Author Topic: My Story Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts  (Read 3380 times)

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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My Story Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« on: April 03, 2017, 04:04:49 PM »
My wife’s midlife crisis seems kind of mild compared to most of the ones I’ve read about here. I thought about not posting here because my problems seem small, but I imagine there are others out there who are going through the same thing I am. So here goes...

My wife and I have now been married 25 years. We married young; she was 19 and I was 23. We have kids (21 and 19) who are great kids – kind and mature young adults who are in college making good decisions and doing great. My wife stayed home when our kids were young, but now works in a pretty stressful helping profession job. I also work in a public service job.

We used to have a model marriage. Really. Not in a Ken and Barbie way, but in an honest and loving friendship with lots of romance and great communication. Barely any bumps in the road until recently. Our youngest graduated from high school last spring, so we’re kind of empty nesters, although our youngest still lives at home while going to college.

Last spring her Mom, who lives in another state, had a debilitating stroke. This is on top of her nephew (who is almost like a son to her) having a life-threatening brain surgery. My wife has been going back to her childhood home to help out on a pretty regular basis ever since. This has resulted in her spending lots of time with her sister and her old High School friends. She also started drinking quite a bit and, from my perspective, acting like a petulant teenager. She got a new tattoo (not a big deal to me) for the first time in 25 years. She also started hanging out and drinking with her work friends, who are divorced women who are very sour and bitter people. She drove herself home a few times when she was in no shape to drive. She’s also gotten reckless with her spending. And she’s gotten to be somewhat hypersexual. She now wants sex from me every day and twice a day on weekends (we used to be once or twice a week).

I chalked up her behavior to stress from her job and her family situation and have worked really hard to hold down the fort at home and be a supportive listener. I told myself to be glad she was sleeping with me and not someone else. I thought I was doing the best I could.

Then in the summer I noticed she suddenly was spending a lot of time on her phone. Once it buzzed when she was in another room and I picked it up to take it to her. I noticed a text from a colleague (I’ll call him John) that said “do you think I’m cute?” It was very weird. I asked my wife about it and she said it was no big deal. But after that she started taking her phone with her everywhere, even to the bathroom. A few days later she got a call and said it was “Jane” and she had to take it outside. I knew she was lying. That night, after she went to bed, I checked her phone, and sure enough the phone call was from “John.” Not only that, she and John had been exchanging texts that were completely inappropriate. He was obviously hitting on her and she liked the attention. It looked like a Jr. High crush. Lots of cutiepie emojis, etc... Yes, she did think he was cute. He even asked her details about our sex life that she answered. The whole thing was very disturbing and completely out of character.

I confronted her about it and I got an angry teenager response of “why are you so critical of me? Why are you on my back? Why don’t you trust me? How can we live together if there’s no trust?” It was really nasty. Her narrative is that I’m a critical and judgmental person.

Since then, things have settled down. She admitted that her “playful banter” was inappropriate and agreed to stop calling and texting John. (They don’t talk anymore that I know of – I assume he’s moved on to flirting with some other man’s wife). She didn’t want to go to marriage counseling, but I had a few sessions with a therapist that really helped me. It helped me see her early-stage emotional affair as a symptom of a midlife crisis caused by her being overwhelmed by stress (stressful job, sick parents, children leaving, etc...) and not handling it well. There were other clues as well (rewriting history, etc..) Now, instead of a great marriage, we now have an OK marriage. We still live together and get along tolerably well, but at the expense of not talking about things that might stress her. And she still accuses me of being critical of her.

For example, I recently shared with her that I was concerned about her going out drinking with her female co-workers so often, spending lots of money and leaving me home to do the housework and eat leftovers alone. I was actually extremely positive and supportive and approached the conversation as telling her I wanted to spend more time with her. Her response was that I shouldn’t be so critical of her cooking (I assume because I mentioned “leftovers”).

I’m not concerned about her having a sexual affair, becoming a full-blown alcoholic or leaving me. At least not at the moment. But I’m really tired of walking on eggshells. Being married to a woman with the attitude of a teenager is not much fun. I’m worn out from constantly monitoring our finances, I’m sexually exhausted, slightly depressed and generally unsatisfied. I feel like I’ve somehow become co-dependent to her crisis and I’m lost some self-respect. I’m tired of her selfishness and I want her to grow up again. I also have this sense of dread that some other shoe will drop and I’ll be too tired to handle it next time. I’m trying to outlast her "transition", to take care of myself physically and financially, and to protect myself emotionally. But we’ve been so close for so long that I’m in grief for the loss of my great marriage and friendship.

Anyway, I know I should feel lucky and that things could be much worse, but I still feel lousy. Any advice is appreciated.

Offline Kintsugi

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 06:02:50 PM »
You're in the right place.
I am not sure what I can give as far as advice but I can validate your feelings and assure you that you are not alone.  I am married 19 years, this is my 2nd marriage, 3 kids (22, 21 & 18).  Not sure where and when it started to unravel but it did.  Death of H's close relative, death of my mom 7 years ago which may have been what started this all, two of the kids moved out.  H works a stressful job and is often working 8 hr shifts with women alone.  I never had any reason not to trust him.  We had, what I thought, was a great marriage and I believed we were inseparable.  I sometimes mourn the marriage that I had and I feel like he re-wrote the history of our marriage.
H got involved in an EA with a coworker and did things that to this day I am still amazed at.  If you told me aliens took his brains for a while I could believe it.  Anywho, when all of the inappropriate things were revealed, I gave H an ultimatum to transfer job locations.  It was a painful transition for him but he did it.  He didn't snap out of it immediately, it took some time. 
I can relate to your being really tired of walking on eggshells, being married to someone with the attitude of a teenager. I am worn out from having to monitor finances and cell phone bills although I don't do it as much as when I found this all out which was over a year ago. I’m slightly depressed and feel somewhat unsatisfied but I make it through each day.  At times I felt like I lost some self-respect to but then I realized I didn't do anything wrong. After all this time,  I also have this sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think it's called PTSD.
I realized I do have advice for you - get a mentor!  It helped me a lot and it can help you too.
(((Hugs)))
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful ~ Barbara Bloom

Offline TryinSoul

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 08:45:15 PM »
Not to jump to conlusions but your wife's behavior describes my x to a T.  It took me much longer to recognize it, but it went downhill rapidly.  From your descriptions to her leaving was 9 months.  My advice is to read the articles on the main page as a just in case.  If I had the knowledge prior it was have saved me about 5 months of pure hell.
All that counts, is what comes next.

Offline Mae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 09:50:09 PM »
The best advice I can tell you is to keep reading and keep posting. You will see your situation reflected repeatedly ad nauseam on these threads and the older ones too. There is a wealth of information on this site including all the articles and blogs pertaining to MLC and how to respond/cope with it.

While you say your situation seems mild in comparison, the feelings of hurt, bewilderment, rejection, confusion, loss etc are all too REAL and very very painful regardless of whether your spouse is monstering/not monstering, having an affair or not, left or not, so please don't think your situation is less painful, or less serious than any of the others, it all hurts, hurts, hurts just the same.

You are in a good place here.
Me: 50
H: 40
S19, D15
Together for 19 years
BDay in 2004, 2011 and now March 5 2017
Ran away on 5 March BD
No OW
Returned home 'underdone' 1 July 2017.
Left again 22 October 2017.
H - Silent and non-communicative

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 09:53:09 PM »
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.
GAL.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.

Developing Detachment
http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforcontrolissues/developdetachment.html

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/self-focus_releasers_detach.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

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Offline Thunder

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 03:00:01 AM »
Hi PJ.

I hope you keep posting.  You have found a good place for support...and it will help you get through this horror movie.

I agree with Mae, your story is very much like others on here, it is not too mild.
MLC is a serious problem.

All I can tell you right now is try to detach from her as much as you can.  Just be light and friendly and no relationship talks.  It will get you no where.
Take good care of yourself, because I imagine you are probably not eating or sleeping properly.  None of us did.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Online Whyus

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 04:10:25 AM »
Im so sorry that your here my friend,
I dont mean to break it to you and im sure that you know already but it sounds like shes having an affair  :-\.
My story is similar (phone, visiting friends..) she wasnt visiting friends, she was with her 28 year old "Trainings partner".
I too would have never imagined that she could do that. She was really the perfect mother and Wife!!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 04:19:01 AM by Whyus »
Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 45
W: 45 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 30) Trainings partner. W is trying to get People to accept them.
2 Sons - 19 & 20
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
T1  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8671.0

Offline StormChaser

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 12:25:01 PM »
Hey PJ,

Your story is almost a mirror image of mine pre-bomb drop. All those things your wife is doing, my wife did. The main difference is that the emotional affair and flirting progressed to a full affair before I found out which became the bomb drop.

Based on what you've said, your wife may be in a place that marriage counselling won't help at all - she may have already written off your marriage without even telling you.

What I can recommend is that you suggest to your wife that she get counselling for herself, even if she isn't interested in joint sessions. That has probably been the single biggest help for my wife over the last 9 months.

Realize that where your wife goes over the next weeks, months or even years is not really up to you, but up to her. You can stand, you can run, it probably won't change how hard the MLC hits her. Also realize that it doesn't matter what she was like before, she's probably already in a different place!

This is one of the best places I've found to reflect, to get advice, to ask for help. And because the script is so amazingly similar between so many MLCers, you can get great insight into where things are going just be hanging around here.

Good luck on this journey none of us want to be on...
Me - 48
MLC W - 48
Together 18 yrs
Married 14 yrs
S 12
S 10
S 8
BD June 1 2016
Home Dec 23 2016
Recommited to our M Sept 2017

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 03:45:32 PM »
Thanks for all the kind words. Especially the hugs from BelleElle! It's very touching that complete strangers would take the time to express their concern for me.

The affirmation is very comforting. Sometimes I get so tied up in knots that I wonder if I'm the crazy one. It's good to know that there are sane people who can understand and relate.

I'll keep posting and will probably request a mentor in a few weeks once I get to better acquainted with the community. I'm very glad this place exists.

BelleElle's comment about alien abduction really hit the nail on the head for me. I often feel like aliens took my wife and left me this replicant in her place. It looks like her, but it's a different creature altogether.

I'm wondering about my wife's sudden sex drive surge. She's a bit young for menopause (44). I'm actually starting to feel like she's having an affair - with me. She's been extremely flirty and coquettish with me for the past year. She says it helps her deal with work stress. But it makes it hard for me to take care of myself and to detach. I know I should be glad she's sleeping with me and not some other guy. But still - I'm tired!

At some point in our relationship, we will have to discuss painful subjects again. For now she just wants to go bowling, watch TV comedies, drink wine and have sex (I know you all know that's not as fun as it sounds). It's become a more superficial relationship. My question for the community is this: how do you have a delicate, rational conversation with an irrational person? For example, I would like to discuss boundaries regarding relationships with opposite-sex coworkers, but I can't imagine the conversation going well. Should I just wait until she brings things up?

Thanks again everyone!

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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No sympathy. No remorse.
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 07:49:11 AM »
So I realized something a couple days ago that has put me in a bit of an emotional tailspin. I think I must be a slow learner, but it just dawned on me that one of the reasons I'm still struggling so much with my wife's EA is that she has no discernible sympathy for the pain she's put me through. She has no remorse at all that I can tell. She'll say things like "I'm sorry you felt that way" or "I sent some stupid texts" but she has never once said "I'm sorry." It's like she has no awareness that sexually flirtatious texts with another (married) man are wrong in and of themselves. I feel like she's only sorry she got caught.

I'm sure this is old hat for many of you (I'm sure many of you are saying "duh"), but realizing this hit me hard. Should I just learn to live with it and not expect any remorse or sympathy for years? Should I detach more? Probably.

Things have been going pretty well for the past few months. We're still living together and getting along tolerably well. I felt like I was riding out her crisis ok and it was starting to feel like old times again. But the OM has been commenting on her Facebook posts again and when I tried to talk to her about it, her lack of concern for my feelings kind of stunned me.

Maybe I should just expect nothing so I won't be disappointed.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 08:58:40 AM by OldPilot »

Offline Searching4Answers

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Re: No sympathy. No remorse.
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 08:35:18 AM »
People can only display sympathy and remorse if they have empathy - MLCer's do not have any empathy.

Sadly, not very many LBS's ever get remorse, I certainly have not. Can't recall ever getting a genuine "I'm sorry" either. In order for "I'm sorry" to mean anything, it must be accompanied by actions. While they are in MLC they are selfish and the only they feel sorry for is themselves.

I feel like she's only sorry she got caught.

Bingo!
We all do damage. Character is determined by how we repair it.


BD - December 2012
OW1 confirmed - December 2012 on-and-off for 34 months and counting (still refers to her as just a 'friend')
Wants to live like roommates - November 2013
I moved out - April 2015
H is still checking the anchor

Offline Watcher

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Re: No sympathy. No remorse.
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2017, 08:41:15 AM »
Hey PJ,

22 months post BD myself and not one apology. Not even sorry for getting caught. If only you would have treated me right Watcher. LOL. She has an answer for everything. She is entitled and her behavior is justified.

Offline Elegance

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Re: No sympathy. No remorse.
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2017, 08:50:19 AM »
`Hi PJ,

I'm sorry for your pain. MLCers don't typically show remorse or apologize for a very long time.

They honestly have no feelings right now as somehow the MLC has put all kinds of feelings away on a shelf for later after they heal their issues.

Just keep in your heart that if your W heals, she will come around and  see everything she has done and show some kind of remorse. At least that is how MLC is 'supposed' to go.

Keep faith in the process of MLC!

Hang in there. Stay Strong.

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2017, 09:26:24 AM »
I agree that MLC'ers have no remorse or empathy certainly while they are in their crisis.

I think continuing to detach and let her work through her issues are the best bet.
Along with having boundaries.

I merged your threads together
Please stick to one thread until 150 posts

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2017, 10:29:04 AM »
Thanks for the kind words and insight everyone. I really appreciated it.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2017, 11:50:58 AM »
Well, I may have messed up.

After several months of keeping our relationship light and fun and noticing a lot of improvement, (almost like old times) I decided it may be a good time to try to test the waters and talk about how I feel. (yeah, I know - bad idea)

As you can probably guess, my wife responded in a negative way. She keeps coming back to my "trust issues" after her emotional affair last June. As if I have no reason to mistrust someone who has betrayed my trust, lied to me and tried to keep things hidden from me. She's still occasionally communicating with the third party, although from what I can tell not nearly as much as she used to. (He's a co-worker so there are some legitimate reasons to for them to communicate) She also wants to know why I keep constantly bringing her EA up. (We've talked about it a total of 4 times over the past year.) 

Basically, I'm getting tired of this lighthearted buddy relationship we have. What I want is to have a real marriage with a grown-up I can talk to about things. (I know, good luck!) I guess I'll have to wait and keep working on my own self.

Here's my question for those who have been through the wringer: how do you communicate boundaries with a person who is totally in denial about the hurt their actions have caused and thinks "a few stupid texts" is no big deal? And who thinks that the problem in our relationship is my lack of trust? By setting boundaries, am I communicating that I don't trust her? I don't, of course, but I can't say that. Or maybe I should just stop walking on tiptoes and tell her what I expect? When we try to talk about anything important, she just hears what she wants to hear, so I don't think there's any point in talking. Is it best to write down a list of expectations rather than communicating them verbally?

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 11:59:59 AM »
Here's my question for those who have been through the wringer: how do you communicate boundaries with a person who is totally in denial about the hurt their actions have caused and thinks "a few stupid texts" is no big deal?
And who thinks that the problem in our relationship is my lack of trust?
By setting boundaries, am I communicating that I don't trust her?
 I don't, of course, but I can't say that.
 Or maybe I should just stop walking on tiptoes and tell her what I expect?
When we try to talk about anything important, she just hears what she wants to hear, so I don't think there's any point in talking.
 Is it best to write down a list of expectations rather than communicating them verbally?
I think you need boundaries.
I think you can have NO EXPECTATIONS.

I do NOT think you need to communicate the boundaries by words.
You communicate them through ACTIONS.

Words are meaningless,  actions show your true intent.

So write down your boundaries here and lets discuss them and how through your actions you will enforce them.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2017, 12:33:37 PM »
Here's what I think would be healthy boundaries in our (and any) marriage:
• Physical violence is never acceptable
• Sexual infidelity is not acceptable
• Verbal abuse is not acceptable
• Belittling a spouse in front of family (especially kids) is not OK.
• Discussing our sex life with an opposite sex co-worker is not cool with me. (that's been an issue)
• It's not OK to complain about a spouse to members of the opposite sex.
• Lying and intentional deception is not OK.
• When you recognize that you are flirting, stop it.
• Hiding things and keeping secrets from each other is not OK.
• We should always check with each other before making major purchases.
• We should never put kids in a position where they are forced to pick sides in our conflict.

Do these sound too much like rules? Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way.

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2017, 01:07:40 PM »
Here's what I think would be healthy boundaries in our (and any) marriage:
• Physical violence is never acceptable
• Sexual infidelity is not acceptable
• Verbal abuse is not acceptable
• Belittling a spouse in front of family (especially kids) is not OK.
• Discussing our sex life with an opposite sex co-worker is not cool with me. (that's been an issue)
• It's not OK to complain about a spouse to members of the opposite sex.
• Lying and intentional deception is not OK.
• When you recognize that you are flirting, stop it.
• Hiding things and keeping secrets from each other is not OK.
• We should always check with each other before making major purchases.
• We should never put kids in a position where they are forced to pick sides in our conflict.

Do these sound too much like rules? Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way.
While I can not dispute anything you wrote,
what are the consequences of breaking these boundaries.
In other words are they enforceable?

My favorite boundary is I will not be in a relationship with you if you are in a relationship with someone else.

Easy to enforce and no words are required.

How many of your above ones fit into mine?

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2017, 01:24:43 PM »
"I will not be in a relationship with you, if you are in a relationship with someone else." Wow, you said it much better than me! That covers a lot of the ones that are important to me. I'm going to use that. Thanks!

As far as enforceability, the major purchases one is the easiest: any purchase over a certain dollar amount made without checking with the other spouse first is automatically returned. That's actually happened.

I don't know how to enforce boundaries against lying, belittling etc... In the old days, we could just tell each other if we were hurt and empathy would lead to remorse > apology > forgiveness > reconciliation. But if she has no remorse for doing hurtful things, I honestly don't know how enforce much of anything.

Offline bookwrmmom

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2017, 02:43:31 PM »
Hello PJ and welcome, sorry I am late jumping on board here. I would like to comment on the financial aspect. Please be prepared at a moments notice to protect yourself financially. Due to her behavior you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I
Many couples keep things joint and many keep them separate. If there is a way for you to start saving separately (without violating your own rules) then I would do so. If you are ones who have any separate accounts, then this would be easy.
For you sake I hope that never becomes necessary however I have been a part of the HS crew for over 3 years. I have learned to err on the side of safety.
Hugs my friend, and know you have people here who support you.
M-44 at BD (now 47)
H-47 at BD (now 49)
Tog-16 1/2 yrs
M-16yrs
Kids- S23, S24, D18 at BD
BD-2/15/2014
Left-2/17/2014
OW1-fantasy ended in less then a year
OW2- briefly dated-she said he was not a happy enough person
OW3-post divorce so not really OW, he is a free agent now
Divorce-10/5/2015
Giving up does not always mean that you are weak; sometimes it means you are strong enough to let go.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2017, 11:36:43 PM »
Now that I have an awesome mentor (Thanks!), I think it might be wise to recap my situation. I've looked back on my previous posts and realized many of them were me venting when I was hurting and angry. Since I'm feeling kind of calm and collected tonight, maybe this is a good time to revisit things.

First, some background facts:
* After 25 years of seriously great marriage, our youngest graduated High School in Spring 2016
* My wife's mother (who lives in another state) had a stroke in early 2016, resulting in wife spending a lot of time  with her family, sister, old high school friends, etc..
* Wife's job became very stressful in 2016
* Wife was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis in summer 2016
* Aliens abducted wife in summer 2016, leaving me a replicant in her place (OK, I made that up. But it feels that way.) Wife started acting like a teenager: lots of drinking, turbocharged sex drive, new tattoo, reckless spending and other behavior.
* Bomb drop - caught wife in EA June 2016. I'm pretty confident there was no PA, but OM is professional colleague and they are still in occasional contact. Some of this I'm sure is legitimate professionally (they are both counselors), but I don't like the way the door is still cracked open. Wife has been testing my boundaries in her "friendship" with OM and has lied to me about their continued occasional contact ("so I wouldn't overreact").

I think the combination of generational changes and work stress is what pushed my wife over the edge. She's never been good with stress and it looks to me like she just reached a saturation point and can't handle any more. Meanwhile, unresolved childhood issues tackled her from behind while she spent so much time with her parents, sister, old friends, etc... She's never seen a counselor, but these factors made me think MLC.

Where things are today, 1 year in:
* Still living together
* Wife still has no remorse over EA. Thinks it was no big deal and I'm overreacting. She thinks our biggest problem is my "trust issues." Wife has no interest in counseling, but I've seen an IC a few times and it helped.
* Relationship is pretty superficial. Other than a couple of disastrous attempts by me, we don't discuss our relationship. We go bowling, watch movies, etc... We have some fun, but it is not emotionally satisfying for me. But I think it's what she needs for now.

What I've been doing:
* Making lots of mistakes, especially in the early days. I tried hard to fix things and somehow felt that if I only had more information, I would know the right thing to say or do to fix the relationship. I tried to reason with an irrational person; it didn't work.
* Doing better at working on myself lately. Getting healthier, losing weight, working on hobbies, building new friendships.
* Trying to detach emotionally. Not always succeeding.

What I'm struggling with:
* I'm grieving the end of a 25-year marriage. Even though we're still married and could be till death do us part, my wife is definitely not the same person she was before. I'm mourning the loss of that wife. (She was great - I really miss her). It's also hard to grieve the loss of someone when she's still here (or at least that alien replicant is still living with me).
* Her cycling. Sometimes she seems like my old wife and I get tricked into feeling like the storm has passed. Then she says or does something outrageous and out of character and I get the rug pulled out from under me all over again.
* My cycling. I've learned a lot from this board, from reading and thinking and from my counselor. But some days something will trigger my emotional PTSD (only slight exaggeration) and I just forget everything I've learned. For example when OM likes my wife's Facebook post, it drives me nuts.
* Detaching. Trying not to pursue her or to fix her. This is really hard when I see her making decisions that cause her pain and grief.
* Getting a life. Not letting my marriage swamp everything else I do.

Anyway, I always feel timid posting here when I see the insane things some of your spouses are putting you through. My wife is a mess and I'm still hurting and grieving, but I know it could be a lot worse. Thanks to everyone for your kind words. Hopefully I'll be able some words of wisdom myself if I ever learn any wisdom to share!

Offline Busy_Bee

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2017, 02:41:23 AM »
Hi PJ Ames,
Your wife is in far away land now and no matter what you do you won't be able to reach her. She is still physically present but emotionally she is gone. You can't build any connection with her in such state.

Quote
We go bowling, watch movies, etc... We have some fun, but it is not emotionally satisfying for me. But I think it's what she needs for now.
Probably it won't be far away from the truth if I tell you that she doesn't want to do those normal things with you, she just going through the motions. It seems to me that she is a wallower. If she is, as was I a few years ago, it is safe to suggest just to leave her alone and don't initiate those "couple things", because it is considerate by MLCer as pressure.
In order to detach try to gradually release interactions with your W.
She doesn't understand what is happening to her, nor she sees any fault in her behavior, but eventually she will get to a point when she will be forced to look within.
You are doing great. You just need to have more faith in the process. You can't control her cycling, but you can control yours  :)   
Quote
Wife has been testing my boundaries in her "friendship" with OM and has lied to me about their continued occasional contact ("so I wouldn't overreact").
Stop asking her about OM and you don't have to hear her lies. If you don't react this game will get old very soon. She is just looking for attention. Don't give it to her!


Offline Thunder

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2017, 02:48:18 AM »
Hi PJ,

Please don't EVER feel to timid to write down your feelings here.  We have all felt the way you are feeling.  We get it!

 I think, from what I've read, you're doing pretty good so far.

You have realized you can't have a rationally conversation with a MLCer.
You are trying to detach
You are not trying to fix her or pursue her (big one)
You're working on yourself and making new friends

All good!

This is such a hard thing to go through.  It turns your whole world upside down.  BB is right looks like you have a wallower on your hands.
All you can do is concentrate on yourself and try to take the focus off her.  It's hard to do but she has enough focus on herself to last a lifetime.   She doesn't need yours too.  ::) 

Of course you don't trust her.  What she is doing is not trust worthy.
She can try to put it back on you all she wants but she knows darn well what she is doing is not right, she just doesn't want to own up to it because then she'd have to actually do something about it...like stop contacting him.

I agree with OP...I will have no relationship with you as long as you are in a relationship with another man!  Then go dim/dark until she ends it (good luck with that, btw).  ::)

Whether she likes it or not.  Just be firm.  Sorry, you can't understand that but you are my W and this is how I feel.  If his "friendship" is that important to you then I guess that's your choice.  But you can't have it both ways.
You don't get both of us.

You can still be polite but no more treating her like your faithful W.
She has to earn that title back.
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2017, 05:57:00 AM »
* Getting a life. Not letting my marriage swamp everything else I do.
Maybe a little mystery would be good.
You want her to pursue you - not  you pursue her.

Remember that sometimes a person desires what they can not have.

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2017, 08:28:36 AM »
Hi there PJ.  Your posts sound like me three years ago.  My H began an EA in May 2014 and I found out quite soon.  He agreed to stop and I thought our relationship was improving.  But the lure of someone who thinks you're marvellous and who is forbidden (she is married too) is strong and he has reconnected several times.  Each time I have found out and stopped it again, but we are now one year post escalation and the ILYBINILWY statement.  He now says he doesn't want to be with me in any way, he is back in touch with OW daily, and has said that it would be better for me if he left - I agreed with him, but he hasn't actually left!!!  Our boys are still children - 12 and 14 - and I worry about them All The Time.  I hope you don't mind me talking about me but I thought it would be helpful for you to see a progression so you know what may lie ahead.  When I look back I think I should perhaps have allowed the EA to burn through and worked on myself rather than us back in 2014.  Maybe we would still be where we are now, or maybe we would be over by now - I will never know I guess.

I know everyone says this but that is because, I think, it is the right thing to do - if you can.  Detach and work on yourself.  When I have been able to do this (I'm not very good at it) life is easier for me and H becomes calmer and sometimes tries to reconnect.  Those are dangerous times because it gets your hopes up so I am resolved to try not to overthink this if it happens again and to just live in the moment.  You are still early on in your journey (probably - sorry), and I suspect the road will be long, winding and may even disappear at times, but by detaching and focusing on you, you will travel that road. 

Keep posting and please look after yourself first and foremost.

MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

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Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2017, 08:08:00 AM »
Thanks still going. Great advice which I struggle to follow. I don't mind you talking about yourself at all - it is really helpful for me to see a progression!

I also think my wife is really attracted to danger of the forbidden (OM is married) and the way he tells her she's perfect. His texts that I saw were the kind that everyone knows is laughable and gag-worthy baloney except the person receiving them.

I'm trying not to snoop and to let the EA burn itself out. I think for the most part it has, but I don't like the way the door seems to still be cracked open. But I think that if I try to break them apart, I'll only throw them together. It would be like telling a 2-year-old or a teenager NOT to do something.

Thanks again for taking the time to post here - I really do appreciate hearing from someone further down the road. You're very wise and compassionate!

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2017, 08:18:13 AM »
I think that if I try to break them apart, I'll only throw them together.
It would be like telling a 2-year-old or a teenager NOT to do something.
Actually that is affair busting, I know it sounds counter intuitive but
the sooner the reality of her actions smack  her in the face the better
chance that it ends.

Even a 2 year old needs boundaries.

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2017, 01:48:26 PM »
OP would  you be able to explain this please as my experience of stopping the EA by threatening to tell OW's  H has been that it stops for a while, then when they think I am no longer checking up on H they start up again. What sort of boundary can you set with a live-in MLCer other than - do not act in a way which mean that I am aware of what you are doing?  I have done this but it seems a pretty soft boundary. But if I push against his Contact with OW it just drives him to her more.
MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

Still going!

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2017, 02:12:23 PM »
OP would  you be able to explain this please as my experience of stopping the EA by threatening to tell OW's  H has been that it stops for a while, then when they think I am no longer checking up on H they start up again. What sort of boundary can you set with a live-in MLCer other than - do not act in a way which mean that I am aware of what you are doing?  I have done this but it seems a pretty soft boundary. But if I push against his Contact with OW it just drives him to her more.

Read this first
http://loveanyway.theherosspouse.com/midlife-crisis-and-infidelity/exposure-when-and-how-to-expose-affair/

My  thought is threatening is not a good idea.

DO not threaten.

Quote
if I push against his Contact with OW it just drives him to her more.
Again pushing them together is part of affair busting - it is counter intuitive.


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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2017, 02:40:54 PM »
Thanks OO. I think I need to start a new thread rather than hi-jack PJs.
MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

Still going!

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2017, 03:07:20 PM »
You're not hijacking my thread at all stillgoing! Your question is very relevant to me. Thanks for posting the Exposure article OP.

My situation is a little different in that I discovered the EA pretty early on and it is (I think) more or less busted. I know that doesn't sound very confident, but it's my reality.

The complication with the OM is that he is my wife's co-worker. They work for the same agency but in different offices so they only are physically in the same building about once a quarter. But they do still have legitimate work-related reasons to talk occasionally. My wife and I reached an agreement early on that any contact between her and OM would only be work-related and during work hours. As far as I know, she has only violated the work hours part a couple of times when she had been drinking. I suspect they still talk more than they actually need to, but I can't monitor her office phone and I really don't know. She is also looking for a different job but from what I can tell, not very hard.

The frustrations I have with my wife and OM are the gray areas. For example, when he comments (innocuously) on her Facebook posts. I wish she would just unfriend him. But if show that I'm upset by him congratulating her on an award or saying "nice photo" of a vacation picture, she's just going to say I'm being petty and insecure. My wife has convinced herself that the problem in our marriage is not her lying, drinking, spending, etc... but that I am untrusting and critical.

Of course, I would like to see 100% no contact between them. The fact that the door is still cracked open is annoying. But if I demand 100% no contact, I suspect it would make him more that much more dangerous and interesting to her and push her to him more.

My guess is that OM is a flirt and is more bark than bite. Aside from my emotional torment, my concerns now are what happens when the next guy shows her interest. Since my wife seems to have lost her moral compass and any sense of remorse, what is there to keep her from probing the boundaries with the next guy?

I think my wife and I and pretty clear on the black and white areas, but the blurry lines and gray areas are frustrating. She likes getting close to the edge.

I hope I'm making sense.

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2017, 01:26:30 AM »
I agree your situation is different.  The stuff I have read on EAs says to treat it the same as a PA in that all contact should stop or if it doesn't stop because they are co-workers then should be reported honestly and openly to the spouse.  But that assumes a penitent person not living in the fog of MLC.  If your wife doesn't accept she has done anything wrong, then I can't really see how this would work.  That's the position I am in with my H.  He says OW is a friend and nothing more - at least that's what he tells me.  Of course this is rubbish and one's gut is rarely wrong.  If it looks like a witch, it talks like a witch and it smells like a witch - then its a Witch!  All that should matter is your perception of it - in the Normal World.  In MLC World all bets are off.  Does anyone else know about your W's EA?  My close family and my H's know about his OW but my children don't.  H doesn't see my family at all at the moment, and very little of his own family so no one calls him out on his behaviour.  But I don't think he is ready yet to be in any way accountable for his behaviour.  I did have a brief moment of insight from him recently when he said that he had done some bad things and didn't enjoy his life at the moment - but next day 'usual' service was resumed.

I have come to a decision that the consequences for my children of me exposing the affair now are not something I am willing to accept.  So I will not expose him or her at the moment.  It might help you to journal here to try to 'talk through' your thought processes so that you can come to a decision on your situation.

Sadly PJ grey (I'm English so please bear with me on the spelling) is all there is for the LBS when we venture into MLC World.  It is never clear cut and just when you think you are clear on boundaries you find they have been trampled on.  As I am sure you know by now, we cannot control our MLCer, only ourselves and our reactions to their behaviour.

(Platonic) Hugs - Still
 
MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

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Online Whyus

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2017, 02:22:12 AM »
SG. Just a question.
If you expose your Hs EA to OWs H then it shouldnt affect your kids. Just have a chat with his W, neither even have to know that you have spoken. If she looks at his phone. You dont have to expose them to the whole neighbourhood.
One thing that you can guarantee is if given half a chance the EA will become a PA!! Im sure most will agree with that..
Your stronger than i am SG  ;)
Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 45
W: 45 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 30) Trainings partner. W is trying to get People to accept them.
2 Sons - 19 & 20
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
T1  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8671.0

Offline still going

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2017, 03:00:34 AM »
I take your point Whyus, but I do not know how the OW's H will react, and our youngest sons are friends and in the same class at school.  The fallout could be huge.  TBH it doesn't make any difference to me whether its an EA or a PA - an EA is in many ways more painful to me because of the emotional connection.  From what I have read, and this is a generalisation, many women feel this way whereas for men a PA is often harder to accept. 

I believe we all have inner strength, and we find it when tested.  I believe in marriage, and I am also not willing to either quit or to throw away over 18 years of a good marriage because of 3 years of a bad one.  My H has no reference point for a successful marriage, as his parents divorced when he was 3, and his H then went on to have a number of turbulent relationships and I think this is likely to be coming back to bite him now.  He says things now he would never have said 3-4 years ago.  So I have to be strong because he can't be right now.  That's what marriage is about - give and take.  I realise he is doing all the taking, but when I look back at this journey I see that the times when he improved were when I did not rise to his baiting and was better at detaching.  Without something to push against, he has no choice but to calm down and actually he doesn't then get to take.  What I need to work on now is being consistent in this because it is Really Hard to maintain.  Being angry doesn't make the situation any better for me and just damages the LBS - as a song I like by a UK artist (Mika - you probably don't know of him) says 'being angry never solved anything'.  That's my take on it at any rate.

One other point.  I am not a doormat, and I do not think that, whatever the outcome of this, my H should be allowed to act in the way he has been and get off 'scot free'.  However, at the moment trying to enforce hard boundaries and get him to respond rationally simply is not going to happen and just winds me up if I do try.  I try to be firm in my resolve to detach and control my boundaries so that I can look after myself and my children.  He can sort himself out for the time being.  If he is ever ready to be accountable, we can have a discussion then about how we move forward, either as parents of our children living apart, or as a couple.  I also realise that I am not responsible for his behaviour or actions, but that if I had been more observant and knowledgeable earlier things may not have got to the point they are at now.  I am not to blame for that but neither is he in the sense that some of his behaviour is a reaction to mine.  It is never a case of black and white, and I don't think it is helpful to me to place blame solely on one of us, or in fact to think about blame at all.  We are where we are and I just have to deal with the here and now.



MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

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Online Whyus

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2017, 04:15:26 AM »

 From what I have read, and this is a generalisation, many women feel this way whereas for men a PA is often harder to accept. 


I didnt want to mention it here but i agree with you 100% that men (certainly myself) have more of a problem with PAs than women do.
Its simply to do with the physical act itself! (we all know how sex works right!) Im not sexist but its alot harder knowing that your W has slept with someone else than if your H has done simply because of how sex works... Goosebumps even writing this ;-((.
Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 45
W: 45 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 30) Trainings partner. W is trying to get People to accept them.
2 Sons - 19 & 20
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
T1  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8671.0

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2017, 04:43:16 AM »
This is why it is so important for you to detach and start working on yourself and your positivity.  If you keep dwelling on your W's behaviour it will eat you up.  You must try to remove the thoughts from your mind and concentrate on yourself.  Its the only way you will be able to detach successfully IMO.
MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

Still going!

Online Whyus

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2017, 05:34:25 AM »
I am doing just that Still  8).
I don't think about it anymore, they can do what they like. As long as shes in lala land I have to think of myself. I even call him OM now and not Toyboy as I did for months because hes not worth it. Hes a friendless Gym nerd who has achieved nothing except a sixpack!!  I just dug it up to prove why its so hard for the male LBS to accept a PA.
 Im in a good place, only thinking of my boys and myself.
Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 45
W: 45 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 30) Trainings partner. W is trying to get People to accept them.
2 Sons - 19 & 20
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
T1  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8671.0

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2017, 01:51:49 PM »
Just a quick update as my time with an official mentor is almost up. (Thanks OP!)

Not much has changed this past month. I’m still working on myself and on detaching. Detaching is a challenge, especially since we still live together and we actually have some good days. We were very close for 25 years. Some days I do better than others, but I’m a lot happier, wiser and more content than I was a year ago.

W broke down crying about a very trivial thing over the weekend. She says she now realizes she has some unresolved issues from childhood. I was very supportive and resisted the temptation to say “No s- Sherlock!”

I think it’s positive that she’s realizing that she may have some underlying issues that pre-date marrying me. Her parents were very critical and made fun of her when she had bad grades, bad haircuts, etc... I think that’s at least part of why she has such a hard time with me suggesting she change her behavior. When she feels like someone is trying to control her, she gets this defiant, immature “you’re not the boss of me” attitude.

As an example, we had a conversation a while back in which I expressed my displeasure over OM commenting on a Facebook post my wife made. It was a picture of my S and his girlfriend. OM commented “cute couple.” Nothing outrageous or anything, but it angered me because it involved my son. As far as I know, our kids don’t know about OM, or the extent or my wife’s issues. They’re involved in their own lives, as they should be at their ages (college). I may be extra sensitive about this kind of thing since my parents were unfaithful to each other and I swore my kids would never have to endure the kind of shame and embarrassment that I did. I want this dude a million miles away from my kids. But I think any betrayed spouse would be annoyed.

I expressed my concern to my wife but I got the predictable “you’re over-reacting” and “you’re being critical and controlling” response. I don’t know that the conversation accomplished much, but it was the most healthy and calm conversation we’ve ever had about (ex?) OM. She has had no in-person or phone contact with OM for over a month now as far as I know, and it seems to me that the fog she was in is at least getting a little thinner. She showed me a text he sent saying "I miss my friend" and how she didn't respond. She’s talking about talking to a priest and about going to confession, she’s drinking less and keeping her spending under control. Of course, talk doesn’t mean much without actions. And she could have just become a better liar and the other shoe could drop any day. No expectations!

One of my biggest challenges now is emotional fatigue. Even though my wife can be adversarial, she is also more needy than she used to be. I’m tired of giving her the support and reassurance she never gives me. I’m doing more things on my own (hobbies, professional development, etc...) but when we’re together she wears me out. I guess I should be happy that she’s clingy for me, but still...

Another challenge is that I’m having a harder time not being interested in other women. I’ve lost over 20 pounds since BD, and I’m getting a lot more flirts directed my way than I used to. I’m not interested in any kind of fling, but I sometimes find myself thinking that it would sure be great to be with a woman who is nice to me for a change. I’m still standing, but I’m feeling the effects of a year of living with this replicant the aliens left when they abducted my wife.

But in general I think after one year things are more or less trending in a good direction even if they’re moving slowly. I’m working on getting more of a life for myself and letting her work through her crisis without adding to it. Just controlling what I can control and not worrying too much about fixing what I can’t. Sometimes I feel a little like I did parenting teenagers: like it’s all about minimizing damage until they grow up.

When I’m on this board I understand how mild my situation is and how lucky I am. I see some of the crazy things MLC spouses do and it makes me realize how much worse it could be. So many of you deserve purple hearts for what you’ve been through! Thanks for listening to my petty grievances. 

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2017, 02:47:46 PM »
Lovely to hear from you PJ and good to hear you sounding positive/hopeful but without those pesky expectations. I can certainly relate to emotional fatigue. My H is not needy at all - quite the opposite - but the drain of staying light and casual takes its toll in a similar way.

Feel free to let it all out here - there is lots of support just waiting for you, and never feel you have to minimise the severity of the MLC, because the impact it has to a large extent depends on our reaction to it. Some people are more affected by certain behaviours than others.

Make sure you do take time for yourself to recharge and enjoy the attention from other women as the compliment it is. You know you are standing and you know the values you have in your heart. I expect you also know how to behave in a way that lets women know you are flattered but not interested.

Keep posting PJ
MLC started May 2014
MLC H moved out September 2018, divorced same time
Glossary: BH = Bad H, GH = Good H, TH = 'Teenage' H

Still going!

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2017, 05:24:27 AM »
Just a quick update as my time with an official mentor is almost up. (Thanks OP!)
I am not going to die and I normally continue to check up on my mentees although at this point some of them are mentors themselves.

As far as another relationship - I will impart this bit of wisdom.

Best to not enter into another relationship until you have left this one and I suggest you grieve it for at least one month for ever year you have been in it.

So wait until at least 2 years past your divorce before you start a new one.
It gives you time to heal and increases your odds of success.

Their are many things to learn and I suggest you use the time to understand all of them.
For if not you are likely to continue to repeat your mistakes until you do learn the lessons that you are suppose to learn.


Keep posting

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2017, 12:32:31 PM »
Thanks for the advice OP. Glad you'll still be checking on me. I'll keep posting.

Even as I try to avoid expectations, I still have hopes for the marriage I'm in. I guess time will tell, but I've got long way to go before I give up on it. 

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2017, 01:01:22 PM »
Even as I try to avoid expectations, I still have hopes for the marriage I'm in. I guess time will tell, but I've got long way to go before I give up on it.

My point was directed at this
Another challenge is that I’m having a harder time not being interested in other women. I’ve lost over 20 pounds since BD, and I’m getting a lot more flirts directed my way than I used to. I’m not interested in any kind of fling, but I sometimes find myself thinking that it would sure be great to be with a woman who is nice to me for a change.

And I guess my further point is that you can see how easy it is to have an affair when your spouse is not meeting any of your needs.

LBS's are no different that MLC'ers  in this regard.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2017, 03:30:03 PM »
Thanks. I see your point. I didn't express myself very well.

I didn't mean to imply that I would have an affair or that I want to. But you're right, it would be much easier to fall into a PA or EA now than it was before now that my needs (like kindness) aren't being met.

Online OldPilot

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2017, 04:32:40 PM »
I am not accusing you of that - just pointing out how easy it is and giving you the MLC'ers point of view.

More food for thought.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts (now with Round 2!)
« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2018, 09:10:49 PM »
Well, I'm back. After about a year of things s-l-o-w-l-y improving and getting to a tolerable-to-ok marriage, I find out my wife has been exchanging sexually-flirtatious messages with some guy a thousand miles away that she met playing online video games. From what I can tell, she's never physically been in the same state as this guy - it's all online.

The emails go back about 3 weeks, which was when started acting sneaky and suspicious again (drinking a lot and hiding her phone). Sunday she left her email open on the computer when she went to bed. So I read her exchanges with this guy. Same deal as 2 years ago: exchanging sexy (but not nude) photos and them telling each other how awesome/brilliant/beautiful/handsome they are. "You're cute." "I heart you." High School level stuff, really.

I confronted her about it, and this time she actually broke down and cried and said she was sorry. She seemed to express genuine remorse and told me that there was something wrong with her and that she needed help. She slips into fantasies and can't get out. She called a counselor for IC.

Aside from the trauma of the situation and the PTSD of reliving her EA from 2 years, I actually feel strangely positive. It seems like she's made progress in that she now at least accepts responsibility and isn't minimizing or deflecting. Or am I just fooling myself?

Not sure how many more of these I can take, but for now I'm back to mirror work and detachment. I'm sad because we were starting to get close again - I almost felt like I had my wife back.

I suspect this kind of cycling is pretty common. Any advice from those of you with live-in MLC spouses? Abandon expectations, I suppose.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 09:15:42 PM by PJ Ames »

Offline Anjae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts (now with Round 2!)
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2018, 12:40:48 AM »
Aside from the trauma of the situation and the PTSD of reliving her EA from 2 years, I actually feel strangely positive. It seems like she's made progress in that she now at least accepts responsibility and isn't minimizing or deflecting. Or am I just fooling myself?

I don't know. Maybe you are fooling yourself, or maybe your wife has made progress and she is just doing a sort of Replay re-do. Time will tell.

I suspect this kind of cycling is pretty common. Any advice from those of you with live-in MLC spouses? Abandon expectations, I suppose.

The cycling is normal. Going back into Replay behaviour is also normal. Don't have a live-in MLCer, but the advise is the same, let go of expectations. And keep looking after yourself.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline Thunder

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2018, 03:08:51 AM »
PJ,

I'm glad your W has admitted to the fantasy life and realizing she needs help.
Once they get too far into it that fantasy obsession, it's very hard to stop without professional help.

I would just encourage her if she says she will talk to someone.  You can't make her go but you can agree it's a good idea.

Other than that all you can do is take care of yourself and try to detach as much as you can and have no expectations.
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Offline Treasur

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #48 on: November 15, 2018, 03:20:24 AM »
And up your self-care
I think there is a sinking feeling of despair and exhaustion when something returns that we thought we had moved past, and that can do a number on our wellbeing imho.
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

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Offline 9393roo

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #49 on: November 15, 2018, 05:31:17 AM »
Hi PJ,

Just my 2 cents here.  My H has never left and had a separate fanatasy life much like your W.  He kept one foot in our marriage and one foot out.  He had an affair, texted other women, went out drinking and was an all around party boy.  He was able to do it all in another town that he had business in.  It went on for 2 years with him disrespecting our marriage, our family and our lives.  It wasn’t until I started backing off, getting my own life and throwing up boundaries that things started to change.  Last July I finally completely dropped the rope after finding text messages to a flight attendant.  I made him move out of our bedroom and I stopped being his wife completely.  No laundry, no cooking no sharing any part of my life. 

It took me a while to realize it but my past marriage was gone.  I mourned its loss for what used to be but realized it had turned into something I didn’t want.  At this point my H panicked and decided he needed therapy.  I believe this too was a turning point for us and hope it is for you too.  I didn’t help him find a therapist as I would have done in the past.  I made him do it all on his own. Today he is proud of this fact. 

PJ it’s been said on here so many times that the only person you can control is yourself.  I find this truth more and more everyday.  I’m happier with me, I stand up for myself and I let my H and others know if I feel disrespected now.  I can’t stress enough that you need to turn your back and let your W figure things out for herself.  Save yourself first and everything else will change.
Husband 53
Me 53
Kids 3 sons 27,25.22 1 daughter 18
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 30 years.  Together 32
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.
He is working on things and far from being cooked.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2018, 02:30:59 PM »
Thank you Anjae, Thunder, Treasur, and 9393roo.

It seems pretty clear to me today that I let myself re-attach before she was fully cooked. Very frustrating because she seemed so much better. I really thought we were starting to come out the other side - and in less than three years. Oh well.

One note I haven't shared here. BD #1 happened not long after she was diagnosed with osteo and psoriatic arthritis. She is taking the aging thing very hard. She also had a hip replacement a few months ago. For about 6 months before surgery she was walking with a cane. I took time off from work to stay home with her after surgery and take care of her. I did all the housework, driving, shopping, etc.. for quite a while. We spent a lot of time together I felt like we were really close.

For a while after her surgery she used a walker and then a cane. Now that I think about it, it was probably hard for her to relive her wild and reckless youth when she was using a cane to get around! EA #2 started shortly after the time she started walking normally and finished Physical Therapy. Probably not coincidental.

For now I'm working on me again:exercising, reading, walking the dog, spending time with friends.  Re-detachment. (Ow!)

Thanks again for the kind words and good advice.

Online Rosetintedglasses

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2018, 03:16:04 PM »
PJ Ames

Just caught up a bit on your story and wanted to make sure you have read BBHelp’s thread. His W was live-in MLCer, she also went back to replay when he thought they were getting close again and they are now fully reconciled and they renewed their wedding vows a few weeks ago.

It must be tough thinking you are getting through it only to find those messages. Even the thought of it makes me feel sick!

Sending you strength
Rose 🌹
Married 15+ years with 2 children
BD1 - Sept 2016
BD2 - May 2017
ILYBINILWY - June 2017
PA with MOW Mar 2016-Jan 2017
EA with same MOW Jan 2017 until ?
Left home Oct 2017 to stay with his parents

Offline Anjae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2018, 05:27:15 PM »
It seems pretty clear to me today that I let myself re-attach before she was fully cooked. Very frustrating because she seemed so much better. I really thought we were starting to come out the other side - and in less than three years. Oh well.

Don't beat yourself up. It is impossible to kn a MLCer is really better and ready to fully moved forward, or when they seemed ready, are must better, then go back inside the fog/regress.

Now that I think about it, it was probably hard for her to relive her wild and reckless youth when she was using a cane to get around! EA #2 started shortly after the time she started walking normally and finished Physical Therapy. Probably not coincidental.

Maybe not coincidental, but who knows. On the other hand, it is quite impossible to lead a wild eckless youth relievd life when walking with a walker or a kane. She probably felt old and ill, and know that she is feeling better, though she needs to recover on "lost time".

For now I'm working on me again:exercising, reading, walking the dog, spending time with friends.  Re-detachment. (Ow!)

Excellent. As you know, there is nothing you can do for her wife. She has to live her crisis. But there is a lot you can do for you.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline 9393roo

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2018, 07:19:38 PM »
If there is any bright spot? In all of this I would take away the fact that your W is ready to start addressing some issues with an IC.  Like I said before I THINK that may have been a turning point for my H.  His concern for me and our marriage seems more genuine than it has in his past cycling. I have been up and down and sideways with all of his behaviors.  I have attached and detached so very often. I don’t trust anything anymore. I try to find my own peace in this madness and keep marching forward. If your W actually follows through with IC, I would take that as a positive sign and encourage it.  I wish you well. 
Husband 53
Me 53
Kids 3 sons 27,25.22 1 daughter 18
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 30 years.  Together 32
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.
He is working on things and far from being cooked.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2018, 09:36:43 PM »
Just caught up a bit on your story and wanted to make sure you have read BBHelp’s thread. His W was live-in MLCer, she also went back to replay when he thought they were getting close again and they are now fully reconciled and they renewed their wedding vows a few weeks ago.
I did read BBHelp's thread! It was really encouraging. A little flicker of hope really helps! Thanks also to roo and Anjae. Knowing that there's someone out there who can empathize with me means a lot.



Offline 9393roo

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #55 on: November 17, 2018, 10:39:19 AM »
I think Anjae might be on to something with picking up where they left off after an illness or injury.  Last spring my H had a scare with what we thought might be a brain aneurism. His replay settled down completely and he became kind and caring and we faced all the tests together.  He was given a clean bill of health and immediately jumped right back into replay.  I was distraught and felt used only for giving him comfort when he needed it. 

These MLC spouses are on their own timelines and need to face their issues completely.  I’m slowly learning that too.  I do see changes in my H for the better almost everyday now. I take them at face value and move on.  Don’t know if this helps but thought I would share.
Husband 53
Me 53
Kids 3 sons 27,25.22 1 daughter 18
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 30 years.  Together 32
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.
He is working on things and far from being cooked.

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2018, 08:54:08 PM »
Thanks Roo. Your husband sounds a lot like my wife. I do think the health issue may be relevant.

My wife was almost completely her old self for a couple of months after her hip replacement surgery. I was thinking we were past the worst of her crisis. But after she recovered and got her energy back, she went right back into replay and OM #2 entered the picture. And OM #1 came along right after her arthritis appeared in the first place.

Maybe it's tied to fear of aging and/or fear of death? I don't know. I wish I understand better so I could prepare for what's coming. But whatever the cause of her crisis, it's hers. I have to remind myself to keep working on myself.

Offline Anjae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2018, 06:39:40 PM »
Maybe it's tied to fear of aging and/or fear of death?

For several MCLers, yes.

But whatever the cause of her crisis, it's hers. I have to remind myself to keep working on myself.

This.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2018, 06:51:24 PM »
I think I have a Wallower on my hands!

Here's why I'm thinking this. After OM #1, my wife totally deflected and minimized the whole EA. "We're just friends," "Why are you so critical and controlling?" "I said I'm sorry once - why can't you get over it?"

But after OM#2 (a total only fantasy alienator- he lives in another state and they started messaging each other via a video game), she has gone to the opposite extreme. Wallowing in guilt and shame. Withdrawing from me because she's embarrassed. "You're a better person than me, PJ." "I'm empty inside." "There's something wrong with me."

In other words, the bachelorette party is over and the pity party has begun!

From the list of attributes of a low-energy MLC, she has met every attribute except moving out of the bedroom. Nice to know I may have that to look forward to!  :-\

Attributes of Low-Energy MLCers (https://loveanyway.theherosspouse.com/midlife-crisis-and-infidelity/low-energy-wallow-lifes-pity-party/)
Fantasy Affair
Emotional Affair
Workaholic
Work may become an alienator
Overt Depression
Less Monster
Crisis may seem milder
Suppressed anger and rage
Move out of the marriage bedroom


Offline Treasur

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #59 on: November 26, 2018, 11:58:53 PM »
Can't imagine how draining it must be to live with a Wallower.
My only thought is that depression can be contagious so please look after your own mental health, pj. Figure out some small things you can do which make you feel better...exercise, a hobby, doesn't matter what...but you need to make your health a priority when life is hard.
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

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Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2018, 03:08:32 PM »
Treasur,

Yep, it's exhausting. But I think a high energy monstering type might be worse.

I've been exercising like crazy. It helps lift my mood and makes me physically tired so I can sleep better. It's the best therapy I've found. Plus my cholesterol and blood sugar numbers are great! So there's one good side effect of my wife's MLC!  :-\

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2018, 12:16:41 PM »
As of today, I am officially separated. Temporarily at least. My wife has been talking about spending a few days airing out her head helping her friend (female friend who is great) fix her up new house (a real fixer-upper). She finally decided to go through with it and let me know she will not be coming home after work today. She now says she's planning on coming home on weekends and will be back for good on Dec. 19. If she follows her plan we will spend about 10 days apart.

I neither believe her nor disbelieve her. It wouldn't surprise me if she came home tomorrow and it wouldn't surprise me if she never came home at all.

She's been talking about this for a while, so it's not a surprise. I think in some ways it might actually be good for her to step away from the situation and to do some manual labor.

On the other hand, I find it incredibly selfish to leave me at a time when I need her the most. It also seems like an escalation in putting distance between us.

In one way, I feel a bit relieved. It will be nice to have some time at home for myself to rest, exercise, play guitar, etc... It will be nice to not walk on eggshells for a while.

She also starts counseling tomorrow. Finally. Her plan is to go see her IC for a while and then transition into marriage counseling. I'm trying to be as supportive and encouraging as I can.

Any advice from the veterans on how to handle a "temporary separation?"

Offline Anjae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2018, 02:16:01 PM »
Any advice from the veterans on how to handle a "temporary separation?"

One day at a time and without expectations. Hope she returns December 19. Be prepared in case she does not. MLCers change their mind and it is impossible to know what she will decide.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2018, 04:14:42 PM »
Thanks Anjae. I keep telling myself "I've been through worse."

Also, "if I expect nothing, I'll be grateful for everything."

So far today I'm having good moments and not-so-good moments.

Online Rosetintedglasses

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2018, 04:20:01 PM »
PJ

I think time apart is normally a good thing with MLC, for the LBS at least. You will be able to breathe.

I was worried a bit when you said ‘it’s a time when you need her the most’ as for now you can’t lean on her for anything. It’s not good for you or her, she’s too fragile and can barely look after herself. Come on here and lean on us to help you and find other ways, running maybe or IC, to help yourself as that is how you will get the inner strength to deal with this.

Glad you like her female friend.
Enjoy this time apart and be kind to yourself

Rose 🌹
Married 15+ years with 2 children
BD1 - Sept 2016
BD2 - May 2017
ILYBINILWY - June 2017
PA with MOW Mar 2016-Jan 2017
EA with same MOW Jan 2017 until ?
Left home Oct 2017 to stay with his parents

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2018, 04:58:43 PM »
You're absolutely right, Rose. I can't lean on her for anything. She has a habit of running away after she hurts me, which I find even more hurtful than her EA and online affair. But you're right.

Reading what I wrote I can almost hear myself singing "Cause youuuuuuu left me, just when I needed you most." Ugh. Now I'm wallowing!

I'm going to start writing a short story tonight. In my present scatter-brained condition, I'm sure the first draft will be horrible. But I think it will be healthy for me. I've been working out every day. It helps.

Thanks!

Offline Anjae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #66 on: December 07, 2018, 02:00:24 PM »
Reading what I wrote I can almost hear myself singing "Cause youuuuuuu left me, just when I needed you most." Ugh. Now I'm wallowing!


Wallow away. That is also what your thread is for.

I'm going to start writing a short story tonight. In my present scatter-brained condition, I'm sure the first draft will be horrible. But I think it will be healthy for me. I've been working out every day. It helps.

Writing a short story is great. Don't worry if the first draft will be horrible. Working our does help.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2018, 07:59:42 PM »
Thanks Anjae. I've made some progress on the story. The main character has a wife who is in MLC. Writing about what I know about, I suppose.

This will probably be one of those things where I write a raw draft now and come back to it in a few years when I'm not so close to the situation (I hope!). But it really helps to try to find some material to make something creative out of this madness.

I think working out is helping me wear out my body so I sleep better. I slept 6 hours straight last night! The anxiety of this temporary separation (almost two days down, 8 to go?) is so much worse for me than the pain of her EAs. The uncertainty of it all is a struggle.

In other news, my wife had her fist session with an IC today. I didn't ask her about it at all, just told her I realized how brave she was for taking such a difficult step. Hopefully it helps her. At least now she's talking about things rather than just ignoring the proverbial elephant. Personally, I had kind of acclimated to navigating around the elephant. Finally starting to deal with things is dangerous!


Offline Anjae

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2018, 11:08:44 PM »
Good luck with the story.

Finally starting to deal with things is dangerous!

I guess it is. Hope the IC is able to help your wife.

8 days to go is not much. Most of us have a MLCer who has been gone for years. But, we've also had plenty of time to get used to it.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline Treasur

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2018, 03:19:37 AM »
Hope writing is cathartic, PJ.
Good news on the sleep front too.
Yes, the uncertainty and sense of limbo is hard whether for a few days, weeks or months. Or years as Anjae says.

How can you use the next 8 days to top up your own batteries?
And out of interest, as you mentioned encouraging her about the IC, are you initiating contact or is she? Most folks say it is helpful in these kinds of spaces for you not to initiate any contact at all, just respond if she does and follow her tone. It's an awful temptation to try to hold on and grasp at the old connection, I know, but maybe if you do there's risk that this bit of space won't work as well for either off you?

Easier if you don't have kids of course, can't remember if you do?
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

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

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2018, 03:18:40 PM »
Thanks Treasur. Definitely hoping to use the low-drama time to charge my batteries. I slept for 8 hours straight last night. I feel like Superman today. Or at least a human.

She's called me each night so far. We just talk for a few minutes. I've been keeping it light.

She actually came home for the day today. She says she plans to stay the night and go back to her friends house tomorrow afternoon. She just took my daughter shopping so I had a chance to jump on here. We've had a really good day - Christmas shopping, decorating the tree. No relationship talks at all.

Yes, we have two kids. They are college students. They technically live with us, but they are both very busy with work, college, social life, etc...  As far as they know, my wife is just helping her friend fix up her house. We may have to have a discussion with them in a week or so, but for now, it's not an issue with them. They know my wife has started counseling as well.

Offline Helpingme!

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2018, 03:44:06 PM »
Catching up PJ. 
How are you doing my friend?
My kids don't have a clue of MLC. I've never said a word. Few months my W was in IC, I covered for her if boys ask where she was.
Just seeing how your doing?

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #72 on: December 12, 2018, 09:52:12 PM »
Thanks for checking in, HelpingMe!

I'm doing pretty well. Better, I think. The anxiety of the time leading up to the separation was worse than the separation itself.

And my wife now says she is coming home tomorrow, which is earlier than planned. When I talked to her on the phone tonight she said she can't wait to get home. She sounded really tired. I think sleeping on her friend's sofa has not been as much fun as she thought it would be. Imagine that.

My son is graduating from college on Saturday and my mother is coming in from out of state for the graduation and staying for a few days, so things will be pretty hectic around the house. (But not as stressful as your Christmas!) My wife and I probably won't have much of an opportunity to discuss things before she leaves for a 2-day work trip next week, but that's OK.

My wife has her second appointment with her IC Friday. She's excited about it. We'll see.

I'm definitely not happy about the separation, but I feel like I've survived more or less intact. Just trying to ride out the storm.

Offline Helpingme!

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #73 on: December 13, 2018, 06:54:47 AM »
Good to hear W is coming back early.
I've said many times I wish my W would leave awhile and give me a break. But that's me talking, she never left. I'd probably feel otherwise if she did leave.
I hope yall have a good weekend.  Its good to stay busy. No time for talks is a good thing imo.

Online Rosetintedglasses

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2018, 06:59:27 AM »
No time for talks is a good thing imo.

Agree with Help, light and polite is the best way. It’s really important.

Rose 🌹
Married 15+ years with 2 children
BD1 - Sept 2016
BD2 - May 2017
ILYBINILWY - June 2017
PA with MOW Mar 2016-Jan 2017
EA with same MOW Jan 2017 until ?
Left home Oct 2017 to stay with his parents

Offline PJ AmesTopic starter

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Re: Seems kind of mild in comparison, but it still hurts
« Reply #75 on: December 13, 2018, 08:34:02 AM »
Rose - "light and polite" is a great model. I'm trying to make it less stressful for her to be home than to be away.

Helping - the break from her drama was nice. My anxiety came from a fear that she was creating space to take her EA to a PA. I'm pretty sure that didn't happen. Her friend really made her do manual labor in exchange for room and board (yay Wendy!) I was also concerned that she would enjoy being apart more than being together. I think seeing me (especially seeing me hurting) reminds her of what she did and makes her feel guilty. Some day she'll have to face up to the both her EAs and her escaping and avoiding, but that day is not today.

I hope that your fruitbat never leaving will be one less obstacle on the road to reconciliation.

 

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