What did you expect would happen when you asked him about the shirt? That he would suddenly see the error of his ways and fall to knees begging for forgiveness?
hrm ... frankly, it's time to stop dwelling on his mlc and how he treats you and what he says and what he does and what his actions might mean ...
THAT is exhausting. It's also within your control.
I sometimes wonder, and yes, I'm still a big believer in DB, why we (the LBSs) don't treat ourselves better. Why we can't see our own issues ... why we settle for the rollercoaster the WAS insists on riding. Why can't we see that the fixer, the helper, the martyr, the waiter ... they're all our own issues. I'm not saying don't stand, not at all. But don't stand still. Don't stand for poor behaviour. Don't stand for less than what you deserve.
And what you deserve ... is to learn to value yourself enough to not instigate petty interactions in an attempt to get validation from the one person on the planet who is incapable and unwilling to give it to you. You're smarter and better than that.
That list up there ^^^ LIVE IT. For real. Stop letting how he "treats" you determine your mood. Doesn't treat you well? He's a dummy. Laugh at it (to yourself). Because you know your value.
I spent a long time tip toeing around my exH. Scared he was going to pull the plug for real, end the slight connection we still had, be gone for good. Guess what? He did anyway.
Fear. That's what had me stuck. Even when I didn't think I was.
Deep breath hrm ...
Holding onto anger to punish someone else, is like lighting yourself on fire to get smoke in their eyes ~ 25yearsmlc
PEI~ Wow! Thank you.... you are totally right! Thank you for talking sense back into me.... Especially when you said, "What did you expect would happen when you asked him about the shirt? That he would suddenly see the error of his ways and fall to knees begging for forgiveness?" No I didn't think that, not on a conscious level anyway.... but maybe in the back of my mind I am thinking and/or hoping for this to leave as quickly and surprisingly as it came, but I know that won't happen. I also know the man I am married to is very stubborn, so this could last a LOOONG time.
On the up side I didn't freak out last night when he went on a garage cleaning rampage, throwing out a LOT of stuff and I don't know what he's doing with his big tool box,selling perhaps, but he took everything out of it. No I wasn't checking up on him. A friend and I were standing right outside of the garage, attempting to grill chicken on the little charcoal grill I got, while he was doing it. He did ask, in an irritated voice, if we wanted to use the gas grill, I told him we were fine, but thank you for offering.
My dear friend (we've been friends since middle school), has gotten to witness some of his craziness and has been great with reminders like you have just given me. I am so glad to have her in my life, and she has known H our entire marriage, and knows that the man I married isn't here right now, body snatcher has taken over. I thank God she is in my life, and that I found this forum, everyone has been so helpful.
OMG!! What's a woman to do?? So I was innocently and happily planting my seeds on the kitchen table when dear one came in and wanted to talk to me..... yeah, that's right, another I don't feel that way speech, trying to give you time, I just want out of this situation.
I did pretty well.... still can't hold back the tears. I told him I am a person and this is our marriage, not a situation. I did a lot of the pointing out of his choices and sorry you feel that ways. He pulled the I guess I should just file then routine and I told him that's his choice, but if he does it will be his divorce, not mine. He pulled the do I have to go out and get a girlfriend line again, and I said nope, that won't make me think you don't love me. And if you do, whether or not you want to believe we are married right now we are, and that is still adultery. He chuckled and rolled his eyes. Says it's just a piece of paper, doesn't mean anything any more, maybe never did. I told him I don't believe that, he used to call me an angel in his life. He looks at me like I'm crazy and need help. Went so far as to say he considered calling my mom to see how he could make me see reason!! Yeah like she's gonna do that, she wonders who came and took the man I married away! Actually, everyone who knew the man I married is wondering what the heck is wrong with him!
He asked me if he chose to go to counseling, and nothing changed would that convince me it's over, I said probably not, but we would have to see. We had a long talk about the counselor I am seeing and his background, and he said something to the affect of the counselor being a better man than him. (in my head I thought, OMG my counselor is totally right he feels worthless and like a failure!). I asked if he would even consider talking to my pastor, and he says, "I'm not religious" I said you don't have to be, he's not going to hit you over the head with a Bible. He said he will think about going to counseling, but he is very independent and doesn't need anyone to help him with his problems, and then proceeded to tell me how he got stranded the other night and had to get a new battery for the car.
So today he is hell bent on getting out of the relationship, he doesn't feel emotionally connected, and feels there is nothing to work on, doesn't agree that love is work. Even went so far as to say we should have never gotten married!! Said he wasted 11 years of my life. I told him that's not true, had 11 great years, and could have more, but it's his choice to runaway from his wife, his family. I pointed out some of the great times we had, and stated he is a good man. Of course he's like those are just memories, I want out. I told him he knows where the door is, I'm not keeping him here. He pulled the house in foreclosure bit again, and asked again why I am hanging onto it. I again stated we've worked too hard to get there. He thinks I'm hanging on to it because I think it will keep him there or bring him back.
He told me people he's talked to told him it's good that he told me now the way he feels instead of living a lie! (Like really, no one he's talked to sees how messed up this is, trying to have a baby one day, getting a divorce the next!, Society is messed up!) I told him they are idiots, and love takes work! He just laughed at me and said, "well then maybe I am just lazy!"
He keeps saying I will be fine with someone else he just wants to get on with his life and he hasn't missed me or thought about me at all these last 6 months. I told him I didn't buy that. He claims he's been happy, and having a great time, he just wants out of this situation so he can live his life. (Let me tell you he looks happy sometimes, but looks like hell others). He kept saying he was trying to be logical (I beg to differ).
He doesn't understand the purpose of a counselor and said we can counsel each other. I went on to tell him how much counseling had helped me with the depression I didn't even realize I was in about the fertility issues until I got help. He said that is good for me. Still wants out, and then says that he doesn't know if he wants kids and that was pressure (when he gave me a speech in December he said he thought deep down he wanted kids, he seemed depressed during this speech.) Throughout this I let him know I love him unconditionally and everything is repairable. He just doesn't think there is anything to work on.
I feel crazy.... am I in deep denial? But then I remember don't believe anything they say...... I wish he would work through this, but he even went so far as to say he has nothing to work on, he's happy, feels like he likes who he is. I have a VERY hard time believing that...... am I stupid or crazy for not believing him and having hope? I continue to pray, and don't know what the plan is, but how can it be this crazy mess, is God's will really for it to end this way?? Deep inside of me I just keep hearing stay, don't leave your home, don't give in, this is not your real husband, this being is in him for a short while...... but he sounds so darn convincing.... I really want to save my marriage, but feel like it keeps slipping farther and farther away...
Please. PLEASE. Please ... for the love of all things holy ...
STOP ARGUING WITH HIM.
As much as you disagree with him. As much as you don't believe him. As much as he's been "body snatched" etc ...
HE FEELS HOW HE FEELS RIGHT NOW.
I'm not saying it's going to be that way forever, or even in a month or two months etc ... but RIGHT NOW those are his feelings.
Have you read the books? The threads? The archives?
Standing for your marriage is not about pushing your beliefs and feelings down his throat. It's not about convincing him that what you say/know/believe is true and real. DB is counter intuitive.
I know that you hope and think that if you just say it the right way or often enough, or if you use just the right reminder and sentimental story, or if you just disagree with him vehemently enough that he will see how much you love him and how much he loved you and loves you still.
That won't work. It will push him further and further away.
Right now, it's your actions that need to be loving, that will keep the road home paved smooth. Love him by not disagreeing with him. Resist the temptation to use every conversation he initiates as a chance to tell him how wrong he is, how big this mistake is, etc. Do not agree with him, but listen and validate. Don't help with the divorce, it is his divorce. Don't take the bait when he mentions OP.
Live your life. Live that list. Find ways to work through this process without the anger and resentment taking over (cause you will get mad!).
Let him walk his journey.
Holding onto anger to punish someone else, is like lighting yourself on fire to get smoke in their eyes ~ 25yearsmlc
Listen to ^^^^^^^^ !! my W said things very similar 6-4 months ago....she isn't saying them now (so much), thanks to the folks and info here (for my sanity and growing)...I feel for you, it hurts like h_ll, and YOU know better, but you can't tell them that! They have re-written history...they are not completely sane at this point!
It is their journey and we are not invited...have you read the "37 rules"? How about the recipe for success? I will re-post the latter here (I found the "not to use" ingredients critical:
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS IN DEALING WITH MLC
PATIENCE-You will need a large quantity of patience. If you lack patience, you will first need to aquire it before proceeding with the recipe.
PMA-A consistent Positive Mental Attitude is necessary in dealing with the insanity of your spouses MLC. Without this ingredient, the recipe will be a failure.
FAITH-You need a strong faith, and to believe this experience is about the lessons God wants you to learn. That in all crisis situations in life, is when we learn and grow the most. Put your trust in God. What ever happens will be Gods will.
PERSAVERENCE-You will need to find this special ingredient. There will be many times when you want to give up. Without this ingredient you might as well scrap the recipe, and ask for a divorce. Persaverence can be found deep within yourself, you just have to look for it.
PRAYERS-You will need a daily dose of prayers. You can not survive this journey alone, you need to ask God for help. Ask God to give you the strength to not give up and to guide you on your journey.
LISTENING SKILLS-Good listening skills are necessary for your spouse to trust you and be open with you. Do not try and defend yourself, it will just make your spouse withdraw.
LEARNING SKILLS-This recipe would not be complete without good learning skills. You need to read and understand as much as you can about MLC, it will help you in dealing with your spouse, and be less angry towards them. Knowledge will give you greater strength and make you feel more in control of your life.
EMPATHY-You will need this ingredient as you learn more about MLC, and have a better understanding of the pain and turmoil your spouse is feeling inside themselves.
COMMITMENT-Without a commitment to never, never, ever give up, you will bale out early on from all of the pain and agony. Remember, no pain, no gain.
FORGIVENESS-You wil need to learn how to forgive your spouse, and to forgive yourself. "Forgiveness Is A Gift You Give Yourself"
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE-You will have to discover the meaning of unconditional love, that no matter what you or your spouse has done to hurt each other, or misbehaved during your marriage, you will need to love each other and yourselves unconditionaly.
LIFES LESSONS-You will need to learn lifes lessons.That throughout our lives, we grow Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually. That this MLC experience, is a great opportunity for both you and your spouse to grow, and learn all that you are supposed to learn at this stage of life.
LETTING GO-You will need to finally detach or "Let Go" of your spouse. Set them free. You have no control over wether they return or not. If they decide to return, it will because of how you have treated them and acted towards them through their MLC journey. By letting go, you will be giving your spouse the space they need to work things out themselves. TIME-Lots of time is needed for this recipe to work. If you don't give your spouse the proper amount of time they need, you will lose them. It is their journey, they are in control of how much time they need. Don't try and rush things. Its probably a good time to toss in another handful of PATIENCE, you can never add to much to this recipe.
SENSE OF HUMOR-After you have found and mixed together all the ingredients listed above, it is time to lighten up and enjoy life. A good sense of humor will get you through the most trying times. Trust me, it doesn't get anymore trying then dealing with a spouses MLC, not even the death of someone close to you.
The greatest chance for success with this recipe is to consistently add all of the ingredients. Do not forget any one ingredient, or put to little amount into the mix. You may need to tweak the recipe for your own taste. There is no one MAGIC ingredient that will cure MLC. It requires a well thought out plan and process. There are no shortcuts.
I am going to list ingredients that have been used in past recipes for dealing with MLC. It has been shown that these ingredients do not work and should not be used.
Do Not Use These Ingredients:
BEGGING, PLEADING, CRYING-Do not use these ingredients, they have done nothing more than push the spouse with MLC further away.
CONTROL/MANIPULATE-Use of these two ingredients will lead straight to disaster. Trying to control your spouse will make them run very fast and very far away.
THREATS-Threatening your spouse with divorce will do nothing more than agravate the situation. It will not make your spouse desire to return home.
FIXING, CHANGING, CONVINCING YOUR SPOUSE -Forget trying to fix or change your spouse, thats not your job. As far as trying to convinve your spouse that what they are doing is wrong. Save your breath. ANGER-Do not become angry towards your spouse. They will return to you greater anger. Give love and, ACT AS IF you are happy and life is good to you.
GUILT-Trying to make your spouse feel guilty about leaving you and the kids will not work. Your spouse is very self centered at this time, they only think of what they want. They are tired of trying to take care of everyone elses needs while neglecting their own.
ACCUSATIONS/BLAMING-Accusing your spouse or blaming them for all the problems in your relationship will do no good. They are already convinced their unhappiness in life is because their married to you. So don't go there.
DEFENDING-When your spouse tries to tell you what it is that they don't like about you, don't try and defend yourself. Just sit there and listen, give them full eye contact and validate what they are saying. You don't have to agree with them, but you need to validate that what they think and feel to them is the truth. Wether it is or not, it does not matter.
As you work with this RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, you will learn more about what works and what doesn't. As Michele says, "Do more of what works and less of what doesn't" Paul
As of the last couple weeks, things in my sitch appear to be progressing well (that smooth pavement home is hard to get smooth, but worth it!!), again, thanks to all the people, posts and archives here...
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus
Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm
Also, I am trying not to argue with him. I was trying to mind my own business, and getting a life, and acting as if, he's the one who keeps bringing up "the situation" talks. I guess I just need to learn to keep my mouth shut, I don't know. I have been reading a lot on the Hero's Spouse website, which is why I pointed out his choices and if he goes for a divorce it will be his not mine. I feel like no matter what I do or say it is wrong.
I'm an emotional train wreck, between home and work I can not win anywhere. I'm afraid of what the heck is going to happen, how am I going to pay the bills, I don't want to leave my home. He's calling all the shots, shouldn't staying in MY home be my decision? But he keeps threatening to stop paying the mortgage and says I need a plan by July 1, not sure why that's the magical number, but that's what he came up with. Perhaps I shouldn't have gotten into the human services field because it pays terrible, and I question if I am even really helping people anyway.
It just keeps messing with my head because he sounds so darn convincing when he says stuff I know is NOT true, and I know there is no talking rationally to a person who is having a break from reality. When he speaks I can clearly see the reality of his feeling like a failure, and feeling trapped by financial obligations, even though he can not see those are the root of his problems. He's scared so he is running away. I guess that runs in his family, along with being super stubborn. It's just hard being able to see things so clearly when he's seeing things in a fantasy world. As much as I am trying to live my life and not focus on him, I still have to worry about the financial aspect, because at this point if I had that figured out I would be fine with him leaving. As much as it pains me to say that, and as much as I want my marriage to survive this, if he is so hell bent on leaving then he should, and then maybe he can work through the rest of the issues he thinks he doesn't have. He will also see the reality of he is still going to have financial obligations, and divorce costs a lot and filing for bankruptcy, as he is now threatening to do, is going to screw up his life. He claims he doesn't care, just wants out. Well I'm sorry to say, he is going to have to realize you can't just check out of life and pretend you are 16 again. He's an adult, and needs to realize it and stop projecting all his issues onto me!
I know I'm a good person, and I know all of my strengths. Counseling has helped me a great deal, and it's great he is considering it, but he is only considering it to have a third party tell me it's over, so I don't know how much that would even help him at this point.
On the up side, something that helped me some last night was a co-worker randomly texted me and told me, "Just wanted to tell u I'm thinking of u and that u r awesome!" That was totally out of the blue. I thanked her and told her she didn't know how well timed that was. She told me she is sending me happy vibes and wishes she could make this all go away. She told me, "just keep thinking of all your positives and dont let the negativity bring u down. u r a caring, compassionate, easy to talk to, responsible, person with a huge heart." God working in mysterious ways again, bringing me something I needed to hear at just the right time.
It can be very easy to fall into victim mode ... and I really, really caution you against letting yourself go there. This is still your life and you have the ability to step up and make choices and control the only thing you can ... YOU.
You are scared. That's obvious, and you've said so. So let's start there. Give us more of the financial background ... You are 31 years old with no children - from where I sit you should be able to support yourself financially with some planning and adjustments. I'm not saying it'll be easy, but you can. (I've got 3 kids, work full time and am looking for a part-time job so I might have spending money someday). There are details that will have to be worked out if he leaves, but waiting for him to walk and devastate the situation financially is irresponsible - to YOURSELF. Protect yourself, if you don't have them open your own bank accounts. Call your lender and make sure that the mortgage is current and up to date (if your name is on it). If you have anything that is in both names, monitor it closely. Do not be a victim here.
The reason it sounds so convincing when he says stuff that you KNOW isn't true is simple, to him it IS true. For now. He believes it completely. It's his truth right now.
Originally Posted By: hrm
Also, I am trying not to argue with him.
I told him I am a person and this is our marriage, not a situation.
I did a lot of the pointing out of his choices
I said nope, that won't make me think you don't love me
whether or not you want to believe we are married right now we are, and that is still adultery
I told him I don't believe that, he used to call me an angel in his life.
I said probably not
I told him that's not true, had 11 great years, and could have more
I told him I didn't buy that.
I beg to differ
everything is repairable
Listen. We've all been there. I remember feeling like no one understood ... I felt so alone ... I'm not trying to play down what you are feeling or how hard this is. There is a fantastic post on here by Bworl about fear and love. It's an eye opener. Maybe one of the vets with better archive searching skills than myself can find it for you...
For me, one of the things that really helped me was learning to put everything in the proper perspective. Honestly. My life didn't end. The world didn't stop spinning. My kids didn't crumple into emotionally unstable beings. WE ARE OK. Better than ok actually, thriving ... all of us.
That's what I could control.
So much of what my life looks like right now is NOT what I had planned/expected ... and lots of things that I felt "should" have been in my control weren't (like moving out the house).
Originally Posted By: hrm
Well I'm sorry to say, he is going to have to realize you can't just check out of life and pretend you are 16 again. He's an adult, and needs to realize it and stop projecting all his issues onto me!
Agreed. You also need to realize that he is an adult, and like it or not he is making choices that he has a right to make (hurtful, selfish, bizarre as they may be). So deep breath, stand up and take responsibility for what you can control ...
Start with your finances.
Then start dreaming ... marriage and husband aside ... what do you want? Really want for hrm the woman?
Holding onto anger to punish someone else, is like lighting yourself on fire to get smoke in their eyes ~ 25yearsmlc
what your co worker text you last night is true! All of it! Read that 10 times a day and maybe it will help you feel better! I have some really good positive affirmations I have printed out. After I read them a while, I really do start to feel better and my self esteem gets stronger.
I completely understand and validate your feelings and total frustration in dealing with your husband's "spin" on things and how he's viewing it. I went through exactly what you are going through now, and I hadn't discovered DB yet. No, you can't win anywhere when it concerns dealing with direct issues with him. I argued with my H, wrote long emails, we would have R conversations by text and did alot of validating his feelings, yet I really was trying to show him reality of the situation and how his choices were going to really bite down the road. The good part of that was he would make an effort to see things my way, but at the same time would be trying to convince me why his choices he was making were the best for the both of us, but mainly him.
So apparently this is a big NO NO when it comes to DB. However knowing myself, if I knew the rules of Dbing before this all came about, I seriously doubt I would've been able to stick to them. That's what we call a "backslide". WE all do them, and quite frankly I do believe they're called for from time to time.
However there is saying : Do everything WRONG with the right ATITITUDE and SUCCEED. Do everything RIGHT withe the WRONG ATTITUDE and DON'T SUCCEED.
As of now, as hard as this is, attempt to focus on the business end of this, regarding your concerns of the house and finances. I got some very wise advice from someone I work with that went down this road a few years ago. She said to me " Look, you spent all your time and energy trying to keep this marriage together. He wants out. He's living with that woman now. Do what I didn't do....FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU'RE ENTITLED TO! I wish I had done that, but I was so worried about wanting to be fair and not fight about anything. Well now I wish I did things differently".
That really helped me keep moving forward in focusing in what I needed to take care of business wise. This is the part where you have to remain firm and not waiver in your boundaries. This is not R talk, it is business. The MLCers will work damn hard to try and bring the R issues into it and find reason to spew over things and claim you're doing things purposely to SCREW them, etc. The best response to these sort of accusations is "Im sorry you feel that way", and then simply, but objectively address the issue.
A good example would be when my stbx blamed me for his inability to pay me agreed child support in DECEMBER of all months. I basically told him that if he was having money problems he could've talked to me about this, but if he refuses to speak to me or alert me on what's going on then how am I supposed to know?
Hang in there, we've all been through it or are going thought it and we're here to support you.
PEI~hmmm..... It feels like your post was very judgmental, perhaps you did not mean to come across that way, but that is how it seemed to me. In the grand scheme of things 6 months of living in this new reality is not very long, I am doing the best I can. I have not fallen into victim mode, and again, I am doing the best I can. I'm not sure why my age and not having any children have anything to do with MY financial situation, I understand that children cost money, I'm not stupid. Perhaps you missed the part where I stated I work in the human service field, and that equals tiny pay checks. Anyway, I am not going to re-type what I have already written.
Also, I wasn't arguing with him, and a couple of the things you chose to highlight I didn't even say to him (such as I beg to differ)I just wrote them here. Again, I am not re-typing all I have written, I am also not going to argue with you about arguing, but, as I said, I was taking some tips from the Hero's Spouse website too.
Another thing, the whole crazy mess with him is not the only issue going on in my life. I am also stressed out about very unethically things happening at my place of employment, so that doesn't help my feeling like an emotional train wreck.
At any rate, I am doing better today. Had a great adventure day with a friend yesterday and am looking forward to a much needed road trip next week!
Kimmerz~ I totally agree with when you said, "That's what we call a "backslide". WE all do them, and quite frankly I do believe they're called for from time to time." After all, I am only human, so I will make mistakes, however, sometimes things just need to be said, because at the end of the day, I need to know I did everything I could, and feel good about it.
No worries, I have no intentions of letting him screw me financially if he is so inclined to continue to believe running away is the best option. I consulted a lawyer months ago. I am also figuring out some stuff with bills.
He doesn't really say negative things about me, unless it is about how I won't do things his way, then "I'm crazy" and "need help". But who knows that could change, he could decide to start saying bad things about me, and who knows (or cares) what he says about me to other people, I'm sure anything to rationalize (you know the rational lies we tell our selves to make it ok) his actions. I know no matter what happens I will be ok, God has a plan and isn't just going to leave me. I just have to wait and see what his plan has in store. I know what I hope it will be, but I have no control over it. It is what it is.
hrm, I've been following your thread this morning and would like to offer up some advice, if you are open to it.
Your comments to your h may not have been come across to you as arguing, but to your h, your comments came across as judgemental and arguing. While they are in crisis, everything they hear from us is judgemental and arguments. We are "pointing" fingers are their wrongdoing and to them we are not taking them seriously, thus treating them as children. They regressed back to childhood and we are now the "parents" to their child personalities.
Your h is on the crazy train bound for hell and back and you do not want to be a passenger on it. The comments he's making to you are projections of what is going on in his past life and also some of the current. How he feels and sees things right now are his to own. You know what you had in the way of a relationship w/him during the time you have been married.
When a person is in mlc, counseling will serve no good for him or the relationship. Some will go just to get us off their backs, but in all honesty, if he goes, he will filter what he hears and turn it around to justify his behavior and leaving. The only time that counseling will work is once the dark, deep depression has been completed and from the sounds of things, your h is very much in replay.
My advice is to listen and when the conversations w/him get to the point of him projecting, cut the conversations short and tell him you have something to do. You do not need to listen to all of his projectiions. If you do, just say "I'm sorry you feel that way" and then walk away. You are going to find that when he wants something, he will be nice, just as long as he can get whatever it is he wants. When you say no, be prepared for angry spew and sulking, or maybe even a disappearance to two. Don't worry, he'll be back around again. You never lose them for very long, i.e., they are like a misbehaving child who wants your attention, not matter whether it is positive on negative. Keep your expectations at zero at all times, because he is not the person you knew, in fact, he's not even your friend right now.
All financial transactions as now perceived as business...try to keep your personal feelings out of them so that you can think positive and straight. You will need to put on your business hat for the negotiations.
One last thing...and many of us have tried this, so I know it doesn't work...don't try to convince him that running away will not help him. Unfortunately, he emotionally left the relationship months or even a year or so ago and that's why it's easier for him to walk away and do the things he's doing. The loving feelings he had for you are stuffed way, way down and are covered over w/childhood trauma issues right now.
Hrm, live your life as if he's not coming back. Take care of yourself the best way you can. Watch your financials! Allow God to work on your husband. He is the only one that help him now.