I have been reading more than posting here. I notice a lot of people have essentially the same story. I have tried to capture it the script. We all basically do the same things - we don't know each other and come from different countries, but we do the same things basically.
Here's what I wrote out. I'd like to hear if I missed any steps. I know there are some variables, but for what it's worth:
1. Marriage cruising along - relatively happy on the surface. Some of us on autopilot.
2. Walk away spouse (WAS) becomes different and distant. Left behind spouse (LBS) notices and either asks about it, or quietly lets other person have space.
3. WAS continues to act distant and finally lets LBS know they are unhappy. Some WAS say they are done at this point as they have been unhappy for X amount of years and want a divorce. "There is nothing LBS can do. It's too little too late. you should have read my mind that i was unhappy." I was personally told my WAS was "unhappy for a very long time. This was news to me. WAS comes up with idea of separation:
- to figure myself out or find myself.
- make me want you again.
- to be happier.
4. LBS becomes panic driven. LBS owns the whole problem. LBS takes responsibility for fixing the entire thing and other person. LBS urges counseling. LBS in shock and is operating from a fear based panic mode.
5. LBS smothers WAS and tries to figure out what makes them tick. LBS orders 150 books from Amazon on every marriage topic and tries to teach WAS about their marital problems. "WAS, men are definitely from Mars and women may be from Venus. I don't know as we are speaking different love languages."
6. LBS is in disbelief about who the WAS spouse has become. WAS is distant, cold and is a completely different person.
7. It turns out WAS spouse is actually seeing someone else and has been. Maybe they are only interested in someone else at this point. "I don't know" becomes the WAS mantra. ILYBNILWY is said here, or maybe back in script step 3.
8. LBS acts even more desperate and then plays the humiliating "pick me! pick me!' dance or shuffle. (thanks Chumplady.com for the reference).
9. Cake eating WAS then is given more power to determine everyones future. "Limbo" becomes an actual lifestyle now. Not just a dance at your cousin's wedding.
10. LBS comes to TAM and figures out this is happening across the globe.
11. LBS reads and is counseled by the TAM warriors the focus should be on themselves in order to become a better person and prepare for another life. LBS goes back to Amazon and buys every self help book in order to work on themselves.
12. LBS learns the "180" lifestyle. LBS is still hurting inside, but is more empowered now and not so desperate. LBS has a bit more power now. LBS realizes the pick me dance is humiliating. LBS starts doing things they want to do. LBS is finding themselves again. LBS has a more clear image of WAS and now has a better understanding of the script. WAS is looking less appealing at this point as true colors on that pea**** are in bloom.
13. Decisions are pondered. Timelines are now set. WAS continues to wander in fantasy land. LBS tries to stick in the present and ruminates daily on when the desire to move on exceeds the desire to hang on.
14. Legal papers are filed.
15. WAS now realizes that "Plan B" LBS is not kidding around.
There are several paths from this point:
15a. WAS is actually relieved. They can now start their perfect relationship with their soulmate.
15b. WAS freaks out as the comfy security blanket (financial, emotional, whatever) is being pulled away. WAS tries to make amends. LBS has some options now, but maybe feels everything from glad, to mistrusting, to "no way." All of these feelings can happen at the same time. Several times a day.
16. Attempt at R, or divorce. Both parties move forward. Some Rs lather, rinse, repeat.
Am I missing some steps to the script?
When going through hell - don't stop. - Winston Churchill