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The Lure of Change

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Be Strength. You are in the midst of a personal crisis, your world is falling apart, and your spouse is falling apart. Begging and pleading are natural reactions. Tears are natural; feeling helpless and even desperate is natural. Changes and the appearance of strength for the sake of reconciliation alone are a manipulation rather than an attempt to grow for yourself, and thus such false changes will be abandoned to failure. Success begins when the changes and focus serve and please you.

In the beginning you may fear change in your Self. You feel forced to change to keep or get your spouse back, and may thus feel resentful. Then there is the fear that your MLCer will not like your changes--and you consider abandoning the new Self you love. Not all your changes need to be permanent. Test, keep what you like, sacrifice some for others, and negotiate when you dislike something. But never sacrifice Self--who you are and who you are becoming.

As your Replayer disconnects and goes deeper into his crisis, he will be watching you. He will expect you to react naturally: begging & pleading, tears, helpless... He may appear surprised and disgusted, but as you gain strength and grow away from those initial reactions born of shock, he will become even more surprised. As he falls, you gain strength; you are confident and certain within yourself. You smile and laugh. Your initial reaction of pleading and anger--resulting from hurt--proved to him that his loveless feelings were real and his actions were thus justified. But now he notices and wonders:

  • Why are you so strong?
  • What do you know that he does not?
  • What is he missing?

With your strength, he can begin to doubt himself. He doesn't feel strong. You must be doing something right. He observes you and can begin to trust you--trust your strength, faith and hope.

He wants to claim you are in denial. But he compares the appearance of your life to his. When he tries to feign happiness and certainty in his decisions, you are consistent in your strength and belief. When you stop reacting, you remove yourself from projection. He will TRY to project blame toward her. But trying presupposes failure; it will not work. He will eventually abandon the effort. If he is not ready to accept personal responsibility, he will choose someone else for his projection.

This can be a dangerous time for the Stander; MLCers react impulsively. You are doing well and are thus an attraction; he may suddenly want to move home. He is not ready! A premature return is common in MLC. This return will likely fail. This can serve to weaken your resolve as he now falls deeper. When he originally left, he blamed you for all his problems and the problems in your marriage. He returned not because he felt differently, but because you changed and he thus thought he felt differently. It won't work.

At this point his direction depends on whether he is ready to accept responsibility for his life. Some will recognize that since you are strong, the problem is internal within themselves and retreat toward depressive Liminality, martyring themselves for your benefit. The alternative is a return to Deep Replay where he cannot accept personal responsibility and continues to project blame externally--usually at you.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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