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Some of you may have noticed that I have not been on the forum for the past couple of days. Yet I have been busy with matters of interest to the Board. Justuss has now turned me loose. She asked that I have patience at one point and I obliged.

The items of business I will cover in this thread are as follows:

#1. Yesterday evening, I received permission from Dr. Harley to release to the Board a private email he sent to me. The contents are interesting, informative and instructional. The personal impact on me will be posted. I have had a few days of reflection. If someone wants to post what Dr. Harley's email means to them, by all means feel free. I will also post the letter I sent to Dr. Harley that prompted his response.

#2. I will have a few observations on how I intend to manage my personal activity on this forum and on this Board. More or less, it is my intent to continue as I have in the past, but with an explanation, or two, maybe three of why I do what I do, the methods I use, which mostly come straight out of my understand of Dr. Harley.

Character assassination says a lot about those who engage in that very human of sports. And it can be very devastating to the target.

I am posting this thread to give those who apparently don't think I am "pure" enough to give advice here, a place to vent so they do not disturb the threads of folks looking for help.

Give me a few minutes of time so I can reformat the next post. I originally wrote it in notepad and have to reformat to make it look right on the forum.

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And here is the long awaited email from Dr. Harley:
____________________________________________

Re: Definition of "Affairage."

Hi Larry,

First and formost, no one is to be treated in a disrespectful way on the forum, regardless of what they have done or what they have said. Our remedy for disrespect in any form is to delete the post, inform the writer that they are in danger of losing their privilage to be part of the forum community, and if they do it again, they are promptly suspended. Justuss will do everything she can to make sure that you are not attacked again.

As for an affairage, it's generally used to refer to a marriage between two people who had an affair with each other while at least one of them was married. Technically, you fall into that category because, as I understand it, you began dating your wife while she was still married, even though the divorce was only days away. I have saved many marriages that were one week away from a divorce, and I know of many others where the couple remarried within a year of their divorce. So for someone to come between a husband and wife while they are in a vulnerable state is something we don't recommend.

However, as soon as a couple is married, we forget about why they married, and focus on helping them make their marriage terrific. Granted, we have problems keeping affairages together because they are particularly fragile (you've probably read my statistics on their probability of success and why it's so low), but we work with them with the same intensity as we do with any marriage. And we don't judge them.

I appreciate the contribution you have made to the Marriage Builders Forum, and want to encourage you to continue to help couples who are struggling with marital problems.

Best wishes,
Dr. Harley

_____________________________________________

And as promised, here is what it meant to me:

Hi Larry,

First and formost, no one is to be treated in a disrespectful way on the forum, regardless of what they have done or what they have said.

Dr. Harley details the rule. Dang good rule if you think about it. When a forum becomes uncivil, people who are bleeding are turned off. Those trying to work up their courage to seek help turn away and do not post. Those already posting are taken aback. Why does Dr. Harley have this rule? Think about it.


Our remedy for disrespect in any form is to delete the post, inform the writer that they are in danger of losing their privilage to be part of the forum community, and if they do it again, they are promptly suspended.

Remedy for not following the rule. Was this done? I don't know.

Justuss will do everything she can to make sure that you are not attacked again.

Dr. Harley says I was attacked. And Justuss is directed to do what she can. I was attacked. I got that.

Now why and what methods were used? More on this later on. If you think that Dr. Harley formed his opinion that I was attacked based on anything I had to say to him, then you are drinking from a Kool-Aid jug I want no part of.


As for an affairage, it's generally used to refer to a marriage between two people who had an affair with each other while at least one of them was married. Technically, you fall into that category because, as I understand it, you began dating your wife while she was still married, even though the divorce was only days away.

He got the time line a bit off, but that isn't relative. I was floored, shocked. And I am not about to argue with Dr. Harley, it was an affairage. Why didn't I accept this before? Could it have been the delivery from those who were playing games or trying to inform me? Words to the effect of "Larry, you're a rotten person, you were in an affairage," caused me to think, "I am not a bad person, so it must be the affairage thing that is wrong with that "attack." Human nature. I will go into more detail on this later.

Dr. Harley has defined "Affairage" with broad strokes. I accept that in part because of the way he delivered the message. I learned something. I suspect I am not the only person who learned something from Dr. Harley's email or at least I hope some learning is going on.

Dr. Harley uses letters and emails sent to him as a tool for teaching broad concepts and methods. Think about it. I did.


I have saved many marriages that were one week away from a divorce, and I know of many others where the couple remarried within a year of their divorce. So for someone to come between a husband and wife while they are in a vulnerable state is something we don't recommend.

Oh man! A large number of questions popped into my mind reading that. I went back and questioned everything I did. That caused serious soul searching. Frankly, if the stbxh hadn't been such a complete rat, I would probably have....well, if I knew then what I know now, I believe that I would have done things way different. Certainly I exercised bad judgment. Without question in my mind as it now stands, just because the XH was a complete, flaming abuser, who deserved his fate, was no reason for me to insert myself between him and his stbxw. EXCEPT in my role as an abuse "Helper." I allowed my personal feelings of sympathy to override both my training and my common sense. Shame on me.

However, as soon as a couple is married, we forget about why they married, and focus on helping them make their marriage terrific.

Okay, I understand that. There is direction there for those who would want to follow that direction.

Granted, we have problems keeping affairages together because they are particularly fragile (you've probably read my statistics on their probability of success and why it's so low), but we work with them with the same intensity as we do with any marriage.

"Larry, you're an idiot." No, he didn't say that, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind. I had already figured it out, sorta, long ago except for the affairage thing. So yea, I was an idiot. On the other hand, my seven year old son just ran up to me with one of his "Gotta tell you right now Daddy," deals, so there you go. smile A seven year old is just wonderful. Also, and this is pure speculation, he assumes that I have read his stuff. Or he knows because he took some time to look up a few of my posts.


And we don't judge them.

I appreciate the contribution you have made to the Marriage Builders Forum, and want to encourage you to continue to help couples who are struggling with marital problems.

Nice thing to say. He wants me to keep posting on the board.

Best wishes,
Dr. Harley
___________________

Ok, that was my take. There is more to come as I get to it.

Larry

Last edited by _Larry_; 04/23/10 02:12 PM.
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Hey SW, I said be patient grin I choose the worst possible program to write with for translating to MB format. blush

More to come.

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Here is the letter that prompted Dr. Harley's reply:
______________________

Dr. Harley:

I am writing this email to you at the direction of Justuss.

Recently I believe I was the focus of a rather blatant character assassination attempt on the board. The centerpiece was the definition of the term "Affairage." The usual straw men were trotted out for inspection, and then personal attacks caused the thread to be locked before I could really muster a good defense with the facts.

There are really three issues at hand. The first is the definition of the word "Affairage." The second is how much damage, if any, angry outbursts and character assassination can have that defeats the purpose for which the board is intended. And finally, another question that follows from the definition of "Affairage," should you choose to provide one.

A woman leaves her husband and files for a divorce. During the time of divorce proceedings, prior to the actual date of the divorce, she meets someone and begins to form an emotional bond. The man has no connection to her prior to the start of legal divorce proceedings and had nothing to with either her resolve to actually get a divorce or her departure from the marriage home. After the divorce is final, the new man and the new divorcee get married.

Is that an "Affairage?" Is this a black and white issue or one with shades of gray? I understand completely that you may not choose to answer a question from the forum as a matter of policy.

Scenario #1: The husband is devastated by his wife's departure and does everything he can to restore the marriage. He is a good guy and cannot conceive of becoming an every other week dad. In the straw man deal, the husband was painted as someone without resources, who probably responded to divorce papers without a Lawyer, while the new man paid for husband's devastation and actively prevented wife from reconciling with her husband. The new guy is painted as a predatory OM. Husband is a good guy and does not deserve his fate.

Scenario #2. The husband is devastated by his wife's departure and does everything he can to restore the marriage. He is an older man of 42 when he initially marries an 18 year old and two children become the product of the marriage. He acts in such a way as to meet at least three of the qualifications for abuse from the Duluth Wheel of Abuse during the marriage, thus driving his wife away. His method of restoring the marriage alternates between begging and threats. Stalking, death threats, kidnapping the kids for a week at a time, charges filed with CPS and using the kids as weapons in other ways, are part of his arsenal. Husband is not a good guy and is deserving of his fate.

A social point: Many women with young children actively look for a safe landing place for when the divorce is final. Secondly, new man gets to feel like a White Knight. Neither is very wise, which is a part of the human equation at times.

Finally, if you should indicate that the centerpiece of my questioning is indeed an "Affairage," what would you expect from your forum when someone who fits either of the above descriptions (or in between the extremes) who shows up for help on any of the sub-forums such as MB 101, SAA, Recovery and the like? And yes, I have already located your answer for what you do when someone in a conventional affair shows up on your doorstep needing your professional help.

I might add that when I first arrived on MB, I was active almost exclusively in the Recovery forum and in fact, had no idea that what I had done could be considered an "Affairage" as such and no idea that someone would want to, at some future date, accuse me of being an OM. This is why I left a trail of facts outstanding where someone who was investigating me for their own reasons could seize on the point they wanted to make and drill me with it. Any good Lawyer can use straw men to baffle, confuse and distort the facts if they are allowed to so do.

It was not a lot fun playing target.
________________________

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Quote:
EXCEPT in my role as an abuse counselor. I allowed my personal feelings of sympathy to override both my training and my common sense. Shame on me.


Are you saying that you were her professional abuse counselor before you got involved and/or while you were involved with her?

As for the affairage stuff, I think the issue people had with you Larry is that you kept this from the board and the fact that you weren't letting newbies know your prior history. I for one always want to know someone's background before I consider listening to their advice and how that advice might be slanted.

You seem to give some good advice Larry but that's not the point. Do you understand that?

Last edited by princessmeggy; 04/23/10 02:03 PM. Reason: added "her" - kinda important to the question

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Originally Posted By: princessmeggy
Quote:
EXCEPT in my role as an abuse counselor. I allowed my personal feelings of sympathy to override both my training and my common sense. Shame on me.


Are you saying that you were professional abuse counselor before you got involved and/or while you were involved with her?

As for the affairage stuff, I think the issue people had with you Larry is that you kept this from the board and the fact that you weren't letting newbies know your prior history. I for one always want to know someone's background before I consider listening to their advice and how that advice might be slanted.

You seem to give some good advice Larry but that's not the point. Do you understand that?
EXACTLY!


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I believe the "we" in "we don't judge them" refers to Dr. Harley's professional counseling service.

If you go to a professional for care, it's true that they will help you without "judgment". If you have an STD or a gunshot wound or a heroin overdose or an affairage and need help for any of those things, a professional is required to objectively help you if you go to them and they are not allowed to "judge" you.

The rest of us here are not professionals. We are not bound by the "we don't judge them" statement. We ARE free to judge by giving our opinons on things posted here, and most of us do.

That's the difference between the Harley counseling service and the posters on these boards.

Anyone who does not wish to hear opinions and "judgment" should stick to the professional counseling service and not waste their time posting on these boards.


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Now I am going to deal with some personal issues.

I do not post in such a way as to turn off those anonymous observers and help prevent them from seeking help here.

I do not post in such a way as to run someone off in need of help.

I do not pile on. If I ever did before, you may be assured that I will not do it again.

With one exception. When someone gives good advice, I will attempt to validate that good advice with an ITA or some such.

I will not attempt to do a better job of BASHING someone than the last poster in some sort of competition to see who is the best at bashing and anger.

I will not compete with myself to increase the level of bashing nor will I allow my anger to take over the purpose I have on this board, which is to help people.

I do not believe that a person's PAST disqualifies them from posting effective help. A person's PRESENT might. But the latter is not for ME to say, it is the job of the moderators.

I believe that if I am to follow Dr. Harley's beliefs, then I must also follow his method delivering those beliefs and that means, without judging a person for who they are. Which does not mean I won't challenge them.

There is a difference between challenging and confrontation.

And I will refrain from posing speculation as fact. That is pure straw men stuff.

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Originally Posted By: _Larry_
However, as soon as a couple is married, we forget about why they married, and focus on helping them make their marriage terrific.


For what it's worth, that's how I feel about it! I've seen a longer article from Dr. Harley about the lower chances for success but also telling stories about people who have finally made it to a good marriage after strings of affairs. In fact I think there was a story about this in one of the books; I remember it greatly impressed my wife.

If an affairage can be turned into a good marriage, I say that's great.

I do think there may be some necessity of bringing people to realize that they have behavior in their past they need to own up to and even be ashamed of. I don't know where the line is between that and disrespecting someone. I'll generally leave that job for other people. It may be better for people to focus on saving the marriage they have, now, and reflect on things after the marriage is saved (or fails frown ).

For what it's worth, Larry, I commend you for the attitude of receptivity and personal growth you display in response to Dr. Harley's letter, and I am very thankful that you shared both the letter and your response with us!


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: _Larry_
Now I am going to deal with some personal issues.

I do not post in such a way as to turn off those anonymous observers and help prevent them from seeking help here.

I do not post in such a way as to run someone off in need of help.

I do not pile on. If I ever did before, you may be assured that I will not do it again.

With one exception. When someone gives good advice, I will attempt to validate that good advice with an ITA or some such.

I will not attempt to do a better job of BASHING someone than the last poster in some sort of competition to see who is the best at bashing and anger.

I will not compete with myself to increase the level of bashing nor will I allow my anger to take over the purpose I have on this board, which is to help people.

I do not believe that a person's PAST disqualifies them from posting effective help. A person's PRESENT might. But the latter is not for ME to say, it is the job of the moderators.

I believe that if I am to follow Dr. Harley's beliefs, then I must also follow his method delivering those beliefs and that means, without judging a person for who they are. Which does not mean I won't challenge them.

There is a difference between challenging and confrontation.

And I will refrain from posing speculation as fact. That is pure straw men stuff.

Larry


And now I'm going to tell it like I think it is: I'm glad you follow these rules, Larry, and I wish everyone did ... but I definitely get the sense that here you aren't so much posting your own standard as requesting other people follow that standard. Comes off a little weak.

I AM glad to have you here, though, and hoping your posting frequency goes back up. I have not always agreed with everything you have said, but I have often benefited from a lot of it.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

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Originally Posted By: faithful follower
Originally Posted By: princessmeggy
Quote:
EXCEPT in my role as an abuse counselor. I allowed my personal feelings of sympathy to override both my training and my common sense. Shame on me.


Are you saying that you were professional abuse counselor before you got involved and/or while you were involved with her?

As for the affairage stuff, I think the issue people had with you Larry is that you kept this from the board and the fact that you weren't letting newbies know your prior history. I for one always want to know someone's background before I consider listening to their advice and how that advice might be slanted.

You seem to give some good advice Larry but that's not the point. Do you understand that?
EXACTLY!


OUCH!

I need to go back and edit.

NO, I was not a professional abuse counselor. I was on a forum where I got some training to settle people down and send them to the professionals, sorta like here. In fact, I did send the lady to her local abuse shelter for help and they provided it to her.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Larry

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Princess...

You raise valid issues:

Quote:
As for the affairage stuff, I think the issue people had with you Larry is that you kept this from the board and the fact that you weren't letting newbies know your prior history. I for one always want to know someone's background before I consider listening to their advice and how that advice might be slanted.

You seem to give some good advice Larry but that's not the point. Do you understand that?


Some folks may have had this as their issue, others no, in my opinion. But it is an issue to be raised.

I do not believe that a person's past mistakes disqualifies them from providing good advice on a current basis. I personally know of the history of some of those on here who give terrific advice, and by their personal history would be disqualified if their personal history were detailed in their signature.

I hide nothing. The "Style" of the attack was calculated to make it LOOK like I was hiding something. If I "Hid" anything, it was out of ignorance, not intent. And INTENT is the key.

Matter of fact, what I posted was used to attack me, so I see a conflict there: What I was supposedly hiding was used to distort and inflame. If I was hiding it, how was it in the open to be found.

Did that make sense?

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Quote:
If an affairage can be turned into a good marriage, I say that's great.


It isn't great for the spouses and children who were dumped like garbage so the cheaters could have their "great" marriage.

I think every BS here, including those who are divorced, are sickened by the thought of having their XWS show up here to get help and support for their affairage - the same affairage that destroyed the BS's family.

That's another difference between the boards and professional service. You have to remember that for every affairage, there was by definition at least one marriage and family blown to bits so it could happen. Giving help and support to affairages here on these boards is just rubbing that fact in the face of every BS here, and that is why there is so little tolerance (and so much sheer outright sickening horror) at the idea of affairages being supported here.


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Markos:

Quote:
And now I'm going to tell it like I think it is: I'm glad you follow these rules, Larry, and I wish everyone did ... but I definitely get the sense that here you aren't so much posting your own standard as requesting other people follow that standard. Comes off a little weak.


Not that I wasn't blatant about it. grin Sorry, it was kinda weak, you're right. You want me to go back and make it tougher?

I was attempting to avoid personal attacks. I am really trying to take the high road as best I can.

I appreciate your remarks.

And I could have added: I resolve not to follow someone around and beat on them in a thread used by a newbie for help.

See Markos, I do not see perfection here. I see people doing the best they humanly can to help. I make mistakes and have no hesitation to admit. Matter of fact, I have been slapped down a couple of times by Mel. But she did it by challenging me, not calling me names and browbeating me on my character.

I have always tolerated everything except an attempt character assassination and there I draw the line. Challenging is good, character assassination is bad. Simple for me to understand.

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Mulan

Quote:
I think every BS here, including those who are divorced, are sickened by the thought of having their XWS show up here to get help and support for their affairage - the same affairage that destroyed the BS's family.


Oddly enough, I agree with you. But I am on Dr. Harley's forum and thus follow his guidelines. If I felt that someone was in a classic "Affairage," I might ignore the thread. It just occurred to me that the reality is, I was the victim of a triple betrayal, my wife and my relative for what they did and myself. Thank you for triggering that thought.

On the other hand, if the facts as presented indicated that the former spouse was an abuser, the hair on the back of my neck would go straight up. I have no use for abusers who do not redeem themselves, at all, period. But I do have a lot of empathy, if not sympathy for those abusers who DO redeem themselves, often to late to save their marriage.

Mulan, I probably made a mistake at one point in my life when I shifted from Red Cross volunteer to helping with an early UseNet abuse forum - as requested by a personal friend. Since that time, I have associated with an abuse shelter and discussed abuse countless times with a friend of mine who is an LPC, RPT-S specializing in difficult and abused children. I am way off center on the subject of abuse, I hate the way it destroys people's lives, especially children. So I don't often try to post on the subject.

By the way, nothing I said except for the first few words had anything to do with you or your situation. I am in complete sympathy for you and your loss.

Larry

Last edited by _Larry_; 04/23/10 02:53 PM. Reason: clarify
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Larry, I should like to know whether my pointing out why I am disappointed in your conduct here will count as an attack on you.

I think that there are serious issues raised by the way you appear to have used the law against your XW's former husband. I also think that, had I known about your role in her first marriage, I would not have said what I did about your XW's new marriage on your divorce thread. However, I worry that if I ask you to account for your actions surrounding the XH and his children, and also to account for your description of those actions and your marriage on this board, you will write to the moderators or directly to Dr Harley, accusing me of an attack and seeking to have me banned.

I would like to know whether you will answer questions and discuss observations that people have about your marriage. Is this thread now an official warning that your marriage is a closed subject, and any attempt to discuss it will result in your reporting posters and invoking the disciplinary procedure?


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Or are you simply telling others how to post? I hear a controlled anger behind your posts in this thread. I am appalled that you would write to Dr. H about this instead of just understanding that some people are passionate about their views against affairages.

Last edited by faithful follower; 04/23/10 03:10 PM. Reason: spelling

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Hmmmmm.....did you tell Dr. H about how all of this came about because you were having difficulties with his policy of Radical Honesty?.......especially Historical Honesty?


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[quoteAnd here is the long awaited email from Dr. Harley:
____________________________________________




___________________


[/quote]

Larry, why would this be long awaited? I am nobody on this board, just a BW that owes her M and her sanity to the advice I gleaned from this board just by lurking but I don't understand where you are coming from.

I read the posts that you are referring to and the thread that was opened up for discussion and I saw no attack. I don't understand why you even e-mailed Dr harley much less why anyone on here should be waiting with baited breath for his reply. think

Just sayin....

God's Blessings,

Say


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In recovery since D-day, May 28,2007
FWH never onboard the MB boat but still clinging to the side.
One day at a time by God's grace.
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