Swan: All - As a kid, I took care of my siblings, sometimes my mother and step father, then I became a Marine and took care of myself, during my marriage I cared for two kids and did what needed to be done as a Marine wife which usually meant being the one that took care of the family so my husband could take care of being a Marine. And as my husband started diving into the MLC tunnels, my kids were grown up and I didn't have much left to take care of other than for myself. I actually am doing better at it living with my son, daughter in law and grandson, it has gotten easier to allow others to help me and not take everything on myself.
Beth: Swan I am the oldest in the family and everybody came to me when they needed help or advice. When my father was in the hospital I used to be the one talking to the Dr not my mother. It was always me who went to St John’s in my car to see him or take him for appts. The same thing happened when my mother took sick. Again when my youngest brother took sick with brain tumor. Then one sister was badly depressed and had three major surgeries on her bowels. Everybody used to step back and let me do it all.
Swan: Cricket - But whom else was going to take the responsibility! My stepfather was a drunk, my mother lived on mothers little helpers and someone had to make sure my siblings ate, went to school, that we had clean clothes, etc. I went from that to the Marine Corps (control environment) and from that to being married to a Marine, he was busy with his military duties and someone had to take charge of the house and then of course having been a Marine, I was able to step in and take care of many things for him to free him to do more important things. The typical stuff that makes MLC dominate so many. Sadly, my husband never really had to be responsible and when MLC hit him that played right into his mindset and made him believe it was appropriate to behave as he did/does.
Cricket: Swan - In my case, my mother needed my help and my father was having an affair with the woman I babysat for. He ended up murdering his own mother when she threatened to disown him and throw him off the ranch. My Mom always felt bad that she thought she robbed me of my childhood but I told her theses things made me stronger and led to a career I loved much like your Marine career.
Swan: KmKrn - that is me too, plus things I shouldn't have said! I often have to remind myself to zip my lips and just not say what is going through my mind. I spent so many years being muffled and not allowed to have an opinion, then my time in the military taught me to stand up for myself and speak my mind. I have to say a combination of both were not good for my relationship with my husband and probably caused him a huge amount of confusion. As I am older, I am working more on discerning what comes out of my mouth, sometimes I slip, but am much better.
Kmkrn: Swan - Yes that is a "habit" to be learned and practiced--zipping the lips! I can say whatever I want in my head--just don't let it come out of my mouth!
HopinginHim1: Cricket - I truly hope that to be the case. I know, at times, the fact that 5 years has passed (6 since he started some "flirting" with the OW), I get discouraged. I never thought it would take this long. But then, I try to focus on the blessings in my life - time with friends, new interests, etc and find the good in the current. I do believe one day he will make his way home.
Cricket: HopinginHim - Jim always warned us not to lock into the 5 yr period. I also feel that is true with personalities like your H and mine. They have to find their own way and their stubbornness adds to their journey. You are so right in focusing on the blessings. Also, it would probably be more difficult for you to have this time with your Mom if your H were home now and you were trying to work on restoration
HopinginHim1: All - Can anyone speak to the incredible back and forth that goes on with our spouses? It has been 5 years since H left. He is making progress but at times I see bits of replay and other behavior that makes me want to scream. And yet, he is reaching out more to our children and also spending more time with me. We even took a family holiday all together for a week in Florida in February. It can be crazy making!!
Kmkrn: HopinginHim - The road home is loaded with detours and potholes. There is lots of backtracking and back and forth. Fasten your seat belt as Sally Conway would say--it's a heck of a ride!
Swan: I have the news on and gas prices are going up again! Every time my budget takes a hit, I find myself a little resentful to my husband. We had worked and saved, I worked two jobs at some points so he could go to school to include full time for a couple years on the degree completion program. He had his military pay and school was his duty station, but we had to pay for his classes and they were not cheap and books, oh my gosh. All of this was done and we would always say it was for our future, well he retired, got that big paying job and then decided "we" didn't have a future anymore. God had provided for me in many ways, not to the level "we" planned for and I don't really see the reaping part of what I sowed, but I know God has a plan and I shouldn't let it get to me, but the enemy whispers to me and worry sets in.
Hannah: Swan I can relate. I feel resentful with mine right now and he was at my grandson's birthday last week and I couldn't bring myself to speak to him. My mum is failing to the point where she says my dad visits her (he died in 2000) and I wish I could be with her but nobody knows how long she has, it could be weeks, it could be months, but I need my job to live, can't ever think of retiring because my income with retirement is not enough to live on. If we were still together I wouldn't have to work and could spend those last weeks with my mum but now I will just go over for the funeral. I saw her last September and will go again this September if she lasts that long. Swan I know just how you feel.
Swan: Cricket - that is hard, I remember when my husband first moved in with the other woman and she had access to his computer. For whatever reason (most likely just didn't think of it) my husband didn't scrub the hard drive and there was all kinds of information on the computer with my name all over it, to include my email address and guess who just had to email me? I emailed her back and let her know that I had cc'd my husband and requested that she not contact me ever again, we had nothing to discuss and I didn't want to know anything about her or hear whatever she had to say. My husband thankfully jumped in, apologized to me and informed her to never to anything like that again. I changed my email addresses and for a time wouldn't give it to him, told him anything he needed to let me know he could send it to one of the kids and they would forward it.
Cricket: Swan - Yes I remember that happened. My H's OW worked upstairs from me (as you know) and found so many ways to keep in my face. I was always shocked that my H didn't see that she was doing that to mess with me. Our co-workers all saw it and couldn't understand why I didn't get in her face and tell her off. I knew she was trying to cause me to do something she could use against me and had decided not to lower myself to her level. When my H reconnected, he was surprised to hear the things she'd done. Even then though, he said he thought she was trying to make peace since we all worked together. Men can be so clueless to the games and manipulation some OW pull.
Hannah: All I know the kind of woman that my h went off with was one that he despised during our married life - she went to bars, left her children home alone (she had thrown her husband out of the house).
Swan: Hannah - Mine too, the other woman with my husband is the type of woman my husband had very strong negative comments about and yet...
tos: two believers married, one leaves, what does the bible say about the other one? Divorce? Remain unmarried if they cannot reconcile? Try to reconcile then divorce if not able to. Stuff like that
Cricket: tos - We have several here where the spouse left and remarried and the left behind spouse has felt called to stand. We also have several here (over 20) who restored their marriages. Some here believe they are called to stand forever regardless of if their spouse married an OW. There are others who believe they are released when their spouse marries. Personally my pastor and even Jim Conway told me I was released from standing when my H married the OW. I didn't feel released and still felt called to stand and both told me I should do what I felt called to do. My H did divorce the OW 5 yrs later and reconnected with me. Others have done this and remarried.
Swan: KmKrn - Did your husband stay connected to the kids or did he disconnect from them for a time as well? We have a newer member and his question recently was about his teenage children and how to help them deal with their mother's choices. They all still live in the same house, which I guess makes it really hard on the kids. My children were already adults, so I didn't really have a response for him.
Kmkrn: Swan - My H moved out and tried to have a relationship with his children, but they wanted nothing to do with him. Teenagers are tough enough without adding MLC to the mix!
tos: So Swan, don't mean to put you on the spot, but any ideas for how to be a parent to them when the other wants to be a buddy?
Swan: tos - sometimes you just have to sit down with them and without saying anything unkind about their other parent, let them know that you love them but need to be their parent not their friend. It is your task to guide them and show them direction for their lives that will help them become honorable adults. You cannot make the other parent be a parent, all you can do is be the best parent you can and do it in love.