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Author Topic: MLC Monster Discussion topic for the Veterans and especially those in Mental Health

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I posted this on my thread but then decided I wanted to bring more attention to it and put it out there to everyone.  Of late, we have had at least 3 other therapists join the board who can help in adding to what I've written here but we also have several who have studied MLC enough to have a Ph. D in it without ever attaining a formal degree so I really value their input as well.  As always, all respectful opinions are welcome as is feedback and questions.  Let it fly, guys!

The topic of discussion I want to broach is that on this site we seem to be so MLC-centric that we tend to deal with every situation by the "LBS playbook" and oftentimes almost discourage some newbies it seems by telling them in a roundabout way that it's either hopeless or that they can count on having years of separation and infidelity to look forward to.  But, the truth is that no one here including myself is qualified to diagnose MLC and especially not vicariously through another person's account.  I'm qualified and licensed to diagnose anything in the DSM-IV but would never diagnose someone's spouse based solely on what the person was telling me about them.  It would not only be malpractice but foolishness of the highest order.  And why, you ask?  Because the person closest to someone is NOT a reliable source of information about them in almost all cases.  And the reason for this is that they are the most BIASED.  When we diagnose a child with ADHD for example, we give the parent a rating instrument to gauge their perception of the child's behaviors but we put more weight on the one we give the teacher because of less risk of unaccounted for variables.  Perhaps the child acts up more at home because they are reacting to the parenting style.  I'd like to have a dollar for every parent who has brought their child in for an ADHD diagnosis based on their behavior at home only to hear them report the child is "an angel at school."  Moral of the story is that I have no idea whose spouses here are really in MLC or if any are at all, and I also cannot diagnose my own XW as I'm too biased. 

So, what point am I trying to make?  We should follow the lead of those who have gone before and been successful (just like in anything), but we should also look for real signs and not discount our spouses' behaviors as "cycling" or "Nice Monster" without at least considering following techniques that might work with estranged spouses in "normal situations."  As OP says, "No Expectations" but that should never mean to give up hope or stop trying which is the message I'm afraid some of the newbies might be getting.  None of us know whether or not our spouses are in MLC and I would hate to think someone missed out on the chance for a reconciliation because they thought their spouse had not "been in the tunnel" long enough.
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Thundarr

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So, what do you propose, Thundarr? Ask the MLCer? They will deny anything is wrong with them, let alone having a MLC. Ask their new friends? Ask the OW/OM?

And we have not "diagnosed" our spouses MLC because of what we say (or what they say) but because of the things they do.

How do you diagnose something? A schizophrenic is not going to tell you they are one. Are you going to believe what the delusional schizophrenic tells you (that the spouse or relatives want to poison them and so on) or the sane spouse and relatives? I know one of the questions it is made to schizophrenics is if they hear voices, if they ever hear someone tell them they have to do this or that but they may lie.

You are forgetting, I think, that in MLC is the MLCer who is not a reliable source of information. About themselves and about the LBS/family. So, who is going to be the reliable source? Do you believe what your wife tells or yourself?

DMS-IV will soon be DIM-V. Maybe one day DMS will have MLC. Things change and evolve, even depression classification is going to change for DMS-V

"to deal with every situation by the "LBS playbook" and oftentimes almost discourage some newbies it seems by telling them in a roundabout way that it's either hopeless or that they can count on having years of separation and infidelity to look forward to."

Do you want to play by the MLCer playbook? And how would that book be? "I'm never coming back", "you've been a terrible wife/husband for the whole of our marriage", "I've been unhappy for 10,15,20,25 years..."...

Don't remember anyone telling there is no hope. The truth/fact is there are years of separation and infidelity. Or are you forgetting the stories of all of us here?... Would your prefer us to omit that and sugar coat how things are?

And some of us have had MLC of our own, we will be able to tell you how it was and to recognise in others.

Who are the 3 other therapists of the board?

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Duthla and Beginagain have come out publicly and identified themselves as therapists.  There is one more but I can't remember if they told me in a PM or on the open board so I will leave it to them to identify here if they choose.

You make an excellent point, AnneJ, about the comparison to a schizophrenia diagnosis ((and also remind me that I promised Kikki I'd make a thread comparing the prodromal (early onset) stage of schizophrenia and MLC and I'll try to do that this weekend)).  I would not diagnose someone as schizophrenic without at least meeting the person first, but yes a combination of their outlandish statements along with the report of their relative based upon factual reports (not subjective views or opinions but facts to dispute the outlandish statements) would be sufficient for the diagnosis in most cases.  And is self-reporting really valid in historical diagnoses?  Some therapists would assign a diagnosis of "Major Depression by history (hx)" to someone who had reported going through something similar to MLC but unless they had been diagnosed by someone in the past most would shy away from it and limit their diagnosis to what is currently going on. 

And DSM-V was supposed to be out by the end of the month and I will have to very quickly become an expert on it as the insurance companies will want us using it immediately.  I had not heard how the depression classification was going to change but I have heard of many other changes as I used to work with one of the psychiatrists who had been invited to be a reviewer.  I look forward to seeing how the field has evolved. 

And no going by the MLC playbook!!  Heavens no.  But, there are some here whose spouses either did not follow the same patterns as others or were never MLC at all.  It's been awhile but one point that DGU and I did agree on in the past is that not every situation here is MLC.  As OP says, the 180 and other strategies for dealing with what is happening are the same regardless but everyone here may not have to suffer through years of this.  Before anyone suggests, I know it will likely be years down the road for me if ever and it already has been at least 2 so I'm not counting myself among them.  But one of the newbie threads here (not calling anyone out) is mixed between "You can possibly save your marriage" and "Your marriage is over."  That's pretty rough for a newbie to read and I would hate to see someone discouraged or driven away from the site due to this.

And I also want to point out that I'm not saying that ANYONE is doing anything wrong as we all have formed a community focused on helping others as best we can through our own experiences.  I just think that from time to time those of use who have been on this road awhile need to examine the message we are sending to those new to it. 
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Thundarr

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Hi All,

 Well Thundarr, you made some intersting points but I believe AnneJ hit the proverbial nail on the head. Social sciences always seem to start with an"operational definition" of what something "is"..I can tell you from my own deeply painful experiances with my H that he walked away from everyone who ever truly loved him and knew him..with me leaving out all the crazed s$it of the OW, her kids, his (non) financial support of his own child, his anger, well, we know the possibilities here.
  The problem with the "psychology" field, if I may humbly say this based on my on extensive round-abouts with the system (our daughter has bi-polar disorder and it took 4 years for "them" to figure out it was not all behavior related)..this field is so lacking in any moral-value, integrity based standpoint or analysis..am I making sense here? Some things are just plain evil and comes from the satanic side, and all that the evil one does to destroy marriages/families/children/legasies..I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift, humbly?
  Until our society recognizes the moral decay and dishonesty that our MLC's perpetrate on their families and the fragile moral fabic of society in general, and admit that there is a HUGE spiritual dead zone and the injuries it brings with it..then the psychologists/therapists/MD psychiatrists are spouting nothing more than academics with a tinge of educated bla bla, and that's just the way this woman sees it.

I appreciate the dialog, always.
Be blessed
1Cor.13 (the true definition of what love is and is not)
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Interesting discussion - but as a newbie, and a terribly sensitive soul, it makes me once again reconsider MLC, and look inward.  If I don't rely on MLC, then I am forced to believe what my H has said.

- I have been trying to get rid of you for 18 years
- You tricked me into marrying you
- I don't want to be with you
- I love you but I'm not in love with you
- You make me feel ugly, unloved and unwanted
- I am not emotionally or physically attracted to you
- We are not right for each other, our personalities clash

.... etc....

As the days go by, it is easy for me to lose focus on this being a crisis.  I often times forget, because there is hardly any interaction, and begin to believe all of his words.  And then I say to myself 'why not? they could all be true!'.  And I viciously spiral downward into despair.  And hopelessness. 

I wish that any part of this was easy.  But there is no easy part.  None.  It hurts, no matter how you look at it.  Do I want to be fooled into thinking that this is MLC, when in fact it may just be the reality of his choice?  I do not. I am a realist, and appreciate the truth.

It would truly help if MLC was a recognized diagnosis... not just a term people toss out there mocking the purchase of a red sports car, by a 50 year old man. 

I don't even know if my thoughts are connecting, lol, I'm tired!  But thanks for the interesting topic!
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Hi All,

 Well Thundarr, you made some intersting points but I believe AnneJ hit the proverbial nail on the head. Social sciences always seem to start with an"operational definition" of what something "is"..I can tell you from my own deeply painful experiances with my H that he walked away from everyone who ever truly loved him and knew him..with me leaving out all the crazed s$it of the OW, her kids, his (non) financial support of his own child, his anger, well, we know the possibilities here.
  The problem with the "psychology" field, if I may humbly say this based on my on extensive round-abouts with the system (our daughter has bi-polar disorder and it took 4 years for "them" to figure out it was not all behavior related)..this field is so lacking in any moral-value, integrity based standpoint or analysis..am I making sense here? Some things are just plain evil and comes from the satanic side, and all that the evil one does to destroy marriages/families/children/legasies..I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift, humbly?
  Until our society recognizes the moral decay and dishonesty that our MLC's perpetrate on their families and the fragile moral fabic of society in general, and admit that there is a HUGE spiritual dead zone and the injuries it brings with it..then the psychologists/therapists/MD psychiatrists are spouting nothing more than academics with a tinge of educated bla bla, and that's just the way this woman sees it.

I appreciate the dialog, always.
Be blessed
1Cor.13 (the true definition of what love is and is not)

Amen.  I had somebody point out to me, it is sin.  Plain and simple.  And yes, I get that.  Hard for me to discern if H had a mental/emotional breakdown of sorts, which caused him to 'lose it', and make these horrific choices, OR, did he allow himself to be tempted, and drawn away, into making sinful choices???  Either way, I believe that satan is the one temporarily in charge of H, leading him astray, and now H is dealing with his PRIDE... telling me one weekend that he wanted to 'come home, but just for the girls', (he got a negative reaction from D17 for that), to the next weekend saying 'it's too late'.  How so H, how so?  He didn't have to answer.  His pride revealed itself. 

I don't know if I got a little off topic from what you were saying 1Cor13, forgive me if so, but the spiritual aspect of this is something I feel very strongly about.
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Hello 1Cor, and thank you for being honest in stating your opinion.  I guess the first point I would make in regards to what you wrote is that all accepted mental health beliefs and techniques can be found in the Bible.  I'm sadly not fluent enough on Bible verses to quote which scriptures pertain to which principles but they are all there.  Therapy is not something that has been invented that just simply didn't exist before, but rather a framework based upon the knowledge that has been passed down through generations.  I'm sure there are references in the Koran and Book of Mormon among others that would also qualify as being directly in line with mental health.  Below is a link to an article that I think you would agree with wholeheartedly, based on what you wrote.  Also, I'm sorry for the trouble you went through in getting your daughter properly diagnosed.  Therapists and psychiatrists are human and we do make mistakes.  Unfortunately, often when we do someone else pays the price for it.

http://www.ucg.org/files/reprints/pdf/MentalHealth.pdf

(I also just saw that the DSM-V WAS published 5 days ago.  I need to catch up!!).

I also wanted to mention that what you wrote reminded me of what a doctor friend of mine told me once.  There are "Christian Counselors" and "Christian" counselors, meaning that just because a therapist is a Christian it does not mean that they integrate Christian values and beliefs into their practice.  On the flip side, some counselors who are certified as "Christian Counselors" do not use evidence-based techniques and often do more harm than good.  As a practicing Catholic, I like to believe that I follow God's directives through what I do and how I do it both at work and with the family.  I may be off the mark and may not be doing as good a job as I think I am, but I do see what I do as a mission and not a "job."

Alwayshope, you're very welcome but I had no intention of discounting MLC as existing or insinuating that most if not all of our spouses are not in an actual crisis.  There is no doubt that based on the accounts of the LBSes here that something is not as it should be, but my point is that some of us veterans may perhaps be jaded by our own situations or by having read so many similar accounts that we may unintentionally give off the message that this IS going to take years and that our spouses WILL have an affair.  I think in some if not many ways this deviates from the original intent RCR had in creating this site (please correct me if I'm wrong, RCR).  What your H has said is unrealistic and illogical, and I base that on the statement of you making him feel ANY certain way and notwithstanding the fact that there is no such thing as "trying to get rid of you for 18 years."  How?  Poisoning?  Treating with a "cure"?  Please hear me when I firmly say NO ONE SHOULD TAKE WHAT THEIR SPOUSES ARE SAYING ABOUT THEM PERSONALLY. 
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Thundarr

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Duthla and Beginagain have come out publicly and identified themselves as therapists.

Thank you, Thundarr. I think I missed it when they post that info.

Therapist can diagnose schizophrenia is the US? Here that is only for doctors, normally psychiatrist and/or neurologists but a GP can do it and, to confirm, send the person to a psychiatrist and/or neurologist. Normally it will be to a psychiatrist. Therapists here also cannot prescribe medicines unless they are clinical therapist and those have to be MD’s.

So, you are saying that someone like Mr J (and other MLCers here) who had been diagnosed (by MDs) with depression and exhaustion, twice previous to MLC and once when he already was in the early days of Replay (still at home) would get diagnosed MLC?

Mr J told me, several times before he left, he was depressed. The doctor from the company he worked for at the time, as well as the GP, disgnosed him with depression. Needless to say, like all (or nearly all MLCers), he never care and start to run from the doctors. A thing he had not done in the two previous times.

I have heard that depression classification was going to change on the Drugs and the Brain course I took at Caltech/Coursera. In the early 2013 classes, when Depression was approached it was said that depression often is also manifested by anger, especially in men, and that the new description would have to take that, and other manifestations of depression, in consideration. Do you know where one would be able to consult the DMS-V changes online?

As for not follow the same patterns, I think not everyone with a mental disorder/illness follows the exact same patterns (that is why some disorders have more than one category – like, for exemple, Bipolar I, II and cyclothymia -,  and, when new patters are observed, things change and are revaluated). That some here have spouses who are not, nor have ever be in MLC it is true. I also agree with that and some others as well.

As OP says, the 180 and other strategies for dealing with what is happening are the same regardless but everyone here may not have to suffer through years of this. 

This is true. Everyone where may not have to suffer through years of this. But on average one will have to. I think we tend to deal, and refer to, averages. Of course someone may only have a short, one year MLC. From what I have seen here on the board and real life that seems to be very rare. Very rare, of course, is not the same as impossible or non-existent. 

Lets, see, we cannot save our marriage, yet the marriage can still get back on track. We cannot save it (or at least not while the crisis is going on) because it takes two to save and work on a marriage, but it can back on track when the spouse MLC is over. And, yes, the old marriage is dead. That is not the same as the marriage is dead. Just like we, LBS, are not the same post spouse MLC, nor will the marriage be. In that sense, the marriage is dead and cannot be saved. But something new, and, it is said, better, can come of it. 


I just think that from time to time those of use who have been on this road awhile need to examine the message we are sending to those new to it. 

Agree. But we all, at times, have our doubts, ups and downs, less good moments. For most of us this is a long, tiring, difficult, road. At times the message may become a little confused/mixed. Examine it from time to time is a good thing.
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Thanks for your response Thundarr, and for saying what my H said is unrealistic and illogical, I am encouraged by that!  I'm such a newbie...  ::)

Can't wait to read others opinions on this, thanks again!  Hope you are doing well!
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Duthla and Beginagain have come out publicly and identified themselves as therapists.

Thank you, Thundarr. I think I missed it when they post that info.

Therapist can diagnose schizophrenia is the US? Here that is only for doctors, normally psychiatrist and/or neurologists but a GP can do it and, to confirm, send the person to a psychiatrist and/or neurologist. Normally it will be to a psychiatrist. Therapists here also cannot prescribe medicines unless they are clinical therapist and those have to be MD’s.

So, you are saying that someone like Mr J (and other MLCers here) who had been diagnosed (by MDs) with depression and exhaustion, twice previous to MLC and once when he already was in the early days of Replay (still at home) would get diagnosed MLC?

Mr J told me, several times before he left, he was depressed. The doctor from the company he worked for at the time, as well as the GP, diagnosed him with depression. Needless to say, like all (or nearly all MLCers), he never care and start to run from the doctors. A thing he had not done in the two previous times.

I have heard that depression classification was going to change on the Drugs and the Brain course I took at Caltech/Coursera. In the early 2013 classes, when Depression was approached it was said that depression often is also manifested by anger, especially in men, and that the new description would have to take that, and other manifestations of depression, in consideration. Do you know where one would be able to consult the DMS-V changes online?

As for not follow the same patterns, I think not everyone with a mental disorder/illness follows the exact same patterns (that is why some disorders have more than one category – like, for example, Bipolar I, II and cyclothymia -,  and, when new patters are observed, things change and are revaluated). That some here have spouses who are not, nor have ever be in MLC it is true. I also agree with that and some others as well.

As OP says, the 180 and other strategies for dealing with what is happening are the same regardless but everyone here may not have to suffer through years of this. 

This is true. Everyone where may not have to suffer through years of this. But on average one will have to. I think we tend to deal, and refer to, averages. Of course someone may only have a short, one year MLC. From what I have seen here on the board and real life that seems to be very rare. Very rare, of course, is not the same as impossible or nonexistent. 

Lets, see, we cannot save our marriage, yet the marriage can still get back on track. We cannot save it (or at least not while the crisis is going on) because it takes two to save and work on a marriage, but it can back on track when the spouse MLC is over. And, yes, the old marriage is dead. That is not the same as the marriage is dead. Just like we, LBS, are not the same post spouse MLC, nor will the marriage be. In that sense, the marriage is dead and cannot be saved. But something new, and, it is said, better, can come of it. 


I just think that from time to time those of use who have been on this road awhile need to examine the message we are sending to those new to it. 

Agree. But we all, at times, have our doubts, ups and downs, less good moments. For most of us this is a long, tiring, difficult, road. At times the message may become a little confused/mixed. Examine it from time to time is a good thing.

It would truly help if MLC was a recognized diagnosis... not just a term people toss out there mocking the purchase of a red sports car, by a 50 year old man. 

Yes it would. As everyone here knows, I'm more inclined, and at easy, with the neuro-hormonal side of MLC and have been taking some neuroscience and genetic short courses. The psychological side eludes me a bit. Or better, I tend to get it from my Humanities background, namely the Classic Greek Epics and Plays and other literature or philosophy sources.
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Take it for what it's worth AnneJ, but generally Wikipedia is pretty accurate on DSM topics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSM-5

And thank you Alwayshope, I am doing well overall!
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Thundarr

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Thank you, Thundarr. It is late here. I'll take a look at the link tomorrow.
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and oftentimes almost discourage some newbies it seems by telling them in a roundabout way that it's either hopeless or that they can count on having years of separation and infidelity to look forward to. 
Can you point to any threads where this hasn't been the case? Because there is separation, there is infidelity, there is cruelty and viciousness in almost every thread on this forum and on almost every thread at other forums.

What advice do you suggest we give those new to the forum?
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but my point is that some of us veterans may perhaps be jaded by our own situations or by having read so many similar accounts that we may unintentionally give off the message that this IS going to take years

"So many similar accounts" could also be referred to as sample size, which can indicate validity.  As far as the time frame, RCR addresses that in the article "Acceptance".  And yes, part of the Acceptance of MLC includes it's time frame.  There's a separate article called Midlife Crisis Takes Time.

If your goal is speed, it will fail. But most of you will need to learn that through experience. Make your goal Acceptance. It is my wish that you accept the Time reality and make goals within that context. But most of you have the fantasy and hope that you will be the exception, you will change his mind or maybe you doubt it is MLC and therefore believe it will be faster for you. Maybe you are right; exceptions to rules are part of the rules and this is your journey.

and that our spouses WILL have an affair.

You put "will" in all caps, meaning an absolute.  Here's where RCR addresses it in the articles.....it's a rare few who don't cheat in some form.  One of the basics of MLC is abandoning the spouse.

Infidelity
Though this is merely a symptom of the Dis-Ease, it is often the most painful and public. It is not a litmus test for determining MLC. An affair is about a relationship--the MLCer forms a bond with the other person. Most midlife affairs become sexual (physical), but there are some who have Internet affairs, emotional affairs or use pornography instead. It is a rare few who do not cheat on their spouse in some form.

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This is a very interesting discussion. And DSM-V is already out on the shelves in my med faculty library, of course without a word of MLC in it  ??? no surprise there!

No I'm nothing resembling a therapist - and most certainly not a veteran! - but have a solid grounding in basic psychiatry (though more adolescent than adult) - so at least the field isn't unknown to me. Kindly caveat lexor! But FWIW I think we don't have consensus (anywhere, not just on this forum!) re specific diagnostic language around MLC. So we should acquit each other of trying to diagnose at a distance. But each of us can probably identify the moment when our own partner's behaviour started to exhibit a mental health flavour. I don't have a better medical word for it than "not alright" - the shark look in the eyes, the feverish actions and narcissism, the violent anger and oppositional/defiant behaviour - above all, the abrupt personality change from the person they were, mere weeks or months before. Something badly went off the wires, at a definable time point. 

...there is separation, there is infidelity, there is cruelty and viciousness in almost every thread on this forum and on almost every thread at other forums.
Very true. It's horrible, and well-nigh unforgivable. But I suppose most massive behavioural changes that have an abrupt point of onset, also have an endpoint. Not scientific, just my anecdotal thoughts. Sudden catastrophic changes in any organ system tend to be reversible; chronic incremental changes are the irreversible ones. Don't think that's wishful thinking, seems to show up in many threads including my own. But whether our partners prove strong enough to undo the mess of their own making, when they wake to it... there's the rub. Eventually so many of them do seem to get it on some level; but they aren't strong enough to deal with the consequences - hence all kinds of self-medication ensues, to force their conscious thoughts to stay safely in fantasy land.

Remembering many years ago when I studied psychiatry, a smelly and disheveled, quite schizophrenic gentleman sitting in his locked room reading Hemingway. He asked me "Since it doesn't bother anyone or change anything, why don't you just leave me to MY reality, and I'll leave you to YOURS?". ...I didn't have any kind of an answer. Still don't.
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and oftentimes almost discourage some newbies it seems by telling them in a roundabout way that it's either hopeless or that they can count on having years of separation and infidelity to look forward to. 
Can you point to any threads where this hasn't been the case? Because there is separation, there is infidelity, there is cruelty and viciousness in almost every thread on this forum and on almost every thread at other forums.

What advice do you suggest we give those new to the forum?

As far as male LBSes I can think of OP, Riven, Welsh (possibly), and DGU as well as his XW appears to have waited until after the D to have an OM.  From LT there was NJR and a few others who I can't recall as it's been down so long.  And we must also look at the stories of Ready2Transform, AnneJ, Beautiful Star, Lisa from LT and several others who self-report an MLC but never had an affair.  As far as female LBSes go I can think of Wed2HimWhatever, Tsunami, JD, ZafraD and a few others who I can't recall on this late hour.  As DGU pointed out there are no absolutes.

And as far as advice to the newbies?  I think taking care of themselves is tantamount, as is coming to a point of not blaming themselves.  Other than that I would say that most are seeking empathy rather than directives to "get ready for several years of this,""anticipate that your spouse has or will cheat on you" and "get ready for your spouse to verbally abuse you and destroy your finances."  Yes, those things happen all too frequently with those who choose to share their stories here but rather than adding onto the fears the newbies face before even coming here I think it better to simply advise them to eat, sleep, separate their accounts and take care of themselves in general.  I think in some ways we unknowingly focus too much on what the MLCers are doing (guilty as charged, btw) and tend to not focus enough on the one in the relationship we CAN help - the LBS.

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...there is separation, there is infidelity, there is cruelty and viciousness in almost every thread on this forum and on almost every thread at other forums.
Very true. It's horrible, and well-nigh unforgivable.

It is very true. So in light of Thundarr's advice that we re examine what we tell newbies, what do we tell newbies?

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There is a thread at the top of the forum that includes instructions for newbies and advice for advising.
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...there is separation, there is infidelity, there is cruelty and viciousness in almost every thread on this forum and on almost every thread at other forums.

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  Very true. It's horrible, and well-nigh unforgivable.

It is very true. So in light of Thundarr's advice that we re examine what we tell newbies, what do we tell newbies?

I guess the turning point is well-nigh unforgivable, or simply unforgivable?? And that's not a question for our partners to answer, that question is for each newbie in the dark of the night. All these bad things may happen, perpetrated by our partners. They may keep happening for a long time. Each of us have fixed endpoints within ourselves, boundaries which just cannot be crossed, which we may not even recognize until after they're already crossed. On the other hand, as we grow inside, surely our boundaries may change.

Speaking for my own self, while the forum gave me a wonderful sanctuary, a framework and a vocabulary, I had a personal task: to go hunting for my boundaries - perhaps not always the same as my LBS sisters and brothers, but mine own. Each of us has a mortal vulnerability, though some (all?) of us store it in non-standard places. And it happens I work in an ICU. We are silly folks who persist in believing things may get better when every sensible soul might give up - rule of thumb used to be, until three organ systems are irrevocably damaged, the case isn't desperate yet! - so maybe that ethos shows up in my emotions too?  My H has damaged my heart and my confidence; but to date he has failed to irrevocably damage my mind and faith. So still I dare to think this MLC is reversible. What do I know? I'm still a newbie in many ways; so very little.
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« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 11:41:54 PM by osb »
"You have a right to action, not to the fruit thereof; shoot your arrow, but do not look to see where it lands."  -Bhagavad Gita

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I think this is a really good discussion.

I just wanted to say, that although I haven't posted from the beginning, I've been reading this site from the start. I found all posts and comments to be helpful and although a lot of the info stated this is possibly a long journey, I didn't find that discouraging when I was new to this. I actually found it tobe helpful in realising there was no 'quick fix' to this situation. I felt I needed to be told that it could possibly take years! Possibly with other relationships happening.

Otherwise I think (as friends pointed out that didn't understand) you might expect your spouse to return within a few weeks! Possibly feeling despair when that didn't happen.

I do not (just my view) think it hurts to point out possibly worst case scenarios. Like the saying goes ''expect the worst, and hope for the best'.

I hope this doesn't offend anyone, it's just my own thoughts on this, and not giving false hope to newbies by stating how this might possibly play out.

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each of us can probably identify the moment when our own partner's behaviour started to exhibit a mental health flavour. I don't have a better medical word for it than "not alright" - the shark look in the eyes, the feverish actions and narcissism, the violent anger and oppositional/defiant behaviour - above all, the abrupt personality change from the person they were, mere weeks or months before. Something badly went off the wires, at a definable time point. 
Do you think this would 'do' as a submission to the dsm team for the next edition?  I think it is an excellent summary and potential diagnosis osb  ;)

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most massive behavioural changes that have an abrupt point of onset, also have an endpoint. Not scientific, just my anecdotal thoughts. Sudden catastrophic changes in any organ system tend to be reversible; chronic incremental changes are the irreversible ones.
This is an exceptionally good point osb.

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whether our partners prove strong enough to undo the mess of their own making, when they wake to it... there's the rub.
Yes, this seems to be the clincher, and the unknown factor.

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it happens I work in an ICU. We are silly folks who persist in believing things may get better when every sensible soul might give up - rule of thumb used to be, until three organ systems are irrevocably damaged, the case isn't desperate yet! - so maybe that ethos shows up in my emotions too?  My H has damaged my heart and my confidence; but to date he has failed to irrevocably damage my mind and faith. So still I dare to think this MLC is reversible.
I love this.  So many of us have questioned what makes us different to those who can kick their MLC spouses, to the curb.  I think this sums it up perfectly.  Most of us are still only two organ systems down.
Thank you osb.  Much to think about.

Interesting discussion T, and thank you - would love to read about the schizophrenia/MLC link when you get the chance.
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 03:07:45 AM by kikki »

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There is a thread at the top of the forum that includes instructions for newbies and advice for advising.
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

I will re-read this shortly but I dont recall any advice in what RCR has written that needs to be changed.
If you tell me that others give bad advice on the forum, well that is possible, and is something that we try to correct as gently as possible.

I would discourage any one from giving the advice that their is NO HOPE since HOPE is within us and something WE can CONTROL.
However the TIME element is certainly something that needs to be discussed and not swept under the rug.

I also believe that those of us that do not detach, may contribute to time spent in this nightmare.
Now what degree of detachment is necessary can be up for debate.

We are the ones that must lead our families forward and to get on living our lives "as if" they are never coming back.

Oh and FTR as far as  I know my wife has never had an affair with a real person.
So does that  mean their was no infidelity?
After reading some other websites I have decided that infidelity can include just plain abandonment with no other person involved.

And as DGU has posted above abandonment is part of MLC.
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Thundarr

Although my post is not about MLC I would like to pick this up with you and ask you to pin point the research that identified this:

 Because the person closest to someone is NOT a reliable source of information about them in almost all cases.  And the reason for this is that they are the most BIASED.  When we diagnose a child with ADHD for example, we give the parent a rating instrument to gauge their perception of the child's behaviors but we put more weight on the one we give the teacher because of less risk of unaccounted for variables.  Perhaps the child acts up more at home because they are reacting to the parenting style.  I'd like to have a dollar for every parent who has brought their child in for an ADHD diagnosis based on their behavior at home only to hear them report the child is "an angel at school."

I work in a team that supports children with disability including all the ASD spectrum disorders, ADHD being one of them. To us the parents give the most accurate account of their child's behaviour and actually at times under play it in my view.

Children often 'behave' at school and then become challenging and aggressive at home. Most are children who have sensory dysfunction and by the end of the day they are at overload. It is like filling a fizzy pop bottle. Eventually the fizz will just explode through the top just as a child does at home with challenging behaviour and hypermobility.

A teachers perception of a child (particularly in they are in a mainstream setting and not a special school) is that parents should make them behave and that the child has dysfunctional parenting. Very interesting when you think in this country they have minimal training on learning needs and disability unless they specialise in it. They see the behaviour as a challenge NOT a symptom of something. Yet you identify that they are the best people to identify and comment on a child as it is unbiased and objective. I have also been a  school nurse and believe me I met a lot of teachers who were opinionated, subjective and biased about the children in their class.

But I am open to any research that says otherwise as we need to keep up to date and broaden our knowledge base.

Good to get lots of different views though  :)

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« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 07:16:21 AM by justasking »
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JA,  here is a link to one of several studies done that found parent reports were inferior to teacher reports on ADHD diagnosis.  I'm not saying parent reports are invalid or should always be discounted, but research does support teacher reports being more reliable.  I do want to add that I completely agree that the average teacher is I'll-trained to work with ASD kids, which is why a large part of my job involves training teachers and other caregivers.  This needs to change and soon!

http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/a_anastopoulos_predictive_1998.pdf
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Thundarr

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I would like to echo Serenity's comment.

 I discovered this website 8 months post bd. To say that it saved my sanity, would be an understatement . My h had 3 attempted early returns by this time and then went deep into the tunnel. I was questioning my own sanity by this time and he had beaten me down with his cruel words and deplorable actions. I'm at the 2 year mark and have seen his MLC eerily play out exactly how described by RC R's articles and by the experiences of many of the members of this forum.

It has been a lifeline for me, and more importantly made it possible for me  to navigate my three children through this unbelievable nightmare.

In my opinion, almost every poster here has shown responsibility when advising newbies and oldies alike. We are constantly reminded   to : Trust your instinct, you know your situation and your H the best. No two situations are alike, take what works and leave the rest , etc.... .

It is heartbreaking when a newbie first posts and almost miraculous when they begin to restore their battered self esteem rather quickly with the support and compassion of this forum. Not everyone posts, I very rarely do , but I don't know where I would be without the comfort of knowing that I am not alone  and the wise words of some of the most intelligent people I have come across.

Just my humble 2 cents worth.

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My two cents: Newbies should be aware of the time scale- for me it prompted me to go get a Master´s degree knowing I had at least two years. I would say that two years is a pipe dream and would tell people that they can plan on the time scale of a PhD:).

Regarding infidelity- I think they all do it in one way or another and usually before moving out or giving "the speech."

What I think needs more posting is the toll this takes on the LBSer and his/her children. I for one am sure that my MS is due to the stress that this situation caused. I am now experiencing a relapse in response to h´s newest legal maneuver. I think it IS valid for the LBSer to question the cost to his/her health in waiting this out. I don´t regret my marriage. I do regret prolonging my stand as my health was so negatively impacted. There are several others who have received diagnoses of breast cancer, thyroid conditions and back surgeries. We too easily discount the mind-body connection.

Having been on the site for three years, I´ve seen many commonalities. I think as a generality, the MLCer is passive-aggressive and conflict avoidant. The LBSer is outspoken and does not play mind games. The MLCer is weak in terms of being sneaky and lying and the LBSer is blindsided and left in a sobbing puddle on the floor- literally. I do think that the MLCers are depressed, BUT this does not excuse the cruel treatment. They seem to have unilaterally bailed without a sincere attempt to address their concerns and the longer time goes on, the more those concerns seem to be personal issues on their part. The LBSers are strong, nurturing, caring, and loving. We deserve to have partners that acknowledge and validate those loving qualities. LIFE IS SHORT. I do think that there is a limit to how many chances and how low a MCLer is "allowed" before the door to reconciliation is closed. Each person has his or her own limit before standing down. That does NOT mean that we lose hope for the situation of others.
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Having been on the site for three years, I´ve seen many commonalities. I think as a generality, the MLCer is passive-aggressive and conflict avoidant. The LBSer is outspoken and does not play mind games. The MLCer is weak in terms of being sneaky and lying and the LBSer is blindsided and left in a sobbing puddle on the floor- literally. I do think that the MLCers are depressed, BUT this does not excuse the cruel treatment. They seem to have unilaterally bailed without a sincere attempt to address their concerns and the longer time goes on, the more those concerns seem to be personal issues on their part. The LBSers are strong, nurturing, caring, and loving. We deserve to have partners that acknowledge and validate those loving qualities. LIFE IS SHORT. I do think that there is a limit to how many chances and how low a MCLer is "allowed" before the door to reconciliation is closed. Each person has his or her own limit before standing down. That does NOT mean that we lose hope for the situation of others.

This description fits H and I to a tee.  Great observation.
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« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 07:03:25 PM by OldPilot »

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Excellent feedback from all regardless of which position is taken.  I can say this site and LT probably saved my life too as I hit absolute rock bottom and even had a suicide plan at one point (which I negated by creating a safety valve).  There's no doubt the toll this takes on one's health and vitality of life, and I can certainly understand someone ending their stand in order to save themselves.  But, what does ending your stand even mean?  Does it mean dating?  Getting in another relationship?  Simply closing the door and telling yourself you will NOT take your spouse back under ANY circumstances?  Standing is a concept as opposed to a material thing so it would stand to reason it has different meanings for different people, different cultures notwithstanding.

Having given this some thought I would propose letting the newbie control the amount of information thrown at them.  RCR has of course put together a near-comprehensive set of articles and readings on MLC that help to make any of the newbies who take time to read it much more versed in the ins and outs of MLC so they can guide the information they receive and how it is dissected.  I would NOT condone telling a newbie to brace for an OP because "all MLCers commit infidelity."  I would, however, answer any questions they had honestly but with a sensitive ear to where they are at in grieving and what they are ready to face.  Let's focus on helping them take care of the here and now and worry about how long and how severe once they are back to a point of stable footing.  As our own OP says, we have the gift of time.  No one has to have the whole of MLC dumped on them at once, especially when they have usually had so much dumped on them by the time they get here anyway.
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Thundarr

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I wanted to share this from Ala's thread.  I think it sums up perfectly one of the points I was trying to make much better than I did:

In response to Hobo and Rebel yell,
my fear is that as stated by Rebel Yell, we write this off as MLC too early and don't allow that decision to walk away to be theirs.

If we close down, go dark, cut off contact, we are declaring a position possibly too early and may be forcing a direction. My worry is that we don't over recognise MLC as many symptoms of a dissatisfied spouse who wants reassurance when kids leave home, a death or some other crisis, can be simply a dissatisfied or frightened spouse.
Many many couples have separated at this time and after a few months got back together. But this is only achieved by communication and not by closing down.
I know at least two examples where a wife left for one year, did nothing destructive and returned to a happy family.

This is not most usual, but it is a possibility and I don't think we hear about all cases.
My main point is responsibility. If the marriage is to be damaged we should be minimising that damage rather than emphasising it. If a partner is in fear we should be supportive. If they are uncertain we should be making reassurance.

If they are spending recklessly or having affairs, then we should be closing the shutters. Preserving stability and managing the family.

I just fear that a blip in  marriage could sometimes be pushed further by over reaction and this we must be careful. This was not my case, I was blind until it was too late.
Warning signs were there but I did not see them and I think at that time I reacted wrongly in that I did not do anything. 

Often by the time people find this Forum it is in MLC, but some may be searching for answers early. They may be the lucky ones.
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Thundarr

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I would NOT condone telling a newbie to brace for an OP because "all MLCers commit infidelity."

It seems the two things you are focused on are the time frame and the affair.  There is certainly some variance in time frame and, like RCR writes in the Acceptance article......most of us will learn about the accuracy of the time frame through experience.

The revealing of another person is often part of bomb drop (RCR's blog "What is Bomb Drop" references this).....so many if not most newbies may be dealing with it already.  While my MLCer did not have OM at the time of bomb drop, she made it clear at that time her intention was to find one.  Mission accomplished.
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 10:02:12 AM by Dontgiveup »

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I want to post but will admit that I have only scanned this thread. But given Thundarr's initial post on the thread I do want top say something.
First--an aside. Have you read all the controversy on DSM V? Quite interesting!
Okay onto my comment...
I often find myself not really contradicting, but saying things that may seem or feel as though I am contradicting what others are advising--when I am coaching or when I post on a thread. I think the common problem we all have is that sometimes we generalize and make assumptions when someone is new.
Assumption #1 is that this is MLC and so we base our comments and warnings on it being MLC. Instead of doing that, use IF phrases. So let them know what this might be like if it is MLC. I follow a lot of infidelity blogs--the sort that are journals for betrayed spouses as they heal their marriages. New ones are popping up all the time in the circle I follow and these are recent discoveries. Few of them seem to follow me though--I'm not listed on their blogrolls, though a few reference and recommend me.
Why?
I think because of the gap. Most of them are not MLC. But if they had come to this forum first or instead of going to the blog journals and starting their own, they might have been told all this scary stuff about it taking years. They would then tell us that their "MLCer" has agreed to counseling and is going and has ended the affair and is showing remorse and is agreeing to transparency... And we might post skeptical comments to them because we are still putting their non-MLC spouse in the MLC box--and since their spouse may be in the age range and maybe the triggers match pieces fit.

This was a problem at Divorcebusting when I was there as well--since I was pretty much exclusively on the MLC board. We automatically assumed MLC and then pigeonholed the LBS. Of course we are going to lean toward MLC around here--I mean it is an MLCforum by name. But that doesn't mean it is MLC and we all need to understand that there are a ton of infidelity situations that are not MLC and some of them are here.
The gap is that those infidelity bloggers are often in reconciliation and recovery with a willing partner. That is a big (HUGE) deal. It's where you all want to be someday. They are dealing with different issues though. They are in the same place as newbies here in that many are in their stress response phase because discovery was recent. But it's different for them because of the lack of a gap between recovery and discovery. There are challenges they are facing that you are not and vice versa. When you get to the marital recovery phase you will be more detached than they are now and so you will be less sensitive (less, not immune) to triggering and flashbacks. You will have done the screaming and dealt with Monster and learned diffusion skills before coming together again. So the recovery phase may be smoother (maybe or maybe not). It was certainly smoother for me than what I see these betrayed spouses going through.
So in that you have an advantage, but of course the greatest advantage would be if there were no gap and we could have the advantage of the detachment and diffusion skills, but [sigh] that's not how it works.
 
There is one of those posters out there who fits us more than most of the other infidelity blogs. She has been advised to come here and I've have commented as well and I don't think she's visited yet--and if she has, she's only lurked. I worry about her--PM me if you'd like to reach out and I'll send you to her blog.
 
Sometimes what works in one situation is the opposite of what may work in another, or what works on one day is the opposite of what may work in another.
Ex. I am not a fan of No Contact, I prefer Dark and sometimes it is in effect No Contact without the official boundary.
I also don't advocate pursuing. That doesn't have to go with maintaining No Contact and yet sometimes the two get associated together.
And then comes stuff that feels conflicting: Truth Darts or Facing Monster (Not Fearing Monster) and Venting--When to Challenge. I see advice to not pursue--which is good, but then there is a twist either in how it is interpreted or the explanation and the advisee thinks they need to avoid Monster and so rather than diffuse they attempt to placate if they are in contact with their MLCer. This can lead to enabling or a silent but mutually-agreed upon secret-keeping. This is what Lingy did. I'm sure I wrote a blog post about her, but I just went and tried to find it and I can't find it anywhere--I'll keep looking. Oh, I think it was in the original newsletter and didn't get transferred. But I wrote about here too: http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=2419.msg153552#msg153552 Lingy's Story is a cautionary tale of the negative consequences of settling and secret-keeping.
 
Okay, I rambled a bunch and then re-reading Lingy's Story has me sad--she was so much more than a best friend to me. So I'm going to post this and go continue my project painting my new office in the basement--guess what colour? ;)
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So eloquently stated and summed up perfectly, RCR!!!   Thank you!!!!

And, yes, the controversy surrounding DSM-5 (trying to get in the habit of writing it that way as they've apparently broken off of Roman Numerals and I was chided by a friend for continuing to use them last night, lol) seems to be both valid and alarming.  Given the fact that it's solely a product of the American Psychiatric Association who are, of course, directly or indirectly associated with the drug companies I can see why many experts in other disciplines are skeptical of the changes and re-classifications.  Many would seem to open the door for expanded pharmacological treatment and the drug industry is a multi-billion dollar one that has quite a bit riding on professional adoption of the DSM-5.  There's an interesting post on my FB page between several of my colleagues and friends about the pros and cons and whether or not it might be best to switch to the ICD-9 given its global body of contributors rather than the *ahem* "special interest group" that edited the DSM-5.  But, I digress....
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 10:21:08 AM by Thundarr »
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Thundarr

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I would NOT condone telling a newbie to brace for an OP because "all MLCers commit infidelity."

Agreed. Bracing implies you should expect it. Rather I think it important that we let people know that it is a distinct possibility because it is common in MLC. Help them prepare. Chuck self-disclosed to me and so I did not need anyone else to tell me it was a possibility. But at that time it was not yet physical and so I had a time-cushion for some mental preparation. Once the affair started I kept wondering when the freak-out would hit me--the movies of them together everyone kept talking about. I even asked in the live chat about dealing with that. But I did not ever have those images. That could be because I don't see in that way, or maybe being prepared and accepting of the process before it happened helped me--I don't know.
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The "what to tell the newbies" question has some parallels with doctors telling or withholding from patients their diagnoses. It used to be that many drs. would not even tell an MS patient of the MS diagnosis to "protect them." Frankly, I find that patronizing and the LBS population seems to be the kind of folk that want to know what they are facing in order to plan and make rational decisions. Even outpatient surgical procedures have a possible death clause in there. I think it would be a disservice to pretend that it is going to be just fine. With the upfront knowledge of how long and hard the LBS journey is going to be, LBSers can take stock of their personal strength and decide if they have it within them to take the journey. If they know from the get go just how hard it will be, they could save themselves a whole lotta hurt. I hung in there for over a year and a half. Then h crossed a line for which I knew I could not forgive. Everyone´s line is in a different place. I think we all have compassion for these lost souls but at some point our own survival comes into play. Also, at some point we do give it up to a "higher" power. I think the sooner you step outta the way, the better for the LBser and the MLCer. Learning to do nothing seems to be the life lesson for the LBSer. Learning to do something seems to be the lesson for the MLCer. If there were to be a reconciliation, I suppose that a new balance would be found regarding the doing/not doing. The common MLC complaint seems to be that the LBSer was too controlling when the reality seems to be that the MLCer was habitually passive despite continual invitations to engage.
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I mean it is an MLCforum by name. But that doesn't mean it is MLC and we all need to understand that there are a ton of infidelity situations that are not MLC and some of them are here.
I must admit that some of the early reconcilliations I believe are not MLC.
Of course our actions are the same one way or the other, so when it is just infidelity(which is still a BIG DEAL - IMHO) and the MLC seems to end fairly quickly, maybe it wasn't MLC at all.

Of course on DB in the infidelity forum their was a DOG (er - I mean person) that when I read his thread it screamed of MLC, and he advocated exposure of the affair because it worked for him. So it can swing both ways, that people are infidelity forums getting advice about MLC.
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Of course on DB in the infidelity forum their was a DOG (er - I mean person) that when I read his thread it screamed of MLC, and he advocated exposure of the affair because it worked for him. So it can swing both ways, that people are infidelity forums getting advice about MLC.

LOL, I knew exactly who you were talking about. :)
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Frankly, I find that patronizing and the LBS population seems to be the kind of folk that want to know what they are facing in order to plan and make rational decisions.

Agreed.  The tagline of the forum is Dealing with Midlife Crisis and Infidelity When You Don't Want a Divorce, so if a person has found it, more than likely already read postings, AND opted in to seek support, they understand that infidelity is an issue.  I also advocate throwing the "gift of time" out there.  It was the one thing that I didn't want to hear the most when I came here, but I am extremely grateful to the wonderful people who drilled it into me anyway as it has been the greatest healer of all. 
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I would NOT condone telling a newbie to brace for an OP because "all MLCers commit infidelity." 
But advising a newbie to brace for the shock of an OP is sound advice because in many cases an OP becomes a reality at BD or post BD. It is the reality for many if not most of the people who come to this forum and to other forums. Why keep the truth from the newbies when they will read it in the threads anyway?

You put "all MLCers commit infidelity." in quotes, is this an actual quote?
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Oh and FTR as far as  I know my wife has never had an affair with a real person.
So does that  mean their was no infidelity?
After reading some other websites I have decided that infidelity can include just plain abandonment with no other person involved.

Honestly OP, if you don't have infidelity in the midst of this, don't force it on yourself.  It does take the pain and betrayal to another level.  It is bad enough that they abandon - believe me, I get that.  But I truly wish all I had to deal with was a liar and not also a cheater.
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When you get to the marital recovery phase you will be more detached than they are now and so you will be less sensitive (less, not immune) to triggering and flashbacks.
I recall OP saying there are a thousand registered members here; I can only think of a few that are in marital recovery, that being said, wouldn't the above quote read better if it began with an "IF" not a "When"? The "When" implies certainty i.e. it is just a matter of time. Is it wise to give the impression that marital recovery is a certainty?
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When you get to the marital recovery phase you will be more detached than they are now and so you will be less sensitive (less, not immune) to triggering and flashbacks.
I recall OP saying there are a thousand registered members here; I can only think of a few that are in marital recovery, that being said, wouldn't the above quote read better if it began with an "IF" not a "When"? The "When" implies certainty i.e. it is just a matter of time. Is it wise to give the impression that marital recovery is a certainty?
She does not say how much TIME,
I do believe that the LBS gets to decide in the end, and if you have not gotten to decide yet, then it is not the end.

Quote
Oh and FTR as far as  I know my wife has never had an affair with a real person.
So does that  mean their was no infidelity?
After reading some other websites I have decided that infidelity can include just plain abandonment with no other person involved.

Honestly OP, if you don't have infidelity in the midst of this, don't force it on yourself.  It does take the pain and betrayal to another level.  It is bad enough that they abandon - believe me, I get that.  But I truly wish all I had to deal with was a liar and not also a cheater.
What is your definition of cheating, another person?

I understand how much PAIN everyone is in, I have had my share.
And if I was to find out tomorrow that she had started on a real relationship or gotten married, it would not surprise me.
My point was not really about forcing it on myself or not, it was just an answer to a comment made earlier that the infidelity might happen after divorce.
It is all just symptoms and part and parcel of MLC.

NOTHING anymore would surprise me or shock me.
Well with the exception, if my father got up and started walking again.
THAT would shock me! :) :) :)
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When you get to the marital recovery phase you will be more detached than they are now and so you will be less sensitive (less, not immune) to triggering and flashbacks.
I recall OP saying there are a thousand registered members here; I can only think of a few that are in marital recovery, that being said, wouldn't the above quote read better if it began with an "IF" not a "When"? The "When" implies certainty i.e. it is just a matter of time. Is it wise to give the impression that marital recovery is a certainty?

She does not say how much TIME,
So, it is a certainty then? Just a matter of how much TIME??


I would NOT condone telling a newbie to brace for an OP because "all MLCers commit infidelity."

Agreed. Bracing implies you should expect it.

So, in the vast majority of threads we read of infidelity but we are advised not to tell newbies to expect it (infidelity); whereas,  in comparison, we read of reconnections in a miniscule number of threads but are led to believe marital recovery is a certainty, it will happen, it's just a matter of "when".

Intuitively, that doesn't sound right.
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So, it is a certainty then? Just a matter of how much TIME??
I think the part that is certain is
I do believe that the LBS gets to decide in the end, and if you have not gotten to decide yet, then it is not the end.
Have you already decided?

Intuitively, that doesn't sound right.
Don't you know that everything here is Counterintuitve.  ;D  ;D
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[/color][/font]
When you get to the marital recovery phase you will be more detached than they are now and so you will be less sensitive (less, not immune) to triggering and flashbacks.[/color][/font]
I recall OP saying there are a thousand registered members here; I can only think of a few that are in marital recovery, that being said, wouldn't the above quote read better if it began with an "IF" not a "When"? The "When"implies certainty i.e. it is just a matter of time. Is it wise to give the impression that marital recovery is a certainty?

Actually Honour, I think you make an excellent point and I am glad that you noticed. This is one of those things I do mostly deliberately as part of Ericksonian seed planting, though it's also become habit. I often hover my fingers over the keyboard in a dilemma (yes literally) about whether to use if or when. I want to give hope and if can do that, but then in my own situation I wanted to use when because I was certain and I want to not imply a guarantee or certainty but encourage or instill a confidence in LBSs.
Sometimes I have wondered if I should use if when posting to the group like I did here--so for generalizations and use when or if when I am coaching--and then I really do weigh it with the situation. That was the weirdest sentence to right with all those if/whens and sometimes using them in the sentence as part of the construct. I hope it is clear. :o

I specifically recall an incident with Chuck--fall of 2006 around October--in which we were having a discussion and I referenced his coming home as when rather than if and he caught it and felt so relieved--that I would be open to it and allow it. But that was an individual situation and given that he already had a pattern of returning it was a pretty good guess that it would be when.
Given all that rambling explanation, I think you may be right and I should use if for generalizations like that post.
What are everyone else's thoughts?
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I prefer when. It is more positive and hopeful, and, for me, in the context we use it, it is not a certainty it is a possibility. If sounds a little "if it ever happens", I sense it has more negative.

But it may be because English is not my first language. Even if in my own I would use quando (when) rather than se (if) in the same context.
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:28:13 PM by AnneJ »
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That is correct Anne.  In English, when is a whole lot more positive than if.
I too prefer it. 

Where your thoughts are - your life follows.
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What are everyone else's thoughts?

My individual thought is using "if" is fine, though I'm totally fine with "when".  There are posters who have expressed concern about giving false hope.  I'm personally not one who has that concern, but (as I've been told) I tend to trust the MLC process as much as anyone.

With that said, I understand there is no guarantee my marriage will reconcile.  What I do know is that my marriage will not reconcile until the MLC process is complete.......and I have a high degree of confidence that will happen.  I'm actually intrigued to see who my MLCer will become.
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I'm actually intrigued to see who my MLCer will become.

This I also am as far as Mr J is concerned. But I don't know if I will have/want him back regardless of who he will become. I don't doubt he will exit MLC (even if his one is a very long one) and return. For me, what have always been a question was what I would do when that happens.
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This is a really interesting discussion :)

I'm not a veteran, so I guess this is more of a newbie (I guess at just over a year since BD I'm still fairly new) observation.

Finding this forum was a life-line and I have always found the advice to be sound and realistic.  That realistic perspective has helped me - to detach and GAL.

Knowing that there is a timeline to Replay has helped me focus more on myself and be realistic about the contact that my H would make with me.  Rather than be something negative it's been valuable to have such an accurate timeline.  And I can see that it's accurate for my H, so far, and for those MLC-ers who are further down the road with this.  I do also trust that we are all capable of judging our own situations, but again I would like to say that the timeline has helped me to not get drawn back into the craziness of MLC.  That is a GOOD thing for an LBS.

I knew about my H's infidelity prior to finding this forum but infidelity is a real issue with MLC and to not mention it is to be unrealistic.

Since there isn't an actual medical diagnosis yet we do have to rely upon the experience of others.  It's all we have to go on right now.  There are so many parallels with our stories that it seems logical to conclude when we are dealing with MLC.

My experience of my mentor - Limitless - and other mentors and LBSs has been understanding, encouragement and support.  I can't overestimate the value of finding a place where people UNDERSTOOD what I was going through.  I wasn't mad!  I worry that if we start to tell any LBS who finds themselves here that they may just be experiencing an estranged spouse and to try some techniques that it may back-fire and they may feel in a worse place and also feel unsupported.  I would be concerned about creating that doubt.  If an LBS is not, in fact, experiencing a true MLC-er spouse they will report different behaviours and I would imagine they would eventually come to the realisation that it is different, themselves, when their experience and story doesn't resonate so much with other LBSs on the site.  Meanwhile at least they've had the support and a place to talk through their feelings and story - and GAL (which is something that can help anyone, regardless of an MLC spouse).

Whilst it fascinates me to find out more about MLC, from a medical perspective, I see this forum as a place to heal the LBS.

:) x
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I agree AnneJ..even though it's just been 23 months since BD and finding out he was committing adultery @ 1 month prior to BD and his moving out..I keep my faith in God, but honestly, although I do forgive him (it's been a process, not an event)..there has been so much damage, I really don't know if I want him back anymore. I stand because I am the kind of person that is very loyal, but I have learned ALOT about my own fragile limits in all of this. It would at this point, I believe, take an act of God for him to come back, and for me to want him back at all..I don't really consider him a friend anymore..I have never had a friend screw me and our child over the way he has, just sayin'...

Blessings,
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 06:35:11 PM by 1Cor.13 »

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I agree AnneJ..even though it's just been 23 months since BD and finding out he was committing adultery @ 1 month prior to BD and his moving out..I keep my faith in God, but honestly, although I do forgive him (it's been a process, not an event)..there has been so much damage, I really don't know if I want him back anymore. I stand because I am the kind of person that is very loyal, but I have learned ALOT about my own fragile limits in all of this. It would at this point, I believe, take an act of God for him to come back, and for me to want him back at all..I don't really consider him a friend anymore..I have never had a friend screw me and our child over the way he has, just sayin'...
Couldn't have explained how I feel better myself.....  And was it Learning that said "the door is closed but not locked"
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Agree 1Cor.13. It would have to be God intervening in both of our lives for a r to be successful. One to bring my H back and one for me to open my heart to him again. But then, He is the Great Physician and the Healer of Broken Hearts. He can do anything. I trust God and I trust the process. Who knows.....
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Oh StillPraying,

I know exactily how you feel and all we can do is keep-prayin'..I am at a loss as to what God's plan is in all of this, I have handed that over too..In my humanity it just makes no sense at all.

Stay strong, Blessings,
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Agree 1Cor.13. It would have to be God intervening in both of our lives for a r to be successful. One to bring my H back and one for me to open my heart to him again. But then, He is the Great Physician and the Healer of Broken Hearts. He can do anything. I trust God and I trust the process. Who knows.....

 Back at ya Slowfade, what else do we really have, but the Great Healer Himself? My prayers are for healing for all of us..in His time (the hard part, gulp)..

Stay strong, Be Blessed
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This is a really interesting discussion :)

I'm not a veteran, so I guess this is more of a newbie (I guess at just over a year since BD I'm still fairly new) observation.

Finding this forum was a life-line and I have always found the advice to be sound and realistic.  That realistic perspective has helped me - to detach and GAL.

Knowing that there is a timeline to Replay has helped me focus more on myself and be realistic about the contact that my H would make with me.  Rather than be something negative it's been valuable to have such an accurate timeline.  And I can see that it's accurate for my H, so far, and for those MLC-ers who are further down the road with this.  I do also trust that we are all capable of judging our own situations, but again I would like to say that the timeline has helped me to not get drawn back into the craziness of MLC.  That is a GOOD thing for an LBS.

I knew about my H's infidelity prior to finding this forum but infidelity is a real issue with MLC and to not mention it is to be unrealistic.

Since there isn't an actual medical diagnosis yet we do have to rely upon the experience of others.  It's all we have to go on right now.  There are so many parallels with our stories that it seems logical to conclude when we are dealing with MLC.

My experience of my mentor - Limitless - and other mentors and LBSs has been understanding, encouragement and support.  I can't overestimate the value of finding a place where people UNDERSTOOD what I was going through.  I wasn't mad!  I worry that if we start to tell any LBS who finds themselves here that they may just be experiencing an estranged spouse and to try some techniques that it may back-fire and they may feel in a worse place and also feel unsupported.  I would be concerned about creating that doubt.  If an LBS is not, in fact, experiencing a true MLC-er spouse they will report different behaviours and I would imagine they would eventually come to the realisation that it is different, themselves, when their experience and story doesn't resonate so much with other LBSs on the site.  Meanwhile at least they've had the support and a place to talk through their feelings and story - and GAL (which is something that can help anyone, regardless of an MLC spouse).

Whilst it fascinates me to find out more about MLC, from a medical perspective, I see this forum as a place to heal the LBS.

:) x

I agree CB, I found this site August 2012 and H left beginning of May 2012. I found it through googling narcissism then reading that narcissism is a typical trait in MLC and that led me to read an explanation on wikipedia of what MLC is all about. I then googled MLC and found this site and my jaw dropped to the floor as I read the articles. There was a huge sense of relief .... the self blame for me has been crippling and still is. When I can rationalise my Hs behaviour I feel less blame. My H has blamed me for the breakdown of our R, he cannot live with me anymore, he has been deeply unhappy for the past ten years possibly suffering with Stockholm Syndrome. I believed it. I have low days where I believe everything he says and then I come here to this forum and read the shared experiences and read RCRs articles and I cannot deny the similarities.

Thundarr, I am a newbie (just over a year since he left) and I spend every day questioning whether this is MLC or just a cr@p R that went on too long and neither of us were brave enough to end it. My H has said to me that is the case. He has said that he feels so angry that he is being made out to be the bad guy because he had the courage to end the R. Because I am more than willing to take the blame and look at my own behaviour and see that it was not good I believe him. And much of what he says has an element of truth, but as RCR says in her coaching .... it is still MLC.

Your point is that you are concerned that we are diagnosing MLC ourselves as spouses of MLCers and that others here are diagnosing it too but based upon what the LBS says. I totally agree that it's difficult to diagnose if our spouses are not here to put forward their stories. I say to everyone, but this is only my perspective, my Hs perspective is different and completely valid too.

But we cannot deny the facts of the case, my H changed over a number of years (Osb, it wasn't as dramatic as you describe, it was gradual and in and out and on and off for a while and then at BD3 he switched, suddenly absolutely convinced of his decision and nothing was going to dissuade him), he was manipulative, spending money, obsessed with his new business, was looking around for someone else and then started an affair with a younger employee who he had known for only a short time blah blah blah!

I feel sad that I didn't have any knowledge of  MLC in the early days, November 2010 ... I was foolish not to work on the R through counselling. I got individual counselling which didn't help. Had I been able to look at my Hs behaviour as MLC transition that could tip into MLC I would have behaved very differently. Sadly I saw his behaviour as selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, uncaring, self obsessed and contradictory to his beliefs. So I reacted against it and that was incendiary and pushed him further into his crisis.

Thanks to this site I can see it and reading so many books around the subject has helped me understand.

What I do struggle with daily, is accepting that this is MLC. A MLC diagnosis does give me hope. It makes me feel that I can entertain the idea of RCRs Ericksonian language "when he returns".

All we want is realism and honesty. If it is thought my H is not in MLC then I need to know. if he is MLC then it will impact greatly on how I deal with it. As a result of reading here and elsewhere I have dealt with everything very differently to how my friends and family have advised in RL.



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I saw his behaviour as selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, uncaring, self obsessed and contradictory to his beliefs.

TT you just described my H to a t. Its MLC....... ;)
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Galileo was excommunicated from the church  because he DARED to suggest that the earth revolved around the sun. There are still many many things that are not totally understood yet.

I WISH that I had known as a newbie that MLC was going to last so many, many years. Perhaps, I would not have wasted so many years thinking he would soon be home. As for the infidelity, it does seem to be very common in most MLC stories. Knowing this, has helped me to understand that this is not about me, not about out marriage and has allowed me to step aside and heal.

Those of us who believe in MLC ( and Thundaar I do not think that you believe in MLC ) can see that this is not a " typical" marriage breakup. We know our partners so well, that the behaviors which fit  the  " symptoms" that have been described in the literature by various authors who have studied MLC are too similar to just be a coincidence.

As for hope, Heartsblessing always stressed that there was always hope. I would never tell an LBSer to give up on hope, because that is what the world tells us.....that we are crazy to think that our spouses will ever return to us.

But the return stories both here and those I have heard in my real life, tell me that anything is possible. The story does not end until life does.

The LBSer can learn a great deal during this time if they allow themselves to let go of the concept that the only success is if their spouse returns. Even the loneliness that we so often express, can lead us to many new adventures, friends and interests.

My question, if you question the whole concept of MLC, then why are you  on this site?
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Galileo was excommunicated from the church  because he DARED to suggest that the earth revolved around the sun. There are still many many things that are not totally understood yet.

Yes he di. Very true, there is so much that is still not totally understood. It also valid for MLC, we don't understand it all and for me it has far more causes than identity/development issues.

I WISH that I had known as a newbie that MLC was going to last so many, many years. Perhaps, I would not have wasted so many years thinking he would soon be home.

So do why. And I wished someone had told me to divorce quick (or to go see a lawyer at once) to save the finances. I did not waste too many years thinking Mr J would soon be home but I thought it was a normal affair and soon he would return and things would be worked on. From a certain point on I realised it was going to take ages. Sadly I remained married and the finances suffer a huge blow.

I never thought the infidelity had anything to do with me but that was because I knew infidelity does not have to do with the person that is cheated upon but with the person that cheats.

Yes, we knew our spouses very well, and, then, this strange thing comes up. We know it is different. It is even different than a normal depression (those like me who have had a spouse suffer from normal depression know it is not the same thing.

Agree, the only success is not only if our spouse returns. As for hope, there is always hope. Always. That does not, and must not, prevent us from being realistic = MLC takes time. 

I also think, and in this I disagree with HB, that the LBS has the last word.

Well, if I question the whole concept of something I may still want to know about it. Being it to change my mind or to refute it. For example, in psychics (since you used Galileo  :) ) one may want to know everything about something we do not believe in order to refute it. But in finding knowledge about the subject we may also change our mind.

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I never thought the infidelity had anything to do with me but that was because I knew infidelity does not have to do with the person that is cheated upon but with the person that cheats.

This is true but everyone, including the major R counselling service in our country RELATE, say that partners cheat because there is something wrong in the R. My Hs bf ex wife who was cheated on by her H said this to me too.
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I never thought the infidelity had anything to do with me but that was because I knew infidelity does not have to do with the person that is cheated upon but with the person that cheats.

You were wise before your time!  I always thought, like many others, that there must have been something wrong in the relationship.  :-\
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Agree 1Cor.13. It would have to be God intervening in both of our lives for a r to be successful. One to bring my H back and one for me to open my heart to him again. But then, He is the Great Physician and the Healer of Broken Hearts. He can do anything. I trust God and I trust the process. Who knows.....

 Back at ya Slowfade, what else do we really have, but the Great Healer Himself? My prayers are for healing for all of us..in His time (the hard part, gulp)..

Stay strong, Be Blessed
1Cor.13

Thank God for God :)  When I am feeling down, when I read others stories (and my own), and all hope seems LOST, I remember... but God!  No matter what, if H ever comes back or not, God is still God, and I am already his child.  He's GOT THIS.  This is nothing to him.  Not even a blip on the radar screen.  It is HUGE for us, because we are so temporally focused.  This is where our faith comes in, and even when I have NOTHING else, I have that!  That being said, it is because of God that I pray for my H EVERY DAY.  Many times a day.  Even through the night, as I wake for a moment or two, I immediately pray for him, and for our family.  I pray that he be surrendered to the Lord, and also that his heart would be turned back towards home, to us, his family. 

I know you all feel the same... and I pray for you as well - this is not fair for anybody to have to go through, but for some reason, we are all experiencing it. 

Have a great night everyone  :)
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That being said, it is because of God that I pray for my H EVERY DAY.  Many times a day.  Even through the night, as I wake for a moment or two, I immediately pray for him, and for our family.  I pray that he be surrendered to the Lord, and also that his heart would be turned back towards home, to us, his family


I had to smile AH, I often wake during the night and I immediately start praying for my H and our marriage. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Praise God, always. God is good, all the time.  ;)
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I never thought the infidelity had anything to do with me but that was because I knew infidelity does not have to do with the person that is cheated upon but with the person that cheats.

This is true but everyone, including the major R counselling service in our country RELATE, say that partners cheat because there is something wrong in the R. My Hs bf ex wife who was cheated on by her H said this to me too.
That antiquated attitude is scarily in need of an overhaul  :-\
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Agree with Kikki.

Calamity, i think it was my grandmother who taught me that...

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That being said, it is because of God that I pray for my H EVERY DAY.  Many times a day.  Even through the night, as I wake for a moment or two, I immediately pray for him, and for our family.  I pray that he be surrendered to the Lord, and also that his heart would be turned back towards home, to us, his family


I had to smile AH, I often wake during the night and I immediately start praying for my H and our marriage. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Praise God, always. God is good, all the time.  ;)

You aren't the only one! God is so good :)
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Being warned about the time issue was almost a release for me as it freed me from feeling frantic about having to do something and made me relax a bit about getting on with my life and allowing him to go through his own thing.   

I actually spent most of my time here on the articles before even reading the forum stories so I think in some ways I had a foundation for interpreting advice. 
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I actually spent most of my time here on the articles before even reading the forum stories so I think in some ways I had a foundation for interpreting advice. 

This is how it should be.  :)
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One thing--being Memorial Day weekend and all I had a different kind of veterans on my mind when I read the title and kept skipping this thread because I thought it was just for ex-military people.  It isn't just the MLCers who have strange thought processes.








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ROFL Still Kicking, I thought the same thing! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
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I actually spent most of my time here on the articles before even reading the forum stories so I think in some ways I had a foundation for interpreting advice. 

This is how it should be.  :)

Agreed and agreed
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I'm rather late for this discussion, but I wanted to add my support for Thundarr's point of view, amd RCR's subsequent follow up. It's very easy for any of us to label someone's behaviour according to our perspectives and understanding, and there are dangers in that. That is my understanding of what he is saying.

He has a very sane and rational approach, just as RCR herself. This sanity is what attracted me to this site. This site also gives hope where others do not. It gives us a way of coping. It gives support, more than any other I've seen.

Yes, we do end up diagnosing our spouse. It's natural to try and make sense of the situation we are in. Some people take a more religious approach, other a more scientific one, but the idea of this site is that we move forward from our initial shock and hurt, grow, change.

But while we analyse our spouse's behaviour, and work on our own, it's worth remembering Thundar's point. We know something is wrong, something has changed beyond our control, and our spouse is not the person we remembered them to be. We may be able to fit their behaviour into the categories that we see here. It still does not mean that it's MLC. It is a crisis, and part of it is ours as we try to cope. But if we have expectations that they will follow some predefined pattern and emerge from their tunnel and subsequent stages like a butterfly from a crysalis, some of us will be very disappointed.

RCRs ideas are wise, and whatever I think about MLC or not, I continue to find this advice wise. Work on ourselves, detach and protect ourselves as much as possible from the spouses abhorrent behaviour, drop all expectations, and leave our spouse to make their own decisions. Not easy to do. If we do that, it won't matter if it is MLC, PD, or an invading alien.

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Work in progress (none of us are perfect)

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I think the last thing we should give anyone is false hope, and there appears to be a lot of it on this forum. I don't think the word "When" should be used, because there is so little evidence here or on any other forum dealing with martial issues of this type that any great perecentage of MLC spouses ever do come back. All we can do is lay out what we've all dealt with and how we've got through this. The simple truth is once your spouse has abandoned the marriage and left, infidelity or not, your marriage is over.

I get that everyone loved their spouse, I'd have taken a bullet for mine, but to put your life on hold for years for one who clearly has abandoned you, your children, treated you with contempt and broken every vow is just as much an undiagnosed mental illness as MLC.

I feel it would be far more useful to tell people the truth, what their spouse is going through is most likely permanent, the person they knew is gone and they need to consider their marriage over. They need to be told any chance of R is exceedingly slim if it is a case of MLC and their best hope is to carry on as if this is their new reality.
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Braveheart - you are brave, that is for sure.  I fear an onslaught coming your way...
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Not easy to do. If we do that, it won't matter if it is MLC, PD, or an invading alien.

No, not easy to do, Mermaid. No idea what PD is but an invading alien, well... that would be much more fun than MLC.  ;D The between MLC difference and other disorders is that MLC is temporary.

Braveheart, no outlash from me. I too think we should be direct but I prefer when. When is not they will. If sounds negative. There is nothing wrong with hope. Hope is just that, hope.

All the knowledge we have about MLC tells us it is, in most cases, temporary, not permanent. Of course there will be cases where it will become permanent. But there are always exceptions in every situation.

Also, the main concern is that the LBS manages to be well and move on/forward. No need to put life on hold because of an MLCer. What we have to do is to heal.

Some of us think that, at times, there is too much emphasis in getting spouse/marriage back and not enough on the LBS life. But it has already been said here on the board often that success does not = spouse/marriage back. it = a healed LBS with a new life, with or without former MLC spouse.

Of course we would all prefer to have our spouses and marriages back. Or until a certain point we would, as time goes by some of us tend to remarry or have a new life and the door for the MLCer is closed, but we know not all marriages with an MLC spouse will survive.

Normally they don't survive because the LBS has closed the door.
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« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 08:35:46 PM by AnneJ »
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Quote
I feel it would be far more useful to tell people the truth, what their spouse is going through is most likely permanent, the person they knew is gone and they need to consider their marriage over.

The trouble with this, we don't know what the truth is.  There is very little data & how could there be if the professionals don't even recognize mlc? 

I think we have a good balance on this forum judging from the discussion on this thread. 

I hope my h comes through this & I do know of reconciliations in real life but, I wouldn't bet the farm on it!

Anne PD is personality disorder.
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I feel it would be far more useful to tell people the truth, what their spouse is going through is most likely permanent

source?
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Thank you Calamity.

Personality Disorders are permanent, MLC for all we know (our truth, it could be said) in most cases is not.

I think we know a bit about MLC. If scientists made studies with samples of little over 100 people, we have more people here and we know stories from others than allow us to have some ideas about what we are dealing with and what normally happens.

MLC has been studied by some psychologist, namely by Elliot Jacques that coined the term. Prior Jung also studied the subject. But their studies are more focused on the personality change, they do not searched for neuro or hormonal causes.

Most people, even therapists and doctors, still don't take MLC serious but I think we are gathering enough data and info to know it is very real and how, in average, it behaves.



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I think the last thing we should give anyone is false hope, and there appears to be a lot of it on this forum. I don't think the word "When" should be used, because there is so little evidence here or on any other forum dealing with martial issues of this type that any great perecentage of MLC spouses ever do come back. All we can do is lay out what we've all dealt with and how we've got through this
.

When is not giving false hope.

Quote
The simple truth is once your spouse has abandoned the marriage and left, infidelity or not, your marriage is over.
Only you can decide when your marriage vows have ended no one else, not even the spouse that left can do that.  Your marriage and commitment to your vows are only over when you say it is.  Depending on your beliefs here is when the marriage ends, divorce means the contract between you, your spouse and the state has ended.  It does not mean however that your promises to each other nor the vows to God have ended.  Your spouse does have a choice to leave but we have the power to live by our own standards and value

Quote
I get that everyone loved their spouse, I'd have taken a bullet for mine, but to put your life on hold for years for one who clearly has abandoned you, your children, treated you with contempt and broken every vow is just as much an undiagnosed mental illness as MLC.
I find it interesting that you mention you would take a bullet for your spouse yet standing for ones belief in marriage seems wrong to you?  No one here is advocating putting life on hold at all.  GALing is not putting your life on hold in fact it is quite the opposite.  If you are standing for your marriage the only thing on hold is marriage to another, sex with another person, dating and all that goes with that, but life nope.  No one's life should be that dependent on another person anyway.

Quote
I feel it would be far more useful to tell people the truth, what their spouse is going through is most likely permanent, the person they knew is gone and they need to consider their marriage over. They need to be told any chance of R is exceedingly slim if it is a case of MLC and their best hope is to carry on as if this is their new reality.

  Eventually people do merge into the new person they are meant to be.  Just because that new person who has finally been delivered from crisis has now changed and still doesn't want the marriage doesn't mean they are permanently in crisis.  I think it is safe to say that the old marriage is over, however the bond, the connection and the marriage aren't over until we determine that it is. 

RCR edited to correct coding on quote.
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« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 07:02:24 AM by Rollercoasterider »
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=6740.0

Time is on our side, use it to thrive not just survive.
:)
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Something to ponder:

Lastest research on women and menopause confirms, with brain studies, the mood and memory/concentration changes.

This week there was an article on a guy with Cotard´s syndrome- (spelling might be off) who felt like a zombie and would hang out in graveyards. They did a PET scan of his brain and sure enough, it was that of someone under anesthesia or in a coma. Brain change. With meds and other Rx, he can now function much better and only occasionally feels weird.

I think we are close to MLC being detected on brain scans and biomarkers. While the brain is quite flexible, it can also develop ingrained patterns.

I think we hang in there for so long b/c the personality changes in the MLCer are so drastic and we just cannot believe that that persona is now the spouse. In my case, he just keeps getting crueler and wants complete control over communication- won´t respond to email even though he has stated (via email) that that is the only method he will use. For me, I see him as off the deep end and I just want to be legally disconnected. When his actions reach the point where they are injurious to me, I don´t care what is causing his crisis- I just want to be safe.
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So here it is whilst we are believing/not believing in mlc along comes Cotards Syndrome (walking corpse syndrome) in the news.

How the heck can they manage to label and identify this and yet not mlc.

This is a good thread by the way, interesting views.

Wow you beat me to it, pour post came up as I was sending mine FTT.

Just how dangerous are our brains if they have a malfunction.

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Quote
So here it is whilst we are believing/not believing in mlc along comes Cotards Syndrome (walking corpse syndrome) in the news.

How the heck can they manage to label and identify this and yet not mlc.

How's that for synchronicity FTT and TT  :)

This is what I find so completely infuriating about how this 'disorder' is COMPLETELY ignored and BRUSHED UNDER THE CARPET!! ( Yes I am shouting  ;D )

Why?  (Rhetorical question)
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Actually I am going to answer why. 

Because it is apparently acceptable to abandon your family and run off with another affair down woman, but it is NOT acceptable to hang out in a graveyard by yourself  :-\ :-\ :-\
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Yes sadly a lot of mlc behaviour is just classed as acceptable it is only us the lbs that can see the madness, well and maybe a few close friends and family.

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Braveheart - you are brave, that is for sure.  I fear an onslaught coming your way...

After what I've been through dealing with MLC I can take just about anything. I feel it needs to be said that this dissecting every move our spouses make looking for clues is understandable when this first happens to us, but to keep at it for years, especially even after the divorce is unhealthy.
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I feel it needs to be said that this dissecting every move our spouses make looking for clues is understandable when this first happens to us, but to keep at it for years, especially even after the divorce is unhealthy.
I think that this is good advice.
We need to MOVE FORWARD with our lives.
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Quote
I feel it would be far more useful to tell people the truth, what their spouse is going through is most likely permanent, the person they knew is gone and they need to consider their marriage over.

The trouble with this, we don't know what the truth is.  There is very little data & how could there be if the professionals don't even recognize mlc? 

I think we have a good balance on this forum judging from the discussion on this thread. 

I hope my h comes through this & I do know of reconciliations in real life but, I wouldn't bet the farm on it!

Anne PD is personality disorder.

It does not really matter what the truth is, whether it's plain old infidelity, BDP or MLC the reality is they have gone and by most accounts here, they've done so in the most painful way possible. We have to emphasize to new posters the need to get out of the "left behind" mindset that keeps them on the endless loop of mining the past for answers and micromanaging their dealings with the mlc'er. The best therapy for MLC is to let them go and fix yourself, chances are very good if one does that they realize the choice is not "If" or "When" they come out of the tunnel, but that you no longer really care if they do.
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I think the last thing we should give anyone is false hope, and there appears to be a lot of it on this forum. I don't think the word "When" should be used, because there is so little evidence here or on any other forum dealing with martial issues of this type that any great perecentage of MLC spouses ever do come back. All we can do is lay out what we've all dealt with and how we've got through this
.

When is not giving false hope.

Quote
The simple truth is once your spouse has abandoned the marriage and left, infidelity or not, your marriage is over.
Only you can decide when your marriage vows have ended no one else, not even the spouse that left can do that.  Your marriage and commitment to your vows are only over when you say it is.  Depending on your beliefs here is when the marriage ends, divorce means the contract between you, your spouse and the state has ended.  It does not mean however that your promises to each other nor the vows to God have ended.  Your spouse does have a choice to leave but we have the power to live by our own standards and value

Quote
I get that everyone loved their spouse, I'd have taken a bullet for mine, but to put your life on hold for years for one who clearly has abandoned you, your children, treated you with contempt and broken every vow is just as much an undiagnosed mental illness as MLC.
I find it interesting that you mention you would take a bullet for your spouse yet standing for ones belief in marriage seems wrong to you?  No one here is advocating putting life on hold at all.  GALing is not putting your life on hold in fact it is quite the opposite.  If you are standing for your marriage the only thing on hold is marriage to another, sex with another person, dating and all that goes with that, but life nope.  No one's life should be that dependent on another person anyway.

Quote
I feel it would be far more useful to tell people the truth, what their spouse is going through is most likely permanent, the person they knew is gone and they need to consider their marriage over. They need to be told any chance of R is exceedingly slim if it is a case of MLC and their best hope is to carry on as if this is their new reality.

  Eventually people do merge into the new person they are meant to be.  Just because that new person who has finally been delivered from crisis has now changed and still doesn't want the marriage doesn't mean they are permanently in crisis.  I think it is safe to say that the old marriage is over, however the bond, the connection and the marriage aren't over until we determine that it is. 

RCR edited to correct coding on quote.


Part of the whole "get a life" is to actually get a new one, not just going through the motions, hoping the X is watching and wants the New You back, by their actions they don't deserve you.

There is an old saying, "It takes two to make a marriage". It does not matter what we feel about it, or what our personal stand is on marriage, the marriage is over when the other party leaves. In my case, the worthy woman I'd once take a bullet for no longer exists, the person she has become is not anyone I would want anything to do with if she had been like this when I met her 25 years ago or for that matter today. If I were to stand, it would be only as a monument to the past and a relationship that no longer exists. 

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Quote
It does not really matter what the truth is, whether it's plain old infidelity, BDP or MLC the reality is they have gone and by most accounts here, they've done so in the most painful way possible. We have to emphasize to new posters the need to get out of the "left behind" mindset that keeps them on the endless loop of mining the past for answers and micromanaging their dealings with the mlc'er. The best therapy for MLC is to let them go and fix yourself, chances are very good if one does that they realize the choice is not "If" or "When" they come out of the tunnel, but that you no longer really care if they do.

I think part of the process is understanding the leaving spouse.  When you understand mlc or depression or crisis & I don't think it matters what we call it--then you can turn around & focus on yourself.  And, like any learning, we cycle back to re-visit what we have learned. 

At first we are in shock--understanding is part of gathering ourselves.  I think we do face reality immediately & that is why we are shocked.  There is no arguing with the empty bed after all.  But I don't think it's useful to say to newbies--face reality!  When we understand mlc we can shift the 'blame' to the one leaving & off the lbs; then we focus on ourselves, then we deal with the reality. 

We always, on the forum, stress that the lbs takes care of themselves first & foremost.  We emphasize that GAL is the only thing one can do.  There can always be hope for reconciliation as long as that hope is in the background.

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I do get where u r coming from Braveheart, however, I sense some hostility and I don't see how that is beneficial here.  There are many stories of reconciled marriages before, and after divorce.  I'm sure you know this.  When I came here, I did look for hope, but did not come away with that 'sure thing' I was hoping for.  This is a great place to gain knowledge and understanding, because that is something I, and others, were totally lacking when blindsided with this mess.

Sometimes hope is the only thing that keeps us alive during the darkest times.

As a Christian, and just being who I am in general, I have chosen the long way through this, my H has filed, I've decided to let the process stall as much as I can.  I spend much time every day praying for him.  I hope, yes, but I am realistic, he has left after all, so the odds are not in my favor.  I think everybody going through this gets that. 

I think if we introduced people to this madness by telling them that their chances of reconciliation are slim to none, that they need to move on, etc... They probably would not come here for help and support.  This place has helped me tremendously. 

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Have you already decided?
OP, I don't know if I've done anything that conscious but I have taken on your sage advice to detach
Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

and RCR's advice to newbies in her sticky article Newbies, Read This
Quote
Detachment
It is never too early to begin the gradual process of Detaching.

and I agree with xyzcf when she says (Stayed says the same)
The LBSer can learn a great deal during this time if they allow themselves to let go of the concept that the only success is if their spouse returns.

and just two extracts from the insightful article you link to in your welcome message to newbies
Also there is a  detach link below.
http://forums.ivillage.co.uk/t5/Supporters-Carers/Developing-Detachment/td-p/970715
What is detaching
* Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.

What are the negative effects of not detaching
* Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.

Being positive and optimistic are good qualities, having such qualities is what helps us survive this trauma but positivity should perhaps be tempered with some caution lest it divert us from what is healthy. Positive is not always synonymous healthy, they do not always go hand in hand.

Detaching is difficult, very, very difficult for loyal, loving, caring people to do and the people who find their way to a forum like this are loyal, loving, caring people; the sort that would take a bullet for their loved ones. For such people detaching feels contrary to everything we think, feel and believe. It feels like we are breaking that promise we made to be there in sickness and in health. Detaching is a big huge pill to swallow but it may be the best medicine for the Left Behind and for the Walk Away.

Our loved ones will survive without us, they are not going to crumple and die. It is not unkind to let them go. If, in years to come they want our help they will know where to look.


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I do get where u r coming from Braveheart, however, I sense some hostility and I don't see how that is beneficial here.  There are many stories of reconciled marriages before, and after divorce.  I'm sure you know this.  When I came here, I did look for hope, but did not come away with that 'sure thing' I was hoping for.  This is a great place to gain knowledge and understanding, because that is something I, and others, were totally lacking when blindsided with this mess.

Sometimes hope is the only thing that keeps us alive during the darkest times.

As a Christian, and just being who I am in general, I have chosen the long way through this, my H has filed, I've decided to let the process stall as much as I can.  I spend much time every day praying for him.  I hope, yes, but I am realistic, he has left after all, so the odds are not in my favor.  I think everybody going through this gets that. 

I think if we introduced people to this madness by telling them that their chances of reconciliation are slim to none, that they need to move on, etc... They probably would not come here for help and support.  This place has helped me tremendously.

No, hostility, just reality. As for reconcilliations , I see little evidence of it here in terms of when MLC type behavoir is concerned. I can see maintaining hope as long as there is a reason for it, but of the many cases I've read here two and three years post BD with the X is working on OM/OW number 3, I can't see that as a positive way forward.
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Have you already decided?
OP, I don't know if I've done anything that conscious but I have taken on your sage advice to detach
Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

and RCR's advice to newbies in her sticky article Newbies, Read This
Quote
Detachment
It is never too early to begin the gradual process of Detaching.

and I agree with xyzcf when she says (Stayed says the same)
The LBSer can learn a great deal during this time if they allow themselves to let go of the concept that the only success is if their spouse returns.

and just two extracts from the insightful article you link to in your welcome message to newbies
Also there is a  detach link below.
http://forums.ivillage.co.uk/t5/Supporters-Carers/Developing-Detachment/td-p/970715
What is detaching
* Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.

What are the negative effects of not detaching
* Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.

Being positive and optimistic are good qualities, having such qualities is what helps us survive this trauma but positivity should perhaps be tempered with some caution lest it divert us from what is healthy. Positive is not always synonymous healthy, they do not always go hand in hand.

Detaching is difficult, very, very difficult for loyal, loving, caring people to do and the people who find their way to a forum like this are loyal, loving, caring people; the sort that would take a bullet for their loved ones. For such people detaching feels contrary to everything we think, feel and believe. It feels like we are breaking that promise we made to be there in sickness and in health. Detaching is a big huge pill to swallow but it may be the best medicine for the Left Behind and for the Walk Away.

Our loved ones will survive without us, they are not going to crumple and die. It is not unkind to let them go. If, in years to come they want our help they will know where to look.

Yes, detach... it's very hard to do. The part to remember is we can let them go because we did keep our vows, they made the choice not to and we are no longer obligated to keep ours.
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I guess I'm not yet a 'veteran'.  I am exactly 2 years today from BD [testament to my 'progress'--I've been up for hours & it never crossed my mind  :) ].

I'm not ready to say, he's never coming home!  2 years & I cannot say that!  I cannot face that reality.

So there is NO WAY I'm even hinting to newbies that this may be so. 
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It sounds to me like the definition of "progress" in the recent posts seems to be progress towards home, when talking about the MLCer. 

I believe that there is something in one of the articles or the blog where RCR does say that progress should mean "progress in the tunnel", rather than progress towards us and home.  I think that is where many LBS become confused. 

DGU, do you have the quote?

The idea, I believe, is to not get hung up on where they are in the tunnel or if it means that they are on their way back (yes, I thought mine was on a number of occasions...) but to keep going ourselves. 

I also remember my own behaviour many years ago, not to a husband and children but still bewildering to my family and friends, and had everyone "given up" after a year or two I wouldn't be here now.  I had to go through it, no way round. 

I'm at the point where I no longer label myself as standing for my marriage, although I haven't changed my views or values, I'm just living my life for myself and my kids.    I'm not sure when it got to that point, that's a slow progress as well.    But progress it is. 

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I can see maintaining hope as long as there is a reason for it, but of the many cases I've read here two and three years post BD with the X is working on OM/OW number 3, I can't see that as a positive way forward.


From RCR's article Back Forward Limbo
In MLC, progress is meant to refer to movement through the MLC journey--the tunnel. But when LBSs look for progress, they are seeking not signs of forward motion, but signs of mental, emotional and relational improvement.
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It sounds to me like the definition of "progress" in the recent posts seems to be progress towards home, when talking about the MLCer. 

I believe that there is something in one of the articles or the blog where RCR does say that progress should mean "progress in the tunnel", rather than progress towards us and home.  I think that is where many LBS become confused. 

DGU, do you have the quote?

The idea, I believe, is to not get hung up on where they are in the tunnel or if it means that they are on their way back (yes, I thought mine was on a number of occasions...) but to keep going ourselves. 

I also remember my own behaviour many years ago, not to a husband and children but still bewildering to my family and friends, and had everyone "given up" after a year or two I wouldn't be here now.  I had to go through it, no way round. 

I'm at the point where I no longer label myself as standing for my marriage, although I haven't changed my views or values, I'm just living my life for myself and my kids.    I'm not sure when it got to that point, that's a slow progress as well.    But progress it is.

For me, it was like I simply "Woke Up" over the space of a couple of days one year post BD. I realized very little of this had anything to do with me and that there could be no coming back from what my X put our family through.  I still believed in my vows, but realizing even biblically I was no longer obliged to keep them. My priority now is the health and welfare of my kids, my X's is playing house with the OM, acting like our 24 years and two kids together never happened.
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Maybe there's too much variability with the timeline, for us to generalize? One LBS's few moments is another's eternity. A year post BD on this forum still makes one a relative newbie. Yet Braveheart speaks sincerely of 'waking up' a year after BD, knowing that his marriage was finished; some others have spoken of tentative returns three years out, and yet others are navigating the waters of uncertainty years later. Time in this emotional universe really seems circular and non-linear. When you're done, is when you feel you're done.

Don't even know whether the target of spousal return is a realistic one to use as a gauge. My H officially never left (though he's run away for months at a time). Before his most recent departure, he told me he wants to make a go of our R when he comes home. That's lovely... but (assuming he comes back of the same mind) he's still got a long way to go before I'll believe he's actually invested in that R. Back home doesn't mean home free, by no means.

The only thing I truly want now is to see my H looking well. Departure of the space alien, whatever you want to call it. There was a huge and palpable difference between before and after - in his eyes particularly. Think I'd sleep sounder if I knew my H was in a reasonable mental health place (...yeah, that's the old fixer in me). But what happens to our relationship is separate, and is a moot point; I now feel whole with or without him. And for that last, my gratitude goes to my sisters and brothers on this forum.
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It does not really matter what the truth is, whether it's plain old infidelity, BDP or MLC the reality is they have gone and by most accounts here, they've done so in the most painful way possible. We have to emphasize to new posters the need to get out of the "left behind" mindset that keeps them on the endless loop of mining the past for answers and micromanaging their dealings with the mlc'er. The best therapy for MLC is to let them go and fix yourself, chances are very good if one does that they realize the choice is not "If" or "When" they come out of the tunnel, but that you no longer really care if they do.

I think part of the process is understanding the leaving spouse.  When you understand mlc or depression or crisis & I don't think it matters what we call it--then you can turn around & focus on yourself.  And, like any learning, we cycle back to re-visit what we have learned.

I agree Calamity - It was very important for me to put a name to it.  It needs to be diagnosed (even an amateur diagnosis - all we have right now) before we can move on.  I think that's a natural process.  It's the same with any grief or trauma and everyone processes that at a different pace and in their own way.

My feeling is that having hope is necessary - especially in those early stages.  It is all that we have and I feel that it gives us a cushion to this huge blow that we've had.

I turned up here, on this forum, a complete mess and I was searching for something different, because this didn't feel like a normal breakup that I was going through.  If I had found, on this forum, what I found outside of it - well-meaning friends and family who told me, "just leave that @$$hole" I would have carried on my search on Google for something that did resonate with how I was feeling.  It was that strong a sense and I get that many (if not all) people on here have experienced that too.

I wanted hope.  I needed hope and that's what I found here.

Is the "if" and "when" question a question of describing the MLC-er coming out of their tunnel or them wanting to reconnect?

They do all seem to come out of their tunnel.  The question is which end they emerge from - have they gone forwards or backwards?  My dad went backwards unfortunately.  But since it is possible for them to go forwards out of the tunnel, I would say that signals hope.

When the MLC-er comes out of their tunnel - moving forwards - they're going to be different and there is also reference (if memory serves me well) to the fact that we won't be able to fix our relationship and so need to accept that any future R with our recovering MLC-er is going to be new - they have changed and so have we.  There is hope but we're encouraged to see that hope in a different light - a new light, rather than the returning to the old relationship.


:) x
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It does not really matter what the truth is, whether it's plain old infidelity, BDP or MLC the reality is they have gone and by most accounts here, they've done so in the most painful way possible. We have to emphasize to new posters the need to get out of the "left behind" mindset that keeps them on the endless loop of mining the past for answers and micromanaging their dealings with the mlc'er. The best therapy for MLC is to let them go and fix yourself, chances are very good if one does that they realize the choice is not "If" or "When" they come out of the tunnel, but that you no longer really care if they do.

I think part of the process is understanding the leaving spouse.  When you understand mlc or depression or crisis & I don't think it matters what we call it--then you can turn around & focus on yourself.  And, like any learning, we cycle back to re-visit what we have learned.

I agree Calamity - It was very important for me to put a name to it.  It needs to be diagnosed (even an amateur diagnosis - all we have right now) before we can move on.  I think that's a natural process.  It's the same with any grief or trauma and everyone processes that at a different pace and in their own way.

My feeling is that having hope is necessary - especially in those early stages.  It is all that we have and I feel that it gives us a cushion to this huge blow that we've had.

I turned up here, on this forum, a complete mess and I was searching for something different, because this didn't feel like a normal breakup that I was going through.  If I had found, on this forum, what I found outside of it - well-meaning friends and family who told me, "just leave that a$$hole" I would have carried on my search on Google for something that did resonate with how I was feeling.  It was that strong a sense and I get that many (if not all) people on here have experienced that too.

I wanted hope.  I needed hope and that's what I found here.

Is the "if" and "when" question a question of describing the MLC-er coming out of their tunnel or them wanting to reconnect?

They do all seem to come out of their tunnel.  The question is which end they emerge from - have they gone forwards or backwards?  My dad went backwards unfortunately.  But since it is possible for them to go forwards out of the tunnel, I would say that signals hope.

When the MLC-er comes out of their tunnel - moving forwards - they're going to be different and there is also reference (if memory serves me well) to the fact that we won't be able to fix our relationship and so need to accept that any future R with our recovering MLC-er is going to be new - they have changed and so have we.  There is hope but we're encouraged to see that hope in a different light - a new light, rather than the returning to the old relationship.


:) x


To each their own, but to my own mind the question kept coming up  "Why would I want to have any sort of relationship with this person again?" . The only reason I even considered an R early on was because I'd never felt so alone in my whole life, desperate to get back what I once had, thinking my chances of ever meeting another person like her again at my age as Nil. I determined the person with the least to lose in a relationship has all the power and that it was my own self image that was holding me back.

To get over this, as hard as it was, I went NC as much is possible when kids are involved and worked on any negative trait I had. I began to realize I deserved none of the treatment I got and I'd have to be a masochist to want her back.  MLC'ers should have to earn their way back into your life, but based on the damage most of them do, I really don't know how that would be possible. BTW I'm at 2 years BD, and in retrospect probably close to 3 years after this MLC began to manifest itself.
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From RCR's blog I Feel Like Giving Up, Should I File For Divorce

Of course you deserve better, but please don’t fool yourself into believing that divorce is better; it’s often more permanent than MLC. But this is your life and you need to do what is best for you, for your children, your health and well-being and you need to follow your life purpose; maybe Standing is not part of that.
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Part of the whole "get a life" is to actually get a new one, not just going through the motions, hoping the X is watching and wants the New You back, by their actions they don't deserve you.

It isn't truly getting a life if you are hoping H is watching, now is it.  Just because a person believes in the vows they took and honor them does not mean they haven't gotten a life or are hoping their spouse will notice.  Some people do I am sure, but you are angry and making blanket statements where they don't all apply.  Your reality isn't the reality of others, yet you seem to want to minimize or make those who stand for marriage seem delusional. I happen to have a life and s stand for my marriage and vows that I took.  Hope is for the powerless anyway. 

So is not dating and not breaking your vows the only thing that matters?  I have a wonderful life but are you implying because I don't date or break my promise to God that I really don't?  Is your reality the only one that counts and the rest of us live an incomete life?

I don't think a newbie's world should revolve around their H but on their healing however believing and standing according to their principles doesn't mean they can't have a life.  If the focus is only on the spouse and marriage while stAnding still your statement is correct.  But a blanket statement does not apply to all.  Currently we have several people who are in reconciliation or have reconciled, each following the path that worked for them.  It does happen.
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Time is on our side, use it to thrive not just survive.
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From RCR's blog I Feel Like Giving Up, Should I File For Divorce

Of course you deserve better, but please don’t fool yourself into believing that divorce is better; it’s often more permanent than MLC. But this is your life and you need to do what is best for you, for your children, your health and well-being and you need to follow your life purpose; maybe Standing is not part of that.

There's a lot of truth in the above statement, Divorce is an awful thing to go through, but at least you are not in Limbo anymore, the boundry has been clearly set and you have to make a fresh start on your own life. There is nothing stopping anyone from rebuilding a relationship with an X years later, and it would probably be healthier as a clean start rather than a restart of a toxic marriage.
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Part of the whole "get a life" is to actually get a new one, not just going through the motions, hoping the X is watching and wants the New You back, by their actions they don't deserve you.

It isn't truly getting a life if you are hoping H is watching, now is it.  Just because a person believes in the vows they took and honor them does not mean they haven't gotten a life or are hoping their spouse will notice.  Some people do I am sure, but you are angry and making blanket statements where they don't all apply.  Your reality isn't the reality of others, yet you seem to want to minimize or make those who stand for marriage seem delusional. I happen to have a life and s stand for my marriage and vows that I took.  Hope is for the powerless anyway. 

So is not dating and not breaking your vows the only thing that matters?  I have a wonderful life but are you implying because I don't date or break my promise to God that I really don't?  Is your reality the only one that counts and the rest of us live an incomete life?

I don't think a newbie's world should revolve around their H but on their healing however believing and standing according to their principles doesn't mean they can't have a life.  If the focus is only on the spouse and marriage while stAnding still your statement is correct.  But a blanket statement does not apply to all.  Currently we have several people who are in reconciliation or have reconciled, each following the path that worked for them.  It does happen.


Sigh...I fear I'm just saying what no one wants to hear, because the truth hurts like hell.  I'm probably one of the few angry people on the forum, it just appears that way because I deal with the MLC issue based on the evidence I've seen here and on other forums. The reality is for the vast majority of us there will be no reconcilliation of our marriages... we can give ourselves all kinds of reasons to think maybe we will be the exception, but the odds are probably better winning the lottery.

I am not making blanket statements of my own, I'm basing my statements on what I've read on this very forum for the last two years. There are hundreds of posts that show exactly what I've been talking about, people who are two, three years+ post BD and still observing their X's every utterance and action, looking for some positive movement to cling to. If that sounds harsh, so be it.  People in this state are not helped by "When" statements or vague references to the extreme minority of R's that are discussed. It's even worse for the newer people, because at that point they tend to cling to the slimmest of hopes and delay their own recovery.

As far as biblical grounds go, the bible is pretty clear on divorce, you are not under any obligation to God to maintain your vows in cases of sexual immorality, that choice is up to you, you are no longer bound by them. :
 Matthew 5:31-32

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

The Old Testament is even clearer on the topic:

“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10; cf. Deuteronomy 22:22).


I'm on the other side of this now, and anything I post is what I see from the other side of the tunnel. I've felt everything most everyone else has here, holding to my vows, hanging onto slim hope, examined my whole marriage for some sort of clue. It was my kids who finally pulled me out of it, telling me at about one year BD, "Dad, you did nothing wrong, Mom's changed, she does not deserve you" and "Dad, I don't know who Mom is anymore, but she's not my Mom". I realized then my kids needed all of my attention, my X was no longer worth any...




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As far as biblical grounds go, the bible is pretty clear on divorce

And equally clear on reconciliation
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As far as biblical grounds go, the bible is pretty clear on divorce

And equally clear on reconciliation

Yes it is, but it's your choice, you are not held to the marriage vows by God if your spouse has been unfaithful.
More than once it's been stated on this forum  " I made my vows before God and family" as a reason to stand,
as if it's totally out of their control, that they are bound by faith. It's simply not true for Christians in cases of infidelity.
To be very honest I've even stated that myself on several occassions when asked why I wasn't "trying to get over it" by concerned friends and family ....until my father in law, her own father quoted Matthew 5:31-32 at me.
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Sigh...I fear I'm just saying what no one wants to hear, because the truth hurts like hell.  I'm probably one of the few angry people on the forum, it just appears that way because I deal with the MLC issue based on the evidence I've seen here and on other forums.

You are of course quite right that this is your truth, and that you do have every right to be angry, in your situation. It doesn't happen to be everyone's truth. I don't think anyone can prescribe to me that I should also feel angry. That doesn't mean I'm not a realist. It just means that anger doesn't help me.

I hope you don't think this is piling on. We each have our coping mechanisms, and they seem to be quite different. They each work well enough, in our different circumstances. That's perhaps not what you may want to hear, though.
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Sigh...I fear I'm just saying what no one wants to hear, because the truth hurts like hell.  I'm probably one of the few angry people on the forum, it just appears that way because I deal with the MLC issue based on the evidence I've seen here and on other forums.

You are of course quite right that this is your truth, and that you do have every right to be angry, in your situation. It doesn't happen to be everyone's truth. I don't think anyone can prescribe to me that I should also feel angry. That doesn't mean I'm not a realist. It just means that anger doesn't help me.

I hope you don't think this is piling on. We each have our coping mechanisms, and they seem to be quite different. They each work well enough, in our different circumstances. That's perhaps not what you may want to hear, though.

I don't know how many times I have to say this, I am not angry, I'm well passed all of that. My rollercoaster ride has rolled to a stop 8)
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Braveheart,

How long ago was BD for you?  I couldn't find a story thread.
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Braveheart,

How long ago was BD for you?  I couldn't find a story thread.

BD will two years next month, but looking back now with clear vision her behavoir began to change late in 2010... about the same time peri menopause symptoms began to appear. I never did a full thread, thread, but the basic outline is we were together for 24 years, married for 22, in short the couple everyone wnted to be. We never had any major disagreements about anything, our sex life was good, there was no infidelity, booze or drug problems. Money was tight, but our mortgage was paid off , the car was paid off and things were looking up. At Bd the kids were 13 and 19.

 In very early spring of 2011 she began to start to act colder towards me and the kids, I asked about it and was blown off with, "I'm tired", "it's hormones" , but it got to the point my guts said " Somethings not right here" , so I sent the kids away overnight and called her on it. When I told her I knew somethingw as up and there going to be no more excuses, it was like a mask fell off her face, she looked at me like I was garbage with these dead shark eyes. She told me she "had not been happy in a while, I just want out". She was not interested in any sort of MC, but could give no reason for wanting to leave other than " It's a lot of little things".

She left three days later with her computer and basically the clothes on her back, I found out four months later she'd been having an affair with an OM she met playing World of Warcraft . It was my daughter who stumbled upon the proof and had the job of telling me.  The kids and all responsiblities of informing my inlaws, family and friends were were left up to me. I felt totally gutted and borderline suicidal, but pulled myself out of it. She's since moved in with the OM a hundred miles away, but even when she was still in town she only saw the kids once a week for about an hour, either taking them out to dinner or lunch. I have no contact with her at all other than than emails about picking up or dropping off the kids. In short, she's the ultimate vanisher, the kids volunteer she never mentions me at all , it's like I never existed and the 24 years we were together never happened.
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She told me she "had not been happy in a while, I just want out". She was not interested in any sort of MC, but could give no reason for wanting to leave other than " It's a lot of little things".


I heard the same thing from my H last year at BD.
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That's a story I would not have believed.  Before BD.  My BD was exactly 2 years ago today when I discovered the affair by accidentally opening an email not meant for me--kinda made me resent computers but then I wouldn't have this support group.

Thanks for sharing Braveheart.
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I completely agree that we each have to navigate this our own way, however would add that 2 years is very little in the MLC world. 

I remember being at that point and nothing had changed at all; anything that did change happened long after that. 

And regarding anger, I think it's a necessary step; it took me ages to get there -- I felt some at 2.5 years, but it was something like 4 years in that I really felt it.  If you are working through it earlier then that to me would seem to be a positive. 

I totally agree with your kids needing you and that needing to be your first priority. 
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« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 02:07:58 AM by Trustandlove »

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The MLCers´ability to act as if half a lifetime together did not exist- so mind blowing.
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it's like I never existed and the 24 years we were together never happened.

Braveheart, I recognise that and it's a horrible feeling :(  Thanks for sharing your story.

I'm just over a year past BD and I have been working hard on GAL.  I feel that I've let go of a lot of anger - really most of it has gone - although I do find myself having conversations (sometimes out loud) with him here (when he's not).  Although my H is making some moves to reconnect (and I'm well aware it may only be a touch n go) it does not automatically follow that remaining married to my H will be the right decision to me.  I am prepared to divorce him if this isn't right for me and that's something I've learned from Standing (whether RCR intended me to learn that or not) - to be prepared for the timeline, and not get hoovered, and in amongst that cautious approach listen to my intuition.

My approach has always been to read all the information available and then make decisions based upon that knowledge, but also upon my specific situation.  There is no blueprint or magic bullet.  That is why I believe that GAL is so important - that builds self-esteem and self-worth - when you have those you have the confidence to make decisions that are right for you.

We may have pulled together all these behaviours and characteristics under the umbrella of MLC but it's still a very individual experience.  My understanding of this site is that we share experience and information in order that the LBS can make informed choices and decisions that will improve their life - protect themselves emotionally and financially, and ultimately live a fulfilling life.  That's how I see it anyway... :)

:) x
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it's like I never existed and the 24 years we were together never happened.

Braveheart, I recognise that and it's a horrible feeling :(  Thanks for sharing your story.

I'm just over a year past BD and I have been working hard on GAL.  I feel that I've let go of a lot of anger - really most of it has gone - although I do find myself having conversations (sometimes out loud) with him here (when he's not).  Although my H is making some moves to reconnect (and I'm well aware it may only be a touch n go) it does not automatically follow that remaining married to my H will be the right decision to me.  I am prepared to divorce him if this isn't right for me and that's something I've learned from Standing (whether RCR intended me to learn that or not) - to be prepared for the timeline, and not get hoovered, and in amongst that cautious approach listen to my intuition.

My approach has always been to read all the information available and then make decisions based upon that knowledge, but also upon my specific situation.  There is no blueprint or magic bullet.  That is why I believe that GAL is so important - that builds self-esteem and self-worth - when you have those you have the confidence to make decisions that are right for you.

We may have pulled together all these behaviours and characteristics under the umbrella of MLC but it's still a very individual experience.  My understanding of this site is that we share experience and information in order that the LBS can make informed choices and decisions that will improve their life - protect themselves emotionally and financially, and ultimately live a fulfilling life.  That's how I see it anyway... :)

:) x

Gal and NC are probably the two most important things you can do for your own sanity. It's a rollercoaster ride for most of us, the harder you work at your own recovery the shorter the ride seems to be.  In reality I think I knew our marriage was finished when the mask came off at BD. The look she gave then said it all, it it was one of absolute contempt, and she could not leave quick enough once she was found out, I just had to work through the denial phase to have that sink in. It's frightening to think of how someone you'd trust your life with all those years could come to loath you, it truly seems like a mental illness when you been subject to it.
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It's frightening to think of how someone you'd trust your life with all those years could come to loath you, it truly seems like a mental illness when you been subject to it.

Yes.  It is frightening.  Earth shattering.  Beyond belief.  I am still grappling with it.  The amount of venom and spew directed at me is hardly believeable, except that I have seen/heard it myself so I know it's real.  It leaves me not knowing how to process, because it doesn't make sense.
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It's frightening to think of how someone you'd trust your life with all those years could come to loath you, it truly seems like a mental illness when you been subject to it.

Yes.  It is frightening.  Earth shattering.  Beyond belief.  I am still grappling with it.  The amount of venom and spew directed at me is hardly believeable, except that I have seen/heard it myself so I know it's real.  It leaves me not knowing how to process, because it doesn't make sense.

What worked for me was everytime I was having a "Coulda, woulda, shouda" moment I'd call up that look on her face and it would set me straight.  I spent over a year trying to process MLC, reading everything I could find on the topic and there were a lot of possibilites, eg.  PDSD, BPD, Menopause, childhood abuse etc......but in the end the only sense of it I could make was that I would be just as messed up as my X if I allowed dwelling on her to consume anymore of what remained of my life than necessary.
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As far as biblical grounds go, the bible is pretty clear on divorce

And equally clear on reconciliation
Are there any biblical examples of marital reconciliation after adultery?
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Are there any biblical examples of marital reconciliation after adultery?

Hosea and Gomer.
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Thank you OP and trusting.
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