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The wayward is the enemy while they are in the affair.

Take this example. Zombie apocalypse. Suppose there is a cure for the disease (MB methods).

The wayward, that is, the zombie, is your enemy until the cure (MB methods) is applied and followed to the letter.

Waywards will lie, steal, rob, etc; and they must not be treated as friends while they are in an affair, save for Plan A.


One year becomes two, two years becomes five, five becomes ten and before you know it, you've wasted your whole life on a problem you can't solve. That's one way to spend your life. -rwinger

I will not spend my life this way.
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BWS, I don't even know what to say.

I go through some of your previous postings on other people's threads and you are advising them to read HNHN or FILSIL when there is a suspected affair while others are trying to get them to get evidence of an A....

Then I spent about five more mins going through your previous threads and I see that you blame your WW's A from 2006 on her problems with inadequacies and your problems with lovebusters. (Not MB!)

then I see your two last threads prior to this one are listed in the MB101 forum (should be in SAA) regarding her "friendship" with a 19 and 20 year old boys (unless this is the same guy from 2008-2009) from her online gaming that she has sent pictures of herself to and since she refuses to stop this inappropriate contact, you are OK with a compromise the two of you have reached regarding this. (Not MB!)

Having "empathy" for your WW has lead you to NOT changing the conditions that led to her original affair (not closing her LB$ to members of the opposite sex) and it is going to end up killing your M.

My goodness!


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Originally Posted By: BWS71
Do Waywards deserve empathy?

I believe waywards do deserve empathy. Recently I have been told by other posters on this site that Waywards do not deserve empathy and that me suggesting they do is misguided and contrary to Dr Harleys approach to divorce busting and marriage building. Im certainly not an expert nor do I claim to have it all figured out. Im seeking a better understanding of this idea and correction of my position if needed.


Nothing wrong with exploring old ideas to see if the really belong to us or to see if they should be disposed of.

Originally Posted By: BWS71
Why does this question matter? IMO if we inappropriately suggest to Betrayeds that their WS do not deserve empathy then the betrayed is more likely to lovebust when dealing with the WS. They will be less effective in winning back the love and commitment of their WS.


I'll defer to Pepperbands thread; "The carrot & the stick of plan A"
Carrot & Stick
Give it a read again.

Originally Posted By: BWS71
My understanding of the word empathy is the ability to put ones self in the place of another, to understand and appreciate and have compassion for another persons motives and their perspective.....


I would agree with this as a definition.


Originally Posted By: BWS71
The waywards I read about in his books are most often regular, decent people who spend years with their most important emotional needs going unmet in their marriage who succumb to the temptation of having those needs met by someone other than their spouse.


I don't agree with this though.
BWS71, I think you're taking a lot of liberty by assuming that Dr. H considers waywards to be regular, decent people. Dr. H actually sums up ALL waywards as, "Someone commiting the most thoughtless act imaginable". He in no way wants to appreciate and have compassion for the wayward, their motives, or their cowardly thoughtlessness. He actually encourages that the wayward stop all of this nonsense immediately or be cut off completely from those nearest and dearest to them.

Originally Posted By: BWS71
True that waywards can be cruel and selfish and their behavior can be incredibly damaging to everyone around them but they deserve to be treated like human beings human beings who have lost their way, but still human beings. That means we dont judge them, we dont insult them, we dont treat them with any less dignity or respect than we would any other human being.

To me every person deserves empathy. Being a wayward doesnt change that.


I think this particular quote needs to be scrutinized by you. I would encourage you to really examine each idea and see if it deserves merit or if it should be discarded.

As a former wayward, I wouldn't want anyone to stare into the abyss I was in just to empathize with me in some way. I was purely evil. There was no person deserving inside of me. I was a selfish, self-will run riot individual, that was hellbent on getting my own way. I also was willing to drag anyone else that would listen to my fog babble right down there with me. Giving me empathy would have FED the monster I had become.

As for dignity; We are told to never cast our pearls before swine. When someone wants to wallow with the pigs, don't try to pull them out, and never climb in to see what it feels like, just let em wallow. When the've had enough offer them a way to cleanup. Look, no one took my dignity and no one prevented me from acting with dignity. Dignity is not bestowed upon someone, it's how one behaves.


Originally Posted By: BWS71
To be clear, I dont believe in being soft on infidelity by any means. Affairs are toxic, selfish, poisonous, inexcusable and destructive. They must be exposed and eliminated. But the affair buster should maintain their civility.


Again, Pepperbands thread sums this point up well!


Originally Posted By: BWS71
The affair is the enemy, not the wayward.


Semantics!

Affair = Adultery

Adultery = Adulterer

Adulterer = Wayward

I believe these are all evil and should never be considered anything less than evil.

BWS71, I like these topics, they always give me a chance to examine old ideas and replace some of them with new ones. My old ideas gave me the oportunity to cling to my independent behavior which led me to a lifestyle that allowed for an affair to take off. And take off it did, like a fire, laying waste to everything in its path.

IMVHO, I believe we live in an age where most people recognise that forgiveness, care and concern are necessary to extend to people in order for them to recover from the wreckage of their pasts. The problem is that we want to play God and give it to them ourselves, as if we have that power, before they have surrendered and asked for the forgiveness themselves.
I had many enablers that nearly prevented me from falling to my knees. Without this act of complete surrender, there could be no recovery, just more wreckage.





Recovery began 10/07;

Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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Quote:
I believe waywards do deserve empathy.
Horse-pucky. That's the last thing they deserve, and they will abuse that misguided gesture of goodwill by clinging to it and further claiming their entitlement to destroy their marriage. ("My husband understands my angst! He's kind to me while I boink my affair partner because he empathizes with me!") naughty That way doesn't work. The wayward is an addict at that point and is looking for any source of approval for their actions - what better place to find it than in an enabling spouse who 'understands' their plight? faint
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IMO if we inappropriately suggest to Betrayeds that their WS do not deserve empathy then the betrayed is more likely to lovebust when dealing with the WS.
Your bias is clear, here. Have you been wayward at some point? I don't believe it is ever 'inappropriate' to inform a wayward that their damaging behavior is undeserving of empathy. Or sympathy. Or any other -athy.
Quote:
My understanding of the word empathy is the ability to put ones self in the place of another, to understand and appreciate and have compassion for another persons motives and their perspective.
"Empathy: understanding of another's feelings: the ability to identify with and understand somebody else's feelings or difficulties." Do you really understand a wayward's feelings? Can you really identify with a wayward? Have you been wayward?

I didn't empathize for a SECOND when my H's affair was revealed to me. I didn't get it. As we got further into recovery, I began to pity him because of the fallout he had to overcome - the damage to our family,the anger of his employer, his realization of the what he had done...I pitied because he had been stupid and self-serving enough to put himself in that situation. Did I empathize with him? No. I PITIED HIM. That's about as compassionate as I could get.

I would never encourage a betrayed spouse to find it within themselves to empathize with a wayward spouse. Empathy takes them down to the wayward's level, and no betrayed spouse deserves that.


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So here is my deal - I am truly seeking understanding. I can see how my post came across as passive aggressive or patronizing - but what I am actually trying to be is *safe* and *careful.* These are sensitive topics and the risk of being misunderstood is high - so I over did it. But I'm truly trying to gain insight from others who have a different opinion than I do.

I value my chance to contribute on the MB forums. Every once in a while I feel I make a difference for someone who is struggling, like people did for me. I'd like to continue to have that opportunity. I've been noticing I'm getting some corrective feedback from other posters. I am trying to understand if we truly differ in our views or simply in how we express our views. No subterfuge. If I'm an outlier, there is probably something wrong.

Before this thread I couldn't tell if I was really so different than the main stream. Looks like I am. This is good info.

I've just learned that Harley has updated some of his material. This is news to me. I'll take a listen to the radio clips posted here and I'll re-read what I have access to in light of the opinions shared here and see if I can figure out why I have a different take than just about everyone else who has posted here. I'm not yet convinced but I'm looking at my own opinions a lot more closely. If you'll keep this thread on your watched topics I'd be interested in continuing to explore it.

There was a comment about the path of my own marriage which I think deserves a response. Yes, it took my wife and I some time to get the whole program in place. I think we're doing a great job of it now. But no, it wasn't natural or easy or instantaneous.

As I think about it, I feel like I did learn this idea of "empathy towards waywards" from Harley during my wife's brief affair. I felt like Harley's material helped me see her as something more than some cruel broken animal. Harley helped me see her as a human being who made some bad choices in a counterproductive attempt to get her needs met - needs that I should have been doing a better job at meeting. I feel like that insight was *key* in our recovery.

As long as I saw myself as the victim and her as the villain - nothing good happened. As soon as I realized that I had played a part in creating the environment conducive to an affair - the light went on for me in a dramatic way. I realized that I had failed to do my part in protecting her. It was when I stopped acting like the victim and started acting and feeling like someone who had some responsibility - and thus some control - that we started to move toward recovery.

I've heard waywards described as rapists and betrayeds cast as passive victims on this thread. I don't see this view as compatible with Harley though. True he notes that the effect of an affair for the betrayed is worse than rape or assault. He also says that an affair is the most cruel thing one spouse can inflict on another. But he also extends a great deal of mercy (in my opinion) towards waywards. He acknowledges that they are often unaware of the pain they are causing and their judgment is warped by the intoxication of the affair. He also acknowledges that un met ENs ARE an important contributor to most affairs. (I just re-read this to confirm.) To me this is what I mean by empathy.

Maybe I'm screwed up in this view. Maybe my wife's affair was so mild that it doesn't really count and I'm MISapplying what I think I learned from it to situations that are totally unrelated. I'm open to that possibility.


My ultimate goal as a member of this community is to help other marriages in trouble by communicating Harley's material in a way that is meaningful, *accurate* and effective - like people helped me. It sounds like I'm off base and/or out of date. I'm going to read up on any new updates I can find. I'm interested in more input.

BWS

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Originally Posted By: BWS71
He also acknowledges that un met ENs ARE an important contributor to most affairs. (I just re-read this to confirm.) To me this is what I mean by empathy.



No, not really. If you have good boundaries you could go without having a single EN met without having an affair.

If our spouses were in a coma, we should know how to avoid an A. I've been separated in Plan B for a year and not had any lovebank deposits pass between me and another man.

Very easy.

Also if an unknowing person ALLOWS lovebank deposits with an AP they know they should confess their feelings to their spouse once it becomes obvious its a problem. Again, very easy.

I've seen marriages where ENs were met very well and there was still an A due to poor boundaries. The wayward is even more of a cake eater in those cases.

Needs meeting is important to the marriage. It dictates whether we want to stay or divorce. It should have nothing to do with the cruel decision to have some needs met at home and some elsewhere.

If we still want needs met at home...that means the BS is meeting some needs at least.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted By: SusieQ

then I see your two last threads prior to this one are listed in the MB101 forum (should be in SAA) regarding her "friendship" with a 19 and 20 year old boys (unless this is the same guy from 2008-2009) from her online gaming that she has sent pictures of herself to and since she refuses to stop this inappropriate contact, you are OK with a compromise the two of you have reached regarding this. (Not MB!)



Originally Posted By: BWS71
Maybe I'm screwed up in this view. Maybe my wife's affair was so mild that it doesn't really count and I'm MISapplying what I think I learned from it to situations that are totally unrelated. I'm open to that possibility.


Maybe a misapplied sense of empathy is actually preventing you from seeing how serious her boundary problems really are.

When you empathize with someone who continues to commit the crime, you are excusing them from the full gravity of the offense.

I'm not a WS or BS, BWS71, so I don't speak from my own experience, just from general observation of human behavior.

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Indiegirl - I acknowledged that many spouses go without their ENs being met and don't have affairs. I also agree that poor boundaries are always a component of infidelity. But I feel like the wayward's defects are over-emphasized when we claim that 'waywards don't deserve empathy.' I think this misrepresents Harley's perspective and encourages betrayeds to approach their wayward spouses in ways that are less effective and ultimately harm their chance at recovery.

I said
Quote:
[Harley] also acknowledges that un met ENs ARE an important contributor to most affairs. (I just re-read this to confirm.) To me this is what I mean by empathy.


You said
Quote:
No, not really...


Then I read http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5033a_qa.html

Quote:

Dear A.W.,
People usually have affairs because their unmet emotional needs are met by their lover. There is probably something that your wife's lover is doing for her that makes her feel so good that she is willing to sacrifice the happiness of her children, her mother, her sister and you just to get it. What is it? What does her lover do for her that is that important? What does he give her that you have not given her? Can you change so that you can meet that need?


and http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8113_ab.html

Quote:
In these negotiations for total separation, the causes of the affair should be addressed. Since one of these causes is usually unfulfilled emotional needs, the betrayed spouse should express a willingness to meet those needs after the affair has ended.


Again, for me this shows a great deal of empathy for the wayward spouse. This is the crux of the argument I'm trying to make. When we refer to waywards as rapists(for example), we are sending an un Harley message in my opinion. Harley teaches affairs (unlike rape) are due to factors on both sides of the conflict - boundaries yes, but also unmet ENs. No one would ever claim that a rape victim is somehow responsible for meeting the needs of a rapist or should negotiate with a rapist. But Harley does say that betrayeds should understand and own their part of the marital breakdown and negotiate a satisfying resolution with their wayward spouse if the wayward will give up the affair.

I'm trying to understand why my opinion seems so different than the majority of the posters here.

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Let me re-address: It is extremely unlikely that the marriage was in a condition where the BS ENs were being fully met and the WS ENs ignored, so the BS can clearly empathize with the marital conditions that existed pre-A.

In addition, the BS almost certainly entertained the same temptations as the WS. So, the BS can empathize with the draw of having ENs met outside the marriage.

In empathizing beyond this point, it leads the BS through the series of decision points the WS passed in getting to act(s) of infidelity and adultery.

Empathy is automatic under these circumstances. We all have the same thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, desires, and etcetera, experienced by the WS. WSs chose a very destructive path in addressing these. BSs like myself seem to understand the line where pursuit of our personal desires causes harm to others and won't cross that line.

Empathy is neither deserved or undeserved. It's a product of daily human interaction, whereby we strive to understand the perceptions and motivations of those around us. In the process, we develop a better understanding of our own environment.

I think what you're asking is if WSs deserve sympathy. With this question, you're asking what is the appropriate emotional response to infidelity/adultery. Again, deserved/undeserved has nothing to do with it. The range of possible emotional responses by BSs is as broad as the population of BSs.

Finally, in addressing what a WS "deserves:" this falls under the law of natural consequences (of which the BSs response is only a part).

OWH's summary: all BSs empathize with WSs. Some WSs may get sympathy from their BSs. Ultimately, all WSs get what they "deserve."

The actions of the WS in the aftermath of the affair ultimately determines their fate. So, I think the more relevant question is: what can the WS earn?

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Originally Posted By: BWS71
My ultimate goal as a member of this community is to help other marriages in trouble by communicating Harley's material in a way that is meaningful, *accurate* and effective - like people helped me. It sounds like I'm off base and/or out of date. I'm going to read up on any new updates I can find. I'm interested in more input.

BWS


Hey, BWS -- do you listen to the radio show? I find it's really helpful to get that level of repetition in learning to apply Dr. Harley's advice. I'm to the point now where I can even recognize when Dr. Harley gives advice that contradicts advice he gave elsewhere, and can usually recognize why, based on the differing situations. There is a lot in there about motivation that I think I'm picking up from listening that I don't think he talks about explicitly in many places.

Have you read Effective Marriage Counseling? Defending Traditional Marriage?


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!

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BWS, I think the problem you are having is that you seem to believe that understanding the cause of the affair means that the wayward is a victim. A victim to be viewed with pity and compassion. But that is not what Harley teaches at all. Treating the wayward as a victim only serves to enable her abusive behavior. Keep in mind that Dr Harley rejects unconditional love, and the approach you are suggesting is UC.

And yes, adultery is abuse that Dr Harley likens to rape, physical assault and the death of a child so the analogy to a rapist is correct. I found one such post [out of many] over on the private forum:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
Since you've had an affair, I would imagine that your wife is very emotionally defensive about the subject. It's the worst experience of her life -- worse than the loss of her son five years ago. Can you imagine anything being that bad? Well, you did it to her, and she is suffering as a result. It's all she can do to remain rational. If she were to express herself emotionally at this point, she would probably be expressing deep feelings of hopelessness and catastrophic loss. By trying to be rational, she is able to focus on the practical side of the issue.


He doesn't coddle and patronize waywards. He doesn't disrespect them, of course, but he does hold them accountable and insist they provide just compensation to the BS.

The rapist also has several "reasons" why he rapes. It might be that the rape victim "teased" him by wearing suggestive clothing. Does understanding those reasons mean we should have empathy and pity for the rapist?

Or do we save that for his victims?

You missed the point when you said that I was equating an adulterer to a rapist. I actually think adultery is worse, but that was not the goal of my point. The point of the analogy was to emphasize how silly it is to give sympathy to one who perpetrates a crime. That makes no sense.

And of course the BS is a victim. Adultery is the worst thing that can happen to someone. Saying that the recognition of this truth somehow precludes recovery is simply not true.

You did not address my point about timing and I would like an answer to that. Do you show your empathy while the rape is ocurring or do you wait until the rape has stopped and the rapist shows some remorse?

Quote:
I think this misrepresents Harley's perspective and encourages betrayeds to approach their wayward spouses in ways that are less effective and ultimately harm their chance at recovery.


I am curious how you would know this since you haven't helped others into recovery in the years you have been here. I don't recall ever seeing you over on the SAA helping others recover their marriages in the 11 years I have been here. Whereas, those of us posting to you have been in the trenches helping others recover on SAA for years. Many of us have been through the MB course, have daily access to the private forum. listened to hundreds of hours of MB radio and know Dr Harley. As far as I know, you have done none of that.


"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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BWS71, do you believe that the wayward also deserves forgiveness?

What is your understanding of Dr Harley's position on forgiving the infidel? And how should the wayward make amends to the BS?


"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: BWS71
But I feel like the wayward's defects are over-emphasized when we claim that 'waywards don't deserve empathy.' I think this misrepresents Harley's perspective and encourages betrayeds to approach their wayward spouses in ways that are less effective and ultimately harm their chance at recovery.


So what do you believe about Plan B since Plan B encourages no contact at all. As you might say, there's no chance for any empathy...



Originally Posted By: BWS71
I said [quote][Harley] also acknowledges that un met ENs ARE an important contributor to most affairs. (I just re-read this to confirm.) To me this is what I mean by empathy.


OK, so what happens with a wayward such as myself. I wouldn't let my wife meet my EN's, even though she continually tried. My IB prevented it.

So I was constantly lovebusting with my IB and she was always willing to meet my EN's....

She was already at risk of plan doormat, a nervous breakdown and just worn out, what should she have done? Did she need to just have more empathy?

I know all about Dr. H's Plan A and Dr. H's Plan B but I don't really see a Plan E (for Empathy) anywhere.

Understanding what it takes to help end an affair, and understanding what leads to an affair is not the same as offering a wayward empathy. Understanding how to fight affairs is intellectually based, not emotionally based. It's intellect over emotion. Allowing emotion to overtake the intellect is a formula for insanity and it's also what leads to plan doormat and nervous breakdowns for BS's.





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Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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Originally Posted By: BWS71
Indiegirl - I acknowledged that many spouses go without their ENs being met and don't have affairs. I also agree that poor boundaries are always a component of infidelity. But I feel like the wayward's defects are over-emphasized when we claim that 'waywards don't deserve empathy.'


Frankly, I think the entire question is a distraction.

The rules for recovery include:
* No disrespectful judgments, which would include blaming each other
* Conversation must not dwell on mistakes of the past, so the affair must not be brought up once it has been dealt with

If those rules are kept, I'd say it truly doesn't much matter if the betrayed spouse empathizes with the wayward spouse or not. I've never heard Dr. Harley state that the betrayed spouse must empathize with the wayward. I have heard him explain to betrayed wives and husbands how their spouse fell and how anyone would likely fall in love and have an affair if they had put themselves in the same situation (by not taking extraordinary precautions), and I would agree that information might generate some empathy, but I haven't heard him talk about empathy per se. Usually he only brings this up in a situation where a betrayed spouse will not stop dwelling on the affair and are demanding an answer to the repeated question: "WHY?" and the purpose of him discussing it is to motivate the betrayed spouse to work on recovery.

Dr. Harley usually talks to people in affairs very respectfully, but I do not find him saying anything about it being crucial to have empathy for the wayward spouse. I do find him saying that it is crucially important that a wayward husband be fully repentant, hat in hand, or recovery is not likely to be successful -- and then turning around and saying that it is not so necessary that a wayward wife be so repentant. He says that many wayward wives never stop incorrectly blaming their husbands for the affair (i.e., by not meeting their wife's needs before the affair) and that this is not an obstacle to recovery. But then he says that this is an obstacle to recovery if it's coming from a wayward husband!

Dr. Harley is much harder on husbands than on wives. If you're not very familiar with this difference, I would say there is a huge gap in your Marriage Builders knowledge. I am not aware of any articles on this site addressing this, or any comments in his books addressing it, but it is addressed on the radio all the time. If we are interested in coaching people the way Dr. Harley does (the way that works, unlike pretty much all the other counseling and psychobabble out there), then I don't think we can miss this point.

In your situation, it was probably vital that you accept your wife and go through recovery even if she were not fully repentant. Yet if the tables were turned, it would be vital for a betrayed wife to NOT express so much empathy toward a wayward husband that she would accept him in an unrepentant state. If one took advice for your situation and applied it toward betrayed wives, they would be advising an extremely DANGEROUS situation.

In my opinion, not knowing these things but trying to give blanket advice for all is reckless and dangerous.


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"deserve" is an interesting word to use. If I "deserve" something, I am entitled to it.

But Dr. Harley speaks against entitlement in marriage. It leads to demands and abuse.

A wayward spouse is not entitled to empathy or forgiveness. A betrayed spouse does not have to recover. If both husband and wife want to recover after an affair, there are certain rules for them to follow, and none of those rules dictate that the betrayed spouse must feel or express empathy for their spouse's affair.


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Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
[quote=BWS71] I said
Quote:
[Harley] also acknowledges that un met ENs ARE an important contributor to most affairs. (I just re-read this to confirm.) To me this is what I mean by empathy.


OK, so what happens with a wayward such as myself. I wouldn't let my wife meet my EN's, even though she continually tried. My IB prevented it.

So I was constantly lovebusting with my IB and she was always willing to meet my EN's....

She was already at risk of plan doormat, a nervous breakdown and just worn out, what should she have done? Did she need to just have more empathy?

I know all about Dr. H's Plan A and Dr. H's Plan B but I don't really see a Plan E (for Empathy) anywhere.

Understanding what it takes to help end an affair, and understanding what leads to an affair is not the same as offering a wayward empathy. Understanding how to fight affairs is intellectually based, not emotionally based. It's intellect over emotion. Allowing emotion to overtake the intellect is a formula for insanity and it's also what leads to plan doormat and nervous breakdowns for BS's.





Exactly!

I was on the radio show last year regarding my xWH and his cheating.

Dr Harley said to me: I have always taken the position that everybody would be unfaithful under certain conditions and no one would be unfaithful under other conditions -- that infidelity has more to do with the CONDITIONS than whether there were unmet ENs etc.

He didn't want to hear about my xWH's bad childhood, he didn't mention my need for empathy, he didn't want my ex to go to therapy or explore the reasons for his compulsion to cheat (this was brought up specifically because that's why my ex wanted to do and wanted me to give him the chance to do this).

His advice to me was that xWH change the conditions that led to his cheating, period (i.e., for my ex he recommended that he leave his job and work at home with me -- should be noted that empathy for xWH's feelings regarding this issue wasn't even a factor for Dr Harley).


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Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
It's intellect over emotion. Allowing emotion to overtake the intellect is a formula for insanity and it's also what leads to plan doormat and nervous breakdowns for BS's.


BWS, I have heard Dr Harley state several times on his radio show that "feelings will led us astray". He wants us to use logic when implementing his plans, not feelings. And your story is a good example of why.

I see as a theme throughout your threads regarding your W a better need for "understanding" or "empathizing" her and I see where it has led you in terms of not following Dr Harley's program.

For example, in 2007, you posted that you two are still attending the church where OM is, more than 6 mos after the affair supposedly ends. You seem to rationalize this by explaining this was more about your W having a hard time saying no to men than it being an EA.

In 2008, you posted about your having needed a better understanding and information regarding your W's relationship with a boy in order to reach a compromise to allow her to chat and text with him.

In 2009, you post about your W wanting you to be "enthusiastic" and to understand her need for IB that you had complained about -- spending time playing online games and chatting to members of the opposite sex.

These is such a gross misapplication of MB principals. Why? Because you are trying to "understand" and be "empathetic" w/ your W rather than be methodical and logical in following the plans and rules here. Exactly what Dr Harley DOESN'T advise.

Last edited by SusieQ; 10/23/12 01:00 PM.

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Originally Posted By: SusieQ
Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
[quote=BWS71] I said
Quote:
[Harley] also acknowledges that un met ENs ARE an important contributor to most affairs. (I just re-read this to confirm.) To me this is what I mean by empathy.


OK, so what happens with a wayward such as myself. I wouldn't let my wife meet my EN's, even though she continually tried. My IB prevented it.

So I was constantly lovebusting with my IB and she was always willing to meet my EN's....

She was already at risk of plan doormat, a nervous breakdown and just worn out, what should she have done? Did she need to just have more empathy?

I know all about Dr. H's Plan A and Dr. H's Plan B but I don't really see a Plan E (for Empathy) anywhere.

Understanding what it takes to help end an affair, and understanding what leads to an affair is not the same as offering a wayward empathy. Understanding how to fight affairs is intellectually based, not emotionally based. It's intellect over emotion. Allowing emotion to overtake the intellect is a formula for insanity and it's also what leads to plan doormat and nervous breakdowns for BS's.





Exactly!

I was on the radio show last year regarding my xWH and his cheating.

Dr Harley said to me: I have always taken the position that everybody would be unfaithful under certain conditions and no one would be unfaithful under other conditions -- that infidelity has more to do with the CONDITIONS than whether there were unmet ENs etc.

He didn't want to hear about my xWH's bad childhood, he didn't mention my need for empathy, he didn't want my ex to go to therapy or explore the reasons for his compulsion to cheat (this was brought up specifically because that's why my ex wanted to do and wanted me to give him the chance to do this).

His advice to me was that xWH change the conditions that led to his cheating, period (i.e., for my ex he recommended that he leave his job and work at home with me -- should be noted that empathy for xWH's feelings regarding this issue wasn't even a factor for Dr Harley).


To further add to this ... my xWH (and I think yours as well Susie) has such a high need for admiration, that the only way my xWH would remain faithful to me is if his life is set up so that I am the only one meeting his need for admiration. My xWH has jumped into the world of false admiration galore by following his feelings of "needing to be fully admired for both good and bad behavior." His feelings have lead him down this one way track into hell because anyone sane could look at the picture and go, "HUH??? He just did what?"

Your heart can be treacherous ... hence logic is the only way to make the right decisions. No amount of empathy is going to give this man the admiration he is searching to find that "HIGH". If I chose to follow my heart down this path with him (i.e. a never ending Plan A) I would have a nervous breakdown. No one should ever endure a life of rewarding bad behavior over and over again because some wayward can't seem to figure out logically how to get his emotional needs met.

My xWH knows crystal clear how to do this ... but he refuses ... because the false admiration is so powerful he is willing to lose it all and then some to gain his temporary fix. I can't feel sorry for someone who is that stupid. I can't feel sorry for someone who will throw innocent children away because he can't seem to "feel good inside".

Logic keeps one sane ... any other path leads to heartache and pain ... I have had enough pain and heartache... hence I choose a life of logic.

Last edited by Lovinmykiddos; 10/23/12 07:02 PM.
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First off there has been another comment about the path of my own marriage that is documented in my personal threads three years ago. Yes, it took my wife and I some time to get the whole program in place. We stepped back from the brink of divorce pretty quickly, but full understanding, acceptance and implementation of a MB lifestyle was not natural or easy or instantaneous for us. It took a few years honestly. But now 6 years from DDay we have an absolutely amazing marriage. We are masters of the POJA. We are experts at meetings each others ENs. I cant think of the last time either one of us has made a major withdrawal from each others love bank. I cant even think of the last time we made each other feel bad. Her boundary issues are gone. We have extraordinary protective measures in place. I havent AOd or DJd for years. We are very much in love.

Thank God and Dr Harley Im actually not sure which deserves the most credit (joke, sort of.)

Next

I feel like I have absorbed enough info from everyones comments to get some traction on this topic and move towards closure. Here is what Ive learned:

(for those who dont like closed loop communication, feel free to skip this post.)

1) The words deserve and empathy are problematic and should be avoided in MB discussions. These words are interpreted by some people in ways that are contrary to MB principles.

2) Dr Harley has updated some of his material in a way that is significantly different than what is currently available in his books and on his website. This material is currently available on the radio show but should be included in his updated edition of SAA.


What has not changed for me?

I still believe
1) Dr Harley teaches that affairs most often happen in the setting of both poor boundaries and unmet ENs. Both are crucial parts of the atmosphere that leads to affairs. They are both important. The relative importance of unmet ENs vs poor boundaries varies on the couple and the situation. It is crucial that advice seekers understand the Carrot is just as important as the Stick.

2) While BSs are working to end the affair, they should also begin to get their heads around the idea that recovering their marriage is going to mean learning to meet their WSs needs better. BSs dont actually attempt to meet needs until the affair is over and the WS is committed to recovery, but BS needs to start building a plan at the same time they are undermining the affair. If they fail to make this paradigm shift early in the game they are losing valuable time. They may help destroy the affair yes, but that will do little to attract the WS back to the scorched earth that was their marriage. For me this paradigm shift arises from empathy towards the WS. A lot of people don't like this word. It fits perfectly for me.

When I read or hear something from Harley that changes my interpretation, Ill believe. But this is how I understand what is currently on his website and in his books so I find it unlikely to be terribly off track.

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The BS DOES meet needs during Plan A.

Scorched earth? Um...okay. So if someone burns my garden I have to fill their needs (a part of Harley's plans anyway) to get them to come back and even look at my burned up garden? And even empathize with how hard it was to burn the garden?

I do not have to have empathy for a WS. I don't WANT to know how they felt during the affair. I want to know what they feel NOW. RIGHT NOW.


One year becomes two, two years becomes five, five becomes ten and before you know it, you've wasted your whole life on a problem you can't solve. That's one way to spend your life. -rwinger

I will not spend my life this way.
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