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Please do not argue against Dr. Harley's opinions on another's thread. Please help this poster with Dr Harley's Marriage Builders advice or refrain from posting.

Ariel #2594033 02/05/12 12:15 PM
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We welcome discussions about Christian forgiveness and restoration of the marriage, but please start such general discussions on a new thread in the forum Other Topics, not on a poster's thread in this forum. Thank you.

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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl


Sometimes all you can do - sometimes the best thing you can do - is work on you. I'll be thinking about you. hug


Me too.

Aside:
THANK YOU MODS FOR DISALLOWING THAT DISTRACTION FROM THIS THREAD.

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RL,

This is a long thread and I don't recall if I have posted to you before. I was one of the posters that posted to Hopeful_person while she was here. I think the one thing that she "got" after awhile is something that you are still struggling with as expressed in the following comment
Quote:
This is all so frustrating i can't help but think that i could fix things if you would just be willing to let me. But at the same time i know but that's a selfish thing to think and that i brought this all upon myself by having an affair. And the same pain I feel for him leaving he feels 100 times worse because of my affair and who it was with. All I can do now is work on fixing me and hope that someday in the future he sees this new and better me and decides he wants to get to know her.


There is a constant battle going on between "hoping/wishing/praying" for a chance to "fix" things, and the reality that "things" cannot be fixed.

Hopeful_person came to understand that IF her husband ever gave her a chance, they would have a NEW relationship and a NEW marriage if she got the chance. She did and I believe that their marriage is NEW.

The last part of your quote is dead on. You can only work on being you, you can only address the deep issues you must have had to so completely trash your marriage and your H's friendship with his best friend. You see he lost all the way around, his children are now part time, his W is gone, his best friend who would have probably helped him deal with this is gone, and of course his family is destroyed. In Hopeful_persons case it took time measure in years for her H to heal from what she did to him.

Your H will heal for the most part, but he cannot get back what he lost either. He cannot "fix" things either. So when you read Hopeful_person's threads and posts please remember you are seeing how she started a NEW relationship with her exH and that relationship although brief led to her marrying him again.

It can happen to you, but just remember the only control you have over this situation is to address your issues, and do your best to be a good friend to your exH (the father of your children).

Lot's to say but little time.

God Bless,

JL

PS: Pay close attention to Pep, she is deceptively perceptive. smile

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Haven't posted for a while been reading other people's threads mostly. I've been doing good lately it was my youngest's birthday Friday and we had a party for her it was mostly just family and friends that attended and it was nice. It was a bit uncomfortable at times given the situation with my ex and his family (Which I think I explained here before) which made me feel both uncomfortable and guilty at the same time. But still the day wasn't about me or my ex it was about my baby girl and i made damn sure she knew that.

Didn't really speak with my EX during the party but we got to have a chat afterwards and it was a great opportunity to make some deposits in his love bank. We mostly spoke about the kids and how they're handling this but we also got a chance to talk about us and where we go from here. He says he hopes we can become "great friends" and put the past were it belongs. I agreed with him that we needed to put the past behind us and that we can be friends but I also told him that I would like to be more than that and if he ever decides that he would like that to just let me know. I know that sounds like putting pressure on him but I feel it's very important to be honest with him and honestly as much as I've changed and want to succeed in moving on I'm still desperate for reconciliation.

I met with my therapist yesterday, we've been talking lately about the deeper reasons behind my affair (Thanks to who ever brought that up) and my therapist says that i have a fear of abandonment and that causes me to want to run away. And that the root of the problem comes from when i was little and my father ran away for two years. She says that Until i face this problem head-on that i will never be capable of a healthy relationship. I think she's right insofar as when the affair began my EX had just started a huge project for work and was spending a lot less time at home (i am not blaming my EX) and i did feel resentment towards him because of that. So i turned to my husband's friend, started talking to him and latched onto him because i was afraid to be alone and it just went downhill for there. I pursued an affair With him (which he was more than happy to do) but what i really think gives her theory credence is the fact that the second my husband finished his work project i lost interest in the affair and started to try to end it and that's when the blackmail started and everything fell apart.

so i just wanted to give everyone a little update you've all been so kind and helpful to me i thought I'd let you know how i was doing. I'm taking everything one day at a time and working towards a better me but i know i can't do it alone. While my family and friends have been great there are just some things you can't say to them and being able to come here and talk about my failed marriage and adultery or even just to vent has been an oasis and i thank you.


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Whatever led to the A, what is going to fix it is putting EP's in place.

Even if your father hadn't abandoned you, it would still have been possible for you to give yourself permission to cheat. Regardless of the past, what is going to heal you the best is ~currently~ eliminating the conditions that permitted you to cheat, i.e. sloppy or nonexistant boundaries around men besides your BH.

While it is important to your personal healing to acknowledge the trauma you faced from your father's abandonment, the biggest and most important item that relates to your healing has nothing to do with him then, or you then. It is all about you NOW.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



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Originally Posted By: RecoveryLady
I met with my therapist yesterday, we've been talking lately about the deeper reasons behind my affair (Thanks to who ever brought that up) and my therapist says that i have a fear of abandonment and that causes me to want to run away. And that the root of the problem comes from when i was little and my father ran away for two years. She says that Until i face this problem head-on that i will never be capable of a healthy relationship.


I am so sorry, but your therapist is wrong. There is no evidence that "resolving issues of the past" accomplishes anything other than enriching therapists.

Whoever gave you this advice here did you a grave disservice. I wish somebody had seen and offered Dr. Harley's advice as a contrast, or notified the moderators so that corrective action could be taken.

I will go hunt down what Dr. Harley says about resolving issues of the past so that you can compare what he says with what you are hearing elsewhere.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?%20ubb=showflat&Number=2311122

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.


I know that many therapists disagree with Dr. Harley. But, I also know that the track record for most marriage therapy is abysmal, while Dr. Harley's track record seems to be spectacular. And most therapists completely disagree that the goals Dr. Harley accomplishes are even possible, i.e., restoration of romantic love, although Dr. Harley's plans accomplish that goal all the time. So I really discount what the other therapists have to say, as they seem to be passing on "received wisdom" with no evidence to support it, in the face of evidence that shows that it is actually harmful.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Originally Posted By: RecoveryLady
Haven't posted for a while been reading other people's threads mostly. I've been doing good lately it was my youngest's birthday Friday and we had a party for her it was mostly just family and friends that attended and it was nice. It was a bit uncomfortable at times given the situation with my ex and his family (Which I think I explained here before) which made me feel both uncomfortable and guilty at the same time. But still the day wasn't about me or my ex it was about my baby girl and i made damn sure she knew that.

Didn't really speak with my EX during the party but we got to have a chat afterwards and it was a great opportunity to make some deposits in his love bank. We mostly spoke about the kids and how they're handling this but we also got a chance to talk about us and where we go from here. He says he hopes we can become "great friends" and put the past were it belongs. I agreed with him that we needed to put the past behind us and that we can be friends but I also told him that I would like to be more than that and if he ever decides that he would like that to just let me know. I know that sounds like putting pressure on him but I feel it's very important to be honest with him and honestly as much as I've changed and want to succeed in moving on I'm still desperate for reconciliation.

I met with my therapist yesterday, we've been talking lately about the deeper reasons behind my affair (Thanks to who ever brought that up) and my therapist says that i have a fear of abandonment and that causes me to want to run away. And that the root of the problem comes from when i was little and my father ran away for two years. She says that Until i face this problem head-on that i will never be capable of a healthy relationship. I think she's right insofar as when the affair began my EX had just started a huge project for work and was spending a lot less time at home (i am not blaming my EX) and i did feel resentment towards him because of that. So i turned to my husband's friend, started talking to him and latched onto him because i was afraid to be alone and it just went downhill for there. I pursued an affair With him (which he was more than happy to do) but what i really think gives her theory credence is the fact that the second my husband finished his work project i lost interest in the affair and started to try to end it and that's when the blackmail started and everything fell apart.

so i just wanted to give everyone a little update you've all been so kind and helpful to me i thought I'd let you know how i was doing. I'm taking everything one day at a time and working towards a better me but i know i can't do it alone. While my family and friends have been great there are just some things you can't say to them and being able to come here and talk about my failed marriage and adultery or even just to vent has been an oasis and i thank you.




There is no reason you can't subtlely court XBH and plan A XBH. You're not in a hurry to replace XBH so where is the hurry?

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Quote:
She says that Until i face this problem head-on that i will never be capable of a healthy relationship.

How exactly do you face a problem head-on that happened when you were a child? By dwelling on it?

There's no use crying over spilled milk. Work on the here and now, and you can have a healthy, loving relationship.

Many people who were abandoned as children have never had affairs. Many people from loving, stable homes have had affairs. It has little to do with your childhood, and more to do with the boundaries you have in place now as an adult.


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Here's a thought: You will not be able to have a healthy relationship until you take responsibility for your own actions instead of blaming past childhood events.


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Originally Posted By: RecoveryLady
So when the opportunity presented itself to have a fling i jumped at it my husband's best friend at the time (they have known each other since they were 5) approached me at a party one night and started flirting with me He has done this in the past but usually was harmless and my husband was okay with it (actually thought it was funny) we were both drinking that night


This is why you had an affair. Not because of your childhood.

People with good boundaries don't flirt and hang out with members of the opposite sex. Add drinking to the mix and you are looking at a train wreck.

People with good and bad childhoods engage in this type of behavior (flirting) and have affairs. It has nothing to do with your childhood issues and everything to do with how you interact with members of the opposite sex.


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Where people get confused is how their emotional needs come about.

The flirty POSOM likely has a very high need for admiration, and was looking for his validation by flirting. This developed from his childhood and his parents and his upbringing.

Instead of getting the admiration from his wife he dropped his boundaries and got it from other women. It may have been harmless in the past, but as Dr. Harley states "We are all prone to adultery if the conditions are right."

Your emotional needs also developed in your childhood, from your parents, and your upbringing. If your father abandoned you, then your emotional needs may reflect that abandonment. Most in society don't understand emotional needs, so your husband was probably failing to meet some.

This POSOM came into the picture and met them for you. Your husband was 100% perfectly able to meet them. By dropping your boundaries you crossed the line and let another man meet them.

If you want to look at your life and understand why you committed adultery, then look at how you didn't protect yourself.

Moving forward do all you can to understand your emotional needs.

I know FC is my #1 and most high emotional need. It comes from the way I was raised. It was heavily influenced by my parents, upbringing, and environment. I also have a very high need for affection. This I get from the fact my dad was not very affectionate with my mom. Growing up I decided my husband was going to be someone who gave me affection and not just in the bedroom.

I could easily drop my boundaries and have another man meet my affection and FC emotional need because they are very high. The fact is my boundaries are airtight and only my husband is going to meet them.

When I am divorced, then I will allow another man to meet them.

To make a long winded story long - understand and know your emotional needs. Realize they are shaped by your childhood, and NEVER EVER forget your boundaries will protect you from this ever happening again.

Tough~

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I should've made this more clear my therapist was not saying that my affair was caused by my father leaving. She meant that my father abandoning us caused me to have issues with abandonment and then when my husband started his work project (once again not blaming my ex) and was around a lot less created the circumstances that made me much more susceptible to an affair. But she also made it clear that it was not destiny but my own choices that led to it. A big part of my therapy has been trying to learn to accept the consequences for my actions. For years I've had a problem with accepting blame and trying to rug sweep and when i was finally forced to for the first time on D-Day i broke down and couldn't handle it And that's really what my therapies been about.

So i understand that a lot of people Here have a problem with marriage counseling and therapy in general and i can respect that. I too have read the results of marriage counseling and they're not good but my therapist has helped me a lot. She's a good person who actually doesn't disagree with marriage builders and encourages me to come here just so long as i accept the fact that I'm going to have to move on without my husband and that most likely my relationship with my DH won't be saved. So i understand what everyone is saying about not passing off blame to some event in my past and i need to work on creating better boundaries for myself to make sure this never happens again.


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Your BH may have triggered your feeling of abandonment. So what? People have triggers every day, and live through them without destroying their families.

What I am much more concerned about is why you gave yourself permission to cheat on him. That had NOTHING to do with your childhood, and everything to do with you as an adult.

The only part of this I see as being potentially useful, is to recognize this: when you feel abandoned (whether you actually are or not), you may possibly feel the urge to abandon first, so you can't be hurt. (This is NOT why you committed adultery.) Simply acknowledge that possible tendency, and be on guard against it.

The main issues here are your boundaries with members of the opposite sex.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



Neak's Story
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It came out in therapy that I had daddy issues. Not a fear of abandonment, but I constantly sought approval from a dad who loved me, but was often too busy to show it.

Aaaaannnnnnddddd....so what?

It didn't give me the right to have an affair.

I wasn't raised to believe that an affair was an acceptable option. I saw the disastrous effects of infidelity and divorce on families third-hand through my extended family. My own parents were married - happily - for 43 years.

I trusted someone I shouldn't have. I relaxed my boundaries around someone who I had once loved 20 years earlier. I didn't understand the concept of a "love bank," and that this person already had an old LB$ with me, sitting dormant, and that I should have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction.

I gave up on therapy months ago. I felt like it served no purpose and I was wasting money that could be spent elsewhere. I felt like the therapist wanted me to focus on the things that H had done throughout our pre-A M that had hurt me in an effort to get me to move on. Her focus was on healing me, not a broken M, since I was the person sitting in her office and H was miles away (literally and figuratively).

At this point, I figure whatever happens I'll pick myself up and slog onward without a biweekly $50 copay. wink


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"It was a bit uncomfortable at times given the situation with my ex and his family (Which I think I explained here before) which made me feel both uncomfortable and guilty at the same time."

Have you apologised to BH's family yet? You need to repair the damage not only to you and BH but to them

"But still the day wasn't about me or my ex it was about my baby girl and i made damn sure she knew that."

So you want aplause and praise for being a mom? Get real.

"Didn't really speak with my EX during the party"

Plan A is an all the time thing not just when it's convient.

"but we got to have a chat afterwards and it was a great opportunity to make some deposits in his love bank."

Good but relationship talks is not plan A'ing.

"We mostly spoke about the kids and how they're handling this but we also got a chance to talk about us and where we go from here."

This is not plan A'ing.

It's not important why your shrink or you think you had an affair because it is only blame shifting. You put a spin on things so you could justify doing something that you knew was wrong. So you did OM/BH's friend a double betrayal.

What is important is that you have ended your affair, learning to be honest, how not to have any more affairs.

Also under importance is that your OC turned out to be a COM/child of the marriage.

IF your BH ever wants to recover his won't have to put up with raising an OC. (yes there have been BH that knew and loved their OC as much as if it was a COM, though for some it was a deal breaker)

It has been known where recovery has happened even years past divorce. This is why you must do what has to be done all the time. That is plan A and make amends to BH and his family.

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Okay, so the childhood issues are not being blamed as the cause of the affair, and your therapist is helping you learn to accept consequences of your actions.

That's good! smile

Still, dwelling on the problems of the past is not all that helpful in the long run. The problems of the past can never really be "resolved."

I really encourage you to check out the Marriage Builders radio show; it can be like a free hour therapy session every day, from a clinical psychologist who ran a successful chain of mental health clinics for years. smile He talks a lot about therapy and resolving issues of the past and will give you a useful perspective.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Originally Posted By: wulffpack_girl
It came out in therapy that I had daddy issues. Not a fear of abandonment, but I constantly sought approval from a dad who loved me, but was often too busy to show it.

Aaaaannnnnnddddd....so what?

It didn't give me the right to have an affair.

I wasn't raised to believe that an affair was an acceptable option. I saw the disastrous effects of infidelity and divorce on families third-hand through my extended family. My own parents were married - happily - for 43 years.

I trusted someone I shouldn't have. I relaxed my boundaries around someone who I had once loved 20 years earlier. I didn't understand the concept of a "love bank," and that this person already had an old LB$ with me, sitting dormant, and that I should have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction.

I gave up on therapy months ago. I felt like it served no purpose and I was wasting money that could be spent elsewhere. I felt like the therapist wanted me to focus on the things that H had done throughout our pre-A M that had hurt me in an effort to get me to move on. Her focus was on healing me, not a broken M, since I was the person sitting in her office and H was miles away (literally and figuratively).

At this point, I figure whatever happens I'll pick myself up and slog onward without a biweekly $50 copay. wink



You are the new and improved WPG. Now to get your BH to see this. Last I remember you're BH is still living home so you better be plan A'ing.

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It really bugs me when therapist start finding 'the reasons why' or 'the root cause' in some childhood experience.

Most of us got raised to our parents best knowledge and abilities, and sure, they all dropped the ball at some point or another for raising kids does not come with a manual.

However, having had something happen to you when you were young does not negate the fact that you KNOW right from wrong when it comes to having sex with somebody who is not your husband/wife.

This is where your personal boundaries do their job, they stop you acting on something you know very well is the wrong thing to do.

You can spend hours upon hours in therapy dissecting your childhood but if you do not make sure to have personal boundaries in place, it will mount to nothing.

It's all very well knowing where the water comes from, but you gotta build some flood defences to stop it flowing where you don't want it to go!

Last edited by Maryse; 02/15/12 11:11 AM.

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