Can your marriage survive the truth of who you are?
Basically that is asking if you will have to sacrifice your Self, the core being of who you are, in order to remain married to your spouse. This is the question the MLCer’s are also asking and in MLC they believe the answer is no. The question is not about your roles and duties, but about who you are in your stillness when you take off the personal mask and are simply you.
Answering that question requires self-reflection, and as you know, MLCers typically avoid such scary stuff as reflecting on themselves, choosing instead to project onto others—you in particular. Though self-reflection catches up in Liminality.
Both MLCers and LBSs may resist their journey before they embrace it. But what are your personal; thoughts regarding an MLCer with the typical story of leaving their spouse for an alienator who progresses through the MLC tunnel—through Liminality—and still answers that question with no, I cannot remain in my marriage and be true to my Self?
Those of you who are active or even lurkers at the forum may be familiar with Stayed’s story. She and her MLCer are reconciled and she has posted a letter her husband wrote to an LBS at another site. Stayed’s Husband’s Letter. Helpful isn’t it? It’s what you want to hear—since he returned home to his marriage, it is the sort of credibility you are seeking. He may not always say things you like, but since he returned to his marriage, he did what was right. He returned and did the work to heal and repair.
But what of those who do not return and yet exit the tunnel having finally embraced their journey—having ventured to the underworld and returned with their own elixir of life? What of those who return to the world and not to their marriage, and who are joyous in their new life? Do you look down on them? Do you interpret their attitude as one of lacking insight or remorse and excusing their MLC infidelities—since they are now rejoicing in a new life? They may even progress to guiding others through midlife or similar journeys, what do you think of that? Basically, where is your judgment?
For most of my target audience, you are or have experienced infidelity as a betrayed spouse and yet you are Standing for your marriage. That means you want to be married to someone who has committed adultery—a known cheater. You may not know how, but you are willing to forgive that person and yet I see many Standers casting judgment on those who have cheated outside of the circle of Standers. It’s okay for us to Stand for our spouses within our community, but that person out there—maybe whose former spouse was not a Stander—that person lacks credibility. They didn’t return to their marriage, they didn’t do the repair work and therefore they have not grown into their after MLC Self. They are inauthentic and deluding themselves.
Maybe you aren’t one of those Judgers. Maybe you understand and accept—at least for others situations and maybe your own—that not all marriages will survive, but a person can still come through an MLC and be joyous and authentic and an upstanding member of society. But what do you think when a former MLCer (in a reconciled marriage or not) talks about the positive experiences of their journey that came from the Escape & Avoid portion—the learning experiences from Replay and their affair? Maybe their experience with the alienator brought them into their own sensuality and love of their body and now they are more open and loving of their physical Self. Maybe they learned a great new sex technique. Is that technique something like scientific experiments on captives—not to be used because of the way it was learned? They can’t unring the I cheated bell, but should they still pretend that stuff was all bad or never happened?
I wish there had not been a Holocaust, but there was, and from that Viktor Frankl wrote about Man’s Search for Meaning and a young girl who did not survive that terrible event gave us hope in humanity even amidst the terrible atrocities.
…I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.
-Ann Frank: Saturday, 15 July, 1944, pg. 237
Do you give them credibility because they were the victims rather than the perpetrators?
Tomorrow I will continue this topic by explaining what has brought me to this line of thoughts.