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Author Topic: My Story Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4

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My Story Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#20: May 29, 2020, 05:25:00 PM
Mal,

Just a thought.....perhaps your H’s strident messages about needing a divorce is more about his need to end attachment.

What I mean by that is attachment is fear based. It is a scarcity mindset. It is driven and fueled by fear.

Does divorce hurt you.....yes, it does. I’m so sorry for that.

But divorce for an MLCer May be more about facing a fear of giving up that attachment....and the illusion of control over that attachment.
Do I think they understand this at the time....no.....I just think they want the pain to stop. But their actions are the very thing that forces them to finally confront that pain of “losing” an attachment.

They don’t know that they have handed you so much power and individuality. They don’t know that they severed the thing that was keeping you tolerating so many of their antics. They don’t know or anticipate that you might just chose to go NC with them once the divorce is final. Or that there will be new boundaries in place afterwards.

And every time they confront these truths they are forced one tiny step at a time to recognize that they don’t control you and your emotions and you don’t control them or their emotions.....and that you are responding to their actions.

I pray for strength and peace for you. I hope there is peace and love and joy at the wedding. And I know you can do this. And not just survive it....but use it as fuel and strength for your journey.

Hugs

Courage
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Me 37
H 37
S15
Wallower/Chaos kid
EA discovered 3/31/2019
BD March 31 2019
EA ongoing? 🤷‍♀️ (Who knows?)
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#21: May 30, 2020, 12:11:27 AM
There is imho something simple and truthful about what Courage wrote here.
And I write as someone on the other side of a divorce I never imagined would be part of my story, that I didn't want and with a long-vanished xh.
It never felt like my then h had a plan....just a series of knee jerk reactions that took him inevitably to a different life without any bit of me. I honestly think he was quite often surprised by where he found himself. And he has lost a great deal that is irrecoverable; I did too, but he did it to himself. I suspect Courage is right that some MLCers feel a compulsion to rip off that attachment bandaid to us....but anecdotally it rarely seems to deliver what they expect even if they invest full-on in another attachment. Bc after all, what other attachment can replace years and years of a shared life with someone who really knows you and the bigger story of your life, no matter how much fun it feels? Chalk and cheese.

When they sever these threads, believing I think that it will liberate them, the truth is that actually it liberates us too. Maybe even a bit more. When my h was still my h, I felt a bunch of often unarticulated obligations towards him. And now I don't. And that frees up a lot of space for other things. Including being in control of your own story.

Swallowing the reality of a divorce you didn't want and an end to a phase of your life that you did not want to end is always painful. I'm so sorry, Mal. But from the other side I can tell you that, with a little time and distance, your perspective shifts. The reality is that you are mourning the loss of the marriage you had but truthfully that was already lost......the real reality is that you will be freed from what is now a paper marriage that brings nothing good or useful to you, marriage to a person who doesn't see (or no longer sees) family and marriage the way you do. And it is possible to mourn one and feel a sense of relief to escape the other. I did/do...I didn't think I would, but I do. LBS vets from the other side told me I would and they were quite right. It just takes a bit of swirling and a bit more time. I suppose like a plate stops looking like an empty plate and becomes a clean one  :)
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« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 12:13:16 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#22: May 30, 2020, 06:05:57 AM
Mal -
Thinking about you again today.
Courage and Treasur have (as always) give such wise and comforting words.
I am not quite as eloquent.
I hope that their words help.

Sending Hugs,
Sea

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#23: May 31, 2020, 05:42:43 AM
Dearest Sea and Courage and Treasur,
Thank you for your guidance and your strength and your words of wisdom. The older I get the more I find that I do not understand about human behavior and feelings. I am just a simple girl.

I did some crash course learning on Attachment behaviors after reading your very thoughtful reply, Courage. He was definitely some form of avoidant all throughout, and a stereotype of the emotionally unavailable male.  He prided himself on being independent, even articulating it.  I gave him much freedom, perhaps I valued him more than me. No clue as to my own type. I thought I was secure, but now just a mess!

Even after a lifetime I do not know what his FOO issues are. I now sense some abandonment fear and much anger, and of course he built one huge wall. I can climb it thought Humpty Dumpty... Until the wall was literally too high.

Treasur as you experienced, his decisions seem completely unplanned to me. Lost, but still fiercely maintaining independence.

When he ran in the beginning he wanted nothing to do with me, caring for his family anymore or living in our town.  But now he’s moved back to the town- as a nomad, he helps his mother again but not to the same extent, and has touch and gos with our son, but all superficially as a ghost. 👻 Yes, he thinks, if he breaks his attachment to me he will be free and happy.

True, I am looking forward to peace at the end. I am so tired of trauma drama and never knowing what will happen next. In some ways our  marriage was a constant series of anxious wondering “what will h do next?” For he was high maintenance.  I can see the distant shore of peace, on the horizon and the sun is shining.  Yet I have much to lose at a late point in life with little to use as an anchor to rebuild. My crystal ball tells me that if we could work things out, we would be better together.  So yes, looking forward to peace, but it comes at a high cost.

Courage, so true, he cannot expect how the boundaries and the contact level will change on the other side. He has spoken of building a new relationship and co-existing, but I will be done. And as you so understand, I will not tolerate his antics when the last thread is broken. He thinks of me as steady and unchanging. He thinks this is all amicable simply because he still has all of his body parts. We obviously define amicable differently.

Some day he may regret the loss of me, but that too will pass. “I may regret this all my life” he said as he left, “but I will live with that consequence.”

H is lost. I mourn the loss of who he was.

He may have regrets in the future, but I have them now. I regret I stayed so long - thinking that the last few years together when the sky seemed to be falling were simply a bad season that would pass. I regret that I became invisible.  I regret that everything I sacrificed within this marriage was for naught, which makes me feel meaningless.  I regret and mourn the loss of my own identity and the family we built.

But I do not regret "not" being with the shell of a man he has become. Because truly only the memory of love, and compassion, keeps me from despising someone who ran away and all but left me for dead.  I acknowledge that I have a problem with forgiveness, particularly when the person keeps hurting me.

Thank you for the prayers and blessings wish. I have survived so many things in the last several years, that I expect I will survive the wedding. Want unmitigated joy.  Need Grace. Have love.  The kids have enough stress with a wedding in the middle of a pandemic.  Will have my family and my peeps with me. And I will dance with my son on his wedding day. “Every day is the hardest thing I have ever done.” (My motto)

Thank you for giving me strength and courage and understanding.  I feel much comfort in being here virtually with all of you.
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BD and moved out 9/2017
M 30 years at BD, together 34

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Re: Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#24: June 01, 2020, 01:39:12 PM
Male, I have nothing to add that the others haven't already said, but just wanted to let you know I'm following and sorry these days are so hard for you. So many of your feelings and regrets are/were mine, too. There is nothing strange about you. You are not defective, you were just a kind and giving lady, doing what you thought was best for your marriage and family at the time. I suspect that just like many of us, you would not be as giving to your H or any other partner in the future. You would probably make sure that your needs are met, too. At least, that's what I have learned since BD.

The imminent thought of divorce hurts, of course. I have it coming soon, too. But I know that we will get through that day and it will not compare to what it was like to get through BD. We have the skills now to handle these difficult times. I'm hoping that it will actually be a relief to have that moment be over and done with.

Sending you hugs and lots of strength. x
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Married 1989, together since 1984 
BD May 2014,
D25, D22, S15
OW Physical Affair same one. He and she said she turned 34 the month of BD. She turned 52 this year.

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#25: June 01, 2020, 02:20:49 PM
LBS are all too often waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard on ourselves aren't we?  I know I am guilty of it. And so many of us seem to have a rough time of getting over the trauma, if we ever do. That we seemed to have lost our individual identity during the marriage. That maybe we were just going through the motions. Sure, there was joy and happiness. But maybe not fulfillment?

I don't know. I often go down that regret path too. But if I didn't marry H, there would be no S. And I may have been with someone else whose imperfections I pretzeled myself to accommodate. Or worse yet, another MLCer. The journey for us is one of self discovery. And it is a painful and lonely one indeed. But I believe there is a point to it. And even better, a reward.

I am so sorry you are going through this crap right now Mal.  And I know you will survive the wedding. And even better I think you will find some joy in it. Try not focus on the rantings of H. He is a bit of a crazy person now searching for his "happy." And the things he says are what a teenager might.

You are amazing and strong.



But I do not regret "not" being with the shell of a man he has become. Because truly only the memory of love, and compassion, keeps me from despising someone who ran away and all but left me for dead.  I acknowledge that I have a problem with forgiveness, particularly when the person keeps hurting me.


This right here shows you looking yourself straight in the mirror. And at the present reality. It is excruciating. But like everything else, it is temporary. For many more blessings are in store for you after the storm has passed.
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H 47
S13
BD 5/16
H Moved out 6/16
OW--yes. Worked for H. EA turned into PA while I was in chemo. On again/off again like every high school romance

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#26: June 01, 2020, 02:30:03 PM
I really relate to how you expressed your feelings in your last post.  The process of healing is long, but try to keep inching forward.  You will find that peace you spoke of.  I can only imagine a wedding in the midst of this MLC nonsense.  The feelings involved have got to be overwhelming and yet there is always great joy and hope in a new marriage.
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Married 20 years
Husband is 43
Me-40
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.
Oct 30 2020-He wants to get back together.  I am unsure.

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#27: June 02, 2020, 03:06:17 AM
As others say, Mal, looking in the mirror and trying with some self-compassion to be as honest as you can be with yourself is part of the process of healing. It is imho part of finding our own sense of peace with it all. We may not reach the same 'answers' but that probably doesn't matter; what matters is whatever your close spitting distance of truth is I think. And it is messy, not a straight line equation at all in my experience. And our perspective evolves with time and as our vista evolves as we move forward.

I have made thousands of mistakes in my life. But I have made very few with intentional disregard for hurting others....and when I have inadvertently done so, that has usually mattered to me enough to stop, try to do better or try to make some kind of amends. Tbh most of my mistakes probably hurt me more than they hurt others. But I think the same principle applies....once I realise I am hurting myself, I should stop, try to do better and try to make amends if I can. Whatever the cause, the reality is that usually we are dealing with spouses who are, or have become, so dysfunctional and emotionally disordered that they simply don't think or act this way. Which is often quite bewildering and painful for us to see and accept isn't it?

I found it hard to regret my marriage or relationship with my former h even if 'on paper' it makes perfect sense that I should bc the cost and damage was so big. Why? Bc I had never regretted it for one moment before my h changed so much and bc it had brought unanticipated great joys. Bc I believe that good reciprocal love (and it was for a very long time) is a blessing to experience in life and I am grateful that I know what that kind of love feels like tbh. And, most of all, bc many of my potential regrets were futile. I can't go back to 1997 or 2003 or 2008 or 2015 and make different choices. I did my best then based on my knowledge and experience at the time. And who knows what the paths untaken might have looked like. It matters to me that, even when I failed, even when I was spitting in a cruel wind, even tbh when I was being duped.....I still did my best to behave like a decent human and to honour what both my h and marriage and my core values turned out to mean to me. That imho is not chump change. It might not matter to anyone else at all, but it darn well matters to me....it is part of finding peace with it all I think. And it is simply not the factual reality of how our spouses behaved, which is their burden to carry. They should find some of their own actions despicable and they should feel ashamed of some of their behaviour if they are ever going to evolve into a better kind of human....to reach a point where they stop, try to do better and try to make amends where they can.  Some will and some won't, I'd guess.....

Your story is your story, Mal. As we grieve and detach and start to move forward with our own story, it is very easy for the pendulum to shift to the other extreme. But black glasses are no more true imho than rosy ones.....with time most of us find the middle point that feels close enough to our own truth as we adapt our story and start writing the next chapter. I am rather sad that my former h can't live the rest of his life thinking of himself as an essentially decent, honest and loyal person who has walked through life with a gentle tread.....unless he lies lol.....he rewrote his own story too....and that means I don't see him now in the way I used to. Which seems like a big loss to me bc I would have valued being loved and valued and trusted as much by so many people as my former h was. Sadly no one - including him if he is honest - will ever be able to look at him in quite the same way unless they are delusional or deceived....maybe that's less pressure for these damaged folks, idk

A wedding is both an end and a beginning, a step into the unknown landscape of a shared life. I hope on the day that your prayers and thoughts are about the courage, grace and trust involved in doing that for your son and his wife, and not about your h's failure. How much your son must love his wife to be and trust himself to make that commitment after seeing what his father did to his....which seems to me to be a lovely and hopeful thing, choosing the light rather than the darker side of human nature. And that, with time, when it feels safe, you will also be able to remember the good of your h and your shared life.....bc that was real too.....perhaps the best of him tbh....before he failed himself, his family and others so spectacularly.
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« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 03:11:11 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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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#28: June 02, 2020, 08:37:46 AM
Maleficent - I haven't posted much these last several months but I have been on in the evenings reading. 

I am so sorry that your H is making things even more difficult right now. 

I know the beach house is a place of rest and rejuvenation for you.  I hope that he will not become unreasonable about the sharing of it.  I know you look forward to your time there. 

As you've stated, weddings are usually stressful - even more so right now during a pandemic.  Lean on us for support and encouragement. 
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BD: 1/1/16
Together 15 years - married 7 years
His divorce final 7/26/16
Married the OW

After all, tomorrow is another day.

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Learning How to Live Again with Gratitude 4
#29: June 02, 2020, 10:57:19 AM
Still and Treasur, Milly, KIT and FJ,

Thank you for the words and strength and hugs.  You know the feeling when you look back and reflect at one's own words and wonder omg am I simply melodramatic?  Am I on the road to bitterness? 

FJ and Milly and KIT, thanks for understanding "the regret path." Maybe it is necessary for me to heal.  Because if I remember only joy, then there must be something horribly wrong with me that caused h to leave without trying.  Milly, yes, I will not love so fully or give completely of myself in that way again.   

Some low days.  Perhaps it is the world and all of the sadness and violence and pain? Perhaps the world mirrors what I feel in my heart?  Perhaps it is coming to terms and accepting that my marriage has been over for some time. 

And KIT, so true, having my son makes it all worthwhile. If I take a different angle of perspective and view the sacrifices for him then they have meaning. I cannot imagine if he didn’t exist.

Treasur, such a good metaphor - the rose colored glasses and the dark colored  glasses. It’s like when I believe people are either all good or all bad, and I need to be reminded that everyone is somewhere in the middle. In the beginning after the shock, I saw all the good, now not so much. Treasur’s pendulum.

I need to believe that I did the best I could with what I had at the time. 

My son did choose joy and I rejoiced in his decision to get engaged in the aftermath. He struggled when his father left and in some ways his father’s walk-away made a man out of him, a good man.  Yet I hear echoes in my mind of h saying to me that “vows are just words.” I need to block them out at the wedding. My son shares my values; he knows that a vow is a promise. Yes, FJ, such hope and such joy. 

Still, Thanks for being there and sending support.  You understand well my love of the beach and my fear that h will take it all away and my need to preserve it for my son.  Although since his father left, he does not love it quite so much, I see the pain in his eyes.  "The sea, the sea, the call of the sea...." 
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BD and moved out 9/2017
M 30 years at BD, together 34

 

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