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I am horrible at DJ's and your story is a good example of one. It may be an expectation or a want I have from my wife. These expectations and wants are only wishes that I have no control over and more than likely I have never told my wife about. If my un-communicated wishes are not met then I get resentful and DJ. Here is an example of how I resisted DJing my wife because of an expectation that I had.

Just two days ago was DS4 first soccer practice, and sapph took a message from the city park & rec. about where and when soccer practice would be. At least she got the time right, but told me to take him to the wrong park. I arrive at a deserted park at exactly 5:00, but no one was there. The deserted park was next to the parks and rec. department, but they were closed. I drove all over looking for the right park. I finally found it and was 35 min late. I also found out my boy needed shin guards and cleets the first day of practice. I was really upset at sapph because I blamed her for this mess. I really wanted to DJ her really good.

Instead, I let her know that it upset me that she told me to go to the wrong park, but I didn't hold it over her head because I could have made the same mistake. I also asked her to help pay for the cleets. She agreed to help me, I was happy, and I can only assume that sapph was happy. I tried my hardest not to DJ, I communicated my frusteration in a good way, and we were both happy.

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This may seem nitpicky, but it illustates how insidious LBers can be:

Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I think I know how I got to this place, but I probably will not be able to punch my way out myself just by sheer force of will or just doing, as much as I would like to.


I did not say in my original post that you have to just up and do all by your lonesome. You assumed that's what I meant, or that you still knew better, or that there was some flaw in my advice such that you could correct and re-write things. (And this is me assuming your thoughts... not a very pleasant habit or cycle to be on, is it?!)

You have larger issues to work on than this, but wanted to point it out while I was thinking of it.

Hope your appt. w/ the p-doc goes well.

Last edited by Mrs_Vanilla; 08/19/10 10:39 AM. Reason: because 'ot' really ought to be 'to'

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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
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?


Yes, it was. You have a rationalization and a justification. They sound like a good rationalization and a good justification. But they still don't justify you wanting to CHANGE your wife's feelings.

Read what I said again: you are not trying to INFLUENCE your wife's thinking with respectful persuasion. You are trying to CHANGE your wife's thinking with disrespectful judgment. You won't take no for an answer, because you won't accept failure. But disrespectful judgment like this dooms you to failure.

The way you help your wife is by taking care of her, not by trying to change her negative feelings. Become the kind of person she feels good about all the time. (Hint: that person never becomes frustrated at her for not thinking in a way that he believes is more healthy.)

Disrespectful judgment for you wife is written all over these last many posts. It is obvious that you know what your wife should do and are focusing on that instead of on what you should do.

Do your part and let her worry about hers. She is not the obstacle you face right now.


Excellent points, markos!


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Originally Posted By: Wheels_spinning
I am horrible at DJ's and your story is a good example of one. It may be an expectation or a want I have from my wife. These expectations and wants are only wishes that I have no control over and more than likely I have never told my wife about. If my un-communicated wishes are not met then I get resentful and DJ. Here is an example of how I resisted DJing my wife because of an expectation that I had.

Just two days ago was DS4 first soccer practice, and sapph took a message from the city park & rec. about where and when soccer practice would be. At least she got the time right, but told me to take him to the wrong park. I arrive at a deserted park at exactly 5:00, but no one was there. The deserted park was next to the parks and rec. department, but they were closed. I drove all over looking for the right park. I finally found it and was 35 min late. I also found out my boy needed shin guards and cleets the first day of practice. I was really upset at sapph because I blamed her for this mess. I really wanted to DJ her really good.

Instead, I let her know that it upset me that she told me to go to the wrong park, but I didn't hold it over her head because I could have made the same mistake. I also asked her to help pay for the cleets. She agreed to help me, I was happy, and I can only assume that sapph was happy. I tried my hardest not to DJ, I communicated my frusteration in a good way, and we were both happy.


Thanks, Wheels. You felt something strongly but filtered it and settled yourself. It is hard. I think I do that quite a bit, but not yesterday for some reason. It was impulsive. If it hadn't been that, it likely would have been something else.


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: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
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?


Yes, it was. You have a rationalization and a justification. They sound like a good rationalization and a good justification. But they still don't justify you wanting to CHANGE your wife's feelings.

Read what I said again: you are not trying to INFLUENCE your wife's thinking with respectful persuasion. You are trying to CHANGE your wife's thinking with disrespectful judgment. You won't take no for an answer, because you won't accept failure. But disrespectful judgment like this dooms you to failure.

The way you help your wife is by taking care of her, not by trying to change her negative feelings. Become the kind of person she feels good about all the time. (Hint: that person never becomes frustrated at her for not thinking in a way that he believes is more healthy.)

Disrespectful judgment for you wife is written all over these last many posts. It is obvious that you know what your wife should do and are focusing on that instead of on what you should do.

Do your part and let her worry about hers. She is not the obstacle you face right now.


I see that, now, Markos. You have explained this to me before. When I read this, is makes sense. It also makes me think of my father and how he reacted to things and behaved. I spent the first 30 years of my life wanting to be like him, and now I have to figure out how to expunge that. It is an enormous task ahead of me. Trying not to feel something is like trying not to think of an elephant. I will make a lot of progress if I can mentally realize where these instincts come from and then consciously filter out the behavior. Maybe the urge or feeling will melt if I do that.


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: Mrs_Vanilla
This may seem nitpicky, but it illustates how insidious LBers can be:

Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I think I know how I got to this place, but I probably will not be able to punch my way out myself just by sheer force of will or just doing, as much as I would like to.


I did not say in my original post that you have to just up and do all by your lonesome. You assumed that's what I meant, or that you still knew better, or that there was some flaw in my advice such that you could correct and re-write things. (And this is me assuming your thoughts... not a very pleasant habit or cycle to be on, is it?!)

You have larger issues to work on than this, but wanted to point it out while I was thinking of it.

Hope your appt. w/ the p-doc goes well.


I understood what you meant and agree with it. I didn't mean that there was anything wrong with your advice, Mrs. Vanilla. Yes, it is not a pleasant habit or cycle. Its a nightmare inside a nightmare. Living in a world of concocted scenarios designed to make me feel better is the very definition of neurosis. I do so desperately want to be well. There is no scenario I can live in that will stop this cycle except for the "no scenario" scenario. I am not, as TST explained, some Western hero or some figure in a Greek tragedy. What happens to me is of no consequence to anyone in this world but myself. There is no one for me to rescue other than myself. I wanted that sense of heroic rescue and affirmation and admiration so badly, I was willing to pay someone to get it and did so for years and years. Neurosis is not just "psychosis lite". It is a destroyer of lives. It made me into a real life villain.


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: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Most of the time, my first thoughts ARE wrong. Feeling agitated, non-specifically, when things are not going according to the story line I have concocted for myself at the moment, is the first clue. That always happens right before I behave badly. I felt really agitated this morning before I said that to DWG. I look for others to follow my scenario in order to "be happy". DWG was in my scene, but she was not following the script.


That's the essence of control and disrespectful judgment. People are not doing what you think they should be doing. That agitation you feel is the beginning of the escalation to the next, even worse, form of abuse and control: angry outburst.

GM, are you talking with your coach about eliminating the abusive Love Busters: Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, Angry Outbursts? TRUST ME, you have got to get rid of these.

Your wife is not recovering because this far into recovery you are still practicing abuse and control.


I thought I had eliminated them. They morphed into a more subtle form. I can recognize where the feeling is coming from now. Using that awareness should help me to eliminate them.


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 always say DJs are the most insidious LBs. They are so easily justified and rationalized as love and care. We only want what is best for our spouse, we care about them, we know better. We recognize that AOs and SDs are harmful - but we can't possibly be DJing - we LOVE our spouse...

Yeah no...

Any time you think you're smarter than your spouse, you're DJing. Any time you think your way is better, you're DJing. Any time you think it would be nicer if, you're DJing. ANY time you use the word SHOULD with your spouse, you're DJing.

Until you recognize that your spouse is an adult, fully capable of reasoning and making decisions; until you see them as capable of processing information and coming up with an opinion (there are no wrong opinions) you will not be able to eliminate DJs.

Humility is essential. Until you realize you aren't smarter, more logical, more reasonable, more capable than your spouse you will ALWAYS fall victim to DJing them.

Your thoughts, feelings and opinions aren't more 'right'. They just are. Your spouse's are JUST as 'right'. Because there is no 'right' or 'wrong' they just exist. You like your thoughts, feelings and opinions because they're YOURS. Your spouse doesn't have different thoughts, feelings and opinions to spite you, or because they aren't as smart or good as you - they have them and like them because they are theirs. Every bit as valuable and important as your own.

What you need is to look in the mirror and REALLY see yourself. See the flaws and imperfections. Humility and Honesty - first and foremost with yourself.

You are not perfect.
You are not smarter.
You don't have better manners.
You are not a better person.
You are - what you see in that mirror. Really look into the eyes - you probably don't want to because you don't want to see what is there. But accept that what is there may not be pretty, be humble enough to see it, be honest enough to accept it.

You cannot be honest with others because, fundamentally, you are not honest with yourself. You lie to yourself to make it through each and every day.

That is why you justify white lies. That is why you are disingenuous about your motives.

You keep saying all this behavior is 'in the past' that 'you're better now'. You want to be over it.

But you're not - you are fundamentally the same man looking into that mirror, avoiding the eyes. This isn't in the past. This is a few weeks ago, this is yesterday, this is today. TODAY you are lying to yourself. TODAY you are disrespecting your wife.

It isn't in the past.

This isn't about changing behavior - it is about changing the very way you think, the very thing that motivates you. This is about overcoming what it is you don't want to see in that mirror, so that you can become a good man - one who needs no front, no bluster about their 'goodness' because the goodness emanates from within them, undeniable to any who interact with him.

The only way you get that: honesty and humility.


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Great post, Vibrissa!


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I know it is what is in the mirror. As you say, I try not to actually see it. You are right, Vibrissa. There is no disputing the truths you post.


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
It made me into a real life villain.


The encouraging part is... this is no longer your modus operandi.

Are you perfect...... Of course not, nor have you claimed to be. But I want to suggest that you be very careful with the defeatism that can substitute for a desire to become humble.

Defeatist attitudes are counterfits for the real deal of humility.

IMVHO defeatist attitudes, when examined closely, are really no more than selfish, self-centered, look-at-me attitudes that actually stand in the way of achieving real humility. smile



It would also serve you well to remember that it is never enough to just eliminate old habits and break old patterns. They must be replaced with something.

Otherwise your life will become like Jesus was explaining in The Book Of Matthew 12:43-45

"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

My simple interpretation.... This man cleaned up and swept out all the old..... but never replaced the old with something new, leaving it unoccupied. Therefore the old was able to return, except the old returned with an even greater fury.

These verses impacted me greatly once I read them with new eyes just a few short years ago.

I would recommend replacing the old habits with some new habits.

1) The habit of Prayer pray

2) The habit of Study think

3) The habits of Charity & Love loveheart

These are just my top three..... you can ask DWG and others for some suggestions in this area as well. But keep it simple.

Last edited by HerPapaBear; 08/19/10 01:01 PM.




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Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
It made me into a real life villain.


The encouraging part is... this is no longer your modus operandi.

Are you perfect...... Of course not, nor have you claimed to be. But I want to suggest that you be very careful with the defeatism that can substitute for a desire to become humble.

Defeatist attitudes are counterfits for the real deal of humility.

IMVHO defeatist attitudes, when examined closely, are really no more than selfish, self-centered, look-at-me attitudes that actually stand in the way of achieving real humility. smile



It would also serve you well to remember that it is never enough to just eliminate old habits and break old patterns. They must be replaced with something.

Otherwise your life will become like Jesus was explaining in The Book Of Matthew 12:43-45

"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

My simple interpretation.... This man cleaned up and swept out all the old..... but never replaced the old with something new, leaving it unoccupied. Therefore the old was able to return, except the old returned with an even greater fury.

These verses impacted me greatly once I read them with new eyes just a few short years ago.

I would recommend replacing the old habits with some new habits.

1) The habit of Prayer pray

2) The habit of Study think

3) The habits of Charity & Love loveheart

These are just my top three..... you can ask DWG and others for some suggestions in this area as well. But keep it simple.


Thanks, HPB. I do have those defeatist feelings at times, but it never lasts. I'll fight this problem till the end. I'll go down with the ship if necessary. Fortunately, that is also part of my makeup. The caution about the vacuum left when eliminating demons is understood. I will keep it in mind and replace it with positives as you have cautioned. (If I need a dose of defeatism and humiliation to replace that vacuum, I know where to go...Bubbles4U. LOL.)


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: Pepperband
You know, I think you do, that my H is very active in his AA program.
Before he embraced that program, he was one sick puppy.
And, unless he committed to AA and his own mental health, I was D.O.N.E. with him.

Here's one of the many "slogans" that I like:

We are only as sick as our secrets.

I'm praying for you, whether you like it or not !
stickout
That is a very to the point "slogan", pep. I am praying for you as well, GM.


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Originally Posted By: faithful follower
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
You know, I think you do, that my H is very active in his AA program.
Before he embraced that program, he was one sick puppy.
And, unless he committed to AA and his own mental health, I was D.O.N.E. with him.

Here's one of the many "slogans" that I like:

We are only as sick as our secrets.

I'm praying for you, whether you like it or not !
stickout
That is a very to the point "slogan", pep. I am praying for you as well, GM.


Thank you, FF.


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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Looks like I've got some reading to do to catch up...

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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Looks like I've got some reading to do to catch up...


Oh, a bit. LOL


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Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I thought I had eliminated them. They morphed into a more subtle form.


They do that.

But you can still kill them.

Prisca and went over the Disrespectful Judgments lesson in the Love Busters course tonight. One of the key concepts for us to discuss was Dr. Harley's assertion "Disrespectful judgments in a marriage should not be tolerated."

I agree. I should not tolerate Disrespectful Judgments from myself toward my wife.

Last edited by markos; 08/20/10 01:21 AM.

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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I thought I had eliminated them. They morphed into a more subtle form.


They do that.

But you can still kill them.

Prisca and went over the Disrespectful Judgments lesson in the Love Busters course tonight. One of the key concepts for us to discuss was Dr. Harley's assertion "Disrespectful judgments in a marriage should not be tolerated."

I agree. I should not tolerate Disrespectful Judgments from myself toward my wife.


Yes. This is the trickiest part of all: The thing is that my nudging DWG toward doing the week's assignment or lesson, no matter how gently it is done, is still a DJ. On one side, I have a telephone coaching assignment that "you two need to do this" etc., but by worrying that it is not getting done and even making a gentle suggestion, is just a morphed DJ in subtle form and can't be tolerated. It is another example of putting my not wanting to look bad to Kim, or on the weekly survey, ahead of DWG's feelings and her rights as a human being to follow her own course with this. When she is ready, she will be ready. What difference does it really make how I look at the next phone session? None, really. By doing that, I am concerning myself with HOW I LOOK. The whole point is to eliminate LB's and meet each other's EN's. This is where the process of MB kind of breaks down a little bit, at least in this situation. When DWG is ready to jump into these lessons, then the lessons will work, not one minute earlier. Nudging her is a DJ. We do it or we don't that week. Trying to nudge DWG to complete the assignment with me is a DJ. A big one.

Here is another one, at least for me: Succeeding at eliminating LB's, meeting EN's, and gradually winning the trust and affection of DWG on some distant rainbow's end has been looked at by me as an heroic quest. Snagging victory in life out of the jaws of abject defeat and riding into the sunset. But these scenarios in my mind are a destructive neurosis. I am building a dream castle in my mind where I can come out a hero in the end, wiping out forever my villainy and getting off free (redeeming myself) in the eyes of God. This has been my problem all along. Because when DWG, or anyone for that matter, does not fit my script or play their part in my imaginary theatrical productions, I get angry with them, like a football coach whose wide receiver keeps running the wrong route. This is how I ruined my marriage from the get go. I had a vision in my own mind of how it would be, and she did not read my script. I am discovering that even my pursuit of MB thus far has been yet another fanciful dream or neurotic quest that, in the end, revolves around ME. Clearly, if I am really well and take on life on its own terms rather than mine, I can utilize MB as simply an excellent aid in helping US have a real marriage.

At least I am learning how it works, but it looks like my biggest challenge is to eliminate the neurotic constructs under which I have been trying to guide my life. As long as I build these dream castles around myself, no program is going to succeed, including MB. We will just drown in the moat. Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?

Last edited by GreenMile; 08/20/10 03:00 AM.

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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GreenMile, I keep forgetting to say this: change your signature.

Take "FBW" out of your signature.

I am sorry to tell you that DancesWithGoats is not a "formerly" betrayed wife. She experiences the pain of betrayal every day. She is by no means recovered. Until then, referring to her as a "formerly" betrayed spouse is like a slap in the face.

Kinda makes the rest of us cringe, too.

(Also, don't you think the very thought kind of opens the gateway back to you disrespectfully judging her? If she is a betrayed wife, then her pain and her reactions are understandable and she deserves our empathy and compassion. But if she has "admitted" she is "recovered" then you are tempted to use that as a bargaining chip to, again control her behavior: you are SUPPOSED to be recovered, so therefore you SHOULD ... It's all just another version of telling her what to do.)

(Tip: let her decide how she feels every day, in fact every hour, for the rest of her life. She doesn't have to feel a certain way today just because she felt that way yesterday.)


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: GreenMile
On one side, I have a telephone coaching assignment that "you two need to do this" etc.,


You do? Kim has given YOU, GreenMile, an assignment for the TWO OF YOU? You are responsible for carrying out an assignment that involves making DancesWithGoats do her part???

That doesn't sound like the same Kim who is coaching me and Prisca.

Hint: you can't control DancesWithGoats, and you shouldn't try to. Nobody knows this better than a Marriage Builders coach, and they certainly won't fault GreenMile for something DancesWithGoats did not do.

And since we're on the subject, the last time I talked to Steve Harley he expressed a little bit of befuddlement as to why we weren't progressing faster through the lessons. He emphasized to me that much of the lesson work can and should be done individually. There's nothing stopping YOU from eliminating controlling and abusive behavior, in the form of Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, and/or Angry Outbursts. And in fact, even though we didn't go over our DJ lesson until tonight, Prisca told me last night that it seemed that SDs and DJs from me had just about been eliminated. (NOT time to rest on my laurels, of course. This habit certainly hasn't been worked long enough to stick with me for a lifetime, yet, nor is it anywhere near perfect, IMO.)

Quote:
but by worrying that it is not getting done and even making a gentle suggestion, is just a morphed DJ in subtle form and can't be tolerated.


GreenMile, have you actually read the Respectful Persuasion procedure Dr. Harley outlines?

For that matter, what is the last Marriage Builders book you read, and when did you read it?

Theoretically, you could engage in Respectful Persuasion to try to persuade your wife to join you. Since you have such a big Disrespectful Judgment problem, I don't recommend it; I just wanted you to know that this is where you marriage is headed some day if it gets good: you will be able to try to respectfully persuade each other of your own personal beliefs, including beliefs about Marriage Builders. Of course, Respectful Persuasion actually works much better when you are in love with each other.

Have you talked with Kim about this problem you are having of trying to make DWG do the lessons? Will you talk with her about it, if you have not?

Quote:
It is another example of putting my not wanting to look bad to Kim, or on the weekly survey, ahead of DWG's feelings and her rights as a human being to follow her own course with this.


After all, DWG is your wife, right, so she ought to understand the importance of making sure the two of you look good to people outside your family, right? She ought to understand the need to pull together and sacrifice and take care of things so that you don't inconvenience other people, right?

Yeah, I used to think like that, too. I hope it sounds as ridiculous to you there as it does to me.

You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances. Only her. Her FEELINGS come first. Not her Marriage Builders program success. Her FEELINGS. In marriage, that's the most important thing about her.

(And I shouldn't need to add that what matters is her feelings as a reaction to your ACTIONS. Not her feelings as a response to you convincing her to believe something or go along with something.)

Quote:
What difference does it really make how I look at the next phone session?


I don't understand how DancesWithGoats not wanting to do the next lesson makes YOU look bad at the next phone session. Can you enlighten me about this?

Quote:
This is where the process of MB kind of breaks down a little bit, at least in this situation.


Wrong, Mister! The process of MB isn't breaking down for you AT ALL. The concepts, especially the Love Bank, are working exactly the way the always do.

The problem is that you haven't eliminated abusive behavior such as Disrespectful Judgments.

That's not a minor problem, by the way. It's a major problem. Ask your coach for help.

Quote:
When DWG is ready to jump into these lessons, then the lessons will work, not one minute earlier.


Your wife can't eliminate Disrespectful Judgments for you. You have to do that yourself. Don't blame her for your failure to do this, thus far.

And don't you dare get into the mindset that you are sitting on your hands and waiting for her to finally "be ready." I guarantee you she does not wake up every morning and think "Oh, I hope GreenMile doesn't quit trying to prod and prompt me today and suddenly sweep me off my feet, because I'm not ready! That would be a terrible tragedy."

She is ready for you to eliminate abusive behavior a LONG TIME AGO, friend.

When you can quit kicking massive holes into the Love Bank account, you will finally have a shot at filling it.

Quote:
Nudging her is a DJ. We do it or we don't that week. Trying to nudge DWG to complete the assignment with me is a DJ. A big one.


Having your wife fill out a bunch of paperwork telling you what you need to change is a shortcut. This shortcut is very painful for your wife. Don't sit still. Take the long way.

If you can't make progress on your own (with the help of Kim and Dr. Harley and this entire board, no less!) towards eliminating love busters and MASSIVELY meeting Dances' emotional needs, then you aren't worth staying with.

Quote:
I am building a dream castle in my mind where I can come out a hero in the end, wiping out forever my villainy and getting off free (redeeming myself) in the eyes of God.


I'm not going to speak negatively of your personal motivations, and I don't know what your particular faith may be, but I will let you know that in Christian theology, a person isn't redeemed in the eyes of God by doing good from now on, no matter how much they may do. It is as if you tried to clean a dirty, oily rag with pure water. You can wash and wash and wash, but the oil is still in the rag and it is still filthy. (Because you took a swim in dirty oil. We all did.) Washing that rag clean is going to require soap. Very special Soap.

I want you to give Dances With Goats a marriage so wonderful that your past can be forgotten and she can become glad to be married to her. In fact, if you're not willing to do this, I hope she leaves you. But even if you succeed in this, I have to tell you as a follower of Jesus not to ever think for a minute that it redeems you in the eyes of God.

(Don't go the other way though and latch on to some theology and decide that that saves you even if you never lift a finger to effect her healing.)

Anyway, I don't remember Marriage Builders having a whole lot to say in its Basic Concepts about dream castles and whether they are good or bad. It does say an awful lot about Disrespectful Judgments, and I hope you will get cracking with Kim about that very soon because it is killing your poor wife.

Quote:
Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?


You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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