A lot of the posts on the forum have talked about still loving the person who is having the mlc. That is to be expected, and for a very long time. Maybe we still see them, so here is alot of intermittent reinforcement going on, keeping us hanging in.

There may still be good times that we have with them. It is so hard to let go. After all, it was their decision to change their behaviour, to change their life, to take actions that did not take us into account. And just because someone we love has changed, that doesn’t mean our feelings for them can be automatically shut off, just like that. They have had a lot of time to let their love fade, where for us, we are just beginning the letting go process.

At some point, down the line, as the healing process moves along, when you begin to build strength again, you will begin to get weary of loving that person. At some point, you begin to feel that your efforts are not reciprocated.

We begin to get angry. For a long time I thought no one could match up to my first husband. But then I thought about how ridiculous that was. What?? No one can match up to a cheating, lying, superficial, immature jerk, who abandoned me and was not there for me when I needed him? What was I thinking? Sure there were good memories, but what he had done to me was unforgivable!!!

It was other people who had to knock me upside the head and make me see the light, because I was still… loving him. When I started to feel a bit of anger, I started to feel a heck of a lot better. The sad truth was, just about ANY guy could have not only matched him, but surpassed him. I realized a stranger on the street was giving me more love and support than he was.

And this was the man I was holding on to? Who I had put way up on a pedestal?

We all reach that threshold of healing and time, where enough is enough.

I do believe the lord never closes a door without opening a window. Sometimes we put a lot of energy into pounding on that door, trying to break it down, trying to get it to open. Sometimes we have to, instead, turn our attention to something else, and focus instead on that window, which will open for us easily.

Maybe our love, or any effort we put out into life, are better spent where there is a return on that effort. Maybe the love we give isn’t benefitting us anymore, or the person we are giving it to doesn’t need it.

As harsh as it may seem, you can’t make someone love you, or stay with you. Giving does not make a person love you. Maybe, NOT giving, does, because then THEY have to give, and they will value far more what they give, than what they take.

Sometimes we feel like if we quit putting so much of our emotional energy into this, we will lose them. That we need to hold all this together ourselves,because they are not. That if we give up, or quit thinking about them, or orrying, or quit trying, that we will lose them. But the fact is, that relationships take TWO, and you can only do your 50%.

Letting go can be quite a relief.

And a funny thing seems to be true, when you do finally give up, they will somehow sense that they are really losing YOU, and begin to wake up. Because as long as they feel like you want them, that you love them, are waiting for them, or thinking about them, they haven’t really had to face the LOSS of YOU, you see. They’ve got you as their ace in the hole, they are not really facing the consequences of their actions, UNTIL you detach emotionally.

So this is time to put your love into yourself. You are far more in need of love right now than you husband is. As we have talked about before, part of that is protecting yourself and your children legally. And protecting yourself and children emotionally.

As you know, if it is MLC, it can be temporary, and I know this thought keeps many of us holding on. But no matter what, in the meantime, you must do what is best for you. I believe that you can do this without alienating him, and keep the door open for reconcilliation, if that is your fear.

Posted on the Midlife Club Forum in 2001 by forum member Camille. All rights reserved.