Originally Posted by Retread

It is a noble goal to suddenly not feel any resentment for not having your ENs met, or for LBs coming your way. How do you do that without distancing yourself from the source of your pain?

The way I see is for the spouse who is committing the LBs and not serving the ENs to at least recognize they are not doing what they should, try to understand why they are failing, make some efforts to improve, and communicate all this to their spouse. Otherwise, it appears that they don't care.

Well, that thinking falls in the "entitlement" and I used to think that.

I began living this belief instead: "I am the only person in the world responsible for meeting my needs." When I started going in that reality, I became less "needy" of that ENs I felt entitled to, or expected from my M.

I had to become a whole person, capable of meeting my own needs.

This allows me to be not dependent on my spouse for my needs.

This does not contradict the EN philosophy of MB. Sure I have ENs, and when my W don't meet them, the Marriage and the Relationship suffers; but not my Self because I am capable of meeting my own needs.

So then, it becomes easy to discuss or express what I want from the M or R. But express them without the Love Busters (resentment, angry outburst, demands, judgementals, passive-aggressive behaviors) when the ENs are still not met.

You all know that there is a Plan A, and it leads to Plan B if ENs are not met.

It is when Plan A does not generate the results or positive progress, one needs to decide to proceed to Plan B.

I was at that point by the end of 2006. In my decisions to Plan B or Plan D, I had to work and change myself within to be able to proceed to such decisions.

In the process of changing me, the dynamics of my M also changes--and thus (so called rock the boat) and woke up my wife to the reality of the possibilities.

So she too decided to change. But for how much, depended on how she perceive my own changes are real, or if they are only temporary. So she continues and "tests" me; trigger buttons, provoking my old buttons and see if I revert to my own Love Busters.

Whatever habits / excuses / coping behaviors she used to interact with me, or to ignore my ENs does not work. I managed to improve on detaching myself from the fears of my ENs not being me which removed my dependence from her.

And so I began to "lead" my life the way I want, and I continue to invite her to be with me. But it is still her choice to follow my lead; or to discuss compromises.

However, the same way is true for her. She has her boundaries also, and I encourage her to speak up when there are unknown boundaries I cross. I do try to be more aware of these, and do put effort in accepting them, or disagree. She has flaws that I can learn to accept because it is part of her. Just as I have flaws that I need to learn to accept from myself; and her to accept that it is part of who I am.

My goal to get back to the "in love" feeling is no longer possible. What is possible is to create or change the Marriage to a state of mutual respect and acceptance. I think it is alright to be in the M because I choose to be married to her, and she also chooses to be married to me.

I fear less my emotional strength if she decides that she no longer wants to be married to me. Likewise, I feel emotionally comfortable to choose to not be married to her--but I am not emotionally ready for the risk of damage of such decision affecting my kids.

-- Still JM --

Met `82, Steady May`86, Married Jul`95. D12, S9, D3. MB`ing since Apr`02 to fall back "in love."

05.20.06: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."