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Scout's QLC journey #2871624
11/09/19 11:02 PM
11/09/19 11:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 502
Australia
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scout12 Offline OP
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scout12  Offline OP
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Hello, wise MLC posters. I've been posting in Newcomers but I think my story fits in here as well, and I could benefit from some advice.

My H is 29, I am 31. Together 9 years, married 3. We had our first child 20 months ago and he ran away 5 months ago. At BD I copped a load of abuse. He said he settled for me, I wasnít good enough for him, I wasnít the wife he deserved, he wanted to sleep with other people, he wasnít going to do what society expects of him, he deserved a better life, the only thing he cared about was his own happiness. And that he was leaving for three months to get some space. That turned into a permanent separation after six weeks. When asked during our final relationship conversation what he wanted, and what would make him happy, he just said "I don't know."

We got together when we were 20/22. We went through the motions of becoming adults together - dating, moving in, engagement, buying a home, marriage, baby, management positions in our careers - and it's as though H is rejecting it all now at age 29. In the days following BD he said that his happiness peaked at age 20, when life was all about casual work, video games, motor vehicles, and hanging out with the boys. It's obvious that he is not grateful for the life we built, nor does he value it. That's fine. He is free to go and create a life he will appreciate. My approach now is to let him try that on for size and see if he cares about what he has lost.

The last time I talked to him, he said he does have thoughts about coming home, but wants to be free to make his own decisions. Looking back at the last five months, his behaviour has been consistent with a mid-life (quarter-life?) crisis - attempting to relive his youth, reverting to childish sulking and outbursts, suddenly focused on health and fitness, acting impulsively, talking in absolutes, avoiding responsibilities, seeking validation from new younger friends, sleeping with someone and flaunting hickies all over his neck, buying a brand new car and motorbike, tanking his career by telling people he is too good for the company heís been with for 9 years.

My feeling now is that this is a deeper problem than an unhappy marriage - it is an unhappy life. He distanced himself from family and friends when the crisis started, has made a laughing stock of himself at work, and most sadly, has become an uninterested and unengaged parent. When I asked him why he left our son as well when he walked out, he said he just needed to escape from the world. This journey has been marked by confusion and inconsistency and I've struggled to keep up and keep my distance. At this stage he seem deep into the tunnel. He can't file for divorce until 12 months have passed, so this gives me time to improve myself and address his legitimate concerns.

Our marriage was in a lengthy rough patch for the first 15 months of our son's life, but finally on an upswing (or so I thought). I had a slow decline into severe PND/A during that time where I struggled with anger, intrusive thoughts, and an inability to function beyond the bare minimum of keeping my child alive as a SAHM. I went to individual counselling, I asked for couples counselling to help us deal with my anxiety, I went on medication, I went back to work, I scheduled sex to address the dead bedroom, I poured my heart out to get him to understand how desperate I felt. He buried himself in work and prioritised his work friends, vocally resented his loss of freedom, and eventually told me he lost all respect and attraction to me.

Basically, I tried to overcome our problems but it was the beginning of the end for him. Now I do believe that he was a large contributor to my PND/A because subconsciously I never felt secure in his love or his commitment to parenthood.

Despite that, as of now, I'm standing for my marriage. I believe in my vows and in my H's potential. I can see now that the red flags for this crisis were there all along, and it was probably destined to happen regardless of the circumstances. He has to complete his own personal growth before I'd consider reconciling. To me it seems like he's still running away and filling the emotional void with whatever he can. New vehicles, new sex, new young friends, new hobbies. It doesn't sound healthy to me and I have my S1's emotional safety to consider.

I have 100% physical custody and H has biweekly visitation. I have thought that this might be the best opportunity for H to come into his own as a parent, but he is barely handling the current bare minimum responsibility. It's just unfortunate that he doesn't have much opportunity because S1 is so young and won't be away from me much. I feel like these long term consequences of his choice might be hitting him now and making him have thoughts about coming home. Initially he was in a panic and just wanted to blow it all up and escape, now he might have time to think a bit more clearly. Maybe waking up on Christmas morning away from S1 might have an impact. Who knows though.

Sorry for the novel. It helps to let it all out and look back at the journey so far. Time will tell if this is a relationship worth saving. Most people say I deserve better, and maybe I do. I'm meeting new people and even dating casually. Last time we talked, H said that it would be good for us to see other people to get clarity on what we'd be leaving behind. I don't think he's felt the sting of losing me yet. Anyway, I thank everyone who reads my thread and takes the time to comment - it is appreciated more than you know.


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871672
11/10/19 03:30 PM
11/10/19 03:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,508
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kml Offline
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Going to repeat my comment and your response from the other thread:

ďOriginally Posted by kml

While everything else could be mid quarter crisis, this sounds manic. Either bipolar mania or substance abuse. Reminds me of a med school classmate who had a manic episode and marched into the Deans office and demanded they give him his diploma because he already knew everything.

Is there a history of any mental illness in his family? Any signs he might be abusing stimulants like meth or cocaine?ď


That's a crazy story. I think it's very unlikely there's any substance abuse. No family history of mental illness, but definitely a lot of dysfunction.

Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871674
11/10/19 03:41 PM
11/10/19 03:41 PM
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kml Offline
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Well I wouldnít assume anything about either drugs or mental illness. Itís amazing what we sometimes end up finding out about our spouses.

Because of the grandiosity of your H telling his work what he did, Iíd be very worried about other irrational behavior financially. You need to protect yourself financially. Run a credit check and make sure he hasnít taken out loans or credit cards in your name or that you might end up responsible for. Get an order for temporary support if you donít already have one. Start taking steps to make yourself and your child financially safe even if H becomes a total deadbeat. You may not be able to count on his financial support in the future so make a plan for self sufficiency.

This is always a great time for self-improvement - to make needed changes, become braver and dream big. BUT - this didnít happen because of your flaws or your postpartum depression. This is about him and his issues.

I know itís really hard with a baby but living your best life, having fun and doing interesting things, is the best path forward. It makes you more interesting to him AND will put you in a good place even if he doesnít come back.

Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871688
11/10/19 08:33 PM
11/10/19 08:33 PM
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kml Offline
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Quote
Despite that, as of now, I'm standing for my marriage. I believe in my vows and in my H's potential.


And as for this: be careful about believing in someone's "potential". He either has a serious mental illness (bipolar), a serious personality disorder (narcissism) or he's just showing you that he is not someone who can be trusted when the chips are down.

Who was it that said "when someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

You need to set the bar very high for him to come back: serious therapy, psychiatric evaluation, monogamous dating for a year without him moving back in and with complete transparency on phone/FB/etc. Anything less and you are setting yourself up for a repeat of this down the road. (Take it from the voice of experience.)

I bet, that if you look back carefully over your life together without the rose colored glasses on, you'll realize that he was never quite the man you thought he was. Did you go along with doing only the activities HE wanted to do, and seeing the friends HE wanted to see? Was he obsessed with your appearance and how you made him look? Was he over-the-top into you in the beginning, sweeping you off your feet, only to turn? Or was he always avoidant, difficult to win, never quite 100% in the relationship? Were you always giving more than he was to the relationship? Were you spending a lot of your energy to keep him "happy"?

Marriage and raising children is hard. You're in a very tough position because you already have a child with him. But you still need to look down the road and think about whether keeping him in your life is going to be the best thing for your child. Will he be the partner you need when your teenager does drugs, or your 12 year old gets a life-threatening illness? Sometimes a good step-father can be better than a really damaged father.

(My sister was married and had a daughter with her first husband, who turned out to be a sociopath. Very good at putting on a charming face while doing and saying completely different things behind her back. He left after having an affair while my sister was providing hospice care to his dying mother - a woman who had never been nice to my sister btw but my sister is a saint. He had 2 more children with the OW then left her for another woman - I think he's on number 4 or 5 by now. He really couldn't be bothered being a proper father to my niece, but my sister remarried a solid guy who was a good step-father - he went to all my niece's basketball games, band performances, fixed her cars. He just sadly died after 22 years married to my sister, and my niece considers him her father. She calls her biological father her "sperm donor". )

Oh - and in regard to dating - it's not really fair to date someone when you're still hoping your H will come back. But it's fine to let H THINK you are dating as sometimes it does indeed wake them from their fantasy.

Now - what big dreams for YOUR future can you start working on? What things did you give up or put on the back burner because of H? What have you always wanted to do but were never brave enough to try?

Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871825
11/11/19 09:56 PM
11/11/19 09:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 502
Australia
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scout12 Offline OP
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The monster is back with a vengeance! It's been a while since he spewed at me but last night I enforced some boundaries and he didn't like the consequences. I know this is all projection and guilt talking, but damn, it's hard to stay calm and cop it. I heard:

"Why are you such a bitch to me?" (when I asked him to put Christmas plans in an email rather than discuss in front of our 2yo)
"You think you're so perfect" (I've acknowledged and apologised many times for my flaws)
"It's not your house until you pay me my settlement money" (when I asked him to show me respect in my home)
"You're dragging out the settlement" (when I told him the bank won't approve my mortgage until there's six months' evidence of child support payments, he refused to backpay so it will take longer now)
"You're not honest about your motives for taking full custody of our 2yo" (he abandoned us both leaving me no option and signed papers agreeing with current visitation schedule)
"You're only in my family group chat to keep tabs on me" (it's to share pictures of our 2yo with MIL/SIL)
"I know I'm not acting in our child's best interest but I have to do what's best for me"
"I'm not 100% happy" (you don't say)
"I wasn't going to wait 12 months to to get a divorce without having physical affection from OW" (when I said we can't be friends if he's with OW)
"I have to work all these hours to earn all this money so I can have the life I want" (what about the life that our 2yo deserves?)
"Your life is so easy with your 9-5 job, you can see our child whenever you want" (yes, life as a working single parent with 100% care of a 2yo is so easy)
"I left because you were controlling and now I'm gone and you're still controlling me" (when I asked him not to message OW in my presence)
"I can do whatever I want, whenever I want"
"Your intentions are wrong" (when I said I'm sorry you feel that way, it wasn't my intention)
"It's the principle that matters" (sent in a message after he stormed out leaving me crying making 2yo's dinner)

That last one made me see red! How dare he lecture me on principles. The next morning when I felt calmer, I replied telling him his actions have been morally bankrupt so let's not take a stand on principles. I've held my tongue for so long and I just couldn't stand it any more. He hasn't replied but I have to see him for child handover this afternoon. Seeing my psychologist and lawyer today. Nervous but I'm finally ready to grey rock and go NC.

Any suggestions on going NC when you share a child?


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871826
11/11/19 10:14 PM
11/11/19 10:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 502
Australia
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scout12 Offline OP
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Thank you so much for your insight and advice, kml. I will type a longer reply when I'm at my computer


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871843
11/12/19 12:33 AM
11/12/19 12:33 AM
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kml Offline
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DON'T LET HIM SUCK YOU IN TO THOSE CONVERSATIONS. He won't hear you and you can't have a rational discussion with him in the state he's in. It just gets you all riled up for no purpose. Would you engage in a discussion like this with a schizophrenic or someone with Alzheimer's? No. And you have just about as much chance as getting through to him now.

Always ask yourself before you say something to him "Is saying this going to get me closer to my goal?" If not, just don't say it.

Saying "It wasn't my intention" is good. You can also say "I'm sorry you felt that way, it wasn't my intention."

And don't give him the satisfaction of your tears.

He's spewing and pushing buttons to try to get a reaction out of you. Don't give him the satisfaction. Stay calm cool and collected and act AS IF you don't give a flying fig.

(Note - I eventually trained my ex to text instead of call by phone calls "mysteriously" dropping when he'd spew. Then I trained him to email by responding to his texts with emails. Much less stressful that way.)

As for the kid handoffs - I didn't have to do them but is there some way you can arrange to always be on your way somewhere else that you have to hurry to when they occur? Like, he's dropping the kid at your house, you grab kid and say "Thanks, we're late for my class at the gym" and hustle into the car and leave? Or can you have a friend or family member present to short circuit the spew? (Preferably someone who won't join in the fight lol).

Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2871880
11/12/19 02:26 PM
11/12/19 02:26 PM
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peacetoday Offline
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Hi

Sorry you find yourself here
Welcome to the land Of MLC

the Mlcers will get a bit crazy during D time as he sees he is losing a lot
Most are also terrible parents and they will try to BLAME us for stuff and justify their choices because we did or did not do...
MLC is usually said to be caused by unresolved childhood trauma so maybe QLC is the same
Im not sure but it makes sense
if this is true then you will have little control over this situation and your H will have to figure out his own healing process or NOT..ands usually not

If you can shift your energy to healing yourself and raising your child..this is where the solution is
get all the support emotionally from others your family, friends, support groups, 12 step rooms, therapists, church or temple-
get grounded yoga, rest eat well, meditate, breathe...

this is usually a long process-and you may see the MLCer go further down
watch for signs of drug addiction
make sure your child is safe with him


married 14 years
H 42
bomb 2/07 IDLYA
D final 3 /09
M ow D ow
Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: scout12] #2872081
11/13/19 10:35 PM
11/13/19 10:35 PM
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scout12 Offline OP
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I'm really struggling this week. My psychologist helped me verbalise that I'm afraid of his reactions and since then my anxiety is off the charts because I've decided to start enforcing some boundaries. I started meeting him at my front door for kid handover rather then letting him come and go in the house as he pleases. I didn't state it out loud but it will become clear through consistent action. The first time I did this on Tuesday, I was physically shaking. I said hello to H and S, asked S to say goodbye to dad, asked H for S's bag, and said see you later to H.

On Wednesday he sent an email with dates he is unavailable to visit S throughout November/December due to work. I just had a thought that it's possible that work isn't the only reason he is unavailable on weekends... Hmm. He wanted to take S to his family Christmas for 48 hours which would involve his first overnight away from me.†He also said he wanted to see S on Christmas. We had already discussed Christmas in person and I had said he could either have S half the day or all Boxing Day and he seemed fine with it.

I agreed to swap the unavailable weekends. I agreed to the weekend overnight, but said I'd be more comfortable with only 24 hours away from home as it's the first time away and he's not yet 2 years old. I said I had plans with S and my family on Christmas Day, but he was welcome to take him for the whole day on Boxing Day. I added that I hope he understands I'm under no obligation to accommodate changes to the current schedule so his gratitude is appreciated.

Sending this email sent me into a anxious crying fit. I've internalised so much of the garbage he's spewed at me about being controlling, mean, cold etc, that I have absolutely no confidence in my own integrity. He told me he doesn't trust my motives when it comes to S, which I KNOW is absolute rubbish and the kind of thing a person who is used to operating under ulterior motives would say. He hasn't responded and I can't seem to calm down knowing what kind of response I will probably get.

It makes me incredibly sad that enforcing boundaries just adds fuel to the fire he has raging at me. It's clear he doesn't understand that consequences =/= punishment. I just feel like this is putting nails into the coffin of our marriage. If I give in to his manipulation and demands, he will be happier with me and around me, and perhaps reconsider whether I'm worth leaving, but I will have compromised my integrity. If I enforce boundaries to protect myself and S, I'm pushing him further away by confirming that I'm exactly the bad person he says I am, but I will feel safer and happier in the long run.

Please help me escape this unhealthy cycle frown


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Scout's QLC journey [Re: kml] #2872088
11/13/19 11:00 PM
11/13/19 11:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 502
Australia
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scout12 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by kml


Who was it that said "when someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

I bet, that if you look back carefully over your life together without the rose colored glasses on, you'll realize that he was never quite the man you thought he was. Did you go along with doing only the activities HE wanted to do, and seeing the friends HE wanted to see? Was he obsessed with your appearance and how you made him look? Was he over-the-top into you in the beginning, sweeping you off your feet, only to turn? Or was he always avoidant, difficult to win, never quite 100% in the relationship? Were you always giving more than he was to the relationship? Were you spending a lot of your energy to keep him "happy"?


This really hits home, especially "avoidant, difficult to win, never quite 100% in". In the latter years of our marriage I could barely pry him off his video games to spend time with me. We had sooo many discussions about it and it always came down to ME having the problem - I was needy, controlling, unreasonable, uncool, a big meanie. I know now that I could have phrased it in a better way, ie. stating a desire rather than making a complaint. But I didn't have those relationship skills back then.

It's so hard to know what was real and what was a smokescreen. I bet if he read your paragraph above, he would be nodding his head in agreement that it describes ME to a T! Many times over the years I expressed my needs or concerns to him and he would fight me so hard deflecting and justifying his behaviour that I'd end up apologising for being too complicated and rocking the boat. I think now that I actually had very reasonable expectations of my spouse, but he was unwilling or unable to meet them.

Originally Posted by kml
Marriage and raising children is hard. You're in a very tough position because you already have a child with him. But you still need to look down the road and think about whether keeping him in your life is going to be the best thing for your child. Will he be the partner you need when your teenager does drugs, or your 12 year old gets a life-threatening illness? Sometimes a good step-father can be better than a really damaged father.


I already know the answer to this. He is not the role model I want for my child. I'm thankful he has little influence over his upbringing. I would be disappointed if S grew up to be like H.

Quote
Now - what big dreams for YOUR future can you start working on? What things did you give up or put on the back burner because of H? What have you always wanted to do but were never brave enough to try?


I'm kicking goals at work! I received a promotion to management the week before H ran away and while it has been insanely challenging to keep all the balls in the air between full time work, full time parenting, legal proceedings, and coping emotionally with this MLC garbage, I have done really well as a new leader.

The thing making me really happy at the moment is investing in my living space. It was something that H didn't value and therefore didn't want to spend money on, but I'm a big homebody and it gives me much peace, clarity and joy. My current project is filling the walls with inspiring art.

I do as much outside of the house as I can with a toddler. Meeting new friends, reconnecting with old friends, saying yes to all invitations. But I also enjoy taking the time to care for myself with good food, long baths, relaxing down time, and plenty of sleep. Another thing that H made me feel guilty about.


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
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