Divorcebusting.com
Hello, I posted on the Newcomer board and had some lovely responses from one person and then accidentally hijacked someone on this forum in response to some follow up questions (very sorry).

I've posted the story of my life there. It doesn't matter. It is no worse than anyone else's here.

Everyone who knows about what has been going on thinks I am an idiot for not filing for divorce (even me most of the time). My family either won't talk to me or I can't talk to them (when I finally told my mother she told me that she would have never put up with it, I was stupid for letting him stay as long as I did, and that I just need to accept that I am better off without him).

I think I came to this board because I believe there is something wrong with my H and some level I think there is redeeming value there. Maybe I just can't tell the tale, or maybe I am stupid for staying. I literally have not come across one person (including on this board of all places) who thinks I should keep this possibility open.

My kids say they are done with him. I don't blame them. How much hurt are kids supposed to take? Will they regret this later in life? Probably. They went to a counselor who said they seem to be holding up all things considered.

I guess a lot of you have happy times to look back on. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. Who can even remember anymore. Maybe I do just need to drop the rope. Maybe it is just fear.
Welcome to this board.

The first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy book by MWD,
Divorce Busting is also an excellent book.
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

Keep this to yourself. DO NOT share this book or this site at all with your spouse. It is your playbook and not to be shared with the "opposing" team.

It is important to clear the search/browsing history from your computer on a daily basis to prevent the possibility for your WAS to stumble on the DB site and discover your posts here on DB. Erasing the search history will protect your posts and you as well.

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts (for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support)

I have read a good deal of books on the subject and can give you some suggestions when you are ready.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

I will give you a bunch of homework assignments to read.

This POST is under reconstruction and we will be working on this as time goes by, this is the most current version.


I would start with the going dark link.
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post50956

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2537289#Post2537289

Resources thread(last post only)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2592296#Post2592296

Things you should know as the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2701017#Post2701017

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Doormat Tactics
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1942444#Post1942444

Standing vs leaving
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1966340&page=1

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

Musings from AmyC
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2253741#Post2253741

MLC Signs
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2177869#Post2177869

The Final Stages Withdrawal to Acceptance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2074403&page=1

Now you have all the tools to read. Let us know how your doing and if you have any questions.

I suggest that you read the entire thread in the resources.
You can also pick out some people and read their whole story.

Depression is the key to the whole thing and it is always present!

Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

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

Lets not worry about him/her. Lets work on you!
Start your homework assignments.
Something to DO while you are on moderation.
GAL.
Eat, sleep, exercise and take a deep breath.
In general take care of your self first.

Detach the single most important thing to DO.


Your H/W has given you a gift
THE GIFT OF TIME
use it wisely

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
Please repost or at least link your story. It will help people reply if they know more details.

Your story is important because it is YOUR story. Don't put yourself down.Asking if you are stupid, is another put down. Your self image could be something you could spend some time exploring and working on.

Here is my view, you cannot and probably should not stand if you do not believe in the potential of your spouse and M. You have this belief, so standing is right for you.

How you stand is almost more important than if you stand.

Best wishes

Welcome to this part of the forum. I hope you find what you are looking for
helies,

You need to be a little more gentle with yourself. If your not going to love yourself through this process your going to be beating yourself up time and time again. Don't get me wrong, I get it, but this is where you start making yourself better, not for him but for you.

I know you don't know it now but there is light at the end of the tunnel, a life you can call your own.

We(all of us) on this forum are here to help and believe me we all need help at certain times through this journey. I've had 3-4 huge things happen in my life that could have broken me, this being one of them. All of us here have felt that pain.

Make it a personal challenge to yourself to not let this happen.

It starts with a small step, just one to get you going. Maybe working to dull that bitterness you have. Small positive changes can have huge payoffs down the road.

Mirage
Originally Posted By: helies
Hello, I posted on the Newcomer board and had some lovely responses from one person and then accidentally hijacked someone on this forum in response to some follow up questions (very sorry).

I've posted the story of my life there. It doesn't matter. It is no worse than anyone else's here.

Everyone who knows about what has been going on thinks I am an idiot for not filing for divorce (even me most of the time). My family either won't talk to me or I can't talk to them (when I finally told my mother she told me that she would have never put up with it, I was stupid for letting him stay as long as I did, and that I just need to accept that I am better off without him).

I think I came to this board because I believe there is something wrong with my H and some level I think there is redeeming value there. Maybe I just can't tell the tale, or maybe I am stupid for staying. I literally have not come across one person (including on this board of all places) who thinks I should keep this possibility open.

I think you should keep this ^^possibility open. I tried to communicate that in different words, on your thread.

My concern in your situation is that I sense a lot of "waiting" on your end, and calling that "standing for m". Another theme I picked up on and discussed in your thread is assignment of blame, all of which seems to be on him.

Here's the epiphany I had on these boards, some years ago.

In my view, the best news we can ever hear as LBSers, is that WE have work to do on ourselves. That it is NOT all their fault.

Because if this is truly all about him and his issues and his defects and his personality disorders tired

then you are powerless.


My kids say they are done with him. I don't blame them.

time can/will change how they feel. It probably will. When they are in their 30's and have their own families, he may be a super grandfather. So, imo, there's No need to ask them about their feelings or to cement their views...

They need to believe both their parents value them, even in the face of less than stellar parenting. For theirs sakes, not his.



How much hurt are kids supposed to take? Will they regret this later in life? Probably. They went to a counselor who said they seem to be holding up all things considered.

I guess a lot of you have happy times to look back on. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. Who can even remember anymore. Maybe I do just need to drop the rope. Maybe it is just fear.





You said you had several years of them, and that until 7(??) years ago, your m was satisfying to you. Did I get that right? If you have spent your m hoping he'd change, then perhaps it is time to change that.


Does his behavior today & the past 7 years, negate all the good memories?

You are allowed to feel good about the successful marriage you once had, without immediately tying it into what is happening today.

What about a married couple with 40 years of marriage, who end up divorced b/c of an impasse that for some reason, defeats them?

What if their marriage really was rewarding for both of them, for 37 of those years?
What if they traveled the world, learned other languages and started a business that has touched countless lives? What if they raised loving, fun children who are leading productive lives?

Are they "failures" b/c a problem of 1-2 years duration (or 7) ends their m?
IS every good memory now a sham?

Maybe you can reframe your views & change your paradigm...and protect your children from knowing all the details of your h's life. Maybe your h is ill, but that just deflects from things you CAN work on...

and or, Maybe your h is lost but is trying to find himself & work his way back...

What do you think ^^that would look like?


a thought to share...

We can be mistaken when we contemplate our options in this DB situation...

You may think your option is "a divorce - versus - a happy marriage".

But that ^^ isn't the equation.


In a way, we are imagining we have a time machine to go back in time to the marriage we once had (or the fantasy of what we hoped it would become someday) ---as opposed to filing for divorce.


But that^^ is not the paradigm. You are not being presented with the option of a happily restored marriage - or a "Now it's great" marriage.

You are presented with continuation of what is happening now and has been for 7 years, or filing for divorce.

That's^^ often the case, though your situation has been going on for longer.


What if there was another paradigm?


What if it's to "stay legally married AND find peace, OR file for divorce, AND find peace"??

What if you can morph this into a win win, rather than a lose lose?

There comes a time when we create a new life of love, balance and connection...

or become defined by this ordeal.
Here is helies' thread over on Newcomers:

I thought he was NPD, now I think MLC and NPD
Thanks Job, I think I haven't figured out this linking thing yet.
Thank you so much for your kind words (even when others might not see them as kind). I welcome being hit on the head and having the opportunity to reevaluate my thinking and get out of this abyss in which I find myself.

roist--you are correct. Self-esteem issues have been a big thing for me for a long time. Not a desirable quality I know. on my list of things I'm working on. Do see an IC with the goal of dealing with my issues. Have for a long time.

mirage--thank you. I do think I have been bitter. i don't want to be that person. That, I believe, is the start of any journey.
Originally Posted By: job
Here is helies' thread over on Newcomers:

I thought he was NPD, now I think MLC and NPD


So where is your thread now? I didn't find it on MLC.
25,

This is her thread on the MLC Forum. The link I posted is over on the Newcomers Forum. I don't think she has another thread on this Forum because she is a newbie.
25yearsmlc, thank you for taking the time here and on my other thread. Your kindness and Vanilla's is very apparent.

You are right. I have made this all about him. I do focus on him far too much. I spent several months trying to find out everything I could and learned far too much. I've put my detective hat on the shelf. Much of that would make reconciliation difficult for us at both ends.

To answer some of your questions.
End of August 2016 we moved to a new house about 50 min away from his job which he began in November 2016. At the time we were living 3.5 hours away and he came home every other week. He had a week on and week off schedule. Immediately after he started this job it was like a light switch. He became evil and hateful to me all the time (there were periodic episodes of this for the prior 7 or so years, but they would go quickly and he would reemerge). I pressed him again about why (I pressed him many times over the years). He said he wanted a divorce. Wouldn't say why. We discussed this a few days. He finally revealed the OW, whose presence clearly lead to the ILBINILWY speech from several years before. I would discover they were in a 3+ year relationship that was off and on. She was a superior of his in the year of his residency (when he was away and had an EA with a different woman). He sought her out, they had an online relationship, she moved to the town that was 3.5 hours away from us. He found a way to get there with his job and made it happen. He used the kids to hide his affair. Once they learned about it, they themselves put together what he had done.

I learned of affair in Jan. 2016. I kept it to myself and soldiered on. We discussed logistics. At some point my son learned about it from text messages between my husband and myself. He did not tell me. Tax day 2016 we got into a big fight. He went to my son and said your mother and I are not getting along and we are probably getting a divorce. Then he drove off early to go back to his job and the OW. Son was devastated. He admitted that he knew about the OW. At that point I had to tell my daughter, who was away at school.

We went back and forth about how to split and what to do. I think he and the OW broke up and got back together many times. We decided that the current location and house weren't good for the kids and that we should move nearer his job. He said he wanted to go to MC (we had gone to 2-3 during the years for a session or two but he didn't like any and wouldn't go back). We went to the MC, she asked for individual sessions to do bac family history. After his, he came back in a great mood and I said well, what did you think. And he said "We are definitely getting a divorce." More tension for a few weeks. Daughter sends him a heartfelt text about his behavior (he was being openly hostile to all and acting very odd). I asked him what we were going to do about it. He said he was moving out on his next day off. I said, in anger, why bother, just don't come back. He didn't for a couple days. I packed his stuff and put it in the garage. He came back angrily saw it and took it and left. He had Find My Friends on his phone and had not disconnected the kids. Daughter saw that he went to her house (she knew street name, a very distinctive one, because OW had sent me a card I foolishly kept in my glove box and daughter discovered). That is how kids knew he went to OW. I ask him to come back. Tell him kids are hurting. Ask him to come talk to them. He comes and talks to daughter. He is cold and nasty. She says he treats her like a job interview candidate (keep in mind she is 16 and very smart). He lies and says he moved there because of job. She says is OW why you made me go to boarding school last year (which didn't go well). They get in huge fight. She tells him she wants nothing to do with him if OW is in picture. He flees the house.

No contact for one week. I talk to lawyer. Decide we need to do collaborative, try to discuss with him. Many arguments. He says he doesn't want expensive divorce. Wants no custody. I ask him how kids are supposed to feel about that. He has no answer.

Come home one week later and he is in house. Kids are freaked out. There had been a little stalking during that week by him (restaurant, house, son's school). He says he doesn't want to be a bad dad like his, he wants to replay our relationship and start over. He sits down on sofa and I see that his is already regretting it. I say nothing. Go out of town for three days. Come back and the switch has flipped again. He is being horrible. I look at phone records. He has started talking to her again. He is also being horrible to kids. Daughter tells me she does not want him in house and that I should not keep him there for she and brother. Says they cannot live with his behavior and the tension. I go to him and say it was wrong of me to ask you not to see this woman. Right away he says yes, I am not lying about it anymore, I am involved with her and I am going to continue to be. I say then you can't stay in the house. He says it is his house and I can't make him leave. I tell him I can get a kick out order. He says he has to go to work and work overnight shift (which he had never done in this job). I drop daughter at airport and son at swimming and drive to her house. His car is outside. I demand keys to house and garage to prevent another occurence of him coming back.

Very little communication between us. I try a few times to get him to see kids. Each time the kids say that want to discuss their feelings and what happened. Each time he literally runs from the house and says he won't discuss anything with them.

On Halloween I call him. He casually mentions that we need to start diving things and he has opened a new bank account and we should refi house. I tell him house is too new but he can look into refi if he wants. Call is short. Couple of days later I check his online pay portal and disover that he has changed his check to go into this new bank account without discussing. I call him and say you promised you would never do anything dishonest with money. He says it is his money and he wants to pay bills and has expenses and needs to pay OW some rent. I say how much do you need for your expenses. He gives amount. I say fine, take that much but put the direct deposit back so I can pay the bills. He does after I threaten to file for divorce the next day if he does not. I tell him we can do separation contract. He wants it very much. Comes over 2-3 times to discuss terms (each time as though gun to his head). Keeps asking for agreement. Lawyer sick then out til holidays. Not done until Jan. He hasn't asked for it since early Dec.

Virtually no contact between Halloween and December 31 (our anniversary was December 30). No efforts to see or talk to kids. Kids and I are in Mexico and he calls them. They don't answer. He texts next day and says he wants to see them (he was fishing to see if we were in Mexico as I had mentioned during a wrap up talk). I keep getting alerts in Mexico that his spending has exceeded $500 threshold from our account (keep in mind he gave himself allowance but continues to use our account--I never said he could not and have never commented on him using it). I say to daughter, that is odd, I keep gettting these alerts for big purchases at Costco. She says, I bet he moved out of her house and is buying stuff. Then days later I get checks coming through for first and last month's rent. He doesn't follow up for a week or so. Then he picks them up, they go to movies, nothing is discussed and he drops them off. This continues about every 3 weeks or so.

I have kids in counseling. Kids C wants to see him. I tell him. Nothing. She says they should have regular schedule of visits. I tell him, nothing. Son struggling in school every time he sees or talks to dad (sent to office on disciplinary issues). Finally I say I'd prefer you didn't see son again until you guys go to counselor. About a month later he finally goes. I can see he thinks it is a one and done thing. Son says counseling not helping, I'm happier when I don't see or talk to him. Daughter has been saying same.

I trick kids into having him come over to break the impasse (he tells me he is afraid they won't let him in). He comes, they all go out. Sometime in January or February. He has been coming around more regularly, but gets close and disappears.

He blocked me on FB the day he left the first time and removed me from FF. I stopped using FB. He eventually re-friended daughter when he started texting her again and she said she didn't text people that weren't even her friends on FB. She tell me when he posts crazy things even though I have asked her not to. Daughter had reported OW to FB on discovery of her and OW blocked here. Daughter notices OW has unblocked her, I check and see she has unblocked me. Out of curiosity I check and see has unblocked me and made previously private account open. On Saturday daughter tells me he posted something I have to see. It is a poem about Odysseus and a father's longing to return to his children and spouse.

That's the long of it. Kids aren't little. They aren't dumb. I try not to talk negatively about him to them. I have told them that he appears to be struggling and that he needs his space from me. I tell them that they don't need to be on my team and that I am not mad at him. I tell them I am working on me and feeling better. I show them this as many ways as I can (exercising, more care in my appearance, traveling, spending time with friends, getting back to work, etc.).

I want them to have a relationship with him that is as strong as possible. I don't believe I have to be in the picture for that to happen. They are just very hurt. The same time he was pulling away from me and the marriage, he was pulling away from them too. They said he hasn't been a father since we lived in X house (right before he went to med school and this saga began). Their counselor has empowered them to have the relationship they want on their terms, or no relationship if that is what they choose. They make it clear to him that they will do things if the things he proposes are things they want and not just what he wants. They have told him they don't want a texting relationship with them or have dinner a couple times a year. They have told him that they would prefer no relationship.

They all seem to get along well when he comes, but he can only do it a week or so and then he disappears again. He texts and texts. As soon as they answer, he stops. I think that is why they don't respond. At least this way they hear something from him. I have called him several times and offered to help him with the kids. I have told him he can see them whenever he wants. I asked him if he wanted to come to house and stay with son a couple of weeks ago when daughter and I had audition tour for college. Son reported things were going well and they were having a god time. I told him I was glad and that I wanted him to be happy. H was texting me frequently about son, schedule, how daughter was doing, repairs needed around house, etc. Suddenly stopped again. No contact for over a week with kids, then texting them but not me.
Ok 25yearsmlc, if you are still reading, here is the part about me.

I'm a strong woman. I have opinions and convictions. I share them. I was a K-JD. Worked hard, achieved success. Helped him from being a college drop-out to getting teaching degree to going to med school when he wasn't happy. Pretty clear that I was his rock.

After my son was born I think I had PPD for about a year and just kind of shut down. I was working, supporting family, and probably resentful. He always told me he loved me until I was at work late one night (which was common), and I laughed nervously because I had colleagues in my office. He never said it again.

I felt him pulling away. I wrote it off to everything. I wrote it off to life, being busy, having kids. I kept telling myself it will be better when . . . I think I got wrapped up in my job, and my kids. I forgot about him. I noticed the fear of aging he was developing, the restlessness. I was afraid of it. I was afraid to go to MC. What if it didn't work, I would save it until later.

He was bored and unhappy teaching. I challenged him to find his passion. He said the only thing he ever wanted was medicine but he had blown that chance. I said its never too late do it. I encouraged him to move across the country when that was the only school that would take him. I encouraged him to leave the state for residency when he didn't match at home. I encouraged him to take the job 3.5 hours away when he said it would make him happier.

I've been told he is NPD by two counselors and been told there is something going on by two others. I don't want to believe it. I hope like hell it is wrong. The things I see seem to match up with both and I know people can become more narcissistic when under stress or MLC.

He had a horrible upbringing and was virtually abandoned by both parents. He has always kept his feelings very close. Only recently has he begun to show any empathy for the children.

Why don't I say anything to him? I don't want to put pressure on him or chase him away. I think he delayed full on replay a long time because he fought against himself to "do the right thing." In the end he literally said I can't do what society expects of me. I have to do this for myself. It is my last chance at happiness.

Since he left, I feel better in a lot of ways. It is easier to be alone than lonely. I see me faults and the things I need to work on. We had a very co-dependent and enmeshed relationship. He told me he was not my project, but you see he was. We both knew that. He told me I was like his mother (I'm not at all, but I think he meant I was more of a mother figure than a wife).

I'm less sure of myself now, but softer. I am learning to let go of the need to control everything. When he first left I said to myself, I will never let him come back until he does x, y, and z. I know that is wrong. I have no expectations.

I don't see the choice as a happy marriage or a divorce. I am not in the position to decide anything. My only choice is whether I leave open the possibility that he might be part of my life again some day.

I don't need a divorce for anything. I have said from day one that I would never file. I don't intend to. Now, I can take specific actions that I know will make him file or not. I can push him to sign the separation contract that he wanted back in October or I can do as I have and wait for him to ask for it. We owe lots in taxes that needs to be paid, its easier if I do that before the contract. We have one car left that needs to be paid off. Again, easier if that is done before. Our daughter will know in about a week where she is going to college (the difference in tuition between the various options is $70k a year). There are several reasons to wait at least a few more weeks.

I pushed him to stay in the marriage for so long, to do the right thing. I'm trying to give him space now. We went on my steam for 25 years. I'm trying to see where his takes us, if anywhere.

You've picked up on the fact that I am unclear about what I want, because I AM UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT I WANT. I love him. I always will. He used to be my best friend. I wish I could have that guy back. I wish I had someone to talk to about things, to encourage me. I wish I had someone to tell me it was going to be ok.

My kids are equally ambivalent. If I text him right now and say when do you want to see the kids, he will probably respond and give me a time and then shown up and the kids will be happy to see him. Then he will pull away again.

Every counselor says that his relationship with the kids is up to him, but I keep having to push it along. I'm trying to let him be the man he wants to be. I'm trying to let go of my need for control. But sometimes it kills me. Sometimes it is easy.

I'm starting EMDR with my IC. I've been seeing one on and off for the last 7 years. Pretty non-stop for the last two. I'm financially secure. I am opening up to people and making friends. I have taken some poetry courses, gone to lectures, am doing more intellectual reading (I turned that part of myself off for a long time). I'm trying to get my daughter through HS and my son through MS. I'm exercising.

I want to completely detach from him. The rest, I'm not so sure about.

I don't like games. Not talking to him feels like a game. He is a very good cake eater. I don't want to go back to that either. Where is the happy medium?
Hello Helies. I am sorry we are meeting each other under such terrible circumstances.

Since you are unclear about what you want, maybe take some time to figure it out. Continue with your counseling, spending time doing the things you enjoy and try to get in touch with what you want.

My husband is a MLCer, Passive Aggressive, and possibly Narcissistic. It is a combination for crazy-making. You aren't alone in feeling the way that you do.

The best advice I can give is take a deep breath and find your center. Once you do, the answers will come. If I have learned anything, it is that MLC takes a whole lotta time. Step back and let him run in circles on his own. I will tell you what others have told me, focus on yourself. (Very easy to say, very hard to do; especially when there is an OW.)

Keep posting. It does help.
Sorry for your pain

Its hard to make sense out of the MLCer behavior
they are very erratic, sometimes they seem close -then disappear--this is normal for a MLCer
they too are confused..they want this fun life -they think the new path will bring them utopia--It can't and never will ..
some get worse over time-replay is about fun, no responsibility, being young again-
new clothes, new hairstyle, new car or motorcycle, new woman

they sometimes become terrible fathers
they are actually in a real crises created by unresolved childhood issues
it is not about us

The LBS needs to work on creating a life without the MLCer
we can be cordial and kind
definitely get all finances in order and watch and make sure the accounts are separate
Get your name off any credit cards with him
they tend to spend a a lot and way more than they can afford at times

Usually the OW of a MLCer is trash..they could have psych issues or control issues
any woman that would be with a M man can't be very classy

I would try to separate your R away from the kids R with him
I know it is hard but we definitely want to keep the kids our of it if possible

I would tell my kids- they were younger than yours the truth--Dad is in MLC and we need to let him go.and I told them it is not their fault-we prayed for him
I told them he loved them very much but sometimes people get sick..and some get better
we can't change it or control it

try not to pressure him
validate him when possible
this will create a friendship
thank him if he does something right

remember you can't fix this or him
his journey

You sound like you are already working on yourself and that is good
keep posting and hang in
Thank you FightOn and peacetoday. I have gotten some great advice today. I think I've been clinging to the give him space and obsessing over him, I've forgotten what kind of person I want to be in relation to him. I decided to text him and let him know that his daughter was feeling better from her recent surgery (one he doesn't even know she had) and that if he wanted to find time to take her driving to let me know.

I'm going to focus on me in all things, including him. The ME I want to be, not the me I was with him.

I've been reading your thread FightOn, it is difficult and confusing. It's hard to know when to hold on and when to let go. The one thing I will let go of once and for all is the illusion that I have any control over what he, or anyone else, does.
As a thank you and reminder to myself, I have been reading other's posts. BluWave, you are amazing and your lessons alone could heal many a wounded heart. I will stop looking and analyzing everything he does. And I think I have been so sad these last few days because I am finally and hopefully forever, mourning the marriage I had (or at least thought I had). Thank you for that.

Roist, when you said told someone not to assume that their spouse took an action to hurt them and that it was likely just that person trying to make themselves happy, that really spoke to me. I keep thinking that he is intentionally setting out to hurt me in the things he does (like not responding to the text I sent him earlier--very out of character given that it was me reaching out to him) and I am going to remind myself that it probably has nothing to do with me and move on.
Originally Posted By: helies
Ok 25yearsmlc, if you are still reading, here is the part about me.

I'm a strong woman. I have opinions and convictions. I share them. I was a K-JD. Worked hard, achieved success. Helped him from being a college drop-out to getting teaching degree to going to med school when he wasn't happy. Pretty clear that I was his rock.

After my son was born I think I had PPD for about a year and just kind of shut down. I was working, supporting family, and probably resentful.



That ^ must have showed. So then, maybe the "rock" position you once held, shifted. Did that later fade away?

Please don't think I'm blaming you. But in my opinion, I think when we own whatever part we played in the marital shift, even if it's relatively minor (not that it's a contest!) I THINK it's easier to move forward and maybe even forgive.

Forgiveness is not condoning. It's not even something we have to tell our spouses.


It's something that helps us move forward, in my opinion. It's about letting go of the results & the outcome of our marital situation, and also, forgiving ourselves for that piece of it we should. Whether it's prolonged untreated depression, (I was grief stricken when my mother died unexpectedly, and other major events happened the same month. I was not "wrong" to grieve, but I was also not as present for my h and myself...

We sometimes need to forgive ourselves for the self doubts we have, sometimes valid ones...like the questions

"how did I not see this sooner?? Or why did I put up with X??" Feelings of being a doormat, or too frightened to leave him, or to have been blind for so long, etc

These^^ are not questions I"m projecting onto you, just using examples of how forgiveness helps US...


He always told me he loved me until I was at work late one night (which was common), and I laughed nervously because I had colleagues in my office. He never said it again.

Did you explain to him what happened and why? Did you tell him you loved him often after that?


I felt him pulling away. I wrote it off to everything. I wrote it off to life, being busy, having kids. I kept telling myself it will be better when . . . I think I got wrapped up in my job, and my kids. I forgot about him. I noticed the fear of aging he was developing, the restlessness. I was afraid of it. I was afraid to go to MC. What if it didn't work, I would save it until later.

He was bored and unhappy teaching. I challenged him to find his passion. He said the only thing he ever wanted was medicine but he had blown that chance. I said its never too late do it. I encouraged him to move across the country when that was the only school that would take him. I encouraged him to leave the state for residency when he didn't match at home. I encouraged him to take the job 3.5 hours away when he said it would make him happier.

I've been told he is NPD by two counselors and been told there is something going on by two others. I don't want to believe it.


Did they meet with him much? Did they base this diagnosis on your observations only? I don't blame you for wanting answers (and predictions, b/c it's terrifying when we don't understand what is going on.)

I'm just not sure how valuable the observations are when they have not met my h, and I know for a fact I'm biased. Plus, it sounds as if the only thing you get out of the diagnosis of him is hopelessness, with some "daddy/husband is crazy so I don't have to publicly own any part of this."

Look, believe me, I understand how it feels to love someone a lot for a long time. And to feel deeply embarrassed about putting up with things for too long.

But I also think it makes me powerless since it takes ALL choice away from me.

(I've talked to C's about my h. Sometimes they suggest things to read or ponder, but I can't recall them formally diagnosing without meeting with him in person, for awhile.




I hope like hell it is wrong. The things I see seem to match up with both and I know people can become more narcissistic when under stress or MLC.

He had a horrible upbringing and was virtually abandoned by both parents. He has always kept his feelings very close.

I understand the empathy and understanding you are trying to apply here. But mostly focusing on him, again, deflects away from you doing your own work. Specifically, I mean, not just what you are "working on...", but specific things you are doing, or not doing anymore.


Only recently has he begun to show any empathy for the children.

Why don't I say anything to him? I don't want to put pressure on him or chase him away.



You mention fears holding you back from seeing or acting, before. Could this^^ be more of that?

Plus, this is not a new situation. You've been in a pursuit dance and limbo, for a long time, haven't you? What could you say that would pressure him?


--
I'm less sure of myself now, but softer. I am learning to let go of the need to control everything. When he first left I said to myself, I will never let him come back until he does x, y, and z. I know that is wrong. I have no expectations.

I don't see the choice as a happy marriage or a divorce.


Why not? Why aren't the choices between a happy marriage OR a happy divorce?

Just as your GOALS, b/c like you said, you cannot control the marriage.

But your choice really isn't that.^^

It's a choice between what you know has been happening the past 7 years, and
a divorce, with you Not being defined by that.

OR a choice between staying legally married, and miserable, (sets a lousy example for your kids)

OR a divorce AND moving forward in your life.




I am not in the position to decide anything. My only choice is whether I leave open the possibility that he might be part of my life again some day.


I disagree. I think you have choices about how you react every day and evening. How you choose to behave, what you say, redirecting your thoughts (easier said that done but crucial to your well being)

As for the possibility of leaving open...why would you need to decide that, now? Until if and when he wants back in to the marriage, this is premature and rather a little like borrowing trouble from the future, and again, deflecting away from work you really can do.

Stay in the now, be fully present for your children, GAL and Detach from the results. I know I hammer that, but it's because it works and nothing else I know, does.


I don't need a divorce for anything. I have said from day one that I would never file. I don't intend to. Now, I can take specific actions that I know will make him file or not. I can push him to sign the separation contract that he wanted back in October or I can do as I have and wait for him to ask for it. We owe lots in taxes that needs to be paid, its easier if I do that before the contract. We have one car left that needs to be paid off. Again, easier if that is done before. Our daughter will know in about a week where she is going to college (the difference in tuition between the various options is $70k a year). There are several reasons to wait at least a few more weeks.

I pushed him to stay in the marriage for so long, to do the right thing. I'm trying to give him space now. We went on my steam for 25 years. I'm trying to see where his takes us, if anywhere.

What did you get out of ^^this?? Where do you think that another 7-50 years will
take you?


You've picked up on the fact that I am unclear about what I want, because I AM UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT I WANT. I love him. I always will. He used to be my best friend. I wish I could have that guy back. I wish I had someone to talk to about things, to encourage me. I wish I had someone to tell me it was going to be ok.
'

Well it will be alright. In time, it will be okay. '

In the film, "Under the Tuscan Sun", the main character is lovingly warned not to become a shell of a woman who is at a cross roads, but refuses to take a turn. (Presumably she keeps looking back and staying at the crossroads...)

But there are many who simply never recover from a marriage with unmet needs, or a divorce.

You deserve better.

My kids are equally ambivalent. If I text him right now and say when do you want to see the kids, he will probably respond and give me a time and then shown up and the kids will be happy to see him. Then he will pull away again.

Every counselor says that his relationship with the kids is up to him, but I keep having to push it along. I'm trying to let him be the man he wants to be. I'm trying to let go of my need for control. But sometimes it kills me. Sometimes it is easy.

I'm starting EMDR with my IC--

I want to completely detach from him. The rest, I'm not so sure about.

I don't like games. Not talking to him feels like a game. He is a very good cake eater. I don't want to go back to that either. Where is the happy medium?
]



I don't think Detaching is really about a happy medium. He, none of your choices are painless.

(Except maybe changing your screen name??) cool

Work on you and GAL. That's not easy, I know. But it is also not complicated.
Helies,

First time reading your thread and just wanted to say you are not stupid. You are doing what you believe is the best course of action in a real chitty situation you didn't choose. Think hard about those what do you want questions. That's not stupid, that's strong. I'm inspired by how much you have helped your kids through this. That is heroic.
Gordie:

I read what you wrote on another thread about me talking a lot and perhaps not acting enough. That was a real head smacking moment for me. In the last few months in my relationships with others I have been working on talking less and acting more, although I am not sure I made this mental connection for myself. Thank you so much for that observation and for helping me see something else I need to continue working on.
25--thank you for your words. I definitely accept my share of the problems in the marriage. I may not have come to terms with all of them yet, but the ones I have already are pretty daunting. I think one of the main reasons I am not ready to cast this aside yet is that I have not learned all the lessons from it that I need to. I have no feeling that I am missing out on anything else and I just want to do my work and be there for my kids.

I think I stopped being his cheerleader and stopped looking at him in that adoring way. I think I did this at a bad time in his life when he was questioning a lot of things. I did notice when he stopped saying I love you, but it wasn't until the last year that he specifically brought up this incident as causing a shift in his thinking about me, and it would have occurred in that same time period about 7 years ago. I never trusted his I love yous. I wasn't feeling a corresponding action from him, and my own mother has literally never told me that she loved me. The only people from whom I've really ever been able to accept love from are my children. My son, who is very vocal about his needs, will tell me in small ways often that he needs to feel more love from me. When he was about 5 he told me that he needed me to hold his hand tighter. Recently he told me that I sometimes get cold and slip away for a while. Although difficult to hear, I have so much respect for him that he can recognhize his needs and vocalize them. I am proud of myself for raising a boy who understands his needs and speeks up about them.

The counselors I mentioned have all met him, though not for much time. He doesn't hang around in counseling. He does it more to appease me but can't handle it for very long. I think you are 100% correct--the only thing I have gotten from them is that he is hopeless and that I should move on for my sake and the kids. As a human being with feelings, this is intolerable to me. I do not throw people away--ever. I see it as his right to give up on me if that is his choice. But I am not sure that I will ever give up hoping for him. However, I do feel much shame for putting up with what I did, for not standing up for myself, for not making the changes within myself.

We have been doing the pursuer/distancer thing for a long time and I have been aware of it a long time. I wasn't so great at stopping it though. I have been much better since October. He just needs to be completely away from me now. He honestly believes that all of his problems are my fault. I told him before he left that he was throwing away his life for a relationship that wouldn't last (and it hasn't), that his relationship with the kids wasn't strong enough to withstand it (and it isn't), that the person he was constantly running from was himself (and that is true). I think he is getting some of this, but he is still mad at me for knowing it. He is mad at me for seeing it.

I would like to get things more final between us. I do not like being his Plan B. I do not like watching the baby steps he is taking away from me. My IC says he is choosing the ways he will be married to me and the ways he won't. I see the truth in that. His choice is not my choice. I do not accept that kind of relationship.

I know my screen name bothers you and why it does. I will come up with something better. I am not making any of these choices concerning him today. I'm choosing me, and my kids, and peace, and being ok in my own skin. I belt ieve divorce is inevitable but I am not racing to get there. When I am ready I will file. I don't believe he ever will.
Ok 25, I have my new name pending approval. I think you will approve.
So, my H had a period a few weeks ago where he came to the house almost daily, texted me regularly for a few days, stayed in the house with our S while I traveled for college with our D, commented on repairs needed for the house, etc. Near the end of that stay he stopped talking to me and went silent on the kids once again. We had no fights, arguments, nada. A week or so later he started texting the kids twice a day with much nicer texts that are personal and seem to take more care about what is going on in their lives. I sent him one text to update him on our D's surgery which I felt bad that he didn't even know about. He ignored me completely but casually mentioned the text to D in a text to her so I know he got it. He is posting really sad poems on FB (a poem about the pull between responsibility and obsession that mentions Odysseus's desire to go home to his wife and son--which he did, that life is gray and without fizz, and the Emily Dickinson poem "After great pain a formal feeling comes" that I told him many times was one of my favorites).

Even though D is not responding, H texted her that he is coming to the house tomorrow to take her driving (she is working on her license). I'm 100% ok with this. I want the kids to have a relationship with him. I get that he is not capable of keeping a schedule, talking to me, talking about his feelings with the kids.

I am planning not to be here when he arrives if he gives her any notice (I work from home so I am here quite a bit). I am not planning to talk to him at all. Planning to keep giving him space.

Sometimes though I feel like I have mastered the don't pursue him part to such an extent that I am not doing enough to be a lighthouse. Does anyone have any insights or suggestions on this? He has never been out of contact with me for more than 1 week since he lef (my text re the surgery was at the 1 week mark and was sent less than a week ago). He has not used the word divorce since early Dec, has not asked for the separation contract that he asked for in Oct, and has not told me to get on with my life since early Dec. We seem to communicate much less than most people on this site, but it feels like he is circling in rather than spiraling out.


Any thoughts on being a better lighthouse without chasing, pressuring, etc.?
I think you are doing a good job of giving him space and time. I would stay the course and continue as you have been in giving him the space and time as well as your home a safe place for him to land. Have you given any thought to maybe having some delicious goodies sitting around that fill the room with a wonderful aroma? You want him leave w/good thoughts of the home and you and this is one way to do it. They can't miss something until it's gone/away from them.

Keep up the good work!
OwnIt, thanks for stopping by my thread. I cannot offer an advice, especially since I am still so new to this and not totally detached myself. What I can offer is to add you to my prayers and pray for your strength and endurance thru all of this.

I have been giving my W space as well...or has she just vanished, sometimes I can't tell. Whatever it is, I know that she is in a place that is dark at the moment. She is pulling further away as many on here do. We can only hope and pray that at some point, God will open their eyes to what they have done. Now they are blinded and can only see their fantasy Utopia. How long will it take for them to realize that it doesn't exist, or will they always be lost in this search for it?

May you continue to have the strength and endurance to handle what is thrown in your path.
Thank you Job, so honored to see your words of wisdom on my thread. Would love to make some yummy with wonderful aroma but he has adopted and ascetic diet and would likely be annoyed. It is a gray, rainy day so I will leave the fireplace on and make sure the house is clean and well-lit. I am sticking it out. Whether it is changing his feelings I can't say, but mine have become easier to bear and I am feeling better about the direction of my life regardless of how this turns out.

Thanks SBJ, in my time with mine I've seen him run away and now what appears to be turning back in. Who knows if this is for good or just another touch and go, or a resolution to make peace with the kids and keep me away. I think I can live with the latter. I just want my kids to have a dad that doesn't completely vanish on them so they don't feel the pain of abandonment forever. We can do this!
Originally Posted By: OwnIt

I just want my kids to have a dad that doesn't completely vanish on them so they don't feel the pain of abandonment forever. We can do this!


I don't understand those that completely vanish from their kids. I know that it could be extremely hard on the kids, but might be easier on the LBS in a way. My W walked out on me, but still holds a pretty good relationship with our 3 wonderful kids. I guess seeing that she still is good with them solidifies the fact that she sees me as the bad guy that she needed to escape from to find her fantasy relationship.

You are right when you say that we can do this!!! The biggest help to me is the community of friends on this site that have helped me cope with the anger and frustration of the situation. I thank God every day for the people here that have gone thru or are still going thru their own personal hell and still come on here to give love and support to those of us that are struggling with understanding our own situations.

God Bless!!!
SBJ, avoid the temptation to compare, they all do things differently. I will say that watching him abandoning the children has given me much more conviction that there is truly something wrong with him.

That said, we are all the bad guys. I think in general that the women in these situations remain more connected with the kids, but there are also examples of men who do. Everyone is different.

Reading some new threads today has given me a lot more strength to tackle my own problems head on and let him worry about his.
Have you read DB or DR yet?
Me Bond, first thing I did after the 01/16 bomb drop. Carried my own 180s in my purse for the first 9 months and looked at them often.
So, old shark eyes is back and he wouldn't leave the foyer. I didn't see him but D said his eyes were weird again. She said she thinks he is stalking us again because he told her that we went to see a certain movie on a certain day and was mentioning restaurants we've been to recently. Kids were very unsettled when he first did this after I asked him to leave. He sent a text to my S later about not having to be so unpleasantly standoffish when he comes around. And is suddenly trying to act parental and tell them both to get their homework in. I'm ok with giving him his space and not expecting anything of him. I'm not ok with him upsetting the kids. So annoyed with this crud.
I can't relate to the stalking part of it, but I can on the "shark eyes". I have noticed this since she moved out in November. Just mentioned to my best friend last night. I'm the guy who noticed eyes before I notice anything about a person. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. For my W they are cold and distant with little to no emotion. It is kind of scary. I have compared pics of her from a year ago to now and the difference is crazy.

I'm sorry the kids are having difficulty, but please remember that we are all in your corner and praying for you and your family.
I hope this doesn't sound pitying, because it isn't. It is said with conviction and a desire for improvement:

A. Ways I'm Succeeding GAL


B. Ways I'm Failing
Ok, accidentally hit to submit too soon.

A. Ways I'm Succeeding GAL

1. Reaching out to others (always felt the need to seem to be perfect)
2. Taking up new and old hobbies.
3. Being more "there" for my kids. Always been there just haven't been in the moment since all this started.
4. Traveling.
5. Starting to work again (I work for myself, too easy to slack off).
6. Actually thinking about GAL.
7. Paying a lot less mind to what he is up to.


B. Ways I'm Failing
1. Failing miserably at my diet.
2. Slacked off on my exercise.
3. Still think about him WAY too much.
4. Not completely dropping the rope.
5. Letting hope continue to crop in at times.
6. Sometimes wanting to contact him (though I don't unless about kids, and even then generally don't since he doesn't help anyway).
7. Need to be even more in the moment with kids.
8. Need to make some new friends and join in things.
9. Need to let go of all resentment toward him (he doesn't deserve my emotions).
10. Need to remind myself more often what a great life I have.

These are really to hold myself accountable.
Great list...I'm taking your lead and making my own. I can definitely relate to the majority of the ones in the B column. The diet and exercise was good for me and the W just before BD...I need to get back on track and by doing that it will also help with letting out some of the anger that I have built up.
Hi OwnIt, great list. I might make my own too.

With regards to the shark eyes. Yes, my H has no emotion in his eyes anymore either, it makes me so sad but it fits with his lack of empathy.

This NC thing is already killing me and it's only been just under two weeks! Blegh!
Coly,

I'm in the same place for about the same time (maybe a week longer). Mine has pretty much contacted me once a week since beginning of October (that or picked a fight). Suddenly NC. Mine had been smiling, looking me in the eye, now as I said, shark eyes. My list is to make GAL a priority. I read that a goal without a plan is just a wish. I want to make GAL a reality and stop giving a flying you know what about his eyes or any other part of him. This can be done!
I wrote you a long reply but my telephone bugged and I lost it. In essence I went through each of your "failings" list and turned them into goals. Maybe you should rephrase them as goals with actions to move forward.

I do not see hope as failing. IMO it is a good thing. We need to believe in the potential of a new better R. Keep your hope, just don't let it affect you negatively.

Best wishes
OwnIt,

Great list. On the diet and exercise thing, do you have someone that can help you? If you are making significant changes on this front, I find it very difficult to do on your own. A friend who can be on the same diet and exercise path can work wonders. If you don't have a friend with whom to do it, then being in a group class of like-minded people also gets you out there meeting new people with similar diet/exercise goals (this is what worked for me). If money is no object, a personal coach can help too (though I've never done that).
Thank you roist, I spend a lot of time telling my kids to reframe negatives into positives and thank you for reminding me that I need to do it myself.

Gordie, yes, good and valid points. When I have been successful it has usually been in a group class. I do have a friend who would happily join me so I need to reach out to her.

Looking forward to a fabulous weekend with my kind-hearted son competing in an activity he loves and waiting in spirit with my daughter to hear if she got into her dream school (supposed to know by tomorrow). Not sure that life brings too many moments as sweet as these I'm having with my kids.
Hi OwnIt, yes I'm going to echo Roist with the moving along of the perceived negatives into manageable and motivational goals.

So, for example with the exercise - for example. I'm going to contact my lovely friend this week and ask her to join me at X class on a weekly basis.

And for reaching out to others. In April, I'm going to try one new GAL activity that could become a regular thing for me..

With the kids - once a week I'm going to do X with them. Or every day, I'm going to give them my undivided attention for at least 20 minutes...or whatever works for you.

It helped me to write my goals down in a pretty notebook. A goal a page. Then I add in goals as I think of them. Flick through them, adding steps you can take this week or this month. Tick off when you succeed etc. I didn't see myself as a goal setter, but that approach did work for me and I still use it now.

The emotional ones are trickier I think - but general reading, self care, self focus, GAL and actually placing your attention on other things in your life does help reduce the magnitude of the marital situation I think....it takes time, but that's the path to be on for sure. Marginalise it in your life.

And as others have said, have a think about how you are talking to yourself - you aren't failing miserably, you are doing the best you can in challenging times...

Take care and good luck with everything :-)
This is truly wonderful advice Sotto. There is so much talk of GAL, it is nice to be reminded that this is something that can be approached in an academic fashion with some structure. I know for me, a little structure always makes things seem more achievable and helps me ensure that I am moving along in my process rather than setting aspirational goals that are not met.
I'm glad if you found it helpful! Truly, here I am 3+ years after BD. I hoped to save our M, but that didn't happen and OW is still on the scene as far as I know. Really, all the worst scenario I could have envisaged at the outset.

But, you know what? Life is pretty peaceful and happy and I have learned and grown a lot. It took a while for the penny to drop, but I really do understand how important the 'saving yourself' advice is. That's what we really have to work with - us. For we don't get to control what our errant spouse decides at the end of the day..

So, I hope you will keep moving forward and make the most of the journey you are on. It may have been unasked for, but in the longer term you may well come to appreciate the many gifts it brings.

smile xx
I knew the Monster was still in there waiting to reemerge.

I had to contact my H re our big tax liability due in a few days and that I now knew how much D's upcoming college tuition would be (in our state as most there is no obligation for him to pay for her college, so I need the contract signed). I also mentioned some dental work she needs done and told him why I thought she should go to the school she picked (which is the most prestigious and expensive). I had just learned that he now has OW2 in the picture (I guess he wanted the kids to have the FF app so they could see him spending time at her house and report it to me--classy guy) so I figured it was a good time to send him the separation contract I've been holding onto (he probably thinks it is true love and he is future faking their happy life together like he did the last one. My best friend, a divorce lawyer, said get it signed quickly before he has financial entanglements with OW2). I did it via email in a controlled, but friendly and business-oriented manner (I said here is the separation contract you wanted to finally resolve our separation, with the terms we agreed upon. There should be no surprises for you. The divorce can be filed once it is signed and can be finalized after 3 months).

Two days later I got his seething response. He said he wants her to go to that school, he is fine with what I want to do about the taxes and teeth, but he is insisting that I sell our home and move to a small town I have never visited that is 15 minutes from him and over an hour from my son's activities that he does every single day and has for 5 or more years. He wants our son, who is about to be a freshman in HS, to give up the aforementioned activities (which would look very good on a college application) because it is more convenient for him, he doesn't like the activities, one of them is expensive, and he can't drive here 50 min each way every day (no one asked him to). The S is an academic with the goal of attending Stanford and the schools in the small town are attrocious and don't even have AP or advanced classes). He works a week on and a week off schedule. He has been to the house maybe 6 times since he left in October. He is back to not even texting my kids while he is busy love-bombing the OW2, who has three kids herself.

He never mentions the contract but says he does not want to discuss separation or divorce. That he wants to get his other concerns addressed first and definitively. Read: he wants me to be in the neighborhood so he can change the custody we agreed to and he wants me to significantly reduce our footprint so he has to pay me less money. In the meantime he seems to think I'm an idiot and I will go along with this plan.

I had mentioned potentially moving out of the area to help defray the extra college costs. He told me that I should never again bring up my moving out of the area (he did not say I couldn't take my son, or that I could move after he graduates, no he said I cannot move). He said that if I try he will fight me for custody (he abandoned the kids, has addictions I can document, committed insurance and prescription fraud, has had numerous affairs, has posted raunchy ads on CL, which I have copies of, etc.).

All through his email is me, me, me. What is best for me. What I want. He even sent me a listing for a property he says I have to admit is way better than the house I currently live in (and costs almost 1/3 as much).

As crazy as it sounds, I don't even think this is about money. I think it is about control. He wants me under his thumb. I don't think now (and I didn't before) that he will ever sign the separation contract. It's not like he said I really want to get a D but we need to discuss these first. No, he said only let's discuss the other things first and definitively. There isn't even a then we can discuss divorce. At the same time he is telling me I can't move away with S (D will be across country in college), he isn't even contacting them. Hasn't seen them in almost a month again.

Sometimes I really feel like I am losing my mind. The only good thing to come out of this is that it is really helping me to drop the rope permanently. I think even the depressive posts on FB were a ruse to reel in the OW2 (with whom he has apparently been friends on FB for over a year). He is exactly what I have believed him to be--a raging narcissist in the throes of a MLC. I am his rock and his permanent Plan B. Now what?
No word from him and he has not returned the tax document I told him I needed returned immediately for our taxes.

I'm stuck in a limboland h@ll. I now know he won't sign the separation contract he asked me to have prepared. If I file for divorce it will be very ugly and very expensive (my lawyer estimates cost of $300,000 because of assets, income, and his games to date).

On the plus side he is still depositing his whole check (minus the allowance he gave himself) into our joint account. He pretty much leaves me alone. He is back to once every few days group texts that say nothing to the kids. Still ignoring me.

For those who have been here, how do you deal with the feeling of being trapped and unable to move forward in any direction? I know I need to work harder on GAL, but I have things that need to be done and decisions that need to be made and there is zero input from him other than using those contacts as an opportunity to hurt me. Even when I try to give him what he says he wants he acts mad and won't cooperate.
Hi OwnIt
This is what I did: I waited for exh to initiate everything. My lawyer (a friend of ours for almost 30 years) kept telling me not to wait, that I was giving all the power and leverage to exh, but I kept hoping he would snap out of it and I just couldn't bring myself to move forward.

The stress took its toll on me physically and I'm still in a state of lowered immunity so I've been sick a LOT this winter.

Here is my question: What do YOU want? Do you want to remain married? What price are you willing to pay for your freedom? Only you can answer these questions. I will conclude with wise words from Job that I still keep handy:
1. Don't rush the process
2. only plan one week out
3. exercise
4. When unsure, do nothing
5. Sit quietly and wait for the answers.

I don't know if any of this is helpful. Take what you want and leave the rest.

xoxoxoxo

{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}
Thanks bttrfly for your kind words. I am starting to believe I do want to be divorced and on the other side of this. I feel that he is revealing his true motives: string me along as his backup and maintain his control over me and the kids, use the fact that I don't want an expensive court battle against me, and keep the financial situation in a place where it doesn't make sense for me to push it.

25 gave me my options from the start (very smart woman), I can find a way to be happy in a legal marriage I may not be able to get out of, or I can push a divorce that in my case might not make sense as a means to happiness.
OwnIt, you don't have to make any immediate decisions, just sit quietly and meditate on what it is YOU want, trusting that once you know the rest will start to fall into place. xoxoxo
You are so right. I keep trying to rush this and then get fed up by the glacial pace. Nothing is happening. I'm ok. My kids are ok. He is still financially providing for us and leaving us alone. He is just out there doing his replay thing and riding that rollercoaster that staves off his emptiness and boredom. I'm going to GAL. That I can control.
perfect
xoxoxo

"By George, I think she's got it!"

smile
I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I woke up one day a few days ago and called a new lawyer (the one I have only does non-litigation matters) and made an appointment for Tuesday. For the first time ever I did not respond to his snotty email response to me about how our son should quit everything he loves, move to a horrible small town he has never visited, and go to the community college instead of Stanford like he has been dreaming of for years. I haven't even wondered or cared what poor woman he is torturing now. I realized today that the cause of these actions (or perhaps the result of them) is that I am no longer afraid. I'm not afraid of him filing, I'm not afraid of getting less money than he agreed, and I'm not afraid he will never come back.

He has stopped texting my kids again. They don't seem to care and I don't care either. I filed and paid the taxes without discussing it with him. I bought some new furniture for my dining room. I worked a full day for the first time since I can remember.

I have been afraid every day for 7 years. Afraid of the things i felt and couldn't say. I've been afraid of the day that we would divorce and I would be alone and my kids would not have a father (I knew he'd disappear given how disconnected he has been for years and that he had no relationship with his own dad).

I'm not taking any action. I'm just getting ready for the fight. But for today, and maybe today only, I am fearless.
Bless you! I hope that continues! xoxoxoxo
Losing the fear is a wonderful experience...

Most LBS's do go on to find peace and fulfilment in their lives in whatever way. When you go through a traumatic, difficult experience and you grow and do the work, that tends to be the outcome.

Yes life still has ups and downs, but...

This is a great track to be on I think xx
Thanks bttrfly and Sotto. Still feeling good today. Just sent my son off on a 10 day trip to Europe and catching up on more work and enjoying the sunshine. Looking forward to reading this weekend and getting ready for a trip I have to take on the other coast next week for work and to see my daughter perform in a big show. Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!
Guess he really loves that rollercoaster ride he is on. After a week, he started texting the kids again. Pretty lame texts. Devoid of thought or emotion. Checking a theory I looked at his FB, yep, posting a bunch of crazy stuff. So I checked the dating site, yep he's back on there all hours. Now the contact to the kids makes sense. He has either broken up with OW2 or is realizing that relationship isn't going to be a keeper. Now he has to find some new supply. My IC says as a doctor with a high income, there is always an available supply.

I send him a text on Easter (feeling sad for him I guess) and ask if he wants to see D. He actually opens the text and answers (he avoided the last several texts I sent in the last month on business matters and was only responding to formal emails) says yes but she won't answer. I remind him that I've asked him to contact me and ask for a date and time and if available I will let him know. (Kids have told me they don't like making the decision about whether he comes or not and do not want to respond to his texts--they didn't respond to him even when he lived with us and was away). So he tells me he is coming over. Picks her up (I left before he arrived) and takes her to two bookstores looking for a book he wants. I had come back home thinking they would be gone for hours. They come back to the house within an hour. He had suggested they rent a movie. He asks her if we have set up the tv on the ground floor and they watch it there. Why would they watch a movie in the ground floor guest room, we have a TV room on the main living floor? I stayed hidden in my room. D thought I was still out. No idea what he thought.

Then this am he texts me and asks whether her performance on the opposite coast will be done by a certain time for a certain flight. (Had mentioned over a month ago that he would try to go--this when he was coming over almost daily and entering the house instead of waiting outside, but nothing about it since). I say I hope so because that is the flight we are on. He asks if there is a frequent flyer number he can use to give her miles. There is so I give it. Then he texts and asks me about another performance she has on the opposite coast two weeks later and asks me what time she will be done. I tell him we are taking the such and such flight so it should be done by then.

I don't ask anything or volunteer anything. I don't ask when he is coming or where he is staying. He doesn't volunteer anything.

He doesn't ask anything about our son who is in Europe for a competition. Doesn't ask why I have not responded to his snotty email. Doesn't mention the separation contract, moving, or the divorce.

Not looking forward to seeing him this weekend. Have not seen him in about a month.

Can someone who knows something about MLC tell me whether this is MLC behavior? Although I feel ok with where things are (and meet the new lawyer Tuesday), I do wish I at least knew what all this strangeness was.
This is typical MLC behavior. They single out one child and that's the only one they care about.

It's all about them and that "me" song is so strong.

Continue as you have been doing. Detach a bit more and keep the focus on you and your children.
Good luck to both your son and daughter! Enjoy your trip and I echo what Job says - continue as you have been. You're doing very well. Keep going xoxoxo

Remember: they are the weak link. Do you want your life to be circumscribed by the weakest link?
Thank you Job and bttrfly. I'm feeling good about things and will continue with detaching and GAL (have kicked my long term diet coke habit and am recommiting to my diet and exercise). Was just curious by this odd behavior. Not only the popping in and out of their lives every couple of weeks and extreme favoritism toward D (which both kids have mentioned), but the way he seems to dip his toe into the house and decide how high up he can go (what is he afraid is going to happen to him?). Also wonder why he made plans to return to this house to watch a movie with her when all he does is tell me how much he hates it here. Why not go to the movies?
So today he orders stuff on my amazon account which he hasn't done since January (and he knows I get an email when he does) and sends me a listing for another house in another small town near him. I guess I will ignore the listing and if I see him Saturday at the recital and he asks about it I'll say it looks like a lovely house. I see someone else thought so too because it is pending.
Perhaps all the MCLers gyrations that we remark on so often are an outward manifestation of their inner turmoil. I remember walking to the closing attorney's office on the day we sold our house. I saw this man wandering about the street, looking lost and disjointed. As I got closer I saw that it was my husband, and thought, "wth?" He was jerkily walking first one way, then another, and looked completely lost and indecisive. Don't expect logic where there currently is none.

Your last line made me lol.
it looks like a lovely house. I see someone else thought so too because it is pending.

laugh

That made me laugh so hard.

I know I would soooooo tempted to say that!!! The MLC'ers give us so many opportunities to launch great zingers at them. I find it hard to keep my pie hole shut.

Enjoy the recital on Saturday!
WOW, Ownit. I just wanted to say that, reading your thread, my heart goes out to you. It sounds like you've been incredibly strong.

<3
Thanks Survive, I see mysef as strong and that is what I want to be. But of course much of it comes from the fact that I don't really have a choice.
I made it back from my whirlwind trip. First time work stuff, taking in some shows with my daughter in NY and then going to her performance. H showed up and stayed hovering nearby but refusing to talk to me. I asked if he wanted to take D out after concert and take her to airport (he booked same flight home--there are not many choices for us). He used the time to pump her for information as usual. At the airport he plopped next to her, she sent me a text telling me this so I went to a different gate when I got there and stayed away until bording. I didn't need D to tell me this because I can tell from his ice cold behavior to me, but he was texting some woman who was sending him kiss emojis. OWX is how I am going to think of this. There will always be one and none will last long. When the flight landed he ran off the plane and disappeared. Never said goodbye to D. My guess is that OWX was picking him up and he didn't want us to see. So done thinking about him. I'm taking a 2 week NC break for my sanity. I'll see him again at her next performance in 2 weeks (he told he bought plane ticket).
Oh, but you absolutely have a choice. You could crumble. You could enlist your kids. You could point how his horrible behavior. You could do so many things that you are not doing. You are responding to an enormously awful situation with dignity and grace.

My mind is blown with regards to his behaviour towards the kids, especially your daughter. What on earth is he trying to accomplish? I mean, he's spending time and effort to be there, but he is also definitely not there. Show up or don't! Your poor D must be so torn.

I hope you are able to take care of yourself. I wonder if there are things you can do to cope ahead since H has demonstrated he intends to be awful. I mean, how on earth can he think that refusing to talk to you, her mother, while sharing space is any way okay. OwnIt, you're rocking this, seriously.
Thanks Survive. It was hard to see what he did to her and around her, but the seeming abandonment of my son, who is the sweetest boy, has been the most difficult. I think that because he had something of a R with my daughter when he checked out that he did not have with my son (who is 3 years younger), and because he is a boy and probably brings to mind his own abandonment by his father, perhaps it is just too much for him. Now that he is attacking the most important areas in my son's life to promote a ridiculous move near him (when he literally has not seen my son in over a month and texted him only on Easter) I find myself constantly reminding my son that none of this is about him.

My D will be attending the most prestigious school in the country for what she is pursuing and she shared with me that when I left them on Saturday to get food and meet up at the airport that he insisted on going to the bookstore of that school and buying a fleece and cap (presumably so he can brag about his D going there). That part makes me sick.
Hi Own It,

I think the reason the MLCers single out one child is so selfish. Urg..I think part of it is that they are wanting to be a hero of sorts to at least one kid in the hopes that they aren't viewed as the monster in the sitch. I'm not saying that you have portrayed him as a monster...Actually, I think he may see himself as a monster and the only way for him to put that thought in check is to be seen as one of the children's hero. Maybe even have one of the kid's on his side..??

I can only speak from experience with what my parent's did to me. My parents hated each other and let me and my sister know it. It was awful. My dad even tricked me by getting close to me so I would find out my mother's SS# for him. I don't know what he needed it for but I sure got it for him bc I wanted him to love me. He went straight back to being the cold man that he always was before that. My mother was worse in that she would make me feel like I was the favorite and SO many guilt trips, but the second that I didn't act like she thought I should, she would get spiteful. She would RTS when I would send her b'day cards or not send me a bday card out of spite. Here I was a 12 yr old who had no idea what I had done wrong. All that did was devestate me and give my dad another opportunity to remind me what a cold hearted b**** she was. He would forget to add what a cold hearted jerk he was, of course. My people were so strange. My sister and I were expected to sit at holiday dinners next to our grandfather who molested us . It was expected and encouraged to keep up appearances. I'm not suggesting that you and your H would ever do such things to your children. I'm only saying that one situation doesn't have to be viewed as horrific as another situation in order to be viewed as emotional abuse in a child's eyes.

Listen, all I'm saying is PROTECT your children. A child will always long for the love and respect from the parent who's not giving or showing it. A child will do backflips in order to get attention from that parent. They will also marry someone like that, too. Daughter's often marry a man like their father and son's to do the same...marry their mother. You can't let your daughter's see their future in their father.

This is why I think it's a horrible idea for you to move closer to your H for the kid's sake. You may think that you're doing what's best for them, but why should you let him be an irresponsible and distant father at an even closer range? It will only give this man more opportunities to hurt them. I would keep all MLCer's at a distance when it comes to kids. If they want to know why you won't move closer to him..?? Come up with a realistic reason without bashing their father. It could be something work related or whatever you can come up with as the reason. Look at it from their view in 20 years. Do you want them to tell a story like I have about my childhood? Nothing but chaos and unsteadiness? I'm not saying there won't be a time when it will be a healthy to move closer to him but NOT now. He's too selfish and manipulative in MLC. I know may just sound bitter or even a little hurt still about what happened in my childhood, but it doesn't make what they did right, either. Just my 2 cents.

Xx, Nee
I'm not incinuating that your H would do such things to your children as my parents did to me. But, he has the potential while in MLC.
Nee, I will never ever move near him. I was just given the advice to tell him I was considering it knowing that people like him are angry, petty and vindicitive when aroused, but have a hard time motivating themselves to do anything when not motivated by those feelings.

For him to send me listings for houses every week is no skin off my nose. He doesn't even follow up to ask me about them. It is just his need for control or to poke me or whatever he is doing.

So OWX is already out of the picture. He is back to being on dating sites around the clock. He only bothers me when he is going hot and heavy with one and future faking and feeling the need for money. While he is between women he doesn't bother me about moving or money at all.

No contact with my son in more than a week and has not seen him since early March. He saw D on Saturday, but I have already described how that went. No word to her either since.

We are just bouncing along in our merry way. Doing the things we want to do. Getting D to finish her license, buy things for college, work on exercise and diet. Getting S to finish out the school year strong, work on his activities and his music. I just signed up him for a wolf tracking week away camp this summer he is excited about (and gives me a place to leave him while I go to Germany with D for some performances). We have several trips planned and are going to do some fun things around here.

Every day the breathing gets easier.
Job,

I am wondering if there are warning signs of nearing rock bottom. I notice that my H's "relationships" with women are getting shorter and shorter (down to about a week before he is back trolling dating sites). He seems to be more removed from me and the kids than ever and just seems lost at sea.
Originally Posted By: OwnIt
Job,

I am wondering if there are warning signs of nearing rock bottom. I notice that my H's "relationships" with women are getting shorter and shorter (down to about a week before he is back trolling dating sites). He seems to be more removed from me and the kids than ever and just seems lost at sea.


Own, thanks for the feedback on my thread btw. Truly.

The thing I remind myself of is that even if they hit rock bottom and a crystal ball told us,

so what? I'm NOT saying you can't forgive or that you should/should not.

I'm saying, it's not as if the road from the bottom, is home and a healthy outlook.

1) they'd have to know they hit rock bottom, whatever that means to them

2) they'd have to think it MIGHT be something they did or were doing

3) they'd have to want to change that INSTEAD of repeating it and hoping for different results, which is the pattern thus far

4) they'd have to THEN decide that what they had at home was better

AND 5) they'd have to realize they need to work on themselves in a way they have never done before

(WE know that the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior)....

and even if they realized their choices $ucked and were their fault and no one else's and even if they got some T to identify why they made those choices

and even if they decided that they wanted new, better choices -for their happiness, mind you

when faced with the type of work needed (brave hard inner work) and the TIME involved

and no guaranteed forgiveness, ever, and for sure no amnesia on the LBS family or spouse

well.....

my question is, does it matter? Also, why or how do you know how long his R's are lasting? Can you detach more?

I'm being serious. I wanna know if it does matter about warning signs. I ask partly for myself but mainly for you.

For ME, now st least, it's about knowing I cannot be m to this man and that's all that matters now. I cannot live in his head anymore.



((( )))
25--yes, I knew I'd hear that. I said in my response to Nee just above that I view it as a sociological experiment and truly I do at this point. I know how long the "relationships" are lasting because he has a definite cycle to his actions that involves pitty posts on FB and all night trolling sessions on a certain dating site. Next I am expecting a reach out to the kids and an attempt to start a fight with me.

As to why it matters, gosh darn it I still can't answer that. Do I think he will come "home" again "whole." Not a chance in you know where. Do I think he will seek out treatment, probably not (too much pride and self righteousness). I think I want to hope that he will start caring about the kids again. My son is so desperate for a father figure that it breaks my heart. I think it is truly the one thing I can't provide for him. I think I want some reassurance he is not going to lose his job and/or his career over these addictions to women and neutrotransmitters. For his sake, I would like to believe he will find some measure of peace, even if it is with another woman. For myself, I want to stop thinking about/worrying about/carrying about him and this situation and know what the end looks like so I can process it and move on.

I know I have more detaching to do. I really am trying. The one thing I can proudly say is that I have cashed in my ticket on his emotional rollercoaster. I am looking at myself and my issues. I am trying to be as present as I can for my kids.

But I would dearly love to know what circling the drain looks like. Where he goes from there, who can say.
Ownit

Sadly .. this crisis takes time.

I agree with 25 and what she posted and you really need to answer the questions as it digs into the one thing you should concern yourself with ... that is your journey in all this .. you H has his own

As far as rockbottom, how deep is that hole? Only the MLCr can answer that when and if they get there, its not a free fall .. seems to me they parachute down and take their sweet time. I once thought mine hit it back in 2015, turns out just a touch and go before she jumped once again.

Detaching stinks .. and I was the posterboy for how not to do it. You are still in the infancy of all this and it just takes a lot of work/practice ... rinse and repeat. There really is no one size fits all way to do it you have to figure out what works for you.
Cali and 25 have given you excellent advice.

It could take years before your spouse comes back to earth. Rock bottom can mean different things to each and every person.

Rock bottom is when they've lost everything that they have held near and dear, from their spouse, family, friends, pets, home, work and the most important thing...self respect. There really isn't any warning signs if and when this will happen because it will depend upon the person who is experiencing the crisis, i.e., as it is for an alcoholic, drug, sex or gambling addict. Each is very unique.

Just so you know, they can scrape the bottom of the barrel for a very long time and some never scrape or hit bottom.

The best thing to do is leave your spouse to his journey and you continue to focus on your journey. Detaching is difficult, but it can be done.
Thanks Caliguy and Job. i suppose it is the rational brain that wants to continue to try to make sense of that which does not make sense. I am truly leaving him to his journey. I make no effott to interfere, simply observe those parts of it which are visible to me. I do need to work more on my journey and am getting better at that all the time.

I have found it helpful for my sanity in reading some of the long threads where people posted their observations, thoughts, and questions. If only as a signpost for myself and others, I'll continue to do that. I will however stop expecting any of it to make any sense in the moment. Perhaps at the end, if there is one, I'll be able to look back and see where the highlights were.
OWN

I have a new T and was thinking about the trail of destruction h is leaving with our children. I know in his way, he loves them. I also know his dad treated h's mom badly in their divorce....which comes out in anger, about every decade ("process much"?)

I know, I know.

ANYHOW, my T told me something you might find useful.

She said "Don't try to apply rational thought to irrational behavior."

in my h's case, he's superb at compartmentalizing. (So h has great focus in the operating room.)

But h may well never, ever look at the trail of destruction he created. He was gone SO MUCH of our d's lives, that he felt alienated when he'd come home and then resent how he felt. Mind you, he created the very alienation he so hated...

So i can only imagine how painful it would be for him to really face the love he swept away from himself, and the 4 people in our family he paid so little attention to.

That's a big bummer for my kids. (And me, but I can find another partner. My kids will only have one dad).

SO, I'm not waiting or expecting h to even look at that trail of crap h made, and I'm SURELY not even letting myself think he'd look at it & own it, let alone give me the "grand apology."

Own, do you ever feel as if a small/big part of you has been waiting for something that your h is not able to give?

My h never saw forgiveness or reconciliation or constructive conflict resolution, growing up.

The only times he ever apologized, was when he expected an immediate erasal of wrongs. If forgiveness was not granted WITH total acceptance, right away and no residual hurt expressed, h tended to lash out.

I'm not saying I wanted to punish h, (in fact i was incredibly forgiving and willing to go "From this day forward" a lot more than I ever knew possible).

But then, with this "total forgiveness" - came a certain unhealthy blindness, wherein i didn't notice the repeated patterns - or didn't let myself notice. (B/c that would be like bringing up the past and holding a grudge, or so I was told.)

I had fears of a repeat of the past, but it's like I didn't want to believe h could do this, AGAIN...

Own, I apologize if I'm projecting my situation onto yours too much. It happens.

I'm only speaking to the questions you ask. Yes I'm morbidly fascinated by what appears to be a lack of conscience on h's part, an incredible ability to blame others, and deny wrongdoing even in the face of reality. And h is not stupid. He's a smart man.

But I don't want the lack of self awareness in my life anymore, at all. It's like missing an empathy gene.

YES I believe it's unfair and yes I'm bummed out about what my life will NOT be like, and that my sacrifices won't "all be worth it in the end"...

But I'm also, increasingly grateful this person is not going to be such a factor in my life.


Own, if you want out of the m, and if you're sure, can you say why you are staying? I mean, I'm NOT pro divorce, to be clear. But you said something about your fears keeping you married.

You mean fears of what you'd lose financially that keeps you married, legally?

Hang in there
Thanks 25. You always bring everything home to me. I understand what you are saying about not keeping track of the path of destruction. I need to give some serious thought about that and the damage that doing so might cause me (and secondarily my children).

I really don't think I am expecting an apology, closure, any of that. He has taught me for a long time that he is never wrong. Pride will be his downfall in the same way as all those classical heroes he loves reading about.

I know I'm going to be great on the other side. I just seem to be stuck in getting there. I really don't want an expensive drawn out divorce. I don't have the time or energy for it. I don't want to harm him professionally and depending on where he goes with that I might have to.

Financially I would be ok but my children's lives would radically change if I walked out with less than I am entitled to. My daughter is about to head off to the most prestigious school of her type in the country, not cheap. My son wants to go to Stanford. My thinking at this point has been that he can only be a father financially so I will hold him to that. He has a sweet job and makes 3 times what your typical doctor makes. I have my own firm and work 3/4 time and still make a great living. I have a lot of money in retirement and I get contacted by headhunters every week because my speciality is in demand. So even in a bad situation I could probably quickly find employment.

He does not want a divorce. He wants me safely on the shelf. He wants me as the ultimate back up. He believes he owns me and the kids. I feel that from him. In some of the long threads I've read, men who have come back have told theirs LBS that they were planning to come back in 5-10 years or whatever. I think that is what he believes he will do. Once the fun is over, he'll just come back. I will have to file for the divorce if there is to be one. That goes against every fiber in my being. I am not religious. Not one bit. I just don't believe in divorce. I also feel like this is his path and I'm sick of doing everything for him in this life. I know there is still no answer there. I just don't know how to move things forward to finality without a huge mess.
Ok guys, I need some serious help here. I have no idea of how to respond to this. I said earlier today that he would reach out to the kids and then pick a fight with me. This is the email I just got.

"Greetings, what have you done about selling the house? H"

He is very low on supply (I believe) and at a minimum wants to continue a conversation that I dropped out of. He wants me to sell our house that is 50 min away from him and move close to him. I was told by my counselor (and earlier one when a similar situation arose) to humor him about the idea of the move. He probably also wants to pick a fight or to get some emotion out of me so he knows I am still on the shelf where he left me. I literally have no idea how to respond.

1. Ignore him;
2. Go ahead and tell him that I have no intention to sell the house;
3. Respond and tell him I am still thinking about it but haven't seen any acceptable alternative;
4. Throw it back on him to answer the unanswered questions from the last email I did send him (why do you need us that close, how often do you plan to see your son, what about his activities and college resume, etc.)

Help!!
I see what you're saying now, Own it. I should have figured that out about you choosing not to engage with your H when he's starting with his antics. I need to figure that out, too. I can't tell sometimes when my H is starting with his antics or if I'm the one who starts it going. I think I'm trying to reason with him at times without knowing until it's too late. I forget how unreasonable he will be on any subject matter. I will detach..I will detach..I will detach..I will learn.

It seems like you have provided a wonderfully sound life for your children. I'm impressed. They've excelled under some pretty difficult circumstances. I give you all the credit and respect you deserve.

I saw where you asked Job about hitting rock bottom. That's something I've decided is never going to be answered. Everytime I think my H is close to rock bottom, it starts all over again. I fall into the trap and have to start finding my calm again. I'm sure that he's testing me and I fail each and every time. I don't know any other way to be, yet.

Can you give me any advice on how to detach from my H without thinking about him with the OW? The images in my head are so horrible. It doesn't matter how much I keep myself busy, it's always there. Not to mention the times that he's talked to me like I'm a second class citizen. He's called me an idiot, f'ing retard, crazy, dillusional and other things that I can't recall right now. He's always called me names and I've tried not to engage when we were together as a married couple. I stopped calling him names years ago and I still don't call him names now. The hurt is more than I can handle sometimes. I know he's verbally and emotionally abusive, but when he's well, he's mostly lovable. Why would I want to go back in that situation?? I think I've been hoping that he will be a better person when he comes out of the tunnel. Everyone here who has reconciled say that they have a much better S when MLC has passed. I read in the Detachment section that this is an unrealistic thought pattern, but I don't know how to let go of that hope.

I'm obviously insecure and have very low self-esteem. I think I need to go to therapy asap to learn how to handle these difficult issues within myself. I've not had good experiences with therapist, but I'm starting to think it's my only option in order to find myself. Has therapy help you to detach or did you figure that out on your own. Did your H belittle you and call you awful names? If so, how did you handle it?

I find you inspirational, Own it. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings, Nee
Hello Mighty Job,

I'm curious as to whether the MLC'er has to certainly lose all the things mentioned above in order to hit rock bottom? I know it's something they have to preceive more than anything but does it really have to happen in order for them to preceive the loss?

We ask so much of you, Job. I know you don't have all the answers to this MLC mess but I sure do pay attention to what you say. You are wise, Job.

Xx, Nee
Hi Own it,

I read from someone that you're to respond something like; 'I'm still weighing my options." I think it's suppose to be a response that is meant to cut the conversation off without seeming to do so. If they ask us to elaborate...I think I would say "There's too many options to weigh right now to give you a divinitive answer to your question. I will let you know when I'm thru weighing my options."

I honestly don't know the right answer. Lol! I'm just throwing out a few ideas. Don't let him intimidate you. You're not required to answer him right away. In fact, I wouldn't answer him right away. Bttrfly may tell you not to engage at all. Job may say something else. See, you won't be fibbing when you tell him that you are "weighing all your options" smile
Hi Ownit - saw your question on my thread. I have been following along but this is my first message to you. Welcome to a very supportive and knowledgeable group.

My advice on how to answer: "hi H - let's discuss this in person. Have a great day!"

Every MLCer is crazy in different ways, That said, in general, it is best to make as few moves/changes as possible unless you are sure you need to do something (i.e. set your boundary). Try to wait about 24 hours before answering as this way you respond vs. react. (Unless it is something urgent about the kids.)

Doing nothing is doing something.

See how he responds to that. Will it be spew? Silence? Call you? (Let it go to vmail.)

You wield more control than you know. Sounds like he does not want d (neither did mine). He has only the illusion of control: he can't make you sell the house.

If he raises it in person, then listen. Let him talk. Say little. If need be, ask questions that start with "tell me why..." "explain to me why...", etc. If he asks you questions say "hmm let me think about that." Get the gist of what he is saying then, politely say "I have to go now" and leave. Kill him with kindness. The conversation should be a few minutes at most. (There is no point to a longer one as selling the house to move 50 minutes away is stupid!)

The priority is stability for your s. Your h is playing whack-a-mole to try to fix himself. The latest "fix" to him is to have you uproot (again). They change everything in an attempt, mentally, to self medicate/soothe.

Focus on you and your kids.
Thank you HaWho. Your story and the way you have carried yourself have impressed me immeasurably. For some reason, your H feels very much like mine to me (although mine lives elsewhere, appears to be in the throes of a sex addiction, and either doesn't communicate or spews). I think this is the perfect response. He does not want to see me or talk to me in person so he will never do this. It is a reasonable request and it is enough that it follows my lawyer's advice to respond in some way.
Thanks for the kind words. And yes, I see similarities as well between my h and yours.

You will learn a lot based on how he responds. It will give a glimpse of where he is. To me, MLC has been like a series of snapchats. You see glimpses of a moment and then poof, it's gone only to be replaced by a new image.

He may be very brave behind a text but a coward in person. When you see him, don't bring it up if he does not. Let's see if he has the courage or if he even remembers to bring it up. And don't give a single hint to what your opinions are. Just listen. Again, MLCers aren't functioning in reality so spend little time talking to him. Basically, we try to outlast it but not stand still. Then, see where the journey takes us.

I know he's been in this awhile, so has my h. However, if you change the way you respond to him you will regain equilibrium for your self and your sanity.

You are doing well! Keep being that rock for your kids.
This is the advice I needed to hear. I sent the email this morning and have heard nothing. That is not unusual. I may not see him again until my D's performance in a little over a week. I doubt that he will bring it up then. Yes, he is generally braver in email or text than in person. I think that is why he hates discussing things with me in person. An odd thing for this cycle, although he has reached out to me twice in the last two days, no contact with the kids.
Originally Posted By: OwnIt
This is the advice I needed to hear. I sent the email this morning and have heard nothing. That is not unusual. I may not see him again until my D's performance in a little over a week. I doubt that he will bring it up then. Yes, he is generally braver in email or text than in person. I think that is why he hates discussing things with me in person. An odd thing for this cycle, although he has reached out to me twice in the last two days, no contact with the kids.


Mine was/is the same, and during the nasty portion of the crisis if it were an important topic or something that could spark an argument I set the boundary that I would not discuss it via email/text to ensure we both were understood as text/email can be taken the wrong way .... helped my sitch out ten fold by doing this, if anything it really filtered the amount of things I was being texted and helped me detach.
Originally Posted By: Nee
I see what you're saying now, Own it. I should have figured that out about you choosing not to engage with your H when he's starting with his antics. I need to figure that out, too. I can't tell sometimes when my H is starting with his antics or if I'm the one who starts it going. I think I'm trying to reason with him at times without knowing until it's too late. I forget how unreasonable he will be on any subject matter. I will detach..I will detach..I will detach..I will learn.

it's like the T says, "don't apply rational thought to irrational behavior". There are no words said in the correct order, that will "make" them act a certain way.; Communicate only in writing and only when you're sure you are not "reacting"...


It seems like you have provided a wonderfully sound life for your children. I'm impressed. They've excelled under some pretty difficult circumstances. I give you all the credit and respect you deserve.

I saw where you asked Job about hitting rock bottom. That's something I've decided is never going to be answered. Everytime I think my H is close to rock bottom, it starts all over again. I fall into the trap and have to start finding my calm again. I'm sure that he's testing me and I fail each and every time. I don't know any other way to be, yet.


maybe he's not testing you. Maybe he's just oblivious and lacking the ability to see connections between his behaviors and your hurt feelings or the kids, etc.

but you do control whether you jump into the trap again, whether he intends to "trap" you or not. I mean, some alcoholics fall off the wagon and it has nothing to do with the spouse, it's just the drinker's ongoing battle.


Can you give me any advice on how to detach from my H without thinking about him with the OW?

The 2 are connected. When you detach more, you will think of OW less.




The images in my head are so horrible. It doesn't matter how much I keep myself busy, it's always there.

you are making these ^^ "Films" in your head. Be the director and yell "CUT!"

Then redirect your thoughts else where and be in charge of your own headspace...make sense?



Not to mention the times that he's talked to me like I'm a second class citizen. He's called me an idiot, f'ing retard, crazy, dillusional and other things that I can't recall right now.


okay now this^^ is plain old mean abuse. And you do not have to listen to it! It's not like letting him talk to you this way will re-attract him to you. And your self esteem is taking too many hits.

Walk away, leave the room, hang up the phone. NO NAME calling. Just none. That's a simple boundary.

No, i did not say it was easy but its' not complicated.


He's always called me names and I've tried not to engage when we were together as a married couple. I stopped calling him names years ago and I still don't call him names now. The hurt is more than I can handle sometimes. I know he's verbally and emotionally abusive, but when he's well, he's mostly lovable.

Sweetie, have you read this^^ again? What about seeing a T? This is not a healthy dynamic. At all.


Why would I want to go back in that situation?? I think I've been hoping that he will be a better person when he comes out of the tunnel.
Everyone here who has reconciled say that they have a much better S when MLC has passed.


No we don't say that. We say "piecing is harder" than what we expected. I don't know anyone who has said it's "much better".

I worry that You are hoping to have a marriage you have not ever had. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Check out my thread and you will hear from some wise folks there.


I read in the Detachment section that this is an unrealistic thought pattern, but I don't know how to let go of that hope.

I'm obviously insecure and have very low self-esteem. I think I need to go to therapy asap to learn how to handle these difficult issues within myself. I've not had good experiences with therapist, but I'm starting to think it's my only option in order to find myself. Has therapy help you to detach or did you figure that out on your own. Did your H belittle you and call you awful names? If so, how did you handle it?

I find you inspirational, Own it. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings, Nee
Originally Posted By: OwnIt
Thank you HaWho. Your story and the way you have carried yourself have impressed me immeasurably. For some reason, your H feels very much like mine to me (although mine lives elsewhere, appears to be in the throes of a sex addiction, and either doesn't communicate or spews). I think this is the perfect response. He does not want to see me or talk to me in person so he will never do this. It is a reasonable request and it is enough that it follows my lawyer's advice to respond in some way.


Own

I wasn't clear about the house sale. You do NOT want it, right?
No, I don't want to sell the house. We live in an expensive suburb of a major metropolitan city. We would not be able to get another house in this area cheaper. The house has appreciated hugely in value in the 8 months we have lived here. We would have to pay a capital gain and frankly we need the tax write off. He is in too much of a fog to consider these issues. Additionally son does not want to move again. His friends and activities are here. We are near the major airport my daughter will fly into/out of. My business is based here.

Mortgage is huge and frankly is a big reason that he will have to fork over lots of cash. I question whether he has someone advising him that if we reduce our monthly nut then he doesn't have to pay me as much or whether he is just loony tunes and wants us nearby.

I have heard from my attorney (who says under state law he cannot make me sell the house or my son quit his activities) and my IC to just humor him regarding his desire for us to move nearby. Say I'm considering it or looking into it.

I half expected a quick response saying I don't want to see you, I want to discuss this via email. If he does that I'm just going to say Ok (again the status quo is good for me). I think there is a good chance this was just a way to get me to communicate with him without an apology for his crappy behavior at D's recital last weekend. Too much mind reading. Ultimately I have to respond without going against what I want and try to keep him calm about things.
not to project my situation but to share what I'm learning the hard way...

but my h has been hiding money for at least a year, if not more. I found a statement from 2011 and it was 6 figures in an account I knew nothing of.

I left the home in the fall after he did left me there alone (but he planned on "helping" to divide things later). I was in a fog from the seizures so I just grabbed some papers before moving east with family. So imagine my surprise...

it's no easy feat to find and grab those assets from out of state. Who knows what else is out there? From a financial perspective I wish I had been much less trusting and much more involved.

Tomorrow I'm off to CA to be examined by h's lawyer's expert on what I can earn and when. Meanwhile He has quit his "great job!" to avoid paying me.

Nice...oh and he said I played no role in building his career (35 years, 3 kids, he began medical school after we'd been married 5 years and had a newborn...)

Arm and gird yourself.

((( )))
25--I think him capable of anything at this point. But until October of last year I had an iron tight grip on all assets. I still have access to his online pay portal. If he is bringing in more money, it is from a second job. I have no chance of getting more than the amount he previously agreed to give me. Right now I'm getting all but $3-4k per month from his big job. I have lots of money in retirement, he has none (been a huge job hopper and never able to qualify for IRA).

I am shocked by what your H is doing. Was he a guy that cared about money during the marriage? Mine never did. He only seemed to care about money with OW1 who was, according to him, a money whore and I think he felt the need to try to compete with her (a fellow doctor). I have spent tons of money since he has been gone getting stuff I may not be able to later and he has not questioned one dollar I have spent (even though he has access to all the accounts).

Have you considered hiring a forensic accountant? May be worth it in your situation.
Originally Posted By: OwnIt
25--I think him capable of anything at this point. But until October of last year I had an iron tight grip on all assets. I still have access to his online pay portal. If he is bringing in more money, it is from a second job. I have no chance of getting more than the amount he previously agreed to give me. Right now I'm getting all but $3-4k per month from his big job. I have lots of money in retirement, he has none (been a huge job hopper and never able to qualify for IRA).

I am shocked by what your H is doing. Was he a guy that cared about money during the marriage?

He HYPER cared about money. (Investments like 401ks he left to me (and they've done well, you're welcome). Investments he made behind my back have done poorly so he never brought those up till they were fait accompli.

except now he's SO HAPPY with OW, but he's SO MAD at me that he quit his job & is hard to reach for his L, so...either his FIL gave h $140k (B/c he gave his brother that amount 2 years ago)

or I don't know what. It would amaze me if he really retired for good. So I THINK it's a waiting game. My sisters say that h has ALWAYS been obsessed with money and is so cheap...(and he probably resented me staying at home, and I just didn't get how mad he was. Till a year ago we had a child or 3 at home and the last one was very troubled and we took her out of school to homeschool her. Which means I homeschooled her as I cannot recall a time in her last 5 years that h "taught"her...or took her to the doctor or a therapist or anything related to her depression.

They fought a lot. She got his old cell phone on which he'd written that he was "giving up on her", "not investing anymore energy" and "Sometimes can't stand her"...

He never wiped his phone clean and she said "See Mom? I told you he never loved me."

Broke my heart for her.

He's quibbled about our sep date and I wondered why. Then it hit me that somehow if h says we were sep before I got sick, while it won't make a legal difference, it would mean he can actually make himself believe he did not leave me in a haze alone in California when I could not drive, bathe or swim alone and he went off to Alaska with the money...and my family had to come get me to move me back east...

he cares how he's viewed to the point of lying about what happened. So he can know the truth inside (and not feel guilt or remorse) but as long as he lies to others and avoids SHAME at all costs, that's what matters.

Yes I'm amazed and yes when I detach I feel it's interesting. But as his wife (which I still am)
I know a side of him I cannot unknown. And it will color how I see him for the rest of my life. He's not a good man now. I don't expect him ever to be.

His behavior when I was sick, was so appalling that he will probably never ever let himself even go there in his head....

Yes I can imagine him apologizing on his death bed with a "I could have handled that better" apology AS MUCH as I can imagine him shaking his fist at me in anger...

Own, I'm sorry I hijacked in my venting...and I have to go to CA now for the vocational evaluation. Or as I like to call it

my "free vacation"...


Mine never did. He only seemed to care about money with OW1 who was, according to him, a money whore and I think he felt the need to try to compete with her (a fellow doctor). I have spent tons of money since he has been gone getting stuff I may not be able to later and he has not questioned one dollar I have spent (even though he has access to all the accounts).

Have you considered hiring a forensic accountant? May be worth it in your situation.


We will have to hire one but my lawyer is sort of dragging her heels on that. I realize it costs a lot

but in her defense I have to do my freaking divorce homework more and I"ve been almost as nutty as h

in avoiding it.

Once mine is done we can compel him to complete it all (which he will LOVE doing) and then see what's what.

Gross...I'd rather have the nest egg (yes, all of it) b/c it would be less than he presently has to pay me (assuming he did) over time, which is a win for him

but it would be protected from his insanity and I'd feel a lot more secure knowing it's there so that when I'm 59, I can have something to rely on.

I do get half the pensions but even that, h has managed to claim a "glitch" has held up the military pension.

Really? I am a veteran and there's NO WAY the Army would screw up a retirement check for 6months
This may sound vindictive, but because money is the only currency he understands, I hope you make him pay every last cent you are entitled to.

Courts know the whole routine. In California (the origin of the community property concept) you will fare well in his ridiculous argument of "no support." I'm in a similarly progressive state. I worked all through the marriage and was the higher earner until two years ago. My lawyer told me he is hosed. He will be paying me for a long time to come.
Hey 25,

Thank you so much for your input! I know my marriage was not a healthy one. I guess I've been thinking that he will come out of this a better person.

I thought in MLC the MLC'er is learning cognitive skills that they never mastered in their childhood..?? He handled the beginnings of the "end of Replay" (first awakening) very well. It wasn't until I brought up the OW that he went hard back in the tunnel. He didn't totally come to the first awakening bc of this and my lack of boundaries, but he def made some great strides in the right direction. It was something that I could totally live with as my spouse. His actions were respectful and very selfless. Why did I have to bring up the OW??!!

As far as my prior marriage with H, it was unhealthy. I don't know if it will ever be healthy. I've been meaning to ask Own it about her marriage prior to the last 7 years when he was so abusive to her. She is very honest about her sitch, so I know she won't sugarcoat it. I wonder if her marriage was with a man who also had not learned the coping skills as a child..?? Anger that leads to vindictiveness is a big one for my H. I'll never understand how someone can stew so long in order to strike at the right time later down the road to hurt someone. I swear, I did NOT know my H was like this for a LONG time. He recently told me something about himself that blew my mind. He was put on probation at work for reasons he makes light of, and so he starts to tell me how he would have gotten revenge on his boss in the past, but not now. He said the old H would have called the home office and told them how to find info on his boss's computer that shows he watches porn some during the day. That's below the belt. How could I have missed that for so many years. I guess if I knew he was vengeful towards me, I could guess he was towards others, too.

I am going to go to T at some point in the future. I know, I keep saying that but I really do need to bite the bullet on that one. Just for the sake of saying I tried it again. Too many years of bad T has led me to abstain from it since MLC started. Never hurts to try it again.

Thank you, 25!!
Link to my new thread:
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2741168&#Post2741168
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