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Jan. 18, 2010 / with Jim Conway

6:20 helpme: Jim; H has been coming around from time to time...sometimes just to talk and other things have been happening....right now we are more like friends & get the feeling that's what we are 'friends'. He has ask if I would like to go to a ballgame with him. I had said something to someone and they thought this would be like tell H that what he is doing is ok, but don't feel that way myself but just going as a friend...what is your thoughts on this?

6:27 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: helpme: many men use the friendship approach as a way to test out whether it's possible to rebuild a relationship.

6:21 jankb: Dr. Conway: my h owes me some money per the d agreement. he hasn't paid and I’m thinking of taking back to court. is this a wise thing for me to do if I want to reconcile with him someday/

6:28 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: jankb: use your lawyer to help you resolve this financial situation. Don't be terrorized into giving up the finances that rightly belong to you.

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5:59 LisaK [Programmer]: Good Evening. Welcome to Monday Night Chat with Jim. I’m Lisa, the Office Manager for Midlife Dimensions. I’m blessed to serve the Lord through our Chat Room Ministry which has helped so many people through their spouse’s midlife journey. Jim Conway will be online with us shortly and as he reads your questions, he’ll dictate his answers for me to type and post for you to see. He will answer all questions that come in before the end of the hour. If you would like to show your appreciation to Jim, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to Jim’s ministry via Paypal at www.Midlife.com. Funds support the Chat Room and Website upkeep. Thank you.

6:06 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Hi Everyone. We arrived in Hawaii, from the mainland, on Friday evening, and Jan has been sick Saturday and Sunday. Sunday evening we had a missionary couple arrive here, who will be staying in our home for a week. I’m still in the process of getting all the computers hooked up here, but gradually we will get things going and be "normal". I have been reading through the Psalms lately, and there is a prayer that I saw in Psalm 19 which really was guidance for my life today. "May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

6:01 Swanlake: Hello everyone, how are you tonight?

6:04 Plumcrazy: HELLO everyone.

6:04 faithfull: Hello everyone.

6:04 Athena: Hi! I am SO excited to make chat tonight! God bless everyone & I hope you are all doing great (as can be expected for some of us!)

6:04 Plumcrazy: JIM------So glad you are back. We have missed you terribly!!!!

6:04 jankb: Swan: very well and you?

6:05 Saam: Dr. Conway...how do I tell my H that I am going to see a lawyer about making sure that he is going to continue paying all bills and not leave me high and dry.....He wants a D but I’m not agreeing to it. He moved out 12/28 while I was out of town. I make less than a thousand $ a month..we just moved because of H work and I was unable to get a teaching position. He just let me know that he wasn't happy 11/8 for the 1st time in 22 yrs. I just do not want to make him mad.

6:16 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Saam: It's very important to let your lawyer press for what needs to be done financially in this situation.

6:05 Plumcrazy: Athena----So nice to see you in chat? how are things with H?

6:05 jankb: All: hello

6:05 faithfull: Athena how are things going and how are you holding up?

6:06 Athena: I’ve got a question for Jim about being a good wife vs. a codependent. I thought I was being a good, Christian, loving wife standing for my H but when I went to a meeting @ Rick Warrens Saddleback Church while my H went to the Sex Addicts meeting I was told I am a codependent. I am confused that they want to give me the strength not to be a codependent. I do NOT condone adultery

6:19 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Athena: Sometimes people wrestle with the issues of being too dependant, or being a enabler, and confuse those things with being a good wife. It's not so important to understand the meanings of the terms, as it is to work on your own growth and maturity so that your husband is not feeling justified in continuing to act out in some addiction. Is he still going to the SA meeting at Saddleback?

6:06 MAS: Athena: How are you? I’m so glad you were able to make it into chat tonight.

6:07 YouAreMySunshine: All I’m new here but I'll give it a try. My husband has been having an affair for 18 months. He lived here, moved out, moved back when caught, and is now back with the other woman. Do you think he feels guilty?

6:13 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: It's important to understand why your husband wants to be with the other woman, rather than you. What are some of the changing needs in his life? Why do you think he is attracted to this other woman?

6:07 faithfull: Dr Conway H finally came around and saw the boys after 2 months with therapist present. That was last week. Therapist says he looks worn out and is broke. He said he is not happy with his life now but is not happy at home either. she agree to see both of us together when he was ready. He has not made contact with her. What do you suggest I do. Continue with no contact and wait on him.

6:15 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: faithfull: I think the therapist assessment that your husband is exhausted and worn out, is probably accurate. No is the time to intensify praying for God to work in his life, and give the situation a little more time.

6:07 bethel: Cricket, I messed up. I have not talked with h since I found out about OW in Oct and he file for d in Dec. However, Jan I went to Dr and found out I had no health ins. I emailed h and found out ins co changed. Needless to say, conversation led cont

6:08 Cricket [Facilitator]: Jim - Amen

6:09 jankb: You: my h did the same thing and yes I think he's probably feeling a little guilty

6:09 Athena: I am OK but my H since my H did some backtracking it has been a bit painful again & I am praying that I can continue to love the child of God that's w/in him & not the crazy, sick person he still is sometimes acting like

6:09 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMySunshine - It is typical for a mlcr (someone in mlc) to feel guilty and be very confused. They are fighting depression & don't understand why they are plagued with fantasies & unhappiness. Most are dealing with unresolved issues from the past.

6:10 bethel: Cricket, cont discussion about d proceedings and h said to settle as soon as possible or we be broke, lawyers wealthy. I said if he wanted to discuss, I would. He made an ridiculous offer. Now, I do even want to reply but fell I should.

6:10 YouAreMySunshine: All He brought divorce papers in Nov., but thank goodness haven't seen them since.. didn't sign. I think he would be a good poster child for MLC

6:20 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: It sounds as if your husband is using the divorce papers to put pressure on you for some sort of change - what would he want to change about you or your marriage relationship?

6:10 Athena: My H's still in the house, getting help & we'll do a marriage intensive next weekend but I am not having any relations w/him right now. This is not a punishment for him but me wanting to be sure he does not have some disease & also only wanting to be

6:10 YouAreMySunshine: jankb: did you go back home?

6:11 jankb: YAMS: I don't understand ?

6:11 helpme: MAS; Hello, how are you this evening?

6:12 MAS: helpme: Hi, I’m doing okay. How are you? Are you feeling any better?

6:12 Athena: w/a H who is faithful so until I am sure he's back on track I won't go there w/him & I wonder if it's a mistake but it's my honest pref. right now while we work on restoration. He's such a broken man.

6:12 Saam: Dr. Conway: The lawyer said that I need to tell H what I am doing and give him about a week to respond before going further with getting all or our info and putting a limit on his spending, I know that this is going to make him so mad..H wants us not to involve lawyers....he is going to be so angry about this, will it not just make him even angry with me and push him all the way out of my life?

6:22 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Saam: I urge you to let the lawyer carry these discussions to your husband, and not you. Many men try to keep the lawyers out of the situation, because it's easier to control their wives that way.

6:12 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy- These guys tend to bottle things up, many have childhood issues they buried. As they get older, this stuff bubbles up & they are plagued with depression and start questioning everything in their life. Most of us have been told they love us but no longer IN LOVE with us... that they haven't been happy for a long time, etc. It's important not to push them for answers & look are areas we can work on in ourselves while they work thru their confusion.

6:13 YouAreMySunshine: jankb: You said you did the same thing. Did you give up the other person and stay married?

6:13 helpme: MAS; Yes, thank you. Son was by today for about an hour, had a good visit I guess

6:13 bethel: Cricket, 6:10 any idea of how to respond?

6:13 Cricket [Facilitator]: 6:07 YouAreMySunshine: They are filled with guilt and hate that they are hurting us but can't figure out why they can't get rid of these feelings, so they begin to think it's us.

6:13 Athena: How are you Plum? How are you Faithful? How are you Cricket?

6:14 Plumcrazy: Athena-I think it is good that your H is going to sex addiction class and the marriage workshop next weekend PTL Keep the faith Sweetie That is a major thing for you H to do He seems to be trying finally

6:14 jankb: you: my h did the same thing your h did. we are now divorced as of new year's eve.i didn't leave he did

6:14 faithfull: Athena I am doing good and finding peace with my new life. Just sadden for my h and what he has become.

6:14 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C: I think the sex initially attracted him. He tells me he loves me like a friend and wants to live his life. Says there must be something more.

6:24 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: I’m asking Cricket to post my 3 common questions for you, because it appears that there's something, perhaps sexual, which your husband doesn't like. (Lisa's computer lost my document with that paragraph), so we'll have Cricket send it, please watch for Cricket to post my 3 questions for you. Thanks.

6:14 Athena: I think you're right Plum but just when you think you're on the other side the rug comes out from under again:(

6:15 Swanlake: Athena - in my opinion, it is not a mistake, if my husband knocked on my door this instant, I would not turn him away, but he would be getting comfortable in the guest bedroom. I am simply not willing to risk my health, nor am I willing to give

6:15 MAS: helpme: I’m so glad your son came over to talk. Did he understand how you had been feeling?

6:15 faithfull: Athena that is good that your h wants to seek counseling. Mine agreed to make appt with therapist when he has the time. We are still waiting for the phone call.

6:15 Athena: It's true these guys have giant childhood issues, identity problems & are very insecure & it takes them hitting rock bottom to have that "Aha!" moment even though it's so obvious to everyone else around them

6:16 Plumcrazy: Athena--Your situation gives me hope for mine

6:16 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Eviline and Dgirl. Welcome, glad to meet you.

6:16 Cricket [Facilitator]: Bethel - They do try to push us into a divorce and settling quickly. But Jim advises & I’ve seen from experience with me & others that it's very important to protect ourselves. Sometimes they have to see the reality of their situation to become reasonable. Also as Jim said, they have to face the financial realty of divorce & their life style

6:17 helpme: MAS; Yes, I told him & ask him to not do that again. He said he wasn't thinking about how things would make me feel...

6:17 Athena: Faithful Mine refused at 1st & then did a lot of talking w/no interest in delivering. He had to hit rock bottom & go so low that even he scared his selfish self before he realized that MAYBE it was him that had the problem & it was humiliating to do

6:17 Swanlake: Athena - continued - myself to someone in that deep of a connection without a complete commitment from him that there will be no one else. I am a big believer in boundaries and that would be one I would definitely not bend.

6:17 EVILINE: Dr. Conway, Hello, My H moved out 3 months ago, he has the OW staying with him most of the time. I have known about his affair for a year and she works with him. he filed for d 1st in sept.2008 but then he dismissed it,,, I filed for d in april2009,

6:25 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: EVILINE: Your husband was hoping that filing for the divorce would bring about change in your marriage relationship. What did he want changed that didn't seem right from his point of view?

6:17 Plumcrazy: Jim---How is Jan's Dad?

6:26 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: He's having trouble with his eye, he can't see out of one eye.

6:18 MAS: helpme: Yes, I didn't think he realized how upset you would be.

6:18 Athena: Faithful I know! Such a long & painful journey for which we can't control them but don't think God's not working on them. He is. Never underestimate the power of your prayers!

6:19 Cricket [Facilitator]: Saam - It's still important to be honest with him about what you are doing & your lawyers advice does make sense. Anything we do to stall them makes them mad so it's important that you let the lawyer be the bad guy as much as possible.

6:19 bethel: cricket, How do I respond to his offer when I have agreed to discuss? Just say "looks like the lawyers will have to step in'?

6:19 faithfull: Dr Conway that is what I am doing not making any contact. Even though I sent him an email last night. I kept it lite. I have started feeling the peace of God. I am just so sadden for him. I started a 40 day fast and have increase my prayer.

6:26 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: faithfull: I’m very proud of you, and I’m glad that you keep contacts with him light. Good girl.

6:19 Athena: Thank you Swanlake! This is why I don't see myself as a codependent like they say @ Saddleback because I won't turn him away if he's actively seeking help but I know my limits too! Thank you!!!

6:20 dgirl: 6:16 Cricket - it's interesting that you say that about the financial situation. My H thinks he's getting equity from our house but it's a non-marital asset...he's going to be leaving with nothing but his clothes and will be shocked. I was worried

6:20 helpme: Jim; H has been coming around from time to time...sometimes just to talk and other things have been happening....right now we are more like friends & get the feeling that's what we are 'friends'. He has ask if I would like to go to a ballgame with him. I had said something to someone and they thought this would be like tell H that what he is doing is ok, but don't feel that way myself but just going as a friend...what is your thoughts on this?

6:27 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: helpme: many men use the friendship approach as a way to test out whether it's possible to rebuild a relationship.

6:20 Athena: I’m glad it does Plum! Seems like God's timing's really not our timing but what can we do? I surely love our God!!!

6:20 dgirl: cont 6:16 Cricket that would just make him mad...hopefully it will wake him up

6:20 Cricket [Facilitator]: Athena - Remember to start with who you are talking to - You can say ALL or Plum (abbreviate is fine)

6:21 jankb: Dr. Conway: my h owes me some money per the d agreement. he hasn't paid and I’m thinking of taking back to court. is this a wise thing for me to do if I want to reconcile with him someday/

6:28 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: jankb: use your lawyer to help you resolve this financial situation. Don't be terrorized into giving up the finances that rightly belong to you.

6:21 Swanlake: Athena - I will talk to you off line (email) about this issue, I am familiar with the Saddleback Celebrate Recovery and understand the confusion you are feeling. Probably tomorrow.

6:21 YouAreMySunshine: I promise you when he was home this summer I made all the changes he asked for. I have truly tried. He says he feel he has broken the trust and can't live with that.

6:21 Athena: Thank you Jim! Yes he feels he does have this problem & is going & learning coping skills for it. Seems like sex is his Prozac :( Sorry I don't mean to speak too openly here

6:30 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Athena: For many midlife men, having a sexual affair is like going to Disneyland for a day - they forget their troubles. However, it would be better if he were on prozac.

6:22 YouAreMySunshine: Sorry last past to Dr. C

6:22 faithfull: Athena I have learn thru all this that Gods timing is perfect. I am learning patience and that I can do things on my own if I have to. God has shown himself to me in so many ways.

6:22 Cricket [Facilitator]: Bethel - You could tell him that you had to contact an attorney as all of this was so overwhelming. I told my H that my Attorney told me not to make decisions as I wasn't thinking clearly as I still loved the guy.

6:22 Cricket [Facilitator]: dgirl - Sometimes it's good for them to see what life will be on their own compared to life with us. They get angry but they do that regardless.

6:23 EVILINE: D is almost final, but it seemed he tricked me into filing for d.. I think he must really love the ow,, he says he doesn’t want the d now, but it seems he just wants to enjoy living with the ow ,,having cake and eating it too.

6:32 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: EVILINE: Cricket posted my paragraph for me at 6:25. (Lisa's computer lost my files). How do you relate to that information?

6:23 Athena: Jim- Last reply to you

6:23 Athena: Cricket OK thanks for reminding me

6:24 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C: My husband is a good man who has made poor choices. I pray for him to come to his senses. About how long does the MLC last? Give or take a year! Dr. C: I probably fit in the #1 and sex question.

6:34 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: On the average, a midlife crisis lasts about 3 years. But the time can be shortened if both the husband and the wife work on the issues that are causing trauma in the man’s life. It's good to identify what areas you need to change and work on them.

6:24 Athena: Swanlake thank you because this meeting group really threw me a curve ball when I thought I was doing things the right way. God's way!!!

6:24 MarySarah: Dr. Conway I am part of a small ministry that supports standers in covenant marriages & they approach things similar to us here, I typed in cov M yesterday & there is couple in ministry in Fla that recommends backing H's up against wall so to speak,
they said my H needs to grow up, he has mother-son issues & I should D him asap, shock him into action & have no contact unless it's with this "ministry" They seem think tough love is only way to go but my H wants D badly not sure I liked what they had to say? Even if our H's are extremely selfish in general & proud & has cake & eat it too, it isn't sitting well with my spirit, their beliefs. I get that abusive men need to come back to God & face prob & win wife's heart,

6:37 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: MarySarah: Generally in the early part of a man's midlife crisis, it is better to be a little bit gentle and work on self growth and change. At the end of the time of crisis, when the husband is wanting to return, that is the time to expect more change and the tough commitment of the husband.

6:25 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - They see our changes but it takes time for them to trust our changes are real. They worry that we'll go back to old habits if they return. Also they look for excuses to justify their actions.

6:25 Athena: All: My H just walked in the door so I need to make sure he's found his dinner & jump back in right after. I'll try to get him to answer ?'s as well if anyone wants

6:25 Cricket [Facilitator]: ALL Jim ASKED ME TO POST THE THREE THINGS HE'S FOUND MEN COMPLAIN ABOUT IN THEIR WIVES - SEE BELOW: How you're doing in these 3 areas? Midlife men complain that their wives....1) are naggy, controlling, and often boss them around like children (sometimes men do act like children)...2) are overweight, out of shape, and don't care about physical appearance. (Men are very visual, & when their wife looks good to them, that translates that she is interested in sex. A high priority in a man's life is regular, exciting sex for which he doesn't have to beg)...and 3) have not had a new thought since they got married. (They complain that their wives are not growing intellectually or in their careers, which makes them very dependent and clingy -- which is often negative to a midlife man.)

6:26 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: have you been living at my house or do you know my husband? He said basically those very same things. I just pray he'll come around soon and come home. I miss him.

6:26 Plumcrazy: JIM-- H has been having some ED issues again. says it is Broken. I said many things could cause it . why don’t you ask your Dr about it. Of course H said know

6:38 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: ED is sometimes a common experience at midlife, and I find that it is commonly related to a very depressed man.

6:26 Plumcrazy: JIM---Any ideas on how t can be supportive to H. What is the best way to deal with these issues

6:42 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: generally men with ED need help with their depression, they also need help sometimes with their diet, eating healthy is important, and generally they also need a great deal of affirmation. I would be glad to chat with you by phone for some other coaching in this area.

6:26 bethel: cricket, I have already file counterclaim so h knows what I’m asking for

6:27 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMySunshine - We joke that there must be a script that the enemy plays in their heads at night as so many say the same things.

6:27 Athena: ALL: My H did say after his latest setback that he finally realizes it is the devil that pulls him away from where he needs to be. This was HUGE for him to realize

6:28 faithfull: YouAreMySunshine yes it appears like they all go thru the same thing and say the same thing. Is a process like the grieving process.

6:28 dgirl: Jim - My H just up and left 4 months ago. We never fought, he never complained about anything I did. Now he's filing for d and I have no idea why...is it okay to try to talk to him about what's happening? I get no answers...should I keep trying?

6:44 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: dgirl: Generally, in any divorce decree, they list what are the reasons for the divorce. I would encourage you again to ask yourself, the 3 questions that Cricket posted on my behalf at 6:25.

6:28 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - My H & I were together 28 yrs, we really were best friends. He had a terrible childhood & had to grow up way too fast. As he got older some things happened that triggered his depression. He went to a doctor & they actually prescribed Prozac years ago. He felt better for awhile but mlc hit again even worse. He said he felt we lost our connection. That it was his fault for not talking to me sooner but now even though I made all these changes, it was too late.

6:28 Plumcrazy: JIm@6:26--Is her Dad in a care facility?

6:45 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: Jan's dad has a 24/7 caregiver in his home.

6:29 Saam: Dr. Conway: so I should not mention to him at all about this and just let the lawyer handle it?

6:45 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Saam: It would be better to just let the lawyer take or you will be sucked into the situation again.

6:29 jankb: Dr. Conway: thank you sir

6:29 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - Jim says that they get frustrated that we wait until they leave are ready to leave to make the changes & they feel that we'll just go back to same. Also they are so drawn to their fantasy life that they have to justify their actions so they magnify the things that bothered them to justify leaving.

6:30 Athena: Dr Jim what's the diff between a MLC & depression? I think they can be both maybe? & midlife amplifies whatever way they try to fix their depressive state. i.e. alcohol, sex, drugs...Prozac or no prozac for the MLCer??? Prozac for life or just midlife?

6:48 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Athena: midlife crisis frequently has a depression component, but there are many other factors that contribute to a midlife crisis. Sometimes men use all sorts of addictions or substances to try and take away the pain they are experiencing. The ultimate solution is to understand the pain and solve the pain issue. Regarding prozac for life - it really is only intended to help us through whatever stresses we are experiencing.

6:30 helpme: Jim; Yes, there are still times I do not hear anything from H, then he will pop up, come by for a visit or get a phone call...this has been happening for awhile now.....he totally surprises me sometimes.

6:49 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: helpme: try to use these quiet times to improve yourself so that whenever he does pop back, he sees a new and improved you.

6:31 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: That's correct. I don't think my husband can be around me now because of his guilt, but I'd rather him work through it than throw away 23 years of marriage.

6:31 Athena: Dr Jim OK so prozac's good for some MLCers?

6:31 MarySarah: Jim do you think separation & our H's thinking they can come home & do whatever they want merely prolongs H's bad behavior. Do D papers & us stopping contact wake them up sometimes?

6:50 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: MarySarah: generally the shock therapy approach tends to back fire. It's better to focus on solving the causes for the problem rather than using threats and pressure.

6:32 EVILINE: Dr. c. #2. ,but it must be overweight out of shape and physical appearance, I have been working on myself ,have lost weight, 45lbs, but it was too late he was already emotionally involved with ow, we have been married 27yrs

6:51 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: EVILINE: I’m really proud of you for having lost 45 pounds - I’m also in the process losing 20 pounds. The big question is, how much more do you have to go in order to be back to a weight that fits the new medical standards?

6:32 faithfull: ALL I have to go and do school work. I got a 100 on both of my quiz. So far so good.

6:33 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: My husband is turning 50 next week. He has walked away from everything except his job and he's talking about doing that. How can I help him?

6:33 Cricket [Facilitator]: Bethel - Still they will get angry but it’s if you can put this on your lawyer or let them take the lead as much as possible it helps. But you have to protect yourself. Many of these guys end up broke or filing bankruptcy.

6:33 Athena: Eviline: It's never too late

6:33 jankb: faithful: congratulations!!!!!

6:34 helpme: Hannah2; Hello, how are you??

6:34 Athena: Faithful goodnight & congrats

6:34 YouAreMySunshine: Eviline: Don't give up! God works miracles everyday and he believes in marriage!

6:34 Plumcrazy: Faithfull---Good for YOU!!!!

6:35 MarySarah: Cricket 6:33 I wonder if the better off financially these guys are & the more the OW is like them & just has to go & do & have fun without responsibility, the longer this takes. It feels like it will take everything being gone for my H to be humbled

6:35 MarySarah: Hannah2 How are you dear?

6:35 Swanlake: Jim - my husband's anger has increased with each year since the adultery lifestyle started, daughter says he is so bad now that they never know when he is going to blow. She says it takes nothing to send him off and apparently he had a major blow up a couple weeks ago (he turned 51 on 1/4). She says he turns red and she is really worried about his health (has High BP, Diabetes, etc.). Should he still be raging this badly after 4 years?

6:53 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Swanlake: It appears that your husband is still trying to solve his problem by blaming everyone else. As long as he continues to follow this pattern, he will experience continued dissatisfaction and decline in his health. I’m sorry that you have to watch this sad process.

6:35 Cricket [Facilitator]: Athena - My H had a breakdown in the late 80's. The doctor put him on prozac and did some counseling but didn't really understand mlc. They told him he tends to compartmentalize (which he does) and that when you do that, your house of cards come tumbling down. He felt better for awhile & went off meds. A few years later, this all came back & he took other anti-depressants but never really dealt with the cause.

6:35 Athena: Dr Jim do you mean 3 yrs for time w/OW or for whole crisis? My H had MLC for yrs but I did not realize it. Maybe 3-4 yrs before OW then it's been 1 1/2 yrs w/OW in picture

6:55 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Athena: remember that the 3 years is an average of thousands of men. Some taking 10 years, some have been able to work through the process in 6 months. It is a waste of time to count years - spend your energies on identifying why he feels pain and how to solve that pain.

6:36 bethel: cricket, I’m sorry. I having a hard time following. Put it back on my lawyer?

6:36 Plumcrazy: Hannah----Sorry didn’t see you come in. How are you?

6:36 MarySarah: Athena: How are you darling? Call me if you want later tonight, or anytime if things are getting tough!

6:36 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C. I promise you I have. He doesn't trust that the changes will last and he isn't here to see that they will. He's too wrapped up in self. I want to help him, but he won't let me and he won't go to counseling.

6:56 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: generally a wife cannot counsel or coach a husband going through midlife crisis. He has to arrive at a solution on his own or with the help of other men.

6:37 Athena: Cricket you think some H's need prozac but ALL could benefit from some healthy way to deal w/their problems correct?

6:37 Cricket [Facilitator]: Bethel - Yes it is very busy tonight so harder to follow. Yes as much as you can, put it on the lawyer, let her give his lawyer bad news or do what I did. I told my H that my lawyer warned me not to make any agreements because she didn't feel I was thinking clearly because I still loved him... I used a positive as an excuse that I was letting her handle this

6:38 Athena: Mary thank you! As long as I don't know if my H's backtracking I’m actually fine but I get physically ill when I find out he has

6:38 MarySarah: Athena I am sure the ow has been around for anywhere from 2 & 1/2 yrs up to 4 yrs. depending on how long I’ve been lied to : (

6:38 Cricket [Facilitator]: Athena - Correct - I think sometimes they need some form of antidepressant to calm them while they get treatment for the cause. I don't feel just meds are enough. In My H's case, he took several different meds but still was running from the baggage that caused the problem.

6:39 MarySarah: You are my SS 6:36 Is there ow, is H home?

6:39 Athena: Mary I am SO sorry abt. that! I know my H's OW (child really) was around at least 9 months before I knew

6:39 Cricket [Facilitator]: MarySarah - Yes there is an OW in YouAreMy

6:39 YouAreMySunshine: Mary Sarah: Husband is living in apartment spending time with OW.

6:39 Plumcrazy: Jim----That’ what I have thought since he started having these issues. noticed they came back after we got ripped off buying a used car.

6:57 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: I think you can see the direct correlation between getting disappointed, and therefore depressed, and the problem of ED.

6:40 jankb: MarySarah: I think my h was involved w/ow longer than he said he was in the beginning. h told me w/ow for 1.5 yrs but I think longer

6:40 Athena: ALL: Speaking of H's mine has just sat down on the couch. Does anyone want to ask a MLCer any ?'s

6:40 YouAreMySunshine: All: What's funny about my H is he goes on like nothing is wrong. Just acts as if our life never existed. Took his books and jigger collection when he left???

6:41 MarySarah: Jim 6:37 That's what I felt seemed right & even scriptural. Boundaries need to be set steadily, in love, & in healthy ways, not to control or demand. Bible says win him without a word by our meek & gentle spirit & chaste conversation

6:58 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: MarySarah, you're right on target for following what the Bible says about this process.

6:41 jankb: Athena: was your h w/ow and if so how long and what turned it around for him?

6:41 Swanlake: Athena - that might not be a pressure you want to put on your husband - LOL! @6:40

6:41 Athena: Cricket thank you I think you're correct in they must face their issues no matter

6:42 Athena: Swanlake LOL

6:42 Saam: Athena: I do, I do....my H doesn't want to involve lawyers in anyway what so ever...I am talking to one now about $ issues...how do I tell him without him getting mad?

6:43 jankb: still: hello there

6:43 Still: Hi Everyone.

6:43 Athena: Jankb Yes he was w/OW (19yr old) for 9 mos before I knew & moved in w/her for another 6 after I found out & lied to me abt. that & still saw/sees her even though he's now home

6:43 MarySarah: Jim I started Adult Children of legal & Emotional D do you discuss arrested development, attachment issues, abandonment, etc.... Sometimes I think many of us struggle with real life responses to our confused, hurting & angry mates due to their past

6:59 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: MarySarah: yes, many of us come with all of these developmental and abandonment issues.

6:43 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C. My H will not discuss the issues. That is how we got here. He is good at avoiding conflict by avoiding issues. He will not give me straight answers about anything. Is there hope for him and how can I help? PS... I realize some of the blame falls to me, but things could have been different if he had talked.

7:00 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: your husband probably doesn't discuss issues with you because he probably feels you are too controlling.

7:01 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - My H was very successful & popular at work in his career - During mlc, he severely damaged his career and left with almost no relationships as he had pushed everyone away - even isolated himself from his parents who he was sooo close to

6:44 Plumcrazy: Jim---Another question H was complaining of breathing trouble in bed I said why don’t you get checked, H was like NO! I said why don’t you think about your kids and take care of your health.. what would think if you could have gotten help but didn’t

7:01 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: sometimes men feel so depressed, guilty, and shamed, that there is an unconscious suicidal desire.

6:44 Cricket [Facilitator]: Athena - I think the reason my H's mlc came back 15 yrs later is that he never dealt with the cause, just the symptom. But back then, people really didn't understand mlc.

6:44 Athena: Saam that's a better ? for Jim than my H or me. Sorry!

6:45 Plumcrazy: Jim@6:42 that would be great

6:45 MarySarah: youaremySS 6:39 I am sorry for what is happening, many of us are there too. PTL you are willing to reach out & love H & help him. His salvation is #1

6:45 Athena: Cricket yes I do believe that makes perfect sense because God will keep giving us lessons until we learn whatever He needs us to learn. That's why I think Earth is God's classroom

6:45 Still: Dr. Conway, I am a late arrival and the first time I have been able to be on a chat with you. I can't tell you how many times I have read your book Men in Midlife Crisis. It has been incredibly helpful to me.

7:02 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Still: Hi there and welcome. I’m glad the book was helpful to you. Please join our facilitators in the other chat rooms, they know my books very well. I'll be back again next Monday to chat more.

6:46 MarySarah: jankb a minister I spoke to once who had fallen said an adulterer only lies when his lips move! Shows how deceived they are by satan & we need pray God releases them from enemy's trap & saves them!

6:47 Saam: Athena: I feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place...it probably won't matter what I do,,, it will all be wrong in H eyes no matter what!

6:47 Cricket [Facilitator]: ALL - This is something else that Jim has shared - STAYER AND RUNNER There are two people involved in the midlife crisis -- one is the person who wants to save it and the other is the one who wants to get away. The "stayer" is the one who needs to be willing to change. The "runner" is looking for excuses to get away and does not want to face any of their problems. So at the beginning of trying to restore the marriage we work with the "stayer" helping them to eliminate any areas that are causing problems. As the "runner" begins to show interest in returning, then we encourage the couple to get involved in marriage counseling so that the problems with both people can be resolved and the marriage can have a high probability of succeeding.

6:47 Athena: ALL: I could have NEVER come this far w/out Dr Jim's books! I would have instinctively done it all wrong :(

6:47 Plumcrazy: JIM--I told H that I just want to be close to him, snuggle with him. Was that ok to say?

7:03 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: this is such a difficult situation - he needs closeness but rejects it. Be flexible and give space when needed, and take advantage of closeness when it's available.

6:47 jankb: MarySarah: amen to that!!!!

6:47 YouAreMySunshine: Mary Sarah: I will never give up on my husband or my marriage. I believe God answers prayers and that he will bring him home. Yes I do love him and don't think if he really saw who he is now he would like himself.

6:47 Athena: Saam just do the tips in Dr Jim's books because they do work. Our MLCers are textbook

6:47 MarySarah: Athena What does he think about cutting contact & filing to give H what he says he wants, is this crazy thought?

6:48 helpme: Going to go. God Bless Each And Every One! In my prayers, good night

6:48 Athena: MarySarah I don't know what you want me to ask H/ If that would speed up the process of his MLC?

6:49 MarySarah: Plum 6:42 Dr. Conway is sooo right, another prob is many antidepressants can cause ED I believe, but Dr. would know better than I. I would take him up on that phone idea perhaps!

6:49 MAS: helpme: Have a good night! Take care of yourself!

6:49 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - Yes most of us have commented that these guys are like clones of our H's. My H and most here were warm, loving considerate & morale people and not at all who they are acting like now but that is MC

6:49 jankb: all: I want to tell you that you have been a God send to me during one of the most difficult times in my life and I’m truly grateful to have you here and just to know I’m not alone.

6:50 helpme: Jim; Ok, thank you

6:50 Athena: Cricket & All This STAYER RUNNER thing makes perfect sense to me as I look at my H sitting on the sofa cuddling our oldest child!

6:50 helpme: MAS; Good night : )

6:51 MarySarah: Athena as Cricket said some men do start into this & not fully then relapse many yrs later. Mine it seems did 14 yrs ago & full force now last 4 yrs

6:51 BlueSky: Saam, did you file for D? Or has your h? Are you just looking into protecting yourself?

6:51 Cricket [Facilitator]: MarySarah/Plum - I KNOW that some anti-depressants cause ED. My nurse even smiled & admitted that the one they gave my H caused ED, she said they'd switch him to something different when get left OW & returned to me... I loved it

6:51 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: I'll be glad when MLC is over. You know he actually told me that becasue I ordered shrimp two nights in a row when we tried reconciling in May, that it wouldn't work because I was too predictable.

6:51 Plumcrazy: Marysarah: H isn’t on AD'a

6:52 Plumcrazy: AD's

6:52 MarySarah: Jim Please give Jan & her family my regards & prayers for them!

6:52 Athena: MarySarah I know it helped when I was always looking great & nice but not too nice & busy (like I was running out to do something even if I just drove away to nowhere, made him think something fun was happening for me & when he left...

6:52 Athena: I drove home & cried

6:53 MarySarah: Athena 6:45 I agree, but why does it seem some don't go through anything lousy like this & stay @ same level all their lives, I think I want the reg classes not the AP ones LOL!

6:53 Athena: Dr Jim thank you for sharing that info

6:53 YouAreMySunshine: Athena: If you are like I am I have cried a bathtub full of tears. We simply must trust God for our answers. I'll share a Kleenex!

6:54 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - Yeah they grasp for the craziest things to justify giving in to their own fantasy. I really think they have to chase their quick fix to find out they can't run from their issues. One friend said, Yeah the grass is greener on the other side but in time they find out there are WEEDS in that grass..

6:54 Plumcrazy: Jim---I was reading the Love dare. I ran across this “I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don’t love me in return.” I was thinking of telling H this. What do you think about doing that?

7:04 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: I think the focus of the Love Dare is the change in the person who accepts the challenge (to do the dare). In other words, a person can love someone else, even if they don't return it - and you don't have to tell them about it.

6:55 steadfast: Jim: My h took a lot out of the garage that was his. H said he would return for remainder but never came back. It will cost fair amount to hire 2 fellows to finish cleaning out garage and hauling out miscellaneous stuff h probably doesn't want

7:05 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: steadfast: these issues can be dealt with when you are really ready to sell the house.

6:55 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: I hope the weeds show up sooner rather than later. My mom says the grass is greener because it full of fertilizer.

6:55 Cricket [Facilitator]: MarySarah - The difference is that some people deal with their issues & don't bottle them up. They hit mlc when they do not deal with these things. Everyone goes thru midlife, it becomes MLCRISIS when there are unresolved issues.

6:55 MarySarah: Saam 6:47 unfortunately that is true. H's see , hear, & believe lies & blame everyone else. This can only be fixed by God. We do have to be one to "stay, pray, grow, & stand in the gap!" It's very hard! Nothing is impossible with God!

6:56 Saam: BlueSky: H says that he wants to...I know that he has downloaded documents from online...he wants me just to go along with everything, it's like he thinks he breaking up with an old girlfriend....I'm just afraid that he might leave town &

6:56 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - I LOVE THAT - Yes I agree with your mother and you know what fertilizer brings weeds...big ones.

6:56 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C. How do you get them to open up so you can find out what the pain is? Especially when you aren't talking much???

7:06 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: YouAreMySunshine: you will have to learn about men from other sources, lots of information on the website (see my articles, about men for women.) and there's more books that talk about men, such as "Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti" by the Farrels.

6:56 Saam: BlueSky: cont, & I would be left holding the bag.....

6:56 jankb: you:@6:55 LOL!!!!

6:56 steadfast: Jim: if house must be sold. Do I try to get this put in separation agreement for deadline to return to clean remainder or is that psychologically telling him that I don't want him to come back home? Off the wall #, I know but I am wondering what to do

6:57 BlueSky: Saam, well, don't help him. Just get advice on protecting yourself for now.

6:57 MarySarah: You are my SS 6:47 If I’m right, our H's look @ us & see reflections of themselves that they can't deal with so they blame us for things they don't like about self! I struggle with how can I change that reflection to him show him how God & I see him!

6:57 Athena: MarySarah I know! It hurts so much & it takes way too long but think of how God must love us & how highly He thinks of us. He won't give us what we can't handle

6:57 Swanlake: Jim - thanks for your insight. It is hard because it has my children concerned, I don't get to see or have contact with him, but my heart still breaks for what he is going through.

6:57 BlueSky: YouAreMy, my h is the same way, you can't get them to open up, that is the problem.

6:57 EVILINE: I am working to lose another 25,, my h still comes to the house when I am not home to get his mail, I have changed the locks, I think I pushed him, away by filing for D, but I was sooo jealous of OW

7:08 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: EVILINE: glad you're working to lose another 25 lbs. Will that get you down to your good medical weight? Don't worry about making a mistake about filing the divorce - but let your anger help you to change - not just punish him.

6:58 Cricket [Facilitator]: Saam - There are many in our group who have restored marriages and they all say things they learned from Jim's book and here were the answers

6:58 Athena: Sunshine I could fill a sea w/my tears but I felt God's grace when I realized He would wipe them all away for me & how blessed I am to be the tiniest drop of H2O in the ocean of God's love!

6:58 YouAreMySunshine: Blue Sky: Too bad there isn't a happy medium.. we open up too much and they open up too little.

6:59 YouAreMySunshine: Athena: Amen!

6:59 Athena: Dr Jim. OK I will focus on the whys & hows. Thank you

6:59 MarySarah: Jim 6:50 Thank You sooo much, because that kind of thing is soooo NOT in my nature. When I was behind H @ kids event other day & saw his shoulder was hurting, I so wanted to reach to him & rub it, that is so painful not to be there for him

6:59 Swanlake: Goodnight all, will chat with you again later this week.

6:59 BlueSky: Saam, why do you think he will run? Does he have a history of that?

7:00 Athena: Goodnight Swan!

7:01 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - My H was very successful & popular at work in his career - During mlc, he severely damaged his career and left with almost no relationships as he had pushed everyone away - even isolated himself from his parents who he was sooo close to

7:01 MarySarah: Cricket 6:51 LOL that's great!!!!!! My H won't ever admit to any problems even to MD He's in perpetual state of running, avoiding & searching..... For this season.... It WILL CHANGE when God grabs him!

7:01 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C: That's not it. He doesn't discuss issues with anyone. But yes, I can be controlling. It's the teacher in me

7:02 Cricket [Facilitator]: MarySarah - The only thing is that he stopped the AD when he left me & began seeing the OW... but it still made me smile what the nurse said

7:02 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C: Have really tried to work on that area.

7:02 BlueSky: YAMSS, my h is the same. Always has had a hard time expressing himself.

7:02 MarySarah: Athena I thought about not being here when he comes to get kids esp.

7:02 Athena: MarySarah mine was like that too but God has a way of increasing His messages to your H until your H gets that "wake up!" message

7:03 Hannah2: goodnight all,

7:03 Still: Dr. Conway, I have been participating in chats for the last few weeks. I have gained so much strength from the facilitators. I am so glad to have found this site.

7:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - I had to look at the things my complained about & really work on them. He said I was smothering & too nurturing, talked too much, always had to be right.... Anyway, I saw that I did need to work on many areas & have & now friends have really noticed these changes. It feels good & helped my self esteem too

7:03 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: Did your H have an affair? How long did it take him to come home? I really miss my husband.

7:03 MarySarah: Swan 6:53 I am sorry your H is becoming more angry too. I see & hear how much you love him & are a godly woman!

7:03 Plumcrazy: JIm@7:01---H has made statement when I ask what is wrong like I woke up today. Or maybe this is the end when having breathing issues. I t hurts to hear these things How do I respond to things like that?

7:10 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Plumcrazy: helping someone thru MLD is a pianful process. Keep thinking of it as if he has 2 broken legs - you'd do all you could to help him.

7:04 MarySarah: Cricket The grass is greener because of the fertilizer!!!!!!!LOL

7:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - That doesn't mean that the things I needed to work on were the cause. My H had to give in to his fantasies & the OW but the things he mentioned were things I needed to work on in me - but to do it for me.

7:05 Athena: ALL I also like the book The Myth of the Greener Grass & I enjoyed Meryl Streep in the movie It's Complicated!

7:05 MarySarah: Cricket I know & unfortunately many of our H have LOTS of unresolved issues

7:06 steadfast: MarySarah: I had to

7:06 Cricket [Facilitator]: YouAreMy - Yes my H did give in to an OW after he separated from me. He still felt guilty so filed for D thinking that would fix things. It didn't. He married the OW weeks after D was final but has since separated and divorced the OW. He began reconnecting with me & said he was never really happy with OW & called her his mlc mistake

7:06 YouAreMySunshine: Cricket: Oh, I am very thankful to my husband for pointing out things I needed to change. I am new and improved. Guess I'll be ready when he comes home.

7:06 Still: Dr. Conway, My H has been going through visible MLC symptoms for 21 months. There is no OW. He is irritable, withdrawn, unhappy. If no OW yet, will there likely be one before it is over?

7:09 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Still: Please consider phone counseling with me. Information can be found on the website under "speak to Jim".

7:06 Plumcrazy: Jim @ 7:04 But do you think sometimes the H needs to hear that we love them even if they can’t return the feeling now or does that lead to guilt?

7:07 Athena: MarySarah I do believe most of theseMLCers have ubresolved childhood issues & it's not our fault. I think it helps to know it's not our fault but we should still use this time to grow. I am much happier that I have grown & am even closer to God now!

7:07 MarySarah: Athena 6:57 Yeah my earthy dad & my H always expected me to be strong & tough enough to handle everything Once, I'd like to be the one who doesn't take care of ANYTHING

7:07 MarySarah: Jim @ 6:58 Thanks Doc!

7:08 YouAreMySunshine: Dr. C I enjoyed your book Men in Mid Life Crisis. It answered a lot of my questions.

7:08 steadfast: MarySarah: Good point about the fertilizer

7:08 MarySarah: Jim when OW has lots same issues as H's & same ages ML does it prolong as they identify more together or does it make things worse

7:09 Athena: MarySarah It is now time for YOU TO TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


7:09 MarySarah: Athena 7:02 PTL does your H say that too?

7:10 Still: Okay.

7:10 Athena: Good night everyone & God bless you all! Thank you Dr Jim & his team of angels!

7:10 Plumcrazy: Athena--Do you ever do yahoo messenger?

7:10 steadfast: Goodnight all and thanks for our time in chat even though I was late in arriving. Thanks to you Jim as well.

7:10 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Good night everyone. See you next Monday.

7:11 MarySarah: Goodnight, Love ya!

7:11 Cricket [Facilitator]: Good night everyone.

7:11 LisaK [Programmer]: Please say your goodbyes now. I’m going to close up in 2 minutes to go eat dinner with my husband.

7:12 LisaK [Programmer]: Dear Lord, please be with everyone this week, help them to understand the big picture and your will. Bless them with joy through their trials. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

7:12 LisaK [Programmer]: Good night.

6:20 helpme: Jim; H has been coming around from time to time...sometimes just to talk and other things have been happening....right now we are more like friends & get the feeling that's what we are 'friends'. He has ask if I would like to go to a ballgame with him. I had said something to someone and they thought this would be like tell H that what he is doing is ok, but don't feel that way myself but just going as a friend...what is your thoughts on this?

6:27 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: helpme: many men use the friendship approach as a way to test out whether it's possible to rebuild a relationship.

6:21 jankb: Dr. Conway: my h owes me some money per the d agreement. he hasn't paid and I’m thinking of taking back to court. is this a wise thing for me to do if I want to reconcile with him someday/

6:28 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: jankb: use your lawyer to help you resolve this financial situation. Don't be terrorized into giving up the finances that rightly belong to you.

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