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Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages #1964990
03/23/10 12:39 PM
03/23/10 12:39 PM
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Cadet Offline OP

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I am going to start a thread to discuss the LBS and their journey along with the MLC'er

HB gave us this all sermons thread in the archives

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=96158&page=1

This discusses the following topics:
-Timeline
-Life Lessons
-Total Detachment
-Becoming the Opposite
-Temptation during Total Rejection
-Forgiveness
-Acceptance

Now it seems that the trip of the MLC'er is pretty well documented thru the 6 stages. HB has given us these sermons for the LBS. But what exactly is the trip for the LBS spouse. Does it mirror the the one in crisis? Always leading and letting the MLC'er to catch up? Or are we on our own journey? HB has explained that she watched her husband go thru his crisis and then went thru her own transition later.

I have finished my "Male menopause book" and am working on the second book "Surviving male menopause" so I see that I am on my own separate journey. I would guess that everyone here is on this journey also (or getting ready to do the same thing). So I welcome all inputs into this.

P.S. Jack didn't really mean to call you out on this thread but I did like YOUR idea of actually discussing something of some use.


Me-65, D32,S31
Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: Cadet] #1965004
03/23/10 01:00 PM
03/23/10 01:00 PM
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fisherman Offline
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Originally Posted By: OldPilot
But what exactly is the trip for the LBS spouse. Does it mirror the the one in crisis? Always leading and letting the MLC'er to catch up? Or are we on our own journey?


I'm not Jack, but I'll add my 2 cents. smile

I believe the LBS goes through the stages of grief.

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Somewhat similar to what the mlc'er goes through I suppose. I do believe the stages aren't clear cut for us either. We suffer from a combination of them and bounce back and forth too.

Most importantly, IMO we can become stuck just as easily as they can.


Don't stand still.
Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: fisherman] #1965122
03/23/10 03:37 PM
03/23/10 03:37 PM
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HeartsBlessing Offline
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Hello OP, smile

Trapt is absolutely right; the stages a LBS goes through are much the same as the MLC'er...AND the LBS can get stuck within one or several.

There were no steps that I was ever able to write out for the LBS..and no set way they were to start their journey.

I'd tried, but failed in that one; and it came out as the lessons/sermons.

All I ever knew was that it started by looking within myself and encouraging others to do the same... to see what needed to be fixed within. When I wrote the "Control Lessons"..that may have been the FIRST thing I could see that I needed to understand and learn first....but someone may see something else as the starting and learning point for them.

I eventually looked within the mirror to see what I really was, and it was a total shock! It was like I'd worked from outside inward; if that makes any sense. I learned first that control was NOT mine; that I could do nothing for him, then I looked inward at that mirror within. It was only when I looked within that I was able to see the areas I needed to work on, improve and change....but I didn't begin that until I was READY to do it.

Each person "gets it" in their own time, and each stage is navigated and finished at the LBS' own pace.

Suggestions can be made, advice can be given, but the final decision is up to the LBS; as to how long their journey will take. I think it also depends on how much self-honesty they can stand. Many people have a problem understanding they have problems within..we ALL do; but they don't seem to understand that. So, the journey can often start and stop in many places.

There are so many differences in people, it's difficult to say even now, what would be a good "step" method, or even outline the basic stages of the LBS journey, other than what Trapt said about the stages of grief.

This is a good idea, OP, yet, and people being what they are, have to literally see and understand what they have to do for themselves and why they have to do it, or all the instruction in the world won't help them.

What I remember was this:
I was ONE angry chick, denying it all..trying to bargain with God, depressed to the point of suicide, that was ALL in the beginning after the bomb dropped.....I had to ACCEPT what was happening, ACCEPT things were never going to be the same ever again, and finally, ACCEPT what I was going to have to do before I even started my journey. It took me three months..some, it takes LONGER than that.
THEN, the stages of grief were navigated once again, as I realized and saw the reality of quite a few things as I went on with my journey....so, it seemed that I may have navigated these stages twice. Once BEFORE total reality hit, and once after.

In each time, I reached Acceptance; after having navigated all the way through. I slid backward several times each time, but came forward as I understood more as time went on.

This was within HIS MLC, not mine.

The point being, you have to get the LBS to the point of understanding what has happened, first, before anything else comes about. Then they have to ACCEPT it.

Now, anyone can disagree with me if they want to; but until I UNDERSTOOD what was going on, I didn't understand WHY I had to go on this journey for me.

I can almost guarantee that most everyone here needed a basic understanding of what happened BEFORE they finally pulled away, completed detaching and distancing, THEN their journey started.

Until the majority of "why" questions are answered, most people generally will NOT BUDGE, continuing to insist that the MLC/WAS is totally at fault, that they have to change, not the LBS, and the discussion continues until something gives, or not.

It is one of the BIGGEST reasons people continue to ask questions, until that understanding is met; they have a need, as we ALL do, to try and UNDERSTAND what's wrong, and why can't I fix this, and why do I have to do this when my MLC/WAS spouse was the one who did me so wrong...and the questions are endless.

I've fielded many in my time, and still do, even to this day.

Focusing on yourself is LEARNED, not natural.

These are just IMHO, my thoughts, to add my own two cents to the mix. smile


Remember, as each person is different, every MLC/Transition is different..what works for one may not work for another. Most of the time it is trial and error for ALL involved.
Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: HeartsBlessing] #1965160
03/23/10 04:10 PM
03/23/10 04:10 PM
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Jack_Three_Beans Offline
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I can tell you one of the two words that I muttered when I saw the thread.

The first one was muther. : )

Does the LBS go through stages?

Is the LBS greieving the loss of something dear to them?

I do believe the LBS does go through stages as well....OR should.

Like the MLCer going through REPLAY a billion times. I think the LBSer cycles as well.

I really like HB's take on it from her point of view.

I think the LBSer hits ACCEPTANCE many times (or hopes they have) get knocked out of it alot before it finally sticks.

I think the LBSer tends to stick into Anger and Depression the most...with a modification of Denial.

That modification of Denial is that somehow, they are going to be different they like DBing, think it is good, but that they can somehow do it differently.

Quote:

Until the majority of "why" questions are answered, most people generally will NOT BUDGE, continuing to insist that the MLC/WAS is totally at fault, that they have to change, not the LBS, and the discussion continues until something gives, or not.


Thank you for this HB.

I hope the LBS realizes that many of the 'why' questions they absolutely think they have to have an answer too...they really do not. Everyone dies with unanswered questions, but that doesn't prevent us from living. Why should these. In many cases the MLC answers are NOT good enough for the LBS anyway so they keep digging and damage any repairs that have been made.

Stop asking.

As for not working on yourself?

That is just sad. : )


Last edited by Jack_Three_Beans; 03/23/10 04:11 PM. Reason: blarggity blarg!!!


Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn. - C.S. Lewis

Life is usually all about how you handle Plan B. - Jack3Beans

Listen without defending; Speak without offending - FaithinAK

TRUST THE PROCESS - Cadet

Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: Jack_Three_Beans] #1965175
03/23/10 04:24 PM
03/23/10 04:24 PM
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Mach1 Offline
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For me, A lot of the "hard" questions were the ones that came from me, and directed toward myself.

I knew the answers, but stood in fear of the question itself. I had read and absorbed so much information about MLC, That sorting it all out and applying what pertained to me was a task in itself. It wasn't until I started asking the correct questions, that the answers came.

And in time, the answers I had always seeked out, didn't really matter as much.

This had been MY time...


I took the time to feel all of the stages. It was kind of taking each individual emotion, and taking it to the dry-cleaners. It was laundered, and pressed. When it came back, sometimes it was wrinkled again, and needed more work.

I decided early, that there would be no time line for ME. It was going to take as long as it took. What I DID decide was ....my marriage was worth at least two years of limbo. And that I would give it two years BEFORE I made any decisions about my future.

That would give me time to heal, and heal the proper way. I detached, cried, screamed at God for what he was putting me through, and then would scream for more to find my breaking point. I haven't yet.

Toward the end of the two year , self-imposed time line. I found myself at the tail end of anger. The anger that I had harbored and held so close to me as a shield, I no longer needed. Is there still anger ? Yes, just in a different way. I am no longer angry at her for what she is/had gone through. I am more angry at the daily actions that still scream MLC from every facet of her being, and affect rational thinking where the children are involved.

Releasing that anger for her MLC has enabled me to reach acceptance, and I have been there for some time now. Accepting who I am, and envisioning my life for the future of me and my children. Knowing that I did what I could with the tools I had at that time, and FORGIVING MYSELF for whatever I had done. Placing it God's hands so to speak.

That in itself is a hard thing to do......Forgiving oneself. Can it be done ? Yes, it is just an avenue that keeps a lot of LBSs stuck in a rut.

When I had finally reached the point where my path had gotten smoother, I had promised myself a decision.

My decision was to live.....

For me, for my children, for my friends, for God, for Faith, for anyone that may cross my path one day.

It is also my belief that the journey of the LBS never really ends. It is a daily conscious effort to do better.

To be the person that I (we) envision(ed).

All of that Windex to see more clearly in the mirror.....that should never end for anyone, at anytime.

When we feel, or think that we have made it, that is when we truly have failed. That is when we have truly disrespected ourselves out of all of that hard work we did to get to this point.

There is no correct path toward healing.....

And it cannot be altered...if the end result is to be whole again.....

Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: Jack_Three_Beans] #1965178
03/23/10 04:25 PM
03/23/10 04:25 PM
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trustingfaith Offline
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I also think the stages a LBS goes through reflect that stages of grief. You do have to grieve the loss of the M and the R you had before.

For me, the changes began once I hit a little bit of acceptance early on (and like Jack said, cycled in and out of that until I am now getting closer to total acceptance) and realized that nothing could change the situation, no begging, pleading, etc. I could wallow or I could live. I chose to live And to look at myself and realize I could be better and should be better and started working on that.


"Endurance is a testament of love."

Previous thread
Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: trustingfaith] #1965195
03/23/10 04:38 PM
03/23/10 04:38 PM
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Cyrena Offline
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I agree that the LBS goes through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of grief, though there are also other things mixed in, such as facing one's fears, working through one's core issues, learning detachment, that are more about self-growth than dealing with grief.

Also, even if you've reached Acceptance, once you get to Piecing, it's as though you have to cycle through the whole process again, on a different level, perhaps to "test" the changes and ensure that they hold.

Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: Cyrena] #1965200
03/23/10 04:41 PM
03/23/10 04:41 PM
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Jack_Three_Beans Offline
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Need a Voight-Kampff test for MLCers.



Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn. - C.S. Lewis

Life is usually all about how you handle Plan B. - Jack3Beans

Listen without defending; Speak without offending - FaithinAK

TRUST THE PROCESS - Cadet

Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: HeartsBlessing] #1965211
03/23/10 04:46 PM
03/23/10 04:46 PM
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Interesting thoughts for sure. I'm trying to see where I am at in this journey myself.

It seems looking back that it's been 3 seperate journey's from the first waw 15 years ago, to the 2nd 2.5 years ago to the latest 6 months ago, and yet they all seem to roll into one.

As I've read here on occasion in the last few weeks one thing that seems clear to me is that on the 1st go around that was maybe more text book mlc for w and was accompanied by an a, neither she nor I learned much from it and never addressed many of the core issues. I pretty much gave her a free pass on the whole thing, and even though I felt it was all my fault for quite awhile and felt I made some changes, I don't think I ever really sought and got her input on what caused it and how to improve me in the way SHE needed.

On round 2 I again accepted all the blame and a great amount of depression. It took me about 3 months of denial to finally accept she was gone, probably not coming back and I was going to be divorced. Then the depression really kicked in for another 3 months. It wasn't until circumstances forced a complete detachment and nc that I could come to grips with reality and that life would go on and I'd be ok. That period took 3 months before we reconciled. But again, certainly not enough work on either's part of self introspection to get to the core issues and then figure out how to best work on them individually and jointly.

Fast forward to the present sitch. There has not been any ea's or pa's, and she was almost in constant contact throughout. All the emotions on this go around seemed to be condensed and shorter, but a similar pattern, just not as intense. There is a difference this time though.

I have moved through the stages quicker. I have seen how necessary this may be for her, to be her own person and let her do and experience what she feels she needs to. I've tried to look in the mirror more then previously and listen to posts on this board. Not just the ones to me specifically, but in reading others I could see where I was making mistakes as I would say-hey dummy, quit doing that. Only to realize I was doing the same thing. I wanted her to have to need me, while I am just now realizing she doesn't and shouldn't for her mental health. I am struggling some with that fact.

The other part that is completely different then ever before for me RIGHT now is questioning if I really want to, can be, forever married to this woman. I've accepted, read and returned email from other gals who seem to be interested in me, and it is quite a nice stroke to an ego that's been beat on, kicked and generally abused by the person who has been given complete access to it. I don't entertain ideas of sex with any of these other gals, but it has helped me to move forward in knowing life would be ok if my W decides to do something different then stay married to me.

I've realized I am in a certain stage, even though I'm still processing what it is. It may be where I'm being faced with having to really asess where I'm at and what I want? I DO know what I don't want anymore, and that's the yo-yo life. I think part of that has been not giving my W sufficient time to process what she is feeling, and maybe myself also? Getting back together just because, rather then examining more closely what got us apart, and living for ourselves enough that we are ok with living with each other.

This part of the journey is where I think I'm at right now. I'm not sure what comes next for either one of us? We seem to be piecing, but I don't see living together for awhile yet. I'm not sure if we even will? The W seems content to let it ride like it is, and I, though certainly nowhere near content, am not sure right now what I want. Letting her call me occasionally, seeing each other once a week, and acting like a couple of teenagers in the back of her car w/o any clothes on is kinda fun, different, exciting and certainly a 180, but the longer this goes, the less it's a draw for me.

So where am I at in this journey? Maybe I'm the one who is at the big decision door? It's in a way better then I could have hoped, and in another forcing ME to take a serious look at the guy in the mirror and what he can and really wants to live with.

I know-A long rambling rant of sorts. But the posts from OP definitly caught my attention and got me to thinking. That's good!

Re: Work thread for Jack - LBS Stages [Re: Cyrena] #1965229
03/23/10 05:01 PM
03/23/10 05:01 PM
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fisherman Offline
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Originally Posted By: Cyrena
Also, even if you've reached Acceptance, once you get to Piecing, it's as though you have to cycle through the whole process again, on a different level, perhaps to "test" the changes and ensure that they hold.


I agree, and even if you don't make it to piecing, life or your higher power or whatever label you wish to try to use, will test you regardless.

I know for me, after going through the process for a time, I could recognize it and tell when a change was about to take place.

Something would happen to set me in motion. It might be a thought, or a person, or an event. The wheel upstairs would begin to turn and I would cycle through some anger and depression and a bit of confusion at times. I could never put my finger on what that "it" was until after the fact.

Slowly things would become much more clear as I worked through whatever it was. I felt more balanced, confident, stronger and I would feel more at peace with everything.

This pattern seemed to repeat itself for quite some time, however each time it became shorter and less severe. Being able to recognize it helped a great deal.

Last edited by trapt; 03/23/10 05:03 PM. Reason: I'm not smarter than a 5th grader.

Don't stand still.
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