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Author Topic: My Story Reconnecting Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past

S
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Morning - it's been a while since I last posted anything on my story( August 2019) and I spent a lot of time wondering whether it was  useful to start a new thread.

I decided that it was -  join me.

Quick recap for newbies

BD March 2013 LIYBINILWY 
OW discovered a few weeks later
H stayed at home but continued affair with OW for 3.5 years  (legally couldn't kick him out without selling which I was not prepared to do)
3 grown children at time of BD (24,22 and 15)  Hit S 15 the hardest and his life spiralled downwards with severe depression and anger and (I have since discovered) attempted suicide whilst at Uni. Now he is addicted to mild drugs and cannot hold down any form of paid employment.  Two Ds coped well and were a valuable source of comfort in my times of need.
5 months after BD started therapy which included EMDR and use of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and after 18 months I was in such a better place for my emotional health. I am still in touch with her and occasionally do a life skills top up
2016 Took early retirement from the career I loved (having been bullied for 4 years by my boss) and since then I haven't looked back thanks to my pension of 33 years.

2016 - 2020
my oldest D married and one year later divorced her H ( it was one of those relationships that many of us knew wouldn't work out - just gut feeling)  and now she is with her new partner and he is a keeper. He is calm, calls her out and is just a lovely earnest young man who has had in his past serious life issues to deal with but he fully understands healing, self worth and working on self improvement. 
My youngest D produced my gorgeous grand- daughter. No longer with the father but both co-parent really well
S - slowly beginning to work on himself and move forward with his life.

I retrained as a life coach, specialising in NLP but am not a "master trainer or practitioner" - still very much a student. I also teach and coach privately in communication skills and work in youth theatre.  I look back at my previous career and now know that it was one of the best decisions I ever made to leave it before I "had " to.

H started reconnecting sometime during 2017 and for a considerable while especially when S was away for a year 2018 - we got on really well. However any R conversations (very few) always led to the same result - H was not "ready to re-commit " to the marriage and still wanted to be on his own.

By 2019 - no change to how H felt and so I had fully intended to sell the house and we move our separate ways but so much needed to be done on the house that the timing wasn't right and then 2020 Covid 19.

Now - the house will be on the market very soon.  H is reluctant to sell but I have had enough of "waiting". 
Don't get me wrong I love this house - like many of us this was meant to be our forever home for grandchildren and beyond but I know that I am unable to continue living as "roommates"

I am not interested in seeking a new relationship but after 7 + years of living with a stay at homer who still isn't out of the tunnel really, I need to pull away.

Update on our R:

H fluctuates from showing concern and care for me to working long hours with no communication and still demonstrates narcissistic behaviour. 
He fluctuates from listening to not hearing. 
He fluctuates from making gentle caring compassionate comments and decisions to selfish, thoughtless ones. 
He fluctuates from being part of the family to not being around at all - for example it was my birthday recently. His card to me was simply " Happy Birthday "  from H and then even though our oldest D was coming round for dinner (and we hadn't seen her since lockdown) he went out and didn't return till late.   I don't think it was embarrassment; it was probably more out of his still existent victim mentality that he shows from time to time.
We do laugh together more and I am able to call him out much more. Not only that the fixer in me has dissipated so much that if I choose to help I ask him if I can help rather than automatically doing so. If he is rude in his response then I walk away.
 
He still plays the pursuit and distance dance and I know it.
For example
Two days ago I mentioned that I was feeling constantly weary and run down as well as losing the ability to find the right words.
H expressed concern and asked me lots of questions about my symptoms (my dad had heart problems and mum had early onset Alzheimers taking her 28 years ago at 66)
This morning - " How was I feeling? "  When I said that I felt a bit brighter because I had slept solidly - it suddenly became all about him again and how busy and tired he was.   Check that the spouse is ok and carry on regardless!!

If this is reconnection then it has taken over 2.5 years - a long long time. If this is reconnection then why does he still want to have his own place.  This is something that blew up just before lockdown.  S was having another heated debate with me ( unwilling participant) and H stood up and said " This is why I have to leave"

H has also never apologised to me for hurting me.  He has said " I'm sorry that you were hurt"  but what I need to hear is " I'm sorry that I, my actions and behaviour, hurt you"

It seems that the longer it takes for me to hear this, the less I am prepared to stand. 

Hence my decision to inhale the future and exhale the past.  The future is for me and not me and H at the moment -I'm not saying that it won't ever be for both of us.  The sale of the house has to happen now because I need to break with everything that it stands for both good and bad.

Dr Lee Baucom (whose tapes also helped me in the early days) once said that if you do not heal in yourself, then making big decisions is the not wisest thing to do.  If you move house and you aren't healed, then all you do is take that baggage with you. 

I'm pretty sure I have no baggage anymore. 
I am ready for the change which will be scary and unknown but as Buddha says
" What you are is what you have been - what you'll be is what you do now"




Last thread
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10813.0;all

Previous threads in order

http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3584.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3720.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3791.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3880.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3977.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4168.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4362.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4460.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4554.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4632.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4942.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=5199.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=6277.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=5753.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=6715.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=7192.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=7942.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9188.0
 http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9495.0
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10371.0;all
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10501.0;all
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BD march 2013
Stay at home MLCer
OW for 3.5 years - finishing Autumn 2016
Reconnection started 2017 and still going with no sign of reconciliation.

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Thank you Song for sharing your update.

Hard for me to find words, but I can relate, to a man who cannot connect ...it really is not "normal" to be so distant and I am trying to put into words my own experience because it feels similar to yours, although there has never been a "reconnection" but a certain amount of contact but absolutely no "realness" in those contacts and they still have the ability to upset me.

It may be harder for you at this point because of the need to sell your house and set him free.

Quote
then even though our oldest D was coming round for dinner (and we hadn't seen her since lockdown) he went out and didn't return till late.   

We had a similar thing happen at Christmas and with the pandemic, he will not be able to see our daughter for a very long time..it is so bizarre.

I am in therapy for a bit, the world is so unsettling and I expressed to her that no one escapes pain in life. That I had 55 really good years and 11 really bad years in my life and then she asked me, so what do I want now?

I just want peace in my life. I have found things that bring me joy and I don't want that upset anymore. So we have to look at what is robbing us of our joy?

As your wrote in the quote from Buddha:
" What you are is what you have been - what you'll be is what you do now"

Thank you for your openness and honesty.

I think that for some, the crisis is due to something "pathological" in that they may never return to the guys we knew.

Looking forward to hearing more about your journey forward.

Good luck!
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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

9
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Quote
Dr Lee Baucom (whose tapes also helped me in the early days) once said that if you do not heal in yourself, then making big decisions is the not wisest thing to do.  If you move house and you aren't healed, then all you do is take that baggage with you. 

Thank you for posting Song.  The above quote hits hard for me today.  I’ve had lots of roller coaster riding with my H the last week.  I have been starting to make big decisions in my head, but know I need to slow down and fix myself first.  Getting off the ride today and doing just that. 

My story may end up looking much like yours.  Not sure of commitment from my H, still won’t deal with the pain he caused.  (I too have heard, I’m sorry YOU feel that way). And much of everything  is still about him.  I will be following your story with interest.  You seem like a calm, strong, sensible person.  You will be ok no matter what path you chose.

Roo

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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

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Forward to the future!  I can't wait to hear of all the new adventures just waiting to happen!

Lp
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if people won’t listen to you, there’s no point in talking to people. If they won’t listen, you’re just banging your head against a wall.

Sadly Ive used up all the time I had allotted to spend banging my head on the wall

b
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Thanks for updating Song and deciding it was worth it. I never realized before but we have the same BD date  March 2013. Seems unreal we are still affected by something that happened 7 years ago. Still trying to sort our lives out from words and actions strung together by another person. All of it takes a very very long time.

I am not at all surprised that you believe it is time to sell and pick a new direction and course for your life. I do not think it is an easy decision as I know you were hoping for a different ending. I have been there ( and back) many times ..sell everything and move on from a disaster that seems unfixable at times. I have been desperate enough at times to just walk away from it all ...let him have everything and just "flee" and never look back. Of course that would be very unwise . But during those times it had rather exciting moments of imagining my own little home , my freedom to have it any way I wanted, to travel and be unburdened by the presence of a MLC'er . It was appealing and exciting rather than scary and dark....I assumed that was an indication that I had done some healing work and especially some work with acceptance. Acceptance meaning I no longer try to change anything....it is what it is , he is who he is ...and perhaps it is not enough.

I know your H has failed to apologize in a meaningful way. To say "I am sorry you were hurt" is substandard to say the least. To refer to you as "part of the landscape" is as insulting as my H telling me that sex with me was "duty sex" ...nothing he really wanted to do. It stays with you in deep cuts and wounds. Changes everything about marriage and "love".   My husband has since apologized for so many nasty horrid things ….but , the hurt remains . It will take many apologies to erase what he did and said , and honestly it may not be enough to change the impact his words had on me as a wife and mother. His apologies did NOT change my hurt and injury . In fact, I could not feel any emotion about his apologies. They were just words that I believed he thought he "should say" rather than actually truly mean. "Duty -words" .  I still have trouble hearing or seeing emotion from him. Perhaps that is destroyed trust or a hardened heart . I am not sure.

I do know that one of the most profound statements for me was a therapist who asked me " Why are you waiting for him to decide what is going to happen in YOUR life?".  Hmmmmm…. much thought was inspired by that question.  I think you know the answer for YOU and have chosen your path and that is to be admired indeed.
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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

9
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Quote
I do know that one of the most profound statements for me was a therapist who asked me " Why are you waiting for him to decide what is going to happen in YOUR life?".

This is very profound.  Thanks for sharing Barbie. 
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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

S
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Thanks Ladies

This thread I guess is one that most won't want to read because it talks about moving forward without my H; therefore separating and not standing.

Separating does not mean not standing nor does it mean that divorce is inevitable; it just means that any chance of reconciliation is much much further off than I had thought.

H has been a stay at homer for 7 years - he never left.  I'm tired.

Since the last post though, H has been cycling towards again including bringing me a morning coffee whilst I am in bed.  That is very new.  When he has asked where something has gone or played the "someone has taken" conspiracy game- I have laughed out loud, called him out in a cheery way and either offered or refused to help.

My biggest challenge is S22.  His behaviour has become worse and he is (and my second D has seen this many times recently) very emotionally abusive to me. 
I have begun to dread talking with him in case he reacts.  It's like when H was in vile monster mode all over again but this time with S.

So that's another reason for moving.  My own space and my S is not welcome and he has already said he needs to go.

Interestingly my sister sent me a youube link to a talk on parents of narcissistic children and it struck home and I sobbed and I sobbed.

I have found myself plunging into a sense of despair that feels like I did 5 months after BD and just before I met my wonderful T.  I cannot contact her at the moment because of all the restrictions and online just isn't the same.

It made me realise that I have still yet to heal over this too.  I still have much growing to do. 
I am a people pleaser and I hate walking into conflict so I use humour or quietness to deflect.  Consequently my boundaries with S have become blurred.

So I have downloaded some useful little books by Patrick King and am working my way through them. The first one of my list is  about being a people pleaser; he gave a list of 30 traits and I ticked every single one of them.  He talks about FOO issues and I now know exactly where I got it from - my mum who was funny, warm and loving but always taught me to shut up when it came to family discussions - keep your head down and be quiet. 
Funnily enough I could enter a debate at work and put my points across in a healthy way and engage in a healthy constructive argument but I couldn't do it with my family.

I was also compared to my sister a lot and so I sought validation from many people and realised that I still do.

On reading this one section I burst into tears because I have always felt that I am not enough as I am
"Deep down, you’re convinced that you’re not enough as you are and that you’re not worthy of love, and this leads you to always being on your guard for imminent rejection. You become overly sensitive to any cues that may signal such rejection, and that includes any frown or offhand remark of disappointment from people you try to refuse."

King, Patrick. Stop People Pleasing: Be Assertive, Stop Caring What Others Think, Beat Your Guilt, & Stop Being a Pushover (Be Confident and Fearless Book 1) (p. 51). Kindle Edition.

This hit home. I still don't respect myself enough.  I place external values above inner values.

This is something I have to work on - I also have to work out why I seem to be going backwards and feeling such troughs of sadness.

Therefore I may journal on this thread  and it may seem like self pity - for a while it will be because of my choice of vocabulary.  I'll get better because the one thing I know is that if I can deal with heartbreak and the break up of my marriage and H's monster antics  - I can deal with this latest challenge and grow some more.

Thanks for coming along and joining me.


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BD march 2013
Stay at home MLCer
OW for 3.5 years - finishing Autumn 2016
Reconnection started 2017 and still going with no sign of reconciliation.

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Following along Song, I think you may be surprised to find many reading along BECAUSE you are willing to share your experience in a real and raw way, and to have the wisdom of other vets chime in who have been navigating MLC and reconnection, or the lack of it, for so long has tremendous value to those of us who are newer in our process.

My heart aches at each story yet the awe and appreciation for I feel regarding all of your courage, stamina, and personal growth far outweighs the grief.  The bite of grief hits first, but then recognizing all your strength at 7, 10 or eleven years fills me with hope and peace for the future.

I’m grateful for this thread.
3Boys
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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

T
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I have always been a people pleaser. It stinks, because it becomes so ingrained in you that it is a DIFFICULT cycle to break. I can’t stand feeling like I have let someone down, which is probably why, my husband knows exactly how to use that against me when he is “just being honest” about my shortcomings.
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t
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Following along, Song. I’m glad you are getting your own place.

HUGS. The stuff with your S is hard to bear, I know. One thing to remember is that he is still very young yet and not quite fully adult. Technically he’s adult and technically he gets to make his own choices how to “be” with others, but even aside from the fact of your parent status, as a human person and adult yourself, you get to decide whether you accept or engage with that, and how.

Boundaries are good. You already know that so well.

My heart is with you.
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