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Fishracer,

I did offer advice in my first post to HHM. And no, I was not busting on the guys. Just trying to offer advice that goes with "MARRIAGE BUILDERS".

An affair is an affair is an affair. It's all the same. Dating OR having sex while still married is an affair.

Some of the advice offered on this site anymore really irks me. If you don't believe in the principles of Marriage Builders, why be here?

And no, I'm not saying to sit around and wait for your spouse to return home. If the marriage is over, it's over. But make sure you are ok before moving onto a new relationship. Get rid of the emotional baggage first.

Mitzi <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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FISHRACER Said “””Surely you are not saying that HHM would be doing the same thing that WS has done! Please compare apples to apples for a moment!”””

OK. Dating while married is dating while married. Having sex with someone other than your spouse while married is an affair. Any more apples needed.

FISHRACER Said ”””Perhaps if you focused on offering advice to HHM on how to deal with the loneliness and properly socialize rather than bust on 3 men who are working on their loneliness issue, albeit respectfully, your posts would be more helpful. Making bold assumptions and disrespectful judgments usually has negative results so please be careful where you tread!”””

OK let’s discuss how at least one of these 3 fine respectful men is working on his lonliness issues. This is taken from a thread by darn near the exact same title a couple weeks ago.

DeafJeff Said “””After I found out about my now exWW's As I started seeing someone. Besides her being 20 years younger, between the 2 of us we had more baggage than O'Hare International Airport. I made it very clear from the begining that I was still married and could not get involved. It was just a sexual relationship and it was fantastic, the best I have had in 23 years. ………………She gave a badly needed boost to my trampled ego, self worth, and general outlook on life. This old man wore her out.”””

Sounds respectful and healthy to me. I don’t know anything about you FishRacer, but be careful who you swim with……….And Heartache, above is the type of man that a needy lonely person attracks.

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FaithfulNewCJ

Yes, I remember your input and you are correct; it was wise and I appreciated it then and do now! I was not aware of the extent of your situation or your pain. You are most definitely a "veteran" who has been there, done that to more extremes than most who post on here, including me! My WW sounds similar to your WH except for the physical abuse and has similar medical issues. You are also correct that you've put in your time, pain and loneliness; no doubt about it. The truth is: I ache for you and respect you for what you've done! I see that I pinched your "passion" nerve a little and I'm sure there was smoke coming from your keyboard. That's good. Your emotions are still intact!

Perhaps the issue at hand is really about perspective. It's been a long 15 years since I've "dated" anyone but my WW. I have no interest whatsoever in putting myself into a position of establishing a relationship with another W and won't until I know that I'm ready! My history has shown that to be true. WW history shows that she is a betrayer. (Look at my 1st. post) I loved her and hung with her through some very bad times early in our marriage and throughout. The A proves that she remains a betrayer. That's just a fact of life! Maybe I'm in a different position since I have been there, done that as well and am better prepared to recognize the signs if inappropriateness is nearing. I am not one who "falls in love" by chance as if some unexplained phenomenon just happened. It is solely my choice to do so; or not to do so! WW is not like that. SH says that is why she will now float from relationship to relationship for the rest of her life "falling" in & out of unrealistic love . Reality is; she does not know what love really is; just like your WH does not. They think they do; but there is no way! (Again from SH!) Like I said; I respect your choices and your position on "dating". I disagree if you're talking about socializing with "friends". Nothing wrong with that. I never meant to suggest that dating (as you define it), emotional attachment, physical activity, etc. should happen prior to D.

Mitzi

Take some time to get to know yourself without your spouse. Take some time to figure out what makes you truly happy. That, in the end, will help you to be happy and more content in any future relationships.

Good advice, I absolutely agree! However, during this time I strongly feel that interaction with friends is healthy and appropriate. (Read above) The implication that I got from your post is that HHM should stay home and read self-help books until D. If I was wrong about that; I stand corrected and apologize. Remember, we as humans are social creatures. It's why God produced Eve for Adam. Allow room for some "appropriate" socialization and maybe offer some tips on "appropriate".

LostHusband

OK. Dating while married is dating while married. Having sex with someone other than your spouse while married is an affair. Any more apples needed.

I have a friend whose W "checked out" on him 8 years ago. Went searching for happiness with several guys. To this day; WW refuses to D, but continues cycle of A's. By your logic; HHM should refrain from dating for 8 years? I do not feel that's reasonable. If for no other reason; imagine how much more depressed HHM would be if she thought it could be 8 years+. Perspective!

My Summary: I mis-stated the "traditional" view of dating. Should have changed it to "socializing with respect to aid in recovery!" CJ: Your dedication to morality is second to none. Please do not allow bitterness to ruin your future. Your advice to HHM for socializing was good. In order to grow; BS's must venture back into the world; taking small steps out of the loneliness. The time-frame for this will be different for everyone. Utilize friends with a caring eye for you and don't be in a hurry. If BS will not D; perhaps at some point we will need to make that decision. CJ: I've been lurking since 1999, although only reading marriage-help ideas; never infidelity until recently. WW would never read MB, HNHN and most recently SAA. SH knows the reason and so do I. You are a saint for what you've done; but I've been around here for a while myself. Good Luck to all.

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Oh no, being blasted again!

From LostHusband: </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> And Heartache, above is the type of man that a needy lonely person attracks.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I don't know if that is supposed to be attracts or attacks. I wish you could contact my rebound. She got what she was looking for too, her only regret being the physical relationship ended before she was ready. It was not destined to be a long term commited relationship and we both knew it. She had a good time, I had a good time, it made absolutely no difference as far as the legalities of my divorce was concerned. It helped me move on. I elected to not sit around and feel sorry for myself and have done no damamge to anyone I have been involved with. My marriage was over in every way except the paperwork. It had been for years, I just wasn't aware. I should thank my WexW for pointing it out. Seeing someone very special now, can't remember ever being happier, and this relationship isn't physical. Yet. Granted that is her choice, but I am happy. I am working on me, she is working on her, we are helping each other, we are working on us. There is life following the end of a bad marriage, everyone has to find it at their own pace. It might find you if you are hiding in a dark room but sometimes it helps to poke your head out of your shell a little.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by Fishracer:
<strong> I have a friend whose W "checked out" on him 8 years ago. Went searching for happiness with several guys. To this day; WW refuses to D, but continues cycle of A's. By your logic; HHM should refrain from dating for 8 years? I do not feel that's reasonable. If for no other reason; imagine how much more depressed HHM would be if she thought it could be 8 years+. Perspective!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I totally agree with socializing with respect making sure to take into account your mental state of being at the time.

However, your friend could simply divorce. I know of no state (presuming he's in the U.S.) that doesn't either grant single signature divorces or have a clause in there for abandoment. To me it's about doing the next "right" thing.

I do believe that what you're referring to as socializing is healthy but not the dating that was referred to earlier.

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Fellow MB-ers and HHM,

I have a suggestion here. I doubt if all this wrangling about who's dating and who's not and when is really not what HHM had in mind. I think wisdom tends to say wait until the divorce is final for romantic involvement--but people are free to make other choices and do so every day.

I think the thing that might be HELPFUL here is "How do I survive the awful loneliness?" or "What tactics did you use to get through the loneliness?" If you read the original post, the main topics I heard were "I feel so lonely I could die", "Maybe I'll just go out and get some male companionship", "I need to be with someone" and "I don't really trust men yet" (CJ paraphrase). My guess is that HHM felt the ache of loneliness and the only thing her mind could think of to deal with that loneliness was "go out with someone." Well hey--let's give her some ideas of OTHER things she can do besides starting an ill-timed involvement and getting hurt again.

HHM, for me, I have used several tactics to combat loneliness.

* My exH bought a puppy right before he left. At first I didn't want another dog, but as loneliness set in, I was SO GRATEFUL for that little mutt! He was lively, funny, playful, energetic, and he ALWAYS was thrilled to death to see me. So when I was lonely, I would play with a puppy who just could NOT get enough of me!

* Okay...this will sound nuts but I slept with a big teddy bear. Sleeping in bed alone felt so cold and unsnuggly, and it felt like the bed was a huge, empty bed! So I got a huge teddy bear almost my body length (I'm pretty short, so that's not saying much) and put him in bed. Now bed feels a little more snuggly and when I roll at night I roll into something instead of empty space. I'm sure a body pillow would also do the trick.

* I got a few really, really, really good lady-friends whom I could call day or nite (and they could call me day or nite) and we just got thru it together. I specifically chose lady-friends so I wouldn't have to deal with sexual tension. We agreed to help each other thru the long nites, or call whenever we were lonely--sometimes we even went to each other's houses and just talked in the middle of the nite (what the heck--we're both awake!!). When I really felt in a bind or going crazy, I called them.

* I got out there a little more. I personally do enjoy certain specific TV shows, but I also sort of "made" myself go to social events and things...like concerts in the park, coffee shops, civic events, classes, movies, etc. Just DO stuff where there are people there and get to know a few of them a little bit. If you're shy, tell yourself you are going to practice talking to one person, and just be brave. Sometimes, tho, I honestly just went where there were people and enjoyed having folks around without talking to them. Other times, I ended up chatting away with the people on the blanket beside me at the concert in the park, or meeting a dog who got off his leash, or a little girl who was running with a pinwheel and got away from her parents...

* Choose where you want to go and go. What do you like to do? Do you like to hunt, camp, fish? Go do it--maybe invite someone to come with you. Do you like dog shows, cat shows, car shows? Go to them. Worst case scenario, you will have a whole day of something you really enjoy because YOU like it! Best case scenario, you will meet another person who also likes it, and you will have a new friend. Give some thought to this one, tho, because as an example, if you like bars, the people you meet are probably also going to be people who like bars. IMHO, I do not want to end up getting involved with someone who likes bars, so I don't go there. I try to go places where I might be interested in the KIND of person who goes there.

* JOURNAL. Write down how you feel. Use a notebook and pen, or type it, or whatever, but write it. Write it like it's a letter to someone, if you like, but WRITE! And write exactly as you think it in your head (swear words and all)!

* Volunteer. I find that I am a lot less lonely when I am working with homeless people serving them a hot meal--because I feel blessed and they are glad for my company. I find that I don't feel so lonely when I am working with women who are still currently in an abusive situation and struggling to get out. They NEED a friend who will hang in there and not leave them because they aren't quite strong enough to leave their abuser. It takes the focus off of me and what I need/miss, and puts the focus on others. So, HHM, find a charity or organization that you are passionately interested in, and give them some of your time! Shoot, I was a nightowl and could never sleep--felt the worst and lowest at night--so I joined the Rape Crisis Hotline as the midnight gal, and I loved it!!

* Attend to yourself. When you feel lonely, don't try to avoid it...embrace it. And then be gentle to yourself. Take a hot bath, listen to Frank Sinatra, buy yourself some flowers--in other words pamper yourself a little bit. It's alright. You have permission to be loving to HHM!

* Turn to God, if you have a relationship with God. If you do not, think about maybe starting one. For some people, having faith in God and spiritual support is a wonderful comfort. I do personally believe in God and have a relationship with Him, and when I feel awfully lonely, I look up all the verses in the Bible that say, "I will never leave you or forsake you." What a wonderful comfort! I may feel lonely, but I am never alone.


CJ

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CJ: SIMPLY AWESOME!

Good Luck HHM.

FR

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I went to yoga class... a lot.

And once I got back into my home, I started huge projects like painting everything. Making shades. Planting shrubberies.

And I spent a lot of time online.

I'd go out to restraunts or pubs with a good book.

Books discourage unwanted attention pretty well. I guess brainy chicks aren't good canidates for a pick-up.

And sometimes, I just acknowledged the fact I was lonely and I'd have to live with it. Loneliness is not the worst emotion. I would sit with the loneliness and think about why I was lonely. Mostly I was mourning the loss of some dream, or of the past.

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OK. My turn. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

In the nearly two-and-a-half years between the time my wife deserted me and the time her divorce was finalized, I was lonely and I was hurting. I was also enmeshed and embroiled in the divorce process and my feelings about my wife, and very uncertain about what might happen to me. Would I be forced into bankruptcy? Would I lose my home and my job? Would my wife ever wake up? How many years would this continue to drag on?

Did I socialize? Oh, you better believe it! I rebuilt relationships with family and friends from every epoch of my personal history I could, because I knew that I needed a lot of support, and I didn't want to become too much of a burden to any one person. Because what do you suppose a large portion of our interactions comprised? Yep! We talked about my pending divorce, my wife's self-destructive behavior, and my own difficulties dealing with the situation.

A good time to be dating? Not! Yeah, I know that some people get into dating relationships at that point in their journey. The sympathy or empathy generated by feeding this need for support can not only help to create an emotional connection which may become quite powerful, but it can also serve to distract from the pain and other difficult feelings associated with the divorce. A new relationship can become an addictive drug which covers over those feelings - and prevents them from being processed in a healthy manner.

As a side note here, I want to address Heartache's comment "I guess I was only asking because my STBXH is doing it, and he's happy as pie." As still reeling said, "looks are deceiving." More than that though, feelings are deceiving. A false high fed by destructive energies is a whole world away from true happiness.

Some months after my wife was granted her divorce, I "fell in love" with someone new. I confess that I chuckled a bit at Fishracer's claim that he is "not one who 'falls in love' by chance as if some unexplained phenomenon just happened. It is solely my choice to do so; or not to do so!" If anyone could make that claim, I should have been able to make it: my head has always guided my heart, and despite a normal cycle of "crushes" in my experience, I had only permitted myself to "fall in love" once before (with the girl I married). But even for someone who is highly cerebral and almost preternaturally self-controlled, the heart can never be completely tamed. Playing around with dating is more dangerous than playing with fire - and I wasn't dating or even doing anything remotely close to it!

But, I was divorced now, and my ex-wife and I had not spoken in over two-and-a-half years. So this was a good time to pursue a new relationship, right? Not!. I had a lot of healing to do. Fortunately, the young lady I fell in love with did not want to be anything other than friends, so for more than a year I have been blocked from dating, unable to pursue her and yet unable to get interested in anyone else. Frustrating? God help me, yes! But...

I healed. I grew. I explored personal passions and possible futures. Friends tell me that they have never seen anyone grow and change so much in just a year, from someone so broken to someone so vibrant.

Sure, I'm lonely sometimes. But, I still socialize. It's not that hard, even for someone like me, who seems to have an "Ignore Me" sign imprinted somewhere on my person. When I go to various events I rarely end up speaking to anyone unless I myself start the conversation, and I get very few personal invitations to social-type things. But, that doesn't mean that I can't invite someone out to lunch or have them over to my house for dinner or...whatever. I'm no more lonely than I choose to be.

Only recently have I begun daring to issue such invitations to women, as opposed to men or couples or groups. I suppose that could be considered dating, although so far I have only made such overtures to women who already know that I am obsessed with someone else. These are friends, so they understand where I am coming from.

What's significant here is that it has been over four years since my wife left me, and only now do I believe that I may be ready to begin a new relationship. I look at my young lady friend and thank God for how she handled my interest in her - because only the combination of her "rejection" with her open-hearted friendship could have showed me that I could love someone again without either needing them or hurting them.

God, I believe, protected me. And I believe He did so because He knew where my heart was throughout - that I was not seeking my own self-interest so much as I was seeking His Will and His Plan. Sure, I've got a Taker, and it would be nice to feel loved again. But in all honesty, what I miss most is the opportunity to Give. In His time, I believe He will grant me that chance again. But I have to wait on Him, and in the meantime He has given me much to do...

That's my story. For a change, it's not a systematic exposition of principles. But it's all relevant to the subject of this thread, and I hope someone can pull a lesson or two from it. The bottom line is that when it comes to building a new relationship, it shouldn't be about your loneliness or even your happiness. It's about finding the road you are supposed to be on, and then in God's time encountering someone who is compatible and complementary and who is walking the same road.

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What a great story, Gnome.

How does it end? I'm dying to know. She's still free, isn't she?

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by greengables:
<strong> What a great story, Gnome.

How does it end? I'm dying to know. She's still free, isn't she? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I don't know how the story ends.

Yes, she's still free. She's still not doing any dating at all, and she still hasn't given me any reason to think that she will ever want to be anything other than friends. But, we are friends, and she knows that I love her (not just that I'm "in love" with her), and she knows what kind of man I am. That is enough.

Maybe, when it is the right time, God will change her heart. Or maybe He will change mine. It is not important to me which He chooses, because right now I believe that both of our hearts are where they are supposed to be, and that God has used the situation to bring growth and healing to both of us. In fact, I believe He set this whole situation up!

But God is not a cruel tease; I believe there will be an end to the story, and it will be a happy one, regardless of whether it is her road God joins with mine or someone else's.

Right now the road isn't easy. But it's a good road.

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Fishracer,

Glad to see you finally understood what I was saying. Just because I've been here a while doesn't mean I'm still pining after my ex. (Check out my signature line! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> )

Mitzi <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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GDP: What a great story. This is such a sticky topic (as emotional issues often are). I respect your views and appreciate you sharing your story.

Thank you.

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Just a quick note to all who have responded to this thread; I had a discussion with our preacher today (from a "larger" Church of Christ in Florida) about this sensitive issue. He knows all details of situation with WW & I, and cares deeply about both of us. He has tried to persuade WW into working on our M through biblical references, MB and personally, but WW continues refusing to consider any marital advice except from OM and is steadfast in going through with D.

Today; I brought this subject up with him and discussed the issue of "dating". His personal and Biblical opinion (at least in my case) is that he feels I have done "everything humanly possible" to save my M. With this in mind; he further concludes that if I choose to; I would not be sinning if I choose to "date". Again "date" being the key word. I realize that he knows me better than anyone on this DB possibly could and I consider that when he's talking with me. He's coming from a position of potential damage to me if I do not begin to socialize; which we also discussed.

So if I "muddied this water" even more; it is not my intent. Only wanted to share a good preachers opinion. I also told him that I will choose not to "date" in the traditional sense until D is final. He said that is purely my choice, but in our case feels it is a non-issue!

FR

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Oh dear!

I have used the term "hooking up" very indiscriminatorily!!

I thought it meant like connecting at a level of attraction... like one starts going out with someone of the opposite sex!

Now, I am concerned that if "hooking up" were taken LITERALLY... I'd need to slap someone!... for seeking to take from me my

RE-VIRGINIZED LAURA LEE... title. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

NO "hooking up"... in the literal sense.

<img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

(Like, you all "get" that I'm just kidding around here, right?)

LIKE! Let's not throw rotten fruit at my friend, deafjeff, cause he broke "the rules", right?

I'll just lecture him in a really knowing manner... faking, of course, that i know. lol

L

<small>[ August 30, 2004, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: laura_lee ]</small>

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"You are still married so until the divorce is final don't date."

I don't agree with the following comments and caveats....

If you feel committed to the divorce, with no reservations, then no reason not to date, if you are separated and committed to filing the papers. If not hold off. So I don't agree. Yet date but don't have sex. Go for coffee or a dinner, maybe a walk in the park. While the process is underway, why not get out there, and find common interests with others. Be honest about your situation with a potential new friend. Be positive and tell them what you are looking for in a new mate. Listen to the response. Share and be positive. It will give you confidence to proceed. Everyone going through a divorce is hurting, particularly if you are a victim of infedility and lost trust, we share a common bond. But don't have sex until you are divorced, and feel certain about your new partner. You will know when. I don't see a simple kiss as a problem at the door or after a dinner date.

I'm talking a good song, but this is my plan. I do plan to tell you how its going. So far, not so good.

This board has given me a lot of good advice. My marriage crashed, but I post here on the divorce line now, rather than Plan A/B which are good things but I failed at that. I hope to give a positive response to our troubles for those who have failed those plans. I also appreciate responses to my posts.

Best to all! I love you all!

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by GnomeDePlume:
<strong> The bottom line is that when it comes to building a new relationship, it shouldn't be about your loneliness or even your happiness. It's about finding the road you are supposed to be on, and then in God's time encountering someone who is compatible and complementary and who is walking the same road. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">WOW!! Awesome post, GDP! As someone who's been around here as long as you (actually little longer), it is awesome to see how you've grown.

Just had to tell you that! And that I can't agree with the above statement (and your whole post) more!!

You are so wise!

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I just want to say thanks for the encouragement, Ms.O. Sometimes - and especially lately - I feel like a fool, but...I still believe I'm where God wants me, as peculiar as it sometimes seems.

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Your question is...How long to wait before you date?

Well, I would say...at least till you're divorced.

I'm sorry, I know you're lonely right now but, dating is not the solution to your problem.

IMHO, you should surround yourself with friends and family who will be supportive of you and your situation.

Do something special for yourself...like a day at the spa or a new haircut. Maybe, invite a good friend out to dinner and a movie.

Just don't jump into something that will make things worse for you in the long run.

Again, JMHO.

Good luck to you. TG

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