This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Stress Coping Styles

Rather than without a cause, the Antihero is a rebel without a face and thus he is on an active search for his identity; he is a quester in turmoil. They are self-reflective, acknowledging their imperfections without blaming outside sources for their problems. Antiheroes recognize that midlife transition is a journey and need not be a crisis; even so it is not easy and a transition can become a midlife crisis. Antiheroes feel alone and as though no one understands their pain. They isolate themselves and wallow in overt and brooding depression. This self-absorption prevents involvement with their children and thus these men are often blind to their family’s interiorities and interests. Though they may recognize their wife and children visually, they have no intimate knowledge of each individual’s core being. Because they are openly aware of their own turmoil, they display high levels of anxiety along with other psychosomatic health issues. They abhor fakery—to thine own self be true; an Antihero’s public face is a realistic self-portrait—van Gogh displaying his bandaged head after severing his ear.

The Antihero is a quester; he acknowledges that he is lost and is thus actively striving for wholeness. This liminal mood is a more natural tendency for Antiheroes. He is in many ways the opposite of the Accommodater who follows the status quo, building a facade of success and stability. The Antihero rebels against such falsehood, refusing to sell out.

The Antihero may enter midlife crisis by attempting to claw out of a seemingly chronic depressive funk, but rather than climbing out of a Liminal Depression and into the Rebirth needed to transit into functionality, this person is falling apart and is clawing his way into dysfunctionality. He is becoming fed-up since he has felt no improvements in his life, rather than noticing positive progress, his pessimistic view only sees that things have become worse and that they will continue to deteriorate.

Since the Antihero turns his anger inward, he implodes, punishing and blaming himself; he may have a guilt complex in addition to a martyr complex. When he is unable to prevent his anger from exploding overtly, he becomes frightened and may panic. To him, exploding anger is indicative of a loss of control which Antihero’s handle by withdrawing. He must get away from his wife and family before he explodes again or before his explosions become worse. Such a person may or may not be a High-Energy Replayer, but monstrous anger is abnormal and frightening for him. Exploding anger may cause him to withdraw inward even more, or it may self-replicate and escalate as he loses control. He believes his wife will be safer and better off without him, or if he regresses into projection and denial, he will believe his wife is the cause of his explosions and though he believes she will be safer when he is gone, he also believes it is entirely her fault. She made him angry or failed to make him happy and thus they are incompatible. It simply was not meant to be; he will try to make it work with someone else.

Low-Energy Wallower’s may be more likely to be Antihero’s than Accommodaters. In MLC, his poor-me victim habit of dealing with conflict is no longer working. Since his patterned reaction to stress is inward, his quality of Separation may be more depressive than that of other MLCers, which may cause his spouse to wonder if it is a midlife crisis since he may be nicer than so many other MLC stories she reads about, or in trying to place her MLCer within an MLC map and timeline, she becomes confused since he seems so depressed. Replay behavior may be recognizable, but depression is also prominent and she may wonder if he is in or approaching Liminality. No, his comfort zone for relating to the world and dealing with conflict is inwardly depressive—whether he is stoic or emotional.

Series NavigationThe Stress Coping StylesAccommodater

Comments

Antihero620 Comments

  1. Completely exactly my situation.

    "the spouse wonders if it is a midlife crisis since he may be nicer than so many other MLC stories she reads about, or in trying to place her MLCer within an MLC map and timeline, she becomes confused since he seems so depressed. Replay behavior may be recognizable, but depression is also prominent and she may wonder if he is in or approaching …"

    The Antiheroe style is very very the one I used to know before BD, and disappeared at the beginning of the post BD ( energy was higher and he had sometimes Monster behaviours) . But 28 months later I see my H totally lower. He is secretive but tries to talk, he feels so bad, and tells me so.Thank you so much RCR.

  2. I read all this information and I am at a loss. To put my situation simply, my Husband of 10 years [together for 17 years] I have 2 children [my first Husband died when they were 7 and 5] I married again when they were 16 and 14 and we were a very happy family. He dropped the bomb shell on January 2nd 2010 after a wonderful Christmas together, we returned to Holland where we were both working, [ I came here for his job }
    Since he left there has been no other woman, he says he is not gay, he just admits to wanting to be on his own and lead his own lifestyle, which he now does. I did not want the Divorce, but he said he no longer wanted the marriage so what alternative was there. He would like to remain friends and tries very hard to keep the children in his life, but not me! If anyone can give me any ideas…I am at a loss, he says there was nothing wrong with our relationship, he still loves me but wants to be on his own!!?? please help.

    • Hurtsomuch,

      I am so sorry for your pain and confusion. This is still a rather typical scenario. Most do have affairs, but not all. It is more likely that he is a Low-Energy Wallower. You say you\’ve read all the information–do you mean this post or all the articles on the main site and here or threads at the forum?

      It\’s not going to make sense to you. Your husband probably knows that as well since he has been unable to give you a reason, but says there is nothing wrong with your relationship.

      Have you joined the forum? I recommend you post over there, because that is where there is a back-and-forth community. I also recommend that you read through the recommended resources for newbies–at least to see if there is something you have not yet read.

      You feel that since he wants out, what\’s the alternative. Well, the alternative is to say \”No\” and refuse to help with the legal process. You will need to do your part, but part of your part is contesting and saying that this is not only not what you want, but it is not the best action for the situation–in the court papers. Basically refuse to agree to a divorce. That doesn\’t mean you won\’t be divorced, but it means he will have to go through the legal channels rather than get it by having you sign a mutual agreement to end your marriage.

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