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March 28, 2018 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Bluebird: Bill, I guess if he's just coming out of the tunnel, I don't want to hinder his journey by asking questions. On the other hand I have so many questions I don't know when or if I should ask them.

Bill: Bluebird: If you have the ability to notice when he gets overwhelmed and can back off quickly, I don't see any reason not to ask questions. This is your life and this all affects you so it is fair to ask. As you probably know, the tricky part is when he gets upset, reacts, pulls back and throws in a little chaos. Things then get more complicated because now you are dealing with reactions in addition to real issues. If you can manage your response to the reactions, I encourage you to go ahead and ask.

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March 28, 2018 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Bluebird: Good evening

Swan: Hi bluebird - glad you were able to come in to chat with Bill. He is checking on something but is watching chat.

Bill: Hi Bluebird. How are you tonight?

Bluebird: Hi Bill, actually I am doing quite well, especially compared to yesterday LOL!

Bluebird: I must have had a problem because of the weather my daughter was feeling it too. Thankfully the grumpy sad feeling left.

Bill: Bluebird: Glad to hear the grumpy sad feeling left with the weather!

Bluebird: Bill, Ha ha! So am I!

Swan: Bill - Bluebird is the member I mentioned that after several years of no contact and now moving back into contact with her.

Bill: Bluebird: Yeah, it is half the battle. Unfortunately, it has been the easy half! I am going to avoid getting the grumpy sad feelings over it, however.

Swan: Bill - sorry that is her husband is now moving back into contact with her, I guess I type faster than my brain works

Bluebird: Bill, that's great to avoid those feelings!

Bluebird: Yes, Bill, My husband did bomb drop in Dec. 2011 and left to live with OW the same day.

Bill: Bluebird: Thanks. So, how is it going with your H? It sounds like he may have just appeared out of nowhere saying he is sorry. Am I understanding that correctly?

Bluebird: Over the last few years the only social contact has been a couple family gatherings; two birthday parties for the grandkids, and he actually came to my S and DIL for Christmas in 2016.

Bluebird: Bill, Yes! It through me for a loop that's for sure!

Bluebird: I am still on his health insurance so usually once a year there is contact for that, but as previously sad, no other social contact.

Bill: Bluebird: Is he back? Are you talking on the phone? Is he pursuing a new relationship with you? Did he get away from the OW? Sorry to run on with ?s but it seems I should get caught up.

Bluebird: Bill, I don't know how it's going! Although I battle and hope in my mind that he want to eventually get back together, I feel in my heart he does not want to.

Bluebird: Bill, He is still with OW but mentioned he wanted to move closer to the kids and his mother. He says it's complicated; I think because he has been outfitting her house with things-new appliances, new bed, furniture, etc.

Bill: Bluebird: Ahh. I would agree that caution is in order but I also know you will have some kind of a lifelong relationship with him because you have a family together. MLC redefines everything but it certainly doesn't eliminate any relationships, real issues or the need to talk as adults.

Bill: Bluebird: Ugh. I think he is understating it when he says it is complicated. I know people can rise to incredible levels of grace to keep relationships intact even in crazy circumstances but this sounds like a lot to manage for everyone involved.

Bill: bluebird: how do your kids feel about him wanting to move closer?

Bill: bluebird: How does his mother feel about him wanting to move closer?

Bluebird: We have talked a few times. He came to visit on a Saturday instead of going to work. At first he said he was sorry, he really messed up, felt bad every day and thought of me daily.

Bluebird: Unfortunately the kids don't seem to have an opinion. Of course his mom would like him closer, it would be easier for him to visit.

Swan: Bluebird - with him wanting to move closer, where does that put the ow? Since she is getting all these new things for her house, I cannot imagine her being ready to up and move away from her house, so maybe she isn't part of his move!

Bluebird: Bill, I would just LOVE to ask him? And when can I do this !!!! How come it was so easy for him to leave 30 years behind, but not as easy to leave his 'stuff' with OW? He doesn't seem to want to rock the boat with her, but had no problem leaving me?

Bill: bluebird: From what you wrote, it sounds like he is looking to manage the mess rather than look for a real solution. I understand he probably doesn't want to cause any more hurt than he already has and is probably looking for a way to help everyone get along in some way.

Bluebird: Swan, I am thinking that OW would not be part of the move and he can't afford to move out on his own. He bought himself a brand new truck and it sounds like payment and insurance is almost as much as a house payment!

Bill: Bluebird: Great question! Unfortunately, you will probably never get a good answer. MLC is very similar to the teen years when nonsense can seem like wisdom and self-focus takes over discernment. As far as asking him, I think you can ask whenever you get to a place that the answer "doesn't matter" to you. What I mean by that is you will have the ability to remain calm and focused on the goals you have for your life regardless of what he tells you.

Bill: Bluebird: The "answers" MLCers give are often strange and illogical. They also spend a lot of time telling you how you are feeling and how your choices have made your life so much better. Or, they spend time blaming you for conversations you were not a part and choices you weren't even aware were being made.

Bluebird: Bill, I am at that place now. I think this apology came about when I called him on the phone to try to 'finish' our legal business, which is complicated too! You see, we are not divorced, but legally separated in order for me to be on his health insurance. We still have a retirement account not split up and it’s difficult! I had called him and asked him to 'just divorce me, I need to move on with my life." Not in a mean way at all, just indicating I really need to move on!

Bill: Bluebird: Oh boy, lots of moving parts. Is he going to make any movement forward on this or does he want to stay in limbo with the health insurance and retirement?

Bluebird: Bill, I guess if he's just coming out of the tunnel, I don't want to hinder his journey by asking questions. On the other hand I have so many questions I don't know when or if I should ask them.

Bluebird: Bill he will probably stay in limbo. We are at an impasse with the accounts. After he left, and before he filed for divorce (separation was the lawyer's idea)

Bill: Bluebird: If you have the ability to notice when he gets overwhelmed and can back off quickly, I don't see any reason not to ask questions. This is your life and this all affects you so it is fair to ask. As you probably know, the tricky part is when he gets upset, reacts, pulls back and throws in a little chaos. Things then get more complicated because now you are dealing with reactions in addition to real issues. If you can manage your response to the reactions, I encourage you to go ahead and ask.

Bluebird: He put the account into silver, without consulting me! You can imagine what happened to that. Now the entire account is worth about half the original amount. In other words he would have to give me the whole thing!

Bill: Bluebird: Is your desire to "finish" the legal work more emotional for you or strategic?

Bluebird: Bill, Wow that is an answer that I understand. I guess I thought I can't ask because he is still feeling so bad.

Bill: bluebird: are you able to influence his choices with the health insurance and retirement account going forward?

Bluebird: Bill, it is strategic since that is all I have. I was a stay at home mom for most of our years together. I have let it slide because of his condition I suppose. I told him I didn't want to fight about it but need to take care of myself. I am sure I would have to pay a lawyer again.

Bill: Bluebird: One of the themes I push often is ask yourself, "What type of person do I want to be in the midst of these circumstances?" We all have a tendency to live in reaction to the MLCer so that his well-being affects all our choices. Since his well-being is not well, it is not wise to react to what he is doing. Rather, we want to be strong, calm, thoughtful and focused forward while we deal with the reality before us.

Bluebird: Oh the insurance!!! He thought he could get away with a high deductible (3000 each) and he changed the policy- without talking first. He has agreed to give me half of the deductible this year and says he don't have the same policy next year!

Bill: bluebird: I think it would be good to pray for wisdom on how to get more involved with the decisions. He will probably not joyfully say, "It would be great if we could figure this out together since it impacts both of us in the future," but for your sake God may just orchestrate things where you can help manage the retirement account and help it be healthier.

Bluebird: Bill, are you saying do what I have to do even if it might hurt him? Maybe hurt is not the word I want to use.

Bill: bluebird: this is just my opinion but I think it would be good for you to be more involved with the insurance question. This is not a trivial decision and you seem to be level headed. Ask God to show you how to get involved with the insurance choice so you can help him make better choices and get the coverage you need.

Bluebird: Bill, I know that I have come to a place finally where I can be calm. I guess I still feel a bit intimidated. I suppose I should have been involved to begin with, but not wanting to rock the boat. I have learned a valuable lesson.

Bill: Bluebird: I am not encouraging you to hurt him per say. I am encouraging you to look for a "wily" way to get involved so it turns out better for each of you. I am not sure what that "wily" way would be but I have seen God orchestrate remarkable ways of operating in the past and I believe He may just have a plan for you.

Bill: Bluebird: It would be awesome if you were the "manager" for both the insurance and the retirement. You could give him reports regularly so he knows exactly what is happening and I am sure you would make healthier choices than someone who is trying to manage a very complicated set of circumstances. I don't know how to set it up but I can see the outcome.

Bluebird: Bill, I hope I can see the plan! I need to put that part to rest. But how do I figure out if H actually wants to reconnect?

Bill: Bluebird: Don't be too hard on yourself. As you said, he dropped a bomb and walked out on the same day. That is a lot to go through. Grief and shock set in immediately I imagine and probably stole your ability to operate efficiently. God's grace is now working on restoring what you need.

Bluebird: Bill, Hmmm that seems reasonable to me and a good idea. I won't have to worry about insurance till November, so I have time to form a strategy.

Bill: bluebird: Discovering this kind of strategy is usually formed in prayer. When my kids were young, my parents were not a good influence on them but I didn't want to tell my kids that we weren't going to have a relationship with their grandparents. Both my parents broke their relationships with their parents so I didn't experience grandparents. I didn't want to just go along with their way of doing things, however. Through much prayer it occurred to me one day that my mom has about a 90 minute limit before she gets angry so we started having 60 minute visits. The relationship was never great but it was real.

Bluebird: Bill, yes , I see God working. I had to short sale my house in June 2013 and have been living with my parents since. I got cancer in 2014 and had a hard time getting a good job. Last fall, I was blessed with a great job and today got a call from Rural Development mortgage and am approved to start looking for my own house again! I am so relieved and thankful to God and the worst is over!!

Bill: Bluebird: Congratulations. That is good news!

Bill: Bluebird: It has been great talking with you. I need to sign off as I have a phone meeting coming up. Blessings on you - may God give you unexpected wisdom!

Bluebird: I like the part about making the visits real. It's a good way to do it.

Bill: See you all next week.

Swan: Night all, have a great week

Bluebird: Thank You ! Maybe next week I can ask more questions. Good night

Bluebird: Good night and thank you

Bluebird: Swan if you are still there, thank you

Bluebird: Bill, I guess if he's just coming out of the tunnel, I don't want to hinder his journey by asking questions. On the other hand I have so many questions I don't know when or if I should ask them.

Bill: Bluebird: If you have the ability to notice when he gets overwhelmed and can back off quickly, I don't see any reason not to ask questions. This is your life and this all affects you so it is fair to ask. As you probably know, the tricky part is when he gets upset, reacts, pulls back and throws in a little chaos. Things then get more complicated because now you are dealing with reactions in addition to real issues. If you can manage your response to the reactions, I encourage you to go ahead and ask.

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