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 Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am not doing these things for her. I am doing them for myself. To be the person I wish to be. Not for her reaction.


I think it's good that you are doing these things for yourself, to be the person you wish to be. And not doing them to try to get something from her in return. That is a step in the right direction for you.

However, nothing says you cannot enjoy the fact that she notices and appreciates what you're doing. In a way, it is like she is noticing and appreciating you being you... Perhaps she is starting to see the you that you are trying to become.

Does that make any sense?


Me: 41, INFP
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In theory I could do as you say. In practice, for me, it would not be prudent. Even if it is an accurate reflection of the "new me", appreciating her view is too close to caring how she views me. To hard for me to appreciate her Admiration without craving more. Better not to "taste" her Admiration than to develop a taste for it.


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hold


 Quote:
To hard for me to appreciate her Admiration without craving more. Better not to "taste" her Admiration than to develop a taste for it.


You have certainly come a long way, and that is good to see..

However, this comment shows you still have some growing to do, it's not about craving her admiration, but learning to appreciate her comments for what they are..compliments.

Is Mrs Hold drinking a lot of water? if not, she needs to drink more, it will help keep her hunger pangs down some and help her lose any water weight..a friend of mine did that recently and lost like 13 lbs in a week.


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“Righteous and at the same time a sinner.”
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 Originally Posted By: ThornedRose
However, this comment shows you still have some growing to do, it's not about craving her admiration, but learning to appreciate her comments for what they are..compliments.


I know. I have plenty of growing to do. A mature healthy integrated me could appreciate the compliments from her without yearning for more. I am not there yet.

I am getting better at accepting compliments from others. Not yet ready to allow myself to be open to compliments from Mrs. Hold. Too much resentment left. If I let myself "hear" her compliments, my reaction is to think nasty thoughts about what she should be doing instead if she really wants to show her appreciation. From her, verbal compliments feel like scraps and crumbs. I am not interested in scraps and crumbs. I know those thoughts are within me and not part of the content she is transmitting. But they are within me. And I would rather ignore her compliments than deal with the fallout within me.


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When I was in my separation, I was in a stage of anger for a long, long time. Absolute hatred unlike I'd ever felt for anyone before. And it kept piling up, one thing after another. It felt like the XW was purposely finding things to make me angry about. Some things I'm sure she was. Some things it was just me.

My mom and my sisters kept telling me, "You really need to get past that." It bothered them a great deal seeing me angry. Yet I knew it for what it was; a stage. I knew I'd get through it. But in order to do that, I had to literally get through it. Like a tunnel.

HOTI - I think you're doing a great job. As long as you keep moving forward like this, you'll get to where you need to be.

I think that ignoring her comments and keeping your walls up makes you feel safe. She has a long way to go before those walls ever come down.

Don't feel rushed. Process it all at your own pace. Just don't quit. Think of it like a long-distance run.

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hold,

 Quote:
I know. I have plenty of growing to do. A mature healthy integrated me could appreciate the compliments from her without yearning for more. I am not there yet.

I am getting better at accepting compliments from others. Not yet ready to allow myself to be open to compliments from Mrs. Hold. Too much resentment left. If I let myself "hear" her compliments, my reaction is to think nasty thoughts about what she should be doing instead if she really wants to show her appreciation. From her, verbal compliments feel like scraps and crumbs. I am not interested in scraps and crumbs. I know those thoughts are within me and not part of the content she is transmitting. But they are within me. And I would rather ignore her compliments than deal with the fallout within me.


It's okay your not there yet, but don't be afraid to face those demons within yourself..even IF she doesn't change..it will help you in long run.


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Thanks for the support. I am working on accepting compliments. Didn't you notice how I related the comment by my plane companion. Not the negative undercutting reaction I had in the past.

So I am getting better at accepting compliments, just not those from Mrs. Hold. Too much other stuff mixed in with hers. Opening myself to her makes it harder to accept those from others. It is like all compliments are trainted by association with hers. Whereas the others can come in and feel positive, as long as I compartmentalize and wall off the compliments from Mrs. Hold.

Not healthy. But necessary. For now. Maybe some day I will be able to accept her compliments without the negative reaction. Maybe that day will even come before we get divorced. But in the meantime I am not going to jeopardize my progress on differentiation by backsliding to where I care what she says about me.

Remember, if I allow the good comments in, then the bad ones can hurt me. NOT ready to permit that. Not by a long shot.


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Hold,

I wonder if you might be over-analytical about the compliments. Instead of predicting/anticipating/assigning motives to every compliment, why not experiment and take them at face value with no expectation of further reward. A compliment does not always lead to sex. You might practice returning a compliment. What would happen if you took the day-to-day stuff on a lighter note? This precludes relinquishing control over the finances.

On a slightly different note, I sometimes think my marriage ended because the XW reached some kind of resentment threshold. She once told me she had typed them up to give to her quack-of-an-IC and that they numbered in the hundreds and spanned all 25-years of our relationship. How would one overcome that? I view the formation of a resentment as an initial communication failure. You fail to tell someone how you feel when it occurs and instead bank-up your anger for later when it's impossible from an irrational standpoint to communicate them satisfactorily. You give up you power to her by harboring your resentments. Resentments are like you taking poison in an effort to kill the other person. I don't understand building resentments, I'm simply not the kind of person who does so. I don't deny their existence because I know that my experience will differ from others. You will need to get beyond the resentments to work on you. I'm thinking you need to sit around a campfire at night in a loincloth with other similarly clothed men banging on drums and screaming into the night to purge your pain. You pain goes back to your childhood and has been with you all of your life. It's time to start unloading.

With that being said, it had better be a roaring bonfire this time of year! Try to have yourself a good weekend!

Dutch


Me: 48 XW: 44 DD: 15
Lived Together: 7 Married: 18 Total: 25 years
W announced divorce 11-3-2006, I moved out 11-7-2006, served papers 11-8-2006. Divorce final 12-19-2006. Life gets better every day.
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 Originally Posted By: booka
I'm thinking you need to sit around a campfire at night in a loincloth with other similarly clothed men banging on drums and screaming into the night to purge your pain.


You keep your sick and twisted fantasies out of this, Dutch.



See HOTI, we tease because we care.

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Dutch:

I understand I need to let go of the resentment. Can't seem to do so. Obviously, it hits much less hard as regards everything other than Mrs. Hold. So I am basically walling myself off from Mrs. Hold to wall off the resentment. Helps me deal with everyone else without being a seething cauldron of anger, frustration, etc. Won't help my marriage, but I have already written that off. Does help in other areas of my life. Maybe when I get those into better shape I will feel I can afford to go back and revisit how I deal with the resentment. I understand at this point there is probably nothing that Mrs. Hold can do to overcome my resentment. I am not asking her to even try.

I understand that what you are suggesting would be a healthier way to live. I can't do it. Maybe I need to learn biofeedback or something. But right now the chemical reactions inside my body and brain are overwhelming when I deal with Mrs. Hold. I cannot remain calm and lighthearted in the face of them. So I have to avoid the triggers. Which mostly means avoiding interaction with her. Or limiting it to small doses. Preferably with the kids involved.

Did I mention that when the kids were in Florida and we went into NYC and crashed at my sister's apartment, we slept in different rooms? Once we got inside the apartment, she went into the bedroom and I stayed in the living room. We watched tv and fell asleep apart. I could handle the time together out in public. But I could not handle being alone with her.


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Seabird:

I know you guys care. And I appreciate it.

And I don't think Dutch's fantasy is sick or twisted. I would love to go to one of those guy retreats and paint my face and wear a loincloth and bang drums and shout. I have looked into them before. Maybe this summer.


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Darn, I forgot the face paint. Seabird, what was that men's organization that does those crazy all-weekend sessions of running through the woods naked? We had discussed them maybe last summer.

I feel it's hard for a man to act like a man in these confusing times. I have vowed to act more like a man instead of an interested observer.

Dutch


Me: 48 XW: 44 DD: 15
Lived Together: 7 Married: 18 Total: 25 years
W announced divorce 11-3-2006, I moved out 11-7-2006, served papers 11-8-2006. Divorce final 12-19-2006. Life gets better every day.
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Hold,

One important point to review. Mrs. Hold cannot really help you with your resentments. You own them and you constructed them. They are just like your feelings, you generate and regulate them. You have to work to dismiss them all by your lonesome. The past is dead and cannot be made-up for. It is totally unreasonable to expect someone to make-up for their past transgressions. Forget the past and don't expect to recover anything form it. We're talking about making the rest of your life something that you'll actually enjoy. That's all you have left, the rest of you life. The past is dead and cannot, repeat cannot be fixed. Eliminate any expectations from the past. Work exclusively with what you have now.

I don't care if you sleep is separate rooms or not. Forget about what that means and work on yourself.

Dutch


Me: 48 XW: 44 DD: 15
Lived Together: 7 Married: 18 Total: 25 years
W announced divorce 11-3-2006, I moved out 11-7-2006, served papers 11-8-2006. Divorce final 12-19-2006. Life gets better every day.
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Awe guys, you're ruining my attempts to bust your chops! HOTI - I was teasing Dutch about having homoerotic fantasies about you in a loincloth in the woods...

It's funnier if you don't have to explain it. Describing it out here in the open just sounds disturbing. Ew...

I did email HOTI about a group like that, but I don't think they do the loincloth and drum thing. It's called The Mankind Project. I have a neighbor whom I like very well recommend it to me last year before my divorce was final. I ultimately decided that I didn't need it, but from what he described, I thought it might do him some good. I also work with a woman who did The Woman Within which is affiliated with TMP, and she spoke highly of it.

Caveat: My own research revealed that some people consider these groups cults. I have no idea what they entail or what goes on during their lost weekends. I was just passing along a couple of testimonials. Take all of that for what it's worth.


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 Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
So I am getting better at accepting compliments, just not those from Mrs. Hold.


That is perfectly understandable. Compliments from strangers are without any emotional baggage... because you have no relationship with them. Compliments from your wife have all the baggage in the world, because - however twisted your relationship with your wife is - it is one of the closest relationship you have with anyone.

So, the stakes are higher accepting her compliments. And if you're not good at accepting compliments at all... well, accepting them from the ladies on the airplanes is a step in the right direction.


Me: 41, INFP
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 Originally Posted By: booka
Mrs. Hold cannot really help you with your resentments. Forget about what that means and work on yourself.


I am. It is just alot easier if I wall off the Mrs. Hold part. That will be the hardest part of the resentment to let go. So I am going to tackle it last. Not asking her to help me let go (my prior strategy which we all know is futile). Not even asking her to stay out of my way. Not asking her for anything.

This morning I felt a lesion on my privates. She took a look at it (she has seen many more guy privates than I have, and she knows more about the STD I feared I caught from her). She was concerned and told me to see the doctor. It was entirely clinical. She touched me, and emotionally I pretty much felt nothing. To me, that felt like progress.


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Another example of how perspective is everything.

Yesterday was the Week 2 weigh in for Mrs. Hold's contest. She lost 1.8 pounds, for a total of 4.2. Tied for lowest total with another woman she knows fairly well. They are both depressed that they go to the gym every day, watch what they eat, and "only" lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks. They are most depressed that other people lost more.

I told them they are doing great. That they shouldn't compare themselves to other people. Everyone has different body chemistry. They should be happy they lost weight. Imagine how depressing it would be to diet and exercise and gain weight! I am proud of Mrs. Hold and her friend. But they are not proud of themselves. I see them as admirable and successful. They feel like failures.

Of course, this hit me hard given my Eeyore tendencies. Not so hard that I am considering being less of an Eeyore. But enough that I feel bad about being such an Eeyore.


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Yesterday was week 3 weigh in. Mrs. Hold lost 1.8 pounds, for 6 pounds total. I congratulated her profusely. So did D and S.

Mrs. Hold is disappointed, because she lost the least (both absolutely and by % of body weight) of anyone on her team. As far as I can tell, she is not eating too much or bad food choices. And she exercises hard every day. So it seems to be a body chemistry thing. She has always been borderline low thyroid. I told her to go to the doctor, bring the list of weight loss contestants and say "I may be only borderline low for the 'average person', but I am clearly low for me - give me something." Thoughts?


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 Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Yesterday was week 3 weigh in. Mrs. Hold lost 1.8 pounds, for 6 pounds total. I congratulated her profusely. So did D and S.

Mrs. Hold is disappointed, because she lost the least (both absolutely and by % of body weight) of anyone on her team. As far as I can tell, she is not eating too much or bad food choices. And she exercises hard every day. So it seems to be a body chemistry thing. She has always been borderline low thyroid. I told her to go to the doctor, bring the list of weight loss contestants and say "I may be only borderline low for the 'average person', but I am clearly low for me - give me something." Thoughts?


How much weight does she need to lose? If she is working out (even minimally) every day, and cutting back on her calories, I am surprised she is not losing more--especially if she has a lot to lose total. I would definitely see the doctor.


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Me, too. I had thryoid problems as a child, was up to 130 pounds as 5 ft tall, and I wore a sweater all the time. That's how it got found out, cos my gym teacher called my mom and said I was wearing a sweater during gym class! So I took thryoid medicine for a year and it all went away.

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