- At the time leading up to, and peaking at “bomb drop” (when the wife finds out about the affair), my husband says he felt an overwhelming roiling of emotions. It was some combination of seething anger, fear, desperation, and loneliness. He did not know where it came from, but it kept growing in intensity. No matter what he tried, or thought, it would not stop........until.... he had sniffed out and found a perfectly matching, emotionally dysfunctional, emotional twin, the other woman. He had found his “drug.” Her emotional pathology matched his MLC emotional pathology and they began to use each other to try to fill each of their own sucking voids. The roiling of emotions quieted. It appeared to my husband that he had found the solution to his turmoil. Now, out of “Replay,” he admits that his need for the relationship had nothing to do with her, but only to do with what emotional needs her attention could fulfill. He says the affair could have been with anyone at all, as long as she allowed herself to be used to meet his needs. So, let’s take that information and apply it. What if the MLCer’s “fix” was gotten by sitting on a park bench? As long as he sits there, he can avoid his Shadow (underlying psychological issues). But one day his butt starts to get sore from sitting, yet he stays because the Shadow promises to hurt more than his butt is sore. Ultimately though, the scales will tip and his butt will hurt more than his fear of the Shadow is great……and he will stand up. It doesn’t feel so personal when it is a park bench, does it?
- A primary feature of atypical depression is the so-called "mood reactivity". The person will temporarily feel better when good things happen, especially if he is loved or admired. The spouse may flourish with the attention of others and may not appear the least bit depressed. He may even feel a bit high. The periods of normal mood are not stable, and when he is criticized or rejected, he will feel devastated and quickly relapse. A person with pronounced rejection sensitivity may run into a great deal of interpersonal difficulty. He will overreact to perceived slights with bitter disappointment and anger. The anger can be expressed indirectly through sullen withdrawal.
- For the record, my husband admitting that he is in MLC is new territory, and this is after reconciliation. I first suggested it to him well over a year ago and he adamantly denied that any such thing even existed and that he wasn't like everyone else, he didn't care what I'd read, blah blah blah.
- “While he was in the worst of his MLC, he didn't trust anybody, least of all ME. If the MLCer doesn't trust anyone why do they latch on to someone else and, in many cases, move in with them immediately?” Because that person is validating what they want to do. The same goes for the people they hang out with, inappropriate people. These people say what the MLCer wants to hear. Such as "You deserve to be happy,” "You owe it to yourself to be happy"...."Yes, couples do outgrow each other"... on and on. They need approval, validation and seek out people that will provide it. Just like a teenager.
- “He was cocky, defiant, he was entitled to his happiness, I had never made him happy and he was going to grab this chance and make it work. He didn't care how many years we had in together, he didn't care what the kids thought about it or anybody else.”
- Since we reconciled, let me tell you what my husband has told me. While he was in the worst of his MLC, he didn't trust anybody, least of all ME. He was convinced that I was the PROBLEM, that the only way forward for him was to take care of his HAPPINESS. His happiness was the only thing that mattered to him, he felt he had given all of himself for years to his family and we had ALL taken advantage of his good will. Ladies and gentlemen, if we want to help our spouses to return to the person they were, then I truly feel we have to detach completely. We have to RISK falling out of love with our spouse. Focus on ourselves and our healing. Embrace the process, take our full journey and learn and grow. Become the new improved person that we all are capable of becoming.
- I have said to my man, 'This is not how people break up. After 20 years together you discuss things, you try, you might break up a few times in the process, you don't just walk in and devastate and destroy with no warning." Of course he doesn't see it that way. To him, he tried. because he had all those months, fighting the chaos in his head, emotionally detaching, rationalizing what he had to do. All hidden from me. In his mind, he DID fight but as I said to him, we didn't fight together and he wasn't fighting FOR me. He was fighting himself. He chose himself over us.
- The other thing about MLC that is different than from a run-of-the-mill cheating ba$tard: these were good people until this CRISIS struck. Really good people. Good spouses, good parents, good friends, truly good people. These were not sketchy people who had ALWAYS been on the edge, never felt secure with them and stuff like that, these were reliable, responsible, loving, caring, even adoring spouses, parents, sons.
- In a regular breakup, a couple likely had problems they tried to work on but could not get past. Basically, did you repeatedly attempt to work it out? Then it's a breakup. Is it from Mars? It's MLC.
- I tell you what, I can now tell a single MLCer from a mile away. Suddenly I take all those stories with a grain of salt, wherein the wife is cold and unloving, and the poor innocent husband was forced to leave her, and she is poisoning the children's minds, not letting him see the kids, etc. My sensor just starts beeping when I hear that--from either side! A friend of mine says, all perplexed, that one of her single girlfriends left her home, and the kids live with the ex-husband in the family home. I said, "Clearly this is MLC for the woman! What mom just up and leaves her kids?" I tell you, my eyes are wide open now. I appreciate enlightenment, though it often comes at a price.
- ... This I do not understand, because if they are fully aware that their behavior is unusual for themselves, then they also must realize that they are spending out of control, not taking care of their businesses, or not doing their jobs as well as they should. They must also be aware that they are hurting their children and spouses, ok if not emotionally, if they honestly feel their children will some day get over this and accept it all, then at least financially destroying the well-being of their offspring.
- I asked my brother-in-law who returned home after two years:
"Non stop ALL the time. My head was swinging wildly. I never stopped thinking of her."
“Why did you leave?”
"I couldn't stand the way she spoke to me. The other woman was nicer."
"Why'd you come back?"
"Because I couldn't stop picturing her and the kids' faces when I closed my eyes. Plus, I didn't want her to be with someone else."
"Why two years?"
"That's how long it took for me to be tortured enough to finally figure it out."
They do protest too much though, for people that don't care about us anymore. My sister whose husband came back said the end was the worst. Her husband’s head wildly spinning back and forth, trying to convince the kids that the other woman was ok and then checking if his wife was still there for him. Crazy head spinning. Sad and confused. He confirms this now!!!
- Don't give in to the desire to say anything to anyone else. I have recently been contacted by an old family friend who appeared to take H's side when things went belly-up two years ago, putting our friendship under strain. We hadn't been in contact since last year and her email reopened some raw wounds for me. I know from her justification for taking his 'side' that he spoke ill of me and our relationship but I also know he was justifying his actions back then (and maybe still now). I so wanted to retaliate! But that was me just being the 'woman scorned'. Whatever is to happen in the future is between my H and me. There is nothing to be gained from my stirring the s**t , only means more s**t to clean up afterwards. We don't need that.