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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 »
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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.

Quote
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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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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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#10: May 09, 2020, 08:25:30 AM

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.

This is exactly what I said to her when she proposed it.  I said there is no friendship in betrayal as she had an exit affair.  And we stayed apart, minimal contact.   Then she came around in March and started talking about us being "kind to one another in our interactions", maybe we could "watch shows together" (HUH?!?!?). So we spoke a few times and she let me get everything off my chest, about the pain and the damage and the destruction.  I knew she was only looking to absolve her guilt, and I didn't want to give her that gift. (this all happened before I knew it was a MLC so I was left with a lot of emotion and confusion with how she could have done what she did to me)

Then, she cycles and says we shouldn't be friends, its too much, its not fair to one another, especially since she doesn't want to reconcile (I hadn't asked her so I don't know why she thought I did).  Then she goes silent.  Then we talk again, now she's back on silence.


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?

I know the children doesn't make the difference.  I was trying to see what our interactions would look like since we have no kids.   So for a lot of the LBS here, they have to deal with their MLC constantly because of children.  I haven't seen many stories of peoples experiences with no kids (e.g. Do I expect to get random hateful texts through a cycle?)

Also, I have been kind to her, despite everything she's done.  I especially showed some kindness now that I understand what's happening.  To be honest, the depression stage scares me, but thats because I still look at her as my W (work in progress), so I told her that if it ever gets dark and she needs me, Ill be there.  I absolutely do not expect her to take me up on that, but I don't want her to feel alone if she cycles badly. 
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#11: May 09, 2020, 10:09:51 AM
I had no kids, LBS.  I mean I do from my first marriage but they are all grown and have their own families.  My H was more of a step grandpa figure.
He had no kids so our dogs were are kids.  It was nice because we could take off whenever we wanted to.

In a way I guess it did make it easier because I didn't need to worry about kids getting hurt or abandoned.   I didn't need to worry about a schedule for kids going back and forth.
I didn't need to make decisions with them in mind.  I wasn't raising kids on my own, I just had me to worry about.

On the other hand sometimes kids are a connection to each other, which in some cases it helps couple stay in communication with each other, if their co-parenting.

It's also pretty common for them to cycle, some do it a lot.  One day cold, the next day warm and friendly.  I suppose it's part of their confused state of mind.  They really aren't sure what they want, which can make us a little crazy sometimes.
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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
#12: May 11, 2020, 01:22:35 PM
Another journal I guess.

I have continued to read story after story on this board - its borderline obsessive.  But sadly, my personality has always been that way, when I discover something, I latch on to it.  Im also an analyst in nature (and in my career), so I look to understand things a bit more than I should.  That will be something I need to work through - understanding boundaries of how much MLC information I need to digest rather than reading stories all day.

I went through Shock's sisters thread and found myself seeing my W there.  Yes, every story is different, there are no guarantees.  But when I look at my M, we were happy, we were perfect for each other.  I was the villain at the end, this I understand is part of the process.  Part of me believes that if my W ever wakes up from the fog, she will look back and realize that our M wasn't as bad as she thought it would be, and I think that would draw her back.  Having said that, I recognize this as a fantasy, a fairy tale ending - what does that even mean? 

Perhaps its the mask that they wear.  Most people write that their spouses never apologize for the wake of their destruction.  A week ago, and a few times before that, my W had some video message exchanges.  She apologized in them.  She apologized for what she's done, how she acted, and for the cruel things that have happened in our marriage.  Is this even an MLC for her then?  Because who feels guilt about their behaviour when in MLC.  Perhaps this is the last of her before the fog takes over?  She does seem confused, she says "I don't know" when we have had exchanges (I haven't asked questions, I just mean when she tries to explain something, she says "I don't know").  She recently said that quarantine has given her a lot of time to look at things, that its all necessary and sometimes good, but sometimes bad.

She's a jogger now. She always makes comments about how "we aren't compatible".  She's mentioned that this is very hard for her because I am now a stranger to her, because we have spent 9 years together, I was her person, and now Im a stranger.  Sometimes, I don't feel that this can be an MLC, maybe its just WAW syndrome.  But then I read that they run, to run from their thoughts.   That they talk about incompatibility, that I don't know her, that we are "such different people". 

Maybe I am a stranger because I have been working on myself.  Maybe I am a stranger because the thoughts have convinced her that I am the root of all the evil and unhappiness in her world. 

I was going to file for D when the courts reopened.  While this is all very new and my province has a 1 year separation requirement, I could file under adultery.  I always wondered why it didn't seem to worry her.  She would say "I don't want to D but send me the papers and I will sign". Says "we shouldn't make decision based on knee jerk reactions and it should come once we have had time to process our emotions".  Then says later on, she's not interested in R (despite the fact that I have not asked, or even discussed it).  I realize now, this is her D.  If she wants it, she needs to start it.  She has the marriage certificate and I know she was going to try to get it to me (I had asked a few times for it but she conveniently "forgets" it).  So, when she reaches out to ask how to get it to me (perhaps she will after COVID), I will let her know that I don't need it, and she can file.

I believe her MLC started in the summer, which puts us at about 9 months from when I started to hear her questioning things that really, were red flags.  January as BD.  I can't imagine that maybe, just maybe, the person I married, won't resurface for many more years.

But I have to.  I've read some threads here and some members seem resilient and strong.  I cannot end up stuck.  I can only move forward and continue to work on detaching, and focusing on me. 

No contact from her in a few days, and I don't expect to her from her.  But I will look at mirroring techniques, to ensure that if there is contact, I am protecting myself, and leaving her to her space.  I'd like her to think she can have a safe space with me when she needs, but I've come to understand that the fog of indifference is quickly approaching, and so the contact will be dark. 
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« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 01:25:53 PM by LBS_Les »
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#13: May 13, 2020, 07:37:05 PM
The Lighthouse

I've read a lot about being the lighthouse for your MLCer.   Im in the early stages, so this doesn't apply, but with the limited interaction I have had with my W, I can hear her confusion, I can hear her fear, I can feel her resolve.

So if I think about this journey, I would explain it as this.   She wants to go out on the boat, and see where it takes her.  The weather looks unpredictable and it causes her to question whether or not today is the day she wants to begin this journey.   Her boat has left and she's floating around, riding the waves, always looking back at the light house.  This beacon of light that represents home.   Behind it, there are clouds, so many dark clouds.  She feels that they are headed her way and she becomes unsure about whether or not this day, is the day she begins her journey.

So she floats, her boat rocks.  She looks back at the lighthouse and wonders if she should turn and go back.  But she's been planning this trip, she's wanted this adventure, why did the weather have to show up and ruin it for her?  She doesn't realize what those dark clouds represent, because how would she ever understand that fog?

Its my job to turn dim the lighthouse for her.  So that she doesn't see it, so that she doesn't question her choice, so that she takes the trip that she believes she needs to take.  She's going to have to continue on her way, the waves of the ocean throwing her around, the cloud consuming her.  Its her choice as to whether or not she chooses to wear her life jacket at this time, or feel confident enough in her ability to swim.   But there is to be no radio contact, not to the lighthouse.  This is her journey and hers alone.

And one day, maybe just one day, I will turn the light on, so that if she ever chooses to, she can find her way back home.  I may not be there to greet her at the harbour, but she will at least know that this is the way home.

And thats how I let my wife go.  Thats how I set her free
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#14: May 13, 2020, 10:04:37 PM
You sound very well Les, being so new to this. I think it’s ok to keep the lighthouse light on, meaning you get to shine bright and be yourself, the lighthouse doesn’t chase after the boat - so you can go dim or even no contact if you need to - out your own well being at the top of your priority list. If this is MLC, it will get worse, much worse, right now it is nice to hear your W has some remorse, when things get bad you can remember what she said before she went all the way into the tunnel.

I wish you the best.
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#15: May 14, 2020, 06:53:23 AM
You sound very well Les, being so new to this. I think it’s ok to keep the lighthouse light on, meaning you get to shine bright and be yourself, the lighthouse doesn’t chase after the boat - so you can go dim or even no contact if you need to - out your own well being at the top of your priority list. If this is MLC, it will get worse, much worse, right now it is nice to hear your W has some remorse, when things get bad you can remember what she said before she went all the way into the tunnel.

I wish you the best.
3Boys

Thank you - I have been a lot of work on myself since she left, but I found a wave of relief when I learned about MLC.  Isolation has left me with a lot of time to think, and really begin to understand and accept what it is.   What this has shown me is, no future is promised, tomorrow is not guaranteed and so I can only focus on each day as I have no clue what the next day can bring.  Understanding that I can't control my future, I just accept that what is 2020, may not be 2021 and so on  8)

Im dark - to be honest, we don't have anything to tie us together anymore as we have both moved out of the house we shared.  The only thing that would require us to contact one another, is D.  Since I've decided I am not filing and she can since this is her divorce (she has said however she doesn't want to D but separate and "find ourselves  :o), I am going to leave it to her to start the process and file.  That can't happen at least until January, as there is a one year requirement.  I was thinking of filing under Adultery to skip the waiting period, but after reading the lack of responsibility usually demonstrated by the MLCer, I have decided I will not file under Adultery because I don't want to chase her for the things we need to start that process.

So, the lighthouse will stay dark.  She can look for it after she gets seasick from all those crazy waves, but until then, I'll live my life and continue to focus on myself

Thanks for your kind words
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#16: May 14, 2020, 07:06:07 AM
LBS: for what its worth my wife implied she wanted a divorce almost two years ago at this point. And not only she has not made any moves to proceed after one BD and two attempts at talking about financial details (all within the first month) she has never mentioned it again. And she has recently resumed texts and non serious banter as if nothing is going on.

Only reason I shared that is to say there is no predictability in how your wife may behave. You probably are starting to get this from all the reading and time you are spending centering yourself. Throw that into your own plans about what you want for yourself. Like you I have decided for various reasons (non of them because of appearance or religion) that she can move the divorce forward when and if she wants. I do not push for anything to finalize as I don’t believe in the concept of “closure,” I am not waiting for her to come back (and in fact she is no part of my life at this point, only someone in my past), and am living my life without any limitations or constraint. The divorce is a consequence of her choices and as such I believe she should have to confront/carry the consequence.

Just more viewpoint and information to maybe help you sort out what you want for yourself and what works best for you.
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#17: May 14, 2020, 07:21:20 AM
LBS: for what its worth my wife implied she wanted a divorce almost two years ago at this point. And not only she has not made any moves to proceed after one BD and two attempts at talking about financial details (all within the first month) she has never mentioned it again. And she has recently resumed texts and non serious banter as if nothing is going on.

Only reason I shared that is to say there is no predictability in how your wife may behave. You probably are starting to get this from all the reading and time you are spending centering yourself. Throw that into your own plans about what you want for yourself. Like you I have decided for various reasons (non of them because of appearance or religion) that she can move the divorce forward when and if she wants. I do not push for anything to finalize as I don’t believe in the concept of “closure,” I am not waiting for her to come back (and in fact she is no part of my life at this point, only someone in my past), and am living my life without any limitations or constraint. The divorce is a consequence of her choices and as such I believe she should have to confront/carry the consequence.

Just more viewpoint and information to maybe help you sort out what you want for yourself and what works best for you.

Thanks for your insight :). Would you R with your wife if she asked?

And you are correct on my focus.  I can only focus on me because I don't know what the future will bring.  I am very much detaching, and I can't say that I would R or not R.  What I do know, is that even if for some reason, she asked, right now, I would decline it because I don't believe she's even begun her journey into the fog.   And so right now, I wouldn't R because I know we would just end up right back here, in a couple of years.

I understand that if she ever did return, maybe I won't even want to R.  What does future me look like?  I have already changed, a great deal.  Would we even be compatible then?  But really, I can't focus on that (those thoughts and questions still linger, its only been 4 months), but I at least understand that I cannot even consider any kind of R for a couple of years, and thats a change from my desire in the early stages, to have her return.

A win is a win in my book  8)
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#18: May 14, 2020, 10:15:48 AM
That is all very wise and good place to be. I don’t even think in terms of a restored relationship. The question more is restored relationship with whom? I really do realize my wife I knew for years does not exist right now. And most likely will never exist again. She will either remain in this very fragmented cobbled together construct, or she may get worse, or she MAY actually start healing and growing. None of it is guaranteed. If she does grow and heal the person who will emerge will be different. She may be the same person I knew but more mature and grounded. Or she may shed some of what I saw in her. So the question simply has no meaning to me.

Which I believe is one of the hardest things for most LBSes to fully accept and internalize. That this is NOT a simple “baking” process. That their loved one is not “hidden” or “lost” and will reemerge simply with time. It is hard to look at the rubble of a person we once knew and loved and acknowledge that it is gone.
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#19: May 15, 2020, 08:43:07 AM
I wonder how our mandated isolation, is affecting how she may or may not be cycling.  Unhealthy, yes, but I still have to wonder.

Last night, during a bottle of wine (what else is one to do when stuck indoors?  :o), I looked back to some of our interactions (its been a week since we last spoke, staying dark).

  • “I was unhappy - because my soul was dying”
  • “Besides, we both want such different things.  Like right now, Im so at peace being on my own, its such a weird thing that this happened during quarantine.  Like firetruck, if I ever wanted alone time, government mandated quarantine in your house is certainly a way to do it.  I feel like I needed this, I needed this time, to quiet my brain and quiet my heart and to just think, and um, get to know myself
  • “I don’t understand how we could have been married for 10 years and you really how no idea who I am.  And maybe I was never clear on who I am with you.  Its just the things you say sometimes are hurtful”

And so she's obviously in her head.  She obviously believes that being on her own, has made her a different person.  But she doesn't have life to distract her.  Our city has shut down and she is working from her home.  Her job keeps her busy as she manages an event space.  That means she gets to run around, and distract her mind while she makes sure that things go off without a hitch.  But now, now she's stuck at home since her space was shut down by our City (gatherings limited to 10 people).  She can't run from one end of the building to another, she can only sit in front of her computer.  And then when her day is done, she can run to avoid her thoughts, but she always has to go back home, to her empty 2bdrm apartment.

And I know I can't get into her head, but I sometimes wonder, will isolation force her deep into the tunnel faster?  If she has no escape (OW, Partying lifestyle, etc), will she begin to feel the creeping effects of her unhappiness?

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in her tunnel, to see what is happening. 

But I can't, but that doesn't mean I don't wonder.

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« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 08:45:41 AM by LBS_Les »
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#20: May 16, 2020, 12:32:09 PM
Dreams

This is the second night this week, that she has come to me in my dreams.  I then awaken in a foul mood, and process what happened, over and over.

In my dream, she was explaining to me, that she needs to pursue something with person that she tried to engage in an affair with, that it was important to her.  No big deal, she is definitely an affair down.  But I was annoyed at myself for trying to rationalize with her.  Not trying to get her to come home, not trying to work it out, but asking her why someone like this person, is such an attraction for her?  In the real world, I have no idea if she has pursued anything with this AP.  She at one time said, she wasn't interested because of a variety of reasons, and I do know that they have quite a bit of distance between them.  SInce I have kept the car, and the AP is a drunk, it would be quite the trek for them to meet.  And really, while Im capturing it in this journal, its more for context as it relates to the dream, but in the real world, I don't really think too much of them because, I know that I am a way better catch

I went to our old place today to get my bike.  The owners are currently in the process of repainting the house for their new renters.  Amazingly, I didn't feel any sadness when I was there, just Wow.  I did go to the back and had a moment of realization that this long weekend, would be when we would likely be opening the pool for the summer.  C'est la vie.

Then I was reminded of the last few times my STBXW was there.  Her nagging about the landlords and how they never did anything for us, so why are they doing it now.  And I couldn't figure out then, why she was directing so much anger to people who were really good to us.  And then today, I realized it was the MLCer talking.....easier to be angry at everyone else, but themselves.

Its a gorgeous day out and so my city's residents have thrown social distancing out the window.  No space in between, picnics in parks, group sports.  Thanks guys, lets just extend our isolation throughout the summer.  UGH
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 12:34:45 PM by LBS_Les »
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#21: May 18, 2020, 11:59:35 AM
Question for the seasoned vets, if I may.  Ive been reading through Denjef31's posts about the fog.  She isn't an advocate of NC, but she also says that pursuing is a turn off.

My W and I have no children, and are in the one year separation period before filing (BD was 4 months ago).  We have had some contact here and there, and to be honest, it was all the wrong contact.  Talking about us, how we messed up, blah blah blah.  Its been 12 days since we last spoke, and I think this is almost the longest we have gone NC.  I've distanced myself to give her space, and she generally is the one to initiate contact on random things, but I have also initiated contact at times as well.

Im struggling with NC right now - especially after reading the Fog threads.  In my heart, I know that the universe is keeping me from hearing from my W as I am not prepared to properly navigate through those interactions.  Conceptually, I know what I need to do (no R talk, mirror her, keep it light and short), and I believe that I will begin to hear from my W again, when the universe believes that I am ready.

But, I also struggle with the concept of NC hindering reconnection possibilities.  Yes, NC is for me, and not a mechanism for me to "win her back" or "make her miss me".  I understand this.  The last time we spoke, I told her that if she ever needed me, I was there for her, and that I would let her drive that bus, and that I will respect her need for space to begin her healing journey. 

So what say you?  I think I left things on good enough terms for her, should she want to reach out, she knows that I am not angry and resentful (as I had been when this first went down). 

And if NC isn't recommended, what is the approach?  I know that there is Smart contact, but we really don't have any matters to settle between us right now, that would require us to discuss "business" matters.

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#22: May 22, 2020, 03:40:38 PM
Quote
I also struggle with the concept of NC hindering reconnection possibilities.

It depends on why you are in a NC place. It is recommended that you go NC for your own sake and sanity, because sometimes it just hurts way to much to have contact with them. If they are abusive or are monstering, NC can give some space to protect your heart.

Have you read BBHelp's thread?  I believe he did remain in contact during their time apart but "lightly", without pursuing, without any expectations...difficult to do but not impossible.

I like the concept of being the lighthouse. He knows where to find me and he knows that I have not shut him out or closed the door totally. Now I have been at this many many years and some will call me a fool but this is about me and how I treat people I love...especially because I believe there is something really wrong with him.

Now and then I would send a joke, I always sent an email to wish him a happy birthday and to remember the anniversaries of his parent's deaths. We were married for 32 years, 32 good years...I cannot discount that.

I know that 12 days feels like a very long time, as the crisis continues, there may be times that are much longer than 12 days and that is really ok.

Have you read RCR's articles on Contact levels. They start at:

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/standing-actions_contact-and-communication_contact-levels_no-contact.html

Take good care of yourself. This is very hard stuff.

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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#23: May 22, 2020, 04:14:21 PM
Les,

I think it’s important for you to know how NC helps us.

A) people in affairs justify their actions by blaming the LBS...if you are not involved it gets more and more difficult to lay the “blame” for her choices on you.

B) The only person on earth you can change is you. So you must learn to turn your focus towards yourself. To pay more attention to yourself, your feelings, your needs, and your priorities. NC helps remove the option of focusing on someone else and what they said, and what it might of mean and what they are thinking or doing right now.

C) It is respecting another persons boundaries.  They have a right to choose how much they want to be involved....we have the option of showing respect for that boundary....no matter if we find it sensible or not.

D) The things that hinder reconnection isn’t the frequency of the contact....it is what contact feels like when it happens. Ie fighting, crying, shaming ect.

E) getting to know yourself on a really deep intimate level helps you find a sureness, a peace, a sense of groundedness with yourself....that self love, self care, self respect is the lighthouse.
It is unmoved by however violently the see around it crashes. It is steady and sure.

I hope this helped?

Courage.
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“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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#24: May 22, 2020, 05:14:16 PM
Quote
I also struggle with the concept of NC hindering reconnection possibilities.

It depends on why you are in a NC place. It is recommended that you go NC for your own sake and sanity, because sometimes it just hurts way to much to have contact with them. If they are abusive or are monstering, NC can give some space to protect your heart.

Have you read BBHelp's thread?  I believe he did remain in contact during their time apart but "lightly", without pursuing, without any expectations...difficult to do but not impossible.

I like the concept of being the lighthouse. He knows where to find me and he knows that I have not shut him out or closed the door totally. Now I have been at this many many years and some will call me a fool but this is about me and how I treat people I love...especially because I believe there is something really wrong with him.

Now and then I would send a joke, I always sent an email to wish him a happy birthday and to remember the anniversaries of his parent's deaths. We were married for 32 years, 32 good years...I cannot discount that.

I know that 12 days feels like a very long time, as the crisis continues, there may be times that are much longer than 12 days and that is really ok.

Have you read RCR's articles on Contact levels. They start at:

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/standing-actions_contact-and-communication_contact-levels_no-contact.html

Take good care of yourself. This is very hard stuff.

Thanks for your reply!  I have read the articles, in great detail (I was borderline obsessed there for a while LOL)

The monstering has subsided a great deal - so much so, that I sometimes wonder if she really is in MLC or if she was just a WAW (my vote is mostly MLC).  Im not NC per say - I guess it falls under the SC category.  I am not pursuing, not sending texts, I've left it that she can reach out to me if need be. 

Im doing this because:

a). I need to act as if my marriage is over - and that means stepping aside.  I need to focus on myself and focus on detaching.  That cannot happen if I am always texting her or vice versa.

b) Because we have had decent interactions the last few times we have spoken, and I don't want to risk it with discussion that may trigger monster

c) Because I have NO CLUE if she is with the person she "wanted" to cheat on me with.  She's said that they aren't dating, but believe nothing they say, and half of what they do.  I will not be made of fool of by engaging in conversation initiated by me, if she's hanging with her potential AP, (or any AP for that matter)

In rage stage, I was going to block her and never speak to her again.  That stance has lessened, obviously knowing what I now know.  However, contact needs to be initiated by her.  If I don't hear from her, then I know she wants her space.  She knows the ball for any contact, is in her court.  I've told her that she needs her place to heal and I won't interfere with that....and that if she needs me, she can reach out, and I will mirror her in any discussions we may need to have.

I miss my best friend, I do....and thats why I need to not initiate and focus on detaching
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#25: May 22, 2020, 05:28:33 PM
Les,

I think it’s important for you to know how NC helps us.

A) people in affairs justify their actions by blaming the LBS...if you are not involved it gets more and more difficult to lay the “blame” for her choices on you.

B) The only person on earth you can change is you. So you must learn to turn your focus towards yourself. To pay more attention to yourself, your feelings, your needs, and your priorities. NC helps remove the option of focusing on someone else and what they said, and what it might of mean and what they are thinking or doing right now.

C) It is respecting another persons boundaries.  They have a right to choose how much they want to be involved....we have the option of showing respect for that boundary....no matter if we find it sensible or not.

D) The things that hinder reconnection isn’t the frequency of the contact....it is what contact feels like when it happens. Ie fighting, crying, shaming ect.

E) getting to know yourself on a really deep intimate level helps you find a sureness, a peace, a sense of groundedness with yourself....that self love, self care, self respect is the lighthouse.
It is unmoved by however violently the see around it crashes. It is steady and sure.

I hope this helped?

Courage.

Hey,  Thanks for the information. It does help and I'll address your points below, if I may

a). The blame game (for now) is not there - she has stated that this was 100% on her (after some time because at first, she 100% blamed me).

b) yes, my focus is on me for my end goal.  I of course, always think about her and always wonder about many things (e.g. what is she doing? does she think of me? etc), but I think thats acceptable given how recent this all is for me

c) 100% agree with this.....I believe she needs the space to process whatever she is going through - she's not asked me not to reach out, but she deserves to work through her $h!te, without me interfering.

d) I wish I found this site sooner, because of course I did all those things LOL.  I want to be able to step away from the dialogue and respond in thoughtfulness (respond vs reacting).  So NC/SC also will give me this opportunity to brush up on those skills

e) I have been doing a lot of inward looking (is that even proper English LOL), and working to address some of my trauma's, my childhood issues, my anger, my inability to respond to things vs react.  I have been trying to practice this in real life situations, and note my triggers and feelings as they come up.  I am focusing on making me the best version of myself, for myself, and MY future - with whoever that should be with.

 8)

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#26: May 22, 2020, 05:32:01 PM
I have a clinging boomeranger. He's never left me alone even though he lived overseas for 10 years. I have tried both NC and some contact. Neither is great.

But through much work I am able to be "detached" with him...enough to have dinner with him and include him for some holiday events...but he remains very superficial and  it is not easy to live like this.

And each of us get to do what feels right. As my therapist told me, I can choose to see him or not and that can change from day to day..I don't have to set it in stone, I can change my mind.

I am not sure it matters. As long as they are in crisis, they cycle and don't remember much of things that we did or didn't do.

I have always felt that if I treated him as a human being, that if he ever gets through his crisis he will remember how I treated him.

But it can come at a cost for the LBSer.

You sound like you have thought it through.

And yes, I miss my best friend too.
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#27: May 22, 2020, 05:44:15 PM
I have a clinging boomeranger. He's never left me alone even though he lived overseas for 10 years. I have tried both NC and some contact. Neither is great.

But through much work I am able to be "detached" with him...enough to have dinner with him and include him for some holiday events...but he remains very superficial and  it is not easy to live like this.

And each of us get to do what feels right. As my therapist told me, I can choose to see him or not and that can change from day to day..I don't have to set it in stone, I can change my mind.

I am not sure it matters. As long as they are in crisis, they cycle and don't remember much of things that we did or didn't do.

I have always felt that if I treated him as a human being, that if he ever gets through his crisis he will remember how I treated him.

But it can come at a cost for the LBSer.

You sound like you have thought it through.

And yes, I miss my best friend too.

I have followed your story, and I have to say that I admire your strength to stand, for such a long period of time.

I think that one day, I will be able to meet with my wife, have a meal and a chat, and feel Meh.....but that is going to be a long ways away from today
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#28: May 23, 2020, 02:51:51 PM
Day 17 of NC.

I use WhatsApp as a means of communication with my friends, to stay connected with Video Messages during quarantine.  My W also is on there and we have exchanged videos there.  I don't do it often, but I will look at our chat history as it shows her last online time.  Well, its been since Thursday at 5:51.  Is she withdrawing?  Her family has a group chat there, I know because I was a part of it before I abruptly removed myself from it after sharing a screenshot of her confirming her affair (petty, I know), but I was hurt at the time.  And it was a fairly active chat, so moments of silence there would be surprising.  I know, Im stage watching, I get it. 

I met with my therapist on Wednesday.  I was nervous about bringing up my MLC discovery as I wasn't sure she would "buy it", or encourage me trying to find an escape for the reason things happened as they did.  She thinks the term MLC is "Cliche", but she does recognize that everyone will hit a stage in their life where they question themselves, their choices and make decisions without rationalizing them.   She says that she looks at is at "seeking vitality".  It was comforting to know she didn't disagree with me, she also didn't make me second guess myself, and recognized that there were some things there that would explain my wifes behaviour.  But her goal is to help me and not try to figure my W out.  So she asked me questions to really make me think about why Im doing, what I'm doing (NC).  Asks me what my goal is, what am I looking to achieve.  And a couple of times, she did have me stumped.

I've come along way in the short 4 months since BD and I know this, but I guess that inner child in me still seeks validation from others (working on that), and it always feels great when my therapist, and friends, have praised the changes I have made to date.  Some are actually surprised how level headed I have become because old me would have flown off the handle, and stayed bitter and resentful.

Its another lovely day in the city.  Ive made a jug of Sangria, am sitting outside and enjoying the sound of the birds, and ironically, the helicopters that continuously circle the neighbourhood.  I guess the emergency transport helicopter base is somewhere here, because the ORNG heli's continue to pass by. 

And lastly, my place, ah my new place.  I am so proud of the design and furnishing I have chosen for my little apartment.  Ive chosen some piecings that some may have said "hmmmmm?" to, but the colours work out beautifully, and I have received a ton of compliments on my choices.  I wish my W could see how "mature" my place looks.  She would definitely be surprised (she did see some of the decor at our old place, but I have replaced much more furniture and accessories since she last saw my place).  Come to think of it, I ordered a lamp for the end of the couch as there is no lighting in the living room.  I chose a beautiful stand that is tall and curves to hang over the couch.  I love that lamp, and I picked it out.  In my video exchanges with my W, I have noticed the lamp she chose for her living room (why don't apartments have living room lights??!?!?) and I must say, she has poor taste.  Looking back, if she tried to buy that lamp for our place, it would have been a fight, because its ugly, and I was too stubborn to "give in".  And thats the joy of having my own place.  I don't have to fight over an ugly lamp, nor do I have to settle.

So, in keeping with the theme of lighting, I will keep moving forward - my future is looking "bright" (see what I did there?)
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#29: May 23, 2020, 03:36:10 PM
Hi LBS_Les:

Sounds like you are doing well for four months indeed. And its so good to hear your are focused on yourself. I think all of us want validation externally, want someone else to confirm what we feel. Nothing wrong with that. Its only an issue if that becomes the most important thing. And you sound like you are doing just fine.

Your therapist doesn’t have to “get” the MLC thing, specially as you are both focused on you and not your wife. So just doing your work. Maybe one day you will have to go into more depth about it with your therapist, but not today.

I also remember when I first set up a place that was just for me how much it meant to me. It wasn’t even about the “mine alone” part. But like you I found joy in being able to make choices, have them work and fit and get to be in a place I created. It was an external representation of who I was inside, untethered form a relationship. And what a great physical manifestation of your growth, finding yourself and creating around you. Its that external validation in physical form, no?
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#30: May 23, 2020, 04:43:19 PM
Hi LBS_Les:

Sounds like you are doing well for four months indeed. And its so good to hear your are focused on yourself. I think all of us want validation externally, want someone else to confirm what we feel. Nothing wrong with that. Its only an issue if that becomes the most important thing. And you sound like you are doing just fine.

Your therapist doesn’t have to “get” the MLC thing, specially as you are both focused on you and not your wife. So just doing your work. Maybe one day you will have to go into more depth about it with your therapist, but not today.

I also remember when I first set up a place that was just for me how much it meant to me. It wasn’t even about the “mine alone” part. But like you I found joy in being able to make choices, have them work and fit and get to be in a place I created. It was an external representation of who I was inside, untethered form a relationship. And what a great physical manifestation of your growth, finding yourself and creating around you. Its that external validation in physical form, no?

Im only in a better place because of you fine folk, and the stories you have shared. 

And I agree with you, it is so empowering to make a space your own!  Its a transformation, in our living spaces, and our living (if you will), to be able to find joy in the smallest of things, and creating a space that belongs to us, and us alone.

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#31: May 25, 2020, 10:14:05 AM
What goes up, must come down.

Been a rough couple of days.  The weather here has been gorgeous and I spent most of my weekend out on my balcony, reading, thinking, browsing forums.  Im starting to notice that feelings of bitterness and resent are trying to come back to surface.  Im bitter that everything has been stripped out from underneath me, that I've been relegated to a small 1bdrm apartment, that I can't enjoy my summer by the pool, that I go to reach for something in the kitchen to learn it was an item she took as part of the separation.   I try to remain empathetic, understanding that she's not okay right now.  She still hasn't been active on WhatsApp, is she in withdrawal in her replay stage?  I don't know.....but she's taking up more mental real estate than is necessary, and its affecting my mood.  She came to me AGAIN in my dreams last night, proof that she continues to take up more space in my head than she needs to.

I know I can't stage watch, I know I cant wonder what she's thinking, what she's going through, but I do, because Im not fully detached.  I find myself wanting to ask one of our mutual friends, to reach out to her and do a temperature check on her.  I don't want her to report anything, I just feel the "need" to make sure my W is okay, and that she's not in a deep pit of despair.  But I realized that it is no longer my job to worry, to have people check in on her.  I just need to let her be.

And so while I have the smarts to recognize what I am doing to myself, what she needs to do to work through her journey, it still hurts.

And so, Ill try to get an at home workout in today, because my mood is off, and while its just temporary, I need to learn to find a focus when my mind drifts.
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#32: May 25, 2020, 02:27:13 PM
Hello,

Quote
Been a rough couple of days.  The weather here has been gorgeous and I spent most of my weekend out on my balcony, reading, thinking, browsing forums. 

Perfectly normal. Just like others, you are going to cycle. Just as you think you have cleared them out of your head, things just push them back in. After all, you chose them and decided to spend the rest of your life with them. That puts them deep in your heart, your soul, down to your roots, your very bones.

Quote
Im bitter that everything has been stripped out from underneath me, that I've been relegated to a small 1bdrm apartment,

Just like I said, while she still is still with you, it seems like we have been discarded like the trash. While we are in a state of shock, confusion, and despair- they seem to be perfectly fine. In fact content. Makes you question the entire relationship.

Quote
I just feel the "need" to make sure my W is okay,


I know the feeling, but you have to let it go. In fact, the less you know good or bad right now is better.

Quote
what she needs to do to work through her journey, it still hurts.

Sorry, the forum is not about supporting her journey, it is all about your journey. You are the star, the lead....this is all about you,  and no worthwhile journey is without adversity, pain.

Quote
And so, Ill try to get an at home workout in today, because my mood is off, and while its just temporary, I need to learn to find a focus when my mind drifts.

This is where it starts. Do you do cardio? Strength? Exercise can be the first step on your own. I remember the feeling of just knowing that I got a run in and saw it as a success. The rest of the day could suck, but I could at least look back and say, I got a run in today.

Hang in there and know you are doing very well.

((((Ready))))
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#33: May 27, 2020, 04:15:31 PM
Was this my MLC?

Something has been bugging me for the last couple of days, and maybe its why I have been thinking about her much more, with empathy.  2 years ago, we lost her brother - he died suddenly, pulmonary embolism, age 41.  It hit me, it hit me real hard.  I was very close with him and looked to him as my own brother, he lived across the world but when he came home to visit, he spent most of the time with my wife and I.  When we got the news, I couldn't believe it.  I do remember thinking, while I was devastated inside "be strong for your wife, she's going to need you"

And I couldn't be.  I lost myself.  I entered a deep, dark depressive state.  3 weeks before we lost her brother, her grandmother died.  We got a call that she was not well and we hopped on a plane, with the in-laws and flew back to the country where she was.  Her brother made the round trip from across the world to be there as well.  That would be the last time we were together.   And throughout all of this, I was dealing with a family member who was causing me a ton of grief in my life.  They have my entire adult life.  Leeching me for money, guilt tripping me when I would say no, losing their job and needing to live with me.  And I was growing tired of it.  I started to put an end to the cycle.  I wouldn't do it before, out of fear that they would leave me (parental figure), fear that they would do something stupid.  And so while, in another country, this figure was hounding me from back home, even when I disclosed the nature of my visit.  Demanding to stay at my house while we were gone.  I gave in, but there was a stipulation.  That was my boundary.  And in the end, it ended exactly as my fears projected.

So I dealt with the loss of her grandmother, her brother, and my parental figure, all in the space of a month.  I took a leave of absence from work almost 2 months later.  The anxiety had become unbearable.  I was on a paid leave for 6 weeks.  I was depressed, I had gained so much weight in the years leading up to this, I had spent so much money on stupid things that I felt justified in spending because "I earned it". And when I say stupid items, it was dumb.  A collection of figures.  A HUGE collection of these figures. 

So Im off work, and what better way than to cope, than to do drugs?  No matter what day of the week it was, I did drugs, drank.  My wife would get up to go to work, and I would hide in the basement so she didn't know what I was doing (she knew, but I didn't want her to see it before she left I guess - and we've dabbled together, so she didn't openly disapprove).  I just wanted to feel, and drugs were the way to do it.

And I lost my $h!te one night, in November, over a year since I fell into the depths of my depression, and I did some very $h!tety things (no affair, I didn't hit my wife), but at this stage, it was clear that the pot of anger had blown over and there was no stopping me.  And then I realized I need to change.  I needed to get a grip.  And so I started with a work book, on controlling my emotions.  Because if I could control my emotions, I could stop feeling this way. 

About 6 weeks ago, my wife had sent me a video of me just over a year ago, in a state of I cant even describe.  When she sent it to me, I couldn't remember this?  It was last April, I have ZERO recollection, zilch.  And I felt shame when I saw it. 

And maybe November was my wake up call?  Or maybe it was BD day that kicked me out of my episode, or maybe, it was after I was tired of crying over the loss of my marriage......

And maybe thats why after only 4 months since BD, Im in a pretty good place.
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#34: May 27, 2020, 04:53:39 PM
As you know there is no way to "diagnose" MLC, no lab work, no xray. We look at the many changes in them and put a label of MLC on it...but it might be something else. Certainly MLC seems to coincide with depression.

The losses that you experienced would certainly cause a "situational depression" and when we are depressed, we lack the neurotransmitters that contribute to making us feel emotions....they are depleted during depression and thus
anti depressants work on increasing the output of those neurotransmitters. They take a few weeks to take effect, but basically that is how they work.

After a loss, it is pretty normal to have some amount of depression.

You did not blow up your family or cheat on your wife. MLCers do a great deal of damage to their spouses and children. It also lasts much longer generally than what you are describing and  although it may be triggered by the loss of someone close to them, I believe that is has something to do with some sort of trauma they experienced in infancy or childhood that was kept repressed for decades.

There is a continuum and we see it on HS of relatively short MLC’s to very long MLC’s and some who never seem to get through the tunnel.

Is it possible you experienced a MLC? Maybe but I think it’s more likely your response to the many stressors and losses that occurred during a relatively short period of time.
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#35: May 28, 2020, 12:20:35 AM
First of all, I am sorry for what sounds like an awful patch in your life. And glad that you dug your way out.

Xyz is right. Assessing or labelling these things is not a precise science, even for professionals. What we call MLC always seems to have some dollop of significant depression, that's true. And depression can be situational (a reaction to loss or trauma) or clinical (seemingly unrelated to external events). To add to the stew, depression often seems to go hand in hand with some level of anxiety like a shady cousin.  ::) What seems to me to make for an MLC is the kind of profound psychological fracture under that pressure that causes someone to become unrecognisable and to act emotionally in extreme ways over an extended period of time. A kind of unleashing of repressed inner demons. And an unstable or insecure sense of self. It makes sense that FOO issues are part of this but I honestly don't know if they are the 'cause' or if they just shape the character and coping skills that a given individual has when they hit the buffers.

PTSD and bereavement took me to a an incredibly dark place where all that was left was some kind of residual core of me, even when I wasn't sure it was even there and couldn't touch it. But it eventually was my life raft. I was a loved and appreciated child. I had always believed I was worthy in my own right. I had values that I believed in. I knew who I used to be even if I didn't know who I was....I knew there was a Me missing if that makes sense. I can't imagine how much harder it would be to hit that dark place without a good FOO backbone or a sense of Me......as I think happens to some MLC spouses here, that there is no There there. No internal life raft at all. It sounds as if when you 'got a grip' as you said, that was your core sense of Me coming to the rescue.

Idk if you experienced an MLC, MLT or just a reactive depression; you are the best person to judge that and I suspect it operates on a spectrum. What I do see is that MLC does seem to bring some consistent patterns of behaviour which are more WTFish and extreme than 'just' depression.....there does seem to be a kind of playbook to how people go in to MLC even if the way they go through or get out is more individual perhaps or more shaped by circumstances.....do you think your behaviour fitted some of those patterns of blame, avoidance and replaying of old unresolved FOO tunes?

I don't know if you have an IC, Les, or if you feel a need to make peace with how you understand what happened to you at that time of your life. Imho I think looking bravely at the truth of our own dark places is part of healing. It can also help us understand how to have empathy for the explanation of it without excusing the destructiveness of our own choices or the reality of the consequences. Same principle as with considering someone else. So the fact that you are musing on this bit of your past is probably a constructive and positive bit of progress. And to learn from what helped then and might be useful now. How do you feel now in this current s$itstorm as opposed to then?
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#36: May 28, 2020, 09:13:50 AM
  You did not blow up your family or cheat on your wife. MLCers do a great deal of damage to their spouses and children. It also lasts much longer generally than what you are describing and  although it may be triggered by the loss of someone close to them, I believe that is has something to do with some sort of trauma they experienced in infancy or childhood that was kept repressed for decades.

I have to admit, I did come close - I was getting attention and I liked it.....my mind definitely did wander, and while nothing happened, I cant say for sure that nothing would have happened should an opportunity had presented itself.  I just wanted to feel

And If look back, the lead up was before the death and family trauma.  Ive had a lifetime of FOO that Ive never dealt with.  I have lived my entire life defending my attitude because "I was raised to be tough".  Im learning that is my inner child setting up impossible barriers.  Ive battled with depression my entire life, and I had patterns of nonsense in the years leading up to the deaths, which I think were the catalyst that sent me over the edge.


Idk if you experienced an MLC, MLT or just a reactive depression; you are the best person to judge that and I suspect it operates on a spectrum. What I do see is that MLC does seem to bring some consistent patterns of behaviour which are more WTFish and extreme than 'just' depression.....there does seem to be a kind of playbook to how people go in to MLC even if the way they go through or get out is more individual perhaps or more shaped by circumstances.....do you think your behaviour fitted some of those patterns of blame, avoidance and replaying of old unresolved FOO tunes?

I don't know if you have an IC, Les, or if you feel a need to make peace with how you understand what happened to you at that time of your life. Imho I think looking bravely at the truth of our own dark places is part of healing. It can also help us understand how to have empathy for the explanation of it without excusing the destructiveness of our own choices or the reality of the consequences. Same principle as with considering someone else. So the fact that you are musing on this bit of your past is probably a constructive and positive bit of progress. And to learn from what helped then and might be useful now. How do you feel now in this current s$itstorm as opposed to then?

I cant say its a MLC, and I think its more MLT from a depressive episode, but when I see what people go through with their spouse, I have had some of those behaviours.  I did think about leaving my marriage.  I felt that I deserved more, that my wife was in the way, but I just didn't have the STRONG sense to want to leave, it was just thoughts that would creep in and become a bit more frequent.  And then something would calm me and tell me that she's the one for me, that she is who I want to be with.

I am in IC, have been since BD.  I've been working with my C on dealing with my emotions relating to the loss of my marriage, but also dealing with my family trauma, and childhood issues that I've never addressed.
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#37: May 28, 2020, 10:15:47 AM
I would guess you have read lots of different posts here from different folks? So I hope you know that you are not at all alone in this experience surfacing the need to work through other individual stuff, sometimes from way back. Just wanted to say that so you can feel safe that there are a) folks here who get it and b) folks here who have done it and found a way to the other side of it. X
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#38: May 28, 2020, 11:36:03 AM
I would guess you have read lots of different posts here from different folks? So I hope you know that you are not at all alone in this experience surfacing the need to work through other individual stuff, sometimes from way back. Just wanted to say that so you can feel safe that there are a) folks here who get it and b) folks here who have done it and found a way to the other side of it. X

Thanks - Yes, I have combed through the board for DAYS when I first found it LOL.

And Im okay with doing the work, I need to - regardless of the outcome of my marriage, I cannot have a healthy relationship with anyone in my life, if I don't learn to have a healthy one with myself.  And that means looking back and dealing with what's been haunting me my whole life, shedding.
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#39: May 28, 2020, 02:19:23 PM
Had a conversation with an acquaintance this afternoon that has stuck with me.  Its stuck because I've had the same interactions recently with others, and I guess its a revelation that I will document to refer back to when those low moments creep in.

Im fairly active on a particular social media platform.  I had often posted with my W.  Naturally, that has not happened since BD 4 months ago.  Recently, people have reached out and I always can tell their intention before they even get to the question.  They are fishing for the juicy gossip.  My close friends and family are well aware of everything, but I haven't posted anything to "announce" (why do people feel the need to do this?  ???) that my W and I are separated.

So this acquaintance was a good friend a few years back - we always keep in touch, but haven't been close since their "crisis".  So we were chatting, of course the state of my relationship came up, and I said we had separated.  Knowing that they went through a change themselves, I shared what I thought was happening.  They said, they understood, they have been there and they hope that my W can find herself again so that we can move forward.  My response was "I hope she finds her way too". And thats when it hit me.  I want my wife to come through one day, I really do.  But I hope that not because I need her to find her way back to us, but for herself.   I don't want her to get stuck in the tunnel.  I want her to be able to break free from it and make herself whole, because she is a kind person, and a really kind soul. 

But I don't need her.  I believe our story isn't over, but I don't need it not to end.  Even if our marriage is over, it was still a story, and really good ones often have sequels.
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#40: May 28, 2020, 06:32:13 PM
LBS_Les: that is a great view imho. I am at the same place, three years out I really am not looking for her to “come back to us,” as she has no role in my life. But I really want her to find her way back to herself, her happiness, and become a coherent content person. Like you I know she is a kind soul.

And before she can get back to herself there is nothing else to really focus on, because even if there is ever an “us” it won’t be a consideration until that important step.
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#41: June 04, 2020, 05:12:17 PM
LBS_Les: that is a great view imho. I am at the same place, three years out I really am not looking for her to “come back to us,” as she has no role in my life. But I really want her to find her way back to herself, her happiness, and become a coherent content person. Like you I know she is a kind soul.

And before she can get back to herself there is nothing else to really focus on, because even if there is ever an “us” it won’t be a consideration until that important step.

Thanks Marvin.  Ill admit, my stomach sinks when I read that its been 3 years.....my gosh, where would I even be in the time?  But thats what I have done my whole life, tried to plan how life is going to work.   This MLC and pandemic has taught me, I have no control.  I don't know what tomorrow brings, and thinking that my W and I would still be disconnected in 3 years, scares me.   But Im working through living each day in the present.   I've been good with it, but I have my moments.

Ive had a rough couple of days.  Its amazing how we, as the LBS, also cycle.  My mom called me the other day since I went radio silence on her for a couple of days.  Im in a place.  Im working on letting her go, but Im definitely in a place.  My mom said "we need to get you out of this rut and back where you were", and thats when I knew I was learning.  I told my mother that MLC's go through a cycle, as do the LBS.  I will have my good days and my bad days, but when I have my bad days, I slowly close a door behind me.  What is this, acceptance?  I believe thats an MLC stage where they may retreat but slowly close the door each time they tunnel?  Im there.  Im sad, Im happy, Im angry, but Im here.   Every time I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, I remind me that its okay to feel, its okay to be here, and just let it happen.  And every time I do this, I close the door on an element of darkness and rebound, if only for a day or two.

I'm on my balcony, having a beer, anticipating whether or not my W will text me on my birthday, or if she's so far gone in the fog, that she doesn't know what day it is.  There is a tree in my view, just off to the left.   I notice it because my balcony faces the sunset, so naturally, my glance is towards the sunset and the tree is just to the left of it.  Something draws me to the tree.   It has so many branches, so many leaves.   And I realize, life is like a tree.  You plant a seed but you cannot plan the direction in which it grows, how many branches it may have, how thin, or full it may be.  I note another tree on my right, this one big, as big as the tree in the sunset.  Only it has many broken branches and detours.

I don't know which tree I am, but Im oddly connected to them all.
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#42: June 05, 2020, 06:43:45 PM
I'm annoyed.   

I have had several dreams about my W (STBXW since I don't know if I am standing).  Every time they happen, I wake up the next day in such a funk.

Last night, I collapsed in my dream state.  She said all the right words, we were intimate and I jumped on the BS she spewed.  I said "we can read through all these books and articles and make it right" and in my dream state, she was receptive, I was elated, but when I woke?  Disappointed. Disappointed that I had so easily caved, disappointed that I gave her that power. 

Is this acceptance?  Is this moving on?  This isn't the first dream in which she had a response to which I reacted and woke up feeling angry at myself.  Angry for letting her off so easily.

Is this my life?

Feel free to chime in.   I try not to hold on to these dreams, but I will admit that they do let me beat myself up.

I don't miss my Wife, but I do, and these stupid dreams seems to be a constant reminder that I cant outrun what I think to be true.
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« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 06:46:16 PM by LBS_Les »
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#43: June 05, 2020, 08:15:39 PM
LBS_Les: I think you have great insights, and honestly are doing great. What if you give yourself space and time and allow yourself to parse this as you need? What I mean is instead of wondering about the dream, and feeling angry afterward what if you simply accept the dream as is?

We can be in very conflicted states as we work through complex emotions. You can both NOT miss your wife and still WANT to be with her. You can have a wish fulfillment dream, yet you can at the same time see that it may be a lie (kind of like anything she may say).

Your life is simply where you are now, how honest you are with yourself, how much you allow yourself to feel, grieve, honor the past and let it go (see another complex and seemingly contradictory state), be fearful and hopeful for a different future.

I think we all find a time of transition, where we are swirling in what was, and what is not yet here. It may be moving from state to state or even existing in both at times. Its all ok, as long as you are kind to yourself, allow yourself the permission to be where you are.

Your own insight and understanding is a great strength and your guide. Let you intellect “understand” and let your emotions process. I sometimes call this a state of being unmoored, you are not where you were, but have not yet set a direction. But you are just fine. It takes time.
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#44: June 05, 2020, 10:26:30 PM
Hi Les,

The dreams can be there a really long time. For me they have stopped only recently (15+ months), all those nights between I saw dreams of us two talking, working things out

Listen to them. Learn from them. Feel them. They are part of the system that helps your body and mind deal with the trauma.

Alvin.
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#45: June 06, 2020, 05:58:45 AM
Our brains store memories, information, feelings, yearnings, thoughts and even though it is our brain, sometimes it is impossible to control.

When I hear a song from my teenage days, I often am immediately brought back to a time and place where that song played..often it makes me smile..but the same is true of trauma...just like most people remember what they were doing when the twin towers were hit.

So it is totally normal to have dreams and thoughts about our spouses, although at times it seems cruel.

I think I have been able to allow myself to enjoy these dreams and memories, because they were real. I miss him, still, 11 years later I miss him. I don't fight the memories and eventually learned how to put them to the side.

Sometimes I wish I could forget "us" but I realize that probably won't ever happen so I learned to be ok with those dreams and thoughts.

However, I do think that LBSers do experience PTSD and those dreams and memories can trigger strong emotional reactions. I am not sure if you are seeing a therapist but my own experience was traditional talk therapy didn't help me much. It was only after finding a mind/body therapist that I learned how to turn the feelings that those triggers brought up, how to "decrease the volume" and turn them off.

Several people on HS have gone for EMDR therapy. My understanding of EMDR is that is disrupts the emotion attached to the memory..so that the memory is still there, but the emotional reaction isn't. That's very simplified but I am using it to explain that this "trauma" is very real and of course each individual is going to respond differently.

Recognizing that these dreams upset you is a really good sign that you are aware.

Thinking about how they make you feel in your body, what you are feeling and how can you change that tightness/cramping/sourness..whatever the physical sensation is...how you can switch that off...it's practice really. The more I utilize the "techniques" (and they are rather simple and sometimes I think they cannot possibly have an effect)...but these things help me to step away from the "negative" feelings that these dreams and memories cause me.

It takes much time to process what has happened to us and our world. Don't be too hard on yourself..there are some things that your body is going to do until you are able to let go of some of the attachment we have to them still.
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#46: June 06, 2020, 06:18:47 AM
I know some people say that dreams mean things, but I’m not sure I always believe that. I feel like they are a bit like horoscopes. You can sometimes force them into a meaning.

Last night I had a rather vivid sexual dream involving Donald Trump! And that definitely means nothing.

I think remembering that it’s just a dream and reminding yourself it’s not real life should help. You don’t need to feel annoyed at yourself for how you responded to a dream.
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#47: June 06, 2020, 12:59:57 PM
LBS_Les: I think you have great insights, and honestly are doing great. What if you give yourself space and time and allow yourself to parse this as you need? What I mean is instead of wondering about the dream, and feeling angry afterward what if you simply accept the dream as is?

We can be in very conflicted states as we work through complex emotions. You can both NOT miss your wife and still WANT to be with her. You can have a wish fulfillment dream, yet you can at the same time see that it may be a lie (kind of like anything she may say).

Your life is simply where you are now, how honest you are with yourself, how much you allow yourself to feel, grieve, honor the past and let it go (see another complex and seemingly contradictory state), be fearful and hopeful for a different future.

I think we all find a time of transition, where we are swirling in what was, and what is not yet here. It may be moving from state to state or even existing in both at times. Its all ok, as long as you are kind to yourself, allow yourself the permission to be where you are.

Your own insight and understanding is a great strength and your guide. Let you intellect “understand” and let your emotions process. I sometimes call this a state of being unmoored, you are not where you were, but have not yet set a direction. But you are just fine. It takes time.

Thanks.  I do really give myself the space to just feel, during this time.  I vacillate through emotions and just understand that I am allowed to feel sad, angry, happy, free, or whatever motion comes up.  I've always wanted to be in control, I just NEED TO KNOW what's next.  I've learnt to just let go of all of that, and that includes trying to understand what my path of healing is looking like. 

Our brains store memories, information, feelings, yearnings, thoughts and even though it is our brain, sometimes it is impossible to control.

When I hear a song from my teenage days, I often am immediately brought back to a time and place where that song played..often it makes me smile..but the same is true of trauma...just like most people remember what they were doing when the twin towers were hit.

So it is totally normal to have dreams and thoughts about our spouses, although at times it seems cruel.

I think I have been able to allow myself to enjoy these dreams and memories, because they were real. I miss him, still, 11 years later I miss him. I don't fight the memories and eventually learned how to put them to the side.

Sometimes I wish I could forget "us" but I realize that probably won't ever happen so I learned to be ok with those dreams and thoughts.

However, I do think that LBSers do experience PTSD and those dreams and memories can trigger strong emotional reactions. I am not sure if you are seeing a therapist but my own experience was traditional talk therapy didn't help me much. It was only after finding a mind/body therapist that I learned how to turn the feelings that those triggers brought up, how to "decrease the volume" and turn them off.

Several people on HS have gone for EMDR therapy. My understanding of EMDR is that is disrupts the emotion attached to the memory..so that the memory is still there, but the emotional reaction isn't. That's very simplified but I am using it to explain that this "trauma" is very real and of course each individual is going to respond differently.

Recognizing that these dreams upset you is a really good sign that you are aware.

Thinking about how they make you feel in your body, what you are feeling and how can you change that tightness/cramping/sourness..whatever the physical sensation is...how you can switch that off...it's practice really. The more I utilize the "techniques" (and they are rather simple and sometimes I think they cannot possibly have an effect)...but these things help me to step away from the "negative" feelings that these dreams and memories cause me.

It takes much time to process what has happened to us and our world. Don't be too hard on yourself..there are some things that your body is going to do until you are able to let go of some of the attachment we have to them still.

I've read great things about EDMR and is something I am considering.  I am speaking with a therapist (video calls at this point, thanks COVID! lol).  And its helped, and my therapist helps me remind myself of things and provides encouragement on my progress.  She's very much of the same mindset of what you all say, "don't beat yourself up, you are in the middle of grief, its going to be a process"

And speaking of dreams, I had a dream last night AGAIN.  My wife and I got tattoos of our wedding vows (in real life).  In my dream, I saw her and she had it covered up with another tattoo (some kind of script, a saying if you will).  I was hurt, but I was mostly angry that she took the first step of covering it up.  Mad at myself that I have yet to cover my tattoo up and that she "one up'd" me if you will.

I didn't awaken to any emotion because the dream only came to me as a reminder, later in the day.

I see it as my fear that she is moving on, and closing one more door on us.  Even if I don't know right now, that I want that door to be left open.

Enjoy your weekend guys, and thanks for the insight.  Its helpful and much appreciated!
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« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 01:08:06 PM by LBS_Les »
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#48: June 06, 2020, 01:12:31 PM
Les,

At the risk of sounding snarky. (I’m really not trying too)

Quote
I see it as my fear that she is moving on, and closing one more door on us.  Even if I don't know right now, that I want that door to be left open.

It’s a door. It can be opened again.  Only next time it will be up to you.

It’s okay to let the door sit shut for a while....you won’t miss anything you care to know about. But you will find you....and there is so much more to you than you know, even right now.

Learning to accept that I had no control of the outcome was soooooo hard and sooooo worth the pain.  Kind of a setting the outcome aside  instead of using it as a worry stone and really digging into all the ways I had such a scarcity mindset about love, relationships, safety, stability, lifestyle, family.  It showed me where I learned those things, and helped me recognize that the people that taught those things to me also had a scarcity mindset as well.
If you have ever seen the Peter Pan movie with robin williams the scene (probably on YouTube) of him at the table where the lost boys are eating the “invisible food” is the best example I have ever seen of a scarcity mindset.

Anyways. You are doing so good. You are right where you are supposed to be, learning what you are supposed to learn. And you contain within you everything you need to survive and to thrive in this moment.

Courage.
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#49: June 06, 2020, 01:34:25 PM
Les,

At the risk of sounding snarky. (I’m really not trying too)

Quote
I see it as my fear that she is moving on, and closing one more door on us.  Even if I don't know right now, that I want that door to be left open.

It’s a door. It can be opened again.  Only next time it will be up to you.

It’s okay to let the door sit shut for a while....you won’t miss anything you care to know about. But you will find you....and there is so much more to you than you know, even right now.

Learning to accept that I had no control of the outcome was soooooo hard and sooooo worth the pain.  Kind of a setting the outcome aside  instead of using it as a worry stone and really digging into all the ways I had such a scarcity mindset about love, relationships, safety, stability, lifestyle, family.  It showed me where I learned those things, and helped me recognize that the people that taught those things to me also had a scarcity mindset as well.
If you have ever seen the Peter Pan movie with robin williams the scene (probably on YouTube) of him at the table where the lost boys are eating the “invisible food” is the best example I have ever seen of a scarcity mindset.

Anyways. You are doing so good. You are right where you are supposed to be, learning what you are supposed to learn. And you contain within you everything you need to survive and to thrive in this moment.

Courage.

Ha, Im turning 43, so Peter Pan with RW was a movie from my time!  And I remember the scene so well! LOL

I do understand that when the door closes, it can be reopened.  Its my abandonment trigger, feeling left behind.  Some of my childhood issues are being addressed in therapy, and I am thankful that I am able to recognize that its the cause. 

The control factor, man I get that so much!  And it doesn't scare me, and I seem to be okay with it (denial?), but I understand that no outcome could ever be predicted.  I've learnt that nothing is guaranteed, and most importantly, nothing is constant - that includes my marriage, or my possible divorce.

And to be frank, D scares the $h!te out of me, maybe because thats my line in the sand.  That if she moves as far as to file for D, I don't have a reason to be a lighthouse for her.  We have no kids, so there is nothing to keep us connected (which I think is a blessing as I have no insight into her life, nor do I want to right now).  So with no connection, why would I continue to be a lighthouse for her to return to?

And maybe thats just me moving on, in a way.  Understanding that D will be the end of our story, even if it doesn't always mean that.  Perhaps I haven't really let go of controlling the future after all  ::)

You've given me much to think about :).
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#50: June 06, 2020, 01:45:35 PM
Les: my wife BD1 also triggered a lot of abandonment issues for me. And I worked on it in therapy. I know this will sound a bit strange, but in that aspect I am thankful for her for doing what she did. I had not realized how much it had subtly colored my life, this fear of abandonment, until I had to face it fully. I had done a lot of work around it before in therapy, but this MLC grenade blows open the fears, the pain, and when you finally release it is is something. At some point you may want to move into EMDR work (which you may already be doing).

I think it is great to have clear lines, like D is the line. But why do you believe that a technical divorce will be the end of the story? For me the story ended at BD1. That was where the ruptures happened. A divorce is nothing more than a technical process. One of my lines was when she was trying to have it all, talking about polyamory and I pretty much shut her down. I told her she had to decide, but I would wait for her to decide. She thanked me for not making her choose then. Only to come home 3 weeks later and go back to ground zero and say we should go our separate ways. For me that was the last tether gone. Not the technical divorce, but when she actively chose.

Maybe the D is the same for you.
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#51: June 06, 2020, 01:55:55 PM
Les: my wife BD1 also triggered a lot of abandonment issues for me. And I worked on it in therapy. I know this will sound a bit strange, but in that aspect I am thankful for her for doing what she did. I had not realized how much it had subtly colored my life, this fear of abandonment, until I had to face it fully. I had done a lot of work around it before in therapy, but this MLC grenade blows open the fears, the pain, and when you finally release it is is something. At some point you may want to move into EMDR work (which you may already be doing).

I think it is great to have clear lines, like D is the line. But why do you believe that a technical divorce will be the end of the story? For me the story ended at BD1. That was where the ruptures happened. A divorce is nothing more than a technical process. One of my lines was when she was trying to have it all, talking about polyamory and I pretty much shut her down. I told her she had to decide, but I would wait for her to decide. She thanked me for not making her choose then. Only to come home 3 weeks later and go back to ground zero and say we should go our separate ways. For me that was the last tether gone. Not the technical divorce, but when she actively chose.

Maybe the D is the same for you.

Yes about the abandonment issues!  This grenade has certainly opened a flood of emotions as I look back and see how I have lived my life under the guise of "I grew up this way", "I've seen some $h!te and thats why Im so tough".  Its not that, its my wounds that made horrible prison walls to keep people at bay, that also contributed to destructive behaviour on my end.

And great question about why D is the line.  You're right, I should ask myself why BD wasn't the line.  I guess in many ways, I still carry hope that she will wake up and remember that we had a good marriage.  But thats my ego - I know my ego wants her to return, but I don't know that I want her to return.  And thats why I am grateful for the time.  Time to process, time to think it out.  Because maybe my line is already drawn, and I just haven't come to accept it as that, yet. 
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#52: June 06, 2020, 02:01:15 PM
Les,

Boy do I know that feeling. Me and H don’t technically have any kids between us either....although we have been together since s15 was 2.

That being said.  I thought initially that divorce would be the final straw between us. That in the event of a D I would move on with my life and of course not be available to H if he ever wanted to come back.

Now. I think D might have been the best way to go. And of course it still may happen. But being here....working through this process....having very little escape from the combination of my own trauma and his....

Honestly it will take us both several years to finish working through our trauma, and to learn ourselves and to learn and practice new skills.

Who knows who either one of us will be at the end of that???

Of course everyone’s grass looks greener than your own. So the idea of soley focusing on me and no one else while I work through my stuff sounds appealing, right now.

But even the idea of this being your “one chance” is a scarcity mindset.
I don’t mean the “plenty of fish in the sea“ by that....I mean the you cannot be loved. I have been more loved by friends recently than by most of my family. I have experienced more genuine affection, care, support and interaction than I ever expected or dreamed of from those around me. If I H leaves and I never date or remarry.....I will not be at a loss for love affection, hugs or comfort. There is no scarcity.

I have the whole wide internet at my disposal....I won’t ever be at a loss for someone to talk to. Or a way to connect with people that like to do the things I find fun and interesting.

That’s what I mean by noticing that scarcity mindset and the stories it tells you.

Keep up the good work!

Courage
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« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 02:02:58 PM by Couragedearheart »
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#53: June 06, 2020, 02:07:28 PM
You're right, I should ask myself why BD wasn't the line.  I guess in many ways, I still carry hope that she will wake up and remember that we had a good marriage.  But thats my ego - I know my ego wants her to return, but I don't know that I want her to return.  And thats why I am grateful for the time.  Time to process, time to think it out.  Because maybe my line is already drawn, and I just haven't come to accept it as that, yet.

It is so good to see you with your eyes open. That is your greatest ally. And just a reminder, we can “understand” but our emotions are like a large boat. Our understanding changes the throttle and direction, but it will take time for the boat to respond and start changing direction. So time is one part, and you are already fully engaged in the other parts. Let the understanding “turn the boat” over time and you will know.

One day at a time. And I don’t know if this is helpful, but don’t decide anything until you have to. A lot of time, because we want to have the illusion of control, we force decisions that don’t need to be made yet. They may make us “feel” like we are in control, but its just a mirage.
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#54: June 12, 2020, 05:07:49 PM
Its the eve before my birthday, and I find myself consumed with so many thoughts and emotions for the last few days, leading up to it.  I try to hold no expectation for potentially hearing from my W tomorrow.   If I don't, I will be hurt, if I do, I don't know if I want to reply.   Its been 6 weeks since we last spoke, and its been getting better, for me.  I don't know that I want to reset that.  I am working at trying to detach and grieve the end of my marriage. 

I didn't think I would be here and on the eve of my birthday, I question my life choices and my current state.  Perhaps this is what kicks off a mid life crisis.

And I feel like a failure in many ways. 

This part of the cycle sucks, and I cant wait to cycle back into a normal phase. 
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#55: June 12, 2020, 05:59:31 PM
Happy birthday LBS_Les

Every occasion that was once "happy" with lots of smiles and giggles...feel so empty as we struggle to find ourselves without our partner.

For several years, my best friend would come in the morning on my birthday so I didn't open the gift my daughter would send me by myself..I did that once year and sobbed my heart out...she lives 1500 miles away and I don't have any family here.

You can feel whatever you want to feel, knowing that you cannot change her.....

I hope you have a peaceful day and that your future days be easier.
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"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#56: June 14, 2020, 08:36:20 AM
Thanks xyzcf!

Birthday has come and gone - I was able to meet some friends for a social distancing get together.  I saw I had a message from my W when I went into my WhatsApp to read/watch messages sent from friends (my wife is muted so I don't get notifications from any of her communication).

I held off on reading what it said and then, in the comfort of my friends, I looked.  I cried.  Im confused.  Maybe its not a MLC for her after all.  Maybe she was just done?  Her message was so kind.  I don't get why she is gone then?  She wrote:

"On the eve of your birthday, I want to say Happiest day of birth to a beautiful human being.  Thank you for so many years of great memories, great belly laughs and great friendship.  From the bottom of my heart, it hurts that I wasn't the one to make you happiest.  But none the less, I am grateful for the years we made each other so happy.  And I wish you so many more moments of happiness, the ones we weren't able to make.  But, with all the love we set out to make.  Happy Birthday Les, with all my Love, W"

What in the actual eff?!?!?!? 

I sat on a response and replied with a simple "Thank you for your thoughtful note and well wishes". 

Im so confused.
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#57: June 14, 2020, 10:17:03 AM
Les, just catching up on your thread.  My goodness you are a fast learner. lol
You are doing really well.  Doing great mirror work.

The birthday msg... well don't let it throw you too much.

It was nice she wrote and wished you a happy birthday, but how did she turn this into...

"it hurts I was not the one to make you the happiest"  That made no sense.
Maybe "I'm sorry I hurt you and made you unhappy" would have been better.

Then the..."I wish you so many more moments of happiness, the ones we weren't able to make."  The ones "we" weren't able to make?  Who's "we?"  She was not able to make more moments of happiness because she left you and stopped trying.  You had no say in that.

I'm sorry Les, but I just find it funny how MLCer's can spin things in their head to take the blame off of themselves.  She was making it sound like this was a mutual decision when it was only her decision.
My XH tried that with me too.   :) 

Yes I would say she is still in crisis, dear.   Still not taking responsibility for her actions.
I hope she does some day because she is losing out on one terrific lady.

Hugs & Happy Birthday!
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#58: June 14, 2020, 10:27:39 AM
Please reread your first post, LBSLes....like chalk and cheese right? Makes sense that you are confused....but it isn't you, it's bc your wife is behaving in a confusing dissonant way imho.

Your w is obviously good at elegant word salad  :)
Take the positive you want to take....she remembered your birthday, she said some nice things....and let it wash through. Just as Thunder says, a closer look at what she said shows you the word salad bits, the lack of accountability or honesty hidden behind pretty phrases....textbook, just better written imho, just shows you the story that she is currently telling herself to justify her behaviour, nothing to do with you. Mama Thunder knows this stuff  :)

I hope you had a decent birthday and got to say Yay Me for being splendid and a fine all round kind of human  :)

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#59: June 14, 2020, 10:35:08 AM
They do think of us and on some level they still "care" about us...but they have gone on, to what they want now and we are left confused.

I don't believe there is any ulterior motive behind their words or actions...they are fine with this and so they cannot see how much they have hurt us.

They don't see it...they think we are ok as well..people grow apart you know.....

Hope this year is a peaceful one for you. The growing pains are hard.
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#60: June 14, 2020, 02:30:42 PM
I'm glad you had a birthday get together,  if only socially distant. Your W alluded to what many mlcers allude to or actually say. One of the reasons they must leave is because "they couldn't make US happy". Yet there we were, motoring along happy as a clam when BD hits and NOW we aren't happy. (Duh.....) it like an internal justification for their own poor behavior. "Poor lbs_les, I don't make him happy, he's better off without me...."

My interpretation of those kinds of messages is "You really are so wonderful and I don't deserve to be happy. I'm never happy, I've always been unhalpy, I such an unhappy person.  If I'm unhappy, you must also be unhappy because we are each other. I don't have to ask if you are unhappy, I know you aren't. I'll confirm your unhappiness so you know we were both unhappy."

That's just my take on it. My ex used to have entire conversations in his head because he "knew" what I would think about something (85%of the time incorrect), and SWEAR he'd talked to me. Once I proved it was impossible for him to have talked to me about it, he admitted to the conversations in his head. (This was long before BD, but talk about gaslighting...). Something to consider. What they make in their minds may have little to do with reality.

As to when you are done with your W, it is for each to decide where their line is. Had I found evidence of an OW at BD, that would have been my line. I didn't so I decided to hang in until the divorce, because after that I wouldn't be standing for a marriage at any rate. That marriage would be gone, in my eyes. I kept thinking he was just going through a bad time, having lost his job, and he'd sort it out. No such luck, but I can't say I didn't try. I needed that time to process it all, to see the behavior remained when not around me, to realized there wasn't anything I could do to stop it. And in truth, I didn't actually want to be around a 45 year old man that drank until he vomited, spent hours playing video games, and behaved like anything from a five year old to an unruly teenager, and I had to come to terms with the fact that if he thought that was ok, I couldn't help him.
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#61: June 15, 2020, 03:49:58 PM
Well, I definitely broke the rules of SC yesterday, and I don't regret it for a second. 

I sent her a message and it was a reminder that she did make me happy, that there was a lot of unhappiness in myself that manifested in patterns, but she did make me happy (because I cant have her thinking she never made me happy, now can I?).  There were some other things discussed, and I touched on the Divorce I said I wanted.  Now I will admit, I spun it to say that its her Divorce and thats when monster showed up.  She responded (these were all video messages by the way, as I choose not to communicate in writing as its often misinterpreted).  She said that she wanted to remind me that it was I who wanted the divorce, and that in the spirit of being honest and transparent, and that if I am TRULY in therapy, I should be able to hear what she's saying, that I prevented her from coming to the house to get her belongings (Not true), that I treated her like a criminal when I said I would have my mother there at the house, to make sure she doesn't do something (truth), that I "kicked" her out of the house (Not true). 

I had been feeling sorry for myself because the silence was deafening and I started to question if she was in MLC because the last two times we interacted (Anniversary and my birthday), she was kind and looked back with kindness.  But I can see that she's still baking.  She still has history rewritten, but also acknowledges we had good memories (thanks confusion!). 

She's wearing her wedding ring, but on the opposite hand.  She thinks I am going to notice so says "before you say anything about it, yes I am wearing it, I only just put it on the other day because I really like my ring!  I didn't notice, to be honest, and even when she mentioned that she was wearing it, I didn't read into it because she's said before that she loves her ring.  And I told her I wasn't reading into it.  She also has bags under her eyes (she's always had some puffiness, but these were really bad bags), and she looked miserable...like she was being kind and Im sure trying to present herself as happy, but she looked like it was a chore to respond to the dialogue, but that she really needed to say something, because "Old me would have left that comment alone, but New Me is always going to say what is true (and then proceeded to rewrite the history of the separation events LOL)

Anyways, I kept my cool when I responded to her monster message.  And just said that I had said that I want D because I was trying to even the score, but thats not the right circumstances to make a decision, that I will not file under Adultery, and when she comes to a place where she wants to make a decision, she can file and I will be okay either way.  That I would also give her the space to process everything, and that I need my space as I continue to focus on my journey

And she was okay with that.  Monster was gone, and she appreciates the space and that I am not jumping to a divorce decision. 

But let's be real here, this will inevitably end in her divorce, its the MLC script.  And I cant do a thing about it but to focus on being a better person.  Because Im beginning to have a fear of time, like I don't have 3 years to wait around for her, I don't want to be here in 3 years.  So I need to focus on finding the way to soften the panic that my inner child exhibits daily, and remember to live in the present.

**************

And thanks to all who chimed in on my last post - I admit that I definitely let it eat away at me too much.  I hate that I'm not as detached as I like to tell myself, otherwise, I would know not to read into things!
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#62: June 15, 2020, 10:52:58 PM
Quote
And I cant do a thing about it but to focus on being a better person.

If I might humbly challenge that a little? The chances are that there is nothing much wrong with the person you are....normal imperfect human bell curve distribution lol. Perhaps it is less about being a better person (which imho tends to suck us into some kind of pick me dance for our spouse metaphorically lol) and more about having a life that better fits who you are? Just a thought.....

Good on you for recognising that your previous divorce words may have been an emotional reaction rather than a response. Of course it's true too that pushing the decision over to them entirely may end up giving away some of our own power over our own circumstances.....or create a limbo that ceases to serve us after a while....so imho it's ok to not act right now and it is ok to change your mind if you do at some future point. You'll instinctively know when/if that changes and you'll feel the difference between a reaction to your w's behaviour or trying to provoke a response from her vs a response to the circumstances of your life situation.......
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#63: June 16, 2020, 07:43:22 AM
Quote
And I cant do a thing about it but to focus on being a better person.

If I might humbly challenge that a little? The chances are that there is nothing much wrong with the person you are....normal imperfect human bell curve distribution lol. Perhaps it is less about being a better person (which imho tends to suck us into some kind of pick me dance for our spouse metaphorically lol) and more about having a life that better fits who you are? Just a thought.....

Good on you for recognising that your previous divorce words may have been an emotional reaction rather than a response. Of course it's true too that pushing the decision over to them entirely may end up giving away some of our own power over our own circumstances.....or create a limbo that ceases to serve us after a while....so imho it's ok to not act right now and it is ok to change your mind if you do at some future point. You'll instinctively know when/if that changes and you'll feel the difference between a reaction to your w's behaviour or trying to provoke a response from her vs a response to the circumstances of your life situation.......

Thanks Treasur,

When I say become a better person, I mean in the areas where I failed in the marriage (and there were a few).  I've mentioned that I have neglected some childhood trauma which has defined me as an adult.  I exhibit childish behaviours, theres only black and white, I always have to be right, I need to be validated, etc.   So fundamentally, I am a GREAT person, but I would like to be able to "grow up" if you will.  And that starts with mindfulness, noticing my patterns, and trying to correct them, if that makes sense?  Like I've never been one to "validate" ones emotions because mine would come first.  I get offended if I don't feel heard and I assume that the person doesn't care.  I notice now that perhaps the way I have been trying to express it, wasn't often clear, or that people aren't obligated to agree with my point of view.  So its little things like that, that I need to learn and implement in my day to day.

As for the divorce, I hear you - I do feel that I gave up a bit of my "power", but what power is that, really?  There aren't a lot of reconciliation stories, and so I am acting as if my marriage is over.  I don't know that I have it in my to stand for years.  I cycle often about it, about whether or not I would be able to not date or be intimate with someone else as I wait.  I cycle thinking that why should I not be intimate if my W is likely doing the same?  Its an unhealthy thought process, and for that, I haven't been intimate with those who have expressed a desire to do so, now that they know I am separated....but as I run into these experiences, thoughts about my personal longevity, often come into play.  All of that to say, I don't have hope that this can be saved, and I think I gave up some power by saying I won't file for D......but youre right...as I cycle regarding my stand and intimacy, I too cycle about Divorce. 

Right now, I don't feel like engaging in adult responsibilities with her.  I mostly want to avoid her rage and monster, and I know big words like D, agreement, court, etc. will be too much for her scattered brain.

So I wait and look for signs
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#64: June 16, 2020, 07:55:04 AM
Ah, get it....makes perfect sense, LBSLes....good on you. Who knew that this growing up as a grown up stuff was quite so hard eh?  ::)

Imho you'll know when/if you want to step back into the fray to take control of bits that affect you. And when you're ready to date without it being a band aid or distraction, when you feel you can show up properly and really 'see' someone else. Sounds like right now you just want a bit of peace and space lol.
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#65: June 16, 2020, 10:43:12 AM
Ah, get it....makes perfect sense, LBSLes....good on you. Who knew that this growing up as a grown up stuff was quite so hard eh?  ::)

Imho you'll know when/if you want to step back into the fray to take control of bits that affect you. And when you're ready to date without it being a band aid or distraction, when you feel you can show up properly and really 'see' someone else. Sounds like right now you just want a bit of peace and space lol.

Yes, I do want peace and space!  Which is very opposite of my personality.  When my last LTR ended, I wanted distractions, to feel wanted and loved again.  This time, I want to take my time, I want to focus on me, and I want to have the space and peace to do so.   But I have a bit of a vulture lingering around - and we haven't talked about relationship, I get the sense she is "hoping" that I have space to do something and see where it goes.  She is fully aware of my situation (which to me is a bit of a red flag and therefore I wouldn't be able to do something long term), and she detects when I am not present in our chats, so that sometimes leaves me with guilt, like I am leading her on, even though I haven't said anything about pursuing anything with her, if that makes sense?

Because if I am standing, I cant be with someone else, but if this is going to take years, I have physical and intimacy needs that I cant see being neglected for 4 years! LOL
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#66: June 17, 2020, 03:48:22 PM
Alright, I think Im getting the hang of things.

The last time my W and I spoke, was for our anniversary, back in May.  I posted at one point, noting that she hadn't been active on WhatsApp for almost 5 days.  So we recently exchanged a few messages as my birthday passed on the weekend.  She hasn't been active on WhatsApp, since then.  THIS IS A TOUCH AND GO!  She reaches out with kindness, to lure me in, and I bite, each time.   How could I ignore such a thoughtful message?  It seems so genuine? OMG, theres a glimpse of my W!  And like that, she's gone.  We are back in dark mode.  Who knows how long it will be for now.  No more "milestones", until her birthday in October.  Is she a vanisher?  I haven't defined her yet as its been 5 short (but omg VERY LONG months).  But, I see the pattern now.  I see the signs.  I did get a glimpse of Monster as we had some discussion around "legalities", so yes, big words hurt little brains.  And now she's back in her hole. 

I have to say, in our exchanges (always video), she's a shell.  I want to try to describe it, but you all know what I am talking about.   Its like my W was there, but she was "inconvenienced" by my words and our chat.   Like she was responding as a formality.  My W wanted to engage in dialogue, I could hear it and feel it in what she was saying, but her "fog" was like "lets get this over and done with so we can get back to it".

I went to bed the other night.   I will preface and say this.  I believe in God.  I do.  But I don't believe in religion.  I dont go to church, I don't identify with a faith, but I have ALWAYS believed in god or higher power.  I went to bed the other night, said a prayer.  Throughout a lot of my readings, I often see "leave it to God", "God told me this, God told me that". I never understood what that meant because while I believe in God, I don't believe he speaks to me.  So my prayer, my prayer was the same $h!te I have asked for when I have prayed (inconsistently). And I was honest and said "I don't know what its like to hear you, to know its your will, so please show me.  But I need you to be bold in it"

I woke up in the middle of the night and noted the time. 5:16.  K, this means something, and I remember being half asleep and felt it was a biblical reference.  "Take note of this", I tell myself while half asleep - well, we know where this story goes.  I have no idea, but yesterday, there was pep in my step.  There was a voice in me.  Every time I did something, a voice told me to do it differently.   I HATE walking.  I detest it, mostly because it forces me to be with my thoughts (I do this as is, but phones, Playstation, are great distractions).  Yesterday, I did a few things around my apartment as something willed me to get it done.  It forced me to not stay in the moment.   At one point, a voice said "If you sit here and continue to read what you're reading, you will be triggered and overwhelmed by her", and I felt a strong urge to get a task that I have been putting off, done.  I often wondered when people claim to hear the voice of god.  I think that some work was done.

And as I wrote this, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my mother yesterday.  I shared my prayer (she's not religious) and then told her about my biblical reference in the middle of the night, that I couldn't remember other than 5:16.  And a voice said "Matthew 5:16". Only as I was typing this entry, was I reminded to check what relevance if any, it may have.

Matthew 5:16 - "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven"

Um, the Lord definitely works in mysterious ways
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#67: June 17, 2020, 06:10:10 PM
Okay, one other note.

Something has been telling me to put my wedding ring on, and to honour it and cherish it.   I say "nonsense!"

I get a strong urge, such a strong urge.   So I cave and go into my bedroom in my new place, pull ALL the boxes out.  Something guides me to one box.   For the record, I've noted that I have NO CLUE where my wedding ring is, but something has been telling me to honour it, even if im not wearing it.

I pull all the boxes out and I am drawn to opening ONE box in particular.  I open it and right on top, is my wedding ring.

I am wearing it in this moment. I don't know that wearing it daily is healthy for me, but something told me to find it, something is telling me to wear it.

So I will, for now
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#68: June 17, 2020, 07:21:37 PM
LBS_Les, your Matthew 5:16 and your ring both make me cry. The good kind.

You’ve got such a good grasp on so much of this that the only thing I can think to say, is that Standing can be for you a day by day or minute by minute decision, for that day or for that minute or moment. I know it goes against your want of planning or knowing what comes next, but maybe that is part of the Journey. I’ve had to look back on old history to figure out where and why I first felt that survival need, the need to control or at least to feel I had *some* say in what goes on in my life. And it’s been a long process — I want you to know from 52-ish years old that it might be possible we humans all have that process lifelong. Not just as LBS or in relational fracture or at midlife.

I’m a little late in saying so, but, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I know this year is pretty different from the ones before it. I hope that your personal new year will be full of good realizations and many harmonious times, both with loved ones and with your fine and always deepening Self. She really is a treasure, You.

If you get a chance, EMDR may be a therapy you’ll like. I’ve said it’s like dreaming awake; it’s really different and felt to me always almost instantaneously helpful. A therapy type that I think attentive dreamers might all really find welcome.

And I loved your description of the trees and sunset a few posts back. 100% relatable. Keep noticing your peace and harmonious places and moods, your positive “triggers”. Those can help so, so much!
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#69: June 17, 2020, 07:32:50 PM
LBS_les......

You may like to read a book called Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson.

God speaks to us, in dreams, in scripture, in people He puts into you life....and often we don't "hear" because we do not spend time in silence......

There is no doubt that finding your wedding ring and the urge to wear it and Matthew 5:16 is God speaking to you.

11 years ago, there is absolutely no way that I would thought I would be standing for a marriage, especially after his affair, the divorce and so much more....and the only way I can explain this is because from the first day after BD, this is what I know, that God wants me to do this.

Thank you for sharing with us...He is with you, may He comfort you, give you peace and draw you closer..and your wife as well.
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#70: June 17, 2020, 09:58:40 PM
Thanks for sharing Les! I like terra and xy do believe God is speaking to you and reinforcing your stand. I was woke up from a dream and I knew I was to remember 5:14 or 5:15, I wasn’t sure in the moment - so I wrote myself a note, I too felt like it was a biblical reference - I was reading later that day, and came across a reference to Mathew 5:14-15 - I knew then it was what my dream was referencing. I had asked God to give me an answer whether it was God’s will to continue my stand - his answer was pretty clear: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp nor put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Mathew 5:14-15.

God does speak, I just have to be still enough and quiet enough to listen... best to you Les
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« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 09:59:45 PM by 3Boys4Me »
BD End of April 2017
Moved out - kind of, May 2017
Denied affair
Cycled hard April - Oct 2017, my son figured out affair, I confronted husband, we were going away as a family for the weekend - H monsters hard and files for a D end of Oct, 2017
D final Sept 2018
Many touch and goes
He lives in monster, kids haven’t been with him overnight since Jan 2019
Moved in with MOW, a former friend of mine, May 2019

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#71: June 18, 2020, 02:41:03 PM
LBS_Les, your Matthew 5:16 and your ring both make me cry. The good kind.

You’ve got such a good grasp on so much of this that the only thing I can think to say, is that Standing can be for you a day by day or minute by minute decision, for that day or for that minute or moment. I know it goes against your want of planning or knowing what comes next, but maybe that is part of the Journey. I’ve had to look back on old history to figure out where and why I first felt that survival need, the need to control or at least to feel I had *some* say in what goes on in my life. And it’s been a long process — I want you to know from 52-ish years old that it might be possible we humans all have that process lifelong. Not just as LBS or in relational fracture or at midlife.

I’m a little late in saying so, but, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I know this year is pretty different from the ones before it. I hope that your personal new year will be full of good realizations and many harmonious times, both with loved ones and with your fine and always deepening Self. She really is a treasure, You.

If you get a chance, EMDR may be a therapy you’ll like. I’ve said it’s like dreaming awake; it’s really different and felt to me always almost instantaneously helpful. A therapy type that I think attentive dreamers might all really find welcome.

And I loved your description of the trees and sunset a few posts back. 100% relatable. Keep noticing your peace and harmonious places and moods, your positive “triggers”. Those can help so, so much!

Thanks Terra.  I vacillate on standing, it's something that we all go through, this I know.  I will take the ring and the biblical reference as a sign of something.  I still don't know where I stand, but if I am being honest, I know that right now, I can only focus on myself and changing some bad habits. 

I have learned to let go of the future - Thats what creates the panic when they leave.......the unknown, the "what does this mean?", "ugh, will I ever love again?", "how long will we be apart?", "is this really the end of us?"  And I have learned that I have these reactions because of my childhood issues.  My mother one time through this crisis, was the one that told me I was being exactly like my father (who she detests, who I no longer have a relationship with), because he was the same way, HE HAD TO KNOW EVERYTHING.  And thats when I learned that I can only live in the present.  What a lesson to learn at 43 LOL.  So I "try" not to fret about a future too far down the road.  I also understand that in doing that, my stance on standing, will come to me when the time is right.


There is no doubt that finding your wedding ring and the urge to wear it and Matthew 5:16 is God speaking to you.

11 years ago, there is absolutely no way that I would thought I would be standing for a marriage, especially after his affair, the divorce and so much more....and the only way I can explain this is because from the first day after BD, this is what I know, that God wants me to do this.

Thank you for sharing with us...He is with you, may He comfort you, give you peace and draw you closer..and your wife as well.

Thanks xyzcf, like I said in an earlier post, I admire your stand!  I really do.  And I do believe the Biblical reference is definitely a sign of God hearing me.

Even if my W and I never reconcile, I pray each day that he looks after her, and takes care of her. 
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#72: June 18, 2020, 02:41:48 PM
Thanks for sharing Les! I like terra and xy do believe God is speaking to you and reinforcing your stand. I was woke up from a dream and I knew I was to remember 5:14 or 5:15, I wasn’t sure in the moment - so I wrote myself a note, I too felt like it was a biblical reference - I was reading later that day, and came across a reference to Mathew 5:14-15 - I knew then it was what my dream was referencing. I had asked God to give me an answer whether it was God’s will to continue my stand - his answer was pretty clear: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp nor put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Mathew 5:14-15.

God does speak, I just have to be still enough and quiet enough to listen... best to you Les

The irony of us both receiving that verse is UNCANNY!
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#73: June 21, 2020, 09:15:02 AM
Had a FaceTime with some friends the other day, who are also friends with my W.   We did touch on the circumstances of things (my friend has received both sides of the "story"), and they mentioned that the alienator is NOT in the picture.  I was speaking of my journey, what I have learned as part of it, and how I am growing - I forget the circumstances in which why this came up, but it did.  I thanked them for sharing that with me, but also said I wasn't interested in knowing that as it has no bearing on my choices.   I shared that the alienator is simply a symptom of the issues at play here, and even if they were together, alienator will always have to compete with me, even though I am not in the picture, because I am the Wife, and she cant even compete on that scale.

They continued to say that my W seems to only be interested on working this through, on her own.  I completely understand that could be true (as its what she's also told me), but really, nothing an MLC'er says can be true.  And I told them that it would be highly unlikely that she would "flaunt" a new partner, 5 months after separating from her W of 7 years.  She worries about what others think of her, and she knows people know of her affair, so she will hide any relationship she is in.

So I reached out to my W the other night as our province is beginning to reopen.  I simply said that as we begin to reopen, that I hoped she was able to get back to work and doing what makes her happy, and that if she ever needed a friend, I was here.   I didn't think she would respond, but I woke up the next day to a reply.   Her work has been affected by the pandemic, her hours cut.  She seems happy with this as she's indicated that she was having "anxiety" about having to pretend to work 40 hours a week, from home.  I think that anxiety is more underlying issues, but thats not my place to say.  She says she spends her time at the park reading, working on her tan, and taking lots of walks.   She sounds like she may be a wallower.

Im trying to practice smart contact and LD principles, which is part of the reason why I reached out via Email vs. text or WhatsApp.  This way, there is no pressure for either party to respond right away, and I want to practice self control of when I reply (I'm the kind of person who has guilt if I dont reply to anything right away, in many of my friendships).  I also wanted to open a line of communication up, so that I could practice listening, and keeping the conversation light. 

She did say in her first reply to me (in response to me saying "I know we aren't to be in touch"), that she has no issue with us communicating, but she thought that it would be easier for my healing for her to be no contact (agreed), and that we would be less likely to argue if we are NC.  I see through her message, we haven't "argued" in months.  We have had conversations on things that have led to a difference of opinion, but there has been no arguments.   A couple of truth darts must really eat at her.

So, I have not yet replied to her latest email.  Ive given myself a boundary about when to reply.  And when I do, I will keep it light, validate, and just be a safe space, so she doesn't think we talk to argue.

And lastly, I recognized that I still have some resentment that I had to talk myself out of.  When she said her salary was impacted, there was a part of me that thought she deserved it.  That maybe if she didn't run away and rent an expensive apartment, she wouldn't be "in trouble".  The codependent in me wants to offer support if she ever needs it, as Im not sure how long she will be on reduced hours, and if she will be inevitably laid off (they laid off a lot of people and now they are postponing all events until 2021).  But she left, and she left me in a financial mess that I am trying to clean up on my side of the street, until we come to some arrangement.  So I will not offer help, I know this is codependency, and a HUGE push.  Its a healthy observation that there is still work for me to down on myself, otherwise I wouldn't have these feelings of "guess karma caught up to you".  It's an unhealthy thought process and she doesn't deserve it, despite how she ended things.

To any of the fathers out there reading this today, happy fathers day!  I hope you get to spend it with your little ones.
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#74: June 21, 2020, 10:47:44 AM
There is a rule of three with responding but as I type this my mind has gone blank. I think it’s like 3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days.

With regards to finances. I also felt the same. Clington told me he may loose his job and I just thought HA! Good job he has a sugar mama 😂
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#75: June 21, 2020, 04:28:30 PM
There is a rule of three with responding but as I type this my mind has gone blank. I think it’s like 3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days.

With regards to finances. I also felt the same. Clington told me he may loose his job and I just thought HA! Good job he has a sugar mama 😂

There was a ton of that in my reaction to her note, but really, its unkind in a 180 sense.   She would expect me to be vindictive, which I would never outwardly express, but I do internalize it and recognize it.....

Hope you and the little ones had a good fathers day, despite his 30 minute visit.
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#76: June 21, 2020, 04:34:11 PM
Also, quick journal if you will.....

Yesterday, I had a strong urge to get out of my place but I found excuses....."the sun is going to set in an hour", "its too hot for my dog", "I dont have beers".   Today, I woke up with purpose.   I had plans to go to the grocery store, and when I spoke to my mom yesterday, she perked up when I said I would hit the store.   I asked if she wanted me to grab stuff for her, but she wanted out of her place, and to join me.   So I made plans


So this morning, I woke up early, had my coffee and then took my mom shopping.   When I got home, I packed a "picnic" and before I could talk myself out of it, I did what I avoided yesterday.   Packed a picnic, took public transit (I was going to have a couple of beers and my licence plate registration has apparently expired - I thought I had one more year).   

I have always been self conscious about doing things by myself.   Ive taught myself to think "I'm a loser" if I am not constantly surrounded by people.   Let me be clear - I have a huge support system in my friendships (see how I dont want you to think I'm a loner?).  When I got to the hill near my place, most people who were there, were on their own.   And for the first time in years, I felt at peace.

It was a bit hot for my shih tzu, who hasn't had a groom since January (thanks Covid), but she managed to tuck her way into the shade, while I suntanned and read.  Plus, she had a great time getting out of the house, for an adventure, even if she detests public transit, like I do.    I definitely had to feed her a ton of cold water that I froze, in preparation for my adventure, but she was content.   And I found myself, content with myself.
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#77: June 21, 2020, 07:12:03 PM
Hello,

Quote
Ive taught myself to think "I'm a loser" if I am not constantly surrounded by people.


I can go either way. Overall, I can be an extrovert, love talking to people, going out with friends. On the other side, I need my "me" time. Vegging alone, book, coffee and deep in my own head. So do you think that by being accepted by many friends validates you? I mean, if you have a lot of friends, you must be okay? And with a lot of friends, you don't have to answer all the noise in your own head.

Quote
And for the first time in years, I felt at peace.

This is critical. It is not peace with her, but with yourself, who you are as a person. In the first stages, you are at war with yourself, believing that it is all your fault. That is you accept the blame and fix all the bad about yourself, that she will return. Self focus is not about self-repair, it is about a growth mindset to continue progress even though you are hurt. To take your mind off what you can't control to what you can control.

Quote
And I found myself, content with myself.

Being content, to live and enjoy the skin your in is sound. It is being your personal best and knowing that you love the most important person in your life- yourself.

((((Ready))))


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#78: June 22, 2020, 03:13:02 PM
I totally know what u mean about people thinking your a loner. That was me. When I was with clington I lost a lot of my friends due to having babies and not being out drinking 24/7. But as a stay at home mum I didn’t have much chance to make friends. My friends became the girlfriends and wives of Clingtons friends. But before BD he lost them all so it was just us and the kids. And then just me and the kids. Directly after BD I started meeting up with random people on Facebook. I grew my circle so wide that I needed to prove I have friends. It was so strange! Then I ended up spending most of 2019 solo travelling. I think it’s a feeling  we all have at some point.
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#79: June 22, 2020, 03:56:05 PM
I have always been self conscious about doing things by myself.   Ive taught myself to think "I'm a loser" if I am not constantly surrounded by people.   Let me be clear - I have a huge support system in my friendships (see how I dont want you to think I'm a loner?).  When I got to the hill near my place, most people who were there, were on their own.   And for the first time in years, I felt at peace.


100% me before and right after BD. I remember one day after BD, I really wanted to go to a restaurant and none of my friends were available. It took me a few days, but I finally worked up the courage to go in, sit down, and eat. I took a book and read. I was soooooooo certain people were looking at me. Of course they were not!  Now, I really have no problems doing things on my own. Yes, I enjoy having someone's company, but I'm also able to find a certain sense of peace when it's just me, or just me and the dog.  Ahhh...how we can grow through this entire MLC journey.
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#80: June 22, 2020, 04:34:28 PM
I totally know what u mean about people thinking your a loner. That was me. When I was with clington I lost a lot of my friends due to having babies and not being out drinking 24/7. But as a stay at home mum I didn’t have much chance to make friends. My friends became the girlfriends and wives of Clingtons friends. But before BD he lost them all so it was just us and the kids. And then just me and the kids. Directly after BD I started meeting up with random people on Facebook. I grew my circle so wide that I needed to prove I have friends. It was so strange! Then I ended up spending most of 2019 solo travelling. I think it’s a feeling  we all have at some point.

My W met the friends through our relationship, and I got to keep them in the separation LOL.  So I do have a huge support system, and a lot of friends, but I am really working to enjoy doing things on my own.  That whole self growth thing

Im not opposed to meeting new people, but thankfully, I didn't lose my friends....she lost them (which she resents me for, even though she said she would explain to them what happened and has not messaged them once, to give her "side" of the story).
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#81: June 22, 2020, 04:42:37 PM
Two positive days in a row......

I responded to my W's email last night, with my only expectation being that she will not respond right now - I think she's in a space right now, and I know our contact confuses her.   I mirrored the conversation, only focusing on what she was sharing, and responding to it.  No pushing, no R talk, all very light.   If thats a push for her, then I cant help her there.

Today, I had enough of the heat.  I have been putting off getting an air conditioner for my unit as I am not sure I want to be living here when my lease is up.   I love the neighbourhood, I love living beside my mother, but the people here are slobs and I am embarrassed about the grounds of the complex.   I think that stems to growing up in subsidized housing, so I am definitely feeling some kind of way around working so hard towards my career, to having a good salary, to live in an unbecoming complex.  I digress. 

So I went to get a fan for my bedroom as I was up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep due to the heat.  I thought I would just grab a window fan for the bedroom but Home Depot had a decent AC unit for a good deal.   So I grabbed it.   Was going to ask my brother to pick it up for me because of the weight and having to lug this box from the underground, up toy unit.   Told myself to suck it up and just get it done.  That was a b!tc# and a half to get from the garage to my place, but I did it.

Next step, lets install this b!tc#.   Previously, when my W and I lived in this complex before, we obviously would put the AC in together.   Today, I was determined to do it on my own.   I was determined to prove to myself that I dont need to rely on anyone else to get it done.   But I couldn't.  I couldn't figure out how to get it in, it looked too big for my window.  So I removed the additional panels so that the unit would fit, but then the window space was too big and the unit wouldn't have anything to secure to.  Well, after almost losing my mind, my mom showed up to save the day and we got it done.   I hope I remember how to install it next summer, cause she was a piece of work!

Two days in a row of productivity, which means I think of her less when I am distracted. 

And now, I relax while my place cools down.   I guess drunk me looked after me last night, as I had some leftovers in the fridge so that I didn't have to cook tonight. 

And it all boils down to me taking care of me.
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#82: June 25, 2020, 04:00:45 PM
Nothing to update on the W front - I think she's a wallowing vanisher.  I mean, its only been 5 days NC, but she seems to be content with her disappearing acts.

Was a good day today.  Came up with a plan, put it into action, and now our car will be paid off next week, if all goes according to plan.   It will be nice to be free from that bi-weekly payment.  I just got to keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't come up in possible divorce proceedings.   We cant technically file until January, and since she's in MLC and Im not filing, I dont think D will be on the table for a while.

I've been struggling mentally over the last few days.  Something keeps telling me that my W hasn't been honest in who her affair partner was.   I was suspecting her Boss, because she was "working" all the time.   I had let it go after everything, but something keeps trying to drag me down and make me question who she really had an affair with.   It doesn't matter, we aren't reconciling.  I would only ever need to know the truth if we are working on our M.   We aren't.   So why am I constantly second guessing it?  Even if I found out it was her boss, what does it matter at this stage?  It really doesn't, but something is nagging at me about it and I dont like it. 

I try to drown the noise in my head, but its persistent.  And I really dont like it.   I have done a great job of controlling my "ego" and my thoughts, and this noise seems to be defeating me. 

Otherwise, today was a great day.  I have a plan, I put it in motion, I will have a decent freedom to redirect my funds once my car payment is no more, and my dog (who turns 10 on the 6th), got herself a haircut after all these months of COVID.  I'm not going lie, I am a bit jealous as I haven't had my haircut since March.  I've been shaving my sides and back, but the top of my hair is definitely a Mop and I am long overdue for a fade and top trim.
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#83: June 25, 2020, 10:53:10 PM
Shame the dog groomer couldn't offer a 2 for 1  :)

That mental 'itch' feeling is frustrating but normal, LBSLes...it's your hind brain trying to get pieces to fall into place. It eases with time, either bc you trust your instinct or you move past the point when it matters. We LBS are all left with a residue of the unknown tbh. Fwiw, if i were a betting woman, I'd say your itch was more likely right than not...we tend to feel red flags before we think them I suspect.
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#84: June 25, 2020, 11:13:45 PM
Shame the dog groomer couldn't offer a 2 for 1  :)

That mental 'itch' feeling is frustrating but normal, LBSLes...it's your hind brain trying to get pieces to fall into place. It eases with time, either bc you trust your instinct or you move past the point when it matters. We LBS are all left with a residue of the unknown tbh. Fwiw, if i were a betting woman, I'd say your itch was more likely right than not...we tend to feel red flags before we think them I suspect.

I wish my dogs new groomer did a 2 for 1! Lol

Regarding my itch, or red flag, thats what I struggle with.  This feeling is so strong, I can't shake it.   But the reality is, it has no bearing to my healing.   Lets say she says "yes, it was my boss, as you suspected all along".  What good does that do me as an LBS?  None!  So why do I care?

And I guess I am slightly confused as my "ego" usually drives these thoughts.   As I work through understanding the ego a bit better, I now question intuition vs. ego and its left me a mess

Either way, I have now blocked W on all forms of communication.  I dont want a response and I'm tired of waiting for something (I know, its been 5 days).  But now she cannot reply to my email, she cant text me or WhatsApp me.   That leaves my work email and as we know when dealing with our MLC'er, she won't try to "figure out" how to get a hold of me.   

Let's see how long I can leave her on block for.
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#85: June 26, 2020, 01:17:45 AM
Try to accept that the 'itch' is not primarily coming from either ego or intuition.....it is more of a neurological brain hiccup thatis oaet of your flight/fight/freeze response. A.bit of your brain, biologically speaking, is trying to figure out if you saw a tiger or a pattern of shaded grass lol
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#86: July 02, 2020, 11:18:21 AM
The weekend was a mental $h!te show for me, mentally.   I removed her from block the next day, as I realized that I had done it from a place of emotions, and to be frank, there wasn't a need to block since we dont speak often.  Its been quiet on the W front, and thats okay - its always the hardest to recover from contact, but the longer that it goes on, the easier it becomes.

Met some friends for Canada day festivities yesterday.  Felt great to actually be able to enjoy beers on an actual patio!  It was great being with my people, and connecting with them again.  We spoke about the issue with my W and I showed them a video she sent me, to confirm I wasn't crazy, in that she looked like a shell of a human being.   They agreed she was NOT the person we all know and that she looks lost.  I also said I am confident that she will wake up one day, and regret all she's done, but I dont know that I have it in me to wait for that.   The group agreed that she would come to regret it, one day.

They were friends with her, so as with any MLCer, my W has not kept in contact with anyone from the group, since BD.   Her message to them was "I didn't mean for this to happen, I dont want to talk about it right now, but I will reach out when I am ready to".   She hasn't engaged them since.  I told them that when she does wake up, she will likely make amends with them, before she does with me. 

My XGF has also reached out to me and has asked that we go out and get some drinks together.  She really did a number on me mentally, when we split as she cheated on me multiple times.  But that was a very long time ago, and my W used to hate that my XGF had a hold on me.   To be fair, her and I had only been split up for about 6 months when I met my W, so I was still processing a lot of the damage she had done.  We've chatted over the course of the years, she has apologized for the $h!te she put me through, and I have no resentment towards her about it as I believed I was meant to be with my W.

So I told XGF that we could meet up for drinks.  I know if my W ever found out, this would bring monster out because she HATES my ex.  And for some reason, that seemingly brings me some kind of evil joy LOL.  Im not meeting her for drinks to get back at my W, Im literally going to go for a catch up as we haven't seen each other in person in YEARS.

Romantically, I have absolutely no interest in my XGF, so there aren't any ulterior motives in that sense.

Im off on vacation for a few days - gonna need to try to find some motivation to get things done around my place, or at least get out of my apartment, and down to the beach, or the islands.  Sadly, its a scorcher out there.
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#87: July 04, 2020, 06:40:27 PM
The emotional roller coaster is no joke!

Overall, I am doing well - I made a plan when she left, to pay the remaining balance of the car off, before the term was up at the end of 2020 - I managed to send in the remainder of the balance, so now I am car payment free!   And its a great feeling, accomplishing something I put into plan.   Now I can repurpose that biweekly car payment, into other debt that is still outstanding.  My friends have advised me to not focus too much on paying things off, as we need to sort out or finances in a divorce settlement.  The problem is, the debt is solely in my name.   She had no credit due to a bad student loan that I had encouraged her FOR YEARS to pay off as money wasn't much of an issue with us.   Ironically enough, she said that she didn't feel financially independent, and wanted her freedom since everything was in my name (including her phone), and she didn't want me to have the ability to just take anything away on a moments notice.   

In Canada, we cant settle the debt 50/50, because its not included, unless the debt is joint - its not.   So I can recoup some of the lost funds by other means (assets, pension, etc), but I just cant see myself going down the lawyer route.  So for now, I am working my ass off to pay down some of the debt, as a decent portion was incurred by me, during a couple of years of frivolous spending.

I feel myself losing my desire to stand.  Im not religious, so standing is more in respect to my vows, and my marriage.   But I didn't want this, and now that its been dropped on my lap, I'm starting to imagine a life without her, and a life with someone else.  I've inadvertently met someone however, I have made it clear that I am not in a position to be dating, much less in a relationship, and I thought it would be friendship based.   I have pulled back on this person significantly because I understand the risk of the emotional connection that could form during this time, but things seem to be escalating.   And then I start to imagine what it might be like to date this person (who LITERALLY JUST TEXTED ME AS IM TYPING THIS), and be intimate with her.   

Im also angry with my W.   Angry that she has done this, despite knowing this is MLC, the anger persists.   And although it really doesn't matter, it shouldn't matter, I REALLY am being plagued with questions around how long the affair was really going on for!  We are in NC, we aren't talking R, so why would any of this matter?   Perhaps I am just looking for a justification to move on, to hold on to my anger.

I just want to be free. 
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#88: July 05, 2020, 05:25:10 AM
LBS_Les: sounds like overall you are doing pretty well with yourself. Yes the roller coaster is real. Sometimes it is because the LBS is just following their spouse way too closely. But other times, like it sounds like with you, it is simply parsing through all the emotional earthquakes and tectonic shifts. It takes time, things have to resort themselves, and emotional understanding is like turning a large boat around. You change settings but it takes a long while before the ship fully responds.

Only reason I say this is to keep observing where you are right now, and don’t rush into making any decisions. Whether to stand or not, it may be its still way too early unless you believe you have fully parsed everything. As for any kind of involvement we are all different, but most likely it is way too soon. This may be damaging to you more than to the other person. I think its normal to look for companionship, to feel liked again after all the knives thrown at us. But I remember my first attempt at trying to start casual relationships ended with me quickly realizing I was nowhere near ready.

Freedom comes with time, give yourself time.
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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#89: July 05, 2020, 10:55:36 AM
LBS_Les: sounds like overall you are doing pretty well with yourself. Yes the roller coaster is real. Sometimes it is because the LBS is just following their spouse way too closely. But other times, like it sounds like with you, it is simply parsing through all the emotional earthquakes and tectonic shifts. It takes time, things have to resort themselves, and emotional understanding is like turning a large boat around. You change settings but it takes a long while before the ship fully responds.

Only reason I say this is to keep observing where you are right now, and don’t rush into making any decisions. Whether to stand or not, it may be its still way too early unless you believe you have fully parsed everything. As for any kind of involvement we are all different, but most likely it is way too soon. This may be damaging to you more than to the other person. I think its normal to look for companionship, to feel liked again after all the knives thrown at us. But I remember my first attempt at trying to start casual relationships ended with me quickly realizing I was nowhere near ready.

Freedom comes with time, give yourself time.

Thanks Marvin,

I fully agree that to a degree, its far too soon to become involved with someone.  Mentally, Im not in a place to give myself to anyone, I am enjoying my freedom, my independence.   This wasn't something I was looking for, it just happened.   I've also recognized that its not fair to her, to have a hope for something between us, if at a moments notice, I cant figure out if I want to ever return to my marriage, or stay far from it. 

I know its too soon to make a decision - I ride the waves, and observe my emotions and feelings in the present.  I had a strong urge to send my wife a note yesterday, regarding wanting to know the full details of the affair, if I didn't have the truth, so that I had the information to make a decision that best serves my purpose.   She has said she doesn't want to make a decision on divorce right now, I get that its the normal WAS/MLC script, but if she had been lying about the affair, do I really want to "wait and see" what she decides in the end?  But I recognize that having that discussion is far too much for her MLC brain, that it serves no purpose in either of our lives right now, so I have reconciled that its not important, right now.

I'm off to hit the islands today - gonna go and enjoy the sound of the waves, listen to music, pack a picnic and enjoy a few beers.   Ironically, the girl who is interested in me, has invited me up to go hang with her at her cottage today, rather than me going to the islands, but I really need my alone time.

I clearly have a lot of cooking left in me.
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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#90: July 05, 2020, 11:14:42 AM
Good call, LBSLes....enjoy the islands.
If this new woman is a healthy grown up, she will get it and respect your current realities imho. If she doesn't, then further drama dodged....and I suspect you don't need more drama right now  :)
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Re: Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#91: July 05, 2020, 11:40:18 AM
I would say make a note of your question but don’t ask. There are two reasons:

1) Never ask a question unless you are ready to hear the answer.

2) Assume she will lie, even if she has not before. If she really is having an MLC the concepts of right and wrong, truth and reality, cause/effect is gone. So whether she lies in the traditional sense or distorts all rational norms to make something seem ok the results are the same. What will you gain from trying to get truth and reality from someone who is detached firmly from both.
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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#92: July 05, 2020, 12:17:59 PM
Regarding my itch, or red flag, thats what I struggle with.  This feeling is so strong, I can't shake it.   But the reality is, it has no bearing to my healing.   Lets say she says "yes, it was my boss, as you suspected all along".  What good does that do me as an LBS?  None!  So why do I care?
You care because of the gaslighting effect. In my case, I told xh that I felt like I was in the relationship alone 4 years before BD. He insisted he was 100 % in. At BD (well, a few days after)he told me I was right, he had checked out back then. And then he said (wait for it)....That he bet it made me feel good to know I wasn't crazy. Fortunately for me, I already knew I wasn't crazy in that respect,  but the point is when you ask someone something and they LIE to you, and you feel but cannot actually know they are lying, it leaves you unbalanced, like your reality is out of kilter. They said x but everything points to y.

If you knew for a fact who it was, then your reality would no longer be off kilter. Your only choices are to go find out the truth, or decide that even if she is lying and everything points to something different, you cannot trust anything she says so your reality is just as valid as anything she said. Assume you are correct, it was her boss. Once you have done that, check how that feels with you.

Are you angry because she would have then been lying? Are you relieved because then you aren't "crazy"? Are you wondering "Why him?" Are you thinking "Yeah, figures." ?

Take the gaslighting out of the picture and see if your perspective changes and something else comes out of it.
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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#93: July 05, 2020, 12:54:38 PM
Quote
when you ask someone something and they LIE to you, and you feel but cannot actually know they are lying, it leaves you unbalanced, like your reality is out of kilter.
This ^^^
And that's probably why it feels a bit compulsive....it is your reptilian brain looking for answers that your cognitive brain knows won't be very useful. That gaslighting effect is pretty insidious.
OR's suggestion about assuming x is true and seeing what that feels like is a good one imho.
It's less about looking for the answer really and more about tuning into trusting your own instincts and judgment again about which way is up  :)
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« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 01:01:53 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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Love Me, Don't Leave Me
#94: July 08, 2020, 01:31:23 PM
Good call, LBSLes....enjoy the islands.
If this new woman is a healthy grown up, she will get it and respect your current realities imho. If she doesn't, then further drama dodged....and I suspect you don't need more drama right now  :)

Thanks, I definitely do not need more drama.  She hasn't been pushy, but I know she has expectations of some kind.

I would say make a note of your question but don’t ask. There are two reasons:
ere. If she really is having an MLC the concepts of right and wrong, truth and reality, cause/effect is gone. So whether she lies in the traditional sense or distorts all rational norms to make something seem ok the results are the same. What will you gain from trying to get truth and reality from someone who is detached firmly from both.

Marvin, thanks for these questions - and they are questions I did ask myself as I was trying to work through what I wanted to achieve from sending a message like that.

1) I felt that I was prepared to hear a possible truth, but I did feel confused about how I would react.

2) Knowing that she would lie, and either monster and ignore, or just spew lies, was what detached me from sending her that message.   It has no relevance to my current life.

Regarding my itch, or red flag, thats what I struggle with.  This feeling is so strong, I can't shake it.   But the reality is, it has no bearing to my healing.   Lets say she says "yes, it was my boss, as you suspected all along".  What good does that do me as an LBS?  None!  So why do I care?
You care because of the gaslighting effect. In my case, I told xh that I felt like I was in the relationship alone 4 years before BD. He insisted he was 100 % in. At BD (well, a few days after)he told me I was right, he had checked out back then. And then he said (wait for it)....That he bet it made me feel good to know I wasn't crazy. Fortunately for me, I already knew I wasn't crazy in that respect,  but the point is when you ask someone something and they LIE to you, and you feel but cannot actually know they are lying, it leaves you unbalanced, like your reality is out of kilter. They said x but everything points to y.

If you knew for a fact who it was, then your reality would no longer be off kilter. Your only choices are to go find out the truth, or decide that even if she is lying and everything points to something different, you cannot trust anything she says so your reality is just as valid as anything she said. Assume you are correct, it was her boss. Once you have done that, check how that feels with you.

Are you angry because she would have then been lying? Are you relieved because then you aren't "crazy"? Are you wondering "Why him?" Are you thinking "Yeah, figures." ?

Take the gaslighting out of the picture and see if your perspective changes and something else comes out of it.

Thanks for this - I think there is a part of me that wants to know that I was "right all along", but I recognize that this is a poor pattern of behaviour that I exhibited, and I am trying to work through always trying to be right.

Thank you guys for coming to my rescue when its clear it is needed.  I had read your responses while I was on the beach, but I wasn't in a place to focus on replying.

As for my current state:  The beach day was fun!  I found myself having these feelings of fear and being afraid of going over by myself.  What would people think when they see my enjoying myself alone?  Do people think I am a loser?  But I knew that was my little child expressing fear, because she conditioned me, my whole life to seek validation from others, when my mother wasn't able to give that to me.  Its really a great feeling when I catch myself panicking internally, and am able to recognize where the panic is coming from.   It is definitely growth!

I ended up talking to the girl that I have been spending a lot of time chatting with - lets call her S.  She basically kept me company via text, while I spent the day at the beach.   It wasn't overwhelming, and it was actually some pretty great chats!  I've been trying to process what I am trying to achieve with her, continued contact, what does this mean for my marriage, and I think that I find myself being afraid of letting go.   I have let go of my wife.  I dont know what our future holds, but right now, its not together.  And if Im being totally honest, I haven't seen it being together for a while.   I have feelings that we are going to work this out but maybe thats just my dose of hopium.   Its so hard to differentiate intuition, with hope.   But what I know is, I do not like the person my W had become.   I would never have married this version of her.   

My nieces all have birthdays this week (on her side of the family), so I reached out to my SIL (Ex SIL?) and said if it was appropriate, to please wish niece 1, a happy birthday from me, and give her a big squeeze.   I dont want to confuse the nieces given our situation, and how young they are, so I left it up to my SIL.   She responded immediately and said it was absolutely appropriate for me to reach out!  That I am still family, no matter what, and they didn't want me to bunch them (other SIL and BIL) in the drama that is my W, and her dad (him defriending me on FB because Im the bad guy in her story).   So I readded my SIL's to Facebook as she did say she took it personally.

I explained that it was very hard to remain connected to the family that was no longer a part of my present, and was transitioning into my past.  I said I hoped that she would understand the difficulty, given the circumstances. 

I will reach out to the other nieces when their birthday approaches this week, regardless of things, I do miss them dearly

Other than that, focusing on me.  Spending a bit too much time interacting with S, and she wants to get together soon.  I also had the chance to catch up with a friend the other day, on a patio - its so nice for things to finally be reopening, however as I was just getting adjusted to being an introvert, I find myself becoming restless when I am not getting out to hit the beach or see friends!

Hope everyone is staying safe out there!
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« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:43:32 PM by LBS_Les »
Me (W) 43 - W 41
BD - Jan 17, 2020


OW status unknown, don't care, not relevant.

 

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