I have been trying to find more information about the ending stages of MLC. Especially the breaking of withdrawal and acceptance stages.
Lance has brought this up on another thread. I think he has a very good point so, I thought I would start a new thread for discussion of the final stages of MLC.
This is Cyrena's reply to Lance...
Originally Posted By: Cyrena
I also noticed (and regretted) how little information seemed to exist about the final stages. In retrospect, however, I think I can understand why. Withdrawal is so internalized that my H barely talked to me during it, and I think he couldn't really remember it well once his depression lifted.
Also, Acceptance probably looks more different in different people than the other stages, because this is when issues are finally being addressed. But these issues vary greatly.
In addition, in those last stages my H was cycling so fast and so dramatically that no plan, emotion, intention, etc, lasted long before it was replaced. In the space of 5 minutes he could say and do a bewildering number of contradictory things. Even into Acceptance he would have regular dips into thinking with his teenaged brain for several months. But he was also in withdrawal from the OW at the time, which no doubt added its own issues.
I don't think you're going to find a "script" for breaking withdrawal and acceptance in the same way you can for the earlier stages. All you can do as an LBS is take care of yourself so that you are prepared to deal with whatever happens.
Cyrena- Is there any more detail you can add about "my H was cycling so fast and so dramatically that no plan, emotion, intention, etc, lasted long before it was replaced. In the space of 5 minutes he could say and do a bewildering number of contradictory things."?
I am 3.5 years post bomb with no known OW. After anger and replay which lasted a little over a year, my H and I started spending more time together, even went to counseling. So, for the next year and a half, I did my best to DB but eventually knew my H was cake-eating and gave him a deadline to move home. He couldn't and I broke off communication. Six week later he told me he missed me, I was his best friend and wanted to move home. I gave him 3 more months and he still couldn't so I told my H (an attorney) to file the D papers which he did supposably because I forced him. That was 3.5 months ago. Recently my H has been emailing me at texting me telling me he misses me and still loves me. We met for a short time last night and he told me all kinds of wonderful things (if I believed them) including he wants to try to move home, he doesn't see spending the rest of his life without me, he misses being part of my life and my kids lives, etc...I tried ask questions to get a more specific direction from my H but he avoided answering most of those. When we left the restaurant we were at, I figured we were going to be able to talk a little more outside however my H basically just gave me a quick kiss and said "I'll call you tomorrow". I have not heard a peep from him since. I am not surprised but all this makes me feel like I am losing my mind...like I just imagined everything my H said because if he truly meant it, he certinly would be following through and attempting to spend time with me. That is what a rational/sane person would do if they meant all those things they said...right??? The bottom line is that I really can't invest anymore emotions into a relationship without the follow-through. Our D is filed and scheduled to be final on Dec.19...everything is done and agreed upon. I have no intentions of stopping anything unless I see a true change for the better in my H. Unfortunately, if I see any change in my H, he is less consistant that he was before we filed the D papers.
I guess I'm just curious to know if others going through the final stages of MLC have acted the same way? Cyrena's descripton does sound like it could possibly fit.
Wonka-If you read this, I would love to hear your take on it.
This is something posted to me during my wife MLC that might help.
Originally Posted By: Heart Blessing
During these final three stages; Depression, Withdrawal and Acceptance, the LBS, starting with Withdrawal has an opportunity to "re-balance" the relationship with proper boundaries, the finishing of their growing, AND the enforcing of said boundaries. By the time, the MLC'er reaches the stage of Withdrawal, the LBS should have a good handle on themselves, their emotions, and should be strong enough to handle whatever happens, understanding enough to let go of the outcome, and leave it in the hands of the Lord who knows ALL things.
In this process, THESE LAST THREE STAGES(Depression, Withdrawal and Acceptance) is where the MLC'er learns the SAME lessons the LBS learns, and the MLC'er learns these lessons THROUGH the LBS actions TOWARD the MLC'er....as the LBS is the staunchion, or the pillar of strength..the "lighthouse" if you will...they are the source of strength that "draws" the MLC'er back.
If the LBS allows the MLC'er to run roughshod over them, in this latter half of the crisis, it will turn into a cycle that loops around and around until broken..and each time it loops, it's harder to break...and it takes MORE time and MORE strength to try and break the cycle each time it's allowed to come about.
If people are disrespectful of and to us, it is because we ALLOW them to be....these things are to be broken in the latter half of the crisis.
In the first half, they are trying to find themselves, and we must give them this space..in the latter half, the connection is attempting to rebuild itself between the husband and wife,(if they make it that far, it should mean, if nothing happens, that they can and should finish together) and it is then the bad habits of a lifetime are broken, and balance restored...they are strong enough in that last half to see the damage they've done, face their issues, and LEARN(I did say, learn) to respect the one who has been there for and with them throughout this crisis.
It doesn't mean the LBS should bully or browbeat the MLC'er, but it DOES mean a stand must be made in order to make the MLC'er understand that enough is enough...go this far, and come NO farther....enforcing that the boundaries laid ARE respected.
I also get the feeling your wife knows EXACTLY what she's doing, do NOT allow her to fool you into thinking she's unaware of what she's trying to force you to do. They do try to play "head games" during the non-facing of their issues when they get stuck, and try to make the LBS think they are going nuts, and the MLC'er uses that to try and force the LBS to back off when push comes to shove.
Just so you know, it does NOT always happen this way, this "pushing" of the MLC'er only occurs when they get "stuck" in the facing of their issue or issues.
I wish there was another way, but I'm not seeing one...this seems to be the only way to go, Cadet, according to what I'm being shown.
Push her, Cadet, and push her HARD..it MUST needs to happen for her to come forward in this...whether she brings this up or you do...you'll need stay in it and with it until it's done, and over with, no backing down of yourself....regardless of what happens.
I'm praying no one will be there except you and her when it happens, as this will be between the two of you, and involves no one else.
This is totally up to you and no one else, the door is wide open at this time, but not for long.
I may post some more about this later, but HB lays it out there to see.
Cadet- Thank you so much for sharing HeartsBlessings post.
They do try to play "head games" during the non-facing of their issues when they get stuck, and try to make the LBS think they are going nuts, and the MLC'er uses that to try and force the LBS to back off when push comes to shove.
This is exactly the way I feel right now.
My H is definitely stuck like a scratched record and there is a part of me that still believes that if I just give him a little push to continue on, he will eventually work his way past that scratch...but the scratch just comes up again with the next revolution.
My H told me the other night that I did the right thing by kicking him to the curb because it has made him realize what he is missing. I just don't get it. Does he really mean what he says or is he just a big fat liar? I just don't get it...and I don't get why it is bothering me.
I found another post about stirring th pot that happened a few weeks after my first post:
Originally Posted By: Heart Blessing
Whatever you decide will be all right, yet, to show you both sides of either path you could take; if you keep stirring the pot, it will shorten the time spent with Withdrawal. On the other hand, if you decide to continue with things as they are; the time will lengthen; as she is definitely "holding" out on you; until she is forced within to face herself. The LORD, taking over FOR you, will cause this to happen, and you won't have anything to do with it; you'll just be along for the ride, and time WILL be added on, as it will take her LONGER to come through. How MUCH longer, I do not know, as His time is not mine or yours. But she must needs to come on through, one way or the other.
You will see things, (if you decide to continue as you are, and things get turned over into the hands of the Lord), that will raise questions, and you will be allowed to ask about what you are seeing; as it won't make sense to you at the time it's happening. You will see the battle begin in earnest within her; and it will not look right, smell right or taste right, once again. It will NOT let up until she's moves through into Acceptance.
Now, how long it will be before the Lord takes over, I do not know, either....He is more or less, waiting on you to decide on how you want to go; and it seems you're thinking it would be better to take this route, and that is ok with Him.
What I get most definitely, is she won't leave either way this goes, whatever decision you make; it's past the time she could have left you.
The advice is to stir the pot hard again, but, remember, it's up to you. And this time, I will be unable to tell you HOW to stir the pot; you already KNOW the issue at hand that's prominent within her. I cannot give you anything else in the way of instruction; I would be repeating myself; you've already GOT all you would need for this.
In closing, I cannot tell or even order you in what to do, but this is all food for thought; as, although things are not stuck, exactly; she is taking her sweet time; and fighting what is coming for her....somehow she KNOWS it's coming, but keeps bypassing it; mostly likely, because it is a HARD step to take for her.
The "bypass" she keeps taking, though, will end, one way or the other.
I know it's awful; you think you've got a handle on it, and along comes HB, and stirs the pot, LOL! Well, you DO have a handle on it, Cadet, and your patience is nothing short of amazing, and you've done well thus far.
Keep me posted on what happens as it happens; as I'm still here for you as you may need me; I know I'm to stay with you for awhile, yet.
FWIW, you won't "fail" if you decide to go the route you are on, currently; the decision is yours; I'm just here to point out the SAME alternative that I pointed out once before AFTER your confrontation with her. There are Pros, Cons, and "what ifs" to each step of the journey, but He is working within and behind the scenes; and is with you and for you every step of the way, Cadet, remember that.
I am wondering - and I'm sorry if this is repetitious - but for those of us just starting in this separation with an MLC and no contact - is what you are describing following a "dark" period or have you been together? Just wondering if the advice would differ
M-48/XH-48 M=25/T=28 years Ds-24,22/S-18 D - 3/11 A Day at a Time