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#2074205 - 09/11/10 01:33 AM The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Originally Posted By: LanceSijan
I have been trying to find more information about the ending stages of MLC. Especially the breaking of withdrawal and acceptance stages.
Lance has brought this up on another thread. I think he has a very good point so, I thought I would start a new thread for discussion of the final stages of MLC.

This is Cyrena's reply to Lance...
Originally Posted By: Cyrena

I also noticed (and regretted) how little information seemed to exist about the final stages. In retrospect, however, I think I can understand why. Withdrawal is so internalized that my H barely talked to me during it, and I think he couldn't really remember it well once his depression lifted.

Also, Acceptance probably looks more different in different people than the other stages, because this is when issues are finally being addressed. But these issues vary greatly.

In addition, in those last stages my H was cycling so fast and so dramatically that no plan, emotion, intention, etc, lasted long before it was replaced. In the space of 5 minutes he could say and do a bewildering number of contradictory things. Even into Acceptance he would have regular dips into thinking with his teenaged brain for several months. But he was also in withdrawal from the OW at the time, which no doubt added its own issues.

I don't think you're going to find a "script" for breaking withdrawal and acceptance in the same way you can for the earlier stages. All you can do as an LBS is take care of yourself so that you are prepared to deal with whatever happens.

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#2074216 - 09/11/10 02:16 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Upside Offline
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Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Cyrena-
Is there any more detail you can add about "my H was cycling so fast and so dramatically that no plan, emotion, intention, etc, lasted long before it was replaced. In the space of 5 minutes he could say and do a bewildering number of contradictory things."?

I am 3.5 years post bomb with no known OW. After anger and replay which lasted a little over a year, my H and I started spending more time together, even went to counseling. So, for the next year and a half, I did my best to DB but eventually knew my H was cake-eating and gave him a deadline to move home. He couldn't and I broke off communication. Six week later he told me he missed me, I was his best friend and wanted to move home. I gave him 3 more months and he still couldn't so I told my H (an attorney) to file the D papers which he did supposably because I forced him. That was 3.5 months ago. Recently my H has been emailing me at texting me telling me he misses me and still loves me. We met for a short time last night and he told me all kinds of wonderful things (if I believed them) including he wants to try to move home, he doesn't see spending the rest of his life without me, he misses being part of my life and my kids lives, etc...I tried ask questions to get a more specific direction from my H but he avoided answering most of those. When we left the restaurant we were at, I figured we were going to be able to talk a little more outside however my H basically just gave me a quick kiss and said "I'll call you tomorrow". I have not heard a peep from him since. I am not surprised but all this makes me feel like I am losing my mind...like I just imagined everything my H said because if he truly meant it, he certinly would be following through and attempting to spend time with me. That is what a rational/sane person would do if they meant all those things they said...right??? The bottom line is that I really can't invest anymore emotions into a relationship without the follow-through. Our D is filed and scheduled to be final on Dec.19...everything is done and agreed upon. I have no intentions of stopping anything unless I see a true change for the better in my H. Unfortunately, if I see any change in my H, he is less consistant that he was before we filed the D papers.

I guess I'm just curious to know if others going through the final stages of MLC have acted the same way? Cyrena's descripton does sound like it could possibly fit.

Wonka-If you read this, I would love to hear your take on it.

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#2074223 - 09/11/10 02:56 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5138
This is something posted to me during my wife MLC that might help.

Originally Posted By: Heart Blessing
During these final three stages; Depression, Withdrawal and Acceptance, the LBS, starting with Withdrawal has an opportunity to "re-balance" the relationship with proper boundaries, the finishing of their growing, AND the enforcing of said boundaries. By the time, the MLC'er reaches the stage of Withdrawal, the LBS should have a good handle on themselves, their emotions, and should be strong enough to handle whatever happens, understanding enough to let go of the outcome, and leave it in the hands of the Lord who knows ALL things.

In this process, THESE LAST THREE STAGES(Depression, Withdrawal and Acceptance) is where the MLC'er learns the SAME lessons the LBS learns, and the MLC'er learns these lessons THROUGH the LBS actions TOWARD the MLC'er....as the LBS is the staunchion, or the pillar of strength..the "lighthouse" if you will...they are the source of strength that "draws" the MLC'er back.

If the LBS allows the MLC'er to run roughshod over them, in this latter half of the crisis, it will turn into a cycle that loops around and around until broken..and each time it loops, it's harder to break...and it takes MORE time and MORE strength to try and break the cycle each time it's allowed to come about.

If people are disrespectful of and to us, it is because we ALLOW them to be....these things are to be broken in the latter half of the crisis.

In the first half, they are trying to find themselves, and we must give them this space..in the latter half, the connection is attempting to rebuild itself between the husband and wife,(if they make it that far, it should mean, if nothing happens, that they can and should finish together) and it is then the bad habits of a lifetime are broken, and balance restored...they are strong enough in that last half to see the damage they've done, face their issues, and LEARN(I did say, learn) to respect the one who has been there for and with them throughout this crisis.

It doesn't mean the LBS should bully or browbeat the MLC'er, but it DOES mean a stand must be made in order to make the MLC'er understand that enough is enough...go this far, and come NO farther....enforcing that the boundaries laid ARE respected.

I also get the feeling your wife knows EXACTLY what she's doing, do NOT allow her to fool you into thinking she's unaware of what she's trying to force you to do. They do try to play "head games" during the non-facing of their issues when they get stuck, and try to make the LBS think they are going nuts, and the MLC'er uses that to try and force the LBS to back off when push comes to shove.

Just so you know, it does NOT always happen this way, this "pushing" of the MLC'er only occurs when they get "stuck" in the facing of their issue or issues.

I wish there was another way, but I'm not seeing one...this seems to be the only way to go, Cadet, according to what I'm being shown.

Push her, Cadet, and push her HARD..it MUST needs to happen for her to come forward in this...whether she brings this up or you do...you'll need stay in it and with it until it's done, and over with, no backing down of yourself....regardless of what happens.

I'm praying no one will be there except you and her when it happens, as this will be between the two of you, and involves no one else.

This is totally up to you and no one else, the door is wide open at this time, but not for long.

I may post some more about this later, but HB lays it out there to see.
_________________________
Me-60, D27,S26

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#2074317 - 09/11/10 11:57 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cadet]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
Upside,

Great idea! Thanks for starting this thread. I'll be reading along.

My best to you,

GAG

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#2074387 - 09/11/10 03:17 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Cadet-
Thank you so much for sharing HeartsBlessings post.

Quote:
They do try to play "head games" during the non-facing of their issues when they get stuck, and try to make the LBS think they are going nuts, and the MLC'er uses that to try and force the LBS to back off when push comes to shove.
This is exactly the way I feel right now.

My H is definitely stuck like a scratched record and there is a part of me that still believes that if I just give him a little push to continue on, he will eventually work his way past that scratch...but the scratch just comes up again with the next revolution.

My H told me the other night that I did the right thing by kicking him to the curb because it has made him realize what he is missing. I just don't get it. Does he really mean what he says or is he just a big fat liar? I just don't get it...and I don't get why it is bothering me.

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#2074394 - 09/11/10 03:30 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: Upside
Does he really mean what he says or is he just a big fat liar? I just don't get it...and I don't get why it is bothering me.
I don't think he is lying.
I beleive he means it, but this end process is so slow.

I have been trying to think of what else to contribute to this thread but so far I haven't come up with anything.

I am still working on it.

Good job starting it! smile

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#2074403 - 09/11/10 03:54 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5138
I found another post about stirring th pot that happened a few weeks after my first post:
Originally Posted By: Heart Blessing
Whatever you decide will be all right, yet, to show you both sides of either path you could take; if you keep stirring the pot, it will shorten the time spent with Withdrawal. On the other hand, if you decide to continue with things as they are; the time will lengthen; as she is definitely "holding" out on you; until she is forced within to face herself.
The LORD, taking over FOR you, will cause this to happen, and you won't have anything to do with it; you'll just be along for the ride, and time WILL be added on, as it will take her LONGER to come through. How MUCH longer, I do not know, as His time is not mine or yours. But she must needs to come on through, one way or the other.

You will see things, (if you decide to continue as you are, and things get turned over into the hands of the Lord), that will raise questions, and you will be allowed to ask about what you are seeing; as it won't make sense to you at the time it's happening. You will see the battle begin in earnest within her; and it will not look right, smell right or taste right, once again. It will NOT let up until she's moves through into Acceptance.

Now, how long it will be before the Lord takes over, I do not know, either....He is more or less, waiting on you to decide on how you want to go; and it seems you're thinking it would be better to take this route, and that is ok with Him.

What I get most definitely, is she won't leave either way this goes, whatever decision you make; it's past the time she could have left you.

The advice is to stir the pot hard again, but, remember, it's up to you. And this time, I will be unable to tell you HOW to stir the pot; you already KNOW the issue at hand that's prominent within her. I cannot give you anything else in the way of instruction; I would be repeating myself; you've already GOT all you would need for this.

In closing, I cannot tell or even order you in what to do, but this is all food for thought; as, although things are not stuck, exactly; she is taking her sweet time; and fighting what is coming for her....somehow she KNOWS it's coming, but keeps bypassing it; mostly likely, because it is a HARD step to take for her.

The "bypass" she keeps taking, though, will end, one way or the other.

I know it's awful; you think you've got a handle on it, and along comes HB, and stirs the pot, LOL! Well, you DO have a handle on it, Cadet, and your patience is nothing short of amazing, and you've done well thus far.

Keep me posted on what happens as it happens; as I'm still here for you as you may need me; I know I'm to stay with you for awhile, yet.

FWIW, you won't "fail" if you decide to go the route you are on, currently; the decision is yours; I'm just here to point out the SAME alternative that I pointed out once before AFTER your confrontation with her. There are Pros, Cons, and "what ifs" to each step of the journey, but He is working within and behind the scenes; and is with you and for you every step of the way, Cadet, remember that.
_________________________
Me-60, D27,S26

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#2074460 - 09/11/10 07:03 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cadet]
dolphin_05 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 1432
Thanks to all for sharing this information.

Cas

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#2074543 - 09/11/10 11:56 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: dolphin_05]
TRUSTING Offline
Member

Registered: 11/03/07
Posts: 2549
GOOD STUFF
_________________________
Me: 46 H:44
Together: 25 years
Married: 20 years
Separated: 11-30-06 Divorced 12-21-07
OW: EA began 2005
PA began end of 2006
3 children,20, 16, 6
ex asked for forgiveness
01/16/11


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#2074545 - 09/11/10 11:58 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: TRUSTING]
irishblessings Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 1319
I am wondering - and I'm sorry if this is repetitious - but for those of us just starting in this separation with an MLC and no contact - is what you are describing following a "dark" period or have you been together? Just wondering if the advice would differ
_________________________
M-48/XH-48 M=25/T=28 years
Ds-24,22/S-18
D - 3/11
A Day at a Time

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#2074586 - 09/12/10 06:37 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: irishblessings]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: irishblessings
I am wondering - and I'm sorry if this is repetitious - but for those of us just starting in this separation with an MLC and no contact - is what you are describing following a "dark" period or have you been together? Just wondering if the advice would differ
IB you sound confused by what was written by HB.
Lets try to review what has been written, it is a good question.

HB wrote the 6 stages this is an excerpt from withdrawal stage
Originally Posted By: Heart Blessing from 6 stages
During this time, they will NOT communicate with ANYONE, not even their spouse, as they are drawn so far within, no one can reach them. They MUST be allowed to continue, with NO interruptions, just like before-they will NOT come out until they are READY to come out.

Just like in Depression, they want to left alone, still processing their issues and the damage they have done to their spouse and their lives, and they make several decisions during this time concerning their lives, job, and marriage. But those WON'T be known UNTIL they break Withdrawal and talk to their spouse the first time

They are still secretive, somewhat asserting their privacy, much like a teen-ager, but during this time, they must be gently but firmly led along, and only when the time is right-a wrong word at the wrong time will cause them to "stick" within the tunnel.
What cadet quoted is a contradiction of the instructions that HB originally wrote. See bold highlighted above. You only follow the contradiction when the MLC'er is STUCK in the tunnel during WITHDRAWAL STAGE.

If you do it at some other time when they are not stuck you risk driving them deeper into the tunnel.
This is why this is a difficult concept to grasp.

IB for you this is information to file away for possible future use, it is not something that you want to think about now.
You are reading up on advanced MLC class. Do not try this at home without parental supervision. LOL!

I hope that clears up what we are writing about. Just to further clariy. Upsides H is stuck in withdrawal and needs to be led home by the LBS'er just the way HB wrote in the original 6 stages. But the leading is a little bit different than everything else that we have learned. I guess it is part of basic DB'ing - "Do what works".

Does anyone else have any questions?

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#2074588 - 09/12/10 06:51 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: Snodderly
Also, while this reconnecting is going on, many of us will begin to feel anxious and the need to begin applying pressure towards them, i.e, in making a decision as to returing home. You must find it in your heart and dig very deep to keep your expectations at zero no matter what. They must not sense that you are anxious for them to make a decision. If they sense being pressured, they will run hard and fast right back into the mlc tunnel and it will even take longer for them to feel safe to try again. You must keep your body language in calm and continue to treat them as a friend. This stage can usually last up to a year or longer, depending upon the individual. It goes hand in hand w/acceptance. Once they gradually re-enter reality, and into your life, return home and take up living again, it will take another 6-9 months (approximately) for them to actually feel safe in their skins.
This comes from the TMAK reconnection thread and again explains what the LBS'er must do during this time.
This is all for a "normal" withdrawal and reconnection process.

I would think for most MLC'ers this would be the advice to follow by the LBS.
Part of the problem is that it is such a SLOW process that many LBS'ers become impatient and want to DO something to push the MLC'er through the tunnel. They will only come out when they are ready no sooner.

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#2074736 - 09/12/10 12:38 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Cadet and Lance-
Thanks for the information. When I get the chance, I want to see if I can find more on this site or others as well. I also want to comment on what you have posted and if it ties into my sitch. I'll be back later.

GAG, cas, Trusting, ib and anyone else-Thanks for coming by. If you come across any information about the final stages of MLC, PLEASE post it here.

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#2074863 - 09/12/10 05:06 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Wonka Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 4170
Folks..Upside asked me to mosey over here in BND's thread. I will come back here later...gotta run for a family dinner.

To be continued.... grin

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#2074996 - 09/12/10 10:01 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
Originally Posted By: Upside
Thanks for coming by. If you come across any information about the final stages of MLC, PLEASE post it here.

Upside, I've been following your situation. I can imagine how difficult your H's cycling is on your emotional well-being. You already know this, but it bears repeating.......come here any time to vent. We understand.

I know what it's like to be staring down a D date. Having been there myself I can say with certainty that even if the D happens it doesn't mean that the connection between you and H will be severed. Jody (my DB coach) said that in some situations the WAS needs to feel the decreased pressure that the D affords in order to recognize the depth of their feelings for you. HeartsBlessing has said time and time again, that as long as the WAS is unmarried following a D that there is always the chance of a reconciliation.

I know that you've been at this a long time and this cycling can be emotionally exhausting, so be good to yourself.

I too have been looking for information describing the last 3 stages of late. In my next post I'm going to relate an excerpt from Jim Conway's book.

Best,

GAG

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#2075009 - 09/12/10 10:12 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
From "Men in Midlife Crisis" by Jim Conway:

Stage Five---Withdrawal

Depression may preced withdrawal, or the two may run concurrently. The mani in the withdrawal stage asks, "What is my life worth, anyway?" And he concludes, "Nothing!" So he decides to drop out of life.

The withdrawal stage may take two different directions. He may become the passive hermit ---- "I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to see anyone --- just leave me alon." I've watched this stage in a number o Christian men. Some of these men have been extremely active, setting the direction and tempo for their whole congregations. However, as they enter midlife and begin to ask what it's all worth, they begin to cut themselves off from life. They gracefully and tactfully decline responsibility and drop off boards and committees. They quietly move to the back pews of the church, and in a few months they are out the back door.

Withdrawal will affect a mans contact with friends There never is any time to get together---"It's just not going to work out. But don't worry, we'll do it someday." Withdrawal also makes sharp inroads into family relationships. The husband and wife hardly talk. Contact with the children is minimal. In short, contact with life itself is very limited.

Withdrawal may be very active. A man may decide to withdraw into his work. He doesn't need anyone---he just buries himself in endless business that crowds out all chance for feelings, questions, or reflections.

As in each of the other stages, withdrawal has positive as well as negative aspects. The stages of depression and withdrawal can bring healing by giving a man time to be alone, to allow his frayed emotions to rebuild, and even to allow his body to gain strength.

................The withdrawal stage may last a month or a year. Frequently a man moves back and forth between the stages as he moves nearer to acceptance. He may fall back into depression or may drop back as far as anger. but lapses into earlier stages will become less frequent and shorter. As he faces his issues in each stage, he will grow slowly and surely toward a mature acceptance of who he is and where he fits into life."

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#2075014 - 09/12/10 10:20 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
From "Men in Midlife Crisis" by Jim Conway:

Stage Six----Acceptance

The movement into the acceptance stage is almost unnoticed at first---especially to the man himself. It's like the movement of a wave to the shore. As you look out at the ocean, it's almost impossible to pick out an individual wave. But as it moves closer to the shore, it begins to take form and rises higher and higher. Then the wave curls over, and a whitecap begins to form. The foam shows underneath the curl, and the water from the shore begins to recede as the wave grows in size. As the wave crashes on the shore, you sense its power and majesty. You wonder where the wave was all the time when it was only a part of the ocean. So it is with the man who is beginning to accept himself. At first he doesn't see the change, but increasingly there is an exhilaration---he is moving out of his midlife crisis to a new and productive era.

He begins to see life differently. Only weeks before he had been saying, as the pessimist says about the pie, "Oh, isn't it terrible, half of the pie is gone?" Now strangely, the midlife man begins to view his years optimistically: "Wow! Isn't this great---half of my life is left!"

Now he is aware of his assets and his value. He no longer is a worn-out middle-aged man. Now he is an experienced, able person! He is able to teach and develop the coming generation. He has wisdom and influence. His family and friends no longer are evil people pushing him into old age---they are pleasant companions who love and care for him.

He looks forward to more leisure time, making the creative contribution he has always wanted to. He has a better uknderstanding of his physical body---his real capabilities. Without anger he looks forward to adjusting his activities to fit his real body. Our midlife hero has now moved into what Erikson call the "generative" period of his life. He has become more mellow. He is entering the third settling-down stage. This is the longest stage, and it will be the most satisfying. He will be a very significant, productive, giving man. He has learned to maintain his own individuality, identity, and privacy.

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#2075022 - 09/12/10 10:28 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
From "Men in Midlife Crisis" by Jim Conway:

What if?

The question repeatedly asked of me is, "What if he doesn't make it through these stages? What if he only goes as far as anger, or depression, or withdrawal?" The answer to that question is tragically simple. If a man does not progress through the stages, but for one reason or another stops along the way, then he will probably experience a prolonged period of trauma. He will likely experience recurring cycles of midlife crisis during the next fifteen to twenty years.

As he comes to retirement, he will then be struggling with two stressful developmental stages at the same time---midlife and retirement. At that point he will verbally kick himself---"Why didn't I think about making changes back in midlife, instead of blindly doing the same dumb things for the alst twenty years?"

If he fails to resolve his midlife crisis, then his third settling-down stage following his midlife crisis, which should have been marked by a great deal of peace, will instead be marked by unsettledness and continual anguish. He is similar to the person who never quite makes it through the adolescent transition into young adulthood. That person forever tries to be a teenager. The man who doesn't make it successfully through his midlife crisis will forever try to be a young adult.

A few men whom I have counseled have deeply concerned me, because I was afraid they would not make it completely through all of the stages. Thus far, however, I have only seen a few who have not made it all the way. In later years these men have become angrey that they did not use the midlife crisis time to improve their lives. But the good news is that successful men who make it all the way are more focused, highly motivated, and have a long season of peace and productivity.

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#2075267 - 09/13/10 10:58 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Originally Posted By: HeartsBlessing

You will see things, (if you decide to continue as you are, and things get turned over into the hands of the Lord), that will raise questions, and you will be allowed to ask about what you are seeing; as it won't make sense to you at the time it's happening. You will see the battle begin in earnest within her; and it will not look right, smell right or taste right, once again. It will NOT let up until she's moves through into Acceptance.

Thank you Cadet for posting this. I think this is a good description of where my H is at. I feel like I am getting a clearer picture of the internal struggle the MLCer goes through toward the end of the crisis but I still can't help but wonder how long this whole process takes.

Originally Posted By: Originally Posted By: Snodderly

If they sense being pressured, they will run hard and fast right back into the mlc tunnel and it will even take longer for them to feel safe to try again.
Lance, this has always concerned me because there seems like there could be a fine line between pressure and pot-stirring. I have given my H deadlines and then "forced" the D to be filed. I am definitely stirring the pot but this is also pressure. Ultimately, I do believe I had to do this or my H would have just kept things as they were...but sometimes I do wonder if at some point I helped him get stuck.

GAG-Thank you for posting Jim Conway's excerpts. The "What if?" section concerns me. I wonder percentage are "a few".

Wonka-I am looking forward to your post.

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#2075551 - 09/13/10 04:18 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
Wonka Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 4170
GAG,

This is Wonka reporting for duty! wink

You posed these questions over in BND's thread:

Quote:
I may have missed this info on this or another thread, but Wonka, have you described what happened and what your thought processes were like when you went through Depression, Withdrawal, and Acceptance? If so, would you please kindly refer me to that post? If not, would you please consider sharing that info here?


Depression:

The various levels of depression entered in my mindset from the time of my grandmother's death in May 1999 (the traumatic event that was the harbinger of my MLC) until I dropped the bomb on my XW on her birthday in May 2003.

The depression that resulted from my grandmother's death was two-fold: felt as if I lost my rudder and my ship was aimless. Even more painful was the fact that I was not able to attend her funeral due to work commitments. The funeral was a big deal in my town...she was the family matriarch and all of her grandchildren attended the funeral. Some even acted as pallbearers. I grieved for my grandmother for years and years. I even refused to go to her gravesite even if I visited my hometown during holidays.

The second part of my depression was when my XW and I bought our first house in the Fall of 2002. I felt an overwhelming burden as a new homeowner and feeling responsible for it. There was also a niggling feeling of being hoodwinked. "Eh...so I bought a beautiful home, have a great job, great looking wife (former sorority sister)...how come I don't feel as if I am on the top of the world?" A huge let down in my mind. That set off another mini-series of depression. So coupled this with the on-going grieving of my grandmother...it felt as if I was living in a pressure cooker. I had to get out FAST!!!!

I struggled with the depression and the intense desire to run away from it all. I wanted to be left alone. And yes, I worked longer and longer hours as a means of escape. It was during that time that I developed an EA with my OW. My XW certainly noticed that I was spending a lot of time with this OW and objected to it. But, silly me, I was having none of it! My depression and silly mind wanted OUT. When I came home from work on my XW's birthday....she was expecting a birthday card, dinner...etc.

Instead...I dropped the bomb on her birthday! crazy mad Certainly did not get the BEST SPOUSE IN THE WORLD award ever! I had no empathy or feeling whatsoever. Did all the silly MLC stuff....going out at all hours, coming home when I wanted to....sleeping on the edge of the bed...hogging my cell phone/pager...talking and texting my OW alllll the time.

My fog really thickened from the bomb dropping (May 2003) until it cleared out sometime around March 2004. I was a menace! sick mad

Withdrawal:

I wanted to get the h@ll out of my house and away from everyone. So I increased my work hours as a means of escape and acquired OW. Even contemplated renting an apartment for myself. My contacts with friends and family members pretty much petered off. It was during this stage that I was alternatively nasty and gentle with my XW. It was a lot like Jekyell/Hyde. It was not conscious at all. Unfortunately since XW was near me and my spouse, I yelled at her and was ornery a lot of the time. It was due to the fact that I was experiencing a great deal of discomfort and wanted that feeling gone. Did not know how to cope with it at all. And empathy went downhill!

Yet at the same time....I was encouraged and grateful that my XW was still "there." There were very, very few times when I was affectionate with my XW. These types of affection included just hugs. NO kisses. XW was, bless her heart, kind and compassionate with me throughout my journey. Although I must tell you this: XW was excellent with boundary setting. When she got cross or did not appreciate certain behaviors, she'd let me know in uncertain terms. I listened to her.

The only thing I refused to listen to her was her entreaties to enter MC or even read the book she bought The Relationship Rescue by Dr. Phil. I was not the problem so why should I care? On top of this...I became a LD person. It nearly dropped to non-existent levels. XW confronted me over this aspect and I brushed her off.

Acceptance:

It is very hard to pinpoint precisely when acceptance occurred. In my situation, acceptance came after the fog lifted. I recall when the fog lifted from my brain. It was a lot similar to the Claritin commercials you see on tv. Bingo! The fog seemed to peel off on its own and the clarity was shocking to me. I recall asking..."What happened here? Where have I been?" When the fog went away, I could feel myself again. The old Wonka is back.

In my case, acceptance did not happen overnight. It came gradually and I came to the realization that I am "okay"---and can handle adult responsibilities without feeling the need to be overly burdened. At a subconscious level, I came to terms with my parents' divorce at aged 11. It was never verbalized. But I came to the slow realization that my parents, in all of their imperfections, were wonderful human beings who just could not make their marriage work and it was [b] not my fault at all[b]. I carried an internalized guilt over my parents' M break-up for years and years into my adult years. Like any other child of divorce, I felt that I was responsible for the marriage breakdown and thought I alone was able to save their marriage. frown


Fire away your questions....

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#2075572 - 09/13/10 04:33 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Wonka]
trustingfaith Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 1073
I haven't posted on here in a while but stopped by and this thread caught my eye. My H definitely seems to be somewhere in these final stages and any insight I can get into navigating through it is so appreciated!
_________________________
"Endurance is a testament of love."

Previous thread

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#2075579 - 09/13/10 04:37 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: trustingfaith]
seeking answers Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 2588
Wonka,

When the fog finally lifted and you realized the damage that had been done how did you feel, and what did you do?

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#2075739 - 09/13/10 09:27 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Wonka]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Hi Wonka-
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Each MLC experience is unique but it is so helpful for the LBS to get as much information as possible from the MLCer perspective.

Originally Posted By: Wonka
My fog really thickened from the bomb dropping (May 2003) until it cleared out sometime around March 2004.
How long do you think it was you before you entered acceptance?

Originally Posted By: Wonka
It was during this stage that I was alternatively nasty and gentle with my XW. It was a lot like Jekyell/Hyde. It was not conscious at all.
Did ever find yourself telling your wife something that you sincerely meant and then acted to the contrary? I am trying to understand my H telling me last week that he wants to be a part of my life but then he doesn't contact me.

Originally Posted By: wonka
At a subconscious level, I came to terms with my parents' divorce at aged 11. It was never verbalized.
Were you aware that this was one of your issues and did you have others? Did your issue(s) just resolve themselves or did you have to work through it (them)?

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#2075801 - 09/14/10 12:50 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
There was a poster from a few years back that had gone through his own MLC. He had several names...finally_free, happy_again and happyincognito.

Here is one posting where he spoke about his withdrawal...

Originally Posted By: happy_again
Was there ever a time when you completely withdrew from your W and had not contact for a long period of time?

I think I went about 3 months at one point but i drove by the house a few times and once parked outside the kids school to see them playing outside. you must understand that it wasnt because i didnt love my family or want them i was just so mixed up in my head that each time i went to visit them i would leave feeling so much guilt and anger at myself and the situation.i did think about them dozens of times a day.each time i was out i would see something that reminded me of them a song on the radio Allies favorite coffee or something for one of the kids.there were times when I would call home and if there was a tone in her voice I would take it as her having an attitude and I would berate her and yell at her for making me feel like [censored]. now tell me who in their right mind does that to someone they love?


Here are links to some of happy_again's threads where he posts about his MLC experience... he could be rather loutish but also effective in getting his point across.

I am still running in the other direction

Maybe.................

Finally free is not where it's at

Finally free part 2

FINALLY_FREE IS NOT WHERE IT'S AT PART 3

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#2075861 - 09/14/10 08:32 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
Upside,

Thanks for the links! When I came to the board 2 years ago I stumbled upon Happy's threads. I found them very interesting, printed them out, and read them from time to time............but NOW, in the context of this thread, they are even MORE interesting. Good find! Thanks!

GAG

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#2075863 - 09/14/10 08:38 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
I am finding that advice rather good.

Things I read last year have taken on a different meaning.

Going back and re-reading some things really help you to see it in a different perspective.

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#2075975 - 09/14/10 11:22 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
handlingplanb Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 107
There is also some good stuff from a few years ago in posts by "Favoriteweirdo" and "Butterflymom" aka "BFM." FW very candidly gave chronicle of his MLC after returning to BFM - and he posted after BFM asked that he get on and "help" us WAS's. The sad thing was how many people lashed out and criticized him for doing this.

I'm not techno-savvy or would see if I could post them here......put I bet someone (Lance?) can do it.....I can find them on my old screenname, so if needed with instruction I could give it a shot......
_________________________
"Do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber

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#2075993 - 09/14/10 11:50 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: handlingplanb]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: LanceSijan
Originally Posted By: mentalradio
Can you tell me how to find other posters' messages?
Go up to
MY STUFF
Click on Watch List
Click on Watched Users
Click on Edit Watched Users
Click on Add a user to list
Type in user - "Butterflymom"
Select her as a watched user.
Click on her name
Click on show all posts.
Does this help?


Edited by LanceSijan (09/14/10 11:52 AM)

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#2076246 - 09/14/10 04:58 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
handlingplanb Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 107
_________________________
"Do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber

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#2076248 - 09/14/10 05:00 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: handlingplanb]
handlingplanb Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 107
Anyone know what happened to Jack?
_________________________
"Do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber

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#2076250 - 09/14/10 05:02 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: handlingplanb]
Truegritter Offline
Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 2686
Jack is not posting any more.
_________________________
My goal is to some day be the person my dog thinks I am

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#2076447 - 09/15/10 02:28 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: handlingplanb]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
Just read over all of happy_again / finally_frees posts, and its helped me TREMENDOUSLY. Seeing it from their perspective and what they go through helps understand whats going on in their heads, and thats the part I battle with.

It really isnt something they are very much in control of, although it may seem that way - thats what hurts us, but when we see that they can't control it, we arent so defensive, and rather more accommodating and forgiving than we would have been.

Feeling a WHOLE lot better. I wish there were more post MLC people who would share so generously as he did, it reeeaaly helped....
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2076516 - 09/15/10 09:16 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
handlingplanb Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 107
Pie - I would recommend also reading the posts from Favoriteweirdo - I posted the link above. There is also another thread that I will try to find that included postings from other MLC "graduates." If I find it - I will post it.
_________________________
"Do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber

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#2076520 - 09/15/10 09:20 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: handlingplanb]
handlingplanb Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 107
Ok - I did find it:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1405173#Post1405173

Also if you check out the favoriteweirdo post, check out the other threads he posted to....
_________________________
"Do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber

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#2076635 - 09/15/10 11:44 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Wonka Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 4170
SA,

Quote:
When the fog finally lifted and you realized the damage that had been done how did you feel, and what did you do?


As indicated earlier, my sitch was complicated and convoluted. XW simply gave up on me while I was in MLC and engaged in a long-distance affair with an old college sweetheart. When the fog lifted sometime in March 2004, the clarity was unreal and I could see what was happening in front of my eyes. I did all the anti-DB stuff to XW (crying, begging, etc) which probably made her dig in further with the affair and she moved out of the house in August 2004.

When XW moved out in August...I had a bad case of PTSD. I couldn't eat, lost too much weight too quickly, couldn't sleep, and had nightmares about the OP. Most of the nightmares centered on physical fights with the OP. The PSTD lasted for about 3 months. It was during this time that I finally, for the first time in my life, set a foot in a counselor's office. During MLC, I was having none of the pie in the sky ideas about MC or even individual counseling.

As you probably can imagine, the grieving period was a bit long. Plenty of self-flagelation. frown

It was what it was. And I've moved on.

Upside,

Quote:
How long do you think it was you before you entered acceptance?



I believe the acceptance part did not come until the fog lifted and it was probably prolonged by the fact that I was engaging in anti-DB behaviors toward XW when I clearly saw her affair. That probably did not occur until sometime in the Fall of 2004. I will need to look up the "acceptance" phase as outlined in HB's thread to see how my acceptance progressed.

Quote:
Did ever find yourself telling your wife something that you sincerely meant and then acted to the contrary?


I have no memory or recollection. It is the MLC amnesia and crazymaking talk. It most probably did occur on many, many occasions. However, I do recall making these statements on two separate occasions:

"I am not the bad guy here"

"Something is wrong"

Quote:
Were you aware that this was one of your issues and did you have others? Did your issue(s) just resolve themselves or did you have to work through it (them)?


My parents' divorce had a huge impact on my world view. As a 11-year old, I was "powerless" to do anything and I stuffed a lot of emotions deep inside me. That wound stayed inside for many, many years unexamined and unresolved. I believe my MLC brought on those unresolved issues at the very sub-conscious level. The issue both resolved itself and I did the work. So it was a bit of both. After XW moved out, I flew down to visit my family as I was very traumatized after XW moved out...I used this time to talk with family members and obtained some clarity & closure on my parents' divorce. I had long talks with my Dad about the divorce and for the first time I was able to verbalize the pain it inflicted on my psyche. Also while on this DB site, I saw a recommended book on children of divorce on another person's thread so I bought it and read it. Boy...really had to sit through some deep discomfort with the hard truths contained in the book. It aided greatly in understanding the divorce phenomenon and its effects on children.

Spouses of MLCers,

Based on what I've read here, on my personal experience, and my NG's experience, it seems that the MLC brings to the surface issues that occurred at a very specific time frame in their lives which causes the MLCer to act out that age. For me, I behaved like a wounded 11-year old. Other MLCers may have been parentfied at a young age thus missing out on normal stuff --so they act out those unresolved issues. Others may have married at a young age such as right out of high school.

Often MLCers are in the age group of 35-65. Not always the case. More often the male MLCer acquires an OP/OW while the female MLCer seem to simply withdraws from the family unit. The percentage seems to be higher for the male MLCer to have an OP.

These are the clues to why your MLC spouse acts in certain ways. It was as if the "growing up" process was interrupted and the brainwaves or the memory bank was stuck in gear. I could be wrong...but it seems to be the universal signpost of the MLCer.

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#2076691 - 09/15/10 12:39 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Wonka]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
I'd like to add to your statement about the MLCer being stuck at the point where the damage occurred. HB indicated that the LBS might see several "children" emerging, and I certainly found that to be true.

In my H's case, his mother (who everyone talked about as though she were Mother Theresa) also had a very angry side. When he was young she'd lash out only at him, so he'd take refuge in his (not-so-secret) hiding place, seething with fear and guilt. Once he reached Depression and Withdrawal, some nights my H would lie on the bed looking scared, and sucking his thumb with desperation, looking as though he didn't think anyone could see him. It was unnerving. I strongly believe that was the issue (and age) he needed to revisit and resolve.

At the same time, however, his C identified him as thinking like a 14-year old, and I believe it's quite common for MLCers to be stuck in "teenaged thinking." I don't think this necessarily means that a second sort of trauma happened at that age. Rather, during puberty the brain is completely rewired--but because the MLCer was stuck during an earlier stage of development, the rewiring isn't properly done. And, sooner or later, any faulty wiring is going to cause a huge conflagration!

To get beyond the teenaged thinking, the C worked with my H to recognize the difference between what his teenaged brain was telling him ("Why shouldn't I have an OW if I want one?") and what his mature brain thought, and how to keep switching back to the second one. It was a HUGE battle for H to get to the point where his mature brain was fully in charge, and he felt so proud of himself for fighting the addiction of listening to the teenaged brain.

It must have been 6 months after beginning Acceptance (if that started with him saying he wanted to work on our marriage) that H shook off most of his teenaged thinking, and became happier and more affectionate. Several months after that he began talking about some aspects of what he'd done, and recognizing how and why they were wrong. Perhaps a year and a half after that he said he needed to fully forgive himself for all the hurts he'd caused me, and then stop carrying the issue around with him.

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#2076708 - 09/15/10 12:53 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
2gthrButApart Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 335
Quote:
Often MLCers are in the age group of 35-65. Not always the case. More often the male MLCer acquires an OP/OW while the female MLCer seem to simply withdraws from the family unit. The percentage seems to be higher for the male MLCer to have an OP.

These are the clues to why your MLC spouse acts in certain ways. It was as if the "growing up" process was interrupted and the brainwaves or the memory bank was stuck in gear. I could be wrong...but it seems to be the universal signpost of the MLCer.


So what are the options at this point?
_________________________
M:28 H:30
DD-9| DD-7| Baby- Due 11/10
T-14 | M-8

10/08- Bomb
4/09- Failed attempt at Marriage Fitness Program
3/10- WH moved out.
7/10- Informed me he's filing in Aug

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#2076715 - 09/15/10 12:57 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: 2gthrButApart]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
For the options, I believe that those who complete their crises become fully integrated, mature human beings. Those who do not remain angry at the world forever.

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#2076791 - 09/15/10 02:10 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
My rule of thumb became, as long as H was still addicted to the drama, he wasn't "done." During Replay, there was the drama of reinventing his life (new clothing looks, new hobbies, new sportscar & motorcycle dealers to hang out with regularly) and of the OW (oh she was wonderful! Oh he felt guilty! And wasn't he a hero for "fixing" her unhappy and drama-filled life!). There was also drama whenever he came home and started yelling at somebody (though he claimed that everyone else just caused him to be upset; he wasn't angry until....). He had various scans at the doctor because he had aches and pains that he was convinced were the beginnings of dangerous health conditions. He adored gossip.

At his Awakening, there was a flurry of remorse and intense nightly talks with me, and then a break-up with the OW. During Depression the drama became a lot darker--even if everyone else could get over withdrawal from and OW in 3 weeks to 6 months, what if he was NEVER able to get over her? What if he felt that miserable for the rest of his life? Should he drive his car into a tree on the way to work? He secretly started seeing OW again, this time being picture-perfect jolly Dad doing fun stuff whenever he was with us, because he hoped he could find a perfect balance while keeping both OW and his family.

During Withdrawal, he hardly talked to me, but had intense talks with OW about all his drama. He confided all his woes regularly to a young female co-worker, and even shared all his woes with a boss well known for being the biggest gossip in the industry.

During the first year of Acceptance, he still had periods when he'd talk feverishly about the need to move to another country, buy that sportscar or reinvent his life in some other way, and I knew he was doing some more processing. Sometimes the physical pains and the woe-is-me attitude would also reappear. Phonecalls would begin with, "Is anything exciting happening there?"

However, the more he became like "his old self" and the more satisfaction he was taking from his life, the less he seemed to need drama. Has anyone else noticed this?

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#2076913 - 09/15/10 05:53 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Wonka Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 4170
ButApart,

Quote:
So what are the options at this point?


For LBS: Unhitch your wagon from the MLCer . Let go. Treat him/her as a roommate with issues. Think back to how you interacted with your roommate/housemate. Did you worry about his/her actions and how you would respond to them? No. Likewise with the MLCer.

Make your own life plans. Do not let life be "suspended" by the MLCer. Continue with your activites and especially surround yourself with friends & family for some levity! MLC is a real drag! crazy

For MCLers: The journey must continue without outside interference UNTIL acceptance and integration takes place. As Cyrena eloquently stated in her posts, MLCers need to resolve their issues on their own terms however long it may take. If they were like me, we don't like being told what to do or not to do. It was a painful time for us (yes...we feel internal pain) despite outward appearances of "living it up" with the OW/OM/OP. The exception would be if your spouse has a NPD.

The integration process is essential to returning to full emotional maturity and re-engaging in the marital relationship along with family members. I was very fortunate. Snodderly's XH seems to be a rarity...still "stuck" even 10 years on. It sems to me that he exhibits an extreme unwillingness to work on his issues or resolve them.

Cyrena,

Quote:
Should he drive his car into a tree on the way to work?


In my case, it was the guardrail on a fairly busy highway. My mind was so befuddled thatfor a brief split-second contemplated driving into a guardrail head-on. It was a scary time for me.

MLC Spouses,

Don't read too much into the timeline of bomb dropping. Some occur at the very beginning of MLC and others near the end of the MLC. All are dependent on how far the MLCer has struggled with internalized pain and confusion. For me, my MLC started in 1999 and I struggled and struggled. When it all became too much, the bomb dropping occurred without ceremony or any forewarning in May of 2003.

For an onward integration process, it appears that the average lifespan of an MLC is 3 to 5 years. The key to pinpointing the time your spouse's MLC started is when the actual traumatic event took place. That should be a good yardstick in terms of gauging the average MLC journey.

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#2076922 - 09/15/10 06:11 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Wonka]
punkin Offline
Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 1969
Loc: Arkansas
O...M...G!!! Wonka! I didn't know what NPD stood for so I googled it, and found Narcisitic Personality Disorder. It describes my H to a T

He is/can be an excellent soldier, father, husband, but it given to bouts of grandiosity; must be admired at all times.

So what did you mean by "the exception would be if the spouse had NPD??
_________________________
ME: 54
Him: 51
M: 20 years T: 21 years
OW/New wife: 36
Sons & Daughters: 7 (ages 24-36)
Bomb: March 4, 2010
He Filed: April 28, 2010
I Contested: May 1, 2010
Standing Down: 11/24/10
Divorced : 05/04/2011

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#2076926 - 09/15/10 06:17 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: punkin]
Wonka Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 4170
Feeling internalized pain, Punkin. Seems to me that most NPDs are not prone to nor capable of empathy or given to introspection. The world is at their service. I hope this clears things up for you in respect to pain and NPD.

Caveat: I am not a therapist so I could be off the mark here.

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#2077215 - 09/16/10 10:30 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Wonka]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
gag and Lance-I agree that if you periodically go back and read posts you can gain new understanding from them. Trying to understand MLC, at least for me, has been difficult...you do gain new understanding as you move through this.

pie-happy_again's posts really helped me as well.

hpb-Thanks for posting the link to Favoritewierdo.

Wonka-

Originally Posted By: Wonka
I will need to look up the "acceptance" phase as outlined in HB's thread to see how my acceptance progressed.
If you get the opportunity to do this and share your thoughts, it would be so appreciated. As I say, we all know that each MLC experience is unique but there are still similarities. Your perspective is so helpful in giving us LBS's a clearer idea of what our spouse is going through.
Originally Posted By: Wonka
These are the clues to why your MLC spouse acts in certain ways. It was as if the "growing up" process was interrupted and the brainwaves or the memory bank was stuck in gear. I could be wrong...but it seems to be the universal signpost of the MLCer.
So during your MLC, did you feel like you were stuck as an 11 year old kid or did you feel like you matured during the process?

Originally Posted By: Cyrena
To get beyond the teenaged thinking, the C worked with my H to recognize the difference between what his teenaged brain was telling him ("Why shouldn't I have an OW if I want one?") and what his mature brain thought, and how to keep switching back to the second one. It was a HUGE battle for H to get to the point where his mature brain was fully in charge, and he felt so proud of himself for fighting the addiction of listening to the teenaged brain.
Do you think your H could have made it through without the help of a C?
Originally Posted By: Cyrena
My rule of thumb became, as long as H was still addicted to the drama, he wasn't "done."
This is something that all LBS's should remember. Also, their words mean nothing until their actions back them up.

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Don't read too much into the timeline of bomb dropping. Some occur at the very beginning of MLC and others near the end of the MLC. All are dependent on how far the MLCer has struggled with internalized pain and confusion.
This is interesting because I always thought the bomb was toward the beginning of the crisis. Wonka's seemed to be nearer to the end.

punkin-Do you think your H has NPD?

Everyone, thank you so much for the posts. This is some great information. Please keep it coming.

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#2077315 - 09/16/10 12:30 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Upside, I've often wondered what would have happened if my H hadn't seen a C. Certainly, he was making some progress without one. He didn't tell me a lot of what he discussed with the C, but he did say, "I should have done this years ago!" The counselling seemed to resolve a lot of issues for him. Even though the C told my H, "I don't believe there is such a thing as a MLC," he did diagnose him as being depressed, work on his childhood issues like physical abuse from his mother, help him do grief work for his mother and others who had died, teach him to engage his mature brain, explain how the relationship with the OW was a fantasy (and gave him a deadline to decide between us), teach him how to handle withdrawal from OW as if from any other addictive substance, and get him to take a family-first stance at work. I'm sure it would have taken a LOT longer for him to get through all these issues without professional help, because he'd never been given the tools he needed before.

I considered myself to have been bombed on the day of H's Awakening, when I finally got him to admit he'd been staying in another town regularly not for work but to spend time with OW, and that he was glad I finally knew about it, and that it wasn't really a "friendship" he had for her.

However, his actual bombing (the closest he came to ILYBNILWY was the day he 4 months later told me that "something was missing" and maybe he should move out. He claimed that since he'd met OW, he didn't have feelings for me, and was sure he wouldn't get them back because the day he met me he stopped caring about his highschool girlfriend, and broke up with her and never cared for her again.

The odd thing was, he'd broken up with his former girlfriend a good 2 to 3 years before I met him and was quite ready for another relationship. Because I could see how confused he was in his thinking about that, the actual bombing seemed likely to me to involve a certain amount of confusion as well.

This bomb was somewhere in his Depression stage, about 3 1/2 months before he decided to work on the marriage. These were also the months of intense C for him. As Wonka said, the timing of the bomb can vary a lot owing to personal circumstances.

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#2077417 - 09/16/10 03:27 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
Is it possible that they get this NPD thing in MLC and then go back to normal after ?
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2077420 - 09/16/10 03:32 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
fisherman Offline
Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 4034
Originally Posted By: pie
Is it possible that they get this NPD thing in MLC and then go back to normal after ?


Many of them do have a ton of similarties of NPD.

Yes, it's possible. The ones that do make it out can return to normal.
_________________________
Don't stand still.

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#2077434 - 09/16/10 03:51 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: fisherman]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
After my H had been tunneling away for several years I started thinking, "How sad that I never realized how selfish he was BEFORE we got married." Later, I read lists of "Controlling Behaviours" and "Passive-Aggressive" traits, and saw that he was exhibiting pretty much every one.

However, post-tunnel, he's not exhibiting these traits. It was his depression which led him to behave in these ways, rather than a permanent mental disorder.

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#2077440 - 09/16/10 03:57 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: fisherman]
beatrice Online
Member

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 2120
I have had many discussion with others off these boards about NPD and MLC. It seems that some personality disorders are learned responses. MLCers certainly exhibit the signs of NPD and other non-empathetic behaviours, and my therapist, having met my h, thought he had a borderline personality disorder.

FWIW I think they hold it together for a long time. Snodderley talks about 'masks' and [looking back over my marriage] that this was certainly correct for my h. The borderline personality traits, carefully held in check for 10, 20, 30 even 40 years, seem to take over. Others have called it Jekyll and Hyde, where Mr Hyde gets into the driving seat

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#2077441 - 09/16/10 03:58 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
kissak Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 3525
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Cyrena
"something was missing"


My H has said this same thing every time he has left. What are they looking for????

Seems like your H has a smart counselor actually trying to help him. My H's counselor basically just sits there and listens to what ever he wants to talk about and how it made him feel. I have not heard him mention anything about figuring out his issues from the past.
_________________________
Kissak

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalms 56:3
M-37 H-37
S-10, D-15
M- 1993
First bomb- 12/23/06
Came and went too MANY times!
Gone again 10-25-10

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#2077454 - 09/16/10 04:17 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: kissak]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Yes, the more I read, the luckier I realize I was in getting such a wonderful C. I found out later that the C had also had an EA earlier in his marriage, and had learned and grown from that experience. I think it really helped H to feel connected to the C--that he wasn't judging him for what he himself had also done.

As for the "something missing," I think it was his personal happiness, or a sense of peace. Until he accepted that he was not responsible for his mother's beatings, he felt a guilt that "overlaid" the guilt he felt towards me. He described a strong internal feeling of pushing me away ... so obviously there was going to be something missing in his attempts to connect with me.

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#2077461 - 09/16/10 04:32 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
kissak Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 3525
Loc: USA
I wonder about my H's childhood with his own mother. She was an alcoholic and his parent divorced because of that when he was very young, maybe 4. He was raised by his dad and stepmom (who has always been very hard on him, favoring her own children more). He would only see his mom 2 months out of the year. She didnt really come back into his life until we had our son back in 2001. Now, she has all of a sudden disappear again. We havent heard from her in almost 2 years. I know there are stories of him looking for food at neighbors houses for him and his brother when he was just a kid because she would be out with some guy or just passed out drunk. I wish he would open up to the counselor about all of this. Alot he wont even talk about or I wonder if he even remembers. His stepmom as told me most of what I know about his real mom.

I feel like this has alot to do with things.
_________________________
Kissak

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalms 56:3
M-37 H-37
S-10, D-15
M- 1993
First bomb- 12/23/06
Came and went too MANY times!
Gone again 10-25-10

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#2077464 - 09/16/10 04:45 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: kissak]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
What a sad story--it sure sounds like a good basis for a MLC. Was there a trigger for the beginning of his crisis?

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#2077466 - 09/16/10 04:47 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
Originally Posted By: Cyrena
Until he accepted that he was not responsible for his mother's beatings, he felt a guilt that "overlaid" the guilt he felt towards me. He described a strong internal feeling of pushing me away ... so obviously there was going to be something missing in his attempts to connect with me.

Cyrena, I don't quite understand what you wrote above. Would you please clarify?

I always felt that XH projected anger toward me that he really felt for his (alcoholic) mother. Wondering if what you wrote about guilt above might apply in this situation.

When my XH left he said that he felt "trapped" and that he was leaving because he thought he'd been happier when he lived alone before we met. This sounds like the "pushing away" that you refer to.

GAG

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#2077477 - 09/16/10 05:14 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Often when we get upset about issues as adults, we're being triggered by emotions we felt (but didn't know how to deal with) as children. For example, when I was a child I was molested by someone I loved and trusted. So, when my H (who had promised to love and cherish me) had a MLC and an OW, part of the misery and isolation I felt was actually caused by the abuse. Once I'd dealt with the abuse, and learned to distinguish what emotions were caused by the abuse and which by my H's betrayal, it was easier to feel empathy towards my H, and to stop feeling so isolated and GAL.

Similarly, my H had suppressed all his negative emotions towards his mother: guilt for "causing" his mother's rages, coupled with a desire to protect himself and fend her off. After he entered his MLC, if I got upset about something, he'd put up his hand as if to fend off blows from me: he'd started seeing me as the parental figure who he needed to fend off. At the same time, it was hard to separate the guilt for what he was doing to me from the guilt he felt towards his mother, because it caused such an overwhelming gut feeling of needing to escape. It was purely emotional, not logical.

It sounds to me as though your H's situation is quite similar. How did he speak about his mother when you first knew him? Was he able to express that anger, or did he act as though it had been no big deal, etc?

The pushing away does have to happen--they do need to get back to the place where they deal with their emotions on their own.

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#2077484 - 09/16/10 05:24 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Quote:
When my XH left he said that he felt "trapped" and that he was leaving because he thought he'd been happier when he lived alone before we met. This sounds like the "pushing away" that you refer to.
My H told me that he had never really lived on his own before and needed to have that experience. crazy I think he was 32 when he married his first wife! He certainly wasn't living with his parent until then.

My H seems to have multiple issues (some control, a little hypocondria, definite mortality, possible identity, etc...) going on but I'm not sure if they all stem from one source that appears he has never been able address. I wonder if he was able to some how deal with the underlying issue, then would his road blocks be gone and he could move forward? Can issues like this only be identified and worked through with C? It sounds to me the if someone continues to avoid the underlying issue, they will he remain stuck. Is this true?

I really have no idea what my H's underlying issue is. Childhood issues are always discussed here but as far as I know, my H had a fairly normal childhood...however he has acted very teenager-like during the crisis. My H's parents did divorce when he was around 19-20 but??? I can't help but feel there was some issue with my H's mother because he would always talk very fondly about his father but hardly mentioned his mom. I guess only he can figure it out.

It seemed like my H was gaining such clarity and coming toward me...now he hit a wall and ran away again. From what it appears, he is stuck in withdrawal and no nearer to acceptance. frown Oh well, on with my life.

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#2077493 - 09/16/10 05:37 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Originally Posted By: Upside
[ I wonder if he was able to some how deal with the underlying issue, then would his road blocks be gone and he could move forward? Can issues like this only be identified and worked through with C? It sounds to me the if someone continues to avoid the underlying issue, they will he remain stuck. Is this true?


It's my impression that a C is not absolutely necessary to the process, but that having one certainly speeds things up. I'd agree that anyone who continues to avoid the underlying issue will remain stuck.

On the positive side (if it is positive), the fact that he entered the tunnel at all is a sign that at some level your H knew he couldn't continue on as he was, but needed to make changes. From my own experience, the agonizing part is bringing yourself to the point where you can actually open your mind enough to look at the hurt with a view to putting it behind you. Once you've determined not to let it affect your current life any further, somehow it shrinks in significance.

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#2077497 - 09/16/10 05:40 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
Originally Posted By: Cyrena
From my own experience, the agonizing part is bringing yourself to the point where you can actually open your mind enough to look at the hurt with a view to putting it behind you. Once you've determined not to let it affect your current life any further, somehow it shrinks in significance.
I'm sure that is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Just when I think I'm past it, it can rear it's ugly little head!

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#2077501 - 09/16/10 05:50 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Exactly, Upside! When I think how many months (years?) I was unable to look squarely at the concept of not being married to my H. Then one day I screwed up my courage, really thought about it, detail by detail, for several hours--and realized I'd be just fine. That's all there'd ever been to it, but the agony I'd been through getting to that point! I guess that's exactly where a C comes in handy, to take you to the places you don't want to go.

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#2077992 - 09/17/10 03:21 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
Can anyone tell me how they go from being depressed to replay? Lance had told me he thinks my H is in replay. I've been going through this for 22 months now.

Just in March, my H was talking about dating again etc. then a few days later he texted me and said he didn't think it would be a good idea.

Other things happened......then all of a sudden in the middle of May he tells our D13 that he will read my texts but not respond. It was out of the blue.....I had NO idea why or anything.

Now he is taking ADs, getting involved with D13s school work etc. But all of this week has not contacted her at all. And he was talking to her every day just last week, and was with her last weekend.
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2077997 - 09/17/10 03:30 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Goodfight,

The MLCer tends to go into a depression when some catastrophic event occurs. What HB and others have described, and I witnessed firsthand, is that first they are in a numb stage of denial, then they start lashing out in anger for almost a year, and next they reach the Replay stage your H is in. The Replay tends to last 2-3 years, so you can probably expect your H to be there some time longer, before he reaches the stages where he begins to work on his issues.

Try not to read anything into your H's contradictory actions. He is very confused at the moment, to the point that it is often difficult to function, or to remember what he's been saying. The best you can do, to weather this storm, is to take good care of yourself, and become the sort of person you most admire. And to show love to your children.

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#2078000 - 09/17/10 03:36 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
Truegritter Offline
Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 2686
Goodfight

Are you trying to watch through the oven door while your husband bakes?

You are trying to figure this stuff like it fits into some kind of linear formula.

I like what Snodderly said one time:

He's nuts plain and simple.

Seriously. You have been here long enough. Is it not going to plan?

I have been guilty of this too. And you know what someone told me?

Stop watching.

Stop waiting.

Live your life.

Just be.
_________________________
My goal is to some day be the person my dog thinks I am

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#2078027 - 09/17/10 04:18 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Truegritter]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Goodfight,

I second everything Truegritter has written!

If you're interested, Google an article titled Seratonin: From Bliss to Despair, by a Dr. Carver. It outlines the chemical changes, leading to behavioral changes, which occur during a depression. The article helped me to understand why it was useless to try to read anything in my H's MLC behaviour, so that I could detach.

Remember when your kids were tiny, and all you could dream about was having a little kid-free time to yourself? Right now, you've got some of that time. The people who emerge the strongest after their partners' MLCs are those who actually use the alone time it gives them to the fullest.

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#2078442 - 09/18/10 10:19 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Wonka Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 4170
L-E-T GOOOOO!

You have zero control over what happens with the MLCer. You need to make your own plans with friends and family who will boost your spirits. Heck...why not take up a belly-dancing class just for the fun of it! smirk

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#2078448 - 09/18/10 10:40 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Wonka]
punkin Offline
Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 1969
Loc: Arkansas
I would love to take a belly dancing class. He11, I'd like to take a lot of things but my husband has left me with all the bills. So, living in a small town with limited resources, just for the fun of it is going to have to be home grown. No, not THAT home grown. Although now might be the time to take it up.

126 pounds and holding! Don't need the munchies.

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#2079425 - 09/21/10 01:59 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: punkin]
Upside Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 2234
heartsblessing posted this on my thread but I thought there was a lot of good information here so I wanted to share it on this thread.

Originally Posted By: heartsblessing

To answer the question you had about "how long does this take?"
This is MY answer:

As each person is different, each crisis is different. What one will do another won't do; and it takes TIME for each person to come through, depending upon the issues of each individual.

Looks to me, from what I'm reading currently, he wants to start over again with you, Upside.
Before, if I recall this correctly, this declaration had come through his counselor; now, he's saying it directly to you...and that's something different; plus the way it should be.

It takes a great deal of courage and strength for the MLC'er to come forward; and confess they want to make a new start with the LBS.

And even then they are STILL afraid, and extremely nervous; much like the "squirrel" Lance speaks of.

There is a real fear within them, fear that they won't meet your expectations, or even become the man they know you would want; the one who would meet your needs.

I dealt with my husband, as he was afraid and nervous....he did cycle back and forth within the tunnel as he was trying to come out, and not long before he came out, he finally asked within himself and got the answers that were within him all along.

If you really think about it, it would have been much easier for him to find someone else who had not suffered all the damage the LBS has suffered; so I've got to admire your husband for wanting to start over with you.

It takes more strength to come forward like this, than it does to walk away; and he could have done that, Upside; considering all that's happened between you.

Yes, I've read your thread, and caught up with it, AFTER I read the thread you'd started about the stages from Withdrawal to Acceptance.

When you gave up and moved forward with your life, this simple action seems to have brought him forward TOWARD you.

This is yet another possibility that can happen; as you let go, moving forward with your life, the MLC'er sees you moving forward without them, and they run to catch up...you are, in essence, leaving them behind.

Granted it doesn't work in all cases, but allowing for human nature, most of the time it does.

Now, the decision lays within your hands; it's up to you, it has always been up to you; you can stop this anytime you want to, it's YOUR life, and no one else's.

Anytime you decide to take a chance, it's always scary. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and there is always hope as long as you love your husband.

The damage he's done is something he will have to face within himself; if he hasn't already faced some of it, and in time, as the two of you continue to move forward together, he will need to talk to you about what has happened to him.

It was very hard for me when my husband wanted to try again with me, and as each day passed, it seemed that this would never end, but it did.

Different things came out at different times, and he beat himself up terribly....I listened to his pity parties quite often, validating his feelings; right or wrong, he had a right to what and how he felt. I supported him in the best way I could by just being there, and sometimes, he still would pull away at times...but I KNEW it was HIM, and not me.

No one can tell you what to do or how to do it; your intuition will guide you, if you allow it to, and I do NOT have any real time frames on how long it takes for them to come totally though.

From the time my husband broke and recommitted, it was 8 months before he exited the tunnel, and he still tried my patience sorely many times before then.

The issues they face are ongoing; some are faced before they recommit, some are faced as they move forward toward the end of the tunnel.

They may talk about it, they may not; and they may talk bits and pieces...and you may NEVER hear it all.

But-- as long as they settle their issues, and make the positive changes that allow them to become what God meant for them to be, that's really all that matters.

You must reach acceptance, forgiveness and healing for yourself; your husband cannot help you with that; you must do this on your own, just as he must finish on his own.

It's a long, hard road, when you're rebuilding a shattered marriage, but it can done. I know, I was there, right along with my husband; the possibilities were endless, and it seemed, at times, a daunting task for both.

And it took some time to rebuild trust; and I found, as time went on, the love between us strengthened, and became a different, stronger kind of love; one that would last our whole lives through.

During that time, I was called upon to bridge the gap between us, and it wasn't easy; as he processed his issues, I had to dig even deeper for patience, even as I often wondered if we'd be in there, forever.

But, we weren't.

When your eyes have been opened to the growing process, you don't stop growing after the MLC, you continue to learn and evolve and mature even more as you grow older; and your spouse does the same, right along with you.

Time is something you have at this point; continue to use it wisely; one step at a time, one day at a time.

Above all, trust in God to help you through, as, really, He knows more about the future than any of us could ever hope to know.

So, you keep letting go, letting your husband take the lead, don't get discouraged, and don't give up.

Best keep what you have, as you know him..it was termed to me as "better the devil you know, than the one you don't", as starting over with someone else can be fraught with problems...each person has their baggage they carry with them into relationships; it's something to think about, when you consider ending your marriage for whatever reason.

I was there, too, and had to really look hard at what I was doing before I decided to keep what I had.

No, I'm not "back"....I was here searching out some of my older posts earlier, and this post caught my eye....when I read it, I realized what was happening and figured you needed some more encouragement today.

When it comes right down to it, people can give all the advice in the world, but you are the one who has to live your life; no one can live it for you.

And you know your situation better than anyone else does; you're in it; others are not there with you, seeing what you see.

The decision to try again or not, is up to you, and no one else.

May God be with you and your husband, as you both begin to attempt the journey into unknown territory, Upside.

My prayers are with you, as they have always been.

Much love,
HB

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#2079596 - 09/21/10 12:27 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
Cyrena,

Thanks for your help. I'm just like Punkin though. I have very limited resources. I'm already working one full time job and a part time one and still not making ends meet.

I would love to go out but don't have the funds to do so or I would join something.

Anyway, thanks to all that responded to me. My biggest problem is that I know for a fact his family does not know what H is going through, they haven't contacted me or the kids through this whole thing. They are also pushing him to file for D and don't want us to reconcile.

I found out through a friend of mine that H is afraid if he tries to work our M out the family will disown him and that is his biggest fear. He is afraid to try to work on our M, because if it doesn't work out he won't have anyone (me and kids or his family). My H has always been like that, he doesn't want to be alone at all.

This is what I'm afraid of in the end of his MLC if he is a MLC'er. H has suffered from depression off and on for the past 13yrs. So that's why I was thrilled when I heard he went to the Dr. and they told him he needed antidepressants and he actually got them. Thinking it was a sign that he was finally seeing his issues. But then like his sister and mother told him, he doesn't need counseling like the Dr. told him he has his family and he told them that's what he told the Dr.

I thought the MLC'er doesn't like to be controlled, but he lets his sister and mother control him. Has anyone ever heard of a family being in the middle like this instead of an OW?
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2079607 - 09/21/10 12:49 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
GAL activities do NOT have to cost money.
There are lots of things that you can do that are FREE.
Open your mind and look around and you can come up with dozens of things.
Check the library, community center, fire house, church, hospital, school, scouts or other civic groups.
You can go to town meetings, court, school athletic events, and I am sure I am leaving out lots of other things.

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#2079690 - 09/21/10 02:49 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
MrBond Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/08
Posts: 10609
The MLC'er doesn't want to be "controlled" by their LBS. The feeling of being "controlled" is only an excuse for them feeling unhappy. They feel that they don't have control over their feelings and need someone to blame. So when they look around, lo and behold, who is the closest one to them? The LBS. Don't pay any attention to that. In fact, call him out on it if he brings it up again. I did it to my W and magically the idea she was being "controlled" went away. They have to face the fact that THEY are responsible for their life choices. Not you or anyone else.

"I found out through a friend of mine that H is afraid if he tries to work our M out the family will disown him and that is his biggest fear."

Perfect example. He's being disowned anyway so why would working things out be any different? In fact they would probably be respect him more for showing an effort.

Don't let the "control" talks get you confused. You aren't controlling the sitch. He is.
_________________________
M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

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#2079759 - 09/21/10 04:04 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: MrBond]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Mr Bond, I'm guessing you were dealing with a non-MLC spouse? I believe they use "control" as an excuse to get away with bad behaviour. With the MLCer, I found, the problem was that he had been controlled, abusively so, as a child. But until he was ready to face up to the fact his mother had treated him so unlovingly, it felt unconsciously "safer" to put the blame on me. But that didn't mean he didn't genuinely feel a trapped child's need to escape from control, just that he couldn't tell where that feeling was coming from.

Goodfight, if your H is ever going to come out of his MLC, he will first need to recognize that it's the control of his own family members which he resents. If he manages to take his life back for himself and firmly relegate them to an appropriate position for the FOO of an adult, only then will he be able to complete the task of growing up as an independent man.

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#2079764 - 09/21/10 04:16 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
MrBond Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/08
Posts: 10609
Cyrena, my W is deep in MLC. Mentioned the EXACT same "control" issues. In fact, it's a fact in both scientific and public publications that "control" is one of the mitigating reasons why MLC'ers accuse their LBS of. True there may be things that happened in their past that they was out of their "control". But that's just it.

It's the mature understanding that you can't control other people and that you can only control your own actions, is the thing that MLCers refuse to acknowledge.

Nobody goes into an A or does something that is truly against their will. In the end, it's a personal decision.

So say for example if your H treated him unlovingly. Then it's his responsibility to get that resolved. But for him to blame it on an LBS "controlling" him because his mom did...it's not taking personal responsibility. It's turning blame/shame/pain/etc. onto someone else. There is no excuse for that.

Look at all the people who have actually emerged from the fog of MLC. Once they looked at their own actions and how they had hurt others, they learned that they had control all along.
_________________________
M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

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#2079795 - 09/21/10 05:01 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: MrBond]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Mr Bond, I totally agree that the MLCers need to learn, in the end, that they can control only their own actions.

When children are abused, the emotional, fight-or-flight part of their brains shuts down, and if they are too small to fight, they learn to "play dead" or give up control. Years later, when their brains slip into depression, they misfire when giving feedback on where the threats of control are coming from.

When my H came out of his MLC, he accepted that his mother had unfairly beaten him, and that I had not tried to control him. He was able to take personal responsibility for his EA, etc, because he was had come out from his depression and had matured. HOWEVER, as long as he was in "the tunnel" he was so confused and fogged out that no matter what anyone said to him, he could not see the truth. He literally could not see anything except from his own distorted reality. That's why I'm so surprised that you told your wife you weren't controlling her, and she immediately believed you.

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#2080251 - 09/22/10 12:16 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
Cyrena and Mr. Bond,

Thanks so much for your input. I think Cyrena is right though. My H's parents are divorced and are remarried to other people. This happened over 34 years ago. My H is the youngest of 4. He was always pushed around from parent to parent. The other 3 wanted to be with their mother and no where near their father even to this day.

Anyway, no matter what was going on my H would stop doing what he was doing or what we had plans to do to do whatever his step-mother and father wanted him to do and same goes with his mother and step-father.

A long story short, when H left his father's house at 18 and moved back in with his mother his father stopped talking to him. We got married years later and his mother pushed for it, I was the best thing that came around. I had a 4 year old S and was D'd. Then around 1 1/2 years later H wanted to adopt my S, and he heard his mother and sister talking about it and where throwing a fit! So needless to say he stopped talking to his mother after he told her off.

Then he makes up with his father, and they claimed to love me and the kids (we had our D13 by then) so much. So his depression hits, I didn't see it coming and he flips out and I have him removed and first place he went was to his father's. It was like it was all planned. I called pharmacy and H was 3 1/2 weeks behind on his refill for AD's so I told the step-mother this and she says prove it, blah blah blah. So I prove it, but she rules every thing and every one. Her own D34 says she has always been like that, so they take H in and take control of his life.

After 6 months they set him up in an apartment about 1 mile away from them and he lives there for 3 months and realizes (I think), that they really don't care about him because they weren't coming to see him or anything. So next he makes up with his mother and moves closer to her and now everyone is involved in our M.

D13 says his mother is just as bad if not worse with the way she treats H. She tells him what to do and when to do it. I just get a kick out of MLC'er's saying LBS's controlled them and all along it was someone else, in my case it was H's mother and step-mother and he's still letting this go on.

Like Cyrena said, I guess there is nothing I can do to make H see all of this, and he will have to find out on his own, if he ever comes out of it. I'm just praying that the AD's work and the fog starts to lift and H starts to see his way back to his family, not the family that raised him!
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2080280 - 09/22/10 01:05 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
What I don't get in my sitch is that Snodderly wrote about how MLC comes from the way they were treated as children. My H wasn't treated the best or even near the best by either is mother or father but ran to them when he hit MLC........that part confuses me because I know H and he would never sit down and tell either of his parents how he felt as a child or feels now. He is a man and is deathly afraid of his father.
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2080292 - 09/22/10 01:16 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
I think I might understand what's going on, Goodfight. Your H's needs were not met when he was a child. But he was too young and inexperienced to be able to address it. However, he was left with feelings of, "A real family would ... run to each other when they're in trouble," or whatever he might have told himself.

A MLC develops when a hurt person is unable to confront the truth about their past. In your H's case, actually recognizing, admitting and working through all the hurts done to him seems (to his depressed mind) like a terrifying process which would tear him to pieces.

So, instead, he tries to prove to himself that his family is actually perfect--look, I can go to them when I'm in trouble. They must love me, because they give me advice (or whatever his issues are). I understand how he feels, because after I'd escaped from the person who molested me as a child, I too tried to convince myself that he was a friend--I tried to remake the relationship with him to something that WAS appropriate.

In the end, however, I felt so much rage I had to acknowledge the original hurt, an then work through it. I hope that your H gets to the point where he is strong enough to stop pretending as well.

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#2080318 - 09/22/10 01:45 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
Thanks Cyrena so much for explaining it to me. Also, thanks for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to tell people what you went through.

I hope you are right as far as my H getting to the point where he is strong enough to stop pretending also.

Do you think that my H is suffering from a MLC? I often wonder if it is a MLC or just a terrible depression because of his illness of being depressed many many years.

His step-mother I believe talked him into leaving (I only threw H out thinking it would be for a day or two) because he was up there 5 days before all of this happened.

Oh, and this friend that I'm talking about thinks that H will get fed up with both of the families telling him what to do and will tell them off once and for all.


Edited by Goodfight (09/22/10 01:46 PM)
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2080345 - 09/22/10 02:14 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
I don't know whether your H is in MLC or not--and it's probably not worth spending a lot of energy on it if you're not sure, because that's energy which you steal from your own life.

It seems to me that a MLC is just one form a depression can take. I guess I was depressed until I worked through my abuse, but did I have a form of MLC myself? I don't know. All I know is that things finally got bad enough that I had to change my ways of thinking, to save myself. I suspect all depressions have certain characteristics in common.

I hope your H will reach the point where he knows what boundaries he needs to establish with both families, and has the strength to do so. Also, out of curiosity, have you managed to keep your children from being sucked into the unhealthy dynamic your H has with his family?

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#2080388 - 09/22/10 02:50 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Kalni Offline
Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 10259
cyrena,
I just wanted to say I enjoy your posts so very much. Wise, sensitive, well written... Thanks
K

Sorry for the hijack
_________________________
Me&H:42
S11&D10
Bomb 5/2007-Sep 11/2007
Reconc.November 2009

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#2080406 - 09/22/10 03:20 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Kalni]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
I hope that my H will also reach that point too, but from what I have seen in the past with him before we separated, I honestly don't know what will happen. I've seen him strong (tell his mother off about the terrible comments she made about him adopting my S19), but then I've seen him weak. Especially with his father. I never in my life saw a grown man afraid like H is of their father.

I would say that to him (before all of this happened) and he would say it's called respect and I would say respect is one thing but to be that afraid of a parent at our ages is not right.

I sure hope that I have managed to keep my kids from H's family's unhealthy ways. H has not seen S19 except for one time for 5 min. since the separation. They were fighting before H left a lot. That breaks my heart, by my S19 that has learning disabilities said to me a couple of times "Mom, H is like a little boy in a grown man's body and he will realize one day and come home." D13 is a different story. She is very smart, so I tell her if H is drinking heavily and they aren't at his place then she is to call me and I will come get her. I told her not to pay attention to her grandmother or aunt and if they keep talking about her or upset her to call me right away and I will pick her up.

At first she wasn't going with H, but she said she misses him and wants to be with him so she puts up with his mother and sister. So the best I can do for her is tell her the truth about them (his family), which she already said she sees, and be there for her if they or H causes her any hurt. She was in IC and so was I and so was S19.

D13 and H were sooo close but now all he does with her is take her to his sister's or mother's and does nothing with her. And believe me, he has the money to do it. Where as I can't even make ends meet.
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2080415 - 09/22/10 03:41 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
Cyrena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 528
Kalni--thank you! You were the first person I posted to, and you very graciously welcomed me to DB. I appreciate your kind words, and am happy to feel that I have been able to make some positive contributions to repay for all the help I received here. I'm glad your piecing is progressing, and am always impressed by your honesty and openness.

Upside--you're right: it's a sign of damage to retain a child's attitude toward a parent rather than viewing oneself as an independent adult as well. Some of my family insist that they must continue to respect the man who molested me throughout my childhood, so I know how frustrating such wrong-thinking is. But it is just another way of putting off coping with the fact that adults can act in selfish, destructive ways. Often it's because they blame themselves for not having prevented that destruction as children, and so hang onto the guilt rather than placing it where it belongs.

Wow, your son sounds very perceptive! And I think it's very healthy that your D is continuing some sort of relationship with your H, even if he can't give her enough attention right now. And at least, unlike your H, she has you as a parent who never stops showing how much she loves and values her. The counseling is so important.

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#2080844 - 09/23/10 10:00 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cyrena]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
Need advice on this one. D13 said last night that she hasn't heard from H for 1 1/2 weeks. He was calling her every day. She thinks that he loves his S17 and S15 more than her. She said that if they are not with him he will call them on Sunday and talk about football or whatever.

He gave them the bigger room in his apartment so if they stay over night there is enough room but they don't sleep there that often. H's sons are from a high school relationship. I don't know if I should text H and tell him that she feels left out or what to do. I know that he will not respond to my text but I also feel he should know that he is hurting her. She is afraid to express how she feels with H. Then she gets mad about it, and says, the phone rings both ways and that is what Daddy tells me. H got that from his controlling step-mother. She always said that the kids should be calling the parents not the other way around.

If you think I should contact H what do I say and how do I say it? Or do I just leave it alone.

Sorry for the hijack!
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2080851 - 09/23/10 10:12 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Goodfight]
dolphin_05 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 1432
Goodfight, this is just my experience but I have intervened where my kids are concerned. My H wasn't able to be the Dad he should have been for a long time but I knew underneath it all he really loved them and I knew both my kids were really hurting. I would text my H something like, " D seems to be a little down lately and I think she's really missing you. Perhaps you could give her a call. Up to you but think it would help her." I wouldn't mention it again after that. My H has also complained that he has to chase the kids cos they don't call him. He has complained to me about that. I explain it to him that the kids want him to prove his love by chasing them for a bit. Good luck!

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#2080859 - 09/23/10 10:22 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: dolphin_05]
Goodfight Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 737
Loc: PA
Thanks Cas.
_________________________
M 41
H 35
D 12
S 18
Separated 11/08

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#2097552 - 10/29/10 03:03 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
Does anyone know where this thread went?

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=640535&page=1

It was finally_free aka happy_agains thread.

My H is now displaying exact behaviour that he did, and i can't find the thread where I read it....it says cant find thread...

HEEEEEELLLLPPP!!!!!
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2097615 - 10/29/10 09:04 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: pie
Does anyone know where this thread went?

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=640535&page=1

It was finally_free aka happy_agains thread.

My H is now displaying exact behaviour that he did, and i can't find the thread where I read it....it says cant find thread...

HEEEEEELLLLPPP!!!!!


Try this
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...true#Post972782

Part 2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...true#Post976523

Part3
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...true#Post981610

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#2097907 - 10/29/10 02:32 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Upside]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
Originally Posted By: Upside
There was a poster from a few years back that had gone through his own MLC. He had several names...finally_free, happy_again and happyincognito.

Here is one posting where he spoke about his withdrawal...

Originally Posted By: happy_again
Was there ever a time when you completely withdrew from your W and had not contact for a long period of time?

I think I went about 3 months at one point but i drove by the house a few times and once parked outside the kids school to see them playing outside. you must understand that it wasnt because i didnt love my family or want them i was just so mixed up in my head that each time i went to visit them i would leave feeling so much guilt and anger at myself and the situation.i did think about them dozens of times a day.each time i was out i would see something that reminded me of them a song on the radio Allies favorite coffee or something for one of the kids.there were times when I would call home and if there was a tone in her voice I would take it as her having an attitude and I would berate her and yell at her for making me feel like [censored]. now tell me who in their right mind does that to someone they love?


Here are links to some of happy_again's threads where he posts about his MLC experience... he could be rather loutish but also effective in getting his point across.

I am still running in the other direction

Maybe.................

Finally free is not where it's at

Finally free part 2

FINALLY_FREE IS NOT WHERE IT'S AT PART 3



thanks Lance - but there were threads he wrote in 2006, when he was still very much in his MLC, poke with anger etc... the top one was the first I think...

Where'd that one go?
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2097914 - 10/29/10 02:35 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
The threads "I am still running in the other direction" and "maybe...." - mentioned above? They vanished smile
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2097967 - 10/29/10 03:23 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: pie
The threads "I am still running in the other direction" and "maybe...." - mentioned above? They vanished smile
I think you are right.
There are posts back to 2006 but not with those threads.
Maybe they were deleted in the board scrubbing.
I really don't know nor do I understand the board mechanics here enough.
You would have to ask a moderator.

If you click on Happy's name you can show all the posts currently on the board.

Maybe you can read some of his older posts.

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#2098087 - 10/29/10 05:51 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
job Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 18896
Loc: Maryland
Many of the older postings have been deleted because the server could not maintain all of them and continue to store the more current ones. Posters were warned that this would happen and many gave their blessings to having their threads deleted.

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#2098185 - 10/30/10 12:16 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: job]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
OH no!!! Those posts were like gold!! Seeing the raw angry thoughts of a mlcer, and how he saw things, and how he gradually began to see the light!!!

How awful frown
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2098430 - 10/30/10 11:09 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
FWIW I have several of happy_again's posts from 2006 and 2007 in pdf format. If those are the ones missing from the boards I'd be happy to post them somewhere if someone can tell me how to do it.

GAG

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#2098459 - 10/31/10 12:27 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
LanceSijan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 816
Originally Posted By: goodattitudegirl
FWIW I have several of happy_again's posts from 2006 and 2007 in pdf format. If those are the ones missing from the boards I'd be happy to post them somewhere if someone can tell me how to do it.

GAG
Suggestion:

Start a thread - Call it Happy Again
Copy posts and paste them in.

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#2098516 - 10/31/10 11:13 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: LanceSijan]
pie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 202
yes pleaaaassseee!!!!!! smile smile
_________________________
M 31, H 34

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#2098534 - 10/31/10 12:17 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: pie]
goodattitudegirl Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 864
Loc: Midwest, US
I started a new thread and posted the first one. If anyone has an idea how to maintain the formatting from the pdf file when I paste it onto the blog please let me know. If I have to edit every one it will take me a lot longer to post.

GAG

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#2153633 - 05/11/11 03:15 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: goodattitudegirl]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5138
Rock bottom thread:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2153631&#Post2153631

I am adding this link to the current thread on this subject as anyone reading this in the future might also want to read this.
_________________________
Me-60, D27,S26

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#2153706 - 05/11/11 08:50 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cadet]
angel61 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 1046
Loc: California
This is a very informative thread.

There were times I have started to doubt that my H is in MLC, thinking it may have been more of an "affair fog", but reading all of your posts made me think again. The control thing especially - I almost laughed, just the other day my H told me I had controlled him all his life, and he went back to a time when I was not even his GF yet! So I told him "how could I do that? I wasn't even your GF yet at that time?" and his reply? "because you were always around!" Yeah, right. My being around made him fall for me.....LOL!

I myself wonder where my H is. I am 10 months post bomb. EA was officially November 26, 2010, but H is still in contact with OW by phone and text, they did see each other for lunch during a conference.

H is still at home, and actually has verbalized to me that he is not leaving, but that he does not love me, but feels that he can accept the situation as it is (???). We started having more communication, feeling more comfortable since last month. He even has started showing some affection to me, especially for mothers day, getting me a gift.

He got mad at me on Monday because he caught me snooping and it brought out the monster in him (I hate this life, I want my freedom, lets be separated but remain married).

I don't know of any issues from childhod, but he is not fond of his mother, who is very controlling. She had a nervous breakdown when he was around 10 or 11.

He himself is very controlling, to the point of deciding what i get to eat. Everyone knows this. But I don't really care, I usually have to decide and lead at work and in my own family, so when i go home I am just glad to let him take the reins. But with his MLC, his controlling has gotten to the point that he even asks us not to cross him as it makes him so angry. I cannot even suggest something at times. Only if it concerns our D12 is he open. If he needs my input he will ask me. I am actually trying to think back to when he started being this controlling as this might be the signal that his MLC had started. I think it was around 6 months prior to the bomb - January or February of 2010.

One thing though is he is still an amazing dad, all throughout this time. A few times he did slack off a little, but never more than a week or so at a time.

Last time I did a temperature check he was still in replay.
_________________________
Me:49 H:45 D:12 M:14 T:18
Bomb: 6/26/10
EA: 9/3/10, fizzled out slowly, now ???
11/5/11 Retrouvaille
Finally piecing....
Its peaceful at last, but we got a looong way to go

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#2179783 - 08/20/11 11:37 PM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: angel61]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5138
HB and I have been having some conversation and
I thought I would post this here as it may help some others with some questions that I have had.

Originally Posted By: HeartsBlessing

Hello Cadet, smile

I wondered when you were going to really get started on the questions. LOL!! smile You're picking my brain and that is quite all right. smile

Originally Posted By: Cadet
HB

As long as you seem to be on a roll I have a question.
You speak of the LBS being a stanchion(pillar) for the LBS.

Early in the crisis this means to Let GO, detach.
Later in the crisis enforcing boundaries.

You were writing yesterday that during your transition you were back in your mind as a 4 or 5 year old and your husband gave you a HUG.(Was he acting as a stanchion here?) (I believe he was, and I have another thought here too but I will save it until after you answer)
I know that you say that your son acted as your pillar.
What did he do that makes you say that?


My husband was acting as a pillar of strength during the particular time you're speaking of, OP; it was to show me that he really was there for me when I needed him; and that he could and would help me; all I needed to do was ASK him. This was the lesson the Lord was teaching me; that in spite of all that had happened between us, he was and is most capable of being there for me.
This was something I had to see; as I was drawing away from him, and the distance was growing at that point.
In order to close the distance between, I had to open up about an issue that was very painful, and though, it wasn't the most painful one I'd had to face; it was one that I had to open up with him about; in order to see, that he would accept me, and STILL love me for me; regardless of my imperfections, past damage, and this event that had happened to me that was clearly beyond my own control. Much the same as I had helped him during his first time within his initial bout of crisis.

I was near the end of my issues, and this helped us begin to bond together again in another way, another aspect.

While my husband was able to act in this way in this particular circumstance....at other and earlier times he was clearly unable, this is where my son took over for him.

I, just like so many people in Transition/Crisis had a very skewed view of my husband; he was the enemy, he was to blame for the pain I was in, he was also one of my issues to resolve and settle within myself. I had issues from childhood, issues from early adulthood, and issues from my marriage, issues that surrounded my husband in a more personal way, simply because, like everything else, my husband was part of my PAST.

Our son was instrumental in helping to keep the marriage together, keeping me there with his dad; and keeping me from running away, as I wanted so badly to do.

I can't tell you how many times Son would go get the pictures, sit down, and leaf through various photo albums, and talk of happier times we'd had long before his crisis, and the current Transition I was going through. Son, would gently remind me that I might as well keep what I had, because I could do so much worse. He would also speak of his dad as one who really did still love me, in spite of all I was doing to push him away, although he had a funny way of showing it at times.

Son didn't pressure me at all; just listened as I spewed my angry and miserable thoughts onto his broad shoulders; and he validated me, how I felt, threw up a "mirror" to me when I was receptive to one; and spoke of forgiveness many times.

He also reminded me that his dad and I had come so very far within these harder times of our lives; and I needed to remember that what was happening to me WOULD end; and we would be happy down the road, even if I could not see it now.
He spoke a various combination of things designed to help build my self confidence, self esteem, and to help me to see my self worth. He was a voice of calm within a world of troubled times and waters, and I was often "drawn" to him in a much different way than I was so often "drawn" to my husband.
Simply put, Son really did become my friend during that time, and I attached to him for a period of time, in a very good way. I needed the strength he offered and he often 'carried' me emotionally when I couldn't carry myself in that aspect.

He would always tell me that it was up to me; in a very nonjudgemental fashion; but he never spoke of what would/could happen if I chose to walk away. This wasn't needed.

I already knew somewhere within my heart what this would be; yet, once again, this was something I had to figure out on my own, just as my husband had had to, all that time before.

I faced the SAME decisions in regards to job, marriage, and life. I had to figure out that all things I needed had to be found WITHIN myself. I really did learn these things all over again, plus some added aspects to help me further within my journey.

Within the deepest times of my Depression, our son spoke with me many times on various issues/problems; encouraging me, giving me love and care, being my friend, accepting me for who I was, and no matter what I said, he stood firmly with and by me; giving me something to hold onto; which was hope, and and a renewed faith, and letting me know that I really was "someone", not just a "nobody" who'd grown up, gotten married, had a child, and hadn't done much of anything else. I certainly couldn't see all I had done within various people's lives; saying that I had never really done anything; people just THOUGHT I had. I griped that people had leaned on me too much; for so little; and I was tired of carrying so much; that I wanted to just be left alone, and that I wanted to just die.

He said that wasn't all there was to it, said I wasn't clearly seeing that I had accomplished so much more within my life, than I thought I had; said that I still had work to do even after this was finished. He also said that if I didn't continue my work, I would fail myself and the Lord; to just look at this time as a 'stepping stone' into something better.

These things were said to me, even as I was deeply focused on my failures; for every negative thing I said, he had a positive thing to counter it. Patiently, and slowly, he led me along the path toward the next stage of my journey; and that was a change in my perspective.

Rock bottom was really hard for me; I sat on the bottom looking up, and did, indeed, see my Son's face at the top of the well, letting me know that I could come back anytime I chose...I just had to "do it", and get it over with.

I had to hit the bottom, and HARD, in order to begin to reach this change in my perspective.

Son did pretty much what I had done with my husband several years before. Son didn't make me feel "defective" or "broken", he simply pointed out various aspects of truth, repeated some things I had said before, but I never realized that until much later on, long after I processed each conversation Son and I had.

I don't doubt that Son spent a great deal of time in prayer for me; but, OP, the Lord spoke through him a great many times, as I recognized wisdom that NO teenager is supposed to have/contain within being spoken from our Son. I did my share of arguing, but Son wouldn't argue, he just stated various truths, etc. to counter my arguments.

***As a side note, our son has learned the same lessons/aspects we did; and has them down to a science. He learned these by my lived example, and he asked a great many questions within his dad's first crisis; learned even more within the secondary bout. I didn't force these on him, not at all; just led and taught him as I went. The Lord blessed our Son beyond measure because of his willing obedience in the helping of both his dad and me at various times within the past 9 years. He is no longer needed in this aspect; and so, his memories have begun to fade within various aspects; as they are supposed to. He remembers the lessons, and he will always be able to recognize the crisis/transition within others, and that is all he needs to know, anymore. Any kind of healing he'd needed within himself is almost complete. ****

On the other hand, my husband didn't understand, he really didn't....he was busy grabbing onto me in fear; he was struggling within his secondary bout of crisis; and I was busy staying beyond his reach. I was trucking full time, and so, my space to process myself was gotten in that way. When I first turned on him, it frightened him so badly, he did ALL of the things one is NOT supposed to do...the more he clutched, the further I backed away. I was subjected to intense amounts of pressure to "return" to the person I had once been; as what I had temporarily "become", to my husband, was much WORSE than the changes I had made during the prior several years.
He was terrified that I would actually leave him, and my attitude left much to be desired; as it LOOKED like I had one foot OUT the door.

In deep anger, and sometimes rage filled comments, I kept telling him to leave me alone, so I could work on this; and he kept fighting me on it; pressuring me every chance he got. In moments of clarity, that were few and far in between, I would explain I was going through The Change; as I knew he would understand that, he'd already seen the hot flashes I was experiencing; but then he'd ask me "How long before you finish?" I wouldn't have an answer for that; but he didn't understand WHY I didn't have a clear answer, it would be over when it was over, that was ALL I knew...of course he didn't understand, and at various times, neither did I. His mind was swiss cheese, mine was swiss cheese; and two swiss cheese minds make for double the confusion.

And because of his swiss cheese thinking; he was UNABLE to function as he normally would have been called upon to do for me....this was where Son stepped in and filled in this gap for me; and he helped his dad some, too, during that time.

Our physical and emotional relationship suffered deeply it was bound to, considering.

That final issue of mine represented a turning point in our relationship..things got better after that...and later, I broke down, and asked him to forgive me, as I saw clearly the damage I had done with my attitude. More came as time went on, until I saw it all in a more complete way.



Originally Posted By: Cadet
Anyways my question is does acting as this stanchion change throughout the different stages of MLC?
If so how?


The LBS acts as a stanchion in the way that one would "hold the fort" in the beginning; all responsibility is taken upon their shoulders. As time goes on, the MLC'er goes back and forth, seeing the LBS as stronger than they are; and they are drawn to that strength...this becomes the "lighthouse" that had stood firmly during the crisis; never moving, yet, always changing.

When the MLC'er returns broken, and needing help, the LBS is called upon to bring forth the necessary accountabilities that are necessary in order to lead the way for the MLC'er to begin pulling themselves back together...this takes a lot of strength to accomplish, and this is most often where a breakdown can occur, because the LBS allows resentment, and pent up anger to influence them to give up. This is such a long, hard road to walk.

The true meaning of Marriage is all about being willing to keep sticking it out; no matter what happens; through better OR for worse; and I have found that this crisis is the worst it will ever become.

Love is simply not enough; commitment is the "glue" that holds the relationship together when the love is gone; and born out of that deep commitment is a deeper strength that comes from a well within; God replenishes this on a daily basis.

Until the MLC'er clearly shows signs of standing on their own, beginning to take back the mantle of responsibility once again, the LBS will continue to function as the "strength" the stanchion that holds everything together.

There are no real "clear" signs when this change occurs; but the LBS, who knows the MLC'er better than anyone can judge these for themselves. Just as I was able to see when my husband began to change his ways of doing/relating, and as I saw him begin to take clear responsibility again; plus some added aspects I hadn't seen before, the LBS will also see this.

Once I saw these in my husband, I began backing down into the role of being a "helpmeet" or in plain english, "help mate" for him. We balance each others strengths and weaknesses between ourselves, as there will always be things I can do that he can't, things he can do that I can't.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
And if you care to illiterate about being a stanchion. ( OK I asked more than one question).


As the stanchion, I was charged with the MOST and the GREATER responsibility; simply because I knew and was aware of what was happening, even if he didn't. My husband was going through a Mid Life CRISIS; and wasn't clear headed in his thinking...not an excuse for bad behavior, just the way it was.

He needed me to stand FOR him, within this gap; simply because he was unable to stand for himself...and this was a daunting task that I took on and shouldered without understanding fully what I was in for.

Some things you're not meant to understand before you take them on; if you did, you would take the opposite way...and while God gives one a choice at all times, He won't always lay out the complete path you're to take; partly because of lack of understanding on your part, and partly because He knows that if He doesn't give you everything; you'll gain even more and a better understanding from the "bit and piece" way He dealt with me.

I could NOT have taken it all in at one time; I was having enough trouble understanding the beginning; much less what had to be done within myself; in order to help him more effectively.
I got very little in the beginning; but more came as time went on, and my understanding grew consistently right into what it is now.

Yes, I got very angry as each 'detour', 'roadblock', 'obstacle' was thrown up, and halted progress; whether it was because of him or even because of me. But, as I worked PAST the anger I felt, I learned to actually SEE the wisdom of continuing on, I had so much to do and finish within myself. Plus, I could look back and see just how far we BOTH had come to get to this next place we found ourselves in.

It was ALL good, and so, I continued on the path/course set to reach the destination I was bound for; knowing that God allows things to happen for a reason; and even if I didn't know what part of these reasons were, I knew He wasn't going to leave me hanging high and dry.

I had faith He would take care of me; and I also knew without my total cooperation; our marriage wouldn't make it; He had made that abundantly clear.

Had I known all that I know now, in regards to the length of time involved, I might have gone ahead and walked away, He knew this of me; therefore He held back pertinent information until it was needed.....this is an aspect that is present in EVERY human being; I don't CARE WHO you are.
And this aspect MUST be overcome to endure the long running aspects of the crisis; as this crisis IS tied to BOTH people; NOT just one.

When things were slow, or at a dead stop, I immediately checked myself first to see what I was doing to hold it up; then I would check on him. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was him...but it was always one of us who had an aspect to get past and learn from, in order to move forward.

Look unto the Lord for ALL you need, He's the one who provides these types of answers; whether He uses someone to help you learn, or directs you Himself..

It was so often like a mule with a carrot on a stick, that I was drawn forward, led forward, and sometimes driven forward; one step at a time, one day at a time to the end I eventually came to.

One thing I DO know for sure; had I gone ahead and walked away so long ago, my life would not have been half as blessed as it is now, I would not be here now; and I would be one miserable human being. As it stands, I and my family are doing very well, intact and together. Life throws its share of curve balls at me daily; I just field and throw them back into the Infield to be returned to "home plate". smile

Knowledge is most certainly power, and it was important to get me to a place of learning steadily as quickly as possible, so I could get to the task of growing and changing within myself...ONLY THEN, was I able to begin becoming stronger for him.

The more I learned about the crisis itself, the more I realized that I could NOT just walk away and leave him like that. I bore a responsibility to stay and HELP him; even though I knew it might mean he would walk away anyway. There came a time when I sincerely wanted him to be happy EVEN if it wasn't with me.

I gave all I had, and then some, to this cause; and I was determined that if this was possible, I would stay married to this man; but only if he still wanted me after all was said and done.

I came to various conclusions, realizations, and aspects on my own, with the help of the Lord who inspired me to write all I did back in 2002. I knew quite a bit, even then, but there was more to learn, and learn the rest of it, I did.

There were times I wanted to kill him, other times, I could have horse whipped him, still other times I prayed until I couldn't pray anymore. I stayed exhausted from the immense amounts of sheer strength, will power, and grit it took to just stay in there with him; helping him IN SPITE of all the spew he threw at me, the rebellion he faced me with, and the pressure I stayed under to walk my own journey, learn my lessons, face all that I was set to face within myself.

But I would NOT quit; it wasn't in me to quit or give up. I said a whole lot of things to the Lord about wanting to quit, walk away, all during that time, only to have Him tell me again that it was up to me; and then, show me the outcome again. smile

But, other than the short period of time just after the first two BDs, where the Lord intervened with me because I was reacting in "fight or flight"; I did NOT see leaving, or kicking him out as options to entertain within myself.

The fact that I STOOD throughout and hung in there with him the WHOLE time is illustration enough of what a stanchion is all about. It is one who stands firmly, even as the storm rages all around and in between the couple.

The stanchion becomes most able; through having learned to use the various tools provided from God and so many others who have gone this way before, to withstand all of the spew, the blaming, the rebellion, develops endurance, fortitude, perseverance, patience, grit, determination; not to mention learning about love as the Bible describes it; yet, on the other hand, ALSO learns to put into practice the necessary boundaries that are called for, tough love practices, and is unmoving, even as the MLC'er threatens their worst during the times of necessary accountability.

Most importantly, the stanchion learns to know that it's best to let go completely, to step back allowing God in this process to handle a situation that is clearly beyond the stanchion's control...this aspect requires the MOST strength of all, and is the HARDEST to accomplish.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
Thanks as always for your time and patience.


You're very welcome. smile
_________________________
Me-60, D27,S26

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#2182179 - 08/30/11 02:20 AM Re: The final stages...withdrawal to acceptance [Re: Cadet]
Ctflor Offline
Member

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 329
This thread has given me some new insight. So glad I opened it tonight. I read every page all evening. It has been 2 months since h dropped the bomb. I have not u hitched my wagon from him...i am still standing at the oven door watching him bake. Despite some things I am doing to gal, i still find myself bouncing back and forth from grief and intense crying spells/ despair, to anger at him, then sudden moments of peace and strength, except those are fleeting.

I admit, although he has not left yet, i have been holding on too tightly. This past week i did a 180 by planning two outings with our daughter. A neighbor drove me to town (i have ms). He was surprised to come home from work only to see us headinf out the door. After the second outing he started talking to me more, rather than being quiet as he has been.

He needs space and more alone time. He does not need my criticism that he hasnt paid attention to his daughter. By reading here i am starting to understand his feelings. Thank heavens for the mlc'r that has shared here.

It has been so hard to detach these past few days. I no longer to hug him unless he wants it first. I stopped saying i love you unless he does first. I wonder if he is starting to feel me pull back a little. Because when i do, he talks more...makes it a point to say i love you more often.

I need to stop analyzing his every word and action. I need to stop waking up each day scared out of my wits that this may be the day he goes.

I'm worried that if i detach too much, he will see this as many diff things. It could sabatoge everything. But i am pulling back horrible as it feels.

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