The Beatles sang, "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends", and that is so true. Regular Chat Room attendees become like a family to each other. Everyone is in the "Same Boat", just at different stages of their journeys. So, everyone is able to offer input, encouragement, and help to the group in their own special ways. Many friends send very helpful emails to be shared, and so we would like to post some of them here for all to benefit from. Enjoy.
Dear Midlife Dimensions and Chat Room Guests,
I have been visiting the chat room archives for over a year and I feel that I know everyone. I've read Jim's book, “Men In Midlife Crisis” and have a good grasp of what a midlife crisis is. I’m writing to share a bit of my story, and how I’ve made it through this rocky time. Although, I don’t attend the chat room sessions, I want to offer some encouragement for those who do, and are willing to open up and share their lives. Everyone’s questions and replies (in the chat rooms) have meant so much to me, and have taught me many important lessons.
My journey began shortly after my husband’s dad passed away. My husband told me, "I can't do this anymore" and he left. He had nowhere to go, so it wasn't planned, it was a knee jerk reaction to how he was feeling. I never got the “I don't love you anymore speech”. I was served with divorce papers nearly a year later. I was never told to expect them or that we were headed in that direction. When I asked him why he didn't tell me the divorce papers were coming, he said, “I couldn't”. It took a very long time for the divorce to go through. With no help from me, it was finalized about 2 and half years from the time he left.
I've seen changes in him and at times he acts downright looney. We have been in contact since the day he left. I have never wanted for anything financially, he saw to that. After taxes are paid, I get just about all of his pay check. That's where the other person comes in ... she is supporting him. He doesn't have the funds to have a place of his own. It is so uncharacteristic for him to let a woman support him.
After three plus years, and his living with another woman, I still get emails that say “we, us and ours”. I see his confusion and I know he is the one that has to bring himself out of this midlife fog. It is his battle, not mine. His family treats me as family and is my greatest support system. My husband has even said that he's glad they are taking care of me.
I'm finding that people don't understand my position (except my mother in law and sister in laws) regarding my marriage. So called friends, don't understand how I could possibly take John back. Well - the fact is I love him and we were married for better or worse. I had cancer years ago and he stood by me. My husband is having a spiritual battle, and it is my time to stand by him, even if it is from a distance.
Note, the reason my husband’s family is standing by me is because his dad left his mom (after 40 years of marriage, a large family, and being an elder in their church) Fortunately after 7 years and much difficulties, they reconciled. So, for my husband, this seems to be learned behavior, as he is his father's son.
My advice to any left-behind spouse (and especially to chat room guests):
No matter how bad it is, or how hard it gets, don't fight them, beg, or show that they've got you down. Show patience, growth, and unconditional respect and love. That is what I've done with my husband. While the circumstances aren't what I would like them to be, the door is still open and he knows it.
I want to be honest here and let you know that I cringe, and even talk out loud to the computer, when I read chat room posts from the left-behind spouses that just keep repeating their questions and don’t seem to “get it”. These people have to learn what this journey -- on both sides -- is all about. I guess we all make mistakes along the way, but the secret is to get ourselves under control as soon as we can and stop making the same mistakes over and over again. I know the areas I need to work on and I'm doing so every day. I know that my husband WILL NEVER return to the same circumstances he left. He also will never return to the house he left, the place the marriage failed, which is why I am selling the house. So yes, change no matter how hard, has to be done by the left-behind spouse. I know my husband well enough to know that we will need to come back together on neutral even ground.
You also have to BELIEVE in the power of prayer -- not just say you do, not just read the books because they are recommended, but really believe in the power of prayer. Three very good books that I recommend are by Charles Spurgeon, “The Power of Prayer in a Believers Life”, “The Power in Prayer”, and “Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit”. These books calmed me down, gave a boost to my prayer life, and helped my attitude towards prayers being answered God’s way.
In closing, I thank you for this site and chat room. They help to keep me steady and calm.
I expect one day this all will end and my husband will be back home. His use of pronouns, unknown to him, still show that he is connected and hasn't fully detached from “us”. My hope and trust will remain strong in Jesus. I can honestly say that I'm thankful to be going through this journey and for the chance to grow stronger and closer to Christ during this time.
Sincerely in Christ,
Your Midlife Friend
God: Recall Notice The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units, code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.
Some other symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction 2. Foul vocal emissions 3. Amnesia of origin 4. Lack of peace and joy 5. Selfish or violent behavior 6. Depression or confusion in the mental component 7. Fearfulness 8. Idolatry 9. Rebellion
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.
The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.
The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.
No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with: 1. Love 2. Joy 3. Peace 4. Patience 5. Kindness 6. Goodness 7. Faithfulness 8. Gentleness 9. Self control Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.
WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.
DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace.
The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!
P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by "knee-mail.' --Author Unknown