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patriot92 #2065539 05/29/08 07:10 PM
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Anyway.. I don’t really know what to say but I would like to understand the emotional part of this subject. Isn’t being vulnerable talking to people and facing your failure? Isn’t it being present to say “you know what… things are bad in our relationship and I started this mess” Isn’t it honest when I say I feel lonely and sad about the past I can not change? I know what I did to Frozen. She has feelings about it ranging from anger to despair. I understand why. I would feel these things too… I would like to understand… but I have said that for years now and I still don’t get it, I guess. Emotionally unavailable. I don’t even know how I am doing that now.

Okay Patriot, let's spend a couple of minutes on your questions here.

"Isn’t being vulnerable talking to people and facing your failure?"

No it isn't. It's information exchange at best. IF you mean acknowledging you WERE a WS, that is a factual statement and not "facing your failure." Facing your failure is to IMPLEMENT change that moves you in a better direction, toward what you want the "new and improved you" to be.


"Isn’t it being present to say “you know what… things are bad in our relationship and I started this mess”"

Being "present" is just that, being present in the marriage. It is not being vulnerable. Choosing to stay in the marriage rather than divorce is a positive step, obviously, in beginning to recover, but you can be "married roommates" for the rest of your life and "present," but it's not vulnerable and it's not, imho, a "good marriage" that results in a "one flesh" marriage.


"Isn’t it honest when I say I feel lonely and sad about the past I can not change?"

Yes it's honest. So what? I'm quite certain that Froz also feels lonely and sad about the past that she cannot change either.

And you are both right. Neither one of you can change the past. But you CAN change TODAY, and in so doing, change each TODAY that is in the future.


"I would like to understand… but I have said that for years now and I still don’t get it, I guess. Emotionally unavailable. I don’t even know how I am doing that now."

You are only "emotionally unavailable" because you choose to be, not because you "must be."

That IS the "problem" isn't it?

You, as well as Froz, have erected barriers, "walls" if you will, to your emotions and your reactions to them in order to "protect yourself," isn't that right?

Letting them down means not only that you COULD get hurt, but that you likely WILL get hurt at some point.

What seems to be missing as a "key ingredient" is TRUST. I may be wrong, but I don't hear much in the way of trust by either of you, at least not trust in a "positive" way. Plenty of negative trust, but that's "expecting the worst" and keeps giving an excuse to keep the walls of protection up.


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The person that I have to live with no matter what happens. Me.

And this, Patriot, pretty much sums up the "problem" with the vulnerability issue you have "struggled" with.

This is perhaps a true statement if you were single. But you are NOT single, you are married. The person you "live with no matter what" is your wife, not you. Think about it.

What you are saying in this statement is that YOU are the most important thing in your life. There is no "living with God" and there is no "living with Froz." There is only YOU.

You want to be vulnerable and have the emotional connection?

Then understand that the "you" dies in a marriage and becomes the servant of your spouse. HER "best interests" supercede yours, and her "best interests" are subordinated to being YOUR servant. You serve each other as helpmeet and completer.

It's just like love, Patriot, you DO for the other, they feel loved, and they respond in kind, and the cycle continues and escalates. Love never fails. Lack of love fails all the time.


God bless.

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Mimi - I'm a bit confused by your strong defense of Pat when you are so very hard on the recovering waywards in other cases. You talk about extraordinary measures, yet you don't see through the lack of those in Pat's case.

Sorry - I reserve the right to be skeptical.

Pat - I encourage you to go deeper in your recovery. You can have all the right answers and still be wrong in the heart.

These questions get to the heart of the matter:

1. Does your wife FEEL loved, precious, adored and otherwise totally appreciated by you? If not, why not? What more needs to be done?

2. Does your wife FEEL safe, protected, that you take extraordinary precautions to protect the marriage consistently when no one is watching? Without expecting lavish praise for doing what should have been able to be taken for granted? If not, why not? What more needs to be done?

3. Do you try to "control" your wife's feelings, thoughts, etc. out of fear that if you don't, and she's left to her own choices, she'd leave you in a heartbeat? If so, you have nothing left to lose because she's already gone in her heart - so step into a risk of letting go of control...

4. Are you afraid of your wife retaliating on you? What defects of character lie deep within you that make you think she'd betray her own soul to get even? Please resolve those on your path to healing your marriage - or at least your own soul.

5. Who do you trust? why? What makes them trustworthy? Do you trust Froz? What do you trust her with? Do you dare to have a vulnerable, feeling conversation with her, unrehearsed, spontaneous where she can tell you are sincere and she can share with you sincerely how she feels? What would need to change within you to have this happen?

These are just the first questions I can think of. But this is plenty for now.

Keep in mind Pat - I've been through marriage with someone who had all the right words but his soul was wounded. He has earned my trust. I've watched this process happen several times. But not every time was victorious; I have watched people hang on to their pride and "their way" of being to the death. Mimi says you are who you are and that can't change. I say for your own happiness it MUST change.


Cafe Plan B link http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2182650&page=1

The ? that made recovery possible: "Which lovebuster do I do the most that hurts the worst"?

The statement that signaled my personal recovery and the turning point in our marriage recovery: "I don't need to be married that badly!"

If you're interested in saving your relationship, you'll work on it when it's convenient. If you're committed, you'll accept no excuses.
KaylaAndy #2065749 05/30/08 08:41 AM
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I wasn't saying that he CAN'T CHANGE into being a BETTER HUSBAND OR PERSON...

I was referring specifically to his COMMUNICATION STYLE...

Sorry if that was not clearer...


I made it happen..a joyful life..filled with peace, contentment, happiness and fabulocity.
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FH,

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Facing your failure is to IMPLEMENT change that moves you in a better direction, toward what you want the "new and improved you" to be.

I don't agree. That is DOING something about your failure. Facing it, to me, is simply recognizing it and not ignoring it. It is the difference between yes I did and no I did not. When youa re honest with yourself, you face something. That is my take

When you do something to change... you are doing something. All side phrases and hidden meanings aside... facing it is facing it. There it is. I did it. Doing something about it is different. That would be doing something about it.

The explanation, or defense if you see it that way, is to explain my behavior. That is how I see it. So that is how I behave. And that is why I respond the way I do. I did face it.

Doing something about it I fell short on


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Being "present" is just that, being present in the marriage. It is not being vulnerable. Choosing to stay in the marriage rather than divorce is a positive step, obviously, in beginning to recover, but you can be "married roommates" for the rest of your life and "present," but it's not vulnerable and it's not, imho, a "good marriage" that results in a "one flesh" marriage.

sure.. and I don't want to be married roommates.no argument here.

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Yes it's honest. So what? I'm quite certain that Froz also feels lonely and sad about the past that she cannot change either.

well around here, honesty is a pretty important thing to be getting because of the amount of dishonesty that existed. So thats what. And I bet she does feel that way.

yes.. we both have walls. thats true.

correct.. there is no trust. None from her to me. Not much from me to her either.


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And this, Patriot, pretty much sums up the "problem" with the vulnerability issue you have "struggled" with.

This is perhaps a true statement if you were single. But you are NOT single, you are married. The person you "live with no matter what" is your wife, not you. Think about it.

and now the confusion is exposed. Maybe I am the dumbest man alive today, but the remark was made from the angle of the only person I can control is me the only person I have sway over is me and so on. Instead of trying to control her or step on her property, I am trying to stay on mine. But then I say something that reflects what I am trying to do and this happens. Someone calls me out on how much of a stupid error that is and no wonder I am failing. Don't you see patriot???

NO... I don't. I don't see the FINE line between the selfishness of "me, me , me" and the selflessness of "me, me ,me"

lets see if I can frame that. If I only care about me, then I am selfish. If I only focus on me, I am not? If I only worry about me, I am selfish. If I only worry for me, am I not? No... I fully do not understand the "you can only control yourself" line on one side and then the "the only thing you worry about is yourself" on the other.

I continue to get told I am controlling. From where I sit, I don't have control of jack. "That's because I took the control back from you". um.. I didn't think I had control before either, but thanks for saying that to me in such a non-polite way, dear.

You always win!

um.. I sure don't feel like it

I can't even address all the points made here with anything coherent... I don't like being hurt. I don't like putting my heart out for people to stomp on. is that the core problem? I should step in front of a train once? Maybe a lot?


I feel totally confused. Now was probably not a good time to reply.

here is what I would like to ask. Of you FH.

I made remarks about vulnerability. You said NO to each one. I did not catch where you told me vulnerability looks like this...

was it there and I missed it? I usually do, so where was it.

I am sure this all sounds defensive... but the true emotion here is frustration. Utter debilitating frustration.

No matter what I try or don't, it is always the same result.

I have a few things to read... I am in an uptight mood right now and again, now was probably not a good time to post

I will probably have to come back and edit all this crap

patriot92 #2066204 05/30/08 11:28 PM
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KA – you said quite a lot. How do you feel your way through? How did you? You are an FWS right? What did you do to be so successful?

Good question. But to clarify - I'm a betrayed spouse, not a former wayward.

What did I do to be so successful? I'm not "there" yet; but I'm a work in process. I consider my greatest success was to learn to let my husband be himself. I put his recovery in God's hands (had a very good therapist give me a verbal smack down about getting in God's way).

I'm what you'd call a formerly scared-to-feel control freak. I'm also married into a family of unemotional intellectual jousters, which is why I gave the warning that I did.

I studied. I tried to figure it out. I went to group therapy for children of alcoholics - in a setting that played Claudia Black's "Stamp Game" - it's a therapeutic "game" where you draw a card that has a specific color and label/emotion on it. You then talk through what in your life reflects that color and that emotion. I found myself emotionally "inhibited" in this process. Thank heaven I didn't have the internet back then - because the internet reduces everything to words - which is an escape from feeling and processing the real feelings. The YUCK at the bottom of that emotional pit that I'm not going anywhere near... You know that place/that feeling?

Instead I went into a process with this group and an extended group, that used music, motion, thinking, feeling, crying, screaming, and whatever was needed to recognize the feelings that kept my voice locked in my throat, and my heart aloof from everything. I felt sometimes like there was a drill sargent in my face confronting me about my isolation, or my neighbor about her adherence to religious tradition without having the heart of that faith in her... I died in that room in a sense. But for the first time, I started to live. And I'm still learning to live and feel. I constantly put myself into experiences that require that I be vulnerable to a new feeling or awareness of myself. I even answered a radio ad that started out "this class is not for wimps" because at the time in that profession I saw myself as a wimp.

Pat - you can't do this kind of emotional work on this board - but Kim can get you into the right kind of place to do it or she can refer you into whatever setting that can. But it takes years of work.

Who knows what the future will bring? We can't go bury our spouse in the ground for fear that we will lose them. That only guarantees we will get what we fear the most.

If you've read Kasey and my recovery story in it's many pieces you will find that I left Kasey - for several months. And every time we met in our minister's office, Kasey would spell out all the conditions I had to meet in order to come home, as if he were in charge of my staying away... I'd just say "I don't need to be married that badly". Eventually he got it - I was gone. And instead of trying to coerce me to come back, he started asking what my conditions were to take him back. And he worked on it, with all sincerity. He even went through that emotionally scary fire that I went through - drill sargent and all just to deal with his own escapes. And he continues to show he loves me by being vulnerable to life, to me, to growth opportunities (pain), etc.

Please consider I was just as wounded as I could be. Kasey was as wounded as he could be. Yet this next month we will celebrate nearly a quarter of a century together. And we're happy - we love being in each other's company. We couldn't have done it without Willard Harley, his books, some really good group therapists and a couple of drill sargents that Kasey has a hard time saying two good words about!


Cafe Plan B link http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2182650&page=1

The ? that made recovery possible: "Which lovebuster do I do the most that hurts the worst"?

The statement that signaled my personal recovery and the turning point in our marriage recovery: "I don't need to be married that badly!"

If you're interested in saving your relationship, you'll work on it when it's convenient. If you're committed, you'll accept no excuses.
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