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I recommended the letter because I really don't think his BW knows that he REALLY wants to save the marriage.
I gotcha, JW, and while I would normally suggest that a repentent WS 'put it all out there' in his attempt to reconcile, he has already shown her actions that have contradicted his words. He is now considered a liar by her. And we always counsel a BS to watch what the WS does, not what he says. His wife doesn't even know us, and she's reacting like a healthy BS - avoiding fancy promises and looking for positive actions. I applaud her for taking care of herself.


D-Day 2-10-2009
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I am interested in hearing what TexasBob's actions are in regards to his pornography use. How was it done in the past? Was it on the computer? videos? magazines? How often? How did your BW find out about it? Would you consider yourself a porn addict?


BW(Me)aka Scotty:37
DSx2: 10,12
DDAY2(PA)Nov27/09
Plan B Dec18/09
Personal R in works
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Newly Betrayed click here


Praying for walls and doors. Thanx MM

Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.
? Maya Angelou

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

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Originally Posted by TexasBob
It was that bad Jim? frown
Bob, it's TOO MUCH! You are laying it all out there (nothing bad with being honest, mind you) but this isn't the place to do it!

Consider: You have harmed another human being in the worst possible way. Now you are coming to her, trying to insinuate yourself back into her life. She is going to be reluctant, at best, to consider your pleas.

If you must consider giving her a plea, consider this one:

My dearest BW,
Well, I've certainly messed up the pure thing we began with, didn't I. I cannot tell you how badly I regret my actions that have caused you so much pain and damaged the wonderful marriage we had.

I love you. I love fill in the names of your children. If I could take back what I did, I would in a heartbeat.

You are my precious piece of gold. And I treated you like Fool's Gold. I will regret that forever.

Please reconsider divorce. There is so much good left for us to discover together as a family.

I love you.
Bob


D-Day 2-10-2009
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Thank you all for the help. I will respond to how I plan to change, tomorrow. Right now I'm spending some time with my kids at our church's Christmas party.

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Hi, Bob. I encourage you to continue with your plan of action for making changes in yourself to be a better man. Whether or not your marriage continues, your kids need a father they can look up to, and count on to put their welfare first in his life. Whether or not your marriage survives, your wife needs for you to be an honorable and dependable man who will be her partner in raising the children you both love.

My WH and I are in recovery now. I stopped our divorce ONE WEEK before the court date. It can be done, but it isn't easy, and it isn't fun. He showed me by his actions how much he had changed. We are slowly beginning to rediscover the feelings we once had for each other, and I feel hopeful for the future.


Realize what you are asking of your wife, Bob. You are asking her to let you get close enough to hurt her again. You are asking her to leave the safety of her emotional detachment, and to once again have feelings for you, either positive or negative. The emotional never never land is the place of safety for a betrayed spouse, and you want her to step back into the storm again. If humility is not your primary emotion, then you need to leave her alone. If you picture what you want to happen, and it involves you being happy and content, then you need to leave her alone, because those are selfish motives.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey of change.


http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2399446#Post2399446
FBS- me, 53
FWH-53
Married 34 yrs
DD 27 and 30, DS 19 (disabled)
after 2nd DDay, filed for D Dec 09 (me)
6-6-10 WH moved in with OW
7-3-10 WH returned home
taking recovery one day at a time

"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:18-19
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It has become a sleepless night for me and rather than lay here in the dark I thought I might develop a plan for personal change. First and foremost I've begun to lead a gospel centered life. Our religion is very important in our family and I let it fall by the way side for the last 12 years and just went through the motions if you will. I have weekly accountability meetings with my bishop to track progress and work through any hiccups along the way to full fellowship. I've been very impulsive with money and decision making. On my own now I've had to learn thrifty spending, started a small savings account, and I only buy that which I need and not what I want. The pornographic material that I would view was on the computer and I have not brought a computer into my rental. If I need a computer I go to the library where there is no temptation. This has really curbed the problem. I continue to go to an Addiction Recovery Program for the temptation of pornography, which is like 12 steps for AA on a weekly basis. I also see a clinical psychologist. When I'm around my wife I try to be as helpful as possible. Last night after the kids and I went to the Christmas party I put all their coats and shoes away then offered to get them ready for bed. I don't try to linger when I'm around and I only contact her if it regards kids or bills. I know space and time are things she wants so I try and respect that. I'm being very supportive of her work and viewing it as her motivation rather than the thing that took precedence over family. I recognize that this was a selfish thought I held on to and used it to cause contention in the house. The one area I'm just learning about are the boundaries around the opposite sex. I never clued into that but admit it has been an issue. Currently I'm more like a hermit here at the house, but when I do venture out I don't associate with women at places like the gym, or playground when I'm with my kids. I think this is a continued step but right now just setting the mind frame of being aware of when I'm around women and how I talk to them. Like am I flirty or a concerned parent or professional. I think less interaction the better for now. When I talk to my wife it's nothing but words of kindness. I don't get mad or upset regarding the divorce realizing that this is my doing. Sprouting roots of fear by being upset is not what I want to potray to her or the kids. I show an ever more increase in love for my girls during this separation. Like I said, I make myself available for my wife whenever she needs. Often our visitation schedule has become obsolete because of her need to add days so she can go here or there for work. She told me last week in an email that she does see progress in my efforts and therefore is more trusting with me to have the kids more than the minimums set by the schedule. I've taken a few gifts to her, the most recent though I left as a secret Santa gift. I plan to continue with all of these building blocks regardless of the outcome as I will always have my children and myself to take care of.

With that said, this list may not be what you were expecting me to post and I'm aware of that. I may have missed the mark as I am hard pressed thinking how I can change my dealings so that I meet my wife's ENs. This is why I am here and why I'm soaking up everyone's knowledge and experience. I know that you have experience with some things that i must impliment that ive missed as part of a plan and i welcome all suggestions eagerly. Again, words can not express how appreciative I am for everyone's care and concern for my family that you would help me take steps to becoming the man I should have been all along.

Last edited by TexasBob; 12/12/10 10:15 AM.
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Okay, this is a good list. You're working hard, Bob, and it's noticeable.

One suggestion: Do not tell you wife what you're doing. You will defeat your goal. She has to realize what you're doing, not be presented with it by you.


D-Day 2-10-2009
Fully Recovered and Better Than Ever!
Thank you Marriage Builders!

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Had some opportunities to serve my W today by shoveling the drive way and sidewalk this morning and just a minute ago when blizzard conditions forced her and the kids off the road. What was comforting was I was the first she called. The kids asked her if she was calling 911, she said no, I'm calling your dad. Everyone is safe at home.

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@TB -

What are you doing about the admiration need that you have. Have you been focusing on yourself with this?

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I think that's a good start Bob. Feel admiration in knowing she called you first.

Doing selfless acts like that is a good start, but it has to become commonplace. She has to see change in action. Mel's letter idea is a good start. Maybe even that with some flowers attached and some cookies home baked for your kids accompanying that sweet plan a type letter?

I would talk to a MB counselor on getting a recovery plan in place for you, let your bw find out about your plan and how you and A PROFESSIONAL are working on it, and how you are actively seeking help for your lack of control with emotions, sexual behaviors, and even responsible choices w/finances.

Faith without works is empty. Show her faith and works. You can have all the faith, be a Christian in spirit, but if there is no fruit to that faith and works accompanying it, it's meaningless to a woman who has lost faith in your marriage and lost faith in you being a husband.


Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right. ~Jane Goodall
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Well I composed the letter, combining the revised draft that was shortened down and the plea that was submitted. I gave it to her along with the NC letters ready to be mailed the night I rescued her and the kids out of the ditch. Nothing has been said about it, but I noticed yesterday her texts were all on the business end. She asked yesterday if I want the kids today so I'll see her this morning and tonight. I doubt it will be discussed around the kids. Actions are my tool now, as they will speak louder than my words.

Clark Kent, to answer your question about admiration, I really don't know. While I did feel good about getting the call, I knew she would put the event on Facebook, even used the picture I took of her car in the ditch the next morning, but no mention of me helping. I had offered my car to her in the meantime and to help arrange and even pay to pull it out but didn't hear back from her. On my way to an appointment I came up to the stuck vehicle and my neighbor's truck as he tried to pull it out. He was alone so I thought I'd stop and help. We got it out and she thanked me but was sure to put him in her Facebook post. So ya, it's eating me up. I know I'm the bottom of the barel and I should take my scraps and like it, but I guess that's what you mean when you asked that. So, I haven't found anything to substitute and meet that EN.

Last edited by TexasBob; 12/14/10 06:51 AM.
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@TexasBob -

Can you do this for two-three years?

You've started Plan A?

If so, what are her top 5 ENs? In your position which of the 4 intimate needs are/will you be able to meet?

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@TexasBob -

You know that your wife is in Plan Divorce. If she called you for help, you should be singing and rejoicing. I would not look at it being the bottom of the barrel, getting the scraps. Your BS in Plan D gave you one of the greatest gifts. She was telling you that she was vulnerable and needed help. And you did a good job by protecting her and providing. Your admiration should come from this not some dumb azz post on Facebook.

I can't stress this enough. She is in Plan D and yet she called you for help.

It seems to me that your Taker is involved here. This might be rhetorical, but why didn't you tell her that in order for you to help her then she must document it on Facebook. Wouldn't that have been more honest and open? You must understand that you must be able to do these things (GIVER) without any expectations of any return.

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So, I haven't found anything to substitute and meet that EN.

IMHO, this is nasty and what lead you to your affairs. ENs are met by the people in our lives. There should only be one person meeting your intimate needs, YOUR WIFE.

There can be no substitute!

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Hello TexasBob,

Having read your thread, I just wanted to add a few words of encouragement.
I am a BW and it is no longer possible for me to reconcile with WH. Too much damage has been done by now, not that he tried or will ever try. But if he did, reconciliation is impossible, even for the sake of our 4 little girls. I just wanted to add a perspective of a BW. I wanted to say something about the list of things you did to her in the past. When WH had his A and treated me so badly I started to look carefully at his past actions and I realised that his behaviour even before the A was not good. However, when you love someone you see them through a soft-focus filter and tend to minimise their actions. Now that the love is no longer there, it's as if I can see him now in the harsh light of day and I realise that he is not a good man to be married to.
I don't think your wife is there. I think she has not closed that door. She wants to believe you are capable of change but her logical mind is telling her she's mad. You know the definition of madness - doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
People are asking very good questions about your stamina and if you are pacing yourself appropriately for this long race. If I may say, your wife is doing you a favour by making you work harder, by not allowing you back in too soon. You need to become a man worth being married to and that won't happen overnight. You are trying to change the habits of a lifetime and don't underestimate the effort that will require. Taking the time to ensure that change is real and enduring is a good thing for you so maybe you should tell yourself this if you feel yourself getting impatient and resentful.
But on another note, I just want to encourage you in your goal. You have 3 little girls and whether or not you stay married to their mother you will ALWAYS be their father and always be their number 1 role model of what a man is and how he should behave. Behave in a way that you would like the husbands of your daughters to behave and they will come to expect that kind of standard of any man they will be involved with.
I want to wish you the very best of luck in your efforts.


Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
Maya Angelou
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@tully -

Good post!

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If I may say, your wife is doing you a favour by making you work harder, by not allowing you back in too soon. You need to become a man worth being married to and that won't happen overnight. You are trying to change the habits of a lifetime and don't underestimate the effort that will require. Taking the time to ensure that change is real and enduring is a good thing for you so maybe you should tell yourself this if you feel yourself getting impatient and resentful.

I was trying to think what to say concerning this. His standards for himself needs to be very high.

You are right on.

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Okay, you gave her the letter and she started acting differently. That means she read your intentions and put her wall up to defend herself from getting hurt again. It's a natural reaction. It's your job now in the coming months/years to slowly chip down that wall. It may seem overwhelming now, but you'll never chip it down if you don't start now and keep at it.

As for the facebook post, who give a hoot? It's a GD facebook post. Do you need to look good in front of her friends. Right now, she would probably hide anything good your do, or any intention of getting back with you because her current support group is probably counseling her to be done with you. She doesn't want to alienate herself from her support group.

As far as filling the void of admiration, how about getting some self-confidence? Why do you need constant validation. Do something that will make you feel good about yourself like going to the gym and getting in shape or volunteering for charity.


Jim

BS - 32 (me)
FWW - 33
Married 8/31/03
No kids (but 3 cats)
D-Days - 8/25/06 (EA), 11/3/06 (PA)
NC agreed to - 11/8/06
NC broken - 11/28/06, 12/16/06, 1/18/07, 1/26/07, 1/27/07
Status - In Recovery
Jim's Story
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While I did feel good about getting the call, I knew she would put the event on Facebook, even used the picture I took of her car in the ditch the next morning, but no mention of me helping.

Bob - this is the kind of stuff that leads to narcissism (also known as being an attention addict).

Did you only go help your wife because you thought you'd get strokes, attention and reward for it?

Or did you do it because it would help your wife (whom you claim to love), because it might be a step towards healing your marriage (which you claim to want) and - most important of all - because it would help YOU to feel inwardly good about YOU.

This kind of thing sets off red flags for me because my XWH, though he started out a wonderful man, allowed himself to become a full-blown narcissist and sex addict once he started working in a large corporate environment and started climbing the ladder of success there. He was like a crackhead going to work in a crackhouse every day.

It wasn't long before his every action with everyone, especially with his wife and kids, had a price tag - and that price tag was always, "What's in it for me? How much attention and reward and public stroking can I get from this?"

Doing something simply because it was the right thing to do - with the reward being *that he could feel good about himself* - is not something he understands or wants.

Only outside strokes and attention work for him. Feeling good from the *inside* simply from doing the right thing is an entirely foreign concept.

It's also the hallmark of narcissism.

That's why you worry me.

Trying to live with a narcissist is a sickening reality. You realize that they care nothing about you personally - they only see you as a source of attention and strokes. Yes, if my car had been stuck in a ditch and I called XWH, he might have helped but *only* if he knew he would get huge public attention and stroking for it from me and from everybody else who heard about it, especially if they were female.

That's why I have not spoken to him in 2-1/2 years. I cannot stand the thought of trying to interact with him again because I know how it would be. I'd rather shove my hand down the garbage disposal. It would be less painful.

Now, I have no problem with someone's top EN being Admiration. But you've got to understand - Admiration must first come from *inside yourself*. That's what is meant by Self-respect, Self-worth and Self-validation. This is what is meant by "staying grounded".

Once you've got that, then Admiration from outside sources will be enjoyed but it will not become an overwhelming drug.

If it doesn't start from within, no amount of Admiration will ever be enough no matter how hard you try to find it from outside. (How did that work for you? That's what led you to your affair, you know. XWH did the same thing, but too much was never enough.)

You worry me because of this.

What do you do that allows *you* to feel good about *yourself* from the *inside*?


Me, BW
WH cheated in corporate workplace for many years. He moved out and filed in summer 2008.
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As far as filling the void of admiration, how about getting some self-confidence? Why do you need constant validation. Do something that will make you feel good about yourself like going to the gym and getting in shape or volunteering for charity.

Yes. If you need constant validation from outside sources, it means you have nothing validating you from the inside. What can you do that lets YOU feel good about YOU?

Once you do that, the outside sources of Admiration will mean far more because they will be genuine.


Me, BW
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There is an old saying: "Character is what you do in the dark."

It's usually further explained as, "If you knew for certain you would not be caught, would you steal money, steal property, harm someone you don't like, etc. etc."

Someone with Self-respect and Self-worth would answer "No, because I would know even if no one else did, and I'd feel like crap about myself and I don't want to feel that way."

A narcissist would answer, "F--- yeah! If I don't get caught, then why not?"

The other side of the Character question is this: "If you knew for certain that you would not be rewarded, praised or acknowledged in any way, would you still do something good and kind for someone else?"

A person with Self-respect and Self-worth would answer, "Of course I would, because I'd still feel good about myself for helping someone else."

A narcissist would answer, "F---, no. Why would I? What's in it for me?"

Here is a very interesting MB thread concerning narcissism (also called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD):

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2336925&page=1



Me, BW
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This might be rhetorical, but why didn't you tell her that in order for you to help her then she must document it on Facebook. Wouldn't that have been more honest and open?

Exactly. If you do things for people solely for the reward you expect to get *from them*, then for god's sake be honest with them and tell them that that's why you're doing it.

Otherwise, they will entirely misinterpret your actions and will think you are doing these things because you care.

And their world (and yours) is going to be blown wide open when they find out your actions had a price tag attached and THAT's why you were doing them.

In all seriousness, if that is the kind of life you want then you have every right to have it. In all seriousness, there are plenty of women out there who won't care if what you do for them is for selfish reasons or not. In turn, they will blow equally selfish smoke up your butt all day and all night and you can all be very happy together in a narcissistic little world.

But people like your wife WILL care. They do NOT want any man doing things for them because he expects payment in the form of strokes, attention, flirting, sex or whatever.

She will want you to do things for her because you love her and she loves you and you BOTH take care of each other - because THAT is the real reward and anything else is just narcissistic smoke.

I've lived through this. Can you tell?


Me, BW
WH cheated in corporate workplace for many years. He moved out and filed in summer 2008.
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