Sometimes a situation will cycle, because there is unfinished emotional business lying within. Where does that leave you? Well, if you are navigating through a recent backslide of a situation this is NOT ABOUT YOU! It’s about your midlife husband, and every emotional problem HE HAS.
This is still a man who still doesn’t know what he wants. Like most midlife spouses, he is cycling between wanting his family, and wanting the single life. He’s searching for his life’s companion, and in doing that, he’s torn his family apart. He’s searching for solace that he will NEVER get from you. This same solace can be found in GOD and in himself, but he’s still choosing to look outside to try and resolve his inside problem.
Instead of getting angry and WRONGLY accusing God of abandoning you, forsaking you, and even lying to you, I think you need to calm down and consider all of the times that God has been with you, carried you, and taken care of you, when your husband has refused to take that responsibility of care for his wife and family.
If I told you I never got mad at God, lightning wouldn’t be far behind that false statement. 🙂
We can’t forget that God holds a bigger picture than what we can see. God knows the past, the now, and the future ahead. Since He knows what’s coming, it would behoove us to trust Him, and stop wasting our anger on a God who knows why this backslide occurred, but He also knows that some people will never learn the most important lessons of their life if they never make the serious mistakes that bring forth this learning.
Believe me, when I tell you that I have been there, walked that same road, and some roads I walked twice or more. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes it was my husband’s fault, and sometimes, it was both of our faults.
Completing each step of this process takes completing the steps within–and if people don’t complete each part of the process that lies within the process, then they will recycle back through until they get every aspect, or keep cycling for the rest of their lives.
You do NOT have any control over this process. You cannot “make” this man do what you want him to do. You cannot manipulate God into doing what you want, when you want it, and getting mad at God, and calling Him a liar is only going to hurt you–not God.
My husband went through this process in a text-book fashion, but he recycled one of the stages–the fifth stage, which is Withdrawal, AND his processing was interrupted while he was in the first stage of healing by a single issue he tried to bury that I wasn’t aware of. That took him through additional years of crisis.
In time, I completed my Transition in full, came back together, fully mature, with full self-awareness, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had dealt with him off and on during my Transition, but it never occurred to me that he was going through a second bout of midlife crisis that involved a single painful issue he tried to unsuccessfully bury.
When it became very clear what was happening, honey, let me tell you I was so angry. I nearly blew the top of my head off, felt like I was having a stroke, and was even angrier, because I had done all of this work on myself, and my husband was STILL struggling. I even questioned if I had done something, missed something, or had not learned something.
For each question, God answered no, and said that this was NOT about ME,this was about him–that if I thought this was about me, then I was guilty of making HIS crisis about ME, when it wasn’t. It was about my husband who didn’t finish resolving one single issue, and a very painful one at that.
I always had the option of walking away. God wasn’t going to remove my choice, but I had a decision to make, and I made it once more to make another Stand.
This was for two reasons–
(1) I still loved him, and I still had hope.
(2) My husband destroyed himself, and his vows during that first bout of midlife crisis, but he did NOT destroy me, nor my vows.
So, once more I asked for strength, and I made a Stand that lasted nearly two more years, but this time he finished in full–after being brought down, because he broke his left ankle, due to circumstances that GOD had orchestrated.
It’s now been nearly several years since he finished that second bout of midlife crisis in full. Life isn’t perfect, but it was never designed to be perfection. Yet, it’s livable, I’m OK with it, and best I can tell, he’s OK, too.
People have asked me how I managed to get through all of that. God helped me through, God provided me with a good job, God provided me with circumstances that helped me get my space, and time needed to come through my Transition. God blessed me throughout, strengthened me in spite of everything, and last, but not least, I knew that as long as I had love in my heart for this man, there was always hope.
I prayed a lot during that time, I cried a lot during that time, too. I remember just after finding out he still had an issue, and I cried for what could have been, but never was. First, God comforted me, then showed me an outcome that at first I didn’t want to see. I was so discouraged, the road had been such a long one, and though I was an emotional survivor of many things, I was human, too–not made of stone.
I asked God what was the use of Standing when situations always seemed to get so much worse before they became better. I questioned Him seriously about why He had talked me out of walking away when it was discovered my husband was in that first bout of midlife crisis. I had been through a lot because of him, and even with him. I endured though serious trials I didn’t have to withstand. I made choices that I questioned at times, and I made judgment calls that I questioned at other times.
The easier thing to do is walk away–the harder thing to do is make a Stand. God had a purpose for all that I faced, and in time, I came through due to His Grace, which covered me from head to toe in His Love, His Protection, and His Strength.
I could not have successfully navigated through two bouts of a midlife crisis, overlapped with a single bout of a midlife transition, if it had NOT been for God, who not only helped me through, but also gave me the knowledge to pass on to others. People might not listen to what God has to say when He speaks through me, but that’s never about me–that’s about the people who aren’t listening to the sound counsel of God, who knows all things.
The people who do listen, and carry forth the instruction, are still going to have some troubles along the way, but they need to be walking their own journey, while the midlife spouse continues walking their own journey forward. These journeys are connected, but also separated. The midlife spouse is on one path, the left behind spouse is on another path. The goals are the same, the lessons are the same, but the timing of the learning and exercising of these lessons are NOT the same.
God is nobody’s fool, when He takes one person who is unaware, and the other who is aware, and orchestrates a process that has the midlife spouse triggering change, and the left behind spouse, reacting in anger, fear, etc. In time, the left behind spouse, who is reacting, begins to walk their journey, then, to learn how to respond, and the midlife spouse who initially triggered change eventually finds themselves triggered INTO change by the left behind spouse who is changing, and who is growing ahead, walking away, and eventually leaves the midlife spouse behind to figure out what they want to do.
Here’s my question–where is GOD forsaking anyone in this process? I don’t see it, because I lived through it, survived it, and God was always there for and with me. I had my doubts, but God countered those doubts with something I could see, so I could believe. And even when I could NOT see, I still had faith in Him who knows all things.
That’s not to say I didn’t ask questions, because I asked a LOT of questions designed to understand how this craziness would finally come to an end. There were times when I said, “Oh, God, what’s the use? We’ll be in this forever and a day.” But God said, “No, you won’t, because your journey walked forward, will lead you beyond this crisis.” He was right.
Why would He say this journey would bring me beyond this crisis? Because this was NOT MY CRISIS, NOT MY PROBLEM, NOT MY PAST TO FACE, and I could not do one thing for my husband—I could only LEARN to do for MYSELF….why? Because *I* was the only one that I was able to control. My husband had to learn to figure himself out, to choose his own path. Choosing to go forward, or backward, it was up to him, because HE was the one going through this midlife crisis, I was NOT, and I had to leave him behind to do just that.
When the situation didn’t go my way, I complained, but I did not accuse God of lying. I had already learned that there were many things that had to come to pass, before the outcome I was shown so early on, would come to pass.
These things included emotional cycling, touches and goes, confusion, angry confused spewing, arrogant justifications, the temptation to fall into sin, the temptation to skip forward into a place the midlife spouse isn’t ready for, and they’re cycled back to try again, the refusal to face Self at certain times, which results in becoming stuck in a rut, until the midlife spouse figures out they’re losing MORE than they’re gaining, and considering the fact that every relationship in this, is a long-term relationship, this factor increases the chance of surviving the crisis together.
However, there is one thing I have a lot of trouble getting people to understand. If you will do the work required for and upon yourself, God will do the work that only He can do. You can’t do anything for the midlife spouse, but everything for yourself. As long as you continue focusing totally on the midlife spouse, NO WORK is getting done on you, NOR is the midlife spouse being given the space and time to do their work, AND God is standing there with His Hands tied, because YOU think YOU know more than He does.
I have been there–believe me, I was guilty of tying God’s Hands. God did NOT need my help, but WHEN I asked God to work in the situation, and then jumped in front of Him, because I thought I knew more, God backed off–and Stood Still, waiting for me to finish making whatever mess I was in the process of creating, because of my impatience that led into direct interference. I didn’t know what I was doing, but God allowed me to make that mistake. When I was done, and the situation was worse than before, because of what *I* had done, the consequence for my disobedience was served in time that was added to the midlife crisis as a whole. The cycle that resulted was longer, and deeper than it might have been had I left everything alone.
Now, why don’t you all take the advice, let go, let God, detach, and distance from the drama and antics of your midlife spouse? Why does anyone think they can do better than the Most High? Why are people so afraid that if they don’t dabble in the situation, that their midlife spouse is never going to return? Why do some people think that creating drama with the affair partner is going to somehow turn the situation around, when it won’t, it will only make it worse?
Last, but not least, when are any of you going to realize that no matter what you do, no matter what you say, that your spouse’s midlife crisis is going to continue, regardless? AND, when are all of you going to realize that your growth is the only aspect you have any control over?
I don’t require answers to the above questions–these are questions you need to think about and answer for yourself. All I can do is seek to provoke thought, and show you some perspective gained from this experience.
Don’t let FEAR of losing something that has already been lost, prevent you from cutting all connections that bind you to your midlife spouse and learning to move forward for yourselves.
While I’ve got it on my mind–if you move ON, then that means you end the Stand, end the relationship, and though you might choose to move ON, you still have a journey.
To move forward is to NOT make a choice to end the relationship, to make a Stand, walk your journey, as it has been laid out for you, and trust God for the future. You can’t do both moving on, and moving forward. These are two separate aspects.
It’s like the midlife spouse moves FORWARD within their own process, and this would mean remaining WITHIN the process until it’s done and finished. However, if they sought to move ON past the their process, this would mean they would be attempting to avoid, skip, escape, or otherwise bury what cannot ever be buried deep enough that it never returns.
This is because what is not faced, will always return–that is a promise, and a fact, not a theory. It’s happened before many times in people’s lives, and I’ve also lived through this particular observation, and no one can ever convince me that I’m wrong about that.
I didn’t recycle past issues because I completed mine in full, but my husband DID recycle one issue he tried to bury, but it returned back to overrun him again–again, what isn’t faced, will always return, because the midlife crisis trial is an “all or nothing” kind of process. Food for thought.
In the meantime, it’s time for the left behind spouse to learn to function independently of the midlife spouse, and that means severing all connections that once bound you to them.
If you’re afraid that every connection will be lost, I promise you that there will be one remaining connection that will never sever, nor break–and that is the Marital Covenant Binding that GOD used to join the two people together in Holy Matrimony. No sin on the part of the midlife spouse will ever break that binding connection–it is unbreakable, and it cannot be severed.
Now, this is food for thought, and I hope it helps someone.