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Author Topic: My Story Wife in MLC - please share your thoughts/opinions/diagnosis

M
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Hi All,

First, my stats:
M: 47
W: 43
S 18, S11
T: 25 years
M: 20 years
Bomb drop: 7/3/19
Trial separation since 7/26/19

I have been with W since 1994. Married since 1999. We have two great kids, and all the usual great memories of your average American middle class couple/family.

W was stomping around angry in early July and I said. "Let's get out of the house and talk about what's bothering you." She proceeded to give me the ILYBINILWY speech. "I've changed." "I've felt this way for a while." "I don't know what I want." "I don't feel any connection." Classic MLC jargon.

Over last 18-20 months, I've seen her get a new car, 2 new tattoos, get a whole new group of friends who she met at her new gym in her hometown. Oldest child graduated high school in June and headed off to college at end of August. She has been staying with one of her friends (female) from the gym since late July. She runs a daycare out of our house, so I do see her most days during the week. Kids aren't aware of exactly what's going on, as she leaves after S11 goes to bed and is here in the morning before S11 wakes up, most days.

What was our marriage like? What were our issues? Pretty typical I'd say. Inconsistent communication. Focused too much on the kids. Less time in the bedroom as the years wore on. Basically grew apart as time passed.

Since BD, I have lost 45 lbs., been working out regularly, going out on my own much more. Generally trying to be open and friendly with no R talk when I see her. There is zero physical contact at all since August. Aside from that, an outsider wouldn't think anything was up if he saw us interact.   

We did 3 sessions of MC, but she was just looking to have her decision to D verified for her. At our final MC session, I turned to her and said, "I'm letting you go. You have said repeatedly that are not and can not be happy in this marriage, and I want you to be happy. You need to move on." MC told me afterwards that W had a shocked look on her face when I said that. Wife is also still in IC (pro-divorce female therapist).

We have had 2 brief, amicable talks about custody and the house. For someone who says she needs to dump me to be happy, she sure isn't moving too quickly. I am not going to do the heavy lifting here, no matter how much I want to be done with limbo. Lastly, while it's unproven, yes, I'm assuming there is an OM in the picture.

How should I proceed? Tough love? Friendly roommate? Impossible to tell what she's thinking in her crazy MLC mind.

Feedback welcomed!





 




 






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Hey M&W,

Sound like you're doing really good. Calm, not in a panic...... so you've gotten thru all that. Very good.

Since she's moved out already, yeah.... not too much to see eh?

Has she leveled out, or still descending?

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

M
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Hi SS,

I'd say she's certainly closer to leveled out than still descending. Things have moved along and maybe she is squarely stuck on which way to go now? At times, I feel like it has to end to create a loss for her to have to endure. IDK.
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Hey M&W,

Leveling out is good.... so how does she treat you right now? Is she hard in avoidance still? Or are you furniture (a set piece) at the moment?
Does she engage at all? Is your presence something she can't handle or finds uncomfortable?

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

M
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SS,

The times we are together, we make friendly small talk. Less avoidance than right after BD, though she's not looking to hang out. I guess I'd say I'm a piece of furniture that she speaks to when she's around. Everything is friendly, never any yelling, etc. "Please." Thank you." etc. I think her (likely) EA is running its course (it could even be with her girlfriend. IDK). I've made dramatic changes with the weight loss and Lasik eye surgery. I definitely look and act better and more confident. Outside chance she's noticed I suppose.
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W
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Hi M,
im sorry that you find yourself here.
Im not kidding you, that sounds all too familiar with me. Its like i was reading my first thread. My XW was also 43 (as was I), Gym, new younger Friends etc. I actually asked her if she was having a PA with a younger GF who used to chill at our house sometimes. they were like glue, turned out that she was cover for a Young Milfhunter at the Gym. "Im going to TGFs for a while"  :-\
I first started posted a couple of weeks after BD, a week or 2 later I discovered OM and ABD (Atomic Bomb Drop). That was the day I asked her to leave for a while and think About what she wants. She didnt come back.

There is a Chance that there is no OM on the Scene but if you prepare yourself for the worst then it is easier to manage. This is probably the worst experience you will ever experience so prepare yourself. Its all About you and the Kids now you seem to be doing everything Right... Keep Posting and reading the other threads.


Look after YOUrself, eat, Sleep, breath and plod on for now. The essentiales first…
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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 46
W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 31) Trainings partner. Is tolerated by LaFamiglia
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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Hi M and welcome.

This site is a good place to be, you will not feel so alone.  People in the real world will find it hard to believe.  Most people think of a midlife crisis as a joke, but we know better.

You sure sound like you're handling things really well.  Letting them go do what their going to do is very sensible.  You can't stop them anyway.

Working on yourself is the best thing to do, it helps you detach from what she is doing.
At least you're not dealing with the Monster type MLCer.  Some can be really awful.
As long as you two stay in friendly, parent contact that is the best for the kids.
She is not your friend right now, but co-parenting has to happen, may as well do it in a friendly manner.

I'm sorry you are going through this, M.  It's not easy, but we're all here for you.

Take good care of yourself.  Post when ever you need to, someone's always around.
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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."

M
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Appreciate all the responses. It's very helpful!

What are everyone's thoughts on bringing up and gently pushing D discussions? She hasn't really brought it up in any tangible way, but I think she's waiting for me to do it. I think she needs to feel the loss and see the kids have to deal with this mess before she can emerge from the tunnel. I will be okay, despite inconveniences this would bring. Almost like ripping the band aid off to start the long healing process. I just don't see many other options right now. 
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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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H
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M47
I wouldn't bring it up or discuss D. My W talked it at first, but my advice I got was to not talk about it. Let it die down.
That's what I did. 
I also hid it all from my Kids and everyone else.
My thinking was one day when my W woke up there would be too much pain for her to handle and I definetly wasn't going to let her throw up in my face that I caused her any pain. I had heard enough of that monstering BS.

This is just my opinion M47. The way I've handled things are not the majority choice. I just let her be. Let her live her little fantasy life and went on with mine.
That's just my story with my MLCer. Just ONE example of many.
I don't think helping them see the damage and change. Until they can see the damage themselves, we can't help them either way my friend. For the better or the worse.
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If you´ve lost the weight due to exercise and diet changes, great. If you´ve lost the weight because you literally could not swallow food due to the loss of appetite due to the numbing shock of it, then self-care is a priority.

You cannot control the speed of her emotional journey. You have some input on the divorce process timing. If your state allows for a legal separation, that might be a workable option to protect you financially. Limbo sucks and takes an enormous toll on your mind, body and soul. The finality of divorce brings relief but then a long journey of healing awaits. Ain´t no way around going through the pain and healing. Since you seem to be in an eyes wide open scenario, what steps can you take to make this endurable for your son? You are in a bit of bind in that you reside in the house, but your wife is using it to make a living. Have you thought about how you will extract yourself from that? Your son likely knows that something is up. He may be carrying around more anxiety than necessary and may welcome a chance to ask you questions. You might reach out to his counselor at school and/or English teacher as kids often express a lot in their writing assignments.

So sorry that you are in this situation.
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me 51
H 51
M 27
BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

M
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Hey Forethetrees,

But for the first 2 weeks after BD, weight loss is due to diet and exercise.

As you point out, it's a tricky spot because W makes living at residence. She has effectively moved out, but is there M-F when S11 heads off to school and when he gets home. She leaves when I get home from work or after S11 goes to bed. Even if I tell her to fully move out, it will be confusing for S11.

This is why I asked earlier today if pushing the D along made any sense. She's got the best of 2 worlds now and little motivation to change any of that at the moment. With D settled, we could go our separate ways and explain it to our kids, etc. Other than that, it's a tight spot.

M
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W
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I personally wouldnt Mention D unless you really WANT a D. Maybe just because you have had enough, have financial Problems due to your MLCer or she is a physical threat to you.
You dont Need a D to inform the Kids, which should be done sooner than later but they will only Need to know "Enough"!. They will nedd to know tha you dont want the seperation and that ist on your W, that is for her to own. not your Problem.
If you are still Standing then mentioning D wont help you out. It will not wake her or sna her out of it. She will take it all in her stride, slowly probably and you will D. A really important piece of advice which im sure everybody will agree with it "we cannot nice them back"!. That doesnt work , i tried that one and failed  :D. She did say at one Point that im unbelievable because im still being so nice to her ...….. Puke, I was kissing her arse like a pathetic lost Boy  >:(


Hang in there
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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 46
W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 31) Trainings partner. Is tolerated by LaFamiglia
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

M
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Some random things I've been thinking of saying to W if the opportunity presented itself. This would be to counter her having the best of both worlds currently. This would only happen if she brought up R. Would love feedback!

"You have made it clear you no longer want to be a part of this family. Regardless of what I think, you need to move on. I'm letting you go, and I am moving on."

"You have made choices, and you have to live with the consequences of those choices."

"I want to be clear so you don't have any misconceptions. I will be cordial and professional as a co-parent for the sake of our kids, but we will not be friends. Once this (D) is done, it's done forever."
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W
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It sounds good and makes sence to us, those are classic lines in your/our Situation.
I personally believe, also because I said some similar Things is that it will roll of her back like water on a Lokus leaf. That is just my personal experience from dealing with my XW, I am not telling you what to do you here though.
It could also be that she may interpretate those comments as threts, they only hear what they want to hearafterall.

I gave up telling my XW such Things and just did them without warning. I let her go and I stopped being a "friend" or doing Things to make it easier for her but I was Always professional when it came to the Kids.
She noticed but it didnt Change anything which didnt matter because I did it for my inner Peace and not for her.
"Actions not words", thats what I learn here. Ist what we want/wanted from our MLCers so I guessed that is what they would want to see from us.

None of this is easy and there is no guidebook just references to be used as one feels.
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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 46
W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 31) Trainings partner. Is tolerated by LaFamiglia
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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Some random things I've been thinking of saying to W if the opportunity presented itself. This would be to counter her having the best of both worlds currently. This would only happen if she brought up R. Would love feedback!

"You have made it clear you no longer want to be a part of this family. Regardless of what I think, you need to move on. I'm letting you go, and I am moving on."

"You have made choices, and you have to live with the consequences of those choices."

"I want to be clear so you don't have any misconceptions. I will be cordial and professional as a co-parent for the sake of our kids, but we will not be friends. Once this (D) is done, it's done forever."

What she is going to hear (if she's really off into the tunnel) is:



and, as WhyUs noted, it will have about the same impact/effect....
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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

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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Words do mean something to them, but only at the right stages and moments.

They choose who they trust on various topics, and if you're not in the "circle" it will have the opposite effect you are seeking.

This is why it's important to build a new trust with them, so you can help.
If she's still in the phase of trusting certain friends and certain family..... she isn't going to care what you say (that will either be very clear, or it will disappear into brain black hole).

If you aren't trusted i a specific area, the only people who can influence her is those trusted people. They may be a bad influence, but she will have to figure that out on her own. It sucks, but that's the way it is.
Don't shoot yourself in the foot. If you can zip it..... zip it. If/when she comes around, you'll know. You also can't put blame on her or she will clam up. You're playing the long game, play wisely.

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

M
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Anyone have any experience with filing D to get spouse's attention/wake them up? I know this usually doesn't work, but would love to hear from people who may have first-hand knowledge.

Also, what do people think of being friendly (in a non-romantic, friendly roommate kind of way) to their W when there is a high likelihood she is engaged in an A? Better to give the cold shoulder?
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D
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Anyone have any experience with filing D to get spouse's attention/wake them up? I know this usually doesn't work, but would love to hear from people who may have first-hand knowledge.

Also, what do people think of being friendly (in a non-romantic, friendly roommate kind of way) to their W when there is a high likelihood she is engaged in an A? Better to give the cold shoulder?

Only file if you are truly, completely able to handle the consequences.  Are you ready to be divorced?  Filing on someone who is just engaged in an affair is sometimes recommend to shock them through the fog of limerance, but for someone in MLC, it will not have the desired effect and should only be done if you can handle any scenario that she comes back with.
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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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I don't think I have read a single story here of divorce being used successfully as a wake-up call.
Tbh, logically, if you accept that their crisis is about them not the marriage, then that makes sense doesn't it? This is not a normal situation and normal rules rarely apply tbh. And in a strange way, I think they have already divorced us in their heads.....

I'm not saying you should or shouldn't file...you may have other reasons that bring you to that decision.
But I would agree with Dis that divorce is a serious step and one to take only if you are very clear in your own mind about the reasons for doing so which have nothing to do with your w's reactions or not.

On the Friendly roommate thing? Not sure I have much to say as my situation was quite different but again the underlying principle is more about behaving in accord with your own values and priorities rather than trying to influence her. At the same time, Friendly is not always appropriate if someone is treating you with disregard or giving you lots of monster spew...civil is probably easier to aim for. I tried to choose what I thought I would feel ok with if I looked back five years later when I wasn't sure, so I used the rule of 3 a lot to train myself to respond rather than react based on how I felt at a given moment.  Jmo.
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« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 02:07:34 PM 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

M
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Couple of other tidbits to consider:

I really don’t know were her head is right now. Very friendly, talkative when see each other. Even though it’s just about kids/finances. I’m worried she thinks this is what divorce will be like!

Right after BD, I felt as though she was repulsed by me. The last 3 weeks or so, she seems a little more relaxed and I don’t feel the same way, though we appear to be far away from any physical contact.
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« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 04:07:19 PM by M47W43 »

W
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I may be wrong here but my XW was very similar. She BDed me but we still shared a bed (she bought 2 single quilts and threw our huge quilt away which was a sign and broke me). She was "mostly" Cold but friendly, just Living I guess.
6 weeks later I busted her and OM, that night she left and she never came back.

A couple of weeks later she was really friendly, would sometimes come home to cook and clean whilst I was at work. The fact is (in my case) was that she thought that I had accepted that she was with OM and was cool with it and we would be Friends. She really wanted to be my friend!!! I mean, WTF is that all About?

This may be where your W is, she thinks your "cool" with the Situation because your being Kind to her. They see, hear and believe only what they want to and Twist Things to suit their Needs.
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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 46
W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 31) Trainings partner. Is tolerated by LaFamiglia
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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Anyone have any experience with filing D to get spouse's attention/wake them up? I know this usually doesn't work, but would love to hear from people who may have first-hand knowledge.

PLEASE tell me this question is NOT serious......



Seriously... you could stick a nuclear bomb in her underwear and it won't wake her up if she's truly off to the races. It would, however, play DIRECTLY into her hands to prove that YOU are the evil one, the one that is causing all the problems... It allows her to dodge any and all responsibility/accountability (which they do anyway) for the consequences of her actions. YOU file and she gets a "Get Out Of Jail Free" pass for her shenanigans because YOU ended the marriage, not her. That is the narrative that will be played out on the silver screen of her history...

Also, what do people think of being friendly (in a non-romantic, friendly roommate kind of way) to their W when there is a high likelihood she is engaged in an A? Better to give the cold shoulder?

The cold shoulder approach works if they are being a twatwaffle, if they are flaunting the AD in your face, and so on. Other than that, unless they are being truly abusive (in which case No Contact is a viable option), you have NOTHING to loose by being cordial and polite... Doesn't mean you have to play snugglebunnny BFFs with them (I certainly do not with xW as I don't have friends that treat me the way she treated me or her other so-called friends who were not enablers).  I think it might have been Treasur once who said that the best option is to treat a live-in Mid-Lifer like the crazy aunt/uncle that lives in the basement of the house - polite,ly, cordially, but all the while knowing that you can only trust them about as far as you can throw them...
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
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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What Ursa said.
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me 51
H 51
M 27
BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

M
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Doing some tidying up around the house and cleaning up/sorting all sorts of paperwork etc. I came across an application my wife sent in to “My Lost Family.” If you’ve been following my situation, you may recall she is adopted. It was heartbreaking to read the application. Things like, “I don’t know who I am.” and “I know nothing about my birth father.” Also found a letter from her birth mother, apologizing to W for not letting her contact her 3 half-siblings who W tracked down at end of last year.

No idea if this has anything to do with our current situation, but I am in pain just reading this stuff. I can only imagine how W must feel.
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Hey M47,

Oh wow..... that is terrible. When did she start that process of looking? I'm assuming that must always have been something on her mind all these years.
It makes me wonder if she got the ball rolling to find them around the time she went into "shadow pre-BD".

These questions they have... they build and build until finally they break in MLC and (hopefully) seek out answers.
Big life questions needing resolution, that sure sounds like MLC to me.

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

M
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SS,

I'd say the questions about her siblings/father came about 2-3 years ago. We located her birth mom when we were dating and that received mixed results. Knowing there is nothing I can do to help solve this is maddening.

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Hey M47,

Then that lines up with the normal amount of time for "shadow pre-BD"..... big life event too, which is typical of lighting the fuse.
Does it seem that way to you? (the time-frame)

Oh what they should teach all men in husband class. Oh that there would be a mandatory husband class for all males.

Yup, totally maddening..... I know what you mean. They will figure it out or they won't. Very hard to watch the one you love struggle. Very hard to not be able able to protect them or solve their problems.
Stand fast M47, you're doing good. You're the rock and the lighthouse in this. She has to see the light and get her bearings before heading home.

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

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Not too much to update. I have noticed W is at least a little bit more relaxed in my presence over the last 2-3 weeks. Light conversation, and she actually laughed today! Right after BD I got the feeling she was repulsed by my presence, even staying on the opposite side of the room as me. Lately, we have been standing physically closer to each other the last week or two. Just some observations.

S18 due home from college next week and he will have to be brought into loop re: W staying at friend's house each night. Also need to decide on Christmas schedule. My goal is to keep emotions out of it as these things unfold.   
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Hi M47W43

I could have written your post myself....I've heard all the same stuff....I'm 3yrs into this mess.

My only advice, as will be repeated by the veterans on this forum, is to detach the best you can, get a life for yourself outside the relationship, concentrate on your kids and  leave her to get on the crazy train by herself.

Read ShocknAwe threads and ShockSis, recovered MLCer posts. It gives great insight into what goes on in their heads. You cant fix it.

Let them go. The sooner you can do that, the more at peace you will be.
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Thanks, MKnight.

Tonight we attended S11 winter concert at school. It was the first time since BD we rode in the same car together. We watched the concert and there was plenty of small talk throughout. We came home and very briefly talked finances. She said she would have to sell the house because there was no way she could afford it “by herself.” I did not respond to her comment. She runs a biz out of the house, so we had discussed several weeks ago giving her house in a D.

Unfortunately, I don’t think she will hit rock bottom until I’m completely out of the picture. If you were to see us interact, you would not think a D was likely coming down the pike. It’s a bizarre place to be in, that’s for sure.
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M4,

I have been separated from my MLCW for almost 2 years now come March. Living in separate homes. There are still people who see us together that do not know that we're not a happily married couple. I have met co-workers of hers that call her my better half.  :o We are all living in an LBS bizarro world.  This Saturday marks 241 days since she filed for divorce without telling me, and she hasn't done anything else. We have a status conference scheduled in May. I don't know what that will bring between now and then. Keep your head up, take the high road, and let your conscience guide you. You need to be able to look back at this time and know that you were the best that you could be.
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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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M4,

i have a very similar situation with my W - check my thread.

In regards to how to act towards W when you suspect she is still seeing AP and other upsetting behaviour, I have taken the approach of the vets before me of responding in kind to pleasant behaviour W exhibits and ignoring as much as possible her nasty behaviour.

It is very difficult to not feel taken advantage of when your partner seems to cake eat, taking stability and support from you whilst hurting you deeply.

Try to remember what you already know..  this affair is not about you.  You are accountable for your actions as is your W, just try to focus on what is right for you and your kids and you will look back at this awful time with pride that you did what you could when your W was lost in the fog.

 Nothing you do will snap her out of it, nice or nasty.

 Recognise your courage, regardless if you stand for 6 months or 6 years it all takes tremendous courage and determination.

LW

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Discussed Christmas plans with W and she said she would be coming to my family’s celebration on Christmas Eve because “it was the right thing to do.” Also Indicated she would stay here in order to be here for Christmas morning with the kids, and that she would “ sleep on the couch or something.” I did not respond to her couch comment at all.

S18 will be coming home from college tomorrow. Taking next semester off. We discussed what to do with some of his stuff like his coffee machine. W said maybe he could sell it, or he could bring it home because “you may need it.” I didn’t take the bait and get into an R or D discussion, just ended the conversation there.
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W still liking almost all of my social media posts, which I find strange given the circumstances. She hasn’t brought up mediation or D discussions. We’ve been texting about kids mostly, or our schedules/bills. Always cordial and even occasional “lol” comments. No R discussions in last 10 weeks. One of my concerns is that this is what W thinks divorce will be like.

Thoughts on any of this appreciated!
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Update/venting:

W says we should take 2 cars to Christmas Eve tomorrow night because she might "leave early" to go to her "brother's house." Said she will be home late and will sleep on couch so boys know she's there.

Part of me wants to tell her to not bother. She has made it clear she longer wants to be a part of this family, so let's not fake it. The other part of me wants to play it cool and get through the holidays without a huge uproar for the benefit of the kids.

Advice needed/welcomed.
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Ah dear chum, I can hear your monkey braining from here.  ;) understandable.

I am assuming that YOU want to go to your family's celebration regardless of whether your wife goes or not?
If so, do that. Make your plans as if she were an acquaintance who may or may not show up. Separate your plans with your family completely, set off when you are ready, drive separately, arrive and leave when you choose. In a very courteous way, ignore her....she may think she is the centre of the universe but it isn't true. I can see real advantages for you in the 2 car option tbh and in making your Christmas Day plans as if she were a optional extra too.
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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

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I feel your pain

Quote
Unfortunately, I don’t think she will hit rock bottom until I’m completely out of the picture. If you were to see us interact, you would not think a D was likely coming down the pike. It’s a bizarre place to be in, that’s for sure.

I expect it will take a long time for her to hit rock bottom - you will need to be completely out of the picture. If its like anything I've heard, I am the sole reason fro her unhappiness and the OM is perfect and makes her happy.

Try and detach the best you can - its incredibly difficult when she still lives in the same house.
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Yep, the monkeys have escaped their cages again... Totally understandable with the shenanigans you are witnessing...

Treasur is right though... Do your own thing at your own pace in your own time... MLCW is relegated to the position of crazy aunt that shows up to the family dinner that everyone tolerates and that is fine... It is what she is wanting/asking for and, until she gets to the point where she has lost it all and realizes that she is STILL unhappy (i. e. hits rock bottom with a resounding <splat!>) she will continue down the path....

Do what is good for you... What is good for her is not your concern anymore... not to mention the fact that what YOU think is good for her will NOT match what SHE thinks is good for her...
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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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Surreal night at family gathering with W. She was her usual cheerful self with everyone there but avoided me. People were asking questions about what was going on. I stayed focused on the kids. W left gathering to go to sister in law’s but I’m 99 percent sure she went somewhere else instead. Going to do my best to remain at least indifferent toward her for Christmas, but I’m about at end of my rope as far as d-bing goes. She’s not coming back. Need to change course after New Year.

With that, I’d like to wish everyone here a merry Christmas and happy holidays. Your support is worth more than you know.
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Yup M47, that's sounds right on the money...... all normal to everyone, except you.

Really a rotten feeling isn't it?

They put in all that effort to look normal, and the whole while it is so unnatural, uncomfortable and not fun for them (it is quite the show).

Hang in there man, and try not to think about what they could be doing. Yeah that's the hard part, but we fill in all kinds of terrible things which simply don't happen... so don't torment yourself over nothing.
Those moments when you want to quit will come, and if you hang on..... they will also go.

-SS
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M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

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SS,

Thanks for the reply. I guess I’m wondering why bother to stand when as best as I can tell, most of the situations like mine seem to end up with the W filing for D at some point anyway? Why not make the best possible custody/financial deal right now while she wants out and might be willing to give up more in order to fully flee to her fantasy life? She needs to feel the loss. Right now, she’s enjoying the best of both world’s and is cake eating big time.
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And that is a legitimate choice, M47.
Particularly when divorce has already been discussed and if you think your w will give you a better deal on some things.
However....
Lots of emotion around at this time of year so a good time to not react to events
Even if your w says she wants the divorce, most MLCers drag their feet on paperwork so you will probably have to drive it through if you want it done quickly.
What your w says right now about anything much can change from a Tuesday to a Wednesday and as reality bites she may start getting nastier about things like custody.

Imho divorce is a serious decision for anyone.
And it matters that whatever decision you make is one that you can be at peace with.
Have you taken L advice already? If not, that may be a useful first step, just to gather more information.
If you have, breathe, consider your options and take your time. Jmo..

If you are trying to game the odds?
Well, if your wife is in MLC things will usually get worse before they get better and it takes years. You are six months into this with a 20 year marriage and kids.  And MLC trumps divorce, so your w's behaviour will not magically improve once she gets the divorce she says she wants. Nor does divorce mean that future reconciliation is impossible of course.
I suspect a small majority here end up divorced. Others live separated for years without legal divorce. A minority have MLCers who stay as live ins and might mutter divorce but don't do it. None of these are great options though and they all bring different challenges.
Deciding to stand without a divorce, though one or indeed after one is an intensely personal choice about you, what you believe is going on with your w and some of the practicalities of life including what is best for your kids.
It's complicated
So take your time and choose what you think is your best approach for you.
Meanwhile I'd suggest that if you think you might not want a divorce and don't want to be the one that files, stop discussing it with your w. She is free to do as she sees fit but it isn't your job to solve the problem for her.
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« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 10:37:04 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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Update

We spoke on Christmas and it’s clear to me that it’s over. W spewed all the usual MLC jargon. “You can’t re-fall in love with someone” “There is nothing here between us”’ “ I don’t feel any connection” “25 years. We had a good run.” I validated her statements and told her that I was letting her go. “If you want to be with someone else, you can go. I’m no longer fighting for you.”

I then said that we should get together and discuss splitting everything up so we can file and get a mediator. It’s best to have everything agreed upon in advance to expedite the D process. I am okay with this path, as I feel there is zero chance of R without some loss being felt by W. She has the best of both worlds at the moment, and if one of those worlds is lost, perhaps things will change.

And to be clear, I am not going down this path to try and snap her out of it. I am going down this path as a matter of self respect and in the interests of myself and my children. W’s actions and choices are simply unacceptable, and I will not continue to be disrespected. I will continue to focus on myself and my kids,  which has been very helpful to me. She can do what she wants to do and sort herself out on her own. Sad day, but I also feel it’s a necessary day. Onward.
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M47W43: I am so sorry you are at this point and yours and your children’s life has been so impacted by this. But it sounds like you are making a very non reactive and self caring decision here. As you say as long as it is for you and your kids and not trying to impact what is going on with your wife that is a very valid thing. Also no matter what if you get a fair settlement now you will probably do better as time goes on, as there are tons of stories of MLCers willing to do anything to get away initially only to get more and more unreasonable as they sink further and further into crises.

And as many have said even if you finalize a divorce now and one day she does recover and you are both still somewhere where you want to reconcile nothing will stop you then. But right now you have to worry about RIGHT NOW and the years of turmoil she is facing.
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Discussions regarding D have begun in earnest. W is also now telling people we are getting D. I’m just navigating the process and trying to get the best deal possible for me and my kids. I feel stuck between looking forward to the future and trying to not push forward the D too hastily. Natural feeling I suppose.
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Right now maybe it’s best if you simply focus on one hour and one day at a time. Don’t rush anything as you said, and get a written legal settlement of finances if she is pushing in place. Then you can see how slow or fast things proceed.
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My suggestion to you is to make sure you get what is yours. Minimum half custody of the kids, full custody if it makes more sense. Approach  it to her as giving her more time to get settled in her new life. Mine was a spender. $20,000+ in one month. If you have a shared account, move your half of the money to a new account with only your name. Do not give up things unless you truly don't care about them or you have no choice. I hate to say it, but everything can be a bargaining chip and hard as it is, you must not lose sight of that while you are so vulnerable. She likely doesn't want the furnishings,etc, then will try to make out that you got everything. Make sure it's specific that you having to keep and/or get rid of everything is not a fair exchange for, say, your family heirlooms.

Good luck. I'm very sorry you are going through this.
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Venting:

W says I need to go to counseling (how ironic) so I can better deal with our sitch. (I have been going, but haven't told her). She is also in IC and is spinning a wonderful load of BS to her counselor (family and friends as well). She doesn't think blowing up a family is that big a deal, and for some reason thinks we will still be chummy when it's over. "We can put S11 in therapy." Doesn't view D as being a big deal. She views me as traditional/old fashioned and tries to make it seem like I'm the one who's out of touch for fighting to keep the family unit together, and she thinks we can still be a family after D.

For my part, I have no choice but to focus on getting the D over with ASAP. Meeting with people to prepare for mediation this week. On to new things in 2020!
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You might find it helpful M - if only for your sanity and blood pressure - to refuse to engage in these kinds of conversations at all. Her reality is hers; yours is yours. Maybe find a set of small phrases to shut the conversations down like 'well, we obviously see things differently' or 'I imagine we are both finding our own way to adapt and move forward' or 'we may have to accept that we have different POV right now' or 'I guess this is normal when people get divorced'. Or even the useful 'hmmm' or no response at all.

Which also means you starting to train yourself to a) not care much about what she thinks about anything much and b) give up trying to persuade her to see your perspective or care about anyone else's feelings or thoughts. Sorry. And yes, you probably do need to save your energy for dealing with the practicalities of divorce and supporting your daughter if divorce is on the table now. Much easier to do without the distraction of someone else's justifications or avoidance of realities that come with divorce imho. Less blah blah conversations with your w may help that bc it is exhausting to battle someone else's reality that still seems WTF to you after a long marriage and painful to realise that your w only cares about what she thinks and feels right now. Sorry.
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 06:19:43 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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Recap/Update:

W contacted a realtor who will be out next week to look at the house and her daycare business and give us an idea of what we are looking at as far as a sale. W wants to sell both and is motivated to do so. I will also be making an appointment with a mediator tomorrow. I am seeking primary custody of my S11 and S18 (while he is an adult, Id like to keep the boys together if possible).

As far what I have been doing, I went to IC Friday. IC says she doesn't see anything that screams D is necessary in our sitch. W is in replay and is projecting her anger onto me and making the fall guy. This is likely triggered by her unresolved issues as an adoptee.

Our interactions remain civil. She texted today to ask how the boys liked the hockey game I took them to last night. Still occasionally offers to small things for me. I find this behavior bizarre and fear she thinks divorce is going to be this "friendly." I just keep an even keel and try to validate as much as possible. I struggle at times with what to do. Focus on mediation and get the best deal I can? Hang in longer and make her do all the work for a D?

Appreciate any and all feedback.
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Hello,

Quote
I struggle at times with what to do. Focus on mediation and get the best deal I can? Hang in longer and make her do all the work for a D?

If you are in the process of divorce, you do what is in your best interests and the interests of the children. Remember, no one wins in divorce. You do the best you can and survive.

Quote
W contacted a realtor who will be out next week to look at the house and her daycare business and give us an idea of what we are looking at as far as a sale. W wants to sell both and is motivated to do so.

The reason why I stated the above is that she is motivated and already moving through the process. If she had filed and was taking her sweet time, then make her work. In this case, she is moving rapidly and you need to protect yourself.

Just my opinion,

Ready

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W is in replay and is projecting her anger onto me and making the fall guy. This is likely triggered by her unresolved issues as an adoptee.
...
Our interactions remain civil. She texted today to ask how the boys liked the hockey game I took them to last night. Still occasionally offers to small things for me. I find this behavior bizarre
...
Appreciate any and all feedback.

Let me paraphrase what you wrote...

YOU feel she is projecting anger onto you.  But  are you sure it is anger, or is it some other emotions coming through this way?
And is that feeling about you or something else?
You used word "likely triggered by", which hints you have nothing certain about what that specific moment is about?

If you don't have it from the horse's mouth, then don't second guess.
Show a bit of empathy towards her, and ask (what is the worst that can happen - a bit more of the same? Things really can't turn worse)....
Say something like (paraphrase it to your own wording/style)....  "I notice you seem a bit frustrated. I'm sorry you feel that way. Can you tell me what is wrong? If possible I would like to listen and understand if I could help you out with it"
You are not trying to play nice with her, you are trying to show you notice how she feels and that you are trying to understand what it is all about.  Just like you would do for a small kid who's raging for some reason you have no clue. 

And then listen to what she says. Don't take any of it personally, as everything she says is about HER feelings and HER needs. 
Just listen - don't react, don't try to fix. 
And then show some empathy. Validate how she feels (no matter how crazy it might feel for you).
And if her unmet needs are something you can easily assist and they don't harm you, then please do help her out.
 
That anger/frustration/whatever is coming for some reason, and it is because she likely feels some of her feelings are not validated and some needs are unmet.  She may behave like crazy, but even crazy people have got feelings and needs, and they seek validation and understanding the same way as anyone else.  If you push against them, of course you will get a negative response.

And then repeat this approach for awhile. It will likely take some time before she notices you are trying to approach things differently...

What you are doing right now is not clearly working for you two. So why do you keep doing the same and expecting a different result?  Just my view from the cheap seats...

Alvin
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« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 11:02:54 PM 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."... D filed May 2020
Kids (at time of BD): G19,G18,G14,G12,S5

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Quote
What you are doing right now is not clearly working for you two. So why do you keep doing the same and expecting a different result?
Alvin, this seems a bit harsh. M47 is facing a legal process where his home, custody of his children and finances are at risk. 6 months in and a 20+ year marriage. His situation is quite different from yours (pause for empathy perhaps?) and I see nothing in his posts to suggest that he is not trying to behave in a reasonable and civil way with a W who is hellbent on divorce and splitting assets currently.

Empathy is not agreement of course and validation e.g. I hear that you feel...is a useful tool in something like mediation perhaps even if it is one-sided bc it can defuse conflict sometimes.

However, the tough truth M47 is that once a legal process is on the table imho, the game changes and securing your own interests and what is best for your kids becomes the priority. Which doesn't mean that you can't behave in a civil and respectful way. But a lot of LBS here got screwed in a divorce process bc they were rather too concerned about the feelings of the fleeing spouse and not concerned enough about their self-interest.

Ready's advice sounds wise to me. I am truly sorry that this is how things are right now. I sense in your posts a tension between dealing with things practically vs wondering how speedily proactive you should be about a divorce you don't want. While I'm sure feeling a sense of shock that this is even happening. Which is normal. My best advice is to understand the legal advice on the pros and cons of being proactive vs letting your w drive the ship. To go slow and steady in your decision-making. To remember that your w is firing you from your h job so it is no longer your responsibility to 'do things for her' in the same way you did without being an a$$hat about it. To behave in a way which is in accord with your own values and that you think you would feel ok about in years to come.

And your concern about your w thinking that you will be friendly post divorce? Well, I wouldn't worry about that too much. Partly bc she will think what she thinks anyway. Partly bc you can always politely say no. Mostly bc you will work out your boundaries as a stbxh/xh as you go and a certain level of polite friendliness probably helps in co-parenting. But friendly is not the same as being friends and you will work it out as you go....and in a legal process for a divorce you don't want, your w is not your friend right now in the current circumstances unless she starts behaving like someone who places as much care on your needs as on her own.

But I am truly sorry that you are having to deal with this at all and know how painful it is to dismantle your life in this way.
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« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 12:23:39 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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Quote
What you are doing right now is not clearly working for you two. So why do you keep doing the same and expecting a different result?
Alvin, this seems a bit harsh. M47 is facing a legal process where his home, custody of his children and finances are at risk. 6 months in and a 20+ year marriage. His situation is quite different from yours (pause for empathy perhaps?) and I see nothing in his posts to suggest that he is not trying to behave in a reasonable and civil way with a W who is hellbent on divorce and splitting assets currently.

Treasur -  all in all I don't see the situation between M47 and myself that different.  About 5-6 months back both I and W were somewhat deeply stuck. We had talks of divorce, custody etc. and filing would have been the next step. And I was relatively certain the worst would happen (and per advice given I was and still am prepared to all of it).  But here we are now, still together, from DEFCON-2 to DEFCON-4....  What changed back then was me... You know what they say is the easiest way to start a war?  A defensive act...  I started dropping my defensive acts, and started building and showing (unilateral) empathy instead. One small act at a time, day after day. And that got the ball rolling slowly between us two, my W is beginning to open up the issues underneath. Where it leads us into nobody knows yet.  But showing a bit of empathy at time like that got us two off the edge.... And yes, it took a lot of courage. But at that point I really had nothing more to loose. If I would not try to change things, I would lose everything I hold dear.  If I would fail in my attempt, I would lose everything I hold dear. But if I succeeded, then there was hope. Of course I am just sample of one.

My point is that it's never too late to try to change things... IMHO There is a reason M47s W is moving the way she does, and until he understands what that reason is and learns to validate her feelings, things will not get better between them two.  And IMHO the way M47 can understand what is going inside that head of hers is empathy.... Empathy has got nothing do with becoming a doormat or giving anything away.  It is all about you finding your inbuilt system to genuinely listening and understanding what is driving other person, and then responding the right way (without any learned rules).

As far as legal issues would go... my personal advice to M47 would be to leave it to lawyers as much as possible. 

Alvin
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« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 05:22:58 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."... D filed 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. ***
*** You're not going to master the rest of your life in one day. So relax. Master the present day. Then just keep doing that every day. ***
*** Without trust fear is the only possibility. Place your trust in your own wings. ***

m
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About 5-6 months back both I and W were somewhat deeply stuck. We had talks of divorce, custody etc. and filing would have been the next step. And I was relatively certain the worst would happen (and per advice given I was and still am prepared to all of it).  But here we are now, still together, from DEFCON-2 to DEFCON-4....  What changed back then was me...

Alvin you are globalizing a short term set of facts in your particular case to everyone. This is dangerous at best and highly damaging at worst. I have not shared my story but I had many swings, months at a time, from absolute MLC depths to almost normal. I knew even then these were temporary, from everything I understand and from wise advice given.  My wife suddenly declared she wanted a divorce right after 4 months of almost returning to normal and our relationship being back to 70% of pre-BD. And this was almost 2 years out. And this is not uncommon. That's why its called a rollercoaster ride. And there was absolutely no triggering event. And she had returned all the way back to the BD shark eyes, level of pain and confusion by then. And I've shared before the day before my wife came home a wise vet from another forum called me and said "expect her to announce she wants a divorce." I smirked when she told me. She nailed it.

Please do not assume this temporary improvement is permanent or has much to do with any approach. Maybe your wife is simply questioning her marriage, maybe she is going through a MLT. Or maybe this is one of MANY swings yet to come. That is why I strongly urge newbies to listen to the experience of people with many more years of experience than you, or even me (and I am ahead of your curve by a bit).

Everyone should choose what works for them, but please don't be so sure you are on a path, not just yet. If you are that is great and I hope it continues in the direction you wish. And I will cheer for every positive step of healing and growth. But it may be a bit presumptuous and arrogant to think from so little experience that your advice will work out for others, where your story is very near the beginning. And you are assuming your actions have much impact, what if you are not correct and there is no direct cause and effect as you believe?

Please thread carefully.
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M
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Thanks for all of the feedback Alvin, Treasur and Marvin. Every bit of it is helpful!

I know that I should never give up hope, but I also believe divorce is just a piece of paper. W is dead set on moving on from the M and her "new friends" (many of whom are D) and her pro-divorce therapist have convinced/validated her beliefs that she got married too young, ILYBNILWU, and nearly every other piece of the MLC script. There is zero doubt she is in MLC. There is also zero doubt she is convinced she needs to end the M to find "happiness."

She has told her parents she is going to pursue D. I have to think of myself and my kids. Now is the best chance to get an agreement I could live with. What happens down the road remains to be seen. I won't ever say never, but any type of R will be hers to pursue when and if she is so inclined.
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That sounds wise, M47. I did all the things Alvin said as my H was an 18 month live in. It didn't matter. He eventually left anyway and I am grateful I had already secured my half of the bank accounts. Each MLCER is the same, yet different and we have to choose the best path we can, given whatever situation we have. I'd ask my mlcer a simple question a d he'd SCREAM at me. He couldn't even tell me why he was so angry, so validation was useless in those cases.

You are doing well.
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When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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Realtor due at the house in a few hours. W has been out all weekend and has done absolutely nothing to prep the house in any way. She is currently scrambling to get S18 and S11 out of the house for when realtor will be here. As for me, I woke up, ran to get coffee and donuts for the boys and made chili for football later on. Que sera, sera.
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Realtor visit went reasonably well. House/wife's business going on the market at end of February. W says she needs to find a job and does not know where she is going to live. We had a brief custody discussion (S11) and she mumbled that she wanted what's best for kids, and whoever lived in a town with a better school system (likely to be me) should be custodial parent. Said she "didn't want to fight."

Initial appointment with a mediator slated for this coming Friday. If you have been following my sitch, W has been staying with a female "friend" every night since July. She insists she wants a D and has told her family and a couple of close friends she is going to get a D. While it wasn't my first choice, I see no point in waiting around until she files and puts me on the defensive. I don't know that I could ever take her back given the breakdown in our trust, and I would always be thinking that she is going to leave, is having a PA, etc.

I continue to work on myself, and am focused on getting the best possible agreement for me and my kids. She needs to work through this by herself, there is no way around that fact.   
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W
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We had a brief custody discussion (S11) and she mumbled that she wanted what's best for kids, and whoever lived in a town with a better school system (likely to be me) should be custodial parent. Said she "didn't want to fight."
My XS and I sat our Boys down and told them that we had "seperated". She said "I dont know where I am going to live but I just want a small appartment for myself where I dont have to do anything for anybody else and just have myself to look after. We will let you decide for yourselves who you want to live with, we wont be disapointed or take it personally if you choose the other parent".... both Boys said "we will live with dad!"... she just said "Ok, I respect your decisions".
Crazy, she basically said that she wasnt interested in them anymore except for a couple of Hours to Chat with them like a big sister...

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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 46
W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 31) Trainings partner. Is tolerated by LaFamiglia
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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Update/Journaling

W's MLC  journey continues. Lately, W has been a bit more chatty. I went to a family birthday gathering with S11 and she said "tell everybody I said hi" before she left the house. She also said twice to me this last week "drive safely" when I left for work in the morning. Doesn't mean anything, I know, but it just seems odd to me.

This last week we took S19 to lunch for his birthday, the first meal we've shared together (M, W, S19) in many months. Conversation was normal and not uncomfortable. S19 had asked us individually that he would like that for his birthday. Considering W was was on anxiety meds and could not handle being in the same room with me right after BD, I was surprised she agreed so readily to S19's ask.

We are still separated and still seeking D through a mediator we have retained. I am in the process of gathering my financial docs to send to the mediator and will continue to do so. W confirmed with me that she is somewhat uncertain as to what she needs to send to the mediator and that she hasn't sent any docs along yet. I did not say anything to her in return. 

I continue to detach, not pursue and 180/GAL. I feel like I'm progressing in each of those areas. I am looking forward to coming out on the other side and living my best life once again.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, all!
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Update/Journaling

While going through items to gather and send to mediator, I came across a letter from my wife's birth mother to her. After reading it, I now believe my wife's (she is adopted) discovery of her half-siblings and her rejection by them was a major triggering event for her MLC. The letter wasn't hidden, and I do wonder if I was meant to see it.

The letter, about 30 months old, has some really devastating comments from her birth mother. Examples: "All I ask is that you do not force yourself on them as you did me." "This isn't just about you and your feelings." "I hope you respect their choice not to contact you if that is their choice. Not like your promise to me that you would not contact them." Wow. I can only imagine the pain W felt when reading this.

I did share much of this with my IC, who firmly believes this is the root cause of what we are dealing with. This is solely W's issue to handle, and thus far she has been unable to cope. I continue to move toward D through mediation. This is her journey, and she needs to take it alone.

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Locating a birth parent and or siblings is tough. While I can see how hard those words may have been for you W, I also see that they should not have been surprising. Not every birth parent wants to see the child they once let go. That response was one of several options that could have happened. It is sad to me that her adoptive parents were unable to convey to her growing up that people who dont want to be involved with you says little about you, and everything about them, unless of course no one ever wants to be your friend. From what was written, I might even guess that her birth mother told her she was not interested in a relationship and your W pursued one anyway, thinking only about her own feelings even then (MLC ramp up, maybe? Maybe searching for her birth mother was the beginnings of the MLC ).

I think there should be a Life Coping Skills 101 required in High School. To help people who do not get that kind of information at home.
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« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 11:27:10 AM by OffRoad »
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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Following along M47. Back on the board after a bit of a break and your story sounds pretty familiar. I don't have much to add to the advice you've already been given.

It sounds like to me like you're doing the right things. Beyond than that I would encourage you not to be so task-oriented and business-like that you suppress your emotions. They'll come out later in an unhealthy way. That's what MLCers do, right?

Keep up the good work and be there for your kids. Be good to yourself!
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27
Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA
BD #2: 2018 - FA
W moved out - June 2019
OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019
Divorce final - September 2019
Card-carrying member of the Iffer Party

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

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Thank you all for your previous replies.

We retained a mediator and had an initial meeting 5 weeks ago. He sent us i]a list of info he needed us to send him so he can begin his work and schedule another meeting with us. My wife hasn't sent anything as of yet. I have begun gathering necessary docs and sent some info along to the mediator.

We met with a realtor in early January, but there has been no follow-up from W wanting to get the home listed. If we are going to move forward and maximize price, now is the time to move and list our property.

Aside from these two things, I have noticed W reconnecting a bit with the kids and generally being more talkative with me (small talk), and I've seen glimpses of her "old self." She is also dealing with her unresolved issues from her adoption, and for the first time, mentioned to me that she was talking about this with her IC.

So, do I sit back, work on myself, and hope for the best, or move forward to make sure I get the best financial deal possible out of this?
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A
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Quote
So, do I sit back, work on myself, and hope for the best, or move forward to make sure I get the best financial deal possible out of this?
Hi M47,,,,,that is a tough question!  I went through the same conflict about what to do.   We waited initially but eventually went ahead and listed our home.   This was just over 2 years post BD.   Then it sat on the market for 6 months!   If we had listed right away in 2017, most likely we would have sold for more money than we got now.  I was tormented back then by many questions as was my h.   In the end, I was fine and he was absolutely tormented about what to do even though it was now more than 2.5 years since BD.   

Part of my own torment awhile back was,,, what if we reconcile and the house is gone?  In the end, I was more than fine if it was gone because if there is to be a reconciliation, there can always be a new house too.   Fresh beginnings so to speak.   But also, I now realize I have no sentiment about or attachment to this house and I'm fine leaving it.  The market here is very unstable and no one can predict which way it goes from here.    For me, I'm happy it's sold otherwise I would worry about what this market will do with the next bad news in our economy or in the politics.  It could easily go down,,,, even way down.   It could also go up, but it won't go way up the same way it could go way down.

So Monday our house sold after 6 long months.  H almost didn't sign the offer and took right to the deadline to decide.    He later said he would not be happy whatever he decided.  We still jointly own another house that I will move into.   The plan was to sell that one too, but h will not even consider it for another year.     Okay with me.. the house is fine and suits my needs very well.  And with his contribution as co-owner, I can't go wrong.   It would cost me way more to rent than to stay in this other house we own. 

So,,,every situation is unique and no two are the same.  I look back on the last almost 3 years since BD and all I can say is I am glad I didn't rush this decision even though waiting likely cost us.    Go over the pros and cons carefully and take your time.   If you are both on the same page,,, well maybe it is a good time.   In my own situation I was not happy forcing anything on my h.   He had to be okay with it too.   So in the end, I told him the final decision was his and I would be fine with whatever he chose.   My way isn't for everyone that's for sure,,, but it worked for me and I'm happy how it turned out.     





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"This too shall pass.  It might pass like a kidney stone but it will pass."
"Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown.  Instead, ask yourself why you keep going to the circus."

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So, do I sit back, work on myself, and hope for the best, or move forward to make sure I get the best financial deal possible out of this?

Fwiw M47....lots of food for thought in what Anon said.
My 2 cents.....I think you need to look hard at two things......the practical/financial impact on you of different options and what really lies emotionally behind your question.
It sounds as if you are wondering if doing nothing and keeping the house (which I think your w still runs a business from) will increase your chances of reconciliation? Is that about buying time or is it about believing that the house is part of what might draw her back? Or is it about something else altogether?

IIRC, BD was about 9 months ago? Long marriage? And you are in a mediation/divorce process currently? And you told your w a few months ago after some abortive MC that, as she was adamant about leaving, you would let her go. How old are your kids? Are you still both living in the house to be potentially sold? And I take it that neither of you can/wants to buy the other out?

My opinion....and it is only that....is that if your w is in MLC, MLC trumps things like divorce and house sales. As does reconnection if an MLCer ever wants to genuinely reconnect and an LBS is open to it. And that MLC takes a few years, maybe 3-5 minimum anecdotally. And none of us can predict the future, only deal with the current reality we see today. So, there may be a bird in the hand over an unknown bird in a later bush principle to muse on? But only you know how sustainable your current situation is or the size of the financial risk/reward at play for you.
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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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Since BD 8 months ago, I've been focused on working out, GAL and becoming AMOAFWL.

When this all started, W had to go on anti anxiety meds just to be in the same room as me. We separated (though I see her daily as she runs a biz out of the house). Since that time, she has weaned off the meds completely. She still seems to want to D, and we've retained a mediator, but she speaks about it very infrequently. I just go about my business, act indifferently, and listen and validate as best as possible when she speaks to me.

It is difficult to tell where she's going or what's going on in her head, so I heed the advice of many here and don't waste much time trying to figure that stuff out.

She just walked into the room and told me she's going to a concert  next week, and told me the names of those she was going with. Seems very odd behavior for someone who wants to terminate a relationship and D, but I just listened intently, wished her a good time, and went about my day.

Patience. Keep digging for patience.
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M
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W casually says last week that she "missed some emails," including an email from "the mediator guy." He had sent us both an email about 3 weeks earlier, asking us for our financial info, etc. She asked me if I had sent in the info, and I matter-of-factly said, "Yes, I did" and went on my merry way.

Today she mentioned that she had to get her laptop back in working order because everyone needs her information from her business, like the "the tax guy" and "the mediator guy."

Things continue to be amicable between us. It won't change what I am doing, but I do wonder if if she is "testing me" with these types of statements, trying to get a reaction out of me.
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I doubt it's about getting a reaction...... they exist in a moment and the moment passes. Their perspective is not persistent.

It's probably on her list inside a specific "box" and only is remember when that "box" is active. She opens it..... the statements spill out, she makes plans and puts them in the box and then closes it. It could be weeks or months before the box is opened again.

You did good.

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

M
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Easter went just fine. W came over early in the morning, S19 and S11 received their Easter baskets. I made brunch and we ate together. After we finished, W thanked me for making brunch. I then left with the boys for a hike, and W left a little while later to go back to her friend "Stacey's" house, where she has been sleeping nightly since shortly after BD last July.

Lately, I see more and more MLC signs from W. The way she talks (more profanity), the way she's dressing. She has been talking more about her friend "Stacey" and has recently starting visiting her parents. She will tell something about one of the kids and then text it to me again the next day as if she hadn't told me already. She doesn't monster at me or the kids. I would say she appears to be "absent" even when she's around, if that makes any sense. This is about her and her issue(s). She has to be left alone to work through it.

Most importantly, for me, I continue to work out and self improve. Going to IC once a month, too. I treat her like a house guest when she's around, and I continue to detach. We retained a mediator in January, but the virus has closed family courts due to the virus where I live. As of last month, W had not sent any financial info to the mediator. I don't know where this will end up, but I know that I will be fine no matter what. I will remain focused on me and my kids, and keep taking it one day at a time.

Stay safe, everyone.

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Nice and slow M47,

Time is your friend.

Yes, the language, the dressing and the importance of a certain friend....... it's all "normal". The "record skipping" memory..... all "normal".

The good thing is she coming around and visiting. She is being drawn back. That is very good. Sounds like you're doing it right too..... getting better, staying busy. What you're doing does help her (it really does).

Keep going. You're doing good. If you can, try not to think about the mediator or court, or any of that. That part inside her is not split across her entire personality which is why the subject disappears. As she works on her problems, things which seem important to her have their hold lessen or sometimes even disappear as elements of the problem are dealt with. Hold on and run that clock. Stay strong, and keep getting better.

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

M
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Those you following are aware that W runs a daycare out of the house. With the virus situation, her numbers are down, as could be expected. So yesterday W texts me in the morning telling me she was considering just closing temporarily and filing for unemployment. Asked my opinion. I asked her if she was planning on reopening once the virus allowed her to do so. She said she was, assuming her clients would come back (most have already told her they would). Then texts this: "Some won't come back until the fall and who knows by then what our situation will be. Will the house be sold? (it's not even on the market at this time). If that's the case then I will have no job whatsoever."

To say she's confused seems like a huge understatement.
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HI M,

This si where I think you ned to let her figure this out all onher own. Don't offer any help even though it's in your nature to do so. I believe she needs to feel what this life without you is going to be like. Just listen to her be friendly as always and don't offer any suggestions.

Take care M God Bless
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Together 12 yrs Married 5
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

M
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Journaling

Just to summarize where we stand at the moment. W BD came 7/19. She has been sleeping at a "friend's house" every night since a few weeks after BD. She runs a biz out of the house where I live with S19 and S11, so I see her most days when she arrives to open the biz as I'm heading off to work.

W is adopted and I believe the trigger for all of this happened about 3 years ago when she found out she had 3 half-siblings that she was previously unaware of, and was dissuaded from contacting them by her birth mother. She also has no information about her birth father, and though she tracked down her birth mother when we started dating 25 years ago, they have no real relationship because birth mom has her own family and they are unaware of my W.

Around this same time frame, my W started posting things like "love yourself first" and the like on Facebook. She also went out and leased a new vehicle, got 2 tattoos, joined a gym and made a whole new group of friends. Looking back, it makes more "sense" now, but like most others, I just didn't see it at the time.

Since BD, I have been working on myself. I've lost 50 lbs, been working out, going to IC and really working connecting on a deeper level with my kids. We tried MC early after BD, and although the MC told us we were dealing with issues very similar to most people she deals with, W wasn't into putting in any effort to work on M.  I come from a large, nuclear family and we both have really focused on our family for most of our time together. I think this has unfortunately "invalidated" her background and experience and has led her to want a D in part as a way to "validate" her past, something she has been unable to do on her own.

We hired a mediator and selected a realtor in January. After initial visits with each (we retained the mediator), she has done very little to further the process along. I have done the minimum required of me with the mediator and realtor to date. So, we remain firmly in limbo.

Usually when she arrives in the morning, we chit chat about the kids' upcoming days or finances, or the weather etc. Today I decided to just sort of say "hi" (I never say anything first to her in the mornings), and to move right along. As I started to leave, she started talking about S11 and his school assignments etc. I responded and just left. She texts around 11 a.m. saying she will be getting Chinese food for boys for dinner and asked if I wanted any. I said "no thanks." I get home and her stuff in our bedroom is tidied up a bit, and it looks like most of the stuff was put into our closet. She never took most of her stuff out of the house, just carries one smallish bag with her back and forth.

I plan to continue to focus on myself and the boys, and I'm not sure where this is headed, or even where I want it to head. She is in MLC and must travel this road by herself. But it sure would be nice to get some sort of clarity for my own sake.

Thanks for listening. Stay safe all!

 

 

 
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Wife in MLC
#76: May 03, 2020, 05:38:34 PM
Hope everyone was able to enjoy something this weekend!

I wanted to throw some stuff out for some feedback. First, W has been asking me about her business, which has obviously slowed down with the COVID-19 situation, She's been asking about applying for grants/loans, filing for unemployment, etc. Given that she has stated she wants a D and that we retained a mediator (not to mention that she fired me as her H), how should I go about answering any of these questions?

Secondly, I am certain W thinks (knows) that I would do almost anything to keep my family together. This means that she isn't concerned that I might move on and that she's comfortable in her feelings that I will be here when/if she ever decides that's what she wants. Any ideas on how to change this dynamic?

WMLC
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Let me ask, what dynamic are you trying to change?  If you will do anything to save your family, then she isn't wrong. Manipulation on your part is not the answer. What is your intention? Stand and wait on a shelf while she does what she desires? Stand and move your own life forward while she does what she desires? Stand, but lay some ground rules? Maybe stand, maybe not? Think about how you feel about it and what you want.

As to her asking you questions about this and that, you can answer them as you would for any friend, you can choose the road of telling her you don't feel comfortable giving advice when she no longer wants to be your spouse, you can just lay out her options and tell her she needs to choose for herself, you can recommend a course of action, but don't expect her to take it.  And if you give an opinion and she does take it, expect the blame for whatever goes wrong. If no blame happens,  bonus for you. :)

You can't fix her situation. If the house is gone due to her choices, that will be on her. Understand that when it finally comes to divorce, if she has no job, you will most likely be paying more spousal support if she no longer has a house to run her biz depending on the state.

All is JMO. Your mileage may vary.
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First, a big Happy Mother's Day to all the moms on this board. Hopefully you can enjoy yourselves tomorrow.

Looking for some advice. I know almost all of the advice and guidance is to not bring up D and all that entails to the MLCer. In my situation, however, time isn't on my side. I would like to get my S11 into a better school district, and it is likely he would live primarily with me post-D. I'd like to move before summer is out, ideally. Also, I am up for a promotion at work, but don't want any increases in pay until my sitch is settled.

Any tips for "showing your W you are moving on", without doing things that actually move the D forward? Or do I just move forward with mediation?
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Any tips for "showing your W you are moving on", without doing things that actually move the D forward? Or do I just move forward with mediation?

What you do or do not do will likely have minimum affect on her. What you can control is you.IMHO what matters is to learn to make best of what ever you choose, and learn to be grateful of what comes your way. Trying to predict years ahead is futile (think Covid happening), but think say next week or month. This is what many say, move slow...but yes, it too can reach its limits and there are special points in time when making moves is better (for example all my 3 in-house kids are changing schools next autumn).

I decided to move on and started D process last week when W gave three "wrong" answers (never going to fix this M, never going to to leave EA, never going to change). I acknowledge all these are her emotions and likely to change down the line, but basically I had the same two roads in front of me as ever before:

1) live in present as if everything she says is true and will not change, at least anytime soon.

2) take the gamble and wait. The sitch is very unlikely to change anytime soon.

Both options have somewhat equal number of emotional and practixal ups and downs, which is why we feel stuck and indecissive. I know this to be true as I did for many months a weekly plus/minus lists for pro-marriage and pro-divorce. Each week they landed with same number of items of equal value, though I changed contents and perspective time and again.That is the evil dynamic that keeps us indecissive.

So how and why I finally moved on...

One part of it was realization...If you keep on standing then the D paper or ring really matters not. They are just symbols, and can be rebuild later in life. So no reason to be afraid of D... If you want to move on with personal life, then being married or carrying a ring really matters not. Just look at MLCrs. What separates LBS and MLCr is integrity. We have values we believe. I think no LBS could think of actions that violate sanctity and security of family. And right  now your family equals you and kids, she has made the exit.

So if you are really accepting the above, you may get a new kind of perspective when you start making your next round of pro-marriage/pro-divorce list....The harsh reality is that we cannot live our lives in future, awaiting forever for others to change  And that is why we must move on regardless of our MLC spouses... If you want and believe new school district is for best of S11, then move. No D required for that unless it is about finances, in which case you can go ahead with D. if you were married, you would likely still go through the same talk, and end up with shared decision to move if it is for interest of your kid (but remember, what really matters is what S11 does himself. School/district is just the scene, but he is control of his life..all you can do is set the example how to walk the walk).

Alvin.

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« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 09:54:53 PM 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."... D filed 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. ***
*** You're not going to master the rest of your life in one day. So relax. Master the present day. Then just keep doing that every day. ***
*** Without trust fear is the only possibility. Place your trust in your own wings. ***

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M47W43 I guess I am a little confused by the question. Sounds like both the promotion and potential move are short term events about to happen. What are you trying to achieve before these events?
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Hi Marvin,

I guess I'm looking to move forward with my life, but still stand. Very complicated/risky when she can file for D at any point and I could lose quite a bit. Maybe I should push the mediation through and then still stand?I just don't know how to proceed.

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Hi M47,

I think (personally) that moving forward with what you want/need to do can be done without pushing the MLC-W...... if they want to be a part of something, they can jump in. Otherwise, they're just looking from the sidelines anyway.

What I think "naturally" happens is as you move forward, you become more attractive. That in itself can lead to MLC'ers re-examining their wants but more often they are just happy that you are "their's" and "reserved"...... but what really happens is that you become attractive to others, and those others become the threat to their "prize". It is almost inconceivable to them.... that YOU could be stolen away. I think this is a vital element in helping them snap out of it.

So how is this done? By moving forward and getting better. No need to look over your shoulder and see if their following, they'll make that know on their own. At the same token, there is no need to throw tomatoes at them showing what you're doing or how others are looking at you. They'll see that on their own (and it only matters if they see it on their own).

You're right that she can file at anytime, so there's no use in worrying about it. It'll happen or it won't, but it will slow you down if you dwell on it. If she files it can't be allowed to stop you, if she doesn't file it can't be allowed to stop you. So really, there is no choice but to move forward and do what you need to do. It is very freeing, and you can stand without any issue in this place no matter what she does.

Go forward, go forward, go FORWARD!!!!

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

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That is a tough place to be.  Do you push the divorce forward and accept it as inevitable because it’s best for your circumstances, or hold out hope risking your finances further and your son’s schooling? Obviously divorce does create another obstacle to reconciliation and in my view makes it less likely.

From my perspective only you can decide that.  I didn’t push our divorce when he wanted it and even did everything to slow it down.  That said, it was also to mine and the kids benefit to stay married.  If he doesn’t come home in the next 6 months and doesn’t pursue a d, I will file myself.  Which I really hope does not happen as I want my family together.  That said we’ve been separated since oct 2018 and I’m not waiting forever.  The kids and I are moving back to TX in a year and FL is far better if a d is happening.

If you pray, pray about it.  Obviously you want it to work out, it’s a tough choice. 
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« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 03:18:07 PM by Finding Joy »
Married 20 years
Husband is 43
Me-39
4 kids 6-15 years old

BD-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, this after I found out about OW 1(EA), OW2(PA) no longer together.  I believe he is single. 
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.
Oct 2019-Apologized for a years worth of monster behavior.  Still wants to start divorce this Spring, is distant, but friendly.  Tries more with kids, but mostly just helps haul them around(superficial).
Spring 2019 H agreed to put off the divorce another school year to keep the kids and I from moving back to TX.
2020-He has continued to help out when asked and be polite.  I do think he questions his choices at times.  I do not believe he has OW.

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Hi Marvin,

I guess I'm looking to move forward with my life, but still stand. Very complicated/risky when she can file for D at any point and I could lose quite a bit. Maybe I should push the mediation through and then still stand?I just don't know how to proceed.

It sounds as if you are trying to assess risks vs benefits of moving forward. And perhaps that you are 'secretly' still hoping to influence your w a little? And maybe trying to assess what the impact of divorce vs standing really means to you, if they are linked or not? Which is normal.

Only you can assess the scale or significance of the risks. Based on what you said
Quote
I would like to get my S11 into a better school district, and it is likely he would live primarily with me post-D. I'd like to move before summer is out, ideally. Also, I am up for a promotion at work, but don't want any increases in pay until my sitch is settled.
, these sound like things you would like but you may be overestimating the risk of not getting them perhaps? Which is normal imho in a time of anxiety or uncertainty. The world probably won't end if your son is not in a better school district.....or if you move in the fall rather than summer....even if your income increases, that could have advantages as well as disadvantages from an objective POV.

So, what does 'lose a lot' actually mean? What would you lose that you have not already lost? What is at the heart of your fears? What are the things you simply cannot afford to lose vs things that you don't want to lose but could survive or work round? What would make standing while moving forward do-able for you, if that is what you want? What would you have to lose that would make standing unsustainable for you to do and have a decent life? We talk here often about the need for an LBS to protect themselves and their kids the best they can legally and financially. Every single one of us takes some loss and damage, but there is a personal sliding scale probably that needs to be approached more with the head than the heart. My best advice is to breathe, take your time and think honestly about the scale of risk and the things you fear most and the things you can control.
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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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As far as updates go, Mother's Day went off just fine. W came over and I made brunch. We all ate together. The boys gave her a card with a gift card. After much inner debate with myself, I also gave W a very-basic card with a Starbucks gift card. I simply signed my name to the card, no other greetings, etc. After brunch, I went for a hike and W took the boys to see her mom and dad (they stayed in the car and chatted from a distance). She was here about 6 hours altogether. She thanked me several times while she was here and before she left.

We now both have Fridays off. She does come over for a few hours on Fridays, and I usually make my weekly run out to the stores to stock up on necessities for the house. I was out when she arrived today, and when i walked in she was fiddling underneath that bathroom sink (thinking there was a leak). As I arrived up the stairs she said, "My hands have been hurting lately, I have to get them checked out." She was trying to shut the water off under the sink. I squatted down and turned the valve off. She looked at me smiling and said, "I loosened it for you." I just cracked a smile and went about my business.

She hasn't brought up D or any other R related issues in quite some time. What I described above is the norm as far as how our interactions usually go. I know it means nothing, but quite the difference from 10 months ago right after BD when she couldn't even be anywhere near me and needed to take medication for her blood pressure and anxiety.

I would say I'm doing fairly well, all things considered. I work out regularly and have kept the weight off. I am on the cusp of a promotion at work, too. I have no idea where this will end up, but I am doing all I can to make sure I am in a better place, no matter what happens.
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That sounds great M47  :D

Just one step at a time. You did the right thing with a basic card and not making it weird or stressful for her.
She's testing the water one toe at a time, seeing if it's safe and looking to see what you're up to.

Very important that you do well and project strength. The better you do, the better she will do and want to try more.

Keep it up!!!

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

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Update

While communications have remained cordial, if not almost "normal," wife emailed mediator this morning saying she wanted to "move things along." At the very least, I feel as though I am heading for some closure/less of a limbo state. Onward! 
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Sorry to hear in one sense, but as you said limbo is very hard. They are unpredictable and in being tied to them emotionally it makes moving forward oh so difficult. Keep in mind they mean what they say until they don’t.

I guess what I am saying is maybe it’s time for you to actively decide what you want, what you need. I think it’s possible to live your life and stand at the same time. Even to decide day by day where you are, but limbo is a very draining and stuck place to be.

Ask yourself what you want, maybe it’s better to be on an active footing rather than reactive?
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Does anyone see any value in trying to ascertain more about W's sitch/plans before next mediation session? I'm talking about a quiet conversation about where she will live, with whom, etc. Or, just wait as these types of questions will likely necessarily be answered during the mediation process?
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Does anyone see any value in trying to ascertain more about W's sitch/plans before next mediation session? I'm talking about a quiet conversation about where she will live, with whom, etc. Or, just wait as these types of questions will likely necessarily be answered during the mediation process?

Based on your recent experience of her, how likely is she to tell you the truth? Or indeed have a plan?
What do you already know based on the observable facts you can see?
And tbh, maybe more importantly, what do you need to know and how would that change anything for you?

I suspect - and it is normal and understandable and most of us did it - that some bit of your brain still believes that the 'answer' to the pain of the uncertainty of it all can be resolved through some kind of conversation with your w? A kind of residual 'us' married bit of your brain perhaps. Which based on experience here is unlikely to be true. And tbh it metaphorically gives a kind of power to her and keeps you attached if what you feel or do is contingent on her 'sitch/plans'.
So, my only advice is to take a rule of 3 breather and think objectively about what you want to know, why, what you would do with that info and how reliable a source your w is now.
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« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 11:34:32 PM 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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Wife in MLC - please share your thoughts
#91: June 09, 2020, 02:00:23 PM
Update

Had our first mediation session last Friday. Agreed to meet next on 6/26. W emailed mediator this morning (without CC'ing me) that she wanted to move it up if possible. Mediator  forwarded email to the both of us and we agreed to move it up a week. I suggested to W that we try and have a discussion before hand so we can answer mediator's questions about what each of us is looking for, plus let him know of anything we mutually agree on. She agreed, and we will discuss this coming Friday.

What spurred this on was she spent some money on clothes for S11 without discussing with me first, then asked me for half of the bill. I said I have no problem doing that, but that these sorts of transactions in the future will be guided by the agreement hammered out in mediation. She took that and emailed mediator saying we are "already having money issues." Quite the leap, in my opinion. She is likely having some issues with cash flow, I would guess.

After mediator email, she texted saying she knows that she will be "screwed" in the end and that she's "going to lose everything" in the end, but that's a consequence she has to accept. I texted back saying that I was sorry that she felt that way and that I know its not easy, and that it's a very difficult time for her right now. She texted back saying it's a "very difficult time" and that this is hard for her, too. Added that she wants to make this as "easy as possible, because she knows in the long run, she's going to the most hated person." Then said we can meet to discuss this Friday, etc.  She texted 90 minutes later saying she made a casserole for the boys, and she hopes they like it.     :-\

Looking for tips/advice/insight into what to say to W when we meet on Friday.

M47W43
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Typical MLC.  A pity party for her choices and trying to make you feel sorry for her.  Just try to keep your calm when you meet and be polite, while not giving her the farm...
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Married 20 years
Husband is 43
Me-39
4 kids 6-15 years old

BD-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, this after I found out about OW 1(EA), OW2(PA) no longer together.  I believe he is single. 
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.
Oct 2019-Apologized for a years worth of monster behavior.  Still wants to start divorce this Spring, is distant, but friendly.  Tries more with kids, but mostly just helps haul them around(superficial).
Spring 2019 H agreed to put off the divorce another school year to keep the kids and I from moving back to TX.
2020-He has continued to help out when asked and be polite.  I do think he questions his choices at times.  I do not believe he has OW.

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The worlds smallest violin playing "My Heart Pumps Purple Peanut Butter for Your Sorrows" during her pity party..... ::)
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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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Met with W in an effort to make mediation session next week more productive. I arrived after her, and was somewhat surprised that she had a coffee for me. Discussed the need to tell the kids about her decision to D before D papers are filed and prior to next mediation session, about which she is very nervous. I validated how I could see how she felt that way and also made it clear that it was her responsibility to let  them know her decision, even though we would be there addressing the kids at the same time.

She is starting to realize the financial implications of her decision. I did my best to validate her feelings. 'I know this is a difficult time for you' 'It sounds like you are feeling really anxious.' She is still iffy about where she will live (not saying I believe her, just replaying conversation for folks here), and is unsure of where she will work, etc. Agreed that house will be sold and we will split any equity. Also discussed briefly how we'd like to divvy up the marital debts.

Lasted about 45 minutes, at which point I summarized the conversation to her and ended the discussion. I was better than usual with eye contact and nodding when she spoke etc. When it ended, she asked if she could get anything for the boys at WalMart (I usually shop for the household on Fridays), and I said, "No, thank you. I'm heading there after I make a few other stops." As we were walking to the car she said, "Maybe I'll see you there." After which we went our separate ways.   
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W telling the kids about D this coming Thursday, we will be there together for this. When we last spoke, I asked what she was planning on saying to them, and she said she is going to tell them that "people and things change", and then she said she can't get any further than that in her mind because she starts getting "upset."

A few questions for the board. How do I react when she tells them and both kids (Iikely) and W start to cry? Do I ignore W? After all, she's fired me from the job of being her H. I might be tempted to say a few choice things to her if she turns to me for consolation (this is NOT my style, and would be a 180 for me, as it's an emotional time for everyone). Also likely the boys might not be too fond of her after she tells them she's divorcing me, at which point she will blame me for making her tell them. This has long been her M.O. during our R.

She says she doesn't want to hurt anyone and she knows that it's going to be traumatizing for them, yet she insists on doing it. MLC much?
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Be prepared for her saying this is a mutual decision and best for everyone. And do what feels correct to you, I don't believe it matters to the mlcer in the long run. If it were me and my spouse started to cry because "people and things change", I'd look at my hands and let them finish. Then have my own speech, something like, "I'm sorry kids. This is not what I want, and I doubt what you want to hear. What can I do to help you through this?"

Have your own speech prepared. Whatever it is. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, but it's good to have it in your pocket. I'm not about letting the mlcer say whatever they want with no input from the lbs (but I had no choice as my mlcer just told whatever lies he wanted and I had to explain that no, this was a complete surprise to me), but everyone needs to do what it is that works for them.

Good luck.
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When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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I'm with OR on this one.... This is HER choice, HER decision... Your kids need to know that, one way or the other, especially if (and when) she starts on the "mutual decision" nonsense.  My kids were WAY too little (D was 4 and S was 8) for a real discussion but I did say that this was NOT what I wanted after xW was done with her "mutual decision" speech and how "Mommy and Daddy had just grown apart." My answer was that there was nothing that could not have been solved with work and communication.....

Yes, your boys are probably NOT going to be happy with her but... well... hate to be so blunt but those are the consequences that she has to deal with resulting from the actions she has chosen to take..... Responsibility and accountability are real buzz-killers....
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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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Been texting all morning with W about what she plans on telling the kids. She refuses to say this was her decision, and that I am trying to "blame her." She wants to present a united front blah blah blah. I told her this IS her decision. I am not asking her to take sole responsibility for the breakdown in the marriage, etc. I am only asking her to be truthful (God forbid) with her kids. I'm not going to die on this hill and we will figure it out, but it's maddening to deal with type of idiocy.
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Don't you love it?  You are trying to blame her.   :o  Well she was to blame for her actions and leaving you.
You don't need to take any blame for that.

Yes we are all responsible for problems in the marriage, and we all had them, but you don't blow up your family over it.  You try to work things out. 
It was her choice to leave, not yours.  I'm sorry but there is no "united front" here.  She just doesn't want to look like the bad guy, but guess what, she is.

Well just stay strong M47.  I hope it goes smoothly.
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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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You were expecting Responsibility and accountability from a Mid-Lifer?

While you are at it, can you describe for me what Green tastes like?
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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

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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Tomorrow we meet with mediator to sign papers and get the D filed. Not feeling the dread I hate even a just a few months. I am hopeful we can hammer out the details in a reasonable manner, We both like and trust out mediator, so that should help our cause.

W texted a couple of days ago about paying for some clothes for S11 and followed up with a few texts that bordered on R talk. It seemed like she was just sort of explaining how she has rewritten history. I just validated and did't further the conversation much at all. Among the lines she said to me were, "This was/is a difficult decision for me. I didn't wake up one day and decide this." "We've had no connection for years and I've tried to make it perfect and happy and it's just not there." "Why do either of us want to stay in a marriage that we don't feel loved or appreciated or whatever the case may be?" "Yes. I think this is the best course of action.... for both us."

I found the last statement this most interesting, but I did not pursue and try to ascertain what she was trying to say there. She also offered to separate and "start moving on" so it would be gradual for the kids, which I declined.

Onward.
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Quote from: M47W43
"Why do either of us want to stay in a marriage that we don't feel loved or appreciated or whatever the case may be?" "Yes. I think this is the best course of action.... for both us."

BOTH of these statements are blame-shifting - making it seem that she is being oh so altruistic in her actions because it "will be better for both."



It is a way of avoiding or negating the responsibility for HER actions, HER choices.....

"What do you mean 'WE?' You got a mouse in your pocket? There is no "we" in your decision...."We" had no say in the matter.. This is YOUR choice, YOUR decision.....""
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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.

M
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Met with the mediator and signed the D paper work today. W got upset during the signing of the papers and went to the restroom to collect herself. I did not show any emotion. The rest of the meeting was the mediator explaining the process and beginning to discuss how we "untangle" things. W had very few answers and didn't seem to have any plan (I'm not saying I believe her).

Meeting ended and I walked out to my car ahead of W. I could hear her crying but I didn't stop. Then she wrapped her arms around me from behind and said through tears, "I'm sorry. It's my fault. I just don't see a future." I said, "I'm sorry you feel that way" and walked over to my car, at which point she confirmed the realtor appointment for next week and we went our separate ways.
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M
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Just want to wish all the Dads on the board a happy Father's Day tomorrow. Don't let your sitch rob you of any joy. You deserve to have a great day!

What is the advice on whether to respond if W reached out to wish a Happy Father's Day via text, etc?
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F
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It was important for me that my kids knew I was not choosing to divorce or separate.  That I believe in marriage and making it work.  I made this very clear to my children.

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Married 20 years
Husband is 43
Me-39
4 kids 6-15 years old

BD-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, this after I found out about OW 1(EA), OW2(PA) no longer together.  I believe he is single. 
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.
Oct 2019-Apologized for a years worth of monster behavior.  Still wants to start divorce this Spring, is distant, but friendly.  Tries more with kids, but mostly just helps haul them around(superficial).
Spring 2019 H agreed to put off the divorce another school year to keep the kids and I from moving back to TX.
2020-He has continued to help out when asked and be polite.  I do think he questions his choices at times.  I do not believe he has OW.

M
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Well, tonight's the night we tell the kids. Plan is to let W break the news. We spoke about what language to use, but I'm not holding my breath she will do the right thing. My focus is on the kids and making sure they know this isn't their fault and that we both love them very much, and that everything will be okay. Hope to update again later tonight. 
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D
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Well, tonight's the night we tell the kids. Plan is to let W break the news. We spoke about what language to use, but I'm not holding my breath she will do the right thing. My focus is on the kids and making sure they know this isn't their fault and that we both love them very much, and that everything will be okay. Hope to update again later tonight.

Prayers, my friend.  I will never forget the anguish this caused my dear little daughter.  Be strong for them.  I despised my W in this moment, and for the first time in my life, even after finding out about OM, I felt angry enough to be physical with her.  Thankfully I restrained myself.

I share this with you only as one possibility of the range of emotions you may experience.   Prepare yourself.  Make sure the children know you love them.    My thoughts are with you.
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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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Thoughts and prayers with you today/tonight.

-SS
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W - 39
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019

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M47,

As long as she doesn't lie to them about this decision being mutual, then yes to tell them it has nothing to do with them, and you both love them is a good thing.

Just don't allow any blame to be put on you.  You did not want this.

I wish you luck!  Hope things go smoothly.

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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Please remember too that these are just words, a moment....the real time to support your kids will be all the actions you take to show up as a decent loving father after this and that is what they will remember as you move forward.  Actions last so much longer than words imho. And the same will be true for your w (which may not go quite so well of course but that's not your job to worry about, just your side of the street)
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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

M
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All things considered, it went about as well as it could have. We called them together and W told them there were going to be some changes, including we are getting a D. We both assured them this had nothing to do with them and that we both loved them very much and always will, regardless of circumstances.

Some tears from W and S11, and S19 was pretty stoic. W then left to go see her sick mother. I spoke to S19 afterward and he was not surprised, which I didn't think he would be. I was expecting the worst, so it's a pretty big relief that it's over, to be honest. I will of course keep a watchful eye on them over the coming days and weeks for any secondary explosions.
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M
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I have begun telling my siblings and family about my situation. One thing I did not expect: It's been a cathartic experience! It's really nice to hear so much unconditional support, without any judgement from people. I can finally see that there is life on the other side of this mess. 
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... W told them there were going to be some changes...

Talk about deja-vu feeling with these words....some changes, lol.

But true, you are going to get plenty of support as you let the genie out of bottle. Embrace it, those who have been through D will likely know best how long/hard the process can be and will backing you on the long run (whereas rest of world will forget it in days/weeks)... What your life now becomes is all up to you. 

Alvin.
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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."... D filed 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. ***
*** You're not going to master the rest of your life in one day. So relax. Master the present day. Then just keep doing that every day. ***
*** Without trust fear is the only possibility. Place your trust in your own wings. ***

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Just catching up on threads after being off HS for a while. Sorry about all you're going through. It reminds me a lot of what I went through last summer. My xW delayed telling the kids until after the divorce was final and even then she told them it was "looking like divorce." I actually told them it was final after she left. They weren't surprised.

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I have begun telling my siblings and family about my situation. One thing I did not expect: It's been a cathartic experience! It's really nice to hear so much unconditional support, without any judgement from people.
This is really true.  I didn't tell anyone about my situation until my W left for good. (She was a stay-home wallower for three years, but requested mediation shortly after leaving last June.) Once I started telling friends and family it was a HUGE weight off my shoulders. Lots of people told me stories about their crazy exes, including a few guys I didn't even realize had been married before.

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I can finally see that there is life on the other side of this mess.
Absolutely. Once the thing you had been dreading happens, there are consequences and wreckage, but there's no longer any dread. It's not going to be easy, but it will get easier. There will be a ripple effect of grieving secondary losses and you'll have some bad days, but you've come through a lot already.

Treasur is completely right - what you do is a lot more important than anything you say. If you're being strong and calm, they'll draw strength from it. Don't be surprised or take it personal if they lash out at you sometimes. And now is a great time to continue GAL activities. My kids (mine are older) told me they were really impressed at how I got on with my life after the D. I got a mountain bike, started running races, joined a Meetup.com group for introverts and I made new friends. Meanwhile xW stayed in an apartment all the time with a bottle of wine and her cat. If you go about your business and live a good life, it will make it a lot easier for them to get on with their lives as well.
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« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 10:24:11 PM by PJ Will Be OK »
"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27
Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA
BD #2: 2018 - FA
W moved out - June 2019
OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019
Divorce final - September 2019
Card-carrying member of the Iffer Party

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

M
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One of the many inspirational sayings I've come across while reading during this last year-plus is the following quote: "Everything you want is on the other side of fear." It's been attributed to multiple people, but it just rings so true.

My biggest hang-up early on was, like many others here, being paralyzed and not wanting to do anything to "make things worse." As many of the vets here have pointed out faithfully, the reality is that BD is THE WORST and nothing you say or do is going make it any worse once BD happens.

To those earlier in their sitches than I am, I must tell you that dropping the rope and working on yourself is the only way forward. You cannot "nice" or "mean" them back. But you can save yourself and set yourself up to live your best life moving forward, with or without our MLCer.

Let go of the fear that's holding you back. There's a whole new world out there just waiting for you. Don't worry or focus on your MLCer. They will know how to find you should they ever want to down the line.

Peace and love to all.
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