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Have you ever heard of men flipping it around and after threatening to leave, now tell you that you will probably leave them? I am totally confused…

I’m going to add a few additional details from the questioner.

  • They still sleep in the same bed.
  • He loves her; he doesn’t lover her and Monsters.
  • He said he hates himself, doesn’t lover her—he loves no one.
  • She was seeing a therapist and he refused; he recently said he wants to see someone as well.
  • But none if it would matter because she would leave him anyway
  • They won’t be married at this time next year because he will do something that would make her leave.

So, to those of you who have been in this a few years, does that look a bit familiar? Okay, I admit I am asking that question with a bit of sarcasm—no offense, it’s a common question. O could simply answer this question with a large YES, but I will offer some explanations—though the articles offer even more detail; I’ve linked a few important ones in this post.

To the questioner and others who may not know: This is textbook MLC script—especially textbook Clinging Boomerang. I saw this in my own situation and it is typical of Clinging Boomerangs.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t make sense. He’s the one who is Monstering and confused and you are being steady and faithful, but he claims—and believes—you will be the one to leave him. But think about it from the MLCer’s point of view:

Some MLCers don’t want to be the bad guy; they want to get you to do the dirty work of ending the relationship and they may do this through a variety of conflict increasing behaviours—not all are
deliberate. An affair and Monstering are deliberate, but Depression and what it does to a person may not be and yet an MLCer may feel their negativity and believe no one would put up with it. Perhaps they believe they would not put up with it if your roles were reversed.

What do you do about this—how do you reassure or convince your MLCer that you won’t leave (abandon) them?
Well, telling them over and over that you won’t leave will do nothing; rather this often feels to them as though you are dismissing them and that you don’t get it. They’re probably right; you’re not in their crazy head and so you don’t get what it’s like in there. And maybe they’re right, plenty of people subtly set up situations for another person to take the action and plenty of men and women walk out on their midlife crisis spouse; how does your spouse know that you won’t be one of them. It’s the scorned issue; you don’t know how you will react or respond to a situation until you experience it. You can guess and if you are well-adjusted and stable you are more likely to be accurate, but everyone has a threshold; what if your MLCer crosses yours? Please do not go into this thinking that my spouse wouldn’t do that, where that may be typical MLC behaviours such as having an affair, leaving, spending their savings, Monstering, leaving the kids as well as you, drinking or turning to other destructive self-medications…

Establishing Reassurance takes time. Reassure by showing rather than telling. A week of steadfast faithfulness in the face of Monster is not going to be enough to convince anyone—especially since some MLCers Monster for 1-2 years which makes a week feel like almost nothing. Even if you don’t falter—and you probably will—it will take a few years for an MLCer to feel reassured. Initially they will test you by increasing their conflict behaviours in order to find your threshold. Paving the Way takes time and detaching is essential. In my situation it was about two years before Chuck really believed I would not give and leave him. During that time I did not waiver in my Stand; sure I blew up at him a few times—and he needed it! But I remained committed to him. Once he finally felt reassured we had a new issue: he felt he could do anything since I would not leave him. Cake-Eating often becomes an issue later in MLC with Clinging Boomerangs.


Do People in Midlife Crisis Twist the Situation and the Blame?2 Comments

  1. OMG im so glad to have stumbled upon your website. Since discovery of husbands affair 6 months ago (married 19 yrs) I have read so much I think my head is starting to hurt. And your information doesn't make it better – I mean that in a positive way as I think you understand the situation better than most who have a website. However, I have not seen you address when a LBS spouse (me) and husband have decided to stay together in the same house. Unfortunitely as I could see what I had contributed to break down of marriage (and my husbands reminder) I became a pursurer and "mother". I have also started real estate licensing school but being a e-course I don't get out much. At first it was ok you know 3 steps forward and 1 step back and 2 days to recover, that because he is experiencing severe bpanick attacks, vertigo, severe headaches etc. I once again have become over clingy again and then get upset when he pushes me away. So I decided to move out for 30 days I explained that I felt I needed some space to breathe maybe he did too and where I would be and what date I would return on. However as usual im second guessing nmy choices. HJe is an severe stealth narcissist DEEP in MLC, I am as well an inverted narcissist (co-dependant) I recognize that. He knew this woman from working together before nmeeting me. Thjey stayed in touch I think some men and women can be friends, and our family went to a bbq many hyears ago at her house (with her family) I know she has had an affair before my spouse and she almost killed her husband and two boys mayb 10 years ago driving ski boat drunk, at nite ran up bank flipped boat. Started "just friends" I have read this book, and then progressed. he states that they never met in person but I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT AT ALL. I know they have txtd for a long time , for 5yeatrs it started to increase then I think about a year ago hooking up. Even though he has admitted some guilt shame or embarrassment(not remorse) he still will claim he didn't have affair LOL I have no solid eveidence but enough circumstatinal to connect the dots. I believe he ended it but may have recently hooked up again I don't know I am kept in dark it would be very easy for him to continue without my knowledge as being high up in his company he can come and go plus use phone and computers I have no access to – any time he wants. He does have a very stressful job and does work long long hours . I know our marriage in past really sucked but he has been emotionally abusive to me for entire marriage I tried to leave twice alsways persuaded back. went into shut down mode for several years I decided I needed to bring myself back and work on marriage when I discovered txt messages and the bomb exploded. I am really trying to let him heal himself cuz I gotta try to heal me but I feel like im falling through the cracks oh please tell me you words of wisdom (I know you can't fix it for me but oh wouldn't that be nice.
    I even started writing myself I have a bloig at: ) to try to help myself I enjoy putting the feelings I have into words and then down on paper even if no one may read them or everyone will. its still my therapy of choice currently OK IM SO SORRY SO LONG THANKS SO MUCH FOR LISTENING -chely

  2. Flipping it around! As a man, if someone try's to flip things around and say things like.."you're probably going to leave me anyway" could be a man's way of recognizing that he's going down the wrong path and is obviously changing and could be jeopardizing his marriage. I haven't experienced this myself but I can see it happening pretty naturally when a man starts to go through a mid life crisis. I sincerely hope I never experience MLC because the last thing I ever want to be is a miserable depressed man who tries to flip things on an innocent wife.
    My recent post Mort Fertel says to Put Love First – How Do You Do It and How Can This Help Save Your Marriage?

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