- 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.