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

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My Story Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#50: August 23, 2019, 12:00:57 PM
Thunder

everything MLC seems odd to me!

LW
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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

"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
#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

"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
#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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