From David Reece’s answering comment:
Thank you for your reply.
i am going to restart my life, move on without moving on. do what is right by my children and myself.
my wife is hell bent on destroying the marriage and there maybe nothing i can do to stop her. till divorce there will always be a marriage to save, no matter what damage has been done.
my final question would be as to what to look for as she goes from replay to depression?
i still have children living with her and though i may not be able to help her, i can my children.
There’s nothing you can do to stop her from what she’s doing to destroy her marriage. However, even if she goes on and gets a divorce, there’s still hope and time for her to turn around if you’re still willing to try again with her. There is always hope as long as you still love your wife. She will eventually find that she is not the only one with choices. People in emotional crisis suffer from “entitlement” thinking, and unless put on notice, or put in check with a boundary,(both of which requires action, because words mean nothing to a spouse in crisis), think the one they are abandoning, and treating like dirt, will simply be there whenever they decide to return.
A person can move forward in their lives without moving on. No one can tell you how you should choose to live, nor can they choose for you. No one can live your life, but you. People need to learn to respect and support the choices of other people, even if/when they don’t understand why a particular choice is made. This even includes the terrible and devastating mistakes of the spouse in crisis.
Sometimes the best way for someone to learn something important, is to let them go to do for themselves. If you’re always there to ‘catch’ them, they’ll never learn anything. Almost all of the time, it takes allowing someone the space to experience devastating pain that comes through falling down hard on their faces. This is often the most important springboard for learning from our various mistakes.
That’s even true when it comes to trying to advise people in this area of life. Because most people are so inherently stubborn about going their own way(and I, too, was like that, when it was me), it’s often better to give the advice, then step back, and give them the room they need to do what they think they need to do when they think they need to do it.
To do otherwise, in the name of trying to ‘fix’ someone they can’t fix, or have “other control” when one cannot control anyone but himself/herself, is to take the consequences, responsibility and the blame for the damage that can be caused when advice is taken that can lead down an even worse path than before.
People don’t want to the take the responsibility for what they cause by exercising undue influence upon someone who is doing their best to cope and deal with a bad situation. Yet, they will say various things that are designed to guilt you into doing what they want, so that THEY don’t have to deal or cope with what they can’t control in the first place-YOU.
One’s friends and family mean well, but their “fix-it” advice usually becomes all about controlling others when they can’t seem to deal effectively with themselves. It’s all too easy to tell someone what to do, when you’re not in a situation like this, nor have dealt with a situation of this kind.
I’m unsure why I’ve put that down, but over time, people have come to me with concerns that their friends and family have spoken up and advised them to walk away from their spouse in crisis. While I realize it’s hard to watch someone going through something, bear in mind that people who advise others to walk away from their relationships are doing so because they don’t understand the aspect of commitment-and marriages and relationships are already too disposable in this day and age.
I don’t advise people to do anything that’s going to cause a major-life’s change unless it’s what they’ve chosen to do. On the other hand, since you can’t control what she does in the first place, and can only control yourself, my suggestion would be not to worry about what happens when/if she decides to begin moving forward into Depression from Replay. When/if she returns, she would return still broken. I hope that when/if this happens, that you’ll be prepared to deal with her, as your own growth still remains to be done.
She’s not the only one who is called upon to make inner changes. You, too, must also make these for yourself. People often think the spouse in crisis must change, but they don’t need to, but I can tell you from my own experience, that’s not always the case, and that would be a subject for a future blog article.
As a general rule, people who are getting ready to move from Replay to Depression will show an emotional awakening to what they’re doing within themselves first, that often leads into a time of self victimization,(still avoiding their contribution to events, and acting like things have happened to them, rather than look at what they did to cause them). Then, as time moves forward, they will experience a temporary return to their former selves that is recognizable to their spouses.
They may or may not apologize for anything they’ve done at that point, (because they’ve not examined themselves that deeply as yet), but there is usually a softening in their formerly arrogant attitude that occurs as the former high of their Replay stage begins to wind down, moving toward the low of the Depression stage-and even this takes time.
They may or may not decide to return to their spouse-that’s not in anyone’s control. It’s a gradual slide, as it’s described in the stages. They will trade their replay apparel, for the more normal apparel they had worn before, and their personality that was altered during Replay, will return to normal. This is not a permanent change by no means, because as long as they contain issues within themselves, they’ll continue to be pulled in by the mid-life crisis.
Now bear in mind, that this doesn’t happen overnight-usually one in Replay will continue trying anything and everything to keep that ultimate high going for themselves. It’s a major part of their tactics used to avoid the facing of themselves, and until they hit a brick wall in their Replay behaviors-they’re worse than the energize bunny-they keep going, and going, and going.
Also keep in mind that the “children of their issues,” are constantly fighting for control, and because none of these “children” from the past want to be resolved, they’ll continue coming forth and drive these behaviors continuously.
Many people in crisis fight the awakening aspect, because it requires change, and people in the mid-life crisis hate change, don’t want to embrace it, and change also brings about fear of the unknown. God continues to work His hand within their hearts, gently nudging them forward, at their most receptive of times. As for right now, your wife must needs to be let go, and put solely in the hands of God so He can deal with her.
May God continue walking with you as you continue your own journey into wholeness and healing for yourself, David.