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Remember POJA and your communicative skills! Get his input on how to solve the problem before you make your proposal.

He doesn't think her sending one TM is that big of a deal. I do. I can't make him see my POV ... I can try to influence him, but that would only work if he wants to be influenced.

Put yourself in his shoes ... how would you want this subject brought up to avoid LBs and work toward POJA?

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No, I actually think he DOES at least partly understand your POV and he’s more than half the way there to agreeing with your position. (1) He's suggested he might be receptive to changing the phone number. That was an invitation, TFC, whether his tone of voice and demeanor indicated it or not. You can work on that. (2) He knew you wanted honesty and DID tell you about the TM. He wouldn't have if he was convinced it was no big deal. (3) He was protective...he asked you at one point if you were okay. Don’t think so much about what he SAID; think more of what he didn’t say, and what he’s done.

Bit by bit, this problem can be solved, TFC, but probably not today. Take a deep breath, or do one of those primal scream things I’ve read about, or whatever you have to do to put the hurt aside for a moment. You’ve done with so many other hurts since this began; I know you have. Do it with this too so you can deal with it using some good problem solving techniques, okay?

This contact from OW is something you have a good reason to bring up with him whenever the opportunity presents, as it has today. Set yourself up for success, TFC. Think of ways to influence your husband without pushing him to move faster than he can at the moment. As you’ve said yourself, you can’t change him; he must change himself. Also…remember, it’s human nature when one is pushed, one resists and might even push back.

Here are a few things I can think of off the top of my head. In general terms, find a way to make changing the cell number a more attractive proposition than the difficulties of changing a business phone number. I don’t know your husband so you must filter this through your knowledge of his behavior.

How about asking him if you were to give him a new phone (with all the bells and whistles) for Christmas/his birthday/anniversary/for TGIF or whatever, and work things around to get it across to him that if you help him notify everyone, will he finally pull the trigger? It gets the conversation going in a non-accusatory way. No one is on edge; no one is defensive, okay?

Maybe he grins and nods. Problem solved. You launch into a discussion of what features he likes on all these new phones. Perhaps you find an opportunity remark, with a certain phone, he can send video back to your daughter of interesting things he sees. You take the occasion to lightly lament about how she misses him when he’s gone, and then you let it slide. That idea has been planted or nourished. There’ll be another time to work that issue.

Maybe he scoffs at the idea of changing phones. He’s not receptive at the moment. Maybe he feels threatened for some reason you can’t fathom. Maybe his back is hurting. Maybe he’s remembering something on that TV show last night that’s bothering him on a level he isn’t even aware of.

Not a problem. It’s not failure if he didn’t immediately and enthusiastically jump on board. Reiterate how bad it makes you feel and then walk away from the conversation.

Tie this all together, lady. This is one coherent program. You’ve started a good process of letting him know you won’t be disrespected in discussions by stating your boundary and doing the 180, right? If you apply a 180 in this, it’s a subliminal reminder to him (or on a deeper level, his subconscious) that the phone number issue is no different from verbally abusing you. Then…let it be until you have another chance to bring it up.

Bit by bit, TFC, he’ll change his mind if everything you do reinforces a growing consensus in his mind. The modified Plan A/180 thing continues.

I’ve been saying this for a few days now, TFC. Baby steps, okay? Baby steps.

Hang in there, lady. You’re in this for the long haul, right?

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I am definitely in this for the long haul. He mentioned today that he really wants to try to get in IC asap to deal with our martial issues. In the same sentence, he mentioned us making a move for a fresh start. Sounds good, right?

Talked to my best friend about this. She thought I shouldn't push the issue about changing the phone number or telling OW to buzz off b/c he was honest about it. Her suggestion was to sit back, wait, and see if it happens again. If I notice that contact is beginning to resume then address these issues.

Maybe I am jumping the gun here? I just want to handle all this by the book to avoid any catastrophes.

Great suggestions, btw, LH! Thanks!

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You're not jumping the gun, per se, TFC. NC means NC, absolutely. However, it has to come from a conviction your husband holds within himself also. The difficulty is that changing peoples' minds is a lengthy process.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and that's awfully risky because I do NOT know your husband, though I'm beginning to see glimpses of him in your posts. Keep that in mind, okay?

With that caveat, I think is your husband agrees with your best friend. He was honest about the contact and he hasn't responded to the attempted contact. (He may well rationalize this issue by thinking he can't control what the OW does.) So long as he doesn't reply (he thinks), there really isn't any contact. He feels it takes two to communicate, to make contact, right? This problem is on a back burner in your husband's mind because the logic hangs together throughout his "argument" with himself.

However, your friend (and your husband, though they aren’t acting in concert) are only partially right. The fact is, if there is any contact from her (no matter if it’s unsolicited or not), there's a chance he might be tempted in the right set of circumstances and no one wants that. (I’m not sure you can ever say that to him, btw.)

Anyway, instead of "waiting to see if it happens again," you actively watch for openings to reinforce the idea of full NC by seeking out opportunities to get that phone number changed and getting the symbolic commitment of an NC “letter” sent.

It doesn’t have to be another attempted contact from her. In fact, it should not be.

What are the times you can hit this issue again? Well, if an opportunity presents to give him a phone as a present, bring the issue up as I suggested. Other thoughts: if he gets a call and he complains the connection is lousy, bring up the idea of changing carriers and numbers. If the thing gets a smudge on the screen…etc. See how it goes?

Those are just things I came up with sitting here at the keyboard, typing without stopping to think. Again, I don’t know your husband. You can FIND ways to pull this issue to the foreground in your husband’s mind.

Do you even have to wait for some issue about the phone to come up? I suggested earlier you could address your daughter’s welfare in the midst of working another issue. Where, and how, can you bring this up tangentially while doing something else? Strategy and tactics, TFC. Work at it, okay?

“By the book?” Well, you’re doing it by the book, TFC, by attempting to address the issue in the first place. What isn’t evident in many of the threads out here is that after NC is established, and the wayward spouse begins to show signs of recommitting, advances on some issues come slowly.

On occasion, the progress is glacially slow on the NC letter itself. I've seen threads where it's about the last thing to come in the recovery. I’ve seen posts out here where the NC letter still has not come, though the poster and the formerly wayward spouse are many months into recovery. I have a memory of one poster in whose recovery her FWH never did write an NC letter, though I can’t think of who it was.

I think your husband feels he is complying with the spirit of NC, while admitting in his mind that some of the details are left wanting. He’s not entirely wrong and in fact, when you think about it, that he’s bought into the spirit of NC at all is extraordinarily important, in and of itself. That’s ¾ of the way up the staircase with only a few low steps remaining, isn’t it? However, he errs in thinking the details aren’t important.

Your mission is to bring the details more clearly into focus for him so he unilaterally takes steps, or neutralize his opposition to changing phone numbers and formalizing the NC, right?

So, I challenge you. How do you do one or the other…or both? You know that guy you’re married to. When you’re ready, you tell your friend there with you, and your MB support group, what you can do, okay?

I like hearing about things you bounce off your best friend. She has a good head on her shoulders. I’d also like to hear of (appropriate) things you can relay from your IC after you bounce issues off her/him.

Hang in there, lady.

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Forgot to say his idea of moving for a fresh start and his increasing openness to IC are excellent developments. He's buying into the MB program whether he realizes it or not. Has he read SAA, by any chance?

Getting confused about NC letters? When in doubt, I go back to the source and review things, looking for clues. Chapter 5, "How To Tell A Lover That The relationship Is Over" would be some good reading. What's your opinion on the word "recommended" Dr. Harley uses on page 58?

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He hasn't read SAA yet, but we have 2 copies so that hopefully we can work through it together sometime soon. I like the idea of "recommending" a NC letter. His would need to be more of a "go away" letter - LOL. I can't press too hard on this because I, in fact, never wrote a NC letter. I told XOM on DDay "Don't call me ever again!" ... and he didn't. Of course, my H also told him something along the lines of knee-breaking would occur should XOM contact anyone in H's family!

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Yes, that you never sent a letter complicates the issue. The point seems to have been conveyed to XOM quite effectively, though, and your husband is apparently comfortable you're not in contact. When you two get a little bit further along in this recovery, you might want to readdress the issue of you sending an NC communication to XOM...perhaps in conjunction with him doing the same?

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That's a good idea. I would like for my NC letter to XOM to be from BOTH H and me. I don't care if his is from both of us or not, but if I end up doing one I want it from US! I would love nothing more than to see H tell her to go away!

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There ya go. Now make a plan to make that happen, lady.

<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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Although I don't believe my H is aware of it, we seem to be working our way down the list of MB techniques for M! shocked

ENs: I think we are both in Plan A a lot of the time. Of course I still 180 him when he acts like WH, which isn't too often. But he seems to be making a tremendous effort at meeting my ENs. We have a date tonight! Our first in a looooooooooong time! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

RH: For the most part, we seem to have nailed Radical Honesty. Its what we do with that honesty that needs to be worked on. And I still don't quite feel like he's 100% honest 100% of the time. But these things take time. I'm trying to be sure to provide a "safe" environment each time he tells me something that might be difficult to say.

I think I am getting the Gaslighting under control - thanks to all those posts about it here on MB! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> He seems to have learned that I will walk away if he starts up, so the G(aslighting) comments are lightening up.

So, I think I'll introduce him to POJA this week ... H has always been a HUGE Independent Behaviors kind-of-guy, and right now he seems to be making some pretty big career decisions without me. While I don't think that I have the right to make decisions for him, or tell him he can't do something, I do feel like we should discuss these things openly and together.

We'll work our way into the Rule of Protection ...

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Excellent, TFC. Bit by bit, you're making a success of this and setting yourself up for greater success all the time. It doesn’t mean you’re home free, but that glass is filling up nicely.

Yes, Larry178's post on gaslighting, particularly the excerpt from that book, is very enlightening and I’m going to be ordering that text on payday.

I think POJA is a good, logical next step. Have you thought about how you’re going to approach it?

Seems to me this might be a behavior that he’s been engaging in for a long time and old habits are hard ones to break. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t coax him out of the pattern all at once. On the other hand, from what you’ve shared of his words and (more importantly) his actions, he really seems to be conscientiously working to improve your relationship. I like what I’m hearing from you.

I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day, lady. Have a good one.

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I hope you had a great Memorial Day! We had my parents watch DD and went to play tennis - we had a lot of fun! RC isn't anywhere near the top of either of our ENs, but it certainly added units to the Love Bank for each of us!

The Gaslighting posts have been very informational ... I quit reading Larry178's post when there was drama (what's with all the MB arguments these days?). There isn't a lot of info on here, or out there (on the www), about how to react to the Gaslighting. I must say that I have found that saying - "I'm not listening to this", "You are making this about something that it is not. When you are ready to discuss the real issue, I'll talk" or just walking away all seem to work well. My H has noticed that I won't take that garbage anymore - and I think that he respects me more for it. My opinion on reacting to Gaslighting is that its a boundary issue. But that's JMO, and I'm no expert!

I think I'm going to approach POJA on layman's terms ... by just saying something like "We've been working so well as a team lately and I'm so happy about that! I think that its important that we continue to grow as a team. Something that would help me feel like that would be for us to make more decisions together. How would you feel about that?" I'm certainly open to suggestions on this ...

IBs are a lifelong habit for my H ... I'm not expecting changes overnight. (My patience is growing!) But he has made a conscious decision to work on communicating and I think he will continue on this path ...

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I think you're handling gaslighting exactly the way it should be. The thing about gaslighting is that once you understand what it is, it loses its power. Your husband WILL respect you all the more for calling him on it. He told you so the other day. As long as you don't slip into disrespectful judgments, there's no reason why he'll consider it in any other fashion, is there? Kudos!

Seems to me you have a good handle on how to handle POJA too. I don’t know if you broach it as just a concept the first time, or whether you wait for an actual event where a mutual decision is preferable. You know yourself and your husband and I’m certain you’ll find the right time and place. Again…Kudos!

Keep up the great work, lady.

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How're you doing today, lady?

The sun is shining here in South Texas for the second day in a row...and the temperatures are finally getting up to normal. I was thinking winter was going to last all the way up to July.

I hope your world is just as sunny and warm today.

<img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

LH

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It is a beautiful Southern day here too! So nice, in fact, that I really wanted to skip work and play outside ... LOL!

Emotionally, things are almost as sunny. I am grateful for the kindness and communication that my H is displaying. The only downside is that there really is no show of love. No kiss or hug goodbye, no "I love you", etc. Its pretty apparent that DD is the main reason he's still here. I'm ok with that being the reason he stays for now. I just hope he'll fall in love with me again ...

Glad to hear about the beautiful day you're having! Thanks for being here to check on me! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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P.S. After reading Dr. Harley's Q&A about Alcoholic Spouses, I'm thinking about joining AlAnon ... know anything about this?

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I regret that I know almost nothing about it beyond the fact they and AA work on addictions. MelodyLane is very well versed in those organizations. You might start a thread asking for advice on that.

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LH - What MEDC said about me upsetting all the MB vets has been weighing heavily on my mind ... would you be willing to let me know if I've said/done anything in my thread that raises a flag to you? You're honesty with me has been much appreciated, and this is certainly something I want to rid my head of. If I have attitudes or behaviors that are widely unaccepted, I think this is something that I obviously need to work on ...

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Nope, if I wasn't convinced of your sincere remorse for your affair and honesty, I wouldn't be here right now. I don't recall what MEDC said, and I'm not even going to go look for it because he has exactly one response when he sees an admission the betrayed spouse has also had an affair. It was when I saw your remorse, and his obstinate refusal to budge off the 2X4's that I decided to get involved.

I don't know what you mean by attitudes or behaviors not widely accepted, but I've not seen any evidence of such. If you'd like to talk about it, elbow up to the table and lay your cards down, okay? ("World Poker Tour" on the Travel Channel is playing in the background.) <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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If you'd like to talk about it, elbow up to the table and lay your cards down, okay? ("World Poker Tour" on the Travel Channel is playing in the background.)

LOL ... this reminds me of the old poker nights we had at our house! Fond memories!

I must say that I didn't think I was out of line, rude, etc. But MEDC harped on me ... BIG TIME! And I felt attacked a lot of the time by him. But his repeated question of why the MB vets "avoid" my thread has resonated with me - not because I think he's right, but because it brought back childhood feelings of not being the popular girl.

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