Along with communication of your Stand, refuse to accept your MLCer's projections. Accept your part in the marriage problems, but no more than your part. Your MLCer feels forced and denies that he has a choice in his actions. This is a victim mentality. Throw his choice back at him in a firm manner. Remember to validate his feelings while you are doing this, otherwise you are disagreeing without listening to the problem.
If he had not abandoned you and were not seeking a divorce, none of this would be happening. Be firm about how you speak regarding choice of behaviors. MLCers try to get out of responsibility; do not bend. They feel that someone forced them to do things and you may need to repeat yourself through out communications during the years of crisis.
He will not like this. MLCers rebel and will bait you. He may become angrier and escalate, testing behaviours against your reactions. He may threaten or increase his threats. If you are to Stand, your job is to remain consistent. That doesn't mean you can not change your mind about how to act. It means that if you believe he is acting irresponsibly or irrationally and continues to do so, then continue to believe it and point out how it is so--subtly such as showing how a persons choices and behaviours are their responsibility alone. Be consistent about your beliefs--divorce is not necessary or it's wrong--while also understanding that you may change your beliefs. These next responses use forms of the same words choice, responsible and decision to highlight the choices and link them to responsibility.
I am living in poor conditions in a bad area.
I have no sympathy for your financial problems or poor and humble living arrangements; you have chosen such an existence.
I had to leave because you would not discuss separation or divorce. I left because of your behavior.
Your have chosen to abandon me and our children. My beliefs about divorce are irrelevant and are not responsible for your deciding to abandon them. You left because you chose to leave; you are and will always be responsible for your actions and decisions.
I have no choice.
I'm sorry you feel that you have no choice, but there are always choices and each person is responsible for his or her own. Abandoning us is your choice.
You refuse to recognize the situation, even though I pointed it out many times.
I am quite aware of the situation; your erratic and irrational behavior makes it obvious. You can pretend that you are doing nothing inappropriate, but it's not going to work since you know that you are discarding your family. People are not garbage and marriages are not discardable.
My thoughts and feelings about our relationship are killing me, but I can't change them.
If you hear something like this, it is the evidence of guilt you have been wanting. Not all MLCers will verbalize it. More likely you will see the evidence in their behaviors, reactions and body language. If your MLCer says this to you--in writing or speech--you may respond.
[Name], I understand that this is hurting both of us. It hurts me even more to see your pain, but you are able to change your feelings; you choose everything you think, feel and do.
Theses responses are subtle hypnotic techniques. Continue to insist that a person's choices are his responsibility. An MLCer denies this and initially rebels, but by continuing to point out through time that a person's choices are his responsibility it can slip into his mind where he can process it and as he progresses through the MLC tunnel, he can come to understand and eventually accept it. Consider the statements stating in a factual manner that the MLCer already knows something. Stating that your MLCer knows something is wrong. Sure he may write or speak back that he doesn't know this or believes differently, that is when you are firm that he may not agree or be deluding himself right now, but he does know right from wrong, he does know where you stand on divorce and he does knows that he and not you is the one who is abandoning his family.
You know you’ve gotta stop crying, panicking or asking your spouse ANYTHING. And you know you should let-go and give space so that you can learn to respond and communicate with your spouse from a place of calm rather than emotional hurt.
Understanding Midlife Crisis
The foundational course to give you answers and clarity into "What the he!! Is going on with my spouse!"