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Doormat_No_More #2428578 09/21/10 09:10 AM
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Thanks, DNM...I hope he does feel good about it.

Just got back from a weekend with the kids. I tried to focus on making sure they had a good time as a top priority, with DH as my next priority. Definitely succeeded with the kids, they had a blast! Felt like several times DH would catch himself having a good time and then retreat again. It's still hard sometimes for me to deal with constant rejection, but I haven't stopped trying. I avoided bringing up our issues over the weekend and for the most part so did he, although he left an article up on the computer about wives having affairs that had been emailed to him from another site. He didn't mention it until we got home and he emailed it to me. Apparently they were having some sort of teleseminar last night that started at 8, but I didn't get the kids in bed till almost 9 so by the time I checked my email it had already started. I asked if he wanted to listen to it and he said that they replay them. I said maybe we could listen to it later, then. He said OK (or something to that effect). And that was it. I'd already read the article when I saw it on the computer this weekend. The 2 couples they featured in the article had gone on to recover their marriages. So for me, stuff like that gives me hope, but I don't know what his thoughts are or why he sent it.

Anyway, I wanted to do something spectaular for DH this weekend, or try to, anyway! He had told me once he had always dreamed of driving a racecar, so I booked him one of the NASCAR driving experiences. I told him I wanted to give him one of his dreams. I think I may have been more excited about it than he was! I videotaped him and the whole time he was driving I was trying so hard not to cry, I just felt so happy for him. I just wanted him to be able to do something that he had always wanted to do. No, it didn't change things between us, but at least I tried to give him a happy memory. I have to honestly admit that I was hurt that he didn't thank me, but I've sucked it up, put my big girl panties on, and gone on. Can't help it that I keep expecting miracles, I guess. The closet optimist in me.

Came home and did the unpacking and getting things put away, started the laundry, cooked dinner and cleaned up (I am NOT a chef, he's the cook around our house but I tried to give him a night off!), played with the kids. I'd written him a message on the mirror in the bathroom before we left last week, telling him I loved him and asking him to marry me again. I told him I was not giving up, that I was going to keep asking until the answer was yes.

Back at work and I need to send him my schedule for this week. He doesn't ask but I'm sending it anyway. I do have to teach tonight (one of 2 nights left) so I know this probably won't be a good night for him. I'll be glad when this class is over and that will be one less trigger for him to deal with.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2428652 09/21/10 12:35 PM
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Wulff,

It seems you are doing well. Don't over do it, but keep him abreast of your schedule. Thank him when he does something like cook the meals. Make sure the kids know that you love him and why. Does that last one seem odd? Often compliments given to a 3rd party have far more impact that compliments given directly to the person.

I would recommend that you touch him when you can. Simply put your hand on his arm, or pat him on the back as you walk by, simple things. Most of us guys are very aware of touch and sensitive to it. It can be a powerful subliminal way to convey your feelings for him.

Hang in there.

JL

Just Learning #2428956 09/22/10 08:51 AM
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I'm trying...it's just so hard sometimes. Not hard to love him, because I do - totally and completely. It's more of a wondering if/when will come the point that I can tell him what I need and know that he'll try to fill those needs. Or even care that I have needs. Right now he's in massive ignore mode. Doesn't kiss me goodnight (but at least he waited up till I got home from work and at least said goodnight). Doesn't tell me goodbye before he leaves for work in the morning. He used to kiss me goodbye and tell me he loved me even if I was still sleeping. Now he just walks out, this morning my alarm was going off, and I would've tried to wake him if it was me, but he just left without a word. He doesn't respond to emails. At least he did respond to a text I sent just before leaving class last night, I'd asked if I could get him anything on my way home and he responded no.

It's funny about the 3rd party comment, JL, our oldest DD saw the note I left him in the bathroom (wrote in lipstick on the mirror, lol) and she asked me why I would ask Daddy to marry me again. I told her it was because I loved him very much and I'd marry him over again every day if he asked me to.

It's just the ignoring is so hard to take. I know he's afraid to trust me again. I know he's hurt and in pain. Sometimes I wonder if there's a need in there for him to either punish me by the behavior or maybe to see if I'll break and have another A, or maybe to see if I'll just give up. Is the ignoring considered IB? Regardless of how Dr. Harley may classify it, it's always been the biggest LB for me with DH, his stonewalling/ignoring/avoidance. He's always used it as his response in our marriage, usually in response to LB'ing behavior from me (AOs, DJs). And before, I would fly into "harpy" mode and go after him while he retreated, continuing the AOs and DJs. Something I work to avoid now.

I couldn't sleep last night after class (one more night to go!), I never can...teaching at night gets me all wound up and it takes me a while to wind down. So he went to bed before me. When I came upstairs I crawled into bed beside him while he was sleeping and just took his hand.

I have to stop, between reading Hopeful_Person's post and writing this, now I am crying at work and I have a meeting in 15 minutes. Ugh.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429068 09/22/10 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
Doesn't kiss me goodnight (but at least he waited up till I got home from work and at least said goodnight).


That's progress in the right direction. It shows that he cares enough about your needs to try to meet some of them. Keep working it.
Quote:
At least he did respond to a text I sent just before leaving class last night, I'd asked if I could get him anything on my way home and he responded no.


And don't you think that's progress? You're seeing him peek out of Withdrawal and into Conflict. You can recognize Conflict when he's willing to state his needs... as angrily and Love-Busterishly as they may come out. You gotta draw him into Conflict to bring him into Intimacy. Most people think Conflict is a pretty hellish way to live, but the truth is it's part of the road back to Intimacy.

Quote:
I know he's afraid to trust me again.


That's NOT what is going on. He's not scared of trusting you. He's INCAPABLE of trusting you. As a married couple, your Trust Bank is very closely tied into your Love Bank. The longer your actions are consistent with your words, the more trust you will build. Any inconsistency makes withdrawals. Above a certain threshold, he'll trust you again... but only because your actions have been so perfectly consistent with your words for so long.

Typical length of time for trust to be restored -- once BOTH partners are working the program -- is two years. You haven't even started the timer on that yet until you've respectfully persuaded him to join you in MarriageBuilding together.

Quote:
Is the ignoring considered IB?


It's an indicator that your husband is typically in Withdrawal. He can't get out of it without your help. Remember the four intimate emotional needs: Sexual Fulfillment, Recreational Companionship, Intimate Conversation, and Affection. Work on filling those better than anybody else can, and you'll see him pop into Conflict from time to time... and if you get him drunk enough, maybe even Intimacy wink

(I'm a believer that alcohol lowers the Romantic Love Threshold substantially in most people.)

Quote:
...his stonewalling/ignoring/avoidance. He's always used it as his response in our marriage, usually in response to LB'ing behavior from me (AOs, DJs).


Of course! He retreats in the face of your attack. The alternative is to try the Dueling-Dictators strategy on you, which he's found leads to more passive-aggressive behavior from you. Even if he "wins" the argument, you make him so miserable afterward that he questions if it's worth it.

Even when he's right, he's wrong.

Now, maybe you think I'm just projecting here, but if you refrain from Love Busters and meet his needs, that demonstrates consistency. Until you've demonstrated that consistency long enough, how can he hope you won't destroy him again?

Quote:
When I came upstairs I crawled into bed beside him while he was sleeping and just took his hand.


And that's progress. Keep moving in the right direction. Reach the point where you can join one another on this journey back into Intimacy. And remember the clock hasn't started on that two-year journey in Recovery until he joins you... it may take a while.


Doormat_No_More
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Doormat_No_More #2429096 09/22/10 03:24 PM
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thank you for your response, DNM...I just miss DH so much. It's been very difficult to fulfill the 4 intimate EN's as he just doesn't want to be with me. I have much better luck with the others - DS, for example, one of the things he mentioned on his EN questionnaire was how he hated having to clean up the breakfast dishes before he could start cooking supper (I admit, I was always in such a rush to get out the door to get the kids to school and get to work in the mornings I would leave the breakfast dishes stacked in the sink). I make sure there are no dirty dishes left behind and unload the dishwasher if I need to. Affection I can do, I leave notes, I tell him I love him, I buy him gifts (from big to small). Went to the grocery store at lunch and bought a 12-pack of the soft drink he drinks and put it in the fridge so they'd be cold when he got home. Stuff like that is easy for me and it's almost like a game for me b/c it's fun (hmmm...let's see...what can I do for DH today? lol) I just don't know if he really likes any of it because he never says anything. The EN questionnaire we took is not helpful in that regard because all he said was that I didn't give him enough and when I did he didn't like it, so I've been trying anything I can think of to see if anything hits the mark.

SF is difficult to fulfill as he's told me he has images of me and the OM before, during, and after and he just doesn't want SF with me. I've always enjoyed SF with DH and most always want it with him, but lately the rejection is just wearing on me. I've always kind of had a higher drive than DH, so it's not like rejection is anything new, but still...We still try occasionally but he's either so nonresponsive or his desire comes so totally out of nowhere that it just makes me feel...used, maybe? Confused, definitely. I don't know how to explain it. I know that sounds horrible. It's like I know the affection connection is missing now with him and even through SF, I still can't "reach" him.

I'd agree with the assessment about alcohol and the romantic love threshold, but alcohol won't work for us, though! DH is a recovering alcoholic (was in recovery before we ever met, he has been sober for over 20 years now) and I'm no longer drinking. Although DH disagrees that alcohol played any part in my A and says that me not drinking makes no difference to him (as far as an EP) - because even though I may have been drunk almost every night I chatted with OM online, I was stone cold sober when I made the decision to take things physical with OM. Twice. I can't blame anyone or anything for those decisions but myself.

I learned a lot about the stonewalling issue when we did the Love & Respect Bible study. It really clarified for me that I was also responsible for the condition of our marriage pre-A. I was not a respectful wife. I responded to what I perceived as unloving behavior from DH in a disrepectful manner, which caused him to be more unloving, which made me respond disrespectfully, on and on...until I did the ultimate in disrespectful acts and had an A.

So his "no" response to my text is evidence of Conflict? I guess I didn't really think that - I guess I think of conflict as fighting, but that's not it, is it? It is just stating one's needs, however they come out?

And yes, he DID wait up for me. A few weeks ago, it was lights-out and he was in bed when I got home. Little things. I will keep looking for the little things.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429182 09/22/10 07:59 PM
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and now he's gone to bed. It's not even 9 o'clock. Nothing seems to make a difference. He just can't stand to be around me at all.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429221 09/23/10 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
SF is difficult to fulfill as he's told me he has images of me and the OM before, during, and after and he just doesn't want SF with me. I've always enjoyed SF with DH and most always want it with him, but lately the rejection is just wearing on me. I've always kind of had a higher drive than DH, so it's not like rejection is anything new, but still...


How old are you guys? If you're younger than forty, this is extremely atypical. It indicates either a chemical imbalance in him, or (much more likely) that he's regularly masturbating to pornography.

Doing the latter results in "contrast effect" much like an affair will, and is an example of Independent Behavior that he'll need to get under control if you're going to MarriageBuild together.


Doormat_No_More
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4 months after D-Day
1 year after D-Day
Two Years Later
Four Years Later
Doormat_No_More #2429244 09/23/10 06:49 AM
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DNM, I'm 38, he's 43. I don't *think* either of those are true. We went through the whole "hysterical bonding" phase during the false R where we were practically having SF daily. Even while we were dating he was always lower drive than me. I always felt like it was b/c he didn't find me physically attractive before, but now I feel like it's b/c he is repulsed by me because of what I did. I don't have any evidence to support that he's looking at porn and the only chemical imbalance is his depression, which I think he's always dealt with depressive tendencies but my A threw him into full-blown depression. He has a prescription for antidepressants, he's tried a zillion different kinds, but he says nothing helps. I kind of think he may have stopped taking the last ones on his own - I don't think he's taking them now.

Here's the email I received from him this morning:

Quote:
How do I know that you have told me the truth? How do I know that I can trust you again? What is driving me away is the fact that I don't believe you have told me the whole truth, because you are either afraid of hurting me or how it will make you look. I'm just tired of dealing with those thoughts and what you have told me. You were suppose to be my wife. If you wanted (OM) than you can have him, you both deserve each other.


I just don't know what to do anymore.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429275 09/23/10 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
...the only chemical imbalance is his depression, which I think he's always dealt with depressive tendencies but my A threw him into full-blown depression.


Chemical imbalance it is! A temporary depression is pretty normal in a betrayed spouse. And antidepressants typically reduce sex drive even further. A long-term, permanent depression from possibly before your marriage, though, is a different thing.

Quote:
Here's the email I received from him this morning:

Quote:
How do I know that you have told me the truth? How do I know that I can trust you again? What is driving me away is the fact that I don't believe you have told me the whole truth, because you are either afraid of hurting me or how it will make you look. I'm just tired of dealing with those thoughts and what you have told me. You were suppose to be my wife. If you wanted (OM) than you can have him, you both deserve each other.




THIS IS AN INVITATION INTO CONFLICT.

It's not a reason to be sad. It's a reason to cheer! He is briefly dropping out of withdrawal to tell you his needs. He needs more Openness and Honesty from you.

He's asking for you to show him that there's a way back to trusting each other again. That's within your power!

I'm going to go out on a limb, though, and probably say that he's not asking for more openness about the affair. Let him know you'll always answer any question he has about it openly and honestly, but don't focus your O&H efforts on discussing the past. Here are a few ideas Jennifer gave me:

* Sit down every night at the same time -- say, 8:33PM -- and talk about your day. VERY specifically. Focus on your feelings. Don't make this any longer than 15 minutes, but account for everything you did that day, and don't leave anything out.
* Share your thoughts from your journal, if any, and from your discussions on this board.
* Tell him your plans each morning. Where you'll be, what you intend to do, and who you'll be with. This can be very brief, but you're outlining that there is trust to be had.
* Do everything you can to show that your words are perfectly consistent with your actions. Focus your efforts in this on the present and future, not the past.
* Update him regularly throughout the day on where you are and what you're doing, expressing your admiration and love for him in the process.

Admittedly, you have a False Recovery to get over, which makes things more difficult. Just having an affair in the first place radically reduces your chances of not getting a divorce. But seize each opportunity to rebuild trust. That part is up to you. These kinds of comments from him are an invitation to recover, and a clue to what he wants from you. You don't get that in Withdrawal!

Clearly, something you're doing is working because he dropped out of Withdrawal into Conflict to write you this note expressing his needs.


Doormat_No_More
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Original thread lost in the forum purge of '09.
4 months after D-Day
1 year after D-Day
Two Years Later
Four Years Later
wulffpack_girl #2429278 09/23/10 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
Quote:
How do I know that you have told me the truth? How do I know that I can trust you again? What is driving me away is the fact that I don't believe you have told me the whole truth, because you are either afraid of hurting me or how it will make you look. I'm just tired of dealing with those thoughts and what you have told me. You were suppose to be my wife. If you wanted (OM) than you can have him, you both deserve each other.


I just don't know what to do anymore.


He's giving you the answer here.

Already you are complaining that things are not moving quickly enough for you and you are thinking of giving up. But winning back the trust you lost with your selfish acts of adultery and lying will have a timeline closely resembling the reading of "War and Peace". You are looking for the Cliff notes version. It just don't work that way.

What you are doing now probably seems more like appeasement to him. He is thinking, "what is going to happen when I let myself love her again? All the nicey-nice will go away and she will be sneaking off with OM again and lying about it." He has to see that you are changing into a person who could never do that. And that will take time and great effort on your part. It may or may not save your marriage. But you will be the better for it. There is no downside to killing the selfishness that lurks in all of us.

Stay the course. Be the rock. Your old marriage is dead; long live the new improved one!

Nanowritersix #2429296 09/23/10 09:18 AM
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Yeah. I love the analogy some poster used here a long time ago from a beer commercial. All you see is a boat, and a dude with a bucket of dirt. He dumps the dirt into the lake, then rows away. Another boat comes, and another bucket of dirt. You don't see anything change, then suddenly after a zillion trips the first bit of dirt stays above the surface. They keep adding, and then eventually bring out some palm trees, sand, and other things and have a party on the island they built.

Recovery is like that. You spend a lot of time dumping dirt into the lake (making Love Bank deposits) without seeing any of the reward for doing so. It takes time and consistent effort -- without sabotaging your own efforts with Love Busters -- before you start to see any results. Then the magical day comes that you exceed the Romantic Love Threshold... and stay there most of the time.

Then you see the huge progress and you're ready to party together!


Doormat_No_More
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4 months after D-Day
1 year after D-Day
Two Years Later
Four Years Later
Nanowritersix #2429313 09/23/10 09:52 AM
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Thank you, DNM and Nano...I actually started thinking after I posted that maybe this was conflict. I responded back to his email and I hope I did OK - this is what I said:

Quote:
I'll take a polygraph. I know I said I would do that before so maybe it doesn't make a difference. I've found 2 that are willing to come to (city) and it will cost about $600. one is someone that works with (friend's) law firm, the other is someone that (other friend) knows. I understand why you don't feel like I have told you the whole truth. I lied to you, I betrayed you, and I manipulated you. I have committed to being open and honest with you. I've been working to change my behavior so that you can see I am committed to you and to our marriage. I DO want you. I miss you. I need you.

I don't want (OM). I don't want anyone else. The only man I want is you. That's not going to change, regardless of what happens in our marriage from this point forward. I have made my decision and it is to love you and do everything that I can to be the best wife and mother I can be. And that will never stop. That is what I've committed to for the rest of my life.

I know you are tired of dealing with the pain. You don't deserve this. I did this. This was my fault.

Listening to the seminar was helpful but it also was painful. Painful b/c the couples they talked to had recovered and that is what I want more than anything. I don't want to be the woman I was, that weak-willed stupid woman who allowed her boundaries to be trampled and destroyed. I will not be that woman again. If there are things I need to do to demonstrate that I am changing, that I am reinforcing my boundaries and becoming a better woman/wife/person in addition to what I am doing (and will continue to do) then I need your help to let me know what those are. I will answer any question that you have for me. I have tried to make myself completely transparent to you.

I can't make your decision for you. I can only make mine. I love you. I love you because you are amazing. I love you because despite my failings, you have tried to be here for me and our marriage. I love you because you take care of me and the girls. I love you because you have a heart of gold. You're sexy and you're kind and you're honest. I know that losing you is a consequence of what I did. And yes, I'm terrified of losing you. You are the one good thing that I have, that I believe in. I don't want to lose you. But I can't control you, I can't MAKE you do anything. You can only do what you feel is right for YOU in this situation.


Like I said, I hope I responded OK. I never would have taken a poly before, even though I said I would. I would have backed out of it at the last minute. He thinks that somehow I know how to "beat" one. While my feelings are mixed on the legitimacy of polygraphs (based on my criminal justice background), there's no real evidence for them being beatable except possibly by a psychopath/sociopath. I admit to being a completely awful human being during the A and during the false R, but hopefully he does not think I am one of those!!!

Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More
I'm going to go out on a limb, though, and probably say that he's not asking for more openness about the affair. Let him know you'll always answer any question he has about it openly and honestly, but don't focus your O&H efforts on discussing the past. Here are a few ideas Jennifer gave me:

* Sit down every night at the same time -- say, 8:33PM -- and talk about your day. VERY specifically. Focus on your feelings. Don't make this any longer than 15 minutes, but account for everything you did that day, and don't leave anything out.
* Share your thoughts from your journal, if any, and from your discussions on this board.
* Tell him your plans each morning. Where you'll be, what you intend to do, and who you'll be with. This can be very brief, but you're outlining that there is trust to be had.
* Do everything you can to show that your words are perfectly consistent with your actions. Focus your efforts in this on the present and future, not the past.
* Update him regularly throughout the day on where you are and what you're doing, expressing your admiration and love for him in the process.


Should I "invite" him to sit down with me tonight and talk?

Originally Posted By: Nanowritersix
What you are doing now probably seems more like appeasement to him. He is thinking, "what is going to happen when I let myself love her again? All the nicey-nice will go away and she will be sneaking off with OM again and lying about it." He has to see that you are changing into a person who could never do that. And that will take time and great effort on your part. It may or may not save your marriage. But you will be the better for it. There is no downside to killing the selfishness that lurks in all of us.


I have learned so much - I just can't believe that there was not a reason for me to have learned all of this, you know? And it's not just based on faith, although spiritually what I have learned is a big part of it. I still have a ways to go in trusting God and trusting in His forgiveness (more on that in a sec). But I've learned that there's a HUGE difference between "following your heart" (which is what the world tells us) and "LEADING your heart" (which is what the Lord tells us to do). I won't be that woman again. I wish I had learned all of this years ago, if I could go back in time my wedding gift to myself would be the books I've read. I would tell myself how crucial it is to love my husband unconditionally, to meet his needs, and to respectfully let him know when my needs weren't being met, instead of being a b*tch about it.

My mom was over this morning, the kids are out of school so she watches them while I work. I have a hard time NOT talking to her about it, even though she doesn't know how to really help. When she and Dad first got married, she found evidence he had cheated on her. Dad was her one and only, and after he'd gone away for basic training and come back home (I think it was during basic training, regardless it was very early in their marriage), she contracted genital warts. At first she had no idea what they were. When she realized it and confronted Dad, he denied everything and has never told her anything different. She made the decision to put it behind her and move on. They've been married 43 years. All this happened before I was born and I never knew about it until recently.

Anyway, back to God's forgiveness. I was telling Mom about how he doesn't believe I've told him everything. I asked her if she really wanted to know the only other secret I carry that I've never told her. She looked at me kind of funny and I said it had nothing to do with the A. I told my mother that when I was 23, I'd had an abortion, and it was DH's (this was before we were married). I've had that secret in my heart for so long and I've never breathed a word of it to her. She just hugged me and told me she loved me. Part of me felt awful for dumping it on her this morning, but the other part was so relieved. Despite knowing all that I have done, she still loves me. DH knew about it, he was by my side the whole time and told me it was my decision and he'd support me any way he could. I have struggled with it every day ever since. DH and I talked about it during our false R, how I've carried that pain inside me and just boxed it up, never really allowed myself to heal from it. I never went to my parents and only DH and two of my friends know. It's not like it's something you want to walk around and broadcast, you know? Years later, when we were trying to get pregnant with DD #1, I struggled with fertility issues and it took quite some time before we were able to conceive. I felt like it was God's punishment on me for the abortion. So my issues with trusting God's forgiveness go way beyond the A, and that is something I am working on within me. I also know I have to forgive myself for all of it, and somehow that is harder for me than trusting in God's forgiveness, if that even makes sense. I know that is not how it is, according to God, but that is just how I feel inside.

I didn't really mean to write all this, I just needed to get it out. I appreciate anyone who has been able to read this far!!!


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
Doormat_No_More #2429316 09/23/10 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More

Recovery is like that. You spend a lot of time dumping dirt into the lake (making Love Bank deposits) without seeing any of the reward for doing so. It takes time and consistent effort -- without sabotaging your own efforts with Love Busters -- before you start to see any results. Then the magical day comes that you exceed the Romantic Love Threshold... and stay there most of the time.

Just tell me I didn't do any LB'ing in my response to him this morning - I have really been focusing on avoiding them!
Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More

Then you see the huge progress and you're ready to party together!

That's all I want. I believe we can get there one day, I just hope DH can get there too.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429351 09/23/10 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
I actually started thinking after I posted that maybe this was conflict.


A lot of times, all it takes to get some perspective is a third-party to point out the details. I often wished I had a couple of very helpful people from this forum just leaning over my shoulder listening to every conversation and helping me understand what was really going on. Counseling with Jennifer really helped us get on the right track... I wish I could have afforded more sessions with her.

Quote:
I responded back to his email and I hope I did OK...


You did OK. You said what was in your heart (meeting his O&H need), you expressed admiration, you apologized -- which helps a lot, even though it's not strictly required to recover -- and you kept it focused on what you're doing rather than what you expect from him. Kudos!

His response will almost certainly be more Conflict, more Taker lashing out. Expect it. He's not going to welcome your letter with open arms. He's going to find something else to grab onto to justify being in Conflict. Welcome this Taker. Be aware he's probably going to Love-Bust, and recognize it for what it is: an unschooled Taker running loose.

Much better that -- Conflict, and a rampaging Taker -- than Withdrawal. Two partners in Withdrawal lead to divorce. Two partners in Intimacy resolve their problems without a whole lot of outside intervention. That leaves the rest of us -- one in Conflict or Intimacy, the other in a different state -- trying our best to make it work but getting frustrated from time to time.

Quote:
Should I "invite" him to sit down with me tonight and talk?


Negotiate it if you like, or just sit down in the same room together and start talking. Remember you're negotiating with his Taker right now if he's in Conflict. The Taker has no interest in your feelings or your best interest. Only himself. This is totally normal! If you decide to negotiate it rather than just plopping down and starting to talk about your day, keep your negotiation pleasant and safe, and if it becomes unpleasant or unsafe, excuse yourself and try again later.

Quote:
I have learned so much - I just can't believe that there was not a reason for me to have learned all of this, you know?


Yeah. I think a "His Needs, Her Needs" course should really be required study prior to marriage... but who am I to impose that on anybody else?

Quote:
I've learned that there's a HUGE difference between "following your heart" (which is what the world tells us) and "LEADING your heart" (which is what the Lord tells us to do).


Cool quote! Facebooked "Don't follow your heart. Lead it." smile


Quote:
I would tell myself how crucial it is to love my husband unconditionally, to meet his needs, and to respectfully let him know when my needs weren't being met, instead of being a b*tch about it.


Unconditional Love, if you are religious, is God's domain; man is incapable of it, though it's a nifty standard to aspire to. In practice, Unconditional Love leads to continual Sacrifice, which depletes your husband's love bank in your heart without him knowing about it.

Regardless of your intentions, human love is always conditional. If someone engages in enough behavior to reduce their balance in the Love Bank, eventually you'll hate them no matter how you want to love them. It's a natural consequence. Recognize you're incapable of unconditional love. So is everybody else. Do everything you can to meet your partner's needs, and do your best to show him how he can meet yours. How long your love lasts is dependent on how full your Love Bank is.

Quote:
Part of me felt awful for dumping it on her this morning but the other part was so relieved.


Giver & Taker at work there. Any time you're of two minds about something, one is the Giver concerned with the welfare of others above your own, one is the Taker concerned with your own welfare above that of anybody else. You decide which one was calling the shots smile

Regardless, living Radical Honesty in every aspect of your life is so very, very liberating. Since I started practicing it both at home and at work, it's been so much easier to keep my stories straight!

Yes, my wife may have been the one who had the A, but I lived a secret second life, too. It was hard to give up, and if my boundaries with the opposite sex had been any worse, I'd have had an A too. My "extraordinary precautions" protected me; my wife had few, and had the A. A marriage will every so often end up with both partners in Conflict. Those EPs protect you from an affair even when you aren't getting along, so that you can repair the marriage without the interference of Contrast Effect from some other person!

Quote:
I felt like it was God's punishment on me for the abortion.


I'm not religious. I think you know that. But I still like some Biblical examples. Job did not deserve any of the punishment he received. He suffered in spite of his righteousness.

Bad things happen to good people. It's not a punishment, and it's not a test. It's just life happening.

You did the best you could with the information you had at the time. You could have made no other decision than the one that you made, because you had no other information than what you had then.

The same applies here. Anybody else in your situation would also have had an affair. Now you know how to protect yourself from ever being in that situation again. That's what MarriageBuilders is all about: learning how best to love just one person for the rest of your life.

EDIT: if you can afford a few sessions with the Harleys, it can make all the difference in the world. They fix these kinds of things for a living, and EVERY case they deal with is one spouse enthusiastic about rebuilding the marriage, and the other one not so enthusiastic. It's just the way it goes, because if both partners are enthusiastic they fix it on their own, and if neither partner is they never make the appointment. You're in the exact position to benefit together. See if you can negotiate $200 to talk with Jennifer or Steve. The money is better spent there than a polygraph!

Last edited by Doormat_No_More; 09/23/10 11:12 AM.

Doormat_No_More
(Formerly Barnboy)
Original thread lost in the forum purge of '09.
4 months after D-Day
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Doormat_No_More #2429475 09/23/10 03:13 PM
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Thanks, DNM, appreciate you taking the time to read my novella!

Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More
His response will almost certainly be more Conflict, more Taker lashing out. Expect it. He's not going to welcome your letter with open arms. He's going to find something else to grab onto to justify being in Conflict. Welcome this Taker. Be aware he's probably going to Love-Bust, and recognize it for what it is: an unschooled Taker running loose.


I went home at lunch - I've been doing that as much as possible as I thought it was one more way to show accountability for my time. DH was home already - unexpected. No mention of the email or my response. I offered to make him lunch but he didn't want anything. So I started working on the Bible study that he'd previously asked me to do with him. He comes and sits down on the couch right next to the kitchen and starts talking about how he's priced shutters for the house and all this other stuff, and maybe we need to sit down and make a list of everything we want to do and prioritize it, etc. No Taker...it was wierd.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that he's talking about something that would seem to indicate the possibility of a future...but why on the heels of that email??? He may have listened to the teleseminar, I don't know how long he'd been home but the website was still up on the computer in the garage. (Can't remember if I mentioned before, but it was from another surviving affairs type of website that he gets newsletters from, this particular call had 3 couples featured and in each case, the wife had had the A and the couples were all reconciled.) I can't see that making any difference, though. Just confused.

Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More

Cool quote! Facebooked "Don't follow your heart. Lead it." smile

I can't take credit for it! smile It was in the Love Dare. You start out thinking it's for your spouse, but it's really a lot about you, your thinking, your mindset. The world says "follow your heart" - but if you are not leading it in the right direction, then something or someone else is.

I've suggested counseling with the Harleys on a couple of occasions. Trying not to be pushy. I may mention it again tonight if he seems open...found out at lunch though that he's got to go in and work some on 3rd shift though so he'll probably go to bed when the kids do, so we probably won't have a chance to talk at all tonight. In our situation, if he won't agree to counseling w/the Harleys, would it still be beneficial for me to seek it on my own?


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429479 09/23/10 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
In our situation, if he won't agree to counseling w/the Harleys, would it still be beneficial for me to seek it on my own?


Definitely. They can give you much better advice. They are all three licensed practicing therapists, but aren't allowed to call themselves that outside of their home state, so it's called "telephone coaching". Totally worth $200 for an hour. My wife and I were at a total impasse, me insisting on having complete transparency, her insisting she had a right to privacy, on January 6, and I was ready to kick her out over it (though that would have been an interesting proposition, considering she's a stay-at-home Mom). January 7 we started doing the homework she gave us, and it's been mostly even-keeled and better on the rollercoaster since then.


Doormat_No_More
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1 year after D-Day
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wulffpack_girl #2429538 09/23/10 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
... my issues with trusting God's forgiveness go way beyond the A, and that is something I am working on within me. I also know I have to forgive myself for all of it, and somehow that is harder for me than trusting in God's forgiveness, if that even makes sense...
WPG, if you figure this stuff all the way out someday, let me know.

I find it easy to get tied up in knots on this stuff. Scripture tells me about forgiveness. But I'll be totally honest, it still feels too self-serving for me to claim it. The best I can muster is to say "It's God's call to make."

Forgiving myself? I'm not quite sure what that means. Why should I forgive myself? Deep down, I'm still hugely pi$$ed at myself for how I conducted myself, for the rotten, selfish, bankrupt decisions I made during those 2 & a half months. After all, the guy whose wife I "borrowed" probably hasn't forgiven me. His marriage is gone, and the preponderance of everything I've read tells me that I'd likely only dredge up pain for him if I were to reemerge into his life to ask him for it. Indeed, who am I to forgive myself? So the anger is still there. I am able to set it aside almost all the time now. The few times lately that I've indulged myself to let that anger resurface, it can still burn white hot. So I've learned to just let it be, for the most part.

My wife has forgiven me, and I do accept that, because it's a forgiveness that's tangible to me -- I can see, hear, & feel it every day. Seeing, hearing, feeling her, I cannot do her the disservice of suggesting that her forgiveness is not good enough for me. I can only be grateful for it.

I don't know why I don't quite feel that way yet about God's forgiveness. When I'm alone with God, as it were, I feel the heavy chain that I've forged myself, slung across my shoulders. I fully expect to feel it until my last breath. I do expect it to be finally lifted then, and only then, and I guess that's what passes for "faith" for me. Well, says somewhere that it only has to be as big as a mustard seed, so there...

Now sometimes, for little whiles, I can forget that the chain's there. When I'm watching my son raptly sponging up some science program on TV. When I'm listening to my daughter sing like an angel in her high school choir. When I'm busting my butt at the office. When I'm patrolling center field & hoping for every batter to hit the ball my way so I can have the challenge of tracking it down. Whenever I'm with my wife -- because she accepts me. I'm willing to consider that perhaps all of these things are in some way God's doing, perhaps as some divine preview that He's given me.

I think if I stitch enough of those times together, and fill in the gaps between them by doing good things to care for those I love, and for total strangers, I'll be able to drag this chain to somewhere, maybe at God's feet, where I can dump it someday. When I think how much bleaker outcomes there could be than this, I can't really complain or brood on it any more than this right here. If that even makes sense...

Last edited by GloveOil; 09/23/10 08:13 PM.

Me: FWH, 50
My BW: Trust_Will_Come, 52, tall, beautiful & heart of gold
DD23, DS19
EA-then-PA Oct'08-Jan'09
Broke it off & confessed to BW (after OW's H found out) Jan.7 2009
Married 25 years & counting.
Grateful for forgiveness. Working to be a better husband.
"I wear the chain I forged in life... I made it link by link, and yard by yard" ~Jacob Marley's ghost, A Christmas Carol
"Do it again & you're out on your [bum]." ~My BW, Jan.7 2009
GloveOil #2429598 09/24/10 07:02 AM
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I've got some thoughts on your posts, DNM and GO, but have to get ready for work so will come back when I have time. I wanted to post real quick the emails that have been going on this morning - it looks like DH is back in conflict:

Quote:
I just don't know what to believe anymore. When you told me last night that you told your mom about the abortion my mind started to race. I have doubts that I was the father. That's because I believe that it could have been (OM's) also. I know he is catholic and there beliefs on abortion and birth control are much stronger and different than baptist. That is why I believe you went off the pill, because they don't believe in using birth control. They also have a strong belief against abortion and I feel that is why you didn't tell him. So I was the logical choice to bear this. That he wouldn't marry you or support your decision to have an abortion. All I could think about was how (old roommate) and (her OM) got together when she was still dating (old roommate's BF) and how it just made me sick. Now I wonder if you and (OM) where doing the same thing while I was off working at night. I just question the validity of our entire relationship. So i'm standing in the doorway with one foot out and pretty much convinced that I should put that other foot out and shut the door behind me. That our entire relationship has been nothing but a lie and the biggest mistake I have ever made.


My response:
Quote:
I told Mom about the abortion because I wanted to get everything off my chest with her. I needed to do that. I needed to get it out of the box I'd put it in, I wanted to be honest with her as I have been with you. I wanted her to know everything - all the bad things - about me because somehow I felt like it would help her to understand me and help me. To know where my mind was at. I also told her that it was yours. I told her the truth. I know that you doubt everything in our past because of what I have done to you. It was our child, yours and mine. I look at our daughters and every day I regret what I did, and I wonder how different our lives would have been if I'd made a different decision. I made the choice I felt was the only choice I could make at the time. We were so young and I wanted to go to grad school, and I thought I didn't want children, thought I'd never want children.

I remember how you stood by me. You never questioned my decision, but supported me. How you showed me that you loved me and wanted me to do what I thought was best, even after what had happened with (DH's ex GF). I never knew that you had gone through a similar situation before. Would it have changed my mind? I don't know...I wish I could go back and do so much over again. If you had asked me to marry you then, I would have said yes. I would have begged you to come to (grad school) with me, or who knows, maybe I would never have gone. We can't change that now any more than we can change any other part of our past, but know that I regret the decision to abort our child.

You were never a mistake for me. Never. You are not a mistake for me now. I want you, as I always have. I lost my way during the affair and I know why. It was because I allowed myself to lose any semblance of boundaries. I allowed someone else to meet my needs. I convinced myself that you really didn't love me, in other words I convinced myself of something that was not true.

I'm not (old roommate), although I have proven myself to have the same failings that she had when she was dating (old roommate's BF). I've learned from what I've done and I've made my decision to commit to you. I'll always hold to that decision. All I can do is work to show you what I;ve learned and just how committed I am. I have come to terms with the fact that I can't control your decision now. As I said, it's a consequence of my actions. I can't make the choice for you. It's not the choice I want you to make, but what I want right now is irrelevant. I'm hopeful that we have the tools now that we need to have an amazing marriage. That is what I want with you. I choose you. Every day, now and for the rest of my life, I choose YOU. That will not change, regardless of the decision that you make.


Am I doing OK?


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
GloveOil #2429634 09/24/10 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted By: GloveOil

I find it easy to get tied up in knots on this stuff. Scripture tells me about forgiveness. But I'll be totally honest, it still feels too self-serving for me to claim it. The best I can muster is to say "It's God's call to make."

Forgiving myself? I'm not quite sure what that means. Why should I forgive myself? Deep down, I'm still hugely pi$$ed at myself for how I conducted myself, for the rotten, selfish, bankrupt decisions I made during those 2 & a half months. After all, the guy whose wife I "borrowed" probably hasn't forgiven me. His marriage is gone, and the preponderance of everything I've read tells me that I'd likely only dredge up pain for him if I were to reemerge into his life to ask him for it. Indeed, who am I to forgive myself? So the anger is still there. I am able to set it aside almost all the time now. The few times lately that I've indulged myself to let that anger resurface, it can still burn white hot. So I've learned to just let it be, for the most part.


I know what you mean. I get so angry at myself when I think about what I did. Even learning why affairs happen - learning about needs and boundaries and EP's - still doesn't take that anger away. Knowing all of what I've learned, I still can't quite give myself a satisfactory answer to why didn't I stop? Why didn't I know better? So I feel like - no, I know my answers to DH aren't satisfactory either. I just got lost and I couldn't find my way anymore.

Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More
You did the best you could with the information you had at the time. You could have made no other decision than the one that you made, because you had no other information than what you had then.

The same applies here. Anybody else in your situation would also have had an affair. Now you know how to protect yourself from ever being in that situation again.


Even knowing that, knowing that the Dr. H says we're all "hard-wired" to commit affairs, it still doesn't always stop me from beating myself up for what I did. I want to take it all back. How could I have ever thought that OM was better at meeting my needs than DH? The relationship I had with OM was based on lies. He pursued a married woman. I allowed myself to be pursued because it felt good. I liked the attention. He never knew the real "me" any more than I knew the real "him". I never told him about my abortion, never even told him that I smoke, never told him about anything negative about me. Why, I presented myself like I was the greatest thing since sliced bread! I didn't present all of myself to him and the whole time I knew it, it was like not being comfortable in my skin when I was with him, but the attention was so intoxicating that I wouldn't dwell on that. Deep down I knew he'd never leave his wife for me, and deep down I knew I didn't want to leave DH for him...he'd never be able to take care of me like DH has done for half his life, because the OM was fundamentally selfish. And I was selfish too, don't get me wrong! But I think back to how it started, how the OM would talk to me about his marriage problems (sooo typical, I could vomit!) and they were all focused on his needs, what he wanted, and if I'd ended up with him it would be the same way. I remember the last contact I had with him when he called me in January - how he started whining about all his problems, not taking responsibility for anything that was "wrong" with him, and begging me to get DH to leave him alone. I was so stupid not to see what a ridiculous excuse for a man he is. And in the process, I made myself into a ridiculous excuse for a human being, wife, mother, and woman.

Originally Posted By: GloveOil
My wife has forgiven me, and I do accept that, because it's a forgiveness that's tangible to me -- I can see, hear, & feel it every day. Seeing, hearing, feeling her, I cannot do her the disservice of suggesting that her forgiveness is not good enough for me. I can only be grateful for it.


And there, to me, is one of my sticking points. DH's forgiveness matters more to me than anyone else's, even God's. I know that's not how I should feel as a Christian, but there it is. Maybe it is because DH's forgiveness would be more tangible to me that God's is. We talked some last night, I did what DNM suggested and sat down and talked to him about my day. It had stuck with me from his email about how I was maybe worried about what other people think, and I realized that that wasn't true. I told him I didn't care about what other people thought of me - the only person whose opinion of me mattered was his. I know, that ultimately my own opinion of myself matters too, but right now I can't focus on that.

Originally Posted By: GloveOil
I don't know why I don't quite feel that way yet about God's forgiveness. When I'm alone with God, as it were, I feel the heavy chain that I've forged myself, slung across my shoulders. I fully expect to feel it until my last breath. I do expect it to be finally lifted then, and only then, and I guess that's what passes for "faith" for me. Well, says somewhere that it only has to be as big as a mustard seed, so there...

Now sometimes, for little whiles, I can forget that the chain's there. When I'm watching my son raptly sponging up some science program on TV. When I'm listening to my daughter sing like an angel in her high school choir. When I'm busting my butt at the office. When I'm patrolling center field & hoping for every batter to hit the ball my way so I can have the challenge of tracking it down. Whenever I'm with my wife -- because she accepts me. I'm willing to consider that perhaps all of these things are in some way God's doing, perhaps as some divine preview that He's given me.

I think if I stitch enough of those times together, and fill in the gaps between them by doing good things to care for those I love, and for total strangers, I'll be able to drag this chain to somewhere, maybe at God's feet, where I can dump it someday. When I think how much bleaker outcomes there could be than this, I can't really complain or brood on it any more than this right here. If that even makes sense...


That's amazing, GO...and maybe that's exactly right. God gives us a memory for a reason, which is why "forgiving and forgetting" is so impossible for us mere humans. And it's not that He forgives and forgets either - He just chooses not to hold our sins against us. I guess the goal is to emulate Him by not holding our own sins against ourselves. Separate the sin from the sinner, the action from the person. But it sure is hard to do that.

I've been reading a great book, From Shame to Grace, by Lewis Smedes. It talks about shame vs. guilt. How shame is feeling bad about WHO we are, while guilt is feeling bad about what we've DONE. That actions don't necessarily make us who we are. Along the same lines I've been reading Every Thought Captive by Jerusha Clark, which is written towards women, but gets into destructive patterns of thinking and how we can learn to regulate our thought life.

Of course reading is great, but application...don't misunderstand, the books are wonderful and have a lot of excellent advice, but I can still read through a chapter and think, "That's great, but as for me, I'm still a (fill in the blank with your choice of nasty descriptors)."

Originally Posted By: Chris Tomlin
My chains are gone, I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace


I thought of that when you talked about wearing your chain. I have a chain of my own. And at the point DH and I are at, it's difficult for me not to feel its weight constantly. I used to love my job, and be able to lose myself in it. Now I barely have my head on straight here. I spend most of the workday on these boards reading and digesting information, seeking inspiration. When I get home, seeing DH again reminds me of that chain, and his withdrawal from me makes it heavier and heavier...every night he doesn't kiss me goodnight is another weight. Every morning he doesn't say goodbye is another weight. Every time he won't meet my eyes or look at me is another weight. Every time the girls hug him or tell him they love him is another weight. Even each time the girls hug me and tell me they love me and what a good mommy I am is another weight. I want to get to the point where I can forget about the weight of that chain, the weight of what I've done for at least a little while. I want to see DH light up when he sees me come into a room. I want to see his smile again. I want to see him smiling at me.

I believe we have the tools to make it there, but the journey is just so hard and so long. I told him last night that I had made my decision and that was to not give up on him. He means that much to me.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
wulffpack_girl #2429657 09/24/10 10:07 AM
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yay! I texted him and asked if he wanted to have lunch w/me today, he texted back no b/c he needed to be @ home waiting on a delivery. So I said I would probably come home for lunch then, I could stop & bring us something. He said OK, he was kind of hungry since he'd been up since 2 am. So, yay! smile

BTW, I asked last night about coaching with the Harleys - he's on the fence, said he didn't know. I asked if he minded if I set up a session for me and he said no, I didn't have to ask. I told him that I believed that having his agreement on things was important and $200 was a big chunk of change...anyway I said I'd be setting something up and would let him know when it was so if he wanted to join in he would be welcome.


FWW

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~ Earl Wilson
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