Thank you so much for sharing this! It really helped me this morning to have hope. Here is my story. Any other hope and success stories, encouragement, etc. from you and others is appreciated.
I am a 49 year old man who has been married for almost 17 years. This is my 2nd marriage as I was married at 22 to my high-school (only girlfriend) and divorced from her after only 4 years of marriage.
My current wife, and I had been happy - or so I thought, but she represses her feelings and learned in childhood that you don't share feelings because good girls do what they are told or else. The or else was manifested in her when she at age 6 had a baby brother die of Downs syndrome and was told he went to see Jesus so you better do what you're told or this is what can happen to you. Futher aggravated by the fact that her mom and dad (married now for 50 years) never had an argument and the one time they did - dad left (only for 1 night to the garage), but these 2 traumas formed the basis for not sharing true feelings or getting into any conflict.
Amy and I had been to our marriage therapist who we both liked 5 years ago when after 12 years of marriage she finally admitted to me that she was not happy, but didn't want to say anything.
I immediately agreed to therapy with her, and we made progress, but in the last 3 years we have again slipped back into old patterns, i.e. her repressing her feelings and not sharing what she is feeling and thinking and me going off into my stupid male fantasy of just sex without real intimacy in the bedroom.
Even though she was there with me enjoying herself to a degree I wasn't really "tuned in." When recently I began to feel something wasn't right and asked direct questions like "do I have anything to worry about?" She said no, this just a few weeks ago.
Coincidentally, (which now I know was no coincidence) Amy attended her 30 year high school reunion and I have since learned that many of her classmates expressed regret for things not tried, stuck in their lives.
Amy is 48, and has openly said, "I don't want the 2nd half of my life, or however many years I have left to be the same as the first." "I love you, but I'm not 'in love' with you." "It's time for me to take a separate path." "I know you don't think anything good can come from this, but it can."
We have 2 small children that we both have great relationships with (our first daughter is only 6 and is very sensitive like her mother), our second daughter will be 9 next month and is very strong physically and mentally.
The week prior to July 4th we had a wonderful week as a family going to our local parade, carnival, fireworks. We held hands as a family and it was Amy's turn to say a little prayer over our dinner on Fri. that weekend. We are not overtly religious, but we have a nice tradition of "saying the pray" at dinner if we all together and thanking God for our blessings and expressing any hopes we have. So Amy holding all our hands says "thank you God for all our blessings and help Daddy's work event this weekend go great." We also had great sex that week and weekend.
Coincidentally - (I don't think this was a coincidence either) our 9 year old Sophie and I were walking back from the carnival on Sun July 5 and Sophie mentioned some actress. I said "oh she's cute," and Sophie replied, "will you stop 'crushing' that's cheating on mom!" I responded, "Sophie, you can admire someone without taking any action that are cheating." And here's the killer, the next words out of this little girl's mouth were:
"You better never get a divorce!" Sophie's best friend is divorced and I know she is getting to feel the hurts through her friend.
I replied, "Sophie! I don't want a divorce, I love mommy."
Of course, Amy HATES that story and dismisses it, but...
The very next day - Mon. July 6th Amy announces "I want a divorce, I can't take this any longer. I made an appointment with our marriage therapist to find out how to talk to the children about this."
As she was telling me this bombshell one of her sisters who live in the area and who Amy has been confiding in was there that day with her son 7 and she marches into the room takes our girls suitcases which has already been packed and loaded them and our girls in her car and left for her home.
After a couple hours of my shock and telling Amy "why in the world didn't you tell me you were this unhappy, I would agreed to go back to counseling in a heartbeat!?" "Whay didn't you say anything when I asked you last week "Do I have anything to worry about?" "Why didn't you bring it up on our Monday night 'date nights' which we have been religious about over the past few years?" We go out for dinner and a movies and all subjects are OK to talk about. We started these date nights after therapy the first time.
Amy's response, "I have been over this in my mind 17 hundred times and I just don't see any other way. If there was a solution 'I would have found it.'" I have been pretending to be happy because I read if you take the action and pretend everything's alright the feeling will follow, but the feeling never followed."
After a bit more discussion I got Amy to agree to at least ask our therapist for other options besides divorce. Reluctantly, Amy agreed and our therapist who recommended Divorce Busting.com to me asked Amy if she would agree to at least a 3 month trial separation. Again, reluctantly, Amy agreed.
But, in this recession and with 2 small children we don't have money for another apartment so Amy had come up with the idea of having her own room in our home which has 4 bedrooms.
She doesn't want me to ask her where she is going when she goes out and wants to have a separate life.
She acknowledges that she also has made mistakes and has said, "I have to work on myself before I can be in a good relationship with you or anyone else."
Our Therapist asked me to hold on to my hope, but hold the tension of knowing it may not work, and she asked Amy to try to have an open mind about the possibilities even though she has said her mind was made up about wanting a divorce.
To make things MORE interesting - we had a planned family vacation to Colorado to visit Amy's identical twin sister and her husband this past week, and after our first session with our therapist, Amy said, "I think it's the right thing to go on the vacation."
So...here I am the last morning of our 10 day family vacation in Colorado. We have had a wonderful time, going to the top of Pike's Peak, hiking in Golden Gate State Park, doing things as a family and with our in-laws and I have been pouring over the Divorce Remedy book, writing out my goals, things I know I need to work on and change in myself regardless of what happens with Amy and I.
When I got to the part in the book about communicating, midlife crises and using different mediums like a letter I had amassed so much feeling and knowledge about things I have done wrong over the years I found myself writing a very heartfelt letter to Amy expressing the changes I would be making regardless of what happens to us.
There was an opportunity for Amy and I to talk at the beginning of our vacation and she again expressed the feeling that she wanted to go on a different path and that there is almost NO chance in her mind that we will survive as a couple.
I gave her my letter and she read it and teared up a bit, laughed at parts and then said "It's a very nice letter and if you do these things, you will have a great relationship whether it be with me or anyone else, but I want to be clear that I still want to go my separate way."
This morning as I was writing this to you on the last day of our vacation, Amy presented me with her own leter which said she was sorry that as a result of her actions my world was turned upside down, but again that she believed good things can from this and she wants to remain friends and is very proud of the actions I'm taking, and she admires many things about me as a father and businessman. She still acknowldeges she loves me, but is NOT "in love" with me and doesn't feel that will ever change - so she tells "don't count your chickens there is almost no chance our marriage will survive.
She also admits wanting to go out with other people during our separation, but says there is no one in particular that she is pursuing, just that she wants to see what's out there. She also says she would never bring a date back to our house with our children and wouldn't do that until after we were divorced and only if she felt after dating someone for 3 to 6 months there was potential for a long-term partner there.
I also sense midlife crises with Amy looking at possible tattoos, toe-rings and other things she has never done. Her favorite recent movie? The Bucket List!
Please accept my apology for being so long winded. I have hope and told her that just as she is entitled to her convictions about what is best as the therapist told me I have a right to my integrity and hope.
Here's a question. I will hope for a miracle by giving her total space and being an unconditional friend for the next 3 months, but given her stubborn belief and looking forward to dating and discovering more about herself if at the end of the 3 month separation....SHOULD I GRANT HER A DIVORCE?
Do I need to give her that too under the umbrella of unconditional friend. She wants to continue to always have a parenting relationship with me and there will be regular meetings to discuss this, but am I shooting myself in the foot if at the end of the 3 months she insists on a divorce and I say no?
Thank so much for listening and all responses are welcome. jamesb6402
I'm very sorry you find yourself here James. This is a very good place to be for support however.
Now, your not going to get a whole lot of action up here. You need to highlight and copy what you just posted and start your own thread.
Go to the midlife crisis main page. In the upper left hand corner you should see written in red "new topic." Click on that and in the subject line you can create whatever title you like. Then paste this post you just posted. Now you will have your own thread to give us your updates and have others respond.
Please don't be apprehensive when it comes to posting to others. This is how you develop friendship and support.
If you haven't already, take a look at the MLC resources. You need to learn as much as you can about this and how to deal with it. Here is the link.
My bf's crisis spanned 5 years - from the year his Dad went into a coma and died.. he had unresolved issues about his dad, who he loved, but his Dad had had depressopn for 20+ years and wasnt really a father to him..and yet he had to care for him in his final 3 years, which he struggled with. His Mum was depressed for the first 8 years of his life. He has had very masked depression himself all his adult life.
2005 his father died and he just went in on himself from that point on. He insisted he had grieved, when in fact his grieving hadnt begun as he was stuck with unresolved feelings of guilt toward his father.. and the mask he wore to hide his depression slipped and its true.. they just do go a bit mad! They are not themselves, they act out of charactger, drink too much, get into debt, lose touch with old friends, make new friends, notice unsuitable woman at work and eventually.. walk out.
What I learnt was to be forgiving, he wasnt doing this maliciously or even making any healthy choices for himself, so it was easy to be forgiving. I was compassionate and kind and ALWAYS there for him (didnt follow the DB rule of accept 3 out of 5 invites and dont always answer the phone etc).. I was CONSISTENT. I didnt put ANY pressure on him, I never asked him what was going on or why he left (once I started DBing).I hugged him back when he hugged me. I respected his space (didnt pursue and tried every day to not initiate any contact and only did rarely if too many days went by not hearing from him).
He is now on a good AD and the ow is history and we are fine with a new R, better than the 9 years we had before. If anyone had told me he would have walked out, so brutally, I never would have believed it. He was the LAST person to behave as he did. He says now, he cannot fathom why he behaved the way he did, it was like he was insane and he feels that in fact he had a breakdown. He DID keep his job going which confuses some people, but he knew he had to do that else he really would be at rock bottom, so he managed to struggle through depression but keep his job.
He cant really explain what happened or why, he says he literally cant put his mind into his mind as it was then and understand his behaviour or choices.
MLC often goes hand in hand with depression and some pretty odd 'out of character' behaviour. Men in MLC also typically are dreadfully unhappy deep down. My bf did have issues from his childhood and being bought up by 2 depressed parents that seemed to give rise to the MLC, triggered early in him by the death of his Dad. Before the bomb he made reference to being "half the age my Dad was when he died" and seemed VERY aware of ageing.
I read all the resources here and posted every single day getting help from this wonderful community.
Me:40! H:37 Together: 12yrs IDLY & left 11/07 ADs 03/08 OW 8/08 Reconciled 05/09 now married! my thread
Hearing stories like this really give me a great deal of hope. I believe that my H is going thru a MLF as well. I pray that I have stopped my distructive behavior in time. Did you guys live together while going through this?
Hi, no he properly bombed me and walked out, refused to discuss it and was unable to give me any reason other than "this is the right decision for ME". We had been close for 12 years - 3 years as best friends then a 9 year R where we lived together and owned property. He went NC when he moved out but got back in touch 6 weeks later, but we were apart for 18 months in total, during which he never once so much as held my hand or kissed me, or talked about our R. There was alot of wierdness, such as he would visit me every week (up to 3 times a week after 6 months apart) but wouldnt let me go to his apartment (I never did see where he was living in the whole 18 months). Men in MLC pull back and withdraw and are VERY sensitive to pressure and expectations, they need their space and can become quite insular or lose themselves in drink and spending money.
I cried and begged and pleased and offered MC and cried some more, from August - November, when he left. I started DBing New Year, 2008 and I came here every day and posted and followed peoples advice. Good luck.
Me:40! H:37 Together: 12yrs IDLY & left 11/07 ADs 03/08 OW 8/08 Reconciled 05/09 now married! my thread
In all likelihood, sadly, your marriage is over. The sooner you recognize and accept this, the sooner you can begin your life after divorce. The next months and years will be very painful, maybe the worst you've ever experienced. But it will get better with time if you take care of yourself and your children and keep focused on the present and the future but not the past. The advice of Michelle's that worked best for me was Get A Life. It did not save my marriage, but it saved me. And that was even better than my broken marriage.
Good luck and I'm sorry you are going through this.
"Now some kind of man, he can't do anything wrong. If I see him I'll tell him you're waiting." ---Lowell George
Re: What I learned from H's MLC
#2094446 10/24/1003:10 AM10/24/1003:10 AM
How do you know whether your spouse is in a MLC? Sometimes I thought my hubby was and other times I think not. Sometimes I think he has always been like this because of his family life as a child.
I don't know what to think anymore, I only know that my husband has been unhappy with me and our marriage for over 6 years. He had an affair for about 5 months or so. It is over. During the past 3 years I thought my H was becoming an alcoholic. Now I realize, he was just unhappy.
He refuses to acknowledge any of his shortcomings. He was still lying to me, keeping secrets.
Claims he wanted to reconcile but did nothing to prove to me that he wanted me or our marriage. When my Life Coach saw him ( only 2x) he told H that he has to start slowly moving back to me. H never went back to the Life Coach. H told me he can't be committed to me.
I have a long post under the thread of infidelity.
How long did your spouse stay away ? Were you separated ? Did your spouse have an affair? Did he say he never wanted to come back to you? Mine keeps saying he loves me but just wants to be friends.
Hello, Your stories are so inspirational. I am only 31 and we will be having our 10 yr anniv in Feb. We have been together since we were 15. He left me in June and moved his things out in August. To a house he is renting from my dad, that is across from my gramma. We have a 10yr old son and a 7 yr old daughter. Two yrs ago he hit a deer on our harley and then right after that I had to close down my mtg company due to the housing crash and we ended up losing everything we owned. Right after that his company he had been with for 8yrs closed its doors too. Needless to say one bad thing after another. He holds all emotions inside. I have watched my best friend every since then become more and more depressed. He is the tough guy so he isnt depressed according to him. He told me he is unhappy and doesnt know why. He wont come home. He has said we should move on and that I am a good woman so I should find someone who will provide for me the way it should be. He is getting worse the longer he is gone. He looks bad, no longer cares about his job (he is usually very particular and proud), he doesnt keep a clean place (he puts the toilet seat down and cleans toothpaste out of sink), so nothing makes sense. No other woman to my knowledge. All the poeple we know know us together and are surrounded by my family. He talks to all still like its nothing. He is very close to my dad and I am very close to his mom. He has been blowing her off too and that is not normal either. I am at a loss but feel like I could wait forever if that is what I need to do. We are sharing the kiddos and doing what we can that way to keep them from being screwed up. We share the cost of things for them. He takes them a couple nights a week and then off ball times due to his schedule and mine. Still like a team tho. Any idea what is going on? He is also 31 but he is old beyond his years. He has had quite a while ride till now. He also was drinking and hanging with his buddies wanting to do the bar scene all the time. I love and miss him so much. I also am really worried about him as he is different. He wont talk about us at all. He will ignore me if I bring anything up. He texts me every day for some reason or another and if not then every other day for sure. Always about the kids. He has said that he wants a divorce but then does nothing about it. I am learning to do things that I like and learning how to live alone. I have not ever done that before so it is so weird. I miss my best friend more than anything. I have read the divorce remedy and just finished it yesterday so I am from here on out doing everything different. I will act like I am great and as if I have moved on. I just want my family back and hope that if I can be patient enough then it will one day be mine again. I am glad I found this site and look forward to reading your story. Take Care, Jewells