Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Not much time but let me throw this out there...

GM, she's not in love with you either.

That IS the problem.

The question then becomes what is LOVE?

According to the MB model there are two versions of LOVE we need to look at. The first is CARING LOVE and that is what we DO. It us showing care for each other, not BECAUSE of how we feel but simply because we should. It is providing for the ENs of each other and also protecting each other from doing things that hurt each other (avoiding Love Busters).

But the feeling of love is based on something else entirely and is really the result of the other person providing the stimulus to make us happy. When that is done long enough in in ways that get repeated enough times, we begin to associate the happiness with the person. This is when the romantic threshold is reached and when we FEEL in love.

The problem that is faced in the case of prolonged infidelity is that the opposite also takes place. That is, hurtful actions occur repeatedly and even though those actions end, the association is still present and the person who hurt us becomes sufficient stimulus for us to be unhappy.

But another little wrinkle shows up here too, one of healing after something like this. That has to happen on two levels but in three instances. First each person must heal individually. A WS has to heal mostly based on the realization of the damage that has been wrought. The BS must heal enough to be able to go on with his or her life and not continue feeling the pain that comes from being betrayed, which while I think every WS believes very soon after the fog starts to lift that they do grasp it, they can't really understand it or realize fully how betrayal on that level feels.

We all think we know what a heart attack will feel like. We can read about symptoms, the "feelings" as described by others who have experienced it and even think we would know one when we are having one. Yet most people who have a heart attack had no idea that is what was happening to them the first time it happens. Some die as a result simply because they didn't KNOW what the feelings they were having meant. GM, you understand this concept, I would think.

But imagine having feelings that continue simply because you are face to face with or even thinking about a person, knowing that those feelings are because of what they have done and yet being helpless to do anything except to feel them. The feelings don't just come from what happened but also from the memory of what happened and each time the memory is invoked the feelings are there, not just the memory of them, but the feelings themselves.

People who are severely burned experience this kind of memory triggers. ANYTHING that causes the memory of being burned makes the person FEEL being burned again, not just the pain but the fear, the anguish, the terror of being on fire and not being able to do anything about it all come flooding back with something as benign as a smell, a light, a sound, or anything else that might trigger the memory to be recalled.

The way these memories are overcome is not to get over them. The memories have to be replaced in sequential order. In the case of a great marriage that went wrong at some place some of those memories can be replaced by things from the past. A person can "self soothe" or self medicate" by thinking about better times.

But when everything of the past has been shown to be a lie or invalid or even worse, there simply were not a lot of good memories to associate with the past, all of that goes out the window and only NEW memories can alleviate the pain and suffering. Only things done in the present will build those new memories and those things must be good enough and last long enough to overcome the negative feelings of the past enough times so that even the trigger of the hurt becomes associated with the new actions that resulted in comfort and assurance that things are different now and the past actions no longer exist.

I can also tell you that we all THINK we are practicing MB all the time. We understand the concepts, identify the parts and believe that now we are doing the right things. Yet none of us actually DO the right things all the time and still have difficulty controlling our own DJs, AOs, IBs, SDs etc. And if any of those things resulted in the betrayal, no matter which of us did them before or during the betrayal, those things trigger us to relive the same stuff all over again.

For a new habit to become a habit it has to happen enough times that we do it without thinking about it at all. As long as we have to decide what to do, we probably do the wrong thing about half the time. It's like playing a piano. We have to practice a piece over and over again until we can play it without thinking about it at all. Eventually we can play ANY piece because seeing the note or knowing the note causes the notes to be played in the right order in the right way without having to think about where to put our fingers. We play the piece rather than thinking about the piece in order to play it. It becomes our language and not just something we translate from one language to another.

Customers here...

I'll be back. cool


Wow. Thank you, Mark. You write and explain in a way that resonates really well with me in my brain in the same way that HerPapaBear's posts resonate in my heart. Take care of your customers, and then please get back to me.

- 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.