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Everything that you posted is very, very common w/the MLCer. She may be starting to question her life and looking at where she's been and where she's at today and starting to think about her future and what she thinks she missed along the way. She hasn't ramped up into full blown replay just yet from what you posted.

Sounds like you aren't putting any pressure on her, which is good. The more you talk about the relationship and put pressure on her to change back to her old self, the more she will go into a rebelling state. Right now, you are accepting her for the way she is and not acting like an authority figure to her child/teenage self.

Try to keep the focus on you and your children. Watch your finances. Continue to do things for yourself in the way of GALing.


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.
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I am not sure that I am not putting pressure on her. Yesterday, I made her mother's day dinner with all the kids help. She seemed to love it! But I am sure there was pressure. I also slip up a lot and tell her that I want her to love me again. She says, "I do love you." CONFUSED!!!!!

I am also terrible with the GAL. I have built my life around being a good family man, and I love that role. I am exercising every night now however.

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Originally Posted by Sh74
I am not sure that I am not putting pressure on her. Yesterday, I made her mother's day dinner with all the kids help. She seemed to love it! But I am sure there was pressure. I also slip up a lot and tell her that I want her to love me again. She says, "I do love you." CONFUSED!!!!!

I am also terrible with the GAL. I have built my life around being a good family man, and I love that role. I am exercising every night now however.

Sh74,

You replied to my thread with a MC question, and I linked here. First some things that are similar in my sitch:

- 3 kids (mine are younger, 7, 5 and 3)
- We tried MC from Sept '18 to Jan '19. Ended because we mutually agreed it was going nowhere and the MC would do unprofessional things like miss appointments.
- "Plan" is to re-start MC in June or July. I expect this is not an honest effort by W to improve M, but more likely a BD.

We relocated about 18 months ago, and W has been on and off fighting something. She has not seemed genuinely happy most of the time. It could certainly be a MLC triggered by the disruption of the move. She seems depressed. I think she thinks she chose to marry me now due to some unresolved conflict with her parents/childhood. Who knows? I'm almost positive there is no EA/PA. I sought reassurance and intimacy as my way of dealing with the move, which caused a lot of problems when I would get emotional about it. I was emotionally immature (and still am).

I also work and then go home. I am terrible with GAL - in fact my wife has PUSHED me to spend time with friends or by myself previously and I resisted. Literally I didn't recognize she was begging me to differentiate. Anyways, I am struggling in many ways the same as you.

Some random thoughts, from someone who keeps telling themselves these things and yet backslides every day into self-pity:

- Stop seeking reassurance that she loves you. It is pressure, pressure, pressure. You can be there for her and validate and listen, but let her lead the way. My wife stopped saying ILY 4 months ago. About 2 months ago, I decided I would stop as well.
- Stop trying so hard to show her you love her. True DB'g (I am a novice here) is about letting go. First, good for your own well-being. Second, it gives your W space (again, removal of pressure). I know, hard to do on Mother's Day.
- Fight the temptation to read into what your W says or does. It leads easily to paranoid thinking and then self-defeating behaviors. This is subtle and DIFFICULT. The clearest example is your fear of the BD. In my case, I decided this was not a paranoid thought, that I had enough "evidence" to be convinced I needed to prepare. In your case, it's hard to say.

For your MC question - I will give some thoughts in the thread where you asked the question.

For GAL - after my kids go to bed, often my W and I watch TV, maybe have a glass of wine, crack jokes, casual talk. I very consciously last week decided to spend some nights by myself on an old hobby of mine instead. I MISS that interaction with W, it feels like one of the few threads holding us together. But honestly... sitting around watching TV is just letting the clock tick down. We are talking like friends, acquaintances. There is no R-building going on there. Laying on a couch, having a drink, watching TV -- it is so comfortable and fun, but when I realize it's not helping me, or my M, it's much easier to get the motivation to do something different.

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How are you guys able to work during all of this? I am crying about one to two hours a day (but never at home) and I can't focus at all.

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Hi Sh74, sorry that your dealing with this but you have found a great place for advice and comfort. Listen to the Veterans on here and following the guidelines of this site. Your upaet is normal and unfortunately you have to go through it , there is no easy way around it. We all see differences in our own situations but the basics are the same and thats the hardest part to accept. GAL is all important for you and your family. You need to look after you and accept what is happening and work through it. Whatever your W is going through , it didn't happen overnight and any solutions will not happen overnight. My story is 5 years old and while it didn't end in a reconciled marriage i can honestly say im happy in life. When i got the ILYBNILWY i thought my world was over BUT it wasn't and whatever the outcome in your situation your life will be happy again. Thats hard for you to grasp right now but its true.

Post often and follow the guidelines of this site , focus on you and your kids.

Take care , RD

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Hello SH, I feel like I am turning back the clock and reading my first posts on this forum from way back when,
your situation is so very similar to what mine was. I have 3 kids, they were about the same ages as yours at BD, I had been married almost 20 years at the time, had been with my XW a few years longer than that. So let me say I really feel for you, I can easily identify with your confusion and heartbreak. First I'm going to say something that will have to become your mantra through this- you will never understand why this happened. Your W probably doesn't understand why she is doing this either. She's being driven by something deep inside, a feeling that things aren't right and a desire for them to be better. It will very likely take her years to come to grips with these feelings and decide what she wants in life. This has a lot more to do with a journey she is on than anything you did wrong in the M.

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I cry almost every day, and I am having trouble thinking about anything other than saving my marriage.


I cried every single day all the way to work on my 30 minute commute. Then I would pull it together and go in the office and sit there obsessing over "how to fix this" getting hardly any actual work done. Then I would cry all the way home and dry my eyes, go in and greet the kids, go in my room to change clothes and cry more in the closet. That was nearly every day for months.

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I have given everything I have to this family and now a facing complete and utter ruin to everything that is important to me.


I felt the same. Just when we fall into a place where we think we've got life by the balls and our future is all perfectly laid out and tidy, THAT is when we're reminded that we're not actually the ones in control. All we can do is roll with it. It took me a long time and a lot of input from people here but I was gradually able to change my focus to trying to better myself and making the most of my time with the kids, and leaving XW to whatever journey she was on.

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Never in a million years did I ever think I would be facing a divorce. I despise divorce. I adore my wife and my three children.


Again I readily identify with everything you're saying! But here's the thing, it's not your choice. That was a rude awakening for me, to realize I had no say in whether we would stay married or not. That's the world we live in, it only takes one to D and marriage is just not a sacred vow anymore. In the old days the community would rally to try and save hurting marriages, now the community applauds divorce.

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Since we started marriage counseling in February, I keep thinking I am fixing our relationship, but then I am shocked to learn at our counseling sessions that she is in no better place.


Yup. I kept hearing really positive things in MC but then out of the blue my XW would say "I just don't want to work on things anymore." Even the marriage counselor seemed mystified. One time she asked my XW if she respected me and she said "oh yes, very much". She said do you think he's not a good father and she said "oh he's an amazing dad to our kids." She said what about sex, is he selfish in bed and she said "no, the sex is wonderful, I would even like to keep having sex" (we had not had sex since BD at that point). The counselor said "I don't understand, in counseling we call these three things the pillars of a great relationship, why exactly do you not want to work on this?" All she could say was "I don't know, I'm just done." I heard that "I'm just done" line more times than I can count in and out of MC.

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I know that my wife and I both hate conflict, so that has problem swept a lot of problems under the rugs.


One of the things I kept telling people after BD is that my XW and I never fought, but I eventually learned that wasn't a good thing. A lack of conflict usually points to a lot of pent-up resentment. My XW was VERY resentful and never expressed it, and the reason for that resentment was a lack of effective communication in our M which was the fault of both of us.

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So, I am hoping that you guys can help me to save my marriage. I am terrible with getting my own life. I work long hours and always felt guilty not spending time with the kids and my wife after work. Now I am feeling depressed and don't want to leave the house. I also like the love I get from my kids when I am at home so that is making my GAL even harder. So, I need help in being able to do this.


OK, well first of all it's difficult to do when you're both under the same roof. I had to really force myself to, and I absolutely hated it at first. I had always been a gym rat but had let it go for many years, so I joined a gym and got back into it. I also picked back up some of my old hobbies, particularly building R/C planes and tinkering with my motorcycles. Just anything to occupy you and take your mind off things and get you out of the house. I also reconnected with old friends and started doing lunches and dinners with them. While you're under the same roof then keep your W informed, you don't want to just dump the kids on her daily and disappear as that will just cause more resentment. Anyway like I said I had to force myself to do these things and you will too. Eventually it'll get easier and after quite a while you'll find yourself enjoying GAL.

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I also need help in detaching.


That comes with time and is a byproduct of GAL and changing your focus.

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This completely goes against my personality. I have never had someone stop loving me before. I get along with just about everyone, and I can't stand that my wife doesn't love me any more. I am crushed. And I just want to win her back so bad. I know this is everything not to do in DB.


She still loves you, and even though she may look like the ice princess on the outside, on the inside she is really in a lot of pain and turmoil. She knows she's hurting you and the kids and she hates herself for it. But she feels desperate to escape and feels she is justified.

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I am confused if my situation is different from many others' here. My wife is very nice to me. We both avoid conflict (always have), and we still act like very good friends.


That's actually not that unusual here. And as I mentioned above, the lack of conflict is a red flag, it's not healthy.

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She and I have been going out on dates. I have been probably doing overkill with dates to Musicals, but she is also planning dates like that. We have been going out for lunch or coffee about once a week during the work week.


None of that is going to change anything. You've got to let her go before she might want to come back.

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My wife's behavior seems different than a lot of behavior on here. My worst fear is that she has moved on, but is trying to create a friendship so that we are good co-parenters after a divorce. Otherwise I fear that she is just a nice person and is trying to let me go softly.


Her behavior is not unusual for a WAS. And yes, she is trying to make things easier on you and pave the way for peaceful coparenting. That doesn't mean there's no chance to save your M, but there is no chance RIGHT NOW. It's going to take a long, long time before she might consider recon. Probably years.

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Instead, she just has said a few things over the last 5 months (ILYBIANILWY, I don't like the institution of marriage, I might never be attracted to you again). Is this common?


Yes. That's a reflection of how she feels RIGHT NOW. It can and will eventually change but it'll take a while. What you've got to try and accept is this IS how she feels and there is no "magic trick" to change her mind.

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How are you guys able to work during all of this? I am crying about one to two hours a day (but never at home) and I can't focus at all.


I told my boss what was going on as my work performance dropped off a cliff after BD. It took months before I was productive again. It was hell. I eventually got on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds as it had gotten to the point where I couldn't even sit at my desk due to fight-or-flight kicking in.

I can't say where this journey will take you, but you are going to need patience like you've never had before. I became the spouse only a fool would leave, and it did not bring my XW back but by the time I got to that point I no longer cared whether she came back or not. In fact I was the one that eventually pushed the divorce through because I no longer wanted to be married to the person she had become. I don't know what happened to her but while she was nice and pleasant and continued to be a great mom after BD, she was no longer that person that had unconditional love for me and would have done anything for me. The old version of her could tell me with her eyes that I was the center of her universe. The new version just looked at me so coldly, so different. She has slowly become more like her old self over the years. For a long time she just seemed so utterly alien (you'll see that word used a lot in the MLC forum) but slowly she has been changing back. Will she ever change completely back and want to recon? It could happen but I have moved on and am in another relationship and for me the recon ship has already sailed.

Anyway be patient, get out and GAL, try to take your focus off W and put it on you and the kids. Learn to be the best you that you can be. Read books. Devour these forums. Post in your thread as well as others. Revive old friendships. Make new ones. Eventually you'll realize that you will be fine with or without your W.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
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Thank you AnotherStander for such a powerful response.

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First I'm going to say something that will have to become your mantra through this- you will never understand why this happened. Your W probably doesn't understand why she is doing this either. She's being driven by something deep inside, a feeling that things aren't right and a desire for them to be better. It will very likely take her years to come to grips with these feelings and decide what she wants in life. This has a lot more to do with a journey she is on than anything you did wrong in the M.


I hope that you are right about this. She seems pretty convinced that this is all my fault, but boy I have always been her biggest fan. I have always adored her. I have been beating myself up for months now that this is all my fault.


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Again I readily identify with everything you're saying! But here's the thing, it's not your choice.


This is the hardest thing for me to come to grips with. This isn't my choice. It seems like no matter how much I change, I am never able to make her happy.

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One of the things I kept telling people after BD is that my XW and I never fought, but I eventually learned that wasn't a good thing. A lack of conflict usually points to a lot of pent-up resentment. My XW was VERY resentful and never expressed it, and the reason for that resentment was a lack of effective communication in our M which was the fault of both of us.


I think the fact that we both don't like conflict is a huge problem. We need to learn how to talk to each other.


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That comes with time and is a byproduct of GAL and changing your focus.


I really need to figure out how to GAL. I am going to the gym, but I am still hovering around the house too much.

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She still loves you, and even though she may look like the ice princess on the outside, on the inside she is really in a lot of pain and turmoil. She knows she's hurting you and the kids and she hates herself for it. But she feels desperate to escape and feels she is justified.


I hope that she wakes up and realizes the pain she is going to put our kids through. I still can't believe that she is willing to put me through it.

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None of that is going to change anything. You've got to let her go before she might want to come back.


I so hope this isn't true. I hope that I can win her back by showing how good of a husband I am.

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Just checking in. My heart aches every day. Every day is a rollercoaster, and I just want to get off of it. But, I just have to keep taking every day day by day. I pray that each of you gets some comfort today. My we all feel God's loving presence.

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I took a step backwards today. I told my W how much she means to me and how I would be lost without her. She told me that she loves me, but her eyes showed that she felt uncomfortable with my words. I am sure I made her feel guilty. I just love her so much, and I so want to win her love back.

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I wish there was a way, or words I could offer, that could make it easier. Truth is, this is really hard. One thing I can say to you is that no one thing you do is going to break the situation. There are many times I slipped up and initiated a relationship talk, or explained to her how much I loved her. You DO love her and it isn't wrong in a normal scenario to tell people how you feel. Its just in this case it doesn't serve the purpose you are shooting for. She KNOWS you love her. She KNOWS you care. She KNOWS you are waiting for her. That knowledge is helping her continue in her state of uncertainty while she explores her confusion to find her happiness.

I think some of the best advice I had that helped me get through the day (aside from the regular detach and GAL advice) was to breath and just worry about today. I noticed that a lot of my depression and anxiety that I felt about losing my W/best friend/lover/mother of my children was trying to work out the future and how to fix everything. When I was able to take a breath and take a step back from the situation, I was then able to remind myself that things were not going to be fixed today and that I didn't need to worry about how to fix everything...today. Then I was able to focus on letting go of that responsibility while I worked on the daily routine and just enjoying THAT day. I challenge you to do the same.

Just remember that as they say, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself so you can finish the race. You aren't going to make any decisions today that are going to break things (even slipping up with sharing your emotions). So, be kind to yourself today. You did not break this so its not going to be your responsibility to fix it.

Hope you have a better day today than yesterday, and a better tomorrow than today.


Me: 42 yrs
W: 39 yrs
Together: 21 yrs
Married: 15 yrs
Son: 16 yrs
Daughter: 14 yrs
BD: Jan 2017
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