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Originally Posted by maritalbliss
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You see MB's response - I'll add to that. Seeing what they are probably isn't as important as what they represent, and your willingness to destroy them, and allowing him to participate in that, will be a signal of commitment to recovery.
I'll elaborate on mine, as well:
It was important for me to see all the items he had because I needed to visually process them as tawdry 'affair items' and not something romantically magical. I needed to give them less power than my mind wanted to.

So, I saw them. Yep. A "love" coupon book like you would buy in a cheap novelty store at the mall. My first thought was "HOW old was she???" laugh A couple of mash notes that made me embarrassed for her, the poor little tramp. Poor spelling, poor penmanship...she should have used Word and spell check, LOL. Things like that.

Once I saw them, I had power over them and 'owned' them.

Now, athena's H may have no need or desire to do that. That's up to him. It was therapeutic for me.

Not to mention, it's a gesture of Openness and Honesty...


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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You are giving him a choice to end the A. He didn't have a choice in you starting the A. You would be showing him that choices in your life aren't just you choosing, but you both choosing.

To do this you have to be Open and Honest. You also come together to make decisions (POJA) that are best for you two as a married dynamic duo.

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Originally Posted by maritalbliss
I'll elaborate on mine, as well:
It was important for me to see all the items he had because I needed to visually process them as tawdry 'affair items' and not something romantically magical. I needed to give them less power than my mind wanted to.

So, I saw them. Yep. A "love" coupon book like you would buy in a cheap novelty store at the mall. My first thought was "HOW old was she???" laugh A couple of mash notes that made me embarrassed for her, the poor little tramp. Poor spelling, poor penmanship...she should have used Word and spell check, LOL. Things like that.

Once I saw them, I had power over them and 'owned' them.

Now, athena's H may have no need or desire to do that. That's up to him. It was therapeutic for me.

So true. If he wants to see them, then let him see them and answer his questions about them.

You'll probably be surprised by how silly much of it seems when evaluated in the light of day.

ETA: If he does make fun of something.. as Bliss pointed out, it can be easy to do... then don't YOU defend the "romantic notion" behind it.

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Kudos to all you posters on here!!! What great advice you have given Athena! I spent roughly 4 hours or so reading ALL of the posts on this thread. WOW

Athena, I have to give you credit. I can only imagine just how hard it is to be going through the withdrawal. I saw my WH go through it a few times during his EA before he moved out. It was NOT pretty. He was depressed, withdrawn, nasty, moody..... you name it. I do believe his EA is now a PA.... it's been going on for roughly 10 months as of now I believe.

From all the research I have done on this, you very much were like a drug addict. Drugs "fog" your brain. The drug of choice, your A and that POSOM, raised the dopamine and the norepinephrine in your brain and lowered your seratonin. The seratonin is what makes you make rational decisions. The A did the same thing that drugs such as coke and heroin do to a person.... they make you feel good. Well, when you feel good you wanna keep on doing it, right? WRONG! If it feels too good to be true, it usually is!!! And, an affair is NO different! Satan is great at ensuring these type of feelings.....

The thing that always threw me for a loop during my WH A (then and now) was that he said the kids were his #1 priority. Ok, honestly, you can tell yourself that in your fog but in reality the only one who is #1 is yourself. If the kids were your #1 priority, you wouldn't be in this mess. You wouldn't be ok with lying to your kids about where you have been, doing, etc. He lied to the POSOW (who was supposed to be a very close friend of mine) about things about me. She was always telling me things he said, and the majority of the things he was telling her was stretched truth. He was doing this I am sure to get her sympathy, to make me look like a horrible wife, AND to JUSTIFY what he was doing. You can justify and rationalize all you want.... but there is NO excuse for going outside of your marriage to have your needs met.

I was glad to read that you finally realized that your BH wasn't meeting your needs b/c you weren't telling him what needs you had! The same goes for my WH. I was constantly telling him what I needed/wanted, but he wasn't telling me any different. If you aren't being told what the other person's needs are or that you need something different, you assume that you are meeting that person's wants/needs just fine. I am sure you felt anger and resentment. I know that I made my needs known and when they weren't met, that's EXACTLY how I felt. And then, he left me..... and she left her BH..... The fact of the matter was that myself and her BH were the ones who weren't getting our needs met but we were trying to remain unselfish and work through it. I have read that the person who seeks an affair is usually the person least invested in the marriage. After reading your posts, I can totally see that. No offense to you, however, if you would have been invested in your marriage more, I am sure you would have tried harder to have needs met across the board.

Having said that, I hope that what I have said resonates inside somewhat. In order to be invested in your marriage now, you HAVE to meet his needs and participate in the marriage. That's the only way a successful marriage works. If there is only one person constantly giving and giving and the other just receives, it becomes a one way street. I would hate for you to continue down that path... you have come so far.

Give your H, your marriage, adn family the chance they ALL deserve. YOU CAN DO IT!!! You are off to a great start.... Keep it up and I am sure you WON'T regret it. You will soon look back and think, "wow... how on earth did I become that woman?" You own't be proud of the woman you were but you will be so happy to see the woman that you ARE BECOMING!!!!! Good luck to you and keep up the GREAT work!!!!!


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Hi all. Thought I'd post an update since it's been a while.

BH and I just got back from a 2 week tropical holiday (took grandparents and the kids too). It started off nice. I figured being away from home was a great way to focus and put in the effort and "act" on my plan. I was affectionate and complimented him and was playful. He was nice and stepped out of his comfort zone a bit. We were having a lovely time.

Then, here I was in a beautiful and romantic place, looking out over the ocean, lying in my husbands arms in the water ... and I felt NOTHING. God did that hurt - I was sickened by it. And in that hurt, I thought of OM. I wanted to be happy and enjoy a place like that and the only person who I wanted to be with in that moment was OM. I had been able to go a whole week without thinking about him (my longest stretch yet), only to have him pop into my mind and set me right back.

BH noticed my mood change and asked me about it a couple of times. But we were around my folks or the kids and couldn't get into anything heavy, so I denied it. Plus, I didn't want to talk about it while on vacation. To be honest, I don't want to talk about it at all, even now.

I am sympathetic and empathetic to him. I feel like me walking away is the best way to stop hurting him because how many more times does a guy want to hear that you don't find him attractive or interesting anymore? I should be O&H with him, but it seems we only ever talk about kids, house, other stuff and when it is about us, it is me complaining about him. When it is only bad news, who wants to listen?

We suck at the UA - and I know that is a critical component of MB. I will admit that I am not doing my part to make it happen, but he is not trying either. And his lack of action is not attractive to me. I suppose I should tell him that.

I know I will get 2x4 for this, but with OM, that kind of conversation would have been easy to have. I would have just said what I wanted to and we would have had an open and honest talk about it. And I am missing that, terribly. BH and I never were good at talking - he will fully admit that too. I know that we can practice and just start going through the motions, but it would be more intimate than I want to be with him - he is like a stranger to me. Well, more than a stranger - he is like a friend or a brother. Someone I care about and don't want to see hurting, but not someone I want to be intimate with.

I read something on here before about overcoming an aversion - is that perhaps where I am at?



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You have to persevere as it is early days when compared to the length of time of your affair. Your OM was in your face five days a week and on your mind seven days a week. The recovery processes is going to long and hard , every time you think of the OM and allow him airtime in your brain you are back to the beginning. There is no magic wand to wave to recover your love for your husband, it will seem like hard work however it is far less than the time and effort you spent on the affair.

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If you and your husband decided to change the course of the marriage and separate you would be in the same position possibly even worse. You are pining for the OM, it is a fantasy you seek. Until you completely take the OM out of the equation no man no matter who they are will compare to the OM and therein lays your problem you are still comparing, read the words of your posts.

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Originally Posted by athena99
redflag redflag redflag We suck at the UA - and I know that is a critical component of MB. I will admit that I am not doing my part to make it happen, but he is not trying either. And his lack of action is not attractive to me. I suppose I should tell him that. redflag redflag redflag

It's all right here, everything.

If you aren't doing this, NOTHING will work.

No feelings?

20+ hours per week!

That's a minimum of 3 hours per day on work days, and more on weekends.

If you are not committing to this, then you don't "want it to work," you just want to say that you want it to work so you seem like a "good person."


I am NOT in love with my FWW right now, Athena - not because of her adultery, not because I am not attracted to her, not because we are incompatible, not because of any of that crap everyone wants to float around believing... I am not in love with her because we got comfortable and failed to keep up our UA time.

THAT'S ALL IT TAKES!


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

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Athena, maybe your husband has been trying and doing everything he can do. Maybe he can sense the things you are feeling and it is killing him inside to know that the woman he loves is thinking about the om and would rather be with him. To his credit he is still there trying to give you a chance but I guess ultimately it's up to you. I know I don't want to be with my wife if she doesn't love me, I have done hurtful things to my wife early in our marriage. I had a couple of affairs and one with her best friend that she just found out about after her affair that we are working thru.

Her affair went on for 6 to 9 months and she was in love with him and wanted to be with him. When we are intimate it feels awkward and why I have no idea, I mainly wonder if she is thinking about him and doing it only because she feels she has to or dreads it because I don't make her satisfied like he did and how if our SF was so good before why it feels like I can do nothing right now. The emotional damage has caused me trouble in bed, I am not sure if it's not feeling the love form her or because I feel like I am being compared to someone else.
Sorry I am hi jacking your thread, good luck and just know maybe he is feeling like he has lost you and is stuck in limbo trying to give you space and figure out what he is going to do. No one wants to give everything to someone and feel like it's going unrecognized or that their errors is going for nothing..eventually they can't take the rejection and the hurt and the pain and they give up but not because they don't love you but because they feel you don't love them.

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Originally Posted by athena99
I am sympathetic and empathetic to him. I feel like me walking away is the best way to stop hurting him because how many more times does a guy want to hear that you don't find him attractive or interesting anymore? I should be O&H with him, but it seems we only ever talk about kids, house, other stuff and when it is about us, it is me complaining about him. When it is only bad news, who wants to listen?

The solution to falling out of love is to work to turn it around. The ideal situation would be to be in a passionate relationship with your husband. In order to achieve that you have to give your marriage the same attention you gave your affair.

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We suck at the UA - and I know that is a critical component of MB. I will admit that I am not doing my part to make it happen, but he is not trying either. And his lack of action is not attractive to me. I suppose I should tell him that.
\
You should take action. Instead of complaining about his lack of action, you should take action yourself. YOU wrecked this marriage, so it will be up to you to lead it out of the ditch. You need to be rendering first aide to your victim. And what do you do? You sit on the sidelines and cry that your beating victim is bleeding. How silly is that, Athena? Render first aide and stop crying.

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I know I will get 2x4 for this, but with OM, that kind of conversation would have been easy to have.

No shytt, Sherlock. And you would have those same kind of conversations in your marriage if you would stop neglecting it.

You are the homeowner who refuses to make any repairs on her home for YEARS and then complains it is a dump. The roof has holes, the doors are falling off, the walls are filthy. So what do you do? You complain that it is a dump. IT IS A DUMP BECAUSE YOU ARE A SLUM LORD!

On the other hand, you take immaculate care of your weekend condo and love going there. The walls are freshly painted, the roof is in good repair because you give have given extraordinary care to your condo. You took care of it every day for YEARS so, of course it is a wonderful, comfortable place to be.

You have made your home [marriage] a DUMP, Athena, and have instead given all your attention to the condo. [another woman's husband in an affair]

The solution to turning your marriage around is to stop neglecting it. STOP NEGLECTING YOUR MARRIAGE AND THEN COMPLAINING IT IS A DUMP! Stop being a freeloader in your marriage and a buyer in your affair.

Freeloader is unwilling to put much effort into the care of his or her partner in a romantic relationship. He or she does only what comes naturally and expects only what comes naturally. It's like a person who tries to live in a house without paying rent or doing anything to improve it unless the person is in the mood to do so.

Buyer is willing to demonstrate an extraordinary sense of care by making permanent changes in his or her own behavior and lifestyle to make the romantic relationship mutually fulfilling. Solutions to problems are long-term solutions and must work well for both partners because the romantic relationship is viewed as exclusive and permanent. It's like a person who buys a house for life with a willingness to make repairs that accomodate changing needs, painting the walls, installing new carpet, replacing the roof, and even doing some remodeling so that it can be comfortable and useful.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted by lovemywifesc
Her affair went on for 6 to 9 months and she was in love with him and wanted to be with him. When we are intimate it feels awkward and why I have no idea, I mainly wonder if she is thinking about him and doing it only because she feels she has to or dreads it because I don't make her satisfied like he did and how if our SF was so good before why it feels like I can do nothing right now.

It feels awkward because you have grown apart. Any new habit feels awkward at first. The solution is to continue until you DON'T FEEL awkward anymore.

Originally Posted by DR Harley
Those first dates will prove to both of you how incompatible you have become over the past few years. Conversations will be contrived and awkward, and finding mutually enjoyable activities may prove to be almost impossible. But if you can stick to it for a few weeks, you will find yourselves warming up to each other, and you will make the re-connection that you need to rekindle your love for each other.
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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I've been away for quite a while - I think I was becoming obsessed with other people's drama and needed a break. However, I thought I'd pop back on and get some focus - I've been backsliding a lot lately. I went searching and found the following response that has helped a lot - thanks JustLearning ... your advice from waaaay back is still doing good.

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/u...2075568&Searchpage=1&Main=151262

We are still struggling with getting the UA time in and as the above link draws attention to, I am not terribly interested in SF with BH right now. But as JL said, I think I need to show BH some compassion as I know this isn't easy on him either. But I feel that just talking to him about it hurts him even more. So I avoid it and we get no further ahead. Not surprised.

Also, a question ... I am struggling with making a request of BH. He has had facial hair for over 10 years and I never had a problem with it because we rarely kissed. Now that we are trying to regain our intimacy, I am very aware of how much it doesn't appeal to me. Is it fair of me to make a request that he shave? Or is that something better dealt with at a later date once we've tried to work past it? He would shave in a heartbeat if I asked, but I don't want to ask him if you all think it is a selfish thing to request. I feel like it is something that shouldn't matter once we have regained our intimacy, but I can't get past it right now.

Thanks guys and gals!


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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Freeloader is unwilling to put much effort into the care of his or her partner in a romantic relationship. He or she does only what comes naturally and expects only what comes naturally. It's like a person who tries to live in a house without paying rent or doing anything to improve it unless the person is in the mood to do so.

Buyer is willing to demonstrate an extraordinary sense of care by making permanent changes in his or her own behavior and lifestyle to make the romantic relationship mutually fulfilling. Solutions to problems are long-term solutions and must work well for both partners because the romantic relationship is viewed as exclusive and permanent. It's like a person who buys a house for life with a willingness to make repairs that accomodate changing needs, painting the walls, installing new carpet, replacing the roof, and even doing some remodeling so that it can be comfortable and useful.


BTW MelodyLane - You nailed it! I am a freeloader in soooo many ways (marriage, work, home, kids, ...). Thanks for identifying this for me - I have been giving this a lot of thought the last few weeks. Sadly, I haven't been acting on it much and that is something I need to work on.


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A request is not selfish.
A demand is.

"How would you feel about shaving the facial hair?"

Let the POJA start.

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Is it fair of me to make a request that he shave?
Sure. "Honey, I'd love to see you clean-shaven. What do you think about that?"

NOT

"Earl, you wanna know why I won't touch you? It's that disgusting crap on your face! You look like a walking rug!Shave it or you're cut off permanently!"

You know what I mean wink


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Originally Posted by athena99
We are still struggling with getting the UA time in and as the above link draws attention to, I am not terribly interested in SF with BH right now.

Hi athena. I saw that you've read strugglingaz's thread. Didn't you love what Mrs. Wondering shared, especially this part:

Quote
by August we took a road trip and listened to His Needs/Her Needs on CD together and that marked a big turning point in our recovery -- I began to feel a real connection with Mr. W again...[and why did I begin to "feel" that way? look at what I was doing...road trip alone with Mr. W - focused on our marriage and what we could do to make it the best it could be...]

Do you think you could plan some time with your H like this?


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Actually, spring break is coming up and we've arranged for the kids to spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa. We'll have lots of time together without distraction (all day except during work) - we only have to plan how to use that time effectively.


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Originally Posted by athena99
Actually, spring break is coming up and we've arranged for the kids to spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa. We'll have lots of time together without distraction (all day except during work) - we only have to plan how to use that time effectively.

That is a great opportunity!! hurray Can we help you do some creative planning?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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p.s. I agree with the others that you should tell him about being clean shaven. You are doing him a FAVOR by telling him this and I applaud you for starting to think along these lines.

It is unspoken issues in marriage that cause superficiality and a lack of intimacy. Keep giving him feedback, Athena.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
That is a great opportunity!! hurray Can we help you do some creative planning?


Absolutely! I need help.


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