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Author Topic: My Story Love Me, Don't Leave Me

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My Story Love Me, Don't Leave Me
OP: May 07, 2020, 02:44:23 PM
My title is based on a book that I picked up after my wife left me a few months back....it seems like a fitting start of my story.

How did I get here?  Well, it all began with the end of my marriage.  Discovering my wifes affair and how quick she was gone, and how cruel she was in the process.  What.  Just.  Happened?  Stunned, shook, so many questions, no answers.  Caught her at a hotel in our home city, when she said she was going to be out of town on a business trip.  I knew something wasn't right when the night before, I asked what hotel she was staying at and....."I don't know".. RED FLAGS.  I thought I was crazy, she said she didn't need to tell me, her wife.  She didn't need to tell her wife where she was staying on her business trip. (Same sex marriage if that were missed)

Anyways, months of torture, months of despair, anxiety attacks, therapy, books, reading.  She was caught one night and like that, she was gone.  Never returned.  Only came back 3 times to get some belongings and move out.   EVERY interaction was a fight.  She spewed so much venom at me, I was the root of all her pain and the reason why she cheated.  She resented me for "Forcing her to marry me", for "Forcing her to move in with me", for "Forcing her to try to have kids and start a family".  She refused to come to the house to pack her stuff up once she got an apartment 2 weeks after leaving and not coming back.  My friends (saviours), helped me remove traces of her from the master bedroom because she was everywhere, but there.  Her smell, her clothes, her things.   We moved her into the spare bedroom and I made the MB my personal space.  Tossed all our old, worn out furniture, to the curb.   Replaced it with one single dresser, for a single wife, left behind.

She comes to the house to determine who is going to get what.  She sees the bedroom, she gets angry, spews vile.  HOW DARE MY FRIENDS MOVE HER THINGS?!?!?!?!  She leaves, we haven't split items, its been 3 weeks, she's moving in 2, but it was too much for her to stay on that day and start to separate who gets what.  Her last words leaving on that day were "Cheating on you was the best thing I have ever done".  SHOOK.  WHO.  IS.  THIS. PERSON?

Every attempt to ask for help, met with anger, vile.  "Please come pack your belongings". she never does.  When we pack them up for her, she loses her $h!te and I am a horrible person for doing all the things that she would refuse to do.  She walked away from all financial responsibility.  Claims since I kicked her out (I never did, she just never came home after being caught that night), she isn't responsible for anything relating to the house (we rent so there wasn't any mortgage/asset considerations).  She left me high and dry.  Almost refused to pay me even one final month of rent.  Agrees to after me pleading that I can't do it on my own while also looking for a place to live.   Then, a week later, says she can't afford to pay the full 50% of her share because she has to pay half a months rent at her new place (while I had to pay 3 months in that same month, to secure my new place).

Friends and family are stunned, none of this makes sense.  We were having problems, but we were happy.  We were THE COUPLE.  Everyone said, if we didn't make it, they would never believe in love.   Someone asks, "is she having a mid life crisis?"  I scoff, "no way! she's far too young for that" (she's 41).  But I entertain the idea, google MLC and read a few articles......"Ok, yup, it makes sense, maybe she is?"  And then I forget this discovery. 

Back to wallowing in pity, trying to understand how my wife, who knew that I was cheated on multiple times in my last LTR, chose to cheat on me rather than telling me we needed to separate or even divorce. Why me?  Faced with a failed marriage, I work on myself, in therapy, reading books, addressing some childhood issues, but my confidence, still destroyed.

She starts to come around, and we exchange some video messages on WhatsApp.  We talk about things and how they ended, how unhappy she was, stuff we didn't get a chance to talk about because she just never came home after that night.  We've been cordial, and kind.  She needed this.  She loves her new life.  She's happy.  Ouch.

Reading a thread on a website, see someone reference their spouse in an MLC.  "Oh ya!  How could I forget that this may be what it is?"  Google MLC Support forums, find you lovely folks.

I have been reading threads for 2 days now and it ALL MAKES SENSE.  My wife, she is in the midst of an MLC (I'm assuming Replay stage at this point).  I FEEL SO RELIEVED!  I took everything so personal.  I couldn't make sense of it.   How did this person turn into the woman I now look at, the woman I no longer recognize.   The emptiness in her eyes.  The pain behind her fake smiles and laughs. 

There are so many more points to this story that I can share if anyone is interested, it just feels like far too much to drop in my first post.

I can say, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.  I have already been working on GAL (however, being in quarantine makes that a bit more challenging from a get out and do stuff perspective), and I have made substantial strides personally, in the last 4 months.  My therapist is amazed at how far I had come along in such a short period of time, and since discovering this new piece of information, so my development is only going to get better and better now.   

I 100% miss my wife.  I 100% would love to think we could work this out, but that is not something that I am prepared to sit for, or even at this point, pine for.  I have been moving forward, its been in my head that we are moving towards divorcing and I will start a life with myself anew, and attract a healthy partner in the future.   Of course I sometimes wish that healthy partner was going to be my wife, and maybe its possible if she completes her MLC journey, in full.  But I can't bank on it, and I certainly won't wait.

But thank you all for sharing your stories (including those on the other side).  You have no idea how much you saved my sanity.
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« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 02:49:22 PM by LBS_Les »
Me (W) 43 - W 41
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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#1: May 07, 2020, 03:56:36 PM
Hello,

I am so sorry you are on this site, but it is a great place and the support is amazing.

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She spewed so much venom at me, I was the root of all her pain and the reason why she cheated.  She resented me for "Forcing her to marry me", for "Forcing her to move in with me", for "Forcing her to try to have kids and start a family".

Yes, I dealt with the same. She was unhappy for the past few years, then unhappy for the entire marriage, and because English was her second language (even though she had a college degree) she didn't really understand her vows.  Monster is terrible because it cuts right to the bone. It makes you doubt everything about the relationship to the point of "Where was I in this relationship?"

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Then, a week later, says she can't afford to pay the full 50% of her share because she has to pay half a months rent at her new place (while I had to pay 3 months in that same month, to secure my new place).

I had a friend whose husband stopped paying the mortgage so he could save up and pay for the move of he and his new girlfriend into a new apartment. So my friend got bomb drop when he moved out and a week later, they came and posted the foreclosure notice on her door. Lovely, just lovely. She had two young daughters to boot.

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I 100% would love to think we could work this out, but that is not something that I am prepared to sit for, or even at this point, pine for.  I have been moving forward,

This is the most important piece. The MLC is her journey and your journey is to learn to thrive as if she is never coming back. Her bad behavior is not a reflection of you, but on her and her pain. I would love to say that they all come back and most marriages are saved, but that is not the case. However, the numbers of LBSer that survive MLC and make positive movement forward and manage to rebuild their lives is the true testimonial to this forum.

((((Hugs))) and more ((((Hugs)))- even though they are virtual, they do feel good  :)

Ready

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"Always look in the mirror and love what you see."

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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#2: May 07, 2020, 05:16:05 PM
Welcome LBS,

I am very glad you found us and don't feel so alone.
It does help to understand what these MLCer's are going through because you can stop taking it personal, it's not.  They just get so cra cra and so unrecognizable.   ::)

You sound like you are doing good work with your therapist.  Yay for you.
Keep moving forward and keep taking good care of yourself.  Let her just twist in the wind for now.
Make your life the best you can.

Also, share anything you want with us.  We're not too shock by anything anymore.

{{Big Hug}}
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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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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#3: May 08, 2020, 09:34:15 AM


Quote
Yes, I dealt with the same. She was unhappy for the past few years, then unhappy for the entire marriage, and because English was her second language (even though she had a college degree) she didn't really understand her vows.  Monster is terrible because it cuts right to the bone. It makes you doubt everything about the relationship to the point of "Where was I in this relationship?"

Thats exactly what was going through my mind when it was happening - I was left spinning and wondering, "Who is this person I married?"  At the time, I didn't know the why behind it.  I understood she was in a degree of pain, but I couldn't fully understand why she was being cruel.  I hadn't begged or pleaded with her to stay and work things out.  She knew cheating was a deal breaker for me.   So in my eyes, I was like "I've given you everything you want from this split?" (e.g. space, not asking her to come home, not begging and pleading). Obviously, understanding what I know now, this was the monster.

Quote
I had a friend whose husband stopped paying the mortgage so he could save up and pay for the move of he and his new girlfriend into a new apartment. So my friend got bomb drop when he moved out and a week later, they came and posted the foreclosure notice on her door. Lovely, just lovely. She had two young daughters to boot.

Is this an MLC thing?  We have finances to sort out, but we don't have any kind of agreement in place.  I've asked her multiple times to make a payment on a credit card that she had under my name and she's ignored all requests for it.  Recently, she FINALLY made a minimum payment, after a week of NC on both our ends.  I don't want to keep asking monthly.  I asked her to just do it monthly until we sort it out but of course, she had no reply to that. 

We have had some messaging contact - her monster dissipated about 2 months after this all went down.  I feel like this is a very short time frame for this.  I've received apologies for behaviour, empathy, and compassion when we have spoken about the way that she dealt with me.   Sometimes, Im not sure if its quarantine that may be expediting her stages, or if she's stuck in some kind of stage limbo (if that makes sense?)
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Me (W) 43 - W 41
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#4: May 08, 2020, 09:36:11 AM

Also, share anything you want with us.  We're not too shock by anything anymore.

{{Big Hug}}

Thanks for the welcome!  I didn't know how much to dump in my first post, and it was also a bit emotionally draining to think of all the nonsense again. 

I guess as I continue to post through here, patterns and instances can be shared as there is a part of me that wants to validate that behaviours are part of the MLC process.
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#5: May 08, 2020, 01:08:41 PM
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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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#6: May 08, 2020, 09:00:07 PM
So I guess this counts as journaling.

Ive read so many stories here in the last 3 days.  I thought I was crazy.  I was confused at the Monster I always saw across from me when we spoke, interacted.   It wasn't me.  It was never me. 

I have been liberated.  So much so, I feel an immense fear of waiting for the shoe to drop.   It can't be this easy.   Theres no way that I can accept this MLC reality, move on and never have a bad day, a bad moment.  We don't have kids.  Contact is sporadic.  When we speak, she's soft, she's cold, she's empathetic, but she makes sure that I know she's at peace with her decision.   

She reaches out, she wants us "to be friends".  She manipulates her way in, when I have always said that we can't be friends.   She disguises it under the guise of COVID "Ive had time to think".  She's reeled me back in.....then, she's gone.   "We shouldn't be friends".  She says all the reasons why it wouldn't work, as if they were the reasons she's come up with on her own.   But they aren't.  Those words she's saying, those are the words I said.   Those are my ideas!  She's spun them as her own.  She's let me get close and then pushes me away.  I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND.

But now I do.  Its the confusion.  Its that little kid that tries to come out, get close and when the closeness happens, they retreat.  She's not ready.  Why does she do this?   Now I understand.   Now I get it.  She's not okay. She's not in her right mind.   She won't be for a long time.

And I find solace in this.   I thought it was me, all along.   I know now, it never was, and it never will be.   Whatever our future brings, its not me.

We have no children.   What does it look like with an MLC when no kids are involved?  I have no clue - but I must continue to remain detached.

But I'm not going to lie.   I miss my W.  This person, this person isn't her, and I am okay with that.   But I miss my W.

But I will move forward.   I have no choice.  I have no say in this matter.   And surprisingly, I am okay with this.
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#7: May 09, 2020, 06:09:51 AM
Hi LBS_Les:

Welcome to the forum, and sorry you are here. As others have already said you are doing very well for what has happened, and I am so happy for you that you figured out early on what is going on, that it is not you and found resources like this place. Reading others stories will definitely help clarify that no, you are not going crazy, that yes, this is happening although it makes no sense.

Please keep in mind that although the person who you are interacting with sounds and looks like your wife she really isn’t psychologically the same person right now. She is fragmented, confused and it may be very useful to start reinforcing that she is NOT your wife as you know her. Otherwise there is a constant discordant shock as we try to interact with the old person who no longer exist and are hurt and shocked. The term you may have seen is “touching the hot stove” to check if its hot. Yes it is and yes you will be burned. But until we let go of their old version in our head we keep projecting that onto them.

Second is don’t try to time or stage watch. She is probably cycling. They will do that regularly. My wife started as complete shark eyes monster, cycled back and forth for a while, withdrew, then reverted almost all the way back to her old self, then suddenly went back into full on shark eyed cold person. Now after 1.5 years of no contact she is acting friendly. I say this not to be negative, but as warning to do what you are doing, detach, let go and don’t worry or try to understand the “meaning” behind how she shifts. There isn’t any. She is fractured and different configurations will reappear randomly, triggered by things she doesn’t even understand. Just observe and stay away, don’t jump in.

We have no children either. And you have already gained a VERY important understanding. You miss your OLD wife, this person is not that person. And if you met this person today you would not really be in love. Keep in mind that you may sometimes forget this knowledge, I know I did along the way. I would start seeing her as she way and then, bam, reality would remind me. So I started calling the wife in my past as “the old <name>” to keep reminding myself.

This is a process. There are times you will have clarity. And you may have days when you are very sad and feel lost. Its ok. We loved the person who is now lost deeply and our relationship had weight and meaning. It doesn’t simply disappear because we are intellectually understanding what has happened. It is very much like grieving a death, it takes time and there are stages. Not linear but you will move between them and sometimes feel multiple stages at once. I had days and weeks where I simply had to withdraw and be in my pain and loss. Your therapist will help a lot.

Only small warning is that I have noticed a good number of therapist don’t really understand MLC. They are not trained about it and they think it is a “made up” thing. Mine and a few others know what it is, that is is closest to a very depressed trauma state where the person is highly disassociated. I hope your therapist realizes this in order to help you the best way possible. Because sometimes without realizing this therapists have a harder time seeing the behaviour we describe in our spouses as undistorted truth. Because without the the disassociative break no one could simply “flip a switch” and behave the way MLCers do.

Keep posting, keep journaling, keep reading. And most importantly keep the focus on you, as hard as it is.
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#8: May 09, 2020, 06:30:31 AM
LBS, it's perfectly normal to miss your wife, unfortunately this is no longer the wife you knew.
We always say it's like some alien invaded their body.  They still look the same, but they are not the same.  Very confusing for us because we still expect them to act like they always did.  But they just don't.

Ah yes the "let's be friends" thing.   ::)  Most f them try that.
It is to make them feel better about what they are doing, which by the way is very unkind. Like you are accepting it, so less guilt for them.  See we can still be friends so we're ok.  No harm done.

NO they are not our friends at this time and yes there is harm done.  A friend would not do this to you.
A friend has your back and will go out of their way not to hurt you.

That is not who they are in their crisis.

There are quite a few couples here who had no kids.  It doesn't seem to matter one way or the other.  You still want to treat them the same way, with detachment and politeness.
Having kids will not make a difference as to if they will return or not.

You sound pretty good LBS, just stay the course and keep taking care of yourself.
Only time will tell if she turns back some day.  Nothing you can do will effect that, unless you are bitter and treat her badly.  Then there is no chance.  Who would want to come back to a bitter, spiteful person?
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#9: May 09, 2020, 08:18:16 AM
Please keep in mind that although the person who you are interacting with sounds and looks like your wife she really isn’t psychologically the same person right now. She is fragmented, confused and it may be very useful to start reinforcing that she is NOT your wife as you know her. Otherwise there is a constant discordant shock as we try to interact with the old person who no longer exist and are hurt and shocked. The term you may have seen is “touching the hot stove” to check if its hot. Yes it is and yes you will be burned. But until we let go of their old version in our head we keep projecting that onto them.

Yes, I tell myself that this person isn't my Wife.  I do miss my W, the one before this mess.  The one that was caring and tender and funny and committed.  This person, I would never have dated had I met this personality.

Second is don’t try to time or stage watch. She is probably cycling. They will do that regularly. My wife started as complete shark eyes monster, cycled back and forth for a while, withdrew, then reverted almost all the way back to her old self, then suddenly went back into full on shark eyed cold person. Now after 1.5 years of no contact she is acting friendly. I say this not to be negative, but as warning to do what you are doing, detach, let go and don’t worry or try to understand the “meaning” behind how she shifts. There isn’t any. She is fractured and different configurations will reappear randomly, triggered by things she doesn’t even understand. Just observe and stay away, don’t jump in.

I don't necessarily think I would be trying to find the meaning, since I know its part of this process.  But I am an over thinker so I do know that I will get caught up at times in wondering what behaviour Im seeing.  However, it seems like with No Children, our interactions will be very few and far between.

Thank you for your kind words and food for thought - its been very helpful
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