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{{{{{Dino}}}}}

I hope you are back below boiling point now. Giving an ultimatum is not something you should ever do from a position of anger ... that will only make you ask for too much and give too little.

I very much respect that your friend knows you and your wife well. I am sure he has an excellent grasp of the facts of your situation. So how much to heart should you take his advice? Well, how wise do you think he is? When you look at the decisions he has made for himself, how has he done? Is he happily married? Do people admire him for a reason that would make you value his marriage advice over your own instincts (i.e. is it for being a good boss or for being good at sports)?

Friends are such great emotional supports during difficult times. They are safe harbors to let your guard down and show your hurt. Sometimes they can help you see your situation from a different perspective. However a different perspective isn't always a better perspective. You still have to put it all together to get the big picture. And you still have to chart your own path through that picture.

You're still doing ok Dino. It's only your state of mind that has changed. Nothing real about your situation has changed. Don't lose yourself in the mental turbulence.

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Dino, is your wife still at that awful job? Are you factoring in how much of her mental energy that is taking up? Do you really want her committing to you in that state of mind? I think it would be better to allow her to at least get out of that bad work situation and have some time to clear her mind so that she can truly decide for herself to commit to you and the marriage and not just do it because she's tired and wants you to get off her back. Know what I mean?

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Excellent point.

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Snuggle/cat

This is why I come here, for a calm voice of reason and understanding.

My friend is great, he doesn't offer me random advice and he loves my wife as much as he loves me. He wants us together as much as I do, maybe not that much. But you're right, he doesn't see everything. It just hit me because it's the first time he's ever said I should do it. Anyway, I'm not ready for that yet.

And yes, she is still at her awful job, she will be until the middle of october. Actually, she won't be committig to me in this state of mind, so far everytime we've talked, she says she'd be gone if she had to make the choice. So, other than that, those are my choices.

Things are ok so I'm just going to cruise for now. I still cry just about everyday but it seems like I know less and less what I cry about. More of a sad crying rather than thinking about specific things. Anyway, thanks again.

Last night was a good night. We talked and laughed had dinner with the kids. Got some good news about the president signing the new GI bill. It means that my kids college education will be paid for, one less thing for me to worry about.

Hope you day is good


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Dino,

I've started two replies to you in the last three days and didn't finish or post either of them. I'm sorry.

Last we left...you were going to call the Harleys and work out some bizarre time to talk to them...they begin at 6am Central Standard American time (can you tell I'm technical?)...so I'm thinking connecting with them is important and maybe worth missing lunch for.

Next, I take it they have contact on the office/base phones? Has she changed her cell number? Her email addresses (I know it won't prohibit her professional email address...but I'm thinking that would be risky for her, wouldn't it?).

Ultimatums are Selfish Demands...you can't make her make a decision...up to YOU to know you are committed (and you know you are); up to you to know your own limits...when your love is draining...and speak of it. State your stuff, about affection, non-verbal connection, and may I nag once again to get those crucial 20 hours of UA in as RC asap?

Since you're AF, thought I'd throw a bunch of acronyms out in a row for you. Rather homey, I think.

Don't focus on her, Dino...do not DJ in your head about her just staying with you...what she never says...those kick your own love bank in the gut and then you're left pointing at her. She's not doing it...you are. That's your half, and you're worth minding your stuff...don't LB on the inside, 'k?

I know you can do that.

Were you boiling from feeling powerless? That's a signal your best bro took you into her stuff. You can respect yourself more right now than any other time in your life, really. You're standing for your marriage after a crisis. Really, one that isn't over. When is OM's court martial scheduled to be finished? I would think about composing a Plan B letter for after the verdict...which is like a drawn-out conclusion to the A.

You desperately want some O&H in your life...so do O&H drive-bys, 'k? That's where you share your stuff in a couple of sentences, interjected with everyday questions or actions. Like, "I've been focused on you and reading your mind lately. My love bank is really drained from me doing that. Did you want this butter to saute the mushrooms?"

"Here's your coffee. I still feel tender inside when I remember how much you enjoyed me making and bringing it to you."

You remember loving actions you've taken and experienced...and lean into those you remember from her...giving you a loving experience right now. Your brain doesn't know the difference, 'k?

We aren't born internalizers, 'k? We are made to know and be known. Think about when you first met and connected...what was it she lauded you for being back then? That's usually what she has in herself she has disowned...see if you can relate that back to her...

And no R talk except for 20 minutes a week, at an agreed scheduled time...to check in on both of your thoughts about the marriage, 'k? Make sure you hold yourself to doing it and not going over. Have something fun planned afterwards. And cut way back on the tv and movies, if this has been your usual RC time together. Go new.

LA

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I just saw this--

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I still cry just about everyday but it seems like I know less and less what I cry about. More of a sad crying rather than thinking about specific things.


What a great O&H statement to drive-by. When you act O&H, you experience honesty, lowers your experience of being deprived, lied to by omission. Doesn't make her anything. Holds you to your code to speak, to share, to be known, 'k?

Intimacy is knowing and sharing your own stuff. Up your own intimacy, 'k?

Give yourself kudos for the ENs of Family Commitment, too. And thank her for each time she listens when you guys talk. Thank her for choosing to be present. Because hers is a lie that if she had to choose, she'd be gone.

She chooses to be with you. Don't buy into her justifications...they aren't the truth, got it?

LA

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Next, I take it they have contact on the office/base phones? Has she changed her cell number? Her email addresses (I know it won't prohibit her professional email address...but I'm thinking that would be risky for her, wouldn't it?).

Military monitors everyting, I hope she's not stupid enough to do that.
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Ultimatums are Selfish Demands...you can't make her make a decision...up to YOU to know you are committed (and you know you are); up to you to know your own limits...when your love is draining...and speak of it. State your stuff, about affection, non-verbal connection, and may I nag once again to get those crucial 20 hours of UA in as RC asap?

I know, it's just frustrating sometimes not to know things. I do need to up my honesty and communication. I work very hard on my non-verbals, I'm doing well I think. Also, i know I'm in the AF but I'm not sure what UA and RC are?
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Don't focus on her, Dino...do not DJ in your head about her just staying with you...what she never says...those kick your own love bank in the gut and then you're left pointing at her. She's not doing it...you are. That's your half, and you're worth minding your stuff...don't LB on the inside, 'k?

Thanks LA, I do that all the time, LB in my head and i know it's not good. Sometimes I scream and yell obscenities while I'm driving. I shouldn't do it and I'll stop. it builds resentment and I can feel it, fortunately I don't act on it.
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Were you boiling from feeling powerless? That's a signal your best bro took you into her stuff. You can respect yourself more right now than any other time in your life, really. You're standing for your marriage after a crisis. Really, one that isn't over. When is OM's court martial scheduled to be finished? I would think about composing a Plan B letter for after the verdict...which is like a drawn-out conclusion to the A.

I actually talked to my bro gaain after that, he actually apologized for telling me that advice. He said he was looking at it from an offensive point of view and that he was a little short sighted, that's why I love him.

To tell you the truth, I don't know, the only way for me to know is to ask her if she knows, and I don't really want to do that. It shouldn't really matter to me and it doesn't. The only ones affected by his court martial are his wife and kids, and him of course. For all I know it's already over, part of me letting go and trusting her to make the right choice. I've been thinking about my plan B letter for awhile. I guess I used the word "ultimatum" bu that's what I meant. I actually want to read it out loud to her if the time comes to do that. Plan B means nothing while we're here. We have to much to do together to make the move happen since we came here as a couple. I've thought about that too. Mostly, my plan is to tell her that I don't want her moving with me to my new duty station if she hasn't committed to me which includes NC and MC (I know some acronyms). She'll scream about her being able to go where ever she wants, she's already expressed the desire to follow the kids, because she knows I won't let them go with her. She also knows that if she tried to fight for them in court, she lose because of what she chose to do. So I'm glad I'm thinking along the same lines as you. If you have some advice about how to implement a good plan in that arena, I'd be grateful to hear it.
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You desperately want some O&H in your life...so do O&H drive-bys, 'k? That's where you share your stuff in a couple of sentences, interjected with everyday questions or actions. Like, "I've been focused on you and reading your mind lately. My love bank is really drained from me doing that. Did you want this butter to saute the mushrooms?"

I do, I want it so bad. I just wish she'd open a little to me. We talk quite well LA. She actually does alot of the reminiscing of part good things. Brings up instances of good things and funny things in our past, it makes me feel good. I need to work on that. I feel myself getting ready to share some of my feelings at times but then I pull back, I don't know why, like I'm waiting for the right time. I just need to let it flow out huh? Good advice, I'll work on it.
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And no R talk except for 20 minutes a week, at an agreed scheduled time...to check in on both of your thoughts about the marriage, 'k? Make sure you hold yourself to doing it and not going over. Have something fun planned afterwards. And cut way back on the tv and movies, if this has been your usual RC time together. Go new.

I've been trying to save up R talks for every couple of weeks. Things seem to move slow for us so I'm not sure if every week would be a good idea. Of course if something comes up, I'd like to address it but we seem to be on a pretty decent track right now. We'll see. Like I said many times before, I'm not real confindent in her commitment to things right now. She may be testing my resolve or something, waiting to see if I crack and fall back into the LB/DJ master that I used to be. I'd like to approach her with tools that I've learned but I just don't think she's ready to embrace any sort of "mechanical" plan right now. I think she's feeling me out and feeling herself out. I think I may be able to judge the proper time to present those kinds of things, again, we'll see.

Overall we're doing ok. She actually asked me to massage a kink out of her back this morning. Thats the first time she's asked me to "touch" her since I can remember. Gosh it felt so good, i had to fight the feeling of just wrapping my arms around her and just holding her, I started tearing up and had to compose myself, it hurts so bad. She came down to my "room" the other morning because she said she couldn't sleep. Just a couple of things that have happened in the positive over the last couple of weeks. It still amazes me that I count these seemingly innocent actions. These are things that used to happen as a normal course of our days, what a shame.

Anyway, thanks again LA. I know how much time these posts take and you really put thought and sincerity into your posts, i appreciate that.


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Hey Dino!

I'm glad you talked to your friend again and that he changed his outlook. Hopefully things are going better now. Sounds like it might be \:\)

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Snuggle

It's a struggle everyday. Inside I'm fighting a voice that is telling me that there is no way I should be putting up with any of this. The voice tells me that I have to stand up for myself and protect my pride. At the same time, pride has gotten me into more trouble than anything else. I know in my heart that I shouldn't be treated like this, but at the same time, I don't want to give up. I will snap one day, just don't know what kind of outcome it will be.


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Try to look at it as only 6 months out of the rest of your life. Six months, and then you'll know where you stand. Tell yourself that, whichever way it goes, you'll survive. You may not have the life you had planned on, but you can make a good life out of whatever you do end up with. Try to breathe. Marriage or not is not death. I'm sorry if that sounds callous, I'm just trying to get you to step back and realize that, as hard as this is, it's not as bad nor as permanent as death. Even if you do separate, you'll have some sort of life with her because of the kids, even if it's just visiting. And you can make yourself as big a part of their life as you want, if you do divorce.

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I second what Cat said! You've said it yourself that going through a year of difficulty is nothing out of the many years of happy marriage you could have.

Maybe it will help if you review the article on The Giver and the Taker (under Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts).

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I know in my heart that I shouldn't be treated like this, but at the same time, I don't want to give up.


Remember, your wife must have felt this exact same way in the past. How long did you not treat her right? I don't want you to beat yourself up about the past ... it's gone and you can't do anything about it. But I want you to use it to remind yourself how strong you will have to be to equal your wife.

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Thanks cat

I think I sounded alot worse in that last post than I really feel. I'm not doing so bad really, I just get real frustrated sometimes. And cat, if we divorce, the kids will be with me, she can be the parttime parent since she chose the path, just one of my things.

I know I'll be fine, but right now I really love her still and I want things to work out. I may be fooling myself, but I really believe she has it in her still, that desire to make our family whole again. Our family and marriage was once her center, I think she'll find that again, only this time she'll have me there with her, as support.

Who knows whats going to happen. I do know one thing though, ever so slowly my resolve and love is being chipped away, not hardly even enough to notice but I can feel it. I don't want it to, but I'm only a human being, I can't take the rejection. I'm not the person that can live with my "wife" and pretend we're just friends. I'm doing it now because it's the only thing saving us at the moment.

4 months, our lives are going to change drastically in 4 months. There are so many things that can happen, it hurts my head to think about them. I just hope for the best.


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Snuggle

I can always count on you to give me a smack huh? I have said that haven't I. I just vent sometimes Snug. Like I said, I get frustrated sometimes but I'm still treating her very well and supporting and understanding and everything. Nothing over the top, just so she knows I'm here and I'm not just putting on the "please come back act". She's scared of me, not me but how I used to act about things. I understand, it takes awhile to earn trust like that back.

Don't worry about me beating myself up anymore. I'm done with that. I was a good husband Snuggle, very good. I made some mistakes, I did some dumb things, but I still treated her well, I never treated her like dirt. I always loved her. We had a great marriage and I'd challenge her to look me in the eye and say otherwise. I bet she couldn't do it. We weren't perfect, noone is. We could've handled our problems better but here we are. I'm done with the past, i want to move on. I'm going to help her see her way, either way I'll help her. She will have to make a choice one day, living like this is too draining on the soul, for both of us.

Part of my confusion comes from exactly that, she says she doesn't want to live with the tension and fakeness we had before, but here we are doing the exact same thing, only without the physical love. I ask her how she can take this and she says she's used to it??? Now I'm starting to ramble. I just want to get this train moving.

Thanks again Snuggle


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Well, they say here that if you find yourself losing your love for your WS that you need to move on to Plan B, to preserve what love you do have left. Do you have a thread over on Infidelity? Maybe you should post there and see what some of the affair vets tell you.

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Here's a band-aid for the boo boo I gave you with that smacking:
_ _
(_::_)

LOL!

Dino, you know she is going to make that choice at some point. My guess is that she wants to make that choice when she is not emotionally drained and can see clearly whether or not you and she have a chance at happiness. This is her being O&H with you. I was thinking about you and thought if it was me, I might consider telling you that I'm committed just to keep you happy and so I could make my real decision in peace!

Your wife is not being fake with you. She cares for you deeply. She just doesn't know if she wants to stay married to you. Living like roommates as you call it, is the reality of your status. I wonder if you are subconsciously looking for reasons to be angry. That pride of yours probably doesn't like being put on the back burner too much ;\) I know mine never does!

Why don't you get back to developing patience? It is a virtue \:\)


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I'm being patient Snuggle.

I guess I just don't understand. It's depressing that it seems we look at things from such different points of view, my wife and I. Gosh we used to be so good together, now it's so awkward.

I'm starting to feel like crap so I'll stop for now. Thanks for the input. 35 days till Hawaii. 128 days till we're out of here. I hope "something" happens before we leave. Moving is too stressful to not have support form each other, we'll see.


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I'm so freakin lonely.

When she doesn't say I love you I feel like crap, I can't help it.

When she's not around I'm a wreck.

I don't trust her and it feels like crap.

She doesn't trust me and it feels like crap.

We're not sleeping together and it feels like crap.

I can't remember what it feels like to kiss her, she's my wife for cripes sake.

I would never want her to feel like I do, I hope she didn't.

My kids are taking notice, I failed them.

I'm so freakin lonely.

I think I'll go run...


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Dino,

Would you look for a book called "Facing Love Addiction" by Pia Mellody? I read this when I was where you are right now...no affection, reflection of me from my WH, in the middle of his A. Really helped me a lot, so I'm suggesting it for you.

Running is awesome...good healthy choice there, Dino. Congrats on the self-care and thinking of it.

The book goes to why you want her to see things the way you do, have the same perspective, beliefs...and how you can have your own and still be safe.

Because you are.

You're in the hard pain time...which drags. I remember it well. I'm so sorry. It will pass. Passes faster when you stop with all the wishing...wishing it was different; wishing she didn't, you hadn't; wishing she would or would not...wishing intensifies, prolongs pain and fear...and it isn't real. It's the antithesis of acceptance...which makes you crave that even more...affection represents acceptance, connection is acceptance...SF is acceptance...find what's underneath your desires, not just the representations...and see where you aren't giving those to yourself right now, 'k?

You've got your goal, your general plan to act from. I think now is the time to fine-tune some details for daily living and your personal recovery. What do you think?

LA

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Thank you LA

I need some help. I know what I need to do, I just can't get my brain to act the way I want it to. I'll get the book, I'll do anything to help this go away, I'm so tired of crying and feeling so bad and lonely. I just hate it.
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You're in the hard pain time...which drags. I remember it well. I'm so sorry. It will pass. Passes faster when you stop with all the wishing...wishing it was different; wishing she didn't, you hadn't; wishing she would or would not...wishing intensifies, prolongs pain and fear...and it isn't real.

I'm just so lonely LA. I'm trying so hard to accept everything the way it is, I'm trying. I'm doing the self-care things, I run, I workout, I play softball and I stay pretty busy with my online college work. But I still miss her so bad. It hurts so bad. I take care of the kids, the house, she does too. I just can't find they way to flip that switch. I want to accept with an understanding of openness for what may come. There are things that I fear, the fear is real to me, although I know it's not real right now, so why fear? I know that in time things will pass, I want to be able to pass time without losing my love. I don't want to not love her. It's a delicate balance isn't it? If I could have one super power, I would choose the ability to read minds. If I could just know what she's thinking, good or bad.

Today I talked with the kids about what they're feeling from what they see around the house. D16 asked why we weren't sleeping together, I explained about that mom isn't feeling like hugging and kissing and that I don't want to pressure her, but I can't sleep with her without loving her so I chose to sleep downstairs. She just started bawling. I didn't know what to do. They don't know why everything is happening, just that we're having problems, thats what I told them. S14 just shrugs his shoulders. I asked them if they believed we should be together forever, they're already brainwashed by the military life and society in general, while she was crying she says "as long as you guys are happy" I got so upset. I explained that when 2 people make a promise of marriage it's supposed to be forever.
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It's the antithesis of acceptance...which makes you crave that even more...affection represents acceptance, connection is acceptance...SF is acceptance...find what's underneath your desires, not just the representations...and see where you aren't giving those to yourself right now, 'k?
I'm not quite sure what you're saying here LA, what am I not giving myself? Are you talking about the acceptance? I know I'm beating myself up, I just can't get ahold of it. It's almost as if I talk myself into feeling sad, I feel it sometime. I quit my tobacco use and I've been taking Zyban which is supposed to be a small dose anti-depressant, not working so much. I mean, I know whats going on, I just can't find the right way FOR ME, to deal with it in a healthy way. I know I have to accept things they are what they are. No matter how I look at it, it is what it is. The only thing that is for sure is that time will go by, and SOMETHING is going to happen.

I'll get the book, I like reading anyway. Again, I admire your advice LA. Fine tuning myself is a bit far off still, I think I've got all my eggs in one basket, I think I may someone elses too. I need to figure out which are mine.

Thanks again


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Dino,

The thing about loneliness...you have the belief you are alone, cut off from the other half of yourself (so you feel a constant rejection).

You are not alone. You are not cut off from any part of yourself. Hold that thought when you run, meditate, watch your children interact, see your WW right there.

I thought we had talked about you both speaking honestly with your kids. I might be confused about that. Where you both sit down and your WW explains what she did, why she did it and why it was wrong in the eyes of God, your marriage, them and what the military did and the consequences right now are.

You do it together...your presence matters. You don't speak, you listen. If she won't do this, then ask for her to be present while you explain. This is part of parenting...where you parent (not separate). Because your kids know enough to feel wiped out and upset and not know enough to understand and grip what has and is happening.

Don't do that to your kids. You have taught them honesty and they see you putting it aside to protect them. Is that not what your WW did, justified doing so as not to hurt you and the kids? Didn't you still hurt? Your kids are hurting. Let them know the facts.

What is it you think you need to do other than that right now? Your brain is handing you at crisis-speed what it thinks you want. See the love in that, 'k? Even if it isn't what you want right now. Your tears are relieving this constant stress as crisis doesn't pass, as it lasts. It's healthy.

Your feeling bad needs more distinction...identify exactly what feelings you're having and trace them to the belief they are coming from right then.

Hating your stuff is very close to hating your self. Understand there is no real solace in not wanting what has happened to have happened...no acceptance (which is NOT approval) in that. Embrace yourself and hold our wishes...know them as wishes...and pull yourself back into the present. Like holding the child within you who wanted to wish away bad stuff, being held by the adult you who knows terrible stuff happens.

I did this repeatedly...and I love physical touch as my biggest symbol of acceptance and love. So after I worked out, I'd sit in the hot tub and massage my feet...with intent and concentration...sort like a reflexology thing...to each foot, thanking them for being part of me, doing their part for my work out, and I'd do my ankles and calves, too. I also didn't want to seize up two days later...and this really helped.

I hugged myself (took yoga and it's required); rubbed lotion on my hands and arms, not distractedly...again focused on this touch, and gratitude for being part of me.

I have written of this many times on MB and feared sounding crazy. I stroked my own hair, caressed my own cheek. I went through my day at work, crying at my desk, outside on my break. I said "I am" five times aloud a day, at different times. I was breaking a deep enmeshment with my WH. Felt like surgery with a paperclip; long, painful and poorly done.

Was done, though. See as long as I looked to my partner to complete me, I wouldn't have healthy boundaries, experience equal and be in reality. And yes, I yearned, as you do now, to be touched (then I existed), be told I was loved (so I was), acknowledged and to matter to him. So I would matter.

Hear anything in this that resonates? Picture your DS thinking the same...that he didn't exist, wasn't loved, didn't matter unless someone else said he did...let me know.

Learning to be companionable to yourself is really important...it's part of knowing where you end and others begin as the separate beings they really are--you learn when you touch, you are being touched...when you speak, you already are being heard; when you acknowledge your stuff, you know you're already worth it all.

Stay present...right now. May seem unbearable--trust me, it's truly bearable. It's this moment. That's all any of us has no matter the circumstances.

I'm glad you spoke with your kids. Do it again. When you act from honesty, you will experience reality as it truly is...I believe it will help you and them. I believe they feel isolated, abandoned and lonely, too.

Fear does that.

When you talk with them with your WW, be sure hold one of their hands in yours...shows physical connection and your commitment to remain connected. We teach our children how to grieve, to mourn, to celebrate, to know and thrive. All parts we share. We can only share what we know now...and share more when we learn more. Keep sharing.

Know that you are not alone, have never been alone, nor will you be.

LA

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