In some cases of MLC Bomb Drop is the discovery or disclosure of an affair. But there are many MLC cases where the affair remains hidden or has not yet begun. In such circumstances the spouse has the opportunity to emotionally prepare for infidelity which is recognized as a symptom of something bigger.
How do you chronologically identify Bomb Drop? Bomb Drop is the moment you learn there is a serious problem in your marriage threatening its destruction. I measure Bomb Drop from the time the MLCer verbally or actively seeks to escape you and the marriage–regardless of legal action. It has three basic components.
- Confusion of what is wanted.
- I don’t know if I want to be married.
- I don’t want to be married.
- I love you but I’m not in-love with you.
- No affair–yet; he’s probably looking.
- No physical affair–but someone is waiting in the wings.
- Disclosure of planned affair.
- Disclosure or Discovery of affair.
- Affair remains secret.
Bomb Drop may or may not include all of these components and they may not be verbal. You may notice through your spouse’s behaviors that he seems uncertain or confused about your marriage. For some it is a distinct conversation with a clear message, if you are not sure if your spouse has dropped the bomb, reading this is probably a clue. What signaled you to begin looking up information on infidelity or midlife crisis? If a friend has encouraged you to read this, perhaps you have not yet had Bomb Drop, but they are telling you something. If your spouse has moved out of your house, he’s dropped it!
Bomb Drop is not the moment you stopped denying that your spouse is confused, unhappy or cheating. Denial may begin before or after Bomb Drop and it may continue well afterwards. Bomb Drop is when your spouse relays the message of his confusion and uncertainty whether through direct verbal communication or other behavioral clues.
Bomb Drop occurs during Replay or initiates Replay. It is a release of the burden of responsibility from the MLCer; now that you know, he no longer has to pretend. A few MLCers may express confusion and give the I love you but I’m not in-love with you speech, but prolong their run for freedom, sometimes delaying Replay, doing this also delays their MLC and keeps them in a state of limbo. Replay cannot progress until the MLCer thinks the marriage is over and acts on that belief–though often with cycling confusion. Replay is an avoidance of issues, but avoidance is the manner in which midlife crisis facilitates facing issues; the MLCer must learn that denying and avoiding fail so that he can face the issues.
Multiple and Mini Bombs
I’m always hearing about 2nd or 3rd Bombs and how much more it hurt when he left again. I believe this is due to the denial of the initial Bomb Drop, exacerbated by the confusion created in the LBS by the MLCer’s cycling and confusion. Once an MLCer leaves or expresses a desire to leave, the odds of him doing it again are high until a significant amount of time has passed that includes counseling–a few years. I was upset when I discovered Sweetheart was still seeing the alienator, but not shocked in the least. I accepted it as a possibility; I did not expect, but I did accept.