How can I see that my husband's MC is ending?

by Anonymous
(Brussels, Belgium)

Question


My husband is 42 years (me 41), we have a daughter of 5 and we are married for 15 years.

He started to act strangely 18 months ago. He was irritable to everyone, he started to avoid me. He often had a far away look. Was unhappy with his body, his life, me.

It was all my fault. He had a colleague with whom he could talk and liked her company. Of course a woman of 35 years (cohabits with partner and has 2 children).

He always told me he had never betrayed me (he is still saying this).

Because I lost all confidence in him, I started to control him. He always hides his cell phone. Because I controlled him, he felt suffocated.

In December he left us. He slept for a couple of weeks in the army (he is a militair) and then he changed his address and moved in with his parents. Now he has rented a studio till next May.

Everybody says that this isn't him anymore, that he changed 180°. He started to lose weight and he bought new clothes and a flat screen tv. But he was still unhappy. In May he said to me that he was depressed. Recognition! In my eyes it is a midlife crisis.

All the symptoms are there and he follows truly all the stages of midlife crisis (denial, anger, replay, depression, withdrawal and acceptance). He told me he felt very bad and he would like to come home (be a father and a husband again), but he asks for patience.

He wants first to get rid of his depression. He is still seeing her, saying she is just a friend. But he does everything for her. And she takes advantage of him. He wants us to do it slowly but surely. He is still hiding his cell phone.

For the moment he is on a trip (alone?). He sent me a message, saying that this trip is good therapy and that he realizes that he misses us. He is still very secretive, slovenly and sleeps a lot (because of antidepressive pills). He comes when he likes to, has no time knowledge. He cuddles his daughter, but does show any affection, nor intimacy to me.

He doesn't want to talk about us. The only answer I get is, everything will be alright, give us some time, slowly but surely. What do you think? Is he in his withdrawal stage or in the acceptance stage? Is the end near? And very important: how must I behave to him?

Noel's reply

I do not know what stage he is at. The depression will likely pass in time, as will the midlife transition.

I suspect his secretiveness is at least partly due to your wanting to control what he does.

My only suggestion is that you act around him as any normal adult would. If he drops in whenever he feels like it, and that does not suit you, let him know that he must call ahead and arrange to drop by. After all, he does not live there at the moment. Being secretive is his business. He is an independent adult not living with you, so he can be secretive if he wants.

But you also have rights. Set some boundaries around his interaction with you, and also give some thought to what you want your relationship to be like when he does return home. You need not simply be the little woman waiting at home. Get on with your own life.

Comments for How can I see that my husband's MC is ending?

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Apr 07, 2017
response to "enough is enough"
by: Anonymous

I find understanding what is happening is helpful. My husband, Lover, and Best Friend, is drastically changing, sometimes I dont even know him, and other times I want to "fix him" and protect him, and there are times I feel like exploding, pulling my hair out and screaming insanely. So I started reading about it. Mostly because my husband at one of the calmer moments thought that his intensity and drive too do everything was a sort of recognition "no time left" or a genetic drive to hurry, huge sexual surge and drive with frustrating limitations of age.
In many ways it is very similar to my own menopause and MLC. It is not about tip toeing around my husband, I found it has been about setting boundaries, and giving him room. I wanted and needed the same in my MLC, and when I did not get room, I with complete abandon made room, whether it hurt him or not; at the time I did not and could not see that I was hurting him or acting extreme.
So here I am coping with the crazy ride, sometimes it is intense, scary, angry, or painful. No I do not know how it will all pan out, but my husband and I are talking, sometimes he is really hearing, other times he is in that driven self mode. So these blogs and article really help me, help me understand, and help me have realistic explanations. Sure his MLC is similar to mine, but it is completely different as well, I feel it is because he is man, and I a woman, which is naturally a different genetic make up.
So yes I keep reading, learning, and try being supporting without condescending, but mostly I have learned to keep my sanity, I need my boundaries, and simply have to let him grapple with himself, and be supportive when I can. Believe me it is not easy, but I keep referencing my own menopause, and MLC, and it was extreme highs, lows, a raging or lagging inside, and my erratic behavior then was not pretty i.e. sleeplessness, intoxication, hair dyeing, make up, creams and tons of creams for wrinkles, and the edginess, depression, feeling trapped, and feeling wild, and insecure all at the same time. All of that is not so dissimilar from my husbands current process.
The up side is we are talking, we have sexual journals which we let each other read, and we have an understanding about not taking moods, and space issues personal (that one can be difficult at times).
I appreciate your blog and other blogs. Wish me luck :)

Dec 14, 2011
Enough already?
by: Anonymous

Honestly, what a load of rubbish this male midlife tip-toeing around can sometimes appear to be. Does anyone imagine men would be similarly sensitive, cautious and endlessly self-sacrificing for their wife's menopause? I am finding it increasingly ridiculous that we women have to tolerate this second adolescence in this way. Either men are in need of medication/counseling, or they are indulging their moods. If it's hurting their partner, then they should take action and seek to remedy the situation. Or am I missing something? Oh dear, yes, sorry . . . they are confused . . .

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