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AO - angry outburst. If you haven't already, and it seems you haven't, I strongly recommend you click have a look at the Basic Concepts

Quote:
I am opinionated and arrogant.

Huge problem if you're like that in any way with your W.

An opinionated / arrogant person sets him/herself above others.

With this ATTITUDE ("I'm better than you"), disrespect will seep out in words, tone, behaviour or body language.

I see this so often IRL - "I don't have opinions, I have facts. I tell it like it is and that's good - I am a strong person."

This is poison to a Marriage and IMO not much good in any other part of life either.

I wouldn't be surprised if arrogant people tend to have unfaithful spouses.

Anyway, I'm speculating. Why not ask the expert what you did wrong - your wife.

That's the purpose of the Emotional Needs and Lovebusters questionnaires.

You wrote at length about the good things you did for your W and kids and marriage, and I don't disagree you put a lot in by the sound of it.

What I can't tell is if you met your WIFE'S important emotional needs in the way SHE wanted them met.

As opposed to meeting what YOU guessed her ENs were, to YOUR satisfaction.

For example you may have been going all out to provide FS (Financial Support) and Admiration, when all the while she was feeling empty and unloved because of a poorly met need for Conversation or Affection.

All your hard work may have been misdirected. Evidently it was.

More importantly though, you may have been LBing her with DJs, AOs and SDs (Selfish Demands), which negated any good you did.

This is the purpose of the LB questionnaire and my hunch is that this will give you the most valuable information for restoring love in your marriage.

I recommend you start with this, when you're ready.


Me 49 SAHD; W 41 SAHM; DS3, DS4.
Seven year affairage.
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Don't worry. I pretty much discount anything that OUCHTHATHURTS says. He goes from thread to thread insulting the unfaithful spouse with a lot of venom. I think he has as many issues to work out as I do.
Your description of the situation is perfectly matched to mine. And no, I don't think even for a minute that she considered the consequences. The problem is we DID have the boundaries in our marriage because we had both been the abandoned spouse in previous marriages that were destroyed this way. Many many long discussions of expectations and consequences. It makes it hard because she didn't even realize it until it was too late. and it was too late almost immediately.
Over the years of our relationship I have always been hypervigilant about interaction with women. I don't like to work to closely with them on projects. I won't go to lunch with a woman alone. I have female vendors who want to take me to lunch--strictly for business reasons-- they will invite me and some of the other people in my office and if it is just me who is available I will decline. I don't take that first step because I know that it's a huge slippery sloap. trying to see how far can I take this and just have fun....dance to the line of the limits. people don't realize what happens when you get close to the line. You cross it.

Your report of recovery is encouraging. I have a bit of difficulty believing it will be a better marriage. Mine wasn't perfect but it was DAMN close.
She is greiving now as much as I am because the aftermath of all this is that she has lost just as much as me. In some ways it might be worse. I can always get self rightous and wrap myself up in my victim status. She is responsible for all of this being destroyed and she knows it. She hasn't stopped crying for days. And yes I've considered that she might be mourning the loss of her relationship but she ended it right away. No phone contact, email, nothing. And I didn't have to tell her family. Wouldn't have anyway.
I think that she has finally had it sink in, just how deeply this hurt us and our family.

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Originally Posted By: 5outof6aintbad
AO - angry outburst. If you haven't already, and it seems you haven't, I strongly recommend you click have a look at the Basic Concepts




Anyway, I'm speculating. Why not ask the expert what you did wrong - your wife.





What I can't tell is if you met your WIFE'S important emotional needs in the way SHE wanted them met.

As opposed to meeting what YOU guessed her ENs were, to YOUR satisfaction.




We would spend our evenings laying on the couch, our heads at either end of the couch rubbing eachother's feet. If she ever said "wanna rub feet?" I would put down my computer or book and do it. It was an opportunity to talk. I never let an opportunity to talk to her go by. My second wife used to try to wake me up in the middle of the night because she needed to talk and I was tired and would resist and be upset with her. After her death I was troubled by that. I made sure I didn't do it again. I verbalized my desire to available at any time.
I made my self available and I sought conversation and asked often if she needed anything else of me. I spent time sitting on the couch holding hands and watching the stupidest shows on earth because she enjoyed them.
I have discovered a few things that really bothered her. First I get insomnia and get up out of bed at night. Sometimes I would be working late or reading and wouldn't go to bed when she did.

I also, since this occurred found out that she thought I had an affair at the beginning of our marriage. My job took me to another part of the country for several months. I flew home almost every weekend. I would work 12-16 hours a day, and work out twice a day to keep myself going. I lost weight, got cut up, wore some tighter fitting clothes and she interepreted this as me pursuing other women. She says she just thought it was serving my needs and when I took another job that didn't require that kind of travel she figured it was not worth talking about.
She never said a word to me about her suspicions. I can look back now and connect them to things in our marriage early on.She held back from me and I thought it was due to the way she had been treated in her first marriage. It eased over time and I thought it was because she finally accepted that I wasn't like him and would not mistreat her the way others had.
There was no affair and no one night stands. There was nothing. She envisioned the luxury of staying in hotels and eating in restaurants every day and I was up at 530 for my first work out, at work before 8, I'd take a break in the evening to grab a workout and then work till midnight or later. it was brutal on our very new marriage but we both had financial problems when we met. and it was the only way to dig out of them.


And I have asked her again and again what I did to contribute to this. what need I didn't fill. She keeps telling me there was nothing. That it was all her. I'm hoping that in time she will discover something I wasn't doing because I am unsteady at the idea that there is nothing for me to address. That just tells me it could happen again at any time.
I don't use all the kiche terms like LB and AO and FB and all because I think it's a bit too dime store one size fits all. the meat and potatoes of the things I have read on this site work for me. the cutesy stuff doesn't.

Last edited by NiteLite1; 04/29/09 07:19 AM.
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NiteLite1 I see what you mean about being arrogant and opinionated.

If you just want to have a chat about your M here, more power to you.

The most useful information though in my opinion is found not on the forum but in the articles on the main part of the site.

As you enter the Forum, this message appears:

Quote:
Before participating in the forum, please follow these guidelines:

1. If you are having difficulty resolving a marital conflict, first read Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts.


Of course it's your perfect right to ignore this.

But there's nothing more fundamental on this site, 'meat and potatoes', if you will, than the Basic Concepts, and you seem ignorant of these.

Much of the advice you get here though will or should draw on the basic concepts.

Now you can dismiss this as 'kitch' or 'cutesy' or 'dimestore' but I think thereby you're missing out on some information that might help explain why your first and current marriages struck problems.

It might be true that you DIDN'T fail to meet any of your wife's needs. As you say though, it would be concerning if there was NOTHING you could do to stop this happening again.

Good news though, going by the dismissive and angry tenor of your posts, is that you will find plenty to work on if you read the basic concepts, especially the section on lovebusters, and, in particular, if you ask your wife if she would complete the lovebusters questionnaire.


Me 49 SAHD; W 41 SAHM; DS3, DS4.
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Originally Posted By: 5outof6aintbad
NiteLite1 I see what you mean about being arrogant and opinionated.

If you just want to have a chat about your M here, more power to you.

The most useful information though in my opinion is found not on the forum but in the articles on the main part of the site.

As you enter the Forum, this message appears:

Quote:
Before participating in the forum, please follow these guidelines:

1. If you are having difficulty resolving a marital conflict, first read Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts.


Of course it's your perfect right to ignore this.

But there's nothing more fundamental on this site, 'meat and potatoes', if you will, than the Basic Concepts, and you seem ignorant of these.

Much of the advice you get here though will or should draw on the basic concepts.

Now you can dismiss this as 'kitch' or 'cutesy' or 'dimestore' but I think thereby you're missing out on some information that might help explain why your first and current marriages struck problems.

It might be true that you DIDN'T fail to meet any of your wife's needs. As you say though, it would be concerning if there was NOTHING you could do to stop this happening again.

Good news though, going by the dismissive and angry tenor of your posts, is that you will find plenty to work on if you read the basic concepts, especially the section on lovebusters, and, in particular, if you ask your wife if she would complete the lovebusters questionnaire.


Nite,

Even though I don't really read anger in your posts I say you can be angry all you want.

I also don't think you were criticizing the concepts here...just the cutesy names. I did that too...I mean, "love bank"...how corny is THAT. However, after applying the concepts the catch-phrases kinda grew on us as simple ways to communicate complex matters in our day to day life. I mean here it's common, but in everyday life to say to your spouse, "is that a lovebuster?", "I believe that to be a disrespectful judgement?"....is just hilarious and often diffuses any situation.

Finally...just maybe you weren't doing a single thing wrong in your marriage and you've got nothing dramatic to fix. That's OK. Your wife didn't have the affair AT you to punish you or hurt you. It's certainly not YOUR fault. She did this to herself and her God. Maybe she's really insecure and didn't feel she deserved you (i.e. - you were too perfect), maybe there wasn't enough drama and she grew up with a lot and had a lot in her first marriage, maybe you were just so good to her she felt entitled to have her cake and eat it too (it doesn't appear she wanted to run off with him and that it started as a secret fling apparently not meant to last long). Point is...don't try to kill yourself with the "what could I or should I have done". Instead focus on moving forward from TODAY. What can you do NOW to make your marriage and future(s) better.

That's not to say I don't understand the emotions you are going through. This IS a process, individually and as a couple. Take your time & ask questions.

Mr. Wondering


FBH(me)-51 FWW-49 (MrsWondering)
DD19 DS 22 Dday-2005-Recovered

"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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Quote:
It might be true that you DIDN'T fail to meet any of your wife's needs. As you say though, it would be concerning if there was NOTHING you could do to stop this happening again.


Wanted to come back to this...

This isn't "concerning" at all. There is NOTHING a spouse can do to STOP an affair from happening. My former WW's fidelity is not my responsibility. It's hers. I'll worry about being the best husband I can be including being diligent on my boundaries; however, I can't watch her 100% of the time, nor do I want to.

Using MB techniques and striving always for an affair proof marriage may help protect us from an affair; doesn't mean neither of us aren't forever vulnerable and forever culpable for our OWN actions.

Mr. Wondering


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"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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I was most certainly NOT perfect. But I have always made it a high priority to be a good husband. To care for her properly and to put our family above my own interests. And one of the many things that I like about her is that on the rare occasion that I wasn't putting the family before myself, she reminded me of it in a simple way that gave me clarity. As I said, I drew strength from our marriage.
I also do not want to watch my wife 100% of the time. But right now I give in to the need to check up on her just to keep my sanity. It's encouraging that you have recovered from this. I'm lucky in that my best friend went thru a similar trial in his marriage 6 years ago. They are a strong and caring couple now and his reassurance that it can be fixed has helped me to keep going. I know there will be scars that will not go away . And I know and she knows that the person she is married to will be vastly diferent from the person she was married to before. I have insecurities that didn't exist before. I don't know how long I will be needy of reassurance or how long I will have feelings of panic. I expect some of these things will just be around for the long haul. We have been reading and discussing the book our counselor gave us. And I am still trying to figure out how to deal with my anger and trying not to say things that will damage us.

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Please reread this and think about it. I saw the same thing. You can tell your wife ILY every single day, but if you LB her every day, those words mean nothing. You need to ask her to fill out the LB questionnaire.

Originally Posted By: 5outof6aintbad
AO - angry outburst. If you haven't already, and it seems you haven't, I strongly recommend you click have a look at the Basic Concepts

Quote:
I am opinionated and arrogant.

Huge problem if you're like that in any way with your W.

An opinionated / arrogant person sets him/herself above others.

With this ATTITUDE ("I'm better than you"), disrespect will seep out in words, tone, behaviour or body language.

I see this so often IRL - "I don't have opinions, I have facts. I tell it like it is and that's good - I am a strong person."

This is poison to a Marriage and IMO not much good in any other part of life either.

I wouldn't be surprised if arrogant people tend to have unfaithful spouses.

Anyway, I'm speculating. Why not ask the expert what you did wrong - your wife.

That's the purpose of the Emotional Needs and Lovebusters questionnaires.

You wrote at length about the good things you did for your W and kids and marriage, and I don't disagree you put a lot in by the sound of it.

What I can't tell is if you met your WIFE'S important emotional needs in the way SHE wanted them met.

As opposed to meeting what YOU guessed her ENs were, to YOUR satisfaction.

For example you may have been going all out to provide FS (Financial Support) and Admiration, when all the while she was feeling empty and unloved because of a poorly met need for Conversation or Affection.

All your hard work may have been misdirected. Evidently it was.

More importantly though, you may have been LBing her with DJs, AOs and SDs (Selfish Demands), which negated any good you did.

This is the purpose of the LB questionnaire and my hunch is that this will give you the most valuable information for restoring love in your marriage.

I recommend you start with this, when you're ready.

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NiteLite, what I see when I read your posts is something that we don't see very often here on MB. I see a husband who has been betrayed and has righteous indignation at what has happened. I have no doubt if your wife were still actively involved in her A, you wouldn't be here twisting your hands, doubting yourself, or afraid to confront for fear of making your wife angry.

I also see a man who is in pain and shock that this would happen to him... again, especially after you both shared a history of betrayal in your previous marriages.

You sound sure of yourself but even the smartest, most savvy people can still learn. I encourage you to read and learn form the materials.

Recovery is not for sissies. It's HARD WORK.

You've come to the right place. We'll help you through your pain, even when you try and hide it.


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
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In a sense now, I am homeless. For the home, the place of refuge, solitude, love-where my husband lived-no longer exists. Joyce Carolyn Oates, A Widow's Story
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Nitelite,

I was smiling as I read your thoughts on the "love bank", "love busters", etc. I think most guys who come here have that reaction, I sure did. I thought to myself "How quaint?" "Give me a break", etc.

After many years here, I have found what Mr. W said to be true. It is a handy shorthand for far more complex things. So know it doesn't bother me much.

However, you said something that is actually pretty common and your concern is well found. You said
Quote:
And I have asked her again and again what I did to contribute to this. what need I didn't fill. She keeps telling me there was nothing. That it was all her. I'm hoping that in time she will discover something I wasn't doing because I am unsteady at the idea that there is nothing for me to address. That just tells me it could happen again at any time.


I am sure there are things you could address, but the reality is that in many cases on this site, what needs to be addressed is really minor. Yet the A occured anyway. People like to think they are in control, and it is unsettling, to say the least, to realize you don't have that sort of control.

HOWEVER, what you should seek from your W is HER plan to assess what her boundaries really are, where there are weaknesses, and what her plan is to protect her boundaries and shore up the weaknesses in them. You are not in control of her, but she is. It is appropriate to inquire as to what she has learned about herself, and what her plans are to address what she has learned.

In an extreme example, if she stated: " I don't have problems with my boundaries, you help create a bad marriage so I stepped out, you need to work on yourself to fix this." Then you KNOW nothing was learned and your marriage is just a fragile as you might fear.

If she on the other hand says something like" I realize I did not see my vulnerability to ..., but now that I do I plan to protect myself, the marriage and you, by doing the following things..." and then she follows her words with actions, the I would say you have a good chance of a great recovery.

Your fear is well founded, the solution lies in her plans to address her weakness.

I hope this helps.

God Bless,

JL

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Just Learning, it does help thank you. One thing I have learned is that in the last 2 years she felt like I didn't notice her. Stack her illness on to that and she felt like a burden. She claims I didn't make her feel neglected because when I was home I gave her lots of attention. But the truth is I have been working a lot. 50-60 hours a week (closer to 50 usuallly). Considering the economy I felt like what I was doing was taking care of her and the family. From her angle though she was alone more. I would say that is neglect.
I'm not trying to excuse what she did. It was wrong. Absolutely wrong. But I'm starting to understand some of the things that contributed to it and created the circumstances for a "perfect storm". I'm also reading. I've read most of the material on this site before I came to the forum. And even though I won't be drinking the coolaid I have and will continue to learn from the discussions I've had on here.

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Nitelight,

Coolaide is not a requirement. smile Thought, introspection, questioning, discussion, requestioning, more discussion, those things are required.

I will tell you that Harley's approach is much deeper than it appears or is often described in the discussion forum. It is deceptive, because it really is not one size fits all. It is an approach which is togather data and then effectively use that is one size fits all.

Harley's original thought was that a lot of marriage were not good not because the couple did not try, but they put their efforts into areas that did not meet the needs of the spouse. So step one is determine what our spouses needs are. Step two find out how the want them met. These two steps insure that each of us uses our efforts more effectively. His observation if you simply do this marriages improve.

I think your story illustrates this. However, in the case of affairs and other issues things must be addressed and this again is about acquiring data, analyzing and then making the appropriate response. Given that I am a scientist I find this approach appealing.

But, here is the very scary part and something I just find astounding. I take pride that I am unique and that other people are unique. I would have never in a million years guessed how "common" we all. If you read here for awhile you will be absolutely amazed at how the WS say the same things, not just in general, I am talking word for word. It really is as if they had a script and I have seen this for a decade here. As for the BS, the response are pretty much the same as well.

So while you don't have to "drink the coolaide" you should become aware at how commonly humans seem to respond to the same stimulus, and affairs are definitely that. This commonality is very unsettling, but it also means that Harley's approach has a good probablility of working.

Just thoughts.

God Bless,

JL

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Originally Posted By: ouchthathurt
I think your road will be tougher because you were an attentive and loving husband. It makes her cheating all the more treacherous. In fact it actually seems that she thought that you loved her so much, that she could cheat on you once and get a freebee. And though it meant trouble in your marriage, you would eventually give her a pass. In essence, "I know he loves me, so if I only mess up this once, he'll forgive me". And now she's thinking "whew, dodged a bullet there, but it worked out pretty much how I thought it would go". I wish you the best of luck.


I agree, she rolled the dice because she felt like there is no way he wouuld end the M being a great stand up guy, big family man. Nope, and that will make it much harder for you to overcome. My sitch was similar, and I went off(retaliated), exposed to everyone, then Plan D. Now, I'm going back to fix it. There was no way at the time, the resentment was unbarable..DUDE

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Originally Posted By: NiteLite1
And even though I won't be drinking the coolaid I have and will continue to learn from the discussions I've had on here.


Nitelite,
I can see what you mean about your own level of arrogance. Judging from your posts, its pretty high. Maybe you should think on whether you should adopt a shred of humility, especially when seeking help from others. While you may have been a good husband in most respects, I'm willing to bet that your attitude undoes some of your efforts. Remember that you are here for the same reasons as everyone else.

There is really no coolaid here to drink. Often people get thrown off by the somewhat corny names for the concepts. But any intelligent person can look past the names love bank, lovebusters, etc. to the underlying concepts that they represent. Its very basic and serves as a good foundation for relationships and general human interaction. Its ironic that you seem to reject the advice of the people posting to you (and even deliver some indirect insults, like the above quote), even though you apparently (at least) attempt to live by the same concepts they are recommending.

Lastly, please consider that many people mistakenly confuse arrogance with confidence. One inspires respect and love, the other doesn't. Which do you think is which?

Last edited by Unfettered; 05/05/09 07:16 AM.

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Unfettered,

There certainly is coolaid to drink here. When I hear that phrase it usually means follow the rules without understanding, and that is what is recommended. I'm not saying the rules are bad, but MB has rules and many recommend following them even if you don't understand yet.


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Quote:
but MB has rules and many recommend following them even if you don't understand yet.


MB has no "rules", it has guidelines and coaching. Those guidelines ARE recommended even if a person doesn't quite "get it" because they are PROVEN to work. Dr. Harley didn't just make up a bunch of rules to see how many would "follow". He wrote these guidelines as a result of many years of experience, counseling and coaching.

MB is not for wishy-washy people. It takes COURAGE to actually follow the recommended guidelines. I've personally seen it work. Others have too. Just because you chose not to follow it in your own situation, doesn't mean MB is wrong. As many MB people that reached out to you, I'm amazed that you dis MB in this way. sigh


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Princess,

I followed the MB rules as much as I could. I'm not saying it is bad. I'm saying that there are things (guidelines, rules, whatever) that are recommended without understanding. That is precisely what drinking the coolaid means. Even if the coolaid is good for you. There is also a tinge of Harley worship in some posts that strikes me as odd.

There are many here who say they are not marriage at all costs but preach a different story. I have not read enough of your story to know if that is true but your last post seems to imply otherwise. Yes I am D, and I am 100% convinced that it was the right decision. And that I waited too long. MB actually helped me reach that decision and be happy with it.

I like lots of things about the MB approach. I've seen it work, I've also seen the anguish of people trying to make it work with a reluctant cheater. I've also seen it fail. I'm specifically trying to avoid discussing the merits of MB. I am saying it is a program that has approaches, guidelines, etc, to follow without understanding and a charismatic leader. That is what drinking the coolaid means.


Last edited by 6yearsleft; 05/12/09 04:59 PM. Reason: clarification.

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6,

I often view coming to MB much like buying your first diamond ring. You don't know much about it and you are planning on one visit. A deep understanding of what and why Harley as laid things out comes from using the tools seeing the affects or in some cases the lack of affects doing something incurs in the spouse, and then learning from it.

I view the MB approach very much as an iterative approach because the user really has not gone through something like this before, nor have they spent much time contemplating marriage and relationships like one does when the throughs of a relationship breaking up.

If you read the articles, I think you see Harley trying to explain why these things work. I think most of the better posters don't say "just do it" or "fake it until you make it", the attempt to add reasoning, logic, and of course offer feedback. Everyone is feeling their way. The new poster is, people posting to them are because they truly don't know the new poster and the details that come out over a period of time.

And yes the first response is try to save the marriage as this is marriage builders after all and sometimes that does come across as "marriage at all costs", yet as time goes on you see people who decide to leave the marriage supported and cheered on as much as those who are fortunate enough to succeed at making it to work.

I have seen and posted to people over the years that jump right in and really seem to get with the program, and I have posted to some posters for well over a year, before they actually make an attempt to save their marriage. It takes differing amounts of time for people to come to a point of acting in productive ways. I think that does frustrate some of the posters here. But, it is the way of things.

God Bless,

JL

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JL,

I see both opinions here. I'm just saying that he needs more explanation than some before he buys in. It took a long time to get me on the program as well, in fact I still have some areas that are mysterious to me.


Me 42 BS
Wife 41 FWW (exwife now)
Divorced 10/14/2008
S 21
D 18
D 16
S, S 13 (twins)
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Joined: Aug 1999
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J
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J
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6,

I agree with you, and he should be asking lots of questions. Thinking about the answers and then asking more questions.

The other thing he needs to understand is that none of the posters here are professional counselors, so most of us, and certainly me refer people to what Harley says, because frankly he says it better, and he understands it better. We all bring our own experiences with this as well.

My best advice to anyone is to seek out a promarriage counselor and work with them, and also read the articles here. Harley has some unique ideas but most of what he says is really pretty standard, he just says it/orgainizes it differently.

JL

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