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Joined: Feb 2000
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I don't feel very organized in my thoughts right now, so please bear with me. Because of YOU PEOPLE I am doing so much better this week. Still sad as heck, and still moments that I can not believe what has happened, but starting to hope. Hope is scary.<P>H and I have a date tomorrow night. We currently are seperated for 2 weeks now, which we agreed on after discovery of his 2 year affair (which he says is over, and I am trying hard to believe).<P>He "asked me out" last Sunday when he was here picking up the kids. We do talk a lot, but always in our bedroom behing closed doors, and agreed that a change in scenery would be nice.<P>I am nervous as a darn high schooler on prom night!!<P>I am afraid to recognize progress, b/c it will hurt too much when he gets cold again, and he is cold a lot. This morning he came by when I was mowing the lawn (2nd time in my 42 years I mowed...and I'm kinda proud of myself) He said I looked "cute" all sweaty and grubby. He took our son out for a few hours to get some errands done, and has called me twice since then!<P>We are having great, light conversations over the last several days. He told my best buddy yesterday that I have changed so much. He says he wants a wife who is more independent, and I'm doing all I can to show him I've changed, but boy, I am so impatient. He also told her that he had been unhappy in our marriage for the last 10 years (out of 19). Guess I should remember that when I get impatient...it took us a long time to get into this mess.<P>Ok ok..I'm rambling...this is my question: One of our problems, when he was having this affair, before I knew it, and he was a jerk to me all the time...was him saying to me that we have nothing to talk about anymore. We are stuck mostly on talking about our problems...and regardless of what he said, we do talk for hours sometimes, probably talking all of this to death! How do I keep it light tomorrow night?<P>I am competing with a very very educated wordly woman. I have been a housewife for 20 years. Even I think I'm boring sometimes LOL. How in the world do I keep this man from thinking I have nothing to offer him. Talk about our three kids the whole night...no, don't think so. Memorize a bunch of jokes, nah...<P>Anyone have any advice. Maybe I'm just making too much out of this darn date thing, I just feel like I'm on trial here and had better perform.<P>Sorry this is so jumbled, too much coffee this morning maybe.<P>Thanks guys,<BR>allison<BR>

Joined: May 2000
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Allison, I am so happy for you that these changes are heading in the right direction! I wanted to wish you best of luck and HAVE FUN tomorrow night! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I know you are nervous - I would be too - maybe you could ask yourself: What made your husband fall in love with you in the first place? What do you think it is he likes (or liked) about you? I'm not saying try to "be" that person; just to think along those lines and see if it nets you anything useful... Also, what about happy memories? Maybe it would be helpful to bring to both your minds "that time that..." whatever it might have been, happened and made you both happy.<P>I know it must feel like you are 'talking things to death' - to me, though (admittedly I'm no expert), that sounds like a really good sign! As long as he is willing to talk, seems like that is a huge thing. Nothing has helped me and my H more so far than just talking, sharing our feelings and thoughts, even the not-so-happy feelings and thoughts. We have even started to laugh about things, even though there's pain behind the laughter.<P>I don't know if I've been of any help.. hope so!... but I did want to say again, best of luck and best wishes...<P>Hugs,<BR>~Lori

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Congratulations on going out on a date, I wish I were in your shoes!<P>Keeping it light and enjoying past memories is a great idea as Contrite mentioned, I would imagine that having fun is the best plan.<P>Keep in mind that while he was in the affair he was a different person, under the spell of addiction and probably said things, as my wife has done, that hurt a lot. I let those comments dissapear from memory because I know its not really her talking. Nothing you can say or do while in the addiction will come across as positively as you hope. My guess is they probably don't even remember saying or acting in such a terrible way.<P>When you are sitting across the table tomorrow night look at the person as if you just married them and none of this ever happened. I believe that is the only way to enjoy yourself on this wonderful occassion.<P>Above all, have a great time, I'll be praying for you.

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OK, this is a switch. I have heard many a man ask "what do I talk about? How do I hold a conversation with a prety gril with out babbling like an idiot?" Women usually do most of the talking.<P>So here is my advice that I have given to all those men.<P>Step one. Ask questions. Some good starter questions involve where you are or other points about the immedate surronding. "How's the food? Have you ever tried the shrimp here? Boy, this neighborhood has change; do you remember the little store that was over there?" Simple stuff like that. If that goes no where or if you have a hard time thinking of something like that try these. "I you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?" Or maybe "If you could travel in time, what period would you like to live in and why?" People usually like to talk about themselves. I know you have been married a long time and you probably know all his favorite stories about his days as a bachlor, but ask him about one of your favorite stories and really listen to the tale.<P>Step two. Listen to what he says. Look for clues about what to ask about next. Nouns are good clues: people, places and things. You can ask him "I wonder where your friend is now and do you ever think about him much? What was it like in Calafornia? How long did you have that bike?" What ever he happens to mention when he answers you previous questions. This takes close attention to what he is saying and looking for any extra information that does not relate directly to question asked. It's these little clues that let you know what he wants to talk about. And he may not even know that he wants to talk about it but he subconscious will direct him to the path of what he wants to say. For men this is how we practice becoming a good listener.<P>Step 3. If you are just asking questions and he answers it quickly becomes an interogation and not a conversation. You need to jump in and say something about yourself as well. When you do, use agreement statements or "me too" type responses. "I used to have that album as well. I think I wore it out listening to it so much the first wek I had it." You need to emphisise the things you have in common. NEVER SAY NEGATIVE STATEMENTS. "This food is not as good as it used to be." Big no-no. It makes you look like a negative person or a fault finder. So when he says "I can't wait till football season gets here." do not go into "I never cared for football" say something like "I know how you have always enjoyed the games." If you can not make an agreement statement, make a simple "I understand" statement. (If yo go to counseling sessions, you'll notice the counselor saying these now [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] ) Now for example he is running down some political candidate it may seem like a "me too" to also say the bum stinks. But that is a negative. It is better to agree that the other candidate does have better ideas on the issues. See, positive and "me too".<P>In summary:<BR>Ask questions. Listen for clues for what he wants to talk about. Make "me too" statements and avoid negative statements.<P>Note: this is how guys talk to girls (if they want to be with her and know how to hold a conversation) so I don't know how this works from a female perspective. I hope it helps.

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You guys are the greatest!<P>Contrite...I have always gotten a lot out of your posts, and am glad to answered mine. I'm glad to hear you and your H are talking and starting to laugh. Laughter is so healing, and I (and H) need it badly right now. I'll be watching for progress for you guys too!<P>Goober...I loved what you said about letting those nasty comments they made dissapear from memory. I am going to write this down as one of my goals. Thank you for your prayers, I'll need them.<P>Joe in Tx...WOW! I feel like I got some valuable insight into the male mind. HMMM, powerful information that can be used against all men in the future. Just kidding, your post was so open and honest and I just really appreciate you taking the time to write it.<BR>Now, can you come to the restaurant, sit behind me and remind me of those steps tomorrow night? Thanks Joe.

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az,<P>Welcome to "How to pick up chicks 101" [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Unfortunantly (and I am guilty of this as well) most men forget this after we have caught the woman we were pursuing. It may sound manipulative but what we are acually doing is active listening and avoiding LB's.<P>Now that doesn't sound so bad, does it? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<BR>

Joined: May 1999
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Hi AZ Allison -<P>Now that you have such great advice on the "how" let me try to help with the nerves.....<P>It's all about perspective.<P>You don't have to feel pressured that you HAVE TO make some big impression. You are not in a race.....you are not trying to get him back as soon as possible!!!<P>What you are doing is establishing a better connection than you both have had for awhile. You don't want the relationship "back"....you want a NEW one!!!! A BETTER one!!!!<P>No projections, no expectations, no problem solving (those will come later and/or naturally when the time is right).<P>Right now, you are practicing what you have learned here...you are being a better you!!!!<P>Let her shine!!!!!<P>BIG HUGS,<P>Sheba<P><BR>

Joined: Jun 1999
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Fake it till you make it. Put on an Oscar award winning performance of confidence and lack of neediness. Promise yourself a trip to Haggen-Daus if you can be strong.

Joined: Jul 1999
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Joe,<P>Stop sharing the playbook with the other team! LOL<P>Slightly Sane<BR>


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