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Littlebit3 #2648236 07/20/12 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: Littlebit3
I believe that love, respect, caring for the other person, that person loving, respecting and caring for you, can overcome almost any "incompatible" issue.


Sorry, I can't agree with this. I mean, sure, love, respect, etc, can help you decide to accept the incompatibility, but the incompatibility will still be there.

You asked "what does basic incompatibility mean anyway?", and to that I suggest the best book I read on the subject, Will Our Love Last?. This book discusses the three basic dimensions of compatibility (and lack thereof), Sexual, Wavelength, and Practical, and makes the best argument I've seen for why love will not overcome significant incompatibilities in these areas. Sure, you can decide to love someone with whom you have a terrible sex life, who does not see eye to eye with you on many fronts, and who sleeps till noon while you are up at 6am, but the question is, Why? Why not find someone with whom you would not have to live with these incompatibilities?

AGG


AGoodGuy #2648254 07/20/12 05:21 PM
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You have a good point. But, don't most people KNOW these things BEFORE they get married? My H and I discussed almost everything. I believed we were on the same page about most everything. I see now where he was not being forthcoming about his inability to connect, to trust to truly be intimate. His words and actions seemed to match on so many levels. But, then it all began to unravel after we married. He didn't believe in cheating. He didn't believe in lying. He thought it was wrong to XXXXX. I didn't change my ideals, he changed his.

I can see not wanting to continue a dating relationship with a person who differs on these subjects, as that is why we date - to find a compatible mate. I think you actually referred in a previous post about not continuing to date this person, but, what if you are married to them and they get worse and worse to where you are not compatible?


BS Me 47,WH 49
DS's x3 17, 10, 7
Multiple D-Days
No disclosure by WH. No EP's, no transparency, no guilt or remorse either.
Plan C DOES NOT WORK!
Littlebit3 #2648350 07/21/12 01:07 AM
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I just wanted to add this to the discussion.
Following POJA when you're very incompatible


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



BrainHurts #2648353 07/21/12 01:35 AM
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BrainHurts, my take on that article was that you have to care enough about your spouse to WANT to sacrifice for the greater good. You can negotiate for the marriage you want. When you feel that you have pretty much covered the important things, and are on the same page, it shouldn't be big stuff that makes you incompatible after you marry. At that point, it becomes thoughtless and selfish actions that are choices!!! I am not a big sports fan, but my H is. That is something he throws in my face quite often as one reason we are incompatible. Well, I still enjoyed going to games and sharing that with you. The only reason I stopped going was b/c all he did was call me on the carpet for not controlling our child better. Got mad that I didn't prevent him from kicking the back of the seat 2 inches in front of us. He was 3 and not a sports fan. After a while, I didn't want to subject myself to that when he ignored me the whole time and criticized me. I wanted him to do those things that gave him joy. I supported it! I wanted to share in it. He had other ideas I guess.

I believe there are incompatibilities. Some can't be overcome, but most, especially the small things, can be overcome. You just have to want to.


BS Me 47,WH 49
DS's x3 17, 10, 7
Multiple D-Days
No disclosure by WH. No EP's, no transparency, no guilt or remorse either.
Plan C DOES NOT WORK!
Littlebit3 #2648365 07/21/12 07:19 AM
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Littlebit,

Sacrifice is not MB.

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
The Policy of Joint Agreement also avoids the worst advice of our Giver and Taker. In the state of Intimacy, we are encouraged by our Giver to sacrifice our own happiness so that the other person can be happy. In the state of Conflict, we are encouraged by our Taker to let our spouses sacrifice so that we can be happy. Neither of these are worthy objectives because in both cases someone gets hurt.

The Policy of Joint Agreement


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



Littlebit3 #2648390 07/21/12 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: Littlebit3
I can see not wanting to continue a dating relationship with a person who differs on these subjects, as that is why we date - to find a compatible mate. I think you actually referred in a previous post about not continuing to date this person, but, what if you are married to them and they get worse and worse to where you are not compatible?


Well, on this board I am limiting my "don't waste your time with an incompatible person" to dating relationships. Married relationships are a whole separate category, since you have now made the "for better or for worse" commitment, which I believe should be honored in all cases short of abuse, infidelity, etc, especially if there are children involved. Not just an "I'm not happy" argument, like my ex chose wink.

You are right, people do change after marriage, and if they become incompatible (or find out that their partner was being a chameleon during dating), then they are sort of stuck with it. In that case, I would suggest using Harley methods and all other tools in the toolbox to get the relationship to work - but again, that is for marriage, not for dating, IMO.

AGG


AGoodGuy #2648417 07/21/12 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: AGoodGuy
Originally Posted By: optimism
Originally Posted By: AGG on another thread
I'm a firm believer that if you need to read books or get therapy to help a dating relationship, then the relationship is not the right one for you.

I don't believe in having to "work" on a dating relationship.

AGG
AGG, you know I have the utmost respect for your posts. I have read this sentiment a couple of times from you and I wanted to get some clarification if I could. The philosophy kinda freaks me out because I've certainly had my share of consternation in my relationship with NG (and her with me). What I've leaned on is how we have managed to resolve the natural conflicts that come from 2 people trying to join up in a crazy world. There has been work involved, for sure; fun work, but work.

Where am I going wrong? Am I taking you too literally?
Perhaps you could go back to when you were dating your DW. There must have been things that gave you pause.

thanks for any input.

opt


Hey opt,

Thanks for the questions, they are good ones. I thikn it comes down to what the definition of "work" is. Obviously any relationship needs a certain amount of work to fine tune it, since no two people can be completely alike in every way (that would be boring anyway). And of course whenever you add the complexity of second marriages and kids from first marriages, that just makes it things more difficult. So, if we define "work" as an effort to improve yourself, improve the relationship, and learn about your partner to make you the best partner for her, then I am all for it. I am even all for "work" in the sense of trying to resolve small issues that you may have which are normal for two people coming together into a relationship. I believe that everything you had to deal with is in that realm.

What I refer to as "work" that should not be attempted in a dating relationship is work that is intended to overcome a basic incompatibility. So if you have two people who are totally incompatible in some ways, and start discovering that incompatibility as the butterflies wear off, I would suggest that they move on to find someone they are compatible with. You can't overcome serious incompatibility with work or therapy - you can learn to accept it and live with it, but you will never be compatible, and IMO will be selling the relationship short. That is the whole point of dating - find someone that you are compatible with.

From personal experience, I dated different women that I liked in many ways, but in each case there was something that was beyond a small issue that could be worked - it was a matter of not seeing important things the same way, or an issue that was so big that I had no intention of dealing with it (I am sure I shared my examples here before, but things like mental illness, dishonesty, brother who is child molester, poor boundaries with ex-lovers, etc, were dealbreakers for me). In contrast, when I met my now-wife, everything just clicked. I don't mean just the Infatuation-click, I mean even after two years of dating (and now 3 years of marriage), we just get each other and work well as a team. We never had to "work" on any issue of significance. It does not mean that neither of us had to make some adjustments, of course we did - but it was never work, it was to improve our relationship even more. Not to salvage a disaster. I see too many people on here trying to save a disaster relationship, and that is what I am always preaching against. There are way too many good people out there to waste time with Mr/s Wrongs...

But again, based on what I read about you and Ms. NG, I think you guys are in good shape, and I am very happy for you!

AGG
\
Thanks AGG, that was clarification I was looking for. We both are very aware of the odds expecially with combining families. We are very intent on doing things correctly because we want it to work and we really enjoy yeach other. The time and effort put into coordinating schedules, talking about POJA, refining our UA, negotiating minor disagreements, and identifying EN's, not to mention contacting the Harleys and all that...I don't see it as the kind of work that would indicate we're not compatible. In fact in a strange way I think we both like to concentrate and communicate about the inner workings of our relationship.

I did read the book you mention (perhaps at your suggestion some time ago). We hit it all counts, which gave me more confidence.

So, thanks again for your time and your encouragement and your reassurance. smile

opt

optimism #2648481 07/21/12 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Littlebit3
Hello Optimism. I have read posts by you here and there, and just found this one. I am glad I did. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but will. It is nice to read it from your perspective.

I am just going to be blunt here. How did the Church help you through all of this, your divorce? There is not a lot of support for these types of issues here in my diocese anyway. I am struggling with all this. I want to do the right things for my children, myself and my salvation. I hope this isn't too heavy of a question. I look forward to any advice you can give me.

On another note, I read you are a Spartan fan, so that must mean you live or are from South Central MI. I lived there for almost 5 years. My oldest child was baptized in St. Thomas Aquinas Church there in East Lansing. People there were so nice. I don't miss the cold and the snow tho!!!

Thank you for reading this.


Hi LittleBit. As to your question, I might not have much to offer but I will try. Keep in mind that I dont know much about your situation, but later I might have time to get on your thread and check it out.

I can say that my Pastor was very...interested (and understanding) in my situation from the beginning. Not necessarily supportive. I went to see the Pastor one day about 10 years ago because I was not happy in my marriage. I don't remember much except leaving thinking that it was hopeless that I was ever going to have a substantial sex life in my marriage. I was distraught. It was about the time I started going wayward for myself.

FF to my WW's infidelity. We went and talked to the same pastor together. He again was understanding but didn't have much to offer in the way of counseling, but hey that's really not their job. It was just nice to have someone to talk to. [I can tell you that I don't believe the Catholic Church has much better understanding of infidelity than anyone else, besides Dr. Harley].

I continued to talk to the priest periodically throughout the divorce process. My pastor understood that I was doing everything I could to save the marriage, but could also see that I was the only one doing any heavy lifting.

Ultimately it came to divorce. Again my pastor was understanding. He was also quite pleased that I (WE) had made the critical error in judgment to NOT get married in the church 15 years prior [this had always been a real issue for my Catholic Mother, for obvious reasons, but what a blessing it turned out to be].

I was not saddled with the burden of going through an annulment because the church never recognized my marriage in the first place. Not that I ever really went to church while I was married; I had kind of fallen away from the church.

HOWEVER. NG did not have quite the lapse in judgment that I did. Under great pressure from her husband's family (Irish Catholic), NG was convinced to have her civil marriage blessed in the church a few months after the official union. SO...she will have to go through the annulment process before we can be married in the church. She is working hard on that now, in hopes of having the documentation in in a few weeks. I do not envy her one bit, only wish I could help , but I really cant. The Church wants people to suffer through that process for obvious reasons.

Soooooo..I just read the first page of your thread LB3. It appears that you at least initially got some very good counsel there form pep and Mim. I didnt read on, too many triggers on that board.

Not sure where your at now, since you appear to only have been on MB for a month or so and are just learning how to fight adultery, implement Plan A and Plan B and try to restore romance to your marriage. You wouldnt have posed the question to me unless you were considering the Divorce route.

Although I personally feel quite convinced of the biblical justification for divorce in the context of adultery; not to mention that I believe infidelity is a form of horrendous psychological abuse, I dont now that you will find this same sentiment in every church with every priest/pastor. Lets face it: its a big church. Yes there are basic tenets but also room for interpretation.

You have 3 kids. I could see a church rep not supporting divorce/annulment. However, it seems to me, from my limited experience, that you can always file the paperwork. There is simply no guarantee that it will go through in your favor. Its like a divorce settlement some judges accept certain things and some dont.

From your first post, it looks to me like you would consider yourself someone who married under some duress and then tried to make it work for a whole bunch of years. The annulment process requires that you feel you made an ill-informed decision from the outset of the marriage. Thats the key.

Hope that helps a little bit. smile

opt

optimism #2650134 07/26/12 12:55 PM
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And sometimes it's not just that someone changed but that they deceived you from the beginning. I can't stress enough how important it is to have compatible character!


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
kaycstamper #2650201 07/26/12 04:00 PM
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Thank you so much optimism and kaycstamper. I do believe now that it most definately was the case that I was deceived from the beginning as he had a secret addiction when we married. I know that his choices, inabilities are not my fault. I know now that he pretended to be what he knew I wanted him to be and had been pretending for many years to be what his parents exected him to be. It would never have guessed that our character's weren't compatable. He was supposed to be the good Catholic, and I was the one that wasn't a good enough Catholic to marry him according to his family and in the way he tells me that I am not good enough in any way. It is just so convoluted. It is very difficult to really see and admit that your whole marriage is built on lies, deceiptulness and untruths.

Last edited by Littlebit3; 07/26/12 06:11 PM.

BS Me 47,WH 49
DS's x3 17, 10, 7
Multiple D-Days
No disclosure by WH. No EP's, no transparency, no guilt or remorse either.
Plan C DOES NOT WORK!
optimism #2650292 07/26/12 10:11 PM
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opt, I am sorry my thread had a lot of triggers for you. I can hardly read it either.

Did you ever figure out what was going on with your wife that prevented you from having the sexual fulfilling marriage that you wanted? It seems so common in marriages.

I have been here at MB for a year and a month. I didn't take the advice given, and left the forum for almost a whole year. I came back b/c over the course of this last year, all the words and advice I was given, kept coming back to me as the answer, the truth. So, I logged back on and started to read again.

You are right, I am planning to divorce. I know I brought my share of the problems to the marriage. I think a lot were definately response to his issues which are so much larger than mine. That said, I have learned a lot about my AO's at his deceipt and other love busters I am guity of. I also know that I am a very open person, and he was doing a lot to close me down. When I would verblize things to him, he never cared enough to stop the behavior. I just didn't see then that his issues were too big for me.

I inquired how the Church helped you b/c there just doesn't seem to be a network of support within the Church to help with these huge issues and wondered how you did it.

I will file for an annullment anyway. I know they look at whether or not the marriage was valid at the time of the marriage. I have not spoken to any Canon lawyers, but the research I have done, and the priests that I have seeked out over the years have confirmed that mine probably isn't a valid marriage. His addiction, his issues, inability to really make a covenant, his deceipt, just from the beginning invalidate the covenant. Certainly his affairs (he still maintains that he never had an affair) break the covenant. Either way, I have to remove myself and my children from this broken, horrible atmosphere.

Thank you again for your advice. I do hope if you have any further advice, you would post it on my thread. You don't have to read it!!!!


BS Me 47,WH 49
DS's x3 17, 10, 7
Multiple D-Days
No disclosure by WH. No EP's, no transparency, no guilt or remorse either.
Plan C DOES NOT WORK!
optimism #2650428 07/27/12 11:05 AM
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Hi Opt, I finally got a chance to check-off something on my to-do list: read your entire thread, all 40 pages of it!!

From the beginning, I found myself in tune with a lot of your thoughts. I also put Boundaries in my Amazon shopping cart for future purchase; looks like a good read, thanks for the recommendation.

When you have time, I'd appreciate your thoughts on "dating too soon after divorce." It looks like shortly after your divorce, you were conflicted over the desire to date but also not wanting to get involved too soon. I too, wonder about that.

So that I don't end up hijacking your thread, I'm goiing to start a new one called, dating too soon, or something like that. Hope to hear your thoughts on this, and maybe a few others, like AGoodGuy, who seems to know a lot from what I can tell by reading his posts on your thread.

It was uncanny, reading your thread, how many experiences you described that I had too: loving being in love again, kids' feelings about a woman in my life that's not their mom, awkwardness with radical honesty and personal history, figuring out how to apply MB principles in a dating relationship, espcially UA, caught off-guard by problems inherent in blended family situations, it's amazing how many similar things we went through.

One difference though, that I wonder about relates to the kids. In your case, the younger children are yours and the older ones are hers. In my case, it's the other way around. I wonder if it's typically easier for a woman (more nurturing) to accept step-children into a blended family than it is for a man (more disciplinary).

Anyways, enjoyed reading your story, listening to your call on MB Radio, and I'm really happy the way it's working out for you.

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KL,
I don't think acceptance of stepchildren is gender related, but rather case by case. The people involved in each marriage are different, the children and the adults.

My late husband was a wonderful stepfather to my teenage children and they loved him dearly. It's been over seven years since he passed away and they still miss him. When my son went into the Air Force, it was my husband that really struggled with his being gone, saying "I feel like I lost my best friend." Blending can happen wonderfully or...not.


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
kaycstamper #2654601 08/08/12 10:05 PM
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Just checking in, opt. It's good to see you sticking around and incorporating MB principles in your life. Your story is a compelling one and stands out as a prime example of what MB is all about!


Preach the Gospel every day. When necessary, use words.
St. Francis of Assissi
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Originally Posted By: Fred_in_VA
Just checking in, opt. It's good to see you sticking around and incorporating MB principles in your life. Your story is a compelling one and stands out as a prime example of what MB is all about!


Thanks Fred! I'm very lucky to have found someone interested in getting into the whole thing right off the bat. There is definitely some work involved, but I find that the conversations we have usually come back to MB ideas, so at least we both have the same approach.

UA is the biggest challenge. We don't live together, and even in the time we have together, often we have interruptions or distractions that turns the "UA" to simple time spent together. But, again, at least we both speak the same language when we are trying to address the situation.

It's a good philosophy with sound principles. We often talk about ways in which we would like to educate young people about these ideas. We feel the world would be a better place if kids could learn about how to conduct themselves in a relationship the MB way...instead of the traditional "that's how my parents did it" way.

Which leads to the other unfortunate truth that most people don't come to know MB until there has been some sort of crisis (or many, piled on top of each other for years and years)...


Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well, Fred.

Opt

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Here's a letter I sent to the radio show:

Originally Posted By: letter to show
Hi Dr. Harley and Joyce!
My fiance NG and I are doing well and have been implementing the advice you gave us when we were on the show earlier in the summer. Hope your trip to Israel was successful, fun, and safe!

I have a couple of questions.

NG and I have had some interesting discussions about what constitutes UA. We have done a lot of reading, but get hung up on the subleties sometimes. Overall we are in agreement, but had an interesting conversation about church. I feel it's UA time while we are in church together. NG's not so sure. We are not alone, and it's not really "recreational." I see that part, but I have to say my $LB is greatly increased when we go to church together. It means so much to me to have someone who shares my faith and participates; something I've never had in the past. Does that positive sentiment count towards the definition of UA?

Also, I am doing everything I can to expose my kids to MB principles. I have obviously implemented all the philosophies in my own life since discovering MB in 2010 or so. I don't do LB's anymore and am honest with my two kids (11 and 16 now). We talk about $LB and ways to increase your balance with other people (not the romantic relationship stuff, but general relationship ideas).

My greatest hope is that my children will see a successful MB relationship between myself and Susan. If they can learn from us, then maybe they will have successful marriages one day.

This morning my son (16) had a AO. He slammed a door and broke some dishes. Unfortunately, he leaned this from me as I didn't know about the destructiveness of AO's until he was 12 and so for 12 years was exposed to my negative behaviors (not constantly, but it was a problem for me in my marriage; maybe 2-3 AO's/year).
I want to teach him your philosophy that anger is a choice and AO's are temporary insanity (but insane, nonetheless).
I didn't know what to do exactly. I did not get upset however. No DJ's or SD's. I respectfully asked him to leave the house and I told him he could not be here if he was going to choose to act like that. I told him he has to clean up the broken plate when he gets home. He had to walk to work (1/2 mile) and probably was late.

How do you advise teaching MB to kids, other than by example? And did I do okay with the above scenario?

Opt in Massachusetts.

opt

Last edited by optimism; 08/09/12 09:10 AM. Reason: add quote and remove names (oops)
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As an update...
The letter above was addressed in a recent radio show. I can't even remember which date. They wound up talking a lot about UA and church...ultimately if it's UA to one it's UA to both, but always take the lowest assessment.
*They didn't touch the thing about the kids and AO's. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on the second part of the letter.

More Compelling:
NG was on the radio show on Thursday. [[[calling all Brainy's for a Link...???]]]
--She had some very legitimate concerns about how our lives are going to integrate when we get married because currently things have become quite compartmentalized. When I'm with my kids (3.5 days/wk), we hardly ever get together. Somehow it has just devolved into that (logistics, reluctance and resistance on the part of D16...). To some extent I've been tempted to take advantage of my last opportnities to be with them myself -- but this has unwisely cut NG out of the equasion and not done anything to prepare us for the upcoming nuptuals.

On a very positive note, NG has completed the paperwork for the annulment. This was an invisible cloud hanging over our engagement as I had this fear in the back of my head that it wouldn't get done and we would never be able to get married in the church. Now we plan to get officially married at the end of the year in a small quiet ceremony and then go from there.

If I get a link to the radio show from Thursday, I would recommend people listen to it as there are some very interesting points made by Dr. Harley and Joyce on a topic (first 30 minutes) that I don't hear on the show very often. I'd love to hear people's thoughts on the show. That's my Nature Girl. smile <3


Last edited by optimism; 08/27/12 08:26 AM.

Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
Another EA Story
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Opt,

Was it the 8-23-12 show? The last show they have loaded up is the 8-20-12 show. Maybe they're behind? I'll keep checking for you and can't wait to listen.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Yup, it was the Thursday 8/23/12 show; rebroadcast on Friday.
It's interesting what they recommended. We have quite an assignment on our hands. smile

thanks for your help, Brainy!

Opt.


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
Mine: S(16), D(11)
NatureGirls: S(23), D(21)
Another EA Story
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FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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