Originally Posted by markos
Originally Posted by GreenMile
Wow! Thank you for the time and effort you made to help me, Markos. This is yet another giant piece of the puzzle for me. Like others' advice here, I will re-read and study your wise words many times until I can apply this. It is copied and on my desktop for quick reference. I have been such a dunce for so long. So many of these things seem so counterintuitive to a guy like me, but they should not be. This is much appreciated.

- GM

P.S. "Why can�t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

Ans: Because at our age, going to the bathroom takes up almost 1% of our time LOL.

Thanks, GM. It IS counterintuitive, isn't it? Your instincts are gonna kill you!

My instincts screwed up my marriage, and we had everything going for us.

Now I know what habits to build to override those instincts.

Can't wait till I can say "Now I've built the right habits."

It sure is hard when you have no idea what habits to build, isn't it? laugh

It most certainly is, Ollie! (as Stan Laurel would say). For me, it is becoming clear at the tender age of 62 exactly what happened to me. My parents had a terribly dysfunctional marriage. There was no respect, constant fighting, hiding things from each other, etc. My Dad, a respected physician, was cruel to my mom and my older brother but lavished love and attention on me and made me into his own image. My mother was sweet and creative but childish and manipulative, full of sadness and disdain for my father, and drew me and my brother into deceptions, encouraging one or both of us to not tell the other or my Dad about such and such. Their marriage was cold, and he had mistresses. I was the "ok" kid who could be left alone, and I was really saved by being ignored in one respect, but I was allowed to get away with everything, was never held accountable, and never had to pay the consequences of my actions. It is no wonder how I became such a horrible and deceptive husband with no concept of what a healthy marriage should be. I am having to learn to be a mature and accountable human being and loving husband now. So, it is not only counter-intuitive to me as a male, but especially to me with my lack of any decent experience at normal relationships between a husband and wife.

In other respects, I have been lucky and accomplished, but in my personal life, it has been a mess. The fixing has started, but it will take a lot of determination and time. I know I have the former and hope I have the latter. Thanks again for your help.

- GM

FWH, age 63. 24 years of narcissistic behavior, infidelity, and emotional abandonment of my BS, age 57, DancesWithGoats (DWG). D-day two years ago, leading to emotional breakdown. Been working MB program and toward spiritual transformation and personal growth since then, with some slow but real progress. DWG still with no trust, but with grief starting to subside a bit.