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Originally Posted By: markos
You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances.


Oh, and on that note, you don't need to explain to other people when you are unwilling to provide some kind of care for them. Your reasons are your private business. You aren't married to them.


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: markos
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.


Understatement.

The fact is that in Christian theology the whole idea of you redeeming yourself in the eyes of God by your actions is massively blasphemous.

However, redeeming yourself in the eyes of your wife? That is completely Christian, and I believe it is exactly what God wants. But to do that you will have to tailor yourself to HER perspective, not to some perspective which you imagine belongs to God and is therefore omniscient and objective.

Her feelings are the key.


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: markos
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.)


Its gone. I never noticed it or thought about it since I re-did it. If it has been making everyone cringe, I wish my attention had been called to it earlier. That makes perfect sense. Wrong term for exactly the reasons you state. She is, was, and always will be my BW. As for your tip, of course that is right. It is what I was referring to in my post about fitting her into my scenario in my brain, instead of allowing everyone and every thing to exist on their or its own terms. To me, that has been a revelation. To a normal person without this kind of neurosis, it is kind of "well, duh"! I am beginning to see my self and the problem that has led to this entire mess of DWG's and my life, and the destruction left in my wake as a result of it. A quarter century of withdrawal and resentments leading to despicable behavior and lying, has been the price of that neurosis. To get well, and to have a chance at recovery requires addressing and curing this. It is a problem that runs deeper than fixing the marriage, because it is the root cause of all of it and is an obstacle to recovery of our marriage.

Though I know better, it almost feels as though becoming conscious of what I am doing and thinking in that regard is already working to dismantle it, which is a very good thing, because my appointment with a psychiatrist is not until Sept. 28. Even then, he will probably just refer me to another subspecialist in this area, with yet another wait. Yes, I understand that this will not be any quick process or one visit cure. This will take a major effort.


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
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.)

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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?

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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.


Markos, that is a long post to try to respond to, but I can do it in a short way. You are preaching to the choir. I don't disagree with a single point you make, but I do think that you have read my post slightly wrong. I was not justifying any of these actions, inactions, or thought processes. I was describing them in terms of my realization, from the help I have received here, as neurotic, destructive, and a complete obstacle to recovery, as the source for my DJ's, in fact for the stinkin' thinkin' throughout my marriage, and even for the way I have been regarding and mis-applying the advice received from our coaches and from the MB program. You are right on. I know what has to be done, and to do it includes and requires that I leave behind the world of self-constructed scenes conjured in my own head where I expect other people to play the part that I wrote. It is a deep neurosis plain and simple. And it is going to require more than simple will and application of MB principles to make happen. I must address that in order for MB principles to be applied by me appropriately. That is all I was saying in my post last night.


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: markos
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.


Understatement.

The fact is that in Christian theology the whole idea of you redeeming yourself in the eyes of God by your actions is massively blasphemous.

However, redeeming yourself in the eyes of your wife? That is completely Christian, and I believe it is exactly what God wants. But to do that you will have to tailor yourself to HER perspective, not to some perspective which you imagine belongs to God and is therefore omniscient and objective.

Her feelings are the key.


Markos, I kind of addressed this in my last response to you after you already wrote these other posts. Please re-read the original. There is no need to argue any of those things with me, because I agree with you. In my post, I was explaining, or tried to explain, that these thought processes have been wrong, and based on a process in my head that is a neurotic fantasy, with no basis in reality. I write scenes in my head that no one cares to be actors or actresses in. By doing this, everything that happens in life has been forced into this model, and so it ends up revolving around me, because it is my own little theatrical production. This, I believe, has been the root cause of all problems. I also recognize that it is something that my mother did all the time, though she was a very sweet woman. It is becoming no mystery to me how I learned to do this, but it also gives me no illusions about how daunting is the road ahead at getting rid of it completely.


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


Originally Posted By: Marcos
You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.


Marcos ... THANK YOU !!

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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: markos
You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances.


Oh, and on that note, you don't need to explain to other people when you are unwilling to provide some kind of care for them. Your reasons are your private business. You aren't married to them.


Marcos - THANK YOU again.

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Originally Posted By: Pepperband



Originally Posted By: GM
Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?


Originally Posted By: Marcos
You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.


Marcos ... THANK YOU !!


I guess that was self-deprecating. Certainly don't need that.

*Edit*

Last edited by Breezemb; 08/20/10 12:26 PM. Reason: tos - personal attack

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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Why not clean up your life and quit thinking about me!

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GM,

Looks like this might be time to speak again of repentance...

The word repent has often been interpreted to denote a change in the way we act. We once did ___ and no longer do ___ and so we have repented. While our actions might have changed, it is still incumbent upon our own will and effort in order to keep those changes moving along. What it requires is for us to constantly override our own instincts and even long standing habits that come from our own experiences in life.

The word itself is in two parts. The first, "re-" means what we have come to think of it as meaning. "re-" before any term or action, implies to do that action again, or to "REpeat" that action. While I am referring to actions here, I am not talking about repeating just acting a new way and the second half of the word explains why this is true.

The second part of the word repent means to think. So the word in whole means to REthink, or literally to have a second thought, as in "I was doing X, but on second thought, I will do Y."

What this means is that what we do changes, but it changes because we think differently and not simply because we have acted differently. Our changed actions happen because we are thinking differently and not just because we are working to change the consequences of our actions. We choose to do something else because we now see that something else as the RIGHT choice and not simply as the choice that will result in our being perceived as a better person.

So real repentance means that we change what we do BECAUSE we think in a different way and not only as the result of our own will and ability to overcome our ingrained way of doing things in the past. It is the new thinking process that results in new habits and not merely stopping ourselves from doing things the way we have always done them.

Dr Harley's most basic concept of all of his basic concepts is that no matter what we do, it affects our spouse either positively or negatively. It is learning to act from this place of understanding that leads us to begin to put the feelings and needs of our spouse into proper perspective. It is understanding that before anything at all is done, what it will do to DWG's feelings is not just considered but addressed as being more important than the action itself.

When this sort of foundational change happens, the efforts to change behavior are easily redirected toward the changes that are needed. Once grasped, this leads us to ALWAYS be considerate above our own choices and in so doing, to make the right choice more often and more consistently than by sheer force of willing ourselves to do something in a different way than the way we have been accustomed.

This is what leads to true empathy for our spouse. It is KNOWING that what we do is not done in a vacuum nor is it done without causing a reaction in the emotional state of our spouse. It affects EVERYTHING we do because the reasons we do those things has changed.

And just so you (and anyone reading along) understand that I am not talking about putting your wife FIRST, above your own needs, desires and wants. I am talking about realizing that no matter what we choose to do, our spouse is affected by it since the marriage has created a special, not just connection, but relationship between us that is unlike any other relationship we ever have. Things done in the present affect the future in ways that must be considered BEFORE choosing what we will do today, even right this second.

This shift in thinking results in not only reduction in IB but also increases honesty since unless we can create true intimacy in the marriage in which we are both known fully and know and understand the other, it can become paralyzing to us to have to check with each other before doing something as simple as deciding what to order for lunch when not with each other. Only by KNOWING each other fully, and BEING KNOWN by the other can we begin to make choices that are best for BOTH of us and the two of us together rather than simply what makes us feel good, look good or seem good at the time. It changes from being seen as the right person into BEING the right person.

Mark

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Quote:

This is what leads to true empathy for our spouse. It is KNOWING that what we do is not done in a vacuum nor is it done without causing a reaction in the emotional state of our spouse. It affects EVERYTHING we do because the reasons we do those things has changed.


Thanks for this as well.

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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

Looks like this might be time to speak again of repentance...

The word repent has often been interpreted to denote a change in the way we act. We once did ___ and no longer do ___ and so we have repented. While our actions might have changed, it is still incumbent upon our own will and effort in order to keep those changes moving along. What it requires is for us to constantly override our own instincts and even long standing habits that come from our own experiences in life.

The word itself is in two parts. The first, "re-" means what we have come to think of it as meaning. "re-" before any term or action, implies to do that action again, or to "REpeat" that action. While I am referring to actions here, I am not talking about repeating just acting a new way and the second half of the word explains why this is true.

The second part of the word repent means to think. So the word in whole means to REthink, or literally to have a second thought, as in "I was doing X, but on second thought, I will do Y."

What this means is that what we do changes, but it changes because we think differently and not simply because we have acted differently. Our changed actions happen because we are thinking differently and not just because we are working to change the consequences of our actions. We choose to do something else because we now see that something else as the RIGHT choice and not simply as the choice that will result in our being perceived as a better person.

So real repentance means that we change what we do BECAUSE we think in a different way and not only as the result of our own will and ability to overcome our ingrained way of doing things in the past. It is the new thinking process that results in new habits and not merely stopping ourselves from doing things the way we have always done them.

Dr Harley's most basic concept of all of his basic concepts is that no matter what we do, it affects our spouse either positively or negatively. It is learning to act from this place of understanding that leads us to begin to put the feelings and needs of our spouse into proper perspective. It is understanding that before anything at all is done, what it will do to DWG's feelings is not just considered but addressed as being more important than the action itself.

When this sort of foundational change happens, the efforts to change behavior are easily redirected toward the changes that are needed. Once grasped, this leads us to ALWAYS be considerate above our own choices and in so doing, to make the right choice more often and more consistently than by sheer force of willing ourselves to do something in a different way than the way we have been accustomed.

This is what leads to true empathy for our spouse. It is KNOWING that what we do is not done in a vacuum nor is it done without causing a reaction in the emotional state of our spouse. It affects EVERYTHING we do because the reasons we do those things has changed.

And just so you (and anyone reading along) understand that I am not talking about putting your wife FIRST, above your own needs, desires and wants. I am talking about realizing that no matter what we choose to do, our spouse is affected by it since the marriage has created a special, not just connection, but relationship between us that is unlike any other relationship we ever have. Things done in the present affect the future in ways that must be considered BEFORE choosing what we will do today, even right this second.

This shift in thinking results in not only reduction in IB but also increases honesty since unless we can create true intimacy in the marriage in which we are both known fully and know and understand the other, it can become paralyzing to us to have to check with each other before doing something as simple as deciding what to order for lunch when not with each other. Only by KNOWING each other fully, and BEING KNOWN by the other can we begin to make choices that are best for BOTH of us and the two of us together rather than simply what makes us feel good, look good or seem good at the time. It changes from being seen as the right person into BEING the right person.

Mark


Great post, Mark. I do understand. Strange as it may seem, by your definition of true repentance, it is happening. I am not stuck. It is happening without thinking about it to some extent. Just trying to make faster progress by understanding where my stinkin' thinkin' has been coming from. I am finding out things about myself that are deeply ingrained and based on what has classically been described as a neurosis. This part is going to take a lot of work and some therapy.


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 know this sounds kind of dumb, and I wasn't going to post it, but DWG thought I should, because this time we both did something right:

I was cleaning the floors last night in prep for a visit from friends from Hawaii. I swept the mountains of dog and cat hair that collect in no time and then was going over with attachments from the vacuum. A large, free-standing window screen fell over, and before I could catch it, it fell onto and destroyed a glass pedestal bowl that DWG's best friend's mother had given to us at our wedding and which survived raising two boys. I felt devastated. DWG felt awful and momentarily angry. My first reaction in horror was to go into a depressed "I can't do anything right" scenario in my head, hoping for some validation and comfort and telling me I was "not a bad boy" coming from DWG. Her first reaction was to get incredibly angry and nail me to the wall for not caring about things that are important to her. Instead, I removed myself from the room, meditated, and consciously collected myself and made myself not create that scenario in my head. DWG greatly limited her negative reaction, and we succeeded in being mature adults. Seems like a little thing, but after the last week (and all those years) maybe it was not so little. She wanted me to post this. Big deal LOL.

Last edited by GreenMile; 08/21/10 12:28 PM.

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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smile





Recovery began 10/07;

Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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GM, how are you today?

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I'm doing great. No mistakes or stinkin' thinkin' for over two days. No scenarios playing out in my head. DWG and I have had a great couple of days. We watched a movie last night until 3:30 AM and both just woke up. I have a jazz concert to play today in front of a big crowd, kind of a major gig, and I have several solos, so I am kind of keyed up. How are you, Pepperband?


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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Have fun with your music.
I woke up with a nasty sore throat.
Nothing serious.
Just a painintheass.

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Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Have fun with your music.
I woke up with a nasty sore throat.
Nothing serious.
Just a painintheass.


Take care of yourself, PB.


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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