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Originally Posted by GreenMile
Basically the thing that seems to be holding up progress is the sheer weight of the damage I inflicted with my lying and serial adultery for so many years, that even though I have been working hard on fixing the many things that I avoided about myself for so long, it really doesn't help DWG with her pain.

We're back to square one with this vicious circle!

What are you going to do that's different?

What did you see in my last post to you on this thread?






Recovery began 10/07;

Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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Originally Posted by Mark1952
GM,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have an early service call that just came up so I will get back to this when I get a break at work. Since I am on vacation next week, my day is likely to be a little long and a bit crazy, so give me a little time and I'll be back. cool

Mark

Good luck with that, Mark. Try to have a great vacation. I have this thread back on watch, and I will wait to hear from you whenever you can. No hurry. If you read the post to Mrs. Vanilla above, it might clarify it a little more also.

Thanks,

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.
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Originally Posted by HerPapaBear
Originally Posted by GreenMile
Basically the thing that seems to be holding up progress is the sheer weight of the damage I inflicted with my lying and serial adultery for so many years, that even though I have been working hard on fixing the many things that I avoided about myself for so long, it really doesn't help DWG with her pain.

We're back to square one with this vicious circle!

What are you going to do that's different?

What did you see in my last post to you on this thread?

Hi, HPB! Yes, absolutely I saw your post and poem about bringing my broken dreams to God like a child with a broken toy, but letting go, so that He can fix it. I copied it and read it literally every day, sometimes more than once.

I have let go, HPB. And I know that this takes very long time. I also re-read Markos' post every day. Both of those things give me strength. I am not holding out on anything. I am being strong, calm, reassuring, and I am doing the work on myself that needs to be done. I just wish that I could help DWG with this thought she is having about needing me to feel "in love" with her. I cannot feel "in love" with anyone, even DWG, while hating myself for who I was. Somehow, I have to stop hating myself. Right now, I receive daily reminders of who I was. I think that when I am reminded about that each time, it still kind of sucks the life out of me. But it also helps me re-dedicate myself each time. That does seem to help DWG. Many days, she tries so hard not to remind me of who I was, and I feel so much love for her, knowing the effort she is putting into that. I should tell her that more. That is one thing I can do a lot more.


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.
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Hey GM,
I only skimmed your post, but what I gleamed from it I suppose that DWG recognizes through your actions that your LB$ for her is not in the "In Love" area. Perhaps it is her own beaten view of things that she is having a hard time recognizing your love for her. I feel that you are saying ILYBINILWY through your actions.

I would have to say that you need to change something again. It time to take inventory of your marriage with a serious sit down discussion (Record the status of your $LB over the past few weeks to make sure it is going up). Talk with DWG, find out what ENs you are and aren't meeting. See what are her current top 5 ENs. Check if your ENs are being met. Discuss your status on LB's, and recent withdrawls that occured. Make sure you express your love for her in the way that she understands. This means you really have to go out of your way for her to prove you love her.

I hope during your proof that you love her you will both get into that territory where both your $LB are full for each other.

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DWG wants me to be "in love" with her, with all of the overwhelming feelings that entails, but I cannot feel that as long as I can only feel shame, remorse, and even fear of what DWG's mood will be from day to day. I am 100% dedicated to learning to meet her most important EN's, hoping that if I do that long enough, many years most likely, she will be able to put aside enough memories of the past to move on.

This is all very typical Passive/Aggressive philosophy.

me me me me me me me me me

It's not my fault

It's somebody else's fault

she does this and she does that poor me what do I do

I can't, because of her

I'm just a victim

but that's good because victims have no consequences (or shouldn't)

Quote
She claims that she will never be able to heal further unless I am "in love" with her. Somehow, I must feel what a spouse feels when all of their EN's are being met, and their LB deposits have a brimming balance, when really, this kind of thing is no longer possible for her, because of what I did.


Again - me me me me me

what about MY emotional needs

I can't give her what she needs but that's her fault

poor poor me I'm a victim

You claim to love your wife, yet turn right around above and say that She's Not Doing Enough For You You You

GM, the bottom line is this:

Once you pull your head out of being a Sneaky 11-Year-Old BOY Who Got Caught and is (still) Desperately Trying to Avoid Consequences By Making Excuses and Blaming Others

and

You start behaving like a responsible adult MAN who UNSELFISHLY cares for the ones who depend on him without worrying about the reward and without worrying about how long it might take

then you might see some progress.


Me, BW
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My two cents.

GM, it sounds as if you're in a state of Intimacy from what you're saying... but Conflict creeps in and your Taker is rearing his ugly head repeatedly from your posts. You're vacillating between the two states.

Why not pledge to try a time period of simply meeting needs with ZERO expectations? Set a limit for how long you believe you can keep it up -- a few months, a year, whatever -- and do your level best to try to love her without wanting or expecting anything in return.

DWG has been at this game a long time. She's exhausted. She needs you to run with recovery for a time while she catches her breath from years of trying to bring you back to Intimacy.

The hidden benefit here is, you'll stop thinking about yourself for a while, and stop obsessing about what she's thinking. Set your time limit for how long you're willing to try this experiment of just meeting her needs without any thought for your own. When that time ends, talk with her about where you are.

Chances are good you'll both be in a much better place. But I don't think DWG has the energy to give much right now, and is deeply in Conflict verging on Withdrawal.


Doormat_No_More
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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.

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Originally Posted by Mulan
Quote
DWG wants me to be "in love" with her, with all of the overwhelming feelings that entails, but I cannot feel that as long as I can only feel shame, remorse, and even fear of what DWG's mood will be from day to day. I am 100% dedicated to learning to meet her most important EN's, hoping that if I do that long enough, many years most likely, she will be able to put aside enough memories of the past to move on.

This is all very typical Passive/Aggressive philosophy.

me me me me me me me me me

It's not my fault

It's somebody else's fault

she does this and she does that poor me what do I do

I can't, because of her

I'm just a victim

but that's good because victims have no consequences (or shouldn't)

Quote
She claims that she will never be able to heal further unless I am "in love" with her. Somehow, I must feel what a spouse feels when all of their EN's are being met, and their LB deposits have a brimming balance, when really, this kind of thing is no longer possible for her, because of what I did.


Again - me me me me me

what about MY emotional needs

I can't give her what she needs but that's her fault

poor poor me I'm a victim

You claim to love your wife, yet turn right around above and say that She's Not Doing Enough For You You You

GM, the bottom line is this:

Once you pull your head out of being a Sneaky 11-Year-Old BOY Who Got Caught and is (still) Desperately Trying to Avoid Consequences By Making Excuses and Blaming Others

and

You start behaving like a responsible adult MAN who UNSELFISHLY cares for the ones who depend on him without worrying about the reward and without worrying about how long it might take

then you might see some progress.

I don't think I must be expressing myself clearly. The best thing would be for you to re-read my post. I am past that stage. I am not a newbie. We are nearly two years into this. I am not at all concerned about me or desiring that she do anything different to meet my EN's. She would if she could. This is not about me, so you are misinterpreting that, I believe. I am expecting many, many years, and it may not happen at all. I am not "worrying about how long it might take". I am aware that it is 100% my fault for everything. I am not trying to justify anything, make excuses for anything, or expect anything other than the roller coaster. I think you are mistaking me for some guy still in a fog who refuses to take responsiblity. My posts are not about that. Let me re-state it differently: My BW right now, nearly two years after learning that our marriage was a horrible lie, and after experiencing nearly two years of unrelenting horrifying pain far beyond anything that I could ever feel despite my own sense of shame, remorse, and sadness, and despite herculean efforts by both of us to recover, is stuck on a single obsessive idea that has put a roadblock in our path to potential recovery. That idea is the ILYBIANILWY feelings that she has asked me about repeatedly that I have answered honestly, and comparing them to the "in love" feelings that I had with the OW during the affair. The thought of that woman and the entire tapestry of my life for a quarter century only fills me with revulsion and self-loathing. I have deep, deep love for my W, and thousands of love units were deposited in my LB by her for simply not using her "get out of marriage free" card. Yet, I answer her honestly and openly when she asked if I am "in love" with her. Those kinds of romantic feelings are still not happening because of my sense of shame at myself and the pain that comes with feeling guilty, even though that pain is not even in the same universe as that which she must suffer because of my actions. I am not concerned with my pain. Seriously. I accept it and know I must live with it forever. I mention it only because it keeps me from feeling "in love". But my BW obsesses with the idea that I do not feel that kind of giddy feeling that I had for awhile with the OW but do not currently have for DWG. It does not bother me that I do not currently feel giddy over my W, because that will surely come with some years of healing. I love everything about her and being with her, which is a new thing after all those years of discounting her and running away from her and her judgement of me. I fully understand that those judgements were based on who I actually was and how I acted, and they were deserved, logical, and justified. But I am not giddy "in love" with her, and this is driving her crazy. She keeps comparing my lack of that feeling with those feelings that she believes that I had for the OW, and it is driving her nuts and holding back further progress. I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock. That is the status of our situation right now. Does that make more sense, or do you still believe that I am just focusing on me, me, me, me? If you do, then I can only say that you are not interpreting this correctly and are simply aghast and angry at who I was and what I did in the past. If so, you are not alone. I share your feelings about that.

Last edited by GreenMile; 08/13/10 12:46 PM.

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.
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Originally Posted by Doormat_No_More
My two cents.

GM, it sounds as if you're in a state of Intimacy from what you're saying... but Conflict creeps in and your Taker is rearing his ugly head repeatedly from your posts. You're vacillating between the two states.

Why not pledge to try a time period of simply meeting needs with ZERO expectations? Set a limit for how long you believe you can keep it up -- a few months, a year, whatever -- and do your level best to try to love her without wanting or expecting anything in return.

DWG has been at this game a long time. She's exhausted. She needs you to run with recovery for a time while she catches her breath from years of trying to bring you back to Intimacy.

The hidden benefit here is, you'll stop thinking about yourself for a while, and stop obsessing about what she's thinking. Set your time limit for how long you're willing to try this experiment of just meeting her needs without any thought for your own. When that time ends, talk with her about where you are.

Chances are good you'll both be in a much better place. But I don't think DWG has the energy to give much right now, and is deeply in Conflict verging on Withdrawal.

Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner. It bothers her big time. I understand it but do not know how to help her with that. I cannot lie and feign giddy romantic feelings after 26 years and coming to loath who I was most of that time. There is nothing giddy in our experience at this time, only the painful roller coaster. At the peaks, I do feel almost giddy, and I am bad about not telling her that. Perhaps that is it. Maybe I need to learn to be more expressive of my feelings when things are going well, while still being calm and strong for her when things are going poorly. That is quite a trick to pull off for anyone, is it not?


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.
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I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock.

"I can't give her what she wants, but that's her fault."

Of course she feels like garbage. That's how you treated her for years. What did you expect?

When do you stop worrying about what SHE is doing/thinking/feeling and start concentrating ONLY on what YOU are doing/thinking/feeling?

If you love your wife as you say you do, you will STOP blaming your recovery problems on her (and you are).

You will concentrate ONLY on what YOU YOU YOU are doing to make things better - big things, little things, and things done with NO expectation of reward.

Next post, just come here and tell us about what YOU did today to make things better. Not one word about DWG's problems and DWG's roadblocks to recovery. ONLY what GM did today to make something, anything, just a little bit better - with NO expectation of reward.

Little kids do things for a cookie and they want the cookie RIGHT NOW.

Grownups do things because they're the right thing to do and because they're going to make things better in the long run - maybe not right now, but in the long run.


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Originally Posted by GreenMile
Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner.

Stop all talk about recovery. Period. Any questions about "why" you did what you did, or how you felt, can be answered by looking at the Three Stages of Marriage and Exclusive Need-Meeting. When the other women met your needs, you loved them. It's unfortunate, but that fact won't change. Don't squash your wife's questions, but answer them as quickly and matter-of-factly as you can, then turn the topic toward something that doesn't have to do with your affairs.

You don't want to further reinforce your mutual memory of those dark times. You must always be honest, but don't initiate discussions of the past and try to keep your answers about the past brief and to-the-point. Then go back to work meeting her needs and showing her she's the only one you want to love for the rest of your life.

She's afraid to trust you. That means she's moving from Withdrawal into Conflict. Keep that new leaf turned over for three months, six months, a year, two years... eventually you'll both know your heart is in the right place.

My wife's EA lasted eight months and has been over for a year. I'm just now starting to trust her again in small ways, and very occasionally feel happy and giddy like we're newlyweds.

Yours went on for decades. It's no wonder both of you look at the task ahead and worry if you're up to it.

I have faith that you are. Keep on keeping on, and keep very close track of any of your Love Busters, planning on how to stop engaging in them in the future.


Doormat_No_More
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I don't think you should feign giddy romantic feelings, but I think it is possible to have the true giddy romantic feelings. I think that is what you should both be striving for. For me it comes and goes, and I know what I have to do to get those giddy feelings. One of my favorites is by talking over the phone with my wife late at night. We had a year long 500 mile distance realtaionship, and that is how we fell in love. It makes me feel giddy, I also enjoy planning something special with her for our date night. It makes me giddy with anticipation for that night to come.

I think DWG wishes you were giddy for her, and it triggers her. Why were you giddy for OW and not for me now? I expect she fears that if you are not giddy for her, that you might fall back into your old patterns.

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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.
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Originally Posted by Mulan
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I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock.

"I can't give her what she wants, but that's her fault."

Of course she feels like garbage. That's how you treated her for years. What did you expect?

When do you stop worrying about what SHE is doing/thinking/feeling and start concentrating ONLY on what YOU are doing/thinking/feeling?

If you love your wife as you say you do, you will STOP blaming your recovery problems on her (and you are).

You will concentrate ONLY on what YOU YOU YOU are doing to make things better - big things, little things, and things done with NO expectation of reward.

Next post, just come here and tell us about what YOU did today to make things better. Not one word about DWG's problems and DWG's roadblocks to recovery. ONLY what GM did today to make something, anything, just a little bit better - with NO expectation of reward.

Little kids do things for a cookie and they want the cookie RIGHT NOW.

Grownups do things because they're the right thing to do and because they're going to make things better in the long run - maybe not right now, but in the long run.

Thanks. Mulan. I appreciate your thoughts. In this case, I am NOT expecting reward. You have that wrong. I am just trying to help DWG, because this particular thought is just eating at her and keeping her wounds festering. But I am probably not in any position to do that, only to do what I can do to give caring love to her. It may be that I interpret everything that she says as something where she is looking for a response or for me to fix the problem rather than her just telling me her feelings. That has always been a trait of mine, and I am learning that (slowly, but surely). We even talk about this. When I try to answer everything with some attempt at helping, it comes across as trying to control her feelings, and that is exactly the wrong thing to do. Markos explained that to me, but I am still doing it. When she states this idea to me, I somehow have to listen and just affirm her feelings of pain and misery and not try to come up with some kind of band-aid. She is not a patient of mine. She is my wife. That may be the clue to the actual answer I am seeking. Don't try to fix it. Just validate and support her.

I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that. Then I would just touch her and kiss her. That would be ideal, but at those times, she does not want me to touch or kiss her.

Today, our beloved golden retriever may be dying. She has metastatic cancer and is unable to get up. We may have to make the awful final trip to the vets today. So, if anyone reading this posts and does not get a response anytime soon, that is what is going on.

Last edited by GreenMile; 08/13/10 02:03 PM.

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.
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Originally Posted by Mark1952
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.

Mark has hit on the one ingredient that neither you nor anyone else can create.... TIME!

You cannot undo the past or live in the future....

All you have to work with is the memories you create TODAY.

You know how to get ahold of me if you need to talk!


Last edited by HerPapaBear; 08/13/10 01:45 PM.




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Originally Posted by GreenMile
I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that.

My friend, just continue being open & honest! Don't make this more complex than it is, OK!





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Originally Posted by GreenMile
Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? .... In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust.

There is no reason to explain why you are there in ther marriage. I can ask why are you here on MB? You can explain the situation of the past, but that is not what I would want to hear either. I would rather you give me a straight answer like: "I am here on MB to learn ways to build a better marriage." Its honest and there is no trying to explain your past.

Explainations of your past to determin what you are doing now, even if what you are doing now, is a bad idea. Its all about what is happening now and what you can do for the future.

I find that when my wife asks me a question I don't answer it. Most of the time it might be a rhetorical question, and she just wants someone to listen to her. Many times I have to exercise empathetic listening. The hard part is trying to block my problem solver mode, and put myself into support mode.

Men by trait are problem solvers. They want to give solutions to any problem. Sometimes women what to be listened to, and don't want a solution. You know it and I know it, so there is no need to further explain. The hard part is practicing it. When is the right time to listen empithetically, nod to a rhetorical question, or shut your yap.

Of course maybe we are all reading into this too much and her real question was what are you doing here? meaning: I wasn't expecting you to be home.

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Originally Posted by Wheels_spinning
There is no reason to explain why you are there in the marriage.

WS, we all need to have an answer to this question, and need to be able to articulate the answer or we might as well pack our bags!

This is an honest question when our BS asks it!

It deserves an honest answer..... Every time it's asked!





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Originally Posted by HerPapaBear
Originally Posted by GreenMile
I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that.

My friend, just continue being open & honest! Don't make this more complex than it is, OK!

I do know how to contact you, and I will be less reticent to do so. I promise. Thanks so much for all you do for others and for me.


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.
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Originally Posted by GreenMile
Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner. It bothers her big time. I understand it but do not know how to help her with that. I cannot lie and feign giddy romantic feelings after 26 years and coming to loath who I was most of that time. There is nothing giddy in our experience at this time, only the painful roller coaster. At the peaks, I do feel almost giddy, and I am bad about not telling her that. Perhaps that is it. Maybe I need to learn to be more expressive of my feelings when things are going well, while still being calm and strong for her when things are going poorly. That is quite a trick to pull off for anyone, is it not?


think

Calling your wife's pain "obsessive" over the fact that you deeply loved OW/hooker and hated DWG for years .... makes me want to twoxfour

Another thing to raise redflag is that you are talking about your inability to feign "giddy romantic feelings" ... WTH? Who suggested "giddy" to you?

I am trying REALLY HARD to think of something helpful/constructive to offer you.

But, at the moment, the very best I can do is to refrain myself from calling you ugly names.

I'll be back later, when I can control myself. grumble

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