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Originally Posted by black_raven
You sound good Opt.

Not a fan of the plant based diet, but I like the rest of the update. smile

Thanks BlackRaven!
The stressors definitely come out from time to time. It's really hard to coordinate families and schedules and variables. We had conflict this evening due to I got home late from a conference and threw off the plans we had (traffic issues in Boston, who would have thought?).

Anyway we managed to identify some ways to (hopefully) anticipate things in the future, and also spoke frankly with each other about a couple of things. So, once again, conflict was resolved and we both felt better after talking.

BTW, I managed to stick to the diet at the conference: salad, tomatoes, kidney beans and chick peas, pickled peppers, and spicy mustard. Delicious. I have to admit the red velvet cake looked quite tasty!

take care.
opt


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Hi fellow MBers.
NG and I drafted a letter to update Dr. H on the radio show, per his request. We meant to do it some time ago, but finally got to it. If he responds I will post it (or let you know if they want us on the show again). Meanwhile I would be interested in any thoughts on the letter posted below.

Originally Posted by letter to MBradio 11/8
Dear Dr. Harley and Joyce,

Two months ago my fianc� NatureGirl spoke with you on the radio show regarding a concern she had involving my children and our upcoming marriage. You recommended we implement a new strategy: �when Mike has the children, Susan is with them� (paraphrasing). We dubbed it �Operation Integrate.�

We started soon thereafter. I spoke to the kids and let them know what we were planning and why (in preparation for when we would all find ourselves living together). My son was slightly apprehensive and eleven year old daughter was optimistic.

I should say that we also drew some information from HNHN chapter on family commitment. We found quite soon that involving sixteen year old son required his participation in planning activities as much as possible.

We also began charting Family Time in addition to our UA chart/log. The goal has been 15 hours of FT in addition to our goal of 15-20 hours UA.


After two months, I�m happy to say that the �experiment� has been quite successful. We have managed to spend a considerable amount of time (8-15 hours) as a �family� each week, with none of the anticipated resentment. There have been some issues, however.

Most of the difficulties have centered around the logistics of NG not living with me. It has been challenging for her be there all the time when I have my kids. I tried to bring them to her home a few times but it was causing the kids stress and possibly the same resentment we have been trying to avoid. Ultimately, we agreed that the experiment works better if NG comes to me and she has been focusing on time management to make that possible.

We have a question about using POJA when the kids are involved with Family Time. Often times we are able to use poja to come up with an activity that we both would enjoy in a family activity setting. However, if one or both of the kids doesn�t like the activity, we find ourselves in a conundrum. It�s instant Family Gridlock! Not to mention, I often feel �in the middle� between the kids and my fianc�. The dilemma is that if we stick with the poja�d plan, the kids are dragged along reluctantly (or we simply lose the teenager). But if we use the default �don�t do anything� (we�re both not enthusiastic about), then we lose Family Time together.

Further more, would we handle this differently prior to marriage and after the marriage?

I should point out that the above issue tends to rear it�s head particularly when set plans have not been made in advance (which is also difficult with a teenager and a busy 11 year old). We are planning to implement a regular family meeting to avoid these situations as much as possible. However, the issue still remains when plans are being made in real time (which is not uncommon with our busy lifestyles) - using POJA on the fly has created some uncomfortable situations.

We appreciate your input and thank you for all your help!

Optimism


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
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Originally Posted by optimism
Hi fellow MBers.
NG and I drafted a letter to update Dr. H on the radio show, per his request. We meant to do it some time ago, but finally got to it. If he responds I will post it (or let you know if they want us on the show again). Meanwhile I would be interested in any thoughts on the letter posted below.

Originally Posted by letter to MBradio 11/8
Dear Dr. Harley and Joyce,

Two months ago my fianc� NatureGirl spoke with you on the radio show regarding a concern she had involving my children and our upcoming marriage. You recommended we implement a new strategy: �when Mike has the children, Susan is with them� (paraphrasing). We dubbed it �Operation Integrate.�

We started soon thereafter. I spoke to the kids and let them know what we were planning and why (in preparation for when we would all find ourselves living together). My son was slightly apprehensive and eleven year old daughter was optimistic.

I should say that we also drew some information from HNHN chapter on family commitment. We found quite soon that involving sixteen year old son required his participation in planning activities as much as possible.

We also began charting Family Time in addition to our UA chart/log. The goal has been 15 hours of FT in addition to our goal of 15-20 hours UA.


After two months, I�m happy to say that the �experiment� has been quite successful. We have managed to spend a considerable amount of time (8-15 hours) as a �family� each week, with none of the anticipated resentment. There have been some issues, however.

Most of the difficulties have centered around the logistics of NG not living with me. It has been challenging for her be there all the time when I have my kids. I tried to bring them to her home a few times but it was causing the kids stress and possibly the same resentment we have been trying to avoid. Ultimately, we agreed that the experiment works better if NG comes to me and she has been focusing on time management to make that possible.

We have a question about using POJA when the kids are involved with Family Time. Often times we are able to use poja to come up with an activity that we both would enjoy in a family activity setting. However, if one or both of the kids doesn�t like the activity, we find ourselves in a conundrum. It�s instant Family Gridlock! Not to mention, I often feel �in the middle� between the kids and my fianc�. The dilemma is that if we stick with the poja�d plan, the kids are dragged along reluctantly (or we simply lose the teenager). But if we use the default �don�t do anything� (we�re both not enthusiastic about), then we lose Family Time together.

Further more, would we handle this differently prior to marriage and after the marriage?

I should point out that the above issue tends to rear it�s head particularly when set plans have not been made in advance (which is also difficult with a teenager and a busy 11 year old). We are planning to implement a regular family meeting to avoid these situations as much as possible. However, the issue still remains when plans are being made in real time (which is not uncommon with our busy lifestyles) - using POJA on the fly has created some uncomfortable situations.

We appreciate your input and thank you for all your help!

Optimism
They finally posted it.
Radio clip of optimism's question


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Thanks Brainy! And I didn't even have to ask! smile

Opt and Nature Girl here:
We've picked a date for the wedding. Dec 7.
It will be a very small civil ceremony. At a beach (yes we will have to bundle up) where NG grew up; one of the most beautiful places on the east coast in my view.

We are working on coming up with some vows obviously based on MB principles. Probably will use "I Promise You" for most of the material. Any suggestions will be welcomed!

People look at us kinda funny when we say it's just going to be small (and outside in December). But we feel like this is more for US than everyone else. And we're really more focused on the MARRIAGE than the wedding.

We still plan to get married in a religious ceremony next year when NG's anullment goes through.

I'm looking forward to blending my life with this wonderful woman. She has kept me grounded and helped me live my life in a more healthy way -- physically, mentally, emotionally. She is a great influence on my kids and helps me be a better Dad.

opt



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Congratulations!

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Fabulous news, make sure all the children are given jobs to do!


3 adult children
Divorced - he was a serial adulterer
Now remarried, thank you MB
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Originally Posted by optimism
Thanks Brainy! And I didn't even have to ask! smile

Opt and Nature Girl here:
We've picked a date for the wedding. Dec 7.
It will be a very small civil ceremony. At a beach (yes we will have to bundle up) where NG grew up; one of the most beautiful places on the east coast in my view.

We are working on coming up with some vows obviously based on MB principles. Probably will use "I Promise You" for most of the material. Any suggestions will be welcomed!

People look at us kinda funny when we say it's just going to be small (and outside in December). But we feel like this is more for US than everyone else. And we're really more focused on the MARRIAGE than the wedding.

We still plan to get married in a religious ceremony next year when NG's anullment goes through.

I'm looking forward to blending my life with this wonderful woman. She has kept me grounded and helped me live my life in a more healthy way -- physically, mentally, emotionally. She is a great influence on my kids and helps me be a better Dad.

opt
Congrats opt and NG. Very happy for you both. hurray


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I heard your email on the radio show today.

Memorandum of Agreement.
4 promises of marriage:

) promise of Care. Promise to meet emotional needs.

) promise of protection. Aloud being source of unhappiness.

) promise of honesty. Radical honesty.

) promise of time. Promise to give undivided attention.

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Congrats Opt, that's awesome news!


Age - 35
Divorce Final - 3/5/12

S - 13
S - 10
D - 8
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Congratulations!

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Congrats!


One year becomes two, two years becomes five, five becomes ten and before you know it, you've wasted your whole life on a problem you can't solve. That's one way to spend your life. -rwinger

I will not spend my life this way.
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Did nature girl ever talk to your ex wife and ask why you divorced?

I read that Drzharley suggested that

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Thanks everyone for the well wishes!

JK, no, NG never did pursue that. It was in a conversation with her on the show when he asked if she ever talked to my ex about why we divorced. It was a little surprising, but logical. Ultimately NG took my word for it that it was mostly about the adultery, but I have also been radically honest about everything and my contributions to the demise of my marriage.
I don't know there would be much trust in her response anyway.

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That's what I was thinking too..., would there be any truth in the ex wife's answer?

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Congratulations, Opt!

Remarried myself, pretty big celebration on Nov. 4th.

Wishing you all the happiness...

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Originally Posted by schtoop
Congratulations, Opt!

Remarried myself, pretty big celebration on Nov. 4th.

Wishing you all the happiness...
Shtoooooooop!~! [luv ya, man!] Thanks for checking in.

I guess I could have figured on your news!

How is it going? Preacher Girl, right? How are the young'ns?

Hope all's well. Let me know if there's anything I should watch out for -- after all, if you step off a curb the wrong way, I'm bound to do it within a month myself! smile
(and if you win the lottery, let me know that too, so I can make sure to play)

opt

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Thanks, Opt, things are going very well.

But, not without some speedbumps along the way.

The biggest issue was moving the boys. After my divorce, I kept the family home that was on the street they grew up on where their friends live. Due to circumstances to lengthy to list, our decision was to move into a new house on her side of town. PG had already been moved in for a couple of months before the marriage.

Well, the boys, especially the oldest (12) resisted the idea mightily. They knew of the plans as they developed, but I could have involved them more in picking out the new house and keeping them in the loop as the wedding and moving time got nearer. We got back from our honeymoon and picked up the boys to spend the night at their new house and they were very sullen and moody. Not a good first day.

As the days went by and we moved their furniture, clothes, and toys things got much better. They actually were excited to help pack and to set up their new rooms just the way they wanted.

The last week has been awesome. Everyone is happy, the boys seem to be enjoying their new home, and we are really starting to function more as a family than just daddy's girlfriend.

I don't know how you kid's living arrangements are going to change, just keep them in the loop and try to take away any uncertainty. It's the uncertainty that leads to fear. Talk it over with your kids, but don't bargain with them. Make it clear that you hear their concerns, but that the decision is yours and not theirs.

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Wow schtoop and opt are you two siamese twins? Both of your lives have been so parallel to each other. smile


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Wow schtoop and opt are you two siamese twins? Both of your lives have been so parallel to each other. smile

It's eery. smile

I'll never forget Schtoop got on my SAA thread with something like "I've read your thread and I think we have similar situations..."
We had no idea at the time that we would be experiencing many of the same events in our recovery from infidelity for the next two-plus years.

Did I say....it's eery? smile

opt

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MBers,
I'd like to thank everyone for their support over the past years, taking me from the depths of hell during my exww's infidelity and now through some difficult tests in the dating world - utilizing MB methods to frame a loving relationship and navigating the pitfalls of plans and preparations for blending two lives/two separate families.

We all give the time we can to each other in an effort to give back some of what we have gained by sharing our stories and implementing the hard advice we often impart on each other. We do this without expectation, but because we're compelled and inspired by our belief in an approach that can ensure happiness between two people.

I can assure everyone who has contributed with their words to me that you have shaped my thinking and have given me a better understanding of the MB philosophy. In reading thread after thread and seeing the comments of the new to experienced posters, I have gained an understanding far beyond what I would have from just reading the material. My sincerest thanks to all for that!

Tomorrow Nature Girl and I will be married in a very small civil ceremony. I know she's the one for me. Not because she's beautiful and smart and kind and good to my kids. Not because she's sensitive and caring and sweet and thoughtful. Not because she shares my interests and ideals and also appreciates our differences. I know this love will last because of the way she has taught me to handle conflicts.

On many many occasions in the last two years that we have disagreed or otherwise come to an impasse, we have been able to calmly discuss our positions and use safe negotiating/communicating (and often POJA) to come to a mutually satisfying agreement.

I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my years with NG. She has shown an enthusiastic willingness to implement MB strategies and with that in our favor, I'm confident we will continue to experience a life and love that will grow... with Love Banks overflowing!

opt


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
Another EA Story
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