Midlife Dimensions


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March 22, 2010 / with Jim Conway

6:14 koko: Jim- what if your spouse doesn’t know they are in mlc should you tell them? Is it normal not to have physical intimacy for a long period of time, 1yr?

6:20 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:14 koko: Most midlife crisis people do not know that they are experiencing a midlife crisis - in fact they think that everyone else is acting strangely. It is also common for people in mlc to withdraw from physical intimacy because of shame that they feel, or because they are living in a fantasy world with someone else, or that they are in a physical affair with someone else.


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CR#2 - March 22, 6-7 pm PST

6:00 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.

6:01 sbky: hello lisak and cricket...

6:01 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hi sbky, how are you?

6:02 sbky: cricket I am okay. Son’s grades are not good. I am worried...

6:02 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - I'm so thrilled with the info you shared.

6:02 LisaK [Programmer]: "Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7 NASB).

6:02 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hi Still, Ro828 and koko. Good to see you all.

6:02 BlueSky: Hi Lisa, Cricket, all, Happy Spring.

6:02 Ro828: sbky: What grade is your son in?

6:02 Ro828: Hi Cricket. All.

6:03 BlueSky: Cricket, yeah me too.

6:03 Still: Blue...what did I miss??

6:03 sbky: ro828 junior in high school

6:04 Swanlake: Hello everyone, how are you tonight?

6:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - BlueSky was able to help another member find a counselor after she’s really hadn't been able to do so.

6:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hi Swan.

6:04 MAS: Hi everyone.

6:04 Still: That is wonderful!

6:05 BlueSky: Still, hi, what she said!! Hahaha

6:05 sbky: still I lost 10.6 pounds in three weeks. I weigh in again tomorrow

6:05 Ro828: sbky. High school is tough. Kids like to socialize more than study.

6:05 Still: sbky, I am soooo proud of you. You are doing so awesome!

6:05 LisaK [Programmer]: Lord God, in our anger, give us wisdom. Help us to be sure our anger is appropriate so that we do not respond to a situation in error. Forgive us for when we have been angry and have sinned as a result. Help to remember the 24 hour rule before sending emails out of anger. Be with us tonight and be glorified in this room Jesus. It's in Your Name we pray, Amen.

6:05 sbky: still thanks...

6:05 Ro828: sbky: Congrats on the weight loss. You're doing great!

6:06 sbky: ro828 thanks

6:06 Ro828: Cricket: Tomorrow is my H's b-day. I decided not to send him a card after all.

6:07 Still: sbky, You must be feeling it in your clothes now.

6:07 Cricket [Facilitator]: sbky - Wow that is really good, don't get discouraged if you hit a plateau, and just keep up your great work. We are SO proud of you.

6:07 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: Hi, this is Jim. I'm glad to be with you again. What shall we talk about tonight?

6:08 sbky: still I can take my jeans down without unbuttoning them

6:08 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hey MAS, Swan & Evaline

6:08 Still: sbky...Woohoo!!!

6:08 MAS: Hi Cricket. Thanks for your help today.

6:08 sbky: still it wasn’t easy but I can do it...

6:08 Ro828: sbky: Wow!

6:09 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Sounds like things are getting better already - I told BlueSky how happy I am.

6:09 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Did you want to ask Jim any information about what we talked about?

6:10 helpme: Hello everyone : )

6:10 Still: Dr. Conway, Are you familiar with Dr. Dobson's Love Must Be Tough...the whole idea of "opening the cage door"? Do you think it is a good idea to remind our spouses that they are free and unchained? Does that help them navigate their MLC?

6:15 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:10 Still: Dr. Dobson and I are good friends and we are in complete agreement. He is writing about the time when it is necessary to be tough, and most of the time I'm writing about the beginning stages when it's important to be understanding to your husband, giving him space, and making any necessary changes you can make. The gentle approach is necessary at the beginning of a midlife crisis - if however the husband walks away and does not want to work on the marriage then the tough approach will be necessary. Dr. Dobson does not discuss this, but I feel it is necessary to be firm as a husband wants to reconnect. We must make sure that we are not just rebuilding the same previously sick marriage. So each person needs to be working through issues so that they can relate to each other in healthier ways than before.

6:10 ndakmom: Hello everyone!

6:10 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - We have a few other male members, hopefully one or two of them will join us tonight. Jim is the expert and has helped so many of us. Feel free to ask him questions.

6:10 MAS: Cricket: I regret to say I forgot the question I was supposed to ask.

6:11 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - Dr. Conway has been on Dr. Dobson's show and so has his daughter!

6:11 MAS: Cricket: Yes, BlueSky was very helpful to me as well. I thank you both.

6:12 Still: Cricket, well, I am a bit embarrassed.

6:12 steadfast
: Jim and others: h says he will file for a divorce once division of assets and spousal support are finalized--will probably take 3- 4 mos. to go thru. H will probably need copy of our marriage certificate and another paper that I have at home. Do I go ahead and give him these papers to divorce me or slow things down by letting h have to apply to the government for the records?

6:17 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:12 steadfast: Generally it's best to do all you can to slow the process down, while at the same time do all you can to eliminate any issues that were a problem for your husband.

6:12 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Ask for tips on breaking through the emotional wall (I forgot your words) that you feel stuck against.

6:12 Still: koko, my h doesn't think he is in MLC.

6:13 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - It helps if you start by who your question is for - EX: Jim - What if you spouse.....

6:13 BlueSky: koko, hi, mine doesn't either

6:13 helpme: Swanlake; I talked with H today...he is having bad night mares of what happened with ow falling in fire & can't sleep...that had to have been hard hearing her scream . He said he keeps hearing her scream 'please don't let me die' when she fell in the fire. Any ideas how I can be praying for him??

6:13 Ro828: Koko: My H didn't think he was in crisis either.

6:14 Cricket
[Facilitator]: koko - I don't think most of our spouses think its mlc. They really convince themselves we are the cause of their depression. Jim can give you some tips on what you can do to help your W work thru this.

6:14 MAS: koko: I don't think that most spouses know they're in MLC and become very defensive if you mention it. in the fire. Any ideas how I can be praying for him??

6:17 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: Welcome Koko Sir and StressedHusband. It’s nice to have some new men joining us tonight. Hope you're well. I'm Jim Conway, President of Midlife Dimensions. This room is here to encourage you and answer questions you have about your current situation. Important: Do NOT share personal information such as an email address, phone #, home address, or any names. Now, here's how to join in. 1) Type the name of the person you want to speak to before you type your entry. 2) You're limited to 250 keystrokes per entry. If your entry is long, then click “chat” to post it and start your next entry with the word “continued”. 3) Use the words “To All” if you have a general entry not directed to one person. 4) If you’d like to contact someone in the room, email or call us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 714-768-1777. We’ll have them contact you to exchange information.

6:14 koko: Jim- what if your spouse doesn’t know they are in mlc should you tell them? is it normal not to have physical intimacy for a long period of time 1yr

6:20 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:14 koko: Most midlife crisis people do not know that they are experiencing a midlife crisis - in fact they think that everyone else is acting strangely. It is also common for people in mlc to withdraw from physical intimacy because of shame that they feel, or because they are living in a fantasy world with someone else, or that they are in a physical affair with someone else.

6:14 Cricket [Facilitator]: Stressed - Good to see you tonight.

6:14 stressedhusband: hello Cricket

6:14 ndakmom: still and koko- as far as I know my H doesn't feel he's in mlc either, however I have never brought it up and he's never said anything either. As far as I know he still thinks he just no longer loves me and I'm not sure if he thinks more or not

6:15 Swanlake: helpme - being in MLC as it is and now having this happen has to be really hard on him. Mlcer's have a difficult enough time being responsible for daily things, but now to have been needed to actually save her, wow! Do you think he might begin to self medicate to help him dull the screams he is hearing in his head? Does she have family nearby that can help taking care of her; he most likely isn't going to be able to handle the stress of that responsibility either.

6:16 Cricket [Facilitator]: Stressed - Just so you know, there is another guy in the group tonight, koko. Hopefully Tamashii will join us soon too.

6:16 stressedhusband: ok, thanks

6:17 Ro828: Swan: What I don't understand is that he ran from me b/c of too much responsibility but then ran to OW who had much more responsibility and was needier. I don't understand why they do this.

6:18 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - It is typical for mlcrs to fight depression & when they can't work it thru, they magnify little thing in the marriage and convince themselves it's us. It's easier to blame things around them then to face things they've buried that are causing the mlc.

6:18 Still: Dr. Conway @ 6:15. I understand what you are saying. My H still lives at home. We get along fine for a roommate situation. I think he is focused on a fantasy life that he wants badly. He has not treated me as a wife in nearly 2 years.

6:22 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:18 Still: Generally 2 years is a long time for a couple to act as roommates. Have you identified what it is about you that is no longer attractive to him, and are you working to change that?

6:18 Plumcrazy: Jim---How is Jan's Dad doing?

6:25 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:18 Plumcrazy: Jan's dad, Harry, is doing great.

6:18 MAS: Cricket: I guess I'm having some brain fog today. I really can't remember what I wanted to ask!

6:19 helpme: Swanlake; Yes, she has a sister who is an EMT & will be staying as much as possible with them, and her boys are both in high school so they will be able to help also. I guess my concern is H's mental state & how he's having trouble getting the scream out of his head especially at nights.

6:19 Swanlake: helpme - I have been praying for her healing and for God to enable your husband to cope with the experience. Maybe pray for God to grant him peace in what they experienced and that He give your husband strength to move past the horrible memories.

6:19 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - I'm sorry, I got side tracked. Please don't feel embarrassed, just like our H’s; when we're under a lot of stress, our memory suffers. Happens to us all.

6:20 steadfast: Jim: we are already in legal meetings so once division of assets etc occurs. I t will be hard to slow h down. H indicates in meetings just wanting to get rid of me --do a buy out for spousal support, divorce and cut me off medical benefits H doesn't want connection with me after 3 years--avoids coming around; doesn't want to hear from me; and detests emails from me even about things that have to be taken care of re our s etc. Just wants me gone. Making him do a search for necessary papers to file to divorce me is a last ditch effort along with prayer that h efforts be thwarted. How do I get h to see changes when he wants nothing to do with me and wants to get rid of me. Being legal meetings doesn't help h see me differently. H hates me and resents money it will cost to settle our affairs.

6:28 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:20 steadfast: keep working through your attorney, because every time you try to work with your husband directly, it will cause him to dislike you more.

6:21 Swanlake: Ro828 - I have to admit I don't understand it either but because of the long time relationship we have with them, they come to think of these responsibilities as burdens, however, when they are with a new romance, it is more of a feeling of being

6:21 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - I suggested you ask Jim for any tips to overcome the feeling of emotional paralysis, especially when your Dr didn't increase or change your meds.

6:21 helpme: Swanlake; Ok, thanks, I just wasn't sure how I could pray for him....

6:21 evaline: Dr. Conway, my h and his girlfriend have been together since he moved out 5 months ago, they are dating hot and heavy, before he moved out he treated me as a roommate, how can I get him back when he is so sexually involved with younger OW

6:26 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:21 evaline: generally the issues are more than just a younger woman. Let me ask you how you are doing in the three areas that midlife men complain about. 1. Midlife Men complain that their wives are naggy, controlling, and often boss them around like children (sometimes men do act like children). 2. Midlife Men complain that their wives are overweight, out of shape, and do not 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. 3. Midlife Men complain that their wives 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. How are you doing in these three areas?

6:22 Still: Koko, I don't believe there has ever been any OW, but my husband has admitted that he has fantasies of other relationships. He has not approached me with affection or intimacy in over a year.

6:22 Swanlake: Ro828 - continued - desired and the knight in shining armor who saves the day. But these feelings of grandeur with the other woman will become not so shining with time.

6:22 Ro828
: Swan: Hmmm, now that makes sense. Never thought of it like that. So.....in essence it may be only a matter of time before they feel the burden of responsibility with them as well.

6:22 MAS: Cricket: Thanks for understanding! :)

6:23 MAS: Cricket: Oh yes, now it's coming back to me.

6:23 Ro828: Swan 6;22. Therein lies the rub with me...I wonder how long it takes before he will realize that too is unfulfilling.

6:24 Still: Dr. Conway at 6:22. Yes, I have addressed every issue he identified. He has even told me that I have made great strides in every area, but he has no desire to try, doesn't know what he wants anymore.

6:34 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:24 Still: Most men will not tell you the truth about what really bothers them. So you need to learn from outside sources what men generally complain about, and then make sure you have corrected those areas.

6:24 koko: Jim-do not believe there is an affair, lives at home ,sleeps in same bed. Comes home every night after work. Doesn’t go out. Started going to church sometimes taking my daughters, does not want me to go. Advice

6:36 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:24 koko: How are you doing with the issues that women typically complain about when they want to leave their husbands? Women say, 1. He is too controlling, dominating and “it’s all about him.” 2. He doesn't understand that I'm growing (spiritually/mentally) as a person and he is not encouraging me in my career, education, or other activities. 3. He doesn't take care of his physical body, hygiene, and general appearance (sometimes I can't stand to touch his flabby body).

6:24 Swanlake: Ro828 - typically those who have found themselves in relationships with others outside of their marriage, begin to feel the burden of responsibility with that person too. This is a big reason why 2nd marriage survival is decreased, old baggage, stress, the urge to want to run, etc.

6:24 Cricket [Facilitator]: sbky- I missed your comment originally about your son's grades. I am sorry. It is so sad how the stress of all of this affects them in so many ways. I know Morwenna is facing similar concerns.

6:25 helpme: Swanlake; H did tell me he has ask for more work & will be keeping pretty busy this week at work. I do know this is how he 'tries' to avoid things so will see how that goes for him, but maybe work is what he needs to keep his mind off this, you think

6:25 Still: Dr. Conway, My H went through a period of time where he was constantly going to concerts, secretly drinking, going out. I all stopped suddenly for about 6 months. Now, he is back to scheduling concerts and drinking again. Never drank prior to MLC.

6:37 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:25 Still: Apparently he had hoped for a short period of time that things were going to get better, but now he has dropped back to some of his escape and fantasy life. What areas is he more likely to want more change from you in?

6:26 Plumcrazy: Jim---so glad to hear that Give Jan my love!

6:27 Cricket [Facilitator]: Helpme - I will pray with you too. He is lucky that he is able to share his emotions with you and have your prayers.

6:27 Swanlake: helpme - sounds like the guilt and responsibility of this might drive a wedge between them as he makes himself "busy" to forget what happened.

6:27 Ro828: Swan: My H got involved with an abusive mess of a person but yet he still wanted to be with her. It's been 3 years and they are still together. His entire relationship with her has been a bundle of stress and yet he chose her.

6:28 Cricket [Facilitator]: Jim - We're so glad to hear Harry is doing well. Now how about the both of you. I'm sure this has been very difficult, especially for Jan.

6:38 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:28 Cricket: Thanks for asking - it was very stressful for Jan, but we are grateful for the army of prayer supporters who encouraged us through the heavy time. Harry is now back to normal activities as if nothing had ever happened.

6:28 helpme: Cricket; I am glad he lets me know these things also : ) They have been a long time coming

6:28 steadfast: Cricket: Lisa/ all : any thoughts on when and where next retreat will be held?

6:32 LisaK
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:28 steadfast: Nothing is planned yet. I'm working on it.

6:28 MAS: Jim: Sometimes I become so emotionally paralyzed by my situation that I am literally unable to do any of the things you suggest to try and move forward with my life. I am on medication right now but it doesn't seem to be working. What do you suggest

6:41 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:28 MAS: It's easy to become paralyzed when there's such a traumatic situation as this. It's necessary for you to get your stability of your regular connection with God. I would also encourage you to tell your doctor that the meds are not helping - your doctor has many different meds that act in very different ways. Meds do take time though, so you doctor would tell you if the meds you are currently trying have had sufficient time to work yet or not.

6:29 Cricket [Facilitator]: Helpme - Yes this is a praise that he knows he can share with you. It really is one more thing to help that connection even though this will be a difficult time.

6:29 steadfast: Jim: Unfortunately, in collaborative law which is being pushed here, h and I are expected to work out our issues in the presence of our lawyers. We have to do the talking and come to an agreement. It is felt that we know our issues better than lawyers and /or a judge. The legal system is too backed up and the legal system is pushing for everything here to go to the collaborative process first

6:42 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:29 steadfast: The collaborative process is alright as long as you're getting outside counsel from a lawyer who can coach you about what positions you should be taking.

6:30 Swanlake: Ro828 - my husband married the other woman and says that he is miserable, hates life, is angry every second of every day every since they started living together 4 years ago. He also says that he owes her because she left her husband and son to be with him. He doesn't consider that she was on a website looking for someone while she was married or that she asked him out first, he feels guilty and has taken on 100% of their adultery on himself.

6:30 Cricket [Facilitator]: Steadfast - Lisa is working on retreat planning now but I don't think she has a date or settled for sure on the location, but she's deep in the midst of working on this.

6:31 helpme: Swanlake; I hope he will deal with it though...sooner or later it tends to cause more problems, if you know what I mean....

6:31 Ro828: Jim: 6:26. What if you weren't overweight. Took care of yourself. Had a very active sex life and was very independent -- good career. Very active in terms of hobbies and interests, had lots of interests. I was all that and he still crisised.  

6:44 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:31 Ro828: Remember that you are making this evaluation from your point of view. What would your husband say if I were talking with him alone about these issues. It's best to keep looking through your mates eyes to understand what needs to be changed.

6:31 steadfast: Cricket: thanks

6:31 MAS: steadfast@6:28: That's exactly what I've been wondering. I, for one, am ready for another retreat.

6:32 Cricket [Facilitator]: Helpme - Even being able to talk to you about this and his feelings is a step in dealing with it. In the past, he wouldn't have felt he had anyone to talk about it with. I'm sure you are doing active listening and reassuring him when he opens up.

6:32 steadfast: MAS: I have never been able to get to a first one yet--tried but never worked out

6:32 Plumcrazy: Cricket---After the nastiness of last week H initiated intimacy. then he suggested we go out to eat as a family has been a long time since we did that. D was in a foul mood and was obnoxious so I told D to stop carrying on, H gave me dirty look. I stopped talking to D. he was upset for a little bit then he smiled. he changed the subject with D

6:32 sadwife1: Ro at 6:31. I am right there with you. I don't think it's the woman all the time. This is very much the man being out of his mind and ultimately, he has to take responsibility for it someday!

6:33 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - How long have you & your W been married? ALSO - Was there a serious illness, death of a loved one that may have triggered this.

6:34 MAS: steadfast@6:32: I sure hope you can make it to the next one. You will get so much out of it.

6:34 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - That's a great step for your H. AS far as your D, if you can approach it as a team with your H, it helps. If you look to him to deal with it WITH him, he feels your respect & helps unite the two of you. It also in time will show your D she can't manipulate the two of you.

6:34 helpme: Cricket; Yes, I listen a lot when he talks....have noticed so many times it just seems like he just needs someone to talk to! I told him tonight I would be praying that he would be able to sleep & get some rest and he said 'thank you very much'.

6:34 Ro828: Swan 6:30. I don't understand that logic. I believe my H feels same way. He feels "loyal" to her but didn't care what he did to me and our marriage. Sooooo, confusing.

6:35 steadfast: Lisa; thanks

6:36 Still: Dr. Conway @ 6:34. I have tried to find out. His friends say that he says nothing except we grew apart. We spent several months in marriage counseling and he kept saying that I was a good person, but he just didn't love me anymore.

6:48 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:36 Still: People generally fall in love with each other because they sense unconscientiously that this person will fulfill my needs - for companionship, for sex, for understanding, for intellect, and so on. All of these decisions happen unconscientiously as 2 people meet. So it's very important to identify what is it that will unconscientiously draw your husband back to a loving relationship with you. At this time in his life, does he need a sexy hot playful companion type woman, or does he need a stable person who can produce children and raise a good family? Most midlife men are wanting the first type of woman at midlife.

6:36 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - The thing to remember is that mlc is an illness. I know of many who dealt with thoughts of suicide and even attempted suicide in mlc due to the depression & confusion. We think they're having their cake & their journey is easy. In reality I wouldn't trade places with a mlcer for anything.

6:37 koko: cricket-15yrs, I think I was having my own mlc, W in-laws live with us both became ill same time 4-5 yrs ago better now, I was real worried finances unhappy with work

6:37 sadwife1
: Cricket: Yes that is what I mean. Sometimes there is nothing more we can do
except live our lives as best we can (we are already thin, etc). I am in that boat now and thankfully, h is coming home next month but he still can't explain why he left or why he is coming back.

6:37 Ro828: Sadwife: 6:32. Thanks.

6:37 Swanlake: Ro828 - it is very confusing why they feel obligated to these women and were able to walk away from us. It is part of the MLC mentality, they already feel a large amount of confusion and guilt, then you add another woman and that guilt, it just becomes more than they can handle, so they try to make the best of their current relationship for a season, then they eventually realize they can't do it anymore either and that relationship breaks down completely too.

6:38 Still
: Dr. Conway -H attends church and Bible study with our family every week. We do all kinds of recreational stuff as a family....but nothing as a couple. I just don't know what to make of any of this. He only becomes angry if we talk about "us".

6:51 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:38 Still: There is still something about "us" that he doesn't like. And he doesn't have the emotional energy to talk about it because he is so depressed. He is using up all his emotional reserves at work so he has nothing left for creative problem solving when he gets home. Many midlife men deal with depression - it is common for aging men to be depressed and to need some sort of chemical help to give a little boost to their serotonin level. His depression doesn't mean that he is a failure, it simply means that he needs a bit of chemical help right now.

6:38 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - Even though my H said it was his fault that we grew apart. He did talk about not feeling he could do things with guy friends, that I over-talked issues. He complained when I reminded him to take his vitamins or meds... (I know realize that he felt smothered/mothered)

6:38 sadwife1: Ro: I just can relate to what you said.

6:38 Ro828: Swan: At least your H talks to you. Mine has not reached out but I don't believe it's b/c he doesn't want to, I believe he is too filled with guilt and shame and cannot.

6:38 CindyJ: Cricket & Sadwife @ 6:36....I've been reading along and this time I had to say I agree with you. I have thought many times that I wouldn't trade places either. Including getting married while going through this. It just shows how very sad and hurt they are.

6:38 helpme
: Cricket; I was so floored when I got his e mail about what happened & noticed he sent it at 3;00 am....told Swanlake by his wording could tell he was asking for prayer for ow without flat out asking.... he knew I would pray too..

6:38 Plumcrazy: Jim---Do you have any idea why it seems that our H's go out of their way to say the most vile hurtful things to us? H got upset at something I said. He became extremely nasty and dropped me off in tears at work

6:53 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:38 Plumcrazy: Many midlife men act like children trying to say things which give pain to their wives. Sometimes men will say terrible things because they are deliberately trying to punish their wife for something they think of as a failure on her part.

6:39 Still: Dr. Conway at 6:37. I wish I knew what else he wanted to see change. I have virtually taken over all the household tasks inside and out. He is so depressed and checked out of life at home. He functions well at work and socially.

6:41 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - What happened with your in-laws would definitely be a stressor for you and your W & something that can trigger mlc. The stress that this brought to you finances & other issues are another part. I learned we all go through midlife, it becomes midlife CRISIS when there are issues that have been buried & not dealt with. It's important that you recognize this & trying to learn & work on issues.

6:41 koko: Jim- I am in shape, never been about me. want to see her grow but she won’t let me, says she has no feelings for me, doesn’t know what she wants, we are planning a family trip to Disney this summer. How do I communicate build trust and intimacy w/out doing anything, I am loving w, trying to love myself at same time. Should I attempt small physical touch(back rub), light touches?

6:56 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:41 koko: I would encourage you to go on Amazon and buy a used book on "Women In Midlife Crisis". This will help you to understand what she is going through now. You can go through our book links to get to the MLD Amazon bookstore. If you go to Focus on the Family, you can get the CD recording of Sally and I talking on this subject and book.

6:41 Swanlake: Ro828 - no, my husband hasn't had any contact with me in over two years, the other woman is not comfortable with that and has forbidden even the mention of my name. I do hear about his from our children from time to time, he did call me about 28

6:41 Still: Cricket @ 6:38. I know what you are saying. I don't mother my husband at all. He has always come and gone as he pleased. In fact, one of his buddies told me, "of all people to have issues, Mr. Still has always had such a free lifestyle"

6:41 sadwife1: All: it comes down to asking God what path He wants us to follow and let Him lead. Gosh there was nothing else I could do but that. I kept hearing "love him through it" at the beginning. Now that he's coming back I'm feeling more like I have to make sure I make my needs heard at the same time that I continue to show him the respect he needs.

6:56 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:41 sadwife1: Your description is quite accurate for the responses of the mate who is trying to save the marriage.

6:42 Swanlake: Ro828 - continued - months ago because of a dream he had and was worried about me, he told me then that he is miserable and when our daughter asked what we talked about and I told her he was laughing, she told me he never laughs anymore and will from

6:42 Swanlake: Ro828 - continued - time to time say how bad things are for her father.

6:42 Ro828: Swan: 6:38. I pray for that to happen every day. I like what you said about "for a season".

6:44 steadfast: Jim: Thanks for your answers Jim. Much appreciated.

6:45 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - If you can get Jim's book - Men in Midlife Crisis also A book he recommends on this site - Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti by Bill & Pam Farrell

6:45 evaline: Dr. Conway, my H seems to be more loyal to the OW, when he moved out he told me well I do work with her and when I ask him to break up with her, he said she wont understand why I stop talking to her on the phone he seems to be happy I have decided to give him to God ,,I don’t call him I give him all the space he needs, I don’t call him unless it has to do with business,,,, I need to talk to him about how we are going to do our taxes but when I hear his voice I miss him

6:58 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:45 evaline: It's common to see people at midlife become more loyal to the person they're having the affair with than to their family. They feel the family will continue to stay with them, but they are working hard at keeping the other person in this relationship. It is important to give him space, but it is also important to make changes so that you become increasingly interesting to him.

6:46 MAS: Cricket/BlueSky: I just wanted to share a small praise with you both. My H called this afternoon after our conversations. He actually invited me to stop over to see his new house whenever I get the chance!

6:47 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko & Sadwife - Jim recommends a book that I also found was really helpful - His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley Jr.

6:47 helpme: MAS; WOW !!!

6:47 Ro828: Swan: 6:41. Do OW feel guilt for taking another woman's husband? The OW my H got involved in has done this before. She lasted 20 years with the OM before he passed away. They too had a volatile relationship.

6:47 Still: Mas, that is great.

6:47 steadfast: All: I have an early day tomorrow and a few things left to do tonight and want to take some time for devotions before bed. Hope to see you all in chat again. Lifting you all up in prayer. Glad to know that Harry is doing better Jim. God bless.

6:47 sadwife1: Cricket: does that deal with rebuilding? That is what I need right now so we don't rebuild a broken marriage like the old one

6:48 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - Jim introduced us to Bill Farrell who wrote Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti - He is a wonderful speaker and really does a great job of helping understand how our spouses communicate differently.

6:48 Ro828: Swan 6:42. That is so sad. Can you imagine living your life that way.

6:49 MAS: helpme: Yes, wow! :)

6:49 Swanlake: Ro828 - yes the other woman feels guilt, guilt for what she has done to her own family, the hurt caused to many because of their relationship, however, if your husband's guilt isn't enough to turn him from the relationship, hers definitely isn't, she

6:49 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Both the books are helpful to show us things we can do differently, The book His Need, Her needs - is described as helping a couple fall back in love and stay in love.

6:50 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - As Jim said, if we don't step back and look at things we could have done better & work on making changes in ourselves, we tend to fall into old habits.

6:50 MAS: Still: Thank you so much!

6:50 sadwife1: I personally like the Love and Respect book the best. It makes most sense to me and really works. It was one of the small things I believe is bringing him back.

6:50 Still: Dr. Conway @ 6:48. I have always had a much higher need for intimacy. When he first starting having symptoms, his complaint was that all thought about was intimacy. In spite of the way he feels, he has asked that we schedule a family vacation soon. I have suspected the part about "us" that he doesn't like is that he wishes he had a relationship with someone who has given him an ego boost with her flirtations. He said it "messed up his head" and he started feeling differently for me.

7:03 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:50 Still: Some of his problems with discussing "us" is definitely sexual. There is some reason why he doesn't feel sexually stimulated by you - any clues?

6:50 helpme: MAS; That was a big step for him I'd say : )

6:50 Swanlake: Ro828 - continued - doesn't have a direct emotional connection with you. Usually these woman are in their own crisis and just like our husbands are searching for whatever will take away their misery.

6:50 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - THAT IS A PRAISE ---- see one more positive sign about your H moving closer. NOW, let's get you healthy okay?

6:51 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Did you finish any questions on the insurance form? Remember I told you I'd ask.

6:51 Plumcrazy: Cricket---d has been having some mental issues and carrying on. she was just upset and yelling. H sat there mouthing off after she left the room. Using curse words. I said "what's wrong are you the only one able to mouth off?

6:51 MAS: helpme@6:50: And a big surprise for me!

6:52 Ro828: Jim 6:44. Well, he sort of did tell me, I guess. He said I was too good for him. I was too accomplished. Everyone liked me and not him. I too pretty and he was ugly. In that regard, what might I do that would change his opinion about how he feels?

7:05 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:52 Ro828: Your husband is wrestling with insecurity, it might relate to his job, not just you. He needs lots of affirmation. You need to provide as much as you can.

6:53 MAS: Cricket@6:50 As crazy as it sounds, I need things like that to happen to give me the INCENTIVE to get healthy.

6:53 Swanlake: Ro828 - who know why that relationship lasted 20 years, misery sometimes likes company, maybe his spouse before her wouldn't accept him back, the past really doesn't matter as for the what and why, just pray for the now and God's will.

6:53 helpme: MAS; See, when you least expect it, the Lord will surprise you with a blessing such as this : )

6:53 koko: Jim-W is also RN at a cancer center lot of stress, we do get along ok I am trying to be a better listener, what other advice do you have to help me. I do have cd, does book have more info? thanks

7:06 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: 6:53 koko: Your wife's career is obviously a part of the stressing factor. The book I mentioned will give you far more help than I can do in a short chat room - and yes the book does have lots more than the CD.

6:53 sadwife1: Ro at 6:52. Did you read the Love and Respect book? I really recommend it. I think it's more about that sometimes then anything

6:54 Plumcrazy: Cricket---H was like "Bite me" I wanted to say You carry on worse than that and are mean to people, but I bit my tongue. Seriously cant he see how he acts influences the kids. S is getting mouthy like his D towards me

6:54 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - HEY - remember the prayer about the Lord having his arm around your shoulder & his hand over your mouth. It really is important that you don't say things this way. It would be better to approach it by saying something like - I know it was frustrating, how would you approach this? Get him to feel that you are willing to work with him with the kids.

6:56 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - It would defuse your H's anger if you approach him for his input in how to reach the kids. The other way just ends up creating an argument and feels like finger pointing. The quick temper is typical mlc and regardless of how he acts, isn't a reason for the kids to act out. If you can work with your H on a united front, it will help him too.

6:56 Ro828: Swan 6:50. Well, in my H's case it's a roof over her head, financial support for her kids, a vehicle to get around and enough money to support her unhealthy lifestyle. She didn't have any of that before H -- except unhealthy lifestyle.

6:56 MAS: Cricket@6:51: Yes! I knew you were going to ask so I made sure I started filling out the form. I got to page 2 and then got a phone call from a good friend who had been in the hospital. But I can honestly say that I DID get started on it!

6:57 Plumcrazy: Jim --H said something about the wouldn’t blame me if I HATED him. I said I don’t hate you, it would be easier if I did. H said I can make you hate me I said "no you can’t" He said you will see." The H said you and the world will be surprised by what I do. I don’t know what to make of that

7:07 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 6:57 Plumcrazy: I am also not sure what he's saying. But he is clearly trying to create some drama which will draw more affection from you. Solution: give him lots of affirmation about the amazing person that he is.

6:57 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - That's okay, I just want to hear progress. Would you try to answer a couple more questions after chat?

6:58 sadwife1: Thank you Jim. I am praying even more now that he's returning.

6:58 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - But finishing the first page was wonderful too. I didn't mean to sound like I wasn't pleased with your start.

6:59 Ro828: Swan 6:53. That's why I think H is still w/ her. He's in his own misery. Wouldn't want to come home alone. Too much 'me' work he'd have to do. Easier to blame me. Yes, I continue to prays God's will. Tomorrow is his b-day.

6:59 MAS: helpme@6:53: And God only knows how I needed it today! :)

6:59 sbky: all I have been talking to my son about his grades and was not here for most of the night . for anyone that knows I was sick last night I am feeling some better left work early and went to the Dr.

6:59 Ro828: Swan 6:53. I can't even acknowledge that b/c lifestyle is so spiraled many feel if I open door he will use me for money. So sad.

7:00 sbky: all thanks for your prayers

7:00 helpme: Plumcrazy; When I first found out about ow I told H 'but I love you'..he said 'but you should hate me'...then I said 'but I love you', he says 'but you should hate me'...we went on with that for 45 minutes...then he just walked out...

7:00 Plumcrazy: Sbky--Glad you are feeling better

7:00 sadwife1: God Bless everyone! Have a good night!

7:00 Cricket [Facilitator]: Ro828 - My H's OW had a history of pursuing married men. I met a wonderful woman at church who told me she'd been an OW for years. She'd been molested for years by her Dad & when she told her Mom, Mom sided with Dad & didn't protect. This woman said she realizes now she looked for instant gratification & didn't feel worthy of something more for a long time.

7:01 Ro828: Sadwife1: 6:53. No, I haven't. What is it about?

7:01 sbky: plum thanks Vr was asking about you in the other chat

7:01 koko: God bless

7:01 helpme: MAS; I really believe friend you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for

7:01 MAS: Cricket: Yes, for you, I will!

7:03 helpme: God Bless Each And Every One! In my prayers, good night

7:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: koko - Also the book Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti that Jim has recommended really helped explain how men & women communicate differently.

7:03 sbky: night all..

7:03 MAS: Cricket: The insurance agent actually contacted me while I was on my other call, but I wasn't able to switch over to talk to him. He's been waiting for the form for about a week, so I really don't even know what to say to him.

7:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - THANK YOU... you don't know how much that means to me.

7:04 Plumcrazy: Nite all

7:04 Still: Dr. Conway. I am sure it was because I was overweight., but I have lost 60 lbs.

7:08 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 7:04 Still: We all applaud your giant weight loss. But remember to ask yourself what weight is really pleasing to my husband? Most of the time I tell women that they should think about getting within 20 pounds of their wedding weight.

7:04 Ro828
: Cricket: 7:00. I can't believe you mentioned this. My H's OW was also molested by her step-father. Her very own mother left her biological father for OM. OW was not protected by her mother either.

7:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Tell the agent how you have felt overwhelmed with finding all the info.

7:05 MAS: helpme@7:01: Thank you, but sometimes I don't feel very strong at all.

7:05 Swanlake: Mas - that is why you don't stand on your own strength, but on the strength of God, He is always strong

7:06 Cricket [Facilitator]: Ro828 - I've spent some time learning about OW and I think it is very typical that they have been abused by a family member. They don't feel worthy of a real relationship and we know the terrible statistics on relationships from adultery

7:06 MAS: Cricket@7:03: I mean it! :)

7:06 evaline: Dr. Conway,, I have worked on my appearance but I don’t know if I can be more interesting, I work 40 hrs a week, I am 53 yr old , I do housework. This Younger OW is a different culture lighter skin , has younger friends and I sure it more exciting

7:10 Dr. Jim Conway [Midlife Dimensions]: 7:06 evaline: The other woman is a temporary excitement for your husband. But you need to be more than just a good homemaker - look at ways to be more spontaneous, more fun, so that your husband doesn't have to depend on this other woman for fun and excitement.

7:07 MAS: Swanlake@7:05: Thank you. And I do try.

7:07 Ro828: Jim 7:05. We have no communication at the present time but if the Lord leads us back together I will work on this so I will be prepared.

7:07 Swanlake: MAS - as Master Yoda would say "try, try not - DO!"

7:07 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - I believe you. How about sending me an email tonight to let me know how it went. It can be short, like Hey I completed 1 or 2 more questions

7:08 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - See SWAN and I are on the same page - we're going to take the word CAN'T and TRY out of your vocabulary! LOL

7:08 MAS: Swanlake@7:07: I never saw that movie!! LOL :)

7:09 Plumcrazy: Jim --Interesting. Another friend said something about H creating drama too

7:09 Cricket [Facilitator]: PLUM - HUMM Where have you heard that before, right? LOL

7:09 Still: Dr. Conway, I am less than 10 lbs. of my wedding weight. He tells others I look good, but not me.

7:12 LisaK
[Programmer]: 7:09 Still: Before Jim hung up with me, he wanted me to tell you that it's most likely that he doesn't want to give you false hope.

7:09 MAS: Cricket@7:07: Okay, I will!

7:09 Swanlake: Mas - don't need to see the movie to get that trying is often an excuse for simply not doing it and we should strive to do, not try.

7:10 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Thank you, I'll be looking forward to hearing. It will feel good to think I may have helped a little in your making progress with that.

7:11 Dr. Jim Conway
[Midlife Dimensions]: Thanks everyone for being in the chat room today. If you got lost during the chat process, check back later to find the edited chat dialogue posted in the archives, there you can read it at your own pace. It's been fun talking with you today. We, at Midlife Dimensions, will remember you and your marriages in prayer throughout the week. Warmly in Christ, Jim.

7:11 MAS: Swanlake: I gotcha.

7:11 Still: Thanks, everyone!

March 15, 2010 / with Jim Conway

6:04 graceful: Dr Conway. On Saturday my H came over to the house saying that he has forgiven me and wants us to work on reconciliation. Then today he says that he would love to be reconciled but he is not sure and that he loves his single life right now.

6:09 Dr. Jim Conway
[Administrator]: 6:04 graceful: We all are very excited that your husband wants to work on reconciliation. Remember that it is important to do the right stuff or else your marriage will just repeat the problems that you have just gone through. For example: if you broke your leg, it wouldn't be enough to put band-aids on the outside scratches on your skin - it would be necessary to set the bones and put a cast on your leg to keep the bones straight. The same is true with marriage reconciliation. Both of you saying you want to be reconciled is a good start, but it's not enough. You need to be involved in counseling so that you can discover why the marriage came apart -and fix those problems. Otherwise, you will repeat the same mistakes again. So - you need to take the time to heal just like your bones in a cast must heal.

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March 8, 2010 / with Jim Conway

6:39 Still: Jim at 6:37. I have always felt that my marriage could be saved. H has never left because of our young children. I work very hard to provide the most comfortable environment, free of relationship talks. Patience is my downfall.

6:47 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:39 Still: There are many sides to this problem. Part of you may be saying, "why should I be patient when he is such a jerk?" But I suspect that he may be trying your patience so that you will look like the bad person, or that you might become so discouraged that you will kick him out of the marriage. There probably are some areas which specifically disturb him about your marriage relationship. It's crucial that you discover what these are and do what you can to correct them.

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Feb. 15, 2010 / with Jim Conway

7:01 graceful: Dr. Conway I made a lot of mistakes in our M but my H never admits what his contribution to the state of our M is he just blames me for everything and I do not understand why he does these things

7:07 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 7:01 graceful: just keep concentrating on your issues and allow God to continue the process of bringing awareness to your husband. Right now he is afraid that if he tells you he is sorry, or has failed you, that will mean that he is going to be coming back soon - and he does not want to communicate that to you - so he ignores saying anything affirming or apologetic.

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Feb. 8, 2010 / with Jim Conway

6:56 evaline: Jim, Thanks, I understand that, I am soo hurt because of the adultery , lying and betrayal and the D is almost final now, so much money has already been spent, I don’t know what to do

7:02 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:56 evaline: I firmly believe it's always too early to give up. Keep working on the positive areas that God has pointed out to you, that you need to change - regardless of whether the divorce goes through or not. I have also watched couples come back together after the divorce - so don't let yourself slide into despondency and depression.

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