Uggg a year…why does this process have to take so long??????
That’s a question from someone who still has trouble understanding the process of emotional redevelopment as it must happen within people who have unresolved issues from the past.
I’ve been there, and just like every one of you, I used to get angry at the TIME it was taking, but I was more angry, because *I* felt MY life was being wasted–well, guess what? His midlife crisis, was NOT about me, it was all about HIM…and when I was angry, it was all for nothing, because again, I had NO control over what was HIS process of emotional redevelopment that would lead into the outgrowing of HIS immature traits that I had NO idea existed, until *I* started walking MY journey toward wholeness and healing.
I was a fixer, a controller, a manipulator, and I was a very unhappy person. As I looked back into the past, my growth showed me a lot of things I did NOT know before.
The marriage I was in pre-midlife crisis was definitely NOT a healthy one…and as I came into my own truth, I realized that I had as many problems as he did. I also needed to emotionally develop, change, grow and become what GOD needed for me to become….and this took time.
I didn’t waste that much time in a pity party, and I have to say, I’ve irritated more than one person over time with my true story of spending three months struggling against a process that was beyond my control in the first place.
The journey I walked was a very hard one, because I was not the kind of person I should have been, and that hurt, because I had gone through so much in my life. You would have thought that for all I’d been through, it would have stood to reason that I should have been fully mature LONG before his first bout of midlife crisis ever came about, but I wasn’t even a fraction of the person I could have become.
It took me a year to fully let go of my husband–by that time, he had exited the midlife crisis process of his first bout–that first bout lasted three years, and I’m here to tell you, that was too short, because he came out with an additional issue that he’d buried deep inside of him.
In the next year and three quarters that followed, I could not have asked for a better man, but what I didn’t know was that his final issue was a emotional ticking time bomb waiting to explode on him–and it did.
All I remember is that he was struggling with something, and then, I saw what looked like a “going backward”—and signs of his midlife crisis began again–that’s the only real clear memory I have. Most people would have gone straight to the lawyer’s office, and filed for a divorce. I’ve seen many that have, because it was apparent their growth wasn’t anywhere near where mine was, and I was in Transition at the time his final issue resurrected.
Thank goodness I had the adequate space and time I needed to learn how to deal with myself, and to learn who I was without this man, because his unresolved issue caused a lot of problems for that next six years…more for him, than for me.
My memories of that time flash in and out, because there are some things I remember, and some things I don’t. I had it rough, but it was never as bad as it could have been, because God was always there, always with me, and He took care of me.
Some people might say that I “lost” those 12 years that involved two bouts of midlife crisis, and a personal Transition that overlapped those bouts, but I disagree, because NOT walking away from a marriage that I committed to for a lifetime was something I haven’t regretted.
I try to get people to understand that it’s NOT “bettering yourself” to walk away from a marriage YOU made a commitment to–for better AND for worse–however long ago it was that you entered into the state of marriage before God and Man. I have spoken of it being better the devil you know, than the one you don’t.
I have NO problem with being alone, and IF something should happen, I could be all right with it, because I’ve dealt on my own, I’ve lived on my own, even though I did it in an eighteen wheeler. I was living alone for days at a time, without any human contact, except for when I delivered, and picked up. I ate in restaurants alone most of the time, and I was always alone, except for God, who was there with me…so really, I was NEVER alone.
My time alone was for the purpose of drawing more closely unto the Lord, and I don’t “need” a marriage to be whole within myself–I’m a separated human being from all other people, and from my husband. The only connection I have with him is within the context of my marriage to him, so I have a certain responsibility TO him, but I am NOT responsible FOR him…he and I are separated, yet together, and personal, and relational boundaries dictate our interactions. I am NOT detached from him, I am firmly connected to him, but he does NOT control, nor manipulate me, nor do I do these things against him…it’s not right to want “other control”–but you’re going to be denied that, and for good reason, because who are you to think you know what’s best for your spouse?
Who are YOU to think that their crisis is supposed to resolve on YOUR TIME? It doesn’t work like that…and it’s wrong to believe that you should dictate a process that solely belongs to them to work out. I learned the hard way that he would finish, when HE would finish, and not when *I* thought he should finish. I went and got a life of my own, because it was necessary for me to learn to function independently of him…it was the basis for learning how to build an interdependent relationship within my marriage. At no time, was our lives “wasted”–and I don’t exclude the time of his midlife crisis’ and my Transition from the actual time we’ve been married.
Those times of crisis were the best thing that ever happened to both of us, because it was a “wake up call” for both of us, for the purpose of our separated, and couple growth. Life didn’t stop just because he was in his midlife crisis, nor did it stop just because I was in Transition–it went right on, just as it will…time passed onward, we became older, and not every year was a bad one. In time, those times of growth were weaved into our past, accepted for what they were, and life went right on again.
Life doesn’t come to a grinding halt just because there are problems within the marriage. You do what you have to do to take care of yourself, leave that person in crisis to learn how to deal with themselves, and you keep moving forward in YOUR LIFE, living YOUR LIFE, and let them go to learn who they are without you. It’s not the end of the World, unless you choose to make it so. You’re not going to be able to “love” them out of it, because these rebellious people need solid boundaries set against their rebellion.
I can remember confronting my husband more than once about the wasting of money, and I made it dang clear he was NOT going to waste money we needed for bills and groceries. I did NOT have any intention of going bankrupt just because HE had a problem. I wasn’t going to make it my problem, and I didn’t hesitate when I laid down a hard boundary against his spending. I went as far as to separate our finances, and I would NOT allow him to touch any of MY money….we did this for a number of years.
He did NOT like that–he wanted access to his money AND my money, and nope, that wasn’t happening. He was not thinking of anyone but himself, his selfishness, and I was NOT going to allow him to take us down a road that would lead into losing everything we had.
I wasn’t materialistic then, and I’m not materialistic now, but a roof over your head, food on the table, clothes and shoes are a necessity that NO ONE can do without, and his out-of-control spending was threatening MY security, so I created my own, by myself, and I did NOT back down.
Did this mean I didn’t love him? NO, I loved him unconditionally, but unconditional love does NOT mean you allow the one you love to lay waste to money needed to pay your household bills and buy groceries. I was NOT going to allow him to cross my boundaries, drain our accounts, and act like I was supposed to pay our bills with my good looks–PLUS, I was working for MY money, I made dang good money, and I was a good steward with my earnings.
I believed in saving, and making sure that extra was there in case of any emergency, and he was NOT on that same page with me…so I removed my earnings into an account he could not touch, and I was protecting what was mine from being squandered….and I had a right to do that, because as long as we had everything combined, he was not only getting his money, but he was wasting my money, too….and enough was enough. In time he got with the program, outgrew this aspect, amongst many others, and the situation resolved in this aspect.
He’s doing fine in every way now….and we’re OK. ((HUGS))
But in spite of the fact I love him, I might not like everything my husband does, I might not like everything he says, but that’s marriage, folks, and if you like everything that goes on, something is seriously wrong within you, because two people living in the same house, are bound to have problems—and God knows, we’ve had our share of them over the years.
You know something though? I would NOT have another man, because the one I have is just fine for me. He didn’t become perfect once he came through his final bout of midlife crisis—he has been finished for several years. I did NOT become perfect when I finished my Transition, but according to him, I’m just fine for him. 🙂
We fight, we fuss, we have problems sometimes….and I think back across that whole twelve years of crisis that caused problems in our marriage, and I know that there were times of trouble, but not every year yielded problems—at least not for me. Why was that? Because by the time I went into Transition, I had the art of letting go and exercising total detachment that led into the full dropping of the emotional rope down to a complete science.
Do any of you know or understand the reason that you have so much trouble letting go of your midlife spouses? FEAR of LOSS is the major problem behind being unable to LET GO, and LET GOD do His Work in your situation, in your heart, your mind, and your midlife spouse’s heart.
If you will overcome your fear, your lives will become more productive for YOU—everything you decide is for and about YOU—and if you’re steeped in fear, that’s about YOU, because this fear is rooted in your past issues that YOU need to get busy working on.
I do NOT fear loss–I already know the score. I’m an adult who understands that NOTHING is forever, and that something could happen to my husband–and it wouldn’t matter if he were here, or on the road. He is EXPENDABLE, just like I AM….something could happen to me tomorrow, and he would have to deal with that, just like I would have to deal with it if something happened to him.
Life is TOO short to be afraid, so look within yourself to see where your fears are–face them, resolve them, outgrow them, and overcome them.
Now, notice, I didn’t say I’d like it if my husband were not here anymore, but I can deal with it, because I KNOW that I don’t have any control over him….I have NO control over my own life if something were to happen to me….and being a control freak does nothing but put you in an emotional prison of your own making. Not to mention, it’s not very attractive—you don’t want the MLC spouse trying to control you, so why are you trying to do the same to them?
You want them to hurry up, get done with their crisis, so your lives can resume it’s regularly scheduled program. Even if that were possible, how do YOU know your lives would simply resume where they left off? They WON’T do that—life has CHANGED, because of this major life’s event.
So, suck it up, get it together, walk your journey, let go, let God work it out—live your life, and stop watching a pot that never boils….you’re not hurting anyone but yourself, when you start griping and complaining about a life’s change that you didn’t know was going to happen, but it HAS HAPPENED, so learn to ACCEPT this, EMBRACE this change, and STOP putting your life on hold.
I LIVED my life for all that time, and my life was productive….I finished raising our son, I worked a full time job, took care of my house, and I began learning to transform my priorities in such a way that my life takes first priority AFTER God.
You have a life—begin to expand that life into other things that do NOT include watching your midlife spouse. You have children that need your time, and your care, focus on yourself, and them, because they need you to stay healthy for them.
If you’re watching the midlife spouse constantly, you’re neglecting YOU—and YOU are MORE important than the midlife spouse who is in emotional crisis. There is NOTHING you can do for or to them, so get all of that wasted energy OFF them, and get it all on you, because you are the most important investment in this life…NOT that rebellious midlife spouse.
Expanding your life does NOT mean getting a divorce, and getting another relationship, just because you have problems being alone—this is an issue that is NOT exclusive to the midlife spouse.. the left behind spouse has this same problem, too….neither one wants to be alone, they think that a relationship defines them…don’t deny it, because I see this same struggle every time a left behind spouse fights a divorce, just because they don’t want to be divorced.
I can see fighting a divorce in the case of protecting marital assets from being squandered, because there is children at home–but if that’s not the case, then you must be thinking that a divorce is going to “brand” you with the scarlet letter “D”—-when the midlife spouse is the one filing, you don’t get a whole lot of say in this process, because your midlife spouse is driving the bus on this one, and all you can do is learn to understand that their wanting to file is all about them, and all about the emotional pain they think is going to come to an end when they legally end the marriage…that is NOT TRUE–they’re taking steps that contain consequences, but they won’t see it, UNTIL the pain they think they’re “fixing” by divorcing does NOT stop.
Keep in mind that I don’t advocate divorce except in cases where the midlife spouse is squandering assets, and you’re having to file to protect these, OR you’re getting badly hurt (in a physical aspect), or about to be killed.
I don’t say anything when a midlife spouse is in control of the divorce process–except to find out what intuition has to say. God leads the left behind spouse forward as they will allow Him to, and I consult God myself when I’m dealing with a left behind spouse whose midlife spouse is bent on filing…each case is different, just like each situation is different.
If any of these aspects apply to you, please try and understand that the marriage license isn’t going to buy your groceries, nor pay your bills, and sometimes, your greatest fears are the ones you’re forced to face—and for a lot of people, divorce is a major fear that must be faced, because the marital status doesn’t mean anything when a midlife spouse has destroyed all connections that once bound the marriage together, EXCEPT for the one that God does not allow to be broken–the Marital Covenant Bond HE bound the couple within when they married.
More food for thought as always…..and more insight on me to go with it. ((HUGS))