing the best they can. Some are just more in control of themself than others ***
*** There are things you control and things you can't control, but what you can control is your attitude towards things you can't control. ***
*** “Rivers know this: There is no hurry, we shall get there some day.” ***
**** Security is mostly a superstition...Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ***

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#29: July 20, 2019, 09:59:59 AM
If the ring is for you, put it on. No need to say anything to anyone unless they ask aND no details needed if you respond.. "I forgot how much it means to me to have it on."

MOO, say nothing to your wife. She doesn't care and it might spark monster. Again, jmo. Do what you do for you and your kids.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#30: July 21, 2019, 04:48:17 AM
Thanks you Alvin and OR for your input,

I agree Alvin that MLCers see more than they let on, but it is my commitment to trying, so I put my wedding ring back on this morning with no comment.  W not caring is no reason that I shouldn't.  Also past caring about monster. 

thanks for your help!

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#31: July 21, 2019, 07:18:35 AM
Little Wing - Attaching.
Glad that you found HS for help, encouragement and venting...

I had the same issue with my ring.  It was on forever, but close to the D, after I really detached and gave it to God, I took it off.  Even then it was back on a few times, but finally came off for good at the final time of the divorce.  I still have it.  Don't wear it because the H that's left is not the H I married, so...

I had asked my H for HIS wedding ring after he filed for divorce (I wanted to wear the two together on a necklace), and he monstered that it was HIS ring and he was going to keep it.  He couldn't understand why I would want it.  So, I don't know if it really means something to him, or he didn't want me to have the $250 of gold that it's worth.  Who knows?

Just do what feels best to you, as you've done.  No explanations owed.

Sea
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« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 07:48:07 AM by seahorse »
Seahorses have one mate for life...

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#32: July 21, 2019, 07:30:21 AM
Yep on and off club member here too, but guess what?  He never even noticed or cared, so just do what ever you want.  It won't matter to them.  They won't look at it like you are committed.

After the D I did take it off permanently because...well we were divorced.  Made no sense to me to wear it.
I figured if we got remarried I'd want a new one anyway.
This one I felt was tarnished.

I thought about making a pendent out of it, but never did. 
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#33: July 21, 2019, 08:07:09 AM
Thank you Sea and Thunder for your support,

Today I really tried to be positive - wore my wedding ring and decided to take family out for a meal, but W decided she was too tired.

 'Be positive' I thought and take the kids out. 

First restaurant turned us away as kitchen was closed, np I thought drove 25 minutes to next place and we had a great meal, laughing throughout! 

Then in walks OM1 with his W and kids.  Only I saw him, but it really knocked me down, couldn't laugh any more with my kids.  Sun went behind a cloud.

 Sometimes being positive takes more than I have.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#34: July 21, 2019, 08:10:12 AM
LW -
Oh for heaven's sake!  Of all the possibilities.
I'm so sorry that happened; it must have been difficult.
But, know that you were there for your kids.
You were strong to take them out, and I hope it felt good to wear your ring.

Hugs,
Sea
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#35: August 01, 2019, 03:14:44 AM
Thanks Sea for your support.

I wish I had a mentor - I feel so lonely.

This last week has been very tough.  I am standing for my kids and dont expect my W to come back from the fog any time soon, if at all.  I am spending time with my kids and trying to be positive about myself, despite my self esteem being in tatters.  My W is not replaying (that I know) and is not monstering, but she has very little interaction with me at all.  We act 'normally' in front of the kids. 

The emotional drain is huge as i search for detachment. 

Living in with my MLC spouse with my four kids is so challenging and I have so much respect for others here who are doing the same.

I read a lot about MLC and try so hard to follow the advice, but today I feel like I am failing in this as I have in everything else important in my life.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#36: August 01, 2019, 04:28:20 AM
Good Grief!

Did OM1 see you? That would have been a passing of the Karma Bus....

I need to go back and start at the beginning to see what's already been said

UM
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#37: August 01, 2019, 04:43:31 AM
Hi UM

no OM1 did not see me.  I just ignored my violent thoughts and left restaurant with kids with no fuss.  Kids were oblivious.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#38: August 01, 2019, 05:26:29 AM
Dearest LW

Well, you succeeded magnificently in protecting your kids and your dignity by being strong enough to not let your feelings drive you in that moment. Not everyone would have been able to do that.

Those feelings of 'failure' often pass by after a while. If not, please remind yourself again that you did not break your w, you can't fix her and you are not responsible for her actions. There is no magic bean to find that will produce 'success'. So there is no failure. What you can do - and most of us here would say it is the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives - is to protect ourselves and our kids from the insane damage the best we can. While hurting and grieving and trying not to give up on the good things of life. I would gently suggest that as long as you keep trying, there is no failing. And if there are other things in life that you want to repair, rebuild or tackle, this can be a good time to begin to edge towards them.

On a practical level - and I won't bore you with all the research behind it lol - one of the simplest things you can do every day is to find three things to be grateful for that day. Big or small, doesn't matter but ideally things that are nothing to do with your w or your m. But trust me, it will help. Write them down or take a few minutes to think about each one before you go to sleep.
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« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 05:28:29 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.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#39: August 01, 2019, 05:30:55 AM
Hi UM

no OM1 did not see me.  I just ignored my violent thoughts and left restaurant with kids with no fuss.  Kids were oblivious.

LW

OK, then you took the high road... MAJOR Props to you I can not imagine what HIS dinner with his W and kids would have been like if he would have known you were there....

Anyway, I am caught up on your thread... The others have already said most of what I was going to except for one thing.... And I warn you in advance, I spent 10 years in the Navy and do NOT sugarcoat my words so I apologize in advance if what I say seems a bit... brutal at times. My mom is also (before she retired) a clinical psychologist and got her Ph. D. while I was growing up so I got to be a guinea pig and learned WAY more about psychology than I'd have liked to... <snort>

Quote from: LittleWing
W is clear that if she is involved emotionally or physically with OM I will leave and apply for court order to sell house.

Uhhhmmmm NO! FULL STOP! If SHE is emotionally and/or physically involved with OM, SHE can leave and live with OM. SHE is the one having the affair, SHE is the one CHOOSING to do that.

You, on the other hand are the one who is taking care of your kids, who is the stable parent. They (including D17 - who I noted was NOT involved in the TV Cuddle session from what you wrote) need as much stability as they can get and you leaving while your Mid-Lifer goes off and shags the OM is NOT stable. Sorry but how is she going to have an affair with 4 kids? You were the one protecting them. OK, maybe while they are at school but afterwards? D17 is also NOT stupid and she's been burned now twice by mom. Her AffairDown Radar is going to be on hyper-alert and she will pick up on anything like that. Therefore, I would say that it is imperative that, if it comes down to it, MLCW leaves, not you. If you have to sell the house, that is another topic but your Mid-Lifer does NOT get to call the shots on her own here on who stays, who goes, who comes in the house, etc. Worst case scenario is that you leave and OM is at the house with your kids... NOT outside the realm of possibility... and NOT the road you want your kids to have to navigate...

You have a handle on the finances. That is good because Mid-Lifers can burn through cash like water over Niagara Falls..

Your Mid-Lifer is nostrils deep in replay. Whether or not she is actively engaging in the behaviour is a different story but Monster, blame shifting, revisionist history.. .those are all replay behaviours....

As far as the ring goes, I have no real advice other than, if you want to wear it for you, then wear it. there is NO need to explain diddly to your Mid-Lifer other than "I want to wear it." I wore mine until STBXW and I were in separate houses although she hadn't worn hers in ages, saying "it gave her a rash." ::) which, in reality was caused by the cognitive dissonance between her wearing a wedding ring while doing the Mattress Mambo with the OM.

Other than that, the articles in OldPilots and My Signature lines are invaluable resources that will serve you well in this time.... But "Live Like They Are NOT Coming Back" is probably one of the most important and the hardest to actually do.

In short, welcome to the party to which NO ONE EVER wanted an invitation. You have found a safe place where people really DO understand what you are experiencing so feel free to post/vent/rage//describe/journal because we DO get it.As for your Mid-Lifer, this is HER Crisis, not yours. You didn't break her, you didn't cause it (despite her accusations) and you can't fix it. The one thing that you can do is potentially to prolong it by pressuring her, trying to fix her, etc.  Your kids are going to need someone that they can truly trust and rely on and it is NOT your MLCW... and they know it subconsciously.- D17 consciously.  Live YOUR life like she is not coming back. If she does at some point and you decide that the person she has become is still someone you want in your life, then you will be starting off on a brand new adventure. The marriage as you knew it is, I am sorry to say, dead. Any future R will be different because you and she will be different. "One does not make the trip to hell and back without acquiring some transferable skills."

This is a lot like the Oxygen Mask drill in an air plane. Get your own mask on first and then help others.  Another way to look at it is as if you are in the path of a massive tornado... You have 3 real choices: 1) You can stand in the way, yell, scream, and wave your arms at it and then get sucked up, chewed up, and spit out the other side, 2) You can stand passively there and watch with abject hopelessness and terror as it bears down on you, sucks you up, chews you up, and spit you out on the other side, or 3) you can get yourself and your kids into shelter, ride out the storm in as much safety as possible and then, when it is past, come out, survey the damage and see if what is left is worth rebuilding or not.... In cases 1 and 2, there is not a lot left of YOU to begin rebuilding. In the third, you have someplace at least to use as a starting point.

UM
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#40: August 01, 2019, 07:14:46 AM
Thank you Treasur and Um for your kind words... they really mean a lot as I have so little support IRL.

Treasur, thank you for your advice - i love the way you express yourself and am going to write my list of 3 each day from today on.

UM,

Quote from: LittleWing
W is clear that if she is involved emotionally or physically with OM I will leave and apply for court order to sell house.

UM:  Uhhhmmmm NO! FULL STOP! If SHE is emotionally and/or physically involved with OM, SHE can leave and live with OM. SHE is the one having the affair, SHE is the one CHOOSING to do that.

I don't know how I can make her leave the house if this situation develops - my legal advice was that  a court order to sell family home was the only way to do that in UK.  W has been very devious in the past and  just because I don't know she is still cheating doesn't mean that she is not and is successfully hiding it from me and D17.  I accept that I cant stop her doing this.

Thanks UM for your tornado analogy - it is really useful and I do feel exactly like that some days!

Thank you both again for helping me strengthen my emotional storm shelter.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#41: August 01, 2019, 07:28:41 AM
I think UMs point, LW, was that you can't force her to move out but you shouldn't move out as a first choice. Particularly bc you are the sane adult parent. Of course you can't know - without driving yourself insane - that any of these affairs are still happening, but tbh the universe has a funny way of showing us stuff and you already know enough from past behaviour.

Carry on as you are until or unless you reach a point when things need to change. But if that happens, or your w throws a snit and wants YOU to move out? Nope...she moves out or you both tough it out and the house gets sold as part of a separation or divorce process.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#42: August 01, 2019, 07:30:03 AM
LW,

The point is not that you force her to leave but that she can NOT force YOU to leave and you shouldn't leave the house.... If she wants to have an affair, that is her choice but whether or not YOU leave the house is NOT her choice, it is YOURS... Likewise, she can not force the sale of the house either...
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#43: August 01, 2019, 09:10:41 AM
Thanks Treasur/UM

I see what you mean now, I have always said that I would never leave the house for the reasons you give, (mostly to ensure D17 is not on her own with W) and would just sell the house by court order if necessary, but sometimes the urge to control something, anything is almost overwhelming.  Thank you both for calming that urge!

  I am going to try very hard to stop thinking about the future and focus on me and kids today.  I am exercising more and working in my garden.  Time with the kids is great for my mood and helps with detachment.  I am feeling much better than this morning when I first posted.  Thanks both!


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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#44: August 02, 2019, 10:22:34 AM
Little Wing, beware she doesn’t plot to push your buttons to make you react and get a court order against you. She can just leave and go to a woman’s shelter claiming this a few times and spin a sob story to the police and your on thin ice, always have a witness when interacting with her especially in monster mode as nothing is to devious for them.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#45: August 03, 2019, 04:46:02 AM
Thanks Jack

thats good advice, the urge to react is strong, but I hope my urge to protect my kids will continue to be stronger

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#46: August 23, 2019, 03:39:19 AM
So a small update...

I still have no mentor, but i am reading a lot!  Learning about this bad dream I cant wake up from.

So as predicted, it is getting worse.  My in last 2 weeks W has tried to play games with money, but I have taken precautions against this and have protected my interests, much to her anger.
She disrespects me whenever she can, deliberately not asking about my life, throwing away food when i have cooked for us, cutting me out of social media pics, etc.
Is she goading me?  Maybe, but its not working.  In fact the more she acts like a spoilt teenager the more i recognise her MLC.

But I also worry about how much the kids (D17, D15, D13, S10) are aware and the stress this causes them.  Their well-being is paramount and the more she plays up the more I wonder if standing is best for them.  We are now approaching 11 months since last BD and 20 months since first PA.  She can barely stand to be in same room as me, but we both play nice in front of kids.  But kids are sharp. 

Opinions please about PAs and discovery:
Both my W's PAs were discovered before they could be finished by her or OM.  These PAs did not burn out.  First PA I discovered, second OMs W discovered. 
Does it matter that these affairs we stopped short by intervention? 
Does the affair need to play out in order for MLCer to realise that this OM will not correct the pain of MLC?

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#47: August 23, 2019, 06:41:41 AM
Hi Little Wing,

Could you explain that a little more, I'm a bit confused as to what you meant by intervention.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#48: August 23, 2019, 09:43:51 AM
Intervention just meaning that AFAIK the affairs when found out stopped, rather than stopping of their own accord. 
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#49: August 23, 2019, 10:01:18 AM
Oh ok, I understand now.  Odd, isn't it?
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#50: August 23, 2019, 12:00:57 PM
Thunder

everything MLC seems odd to me!

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#51: August 31, 2019, 02:46:34 AM
Hi All,

so as i reach the end of the summer I look at what i have accomplished...

1. I have stayed in the house with my MLC W and four children whilst she monstered and blamed.  This has been the hardest thing i have ever done.  I have insulated my children from the worst of MLC, protected the finances and have made sure the kids still have fun.

 I found the vid below very useful in understanding my reaction to infidelity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ8sdPQZpWI

2.  I have read a lot on MLC.  Maybe 100 hours in last 2 months.  This has been the most useful thing for me, not just because I see the MLC script so clearly now, but also because i see how long my W has been in replay - at least 7 years, maybe much longer, building in intensity and desperation until PAs started.  I realised that this fight has been going on for years, often w/o me recognising it.  For example - for at least 12 years my W has worried about her appearance and ageing, she is very beautiful and has taken increasingly serious and expensive steps to try and maintain this.  In our 27 year relationship I constantly reassured, complimented her and was always attentive physically.  I now realise that I could not stop her entering the tunnel any more than i could stop her ageing. 
She is still very beautiful, except when i see those MLC eyes!

3.  I have felt support from HS - just reading about others' bizarre experiences gives me a sense of community.  For example when i read posts about MLCers starting to hate their pets  - my W started to really hate our dogs a few years ago, after loving them for years.  This seemed so surreal to me, it was such a relief to realise i was not alone!  The total lack of logic in MLC seems less scary when you read others' accounts.

4.  I have started to GAL - I found this so difficult with my self image seriously damaged by W's MLC and PAs in particular.  But what everyone says is true - GAL regardless of the MLCer, not for them.  I walk, garden and cook, but mainly i spend time with my four amazing children.  It is so good to feel their love and hear them laugh.  My target is to broaden my social life in next few months - this is challenging as i am not socially confident even before I had my heart broken and got blamed for it!  But i will try very hard.

5.  I have started to detach from W.  Its is now nearly 12 weeks since any R talk or physical contact of any sort, (although i some ways I see that this process has been going on much longer, maybe since her first affair, maybe longer).
  I expect nothing from her and remind myself each day that i am courageous and that i work so hard for my kids' futures. W is definitely more pleasant to me since i really detached, asks about me, involves me more in things she is doing with kids.  Sometimes she still monsters and looks confused immediately after!  But she has much less effect on me now.

 I used to worry that this distance meant i did not really love her anymore, but i now understand that the space is for me - for my safety, but also for me to grow.  Other than the negative impact on my children, I would be happy enough if she left the home for good.  This sad reality took a time to process!

6.  I now know I can live with or w/o my W.  But either way will be proud that i stood for as long as i could.

7.  I have accepted that nothing will ever be the same again.  Which for me as a fixer was very tough.

So I look back on the worst few years of my life and I try to see the growth and the learning not the pain and horror.

When i feel low i try to remember this list.

Thanks to all at HS - as so many before me I feel that this resource has saved my sanity and helped me cope in a way that so few do nowadays.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#52: September 01, 2019, 02:45:25 PM
That was an interesting video. I am always amazed that these are things that we, as humans, don't usually know and wonder if it isn't a partial reason for all the Mid Life crisis in the world. Think of it. You (the generic you) are attached to another  human being, but you don't understand why this happens. If one attachment is good (safety), more attachments must be better, right (more safety)? (Not in my world, but for the sake of argument). If a person feels they have done something where they are not worthy of being attached to, their very safety is in question. And if someone else come along and makes the cheater feel like they are a safe place, the cheaters safety is no longer in question. Which ends up  (in most cases) a self fulfilling lack of safety prophecy. (If you are sleeping with someone else for your own safety you have compromised your spouse's safety). It's like logic just leaves the room and everything blows up.

I will say that my X stayed at home for 18 months and while I was terrified when he finally moved out, it was the best thing for me. There is no easy healing with a crazy acting person in the house. Acting like there is nothing wrong when you have said you don't want to be married anymore for no actual reason and are living in the other room, going out and drinking until you puke, leaving the front door wide open when you leave the house? That's all crazy acting and left me wondering how in the heck X thought that was normal  for a 46 year old? Once he was gone, he was not my concern and I no longer had to worry the front door would be left open or be woken up in the middle of the night to a puking MLCer.

You have learned many important things, the most important is that you will have done everything you could do, and that you will be able to be OK whether she stays or goes. Those lessons are hard won. Congratulations! Your kids are fortunate to have you.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#53: September 06, 2019, 08:30:38 AM
Thanks OR
 
your observations are really astute, i agree completely about the flawed logic of seeking safety through dangerous behaviours.  I think once my wife started her replay behaviours her self esteem really dropped as she knew what she was doing went against her moral compass and this low self image led her more and more to seek reassurance from others and consequently further away from me.  In MLC she was seeking reassurance through someone who would not judge her because he had equally poor morals.  It is doomed to failure as we all know because the inner torment of MLC needs to be dealt with from within not without.

I would be genuinely relieved if my W left, but she wont.  We have four kids aged 10 - 17 and I think at the moment she thinks she is staying for them, but she is not, she is staying for her.  I currently stand for the kids, not for her.  I am not sure how long I can hold on, but i remember my marriage vows and my beautiful children and keep going for another day, then another.

LW

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#54: September 06, 2019, 10:06:39 AM
Thank you for posting that link, Little Wing. It was fantastic - best explanation of attachment distress responses and trauma I've ever come across. In fact the expert has such a kind voice too that it made me cry a bit bc I felt so validated by it. Makes you realise though why it is even harder to recover that sense of primal safety without the care or respect of what the expert calls "your person"  :)...so why it takes longer perhaps.
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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: I just found out I am an LBS
#55: November 16, 2019, 02:37:57 AM
Hi to those following,  Long time since i posted.  Been struggling to cope.

Managed to maintain some emotional distance from W in recent months, avoiding R talks completely and just dealing with the logistics of co-parenting our four lovely kids.  But last weekend i was ambushed and drawn in to a R talk...

It started with a cat! 

W wanted to get a cat to join our household along with our 4 kids and 2 dogs.  I did not think it was a good idea to bring another animal in to our situation as it seems likely that in the summer we will split up, (this is after my eldest two D will complete their final exams).  I did not feel like i should accept this decision without expressing concerns, which i did as unemotionally as possible.  W said she would get cat anyway and started to attack me verbally, (stuff like 'the kids would hate you if i hadnt constantly made excuses for you').

 I then realised that she was wearing a new necklace which i knew was new and was received from AP2, i challenged her about this and after denials eventually she admitted meeting up with him as friends.

 I told W she needed to leave asap and i am not waiting out until the summer as i could no longer put up with her behaviour and if D17 asked is was not going to lie about her continued R with AP2.  She went away and investigated her options returning the same day and asking me when we should split,

 ' I know this is my fault....You are a good man..... Do you think you can wait until after D3 birthday?' etc. [ D3 birthday March]

This destroyed me - the reality of telling our kids.
 In short she played on my love for our kids and it worked,again.

 I agreed to try and keep going until the summer to protect the kids as much as possible, but dont know if i am strong enough.

 I agreed to not tell D17 in order to protect her R with her mum, but i dont know if this right.  D17 has left college due to depression mostly due to W's behaviour  and i try to teach her at home now.

I can live without W, but my children are my life and I have nightmares about telling them that mum and dad are splitting up.  The thought of seeing my kids just half the time is awful.



Will my kids forgive me when we split?

I dont know if i am doing the right thing by trying to wait until July 2020.

 I dont know if i can do this any more, but i am determined to try.

LW
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 02:40:54 AM by Little Wing »

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#56: November 16, 2019, 02:52:01 AM
I am so sorry, LW.
All very common experience here, but I am so sorry.

I would like to suggest you breathe and muse honestly on a couple of things.
And to remind you that you were caught on the hop by your w...and it is ok to change your mind after reflection.

What you would need to do to have the strength to continue as is for another 4-6 months that is not contingent on anyone else's thoughts or behaviour but yours? And what would doing so give you or your kids that makes the delay worth that cost and effort?

How you can remove your w's ability to use your concern for your kids as a way of controlling or manipulating you as this is a pattern that works for her so she will probably keep doing it until it stops working?

The advantages and disadvantages for your kids wellbeing, and your relationship with them, from hiding the reality of things vs being age-appropriately truthful about how things are and what is likely to happen? And what you think they might already see, know or suspect?

Every parent here will feel your pain, fear and desire to protect your kids.
The tough truth is that you can't protect them from reality. Even though it isn't a reality you designed or want. And why would they be unable to forgive you for something you are not responsible for creating, my friend? And have you taken legal advice to understand what options you may have?

Take your time. Think about what you can and can't control, what is real right now and what is not.
But i am so sorry.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 03:09:06 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#57: November 16, 2019, 03:21:42 AM
Hi Treasur thanks for your empathy.

I will try to describe my feelings in response to your Qs....

What you would need to do to have the strength to continue as is for another 4-6 months that is not contingent on anyone else's thoughts or behaviour but yours? And what would doing so give you or your kids that makes the delay worth that cost and effort?

A: I would need to be more emotionally detached than I currently am.  My eldest two Ds would be able to take their final school and college exams without also coping with divorce.  I dont think it is advantageous for me except in avoiding guilt of messing up Ds exams and Christmas for D13 S11

How you can remove your w's ability to use your concern for your kids as a way of controlling or manipulating you as this is a pattern that works for her so she will probably keep doing it until it stops working?

A:  By not being married to her/living with her.  I really dont know Treasur.  I feel that I really have to think about the kids feelings as W is obviously not.  Do the parenting for two.

The advantages and disadvantages for your kids wellbeing, and your relationship with them, from hiding the reality of things vs being age-appropriately truthful about how things are and what is likely to happen? And what you think they might already see, know or suspect?

A:  I think only protecting the already fragile relationship between W and D17 (who knows far too much already i feel).  D17 is really very unhappy and i suppose i just want her not to become worse.  I worry that D17 will not want to be around W after split (if she knows even more awful details) and therefore younger kids will miss out on their lovely big sister. 

D17 is aware that the marriage is unlikely to survive.  Of course I know other kids suspect things are bad, but we never argue in front of them, etc.  So divorce will be a shock.  I worry that W will use any comment I make to kids as ammunition to attack my relationship with them as she has in the past.

I have a lot of anger.  I dont want to be driven by that and regret it at my leisure.

 And have you taken legal advice to understand what options you may have?

A:  I had a free phone consultation for 20 mins with lawyer, i know W can take a lot.  W says she will move out get state support and will take nothing from me!  'I wouldnt take this house from you.  you can stay here.' 

Magnanimous isnt she?

LW
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 03:24:13 AM by Little Wing »

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#58: November 16, 2019, 04:27:19 AM
Ok, thank you for being so honest, LW.

The reflections and answers are for you by the way, although sharing your thoughts will help others support you and share their experience of course. But there is no magic test or right answers lol.

One of the things I have seen a lot of LBS parents here struggle with is trying to protect or encourage a healthy relationship between a child and an MLC parent. Tbh it rarely works out so well. Partly bc of course you are not responsible for how other people feel about each other and partly bc you can't control how either your kids always behave towards your w or how your w behaves towards them. Well, you can choose not to badmouth anyone, to model decent behaviour for your kids and normal parenting stuff....but you can't 'do' the relationship between your wife and daughter say...and you will often get blamed as a kind of piggy in the middle if you do. You can listen to how your daughter feels, validate her and encourage her to develop her own boundaries. And you can not get in the way if your w chooses to invest in a better relationship with her daughter by respecting it as their business. But you can't fix it or cover for your w's poor parenting, which is sadly common here. Is your daughter still seeing an IC?

It sounds as if the potential benefits are that a divorce is not ongoing in parallel with things like Christmas and various exams? Do bear in mind of course that your w may throw some dramatic spanners into the situation that you can't control. And tbh your kids may sense more than you think bc your house does not sound like it is full of singing bluebirds right now but an angry semi-detached w/parent  ::)...oh and potentially another cat lol

Do you want to stay in the house? Can you afford to? Or have full custody of your kids? Is your w working yet? Does she have anywhere else to live eg family?  Sometimes in their desire to run off early without adult responsibilities, an LBS can secure things that they might not later on. It might help your thinking to invest in a longer consultation with a solicitor (I think you are UK based) as they might help you work out the pros and cons of different options and timescales. Bear in mind too that divorce is not necessarily a super speedy process, and MLCers often slow it down unless they are cash hungry or there is ow/om pressure....if you filed next week, I doubt you would be divorced including the financial stuff before next summer. Don't feel pressure to decide, and take time to use your head not your fears which will help you manage your anger too....but sometimes getting more information can really help. And help you decide too if you are really ready to divorce or have good reasons why you need to, as opposed to letting things run and evolve.

If being more detached is the key to standing for anothef few months, which bits do you think need more detaching work? Which bits are good? Which more difficult?

Ps I owe you an apology re talking about daughter etc - forgot what you do for a living, so a bit like teaching granny to suck eggs lol. But if it helps, please remember you are not the only parent here struggling with the same stuff.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 05:02:56 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#59: November 16, 2019, 04:53:38 AM
LW, I don't want to get in the middle of your conversation with Treasur, because she is giving you very good advise, I just want to caution you about one thing.

The lawyer you talked to said your W could take a lot, but your W says she will move out get state support and will take nothing from you.  She wouldn't take the house from you and you  can stay there.

This may be the way she feels NOW, but the longer this goes on she could very well change her mind and decide she wants more, so take what she is telling you with a gain of salt.
They become very selfish when they are in a crisis.  It's not typical for them to be so generous or kind.

Just something to keep in mind.

The other thing is, if and when you do tell the kids, don't take the blame for any of this.  It's not what you wanted, it's what she wanted.
You don't have to demonize her, just a simple...Mommy is not happy and needs to be on her own right now.  That doesn't mean she doesn't love you, she does, she just needs time for herself.

Hugs
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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."

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#60: November 16, 2019, 06:52:57 AM
Hi Treasur, Thunder  thanks for your help.

Treassur no apology necessary- all my experience with supporting young people in crisis has not made me any clearer about my decisions regarding my own daughter, although it may have given me more skills to support her mental health and her studies.

I dont want to interfer in W and D17s R - i just dont want to be the person who messes it up, even though the person actually responsible is my W.  In some ways my D17 has seen enough monster herself without me adding to the awful truth.  I will think long and hard about what D17 needs to know. 

Certainly i will not take the blame, but I am unsure Thunder if when we tell the kids that not saying that the split was mutual is damaging to them - much that i have read implies that mum and dad should say the split is mutual decision?

My W is working fairly low paid jobs and i have no major concerns about sharing custody  with her in future, although I totally accept that she will demand more financially than she has stated.  Until we work out some figures together, which requires W to initiate investigations on benefits she will receive, I dont know if i can afford to keep this house, (which i would prefer as my kids have only ever known one home, here).

I will get further legal advice after Christmas when i can afford.  I am happy to separate first, agree a financial settlement and then divorce.

So survival is detachment as all here at HS know.

I will keep reading and sitting quietly. 

I dont wear my wedding ring any more.


Thank you both for taking the time to reply to me.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#61: November 16, 2019, 07:11:18 AM
Other parents here will come along to share their experience of what and how they told the kids (weekends are often a bit quieter)

Fwiw from me as a Non child owner lol....when your world goes bonkers and uncertain, I happen to believe that unembroidered factual truths matter very much. And that the truth tends to come out eventually anyway but withholding the truth can damage trust, particularly with older kids and young adults. You don't have to say everything but what you do say should be the truth imho. If it isn't a mutual decision, don't lie that it is and inadvertently gaslight them even if your intentions are good. Jmo. Although you can't control what your w does or doesn't say of course, only what you do.

MLC spouses can be bizarrely slow about getting important info and docs together even for a divorce/separation they say they want. Particularly if the current situation suits them quite well in some ways. And they do lie a lot unfortunately. If there is benefits/finance info that you can gather without involving your w, you might find that easier? And you might want to figure out if you can keep the house and if it will be their primary home before any big announcements  as younger kids will often want to know if they will have to move schools, home, friends etc.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 07:14:22 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#62: November 16, 2019, 08:15:10 AM
Little Wing, as a parent I’m of the mind that a child’s relationship between itself and each parent is exactly that: the relationship between itself and *that* parent, which the other parent does not really have right to change or control except if someone is at risk for harm. So if your w wants out, it’s her responsibility to explain that to the children herself.

The trouble is that she is off her nut and may say all kinds of unexpected and untrue or even damaging things to justify her behavior and to avoid being “blamed” or held accountable for it. As well as to avoid the sheer pain and guilt of knowing she is either/both lying to their faces and also hurting them very much.

To be quite honest, in my current state of the union, I would tell either of our kids (D15, S20) that h was leaving us in order to do some needed self work and because we do not deserve and will not tolerate his crap behaviors in our house and home. We need to be able to live in peace right now. He will always be welcome home, but *with respect* in place. As long as he is lashing out or [insert any or all unacceptable MLC behaviors], he can do it elsewhere. Just because we are family and love him does not mean we tolerate or overlook what is wrong.

But I don’t really have that situation. H lives far away now with ow2.

About cats: h and ow2 went through several. I think an MLCer with a new pet is sort of like a kindergartner with one, in that the responsibility is sort of beyond their scope and also that the commitment just isn’t there. I’m not sure if you did wind up with a new cat; if you haven’t, I’d say don’t.

After our old cat died, or in the few years leading up to her death, H used to say “If you want a box of *sh!t* in your house, get a cat!” Now he lives with ow2, unbelievably, named Kat. So I’m not a fan of cats at this time.

But bias aside, and even if we were talking about dogs instead, I think it’s probable that a new addition to your life may be a foil or distraction for anything else going on. It may be good for the kids, but someone is still going to have to deal with the litterbox every day.

The commitment level of MLCers, as far as I’ve seen with h and all the rest, is very, very low, and very distractable. Your w may be all in for one thing one moment, and within a week, may not remember ever wanting that thing at all.

Last but not least, our kids are very clear that something is going badly. I understand firsthand the need and desire to protect them from it, but in the case of family separation or fragmenting, we can’t. From my own perspective and experience as both a child of divorce and having parented two children of divorce, may I offer that it may be ok for you to be plainspoken with your kids about what is happening and why. Briefly, but acknowledging that there are changes coming and we hope it will give us all a rest and some peace. That we do not expect it to be this way forever, but just need the time apart for right now. That of course we still love.

The hard part is knowing and feeling that the MLC spouse/parent will come home again. All I can say is that therapy (especially EMDR) and prayer and ongoing caring times with the kids do help. Stay steady and stay open and available to your kids as they adapt. I feel for you and hope you will continue to keep us updated.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 08:18:38 AM by terra »

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#63: November 16, 2019, 10:29:00 AM
I am weighing in on D17. There is zero need for you to run to D17 and say"Your mom is having an affair", so you don't have to worry that YOU will cause anything between D17 and her mom. D17 isn't stupid and does likely know what is going on and her stress may be that she wants to tell you but doesn't know if she should.  If D17 asks, infers, mentions anything about her mom having an affair, you will need to NOT deny it exists. Also make sure she knows she can talk to you. There is difference between not mentioning (the sin of omission) and covering up (that would be gaslighting). This is actually true for all of your kids.  They need to know their perceptions are valid, even if it makes them sad. Sad is better than feeling crazy.

IMO, when the time comes to tell them you are splitting, the words "Your mother has found someone else she wants to be with so we are divorcing." are fine if delivered as factual They are the TRUTH. Many will disagree with me, but I am of a mind that sugar coating unacceptable behavior makes it look like it's ok. Then why wouldn't your kids decide if it was ok mom did this, it's ok for me to do this? Not what I want to teach my kids. But I don't want them to think that what was said was vindictive, either. Just a fact now they know, not what you want eithrr but you can't control anyone else's actions, just your own.

D17 needs someone to talk to. Does she have a counselor?
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#64: November 16, 2019, 10:41:46 AM
I have one other opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Life is full of good and bad things and everything in between. Divorce is horrible for kids, no doubt. Trying to make something that feels bad to them into some kind of kumbaya, let's pretend mom didn't blow up the whole family makes it more confusing. Learning to deal with unpleasant things in a healthy way  is part of the growing and growing up experience. The truth is easier to deal with and process through than fabrication or avoidance. Give your kids the gifts of being able to feel how they want to feel about the reality of the situation when the time comes to tell them.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#65: November 16, 2019, 08:18:04 PM
“They need to know their perceptions are valid, even if it makes them sad. Sad is better than feeling crazy.”

What OffRoad says here about informing or responding to the kids is golden.

If it helps, when my mother separated from my stepdad, two adult siblings understood and were completely fine with her reasons, if also sad. I am the oldest and I was devastated. But the other kids had lived with our parents longer and had seen whichever parent acting out, and had suffered the tension and disharmony in the house much more directly than I ever had, and for much longer. So they saw firsthand many reasons that the separation was a good thing, and to my astonishment, were even relieved.

If you are to separate, you may find that your children cultivate their own relationships with each other differently and in deeper, stronger ways than they might have otherwise. And again, that can be a beautiful contract between each child and it’s sibling, or collectively all of them together.

I sure feel for all of you and will continue to hope for your family best.   
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#66: November 17, 2019, 04:30:31 AM
Hi All

just for clarification - D17 has been told twice in last two years (PA1, PA2) by W that she has had an affair, see first post of story for details.  D17 knows exactly why we are intending to split.

 I have put no pressure on D17 to keep this secret - i have just decided that D15, D13 and S11 do not need to know that from me.  I have seen the effect of this knowledge on D17 and it has been awful, she is still dealing with the fall out now and the damage to her R with her mum is massive.  D17 had her AD dose double last month.

If D17 tells her siblings I will be honest with them and support D17 in this decision, otherwise I intend to hold my tongue.

 I expect my position to change as my kids grow up and ask more Qs.

There are nothing but bad answers to this problem.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#67: November 17, 2019, 11:06:54 AM
I had thought D17 knew, but the way I read your recent post made me think she didn't.  Keeping this from her siblings is likely very hard on her. Wondering why you are putting up with it is also likely very hard as is the knowledge that if you decide you've had enough, her family will fall apart. Of COURSE her relationship with her mum will be strained. If SHOULD be. You can't behave like a selfish fool and expect everyone to thinks it's ok.

I can only go by the things that S20 and D23 have told me over the years: watching me put up with crappy behavior from their dad confused them. Keeping secrets from me stressed them. Not knowing the truth of the situation made them afraid to say anything to anyone. Being afraid to hurt anyone made them upset. D and I recently had a "lay everything out on the table" Skype session, and things between us are more calm because she isn't hiding things to "protect" anyone.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#68: November 18, 2019, 04:32:36 AM
LW,

In my situation, xW ABD'd me and the kids all on the same day, them right after me. She started off with "Daddy and I have decided..." and I cut her off right there and said, "No, you have decided." My kids were 8 and 4 at the time.  S(now12) has a difficult R with his mom and blames her for the D (I do NOT encourage the blame game even if he is correct) and D(now 8) still, until recently, has harboured the idea that xW and I will get back together someday.

I can't offer anything more than that. Neither kid knows about the PA and it is not my place to tell them. xW will most certainly NOT say anything to them about it as it was a short-term fling that didn't go well.... And it would mean that she can not hide from the responsibility / accountability of her own actions...

UM
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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation
S - 13, D - 9
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#69: November 18, 2019, 05:07:29 AM
Thank you all for your input.  There are no easy answers. 

Certainly if my kids were older I would be more honest.  I think the ages are crucial.

Having seen D17 BDed before i was (after PA2), i never want my other kids to look at their mum like that.

On balance I think I may feel less guilty not mentioning PAs than mentioning it, but it is a close call and i really appreciate the different views expressed - i have held all these views at one point or another in the last two years of hell.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#70: November 18, 2019, 05:27:41 AM
Hi LW, this really is a tough one.
Firstly, NO MORE PETS! Seriously… my XW left me with both of HER dogs and a cat. One dog has unfortunately passed since and XW took her "Baby" back About 6 months ago, 30 months pre BD. S21 moved out and took the cat with him (she was his really and is know an Instagram star  :D).
Your D17 seems to be under enormous pressure after being the only child who knows what is going on. I suggest that you talk to her and let her know that you are planning on telling her siblings soon.  This may release a Little pressure, its a massive burden for her to carry.

When you do decide to tell your Children what is going on then you have to let them know that it is not your fault, decision or choice. It is all on your W and she has to deal with the consiquences but you cannot afford to let them think that you was the one who broke the Family up. Also, do not let your W talk to the Kids alone About this. You aave to be present or she WILL lie and Twist Things making you out to be the bad guy.
They will have a hard time Building a R with their mam after that but they will get there eventually. She is their mam and that bond is hard to break, its mther nature. My Boys (17 and 18 @BD) hated their mam, they gave her hell but now it seems as though all is forgotten and forgiven after XW told them "accept that im with OM now or we are done". They feel for her BS as they didnt want to loose her. They even invite OM to their birthdays now which I have to tolerate, I hate being anywhere near the prick but I am Pretty much cornered in that Department!

Selling the house and moving is not that bad an act. I had to sell our house too which I built myself. I was totally gutted and the Boys werent happy About it but you may Need a new start, you will find that its haunted when she leaves. She will still be everywhere, too many memories in those walls mate.

Keep your head up and stay strong.

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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#71: November 20, 2019, 10:02:06 AM
Hi All

a little clarification and update, apologies for my lack of clarity... i am struggling to sequence my thoughts.

Update:  Cat on holiday to check if D17 is allergic.  May be no more cat!

W announced last night when sick that she has stopped taking AD meds over last 2 weeks.  She generally seems happier if rather tired and sick sometimes.

Clarification:

My W is not making the decision to separate in the summer, we both are.  It being confirmed that she has met up with OM recently is enough for me to be finished, despite W saying ' its just a friendship... i just want to be on my own , etc'  I cant carry on any more with the lies.  The tunnel is so long and the lights so brief and dim.

I will agree to tell the kids that we have decided to split up as the final course and that W and I only say that we are no longer in love and need to be separate to be happy.

I see the pressure on D17 being the only child who knows of PAs, this was not my choice.  Her pain is my biggest concern in disclosing anything.  So i should consult her i feel, if i can do  it in a way that doesnt make it seem to be her choice, just that i want her opinion on what would be best for her.  I dont want D17 to have to provide details to siblings of PAs.  I wish to God she knew nothing.

When we are split I dont care what she does with OM; that is her responsibility to explain to kids.

This is the worst thing I have ever had to decide. 

My eldest has lost her innocence due to my reckless, selfish W. 

Should a responsible,selfless H protect his other children's innocence?




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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#72: November 21, 2019, 04:26:02 AM
LW,

Just FYI - Unless W went off the AD's under guidance of a doctor and phased off (decreased step-wise) she is VERY likely experiencing withdrawal symptoms (the being sick.) as it takes 2-3 weeks to get the proper amount of meds in the blood stream (ramp up) and about the same for them to totally leave the body (ramp  down).

The kids are very likely aware that something is going on so you will probably end up having to answer questions from them that are uncomfortable. In an age-appropriate manner, you may end up having to tell them certain things that you'd rather avoid but avoiding the issue won't end well....
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#73: November 21, 2019, 09:32:57 AM
Hi UM

W did not consult Doctor, but did taper down over 2 weeks, she is definitely ill from the withdrawal.

My kids are of course aware of issues and I will undertake answering those tough questions if/when we split, but i dont want D17 to have to if at all possible.  she has been through enough already.

I know this is almost certainly unavoidable, but i feel i have to try...

LW

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#74: December 11, 2019, 03:27:58 AM
Hi All

just a quick update...

Maintaining my composure. Keeping up with work and spending time with my kids between running the household.  No R talks with W, just child related logistics and light talk of daily life.

W seems happier and more aware now ADs have worn off and I see very little replay behaviour explicitly, but we are still at the point of divorce in the summer.

Although my W expresses some regret about the situation saying last time we spoke, ' I know this is all my fault', she expresses no interest in me or our R.  So for example she tells me her major concern is me as she admits meeting up with OM2 and that 'she didnt want to lose his friendship'.  As per script she often acts in opposition to her thoughts, as if at times she is remote controlled and during these times her thinking process seems to pause.

So the roller-coaster of crazy continues and I think that getting off may be a relief.
 
I dont know what else she is thinking or doing in my absence.  Being emotionally detached from these thoughts is a daily fight and i try not to let the pain lead to anger or despair.

D17 seems happier too now college pressure is relieved and is enjoying part time work.  This is a big relief.  Other kids are happy enough considering.

No more pets have arrived. 

Love to all who are in my position as Christmas approaches.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#75: December 11, 2019, 03:54:55 AM
I am so glad, Little Wing, to hear that you feel you are starting to find your composure again and that the kids seem ok for now. As you say your w's crazy rollercoaster is still ongoing but it sounds as if you are starting to unhook your life from it. Not easy, not what any of us wanted, but in the end it is sometimes all we can do. Distance imho helps tremendously with detachment - whether physical distance or not looking at their activities or simply limiting contact to superficial things.

I wish you and your kids a Christmas of peace and small joys x
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#76: January 06, 2020, 12:10:44 AM
Hi to those following,

just a quick update.

 D17 seems happy at the moment and is tapering off her ADs, which is great news.  Conversely W. has started to take her AD again i have been told by D17 - she told my D this as if they had discussed W stopping ADs in first place; ' You were right I do need these.' D17 says she had no conversation with W at all about ADs.  This is not the first time W has acted as a discussion has happened that in reality never happened!

No new pets.

Christmas and new year were tough as expected, but particularly challenging as my friend P killed himself on Christmas eve.  W hugged me once briefly on that day and has not mentioned it since.  Generally W seems very low at the moment.  Our interactions are the same - logistical discussions only.

Moving towards acceptance, but feeling very lonely.  Sometimes think there is something really wrong with me that I still love the person who has damaged me so much.

Maybe separating in the summer will be a relief after the initial hell of telling the kids.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#77: January 06, 2020, 12:35:58 AM
Dear Little Wing.
I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. You must feel like you are walking through very dark days indeed.

I am glad that your daughter seems better. And that bizarre never happened conversation with your W is pretty par for the course in MLC, I'm afraid.

There is nothing wrong with you or any of the confusing feelings you feel right now. Many of us know just how you feel. It takes time to balance these conflicting emotions out and it is part of the process of accepting and adapting to all the changes. Marvin posted somewhere that we feel this way bc actually we are emotionally normal, that we do not sever attachments on a dime or flip from love to indifference in the way crisis folks do. It isn't easy to navigate but you will find your way through it with time. Imho the love changes into a different kind of love probably or perhaps gets tucked away behind a kind of compassionate distance.

You may well be right that things will get easier in the summer as you are in a kind of lonely limbo right now. But I want you to know that you will be ok, that time will do its work and to be kind to yourself until then.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#78: January 06, 2020, 04:29:55 AM
Dear Treasur

you always make me feel better.  Always. 

You are a sweet, kind and honest human being who has helped me more than you will ever know, with no expectation of recognition or personal gain.

Thank you for spending your time helping me and many others through these dark days.

We are all very lucky to have you.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#79: January 06, 2020, 06:32:31 AM
LW, im so sorry About P  :(
the Holidays can be hard on some.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#80: January 06, 2020, 07:57:56 AM
Thank you Whyus.

P had health issues and his mum had just died from cancer - it was all too much.  I miss him. 

One thing about my W's MLC is I really saw how few good friends i really have... it is a tragedy to have lost one to depression.  Makes me realise again how important HS is for us all.  Solidarity is strength.

I believe all LBS who survive the holidays should receive a medal!

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#81: January 20, 2020, 04:21:18 AM
Hi All

Its been a tough weekend.  As my W tumbles towards rock bottom, I dont know if I should pray that she gets there or if she avoids it.

Saturday morning I asked W about her progress with logistics of our separating in the summer, this predictably led to monster.

I stayed pretty calm considering, but did not allow all the blame for our situation to be placed on me and there were a few truth darts thrown.

W says ' I am not leaving my kids'.  The reality of us splitting was discussed and the practical things we need to work on together in order to protect our kids, I cant allow her to be in denial about the realities.  The kids will have questions about the logistics and we need to have answers.

W is self harming again, cutting herself 'to punish myself for what i have done to the kids'.  She returns to doctor tomorrow to get stronger AD meds.

I held her whilst she cried.

 Her behaviour is getting even odder as she approaches rock bottom - sometimes freezing in place for minutes at a time, forgets whole chunks of time/conversations that happened, imagines conversations and events that did not happen, etc.  I dont know if she knows what is real and what is a dream or a lie. 

Most of these symptoms are familiar to me in my professional life where I work a lot with PTSD and associated brain chemistry responses, but the increasing intensity of these as symptoms of an internal crisis are unusual and again remind me how devastatingly unique MLC really is.

When she appears to be in control she is very nice to me and involves me in her life much more than in the previous 2 or 3 years, sometimes she seems entirely well, but these times are rare.

I want to save her from this hell, but i know i cant and know i have to protect myself.  I think I can make it to the summer then i think we have to split to save myself in order to be there for my kids.  Im not sure I belong on this forum as I am too weak to stand past the summer.

I think these things, but the guilt is crushing.

I pray for her safety.  If her behaviour becomes more self destructive I will seek medical intervention, maybe against her will.

 I hope God has a plan for her and our children. 

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#82: January 20, 2020, 04:37:13 AM
Im sorry that you are getting to see first Hand what a Rock Bottom couls could look like.

You are in the place, you belong here. Many Arent standing anymore, including myself. Its not a sign of weekness, its protecting yourself from the Damage and getting out of the way! Having a MLC Spouce is the ultimate challenge and not a walk in the park.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#83: January 20, 2020, 08:35:49 AM
Quote
W is self harming again, cutting herself 'to punish myself for what i have done to the kids'.  She returns to doctor tomorrow to get stronger AD meds.

I held her whilst she cried.

From your professional work, you know what this means. To see a loved one do this to herself is horrible, the weight on your shoulders, the empathy and compassion that you continue to show to her.

It is different with "clients". We can detach easier than when it is a loved one.

Never question if you belong on this forum. If this place gives you a place to speak about your situation and if it in anyway helps you, then you are in the right place.

I value your professional experience in this related field and thank you for sharing some of your insights both personally and professionally.

Quote
I want to save her from this hell, but i know i cant

True

 :'(
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#84: January 20, 2020, 09:15:42 AM
I am so sorry LW for how things are.
But I agree with others that you have a place here if you want it.
Standing or not, many of the challenges in rebuilding a life and family and our spirits are the same. And tbh their crisis behaviour rarely magically disappears after divorce so it can help to have somewhere to vent or think out loud.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#85: January 21, 2020, 12:24:10 AM
So today I deliver a seminar to 85 other professionals about brain function in young people who have suffered abandonment, abuse or trauma. 

Feel like a fraud teaching others how to support this type of damage when I have just left W at home sobbing and I am unable to help.

I have worked in this field for 24 years, have been published even, but what I have learnt on HS has been priceless.  I cant understand why there is not more serious research in to MLC as although it has a lot of cross over with my work, it is a completely different beast and as challenging as anything I have ever dealt with professionally.

My thanks and utmost respect goes out to all of you who contribute to this precious resource.

The strength you all show is inspirational.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#86: January 21, 2020, 01:08:12 AM
.
I have worked in this field for 24 years, have been published even, but what I have learnt on HS has been priceless.  I cant understand why there is not more serious research in to MLC as although it has a lot of cross over with my work, it is a completely different beast and as challenging as anything I have ever dealt with professionally.

I was a skeptic when it came to mlc before I started googling the web for information about mlc, I honestly didn’t think it was a real thing and only some sort of cliche you see in a movie or something.
There are articles and such on the web but nothing much in the way of in depth studies by the medical profession.
I have felt so lucky to have come across “The Hero’s Spouse” and also the “Midlife Club” as the first hand knowledge by lbs has been a real life saver. I was initially amazed at how so much of what I have read in articles and on the forum related to my ww, the things she has done and said read almost word for word from some of the stories here so I find it hard to believe there is such taboo on the subject and that the medical profession is almost dismissive regarding mlc.
Here in Australia I think it is an even less believed by the general population and especially the medical profession, in particular so called mental health councillors and psychologist.

I’m sure if more people in the mental health profession were exposed to mlc first hand through a spouse they would think differently.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#87: January 21, 2020, 01:11:09 AM
LW, part of what you are doing today is about a kind of paying it forward imho. Increasing the pool of understanding that helps professionals support the very kind of folks who end up in MLC or those damaged by them. That is not nothing.

I don't have CPTSD. I believe that many 'MLC' spouses do (and I wish we had a different word to describe the kind of psychological unravelling we see and report here as it is a bit of an umbrella term). I have learned a lot from my own experience of PTSD though, of feeling that your mind has somehow become your enemy and how frightening it is to feel unhooked from your own sense of self. It is difficult to explain just how very frightening it is and how 'not normal' you feel, how alone and how hard it is to fight through it. If my PTSD experience has given me even a glimmer of how your w and my h might feel, I have nothing but compassion for them. I hope you can communicate to your fellow professionals that helping these damaged inner children needs us to not feel ashamed of the value of a kind of love as part of the recovery process, that in some ways professional loving attachment is more valuable than the professional detachment of theoretical frameworks. And holding hope when others can't hold it for themselves.

Humility is part of the LBS journey I think. You are not the only person here who has professional skills that turn out to feel as useless as a chocolate fireguard with someone we love. But your seminar today is a contribution, a seed sown, a way to talk as Bessel van der Kolk does about the unacknowledged wider longer and deeper impact of early life trauma that is more than just about one person. And perhaps you will learn things today too from others experiences that will help....if only wondering out loud about 'MLC' and the absence of research. I'm not sure why but perhaps bc of the 'midlife' label, people seem to diminish the significance of the 'crisis' bit when other words and terminology don't produce the same reaction at all. Which is odd and interesting when you think about it.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#88: January 21, 2020, 06:42:41 AM
One reason that I think we do not see MLC being studied by the medical profession is that it is completely acceptable to leave one's marriage and go on to other relationships. Statements such as "we live longer now so it's unrealistic to expect that people will stay together for life" start to sound legitimate to the general population.

As well, many MLCers continue to have very successful work careers. Although some coworkers might sense that something isn't quite right, they are reluctant to say anything, to do anything.

The ability of the MLCer to compartmentalize, to wear that mask, to pretend to be something they are not ( perhaps learned from childhood experiences) allows many to pass off as totally normal....and the LBS, especially is he/she is standing, is the one who is looked at as the anomaly.

"Isn't it pathetic that xyzcf after so many years refuses to date? A lovestruck fool, pining for a man who doesn't want her. Just get over it!"

I would say that many MLCers would fall into the category of dual diagnosis for there are several things going on at the same time, addiction being one of them, depression, hormonal and biochemical stuff. Addiction to work for example is not something that is considered to be a problem, instead, they are looked up to, their success, their financial worth as being a super hero.

As research has shown, the effect of ACE's (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are easily seen in people who have identified that they have been physically and/or sexually abused, who have lived in multiple foster homes, faced a serious medical childhood condition when they were very young etc. But for many MLCers, it is not so evident that there was something "wrong" in their family or childhood. And the MLCEr either has buried whatever happened to them deep in their subconscience or deny it's existence completely.

How many people have looked at me when I try and explain MLC, as though I have two heads? There are much more important medical things to research like cancer or heart disease..who would fund the research? Especially since MLCers deny that there is anything wrong with them.

Just some musings as I drink my coffee and prepare for my day.

I would love to be attending your seminar. I too have worked for many years with children who have been damaged and bear the scars of years of neglect/abuse/born to addicted mothers. Good luck and please share if you will, what your seminar was about today.

Little wing, you are helping your wife by staying by her side and accepting what is going on with her. We too are traumatized by all this and we have to dig deep to be able to continue to take care of our families and to do our work. You are not rejecting her...she will know that you are there for her.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#89: January 22, 2020, 07:22:08 AM
Hi All

thanks as always for your support and encouragement - it is greatly appreciated.  Having a team on experts on hand is always reassuring when you start to question your own reality!  And HS has a lot of experts, I learn new things here every day!

My seminar went well yesterday.  Mostly what we cover is ACE and teenage trauma and how these events change brain function and therefore perceptions and behaviours of sufferers.

Much of the material would be familiar to HS members - so for example I cover the role of adrenaline and cortisol released by trauma (and triggers of these events) and in particular how this effects the lack of development of long term memories in the hippocampus.  This of course is a barrier to 'putting to bed' traumatic memories and therefore they are easily triggered by virtually any stimulus - sounds, smells or a piece of music for example.  As many of us here know this can be particularly challenging to support when the sufferer is an avoidant personality, which is often a characteristic developed by those with FOO issues or low self esteem as a defence mechanism.

My W's memory function has been poor for many years through her MLC and i believe that her avoidant personality and repression of her feelings about growing older and her unsureness about her role as our children have grown older, has led to her feeling constantly on edge for some years, but not knowing why or how to vocalize this.  This internal pressure has eventually expressed itself in MLC and monster.

Another similarity is when I look at personality changes in those in crisis - one pattern that is common is for avoidant, low self esteem types to swap to high energy, narcissistic and confrontational personality types as a defence mechanism against fear of the future and particularly feeling unable to deal with future demands. They often fear change, but crave distraction.  This personality transition can happen over night and can be shockingly extreme.  Sounds familiar?  Cognitive dissonance is a common side effect of this personality shift and associated guilt  in my W produces an urge to self harm.

It seems to me that some MLCer have trauma that they are aware of, some are repressing some sort of trauma and some are traumatized by their MLT. 

Many MLCer seem to show strong correlation with symptoms and behaviours of trauma survivors.  There seems to be some cases where codependency between partners and emotional support slow down the processing of trauma and onset of MLC and when the 'dam breaks'  the LBS is swept away with the release of pent up emotion.  It is so much easier to be angry than sad.

It is really interesting, (and a little shocking), that so little MLC research exists and I agree that it is partly due to marriage being seen by some as being disposable and temporary and also due to MLC being seen as a joke or something shameful.  MLC is trauma for all involved and is a major depressive episode and deserves to be treated with an appropriate level of gravity. 

I hope that society and the scientific community wake up to this dangerous phenomenon.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#90: February 11, 2020, 03:06:53 AM
Hi to those following,

Been a really intense couple of weeks here...

D17 became D18 last week of Jan!  Like most milestones since my W's MLC started it was bitter sweet.  We enjoyed a family meal together and I was very proud of all my family, but of course a bit sad inside to imagine all this disappearing.  I smiled through it.  As we waited to be seated I talked to W and leaned in to hear what she was saying over the noise and she kissed my cheek, no explanation.  This irritated me that she felt like she could just do that.  A year ago I would have been very happy for the contact.  W has increased AD dosage and tells me she is not self harming any more.

Generally W is being very pleasant and asking after me, doing things for me and making small physical connections.  So the dance continues, but in last week or so the tempo increased:

On Saturday last weekend W asked for a talk.  Oh dear I thought. 

W tells me that after getting advice she has realised that she would like to stay in our house and for me to move out, as she feels that with some payments from me she can afford to do so.  I remained calm, mostly as this was not a surprise despite her previous promises.

  I told her that her decision was to leave or marriage several years ago, she just didn't tell me and that she should leave me in the house.  I explained that with the mortgage set up as it is i cannot get another mortgage and would have to rent until S11 is 18 year old.  A rental property would be much smaller.

W counters that she would be in same position and is happy for us to live as we are, roommates who co-parent.  I said that this arrangement is messed up and not the best for kids, for example her sharing room with D13!
She says well I will come back to our bed. I said: 'I dont want you to'.  I thought, but did not say 'whats the point of your coming back if you do it just because you feel obliged'?

She monstered a little, 'You broke me and now I have broken you'  was probably her best shot!

I told her to get a proposal in writing and I would consider it, but was not committed to accepting anything.

She returned later and said ;' Lets not do this, lets stay together and work on this'

LW: I have been working on this for years.
W:  I know
LW:  I cant carry on taking all the blame, I am not responsible for everything you see wrong with your life.
W:  I know that.
LW:  You dont care for me and have treated me cruelly for years, Its not safe for me and I am worried that if I try to carry on I will collapse in some way, probably by having a breakdown.
W:  I care for you
LW:  Not enough


Since then she has been very anxious and coming for hugs, reassurance.  I give her a hug when she asks, but reassurance I cant do. 

You cant reassure someone if you have no idea whats going to happen to you, them or our children.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#91: February 11, 2020, 03:28:12 AM
I guess the real question that YOU have to ask yourself is whether or not you want to reconcile in the end. If you do, you may wish to consider what it would take for you to feel safe, to believe that what W says is for real.

While it could simply be a cycle or a T & G, it sounds to me from this brief synopsis as if W is making the first attempts at reconnection, especially since she is still in the house with you. If reconciliation is your end goal, you may wish to see if this reconnection attempt is for real or not. She may need to be able to see/feel/hear that you are, indeed, willing to make the effort in reconnecting and reconciliation as neither of these is a "one party doing all the heavy humping of the MLC baggage" situation and reconnection is a 2-way street where BOTH parties have to be equally involved and part of the solution.  It is certainly NOT an easy road to travel if you choose to do so...

This may mean that you will have to answer some pretty uncomfortable questions about your own desires and motivations and how much you are will invest in the reconnection....

Just food for thought.....
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Me - 56, xW - 50
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#92: February 11, 2020, 03:36:45 AM
How did your seminar go, LW?

I'm sorry; it must be incredibly hard to live with this kind of uncertainty and back and forth from your w. On a positive note - bc we have to grab the small positives don't we  :) - it sounds as if a bit of your w at least momentarily accepts that you are not responsible for her unhappiness. It's strange, isn't it, how little of a 'plan' they seem to have in crisis? In many ways tbh it is as if they just want the LBS/m to disappear in a magic puff of smoke or be able to pick out a few responsibilities they like from family life and just ignore the rest? I wonder actually if some kind of 'planning' is another thing the ow/om offers to them in the midst of this kind of confusion? Either a bolt hole to run to or the energy to come up with a plan when the MLCer seems unable to do so often. Idk.

I have no advice at all but just wanted to say I hear you. It sounds as if you are beginning to work out the boundaries that will work best for you and your kids regardless of what your w does or indeed how she feels about it. But I am sorry bc this stuff is really hard and sometimes it feels almost impossible to plant your own feet firmly in the middle of chaos.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#93: February 11, 2020, 04:33:08 AM
LW,

I would just say, I wouldn't move out of the house.  Unless you are sure it is over.
Even then think long and hard about you being the one to move out. 

This is going to be a hard decision either way, but maybe try to see if there are positive actions from her, IF that is what you want.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#94: February 11, 2020, 05:09:59 AM
LW,

I would just say, I wouldn't move out of the house.  Unless you are sure it is over.
Even then think long and hard about you being the one to move out. 

This is going to be a hard decision either way, but maybe try to see if there are positive actions from her, IF that is what you want.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed in the house, as Thunder suggests. My W said and did many of the things that yours is saying and doing. I wish I would have been stronger. In the end, I moved out, and now that we have been apart for two years, she says it's time to finish the divorce. Because we've been living separate lives for so long. We both can move on.

I think if reconciliation is your goal, then following the path of other strong men on this site who stay in the house  with their wives is the best way to go. For myself, I ended up needing  therapy and a rather strong drug to cope with the anxiety of dealing with a live-in MLCW.  I just didn't have it in me.  Oddly, I've been much better suited to dealing with the abuse and nasty comments since I moved out. I have friends who just can't believe how I've been able to withstand everything that has been thrown at me.  I still feel like a failed her, and us, by moving out.

You sound really good.  You sound stable and strong.  You'll in a good place and I think you will make the appropriate decision for you and your family.
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Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#95: February 11, 2020, 06:50:59 AM
Hi All

thank you for your excellent responses as usual!

UM you are spot on as per - the real question is if I want to reconcile and reconnect can I trust her commitment to me and the process?  The first part is easy - I want to R&R, but on the second part I am very ambivalent.  I am genuinely worried about my mental health (if I am hurt again with another false return/betrayal) and in particular dealing with a stressful job which pays 3/4 of all our families living expenses whilst being a good, functioning and sometimes happy Dad.  I'm not sure I am strong enough for the emotional toll should I be battered again.  I want W for her, not for security or because I want to avoid hurt - I know I can live w/o her, but dont want to look back in regret if I end up feeling like I have bailed out too early, (although it feels like a long time, I know it is not).

Treasur - Seminar went well, posted above about content - thanks for asking.  There is certainly no planning in MLC, planning is pressure!  Just avoidant behaviour although there does seem to be some acknowledgement from W that maybe her previously held beliefs are extreme and distorted by her crisis.  In previous discussion W said several time 'I had a breakdown' in order to explain PAs, lies and other MLC madness.  I am almost certain that W has ceased contact with OM2.  I guess I will never know for sure, but something feels different, W seems to have a shame now that has changed from guilt towards the children.  I think she is starting to accept what damage she has done to me and D18.  Facing this has been very hard on her and if she is committed to R then this is a long road ahead still.  W increasing AD seems to do nothing to slow MLC.

Thunder/Dis - I dont see myself leaving the house unless it is the only way to split up if I decide I cant go on.  I told W to get figures on that proposal just because I think she needs to see the reality of what she is doing.  It seems a good contrast to her fantasy land living she has indulged in for several years.  It is useful for me to have a worse case scenario in order to plan my counter proposal, especially as it requires W to submit all her financials which are unclear to me currently.

I guess I have to consider carefully what signs/commitments from my W I consider solid enough to risk further pain. 

Any suggestions on a postcard please!

LW

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#96: February 11, 2020, 07:15:15 AM
Quote
I guess I have to consider carefully what signs/commitments from my W I consider solid enough to risk further pain. 

Just a stray thought....what would happen if you flipped the question over? As I understand from what you posted, you want to give it a shot, feel now that you can live w/o your w if that happens but are concerned about your mental capacity primarily to live with....what?....what you call the emotional toll.

And your question is about predicting the cost maybe so you can work out if you can?

Not saying anything about whether you can/should but wondering where you would go if you asked yourself a slightly different question....particularly as I guess your question is about things you probably can't control although you can have boundaries. There are plenty of good reasons in all our situations to say yes, no, enough or a little more and that's a very personal thing.
But
What would increase your confidence in your capacity or build more capacity regardless?
And what are the most difficult bits for you of the potential 'emotional toll'?

I suppose we are here bc of common ground of a spouse in crisis unravelling our own lives in some way, and that has some particular challenges. But I guess marriages do have challenges that might be about the health or behaviour of our spouse which are different but just as hard. A terminally ill spouse or one with dementia or addiction say, something we didn't cause and can't change all the same. Again, something we can control but can only navigate the best we can. I wonder what makes that different or what we can learn from that. Idk. Just an idea.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#97: February 11, 2020, 10:03:56 AM
Treasur,

My biggest concern is the damage to my self caused by further betrayal/lies from W if I give things a final shot.

 I had one false return after PA1 was discover just over 2 years ago now... W begged me to forgive, said she was not mentally well, wanted a chance to prove to me, etc.  We were going to work on things together - open and honest about everything.  Six months later she had PA2.  I had a much smaller betrayal and false return five years ago too.

Im not sure I can take another betrayal and I know I have to trust her to move on.  Accepting what has happened is easy in comparison to maybe setting myself up to be devastated all over again..

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#98: February 11, 2020, 11:01:12 AM
I get that, LW.
So I suppose (bc you can't control if there is an om#3 and she isn't yet inspiring the confidence in you that you need), it sounds as if you have three choices.
Do nothing for a little while and see if her behaviour changes significantly enough to reduce the risk.
Decide that you are simply not prepared to take the risk at all and decide to start taking action and filing for a divorce so you can protect your home, finances and heart.
Figure out if, after two betrayals, there is a way to be less damaged if a third happens which is probably about detaching a bit more emotionally.

Working out how much risk you can carry is such a personal thing isn't it? And is influenced by practicalities too.
I suppose it is also about all the other behaviours even if there's not another om, bc your m is not the m/life you had or probably want is it?

I remember - and i am only talking for myself - the point in 2017 when I realised that I couldn't keep my sanity unless I let go of my h bc the risk was too big and the rewards too ephemeral. It had nothing to do with love tbh but more about survival....but neither choice felt great.
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« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 11:03:27 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

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#99: February 15, 2020, 03:01:18 AM
Treasur

you are absolutely right. There are only 3 choices, but I guess my position is a mix...in that I am prepared to give W some time, but am also preparing for this change to be unrealistic in terms of MLC and timelines.  W is depressed, shows guilt, but no remorse except in regards to hurting kids by breaking up.

I will continue to engage as required with mediator in order to agree the logistics of our impending separation in the summer, but I am open to R&R if W agrees that she/we engage in some sort of therapy or counselling to address the root causes of her MLC and our failing M.  W would also have to be more committed to showing me that she wants me rather than just security, by showing remorse and the associated change in behaviour.  I will not agree to leave the house unless I absolutely have to.

I deserve to be with someone who wants to be with LW, the whole me, not just a bank account and a hug when she feels low.

I dont foresee that W will be willing or able to show me these changes before the summer and we will separate.  And I accept that this pressure is exactly the wrong way to go if I intend to stand until W leaves the fog, if she ever does, but I have to think about my own health, not just as LW, but as a father of four and main financial provider.

I feel very acutely the need to protect myself as the more stable parent for the children to lean on during the storm to come.

The psychological damage to me of a potential further PA and associated deceit and disrespect are beyond my ability to face without firm, consistent actions from W that provide some measure of safety for me and our children.  I accept that this is my failing for not being emotionally detached enough, but I have learnt the hard way that recognising ones flaws is as important as ones strengths.

 I will feel guilt for this weakness in future, but i do feel that self preservation is not selfish, especially when you are a parent.

W recognises recently that I am focused on protecting myself and the children and have long ago reached the point where I have no fear of her reactions to me clearly stating what I need to continue to work on our M.

If I see signs of positive action from W to save our M then I wont insist on splitting up in the summer. 



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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#100: February 17, 2020, 09:42:27 PM
LW, you are not weak or selfish. You have been betrayed more than once and you are cautious, thats perfectly natural. If you want to R&R but still have fears of another OM popping up at sometime then you probably Arent Ready and your W certainly isnt Ready if she is making you think so.
Nothing wrong with not wanting to go through the pain again, who on their right mind would want that? You are right to think of yourself and kids first of all. Your W has more or less lost that right to your "security" by her actions and if she is serious about you then she needs to show it.
All the best LW, this isnt easy.
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W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
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2 Sons - 20 & 21
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#101: February 25, 2020, 04:51:56 PM
Treasur,

My biggest concern is the damage to my self caused by further betrayal/lies from W if I give things a final shot.

 Im not sure I can take another betrayal and I know I have to trust her to move on.  Accepting what has happened is easy in comparison to maybe setting myself up to be devastated all over again..

LW

Dear Little Wing:

As one who has lived through this and still is, I can honestly tell you, you simply will not know what you can or cannot do until you try.   There is NOTHING simple about any of this.  MLC is badly misunderstood, totally ignored, even silently "giggle" about behind our backs, making the ordeal even more difficult. 

All I can say my friend, you have gotten this far.  Obviously, you have far more inner strength and stamina then ever imagined.  All of us do.  The worst of this is, there simply is no right or wrong choice.  No matter what you decide to do, you will wonder if you should have.  If you don't stay and try, you will always wonder what might have been.  If you do stay and she does betray you again, you will be pi&&ed at yourself for "letting her do it to you again"! 

I know people who stayed and ended up leaving a few years later. Others, like myself, are so glad we took the chance.  We are never as "trusting" as we were.  For me, I can see that the trust I bestowed on my husband was quite frankly, unachievable, too hard to live up to. Strangely, I think he trusts me more.  We've been reconciled since 2006.  It was the MOST difficult thing I ever did, hell we ever did!  If you BOTH really want it to work, somehow, you'll both do whatever it takes.  It cannot be done alone, in spite of whatever any book or guru might tell you.  As we all know, marriage takes two. 

The one thing I can assure you.... whatever you decide, YOU will be a better person, you already are.  There is something about being an LBS that changes you.  You will still hurt, you will still cry, you will still get angry, you will remain YOU but you'll never again... beat yourself up for being who you are, because after this, you know you are an AMAZING PERSON!

Hugs Little Wing... there is no right or wrong.... take it one day at a time and keep your eyes wide open.

Stayed
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#102: February 25, 2020, 05:01:40 PM
oh, I forgot... DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME... for any reason!  If you have to have her removed legally, then sadly, that is what you must do.  You did not cause this!  Do not give up anything more then you absolutely have to. 

Sorry, that sounds cruel, but once you leave your home, it is very hard to get back in. 

hugs Stayed
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#103: February 25, 2020, 06:57:58 PM
oh, I forgot... DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME... for any reason!  If you have to have her removed legally, then sadly, that is what you must do.  You did not cause this!  Do not give up anything more then you absolutely have to. 

Sorry, that sounds cruel, but once you leave your home, it is very hard to get back in. 

hugs Stayed

Yes.  This right here.  I'll forever regret moving out.  I wish I could have stayed and run the clock.
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M=51
W=47
D=8
BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
Atomic BD June 17 Spying revealed OM at work
Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
Several mediations, mostly instigated by me.  Foot dragging by STBXW.  Nothing filed. Yet.
5/2019 STBXW filed D behind my back despite signed agreement to mediate.
I retain attorney.
STBXW still hasn't told me and no further action.
Elephant in the room has been addressed.  No further action atm.  Weighing my options.
12/16/19  She files financial paperwork.  Divorce proceeding.

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#104: February 26, 2020, 04:06:47 AM
oh, I forgot... DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME... for any reason!  If you have to have her removed legally, then sadly, that is what you must do.  You did not cause this!  Do not give up anything more then you absolutely have to. 

Sorry, that sounds cruel, but once you leave your home, it is very hard to get back in. 

hugs Stayed

Yes.  This right here.  I'll forever regret moving out.  I wish I could have stayed and run the clock.

Yep, me too... BIG mistake to leave and sell...
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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation
S - 13, D - 9
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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I just found out I am an LBS
#105: February 27, 2020, 12:44:51 AM
Hi All

thanks for the kind words, my life would be a lot more challenging without the support here.

Stayed, if I thought for one minute that my W was interested in working on our R then I would stick it out, but she is interested only in co-parenting our kids and avoiding any disruption to her life.  She expresses no real interest in me and I feel like I have done all i can, but it needs two of us to try together. 
I agree that a few years ago I would never have thought I was strong enough to still be here, but I feel that I have tried as much as I am able to accept and detach and still feel that I am the focus of all the anger and blame.

I have changed through the last few years and I now feel that I deserve someone who deserves me and barring a miracle, I dont see my W as being deserving of my commitment for much longer.  My focus is on me and our kids now and hoping that I am making the right decision for us.

As for leaving the house, I wont unless I have to.  Here in UK the law is not very clear and neither W nor I can afford for this to go through court, so I hope we can achieve an agreement through mediation.  I suspect the situation will be that we both want the other to leave the family home.  If we really cannot agree who leaves we will have to sell the house and split the proceeds.

 Does anyone here have experience with a similar situation?  Our four kids are between 11 and 18, our mortgage is in joint names.

Thanks again all for the support!

LW

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#106: February 27, 2020, 05:14:35 AM
XW and I sold the Family home and split the "Profit"..... neither could run it alone as it was too expensive to buy the other out.
We sold it for 30.000€ less than planned, she wanted a quick sell so I agreed and it all came from her cut… "Thats the Price of freedom babes"  ;D.
I personally had no interest in staying there as it felt as though her ghost was in every room. A Fresh start was a good decision for me personally as i also had no hope for "us" and neither did I want it anymore.
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BD 1: 10.01.2017
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2 Sons - 20 & 21
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
T1  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8671.0

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#107: February 27, 2020, 05:45:02 AM
XW and I sold the Family home and split the "Profit"..... neither could run it alone as it was too expensive to buy the other out.

I was in a similar situation although, in hindsight, I probably could have figured out a way to keep the house and buy xW out... Maybe renting a room out or something. I would have been MUCH better off in the long term and the kids as well...

Now though, as it is a buyers market with interest rates so low, I can't afford to buy anything where my kids can each have their own room unless it is out in the countryside somewhere, which then increases all the other costs like commuting, etc.  And, at 56, without 30%+ down, the banks aren't too interested in giving a loan because I will have to retire in 11 years...
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#108: February 27, 2020, 05:57:44 AM
I did keep our home. I took less in investment assets so that I could have the entire equity in our house.

Initially, the house was for sale. It is large for one person however when I looked at smaller houses the taxes were higher, the HOA fees much higher and then there would be all the costs of moving, redecorating etc.

I took a longer mortgage and the interests rates were quite low at that point.

I too thought of renting out a room if I had to.

I see my home as an investment and I have to live somewhere....initially I thought there would be no way I could keep it and that the utility costs would be too much....but it has not turned out that way. God has provided.

I am however very fortunate that we had assets saved that allowed me to keep it.

It is good to take  a long and hard look at what is possible. I knew I could always sell it in the future if I couldn't manage. Pretty well everyone thought I should sell, I should move back to my home country...I am very glad I did not.

I am very blessed. Not many will have that opportunity to stay in their home if that is what they wish.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#109: February 27, 2020, 06:09:38 AM
As I said Little Wing, marriage is a two way street, can't be navigated only by one. NOBODY will think poorly of you for not standing. We only have ONE life and we must live it as best we can. You are a good man.

Do what you can to keep your house. Most of us found that it was actually more viable to keep our homes then to have to start all over again.

Thinking of you and am with you all the way.

Hugs Stayed
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"Don't be so open minded your brains fall out".  by Stephen A. Kallis, Jr.
"We believe marriage is sacred, but it is not our job to save marriages; it is our goal to empower each of you to save your own marriage."

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#110: February 27, 2020, 10:07:37 AM
Hi Little Wing,

I have to join the others.  I wish I had stayed in the house also.  I felt I couldn't afford the mortgage payment and the upkeep, but my X went through a gov, program to help keep the house and his mortgage payment went down by $500 and is now less than my rent.  I could have done it, but I had no idea at the time.

I hope it works out for you and the kids to stay in the home, but I understand it may not be possibly if she does not cooperate, or you are forced to sell it.

I wish you well, Little Wing.

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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."

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I just found out I am an LBS
#111: February 27, 2020, 10:47:58 AM
It's very difficult to think clearly or creatively sometimes when we are in pain or confusion, isn't it? I think a number of us made assumptions or didn't explore options that, with hindsight, we now wish we had. If it is too hard to think clearly right now, LW, perhaps try talking it through with an objective 3rd party to get some more info or with a friend who is good at thinking about this kind of stuff? Acceot the likely reality that your brain is not at its best right now. And don't let yourself feel pushed into making decisions before you have had time to consider all of the options and what you would actually prefer.

I guess the first question is if you WANT to stay in the house if it were possible or if you would prefer a fresh start place somewhere else. Then the longer term consequences a bit like UM was saying. Then the impact on kids/schools etc. And then look at how you could financially do it if you wanted to do so. I guess your w will be figuring out the same things. If you'd prefer a fresh start place, then I suppose it depends on how you would finance that and therefore if your w could buy you out or if the house would need to be sold.
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« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 10:49:00 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

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I just found out I am an LBS
#112: February 28, 2020, 07:05:00 AM
Hi All

thank you for the advice, it fits with my own thinking which is always reassuring as I am aware that my brain is not working too well recently as Treasur rightly points out!

I will try a summarize the financial situation:

I make 75% of our joint income and consequently have always paid the mortgage and bills etc.  My wife is self employed for 5 years, since kids were all at school,  and has only started to declare taxes this financial year.  When we split W would receive Gov assistance and some payments form me to make our respective incomes equal.

Both of us would like to stay in the home as we believe that it will be better for our kids S11, D14, D16 and D18, giving them some stability and familiarity, also the home is bigger than can be afforded if renting.  I would prefer to stay as I think this is better for the kids, but personally maybe a clean break with a sale is preferable.

Neither of us can afford to buy the other out and the mortgage cannot be transferred in to W's name as she has no credit rating.

 I can see no logical reason why either of us is in  a stronger position to stay in family home - we share child rearing duties and spend same amount of time with kids, who will after the summer all make their own way to school or college as S11 will be in secondary/high school.

So one of us leaves or we sell the home and divide the equity.   I guess I am happy with her leaving or us selling as a last resort.

I suspect we are just starting out on a very complicated and potentially angry journey...  sounds familiar.

LW
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I just found out I am an LBS
#113: February 28, 2020, 07:27:47 AM
Ok, so your w can't stay unless you kept paying the mortgage in your/joint name which you don't want to do? Can you  refinance the mortgage on your own income, sounds as if you could as you earn most the money? But you couldn't finance paying the additional 50% of the equity profit in the house since you both owned it in order to buy her out? This stuff is of course a numbers/lenders game....relatively black and white. I haven't done this but I think there are financial advisors, sometimes recommended by your L, who can sit down with you and advise on your options?

If you know for sure having checked out possible financing that this is true, then it sounds as if you either need to persuade your w to walk away from her half of the equity in lieu of something else.....not likely I'd guess as you are the primary earner....or as you say, sell. If you sold the house, would the 50% of the equity allow you to buy or rent a different house with room for the kids? In the same school area? Are you wanting 50/50 custody or for the kids to live primarily with you or your w? What legal advice have you been given about your potential liabilities for child support and alimony given the disparity in your incomes and the length of your marriage?
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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: I just found out I am an LBS
#114: February 28, 2020, 07:33:29 AM
LW,

I get it.  It's going to be a tough decision.

May I ask, if your W wants to stay in the house as "roommates" (which personally I see benefiting her more than you) is she then willing to pay half of the mortgage?
That is what roomies do.  Split the cost of everything.

I just have one question, you don't need to answer me.
If your W made good money and had good credit, do you think she would move out...or try to buy you out?  I mean is this more of a financial problem with her and possibly that is why she wants the roommate thing?

You know LW, sometimes staying together for the kids sake is not the best decision for anybody.  It is not really giving either of you a real life, those kids do grow up and leave home years down the road.
Of course that choice is yours to make.  I just always think what is best for kids is to see two happy parents.

You'll figure it out.  Just do what is best for you and your kids.
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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."

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I just found out I am an LBS
#115: March 02, 2020, 02:08:59 AM
Hi Treasur and Thunder

you correctly understand the financial situation - she can only stay in house if mortgage stays in my name and I don't want that commitment,  whereas if she left i will happily pay her an amount that equalizes our incomes (about £350 a month on top of her keeping all the child benefit and me paying the debts off monthly).  Money will be very tight either way.  I want 50/50 childcare split with w.  W cannot afford to pay half of mortgage or bills.

I think if W had money she would move out and get her own place.  I think at the moment I am just a paycheck to her.

I am increasingly understanding that this dynamic is not better for me or the kids, only w.  You are right - kids should see two happy parents most of the time!

So I will sit tight and wait to see what proposal w comes up with with mediator.

W seems to be avoiding obvious replay, except that i know she still 'speaks' with OM2 as a 'friend'.  Ha

W is pleasant with me and kids, even nice to the dogs now, but she is very depressed and anxious.

Thank you all for listening and responding - you are amazing!

LW
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#116: March 02, 2020, 03:49:58 AM
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W is pleasant with me and kids, even nice to the dogs now, but she is very depressed and anxious.

Possibly some of the practical realities are starting to become a bit more obvious to her as mediation goes on....that her life isn't necessarily going to be unicorns and that you are not going to finance her new life to make it all easy with a cheery smile  ::)

 I know it's a bit shocking to believe that an adult wouldn't think this stuff through before blowing their family up, but often they seem not to. It all seems to come as a bit of a surprise.....and from your w's POV, some of this stuff probably is a bit depressing bc money will be tight. Doesn't sound like om1/om2 are rich princes who will swoop in and rescue her lol, so I guess she is going to have to grow up.....so, yup, bit depressing....less money, less of her kids, buck stops with her or an om3/4 etc..... In fact sometimes they even get quite angry with the LBS about it.  ::)
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« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 03:54:40 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

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#117: March 02, 2020, 04:48:02 AM
Haha yes Treasur the anger!

W did try to get angry about things being 'out of her control' and me 'pushing the pace' last time she insisted on a R talk, I told her that I didn't care what she felt, the facts were she walked away from our marriage emotionally about 5 years ago, but didn't tell me and the current status quo was not ok for me or our kids.  She did for once accept this as fact, although still seems surprised that we are both allowed to make a decision about our future.

I think W thought I could wait forever, but I cant.

You are absolutely right that reality bites and whats easier than remorse?  Anger!

Not only do MLCers seem to resort to anger as the best distraction from guilt, they also live entirely in a fantasy world that revolves around them.  I think recent events have come as a huge shock to my W, despite it being a predictable outcome of her choices.

I will never understand the lack of empathy that this delusion shows.

But I gave up along time ago trying to understand the MLCer psychology.  I just concentrate on my own thinking, which is tricky enough to understand sometimes!

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#118: March 02, 2020, 05:05:04 AM

But I gave up along time ago trying to understand the MLCer psychology. 

Like I have said, over and over, you stand a better chance at tasting green with your elbow.....
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Me - 56, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation
S - 13, D - 9
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#119: March 16, 2020, 01:21:56 AM
Hi All

Just a quick update..

I have continued to maintain some calmness and survive work, spending time with the kids and trying to take positive actions.  W continues to be a cold room mate!  She expresses very little interest in me or my life except when she needs something sorting for family, for example last week one the young people i work with was stabbed quite badly.... W said when she heard, so have things settled down at work now?  Empathy bypass.

Kids all seem to be doing fine as we approach exam season.

Last weekend W asked to talk but then didn't initiate any discussion, absenting herself from home as much as possible.

This weekend she did tell me that she had appointment with the mediator  this Wednesday.  'Thats what you told me to do'.
Like what I want has had any impact on her decision making!
W said that she had been looking in to local rental properties, presumably for her?  I didnt respond to this information except to say I was going to really miss our kids, and she agreed.  I said I would miss her and she said she would miss me too, to which I laughed and she said again I will miss you.  She actually showed some emotion at this point, but then she quickly left for work without a backward glance.

I am determined not to feel too guilty for deciding that I cant carry on in limbo, Im sure it is not best for our kids and certainly is not good for me.
I am a fixer and W an avoidant, so I have to continue really concentrating on not trying to fix this, even though I know I cant fix anything in her.

I have mixed feelings of course about giving up my stand, but do feel it is time to protect myself from W who has no positive feeling for me at all.

I suspect that W still has feelings for OM2 and he continues to work away in the background alienating her from me.  She does not see his controlling behaviour, but seems stuck as she cant see surviving without his friendship, although he definitely wants more from her than that.  I think she is trying to maintain boundaries with him ironically, but i dont know what these boundaries are and if she plans on restarting a relationship with him in future.

Maybe the saddest thing of all is, I dont care any more what she does as long as she is a caring and supportive mother to our kids.  If OM2 does anything to hurt my kids, I may have to deal with him.

The door to reconciliation is still open, but W must step towards it, must show willing and desire to R and R and the time to show that is disappearing.  Maybe its already too late.

Detachment feels so empty some mornings.

LW


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#120: March 16, 2020, 02:59:57 AM
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Empathy bypass.
Well, we all know what that looks like, Little Wing  :)

You sound not too bad at all if that is any encouragement.
Don't be afraid of how detaching feels....fwiw I think it pendulums a bit between indifference and attachment, between cold and hot, before we find our balance with it.
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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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I just found out I am an LBS
#121: March 17, 2020, 08:16:06 AM
Thanks Treasur

I dont feel too bad actually!  I think I am reaching the stage of my life journey that I have decided to thrive rather than just survive.

I am starting to believe that I deserve better than what my W can currently offer, and am accepting that she may never be able to give me what i deserve.

I am also accepting that I may always love her even though I dislike her and probably need to be separate from her.

I am accepting of the unfairness of the whole thing and generally dont feel angry any more.

Detachment is really complex process, but once begun it gains momentum and it is difficult to stop, regardless of where it ends up.

Thank you for your encouragement T

LW
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#122: March 23, 2020, 01:42:56 AM
Hi All

quick update. 

W was supposed to go to her first meeting with mediator last Wednesday.  She mentioned nothing about this until I asked on Friday and she said the meeting had been postponed until Monday due to Covid.

She has been rather cold of late and anxious about the virus.

I feel detached and numb.

I am still in work as I work with vulnerable children and hope that you are all keeping safe in your lives.

LW
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#123: April 08, 2020, 01:29:57 AM
Hi All

just a quick update:

I am still in work with vulnerable young people part time.  This breaks up the week in lockdown and gets me away from tension in house a bit, so work is a relief!
I am generally feeling detached from my MLC W, and although I still cycle a little, I am starting to feel my self image improve as time goes on.

I feel that I have maintained some dignity and self control under exceptionally challenging circumstances and that makes me feel good about myself.

There is no movement on mediation or D with lockdown, but I still wish to pursue this when the lockdown ends.

I do feel guilt about this decision, especially when I think about telling the kids, but I cant carry on like this.  Barring a miracle I cannot see there being any reconciliation.
I cannot carry on taking the blame for lost opportunities and need to share my life with someone who has some respect for me.

My W is gone, but my life continues.

My love goes out to all on HS at this challenging time and especially to those on lockdown with their MLCr - who knew it could get even harder?

stay safe

LW
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