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Author Topic: MLC Monster MLC and the Medical Community

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MLC Monster MLC and the Medical Community
OP: May 30, 2013, 08:13:28 PM
It is often said that God brings people into your life for a reason, and today was as much proof of that as I think I could imagine.  We hired a new Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (in this state an advanced degreed nurse who has all the privileges of a psychiatrist but is under the supervision of one) recently and she and I clicked right off the bat after finding out we had several friends in common.  We are now FB friends and she happened to see the post I made yesterday about it being my 20th anniversary and all and pulled me aside today to ask how I was doing.  She asked me if she was in peri and I started giving vague details about our sitch.  Her immediate response was, "She's having a midlife crisis."  I was stunned to hear her say this and she went on to describe it in detail, thinking I was perhaps unaware of the symptomology and characteristics.  She described to a T what women in MLC act like and do, from the teenage clothing to the changed hairstyles to the selfish behavior and all.  She told me that when she had worked in Primary healthcare she saw this very often, and also dealt with the spouses of MLCers who were so distraught and in disbelief (ring a bell, anyone?).  I asked her why the medical and psychological communities do not recognize it and was very surprised and also optimistic with what she had to say.

First off, to give a bit of background as to why she knows as much as she does about MLC.  She detailed the story of how her XH began acting strangely around the time he turned 40 and displayed all the bizarre behaviors that we see documented here on a daily basis.  He abandoned her and their kids and she found out he was having an affair with her best friend only after he had moved out, but she later found out it had been going on beforehand.  She stood for her marriage for approximately 3 years overall but eventually had enough and SHE filed for D.  She said that several months after the D was finalized she had driven the kids to drop them off with him and he asked her out on a date.  He came clean and told her he had made a huge mistake and that she was his best friend, but she had already closed the door and was not open for an R.  Much of what she said very much reminded me of Stayed's H's letter, and the NP said that her H made the statement that he did all the things he did because he no longer felt like a man and was desperately trying to regain his masculinity.  Consequently, around this time she had embarked on her own journey to find herself after ending her stand (she had not known about MLC until afterward) and was in a yoga class when two of her friends around her age at the time (41) admitted to her that they were dating 25 year-olds.  She was flabbergasted and realized she saw much of the same symptoms in the women as she had her XH and began to explore the possibility of a biological explanation.  Since then, she has done an extensive amount of research on her own and has seen this play out routinely.  She stated that she would estimate that 80% of the women she treated who divorced in their 40's had all the symptoms of MLC, but that most simply dismissed their behavior as "It's a woman thing" and "that's just how women are."  She said that those same behaviors in men were attributed to "boys will be boys" and NO ONE wanted to talk about a possible hormonal link in men, BUT most were quick to point out a hormonal link in women!!

She stated that there IS an acceptance of MLC in the medical community between practitioners now but few who will state it publicly simply because of the stigma attached to it.  According to her, there is extensive research being done in the hormonal and endocrine systems to explain the behavioral and personality changes that are becoming too widespread to continue to be ignored.  Her belief is that within the next ten years we will not only have recognition and a diagnosis but also treatment for MLC.  As she pointed out, it wasn't until the last ten years that MLC began to be talked about openly and not dismissed as a joke as it had been for years.  Her research back then was pretty much limited to the Conways and a few other sources she named that she is going to look up and bring in for me.  She pointed out that now there is a great deal of information on the internet (no mention of HS though, unfortunately) and new practitioners in the field are becoming aware of it earlier on and as a result recognition is increasing in the community.

So, what is the reason for the optimism that MLC (or whatever it will eventually be called) will be accepted and treated?  Take a bow, ladies.  The biggest factor that is affecting the research is the increase of women in the field.  Overall, all the research done on the hormonal and endochrine systems has been very male-centric and hormonal problems were relegated to women and teenagers only.  Several years ago the term "andropause" was pretty much unknown as was the fact that men experience MONTHLY hormonal cycles just as women do and many report symptoms consistent with PMDD.  The vast majority of men studied who are believed to be in "MLC" report feeling a lack of virility along with the fear of dying (probably a biological alarm going off) and women report the fear of appearing "matronly" most commonly.  With the increasing number of women now in the field and soon to be entering it along with advances in technology that make studies possible now that would have been impossible ten years ago, she feels that the research will finally shed light on a testable diagnosis and evidence-based treatment approaches to hopefully eradicate this terrible condition.

I hope some of what I wrote is helpful, and I apologize if I rambled or was unclear as I worked 13 long hours today and as I'll document on my thread it has been a very emotional day (but not because of MLC, thankfully).

And, btw, she stated that the average for women to complete their crisis has been about 5 years in her experience but some are shorter.  We didn't discuss the timeframes for the men but we are having lunch or dinner next week and she'll share much more with me then.  While all of this really gave me peace by just knowing that at least someone wouldn't look at me like I believed in UFO's or something, I was most comforted by the fact that she told me she completely understood and supported my reasons for standing and would do the same in my situation.
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Thundarr

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#1: May 30, 2013, 08:33:33 PM
Thank you, Thundarr. So, we were right all along.  :) There are hormonal changes at play when someone is in MLC (and neurochemical ones I would add).

If you can, please ask NP which internet resources is she taking about. Would be useful to know them.

Would also be interesting to know what is the timeline she considers for men in MLC

Women now being on the field leading to more research in hormonal factors in men makes sense.

Really hope in the next ten years there will be a diagnosed and recognition of MLC as well as a treatment. If the causes are hormonal (and neurochemical), has I think they are, there has to be a treatment.

Please keep posting your talks with NP.

Forgot to say, it is actually pretty upsetting to know MLC could, if not be cured, mitigated, and have to suffer all the troubles a spouse going through one causes. That part I don't like.

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« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 08:47:08 PM by AnneJ »
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t
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#2: May 30, 2013, 08:45:56 PM
I guess I really wonder at the treatment aspect of it because MLCers won't acknowledge they are in a crisis, it is everyone and everything else that is the problem.  I can't see them willing to seek treatment.  My H has not been open to treatment for depression or therapy of any sort during his crisis.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#3: May 30, 2013, 08:50:03 PM
Good point, Trusting. No idea how one would deal with the MLCer unwillingness of being treated (compulsive treatment?). Think alcoholics and drug addicts. It is not easy to make them be willing to seek help/treatment.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#4: May 30, 2013, 08:50:23 PM
Quote
her H made the statement that he did all the things he did because he no longer felt like a man and was desperately trying to regain his masculinity.

HOSS!!

Thank you so much for the report.  Will be looking forward to all future info, and I'm so happy for you that you've found a buddy that *gets* it. :)
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#5: May 30, 2013, 09:04:36 PM
Thundarr.  You wrote very clearly.  Thanks for posting.

Could it be that treatment may be effective in the early stages???

Just before H left I told him my mum said she thought he was having a mid life crisis and he replied "Maybe" in a receptive way.  A few months after he left he was insulted when his mother suggested it.

I gave the book 'Men in midlife crisis' to a mum in school when she explained how weird her H was behaving.  They are still together a few years later.  It hasn't been easy for her but she learnt very quickly how to respond and I think that may have saved them.  Her dad left when she was little.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#6: May 30, 2013, 09:07:34 PM
Quote
Could it be that treatment may be effective in the early stages???

I think part of the problem is that we don't realize something is very wrong with them until they are deep in crisis.  Once the crisis gets going, the only way through it is to just go through it.  I don't know that there is any way to prevent it.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#7: May 30, 2013, 09:12:20 PM
I think prevention might be the ultimate goal.  Once point she made is that it's still not okay for men to admit they have hormone fluctuations, and that once they do they will be more likely to get them checked out when they know something doesn't feel right.  We have said many times that our partners knew something was wrong and tried to fix it themselves long before BD.  Perhaps getting men in a routine of having their levels checked, especially once they are past a certain age, will go a long way in the possible identification and treatment of this condition.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#8: May 30, 2013, 09:26:54 PM
Thunder,

This truly is an eye-opener.  I hope this information and the subsequent studies will provide the necessary treatment for MLC in the future.  Thank you for so eloquently relaying this information.  I kind of thought in the back of my mind that hormones and brain chemicals were huge factors in MLC, along with childhood issues and perhaps adolescent deficiencies.  After going through this journey, all LBSers should receive their honorary degrees in psychology or psychiatry for persevering through this process.  Continued success  for you, T.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#9: May 30, 2013, 09:31:07 PM
But what about the childhood issues?  Those can't be prevented by the MLCer.  I will say that I have been "lucky" enough to have plenty of discussions with my MLCer when he has opened up about the mess that was in his head.  He never mentioned fear of death or losing his masculinity as something he wrestled with. There was plenty there about needing validation, self esteem, and even problems with family, all stemming from his childhood.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#10: May 30, 2013, 09:38:24 PM
many men don't know they have hormone fluctuations. Or, at least, they don't relate them with was is happening. Me and Mr J knew man testosterone decreases but we did not knew it could be the cause of what was going on with him.

H knew he was depressed, he himself said it many times. Yet, refused to accept help and end up running from the doctor of the company he worked for at the time.

The age would have to be a very early one. Mr J was 36, about to be 37, when he left. But we know the changes begin way before they leave. There are LBS here with husband's younger that Mr J was at the time.

Also, I think testosterone/estrogen are not the only cause. Cortisol (stress) plays a big role as well. Cortisol is also an hormone and, when out of control, it provokes tremendous damages, including personality changes.

So maybe like with heart attack, where your job and lifestyle are a better indicator if one will have one than obesity, the same could be applied to MLC? Your cortisol (stress) levels and lifestyle could be a better indicator than low testosterone/estrogen?

Or all those levels need to be checked regularly. The out of balance hormones affect the neurotransmitters, causing brainchemical changes.

Ok, we more or less figured out what causes the crisis. Now, how do we prevent it (knowing that MLCer even when they know something is very wrong with them tend to keep running) and how do we stop it for the ones already in the middle of one? Shall we abduct them and give them a shot of whatever they are in need of?...

I really don't want to wait more 10 years for the prevention/cure...


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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#11: May 30, 2013, 09:44:14 PM
Please add neurology to the LBS honorary degrees, Bailmor.

Trusting, I think the childhood issues only become a factor of relevance because the hormones and brain chemicals are messed up. With the hormones and brain chemicals out of balance childhood, or other issues, that are relevant but would not otherwise be a problem, become unmanageable.

For it it is not the childhood or possible lack of development that cause the hormonal and brain chemical imbalances but more the other way round. The imbalances bring forward the former.

Without imbalanced hormones and brain chemicals there is no MLC. Whatever issues the MLCer had were there and were not a problem, they only become so when things get messed up on a hormonal and brain chemical level.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#12: May 30, 2013, 10:02:15 PM
For it it is not the childhood or possible lack of development that cause the hormonal and brain chemical imbalances but more the other way round. The imbalances bring forward the former.

Just a thought, or perhaps a question.......there are many people that are in treatment for hormonal imbalances......but they weren't necessarily experiencing childhood, emotional or developmental issues.
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« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 10:11:04 PM by Dontgiveup »

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#13: May 31, 2013, 02:27:05 AM
Thanks so much for sharing that Thundarr.  Looking forward to more updates.  As you know, a few of us (females  :) ) on the forum have also been doing our own research into all of this too. 
Fantastic to hear that the medical profession is beginning to recognise it.

There have been recent major hormonal studies coming out of the likes of Harvard.  This information will have to trickle out over the next few years.
For instance, it was shown that extreme stress triggers a massive drop in testosterone in men, instead of the natural decline - answers why a major event such as the death of a parent could be the catalyst for MLC.
(The testosterone drop alters the body's biochemistry and leads to depression).

Coupled with the neurological research that will be happening in the next few years - fingers crossed, this might be a recognised disorder before too long. 
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« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 03:58:43 AM by kikki »

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#14: May 31, 2013, 03:17:36 AM
Thank you so much for this information.

One of my biggest fears is that because my h left the first time when my sons were most likely still going through adolescence that they themselves might go on to have an mlc. I am terrified they have missed a piece of development with the shock of it at the time.

They are early 20s and if this can just get recognised before I would be truly gratefull, so any glimpse that, that may be happening is assuring.

x
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#15: May 31, 2013, 04:02:56 AM
Quote
Could it be that treatment may be effective in the early stages???

I think part of the problem is that we don't realize something is very wrong with them until they are deep in crisis.  Once the crisis gets going, the only way through it is to just go through it.  I don't know that there is any way to prevent it.

I knew something was wrong nearly 2 years before BD.  He did appear depressed and of course I thought I could fix that by making him happy.  Giving him what he wanted.  We moved home and I prayed for a daughter!  he even thought he could fix it by quitting things he was part of and moving on to new things.  Now, I know some changes are good and keep you out of boredom but it simply didn't make him happy.

He had mentioned he had depression before we were married so I assumed he would go seek help if he felt that way again.  Seemed like to me he knew what to do.  But I left him to it and nothing happened until he 'dropped the bomb'.  By that time it was all 'my fault' and of course marriage counselling appeared to work on the surface.  We addressed the complaints he had about me but after all that he still left.  And you know all the rest.  Script.
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« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 04:10:54 AM by Stillpraying »
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#16: May 31, 2013, 05:00:52 AM
A good discussion that hormones could well be the main problem.

But i do think that behaviour, moral, foo issues are another factor and these need to be addressed as well.

I think with common knowledge about symptoms and signs of mlc, then there can be mire 'aware' triggers and then further help can be sought then. Triggers of behaviour before the main catastrophe would possibly make it easier for the mlc er to deal with before the guilt and shame come from all their immoral behaviours. X
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#17: May 31, 2013, 05:04:31 AM
It just makes sense that there is this chemical imbalance in their brains.
My S is having psychosis counselling at the mo and the psychiatrist said that life transitions are every 7-10 years and part of the brain has to adjust by re working its cogs like a clock. He then said that if the right chemicals aren't there or imbalanced then the brain adjusts inaccurately. Trauma or illness contributes to the faulty re-wiring. This fits my H as he lost his F when he was 15 and then had an horrific accident which has had life long consequence in preventing from pursuing his chosen career - a nervous breakdown at 22. The next 28 yrs are ok but then buys a boat on impulse 7 years ago. This year BD!!
Seems to make sense and I'm all in favour of medical research to be taken very seriously.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#18: May 31, 2013, 05:27:40 AM
I think the importance of this is that they are recognizing it.

What they are finding out really is not news.
We already knew most of this information, but the fact that it is not being swept under the rug is something that I see as a major find.

Jim Conway, Jed Diamond and others have already recognized much of this information.

I think that more awareness might be the best thing that can happen so the PUBLIC understand MLC,
or recognizes that it exists.
Once that happens there is a more of a possibility that something good might come from it.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#19: May 31, 2013, 05:36:29 AM
I think the importance of this is that they are recognizing it.

What they are finding out really is not news.
We already knew most of this information, but the fact that it is not being swept under the rug is something that I see as a major find.

Jim Conway, Jed Diamond and others have already recognized much of this information.

I think that more awareness might be the best thing that can happen so the PUBLIC understand MLC,
or recognizes that it exists.
Once that happens there is a more of a possibility that something good might come from it.
Hear hear!!!!
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#20: May 31, 2013, 07:05:21 AM
I definitely don't think it's all hormones or almost all men/women would have a crisis.  I can see that  stressful events can causes drops in hormone levels like Kikki said.  Coupled with FOO issues it can cause a natural mid life transition into a full blown crisis.  I bet if my H was tested in the beginning or during Replay, his hormones would have been all over the place.  Now that he is through most of it and is settled down, he just had them tested and they are normal.  But for some MLCers they may have a more chronic depletion of their hormones either throughtout their life or during their crisis.  There has been plenty of LBS's that have reported depression long before their spouses MLC or throughout the life of the MLCer so I believe there could  be a more medical reason in some cases.  Look at the degrees of how different women go through menopause to see that there can be huge differences in each person. If chronic conditions are not treated then how does one come out of their MLC if there hormones don't regulate themselves again.   Does it cause a much more severe or prolonged MLC?  I would guess it does.

Problem I see is even getting the MLC to have themselves checked out and then doing something about it.  You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#21: May 31, 2013, 07:37:35 AM
Thanks for posting this Thundaar. I'm gratified to hear this news that I am not a "Bitter Mysogynist" . Early on I began to suspect a hormone connection, especially after following a few "Womens's Only" menopause forums., I feel the same thing goes for post 40 men.  I read many stories of wives who over the space of six months to a year went from describing how lucky they were to have such understanding husbands, to not being able to stand being in the same room with them. The only thing I could see would bring about such a change would be mental illness or some sort of chemical/hormonal imbalance. I attempted to bring this up on forums with therapists and was roundly pounded for blaming my "failed marriage" on peri-menopause, even when I provided links to journals kept by women going through this, mirroring what I described had happened in my X's case and many others.

In hindsight I actually first twigged to the hormone connection when discussing birth control with my X over 24 years ago, when she mentioned "I don't like the way I feel when I'm on BC, I act like a completely different person, one you wouldn't like". Like most, I just stuffed that away in the memory bank, only reminded of it when it retwigged at MLC.  While men have been rightly vilified for MLC type behavoir for many years as "pathetic middled aged men chasing their lost virility", it's the "third rail" to even suggest similar behavor in women is anything but "Female empowerment" or some sort of "Spiritual Awakening"  by Therapists and phycologists alike .
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#22: May 31, 2013, 07:43:55 AM
I attempted to bring this up on forums with therapists and was roundly pounded for blaming my "failed marriage" on peri-menopause, even when I provided links to journals kept by women going through this, mirroring what I described had happened in my X's case and many others.
My PHD marriage counselors told me the same thing.
Two different ones.
They had both been through menopause and I must be the one that was crazy.

This is why the awareness function is of vital importance.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#23: May 31, 2013, 07:50:17 AM
Thundarr, this is AWESOME! Thanks--I'd love to hear what your friend has to say and even talk with her.

I think that MLC is a perfect storm. AnneJ has said that I don't believe (not quite the right word) in the biological component, but that's not true. I think it's the perfect storm of various biological issues--depression, hormones, life change-hormones--and FOO issues as well as what is going on in the life--triggers. Many things come together to create MLC and many disorders look like MLC--or have a few similar attributes like how at least in Replay an MLCer may seem bipolar.


Before I wrote my manuscript, when I was brainstorming structures and what to include I did have a Biochemistry section and that could be something that needs to be a part of the MLC & Infidelity section. It was not something I wrote articles for because I was still just brainstorming what I might write. But since the book is right now at the too long threshold there is no room. But maybe 2nd editions--of course there has to be a first edition first! I removed a few sections that I want back in--the Erik Erikson Human Development stuff is out and I love that chapter.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#24: May 31, 2013, 07:56:40 AM
the Erik Erikson Human Development stuff is out and I love that chapter.[/font][/size][/color]
Oh me too, but maybe the book needs to point people where they can find more information.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#25: May 31, 2013, 08:08:40 AM
For it it is not the childhood or possible lack of development that cause the hormonal and brain chemical imbalances but more the other way round. The imbalances bring forward the former.

Just a thought, or perhaps a question.......there are many people that are in treatment for hormonal imbalances......but they weren't necessarily experiencing childhood, emotional or developmental issues.

It's been proven that the depressed brain tends to focus only on negative thoughts that only serve to prolong the depression, and also filter out positive thoughts that may shorten it.  There is a biological/ evolutionary explanation for this that I have addressed on a previous Discussion thread but fail to remember at this time.  One of the most common symptoms of depression is a clarity of memory when it comes to unpleasant memories and one of the primary reasons for this is that they are filtered out of the pleasant memories which are pushed away unconsciously.

I don't believe FOO issues or any other childhood experiences are the CAUSES of MLC but the return to them is rather one of the symptoms.  We all have traumas in our lives and we all experience transitions but for the most part do not revisit those past traumas (or at least not to the extent the MLCers do).  As we age we develop coping strategies that help us to deal with all aspects of our life, but when our hormones/ brain chemicals go out of whack those coping strategies seem to as well.  One metaphor I can think of would be seeing all people as Iron Man with our coping strategies being the armor we wear to protect the soft human inside.  In most cases our armor protects us from the elements, or life experiences, but at times our armor is weakened such as when we are ill are suffer a huge blow to it such as the loss of a loved one or any of a number of life events.  Also, sometimes that armor is stripped away completely by factors beyond our control such as what we see with our MLCers.  It's not that the armor was never there but that something eroded it enough that things that normally would not have caused them harm does so and they cannot stop it.  Little things that we as their spouses have done for years that probably bothered them only a tiny bit if at all suddenly become full on cannon shots that overwhelm them.  We, not knowing what they are experiencing, either keep doing what we've been doing all along or maybe even ramp it up somewhat in the misguided hope that more of "us" will be just what they need.  We don't realize that our everyday actions are piercing them due to the fact that their invisible armor is not intact, and how would we know?  Only a  tiny fraction of us here even knew MLC was a real thing before experiencing it firsthand (a point the NP made last night) and once we did the damage had already been done.  So, now they live with that armor stripped away (RCR would say the armor is their identity, and the NP made the comment that XW was in the midst of an identity crisis) and have to find a way to piece together new armor to protect themselves.  So what happens when their armor is once again sufficient to protect them enough that they can actually focus on something besides self-preservation?  I believe for all of us here (and yes, Braveheart and AnneJ, I said ALL as I'm not convinced whatsoever that either of you would not welcome a reconciliation down the road and I love you guys for that knowledge!) are hoping that they regain the clarity to see us for who we really are and realize that we were never truly the enemies they perceived us to be.  Going along with what DGU has said many times, it is only then that they will be able to return home because to do so before their armor is restored enough would be far too risky for them.  I hope this makes sense and I'm sorry for going on a tangent here.

So, to summarize I have always maintained that what I've seen my W go through HAS to be biologically based as the forces at work that could tear her away from her children is beyond my comprehension.  I think some of the SYMPTOMS of MLC are revisiting past traumas and rewriting history but I do NOT believe these are the causes.  Granted, I would hypothesize that some personality types are likely more predisposed to MLC (possibly those prone to addictions, which we often see correlated here) due to their core selves not being as durable as those of others once all their armor (coping skills) have been stripped away.  But that is a discussion for another time.  As OP said, what is most important here is the knowledge that the medical community is growing more aware at an exponential rate.  The NP stated that she attends conferences and belongs to groups where it is not only mentioned but discussed openly so it's only a matter of time, guys.  And we will be able to tell our grandchildren we were there to see it happen!!!
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« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 08:11:56 AM by Thundarr »
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#26: May 31, 2013, 08:27:14 AM
Very, very interesting and informative.  Posting because I want to follow along. 

Thanks Thundarr for providing all this wonderful information!  Great job!
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#27: May 31, 2013, 08:40:47 AM
The biological reason is the one thing that also makes sense for completing the MLC.

It is one of the main reasons I have had HOPE.
I like betting on gravity.
At least when I am stationed here on earth.

I think it is interesting that we are discussing the difference between causes and symptoms and whether you are correct or not, at least it is becoming a discussion in the rest of the world.

I have always maintained that there is a lot of science behind MLC.
I agree that it is nice to be validated.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#28: May 31, 2013, 08:41:51 AM
I don't believe FOO issues or any other childhood experiences are the CAUSES of MLC but the return to them is rather one of the symptoms.  We all have traumas in our lives and we all experience transitions but for the most part do not revisit those past traumas (or at least not to the extent the MLCers do).  As we age we develop coping strategies that help us to deal with all aspects of our life, but when our hormones/ brain chemicals go out of whack those coping strategies seem to as well.

I believe it's the opposite way.  Coping strategies are part of the emotional and life stage development process early in life.  In hindsight I can see this more clearly now with my MLCer.....as well as half a dozen other MLC situations that I have deeper familiarity with.  I can believe the loss of emotional control could easily cause hormonal imbalance, but I do not believe MLC is a specific medical issue.

And I agree with your use of the wording "for the most part".  Most of us have adequate coping skills and will flow through life transitions without crisis.
   


One metaphor I can think of would be seeing all people as Iron Man with our coping strategies being the armor we wear to protect the soft human inside.  In most cases our armor protects us from the elements, or life experiences, but at times our armor is weakened such as when we are ill are suffer a huge blow to it such as the loss of a loved one or any of a number of life events.  Also, sometimes that armor is stripped away completely by factors beyond our control such as what we see with our MLCers.  It's not that the armor was never there but that something eroded it enough that things that normally would not have caused them harm does so and they cannot stop it.

I think this is a good metaphor.....and if coping skills are the armor I don't see MLC as a medical condition, but rather emotional with undeveloped or under-developed coping skills.

Little things that we as their spouses have done for years that probably bothered them only a tiny bit if at all suddenly become full on cannon shots that overwhelm them.  We, not knowing what they are experiencing, either keep doing what we've been doing all along or maybe even ramp it up somewhat in the misguided hope that more of "us" will be just what they need.

I did not cause nor trigger my ex-wife's MLC.  In my time on this forum, I have seen many LBS deeply wounded wondering what they might have done to cause this to happen.  I encourage anyone to consider what RCR writes in Midlife Crisis Takes Time.

But please understand that no matter how great or small your flaws and transgressions, they are not the cause of someone else's Midlife Crisis.

(RCR would say the armor is their identity, and the NP made the comment that XW was in the midst of an identity crisis) and have to find a way to piece together new armor to protect themselves.

Yes, MLC is a crisis of identity.  The piecing back together reminds me of RCR's article A Midlife Metaphor with the example of Humpty Dumpty.

So what happens when their armor is once again sufficient to protect them enough that they can actually focus on something besides self-preservation?  I believe for all of us here (and yes, Braveheart and AnneJ, I said ALL as I'm not convinced whatsoever that either of you would not welcome a reconciliation down the road and I love you guys for that knowledge!) are hoping that they regain the clarity to see us for who we really are and realize that we were never truly the enemies they perceived us to be.  Going along with what DGU has said many times, it is only then that they will be able to return home because to do so before their armor is restored enough would be far too risky for them.

I think this is part of the Liminal process.

So, to summarize I have always maintained that what I've seen my W go through HAS to be biologically based as the forces at work that could tear her away from her children is beyond my comprehension.

I think we may look for the biological base because it offers the best opportunity for a cure.

I think some of the SYMPTOMS of MLC are revisiting past traumas and rewriting history but I do NOT believe these are the causes.

From RCR's article Midlife Crisis Takes Time
In Brief, MLC is about unresolved issues from childhood or adolescence. The MLCer must now resolve these issues and reintegrate the fragmented portions of the Self. Since these are issues of a younger person, they need to be resolved by that younger Self--thus the MLCer will regress in age.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#29: May 31, 2013, 08:47:33 AM
DGU, I think you may have misread one part of my post that you referenced.  The armor being stripped away IS them slipping into MLC and thus becoming overly sensitive to everything around them, especially us.  I never meant to imply that we caused the MLC in any way but that once they are in it actions of ourselves that we see as completely non-threatening or normal are seen by them as being overwhelming and threatening.  I also like that you pointed out that biological factors give the most hope but I would counter that with the fact that psychological issues are often more easily identified and treated.  But, if there are not medical factors at play why does counseling not usually work?

OP, yes, this is one (of many) things you and I have always seen eye-to-eye on.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#30: May 31, 2013, 08:56:59 AM
DGU, I think you may have misread one part of my post that you referenced.  The armor being stripped away IS them slipping into MLC and thus becoming overly sensitive to everything around them, especially us.

I agree.  I would call that a coping skill and not a medical condition.

I also like that you pointed out that biological factors give the most hope but I would counter that with the fact that psychological issues are often more easily identified and treated.

That's fine.  I'm neither doctor nor psychologist.....just pointing out that we are searching for treatment for one of (as Jim Conway puts it) life's processes.

But, if there are not medical factors at play why does counseling not usually work?

I see these as two different things, but both are looking for the cure.  RCR has written some insight about what could happen if the MLC is pulled out before completion.

This is my view and possibly only my view, but the best "cure" for me has been Acceptance.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#31: May 31, 2013, 09:09:10 AM
When my spouse started to detach in the months leading up to bomb drop, one of the things that was noticeable was his sexual drive.  He was concerned about it enough to go visit our family Doctor.  The week or so before Bomb drop, he received news that his Testosterone was way too low.  She told him that he was the lowest she had ever had as a patient.  My husband was very upset with this news. Very. 

When I went in for a visit right after bomb drop as I was not fairing well ( as you can all imagine). She was the person who introduced Mid Life Crisis to me.  We discussed his low T and depression.  She says it goes hand in hand together.  We discussed Mid Life Crisis and its effects.  She also described it as a storm brewing in him based on a lot of factors.  Her belief was the depression and hormonal imbalance is what sets it off.  I asked if she was able to get his Testosterone stable if we would see a return of the man I loved.  She did not offer any hope.  It has been almost 20 months since then and I have seen him cycle all over the place.  He claims his T levels are all good and have been since a few months after he started taking the pills. 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#32: May 31, 2013, 09:15:56 AM
With all due respect, I think you are focused on the trees and not seeing the forest.  And for that matter, you are focused on the ROTTEN trees.  There are a LOT of people who have MLTs and deal with their stuff.  We are at that age, I see distress and questioning all around me.  And there are people who have serious MLCs and don't leave their families. 

The reason we ended up here is because our spouses had MLCs and walked away from US.  There are moral, ethical, or simply thematic elements here that cannot be medicated away.  I know a man having a serious MLC but he has no interest in leaving his family.  However, his wife might leave him because she does not want to follow him to seminary.  No telling where that leaves the kids...

And the above happens A LOT.  An MLCer will project blame somewhere.  If it is on his wife and kids, a lot of us end up here.  If it is on his job or FOO, they deal differently.  Believe me, that man I know has all the markings of MLC.  He has the dead eyes and monster behavior, but it is all directed at his job and lifestyle, which is partly his FOO, and it is starting to go to his W, also, because she is not being supportive, but she is not his target.  As I look closer, I see it in more and more people changing jobs or going back to school.  I see the unhappiness and the poor pallor, and even the monster.  I see their searching, but they are not leaving their wives or families, they are messing with their careers.  I started working in adult higher ed in October, and recently have had a LOT of interaction with returning students--never have I seen more walking dead.  They hide it well, but all it takes is the question "what brought you here," and the flood gates open... 

I think there has always been an acknowledgement of hormonal changes at midlife, and even MLC, but no chemical, hormone, brain disorder, or food reaction makes a person abandon their family.  That switch only flips if there was a predisposing condition--personality disorders, FOO issues, something else.  And that is what you still have to cure--the thing that made them walk away from the people who promised to love them the most, and the people they created.  When they emerge from the fog, no matter what brought it on, will they have fixed whatever it was that caused them to walk away from you?

As I watch my friend struggle with finding his soul and saving his marriage, I see what my exH COULD have done.  He could have directed all that pain and rage at his job or his family, but he didn't, he picked me...  There is a man who offices down the hall from me in exactly the same position, he has changed careers three times in the last three years, and his wife is patiently waiting for him to find his track.  I am not sure if they'll make it either, and it would be another sad marriage lost to MLC, but in a different way. 

We see MLC as a disorder because we got the rotten apples.  The medical establishment treats pregnancy and childbirth as a disorder also.  I have ADHD, but I do not see it as a disorder, I see it as part of what makes me, me and I am successful in a lot of ways and I have attributes that make me exceptionally valuable in the right circumstances.  So what if we undergo hormonal and chemical changes at midlife, like teens do—believe me, I have SEEN those testosterone surges.  Why is that something to treat, or cure? 

What we need to cure is the fact that despite the ability to CHOOSE 100 different directions, they chose what they chose and we think it’s wrong.  The crisis is not medical, it is moral, ethical, and philosophical.  The cure is not going to come from science.  Just my HO, but I find these discussions futile.  Love and light, ll
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#33: May 31, 2013, 09:34:16 AM
Hi ll, yes i agree there are moral issues at work with the decision making of the mlc er, but I also think that we need to have a properly functioning brain to be able to judge our moral, ethical issues.  IN a mlc you dont have a properly functioning brain.  I do agree that hormones play a big part especailly with stress and coping mechanisms.

All the factors mentioned are all probably playing a part.

THe problem is that though the mlc er has problems. issues, hormonal imbalances, immoral, unethical decision making brains, and everthing else there are also immoral, unethical people and things around them praying on their vulnerability and that is why I think knowledge about mlc is paramount in getting others to help or getting the mlc er to help themselves. x
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#34: May 31, 2013, 09:44:59 AM
I don't believe FOO issues or any other childhood experiences are the CAUSES of MLC but the return to them is rather one of the symptoms.

I think of this in the context of Eriksonian Development. If a person has developmental gaps, those gaps may be a contributing factor (cause) later on when the person does not have the necessary skills that they would have acquired in those gaps. They then regress to those developmental gaps and the regression would be a symptom.
So with that process, couldn't it be both?
 
The cure is not going to come from science.  Just my HO, but I find these discussions futile.

Lisa, I think you have excellent points, but isn't there a futility in posting to a discussion you find futile? That last comment was disrespectful to those who do find such discussions helpful. Whether something is futile or not is personal and so it may be beneficial to some and not to others. People are learning that there are answers and explanations; cures is a separate matter. Explanations help many.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#35: May 31, 2013, 10:09:19 AM

The discussion as a whole is not futile, only the notion that MLC can be "cured."  Sorry if that is disrespectful, I had not thought of it that way.  But I guess if disagreement is disrespect, then I do, on both counts.  MLC can't be cured, it is not a disorder, or a disease, it is a life transition, handled poorly.  Hormones contribute to EVERYTHING we do, and they can cause us to react in strange ways, but so do drugs.  Hoever, only in rare case to drugs make anyone do things they were not predisposed to doing anyway.  Even most addicts don't willingly walk away from their families, their moral compass will allow them to steal and cheat their families, but in a twisted way, they still believe they are doing their best.  And, clearly, they are not functioning well, in a lot of capacities, but most MLCers still compartmentalize exceptionally well and do function well in other capacities.   

And perhaps I reacted strongly because it struck a personal chord in me.  I had a huge argument with S14 just yesterday.  I said something about his dad not making choices to hurt S14 intentionally...  And he flipped s#$%.  He gave me a long lecture about not making excuses for him, that if he ever hears someone use the term MLC again, or tries to tell him his dad is having a "break from reality" he is going to go Columbine.  He said "that man" just got the promotion he wanted, don't tell me he doesn't know what he's doing or can't understand what he's doing.  He said "if he cared, or WANTED to care about me, he would, but he CHOOSES not to, and that's his problem, he doesn't care about ME like he cares about OW and her kids and his Fing job." 

How, my friends, do you cure that?  Love and light, ll 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#36: May 31, 2013, 10:21:42 AM
Quote
And perhaps I reacted strongly because it struck a personal chord in me.  I had a huge argument with S14 just yesterday.  I said something about his dad not making choices to hurt S14 intentionally...  And he flipped s#$%.  He gave me a long lecture about not making excuses for him, that if he ever hears someone use the term MLC again, or tries to tell him his dad is having a "break from reality" he is going to go Columbine.  He said "that man" just got the promotion he wanted, don't tell me he doesn't know what he's doing or can't understand what he's doing.  He said "if he cared, or WANTED to care about me, he would, but he CHOOSES not to, and that's his problem, he doesn't care about ME like he cares about OW and her kids and his Fing job."

How sad!  I am SO SORRY to hear the pain from your son, I hate this!!!  And of course he is right, how else is your son going to see this?  His father made a choice.  My H made a choice as well - he walked.  He walked from me, and the girls.  A few texts here and there, and perhaps an hour once every couple of weeks at dinner, is not a 'relationship'.  And that is just for the youngest.  The oldest has written him off because she sees it for what it is.

I do think it is both, I think hormonal, and emotional issues bubbling up, but it is also a choice, I believe that.  Actually, I think it is quite spiritual - a demonic force at work.  In saying that I am not, no, definitely NOT absolving H for any of this!  It is a choice, but I say demonic because of the unbelievable changes, mentally, physically, etc..., very sinful choices with no regard for anybody.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#37: May 31, 2013, 10:39:05 AM
The discussion as a whole is not futile, only the notion that MLC can be "cured."  Sorry if that is disrespectful, I had not thought of it that way.
Oh Lisa, thanks for clearing that up. I love your contributions and was surprised to read you telling us that a discussion was futile. I don't know how others read your words, but to me it seemed you meant the entire discussion.
A few years ago in Bible study I made a comment and the pastor was rather dismissive. I then added that I had discussed this earlier that week in a different Bible Study and we'd discussed it for 15-20 minutes and he told me that we had wasted our time. >:(
I held it for a few moments and then told him he was out of line. He said I was right and apologized, but in a condescending manner and so I didn't buy his apology. I tried to stay but ran out a few minutes later in absolute tears. His lovely wife followed and told me I was right and that he'd basically been a jerk.
It's like the there are no stupid questions axiom. And really, there are stupid questions, but most aren't and if someone gets a benefit then something is valid.

And I agree with you completely about there being no cure for MLC. Yes, I think it's a perfect storm of biochemical and sociological factors, but I also think that the transition aspect is part of life. Teen Angst is part of life too and there are biochemical factots...UM puberty+!

I love my ADHD and it sounds as though you may too. I don't see it as a disease. I think it lends me advantages and disadvantages in life. So does having a certain body type. Or complexion or...
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#38: May 31, 2013, 10:51:49 AM
Really interesting - thanks for sharing Thundarr

I'm sticking myself to this thread to keep up with this discussion :)
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#39: May 31, 2013, 11:04:56 AM
I think what has a lot of us excited here, is that finally, the medical/scientific communities are recognising MLC, instead of sweeping it under the rug.

It means that when LBS are desperately looking for answers they will not have to suffer blank looks and shrugged shoulders or silence, from therapists and the medical profession.  Something that I found overwhelmingly scary at the time.

And with this acceptance from the medical/scientific communities, will come general knowledge for others too.

That to me seems like an enormous improvement on what most of us have experienced. 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#40: May 31, 2013, 11:10:41 AM
But not all MLCers had poor coping skills until MLC. And many people have unresolved childhood/adolescence and FOO issues and don't have a MLC.

It requires more than childhood/adolescence and/or FOO unresolved issues to have a MLC.

RCR, I know you think some other factor make part of MLC but your articles and blogs post focus mostly on the development/psychological/FOO issues side of it. Perfect storm is appropriated for MLC.

In Replay and MLCer does seem bipolar, even it they are not (except for those who really suffer from that disorder).

RCR, do you think you could wrote an article/blog post addressing the Biochemistry component of MLC?

It's been proven that the depressed brain tends to focus only on negative thoughts that only serve to prolong the depression, and also filter out positive thoughts that may shorten it.  There is a biological/ evolutionary explanation for this that I have addressed on a previous Discussion thread but fail to remember at this time.  One of the most common symptoms of depression is a clarity of memory when it comes to unpleasant memories and one of the primary reasons for this is that they are filtered out of the pleasant memories which are pushed away unconsciously.

This matches what I've been learning in my Genetics and Neuroscience courses. And also what I have observed in my cousin and Mr J.

I don't believe FOO issues or any other childhood experiences are the CAUSES of MLC but the return to them is rather one of the symptoms.  We all have traumas in our lives and we all experience transitions but for the most part do not revisit those past traumas (or at least not to the extent the MLCers do).

Agree, the return to childhood or other experiences is one of the symptoms of MLC.


So what happens when their armor is once again sufficient to protect them enough that they can actually focus on something besides self-preservation?  I believe for all of us here (and yes, Braveheart and AnneJ, I said ALL as I'm not convinced whatsoever that either of you would not welcome a reconciliation down the road and I love you guys for that knowledge!) are hoping that they regain the clarity to see us for who we really are and realize that we were never truly the enemies they perceived us to be. 

Well, time for reconciliation has passed for me. I want a divorce and to remarry. I always knew I wasn't the enemy, Mr J is still deep in Replay, I'll be 45 this year. Too many years of my prime gone by already. Let alone for something I know it could be mitigated with medical help. Mr J knew he was depressed and refused medical help. But, OK, Thundarr, lets leave the issue open… one never knows what will happen when I turn 80.

DGU, what if the MLC life process is, in fact, not a life process but an abnormality in the life process? We already know MLC is a crisis, therefore not the normal way things should go. Conway and others have focused on the psychological issues but did not look behind them. What causes the psychological issues? Often biological factors. Like Thundarr said psychological issues are easier to identify and treat than biological ones.

I think of this in the context of Eriksonian Development. If a person has developmental gaps, those gaps may be a contributing factor (cause) later on when the person does not have the necessary skills that they would have acquired in those gaps. They then regress to those developmental gaps and the regression would be a symptom.

But we don't know if a person has, or has not, developments gaps. It is not something that can be measured, or quantified. Hormonal levels and brain chemicals are. Also, many MLCer have had good cooping skills until MLC hit. They have spent decades coping with whatever they could have from before, plus all the challenges life put on their way. Until the day MLC turned up. The regression is a symptom and concurs with what Thundarr have said.


Hormones contribute to EVERYTHING we do, and they can cause us to react in strange ways, but so do drugs.  However, only in rare case to drugs make anyone do things they were not predisposed to doing anyway.  Even most addicts don't willingly walk away from their families, their moral compass will allow them to steal and cheat their families, but in a twisted way, they still believe they are doing their best.  And, clearly, they are not functioning well, in a lot of capacities, but most MLCers still compartmentalize exceptionally well and do function well in other capacities.   

Don't know what drug addicts, and how severe their addiction is, but I know many that left their families and end up dead or living in the streets. Same for alcoholics. Of course that there has to be a predisposition. But that predisposition in biological.

It is the same predisposition that make who try cigarettes to end up smokers and others leave at it, the try. Same for alcohol. Some of us can have a few drinks and be fine with it, others became alcoholics. Same for drugs. In what is the predisposition of an MLCer different than those predispositions? And smokers, drug addicts, alcoholics, are all capable of compartmentalize. I've given several times the example of the alcoholic who beats the wife but is a model employee and friend. No one knows how he behaves home. The day his wife speaks, no one believes her.

RCR, is you have the word crisis in something it means it is not a normal situation. MLC is not the default, normal way for people to behave in midlife. Teens have hormonal issues but when their issues get out of hand they are often taken to a doctor and or psychologist who will help minimize the issues. If teen angst goes way out of hand the teen may end behind bars or worse.

I think there is a cure for MLC = minimize it, prevent the damages. If hormones and brain chemicals are at play, there is.

Otherwise we're left with: accept that you are going to have to go through hell for your spouse to (maybe) become a better person. Your spouse that most likely will no longer be your spouse and has left you (and children if there are any) in a terrible situation because they need to become better people, to found themselves, or whatever.

Sorry but for me that is not good enough. Or would be, if MLCers would go to their business leaving us alone and not causing the devastation they do. And, yes, I do not their are blind to destruction (depression does it).

You love your ADHD, but does it causes problems to Chuck? Has it destroyed your marriage? I don't think so. It is a disorder, even if you don't like it. It has advantages and disadvantages. Depends of the severity and how it affects a person life.

 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#41: May 31, 2013, 11:20:59 AM
And with this acceptance from the medical/scientific communities, will come general knowledge for others too.

That to me seems like an enormous improvement on what most of us have experienced.

It will and it is. But it may take a while for us to see practical help. My lawyer never doubted me when I said Mr J suffered a personality change. Nor has the social worker of the charities I have to went to because of the financial troubles.

Yet, none of them was able to provide more than their sympathy. Still, I hope MLC knowledge becomes wider and that in the future LBS will not have to go through the same we've had.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#42: May 31, 2013, 12:30:18 PM

Anne, I don't think you can say for sure that most or even many MLCers had fine coping skills until MLC.  I think many were not tested in the same way UNTIL MLC.  My exH wasn't.  And most of the LBSs I talk to, when you really dig, it was a perfect storm of work/health trauma that flipped the switch.  And yes, lots of people do have poor coping skills and do not have MLCs, many people struggle with lifelong depression and do not have MLCs, so it is not all brain science, either. 

Plus, it will take a LONG time to know how to create balance--body chemistry is a delicate thing and we STILL can't treat true disorders (schizophrenia) well, let alone mild disturbances like MLC.  And get back to the point that it IS selective.  Most MLCers do function well in some ways, whether it's work, or new hobbies.  And some people would say my ADHD needs to be treated because I can't do what they want me to do.  But that's their opinion.  My co-workers view it as a huge problem that I CAN'T participate in several hours of group editing because it's the way they like to work.  I think THEY'RE crazy.  I think my exH is crazy for leaving our life, apparently he doesn't and he has new friends that think their life is great. 

He IS fine to most of the rest of the world, despite the fact that he can't remember one thing he promises S14, he just got promoted.  And that's where S14 IS RIGHT.  If S14 was the most important thing in the world, his D would find a way to do what he has to do, but fact is, he prioritizes other things.  No medicine will ever cure misplaced priorities, when there is no agreement on what the prioities should be. 

And I am sorry RCR, I never want to squash (intelligent) discussion, that's not my nature!  Love and light, ll     
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#43: May 31, 2013, 12:50:05 PM
RCR, I know you think some other factor make part of MLC but your articles and blogs post focus mostly on the development/psychological/FOO issues side of it. Perfect storm is appropriated for MLC.
...RCR, do you think you could wrote an article/blog post addressing the Biochemistry component of MLC?

Yes they do... ::) avoidance of a huge topic.
And yeah, I really do need to, should, must... write on this. But it's not something that will be a single article or even a few shorties. I imagine it being more like my Eriksonian chapter which is about 15,000 words and ~40 pages and with the other two chapters I had to remove because they were based in it the total 18,000 words I think.
For my mind this will be a major research project/paper. FUN though. ;D
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#44: May 31, 2013, 01:11:11 PM
Anne, I don't think you can say for sure that most or even many MLCers had fine coping skills until MLC.  I think many were not tested in the same way UNTIL MLC.  My exH wasn't.  And most of the LBSs I talk to, when you really dig, it was a perfect storm of work/health trauma that flipped the switch.  And yes, lots of people do have poor coping skills and do not have MLCs, many people struggle with lifelong depression and do not have MLCs, so it is not all brain science, either.

No, Lisa, I cannot say for sure but from real life MLCers I know and reading the stories here and other places it comes out that MLC and the behavior that come with it was, normally, a surprise to the LBS. I can therefor conclude that, until that point, the MLCer had coping skills. Otherwise the LBS would have already noticed and would not be so surprised at the sudden, odd behaviour.

Yes, totally agree with the perfect storm. Well, it could all still be brain/hormones issues. Women in menopause are affected by hormones but don't react the same way. Some have tremendous problems, others navigate through it easily. And the perfect storm could apply to some other disorders/diseases. Epilepsy comes to mind. For some it has always been there, for others it was there but was only triggered because of stress (that is my case. I have a very mild electric problem in my brain/type of epilepsy that only surfaced in the late 90's because I was overwhelmed with work and very stressed. Had it not be for it it could have never shown).


Plus, it will take a LONG time to know how to create balanced chemistry is a delicate thing and we STILL can't treat true disorders (schizophrenia) well, let alone mild disturbances like MLC.  And get back to the point that it IS selective.  Most MLCers do function well in some ways, whether it's work, or new hobbies.  And some people would say my ADHD needs to be treated because I can't do what they want me to do.  But that's their opinion.  My co-workers view it as a huge problem that I CAN'T participate in several hours of group editing because it's the way they like to work.  I think THEY'RE crazy.  I think my exH is crazy for leaving our life, apparently he doesn't and he has new friends that think their life is great. 

True, it takes a long time to create body chemistry balance.  Also, one person's normal level is another person's abnormal level. Theoretically it should be easy to treat a "mild" (MLC can be very, very strong) disorder/disturbance like MLC than a more complicated one like schizophrenia. We cannot cure schizophrenia but we can minimize some of its effects. And schizophrenia, like many other diseases/disorders (including cancer or heart condition) has different levels.

Neuroscience, biochemistry and psychology all still have a long way to go. And they should work more and more closer to each other.

I don't suffer from ADHD but participating in long hours of group editing is not for me.

We all think our spouses are crazy for leaving the life we've had but it is like with drug addicts, gamble addicts, alcoholics, some people will always think that they are following who they are and there is nothing wrong with them. That does not mean they are fine. Another think drug addcits, gamble addcits and alcoholics always find is new friends that support their lifestyle.


He IS fine to most of the rest of the world, despite the fact that he can't remember one thing he promises S14, he just got promoted.  And that's where S14 IS RIGHT.  If S14 was the most important thing in the world, his D would find a way to do what he has to do, but fact is, he prioritizes other things.  No medicine will ever cure misplaced priorities, when there is no agreement on what the priorities should be. 

Your husband, like many MLCers is fine to most of the world. For some MLCers a time comes when they have to keep changing worlds because people start to see that there is something wrong with them. What goes to our MLCers goes to drug addcits, gamble addicts (these ones are especially tricky since they can maintain a double life for many, many years. they can keep their addiction hidden from everyone, spouse included. gambling is considered if not the most, one of the most damaging addictions), they to have wrong priorities.

But medicine knows drug addiction, gamble addiction and alcohol are misplaced priorities, even if it cannot exactly cure them. An alcoholic will always remain one. The person may never relapse but has to stay away from alcohol for good.

Workaholic is also starting to be seen as a serious problem. Same for shopaholic. So, why not the same for MLC? It is a problem, it damages families, it causes tremendous upheaval all of sorts (financial, emotional, psychological, health related, you name it).


And I am sorry RCR, I never want to squash (intelligent) discussion, that's not my nature!  Love and light, ll   

Love and light, Lisa.  :)

RCR, I know you think some other factor make part of MLC but your articles and blogs post focus mostly on the development/psychological/FOO issues side of it. Perfect storm is appropriated for MLC.
...RCR, do you think you could wrote an article/blog post addressing the Biochemistry component of MLC?

Yes they do... ::) avoidance of a huge topic.
And yeah, I really do need to, should, must... write on this. But it's not something that will be a single article or even a few shorties. I imagine it being more like my Eriksonian chapter which is about 15,000 words and ~40 pages and with the other two chapters I had to remove because they were based in it the total 18,000 words I think.
For my mind this will be a major research project/paper. FUN though. ;D

Whenever you can it would be much appreciated.  :)
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« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 01:13:52 PM by AnneJ »
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#45: May 31, 2013, 01:43:49 PM

I still beg to differ Anne.  I was very surprised by my exH's lack of coping.  He HAD always been fine, but it is only at midlife when you face the BIG hurdles.  When your friends start dying, your parents start to fail, you face your own mortality, get huge promotions, and see your children have problems, all at the same time--then your coping mechanisms get truly tested.  In hindsight, there were times I thought he may be lacking in that regard, but at the time, I could shrug it off to a bad day/week/month and deal with it because nothing was THAT huge that I couldn't handle it alone. 

It was only when our kid was diagnosed with cancer that I realized he didn't have it...  And there is no telling, if that had happened ten years earlier, or later, or not in combination with a big promotion, my starting a business, the economy taking a nosedive, and getting sued, maybe his chemistry would have "handled" it all.  It's hard to know, but I do know that we had never truly been tested before that, even though I would have said we had.  He has a difficult and competitive job, we faced death and health scares, but never at that magnitude.  And I do think a lot of people can look back and say the same. 

Midlife is different because now you OWN the challenges, and even your parents who you once looked to for advice are starting to weaken...  Anyway, not trying to start an argument, but I am in a bit of a way today and this thread did touch a nerve.  I will not accept moral relativism in the name of science, or bad brain chemistry, or any of that, S14 is right.  People CAN make different choices.  Some addicts can't, that is true, and as much as you can liken an affair to an addiction, it is NOT the same (I have worked in a detox facility).  True physical addiction and chemical withdrawal is not the same as deciding that you are going to take OWs kids on vacation and not your own.  Those are choices, and no amount of hormone balancing is going to right that scale. 

And speaking of S14, I am facing a similar battle with him, also.  He is failing school.  He is an exceptionally bright kid, with a learning disability.  He also has hormonal issues, all males do at that age, possibly depression, anxiety and ADHD thrown in to boot.  However, none of those things are an excuse for him failing all his classes except social studies where he has a high B.  He LIKES that teacher and chooses to do well.  So as I deliberate his IEP going into HS, he doesn't need more time on tests, or drugs to make him "different."  HE CAN do it, if he chooses...  But he is choosing to piss off his dad...  We can overcome body chemistry, or choose not to let it rule us if we find ourselves in a place we don't like.  MLCers actively choose differently. 

Back to work...  ll     
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#46: May 31, 2013, 03:27:39 PM
You’re welcome to differ, Lisa. I was also very surpressided by Mr J lack of coping. We’ve had been trough several rough situation together, both family and work related for 20 years. No friends had start do die, we have no children, no mortgage (the flat was rented), no parents failing (or better, my dad was failing but Mr J did not have to care with the issue, nor have I, my mum and siblings were looking after my dad – we lived in the capital, not here). Mr J was 36 when he left, not 45, 50 or 60. He had many, many years ahead of him. Our life was easy, no major issues to deal with.

Still facing the mortality is the one thing, coupled with stress, that I think was a major issue. Mr J had lost his paternal grandmother, if I’m not mistaken, in the Summer 2005. But he was a 35 years old man and his grandma an old lady. He had lost both his grandfathers when he was young (I never meet any of the grandfathers even if I meet Mr J when I was 18) and he coped fine with it. 

So, the death of a grandparent could had not be the reason for the crisis or a proof of bad coping skills. He had coped with the death of two grandparents when much, much younger. And me and him have been tested, big time, before and we survived fine. however Mr J went MLC in a period when nothing that serious was going on.

So I really don’t have any explanation for it except if I look to biochemical issues.

No, there is no telling. If it had happened ten years before or latter you

It was only when our kid was diagnosed with cancer that I realized he didn't have it...  And there is no telling, if that had happened ten years earlier, or later, or not in combination with a big promotion, my starting a business, the economy taking a nosedive, and getting sued, maybe his chemistry would have "handled" it all.  It's hard to know, but I do know that we had never truly been tested before that, even though I would have said we had.  He has a difficult and competitive job, we faced death and health scares, but never at that magnitude.  And I do think a lot of people can look back and say the same.

MLC may, or may not be different. Many people loose their parents when they are young so losing parents cannot be the explanation. Many people endure terrible things when they are young and they never have a MLC. Terrible things happening to you also cannot be the explanation. Like you’ve said, many people face difficult situations at work at midlife. But some face them before midlife. And they don’t have a MLC.

That I recall no one ever said that what MLCers do is right. Can people really make different choices? And here are putting you the question we were put on one of the neurology courses I took. There is a big debate on the matter, and free will, on the neuroscience community. One of the reasons being that our subconscious decides actions (like writing on a computer or grab a glass) before the actual action takes places, that is, before we are conscious aware we’re going to do it.

I’m not saying that we have or don’t have choices, I think we do but that they can be impaired by a series of things. But the big problem in MLC is not the affair. Plenty of people have affairs but don’t have a MLC. Mr J real MLC problem is his addiction to clubbing. OW is not that relevant. He left mainly because he wanted a new lifestyle, to be a DJ and go clubbing. OW1 was expecting him to be a good partner, like he was a husband. She got a die hard clubber and end up leaving him. OW2 was meet on the clubbing scene.

Since Mr J never went clubbing before, why on earth did he get into it, drinking (a thing he also didn’t do before) , not sleeping (he always needed a lot of sleep and rest), all of a sudden?

True physical addiction and chemical withdrawal is not the same as deciding that you are going to take OWs kids on vacation and not your own.  Those are choices, and no amount of hormone balancing is going to right that scale.


There can be addiction to a person, OW could be an addiction. But I confess I don’t really get the kids thing. If no amount of hormones balacing is going to right that scale, how do you explain that, after the crisis, MLCer regret their actions and go back to who they were (I know they do, one of my cousins had a MLC, albeit a very mild one, no OW, no leaving his job. But he stopped coming by for ages and he even missed our grandmother birthday, a thing he has never done)?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying, or suggesting, we have to wait or take back our MLCers. I have no wish of take back Mr J. I just want him to manage to see straight and allow us to divorce (he drags), just making questions.

He is failing school.  He is an exceptionally bright kid, with a learning disability.  He also has hormonal issues, all males do at that age, possibly depression, anxiety and ADHD thrown in to boot.  However, none of those things are an excuse for him failing all his classes except social studies where he has a high B.  He LIKES that teacher and chooses to do well.  So as I deliberate his IEP going into HS, he doesn't need more time on tests, or drugs to make him "different."  HE CAN do it, if he chooses...  But he is choosing to piss off his dad...  We can overcome body chemistry, or choose not to let it rule us if we find ourselves in a place we don't like.  MLCers actively choose differently. 


I’m sorry your S14 is failing school. But really, Lisa, your son is having hormonal troubles, possible depression, anxiety and ADHD and you think that is not a reason (a reason is not the same as an excuse) for him to be failing at school? Should he be able to, alone, overcome his hormonal issues plus depression, anxiety and ADHD? I find it a little difficult. Also, if he senses that you’re so tough and so incapable of seeing those things can be a problem that should be addressed medically or with any other appropriated help he may become even more depressed and anxious.

How exactly can your son, or anyone else, choose to overcome his body chemistry, without any other thing except choice? Choice is not going to modify is hormonal issues, depression, anxiety or ADHD. What if it social studies are just easier for your son? Are you sure he is choosing to upset his dad? Even if he is, that is not what caused his hormonal issues, depression, anxiety and ADHD, is it?

Sometimes, during my monthly cycle, I’m not capable of doing things at the same level as on other times of the month. Same if I haven’t had enough sleep.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#47: May 31, 2013, 03:32:19 PM
  I will not accept moral relativism in the name of science, or bad brain chemistry, or any of that, S14 is right.  People CAN make different choices.  Some addicts can't, that is true, and as much as you can liken an affair to an addiction, it is NOT the same (I have worked in a detox facility).  True physical addiction and chemical withdrawal is not the same as deciding that you are going to take OWs kids on vacation and not your own.  Those are choices, and no amount of hormone balancing is going to right that scale. 



Love and light to you (and you know I love ya!), LL, but I must respectfully point out that there are many inherent flaws to what you have written.  First off, this post is an extension of an earlier one in which you pointed out that for an MLC to happen there had to be moral and character flaws already present.  The simple retort to this is that this is a judgment as none of us know how moral our spouses really were, but for many their actions over the 10 or 20 or 30 years demonstrated that they WERE people of character who loved and cared for their families and accepted their responsibilities just as we are doing now.  I think it extremely presumptuous to assume that they were always this way deep down. Secondly, I disagree that there are distinct differences between the addiction to another person and the addiction to a substance.  You won't find any research showing that ANY drug can do ANYTHING that your body cannot do naturally a different way, and the release of the feel-good brain chemicals brought on by an infatuation high would theoretically be just as powerful as that brought on by any drug and possibly even higher as different systems would also be affected.  We all have our drugs of choice, but some are less socially acceptable than others.

But what sticks out to me the most is that you post in absolutes based on disproven (and arguably vain) assumptions that the way we see the world is the way it IS and that our MLCers see the world the same way, and given that perceive morality the same as we do.  But the problem with that is that morality is RELATIVE.  We base our morals primarily on how we see the world and sometimes fall into the thinking error that other people should behave according to what our morals are, and if they do not then they are morally corrupt at the minimum and bankrupt at the maximum.  But, what if THEIR reality is not the same as OUR reality? What if their red is our blue and vice versa?  With the right combination of brain chemicals any of us could be turned into something we don't recognize.  If you have ever been in the presence of someone experiencing a psychotic episode or other altered reality type of event then it's clear that they do not have the same perception of right and wrong that healthy people do.  I always refer back to the old movie "They Live" where Roddy Piper put on special glasses that revealed aliens described as humans in every walk of life and he was the only one who could perceive them.  So, guess what everyone thought when he pulled out a gun and started blasting them?  That's right, mass murderer.  He perceived the world differently than those around him and so do our MLCers.  If you need proof just look at the OPs they choose!!  I can remember back to the days after BD and XW's "mansion in the ghetto" as proof positive that the world she was perceiving a world all her own.

From RCR's article Covert Depression
This fog serves a purpose. A person in their right mind would not behave this way, thus the fog buries their guilt until they can handle it.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#48: May 31, 2013, 03:42:06 PM
And speaking of S14, I am facing a similar battle with him, also.  He is failing school.  He is an exceptionally bright kid, with a learning disability.  He also has hormonal issues, all males do at that age, possibly depression, anxiety and ADHD thrown in to boot.  However, none of those things are an excuse for him failing all his classes except social studies where he has a high B.  He LIKES that teacher and chooses to do well.  So as I deliberate his IEP going into HS, he doesn't need more time on tests, or drugs to make him "different."  HE CAN do it, if he chooses...  But he is choosing to piss off his dad...  We can overcome body chemistry, or choose not to let it rule us if we find ourselves in a place we don't like.  MLCers actively choose differently. 
   

I won't tell you how to parent, but I disagree wholeheartedly.  If he suffers from even one of those disorders then he has more barriers before him than typical kids his age and that's notwithstanding what your H has put the family through that is likely still unresolved.  To deny him not only medication that can not only help him to focus but in doing so likely lessen the anxiety he has about school and the depression that my result from this, but also not give him any allowances to somewhat even the playing field with his peers IS setting him up for failure.  The dangers of telling a child to just "suck it up" and then not validating his struggle by writing it off as the child just "pissing off his dad" may well be setting him up for an MLC down the road or even worse a lifelong feeling of being incapable and worthless.  I pray you reconsider your decisions, and if there are other factors or I'm not seeing all of the information I will allow for that but will offer to further discuss this with you in another format if you like.  Just as this thread touched a nerve with you, this did with me as well due to the fact that I see the negatives that result from this philosophy in the clinic routinely.  Know that I write this only from a caring perspective, my friend.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#49: May 31, 2013, 04:04:25 PM
Lisa - this hit a nerve for me too.
I have three teen sons. 12, 14 and 15 at BD, and now 15, 17 and nearly 19.

It is a long tough haul.
Two of my children are exceptionally academic, and the other is equally as clever in many academic areas, but has a learning difficulty which affects some subjects.

Yes, to have a father in MLC, doing all sorts of outrageous things is a complete tragedy.  But as the responsible parent, I think we do our children a grave disservice if we do not allow them to navigate their teen years with our awareness, that with or without this added layer, these years can be incredibly tough for them anyway.

Add the challenges of a learning disability with the pressure of these school years, and to say that your son chooses to do well in one subject over the others is something that I do not understand.

I am sure he is very angry with his father - I have three of them who feel this way - and they feel so betrayed and let down by him. From what I have seen, most teens do not want to give their MLC parent a 'free pass' - it fascinates me that the boys and their friends all seem to be acutely aware of the cliche of MLC and the bimbo, the sports car and the embarrassing behaviour.  It seems to be part of their joking culture.  But the reality of MLC is not something that our sons talk about with their friends, unless they are very close to them. 
They all have varying degrees in their thinking - but our eldest in particular, is adamant that their Dad must have always been this way - and does not understand my interest in trying to get to the bottom of this massive change in the man I loved for a quarter of a century.
But that is okay, they are young men/teens, and I am a grown woman.  I do not form my beliefs based on my childrens' beliefs.  They do not have the life experience that I do, but I do allow them to have a voice and I hear them out - just as they know the basics of the information that I have learnt.





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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#50: May 31, 2013, 04:16:56 PM
DGU, what if the MLC life process is, in fact, not a life process but an abnormality in the life process?

I am fine with calling it an abnormality in the life process.  My main points are that MLC is not a specific medical condition and (perhaps therefore) there is no cure.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#51: May 31, 2013, 05:26:10 PM
T-this is fascinating.  My FIL and H went through a MLC at exactly the same age, 48.5.  I have 3 boys, you bet we talk openly about mid life transitions (I relate it to teenage transitions) and the possibility that they could experience a transition time when they near 50.  Prevention is my goal.  Hopefully my boys will be open to exploring the possibility if they have a rough transition or crisis near the same age.  They will know it happened to grandpa and dad. 



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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#52: May 31, 2013, 05:35:18 PM
I am fine with calling it an abnormality in the life process.  My main points are that MLC is not a specific medical condition and (perhaps therefore) there is no cure.

You're right, probably there is no cure. I think we're using cure because we're thrilled with the novelty. I would say a mitigation is possible. It is not possible to prevent a woman of having menopause but it is possible, when needed, to mitigate the effects. 

There also isn't a cure for cancer (sometimes it is possible to treat it others is is not) or alcoholism.

Well, I vote for MLC to be a medical condition. Of what type and to be place within which category not sure. It involves several things. mental health disorder? Hormonal disorder? Psychological disorder? All and some more?

Medicine, and sciences, and psychology are becoming more and more interdisciplinary, I see no reason the same not to happen to MLC.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#53: May 31, 2013, 06:06:45 PM
I know we've talked about this on the forum before, but thought it might be timely to put this information here again.  Research has shown that men's testosterone levels, are on average, at the 25th percentile of what they were only 20 years ago. 
They believe this is due to lifestyle and environmental factors. 

Research is coming out now too, about how challenging the pill is for women, hormonally. 

I too would like to see MLC documented as a medical condition one day.  But personally, I don't believe medication to be a magic pill.  I believe if there is a 'cure', then it will be mitigation before a transition becomes a full blown crisis. 

Hormone levels vary greatly between person to person.  What is 'normal' for one, may not be for another. 
A huge drop in testosterone for someone, may not show on a blood test, because their huge drop may still see them in the medically considered normal range. 
Even though this is far from 'normal' for this particular person. 
So, monitoring of personal levels of hormones, may be an essential part of mitigating this in the future.   
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#54: May 31, 2013, 06:13:53 PM
I believe in the future we will have ways of monitoring our hormone levels at home, and we will have a great enough understanding of their effects that we will know to keep our levels balanced through either lifestyle or medicinal changes.  I also want to go on record as saying that the concept of cure for MLC is somewhat nonsensical as MLC as I see it is a result of the hormonal changes triggering several other biological responses.  Mitigation of the symptoms after the crisis has hit is feasible, but more importantly I can see crises being averted altogether through the prevention measures that seem now to be closer on the horizon.  And I think that should be our goal, to find a way to prevent the damage that is often already done at the time of BD and help both spouses avert the crisis.  Metaphor time again, but I conceptualize this as finding new technology to help ships navigate away from storms rather than improving shipwreck recovery methods.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#55: May 31, 2013, 06:14:23 PM
I am fine with calling it an abnormality in the life process.  My main points are that MLC is not a specific medical condition and (perhaps therefore) there is no cure.

You're right, probably there is no cure.

CURE = TIME

Use it wisely!
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#56: May 31, 2013, 06:19:49 PM
I am fine with calling it an abnormality in the life process.  My main points are that MLC is not a specific medical condition and (perhaps therefore) there is no cure.

You're right, probably there is no cure.

CURE = TIME

Use it wisely!

Wait!  You just triggered a thought that we haven't discussed yet!  What if we could figure out what processes were involved in MLC and find a way to somehow speed them up?  We have ways of accelerating the growth of cancers so why not accelerate hormonal processes?  Just a thought....
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#57: May 31, 2013, 06:24:03 PM
I believe in the future we will have ways of monitoring our hormone levels at home, and we will have a great enough understanding of their effects that we will know to keep our levels balanced through either lifestyle or medicinal changes.  I also want to go on record as saying that the concept of cure for MLC is somewhat nonsensical as MLC as I see it is a result of the hormonal changes triggering several other biological responses.  Mitigation of the symptoms after the crisis has hit is feasible, but more importantly I can see crises being averted altogether through the prevention measures that seem now to be closer on the horizon.  And I think that should be our goal, to find a way to prevent the damage that is often already done at the time of BD and help both spouses avert the crisis.

It makes sense. I've posted on one of my earlier post cure = mitigation.

CURE = TIME

Use it wisely!

Yes, time... would you be very upset if I tell you I've had enough of it? And it has not been used in a silly way. Still, and this may go against what we say, too much time can become exactly it, too much time.

Not for the crisis, but for the LBS. I think up until early 2011 I was up to work things out with Mr J despite it all. From then onwards, nope. All I want is a divorce and not to have to deal with MLC a minute more in my real life.

Since I know MLC does not end at Replay...well...

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#58: May 31, 2013, 06:28:06 PM
Wait!  You just triggered a thought that we haven't discussed yet!  What if we could figure out what processes were involved in MLC and find a way to somehow speed them up?  We have ways of accelerating the growth of cancers so why not accelerate hormonal processes?  Just a thought....

Uhhh... what would be the difference between that and mitigate it? Mitigate it, the way I see it, means leveling the hormonal levels (and possibly brain chemicals). Once the levels were balanced the crisis would be mitigated/smoother.

One does not speed menopause, does one? We use several ways of mitigate it.

And, anyway, Thundarr, if an MLCer is already in Replay, how do we reach the person? Should we use a tranquilizer dark, and, with the MLCer a sleep, conduct blood and brain tests to see what they are in need of?

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#59: May 31, 2013, 06:34:32 PM
Anne although I wish you well with your divorce,
It will not end MLC, and I know many people still on the merry go round after divorce.

I  agree that I do not think we can speed up menopause.

Maybe we can get a pill that will make Thundarrs son an ADULT.  :) :) :)
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#60: May 31, 2013, 06:38:34 PM
And, anyway, Thundarr, if an MLCer is already in Replay, how do we reach the person? Should we use a tranquilizer dark, and, with the MLCer a sleep, conduct blood and brain tests to see what they are in need of?

If only. Or maybe we get them to eat a poisoned apple, go to sleep for three years and then we can kiss them awake, their MLC having been gone through in dream land!
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#61: May 31, 2013, 06:40:05 PM
Quote
If only. Or maybe we get them to eat a poisoned apple, go to sleep for three years and then we can kiss them awake, their MLC having been gone through in dream land!

Now this, TT, is the BEST idea I have come across for a while.   ;D
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#62: May 31, 2013, 06:42:15 PM
OP, I know the divorce will not end Mr J MLC. But it will leave me free to remarry. Even if Mr J would come knock on the door tomorrow I would still want a divorce. My problem is to have not divorced him early on. That ruined my financial situation, prevent me from remarry and have kids.

Mr J left almost 7 years ago (and he is still deep in Replay), I've had more than time to heal, move forward and whatever.

I'm only legally married. Nothing more. But that legally married prevents me from doing a few things, including get a bank loan. This is no way to live.

I like that idea, TT.  ;D

 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#63: May 31, 2013, 06:45:32 PM
I know there's a "LIKE" button around here somewhere for Anne and TT's suggestions.....


Edited for Thundarr


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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#64: May 31, 2013, 06:52:17 PM
Though I would prefer to conduct blood and brain tests while they are awake.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#65: May 31, 2013, 09:18:04 PM
This, as ever, is a most interesting discussion. 

I agree that we can get very excited by anything that publicly acknowledges that MLC, and crises like it, is "real", in whatever way -- biochemistry or anything.  And I think that's OK -- I like the fact that it would help all of us understand what otherwise is just completely bewildering. 

I also agree with the bit about alterered perceptions of reality.   A number of us have written here that we, ourselves, have experience of depression in various degrees, I know from my own experience that depression completely alters perception of the world, and things really truly do seem very different from what they are, or rather what they are when my own mind is "normal". 

And speaking of menopause, that certainly can affect women very, very differently.  I've been lucky, in that it actually seems to have improved many mood issues, but I know women who have been severely affected in a very negative way, and even if they recognise that that is what is happening, they struggle mightly to deal with the effects, both physical and mental.  The mental ones most.     And I know one who has struggled for over 10 years, it's never been "over" for her, and I understand that other female relatives of hers also had that problem. 

And oh, my goodness, if there were a way to shorten/mitigate her menopause she certainly would have done it!

I also have a teenage son with a number of learning difficulties, and yes, he does well in one subject but not in the others.  He doesn't choose that -- he really struggles.  He pours his all into his school day, and simply has nothing left when he gets home.    He is angry at that, angry at H, the anger ends up coming out in all sorts of ways.  He needs to feel safe, and he needs help to learn how to deal with and control those strong emotions. 

This same S, by the way, is currently saying that his father is doing what he is doing to piss HIM (S) off....   



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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#66: May 31, 2013, 10:03:03 PM
Did anyone else see the tv program about the blood test being developed for diagnosing the presence of depression?  Can't remember what the show was, but here's an article.  If they could predict and prevent depression would it lesson MLC?

http://news.yahoo.com/blood-test-depression-proves-not-head-133922250.html

In the last 3 months my H has been able to talk more then he ever has before about his anxiety and depression.  I am understanding for the first time the pain and fear he lives with because of them.  He can look back now at his time in deep crisis and explain some of what he was feeling.  There are also stretches that he doesn't remember much at all and he asks me to fill in the spotty parts. 

I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt now that depression and anxiety were the lubricants that slowly moved him into his crisis.

I think the brain holds a lot of secrets that we are yet to find out.  I just finished a book called " the Brain that changes itself" by Norman Doidge.  The big premise is that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains. 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#67: June 01, 2013, 03:27:34 AM
Quote
It's been proven that the depressed brain tends to focus only on negative thoughts that only serve to prolong the depression, and also filter out positive thoughts that may shorten it.  There is a biological/ evolutionary explanation for this that I have addressed on a previous Discussion thread but fail to remember at this time.  One of the most common symptoms of depression is a clarity of memory when it comes to unpleasant memories and one of the primary reasons for this is that they are filtered out of the pleasant memories which are pushed away unconsciously.

Sorry If I haven't quoted this properly - human error.

However so agree with above as this is all H to a "T". He says that when he looks at me all he can remember is how much I hurt him 15 years ago. He cannot remember the laughter/the good times/ the joys and successes we've shared - Nothing. He can only remember the pain of his F dying suddenly and bitterly regrets causing his own accident.  This is why he is re-creating the same activities that we used to do with his OW because she doesn't have my failings. Poor fool - she has many of her own including a propensity for affairs but he hasn't discovered that yet!
 So frustrating but absolutely delighted with this thread - so helpful.


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Reconnection started 2017.
Separated 2022 (my choice because he wanted to live alone) and yet fully reconnected seeing each other often.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#68: June 01, 2013, 04:03:05 AM
Quote
Did anyone else see the tv program about the blood test being developed for diagnosing the presence of depression?  Can't remember what the show was, but here's an article.  If they could predict and prevent depression would it lesson MLC?

That's really interesting Gallagher - I haven't heard about this before.
Thanks for the link.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#69: June 01, 2013, 04:26:14 AM
I'm finding this thread really interesting.  Thank you, Thundarr for starting it - it's great to hear that the medical profession are now giving credence to the existence of MLC. Look forward to hearing the NP's thoughts on the length of time men are in MLC as well as any other thoughts she has on the subject.  I know when I spoke to my GP (who admittedly I didn't know well), a couple of years ago, she obviously thought I was mad when I said I thought my partner was going through an MLC.

My ex was on ADs, on and off, since 2004, usually because of depression brought on by physical illness.  He generally just stopped taking them rather than cutting them down slowly as you are meant to do.  I don't know if that could have added to his problems or not but it wouldn't surprise me.  Certainly when he left to live with OW, he stopped taking them as he didn't need them any more!  The particular hang-up that he has seems to be one of worry about ageing.  He hasn't blamed me for anything for a while but then he doesn't open up about anything, so I don't really know what he thinks.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#70: June 01, 2013, 06:10:42 AM
Hey Thundarr, you started an interesting one here.

I am not medical in anyway whatsoever but I have a few comments to make on the other stuff.

Morality and choices. I believe that each and every one of us have the actions of the MLCer in us. But.... we choose not to let this overrule our sense of right and wrong that was taught to us as children and from what our life environment teaches us. Example. I was in the supermarket the other day with my kids and the lady was emptying the self serve machine and left a huge pile of money lying on the top of an easily accessible tray we walked past. I said to my kids hey, someone could just lift that money and be gone. Does that mean I thought about it, obviously I did, but would I ever do it.... never ! What was she thinking? that everyone was as honest as she was and it was okay to leave it there because no one would steal it while she turned her back ( okay she was being neglectful) but at the end of the day we absolutely do judge others on what we would and wouldn't do ourselves.

Perhaps our h's and w's in mlc have chosen to see now what would actually happen if they let this side of them breath life. Did you ever life sweets from a counter top when you were a teenager? I did then but I wouldn't do now. Consequences are the only cure for the morality side of things.

Coping skills- I believe the reason we go through so many stages of development before our 40's is to prepare us. Prepare us for death, for changes, for our children's needs and for old age. It makes perfect sense to me that someone who missed out on any of the development stages will struggle to cope at mid life. It stands to reason that adult issues cannot have child coping skills applied to them. My h is a perfect example of this. He is using a 7 year olds coping skills like he has all his life. Now they don't work, end of. How do you learn new coping skills, you HAVE to or you will die. Anxiety = heart attack and stroke etc etc etc.

Hormones - I can't remember who talked about this but it stands to reasons that low T = feeling less of a man. NEED to find ways to feel like a man from outside them, not inside as normal.

Also there is research out there regarding the chemicals used to grow our food. Girls as young as 7 or 8 starting their periods due to the hormones pumped into animals and food. Our generations these days are going to suffer from many things the medical profession don't yet understand. That's down to nurture rather than nature.

Our world is a mess, we cant change it so we have to change ourselves to survive in it. Evolution carries on business as usual.

MLT becomes MLC because our world is evolving quicker than we are.

Just imho.

SD
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#71: June 01, 2013, 07:02:51 AM
About stress in infancy and how important bonding is for children, and how these things are responsible for changes in our brains.

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/linda_folden_palmer2.html

IMO this explains also the fact that FOO issues has everything to do with MC. Everybody has FOO issues, but when you know about them, discuss them and whatever more you can do with them, you can heal those issues. When you never have been feeling safe within your own family and there were no possibilities to communicate about what was going on and your parents, the people in your life you should first turn to, are not available and tells you to keep up the happy face to the outside world. What will you do as a child? I think you start rationalizing everything, put all these problems outside yourself and maybe even start to develop a dark side that nobody know of.



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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#72: June 01, 2013, 07:30:29 AM
Could RCR's survey of MLC include a survey of how many of those here have partners who may have suffered trauma in childhood? (Maybe it does already - if so, apologies.)  What Niek just wrote strikes a chord with me. It would be interesting to know the percentage of stories that do have this as a factor. Tricky judging what, exactly, counts as trauma, I grant you. But most who post here seem to have a pretty good idea whether there has been some harm done in childhood/adolesence.

What's FOO, btw? 

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#74: June 01, 2013, 11:00:04 AM
First off, this post is an extension of an earlier one in which you pointed out that for an MLC to happen there had to be moral and character flaws already present.

You won't find any research showing that ANY drug can do ANYTHING that your body cannot do naturally a different way, and the release of the feel-good brain chemicals brought on by an infatuation high would theoretically be just as powerful as that brought on by any drug and possibly even higher as different systems would also be affected. 

But what sticks out to me the most is that you post in absolutes based on disproven (and arguably vain) assumptions that the way we see the world is the way it IS and that our MLCers see the world the same way, and given that perceive morality the same as we do.  But the problem with that is that morality is RELATIVE.

T, I'll respond to these, in brief.   

First, I did not mean to say that to have an MLC, there had to be moral flaws present.  In fact, I pointed out that many people have MLCs and in the view of many become better people, as my friend who would like to give up his life of high finance and go to seminary--to be a youth minister.  Most of our MLCers are not in that camp, they have done things to hurt us and betrayed their vows, their children and often, others. 

I am not willing to give them a free pass because their hormones were out of whack.  You can say the same thing about most of the people in the justice system.  Most addicts are self-medicating mental health disorders--do they all get a free pass, too?  Even the ones who kill while on soap crystals?  I used to work in a treatment facility, and I used to serve on a state substance abuse commission and county social service commissions.  I count three psychiatrists and three PhD psychologists among my closest friends, and dozens of mental health professionals in my wider circle. 

This is an ongoing debate in all the professional communities surrounding mental health.  I also live in a community with alternative sentencing drug, and mental health courts, including one for juveniles.  I do believe MLCers are whacked due to some body chemistry issues, but I know a lot of people in those same shoes, who juggle medications and therapy, and all that.  The key difference is some people choose to get help and admit they are in need of it.  And then others don't.   

Infatuation will NEVER do to the body what chemicals can.  I have seen heroin withdrawal and alcoholics in seizure.  Their need to feed their habits is real and physical.  I understand sex and gambling addictions, and hoarding, but they are not the same.  Most of our MLCers are not even there, they are just "in love."  And some psychologists argue the existence of a mild "love addiction" but those people behave like serial philanderers, always seeking the next new thrill.  Most of our MLCers don't seem to be in that camp. 

And your third comment.  In fact, what I meant to say is exactly what you said.  We are looking at MLC as a negative, based on our reality, but reality is relative.  How, in fact, do we not know that THEIR reality is the valid one.  I totally think that.  What right do we have to call it a disorder, or want to change them back?  If their development requires that they make these changes, so that their systems can right themselves again, who are we to say they're wrong?  All I know is that my H is a smart man and he still functions as a top leader in higher education, and is well-respected by his peers.  Every single day he makes 100s of decisions on personnel and budgets, strategy, he writes papers and presents them at international conferences.  I can see 100s of reasons why he felt he wanted a younger piece of arm candy to support him in that life. 

But if you think that's true also, then why do you think it's a condition that needs to be fixed?  These issues come up in mental health medical maintenance ALL THE TIME.  A lot of mentally ill people LIKE the way they feel most of the time.  It is only society that thinks their behaviors are not okay.  Medication makes them feel flat and foggy, and they have a hard time staying on them.  But WE tell them it is not okay to feel that way and they have to be medicated.  For many it is a lifelong struggle to understand who they really are. 

Complicated issues and I have debated them in policy from the federal level to client care...  Tough stuff... ll
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#75: June 01, 2013, 11:11:59 AM
To deny him not only medication that can not only help him to focus but in doing so likely lessen the anxiety he has about school and the depression that my result from this, but also not give him any allowances to somewhat even the playing field with his peers IS setting him up for failure. 

I presented this simply.  Believe me, I have not denied him medication and I have not told him to just suck it up.  He has and will always have access to the best medical, mental health and educational services available, anywhere.  We are working through his issues, but he does have choices and to take and one path, without him making an active choice for his own good, will be futile. 

For example, his father has long tentacles in all his schools.  When he works diligently on a paper, but gets to class and gets in trouble for tossing paper in the can (he is a boy and a basketball player, and sometimes...) and the teacher says "your father would be so disappointed..." and he promptly throws the paper in the trash, that is a choice.  And yes, there are 100 things wrong with everything in that situation, it activates anxiety, depression, teen shame, probably causes him to go into his next class in serious ADHD overdrive, etc... 

But managing all those things has to become conscious for him.  There is no magic pill.  His therapist helps him little, but in his 14yo mindset--it's not his fault and he doesn't WANT to.  It's hard stuff.  Same with our MLCers.  Rather than face their stuff, they ran away, and there is no magic pill to make any of those issues easier to face for them either. 

I hope that makes a little more sense.  I will never deny my kid any treatment that comes highly recommended by a respected professional, but he has some of the best, and there is no consensus, except that is sure would be better if his D were a little less selfish...  But we all know you can't fix that...  Love and light, ll   
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#76: June 12, 2013, 09:32:30 AM
I found an article today that talks about personality disorder symptoms and divorce.  I have not read the whole study, but it is called: 

Personality disorder symptoms are differentially related to divorce frequency.

The interesting thing is that they interviewed and tested people passed middle age, and lookad at "symptoms" not people with DSM diagnoses.  It would be interesting to see if the study gives any hint to MLC, but the brief article on the Psychology Today site talks about personality disorder symptoms increasing with age.  I know this plays away from the medical model of MLC, but I thought it was relevant, and recent, in any case.  Truly, ll 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#77: June 12, 2013, 09:38:19 AM
Where is zee link?
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#78: June 12, 2013, 10:16:16 AM
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#79: June 12, 2013, 10:41:35 AM
omg- this could explain it - NORMALLY an avoidant personality is associated with a LOWER incidence of divorce and since many mlcers are avoidant, this would explain the blindsiding effect on the lbs and the incredulity factor- hmmmm
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#81: June 12, 2013, 08:36:56 PM
A nice read (actually, it wasn't as I have read WAY too many journal studies and statistics in my life as it is!!) and a lot of information contained therein, but I have to weigh in as I see several holes in this being a key (at least in my sitch).

First off, I'll bore everyone by pointing out that the concept of "personality disorder" is a hotly contested topic in many mental health circles.  Noted psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser dismisses the concept and prefers to use the term "personality style."  Glasser believes that it is presumptuous to label one type of personality a "disorder" and another as being healthy.  The new DSM-5 even does away with Borderline PD and puts it as an Axis I diagnosis in the bi-polar spectrum.  In addition to Glasser many other mental health professionals tend to gravitate away from diagnosing someone with a PD since all PDs are Axis II diagnoses and theoretically static and unchanging throughout the life-span.  The recent article that was posted relating to how personalities change over time would be in line with the non-acceptance of PD diagnoses.

All that notwithstanding, it doesn't appear that most of our spouses would have exhibited PD symptoms prior to BD.  I can think of Hobo/ TB and the many convos he and I have had concerning how his XW's symptoms throughout their relationship are consistent with APD but I am unable to think of more than that.  I'm sure there are more, but I confess to not being caught up on all the threads.  I can say that although my XW was not a confrontational person (except toward me) but not to the degree that it would be considered any type of "disorder."  She was immature, but so am I in many ways (okay, go ahead and agree with me).  She functions very well socially and has several friends from work, and was even voted "nicest" and "friendliest" by the other ladies in her office.  She was very well-liked by all who knew her, and accepted by my family as one of us.  Now, she has different friends at work who don't really seem to have anything in common with her (except for being old maids at least) and treats most of our old friends like crap.  Our closest couple friends were here one night when she dropped the kids off and she dissed them like an Israeli would a Pakistani (no offense to anyone).  They couldn't believe the way she was and said it was not like her at all.  So, if PDs are global and perpetual then how do we explain 180 degree turns?  How would that explain the 180s toward the children who they so adored, and how would it explain the upside-down moral compass? It wouldn't.  I think the study has merit to it, and as I said it may explain a fractional number of MLCers, but as far as being a reliable explanation for the majority of cases here I have serious doubts.  Just my .02.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#82: June 12, 2013, 09:58:02 PM
Quote
she dissed them like an Israeli would a Pakistani

Congratulations Thundarr now you've managed to offend by my count: 
  • divorced women [hags--I may soon be one],
  • feminists [feminazis]--that's definitely me
  • Israelis &
  • Pakistanis [I would include Indians also since they are often confused].  This is a new one on me--do Israelis have a special relationship with Pakistanis?
[expletive deleted]

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#83: June 12, 2013, 10:15:49 PM
Ooooh, you meant Palestinians.  But still, there very well could be Palestinian or Israeli lbs's on here & since we accept you red-neck good ol' boy lbs's...
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#84: June 12, 2013, 11:33:23 PM
Ha, Calamity, I would never refer to you as a "bag"!  That's the term left for those who encourage the break-up of families through telling married women "You don't need no man!"  I switched to "bag" per Ready1's suggestion as the previous term was worse.  And "feminazi are man-haters, whereas most feminists are anything but (at least not in my experience). 

And thanks for the red-neck compliment!!  We DO wear it with pride around these parts!!
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One day at a time.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#85: June 13, 2013, 07:14:33 AM
Ahh, I can see it now:  The Red-neck Pride Parade;D ;D
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#86: June 13, 2013, 07:31:55 AM
Quote
she dissed them like an Israeli would a Pakistani

Congratulations Thundarr now you've managed to offend by my count: 
  • divorced women [hags--I may soon be one],
  • feminists [feminazis]--that's definitely me
  • Israelis &
  • Pakistanis [I would include Indians also since they are often confused].  This is a new one on me--do Israelis have a special relationship with Pakistanis?
[expletive deleted]

You are looking for something to be offended about that isn't there. Not all divorced women or feminists are pleasant people to be around, and discrimination in Israel against migrant workers is well documented.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#87: June 13, 2013, 07:52:59 AM
A nice read (actually, it wasn't as I have read WAY too many journal studies and statistics in my life as it is!!) and a lot of information contained therein, but I have to weigh in as I see several holes in this being a key (at least in my sitch).

First off, I'll bore everyone by pointing out that the concept of "personality disorder" is a hotly contested topic in many mental health circles.  Noted psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser dismisses the concept and prefers to use the term "personality style."  Glasser believes that it is presumptuous to label one type of personality a "disorder" and another as being healthy.  The new DSM-5 even does away with Borderline PD and puts it as an Axis I diagnosis in the bi-polar spectrum.  In addition to Glasser many other mental health professionals tend to gravitate away from diagnosing someone with a PD since all PDs are Axis II diagnoses and theoretically static and unchanging throughout the life-span.  The recent article that was posted relating to how personalities change over time would be in line with the non-acceptance of PD diagnoses.

All that notwithstanding, it doesn't appear that most of our spouses would have exhibited PD symptoms prior to BD.  I can think of Hobo/ TB and the many convos he and I have had concerning how his XW's symptoms throughout their relationship are consistent with APD but I am unable to think of more than that.  I'm sure there are more, but I confess to not being caught up on all the threads.  I can say that although my XW was not a confrontational person (except toward me) but not to the degree that it would be considered any type of "disorder."  She was immature, but so am I in many ways (okay, go ahead and agree with me).  She functions very well socially and has several friends from work, and was even voted "nicest" and "friendliest" by the other ladies in her office.  She was very well-liked by all who knew her, and accepted by my family as one of us.  Now, she has different friends at work who don't really seem to have anything in common with her (except for being old maids at least) and treats most of our old friends like crap.  Our closest couple friends were here one night when she dropped the kids off and she dissed them like an Israeli would a Pakistani (no offense to anyone).  They couldn't believe the way she was and said it was not like her at all.  So, if PDs are global and perpetual then how do we explain 180 degree turns?  How would that explain the 180s toward the children who they so adored, and how would it explain the upside-down moral compass? It wouldn't.  I think the study has merit to it, and as I said it may explain a fractional number of MLCers, but as far as being a reliable explanation for the majority of cases here I have serious doubts.  Just my .02.

More and more MLC appears to be hormonally and stress related, both of which effect men and women at middle age. My personal views on this is that our MLC'ers probably did have hidden issues, but nothing serious enough to be considered anything but as personality quirks we all have. These were well under control as long as hormonal and stress levels remained within certain boundaries. An example of what might be considered a personality quirk is being a "Clean Freak", which flips into a excessive compulsive disorder after some life changing event.

Based on that, I feel it's unlikely we'll ever see the people we married again, because the brain chemistry soup of hormones that made them who they were has been altered and will never again be what it was. The switch has been flipped and the old circuits are blown.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#88: June 13, 2013, 05:48:53 PM
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52199065/#52199065

This was on the news tonight concerning Frontal Temporal Dementia which occurs before age 60 and has the following characteristics:

Personality changes, bad judgment, disruption of the family infrastructure, inability to feel empathy and loss of inhibitions.

The couple who are both scientists were married 30 years. It states that this may help the spouse to understand "the pain of believing that their loved one no longer cares".

Another article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/health/a-rare-form-of-dementia-tests-a-vow-of-for-better-for-worse.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"Patients generally receive from one to four misdiagnoses, and it may take years to finally get the right answer. Mistaken diagnoses can include Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, midlife crisis or psychiatric illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress or anxiety. Many relatives of patients say doctors dismiss their reports of personality change. But it is real.

“They totally break down in their ability to connect with other people and care about them,” Dr. Miller said. "

Sound familiar?
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 06:09:10 PM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#89: June 13, 2013, 06:46:17 PM
Sound familiar?

Sounds familiar but I don't think our spouses are suffering from Frontal Temporal Dementia.

More and more MLC appears to be hormonally and stress related, both of which effect men and women at middle age. My personal views on this is that our MLCers probably did have hidden issues, but nothing serious enough to be considered anything but as personality quirks we all have. These were well under control as long as hormonal and stress levels remained within certain boundaries.

Agree.

Based on that, I feel it's unlikely we'll ever see the people we married again, because the brain chemistry soup of hormones that made them who they were has been altered and will never again be what it was. The switch has been flipped and the old circuits are blown.

Well, those who got their spouses back, or who have contact with previous MLCers, say they return pretty much to what they were. They will never be the same again but many seem to become relatively similar to what they used to be. However I think it takes time for them to readjust. I'm not certain how the adjustment it done.

My cousin who had MLC (a mild one by our the partners of this board) is more or less back to his old self. I say more or less because some things are still out of place and not integrated. And he has not, at least yet, become a better version of his former self. He is his former self with some MLC quirks.

He has waked up some 22 months ago. The first 6 months after Liminal Depression were hell. 6 more months and he started to calm down a bit. 18 months become to be much more is old self. It was (has been) progressive and he still has a long way to go.
Since he never did any blood or brain tests I'm not able to know how his hormonal and brain chemicals levels progressed through all the stages of his crisis. But I do know stress was a major factor. My cousin himself confirmed it was stress, too much of it (and overworking, a thing that causes stress), that lead to the rest.
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 06:49:31 PM by OldPilot »
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#90: June 13, 2013, 06:56:11 PM
Certainly makes me wonder- but only time will tell.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#91: June 13, 2013, 07:10:44 PM
Thundarr's doctor colleague mentioned this FTD--last year I think.  Scary.  But yes only time will tell.  A close friend who works with old people has remarked on my h's behaviour--specifically his utter self-centredness--& said it reminded him of dementia patients.
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 07:12:46 PM by calamity »

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#92: June 13, 2013, 07:19:34 PM
It does remind of dementia, or a personality disorder, or bipolar but real MLC does not seem to be any of those things.

If it was, how would it be possible for the MLCer to return to his former self once the crisis is over?

My mum suffers from dementia, she is never going to go back to her former self. My cousin who had MLC went back to his former self. He still has some MLC quirks but nothing like during the crisis.

That does not happen with dementia. So far, it only tends to get worse. In the future it may be possible to mitigate better (there are little things than can be done) or even reverse it, but for now not much can be done.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#93: June 13, 2013, 07:24:49 PM
Quote
The first 6 months after Liminal Depression were hell.

Why?
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#94: June 13, 2013, 07:25:47 PM
Quote
Well, those who got their spouses back, or who have contact with previous MLCers, say they return pretty much to what they were. They will never be the same again but many seem to become relatively similar to what they used to be. However I think it takes time for them to readjust. I'm not certain how the adjustment it done.



I keep hearing this about returning spouses, but they appear to be anecdotal cases of "I know a guy related to my second cousin who....." because I don't see much real evidence on this forum or any other of it happening.  Any husband whose wife has even gone through menopause without serious issues will tell you they seldom return to the way they were before.

If anyone wants to wait seven years on the slim chance their spouse might come back and then spend another couple of years dealing with remaining issues, be my guest. I feel though that to suggest there is anything more than this very slim chance of a happy return is giving new members of the forum false hope, putting their lives on hold when they should rebuilding new lives.
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 07:33:10 PM by OldPilot »

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#95: June 13, 2013, 07:36:15 PM
I keep hearing this about returning spouses, but they appear to be anecdotal cases of "I know a guy related to my second cousin who....." because I don't see much real evidence on this forum or any other of it happening.

I can personally introduce you to one.  It's even a female MLCer who has returned.  The LBS is a long time friend and I walked this walk with him from bomb drop to her return 4 months ago.  It can and does happen.

Yes, they have a long way to go.  But I'd recommend caution thinking starting with someone new might be better.  Check out RCR's blog called Love: Foundation and Seeds if you are interested in seeing what it says.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#96: June 13, 2013, 07:59:20 PM
I keep hearing this about returning spouses, but they appear to be anecdotal cases of "I know a guy related to my second cousin who....." because I don't see much real evidence on this forum or any other of it happening.

I can personally introduce you to one.  It's even a female MLCer who has returned.  The LBS is a long time friend and I walked this walk with him from bomb drop to her return 4 months ago.  It can and does happen.

Yes, they have a long way to go.  But I'd recommend caution thinking starting with someone new might be better.  Check out RCR's blog called Love: Foundation and Seeds if you are interested in seeing what it says.


It's not impossible, but one example or even 50 on a site with thousands of posts is hardly proof that anything but a very small number of spouses will return. I really have to question the idea that waiting around for more than a couple of years is mentally healthy, it suggests wallowing in denial, especially if the other spouse has remarried or has had multiple partners after BD.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#97: June 13, 2013, 08:10:59 PM
Braveheart, so what are you doing here still?  I'm not trying to question your right to be here & you are welcome BUT why go into this 'we are giving newbies false hope'?  Again?  If we are in denial reality will come to us in a timely manner.  Unhealthy?  Healing is an individual process.  Who's to say how or when this should take place.  Many lbs's on the site have been here years & I don't think any of them are 'unhealthy'--quite the opposite in fact.

That being said.  I do believe there is hope for reconciliation--that's what this site is all about & there are plenty of other sites for divorce support.  As long as you don't live on hope, who is that hurting?


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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#98: June 13, 2013, 08:13:03 PM
Quote
The first 6 months after Liminal Depression were hell.

Why?

Because he was manic. He wanted to catch up on the lost time and do everything t once. He also was spending like there was no tomorrow (just like Replayers do, my cousin was a wallower except regarding work).

He wanted to have children, choose a date to got married, brought a big family car (that is now nearly always in the garage), brought new smart phone, big expensive lens to his camera, went to a shop and come out with dozens of handbags (for his girlfriend, my aunt – his mother –, and me), would buy lots and lots of stuff.

He also have two severe peaks of very high, followed by very low and during the worst one of we had to took him to the psychiatric emergency of the general hospital.

My cousin was followed by a psychiatrist, who is a friend of mine, until May 2012 (he start going to my friend mid June 2011, when he hit rock bottom). From then on the psychiatrist was consulted only on an informal basis. 

I keep hearing this about returning spouses, but they appear to be anecdotal cases of "I know a guy related to my second cousin who....." because I don't see much real evidence on this forum or any other of it happening.  Any husband whose wife has even gone through menopause without serious issues will tell you they seldom return to the way they were before.

If anyone wants to wait seven years on the slim chance their spouse might come back and then spend another couple of years dealing with remaining issues, be my guest. I feel though that to suggest there is anything more than this very slim chance of a happy return is giving new members of the forum false hope, putting their lives on hold when they should rebuilding new lives.


I can assure you my cousin is real. So are a few male friends and acquaintances of mine who've had MLC. However, the wives of my friends and acquaintances did not wait (they did not had a clue it was MLC nor did I at the time), moved on with their lives. When the husband's waked up, and one of them had married OW and had children with her, they wanted back. The wives had remarried or moved on and were not interested.
The guys went back to be pretty much what they were and regret what happened.

Of course many women who go through menopause will not be like they were before. Some will, some will not. Nowadays there are several ways of mitigating the effects of menopause. Also, everyone is aware it exists and provokes hormonal and other changes.

No, I will not be your guest. If you know my story you know I want to divorce, and have wanted to, for years but my husband drags the divorce and the court cases. I live in Portugal, the law here is not like in the US. You will also know that I want to remarry. 

You're free to go and rebuild a new life. To my knowledge everyone in this board is free to do so. 

DGU, starting with someone new is a little different is you're right after BD, a couple of years after it or nearly 7 years after it. Nearly 7 years after it I can tell you I have no wish of spending any more time dealing with Mr J MLC nor will wait for the time it will take him to get to the end of his crisis. The man is still in Replay after all these years…  ::) ::) ::)

Now, if he could magically be back to his old self, improved version, tomorrow, maybe… otherwise, no, I don't think I'm interested.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#99: June 13, 2013, 08:15:12 PM
I see both sides. I think we underestimate the negative health effect on the LBS. This too is worthy of investigating. This stress really does a number, a chronic one, on the body. If we polled all the health issues that come up in the two year post BD period, we´d be shocked. At some point there is the question, "At what price?" Hope, there is always hope. If my h hadn´t gone over the edge so far, who knows, maybe I´d still be pining. Standing for ourselves is enough to remain on the site. Also, I think for valid data, RCR needs to see all of the outcomes. And, these people have become part of our lives. Remember, we´re the loyal ones who make deep connections:)
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#100: June 13, 2013, 08:28:57 PM
I think we underestimate the negative health effect on the LBS. This too is worthy of investigating. This stress really does a number, a chronic one, on the body. If we polled all the health issues that come up in the two year post BD period, we'd be shocked. At some point there is the question, "At what price?" Hope, there is always hope. If my h hadn't gone over the edge so far, who knows, maybe I'd still be pining. Standing for ourselves is enough to remain on the site. Also, I think for valid data, RCR needs to see all of the outcomes. And, these people have become part of our lives. Remember, we're the loyal ones who make deep connections:)

Yes, at some point there is the question, at what price. Don't think we underestimate the negative health effect on the LBS. Maybe we don't talk as much as we should about it.

Also, I think we will be differently affect if we are divorced from our MLCer or not. And if we're still married to them, if they live at home or elsewhere, if we see them, if we don't. And if we have, or don't have, financial problems caused by the MLCer crisis.

All those variables (and others) will have an impact in our health.

Yes, standing for ourselves is enough to remain in the board. And the board has been supporting LBS who have chosen different paths.

Hope, of course, remains. But at a point hope can be for us as well. That we will make it.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#101: June 13, 2013, 08:31:30 PM
It's not impossible, but one example or even 50 on a site with thousands of posts is hardly proof that anything but a very small number of spouses will return.

A small number of returns may be true, but thousands of posts is different from thousands of posters (as I think Old Pilot looked at for you before).

I really have to question the idea that waiting around for more than a couple of years is mentally healthy, it suggests wallowing in denial, especially if the other spouse has remarried or has had multiple partners after BD.

If you set your time limit at two years, your likelihood of disappointment will be high.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#102: June 13, 2013, 08:39:49 PM
Braveheart, so what are you doing here still?  I'm not trying to question your right to be here & you are welcome BUT why go into this 'we are giving newbies false hope'?  Again?  If we are in denial reality will come to us in a timely manner.  Unhealthy?  Healing is an individual process.  Who's to say how or when this should take place.  Many lbs's on the site have been here years & I don't think any of them are 'unhealthy'--quite the opposite in fact.

That being said.  I do believe there is hope for reconciliation--that's what this site is all about & there are plenty of other sites for divorce support.  As long as you don't live on hope, who is that hurting?

Because we are giving them false hope if we imply there is good chance their spouse is coming back if they just stand long enough. One see's that repeated over and over again in forum threads. The reality is only 10% of X spouses do remarry each other. If the idea that their realtionship is going to R eventually is continually reinforced, their acceptence of Reality is going to be considerably delayed, the work on themselves to recover put on hold.

As OP says, "you have been given the gift of time", it should put to the best use possible in our own recovery. What our STBX's are doing, what they are posting on FB and what possible stage they are at should be the last thing we should be worried about until our own work is done.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#103: June 13, 2013, 08:51:00 PM


If you set your time limit at two years, your likelihood of disappointment will be high.
[/quote]

Not near as disappointing as waiting for seven years and missing the opportunity of meeting someone else who treats you the way you deserve to be ;~).
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#104: June 13, 2013, 08:53:30 PM
Because we are giving them false hope if we imply there is good chance their spouse is coming back if they just stand long enough. One see's that repeated over and over again in forum threads.

I think what there is a good chance of is the MLCer making it through their crisis.  Reconciliation or "coming  back" is a whole 'nother deal.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#105: June 13, 2013, 09:06:32 PM
Not near as disappointing as waiting for seven years and missing the opportunity of meeting someone else who treats you the way you deserve to be ;~).

Possibly true, I don't know.  You refer to odds and chances.....every new relationship has odds and chances attached as well.

It seems you also have the belief MLC is permanent......so why wait even two years to not be disappointed about missing out?

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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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#106: June 13, 2013, 10:06:00 PM
As a person who lived long enough to make it to "Mid-Life" I don't need to be managed like a child.  I need to be given the information and the support and encouragement to be able to plot the best course for myself.  There is a disclaimer on this site that there is no guarantee of repairing a marriage but the site will help with repair of oneself.  I don't see anything misleading in that.

Newbies need hope even if the odds are bad.  I am only 9 months out but already I am seeing excitement ahead for myself as a single person and wondering if I want the old relationship back.  If you had asked me 9 months ago I would not have wanted to live with no hope of getting back that same relationship.  So false hope got me through to the next phase.   And if you don't think people are desperately googling for articles elsewhere that will give them more false hope then you've forgotten the first few days after BD.  It is better to have this site that tries to put the focus on self healing rather than selling a grasping person who just got the financial rug pulled out from under them the latest expensive MLC package. 

I have seen many desperate people come on here who have evolved to the same point--they see they may have an alcoholic or abusive person and they grow beyond wanting that back.  But in the beginning all they can think about is their loss and they need hope of some kind to go on.  The trick is not getting stuck there. 

And the hope isn't all that false.  I know people in my life who reconciled even after 10 years.  But neither sat around waiting.  They went on with their lives and at some point came together again.  I also know of people who didn't get back together who regretted it but conventional wisdom of the time dictated that there was no going back.  Or they were encouraged to kick the other to the curb and escalated the break up into a war from which there was no return.    We have new information on how to cope now and we don't know for sure how it will turn out in the long run. 

For a new person I think the emphasis should be on their own personal survival and damage control--don't beg/plead, etc. and make it worse.  The carrot on the stick for that is that the people who have reconciled had done the work on themselves rather than focused on getting back the spouse.  Rather than worry about giving false hope give the hope that the best chance is to get on with their lives.  Because it is true.  And if they work on that they will be okay even if the spouse doesn't return. 

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#107: June 13, 2013, 10:23:03 PM
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52199065/#52199065

This was on the news tonight concerning Frontal Temporal Dementia which occurs before age 60 and has the following characteristics:

Personality changes, bad judgment, disruption of the family infrastructure, inability to feel empathy and loss of inhibitions.

The couple who are both scientists were married 30 years. It states that this may help the spouse to understand "the pain of believing that their loved one no longer cares".

Another article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/health/a-rare-form-of-dementia-tests-a-vow-of-for-better-for-worse.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"Patients generally receive from one to four misdiagnoses, and it may take years to finally get the right answer. Mistaken diagnoses can include Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, midlife crisis or psychiatric illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress or anxiety. Many relatives of patients say doctors dismiss their reports of personality change. But it is real.

“They totally break down in their ability to connect with other people and care about them,” Dr. Miller said. "

Sound familiar?
It sure does xyzcf.
When my H first changed into someone we no longer recognised, my first thought was brain tumour?  Then I thought bipolar?  Then I found this website and thought MLC.  A few months ago I read about this form of dementia and the personality changes, and connected the fact that they now know through scanning that depression reduces blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, and gives rise to personality changes too.

So - I am watching from afar, getting on with life as much as possible, wondering what the future holds - as I know any one of these could be a possibility.
I guess that is why some people 'recover' and some don't. 

It is why I do not question for one minute, that for my H to be doing what he is doing - something seriously has changed in his brain.  Whether this is 'temporary' or not, will remain to be seen.

And I agree wholeheartedly FTT, the effect of this on us is horrific.   With the added insult of society looking sideways at us, as though we are the ones with something wrong.

I think if running away and the affair were not part of what our spouses were doing, then they would more likely get help, and we might get more support. 
Less of the 'oh you poor thing - move on - he/she fell in love with someone else'.

It would be good to screen them to be able to check that none of these disorders are at play here. But of course, that is not going to happen.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#108: June 13, 2013, 10:24:29 PM
I think Standing is an individual process. My God is bigger than MLC. I think he led me here to connect with a community of strong, beautiful people who are going through he!! on earth. We support each other, learn from each other and care for each other even though most of us have never met. Whether we reconcile or not is not the issue. The issue is how we deal with it; how we take care of ourselves and our families and how we help each other cope.

I know I have grown, and been comforted through this by sharing my thoughts and feelings on this forum. I have learned and would like to think perhaps people have learned from me, even thought I'm still a newbie. My faith tells me that hope is not futile. My faith tells me that God has a plan. It may not be what I want (reconciliation), but it is what is best for me and I hold onto that. If I can help others as I walk through my dark valley, then I am honoring my God and my beliefs and that's enough for me.

Myself, I walk by faith and not by sight and I will say it again. My God is bigger than MLC and bigger than my circumstances. I will never give up on Hope.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#109: June 13, 2013, 11:52:35 PM

When my H first changed into someone we no longer recognised, my first thought was brain tumour?  Then I thought bipolar?  Then I found this website and thought MLC.  A few months ago I read about this form of dementia and the personality changes, and connected the fact that they now know through scanning that depression reduces blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, and gives rise to personality changes too.


Somehow these things are all related:

From Health Central:
Quote
The younger the age of onset of bipolar disorder, the more likely it is to find a significant family history of bipolar, depression and/or dementia.  In 10% of bipolar cases, a manic episode occurred around age 50. As an individual ages, s/he may develop new-onset mania associated with vascular changes, or become manic only after recurrent depressive episodes.

See also Martin, Dorian. “Extreme Behavior Changes May Be Sign of Frontotemporal Dementia.” Health Central, April 18, 2011:

Quote
“By one estimate, 15 out of 100,000 people between the ages of 45 and 64 develop it. Patients lost the ability to connect with others, but because self-awareness also disappears, they remain ignorant of their deficits,” Chen stated. ...

Behavioral changes include impulsive behavior, inappropriate social behavior, lack of tact, lack of empathy, distractability, loss of insight about one’s own behavior, increased interest in sex, changes in food preferences, agitation or blunted emotions, decreased motivation, antisocial behavior (reckless/drunk driving, shoplifting). Emotional changes include: abrupt mood changes; decreased interest in daily living activities; failure to recognize changes in behavior; failure to show emotional warmth, concern, empathy, or sympathy; inappropriate mood; and not caring about events or environment.

I think we discussed the link between midlife depression and dementia a few months back.  See Gardner, Amanda. “Depression in Middle Age Linked to Dementia.” Health.com, May 8, 2012:

Quote
People who have symptoms of depression in middle age may be at increased risk of dementia decades later, a new study suggests. ...

The study didn't include any data on whether the depressed participants received treatment, or what type of treatment. That question is "really important," Nemeroff says. "We'd really like to know: If depression [were] aggressively treated with psychotherapy or antidepressants, could you stave off dementia?"

I don't know how much of a part this plays in MLC, but it's thought-provoking.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#110: June 14, 2013, 02:38:26 AM
I really have to question the idea that waiting around for more than a couple of years is mentally healthy, it suggests wallowing in denial, especially if the other spouse has remarried or has had multiple partners after BD.
First of all Standing is not STILL.

If you are waiting then I agree that is mentally not healthy but I question whether running into another relationship is also a healthy sane way of proceeding.

Braveheart, I just posted on the subscribers side about one of my friends who has been divorced for 5 years, dating others and when he found out his ex was getting re-married he had a very bad day.

Do you think you can stuff all your feeling away and sweep them under the rug?
You are still relatively new to all this.
What are you doing differently that is better than what we do here?
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#111: June 14, 2013, 03:33:20 AM
I, too, have a friend in RL whose H was away for 5+ years, lived with an OW for 2 or so of those....  he's been back for many years now, yes it took time, but they no longer even remember the MLC years.    He's the same, but better --  shows insight into himself.  He hasn't magically turned into super-H, but is himself, with all quirks and so on. 

I know of other cases personally as well. 

And as to finding someone else, even not thinking about the odds, it's not just about me any more.  I have kids, who would also be affected.  They're hurting, too.  And my happiness isn't their responsibility.  I've lived that with my own parents, even if in one case I like the new person, and it's still awful, even 30 years later. 

And I like myself now.  I'm healing, even if all this is still awful. 

On the other subject, my first thought when H left was 'brainwashing', as he'd been to a new age weekend right before BD.  Goodness what cans of worms they opened up. 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#112: June 14, 2013, 06:28:21 AM
I really have to question the idea that waiting around for more than a couple of years is mentally healthy, it suggests wallowing in denial, especially if the other spouse has remarried or has had multiple partners after BD.
First of all Standing is not STILL.

If you are waiting then I agree that is mentally not healthy but I question whether running into another relationship is also a healthy sane way of proceeding.

Braveheart, I just posted on the subscribers side about one of my friends who has been divorced for 5 years, dating others and when he found out his ex was getting re-married he had a very bad day.

Do you think you can stuff all your feeling away and sweep them under the rug?
You are still relatively new to all this.
What are you doing differently that is better than what we do here?


Of course nobody can stuff their feelings away. We all know what the rollercoaster is like, you feel like you are doing pretty well, then something out of the blue triggers you.  I think in my case I had the advantage of having worked in Rehab for addictions. I recognized some similarities in how I was reacting to the loss of my wife and what I had experienced with clients and their families. Once I got over the initial shock of it all I put into action all I had learned in that field toward my own recovery. One thing I learned early in that field was that the addict was on their own journey and had to find their own bottom, anything you did that enabled them only delayed the the timing of the bottoming out.

As hard as it was I went as NC as possible when kids are involved, examined my own faults and have worked very hard on them. The only contact I have with my X is emails about joint assets and setting up visitation for the kids. I told all friends and family right out of the gate I had offered any and all routes to save the marriage and she had no interest in doing any of it . I told the kids that I didn't need to know any details about what their Mom was doing unless it was clear she was a danger to herself or themselves.

Strangly enough it's been my kids (now 15 and 21) and my inlaws that have pushed me more than anyone else to get on with my life, they claim they no longer recognize their mother/daughter and by her actions can't see any evidence she deserves a second chance with me.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#113: June 14, 2013, 06:50:19 AM
Strangly enough it's been my kids (now 15 and 21) and my inlaws that have pushed me more than anyone else to get on with my life, they claim they no longer recognize their mother/daughter and by her actions can't see any evidence she deserves a second chance with me.
I wouldn't expect this early in MLC for her to be any different.

RCR wrote a series last winter about STANDING that perfectly says what I think

Have you read it?
Here is the first one.(there are links to the rest of the series here too.)
http://loveanyway.theherosspouse.com/?p=1346
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#114: June 14, 2013, 09:16:38 AM
...we are giving them false hope if we imply there is good chance their spouse is coming back if they just stand long enough. One see's that repeated over and over again in forum threads.

There is a difference between implying and inferring. I can say something without implying a good chance of reconciliation, and yet it is out of my control if someone infers that is what I am saying.

I desperately want there to be a good chance of reconciliation and yet I know there is not and I have said that--more than just in this sentence. I cannot control what others say, feel, think or believe in their posts. And I am not going to coddle people into believing or disbelieving by adding disclaimers about there being no guarantee and the beliefs of posters and even moderators may not be those of The Hero's Spouse all over the place--too much of either could be subliminal or hypnotic and people need to figure it out for themselves.
My goal is to change the odds. Will I? Shrug, I know it's a big goal and that I may not change them overall, but maybe I can change them for the people that read my site and maybe even more for those who participate here on the forum.
I also hope that I can change the relational dynamics of couples after divorce. Standing may or may not create more conflict during a divorce process since a Stander may be seen as the obstacle in the MLCer's path. But the Unconditionals are powerful tools to reconciling something cordial or at least something that is not high-conflict and contentious.

You are absolutely correct that there are few reconciliations. and of course there are the BLAH BLAH BLAH reasons/excuses for that about this being a new forum (we can't keep using the forever) and about how some in reconciliation aren't posting anymore. I've read the statistic about 10% of exes remarrying each other as well and to me that is high--not too high I don't know the collection parameters, but high as in good news. Not all MLC situations go to divorce and so that statistic does not translate into a 10% reconciliation rate for all LBSs. Maybe it is (or maybe it isn’t) higher for those situations that do not get to divorce. Even if it's the same (10% reconciliation for those situations that do not go to divorce within the first few years) and the 10% rate after divorce also applies to our MLC situation, that would be a 20% reconciliation rate which I personally think is a lot higher than the hopeless feeling of 1 in a million many feel as newbies.

False hope is keeping open a belief in the possibility for something impossible--not improbable. So my usual example is about the dead puppy. Fido is hit and killed by a car, but you don't want to devastate your little girl, so you tell her that Fido was hit by the car and got hurt; he's at the vet now. You tell her that it is serious because you are trying to prepare her for what you will eventually get to in time. Later that day you may give her an update on Fido--but still not tell her that he's dead. The next day you break it to her that Fido didn't make it through the night or maybe he died in surgery.
Of course I think what most people may mean when they talk of false hope is unrealistic hope. Is it realistic for me to hope--and let that hope lift me and keep me floating--that I will win the lottery? Of course if I have a ticket I do hope to win, but I don't bank or bet on that hope. I think maybe an Unrealistic Hope is one in which there is a low probability of getting the hoped for result AND the person hoping uses the hope as their crutch--their survival mechanism.
And you know what, you have a good point regarding that. We aren't trying to promote it here, but come on, some people have it and in the beginning--Still Kicking made a good point:
Newbies need hope even if the odds are bad.  I am only 9 months out but already I am seeing excitement ahead for myself as a single person and wondering if I want the old relationship back.  If you had asked me 9 months ago I would not have wanted to live with no hope of getting back that same relationship.  So false hope got me through to the next phase.

So sometimes that Unrealistic Hope may be similar to taking a muscle relaxant when the underlying problem is being masked by the tight muscle. You have to relax the muscle in order to expose the real problem. That's the same analogy and reasoning I give for talking so much about the information side of MLC. Some people won't let-go of their questions about the what and why and focus on their Mirror-Work until they get some answers--I was that way.

That does not mean I will intentionally give newbies information that is false regarding the odds or that I will even imply the odds are in their favour—above 50%. It means I won’t beat them with a bat regarding the low odds. It's something I say in the articles, but I'm not going to keep screaming it at them. I had a similar talk with the foster licensor the other day. Yes, I know that we are getting foster children and they may go back to their parents. Yes, I know this will be devastating. People have been telling me for the past 2 years so stop beating me over the head with it. (I didn’t say she specifically was beating me over the head, I told her it felt like that from the constant reminders over the years and I am going into this knowing what may happen.) We are adults here and at some point we need to trust that the message has been received and leave it to the recipient to accept or deny it. And an individual can accept statistical or anecdotal odds (since we only have anecdotes) and still not accept them for themselves. That's what I did. I was certain my marriage would reconcile. Giving that it did, does that still mean I was in denial since statistically the odds were stacked against me?

I keep hearing this about returning spouses, but they appear to be anecdotal cases of "I know a guy related to my second cousin who....." because I don't see much real evidence on this forum or any other of it happening.

UM DUH! And water is wet. Sorry for that, but of course it's anecdotal. We are hearing personal stories from the person who experienced it or second-hand as they pass stories on of friends and family. The forum is for stories; it's not a peer-reviewed survey with controlled questions.

I really have to question the idea that waiting around for more than a couple of years is mentally healthy, it suggests wallowing in denial, especially if the other spouse has remarried or has had multiple partners after BD.

Well, as OldPilot said (quoting me): Standing is not still.
Standing is not waiting and Standing does involve moving on. It just doesn't mean moving on to romantic relationships with someone else. My Grandma didn’t do that either. Grandpa died and she did not date in the 19 years she was without him. Does that mean she was waiting for him to come alive again?
Yes, I know that we are younger than Gram; she was 74 when Grandpa died. But the analogy still applies. A person can have a full life without being in a romantic relationship and I am not trying to encourage people to not be in romantic relationships. I am saying that if what you want is to be married and in that wanting you want to dedicate yourself to that with the hope or idea of your spouse returning to the marriage, then dating another person goes against that and prevents or makes your goal of reconciliation more improbable. Some people may want their spouse to return and yet be full certain that it's not going to happen—there want is wishful—and so that person may choose to then seek other romantic relationships.

A couple of years is 2 and yet I am inferring (perhaps incorrectly) that you were not trying to be exact by using the term, but simply offering a range 2 for some 3 for some, 4 for others... And yes I agree that 7 is a long time! Would I have Stood for that long? I can't say because it would have depended on how the situation was progressing. I think I would have given the Clinging Boomerang nature since he was pretty consistent with me about wanting to be with me. But would I have gone nuts, well I guess technically I can’t say but probably I would have. I also would probably be bald from having pulled my hair out (Clinging Boomerangs begin cake-eaters) and I might have some brain injuries due to the constant banging my head against a brick wall from frustration.
In Jim Conway's chat there was a woman who was adamantly Standing 7 years after he had left and quickly married the alienator. I should point out that she was a true religious covenant keeper, but even so she had more than just hope of reconciliation. She seemed okay in that she had a life and I was a bit more understanding if her because she was in her 60s and had been married 40 years at Bomb Drop—that's a long time to just give up on. But she kept watching her MLCer and reporting positive signs—he kissed her on the cheek when she left a visit one time. (And in chat I just read and rolled my eyes). I wasn't going to say it to her directly, but yeah a few of us talked about her in private and thought she was not being realistic. But to say it directly to her would have brought out her Monster—she had one—and she was a chat moderator. To say anything doubtful might have gotten us banned. A person needs to be a bit more subtle with some people and in some groups. Really, this group scolded me for using the term Monster—which I then defended, eye roll again.

I agree with you that for some even 2 years can be wallowing in denial, though I don’t think that is the case in general at 2 years. Of course by 4 years it may be more likely that a Stander is wallowing and at 6 years even more likely. But that may be more about how and why they are Standing and what are their expectations. Someone who is wallowing in denial may have an expectation of reconciliation—which is not the same as a hope or desire for it. Wallowing is not a Standing Action! We do have people who are just clinging. Maybe they have made it to and sort of through detachment, but that is still the lowest level Releaser. They are no longer connected to their MLCers emotional ups and downs and yet they are holding on. Letting-Go is the next level Releaser and they haven’t done it yet. We don't talk about Letting-Go in the same way we do detachment around here and I think in some ways that is because it is often a natural progression from detachment. But it's not always so. If someone is still panicking and having regular anxiety attacks 12 months after Bomb Drop (if they are still in the early stages of their Stress Response), they need additional help.

My anecdotal evidence:
Chuck is like he was before, but with improvements. His personality is there, but he is more stable. I no longer live in fear that my having a steady income is what will keep our marriage together. He now recognizes our relationship as something we do together, and that in life's challenges we are here to help each other through; we are a team. Two of us against the world—though I don’t like the being against part of that phrase! Before MLC he was fair weather only; there was no for worse allowed. So Chuck has matured and I have matured and our marriage has matured.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#115: June 14, 2013, 10:11:28 AM
RCR reading your response what comes to my mind about ODDS.

There is a 50% divorce rate here in the US for first marriages, approx. 65-75% for second marriages.

So if I knew that when I got married 30 years ago, maybe the odds were against me?
Would anyone on this forum have not gotten married many years ago, just because the odds were 50/50?

I think not.
Maybe we give pause at entering another relationship.

But to Braveheart you didnt do so well at the 50/50, what are you doing that is going to make the 75/25 different?
Or maybe I am not understanding what MOVING ON means to you?

To me it sounds like you are STANDING, working on yourself, not worrying about your Ex-W.
Maybe we have different definitions.

I haven't seen anything that you have done that is different than what we are saying here.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#116: June 14, 2013, 01:56:24 PM
Strangly enough it's been my kids (now 15 and 21) and my inlaws that have pushed me more than anyone else to get on with my life, they claim they no longer recognize their mother/daughter and by her actions can't see any evidence she deserves a second chance with me.
I wouldn't expect this early in MLC for her to be any different.

RCR wrote a series last winter about STANDING that perfectly says what I think

Have you read it?
Here is the first one.(there are links to the rest of the series here too.)
http://loveanyway.theherosspouse.com/?p=1346

I read everything on this site at least once, and it's been a great help. My biggest beef is not against standing or people's reasons for it, but the fact that the odds of a successful R being so slim are not front and center gives the impression to new posters an R is just a matter of time.  Some will choose to stand for several years, others will move on as soon as the divorce goes through.

Myself, after all the work I've done working on getting my life back to a even keel, I can't see why I would want to take my X back now. There would be no upside to it, my kids are against it and I'd probably spend the next couple of years playing NSA monitoring her phone calls, emails/browser history just to prove to myself the R was real.  I'd most likely just feel like a spare tire, a fall back position until the next OM comes along, and that's no way to live.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#117: June 14, 2013, 02:00:56 PM
 
Quote
I'd probably spend the next couple of years playing NSA monitoring her phone calls, emails/browser history just to prove to myself the R was real.  I'd most likely just feel like a spare tire, a fall back position until the next OM comes along, and that's no way to live.

I have thought of this too Braveheart. How would I ever be able to trust again and would he be willing to endure the scrutiny it would take to earn my trust again.......

IDK. Time will tell......
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#118: June 14, 2013, 02:17:32 PM
Braveheart I hear you.

Can I ask how you are going to insure that happens in you next relationship too?

How will you know that you are not dating someone else in MLC or who could potentially have an MLC.

Or maybe YOU might have an MLC.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#119: June 14, 2013, 02:22:53 PM
Myself, after all the work I've done working on getting my life back to a even keel, I can't see why I would want to take my X back now. There would be no upside to it, my kids are against it and I'd probably spend the next couple of years playing NSA monitoring her phone calls, emails/browser history just to prove to myself the R was real.  I'd most likely just feel like a spare tire, a fall back position until the next OM comes along, and that's no way to live.

So your "odds" of reconciliation are low.....you're not interested.  That is talked about frequently in different threads.

That does not mean your MLCer will not make it through her crisis.

From Stories and Human Behavior
The person who comes through the MLC tunnel may be vastly different than the person who entered the tunnel and different than the possibly multiple personalities in the tunnel. How your MLCer is now is not indicative of who he might become. An MLCer may become stuck, but those are the rare cases. More common is for a person to regret their actions--often when they are too late because the spouse has closed the opportunity for marital reconciliation.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#120: June 14, 2013, 02:30:38 PM
Myself, after all the work I've done working on getting my life back to a even keel, I can't see why I would want to take my X back now. There would be no upside to it, my kids are against it and I'd probably spend the next couple of years playing NSA monitoring her phone calls, emails/browser history just to prove to myself the R was real.  I'd most likely just feel like a spare tire, a fall back position until the next OM comes along, and that's no way to live.

So your "odds" of reconciliation are low.....you're not interested.  That is talked about frequently in different threads.

That does not mean your MLCer will not make it through her crisis.

From Stories and Human Behavior
The person who comes through the MLC tunnel may be vastly different than the person who entered the tunnel and different than the possibly multiple personalities in the tunnel. How your MLCer is now is not indicative of who he might become. An MLCer may become stuck, but those are the rare cases. More common is for a person to regret their actions--often when they are too late because the spouse has closed the opportunity for marital reconciliation.

DGU you are an inspiration to me. You rock.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#121: June 14, 2013, 02:34:30 PM
And that is the lbs dilemma, either wait for the mlc er to come out of it and reconcile or for the mlc er to come out and not reconcile.

I have looked at all the options so to speak, and although I would love to reconcile with my h, I am no standing still, I am going forward with my life and taking the opportunities that arise.  If at all someone else comes into my life and I am happy with that then i will go with it, that may not last , it may last, no one knows.  I am just going with the flow and seeing where my life takes me now.  UNfortunately I see my h being in his mlc for a long haul, I have this sense, but my life has to go on. x
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#122: June 14, 2013, 02:56:48 PM
RCR reading your response what comes to my mind about ODDS.

There is a 50% divorce rate here in the US for first marriages, approx. 65-75% for second marriages.

So if I knew that when I got married 30 years ago, maybe the odds were against me?
Would anyone on this forum have not gotten married many years ago, just because the odds were 50/50?

I think not.
Maybe we give pause at entering another relationship.

But to Braveheart you didnt do so well at the 50/50, what are you doing that is going to make the 75/25 different?
Or maybe I am not understanding what MOVING ON means to you?

To me it sounds like you are STANDING, working on yourself, not worrying about your Ex-W.
Maybe we have different definitions.

I haven't seen anything that you have done that is different than what we are saying here.

I think I did quite well, we lasted 24 years, just about everyone else I know in my cohort of friends made it to less than 15 years ;~) I'm pretty sure I'll never marry again, while mine was good pretty much right up to the last year,  it appears to have been about as good as it gets compared to what I hear from others about their marriages. I honestly don't think I could get that lucky again.


I think the difference in my case is some "Talk the Talk", but don't  really "Walk the Walk", I ran the Walk ;~) We hear posters talking about detachment, but in reality do not appear to be following through. Some are maintaining almost daily contact with their MLC'ers and obsessing their every move, reading their FB and pumping their children for information. Most of us do this early on and it's understandable, but I feel recovery requires early, drastic, consistent action on all fronts, physical, spiritual and emotional.

I was borderline suicidal after BD and had to fight that final option tooth and nail, I lost 22lbs in the first two weeks and looked like a war camp survivor. I became ashamed of myself for even contemplating that option and I realized I never wanted to be in that position again. I came across "the 180 plan" and followed it to the letter, I forced myself into the gym at 6am , plus cycled 10-15 miles everyday just to burn off the stress hormones and exhaust myself so I could get a straight three hours sleep. 

I found I felt much better the more I did it and it got me back out among people again. I participated in fund raising events, joined the local theater and arts community, meeting even more wonderful people. After about a year I realized just how much my life had improved and that there were others out there I could share my life and all these new interests with if I chose to do so.

At just shy of 2 years BD @ 58 I'm in the best shape of my life, I have many new friends, have reconnected with old ones and for the most part am pretty content with things. I'm in no real hurry to date anyone now, unless I meet somebody really exceptional, but I'm not standing for my marriage or waiting for any change of heart from my X.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#123: June 14, 2013, 03:12:25 PM
Braveheart I hear you.

Can I ask how you are going to insure that happens in you next relationship too?

How will you know that you are not dating someone else in MLC or who could potentially have an MLC.

Or maybe YOU might have an MLC.

It's easy, Just about every woman I've run into who has exhibited MLC traits is inked ;~), the fresher the tattoo looks, the earlier the stage she's in ;~) . As far as me having a MLC , I can't see much chance of it, I've always been very happy with what I had and feel in a lot of ways my life has been blessed. I have no burning desire to return to a lost youth, as I didn't miss anything, I didn't marry until I was almost 34.  I have no plans for any long term relationship, or finding unconditional love, short of getting another dog.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#124: June 14, 2013, 03:21:19 PM
How will you know that you are not dating someone else in MLC or who could potentially have an MLC.

Easy OP, only date someone who already had a MLC.  ;D ;D

I came across "the 180 plan" and followed it to the letter, I forced myself into the gym at 6am , plus cycled 10-15 miles everyday just to burn off the stress hormones and exhaust myself so I could get a straight three hours sleep. 

You may not know, or realise, but this could be seen as MLC behaviour. A man your age, suddenly hitting the gym at 6m and cycled 10-15 miles a day, normally equals a desire to bring back lost youth and MLC. Yes, I know, you couldn't sleep.

Many of our MLcers also can't sleep and keep busy with whatever.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#125: June 14, 2013, 03:29:01 PM
My biggest beef is not against standing or people's reasons for it, but the fact that the odds of a successful R being so slim are not front and center gives the impression to new posters an R is just a matter of time.
We hear posters talking about detachment, but in reality do not appear to be following through. Some are maintaining almost daily contact with their MLC'ers and obsessing their every move, reading their FB and pumping their children for information. Most of us do this early on and it's understandable, but I feel recovery requires early, drastic, consistent action on all fronts, physical, spiritual and emotional.
I agree with what it takes to recover. The challenge is that not everyone is at that place as early as either you, I or OldPilot were and I am here to offer help to those people as well as those of us who are more resilient more quickly.
What that means is I am not going to paste warnings about reconciliation being a long shot all over the site because those fragile newbies need hope and I they don't get at least a tiny sense of it right away when they come here, they bounce off the site. If they instead come here and read immediately about hopelessness, they will not stick around for us to help them. What we need to do is meet them closer to where they are. Not right where they are, but stand just a bit ahead of them on the path and beckon them toward us.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#126: June 14, 2013, 03:33:29 PM
I came across "the 180 plan" and followed it to the letter, I forced myself into the gym at 6am , plus cycled 10-15 miles everyday just to burn off the stress hormones and exhaust myself so I could get a straight three hours sleep. 

You may not know, or realise, but this could be seen as MLC behaviour. A man your age, suddenly hitting the gym at 6m and cycled 10-15 miles a day, normally equals a desire to bring back lost youth and MLC. Yes, I know, you couldn't sleep.

Many of our MLcers also can't sleep and keep busy with whatever.
The "man his age" wasn't "suddenly hitting the gym" through whimsy, he was responding to a massive trauma. Going to the gym is a healthy way to respond to a life threatening shock. He wasn't hitting the gym in order to look good for the purpose of having adulterous sex but to keep himself from committing suicide. He should be given a survivor's medal not subtle guilt trips.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#127: June 14, 2013, 03:38:51 PM
Honour, I know that. But I know that because Braveheart is here and telling his story.

I was not offering any gilty tips, merelly stating that the behaviour in itself could be seen as having a MLC. If one is an outisider and knows nothing of Braveheart one will think: MLC.

So, sometimes we may see people showing what we think is MLC behaviour but it is, in fact, a reaction to a trauma. And lets not forget MLC in itself is a reaction to a trauma.

As for the medals, well... we all deserve one, don't we?
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#128: June 14, 2013, 03:45:30 PM
How will you know that you are not dating someone else in MLC or who could potentially have an MLC.

Easy OP, only date someone who already had a MLC.  ;D ;D

I came across "the 180 plan" and followed it to the letter, I forced myself into the gym at 6am , plus cycled 10-15 miles everyday just to burn off the stress hormones and exhaust myself so I could get a straight three hours sleep. 

You may not know, or realise, but this could be seen as MLC behaviour. A man your age, suddenly hitting the gym at 6m and cycled 10-15 miles a day, normally equals a desire to bring back lost youth and MLC. Yes, I know, you couldn't sleep.

Many of our MLcers also can't sleep and keep busy with whatever.

It could be seen that way from the outside if all the other factors were there, but I had no desire to leave my wife and kids for a OW and run away from my responsiblities. I was pretty happy with my situation, I thought my wife was simply going through menopause until about the last month or so before BD. 
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#129: June 14, 2013, 04:03:14 PM
Yes Braveheart but when we see someone behaviour we see the behaviour. We do not know if the person had, or had not, any wish of leaving spouse, marriage and kids.

One does not go over to a stranger, a certain age or not, we see having a certain behaviour and ask why. We don't know the person or their reasons, we only see what they are doing.

Again, we know your other factors because you're here talking about you and your situations.

Would say sometimes it may be difficult to disting between a woman going through menopause and MLC. Both have hormonal causes, both cause lots of changes and odd behaviours.

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#130: June 14, 2013, 06:47:19 PM
I have no plans for any long term relationship, or finding unconditional love, short of getting another dog.
Hmmm so you are standing then.

Or do you call it something else?
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#131: June 14, 2013, 07:03:32 PM
OP and Braveheart kill me. I'd love to have a couple drinks with you guys sometime as I'm sure it would be a blast!

RCR, your second-to-last post had me pretty down at first until I got to the 10 and 20% part.  I'll sit the difference and say that my research says 15% but its all relative.  If I thought for sure I really had a 1 in 5 chance of reuniting my family I'd throw a party!  I can live with those odds, and I have to think my skill set would tip them even further.  But, this being MLC I may be at a huge disadvantage. 

I have some analysis on the brain stuff Kikki posted but will get to that later.  I also want to run this by our NP to get her take on it.  I DO tentatively support this concept......
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#132: June 14, 2013, 07:54:09 PM
Have to admit.  Quite an interesting discussion.  A topic that, I am sure, is foremost in members minds.

You go on with your life, letting it take you where it will, but all the time you know that your MLCer is out there, proceeding through his/her journey.  God's will be done.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#133: June 15, 2013, 01:19:58 PM
I have no plans for any long term relationship, or finding unconditional love, short of getting another dog.
Hmmm so you are standing then.

Or do you call it something else?


I'm not standing, my marriage is over, and can't see any scenario where I would want to reconcile with my X. If and when I meet somebody I would like to have a relationship with, I'll go for it. To date I've just not met anyone that interests me enough to bother.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#134: June 15, 2013, 01:23:49 PM
Have to admit.  Quite an interesting discussion.  A topic that, I am sure, is foremost in members minds.

You go on with your life, letting it take you where it will, but all the time you know that your MLCer is out there, proceeding through his/her journey.  God's will be done.

I guess what I've been trying to say is, whether you are religious or not, you just have to "let it go" , look after yourself and kids if you have them. The MLC'er is beyond understanding on a rational level, you have to let them ride the Crazy Train and stay off of it yourself.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#135: June 15, 2013, 01:28:27 PM

Quote
The MLC'er is beyond understanding on a rational level, you have to let them ride the Crazy Train and stay off of it yourself.

I agree. For myself every once in a while I find myself on the Crazy Train wondering how I got there and jumping off! Kind of like a ride at an amusement park. You think you can handle it so you get on and then once it gets started you yell LET ME OFF!!!!  ;D ;D ;D

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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#136: June 15, 2013, 02:00:02 PM
I have no plans for any long term relationship, or finding unconditional love, short of getting another dog.
Hmmm so you are standing then.

Or do you call it something else?


I'm not standing, my marriage is over, and can't see any scenario where I would want to reconcile with my X. If and when I meet somebody I would like to have a relationship with, I'll go for it. To date I've just not met anyone that interests me enough to bother.

YUP my marriage was over at bomb drop, so was everyone elses here too.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#137: June 15, 2013, 02:53:46 PM
I don't want my old relationship back, it had flaws that I know will not be there again. I want a new relationship with my' new ex' when he comes to his senses! We should both be better once it's all over. I don't like him much at the moment and if he asked me to get back together tomorrow, I would say no. God, I do not want a lunatic as a partner!!!
But, I believe we had true love and that true love never dies. Besides, you cannot help who you fall for, and, Braveheart, you might just fall for her all over again if and when she comes back to her senses. YOu  just cannot rule that possibility out. Unless you can read into the future, if so, could you please tell me if I'm ever going to be rich, please? ;D
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#138: June 15, 2013, 03:21:32 PM
I don't want my old relationship back, it had flaws that I know will not be there again. I want a new relationship with my' new ex' when he comes to his senses! We should both be better once it's all over. I don't like him much at the moment and if he asked me to get back together tomorrow, I would say no. God, I do not want a lunatic as a partner!!!
But, I believe we had true love and that true love never dies. Besides, you cannot help who you fall for, and, Braveheart, you might just fall for her all over again if and when she comes back to her senses. YOu  just cannot rule that possibility out. Unless you can read into the future, if so, could you please tell me if I'm ever going to be rich, please? ;D

That's the difference between myself and others, I don't believe in "True Love" or want any sort of relationship with my X.
I've been madly in love several times in my life, as have many of my friends. All it generally turns out to be is infatuation, with wonderful attributes given to our hearts desire they didn't really have, which becomes apparent only after the rose colored glasses come off ;~)

Of my X coming back to her senses? Well, I found out after BD it turns out she treated the guy before me exactly the same way, she packed her stuff and left one weekend when he was away, he came back to an empty apartment.
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#139: June 15, 2013, 03:30:39 PM
Wow...
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#140: January 07, 2015, 02:11:44 AM
Thundar ,
This a great post, I can't wait for more info on this to be put on here as It may save a lot of family units being torn apart at the seems. It's great to find someone with the credentials and know how to do the maths, please thank her for this from me and carry on the good worl
Regards
Jackolar
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Re: MLC and the Medical Community
#141: January 07, 2015, 04:38:57 AM
Just my 2cents.

IMHO.    The only reason to stand is purely selfish on our part.    It is selfish because we can finally step out of the  ---yr marriage that we were in and look at it for what it was.

We can finally see the forest without the trees getting in the way.

We can see the dynamics of the relationship.    We can weigh what each partner brought to the marriage.   We can see the damage of our actions.   Of their actions.

We can decide how we want to proceed.

Our spouse and society no longer have any power over us.     We are in the clear to do as we wish.

It is a purely selfish position to be in.    And.   In a lot of cases.    It is a position we would never put ourselves in.    We were forced into it.

That being said.   It is totally up to us if we want to make improvements to ourselves.   If we feel the need to make improvements in ourselves.

We decide if our MLCer is worth waiting for.     We decide if we never want to waste another second of our life on them.

It is up to each individual to decide their own fate...........

We are the only ones that know all of the dynamics involved.     We are the only ones that have to live with our decisions.

Good luck to all of us.
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