This isn’t about you or the marriage this is all about him and the internal panic and confusion that he is suffering from. He is searching for some indefinable something and until his search is over you will be banging your head against a brick wall. This is one of the reasons why marriage counseling doesn’t really help in these situations.

The choice is, have him at home doing stuff in his search which for you as a spectator will rip you and the marriage to pieces OR have him living elsewhere where he can continue his illusory search for the non-existent ‘greener grass’.

Meanwhile you and the marriage are protected from his crazy antics and his lies about said crazy antics. This helps you to step off his roller coaster ride and get on with your life in a stable way in which ever way you decide.

Move on, wait or wait then move on, whatever the choice is yours. Remember, you won’t get any sense out of him while he is still searching.

You need to look after you because it will help him feel less guilty and will de-escalate the vicious circle that usually builds up of: crazy antics, lies, exposure, hurt, etc, etc, till you can’t take anymore.

Thing is I think to deal with MLC you have to take a counter-intuitive approach because all the usual things that you think you should do just don’t work. I did all the wrong things. Believed her when she said it was me, became ill and debilitated because of the guilt I felt because I drank her Kool-Aid, wouldn’t agree to a separation, tried marriage counseling, got individual counselor for myself but all it did was make things worse.

The name of the game is damage limitation. You have to protect the marriage by insulating yourself from him during his ‘crazy time’. That way you protect yourself and the marriage till he sorts himself out. It’s like ‘outa sight outa mind’, ‘what the eye don’t see the heart don’t grieve over’ and ‘ignorance is bliss’.

I know it seems like giving him a blank check to whatever the hell he wants to but really he is going to do whatever he wants anyway whether he’s living with you or you are separated. The choice is: Have him living at home where as the spectator you will catch him out in his lies and will get ripped to pieces OR having him living elsewhere where you don’t know what he’s up to and therefore he isn’t hurting you. It’s unconditional love, really.

But the thing is, separation gives him the space to see if the grass really is greener and you and the marriage don’t get ripped to bits with his crazy antics. Also, if he stays at home and because of that he ends up hurting you he will feel so guilty and bad that he will eventually start to blame you and resent you for his bad feelings.

Remember, truth and justice doesn’t really exist in his world for now. He has his own versions of the truth and they will suit him regardless of its right or wrong in reality.

I wish I had let my wife move out for a period of separation but I took the view that if we separated then that would be the end of the marriage. Boy I got it wrong. The harder I clung onto her the harder she pulled away. Ironically she had a friend who was going through MLC.

Her friend moved out with the kids but she and the kids saw the husband every weekend. After 2 years of her seeing if the grass was greener and him not being exposed to her antics they have now reconciled and gotten back together. I’m pleased for them but especially their 2 kids.

Remember, this is not about YOU it’s all about his messed up head. He is confused and his mind will change back and forth constantly.

Separation is tough, but it’s a lot easier than living with him while he is in MLC and it gives you both the benefit of YOU having some sort of normal life while he works himself out and you wait or you decide at some point to move on. At least you will have some measure of control over how much his crisis negatively affects you.

No matter what happens though you will cope. Believe me, it’s one of life’s truisms that none of us know just how amazingly strong and resilient we can be when we have to be.

I hope you find something useful in my comments and that you go on to save your marriage and find the Peace that you need.

Posted on the Midlife Club Forum by forum member Spindrifter in response to a woman dealing with her husband’s crisis. All rights reserved.