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First off, I didn't attack you. And secondly, we are not here to discuss your therapist's philosophies, but Dr Harley's views. The purpose of the board is to help people resolve their problems using Dr Harley's program.

If you are going to come on his board and disagree with him, you should expect to be challenged.


"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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A warning to posters to help this poster with Marriage Builders or kindly refrain from posting. The purpose of the forum is to help posters resolve their marriage problems, not to promote personal philosophies. Thank you for your cooperation. Any questions, please send me an email.

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I agree very much that I am an "avoid trouble" liar, but I doubt very much that I would ever get an agreement that I could avoid being told what to do in exchange for being honest.

I haven't really even lied in a while, until this week when DH had already told me to leave the house. I told him I had emailed someone I hadn't - I was in a panic, responding to emails in the car, and shouldn't have in any case. Pure stupidity on my part.

He says that he is tired of waiting for me to change, and that I have turned him into a different person that he doesn't like. He doesn't see that I have changed at all in two years (I think I have, but I don't trust myself at this point).

I'm going over to the house (our house, at least it was) in about 45 minutes to talk - presumably about how we split everything up. Our/my counselor has told me to just be honest and let the chips fall where they do.

I feel like we are in a cycle where we are both making each other worse, and I feel like I can't change that cycle on my own.

Any advice in the next 45 minutes would be great...

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Still in the house (or rather, I will be - spending tonight in a hotel). Current plan is to stick it out until the adoption of our niece is finalized in about 2 - 3 months.

So - should I "plan A" in abundance? He said that he was disappointed that he doesn't think my focus is on making things right to him, that he plans to divorce once the adoption is final, and that I should work until I am "sick" to show him that I am serious about changing things and changing our marriage (which he later amended to "when in doubt, keep working").

Any thoughts, as always, are welcome. He was quite calm, I was rather upset.

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hopestochange, would you consider emailing Dr Harley on his radio show and getting his help? He might be able to pinpoint what you are doing wrong. And he might also be able to persuade your H to get on board here. You don't have to be on the show to get his help and it is FREE. Dr Harley is extremely effective at analyzing problems and coming up with good solutions.

For some reason your husband has lost hope. If you had a plan to turn this around, Dr Harley might be able to persuade him to give this more time.


"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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I think what I am doing wrong is that I don't finish what I start, but I will email Dr. Harley. DH has lost hope because he has heard this all before.

In a sense I do have more time - I have the next couple of months. He was very clear that I should have no expectations that anything I do at this point will change his mind, however.

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Originally Posted By: hopestochange
I think what I am doing wrong is that I don't finish what I start, but I will email Dr. Harley. DH has lost hope because he has heard this all before.

In a sense I do have more time - I have the next couple of months. He was very clear that I should have no expectations that anything I do at this point will change his mind, however.


Hi hopestochange,

Your title caught my eye because my H and I were involved with financial infidelity (and medical infidelity) before he chose marital infidelity. (Yep, he lied by omission when he was taken to the ER from work and I found out months later, the same day I searched his truck looking for a secret phone but found his heart meds on D-Day 1.)

We thought he was a compulsive liar but through the MB book His Needs, Her Needs, we discovered he was a protective liar and avoid trouble liar as well as a self-aggrandizing liar (we learned from another MB book) and had been for all his life due to FOO (family of origin) issues. His parents taught him well.

In HNHN (or maybe it's in the book LoveBusters) Dr. Harley tells how you can know the difference in treatable dishonesty and NON-treatable dishonesty. Most truly compulsive born liars who will never change have a seared conscience and usually end up dead or in jail.

This (and other factors) gave my husband hope that he could change and I see that you have the main thing needed to change (desire to have different results) but need additional motivation. Maybe these ideas will help, maybe not.

1. I strongly suggest you call the MB radio show and get Dr. Harleys personal help. Thats one of the first things that helped us (you might even be able to find our call in the archives Lacey from Montana on Wed. Jan. 31, 2007).

2. Find ways to visualize how good your life is and how much better it can be by reading on the Surviving An Affair forum and comparing your situation to stories there. Youll probably discover that you have much for which to be grateful.

3. Jump into a virtual time machine and picture yourself in the future as a person of integrity who is self-assured that its more valuable to tell the truth and face the consequences with honor than to lie and deal with the ensuing guilt and shame.

4. Focus on changing YOU because youre the only person you can control. Dont change to impress your husband so he changes his mind. That may be a side effect but it its your main focus, you might be distracted by your setbacks and may give up prematurely.

5. Take an extra dose of be patient pills as your dishonesty has been ingrained in you for a long time and will take awhile to overcome. Follow Dr. Harleys suggestions and use the support here when you get weak or discouraged.

My husband chose to change after our 4th D-Day when I gave up and did not challenge him to come back when he headed for the door to go live in his truck. It had been 6 months since his A started and 4 months since our first D-Day, but I had caved and given him another chance after the first 3 D-Days. We had been married for over 30 years and were both in our 50's at the time.

Now our foundation has two major stones:

A. Tell the truth. When you mess up, self-report. (This is for both of us BTW.)

B. Own, apologize and make amends with a good attitude and sincere heart when you mess up.

So far, five years later, those and many other aspects of the MB plans are helping us recover and we are both telling the truth after 30+ years of passive aggressive behaviors, gaslighting and habitual lying.

Based on what Ive read on these last 2 pages of your thread, it seems like your H is giving up like I did. I hope you are successful in changing yourself for YOU and that if he chooses to work with you on this life-changing process, that its not too late.

Best wishes,

Ace

P.S. I had to learn that it was necessary for ME to make it safe for my H to tell the truth. You can't teach your H that, but Dr. Harley could and will when you contact him. I'll be praying for you.

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Originally Posted By: hopestochange
I think what I am doing wrong is that I don't finish what I start, but I will email Dr. Harley. DH has lost hope because he has heard this all before.

In a sense I do have more time - I have the next couple of months. He was very clear that I should have no expectations that anything I do at this point will change his mind, however.


hopestochange, Dr Harley can be a great influence on your husband. I think the basic problem is that your H has not created an environment where you feel SAFE telling the truth. If you will get in trouble because you forget to send an email, then you will a harder time changing your habits. Your H needs to help in this process as outlined in the article I posted about dishonesty. I am hopeful that Dr Harley can talk about the process on the radio and give your husband some hope. He will usually even offer to speak to the spouse.

My other great concern about your recovery is your notion of paying pennance. You cannot have a happy marriage if your past crimes are continually held over your head. Even with the crime of adultery, Dr Harley recommends never bringing it up again once it is fully discussed. Nor should past wrongdoing be used in the future to gain an unfair advantage over that spouse. Dr Harley calls that "secondary gain."


"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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I don't know that my fear is realistic - it probably isn't. I get very worked up and don't think straight. I know that I am exaggerating what will happen if I admit the mistake in the first place (or at least I think I am overstating it). But the emotion *feels* real to me.

Jeez, I just sound crazy now.

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You are not exaggerating if the threat of divorce hangs over your head if you make a mistake. That is a realistic fear.

Did you write Dr Harley?


"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: hopestochange
But the emotion *feels* real to me.


Feelings alone are not truth, but your fear of some type of harm can be very realistic and valid. For example, if you are afraid your H will divorce you if you mess up, that is a very rational, valid fear. It is grounded in reality. If you are afraid there is a man in the moon who is going to swoop down and kill you, that would not be based on reality.

You have the ability to reality test your feelings using your logic. And if a feeling is not based in reality, you can reject it using your powers of reason.


"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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Not yet. I'm going to either do it later tonight or during the day tomorrow. I have a tremendously hard time gathering my thoughts sometimes. Right now I am trying very, very hard to follow through on a promise I made to DH - to clean the house from top to bottom by this weekend. Right now I'm about 70% of the way through the kitchen (largest room in the house). I'm hopeful that if I work until 3 every morning, I should get this done in time.

It's kind of therapeutic to clean.

I feel like DH is constantly focused on what I have done wrong, and sees things very much in black and white. I can't explain why I do things that I do in a way that satisfies him - I feel like emotions aren't always black and white. He's asked me to think about whether or not my way of looking at things (shades of grey) has worked for me; I guess it hasn't.

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Originally Posted By: hopestochange
. Right now I am trying very, very hard to follow through on a promise I made to DH - to clean the house from top to bottom by this weekend. Right now I'm about 70% of the way through the kitchen (largest room in the house). I'm hopeful that if I work until 3 every morning, I should get this done in time.



Is there a reason why you agreed to do this if it keeps you up until 3am? Why did you make this promise? What if you said no? Or what if you change your mind and decide not to do it?


"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: hopestochange


I feel like DH is constantly focused on what I have done wrong, and sees things very much in black and white.


hopestochange, have you read the book, Lovebusters? Telling you that you are wrong is a disrespectful judgement. One of the greatest things about marriage is that it is a blending of two perspectives. He can greatly benefit from your perspective in many ways and should be taking it into account.

I do question the wisdom of cleaning house every night until 3am. That can't be good for your health. Are you sure you should agree to such a thing? Or perhaps there are other ways to get the house cleaned that would not interfere with your sleep. You could either hire a cleaning lady or split the cleaning with your husband.


"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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Again - this is about sacrificing something and following through on something. It's not really about how clean the house is. His theory seems to be that since he sacrificed and went without when we were in the worst throes of the financial problems that I created, I should do the same now (or, rather, that I should have done so earlier).

Right now he wants to keep talking and talking so that he can "come to some kind of peace" so that when we get divorced he "doesn't hate" me anymore.

I think that he would say that he is justified in having a disrespectful judgment towards me as well as having anger towards me, because of the way I have treated him. He says that since it's been two years, there is no hope left (citing this site, actually). It's been two years since he found out about the money.

How would you suggest I start the email to Dr. Harley?

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Originally Posted By: hopestochange
Again - this is about sacrificing something and following through on something. It's not really about how clean the house is. His theory seems to be that since he sacrificed and went without when we were


I gotcha. I would explain to him that sacrifice is bad for marriages and take a pass on his request to clean house all week. Tell him that is a sure fire way to set up resentments and you won't do that to your marriage. His own sacrifice has led to a renters mentality that seeks to settle the score. When the score is not even renters tend to make demands just like your husband is doing.

Don't sacrifice, hopesforchange. Extreme giving leads to extreme taking and it is very destructive.


"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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At this point I kind of want to clean the house just to prove to *myself* that I can do it. wink There is something satisfying about seeing things clean up (and for the record the kitchen is now 85% done. Don't know if I will finish it tonight. Kitchen is the biggest part of the house, leaving aside the basement which will mostly just be throwing stuff out!).

I see your point, but I doubt very much that DH sees it that way. I have heard over and over again that if I had "done something big" early on - a big sacrifice, giving something up of my own accord - things would be different now. At this point I don't know that he'd even be interested in saving our marriage (although he made a point tonight of telling me how much potential he thought we would have had, if not for what I did).

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Quote:
I think that he would say that he is justified in having a disrespectful judgment towards me as well as having anger towards me, because of the way I have treated him. He says that since it's been two years, there is no hope left (citing this site, actually). It's been two years since he found out about the money.


There is no justification for a disrespectful judgement or anger and he can't cite anything from MB that justifies his behavior.


"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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Quote:
I see your point, but I doubt very much that DH sees it that way. I have heard over and over again that if I had "done something big" early on - a big sacrifice, giving something up of my own accord - things would be different now. At this point I don't know that he'd even be interested in saving our marriage (although he made a point tonight of telling me how much potential he thought we would have had, if not for what I did).


That's ok if he doesn't see it that way, though. Just because he believes in sacrifice doesn't mean you should comply. Sacrificing would "lessen" the potential because it is not good for marriages.

It sounds like he is very dictatorial and demanding. Is that correct?


"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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Demanding, yes - he has very high standards. To his credit, he holds himself to them as well (he is as hard on himself as he is on those close to him). I wouldn't say he is dictatorial.

If he believes in sacrifice and I don't comply, then the marriage ends. He's still talking as if divorce is a foregone conclusion, and that we just need to talk through the logistics. It won't happen for a few months, because we need to finalize a pending adoption. His basic attitude is that if he gives me another chance, he will be "sucked in" and hurt again, so he actually wants to try as hard as he can not to change his mind (that's close to a quote).

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