Acting As If...
It Doesn't Matter What You Do...
you cannot change his crisis. This is an advice mantra repeated over and over. But is it true? You feel hopeless and helpless enough: your spouse has abandoned you, refuses to pay your bills, is vilifying you to in the community and hates you and what you do won't matter? ARGH!
I understand it, and I agree in part, but not completely--otherwise their would be no point in Paving the Way as a Standing strategy. Notice that the phrase says you cannot change your MLCer's crisis; it states nothing about changes to your personal life. The mantra helps you understand that your spouse's MLC is not your crisis, it is not personal and it is not preventable--once started it must be gone through; there is no getting or going over.
But imagine the infinite multitude of behaviors available to you. What you can do is change, choose and control your actions and attitudes. Imagine the difference in the reactions of your MLCer (or anyone targeted) if your reactions to abandonment were to burn all of his possessions, sell his favorite motorized toy for a handful of magic beans, take the children and run away--that's called kidnapping by the way etc. Actions of vengeance receive different return reactions or responses than actions of love and kindness. The important message is that love and kindness will not stop the crisis. But they can facilitate an environment for your MLCer to make choices that are beneficial to your marriage or post marriage relationship--someday. Such behaviors often have immediate results in that your MLCer may stop raging and blaming at you--though he may find someone else to project onto; let's hope it's the alienator.
Your actions and responses may cause him to think, now, later or both. It is not your job to make your MLCer feel guilty--such as through telling him he is a bad person, spouse and parent. But guilt is not always bad; it can be healthy. But your MLCer needs to feel guilt for himself, not because other people think that is how he should feel. Causing him to think about his actions can help his healthy guilt.
Your actions matter because they have a direct effect on you as well as on your children and their stability in these difficult times. Your actions affect your attitude and your attitude can be contagious, thereby affecting and infecting others. You cannot control the outcome of how others will respond or react to you, but you can change, choose and control what they are responding to.