In the beginning I was told it is best (not easier) with the MLCer in the home. As time went on I came to disagree with this idea as a universal truth. When someone is in a public affair, flaunting and taunting their spouse, that spouse needs to set boundaries which include separate living, and often No-Contact, flaunting and taunting about infidelity is a form of abuse.
I believe that it can work well in the beginning when the MLCer is home and can experience your changes, but in MLC this will be temporary as MLCers become worse and abuse escalates. Standing Actions build a foundation for a later return. But there is a threshold where it becomes co-dependent or enabling if they remain in the home–a public affair quickly moves over that threshold. Other behaviours depend on the spouse as to whether they approach or cross the threshold. If you are able to detach and I’m sorry you feel that way him and go about your business, you are doing fine with him in the home. But this does not mean you will stop the MLC and the behavior will improve; your MLCer will try to find your weak spot whether through niceness and placation or anger and threats. If the treatment and behavior cross your threshold of abuse and your MLCer makes no efforts to move out and you do not initiate action to kick him out, you become an enabler who lives on the doormat in footprint patterned clothing. But in most situations the MLCer will initiate the escape.
Most male MLCers leave the home and female MLCers are split–some leave and some kick out their husband. Stay in your home! If you have already left and it is early there may be a future opportunity when you can move back; if this opportunity arises and you return, stay there; the person who wants out of the marriage should be the one who leaves.
If the situation has not crossed the abuse threshold, it is still important that your MLCer initiate leaving, it is not a topic which you need to initiate even if you are asking when or if rather than saying get out–the same is true regarding the topic of divorce. MLCers are not consequence oriented and many not have considered divorce and will be shocked when you mention it, others while not considering it yet will begin thinking about it once you plant the seed.
Since the message is out there that it is better with your MLCer at home, many Standers feel they are failing when they are unable to prevent their MLCer from leaving and go to desperate measures to keep them at home. Though you may have learned that begging and pleading is negative and will backfire, it seems a like a no-win situation; that is because this is a battle that you are not meant to win. If your MLCer remains in the home the odds are high that you will acquire a footprint patterned wardrobe and the abuse will increase, if your MLCer leaves, you risk that there will not be a future return. Ask yourself how much you like footprints on clothing and how that will make you feel; the relationship will not be a healthy marriage and cannot become a healthy marriage until you can be free to go through the crisis. So what do you do when he wants to leave? How do you react or respond? If you call the possible bluff and sit back and let him act or procrastinate–YAY! If you beg and plead or do things that actively prevent your MLCer from making a decision or taking action, you are holding a gun to his head and this will only make the crisis worse. Respond to I’m leaving threats by shrugging your shoulders in an indifferent way and say, I’ll miss you, then do nothing to help or hinder.

Have you been wondering if you should leave your house or kick your MLCer out?
Have you considered initiating divorce proceedings?
Is that what you want or were you thinking of initiating those actions because you think that will either get your spouse to reconsider or feel the consequences or because you think that’s what you are supposed to do?

What can you do now to help yourself prepare for all possibilities?
Your MLCer may leave.
Your MLCer may start or already be involved in an affair.
Your MLCer may file for divorce—or threaten to file.
So what can you do now that will both Pave the Way home for your MLCer while also protecting and preparing your Self?

Post your ideas and get the discussion started or help keep it going!


Comments

Should My MLCer Stay or Go?21 Comments

  1. I would love to hear what you think about my situation. My husband had a classic MLC – started drinking HEAVILY (unto passing/blacking out), bought an expensive car, designer clothes, lost 60 lbs, started running (and calling himself an "athlete" though this didn't start until he was almost 40), abandoned all of his old friends for new drinking buddies and – when I talked with him about his passing out drunk and not remembering anything in the morning, over and over, he said I wouldn't let him live his life the way he wanted and stopped talking with me. Two weeks later he was in an affair with a woman he met in the bar with a long line of married men in her past and two weeks after that he left me. (Part 1).

  2. He only spoke with me twice in the 13 months since he left me, crying and apologetic and saying I was a good wife and he loved me and didn't love her (he left her – on Bimbo #3 now) and that he wished he could turn the clock back so we could be happily married again – but he won't even try to fix things. He only spoke with me TWICE in over a year, the last time a week ago, when he reiterated how sorry he was but says he wants a divorce because he "knows" I could never forgive him. I didn't know what to say to that but I wrote him after we talked and said I had thought and thought for the last year about what had happened – what was good and what was bad in our marriage, what I would want to change and what I missed terribly – and that I could forgive him and would like to talk with him again, but he didn't write back. That was six days ago. (Part 2).

  3. Insane as it sounds, he was a good husband (and before that friend and boyfriend) for 12 years before he hit his MLC. I miss and love the old husband. I don't know how to stop this pain and wish we had a chance to try to get our marriage back. I know several couples who recovered from this sort of situation – I reminded him of them and their current happiness but he didn't say anythiing. He is heavily influenced by an older man who is terrible to women – he abandoned two wives, the first one who had his children – and this older man is now my husband's best friend and mentor.

    I would appreciate any advice or insight you could share. The divorce is in three weeks.
    Thank you.

    • Ready is correct. Your MLCer is in Replay and even if he realizes and admits that this is not your fault and that he is making the mistakes, he's not ready to undo them. When he makes comments about you not being able to forgive him or that he knows you will never take him back, offer gentle reminders about your commitment to him and your belief in him. But be gentle, not persistent. He won't believe you at first, but as he sees you showing love rather than judgment through time, he will begin to trust in your commitment. But he is having trouble forgiving himself right now, so it makes sense that he projects that unforgiveness onto you.
      My recent post Should My MLCer Stay or Go

  4. As long as your h is in replay (Bimbo#3) is evidence, there is no fix. All of his behaviors indicate his desire to run. The divorce is just another running action. He has called twice to apologize. That was guilt not remorse as he did nothing to alleviate the pain.

    The only thing you can do is let him do the work. You need to continue to live as if he is never coming back and finding the resource within your own heart and soul to make things better for you. Don’t let the projections or the hate hurt your heart. Your journey needs to be about you and doing what is right for you, his journey is about finding himself and it is a journey that he will have to complete on his own. (((Hugs))) and may God’s grace touch your heart.

  5. Thank you, Ready and RCR. Is it hopeless? I know he really loved me. I don't know how he just turned it off, walked away, and threw me away like he did. I can't understand it. It's almost killed me. I never throught he could/would do anything like this. He always was so proud of me, so kind to me, bragged about me, looked out for me – and then just LEFT me. It sounds like you're saying it's hopeless – there's nothing I can do – only a miracle that changes him can give me back my husband. Am I understanding you correctly?

    • You are correct that we are saying there is nothing you can do, but that has nothing to do with Hope. No situation is hopeless. But this is his MLC, his journey–not yours. You cannot control him or make his choices for him. You cannot change him. MLC is not something you can fix, change or stop. It's not something a person gets over, the only way out is to go through.
      Given the limited information you have provided, it sounds like a typical case of MLC–that means Ready and I see this situation all the time and those cases aren't hopeless–so neither is yours.

      But that doesn't mean there will be a resolution in the next two weeks before the legal process is finalized. Incontinence happens and we have to deal with it. MLC isn't pretty.
      My recent post Should My MLCer Stay or Go

      • RCR, I know you are swamped, but you are so wise. What can I do? Just don't contact him anymore and hope one day he changes his mind and contacts me again? I've made it clear I still love him, I'd try again, that I've thought over what was good and bad about our marriage and would be willing to make a new and better one… but is that all I can do? I told him this so now just wait and hope? How do I handle the divorce court? I have one last meeting with him – he is signing over the phone contract to me – any advice on how to handle that and the court? Thank you.

  6. I can't be sure this is what RCR would say (she is the expert!) but what you can do is focus on yourself. Live as if he is never returning (that does not mean he won't) because he MAY not. Focusing on yourself is exactly what it sounds like. Try to put your H out of your head because you can not change his journey. This is your opportunity to do things that you never thought you would be able to, or that compromises within your marriage made more difficult. Re-learn who you are as an independent person.

  7. You want to build your strength, self-worth and contentment back up to a point where you know that you are fine – more than fine- on your own. That way, if he ever did come back you would have a real choice to make, knowing how great life can be with and without him. And if you did try to reconcile, he would be reconciling with a very confident, changed person – which he would need as most MLCer's who return, return broken. As for court is concerned, make sure that your settlement PROTECTS you financially. As far as divorce is concerned, a favourite saying on here is that it is just a piece of paper, so don't get too hung up on it. Look after yourself, confide in your closest friends and try to find pleasure whereever you can in your life. The more small things that start to feel good in your life, the closer you get to accepting that no matter what happens, even if he returns one day, you are ready to begin a new stage in life. Hugs!!

  8. Thank you, Ready. I appreciate your kind and wise words. I got a post-nup (I earn a lot more than he does) the day he moved out (it cost me a fortune!) before he knew *I knew* the extent of his betrayal; his guilt worked in my favor and he signed, but not before he came with a moving truck and took almost everything we owned, down to sheets and towels and pillows, to the first bimbo. All of our friends asked the same question, with genuine concern: DO YOU THINK HE HAS A BRAIN TUMOR? His behavior was so out of character, so cold, so downright pathological! He won't talk with me at all, as if I am the one who did HIM wrong. I don't understand. What do you think about dating again? I am so lonely and this feels so final. I am at a loss about how to proceed with my life.

  9. Oops! I mean, thanks to you, too, Stand! Am not doing so well right now… Thank you all. It is so lonely. Everyone who knew us has chosen sides: most hate him now, hold him in utter contempt, but the drinkers and philanderers he's taken up with are smearing me in our small town, saying he was miserable for years and I wouldn't "let him" do what he wanted to do: drink until he passed/blacked out, so of course he had to leave me. This is so hard.

  10. My H is having an affair with a married OW who works for my H. Th OW's H found out and is trying to get my H fired. Also she was my friend as well. Big time betrayal on all sides. Told me the affair is over but recently left love messages on work phone, OW played for her H and the fireworks went off. MY H still sleeps in my our bed. He says he wants to move out in next two weeks but on Monday says he wants to talk more. I brought up divorce so i think i planted seed. Do I ask him to leave and start Divorce. I think if i initiate, I will reject him…he HATES rejection. If he wants me then a divorce won't stop him.

  11. To: Still miss my MLC'er & Lost2011

    Have you looked at the forums? We have a new mentor program going on. All new posters are assigned a mentor–but you have to post since some people register but never post.

    Also, there are many more articles on this site. Just go to the menu at the top and click on Site Map. It will give you a list of every article on the main site–Blog articles are not included since it is a separate system.
    I just added them up and there are 137 articles covering 4 sections.
    My recent post Emergency Response

  12. I have been going through this turmoil for 2 years now and h is still living with OW. He had cancer last year, bladder and prostrate removed and now the cancer is back. Seems to me this OW is hanging on for something since the majority of their time together he has been ill. He also said I never let him do whatever he wanted, go to bars, stay out until all hours, etc. Well OW loves that kind of stuff so he is infatuated because she does everyuthing he dreamed off. We are still married, 31 years and he said he doesn't believe in divorce, we are both Catholic. I continue to stand for many reasons but the biggest is because I love him and I committed my live to him. One day at a time!

  13. My MLC returned after only 2 months of separation, mostly because I chose to get MY life back on track without him, and he panicked when he realised that he may loose me. Now he's back, but it feels as though nothing has been resolved, I'm just waiting for the next explosion and the abuse to start. I know that he is back only because he can't bear the thought of me finding love elsewhere and because it suits him better, right now, to have me taking care of him. How do I (quietly) begin the process of true reconciliation and healing? (He refuses to go for counselling).

    • Mountain Climber,
      I am so sorry that I did not see this earlier–I only recently fixed a glitch in the system that was preventing me from being notified about new comments.
      How do you begin true reconciliation…well right now the process is not being there, but getting there.
      You could have a Clinging Boomerang. Go to counseling–without him unless he asks to go. Let him know you are going, but do not pressure him to go, just shrug and let him know he's welcome only if he wants to go.
      Validate his feelings–he's got a lot of fears and though they may be irrational, he still has them.
      Set boundaries. Mistreatment is not acceptable and depending on what it is, can be grounds for you to tell him to leave or for you to actively kick him out. Public infidelity is such grounds.
      But at the same time, you are early in this and so you may still be at a point where you need to be a bit softer in how you hold those boundaries. I eventually kicked Sweetheart out when I discovered he was still cheating–but he had been keeping it a secret. But earlier (and after the kicking out episode) I did not kick him out when he was publicly taunting me. Why not kick him out then? Because that was what he was trying to get me to do–he wanted me to do his dirty work and my job was to be consistent about my Stand and what I had promised. Though I could've kicked him out and probably not changed my results.
      What does taking care of him entail? Is it enabling or co-dependent? Stop doing those things. Is it part of normal stuff–making a family dinner…then keep it up for now. If you do his laundry special, stop, but if it's just part of what you are doing for everyone in the family, then keep it up. Basically, maintenance treatment is acceptable and no pampering sort of treatment.

      What and how to do this is a big question–probably most or all of section III at the main website as well as the Mirror-Work of Section II. So read the articles.

      • Thank you Rollercoasterider, I appreciate your practical and rational advice. When the bombdrop first occurred last year and he moved out, I knew that divorce was not the answer …. That's when I stumbled upon your website. I knew that God's hand was guiding because it was as though each post spoke specifically to me and to what I was going through at that particular moment … I admire your courage and believe that your own personal stuggles are there for a higher purpose. Thank you for standing. Thank you for standing for marrriage and thank you for standing for God and allowing his wisdom to flow through you. MC

  14. thanks for posting all this great advice. I often wonder if I should kick him out, or what but I am only 56 days into this journey, and I feel that to do so is too quick, he won't see changes, but already he's complimented me on the way I have handled him with GRACE. He said he probably projected what he would do onto me… 🙂 I won't be the bad guy. At the same time, I live in his house now…so he could kick me out whenever!!! Fortunately I don't think he will do that…he's already promised to make it right…. YIKES!!! as I read that, if that's remorse already…what does that mean?! Cause he's not willing to work on the relationship, he wants to keep getting to know the new lady, who just found out that he's got a crush on her. (she told him, "you need to figure out why you were thinking about me…I do not want to be the other woman, EVER") Does that mean she's interested…oh dear, so many questions!!!!

  15. Rollercoaster. My husband bomb dropped about 2 years ago. I started reading your site and it has helped me greatly to recognize what the heck is going on. I have taken my mirror work seriously and am a much better person from it. My husband does not seem to be in an affair, so to speak, but rather a workaholic and has a weird “emotional” affair with his work cohorts. I beleive this is more of a feeling of acceptance, respect and admiration at work. We have 2 kids. Teenagers. At first, I did the beg and plead, I don’t want a divorce thing. HE has stayed in the house, but his blaming, monster in and emotional neglect and abuse helped me detach quickly. I have since asked him to move out, but he refuses to. My issue right now is that although I try to show the unconditionals, there is a touch and go type of activity with him. He monsters until he senses I am fed up and thinks he may have pushed me too far and I might go file for divorce, then he is nice nicey, comes home more and does things to try to dissipate the tension. I am seeing this as all words, no real changes and now the kids are involved. THE man works 18 hours a day, 6 days a week and is totally disconnected at home. I see many signs of mlc, but not with the affair stuff. Granted, there could still be an affair, I don’t want to be naiive, but at this point, I don’t beleive there is. He is 43, and we have not been intimate for 2 years now. He is holding grudges against me from our entire marriage. I hear all the typical things you mention…”I love you but I’m not in love with you any more”, ” we are just too different, incompatable”, “I martied the wrong person”. Etc. I have been trying to learn how to pave the way without being a doormat, but in light of him not having an affair, how do I set clear boundaries with him now? I have really worked hard on my own isdues and disrespect from the past, but I just don’t know if I could live forever with someone so unloving, disconnected and rejecting.

    If you have certain posts that would help direct me in advice with my non cheating husband stuck in mlc, I would love to read them. I am a bit lost here. It would almost be easier to understand if he WAS cheating. Thank you for this blig. It’s the only one that seemed to really explain mlc and the inside of the mind in the detail I needed. What a blessing!

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