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Midlife crisis: this is the script!(108 Posts)
This is from the midlife forum! As my H followed this almost word for word, I thought you might find a chuckle of recognition, too. PS Women can also do this, so because English doesn't have a mutual gender word, substitute OW/OM etc as required.
MIDLIFE for Dummies
Welcome to the wonderful world of Mid Life Crisis!! You are about to embark on one of the most perilous journeys you have ever taken. A journey fraught with intrigue and guaranteed to turn you inside out! This book is designed to help you make sure you get the most emotional bang for your buck.
In these pages are the "how to" answers to the questions you have been asking yourself about damaging as many people as you can along the way. Come on and dig in, it's time to get this roller coaster rolling on down the tracks!!
Chapter 1 - Choosing the Correct Speech
There are 4 basic speeches for you to choose from. They are:
a) I love you but I don't know if I'm in love with you.
b) I've never loved you, and we should never have gotten married.
c) We got married too young. I never knew anything besides you.
d) You tricked me into marrying you, I would never have done it otherwise.
Once you have decided on which speech to give, you need to cause as much anxiety in your spouse as you can before you actually give it. Continue to the next chapter for Lessons in building anxiety.
Chapter 2 - Lessons in Building Anxiety
You will find these lessons to be helpful in causing anxiety in your spouse and others (depending on the level of pain and damage you want to cause), not just prior to giving the speech, but throughout your MLC.
Lesson 1 - Monstrification of Your Spouse
This is easy to accomplish. Simply think of only the "bad" things that your spouse has done throughout your entire relationship. Have one of those "angel" spouses? No problem, just remember how bad she always makes you feel. DO NOT under any circumstances remember fondly your spouse, or anything they have done for you. Remember, they are going to be the cause of all of your problems, so it is imperative that you convince your self of this first.
Lesson 2 - Emotional Detachment
This will be very easy to do after accomplishing lesson 1. All you have to do is start reminding yourself that you don't care about them, what they feel, what they want, or if they hurt. Simple! Every time you remind yourself of this, you will get further and further away from your relationship emotionally. Now, that wasn't too hard was it? On to lesson 3
Lesson 3 - Mass Confusion and Indecision
This lesson requires a little more thought and attention. You must constantly practice saying "I don't know" to ANY and ALL questions. That is imperative!! Your spouse (and others) must never know precisely what is going on in-side your head. Also, never let them know where you are going, where you have been, who you were with (this will go hand in hand with the lesson on the Other Person, or OP), or whether or not they can expect you to return home.
Lesson 4 - Lies and Deceit
To get the most damage, and cause the most pain, you must lie and decieve at every opportunity. And to really achieve hall of fame status, you should be very inept at it, so that everyone knows that you are lying, or suspects, but can't prove it initially. This works very well for the following chapters, OP and Cake Eating.
Chapter 3 - The Other Woman (or OW)
Now it is time for you to succumb to temptation. You KNOW all of those other women want you! They have been coming on to you for years!! It is time for you to give them their chance at having some of you. Make sure that you leave a very confusing trail for your spouse to follow. One that lets them suspect, but have to dig and sneak (to make them feel worse about themselves) to find the information they need to prove it. Hold out admitting the affair as long as you can, and don't admit it ever, if you can get away with it.
Chapter 4 - Cake Eating
This chapter is designed to string your spouse along in uncertainty as long as possible, because as long as they have hope, they won't be able to go out and find their own lives and be fulfilled. Why should they get to do that, while you are so miserable? They shouldn't!! So, make sure that you are affectionate occasionally (not too often, as this will raise anxiety levels), that you drag your feet about making a decision on the marriage, and that you leave and come back several times (as many as you can get away with).
Chapter 5 - History Revision
It is very important that you revise the life you have lead with your spouse. You must use words like: Always, Ever, Never and All of the Time. Always precede the statement with the terms: you, I, and we. As in "you always nag me" "I never ever (double bonus here) get to do what I want" and "We have to do what you want all of the time". This will help to make your spouse feel like the way you are behaving is all their fault, and can cause them to feel even worse about themselves than they already did!!
Chapter 6 - It's All About You!!
Remember this is all about you! What you want and need, RIGHT NOW! You shouldn't have to wait until you can afford something, just go on out and get it! You deserve a new haircut, new clothes, and some new toys. You've worked for it. You would probably look great in that new Convertible, or on that new Harley!! So don't hesitate! You live in the here and now! So why wait until tomorrow!!
Remember, the word is CRISIS and if you are in one, EVERYONE else should have to ride the Roller coaster with you! It's no fun taking a ride alone, and you know what they say about misery loving company! Go on out there and get started, so much pain and damage, and so little time!
Chapter 7 - Avoid, Ignore, and Run Away
This chapter is to help you deal with the problems that your spouse will try to cause. We don't want you to have to "deal" with anything, now do we? You shouldn't have to "think" about any "issues" right now, except those that concern you "feeling good". The best way to handle this, is to Avoid, Ignore, and Run Away. Any time someone tries to make you see a more "reasonable" stance on a subject, simply Avoid making a reply...stare out into space, as if you are thinking about something important, and they will become uncomfortable and leave you alone.
If there are responsibilities that need your attention, simply ignore them. You don't have to do anything you don't feel like doing. And the best for last is Run Away! This can be accomplished in many different ways. OP's can help you Run Away from all of these "problems" as well as Alcohol, Drugs, New Sports Cars....etc the list is endless. Of course, you can always just leave...but remember not to let them know where you are going, and if you'll be back!!
Chapter 8 - MC and Therapists
Your spouse may ask you to go to counseling with her. This is only useful to make them feel better. It cannot possibly have anything to you so there is no reason for you to follow-up with anything suggested--it doesn't matter to you. The only thing you should look for is more reasons (excuses) for avoiding, running and ignoring (see previous chapter).
Chapter 9 - I Don't Have To if I Don't Want To and You Can't Make Me!
Remember that this is about YOU, and what YOU want and how YOU feel!! No one else is important, so don't let them make you feel as if you have to listen to anything they say. Your spouse will try to help you of course, because they love you. Don't let them get away with giving you unwanted advice. Let them know in the teenage vernacular, that they can't make you do anything.
This is important, you must be as childish as possible!! Any truly adult behavior on your part will only convince them that you are listening to what they are saying, and you will have to start back at the beginning. Of course, this technique can be used knowingly to cause more confusion and chaos, just beware of the danger, you don't actually want to start acting like an adult!!
Chapter 10 - How To Threaten and/or How To Move Out
You threaten to move out for weeks or months but you don't. (*)You tell your spouse that you got too much on your plate right now to look for a flat but that you will do so in 2 weeks time. After 2 weeks, repeat from (*).
If your wife wants to come too close to you, like entering your bedroom to talk to you, tell her to stay away or you will move out. When she replies that you will move out anyway tell her that you will move out faster if she comes any closer
Chapter 11 - Art of Clinging
The Art of Clinging to the End of the Mattress without falling off the matrimonial bed while still sharing it with your spouse.
Chapter 12 - Advanced Lessons
This is usually reserved for those in more difficult situations, where the LBS has responded not by tossing you out, threatening to leave, or filing for divorce, but instead persists in not only OFFERING to cooperate, but actually MAKING THE CHANGES you said you needed.
"I am tired of living like this/I don't want to live like this anymore/I am not going to live my life like this?" often is coupled with another advanced tactic, "It's not you, it's me".
This line is most effective AFTER the LBS has jumped through hoops and bent over backwards. It basically confirms that no matter what changes the LBS is willing to make, the incompatibility lies within the MLCer, who has no intention of, or implied desire or ability to, compromise.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR SPOUSE THINK SHE IS CRAZY
1. When confronted by the evidence of an EA or PA, become very indignant. Stress that the LBS is obviously just a jealous sob/bi*ch, and you are entitled to "buddies" of the opposite sex.
2. Never, ever answer the question, "Are you okay? Is there something wrong?" with a direct answer that might actually lead to a discussion that might help the marriage. Continue to never talk to spouse, never give her/him a personal compliment or touch of affection and by all means work on the "cling to the edge of the mattress to avoid touching" manoeuvre that is so successful in making your spouse crazy.
3. Always bear in mind that your spouse will expect you to want to at least give them the chance to "fix" the marriage. Since you have already checked out emotionally (of course NEVER tell them that!), you are under no obligation to actually listen to anything they say or acknowledge anything they do. This tactic is also extremely beneficial when they employ the MLC diet. When they lose a massive amount of weight and you are in ear shot of someone who mentions to spouse about the weight loss, say "Are you losing weight? Why don't you ever tell me things?"
4. Of course one of the most successful ways to drive them crazy may only be used when you have earned the MLC Black Belt. Go to marriage counselling for months, let them pour out their soul to you and the counsellor and let them believe they are actually accomplishing something. Then arrange things so the spouse finds you in your own home with OW. This will accomplish two things: a. She will finally have to understand how lucky you are to have found your "soul mate" and b. She will be doubly betrayed because she thought you were actually working on the marriage.
DON'T LET YOUR SPOUSE GET TOO INDEPENDENT - STATEGIES FOR SUCKING YOUR SPOUSE BACK IN
1. Make negative comments about OW or the chances that the relationship with OW will succeed. HOWEVER, under no circumstances, make any commitment to end the relationship with OW.
2. Make veiled hints about suicide or excessive drinking or drug use. Be erratic and hard to contact.
3. Do random acts of kindness such as garden work or something. That will keep your spouse confused and hopeful.
4. Make vague comments hinting that things might work out between you and your spouse IN THE FUTURE. HOWEVER, under no circumstances take any actions to work anything out.
CUSTODY - Using the Kids To Your Advantage
If you have children, they can be extremely useful for inducing fear and panic in your spouse. Recommended phrases include, "You're poisoning my kids against me", "You put that idea into their heads", and "You need to do [insert pertinent action here] for the sake of the kids'." Remember, your spouse, being a responsible and loving person, is not only trying to cope with his/her own feelings, but trying to protect the children, and you can use that to your advantage.
Don't forget to use the fact that if you spend any time with your kids, you should get Extra Credit Bonus Good Parent points from your spouse. It doesn't matter if you feed them ice cream for breakfast and have them watch "Hellboy" when they asked for "Veggie Tales", you Just Wanted To Make Them Happy, and since YOU are the best judge of Happiness, that makes you Super Parent.
You can use this opportunity to trash talk your spouse ("Isn't this more fun than what Mommy/Daddy would let you do?" "Mom/Dad doesn't know how to relax.") which of course, will be repeated back to your spouse so you get the benefit of destroying their self-esteem second hand.
Highly advanced MLCers may want to start casually using the word Custody, but be very, very careful. While useful for sending your spouse into a state of panic, you certainly do not want to be responsible for a bunch of kids who will seriously cut into your personal fun time. The word Custody should only be used in a casual tone of voice for the most devastating effect.
You (the mlcer) know a lot about your spouse. You know what pushes their buttons to get them both upset and/or happy. You have the power, you can do it! So using the kids to upset them is fair game (see section on how to use "custody" to upset them but not take on the "custody"). And if that ever stops working, find something else. Suggestions might include pets, valuables in the home, their appearance, family, career. Nothing is out of your reach since you have put in so many years getting to know your spouse--use what you know.
THE BLAME GAME
By now, you should be aware that all of this MUST be your spouse's fault, however, your spouse may not understand this completely yet, so you need to start planting the seeds.
There are several ingenious ways to put the blame on your spouse, and we will be exploring them all.
Method 1: The Non-Blame Statement
I'm trying not to blame YOU
This statement implies that you are "not putting the blame on them" but on closer look (which your spouse is guaranteed to be doing) The words actually put all of the blame on the spouse (where of course we know it belongs).
Method 2: The Passive Blame Statement
I don't think that I can live with you.
My opinion never mattered to you.
I can't live like this.
We rarely have fun anymore.
I don't want to live this way anymore.
These are passive statements that don't actually assign blame to your spouse, but your spouse will definitely get the idea if you use them. They can't help but see that it MUST be them that makes you feel this way.
Method 3: The Direct Blame Statement
You never listen to me.
You never put creases in my pants.
You use bagged salad.
You never keep the house clean.
You are going to do it your way.
All of these are direct statements of blame. You should mix actual faults with things that don't really matter to make it more confusing, and make your spouse feel as bad as possible about themselves.
Your spouse has probably already started doing the hard work to look inside his/herself (Yuck, what an awful thought!) and will take on all of the faults you list to try and correct them. This will keep them occupied for awhile, and you can avoid any serious relationship talks while they apologize for and try to fix all of their own faults.
Make sure that you don't actually accept the apology, that way you can continue to bring the fault up which will slow down their self improvement process. Remember, they are working on becoming better human beings, and you wouldn't want that to happen to fast, as that would interfere with your ability to string them along.
Note: NEVER ACTUALLY ADMIT TO ANY FAULTS OF YOUR OWN!!!! REMEMBER, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY! YOU ARE THE GOOD ONE, AND HAD THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN AFFAIR, LIE, SPEND MONEY, OR ANY OTHER THING, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES THAT ARE BAD!!!
Let's not forget "We're just incompatible - we always were."
Also, when the LBS starts to make changes, make SURE you find fault with these changes, or point out how it's "too little, too late", or wasn't what you meant AT ALL. If all else fails, put the LBS down for being so willing to change herself for your needs. Also, when the LBS starts to make changes, make SURE you find fault with these changes, or point out how it's "too little, too late", or wasn't what you meant AT ALL."
How to keep you spouse guessing...be mean one minute threatening divorce, etc then next day be kind and sweet almost the way your spouse remembers you..rinse repeat....
HOW TO CONTINUE THE CRAZINESS ONCE SEPARATION/DIVORCE IS AGREED UPON
1. Even though by now you, dear MLCer, have done everything human possibly to convince your spouse that you do not love him/her and want out, when the time comes to actually file, DON"T DO IT! This is the coup de gras of MLC. Absolutely DO NOT TAKE THE INITIATIVE. This is a most vital and awesome crazy-maker. Holding out will force your by now totally devastated spouse to finally throw up his/her hands and seek legal counsel.
2. Once the LBS has had enough and decides that divorce is in their best interest, you have won HUGE points here. Refusing to be the one to file now puts YOU in the role of victim, bringing you all the attention and pity necessary to allow you to again regain your image of the abused one in all this. Now you can, with absolutely NO guilt, tell everyone the divorce was your LBS's idea (which of COURSE it was!) and they will assume that:
a. the LBS lost all that weight and obviously has been involved in an affair, and
b. the marriage ended because your LBS spouse is going through a - YES! THE PINNACLE OF CRAZINESS! - Midlife Crisis!!
Copyright The Midlife Club
MirandaIV, goodness, who knows? I think it depends on a whole lot of factors. Funny, our stories are quite similar..my H's OW is "older" too, by quite a lot. My H said about "being free", oh it went on. It is amazing really. That is really frustrating about contact, do you have kids? You can always get the papers served by hand on him at work. I TOTALLY understand why you want to know about the OW, many won't. Hope you've started a thread about your story, you should, you'll get lots of help and advice. Good luck! x
So utterly predictable. My dad's MLC was in the 1980s. My mom and the mistress played "Pick Me" for years as he moved in and out and in and out. Both should have just said to him, "Ya know what, Bob, Fuck You." But neither did.
In the end, he divorced my mother, dumped the mistress, lived with a woman for a couple of years, married another women for 90 days (annulled) and then dated my mom again, dumped her again and then got back together with the Original Mistress and they have been married for about 20 years. When Original Mistress passes (I hear she is sick) then my mother will be right back in there playing, "Pick me" again.
Gosh yes it's my story too. Mine has obviously read the script too.
I wonder if anyone can tell me how often the affair actually works or does it usually break down? Mine apparently met his within two weeks. I only found out because his mobile bills showed 700 texts in one month to one number!! This was two months after leaving and he had lied through his teeth to me and told me three times that there was no other woman and that he would tell me as soon as he started seeing someone and might even come back for me in six months or a year when he had lived the free life that he'd never had the chance to! Unbelievable!
The other thing that's driving me mad is that he won't answer any letters, has changed his mobile number and cut off his email so I have no way of contacting him other than via his mothers house with letters that he never answers. So having filed for divorce I can't get anything sorted out. Why are they so immature about it all?
I would love to see what this woman is like, but other the her mobile number I know nothing about her and he won't tell me anything of course. All he said before he went NC is that she's 'not young'. Most people don't understand why I want to know, but to be honest if she was an old slapper which I suspect, it would make it easier for me to feel superior and laugh at them both.
Came across this and felt the need to bump and reanimate, especially for all those recent posters, like myself, whose lives have been turned upside by a MLC-er! What it is with these men? ALL of the OP rings true for me, it really is amazing. What I struggle to deal with is the "blame game"...my husband having an affair, leaving me and our kids and moving in with a recent widow who he said he'd been seeing for 3 weeks (!) and then having the pair of them make my life utter hell, being abusive and blaming me entirely for their decision to have an affair and destroy my family. It is just astonishing and that has been very difficult to come to terms with. I too will be forwarding this to my STBXH when the divorce comes through. The OW can read it and weep as far as I am concerned as it will all come to her in the end....!
So sad to read this...but comforting to know its not just me! Been through hell over the last six months and still not getting better but at least I can stop trying to work out where it all went wrong. I would have done anything to make it work but he wasn't willing to try at all. I guess this explains why.
It is so great to read this and laugh! I am in the beginning stages- discovered the affair 5 weeks ago- but I am fully expecting him to turn on me exactly as described in the post. He has already told me i am making this all about ME! Wow! It is good to be prepared and protect yourself! After 19 years he has learned to manipulate me and now is the chapter in my life where I don't have to play into that anymore!!!
I am the latest one to discover he is following the script
Again..it must have been written by my xh..especially the monstrification..he put me through years of hell..but apparently it was vice versa..I feel sorry for his OW..she has to deal with the screwed up mess he is now..
Ps just reading Claire Tomalins biography of Charles Dickens.
He employed exactly the same tactics in the 1850s! He was in his mid forties.
No cheater has "read" or heard the script, in my view. It is just the psychological stages people go through in order to justify poor behaviour of this sort.
Dadwithbaby, you will be wiser and less naive for sure. But I'm sure you won't become cynical. Don't let her do that to you.
most of this reflects my stbxw perfectly. Shes early 30's tbh i think the script applies to all selfish inconsiderate individuals regardless of gender. They will say and do whatever it takes to justify their position and actions.
Scapegoat you are correct they will never be the same people we use to love but sadly many of us will never be the same. Once bitten and all
My stbx's MLC is still going strong two years after 'the speech'. The MLC forum was a godsend to me when he left.
Understanding it is all about them and their selfishness/inadequacies makes all the difference to our recovery. It's the justifications which are so bad they are laughable!
Honestly ladies, they will never be the same as the men we used to love so we are all well rid!!!
Quite funny in its own sad way - even then they can't think for themselves and have to have a script ;)
it's sad isn't it, how they all follow it....
Least I now know he's reading from a script!! If that was a tick list he'd get 100%!
bumped again - as sadly too many people seem to need it at the moment
I think this thread should be in MN classic (if it's not already).
I wish it had been here when ..
But anyway, I've got a lot from it and I'm in a better place to use it now than I ever was. I don't think it only applies to those of us who are facing discovery that our marriages are not what we thought or wanted. I think it's helpful for any of us who are newly embarking on the dating thing again.
I so hope the posters who are currently going through such distress read and take comfort in realising that it really isn't about them.
I had occasion to meet with my ex a few days ago after a fairly lengthy NC. I saw him as he really is, MLC or not. A man whose public persona as a highly paid professional in his field is so at odds with the man who sat and proudly told me how is defrauding his employer because his line manager has pissed him off.
I'd wish his
current squeeze DP good luck with all of that - if I could be bothered. I'm so not
oh yes my ex probably followed 90% of that script the only one not in it was the kids bit i have my kids and he had his kids when we met, but some of it word for word and it took me ages to not feel like what did i do wrong that made you treat me this badly, i now reslise he was wired to do the dirty on me all along just wish i had sussed him out at the begining of our relationship
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