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#665869 08/08/00 08:22 PM
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But Nellie, <BR>You are living that,, right now...for whatever reason, your H did not feel you were meeting his needs, so he looked elsewhere.Is it right?? No!! Can it be fixed?? Yes, but only if both of you want to. Your X is in a state of denial right now..he has no idea of the havoc he is exposing all of you to. If he came back, would you trust again?? Would you do all you could to meet the needs he felt he had and you were not meeting?? Of course you would, because that is what would keep your marriage together. <BR>If he continued to have affairs, if he continued to treat you like he has been , I cannot imagine you would want that for the rest of your life. Youwould either live out your life very unhappy, or make changes. Hopefully he would recripricate. <P>And that is where conditional love comes in. We must BOTH want to meet each others needs in order to keep love alive. That is what a good marriage is all about. No one is saying that if we don't watch our every move, someone will walk out on us, what we are saying is that IF you do not do those things to keep your love alive, as in mutual respect, caring, sharing, no LB, etc...your marriage will not either be what ity could be, or will not last. <BR>Remember, it is BOTH parties taking the policy of joint caring to the fullest that keeps marriages alive and growing. <BR>Believe me, it was hard for me to understand. But now I get it....it is just sad I had to go through all of this to get there.<P>------------------<BR>Susan

#665870 08/10/00 07:35 AM
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Hi Sue,<P>I was driving home from a bday party last night. My grandparents have been married for 61 years! They married 6 weeks after they met, in that state of "giddiness" and he went off to war. I asked them about love and what they thought of this.<P>Then on the way home, a janet jackson song came on that got me thinking too.<P>I guess I'm going with my original answer that you can love both conditionally and unconditionally even within the same relationship.<P>I believe I loved my ex unconditionally for many years. This by the fact that when he had drug relapses, I stuck by him, when he cheated, I gave him chances, when he treated me horrible, I loved him more, thinking it would change him. I honestly never thought much about it til now, but over the years, he changed into someone kind of mean, and physically , he changed to where I doubt I'd be attracted to him if we were to meet today. Yet I loved him. Is that unconditional? Or just being stupid, I can't decide.<P>I started to be conditional when I came to MB. When I learned that it was ok for me to be treated well (well after I gave up Plan A) but that I had needs and they should be met. I do agree, those needs being met, are a condition, but if they are a condition of a good marriage, I have no problem meeting my man's needs no matter what they are, because it makes me happy to see him happy. Now if only I can find that man who will reciprocate and then I'll be all set!!!!<P>I gotta stop thinking about all this when I'm not on the PC!!! Listening to the radio, is not helping!<BR>Dana<BR>

#665871 08/10/00 08:49 AM
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How about this,<P>In the beginning, when your needs were being met, before the X changed, you may have thought your love was unconditional, but it is still conditional in that both needs were being met, and therefore it SEEMED unconditional. But it was the condition that your needs were being met.<P>But over time, as your needs become neglected, the conditional part become more OBVIOUS. Before the conditions deteriorated, it was in the all green condition. As one's needs became neglected, the condition turned to yellow, caution, and here, one could think with more love, the condition will go back to green. However, a flaw in Harley's theory is that we DON'T change as we age.<P>Here I think the aging process slowly changes a person towards more like their parents and their real self, and family of origin. These issues stem from learned behaviors and happenings in the family of origin about the same time in your FOO, ie. neglect at 40 in FOO, neglect at 40 in current marriage. Other examples, as in my case, the change as I aged was realizing that fulfilling my father's dream as an oil tanker captain was a waste of my mind, and was not what I was interested in. My change in my 30's to get an MBA and go into finance/stock trading, was totally opposite from what my dad wanted/even liked (but it was what my mom liked) This changed me into someone my wife's family of origin disliked, businessmen and dealing with money.<P>This flaw in the logic covers part of the 10% of the population that even though Harley's EN can be met, there may be reasons why<BR>the couple's conditional love falls apart.<P>So the conditional part is that <BR>one does not change VERY MUCH from the original person one marries. That is, one mellows with age and maturity, but fundamentally does not change.<P>thl

#665872 08/10/00 09:40 AM
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I finally had some time to read through this thread.<P>My thought regarding marriage is this:<P>"What's love got to do with it"<P>For me, it was my vows that kept me in my marriage. In the end, love had nothing to do with it. I did want to have a loving relationship and was trying to figure out how to get that through counseling etc. But it was my vows that kept me in my marriage for 13 years and I would still be in my marriage, if my x had not left me. I also think it was vows that kept past generations married forever not necessarily love. Sure, I think some had that, but many probably did not. I think the ones that had love, had figured out what it takes to keep that. And I think that is where all the advice comes in regarding meeting needs, etc.<P>Sue asked "if marriage is to be forever, and a lot of people are married till death, is it because of a strong conviction to their vows ...? I believe the answer is yes.<P><BR>As to the topic of love:<P>I also think the Student is right when she says that "romantic love fades and then you get to the real love". I hope that holds true in my current or next relationship. I will search for that. I will not give up on love.<P>I also agree with Dana that we are "in love" when our conditions are met. When they are not, we don't actually stop loving, we just don't feel "in love" any longer.<P>I do think when one is married they have to stay together through thick or thin. But, when we have hit the bottom, we must figure out how to get out of that rut, so the marriage does not end. It only takes one person to walk away from a marriage. So, that is when we need to figure out how to meet those persons needs so they do not walk. I do think if marriage is to survive the test of time, both people have to realize that marriage is work, romantic love fades, and it takes work to keep it together and take it to the next level. That is what I am looking for next time. The guy I am seeing believes this too. So, maybe there is hope for us. <P>The Student said:<P>"It is blatantly obvious that most people don't have what it takes to make a life-time commitment. The ones that do are still married." That holds true for the people who don't take their vows seriously. But, I think it is unfair to the one's who do take their vows seriously but had no choice in keeping their marriages together because the other one left them. Like me. <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by 711 (edited August 10, 2000).]

#665873 08/10/00 09:50 AM
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"I guess I would like to hear everybodys thoughts on this."<P>Here are mine:<P>When I said the wedding vows, I was committing to unconditional love. I do not see how the traditional vows could be viewed otherwise. However, that does not mean unconditionally feeling the same way all of the time. It means maintaining good will (agape love) toward your partner regardless of the circumstances or offenses. It does not mean that you will never feel hurt or angry. It does mean that you will always want what is best for your mate.<P>If you feel that your partner is constantly scrutinizing your behavior and just looking for a reason to criticize/condemn, you may feel that you are not unconditionally loved. You may feel abandoned...and the spouse may leave but that does not mean that you must choose to NOT love. You can still love the mate and pray for the mate. You can still practice the giving even though you recognize that the mate's conditional love will not work.<P>That is where I am now. I am choosing to love and express love even though I do not feel loved by my mate. It is better to choose to love--to keep the vow to love and cherish until death. That is the love I expected from my mate when we said our vows and I am willing to do nothing less than that regardless of the circumstances.<P>Responses?<P>

#665874 08/10/00 03:19 PM
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mrb,<P>And what you said gets back to my opinion that love is a decision, not a feeling. Romantic love is a feeling and not "real love", in my opinion. Real love is an act of will. <P>711,<BR>Part of my frustration is the fact that marriages can be ended so easily. One of the people can take their vows very seriously, even if they don't feel "in love" anymore. The other person can bail just because they don't feel "in love" and basically has no will to actually be loving. Anybody can be "in love". It takes a special kind of person to be loving in spite of the fact that they are not "in love" at the moment.

#665875 08/10/00 07:05 PM
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Susan,<P>Shortly after my H left, I asked him whether or not I had always acted as if I loved him, and he said I had. It seems to me that if you know someone loves you, and you have needs that are not being met, it should be obvious that all you have to do is tell them and they would do their best to meet your needs. <P>It seems to me from my H's statements that yes, in fact, it is true that no matter how hard you try, it is quite likely that nothing will be good enough. And you will have no warning.

#665876 08/10/00 09:06 PM
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TheStudent,<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>And what you said gets back to my opinion that love is a decision, not a feeling. Romantic love is a feeling and not "real love", in my opinion. Real love is an act of will.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Gary Smalley wrote a book about this...Steve Harley and I discussed this very point. <P>IMHO...when our spouces, for whatever reason, decided to quit our marriages they left us open and vulnerable. I had to struggle filling this void in my life. I know some day I will decide to love someone, and will do the things necessary to maintain romantic love. I believe for a marriage to be fullfilling these two must go hand in hand, otherwise we get bored and drift apart. Once that happens it is a supreme struggle to get it back. I don't want to go there again.<P>Bill <P>

#665877 08/11/00 06:37 AM
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The Student: I see what you are saying. It is very frustrating that it is so easy to leave a marriage now. And, I agree, that we need to try to be loving even when are needs are not being met. That is where I failed. I was told to "work on my side of the street" for a while even if my x wasn't working his side of the street. That was hard to do. I could do it for only a short period of time and then would get angry that he wouldn't reciprocate. If I could go back in time, I would have tried harder. Now, I can only learn from my past mistakes and move on.<P>Bill: I loved what you said in your post. Thanks! I am open and vulnerable. I do want romantic love. And, I do want to learn everything I can to get it and keep it next time.

#665878 08/11/00 10:15 PM
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And for those who had divorced for good reasons, but still claim to love the person, thereby making it unconditional, my response is:<P>either the person is in love with the MEMORIES of the person in the past, or<P>does not want to look at reality, or at least communicate that to the outside world. It can make it easier for them.<P>Sue, <BR>how do you tell your kids that you don't love their dad anymore? or don't you?<P>thl<BR>

#665879 08/11/00 11:37 PM
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WIFTT,<P>Ok, what is reality? Finding someone new every 5,10,15 years? It is a reality that at least 50% of marriages fail. Over 75% of second (or multiple) marriages fail. And just why do you think that is? Do you think every person in that other 50% who is not divorced is blissfully happy every day of their lives? Obviously, they know something we don't. I have my parent's example. They've been married 36 years, and tell you for a plain fact, they couldn't stand each other for some of those years. Lived in separate states for about 3 yrs. at one point. Lucky for both of them, that they didn't give up on their marriage when their needs weren't being met. Guess what? After 36 years, they claim they are happier than they've ever been now. You think it was because they were perfect at meeting each other's needs? Hardly. <P>The reason I still love my ex is not only because of memories. It is because I believe that a life-time together is more than just liking what they do all of the time. He was my family. I wouldn't abandon my sister or parents or dear friends. Don't get me wrong. There have been times when I've had a very hard time maintaining a relationship will all members of my family, but I never gave up on them and cut them out of my life. <P>Maybe people who claim love is conditional just have a hard time forgiving, hold grudges, and think finding someone new will be the solution to their problems.

#665880 08/12/00 11:51 AM
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WIFTT,<P>I am not in love with memories, either. I love my H. Just because he is suffering from depression or has undergone a "personality break" or whatever does not mean that I will stop loving him. People's basic personalities are established in very early childhood, probably even before birth, and do not change unless mental illness or addiction is involved. <P>If you love someone, it is permanent. If it is conditional, then it is not love.

#665881 08/12/00 03:40 PM
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I love the man my husband was...with all his imperfections as a husband, father and best friend. Since his behaviour caused me to firm and state the boundaries under which these relationships needed to survive or be rewritten to continue ...FOR MY EMOTIONAL/Financial WELL BEING and for my children to a lesser extent, I guess I could state that I love him unconditionally(i.e. there is a connectedness....I pity who he is and abhor the ow and ALL she stands for), but will not be in a relationship with him in any way!!!Does that make sense???????

#665882 08/13/00 12:07 AM
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Wilbok,<P>That does make sense to me. My mother separated from my dad when alcohol got the best of him and he refused to stop or get counseling. At that point, me and my sister were not talking to him either. My father had lost everything. My mother could have divorced him and noone would have blamed her. However, I do believe that thread of faith (which I call love) that she always had in him and he for her, is what ultimately helped pull him out. He has not touched alcohol in over 15 years, and is the best father I could ever ask for now. Maybe my parent's marriage is one in a million. However, I think most marriages have a trial-by-fire at some point. Most don't make it, not because of needs being met or not, but just that so many people don't have the will to see it through.

#665883 08/14/00 12:26 AM
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The student;<BR>I could have "waited this out" until the fog cleared or whatever, without a clear knowledge of whether there was anything to wait for or not, but I had to save myself too.<BR>In my case in addition to ow it was ALL ABOUT MONEY(which had always been a very important thing for H) So to enable his new life, I had to fund everything for the kids, give him a lot of money by writing off debts, giving him a holiday condo which he had been sneaking ow to (which I had purchased) In other 3words I should take care of kids (educational costs HUGE) etc etc while he spent on himself and ow his HUGE salary.<P>This I could not do without the anger probably killing me...so I did sue for divorce and H has been fighting at every point financially not to pay for his kids etc. His games though for a year, where I paid and was the banker, thinking I would get his share paid has been a nightmare of evasion and legal wrangling, but I did get child support for 2 kids. <BR>This fighting for every penny not to pay for his "former family" I believe is his true colour coming through.<BR>I detest him for this. So even if one day ow is history, I could never forgive this aspect of who he is..............................nor would I ever want anything to do with him. Trust went with the affair and lies and continued to go as he continued to lie during the "reconciliation" period. The trust over the finance is much too large to ever forgive. I trusted him to provide for his family, not only is he choosing to fight this, but is lying in the process.......and our lawyers are therefore having a wonderful time.<P>I am fortunate in that I will continue to fight legally until I have justice in this respect...for me and my children for the future. It is a principle, not a necessity and that is what it makes it so awful.<BR>

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