It is along time since I posted, and i am sorry to see so many people out there and hurting.
I am over twelve years since bomb drop, and after many false starts my xh (now remarried) is trying to build some bridges. Poor soul, he isn't very good at it, but it he was good at this sort of thing we wouldn't be where we are now!!
The advice to drop the rope - much much easier to say than do - is excellent and essential. Once you are able to disengage from their foolishness, your expectations will go, and you will be less hurt. Whatever helps you to detach, go for it. Remaining involved, in any way, is a recipe for on-going hurt.
Do not try to fix them, you are the last person to be doing this. They aren't fixable by anyone but themselves, and at some point, maybe, a good therapist.
They will not change/get-it until they are ready, and some never are, sadly.
Recognise that you have been abused emotionally and are likely traumatized.
It took me a very very long time to get to a good place, but I did. I am happy, single, and fulfilled.
If you can, go to family events, parties, graduations etc. This can be very hard, especially as they seem to be joined at the hip with whoever they are with, in a very adolescent way!!
It is not your children's fault this happened, and it is bad enough having a parent who has become very strange to them. But having to choose is a burden for them that maybe it is better to avoid. Sure, it means being the 'bigger person', but actually we are, because they are damaged and suffering.
Your children love both their parents, however badly one of them is behaving, in the same way you love your children even when they are awful!!
My xh now acknowledges that he behaved monstrously towards me (his words) and that he made a terrible mistake in leaving me. This changes nothing, and words are cheap, but even so it was validating to hear this.
What is most interesting is that I am no longer upset by him. I am sorry for him because he has messed up his life. I can now see his (to me, warped) point of view - his life wasn't working out, and he felt he couldn't fix it, and that a different life, affairs, and no responsibilities would make him happy. He had no idea of the damage he caused for many years. Not a clue. He couldn't take it on board.
MLC is a terrible mess, very destructive of everything within the family.
Can we be 'friends' - that depends on him, and his actions. But definitely better for our adult children if we can get along.
I wish I could give you a quick fix, but we have to live through this - some get through to the far shore quicker, but get through it we must, or remain mired, and upset, dependent emotionally on our former spouse, until they stop upsetting us by their actions or inactions.
I am so happy to come here today and find a posting from you. How are you doing? How are your children doing?
Your posting is spot on and dropping the rope is difficult to do, but it can be done and is far more healthier than continuing to be on the "hook" of the fishing pole waiting and watching for any sign that they are finally realizing that they made a mistake and want to return to the relationship.
Some return and others don't and it's sad that there is really nothing we can do, but let them go. All we can do is pray for them.
As for us, we never asked to go on this journey, but it takes a while for us to come to realize that we lost ourselves along the way and we have now been given the "gift of time", as Cadet always points out, to rediscover ourselves.
Bea, thank you for your posting. Please do not be a stranger.
Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to. The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
It must be validating to hear those words from your ex. I hope however I never hear them from my ex. We had a lot that was great about our marriage, and I don't wish upon him the awareness that he traded a loving relationship with an intellectual equal who always had his back.
KML Good response, and I understand it, but without developing self awareness we can't grow. It is what it is.
I didn't wish any of this, but I know that until he realised how much he had hurt the ones he loved - particularly his children, they would never be able to re-build a relationship. But this is now happening. Painful for all parties, but I believe that it is better for my children, and probably my ex husband to have a relationship that is real.
There are no rights and wrongs in this. All our journeys are different.
Your post provided me with a lot of help - as always.
I am 7 years post BD now, and still coming back here to the community of people who know about MLC.
My X has moved to a third-world country to avoid paying child support and his relationship with OW is over.
His life is sad.
I was particularly struck by your understanding about your XH: that "until he realised how much he had hurt the ones he loved - particularly his children, they would never be able to re-build a relationship."
I'm still waiting for this, for my kids, but pleased to hear that after 12 yrs, this is happening for yours.
It'd be great if you could post some more about how you are doing, but regardless, great to hear from you!
Thanks for the post above. It's always interesting to read posts from people who come back a good while after BD with an update. I'm four years out from BD now and moving on with my life - I don't hear from XH at all, so I have no idea how he may feel about things.
But it is good to read that your XH has woken up to some of what has happened and is trying to make amends. That is a positive direction for him and for those around him hopefully.
It's good to read that you are thriving and I too feel your advice was spot on. It is so true that you need to pick yourself up, process the huge change, grieve, introspect, move forward and through it. And that takes a good deal of time.
Very best wishes to you. I haven't posted for a while on my own thread, so I will do an update too.
T 13 M 7 Me 48 H 46 SS 15 BD 7.14 PA D final 5.16 (H filed)
We receive & we lose, and must try to achieve gratitude & embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses - Dubus
So I came on the forum to post the latest development in my situation, and I saw BEATRICE! What!
You are such an inspiration to me Bea. Early on, almost 7 years ago!, you and others like Job, showed me life could be good again-with or without a husband. I hung onto that. And, now, it's so good I can't believe it. I LOVE MY LIFE :-)
Hence the need for a quick post:
Mr. Smokey isn't Smokey the Bear anymore. He has been clean for 10 months. He talks to us all daily. He has started calling in the last month. We talk on the phone weekly and he texts daily. I've called him once. Our oldest is looking at a car and we needed help looking it over.
Anyway, his sobriety is an absolute miracle.
And, initially, it was like someone coming back from the dead. Slowly he was emerging like a zombie.
Now, almost a year after he began touching base again... he is living in his own crappy attic apt. OW is a thing of the past.
And, this week, he bought a car capable of driving the distance between Ohio and North Carolina to see us.
It's not happening tomorrow. But, I'm digesting it.
Our life in our little mountain bubble is good. I am not allowing him to mess it up...
Points in his favor:
1. He hasn't shown a single moment of drama since he got clean. Nothing abusive or monstering has come our way. He is supportive and encouraging of all of us.
2. He has sent money to help. Sometimes without my asking, sometimes when I ask. The latest, he's selling his truck and giving the proceeds to our oldest to help with the car.
3. He's staying away from his family. Part of his sobriety.
Points that make me wary:
1. He's the same guy who did horrific, trauma-inducing things to all of us.
2. It's been almost seven years.
3. I'm happy. I need to keep my focus on my business and my happy life.
4. I don't believe he has gotten any therapy. Not sure he has a sponsor. These are musts in order for him to come to visit.
Mind you--we are only talking about a visit. Still a little unnerving.
Sorry for hijacking. This seemed like a good place for this post.
LOVE TO YOU BEA :-)
"You know, it's times like these when I realize what a superhero I am." Tony Stark/Iron Man
“Focus on what you can do, then do it with all your heart.” Lois Wilson
Bea... you are so insightful and amazing... ❤❤ You have given such sound advice. Things that I often ponder... and wonder, at what point will MLC stop affecting me? It's been years; I've moved on... but, you know.
The rope analogy is always clutch, if even difficult to do. Ellie always told me, drop the rope or be dragged. Dropping the rope seemed difficult... being dragged seemed worse. Made it easier.
Heather- girl, our paths seem to always cross. My fam is now in A-ville... hoping to go soon... for many reasons. Would love to see you.
I wonder, heather, how unnerved are you bc of you? You seem well, my friend, keep your confidence and cool. You got this.
Bea, your input is so important. You think newbies need to learn? Well, that's true- but this is a long walk for all of us. We still need you wise ones to lead the way.