• Why did he cry when he said goodbye?
    Because he was sad. Yes, it really is that simple sometimes.
  • Why did she write me a note that said I love you; this won’t be forever?
    Then why leave?
    Because though she loves you, she believes it is the only way.
  • Why did he tell me not to be sad because we will get through this?
    Because at that moment he believed that you will get through—together as a married couple. He doesn’t know how. If he did, he probably would not be confused and leaving; he would not be in a midlife crisis and this would not be happening.

If she is saying and feeling all of those things, why won’t she go to marriage counseling?
MLCers do not have answers to why, but they have what they think are solutions; to an MLCer who does not seem to want to leave, he is leaving because it is the only way he believes that will help him to return. MLCers are pure emotions and the only thing that is real is their present emotion and state of mind. If they are angry and hating you at this moment, it is beyond their ability to imagine a time when they will not hate you and in their negative mind frame they twist all memories to fit their present emotional state. When they are leaving and acting sad and remorseful, they are feeling helpless and as though there are no other alternatives. They don’t think that your ideas about how to resolve the problems—marriage counseling—will work and often they are too embarrassed to make an effort. The irony is that they are correct about marriage counseling, MLCers cycle and it will not work because there is so much confusion and so many different personalities and agendas fighting for control; most of those moods and personalities do not want to resolve the problem and will resist counseling which makes attendance wasteful.
And then there are those of you who are reading this with envy because your MLCer gave no such mixed messages. He left in Monster taunting you and seemingly overjoyed at the freedom he was gaining. What seems mixed are the stories; some leave with sadness and regret, and yours is leaving with exuberance and excitement. And those with sadness and regret mix it not only with the simple mixed message of leaving but also with nasty or taunting Monster.
Where are your cookie crumbs? You use these other stories to boost your doubt about this being a midlife crisis or your belief that your MLCer will be one of those who has less chance of returning because he seems more certain; he really means it and those others do not. Cycling refers to both emotional or mood swings and to your MLCer changing her mind. Some cycle emotionally but are consistent in that they want out and thus spouses think their MLCer is not cycling like the others. Nope, many want out without changing their minds for months or years–then 5 years later they suddenly want to come home…or not. Some cycle in their dance of nice vs. Monster as they try different manipulative tactics. Some are closer to Overt Depression–though not Liminality–and show their sadness, remorse and regret. Some are unable to feel those emotions when they are masked by in-fatuation hormones and they are focused on themselves and the alienator who may be applying pressure.
As with all people there may be multiple reasons for various moods, emotions and actions. If he is being mean, this may be due to pressure from the alienator rather than his MLC selfishness, or it may be due to his MLC selfishness. Sadness may be the result of his fears, a moment of reflection, of seeing his children cry or he may have had a nasty fight with the alienator in which she briefly showed her cruel and manipulative core. Consider the multiple internal and external influences:

  • He is scared, excited, ashamed and filled with self-created guilt.
  • You are scared, angry, humiliated and depressed.
  • Your children are beyond scared; they are so frightened they don’t know how or what to think or feel.
  • The alienator feels excited, victorious, scared, hopeful, empowered and threatened.
  • His parents and siblings are ashamed, embarrassed and confused at his behaviour.

The emotions of all of these people are infiltrating and influencing him and increasing his internal havoc. This is too much for a single person to handle—especially a person who is already overburdened by his own emotional cycling. He needs to escape. This is fight or flight and logical or rational thought are not a part of this crisis. Some Thinking-type MLCers may be able to twist their words so that they seem rational, but it is a self-created trap.


Mixed Messages and Cycling7 Comments

  1. This blog has definitely touched a nerve in me! I had my doubts that my husband is in MLC because since the time he returned and left again (almost 2 years since that happened) he has never wavered and on top of that, his excuse for coming back was because I made him feel guilty and that was the only reason. This I don't really believe although I am sure guilt spurred him on. When he came back things were wonderful, but toward the end of the 8 months – every once in awhile I could see and feel other emotions in him – he let the MLC win. He wasn't really ready to come back. (cont.)

  2. Losing Hope: if you see this comment – my divorce seems imminent also but I refuse to be the one to agree to what he wants. My bottom line is : I don't want a divorce. If you want one, then you will have to force it on me. Everyone has the ability to make their own choices – and this is what I choose. For once I will be true to myself.

  3. I am so unsure about how to handle my situation: my husband never moved out after bomb drop. We struggled quite a bit during first 6 months -his depression, anxiety attacks – I always felt that he ended it(affair) too easily – even though to this day he continues to deny that he ever met with her in person- and as things continued to improve I just had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that he wasn't being truthful with me (his own version of truth). He has ZERO remorse, only guilt and shame -there is no transparency and it woild be easy for him to resume cake-eating. I couldn't take the not knowing- so I was able to find a way to track him through an AT&T app on our phones. Well it showed me he wastes a lot of time at work and to keep up he does have to wrk late a lot. But it also showed me about every two weeks he meets with someone at lunch and goes for a walk- I was able to get pictures using google earth and while not crystal clear it is most certainly him and her-the clothing, bald head, the way he is carrying his cup, it is him- yet he continues to deny =calls me crazy. If its not her its someone else but pretty sure her -their affair begin emotionally over 5 years ago- they were friends before we met, we have even gone to a bbq with our families at her home (she married). I sometimes feel as if he is trying to make it work because he doesn't want to give up any $$ or possessions – or they are secretly setting up their life together before splitting with spouses or she wont leave hers so he stays with me – I have done an excellent job this time of staying neutral -no overreaction! But what do I do now -I don't have the financial ability to leave and create a no contact ( he controls all $-but I am going to real estate school and hope to be working within a few months) HELP PLEASE I NEED SOME ADVICE CHELY 5150- CHECK OUT MY BLOG AT: http://www.chely5150@wordpress.com for more details -thank-you

  4. oh and I forgot to say that he is also a covert narcissist and I have endured emotional abuse for most of our 20 year marriage. chely5150

  5. so bummed that I posted two daysago and didn't receive a single reply from my request. Oh well the intial question time frame is over now. Husband still with me – is the crisis over? I'm sure its not, but I just plug along each day doing the best that I can. At this point who knows what the future will hold.

  6. Hi sister!! I to havnt had and to some of my posts:-( what he’ll this is we are living a nightmare ..please with me hang in there and do your own thing I’m trying desperatly to detach x married 30yrs together 36 I was 16 when we met bomb drop the speech was 16mnths ago affair discovered 5mnths ago left lived with the ‘pond’ scum’ for 5weeks came back for3weels then I told him to go as he kept contact with her !!! Now been at his mums since this new year still touch and goes but I’m sure he’s still seeing the pond scum to I know I must cut contact now but it’s so hard 🙁 hang on in there hugs xxx

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