Turning Your Emotional Back On the Mid Life Spouse

Hey, all! 🙂

I have a question for you, HB, and I thought to ask it here as opposed to ask it on my own thread so everyone would benefit from the answer as it is a phrase you often use, HB, and I was wondering if you would be so kind to elaborate on it, please?
I know what it means but I’m not quite sure about what it exactly entails with MLC.

”Turning your emotional back on the Mlcer’

Thank you. :hug

One of the biggest mistakes a left behind spouse ever makes is in allowing their midlife spouse to continuously control them, to be afraid that if they don’t keep giving the midlife spouse information about themselves, that they’re going to “lose” that husband/wife that made a decision about not wanting to be married, not wanting to be responsible, not wanting to grow up…and this list is a long one.

Going into total detachment/dropping the rope is only the first step of many steps to lead into the turning of one’s emotional back on a rebellious midlife spouse. One also learns to set boundaries that are enforced with solid consequences, and when threatened with leaving…that is put back on the midlife spouse’s shoulders…but you learn to STOP arguing with them. Arguing with them is only going to make the situation worse.

There comes a time, when it becomes enough, all you can stand, and though you know divorce is not an option, you withdraw yourself completely from the situation, and stop allowing yourself to be drawn into any arguments, etc.

In this particular process, when they have had ENOUGH, the left behind spouse cuts ALL connections that once bound them to the midlife spouse. They completely let go, let God do His Work, and move forward with their lives, and no longer allow the midlife spouse’s antics to affect them in ANY way.

They give the appearance of being “done” with everything, which is an ultimate boundary in itself. Upon seeing this, it gives the midlife spouse two choices: they can choose to move on, or choose to turn back toward the left behind spouse, and begin straightening themselves up. Now, the midlife spouse will test it to its limits, and it takes strength to withstand that kind of onslaught.

Fear in the left behind spouse is NO LONGER a factor, when this emotional point is reached. Yes, there is still love and hope, but you determine in your mind that there will be no more struggling with an immature midlife spouse spouse…and you cut the emotional cord completely.

It doesn’t even matter if the midlife spouse has awakened or not–this triggering of fear in the midlife spouse can happen on either side of the coin. You see the midlife spouse depends on the left behind spouse to help them continue to rebel, and when all of that completely stops, it completely removes the pressure from the midlife spouse.

It’s not a trick of any kind, the movement forward of the left behind spouse which presents their emotional “back” to the midlife spouse should be real, not faked…as again, this is based upon the state of the left behind spouse’s journey, and how ready the left behind spouse is to emotionally leave the midlife spouse spouse behind in the dust…what do you do, when you leave someone behind? You show them your BACK…not your front, and you no longer approach them for anything.

To help you understand this phrase a little bit better, let me ask you a question…when you are done with someone who treats you badly, what do you do to protect yourself? You turn away from them, don’t you? Don’t you walk away from them, and emotionally you disconnect yourself?

When you turn your emotional back on someone, in effect, you’re completely distancing yourself, you’re letting them know that what they do or say no longer matters to you. In essence you’re telling them without spoken words, that you are “done” with them.

This is a step beyond detachment; and even a step beyond a show of indifference, (remember you still love them, but enough is enough), and this occurs when you cut all connections that once bound you to that person…and we’re talking everything, and then, turning your emotional back on them, as you prevent them from drawing you into their drama.

Their drama is THEIRS–you determine that you will NOT make it yours…it’s total and complete separation from your husband/wife who is still within the throes of emotional rebellion. You no longer worry about what THEY are doing–your only concern is YOURSELF….and you leave them behind as you continue moving forward on your journey forward.

When I turned my emotional back on my husband, he gained the very real sense that if he didn’t get himself together, he was going to lose me. This was not about him “waking up” to himself–he had already done that sometime before.

I was coming and going as I wanted to, as I pleased, and nothing he said mattered. I didn’t mistreat him, nor was I hateful, angry, or anything else toward him. I was completely detached, but at the same time, I was “done” with him, because I didn’t show him anything at all in the way of emotion, no matter what he did, or even said.

The more he tugged, and pulled, the more I emotionally, and even physically distanced away from him, and the further I walked ahead of him.

I still loved him, but didn’t tell him. I cared about him, but didn’t speak of it. I gave him NO reassurance of anything. I asked NO questions, I gave the appearance of someone who no longer cared about what he did, what he said, and yes, he challenged this, and the situation got worse, before it began to get better–but it wasn’t me who brought that positive change, that convinced me to stop turning my emotional back on him…it was my husband that did it. Why did this happen? He still had feelings for me, and through my actions that bore NO words, I triggered every fear he had, and at the time, I didn’t even know it…I just knew what I was doing was right, and the rest, was up to him.

My intuition was pretty well developed by that time–and God was the one who instructed me to turn my emotional back on him…and this put him on notice that I just wasn’t interested in anything he was doing anymore. He did say a long time later, that this was turning point for him–all outward signs showed that he was still deep in rebellion, but on the inside, my doing this, scared him to that point of considering himself, his actions, and that maybe, just maybe, he’d gone too far with me.

When the Lord instructed me to “turn back” I turned back, and I let God instruct me on what I needed to say to this man at that time. He still wasn’t getting much from me, even after I turned back. HE was the one who done all this–I didn’t. It was up to HIM, to make the necessary emotional moves to try and connect with me again.

I didn’t say much to him, I simply accepted what he was offering, but nothing more than that. I was still very guarded in my interactions with him–he had to regain MY trust, and not one word was said from me to him about what he had done. I’d already learned what that was about, why I couldn’t push him during that time–I had to let him come to ME…but before all that happened, he had to see that he could lose me, if he didn’t get it together for himself. It was about all of the disrespect he had shown me, that he had to come to terms with at that point.

HE had decided that he could do what he wanted, when he wanted, and thought I would keep struggling with him, would keep taking it, and this was DIRECT behavior, DIRECT interaction–not the outside interactions he was doing that were destructive in a different way.

I couldn’t do anything about those; but I could stop his DIRECT disrespect, by turning away from him, turning my emotional back on him, and moving away from him, leaving him behind…enough was enough.

Turning one’s emotional back is NOT indifference–it’s showing an actual lack of interest in what they’re doing, what they’re saying, batting away their attempts to control what you do, why you do it, and when you reach that point in yourself, you’re actually one step away from walking away.

By that time, I knew I’d be fine either way this went–with him, or without him, it no longer mattered. I had already grown into a point where it didn’t matter what he did, or said, I showed him NOTHING at all. Midlife spouses become afraid when they cannot get a reaction or response from the left behind spouse, regardless of what they do, what they say, or what kind of trouble they try to start.

They thrive on attention, an audience, and when you get to the point you’re not giving them either one, they have nothing to attach to, and though they may throw fits, tantrums, etc….you just aren’t in that emotional place anymore. It no longer matters to you…and they have to see that in you, before they might turn back toward you.

If you think about, the midlife spouse has already turned THEIR emotional back on you–no matter what you do, what you say, how many tantrums you throw….sound familiar? They’re already in that place, so you have to get there, too, and show them a mirror of their own behavior back to them–WITHOUT the emotional overtones that go with it.

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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