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

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S&D,
Thanks for sharing the torch story. I had a bit of a flashback this morning to something that happened three year’s ago, “in the beginning” - it was so small I felt like it won’t/wouldn’t register, but your story reminds me that the MLCer does have the capacity to hear and listen - the processing part though.... ugh!

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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

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Yes I am fairly certain that my initial rage and lashing out (all via text though bc he was long gone), is what is likely keeping him from actually returning now. But, it was how I was back then, and now I've grown from it. I've shown kindness too though. And put up with a lot in order to ensure S gets as much time as possible with a runaway dad. 

But I agree that they will remember some small things too that we might think insignificant. And if they truly grow and become better humans, they will be able to see their role in our breakdowns as well. Not that it matters of course. But it is nice to be validated as an LBS too sometimes.

Thanks for sharing this story.  I can't imagine the strength you had in order to be calm enough to require the torches not enter your home when you knew exactly where they came from. Not sure I could do that.
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Me 49
H 47
S13
BD 5/16
H Moved out 6/16
OW--yes. Worked for H. EA turned into PA while I was in chemo. On again/off again like every high school romance

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I can't imagine the strength you had in order to be calm enough to require the torches not enter your home when you knew exactly where they came from. Not sure I could do that.

I don't think I was calm at the time but when I am angry I go quiet and that is what H experienced. 

Oh he brought a lot of her c**p back to our house.  But by then I had created the boundary that her name wasn't to be mentioned in our house unless I mentioned it.  And every time he brought it back I refused or threw it out when he was out.  For example he brought back a cake she had made!!!!    The following day I threw it in the bin. He asked where it was and I told him that anything she made  would be thrown out. If he wanted to eat it - he could go and live with her.

I will share the letter that she wrote me (it was on a really early thread so needs searching) just to remind people how dysfunctional the OW can be.

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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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Not really an update - just journalling.

I was just answering on a newbie's thread as to whether her H was having a second MLC. It really got me thinking.

RCR does talk about MLCers often never leaving escape and avoid.  I think that even though H and I had a long period of reconnection my H is there.

He has a very nice lady who does the paperwork for his business.  I am used to this as long before BD I would do it for H and then his long term friend took over as his business expanded but she eventually gave up having witnessed BD and the followign years he had with OW.  For the last year or so another person has taken over the paperwork.  (H has never coped with paperwork).  I don't think there is anything going on or reciprocated but it is clear that H has a bit of a crush on her.  For a while I kept hearing  "OP this and OP that and how marvellous she was."  IN order to expand his business to the US last year he took her on the business trip for 3 weeks with the permission of her H.

She is stable and I am pretty convinced unaware of H's affection (she is charging him a fortune and he is paying her quite happily)  and it is clear from mutual long term friends that it is most definitely one sided. However I am uneasy - not through jealousy but tiredness.

I had the occasion to watch H interact with her last week.  He didn't see me doing it but it was another confirmation that perhaps H is still in escape and avoid.

When I first knew H he would do things like open the car door for me - let me on the inside of the pavement etc.... just little things.  That stopped some time ago even before BD.   I saw him do this for OW and I was told by well meaning friends how gentlemanly he was. 
However when I saw him do this recently with her - escape and avoid bells rang.

I am honestly convinced that this will not escalate (and even if it did, I'm done in a heartbeat and with a phelgmatic attitude - meh!)

I am more convinced than ever that H is still searching for external sources of pleasure to avoid facing what he has done and what he is feeling. He has never really left escape and avoid. He is out of the MLC replay tunnel but he is not through with the issues that put him there into denial and escape and avoid in the first place.

1. He is so focussed on making money he took out a loan (against his business and the house is protected) to buy out a business he had 50% shares in.
2. He is completely pre-occupied with rebuilding his plane rather than helping prepare the house for sale - so avoiding the issue.
3. He complains of being busy, busy, busy (heard this a lot before BD)
4. He  moaned about giving the children money for their birthdays (2 of them within 1 day of each other) but happily spent the same amount of money on buying a piece of equipment for his hobby.
5. He will watch TV with me but we are just housemates still.  He is unable to discuss the house sale, he is unable to talk about anything personal or share thoughts with me. He does however say thank you if I or D have cooked enough of a meal to leave something for him or he will eat with us. But the thank you is always prefaced with " you didn't need to do that" .  At first I took that as a sign of "guilt" but now it seems as though he feels obliged to say it.

In essence whilst I know we haven't gone backwards - it feels as though we haven't moved forward from reconnection. The reconnection has halted and did so probably last year.  I don't think I'm stuck but I'm now fairly convinced he's stuck.

Nothing I can do about it - absolutely nothing except be true to myself and continue with my plans. However I do think that he will remain stuck and, even if he did ask how to get unstuck, he wouldn't really appreciate how he needs to do it for himself. He would go through the motions but never really face himself in the process.

Escape and Avoid is much misunderstood because most if not all of us focus on the replay.  Then we look for signs of withrawal and acceptance.  I think escape and avoid is a much larger and ironically easier beast to "ignore" or pretend it's all over because monster and replay is no longer there.


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« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 02:31:44 AM by Songanddance »
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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S and D I could have written all of this myself.  Almost every word.  I have been trying to figure out if my H was having another crisis because he did move past replay antics and started to reconnect.  He is very much in escape and avoid.  I had a conversation with him yesterday that confirmed this.  When I mentioned that our marriage was in trouble because of all of his working and rebuilding his company he told me he sees nothing wrong.  I said we have a big communication problem and asked if he was I interested in getting help, he told me he didn’t want to see a marriage counselor because they will remind him of all the bad things he’s done in the past and he refuses to go back there.  When I told him I was doing meditation and it was really calming and helping me cope he told me that he doesn’t want to do it because it will ruin his “drive for success”

He still has the need to impress other women, he still has the need to get attention for what he has done not who he is.  He has turned into a roommate as well.  I’m getting our house ready to sale too and it is bothering him.  He wants everything to stay in place concerning me while he goes on his merry way.  I see more and more daily.  None of this will ever change unless he faces things.  He is stubborn and proud and at this point I don’t see that happening. He may be another one that will be stuck in escape and avoid forever.

None of this MLC is linear.  I know we all want to believe that they follow the same path, but they don’t.  Thanks for posting, you’ve given me much to think about.  Trying to figure out now where I am headed because I’m fairly certain he is not headed my way anymore.
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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 Roo - good to know it's not just me thinking this way.

My H very similar on the sale of our house too.  He won't let me book anyone to do the work needed (financially I personally can't at the mo) and says that he will do it. But it's been two years since he did the kitchen floor and I am still waiting for the other floors offshooting the kitchen such as the utility room to be laid. 

I am at the point of digging into what little savings I have left to just get someone in. 
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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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Hello,

This is very interesting. To be honest, I always held a "fantasy" image about reconnection. I thought life would blossom all over again and my ex would love me more than ever. In fact, I often didn't read the light purple or purple because and I felt that those threads were all the victory lap.  I would read them after she came back to me. Your stories bring a huge does of reality. My question is, "What do you want? What do you expect?" Just because they come home doesn't mean you have to take them back or stay either.

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However when I saw him do this recently with her - escape and avoid bells rang.

I get that he has a desire to be noticed, that this is part of his pursuit. "She will see me and so will everyone else for the nice guy I am." However, does he still do it for you? If not, why not make him. You are the queen. and he needs to treat you like the queen.  I open the door for my wife. Now my dad opens the door for my mom. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

For me, I do it because it helps slow me down, to focus and enjoy the journey, not the race to the destination.

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1. He is so focussed on making money he took out a loan (against his business and the house is protected) to buy out a business he had 50% shares in.
2. He is completely pre-occupied with rebuilding his plane rather than helping prepare the house for sale - so avoiding the issue.
3. He complains of being busy, busy, busy (heard this a lot before BD)
4. He  moaned about giving the children money for their birthdays (2 of them within 1 day of each other) but happily spent the same amount of money on buying a piece of equipment for his hobby.
5. He will watch TV with me but we are just housemates still.  He is unable to discuss the house sale, he is unable to talk about anything personal or share thoughts with me.

So, do you feel as if you are in a marriage? What if he makes a lot of money, then what? Did he come back for you or did he just think that life as it was would just start, that his little foray would just be stored in the attic until it was completely forgotten?

I ask these questions because many of us that stood or currently stand think that the reconnection and rebuilding is about the MLCer doing the work and we sit back and make them earn their stripes back so to speak. In fact your story and posts are significant to not only understanding the crisis, but understanding that the end to the journey is not when they walk back through the door.

((((Hugs))) and more ((((Hugs)))

Ready

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

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However, does he still do it for you?

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So, do you feel as if you are in a marriage? What if he makes a lot of money, then what? Did he come back for you or did he just think that life as it was would just start, that his little foray would just be stored in the attic until it was completely forgotten?

In short NO and CORRECT. 
During the first few months, maybe year of reconnection, he was very careful and concerned.  He took me out for lunch, dinner, trips out but refused to have an R discussion.   
When this lady (Let's call her P) comes to do office work over here he asks her out for lunch and tells me that he is off for lunch.  No attempt to ask me out to join them.  He doesn't have to ask me of course because they may be discussing business, but he has gone backwards in a way.

However he has still not acknowledged in words that what he has done was wrong.  I know that Anjae and NYM have berated me for wanting to hear these words " I am sorry that I hurt you S&D"    What I have heard is "I'm sorry that you were hurt" and said in the same tone as " Pass the salt"

I honestly think he believes he has crept back into the marriage and that I am there like an old piece of furniture and yet I know that he does love me but he cannot express that anymore.  He even told me a year ago that he couldn't commit to the marriage.  He asked me what I was looking for and I kept it really simple such as a person I could share my experiences and life with, someone to travel with, someone to do joint hobbies (the way we always did until BD) with, someone to care for and to be cared for.   His response " I don't think I can do that and I don't think I can make such a commitment"
At the time I put that down to me applying too much pressure so left it alone. I had said my say and he couldn't find a way to step up.   Since then , probably now getting on for 2 years - we have never had another R conversation.

So we rattle around and he disappears to pursue his hobbies, interests when it suits him as do I (although Covid has put a severe stop to that for my performance and acting work). 
There are elements of the narcissist in him too as he always has to make an "entrance".  I was on the phone to our oldest D when he came back home one evening.  I waved and smiled at him and mouthed our D's name as he came near.  He then stood in the doorway watching and when I turned back to speak to our D and motioned him to join in the conversation by putting it on speaker phone, he walked away with a "Hello to you too..." sarcastic voice.   When we had finished I took him to task on it, his response " Oh couldn't be bothered, had a busy day!"

Couldn't be bothered to say hello to our D. 

He does a lot in interrupting what might be happening, I may be playing with our GD and he walks in insisting that I help him find something he has lost. When I  politely refuse ( no longer a fixer) he gets cross and starts talking about someone stealing from him or someone out to get him or someone taken it. 

This is not the behaviour of someone who wants back in.   This is the behaviour of someone who is too old a dog to teach new tricks to.   This is the behaviour of someone who is still in escape and avoid hoping that if he just stays on good behaviour all will be as it was before. 

But it can never be as before.  Our old marriage is dead.

Yesterday I actually found myself questioning whether I still loved him. Nothing had triggered it but I actually felt that I did love him as the man I originally knew and the man who is the father of my children.  But I found myself fully understanding and feeling the ILYBINILWY phrase.   I think I am no longer in love with him and what love I do have for him is functional, familial and brotherly.

This is sad and I have no wish to explore why - it is what it is.  The question is do I have enough for me to want to work on the marriage myself?   MY old boss (the one who bullied me) lost her husband suddenly a few weeks ago.  I was actually envious because she and he were so devoted to each other and she has taken it really (and understandably) badly and is a complete wreck.  My heart goes out to her for that pain she must be experiencing.  But I don't think that I have that level of devotion or love in me anymore for H.  That thought initially frightened me but it was the reality check I think I needed to have.   

This MLC has been over 7 years now and I cannot see a future for us both - not in the way I would like anyway. Now we are just old friends who have had children together and for a long while we had a very happy secure life together.

Until I sell the house ( which H has started to drag his heels over) I will not know what my future with him will hold.   I intend to have my own space and H says he wants his but has done nothing about finding anywhere.  Yet again, I think he thinks that it will all return to "normal" and that he will be able to rattle around in my house just like we do here.
Like Covid 19 and post Covid - there is no "back to normal" but I don't think I even have a new normal to contemplate with him.
 
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 07:52:18 AM by Songanddance »
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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So much resonates with me only it has been 11 years since BD.

Many contacts over the last 11 years, never one relationship talk, never the hint of any awareness of the pain he caused..totally superficial..it sucks the life out of me.

I wanted to think we could have a friendly relationship and that I could be ok with that...but in truth it wasn't any kind of relationship (although in his mind I think he could tell his "friends" that I was good and that we were friends and blah, blah,  blah).

My priest who has been on this journey with me for all these years, I went to see him last week. He's always mentioned that he thinks my husband is on the "spectrum"...not quite sure of any specific diagnosis but what he said did make sense. He said that Mr xyzcf did not seem to be able to form any emotional bonds to anyone (and that includes my daughter).

My priest questioned me if he had been that way from the time we were married, was it possible he had always been like this...no.....he may have had some traits but this person is not the person I loved for 35 years...that person doesn't exist anymore.

Gradually and painfully, I have cut those ties between us..he is no longer welcomed here and I don't respond to his text messages...it's just meaningless drivel.

I still love him...I wish I didn't..it would make things much easier on me.

But I love myself as well. I explained to my therapist that I had 55 wonderful years and then 11 really sh$&%y ones...and she posed the question to me: "So what do you want the rest of your life to be?"

Contact with him does does nothing for me...and leaves me with great sadness for what could have been.

Yet still I yearn..for a partner and a family.....and maybe that's why I convince myself, that should he ever "come back"...but not like this.....

There has to be more than this and it's totally inconsequential because he doesn't want me in his life anyway.

Song, I am not comfortable with the relationship that you describe that your husband has with this employee..just sayin'...it spells huge red flags to me.

We all do what's right for us and again, my very wise therapist has also stated that I can decide one day not to see him and then change my mind another.....I am in control of that part....

Please keep writing as things unfold. You have a really good way of explaining how things are and I think several of us are nodding our heads as we read your story.

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« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 11:04:07 AM by xyzcf »
"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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Yes Xyzcf, I am also nodding along with you Song.

I agree escape and avoid can last a very long time.
Even when them seem to be back to themselves, something is still off.

Very hard to admit it to yourself.  I did almost 2 years ago and walked away. It was the right thing to do, for me.

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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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