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#1528250 11/25/05 01:37 PM
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It has been awhile since I have posted an update here. I changed names from Tired Dad to Damage_Inc. The new one fits my behaviors a bit better (unfortunately), and I have always been a big Metallica fan!

A quick background, married 12yrs, had a big, big fight in May (my fault), I initiated MC, she withdrew emotionaly, she had 2 month A that ended when I discovered it on d-day 29 July05.

We began MC again. She stated she wanted reconiliation. For two months she did try, but I was unable to accept her attempts. For whatever reason, looking back I can see it was a desire for revenge, but at the time all I knew was that I felt overwhelming resentment and anger towards her. I did want reconciliation, but emotionaly I was so unable to deal with the reality of her having an A that we made zero progress. We attend the MB seminar 30Sept / 1 Oct. No improvement. My anger and resentment was something that made me unable to see the reality that she was trying. I tormented her even though in my mind I did want reconciliation.

Mid-October we started an informal seperation. Things continued to go poorly when we were together. One off word by her that I took as a sign that she was finished with the marriage would send me in to a panic which made me feel attacked so I would attack back.

Her counselor was throwing out diagnosises on me such as narccicistic personality disorder, my counselor was saying no, boderline personality disorder. I didn't like hearing either one but acknowledged that I fit some of the criteria for each. I didn't understand my behavior, didn't like it, always felt guilty for it.

A week ago, on my own accord, I went to my doctor and requested to start a mood stabilizer. I truly feel like a different person. Even with my marriage probably over, my mood hasn't been this light in years. I am not happy about my marriage situation, but I am finding pleasure and relaxation in other areas of my life.

Thinking about my marriage ending does not send me in to an uncontrollable panic now. I don't want it to happen, but if it does, I know that it wont be the end of the world. Thinking about her A, which I do less and less anymore, doesn't make me break down like it always used to. It makes me feel sad, but not overwhelmingly so.

She is saying that she doesn't know if she can try again. Her counselor is telling her to file for divorce. She saw a lawyer at her counselors recomendation who is telling her the same thing.


I have come to the rational realization that her A is no more of a sin than my past repeated porn use. Emotioanly I still have trouble accepting that, but I know in my head that it is so. I told her this but she says I am just saying the words and don't really believe them.

I posted on the semiar attendees board this past Wednesday and Dr Harley said


Quote:

Damage_Inc: The "discovery" that you have a borderline personality disorder instead of a narcissistic personality disorder should be little comfort to your wife or her counselor. From the perspective of most therapists today, neither can be treated effectively. Those who claim to be effective in treating them are either misdiagnosing the problem, or are not following up to determine the results of their treatment. By the way, the most obvious symptom of a borderline personality disorder is a long history of abandonment issues with urges to harm oneself (self-mutilation and attempted suicide are common). If your wife or her counselor were to believe that you were suffering from this disorder, they would run for the hills. But I seriously doubt that this is your problem.

Instead, I would suggest that your basic problem is that have not taken your marital problems seriously enough until now. You may also have problems with impulse control and mood swings, which would explain why the anti-depressant medication you are now taking is helping to stabilize you. These problems can be solved if a counselor focuses on bad habits and lifestyle issues rather than abandonment issues. Your Taker has been in charge of your life throughout most of your marriage, and her Taker is now telling her that she's had enough of your selfish behavior, which is a reasonable conclusion to come to, under the circumstances.

During the seminar I warned everyone that personal counseling tends to lead to divorce, and many of these counselors have been divorced. Your wife's personal counselor is not trying to save your marriage -- she's trying to provide your wife with an escape. Very few personal counselors try to resolve personal issues in the context of creating a successful marriage. Instead, they look at marriage as the source of the personal issues, and take the easy road by suggesting that the marriage be dissolved. Even your counselor is really doing you no favors by announcing that you have a borderline personality disorder. It is like telling your wife and her counselor that you hopelessly lost and it will take years before you can find your way back.

If both counselors were to work together to try to help you save your marriage, you would be encouraged to do the very things that the Marriage Builders program helps you achieve. It would help you become less selfish and less guided by your impulses. You would practice new habits that would make your wife happy instead of sad. You would become accountable to your wife for all of your behavior, and every decision would be made jointly, with her interests in mind. When the course is over, you and she would be happily married and in love.

I will ask Sandy to arrange a call between me and your wife to determine if she is willing to begin our follow-up program again. If she is, there is real hope for both of you. But I'm afraid that the path you are presently on will lead to divorce.

Best wishes
Willard F. Harley, Jr.







Unfortunately my wife has no desire to talk with him.
I still pray that our marriage can be saved. Now, I feel that I am emotionaly ready to be able to do so.

I just wanted to give everyone an update......

My hope is that sooner or later I will be able to give a positive update on a marriage that I still want to save......

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During the seminar I warned everyone that personal counseling tends to lead to divorce, and many of these counselors have been divorced.




THIS is soooooo correct!

BRAVO Dr. Harley

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Tired Dad/Damage

First of all ... I congratulate you on your efforts so far.

It takes a big person to face big problems.

Keep striving toward a healthier you ... and keep your 'side of the street' clean as far as future marriage reconciliation goes ...

as in ... don't go out and date or see other women ....

it ain't over 'till it's over ....

keep your welcome mat out for your wife and be ready to do the necessary work should she decide to return to you ...

best of wishes

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Pepperband,

Thanks for the reply. I am thinking the informal seperation is over. She stayed here during my week with the kids. The way we were working, to be the least intrusive on the kids, was for she and I to alternate weeks with the one on the off week staying with their parents
Well this past week was mine, but at her counselors and lawyers advice, she didn't leave.

I had been advised the same thing by my lawyer, but was willing to alternate as a sign of trust and good faith. I can't really do that now if it is not going to be returned.

The funny thing is, I don't want to attribute the difference in my outlook entirely to the new medicine because I have been praying for this constantlp, but I so feel like not arguing. Even when she is in a less than freindly mood, I FEEL like letting it go. It is not that my mood is such that I am able to control my argumentative impulses... the arguementative impulses are not there. When she says something that in the past I would take as a challenge, whether it be her tone or words, now I don't feel the urge to say anything back. And honestly it has left me with more time to do things around the house and spend time with the kids because that time has not been spent arguing.

I can't remember the last time in my life that I didn't feel argumentative or diagreeable with life in general. I am 35 and I would not be stretching it to say I would have to go back to elementery school, because I know that I was argumentative and divisive in Jr high.

In my heart, even though I am a PharmD, I have to give thanks to God. He either worked the changes in me, or planted the idea to pursue treatment with a mood stabilizer. Either way, I give all thanks to Him.

This is the season of miracles.. I will continue to pray for one to occur for my family.

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Thanks for the update. I have thought of both of you often - kept checking to see if you'd posted. Since I usually 'hang out' on EN's, I appreciate the link you posted there.

Sorry to hear things have not improved much. I agree that IC tends to destroy marriages more than help. I hope you continue to be in contact with the Harleys.

I will also be praying for you. God bless.
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I hear what you're saying about the medication. Your relief is palpable, and I'm glad it's working so well.

But I have to warn you, it's only a bandaid.

It's covering up part of your primary problem as Dr. Harley identified it -- selfishness and poor impulse control. The medication may be making a difference for now, but there's no way it can get rid of all harmful impulses you'll ever have. Until you learn to control your behavior despite the presence if negative impulses, your wife is wise to stay away from you.

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MOS,

I hear what you are saying. But honestly, first and foremost I just want to end the behavior. If I can come to the point of understanding why I did it, great, but my primary concern is ending it for the present and future.

As for my marriage, I understand the pain my W is in, and she has caused me great pain as well. What I have come to understand is, I can be mad at her all the time or I can try to save my marriage, but I cannot do both. Also, we can both wallow in that pain, which will no doubt result in a divorce, or we can both move forward together as if we have never been hurt. If we do the latter, our marriage stands a chance. If W can't do this, then I guess we are just forestalling the inevitable.

I understand her hesitancy regarding my behavior. And it has only been 2 weeks since my mood has stabilized. For the first time in I can't remember when, I am OK with my life. I want to save my marriage and am willing what I can to save it. But, life in general feels good for me right now. I can't really explain it. I just feel contented.

When I do think of her A I feel sad. And when I do think about how she used to feel towards me, when I miss her love and affection, it hurts. When I try to show her affection and I see and feel her stiffen and pull away, it hurts.
But it doesn't throw me into the feeling of despair and panic like it used to.

And when I think of how I used to treat her, I feel very bad and guilty. I would love to have that opportunity to do it all over again. To go back to that first night on our wedding day and start again. But I can't.
Either she will decide to try again, or she won't.

I wish she would talk to Dr Harley, but she won't.

My perception of my future is that I will continue the medication for several months while continuing therapy to learn appropraite impulse control, reactions to stress, etc.... Then, hopefully my marriage will be stable, and I can start tapering the medicine down. With the help of a counselor, and hopefully with the vigilance of my W, I can taper it and respond to any behavioral issues that may arise during the tapering off of the medicine.

Or, I will be a single guy tapering off with the help of my counselor and friends. I do have friends. I haven't really had a W in the real sense of the word in 6 months or so (she will say she hasn't had a H in the true sense of the word in years, and she is probably right). And in the past months I have developed better friendships, ones that I will not just drop if my marriage survives.

Either way, I will handle my bidness....

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Quote:

Quote:

During the seminar I warned everyone that personal counseling tends to lead to divorce, and many of these counselors have been divorced.




I agree that this is soooo true. My x went to a personal counselor and absolutely refused to let me go. I looked in her journal from her sessions (I know I should not have but I was desperate for answers). Anyway, from the start, her counselor was giving her advice on divorce and seperation. There was NOTHING on working on the marraige. To this day, I would like to tell her so called "marraige" counselor exactly what I think of her.

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Quote:


My perception of my future is that I will continue the medication for several months while continuing therapy to learn appropraite impulse control, reactions to stress, etc.... Then, hopefully my marriage will be stable, and I can start tapering the medicine down. With the help of a counselor, and hopefully with the vigilance of my W, I can taper it and respond to any behavioral issues that may arise during the tapering off of the medicine.





Have you really thought about what you're planning on asking her to do here?

Basically, your plan is that she will be your guinea pig. You'll experiment with various ways of controlling your behavior, and she'll take the fallout.

Having seen just how asinine you can be when you have a tantrum, I sure as ****** wouldn't sign up for that, no matter how much I once loved you.

I don't think what you want to accomplish is undoable any more than Dr. Harley does. But I do think you're still not taking all this seriously enough. And I think you need to be able to offer her some much better guarantees on your behavior than you have thus far if you want to interest her in sticking around.

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MOS,

I am not sure what other options I have except planning on staying on meds for the rest of my life.

You know, this is not easy for me. I know that I have issues to take care of within myself, but if my marriage continues in to the new year, it has issues too.

I guess my other option is to file for divorce right now, continue my counseling and learn contructive techniques for anger and stress management, then start over again.

Honestly, this is probably the most likely option. Regardless of what changes I make, medicine assisted or not, my W appears too attached to her anger, resentment, and disdain towards me for our marriage to move forward. I am willing to put her A in the past. In fact I do not bring it up anymore, even when her statements about some of my past actions drip with hypocrasy. I am not going to wallow in it anymore. I have been stuck in despair, panic, depression, and lonliness for 6 months now. It has honestly been years since my mood felt as positive as it does now. And that is no lie, right now my mood is POSITIVE.

But our marriage has so many strikes against it. My past treatment of her, her A, and my treatment of her post-A when I was unable to cope with it emotionally.

I am willing to start anew as if she has never hurt me. She is either unwilling or unable to do so.

I continue to go to counseling to try to change the issues I have. Since our seperation began 5-6 weeks ago I have gone weekly.... she has gone once.

I will continue my IC, but I think Harley is right. My IC is about me. It has zero focus on my W or my marriage. A marriage that is on life support like ours needs immediate attention or it is gone.

When we went to MC right after d-day, the MC asked for 6 months from me. Well, that will be the end of January. I can hold on until then. I have 3 children with the woman who I still believe is the love of my life, a woman whom I have been with since I was 17 and she was 15, that is over 1/2 of our lives together! A woman whom I felt like I was intertwined with because she was my rock, she kept the family together, she supported me emotionally. I always thought I was the weaker one emotionally. She made every house we were in a home.

I know that if she was able to, that she could once again be that wife.


Make no mistake, I am not the victim here. I put myself in the situation I am now in.

It reminds me of when a coach is asked after a loss if it was a good learning experience for the team, and he says "If you have to lose to learn something than you are pretty stupid".

I guess I am pretty stupid because I am going to lose my W, my marriage, and my family because I learned too late.


Happy friggin new year....

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Quote:

MOS,

I am not sure what other options I have except planning on staying on meds for the rest of my life.





Well that's a lovely cop-out, but that's all it is, a cop-out.

It is a nice example of why I think you're still not taking this seriously enough.

You talk about this all in terms of making a good effort, not in terms of taking absolute responsibility. You'll go to therapy and take the meds (good effort), but in the end your wife is expected to take whatever fallout there happens to be. You'll accept some options that show you're trying, but you're skipping making it your business to move heaven and earth without rest until you find options that work for your wife.

Basically you've got it backwards. Your notion is you'll make a good effort, and let the chips fall where they may. What you've abundantly proven so far is that like any human being, so long as a good effort is the only goal, cutting corners here and there starts to creep in until basically what you have is a long-term quest for minimums -- for the minimum effort that you can get away with and that your wife will accept. What you need to get straight in your head is that this backwards attitude will never work -- it's your business to make sure the chips don't fall where they'll do harm. No matter what. Even if it takes an unreasonable effort. Even if you half-kill yourself making it happen. Even if you have to lock yourself in a closet to protect others. Whatever it takes, not just a good effort and oh well if it's not enough.

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Damage_Inc. --
How about if you email Dr. Harley and let him know about the physical abuse? Crashing through a door to a wife and 3 year old is a much more compelling reason for a wife to file for divorce than having some counselor label you has having BPD. If your W won't talk to him, at least you can give him the whole story. Your W's perspective is on Pepperband's thread.

My spouse won't talk with Dr. Harley, either, but I have tried as best I could to give him both perspectives.

Cherishing

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I understand that. But I also say that IF / when I try to taper off the meds, there is a possibility that I will have some rough spots. Right now, I don't have an angry feeling like I have had since my early teenage years. Maybe it is the meds suppressing that, maybe I have awakened to something. I don't know.

However, as I continue therapy and learn techniques to control my negative behaviors, those techniques will not necessarily be "put to the test" if it is the medication that is suppressing my feelings of anger. So, if I was to begin tapering the meds, I would assume there would be some rough spots as I have to put the techniques into practice when confronted with anger. I would prefer to not look at it as my wife being a guinea pig, but my wife helping someone she loves as they are working to improve themselves.
I want my marriage to work. I feel guilty for the pain I have caused my W. I want her to be happy. And if it is selfish for me to want her to be happy with me, then so be it, I am selfish.

I don't think anyone can say "I will never ever lose my temper for the rest of my life". I can't say that. But I do not feel that I am a physically violent guy. The door thing I take full responsibility for, it was a bad f**ked up situation that I did not handle well at all. I had absolutely no intention of wanting to hurt my wife. I never have. I can say that I have had numerous, numerous situations in and outside my marriage / family in which I was able to refrain from engaging in physically violent or physically confrontational behavior. My wife can attest to that. My lack of control has always been my mouth.

I have always had a severe lack of control when it comes to lashing out verbally. All I can say is that I am working on it. Honestly, I can say that I have never really had to learn to control my emotions until now.

As far as cutting corners, etc.... I know that won't work. IF my marriage continues, I won't trust my W for a long time, and she won't trust me for even longer. And both of us will be justified in that respect.

Look, I have done some seriously difficult stuff in my life, both mentally and physically. I know that if I make this my primary goal and objective that I will not fail. I have the strength and ability to accomplish this.

Ya know, right after d-day I could have filed and be divorced by now. I could have blown off all my W's complaints about my pre-A behavior and gone on with my life, inflicted my bad behavior and relationship skills on to another woman. But I haven't. I have stuck around and tried to work through emotions that I don't understand. I have acknowledged my blame for the state of my marriage and tried to improve myself. I remember sitting in the MC's office for a individual meeting asking her, begging her to help me find ways to prevent the angry behaviors that I could not seem to get a handle on. She had no real answers for me. So she passed me to a male counselor. I saw him 3-4 weeks and while understanding his approach, I still felt the anger inside. I went to my doctor of my own decision. My decision was not arrived at from any discussion or recomendation from my counselor. I went and told my doctor my emotional problems and told him exactly what medicine I wanted to try. I had researched my options. I am a PharmD so I know about meds. I understand that my anger is not healthy. My anger about the A and my anger that I have felt towards about everything and everyone in general for years. I understand that left unresolved it will leave me as someone all alone because I continually push everyone away.

And now, for whatever reason, I feel at peace. My realationship with my kids is much better. My interactions with other people is much better. Even though my W is not exactly "warm" to me, my interactions with her are better as well. I don't feel the need to take slight at everything / anything she does. If she is aggrevated towards me, I let it go. She says my changes are superficial, just me doing what I think I need to do to keep her in the fold. But she doesn't know how I feel inside. And I don't expect her to. I would hope my continued actions could speak for themselves, but I doubt that the marriage has enough time left in it for that to occur. And that is too bad.

I miss my wife. I sat on the bed last night (we are kinda seperated, so I slept elsewhere) trying to get her to let me comfort her, to let me try to help her with her pain. But she is a brick wall towards me at this time. And I have to accept that this may not change.

I know this has been a long rambling respone to your post, but I am sure there are some good things in there for you to pick out.

Thanks for your interest. It does help me.

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Damage_Inc.
My H, four years ago next month, punched me and broke my arm when I was threatening to call this woman whom he said kept calling her and it would be rude of him to hang up. In fact, he was having an affair with her. When the affair was finally exposed because I called the woman's husband and told him what I knew and he got the truth out of the affair partner and called me, I was very angry. For a long, long, long time. Much angrier about the affair than the broken arm -- and the arm required three surgeries. I was in a cast or splint up past my elbow from before Christmas until after Easter. The affair hurt far worse. I empathize with the impact on you of the affair.

I think that I had a commitment to marriage no matter what and was pretty much willing to put up with no matter what. He was, too. After years of this, he wandered into an affair.

Now I don't have a commitment to marriage no matter what. I'm not willing to be married if he wants to be happy at my expense (whether it be have an affair or make me put up with a sister's spanking one of our children) and I'm not willing to be married if the only way I can be happy is at his expense. Win-win.

Pep's got a thread on the book "Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders" and it talks about the Renter philosophy of win-lose eventually leads to abuse.

Your W seems to be hesitant. If you let Harley know the truth, that there has been angry outbursts to the point of bashing down a door, he might be able to give you some useful advice. As it is, he's focused on recovery from an affair. An affair is a big problem in marriage, but he has told me that abuse is worse. He's trying to help you address the affair issue without being informed of the abuse problem.

Also, you might want to consider that you don't have a mental health problem. You just never grew up. I am now reading books on dealing with teenagers, since we have an 11 year old who is showing signs of teenage behavior like angry outbursts. It has occurred to me that we've been like two teenagers throughout most of our marriage. There's a book called "How to Talk to Teenagers so Teenagers will Listen and Listen so Teenagers will Talk" that has been particularly helpful to me. A friend of mine said to me that he's been my first teenager and she might be right. What she did not add, but I am adding, is that I was as much of a teenager as he was.

Cherishing

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Quote:

What I have come to understand is, I can be mad at her all the time or I can try to save my marriage, but I cannot do both.




yes.... this is correct

keep yourself well-behaved
that is your job # 1

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My perception of my future is that I will continue the medication for several months while continuing therapy to learn appropraite impulse control, reactions to stress, etc....




Most psychiatrists recommend at least a year on a mood stabilizer that works for you ... who prescribed this anyway?

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I don't think anyone can say "I will never ever lose my temper for the rest of my life". I can't say that.




That's still a cop-out.

Will I lose my temper again at some point in my life? Probably.

However, I would at any time happily sign a written contract that I would never blow up at my spouse, and I would include all kinds of specifics as to what "blow up" meeans. I would also include a clause that if I do not keep my guarantee, I would move out immediately and my spouse never needs to take me back.

I think that's perfectly reasonable. I think it's reasonable for any married person to be willing to do. Are you willing to do that for your wife?

Quote:


But I do not feel that I am a physically violent guy.




Might want to get some better drugs then, because the proof is that you ARE a physically violent guy. This denial of reality alone is enough to make it clear you're not serious yet.

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And now, for whatever reason, I feel at peace. My realationship with my kids is much better. My interactions with other people is much better. Even though my W is not exactly "warm" to me, my interactions with her are better as well.




with every success you will gain confidence that you can learn to manage your emotions better

in other words ... it does get more 'automatic' over time

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Quote:

Might want to get some better drugs then, because the proof is that you ARE a physically violent guy. This denial of reality alone is enough to make it clear you're not serious yet.





I don't agree. I have been aggressive in the past in a verbal sense. But I still don't feel that I am a physically violent person.

I feel that I am on an appropriate path for my needs right now. You may not agree with everything I say or do. Fine. You may be right, but I may be right as well.

I can say that for the past several days my W has not exactly rolled out the red carpet for me but yet I have been able to overlook things that in the past I would have taken as a challenge to fight about.

So my personal issues are one thing, my marriage is a totally seperate issue.

In regards to my marriage, I have to show my W changes on a consistent basis, and I am trying to do that. However, my W also needs to show me changes on a consistent basis.

We BOTH have some proving to do.

The fact that I have had problems controlling my anger and verbal outburts do not in any way cancel out her actions of betrayal of me.

I am not going to drown myself in the pain from her A, but it is still something that has not been healed.

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So have you done yet what a very wise poster advised, and told Dr. Harley about the physical abuse so he can give you appropriate advice?

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