The Midlife Spouse: Let them GO!

It’s been said, and I do NOT agree, that the left behind spouse should not detach “too soon.” From what I know, which is not any different than any other situation fresh out of bomb drop, the MORE you pursue, cling, cry, beg, and plead, the greater the disrespect you’re going to receive from that midlife spouse. IF you don’t let go, stop pushing, pressuring, and pursuing them, there stands a greater chance of losing them than IF you stand strong, go ahead, detach, distance, and do NOT show them anything, but emotional strength. Do your crying somewhere else, vent yourself out somewhere else, but learn to keep your words few, and your detachment at full when dealing with the midlife spouse.

IF they walk out, go NO CONTACT, because you need to gather your emotional strength, you need to heal, and you don’t need to talk to them for periods of time. They are in such a state of mind that all they’re wanting to do is control you–they aren’t about to believe you don’t want them. They’re so arrogant, they think everybody wants them, and MOST of them, are in affairs, that you cannot do one thing about, but let it run its course. Contacting them while their hearts and minds are still turned away you, is only going to buy you rejection, and/or frustrate your expectations, which are too dang high in the beginning, because you don’t know any better than what you’re doing.

This is a time when you need to learn to care about yourself, and stop sacrificing your dignity, and self respect, through pushing, pressuring, and pursuing someone whose heart and mind is turned away from you at this time. The only reason they seem to still want you, is so they can keep track of you, control you, manipulate you, and even twist you into a pretzel if they possibly can.

LET THEM GO, because God has called us into peace. No Contact is going to give YOU time to gather your strength, to heal some, and no, you wouldn’t do it forever, because if you did that, then you might not ever know what could be. But, for the earlier days after you’ve been bombed, destroyed, and devastated, detachment, distancing, and No Contact, IF they are not there, is the best way to go. IF the midlife spouse IS there, go what is called “DIM”–speak as little as you can, answer questions briefly, kindly, and politely, but don’t let their behavior bring you down, because it’s not about you–it’s all about them.

This isn’t a game—this is a time of learning emotional survival, and to survive really is a patience game, and a mental challenge. You have the possibility of coming through with your marriage, IF you will follow your Intuition, and let God lead your steps, as you learn to respond counterintuitively to what you used to do–in essence, becoming the opposite of what you once were–what worked before will NOT work now.

You cannot do one thing to help them, except to give them space and time for themselves, and have faith that this is the right thing to do for yourself. Some people don’t agree, but then if they were truthful, they sought to manipulate and control the situation, making it worse, and then, they get a vanisher in that process. It’s not always their fault, but if they were honest, most of the time, that’s what happened–they refused to let go, and were left even further behind.

I know it’s hard to let go, because we were taught to reach out and grab. Believe it or not, I knew not to reach out and grab him first year after he had the wreck that crossed him over into his midlife crisis back in 1999, because I already knew about the control lesson. I learned that lesson way early in our marriage, as my husband was teaching me to stand on my own two feet.

I was emotionally bombed that first time in September of the year 2000, but I did NOT know it was an emotional bombing. Though we’d fought, both of us were upset, he spewed at me at that time, telling me that he did NOT have to listen to me, and that he was going to leave, which did trigger my abandonment issues, I talked him out of it that time.

The next twelve months were tough, but I still knew to let him go then, too. He was angry, threw tantrums, I really thought he was losing his mind, and then his dad passed away in July of 2001, which caused a bad situation to become much worse…and by that August, less than a month later, he was so angry, I couldn’t reach him anymore–no matter what I did, or said, he was NOT happy at all. He stayed angry when I was there, he was angry when I left, and I could never really get away from that.

The situation came into the second emotional bomb, when I discovered some things he was doing–viewing porn on the computer in September of 2001–and that started the emotional rollercoaster for me that escalated even more, one more time, with one more bomb–an affair I had NO idea he was in, and I found out about that, in October, just over a month afterward.

He had tried to do better, but there were two things working against him–his ongoing midlife crisis, AND an affair that he was trying to get rid of so I wouldn’t know about it, LOL, but I found out anyway, and that next couple of months were really bad…..and again, it didn’t matter what I did or said, he was spewing like a fountain most of the time–he was under a LOT of pressure. When I came to a point I was ready to walk out on him, someone was actually sent to me by the Lord, who knew the exact time I’d need help the most.

This lady had been there before, and her job was to intervene, and talk me out of walking out, and out of getting a divorce–God had people on my case, as early as two and three weeks after the bomb in September of 2001, and they each did their job for as long as they could–and as one left, another took their place, but I was very stubborn, very angry, very vindictive, and I brought a lot of misery down upon myself, because I didn’t back off, didn’t give him space, and I crowded him, as I pushed, pressured, and pursued him–which were the WRONG things to do…you see, it’s not just the midlife spouse who can do damage that takes a situation to the point of no return, the left behind spouse can also contribute to this kind of situation, as well…

I saw people do all the wrong things years ago, and because they didn’t take the counterintuitive advice I had learned from my own ongoing experience, I saw a lot of marriages that could have been brought back together, go down the tubes. I know from personal experience, that the continued pushing, pressuring, and pursuing of someone who is fighting you tooth and nail, is detrimental to both of you, detrimental to your relationship, and the damage runs both ways. When the left behind spouse doesn’t back off, as advised, there is time added for every time the left behind spouse decides to do all of the “normal” things that once worked before, but will NOT work during the midlife crisis.

I do my best to advise people to detach from the situation as quickly as they are able to do, and to lessen contact as much as they are able to do, because the more you say, the angrier they become, the more they reject you, and the more a “free” life looks good to THEM. I try to get people to walk in their shoes, because how would you feel if someone stayed on you without letting up, without backing off, always tried to control you, tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it? Wouldn’t you want to get as far as away from that person as you could? It’s how your midlife spouse feels when you don’t back off from them, give them space, give them time to figure themselves out. Sure, they’ll get mad, but it’s only because you’ve taken control from them—not because you’ve done something wrong, because you haven’t done anything wrong…you were just there for all that time, you loved them, you cared about them, you cheered them on when they succeeded, you cried with and for them, when they failed…you were there when no one else could be, or even would be…

So, it would stand to reason that because they are not knowledgeable enough to look inside of Self, that they would look outside of Self, to blame the first place they could—that was YOU, their spouse, their closest companion, the one they loved the most, and people do tend to hurt the ones they love the most…and though you think they no longer love you, that love has been buried deeper under many layers of justifications for their rebellion..

Even IF they have NO reason, they must make up a reason, because it has to be your fault, it can’t be theirs, so, they’ll lie, vilify you, and justify, through projection, shaming, blaming, and shifting the responsibility for what is theirs, and try to make it yours……yet, this journey teaches you how to assign total responsibility to each person, to each contributor to the breakdown of your marriage, which died the day you were emotionally bombed.

I’m here to try to help you give your marriage a fighting chance, I’ve walked this harder road, and I’ve seen, not just one bout of his midlife crisis, but two—plus I had a Transition that overlapped both those bouts. I have a very valuable Insight to offer to people–and it’s Insight that wasn’t all gained from the first three-year midlife crisis my husband had–I went on to learn from the Transition I went through, and learned even more from his second bout of the midlife crisis that began even as I was going deeper into my own Transition.

God healed me of the effects of my time of Transition in 2009, once I came out–two and a half years before my husband finished that second bout of midlife crisis–I came back onto the Internet in early 2010, and over a period of three months, God restored my memories in full. I came back broken in memory–which is this design–you go through a major emotional crisis, your memories are shattered, because they were meant to be shattered, broken, and not everything is remembered about that experience.

I teach from both experience, and observation, and I look at it this way:

You can do what you want, when you want, because it’s NOT MY LIFE–but if you come for help, and ask questions, I will usually answer what you ask. And, I always hope that people will take the advice of someone who has that solid past experience. My husband’s experience in the midlife crisis, was NOT just like my experience in the midlife transition. We were both in crisis at different times, but he failed to Stand, whereas I Stood.

Yet, I do not judge my husband for what he did so long ago, and I do not let fear drive me into tormenting him about something he cannot go back and change, and a major mistake he learned from. He does not remember anything, and that was because he worked through it all in full, and his healing, just like mine, brought the veil of forgetfulness–except his was permanent, mine was temporary, because of what God needed me to accomplish in this work. And so, I carry memories that help other people to understand that yes, I know what you go through. Different circumstances, but the same midlife crisis.

Just like everybody else, I had to detach completely. What a lot of people don’t know, was that I eventually spent more time separated from my husband, than I did being with him. Our jobs separated us, but that was for the best, because we could not live together–we were like oil and water–and as nasty as he was during his first bout of midlife crisis, I was just as bad, when I was navigating through my Transition. I know the feeling of deep-seated hatred, because I bore that for him, and sometimes worse.

I draw on a lot more experience, than people may ever give me credit for. If they only focused on that first three-year time of his midlife crisis, yes, they would say/think that experience was too short–but what people often forget is their judgments are in error, because they did not live my life, walk my road, navigate my Transition that lasted 7 1/2 years. In addition, they didn’t live through a full bout of midlife crisis, only to be interrupted in the first of the two healing processes, and watch that man start through, and eventually finish, a second bout that was much worse than the first one was.

I’m an emotional survivor, and I know the score, because I played the game–and won it. I finished my transitional journey in full, AND through surviving through two bouts of midlife crisis. I knew more that second time, than I even thought to know that first time, because the fear I felt within the first bout, was no longer there during the second bout. The more time that passes, the more I have come to know, because hindsight remains alive and well in me. ((HUGS))

You’re going to be all right no matter what happens, no matter what the midlife spouse might think to do, or say–and you are going to survive. A strong constitution, and emotional strength, will see you through this..but in the meantime, LET THEM GO!

((HUGS))

Since 2002, Hearts Blessing has been a pioneer in the area of knowledge and information written about the Mid Life Crisis. The owner and author of https://thestagesandlessonsofmidlife.org she writes articles that help people learn more about this confusing time of life. The main goal of this site is to help people know and understand that no matter what happens, every situation works out to the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose. :)
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