I think that book may give you a lot of great insight and suggestions to get out of / stay out of a co-D relationship.
I actually have no suggestions. The only thing for me is, simply do not get into co-D behaviours, no matter WHO. Whether my parents, my spouse, my kids, my friends...
For me, that means refraining from doing things for others because of any feelings of obligations or in order to "make them" like me or want me. I believe in this regard, one needs to be VERY CLEAR what their intentions are, in relation to others.
I have no idea what to think anymore. Xh seems to be a changed man....for the better.
Since December we went from 3 months of NC and spewing to:
*No more spewing.
*Told kids he quite online gaming because he's too busy doing other things now!
*Very active in parenting with the girls and parenting together with me. Initiates alot of contact in regards to the kids.
* Has become the social person he used to be, knowing all his neighbors in his apartment complex. I haven't seen him this social in years.
* Talks to me in person now and is very nice.
* Treats me with a respect now. If I text, he answers. He no longer avoids me anymore.
* Offered for me to claim both girls on the taxes without any arguments.
* Has been good at letting me know when he will send child support payments and pays when he says he will pay.
*Went from livid about me requesting spousal support to actually offering it to me in the divorce settlement.
* Was still speaking to me on our court day and was nice.
* Appears to enjoy talking about the kids and the funny things they do with me.
* Very informative of how the kids are getting along, what they ate, their homework, and what notes they have from school when dropping them off.
So what Im just wondering about is what is going on here? Do you suppose he's done baking? Did the ghosts of MLC past come haunt him? I don't understand why he's being so nice for so long. Snodderly says they usually want something when they do this, but for the life of me I have no idea what he'd want.
I still feel like Im walking on egg shells. Im hoping maybe as time goes by maybe I could just ask him what's going on with him because I see positive changes.
At the same time it bothers me a little. I noticed he warmed up to me better after I emailed him and told him I still care about him and always will. I apologized for any and all heartbreak I ever caused him. It bothers me because if he still cares enough to be nice and respectful I wish he'd just give me the courtesy to apologize for his actions too. But he's never been one to do that unless he wanting to move back in! with him it would be like something would just blow over and nothing ever happened.
Im not getting my hopes up that he will come back. I don't think I want him back, but at the same time Im still really sorting my feelings out in regards to him too.
It's probably as simple as he's moved on and let go and isn't angry, yet Im still sitting here singed and feeling very much ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY.
The only thing I'd worry about the above, is that he told the kids he quit gambling because he's too busy, now...
It would have been nice if he had said he quit gambling because he realized it was not good for him. IOW, he didn't admit he had a problem. Maybe he didn't, but his statement might suggest that if he gets bored again, he'll take up gambling again... that could just be me being paranoid.
But... what does he want...? You won't know he wants anything unless he asks...
The only thing you might guess he wants, is to have a better, more respectful R with you at this time, and with the kids...
To me, that seems too long to just "want" something... especially when the ask hasn't come yet... and normally, when I see this, as soon as the ask happens and I agree, it's back to "same ol', same ol'"... This behaviour almost seems like... a habit...
but like you said, no sense getting your hopes up. And no sense poking the bear... IF he is coming around... IF his fog has cleared... IF he wants back... wait for him to ask... otherwise... assume he is just trying to turn over a new leaf of his life...
And also in the regard of him maybe asking to work on the R, because as you indicated, you certainly let him know that you might still be an option... he could be working up to that, but you never know that his head won't explode if you say, "No, I'm happy without you" or "I'm not sure, let's take things slow"...
Kimmerz, I'm w/Kaffe...he's not gaming now, but busy doing other things...Notice he didn't tell the children what he's doing now. Sounds like his attention has turned to something else. Time will tell as to whether he returns to gaming or not.
Kimmerz, your h could very well be having longer periods of clarity. Maybe he is trying to have a better relationship w/you because he wants to be more involved in co-parenting. Until he actually tells you what is on his mind, I wouldn't focus on "what he wants". He will tell you in his own way what he wants when he is ready to talk. No, I do not think he's baked completely. He still has a ways to go, but he's baking up rather nicely, but remember, keep your expectations at zero at all times.
Learn to accept him for who he is right now...you are lucky that he's stepping up to the plate a bit. Try not to question his behavior too much because it will drive you crazy. Just remember...zero expectations.
Hey Snodderly and Kaffe, Boy do I appreciate your insights and support on this issue.
I've noticed something within me the past few weeks. I've seriously been having the feelings of an MLCer. But thanks to learning about MLC, I can really identify what the core issue is within myself, and that if I did have my husband here and say the situation was reversed there would be no reason to flip out and board the Mothership....lol.
I'm in this state of feeling what the MLCers tend to feel. I feel like it should be my turn in life because I've been so busy providing for everyone, being the money maker, putting people's needs ahead of my own, not being able to do what I want to do, etc...you know the drill! Infact it's been so bad I've actually felt the need to run myself, and even put some thought (only 5 minutes at a time though) of actually handing the kids over to stbx so I can go and FIND MYSELF! I feel like running because alone I don't have to be anything to anyone, just me.
Well hello Kim!!! Welcome to the result of living co-dependently for years and not knowing how to take care of yourself!
It dawned on me that what I really need to do is learn to take care of myself actively, and I can do this without having to ditch my kids. If I had my husband here, well it would be a time to talk to him about it instead of pointing the finger at him and blaming him for my unhappiness. My unhappiness for many years has been because I haven't taken care of myself, and have to an extent expected outside sources to do it for me.
So in a way Im glad to have these emotions come over me because I now can really relate as to what pushes them over the edge. Had I not had this valuable knowledge of MLC and great friends here to learn from, well I probably wouldn't be any better off than stbx was at one time.
For me so many things come together. Who would think something so simple really could be so hard to really grasp. Must be from years of thinking the wrong way.
They would call what you may be about to go through, a life transition.
The difference between that and MLC is the C... crisis...
A person in transition recognizes and manages their responsibilities and obligations... and STILL goes out to "find themselves"...
a person in crisis heads into "the fog" and forgets that they have responsibilities and obligations...
Good for you. Find yourself, don't fight it... because MLC strikes when we fight the transition by not looking into ourselves to discover what makes us tick and integrating that into ourselves while purging the stuff that's been holding us back...
MLC generally is a biological, emotional "catch up" because a prior transition or transitions were avoided by the person because they feared looking inside...
Just to add, I am starting to think that the more "mild" MLC cases are more of a "less controlled" transition... there is mild confusion, mild irresponsibility, mild self destructive behaviours... you get the idea...
Those classic examples of extremes, which combine craziness on all levels... those are just the ones that are REALLY obvious and great examples for humour and observational learning...
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. It's actually a comfort to hear that Im more thank likely having a life transition instead of a crisis. I was starting to get worried! I've been thinking " oh no my poor kids. first their father and now their mother???" Nope....they're priority in life. However I need to find a way to start making me a prioritiy too, but of course never to abandon my kids.
This was very good to think about today. How do I find myself? Or do I still really know who I am, Im just a little lost and not sure what direction to go in? As you said purge what's been holding me back. As I look back at what I've wanted for Myself, well I never really thought of myself, I thought of my family. I wanted what was best for all of us. Home was where my kids and husband was. I did desire to move to a bigger city where there is more things to do, and a chance for an education for myself. But given the way things were, well I figured the best thing for me to do is just make the best of where I was. So I did.
But I always have been one to want to move forward in life, and strive for whatever it is needed or really wanted at the time. You know now that I think about it, I did have it all figured out. But as I was figuring it out, MLC hit stbx. I think he went MLC, and I've been life transition.
A mild MLC is one where the person doesn't run away or takes up w/another person. For example, someone w/a mild mlc may take up a hobby and really just focus on the hobby. My father had a very mild mlc many years ago, i.e., he worked in his garden all of the time and if he wasn't there, he was fishing. These two hobbies became and obsession w/him for quite some time. This went on for quite some time and then one day, fishing was over and done with and the gardening went away slowly but surely and he began to notice his surroundings and became more interested in things around him. Mild MLCs tend to be just blips on the radar and do not have the crisis modes going into full gear. Just so you are aware, we all go through transitions and it's all in how we deal w/them. The coping skills that we learned early on are what help us along the way, as well as the environment that we grew up in.
First of all, just what are the expectations of an MLCer towards us LBS? What do they want from us? You know I have never felt more betrayed and disrespected as a person than I have with my stbx.
stbx has a bad habit of waiting till the DAY BEFORE his weekend to tell me WHEN HIS WEEKEND IS so he can have the kids. So once again in the last hour, he has just sent me a text saying " I don't think I got my schedule to you. It's the same as it's been the last 2 weeks, and I have mon - tue off. work early wed". Meaning his day off it tomorrow, so I just told the girls, " Ok guys after we do our plans tomorrow we're coming home and you're going to your dads".
This irritates the hell out of me. He got his schedule 3 days ago. I just wait for him to tell me because I AM SICK AND TIRED OF DOING ALL THE DAMN LEG WORK IN THIS RELATIONSHIP, EVEN NOW WE'RE ALMOST DIVORCED.
Any tactful ideas as how to explain to him I don't like this? Truthfully the kids don't like knowing at the last minute. This is true passive aggressive behavior. All I know to do is put my foot down and tell him the truth. I sense he's falling back into his old habits of " Kim will go along with anything I say just as along as Im nice and do it with a smile on my face".
I've done alot of soul searching this weekend and have realized why my feelings are so conflicting or so LOVE/HATE with him. The rose colored glasses are coming off.
Yes there was a time during this year I would've done anything to have him come back and be here as a family. However over time I realized that my feelings in that regard were starting to change. Part of me wants NOTHING to do with him, while the other says I do still want to rebuild a relationship with him.
I now know that part of me wanting something with him is really just my yearning for isssues to become resolved between us, or to finish unfinished business. His avoidant behavior during the marriage and certainly after BD has made me crazy. When you're involved with someone that's avoidant and passive aggressive to every extent you can think of, it really changes you. I now see Im still living as that person that lived with that man. And when one thing that would seem so trivial to someone that has NOT been involved with this man for 22 years comes up, I start to snap!
Im feeling mega defensive and like Im the bear getting poked. Yes maybe he's doing several things now that are in a positive manner, however I can see it's me that has the problem with it. I feel very resentful that he can sail in here like Super Dad and Best Ex husband ever, without acknowledging to me that he hurt me and offer an apology! What does he think that just acting the part of a kind person makes up for all he's done to me and the kids? Or does he even care?
Maybe it's just me and the 5 Love Language thing. Im a total Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch person. Where as he is Acts of Service and Gift giving. We do act out our Love language, so where words of affirmation are what Im seeking and really needing, he's busting ass to do acts of service instead of speaking the words.....that is if he really is trying to convey he's sorry and wants to help.
I don't know, Im just sick and tired of all this. I just either want him to leave me along and keep it the strictest of business OR just resolve some stuff. But based on past experiences I figure he's just got it in his mind that Im completely OK WITH EVERYTHING, OW INCLUDED, and I want to be his friend and it's all under the bridge and we can be friends now. I think I gave him the wrong message by me busting ass just trying to get some cooperation with him in regards to his visiations.
Snodderly, if he's not gaming you said he could with something else, and now Im wondering what it could be. He doesn't seem to text the kids as much anymore, which is kinda odd. Maybe it's because he seems them more, but that never seemed to stop him before.
I'll quit my harping. I realize Im not acting rational now because when this man gets too close I start spewing. I guess I really need to figure out for ME what boundaries I want instead of trying to please everyone all the time. I feel like I have to be extra nice to the man and do what he wants just to get cooperation from him.