Originally Posted by markos
Hey, GreenMile, I am unfortunately not getting all of the Marriage Builders forum time I would like right now, but I am still trying to follow your situation, and thinking about you a lot.

I'm a little bit behind but I want to respond to some earlier posts because there's something that I think you needed to hear that I don't feel was said quite to my satisfaction.

When you say that your wife is obsessing over something, you are
Disrespectfully Judging her. You have decided that she should not be thinking about something as much as she is thinking about it, and your judgment of her is an instinct to try to control her to get her to not think about it as much, more at a level that you think is appropriate. You probably believe this is appropriate because you believe this is best for her. But it does not matter how you defend or rationalize it: the fact is that you are committing a disrespectful judgment, which is a serious and abusive love buster.

Regardless of what you meant by "obsessive," the clear facts are that you believe your wife should stop thinking about it so much because it is hindering recovery. And you are trying to figure out how to help her to stop thinking about it so much. It's clearly very important to you because you've identified this as the major stumbling block for recovery right now.

But this is a Disrespectful Judgment, staring you in the face. You are judging how much your wife should be thinking about this. Whatever stumbling blocks to recovery your wife might have right now, a DJ from you is clearly a major stumbling block for recovery. And if you've missed this one, is it not possible that you've missed other stumbling blocks on your part? These are things you can take care of. You cannot take care of what your wife is thinking.

It doesn't matter if Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., PhD, himself comes to your door, sits down on your couch, and tells DWG that she should stop thinking these thoughts so much. YOU absolutely have to refrain from telling her that or sending her that message. It is a Disrespectful Judgment coming from you. It is controlling coming from you. You believe recovery will be helped if she diminishes the frequency of these thoughts. Your wife does not believe this, and she doesn't have to. If you want to influence what your wife believes about this, then use Respectful Persuasion (detailed in the Disrespectful Judgments chapter of love busters and here), not Disrespectful Judgments. If you can't refrain from Disrespectful Judgments on the subject, then refrain completely from trying to sway her on the issue, and leave it to the professionals and others. We don't have to get this woman in love with us. Dr. Harley can say things to DWG that you simply cannot and should not, if you want her to be in love with you.

The last thing DWG wants is for you to teach her Marriage Builders, even in one small point.

Thanks, Markos, once again, for a very thoughtful post and for thinking about me and our situation. DWG was truly stuck with a recurrent thought about comparing my feelings for OW at the time of the affair with my feelings for DWG and feeling that she could never match up to the feelings I had with OW, and it was literally driving her up the wall. She was dreaming about it and thinking about it all day, and getting only a couple hours of sleep per day. Yes, I wanted to find out here what I could do to help her. Was that really trying to control her? Was that disrespectful?

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.