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#969390 01/12/02 10:21 AM
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This was posted by Plain Jane as part of a response to the thread " Letter to OW".<p>Her response spoke to me; it seems to "feel" like it may have fit my situation.<p>I realize there are many variables in each story, I was curious how you saw this observation. It is easy to see why and where this post dovetails with the MB philosophy.<p>But I'm curious how you see the below as a motivator for WS actions. There is, after all , a lot of debate as to why all this happens, why some do and some don't..<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>A common theme among the regular MBer's is that all "affairs" are based upon a love affair, and that no WS would so callously through away a marriage or family in order to fullfill there own needs. I strongly disagree. If more people took an honest look at themself, and the reason behind the affair, they will find that it wasn't because my husband ignored me, it wasn't because my wife refused my sexual advances, it was due to the fact that the WS is/was frantically looking for something, anything to fill the empty spot in there life. And only thru true deep searching we are able to begin to see it for what it really was. <p>It could have been drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, anything. <p>You know what? I truly believe that letter came from her husband, and as a WS, he could have written that about me.<hr></blockquote><p>Plain Jane, I hope there are no problems w me reposting your response. That has gotten me into trouble before. If there are any problems, my apologies, I will have this thread deleted.<p>If you're ok w this, PJ, thank you for your thoughts, they are helpful.<p>Dan

#969391 01/12/02 08:37 PM
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pj quote...A common theme among the regular MBer's is that all "affairs" are based upon a love affair, and that no WS would so callously through away a marriage or family in order to fullfill there own needs. I strongly disagree. <p>snl....I agree with PJ, most affairs are not love affairs. But I think equating throwing away a marriage to fullfill other needs is not the paradigm either, which explains why so many infidelities do not end in divorce. When the ws has to deal with the reality, they often go back to the marriage because of the family...IMO that is a mistake, and just gaurantees continued (and/or) future disharmony. There is only one reason (IMO) one should try to maintain an intimate relationship (as opposed to marriage, which is a legal contract, and has nothing to do with love), and that reason is cuase you want to wake up next to that person more than anything in life....and answering that requires some serious radical honesty, something humans are not very good at.<p>pj, cont....If more people took an honest look at themself, and the reason behind the affair, they will find that it wasn't because my husband ignored me, it wasn't because my wife refused my sexual advances, it was due to the fact that the WS is/was frantically looking for something, anything to fill the empty spot in there life.<p>snl...That is oftentimes true, but excludes the notion people wander cause they do not fit, which is IMO the primary reason "normal" (as opposed to folks with personality disorders) wander. % wise I dunno which is larger, and to some extent the two mimic each other, and is not easy to unravel. <p>pj, cont...And only thru true deep searching we are able to begin to see it for what it really was. It could have been drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, anything.<p>snl...Regardless of the "reason" deep searching is definitely in order for all parties, bs, ws, and op. An affair is a temporary (or should be anyways, and usually is) behavioural response to where one is in life...it cannot serve as a life paradigm, and only one to a customer (IMO), and the primary outcome should be to throw all the individuals into deep contemplation, very serious "work" and an honest outcome. Unfortuneately that doesn't happen much, mostly people "react"....bs go into save the marriage at all cost mode (not even looking at what they are saving, and whether it is worth it half the time)...ws either cut and run (unwilling to face the music), or also enter into a "honeymoon" to save the marriage, which of course self-destructs later cause no one did any really serious work, including a fit assessment.<p>fm...You know what? I truly believe that letter came from her husband, and as a WS, he could have written that about me.<p>snl....This confused me a bit, I forget, you are a ws, and this letter resonates with why you think you wandered? Perhaps, if you are one to solve problems by running away from them, as many ws do.<p>This has nothing to do with why I "wandered" and I know pretty much exactly why, I have worked it out. I have also concluded while I share some of the pathology of ws in general, there is no "one" kind of ws, there are about 1/2 dozen paradigms, and the one I am in is probably the smallest group. I do think it is useful to identify what kind of ws one is (by both the ws and the bs) cause the response is not going to be the same for each kind. Likewise it is useful and very important to identify the psychological profile of the bs, for the same reasons. <p>This is not rocket science, I think learning the ins and outs of human relationships, and applying them is doable for the average person, but it does take work. MB has done a good job, but has a few glaring holes, which is why it works for some and not for others. They are unpront about one, that being this stuff is useless if the ws, or the bs (or anyone in a marriage) has serious personality disorders...unfortuneately large numbers of marriages involve just such people (we are a screwed up species)...... and the "normal" partners often live in a permanent state of denial/co-dependentcy and just cannot find the courage to leave these toxic caricatures of a marriage. MB cannot help these marriages, although it can offer some help to the normal partner by providing a path out...plan a...plan b....divorce.<p>Another hole is the implication we can be married to anyone and in-love if we rote follow MB principles....this completely ignores motivation (other than just do it for the kids, and cause you "care" about your spouse, and pragmatic issues like money, and benefits of extended family, history etc. etc.). IMO motivation should come from the heart not the head, and is an integral part of the deep bonding we call in-love. It is difficult to find someone you fit in this way, but when you do, there is no doubt....unfortuneately it is also easy to be mistaken and confused (which is why we have the word infatuation I guess). Fit scares most of us, cause it implies some very powerful and potent things. Far easier to embrace a paradigm of just "do it" and you can be in-love with anyone. This leads to a lot of the sad recoveries you hear here. Where people are "doing it" but something is missing. That is a marriage led by the head, their hearts do not meet, and never will. Or they make it a little better, and settle, trade passion and depth, for security and good manners. <p>They beat themself up with how to make it better, never realizing it is not them, it is the marriage, they don't belong together, they don't fit. I really don't understand the emphasis on saving a marriage, instead of saving the people. A marriage ending is not so terrible, if people can accept one or both simply do not belong in it, they cannot be the whole person God meant them to be in this union, there is nothing noble in marital sacrifice, and nothing sacred, it is only a legal contract, you can't make people bond deeply just cause you choose too, it takes something else, and when it is not there people are not motivated very much.<p>MB works best with practical people, and rules oriented people, who are basically normal (meaning capable of recognizing and carrying out a contract). It bothered me for a long time, this notion of behavioural programming, feels like brainwashing (and it is...sorta, but of a benign sort). If you treat someone well, and meet their needs, of course they will "feel" good about it, and you. And if you are allready married to them you are gonna feel inclined to accept this state. And if you "do" the same, it is sort of like smiling, it is harder to be angry, unhappy simply by making your mouth smile (doing it). SO as both parties buy into the notion they can be happy together by meeting needs, and not hurting each other you craft a safe plesant place, and start thinking fondly of your partner, and appreciateing their efforts, and all the kindly stuff we humans do to each other. Next thing you know you are "happily" married, or at least you think so, cause it is working in a very practical manner.But that reduces the why of being married to getting your back-scratched, you do me, and I do you. Does your spouse really know who you are? Do they really even care who you are, are they even capable of understanding who you are? Do they know your secret places, your hopes and dreams, your fears and sorrows, or do these things get buried away, not cause your spouse would be deliberately hurtful, but because their inability/uninterest in them would hurt too much. <p>That is the tradeoff people make, one partner usually is quite content with the needs stuff, the other is glad of it, but wants the other and realizes it will never happen, so gives it up. MN cannot help with this, all the radical honesty does is lead to saddness or anger....what can be more sorrowful than looking at a well-meaning, nice, helpful, caring, parent of your children, and knowing they will never really know who you are. So you stop expecting them to know, and you stop talking about it, you let it die somewhere deep down inside you, and heck wasn't important cause you have a great marriage...right? It surprised me at first how hard the bs try to "win"....I couldn't understand why they didn't first see if they really fit their spouse, were the person their ws needed to be the best they can be....yet to a woman (or man) they describe this deep love, this love of their life, and how they will change and be this great spouse... to me that is backwards. <p>How can all these different marriages be to the love of their life? According to MB principles then they are all interchangeable, so why hang on to this one anyways? What makes them special? The answer of course is usually nothing, it is usually about dependentcy, fear of change, stubborness (we hate to lose, or be "rejected"), and so forth. But this is where MB shines, if you can get the 2 to sit down, focus on each other, and "do it" you can make a pretty attractive life, and bypass all-together the notion of fit, substituting instead safety, comfort, and regular safe sex. I can't do that, I can't settle, I spent 24 years trying to settle, and just cause leaveing got my w attention enought to get her to stop critizing and meet a few needs is not going to fix anything. The issue isn't meeting needs, the issue is fitting for me, and people like me. I don't care about the needs, I care about being seen, of not being invisible. I don't want to be the meal ticket, the security blanket, the source of affection and sex and and rest of EN's, or to be scored on how well I provide them. I don't want to be treated with protection, respect and caring, so I won't wander, I do not want a contract. I want a union, a oneflesh union, I want to be part of a whole, the other half of a fitted whole. Such things are possible, and exist, and it is the standard I am applying to my current marriage, and my w surprising request not to just end it at D. I am an emotionally very conservative man, bonding is important to me, and the lack of bond was the primary source of my unhappiness with my marital decision. I married because I couldn't bear the pain of rejection my w was expressing. I cared about her, felt like her white knight (earlier), she was a good person, and a hard worker, and had lots of good traits, and a number of things that "fit"....but she doesn't know who I am, or I her, and the inevitable distancing and loneliness and bickering, anger, and withdrawal occured. Why? Cause of me, cause I needed her to see me, and she wouldn't/couldn't and I wouldn't let it go. To stay alive I withdrew, was very dutiful, but I built a protective wall.....why? Cause whenever I tried to be me, I got ignored, or critized (told to change), and it hurt too much, I use to think it was mean and malicious....but it wasn't, it was just the inevitable consequence of people who cannot see each other. That can't be fixed, it arises out of who people are...all you can do is decide to bury it and "choose" to do it, cheerfully and with full understanding you will never be really bonded, you will be in a caretaking, contractural, type of marriage....you will only be best friends cause you spend all your time together, and "know" each others little quirks and foilbles, the cute ones, and the annoying ones....but you will be alone, and you will know it. Or you can recognize that while you can have a special relationship, arising out of the commonality you do have, the history you do have, the children you do have, and lots of caring for each other, you will never have the intimate bonds humans are capable of when they are a matched set. That makes people angry, it really shouldn't, it is just a recognition of the truth, the truth radical honesty requires.....I wonder how many of the "recovered" marriages here actually practive that principle, tell their spouse their are places they will never see, and that they want that but gave it up for them, settled for them....Or how many want to hear a spouse say that to you? What is so awful about ending a marriage but being good friends, special friends? Why is their such anger associated with this, and viewing it as rejection instead of truth? Why do people hang on so hard, trying to manipulate their spouse anyway they can into staying? Why does anyone want to spend a lifetime trying to "work" on intimacy, but spend so little effort on trying to discover whether they really fit, and lovingly letting each other go? It seems to boil down to people really loving the picture of marriage, and loving who their spouse is, and really makes no difference who they are, they love them because they are their spouse, if they weren't, they wouldn't love em, they would love whoever else was their spouse.<p>It is interesting to hear the stories about people for who the marriage ended, they were usally devastated, lost their truelove, etc. etc.....yet after awhile they almost allways come back and say they are happy again, have new relationships that work so much better, etc. etc. How is that possible, if the other was the "right" one? That (and a lot of stuff) tells me what we call marriage is for the most part contractural accomodations to share life, and have kids safely, and have regular safe sex....and we have so much trouble with it cause someone usually doesn't hold up their end....but instead of trading them in, we try to hold on for deeper reasons, that tells me we (humans) want to bond, that bonding is important, and that we just don't do it very well (pick a mate we fit). If in fact it doesn't make any difference who we are married too, then it shouldn't make any difference whether we divorce either, except as an issue of where is the better deal (essentially steves argument to me when we discussed why be married to my spouse), unfortuneately that is the wrong argument for me, makes me almost panicky. The only reason to be married is to legally recognize an intimate bond, the bond exists or not on it's own merits, marriage has nothing to do with it. I can do everything MB says is important as an ex-spouse, everything literally, I do not have to be married, the history is the same (that is why it is history), the family connections don't change (they are genetic, can't change), the caring and respect is the same, so why be married if the deep connections are not there? Even if you are married, the connections still won't be there, what then? It boild down to is marriage about meeting needs, and sharing life, or is it about recognizing the synergy and nurturing of two closely fitted human beings.... the answer IMO is it is both.... and we each choose by concious choice, and by where life took us, which way to implement it. It is painful when 2 people try and have different expectations, cause the differences are irreconcileable, but for either paradigm to be successful the same criteria applies, BOTH have to be enthusiastic, and completely selfish, in the choice....when it is the same choice, it will work, if not, it won't, and will be a lifetime of unhappiness, trying to make it fit. Least that is how I see it.<p>Ta know FM, I see the stories from time to time of people who struggled, and couldn't find that happiness, not the picture, not the work, but the deep nurturing happiness of oneflesh, and they part, even angrily often...but still decent people, and they end up being very good friends, co-parents (if applicable), can talk, are supportive, and I wonder about that. Married they did not fit, and it won't work, but remove the stress of forced intimacy, and they find they are quite good for each other....how is that if fit is not important? I think way too many people try to make marriage work by brute force, and I think that is wrong, I don't think marriage should be much work, and that it is a measure of fitting.....those who fit bond deep, and it really isn't work, it is fun, rules of protection are not needed cause you do it automatically, it is like taking care of yourself, and as harley says in his book, people in-love do not have affairs either, interesting. All this misery cause we have the focus wrong, or more exactly neglect to see if what we are trying to "save" actually should be saved, most often I suspect it shouldn't, given how ignorant we are about ourselves and mate selection.<p>You got my philosophic juices flowing FM (easy to do), hope I didn't bend your ear to much.<p>[ January 12, 2002: Message edited by: sad_n_lonely ]</p>

#969392 01/12/02 09:01 PM
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>But that reduces the why of being married to getting your back-scratched, you do me, and I do you. Does your spouse really know who you are? Do they really even care who you are, are they even capable of understanding who you are? Do they know your secret places, your hopes and dreams, your fears and sorrows, or do these things get buried away, not cause your spouse would be deliberately hurtful, but because their inability/uninterest in them would hurt too much.
<hr></blockquote><p>This describes an EN SnL... the person thinking this way needs to find a way to talk to their spouse... <p>Your right... it is knowing these things that causes the fit... the soulmate feeling... when you stopped talking... and/or your spouse stopped listening the connection became fuzzy...<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>but she doesn't know who I am, or I her, and the inevitable distancing and loneliness and bickering, anger, and withdrawal occured. Why? Cause of me, cause I needed her to see me, and she wouldn't/couldn't and I wouldn't let it go. To stay alive I withdrew, was very dutiful, but I built a protective wall.....why? Cause whenever I tried to be me, I got ignored, or critized (told to change), and it hurt too much, I use to think it was mean and malicious....but it wasn't, it was just the inevitable consequence of people who cannot see each other. That can't be fixed, it arises out of who people are...<hr></blockquote><p>If you really want to fix the connection BOTH spouses must give... one learns to talk w/out hesitation and with radical honesty and the other learns to listen with acceptance...<p>and, yeah, I know... so much water under the bridge and pain has already taken place... trust on both sides is near impossible... I guess I am the eternal optimist... 'cause I don't see how impossible it would be for two people who have lived together and been married for so long... who have parented children together to learn who each other are...<p>Why is it too late? Too late is when you're dead... not feeling dead... but dead and buried... then it is truly too late to fix anything...<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>I don't think marriage should be much work <hr></blockquote><p>I still don't understand this... isn't parenting work? isn't being a really good friend to someone work? isn't being a brother or a sister, son or daughter... sometimes work?<p>Relationships are work... they are a dance of learning to be ourselves, but tempering our selfishness to allow others to be themselves as well... Give and Take...<p>I know we will differ philosophically on this question SnL... but I had to add my two cents.<p>[ January 12, 2002: Message edited by: Cali ]</p>

#969393 01/12/02 10:49 PM
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I'll add my input since I am SNL wife. H keeps saying why work so hard on the marriage. He and the OW had to work on their stuff before they became in-love and one-flesh with the sex. Don't tell me you didn't work on it, you both did, meeting each others needs. Even in counseling, Steve said the same fact. <p>As far as he being the one that had to be in a bad marriage. It wasn't exactly the best spot in the world for me. It was a marriage in h*ll. Of course I am the bad person, and his OW is still the honorable, sexually active woman.<p>With writting a letter to the OW. My H and the OW when they were still talking excessively on the cell-phone (she lives 2000 miles away) they argued all the time about her not telling her H. She wants to keep this affair a secret, her H knows about her first sexual affair, and she is scared to be by herself. She has never worked in her life, only been the recepient of his money and attention. We wrote a letter to the OW when my H was still talking to her on the phone. That was a laugh, a big laugh. He did what you were suppose to do, put in the letter no more contact, no more talking, no more seeing each other. Didn't last that day, he contacted her on the phone that same day. It was a foul play by his and her part. Just to make the Harleys feel better and me. I was so hurt by that action, just another big lie!<p>Writting a letter to the OW is not going to do any good, unless there is evidence that the WS wants to quit. My H didn't want to quit and continued the affair (EN) for 5 months later. I had to listen to him talking to her on his cell phone, when I went to his bed to see if he wanted pancakes for breakfast and caught him in the act. Of course it was all my fault, for catching him and of course the foul language came and the rage. Of course I was wrong. I should of just let him be and let him talk with his sweet heart. <p>As far as working with the MB's, it has not been going well. MB can work if 2 people are willing to work 100%. When 1 wants to work 100% and the other only 30-50% it is not going to work. I am in the position that my Love Bank is not being filled. I am looking at having an affair myself. My H supposedly knows what in-love, one-flesh, soulmate is with the OW. I want to know what that feeling is too. I want the ecstacy, euphoria, fantasy, and to hear my lover call me sweet names, and to tell me he misses me, with a special nickname he calls me. <p>H talks about MB working with people who like rules, etc. I am a guardian. I obey rules, I have deep faith in humans, I am a caregiver, I look to follow plans, and to read directions. H doesn't do this because he is a rationalist. So we don't fit. But who takes care of the finances and bills now. I do. They get paid on time and I keep a running balance. I try to keep a house clean, but it is so difficult when both spouses are not identical in cleaniness. I am a hard worker, an organizer, and a loving soul. Our kids are so important to me. We talked a little about would I be interested in having more kids. Yes, I would, but not at my age. I would love to adopt some kids, but I would ask the opinion of our (15-23) kids to see what they say. To have one opinion is important to me, I respect ones opinion, and most of the time put their opinion into effect. <p>An affair, screws up the whole family. I am so sorry to hear when the WS is not remorseful or does not feel guilty about the affair. This to me sounds pretty selfish, and destructive. Just a few statements, bye for now.

#969394 01/13/02 12:53 AM
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thx cali for the comments, I know it is an EN sorta, but not exactly, is more fundamental. MB en concepts imply anyone can meet them, they are just a "thing" you do, and to some extent fine. But fitting is not just about en, the concept implies not just anyone can meet your en, and I think that is true too, that is what I am trying to get across by motivation. I can't be who thinker needs and still be me, and vice versa. This is that boundary again between the just "do it" love is a decision, makes no difference who the love object is school of thought, and the fit is ab essential component in ability to meet needs the way they need to be met school of thought. I do talk to thinker, have always talked to her, have wore her out talking to her, at some point you just face reality, a relationship is only going to go so far and that's it, no matter how much you try, no matter how much you want it to be different. Such is life, you either make peace with that, and accept/live with it, and the consequences....or you recognize you cannot have that level of intimacy together and you end it and live with the consequences. Everyone must decide that for themselves, and that is where radical honesty comes in, it prohibits sacrifice, as it should. <p>We did stop, as everyone does and made the best of it, but that pretty much gaurantees eventual withdrawal. We did not have any means/tools to evaluate what was going on, and both just became very unhappy, and emotionally malnourished....now we have the tools to make the evaluation, and that is very hard too, especially emotionally for thinker, as you observe her posts when she follows me around....we absolutely do not talk about this stuff together, she refuses... yet she forces the issue sometimes (like tonight) and it is always the same she is very very angry, hurtful, critical, and not at all meeting my most basic need emotional honesty without fear of being beat up for it. This disturbs me, it makes all this conditional, she will participate and do her part as long as I behave (and think) the way she wants me too. This is very frustrating for me, and is not a whole lot different from how our marriage was. As I ponder this, I know she is not being deliberately hurtful, but is the consequence of trying to meet each others needs, it stresses both of us, that leads me to have to consider we do not fit in ways necessary for intimacy. We do ok on caring, and cooperation, but not the intimate knowing of each other. I wish it were different, I wish everyone could be passionate and nurtured by whoever they happened to marry, but it just doesn't seem to work that way, not only for us, but many others here too. Fit is important, it cannot be just ignored, or wished away, it is the foundation.<p>cali...and, yeah, I know... so much water under the bridge and pain has already taken place... trust on both sides is near impossible... <p>snl...Yes, emotional trust is difficult, but can be done and is, the issue is not that so much as it is the inability to even really see each other, and I don't think one can overcome that, one can only try to accurately assess it, and decide what to do about whatever truth is revealed.<p>cali...I guess I am the eternal optimist... 'cause I don't see how impossible it would be for two people who have lived together and been married for so long... who have parented children together to learn who each other are...<p>snl...Happens all the time cali. And many of the long term marriages I am aware of, that will continue till death do part are very shallow. The people are just putting in their time. There is no passion, and often even very little to do with each other, other than routine interactions of co-habitation. Are they nice to each other? Sure, why wouldn't they be after 30, 40, 50 years, but that is not what marriage is about...they could be nice/caring to each other unmarried, so what is the difference? The difference is often they kinda just put up with each other, they are not one. They are not joyous, in fact oft times their is a lot of low level lb'ing going on, and it is just put up with. It is so sad, the standard is not how they nurtured and blossomed each other, but that they persevered, and made it to the finish line, and put up with each other. I can't do that.<p>cali...Why is it too late? Too late is when you're dead... not feeling dead... but dead and buried... then it is truly too late to fix anything...<p>snl...But that makes marriage a life sentence cali, you never give up, that celebrates the effort and not the people, it worships the picture, the 3rd party (the marriage itself) assumes the most importance, I won't do that, I think people are more important, and life is not about self-imposed emotional prison...I can see no value whatsoever in staying married, and unhappy for a lifetime, it is an abomination of God's plan for marriage methinks. Humans are blessed (created?) with a remarkable capacity to heal, and grow, divorce is not death, it is the simple dissolution of a legal contract, everyone will be just fine, if they want to be. The reality of bonding is not in the paper, it is in the heads and hearts of people, and when you don't fit well enough to achieve the state of intimacy we call in-love, then you have very tough decisions to make, and each has consequences. That should be what we focus on, those consequences and how they impact us...for some (many) settling will work, for others being single is how they should live, for others a deep bonding is essential to their emotional well-being.... Maybe it is cause I am a pragmatic person, and I know people do not live or die cause someone rejects/desires them, that makes me appear insensitive...but the fact is everyone does just fine, and no one wants to make someone love them, so why try for a "lifetime" to make something work that isn't working, isn't that the definition of insanity? I really think way too much is made of divorce, if done compassionately, fairly, and amicably there is no reason for it to be so terrible...right? Instead it is more often done angrily, hurtfully, and unfairly, and we get hurt. In the final analysis IMO love can only work one way, it has to be the enthusiastic choice of BOTH parties, not one, not coerced by fanily, history, finances etc, but freely made without any other consideration than wanting to wake up next to each other more than anything else in life, for the rest of your life. The concept of giving yourself by duty, or vows, against the desires of your heart horrifies me. But that is what many want, they want their spouse to stay, an they want them to act like they choose them that way, even if they don't (so much for radical honesty).<p>Let me ask you cali, how do you reconcile just "do it" with radical honesty, which requires you to be honest about your feelings? What we do is say don't trust feelings, go with decision, just do it, that is your rational side, override your emotions....ok, maybe for a while, as part of trying to see whats what, but for a lifetime cali? No, that just makes us robots, and favors the vows paradigm, relegating emotions as unimportant factors in our lives, and our mental health, I think that is a serious mistake. There is no reason to be married just for the sake of being married, it has to make sense, there has to be a reason. If being happy is not important, then why live at all cali? Or if we are going to say happy is about rote following of an artificial set of rules, then why have emotions? And if emotions are not important that why did you marry, can't be for love, that doesn't count, it must have just been a decison. If so, how do you avoid making the wrong decision? And if we say you can't make the wrong decison, then we are perfect, how can that be? No matter how you come at this, it always leads to the same place, the truth is in your heart, and it reflects how well you fit. It is not about being unfaithful, or hurting your spouse, it is simply about humans are willful and we make ill-advised choices, including marital ones, but if we do, or think we have, the truth will eventually be found in our heart, and painful as it may be in the short time, living a life denying your heart is even worse IMO. How long? Well depends, each draws the line where they will, but for each of us, one day however it happens, the chickens come home to roost, and we must then decide.... whether it is 1 year, or 40 years, makes no difference, the issue is timeless (not time dependent)....the worse possible reason to stay married IMO, is cause you have been for so long, how awful that is, makes us all objects, property.

#969395 01/13/02 02:26 AM
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>, how do you reconcile just "do it" with radical honesty, which requires you to be honest about your feelings? What we do is say don't trust feelings, go with decision, just do it, that is your rational side, override your emotions....ok, maybe for a while, as part of trying to see whats what, but for a lifetime cali? No, that just makes us robots, and favors the vows paradigm, relegating emotions as unimportant factors in our lives, and our mental health, I think that is a serious mistake. There is no reason to be married just for the sake of being married, it has to make sense, there has to be a reason. If being happy is not important, then why live at all cali? <hr></blockquote><p>Happy ALL the time SnL...NO. But I learned to count my blessings long ago... I really think that's what separates WS from BS... more than character or morals... learning to look around themselves and SEE more good than bad...<p>Now as to how to reconcile radical honesty w/ 'just do it' attitute... ya know it's more about the message than HOW it is said... sometimes we get locked into a pattern and instead of trying something different we keep doing the same thing over and over and over... say what you have to say in a different way... <p>Finally for emotions... again... looking at what you don't have... not what you have... and more importantly putting YOUR wants and needs OVER God's for you... that is what's missing in all your philosophy and hypthosizing... God... what is His plan? And no, I don't think He wants you to be in a loveless, painful marriage... I think He wants you to do whatever you can to OVERCOME and restore the love and care for one another....<p>And yes, He does provide for divorce...FOR PEOPLE WHOSE WSs WILL NOT GIVE UP OP... but you already know all this... <p>You can't choose the bits and pieces of your religion that you agree with or make you comfortable... <p>
FamilyMan's original question was with regard to WSs looking for something to fill them up... make them happy... that 'quest' thing my H told his sons he was embarking on... Only WSs choose to go OUTSIDE of themselves for the quest and don't look around them to see the riches they already have...<p>"It's a Wonderful Life," SnL, if you know what to look for...<p>Cali<p>[ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: Cali ]</p>

#969396 01/13/02 02:51 AM
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ok, then maybe what makes a ws or a bs is the role goes to the one who is unwilling to let the dysfunctional marriage continue, the other gets the other role, kinda fits harleys theory anyone can be a ws. The underlying assumption in your position is you can only have one marriage, and you should make it work, makes no difference how the 2 people fit (and I know you acknowlege people do fit each other differently and that that does make a difference in life...right?). Why should you make it work, no matter what, and why if you don't does that mean there is something wrong with you? Why only one chance at such a complex issue, why do we have to make it work, and what if neither want to be married, do we pressure them to make it work? I know we have done this before cali, and it truly drives me absolutely nuts, the idea we should just be happy with whatever we have, make do, not reevaluate and change our lives makes me feel like property, I don't know any other way to put it.....the idea that marriage and love and bonding is just a matter of self-programming literally makes me ill (in an anxiety sense). It just makes life such a horrible accident, I had no idea what I was doing when I chose a mate, and if could do over would do it very very differently.... but using your posiition, you can never have that opportunity, you have to live your entire life, making yourself be happy with whatever decision you made in the ignorance of youth...why cali, why, you are a smart woman, why do you think this? It makes no sense at all. Why should we just look inward, why shouldn't we dream, and aspire, and build? What do we do when we take a wrong turn, can we not look back, go back take a different fork...we do this all the time before we get a piece of paper (marriage license) how is it any different, what if we don't wait for the one God meant for us, (as most don't)? Or secularly speaking don't choose one we (and they) fit with? If we "owe" ourself to someone cause of a promise, how does that make us any different than any other property with a title.... And what about slaves, they were told to be happy with what their life was, even in the Bible, should they never have escaped, or fought against slavery...why does choosing to be happy with life mean you must stay with whatever job, kin, nationality, marriage, etc. you have? Can't we change anything, including who we wish to give ourself too?<p>[ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: sad_n_lonely ]</p>

#969397 01/13/02 05:02 AM
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Cali - sure I got angry at SNL! He says I should never get angry at him. The reasons I got mad he will not say. Therefore, I am not going to be the one to say SNL does this or that. You can take what he says and do with it as you please. You do not live here to see what goes on. I wish SNL would be radically honest with me. It seems to be his first EN to be radically honest, he wants it from me but will not be honest with me. All he has to say is (I don't want to be married to you. I don't hate you but I can't feel the intimacy that I need. I don't want to meet your EN and feel unsafe with you). I wish he would be totally honest with me, therefore, we could move on and separate and get on with our lives. <p>Yes, I feel unloved, uncared for, unwanted, and ugly. But the BS usually feels this way, been told by the Harleys. Rejection is a hard thing to accept. Life is really tough. H rejected me over a year ago, without telling me he wanted a divorce. He had sex with the OW, then taking me to the airport to go home I asked if he wanted a divorce. He of course said yes. I found him to be so distant from me during the time we were in Arizona. He didn't hear me when I said, lets go for a walk and talk after dinner, brought him his shorts he wanted fixed, and gave them to him when I flew in and he threw them in his suitcase and didn't say thanks or anything. No acknowledgment at all. I was just another body in his way. Why didn't he be radically honest with me during that time too? Why didn't he say, I am in-love with OW and had sex with her and we bonded. Why didn't he say, when I had sex with her the first time, I divorced you in my heart. Where was the honesty on his part? And then say I needed for you to know, so you can make a decision with what has happened.<p>My emotional needs are not being met by SNL 100%. Why do this anymore? I am a human with emotions, feelings, caring, and love. Wish SNL would just say whats in his heart and lets move on. There is this thing about SNL, I know he doesn't want to hurt anyone. Like the OW, she had to quit the phone conversations. I feel if she had not told me on the phone that she will not respond to SNL voice mails anymore, that SNL and her would be talking to this day. The same here, SNL is scared or afraid to hurt me by saying he doesn't want me. I am able to take it now, since I have lost most of everything in the last year. With the help of OB/GYN on Zolof, I can take it. Sure I will cry for awhile and be hurting, financially in a bad situation, but life goes on. <p>I hope to find someone to live with that cares for me. LIkes to meet my EN, finds me attractive, and witty, and smart. I will not marry anyone else in my life. But I will live with them. I don't want to have to go through this rejection again. That way if things don't work out, we just leave. That is what SNL needs to do too. When he gets tired of the next person, they leave each other and move on to the next one. Marriage and vows and kids meant so much to me.<p>Life has not been easy in the last year! My father has been ailing. SNL affair with the OW, then 5 months later tells me it was a physical affair as well, kids finding out about the affair, lost my H over a year ago, lost grandpa in August to old age, lost my mothers sister to cancer 6 weeks ago, lost my father to cancer Jan 2, 2002. Stressed out big time. Life goes on, and we will all survive.

#969398 01/13/02 09:14 AM
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SNL:
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Why only one chance at such a complex issue, why do we have to make it work, and what if neither want to be married, do we pressure them to make it work? <hr></blockquote><p>Because it's God's way... <p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>.....the idea that marriage and love and bonding is just a matter of self-programming literally makes me ill (in an anxiety sense). It just makes life such a horrible accident, I had no idea what I was doing when I chose a mate, and if could do over would do it very very differently.... but using your posiition, you can never have that opportunity, you have to live your entire life, making yourself be happy with whatever decision you made in the ignorance of youth...why cali, why, you are a smart woman, why do you think this? <hr></blockquote><p>Life's no 'accident' if you are following God's plan... And, yes, if one or both spouses are so broken that they are NOT being a loving wife or husband following His Word... then I advocate divorce... I jumped for joy when my mother divorced my stepfather... but it was too late to save me or my siblings from years of mental abuse and her from physical abuse...<p>...but to those who are pursuing a quest of 'happiness' outside of themselves and are not looking for the blessings they already have... who are not following God's plan for a husband or a wife... just not 'happy.' Leaving marriage doesn't magically make them happy either... but you won't know this until you experience it....<p>Thinker:
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Cali - sure I got angry at SNL! He says I should never get angry at him. The reasons I got mad he will not say. Therefore, I am not going to be the one to say SNL does this or that. You can take what he says and do with it as you please. You do not live here to see what goes on. <hr></blockquote><p>Nobody can comment on the state of the marriage except the two people in it. Your anger is understandable... I have spent the last five years of my marriage angry... raging at my H... But the anger and the rage did NOT change my marriage... oh, my H might have 'bent' and done things MY way for a time... but it wasn't a healthy way to negotiate for the things I needed... now it is also true that he wouldn't talk to me and be honest about his needs... <p>... he was on his side of the marriage doing what he thought he needed to do... expecting things from me that he did not articulate to me and I was on my side of the fence raging and trying to have my needs met... both are right... yet wrong...<p>I have not changed the way I feel... or think... just changed HOW I express it... My H has not changed... BUT when I change how I look at something and react to him or what he does... BIG change in our interaction...<p>If you want to change your marriage, you can... but you have to commit to doing things differently... I had to give up my anger and disappointment 'cause they were driving us apart... my reasons for anger and disappointment were understandable... I was right... but my rightness put up a wall and created distance between us.<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Marriage and vows and kids meant so much to me. <hr></blockquote><p>Only you two can determine the best course for your marriage...<p>I was not aiming any of my words towards you, thinker... I too believe in marriage and vows and kids... but that to heal, I had to get rid of the negative emotions and focus on positive...

#969399 01/13/02 10:59 AM
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SNL - thanks for taking a minute or two to "heed my call".. I'm not bright enough to absorb and respond to the length quickly, but I do have a thought or two..<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>. That is a marriage led by the head, their hearts do not meet, and never will. Or they make it a little better, and settle, trade passion and depth, for security and good manners. <p>They beat themself up with how to make it better, never realizing it is not them, it is the marriage, they don't belong together, they don't fit. I really don't understand the emphasis on saving a marriage, instead of saving the people. A marriage ending is not so terrible, if people can accept one or both simply do not belong in it, they cannot be the whole person God meant them to be in this union, there is nothing noble in marital sacrifice, and nothing sacred, it is only a legal contract, you can't make people bond deeply just cause you choose too, it takes something else, and when it is not there people are not motivated very much.<hr></blockquote><p>OK; I'm hearing you advocate for "passion", ie a meeting of the heart. Passion as the priority. OK, cool.<p>But, to me, to allow merely passion to rule the field is to be a leaf in the wind. This is not the way to construct a rewarding life, one where people you profess to love, and who profess to love you, can develop . You are here one minute, gone the next, and the consistency and continuity one expects in a very important institution ( a deep relationship, ok, call it marriage) is gone. Because you're onto the next one. Following the passion. And hey, those left behind ( fill in the blank...) And what about you, a seeker of passion, what activities are associated with that? How do you respond when you find your next passion? How does this fit into your scale of value?<p>What I'm hearing as an alternative, what the Harley's seem to advocate,to me, is what I'll call directed passion. Not a passionless formula that leads to rigid interaction, but a series of "guided activities" that can lead to... the love you want, in the way you want it, with the person you are committed to.<p>I don't believe I need to spell out the attendant benefits of this plan if successful..<p>Marriage and love and bonding is no more a matter of self programming than any other activity you decide to be successful at..<p>Most of the issues on this board relate to an inability to communicate, or a broken connection. Passion is communication at a high level ( one could argue..). Communication breakdowns can be addressed to the benefit of all involved, in some circumstances.<p>If you feel that your current circumstance is due to an error of youth, and you are deprived of the passion you feel should be yours, the that's how you feel. Can't argue w that.. But look at the focus of this position... me, me, me. Where does the other person fit into your value system?<p>
OK, look, now I'm writing books.. BTW, I want to make sure none of this is construed as a personal attack..I agree with many of your observations.
But to me, the philosophy you appear to embrace here is one that minimizes the import of marriage and doesn't do it's dissolution justice... Neither element is casual, nor is the damage from either position merely " self- inflicted"..<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>? What is so awful about ending a marriage but being good friends, special friends? Why is their such anger associated with this, and viewing it as rejection instead of truth?<hr></blockquote><p>Umm.. the presence of a third party changes the dynamic of dissolution entirely.. it invites a series of additional considerations w the attendant emotions you've described. For obvious reasons.<p>When my WS said she wanted to separate, the reasons given had nothing to do w a third party. Suggestions that it did were met w extreme hostility, attacks on me and my ability to percieve...this is not ending due to fit,or irreconcialable differences, or not bieng able to be seen ( btw, I like that phrase) this is betrayal of trust. And not a casual, incidental one at that.<p>So..to me, ending a relationship in the way you've described for the reasons you've described are suspect when there's a third party. <p>Uh..comparing marriage W slavery? We could grab a beer and talk all night about that one..<p>Because .. <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>FamilyMan's original question was with regard to WSs looking for something to fill them up... make them happy... that 'quest' thing my H told his sons he was embarking on... Only WSs choose to go OUTSIDE of themselves for the quest and don't look around them to see the riches they already have...<p>"It's a Wonderful Life," SnL, if you know what to look for...<hr></blockquote>...<p>Exactly.<p>Dan<p>BTW <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>fm...You know what? I truly believe that letter came from her husband, and as a WS, he could have written that about me.<p>snl....This confused me a bit, I forget, you are a ws, and this letter resonates with why you think you wandered? Perhaps, if you are one to solve problems by running away from them, as many ws do.<hr></blockquote><p>This came from PJ's thread... I am definetly a BS. IMHO, one that was treated badly, very badly..<p>[ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: Family Man ]</p>

#969400 01/14/02 01:43 AM
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FM, I am not exactly embracing a philosophy, I am trying to understand the psychology (and the spirituality, for those who are relgiously inclined) of human bonding...the why's, how's, standards, etc. To that end I talk about all this stuff with whoever has an interest...the world breaks down into roughly two camps...reactive folks who will not change their internal paradigms, but kinda go with where life "takes" them (in anything)...and the proactive folks who will take their internal paradigms by the throat, figure out eactly why, and keep/change/dispose of their paradigms accordingly. I am in the later camp, and it is a hard place to be. <p>If you have not read Dr. Phil Mcgraw book life strategies, suggest you do so, it explains this very well. It usually takes a life crisis, but at some point we all have a situation where we realize our life is out of control, and probably has been for a long time, maybe forever....the "sympton" is we are not happy. Happy is the key to life, it is how we assess our psychological health, it is the most important feedback mechanism we have. Be it our "work", our place in life, our friends/family, our marriage, our religion, at some point we "realize" what we are doing is not working, and we really do not understand the reasons why, we just know we are unhappy. As we make this known, well-meaning, (and sometimes not so well-meaning) people "tell" us what to do, note they don't tell us how to understand ourself, and make choices that reflect who we are...they usually push their own agenda, why? Cause that makes them feel safer about their choices, which in most cases they don't know why they make either, and are often unhappy themselves...there is truth to misery loves company. The first thing any of us should be told, is we need to do a lot of self-reflection, find out who we are, and take action based on that knowledge, it is not easy work, and is confusing as well, but it is the ONLY road to good mental health. That is what I am doing, and family man it works, I thought I understood myself pretty well, and I do, but their were some key behaviours I did not understand. <p>One is that I am Programmed" not to hurt people, it is sorta like conflict avoiding, but not, cause I don't mind conflict at all, and am a pretty good scrapper. In relationships of all kinds, I will defer to the pain of others, and try to minimize it, not cause I am particularly altruistic, but because I cannot stand their pain, and would rather sacrifice myself. I can't do anything to change this, cause it is part of who I am, but by understanding it, I can use my "rational" side to protect me a little, and choose not to feel responsible for everyones pain. In my marriage I feel responsible for my w emotional well-being, I always have, it is the primary reason I married her. It is the reason I never allowed arguing to go too far, she argues from a woe is me position, and I couldn't take her pain...even when mine was excrutiating, I would just bury it, it was worse feeling responsible for hers. <p>Obviously this is no way to live, cause it enabled her to use anger as our marital problem resolution paradigm, and it made me be (as a side effect) emotional dishonest. When I figured this part out (a few years ago, and before the A), I started healing a little but interestingly I did something else, and didn't even recognize it (although it was obvious) took a counsellor to show me. I switched to feeling not responsible for her "feelings", but did feel it was my fault she used anger, cause I enabled her, I made it happen....can we say co-dpendent here? The pattern here is I feel responsible for everything emotional in my relationships, it is too much of a burden for any human to bear, although I have noticed I have some company on the boards. There is more to it than just this, but you get the point, I had to unravel who I am, where my feelings come from, and how they are impacted by fit with a mate. Part of that search, and unraveling, was the A (although I didn't fully realize it till later). <p>Whatever the merits (or lack) of the ow, and regardless of the ethical issues re right and wrong, she is a very different person psychologically than my w. I wish I had found a better way to grow, but right or wrong, I learned a great deal about who I am. I talk very little about her, cause is inappropriate, has nothing to do with reconcilliation, or this board, but I get accused all the time of just being a low-life skirt chaser, or some selfish jerk who just liked being admired, and having some en met, but the fact of the matter is very different. What I valued and what the relationship mostly consisted of was psychological interactions (on both our parts) as we tried to understand why we sought each others friendship and felt safe together. We spent most of the time discussing religion, human behaviour, and who we were. It didn't even have to be a female, it could have been a male, the essential thing was finally being able to talk about stuff, and be understood. <p>Yes the friendship changed, and became a love affair, and now we both pay the price for that, but the point is, this all started long ago, maybe even in childhood, maybe even in my genes. I needed to have someone tell me this about myself, and help me learn how to cope with it in a healthy manner, but I had no such mentoring, so had to do it as an adult. This is often the case for many of us, few parents are knowledgeable, or motivated enough to psychologically mentor their children. And our sociey does not encourage or facilitate such introspection in school, or as young adults either. I think this is changing as the psychological sciences evolve, and people like the Harley's do a good job of figuring out stuff, and take it to the mass market, and the talk shows, and the self-help books, and on-line, and all of us becoming more aware and talking to each other as well.<p>To make a long story shorter, I had to understand and accept I was in a co-dependentcy relationship, not an egalitarian intimate relationship. It was not my w fault, it was mine (again easy to take all the blame, we empaths are like that), but it was ALSO her fault. No one made her be angry, (although I am accused of that all the time), but no one made me feel responsible for both sides of the marriage either. It is easy in hindsight to say ok, thinker should have done this, and snl should have done that, but that is nonsensical, we did what we did because of who we are, and within reasonable expectations we tried, we talked, we communicated, we went to counselling, we believed in vows, family etc., and no one terribly mistreated anyone, we did our duty, we just didn't bond, or live intimately (not as in sex, we did have SF, we just didn't know who the other was). The assumption now is great, just fix those issues and all will be well...doesn't work that way. The reality is 2 fold, it doesn't work this way, and it had to end, it was not God's plan..... the second part is we each do need to do the work (if we can, is up to each of us independently, and not a given by any means), this will change us, and in that change we are not married, we have to choose each other again, and if we don't that should be ok. In other words the clock is turned back all the way to the beginning, and we start over, cause we got married for the wrong reasons, we had not established yet the degree of fit and whether it was enough for the intimacy of in-love. We were both dysfunctional, and incapable of making an informed marital choice....instead we forged an accomodation, a contract, and co-habitated.<p>That does not mean obligations were not incurred, kids were born, thinker was a sahm, these facts incurred significant obligations, but they have nothing to do with marriage. We dated 5 years, with the same kinds of issues, the reality of thinker and snl, is after 29 years, we are still dating, and moved in together, and now must face the truth, and do the work we should have done long ago. You cannot do an end run around fit by getting a marriage license, that only binds you to a contract, God does not recognize pieces of paper, He deals in hearts and minds, and like it or not, He knows our intent, and when we did not follow His plan for us. We cannot supercede His authority, we cannot take a vow and say ok God we are married, doesn't work that way, He does not lets us just marry anyone and be oneflesh, He has a plan for us (as in all things) and we have by virtue of freewill the capacity to turn away from his plan...when we do, the consequences are ours. Many say but God would not cause marital disharmony, or encourage people to leave....true, He doesn't, we do it to ourselves with out choices. He will not put us in a wrong marriage, or make us leave a wrong marriage, we do that to ourselves, in our willfullness. <p>Nor will he fix a marriage, He will not make us love or be loved if we are not bonded right, He will not manipulate us that way, He will not restore a marriage He did not choose for us, why would He? He will (if we ask) help us with anger, and pride, and lots of things that may make a wrong marriage smoother, and appear as releif, but it isn't, and it will not be a oneflesh union. I think we all know this too, when we get real with ourselves, we know the true nature of the relationship we are in, especially if we pray for discernment. This is a point of huge contention between those who view religion legalistically, and those who view marriage as something freewill lets you err in entering. The debate will never be resolved, cause we will never know God's will with perfection, we can only interpret. I have made my decision re the religious arguments. <p>God does have a marital plan, and we can (and often do) err in our choice, we can either assume marriage is determined by vows and a paper and is imposed on GOd, and that we cannot err, and handle marital disharmony accordingly, or we can understand that we can and do make marital errors, and try to discern what God's will is for us when we find ourselves in marital disharmony. I think the later fits reality, Scripture, and human psychology more closely....the former is the haven of rule makers, and folks who would bind another human being to them with their mind not their heart. All through the Bible God deals in hearts, and hearts cannot lie, or rationalize, like minds can, so it is there I think we should seek the truth. That does not mean it is easy, it is not, be nice if God just sends us all unambiguous e-mails, but life is not like that. IMO the path of radical honesty, and letting each other freely choose all the time, is how we find marital truth, anything that manipulates, coerces, or binds in such ways destroys oneflesh methinks. Anger, pleading, begging, guilt, vows, all these kinds of things make a mockery of in-love...they are very human tools of manipulation. But so are lust, and greed, and irresponsibilty, and all the love busters.... you must get "real" with yourself, there are just as many wrong ways to leave a marriage as there are wrong reasons to stay in one. Personally I believe whatever else one wants to say, an affair (regardless of reason) is the functional equivalent of a divorce. Reconcilliation and recovery should culminate in a remarriage, one this time fully understood, and chosen by both parties, employing radical honesty and passionate enthusiasm, until you do this, you are not married, and if you weren't radically honest, you blew it, and did not marry. This isn't a game, it isn't about feeling good, it isn't about vows, and honor, and ethics....it is about something very simple, God's marital plan for each of us, and whether we follow it, or our own plan....when we do, we will know.<p>FM..That is a marriage led by the head, their hearts do not meet, and never will. Or they make it a little better, and settle, trade passion and depth, for security and good manners.
They beat themself up with how to make it better, never realizing it is not them, it is the marriage, they don't belong together, they don't fit. I really don't understand the emphasis on saving a marriage, instead of saving the people. A marriage ending is not so terrible, if people can accept one or both simply do not belong in it, they cannot be the whole person God meant them to be in this union, there is nothing noble in marital sacrifice, and nothing sacred, it is only a legal contract, you can't make people bond deeply just cause you choose too, it takes something else, and when it is not there people are not motivated very much.<p>FM...OK; I'm hearing you advocate for "passion", ie a meeting of the heart. Passion as the priority. OK, cool.<p>snl...Passion is often thought of as a sexual issue, just to be clear, that is not how I use the word, I use it to differentiate from settling, where we make a laundary list of "reasons" to be in-love and married, and seems to revolve around an assessment of needs meeting. The Bible also makes it clear oneflesh is a passionate union, all the time, it doesn't come and go, or wane, or mature, that has nothing to do with in-love. When you fit and bond in oneflesh you are passionate every second of every day forever. Many pooh pooh that, as they must, cause it does not fit their view, and it won't fit the contractural view of marriage (you do me, I'll do you) that most of us live in.<p>FM...But, to me, to allow merely passion to rule the field is to be a leaf in the wind. and who profess to love you, can develop . You are here one minute, gone the next, and the consistency and continuity one expects in a very important institution ( a deep relationship, ok, call it marriage) is gone. <p>snl..I did say heart and mind. Cause it is very possible (in fact likely) that passion is false, and we are decieved. Your mind makes sure your passion is not mistaken (hopefully, but can still err). As for professing to love, that is a real problem, people use the word very easily and causally, because it makes em feel good. Co-dependents use it all the time, but it really doesn't mean anything, you can only "love" if you are healthy enough psychologically to have the capacity to do so. You can "choose" to act in a caring manner, and that is one of the kinds of love, but we are talking about bonded oneflesh love here, and that is an entirely different animal.<p>FM...This is not the way to construct a rewarding life, one where people you profess to love, <p>snl...You cannot make yourself love someone by following rules, that can give a sort of stability, but has nothing to do with what we are talking about, if you are bonded in the way we mean by in-love, you will not "come and go". In fact nothing will be able to tear you away, and certainly not an affair.<p>fm...How do you respond when you find your next passion? How does this fit into your scale of value?<p>snl...You won't. If you did it right in the first place, now I do think one can be tempted by the flesh, and that would be lust, but I think God is ready willing an able to help with that...likewise pride, covetousness, idol worship, greed, etc. <p>FM...What I'm hearing as an alternative, what the Harley's seem to advocate,to me, is what I'll call directed passion. Not a passionless formula that leads to rigid interaction, but a series of "guided activities" that can lead to... the love you want, in the way you want it, with the person you are committed to.<p>snl...Yes, it is a plan, and if embraced by two people can craft a comfortable existence, and it is human nature to value and look fondly on settled circumstances. If one chooses this format for life and procreation MB provides the tools to make it work, but MB cannot make you be in-love, or someone be in-love with you. That is God's province.<p>fm...I don't believe I need to spell out the attendant benefits of this plan if successful..<p>snl...Agreed, and it works better for certain kinds of temperaments as well.<p>FM...Marriage and love and bonding is no more a matter of self programming than any other activity you decide to be successful at..<p>snl...I completely disagree. This is just another way of saying the sameo sameo, makes no difference who you marry, long as they follow MB, do you really believe that? Think about it, go to a meeting place, where hundreds of women are, all who have pledged to follow MB, and somehow passes a test validating they will do that.....would you select at random? Or even let someone else just assign you a wife? Or would you want to get to know them, to see how you fit? If the latter, you just contradicted everything you implied about love, marriage and MB as the paradigm.<p>FM....Most of the issues on this board relate to an inability to communicate, or a broken connection. <p>snl...I vehemently disagree, most of the dysfunction has to do with poor fit.<p>fm....Passion is communication at a high level ( one could argue..). Communication breakdowns can be addressed to the benefit of all involved, in some circumstances.<p>snl...Absolutely not. Communication can be learned and practice at a high skill level, it does not mean I will be passionately in-love with those who have such skills. Communication can facillitate problem resolution, and it can and will reveal fit, even the ability to communicate maritally itself is a function of fit, you will communicate less successfully when you can't understand who your spouse is, and that is the case for all of us, no one understands 1`00%, but there is a continuum, and the better you fit the better you communicate, and that cannot be altered. The reason we can imporove it, is we usually are not operating at maximum understanding for any given fit.<p>fm...If you feel that your current circumstance is due to an error of youth, and you are deprived of the passion you feel should be yours, the that's how you feel. <p>snl...I do not feel deprived, that is not the issue. Trying to live intimately in an unbonded relationship is a mental health issue, it is hurtful to both people, (and any kids), hurtful emotionally, psychologically, and physically, there are very real and not good consequences to trying to fit square pegs in round holes, and there is no upside.<p>fm....Can't argue w that.. But look at the focus of this position... me, me, me. Where does the other person fit into your value system?<p>snl...Me me me, is how it is suppose to work, marriage should be completely selfish, makes no sense otherwise. I do not want someone loving me for my sake, I want them loving me cause they can't not love me, do you understand? Everytime the me me me argument is trotted out I don't know whether to laugh or cry, EVERYTHING humans do, every action we take, every decision we make is excactly about what we want...If we make an "altruistic" decision, we make it cause we WANT to, and that is me me me. It is how hmans are constructed, we can't act any other way, if we did our genes would instantly leave the gene pool, completely expelled by the me me me genes. We are ALL the epitome of SELFISHNESS, or we would not exist, plus that is how God made us. So when the me me me argument is pulled out, it is a patently obvious ploy to turn a discussion into a promotion of a specific agenda, selfish is the psychological argument equivalent of the nazi card, how can one argue about being selfish. Well as you just saw, I can, it is easy to do....but then I don't much care for posturing as a tool in figuring out stuff. If one wants to call something selfish, that actually implies the behaviour is counter-productive, if so, one should be able to identify the behaviour in question, the standards to judge it by, and posit another behaviour (ostensibly not selfish) which gives better results re the behaviour in question. We ALL enter marriage very selfishly do we not? We only marry who we want to, therefore selfishness is the marital paradigm...correct? Yet you imply that leaveing should not be selfish, how does that work, how do we just flip flop our psychological relationship paradigms like that? The answer is, we can't of course, we have to live with it....and die with it, no free ride in life.<p>fm...OK, look, now I'm writing books.. <p>snl...Good for you, this cannot be understood or resolved without doing "book" level work, if you really want to understand yourself, and why you feel and do the things you do.<p>fm...BTW, I want to make sure none of this is construed as a personal attack..I agree with many of your observations.<p>snl...Until you call for a public lynching of snl, is unlikely I will feel attacked. And if I found you gratuitiously rude, I would just point out the slip in civility, if I felt up to it.<p>fm....But to me, the philosophy you appear to embrace here is one that minimizes the import of marriage and doesn't do it's dissolution justice... Neither element is casual, nor is the damage from either position merely " self- inflicted"..<p>snl...Hopefully this clarified some more. Whether right or wrong, marriage is a serious business, with serious obligations and consequences, which I believe should be handled fairly and compassionately. My only contention is you cannot make marriage a property issue, no one owns anyone, and if one party (or both) does not want to be there (radical honesty), the marriage should end without rancor. That doesn't mean it should be easy, I do think a good faith effort at reconcilliation is appropriate if asked for, I think a reasonable time is needed, I don't think you should trade people (leaveing to jump in waiting op arms, although you can't prevent that). Needs of kids, and financial issues need to be fairly addressed, other sorts of promises need to be reconcilled (such as spouses who put other spouses through school etc.), lots of things. In my case I pretty much agree with the notion that an A is a fairly serious offense, and depending on the degree of contribution the bs is responsible for in the marital disharmony, they should recieve the better end of the deal. If I decided the marriage was over (for example, by an A), it feels only fair, should legal divorce come about thinker can decide what is fair or not re terms, and I have little to say about it. In any event, any long term marriage that involved a sahm mom, incurs significant obligations concerning the welfare of the sahm for the rest of their life, financial welfare and emotional welfare. <p>I really have a difficult time reading about bs in long term marriages who are litterally trashed, and abandoned cruelly, and heartlessly by their ws...frankly I want to beat em to a pulp. But the deal is they are probably sociopaths, of one kind or another, and is just the bad luck of (and yes poor judgement) the bs who chose to marry them. Love and intimacy is one thing, and has it's own reality which must be dealt with, but obligations are quite another, and have nothing to do with love, and should be honored.<p>I started by talking about managing your life. This is what I meant fm, I had to understand how love and bonding works, then integrate that with understanding how snl is put together, then I can change what I want to achieve my goals, goals that are measured in peace of mind, happiness, and those kinds of positive feelings, that is how we know we are on the right track in life. By doing this (if I do a good job) I can have reasonable hope of success. If I stay married, it has to be becuase I choose it, consistent with who I am, then I can do it right, not be an resentful scrificial lamb, no matter how good I bury the resentment. This is what getting real with yourself means. If I just did it, based on thinkers finally agreeing to some changes, and convinced myself, ok, have all this investment in the marriage, just keep on doing it....I would be doing her a grave diservice, cause my motivation is still about not wanting to hurt her, cause her pain, in other words I would have changed nothing, I would still be acting the same way I always have, and it did not work. It is very hard to do this, very hard to admit and say these things, expose myself to anger, guilt, ridicule, and such, but if I don't, I am being dishonest, and that doesn't work either....so slowly but surely, I am finding the courage to face myself, and communicate these things...as well as do the work to um...... clarify in myself. There is also great risk, I have changed some basic paradigms in myself, challenged some deep seated programming, such as my relgious beliefs. I have had to deal with my expression of rage, something I never want to do again, and a sympton that I was acting in extreme opposition to who I fundamentally am. The risk in crafting new paradigms, is you will make a mistake, and regret it. The risk in not doing the work though is you life is fixed, will not change, you will only react and probably be unhappy forever, not a good outcome either. But if you change, that implies you can reevaluate and change more if needed, it is a dynamic and healing process, so I choose it. It bothers me that some folks call this dishonest, and selfish, I don't wish to be thought ill of, I am doing the best I can, but taking care of me has to be first, I am no good to anyone, if not good to me. Whatever I do in my life, I try very hard to do fairly, and not "selfishly", and won't change that. The affair was hurtful to thinker, regardless of the nature of our marriage at that time. I regret that,but being a rationalist, I accept there probably was no way to have avoided it, I didn't know what I know now. In hindsite, the A would not have happened cause we would have divorced or reconcilled long ago, maintaining dysfunctional marriages is a recipe for disaster. I intend to be fair to her now, but not in the co-dependent way I had been, I cannot make her happy, nor am I responsible for her being unhappy...all I can do is be radically honest, and treat her with respect, that I will do.<p>fm... (snl)What is so awful about ending a marriage but being good friends, special friends? Why is their such anger associated with this, and viewing it as rejection instead of truth?<p>fm...Umm.. the presence of a third party changes the dynamic of dissolution entirely.. it invites a series of additional considerations w the attendant emotions you've described. For obvious reasons.<p>snl...Is this permanent then? I agree, it does put more on the plate, jealousy and rejection being the biggies, but still is just a sympton, the real issues are there, affair or not, so what difference does it really make? (assuming the affair stops, as it must, cause if you have the active participation of a 3rd party does screw up the dynamics seriously).<p>fm....When my WS said she wanted to separate, the reasons given had nothing to do w a third party. Suggestions that it did were met w extreme hostility, attacks on me and my ability to percieve...this is not ending due to fit,or irreconcialable differences, or not bieng able to be seen ( btw, I like that phrase) this is betrayal of trust. And not a casual, incidental one at that.<p>snl...I know, and it is unfortunate ws react this way, you have to understand the pressures are enormous. However I think is silly, and transparent for a ws to say the affair has no effect.... of course it does, like all life experiences. I make no bones about it, my reactions now (and forever) to relationship issues have been permanently changed by the affair, the ow is now part of me forever, that cannot be altered...but then so is every relationship I have ever had, that is just how life works. I can understand the frustration and annoyance for the bs, cause it feels like dirty pool (and I am not going to argue it is or isn't, is just life). The consequence for the ws, IMO is to do whatever it takes to address the bs issues re the affair, to talk as much (and honestly) as needed, to let the bs fully understand how it has affected you, so THEY can decide how they want to respond. It is very very unfair for a ws to avoid the issue, or sweep it under the carpet. Indeed a ws who won't do this, is truly guilty of betrayal, and deliberate injury, but then again that tells the bs too, a lot about who they are married too....ya know?<p>fm...So..to me, ending a relationship in the way you've described for the reasons you've described are suspect when there's a third party.<p>snl..Absolutely, and I tried the same, I offerend a divorce with no explanation, (for the usual reasons). When the world subsequently blew up, and I had time to contemplate all this, I decided to tell things I had planned on taking to my grave, and which seriously distressed the ow, who I had made promises too. I told cause it was the right thing to do (and to bad for me any consequences, re divorce ammunition, or ow hating me), the affair can be explained in terms of human behaviour, but denying thinker the truth would have been an act of deliberate cruelty, she had an absolute right to know, which transcended any personal concerns I had. But that also evens the books, the price has been paid. Now the playing field is level and you move on to reolving the marital issues (many bs cannot/will not do that, but that is their decision). I have done that, and it is where I have been. I can't stay or go just because of the affair, but I cannot pretend the affair is not part of me either. I am doing the work honestly, hopefully all ws do (although we know many don't), and the bs has to decide for themselves whether to continue to blame the affiar, make the affair the issue, or also move on and do the work, without holding the outcome over the ws head. An affair is a powerful weapon for guilt, but it is a 2-edged sword, a bs is far better served by letting their ws deal with their own emotions.<p>fm...Uh..comparing marriage W slavery? We could grab a beer and talk all night about that one..<p>snl...It would proably take all night [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] But there are disturbing psychological similarities in many arguments offered about marriage.<p>cali...FamilyMan's original question was with regard to WSs looking for something to fill them up... make them happy... that 'quest' thing my H told his sons he was embarking on... Only WSs choose to go OUTSIDE of themselves for the quest and don't look around them to see the riches they already have...<p>snl..I think that is simplistic cali. The issue is a relationship, and whether dating, or married, people seek to bond, that is not really going outside anything, we are all the family of wo/man, and their is no inherent reason a marriage is a closed unit, it ends anytime one wants it to, cause it can only exist as a voluntary circumstance. However, I can see where one paradigm for a ws, is to seek something elsewhere they already have, and that is part of the work one needs to do when the world blows up. It really disturbs me, reading here about relationships where little effort is made to unravel in detail what happened, where the focus is only on applying MB principles, and all will be well, that feels very very risky to me. And I think bs know that, and is why they are so insistent on the ws figuring out what happened...I dunno, it was stupid, I went crazy, are all very inadequate explanations....there are reasons, very good reasons, for everything.<p>cali..."It's a Wonderful Life," SnL, if you know what to look for...<p>snl..You bet it is. And fundamentally I agree with you, happiness is about attitude, and perception, I just disagree that a given marriage was made in heaven just cause it exists, and I do think fit is critical, and the secular manifestation of God's plan for who we are to marry. When we don't wait for his time, we usually make a serious mistake, with serious consequences...but the good news is, no one dies or is injured by divorce, only by the actions people take in such circumstances, life goes on, and is usally great....if everyone learns the lessons. If it is true you can be happy in any marriage (ok, throw out the abusive ones, to make that statement work), by counting your blessings, and so forth....then why can't you be happy in any divorce, by people treating each other with respect and caring, anc counting our life blessings?<p>[ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: sad_n_lonely ]</p>

#969401 01/13/02 03:46 PM
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>then why can't you be happy in any divorce, by people treating each other with respect and caring, anc counting our life blessings? <hr></blockquote><p>Research says that I probably would be in 2-4 years. I've never said that I couldn't survive a divorce...<p>...WSs fail to look at the research w/ regard to affair partners after divorce... facts are few marry and those that do 60% end in divorce...<p>...people fail to look at the new person as critically as they do their old mate... new relationships still have the dew on them that magnifies all the good stuff... <p>WSs discount BSs feelings for them... as pooh-pooh... I have moved on... why can't you... why would you want me now that I have done this... talk about bonding... I have YEARS of bonding w/ my H... thing that makes me angriest is THAT I WAS REPLACEABLE... to me my H is irreplaceable... I had thoughts of others, but dismissed them easily... but humans fail to look at life as stages and really investigate why they feel a certain way at a certain point in time... some get stuck and in that place find great unhappiness and instead of looking for the lessons to be learned in that place... they start to look outside of themselves for the happiness... 'cause it couldn't be about themselves... it has to be about where they are and who they are with... <p>The other part of that is that when I signed on about being a parent, H and I talked about being parents for life and SHARING the duties... DIVORCE WAS NOT AN OPTION... I told him of my days of every other Christmas w/ Mom or Dad... the acrimony that left a sour taste in my mouth as I worried about them seeing each other at graduations, etc... the fact I actually felt relief that one of them decided they couldn't come to my wedding... Being a parttime Mom... possible sharing my children with a stepparent turns my stomach... (btw... I have had two evil stepfathers... but have a wonderful stepmother...) it just complicates an already complicated life... usually unnecessarily...<p>I married with a pure heart and I meant my vows... it is so easy for either side to say what God wants... truth is... neither of us knows... how can you know for sure that thinker was not meant to be your oneflesh and that God's plan for you was to figure out how to do this? <p>and why do you think that God even expects 'in-love' in marriage? He says to love as Jesus loves... <p>Cali

#969402 01/13/02 03:55 PM
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Sigh.. Ok - how do you determine fit? I don't want to ever go through this again. Apparently, the way I thought I felt was not a good indicator..<p> Loving deeds I had done ( I was a giver throughout our marriage) were described as " actions, deeds, you weren't watching the connection". Our actions are sometimes described as an indicator of the way we feel..<p>The argument for changing the model if you hadn't been happy is interesting; I had recently come to that conclusion independant of this thread. Likely mistakes while changing the model is a bit troubling though, at 41 I feel I'm in a race to understand and change; ain't much time left..<p>So.. how do you determine fit?<p>BTW, I think that me, you and CALI need to sit down for a meal and thrash all this out. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]<p>[ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: Family Man ]</p>

#969403 01/13/02 06:03 PM
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Fm...BTW, I think that me, you and CALI need to sit down for a meal and thrash all this out. <p>snl...That is the most frustrating part of this. It is real life, it is important that we figure such things out, but hard to find an opportunity to do so, amd this setting is rife with misunderstanding, and difficult opportunity for free flow give and take....personally I would love to go to some kinds of immersive week, 2 week long sabbatical, without distraction, and access to lots of "experts", literature, case histories, peer interaction, and statistical data. The single thing that distresses me the most, is the emphasis placed on marriage being the end all and be all of life....words like destruction, torture, end of life really really disturb me. People were strangers before they met, there is nothing inherent in marriage that makes life any more or less worthwhile, and one can always mate again if a spouse dies, abandons you, or two find it is difficult to be in an intimate relationship together. The intensity of emotion, and especially the anger and neediness exhibited is unsettling to me. I really don't want to be the source of someones emotional well-being, I think that is what co-dependence is all about.<p>cali......WSs fail to look at the research w/ regard to affair partners after divorce... facts are few marry and those that do 60% end in divorce...<p>snl..This comes up repeatedly (why I have no idea, since I do not promote it). IMO one of the worst possible choices to make, is leave a marriage solely to be with someone else....although that can happen, and is neither a good or bad thing in itself, if done as an escape, without doing the marital work, is very ill-advised. One should leave a marriage with the full understanding that they are very alone, and are unlikely to be marriage material to anyone for some time. So I agree with you on this, and always have....maybe you can tell me why bs insist on making this a rejection issue for the op? Even when that is not true?<p>cali...people fail to look at the new person as critically as they do their old mate... new relationships still have the dew on them that magnifies all the good stuff... <p>snl...That would indeed be a serious error, and irresponsible of the person leaveing. If a marriage ends (for whatever reason) both bs and ws should have learned alot, and apply it to future relationships, elsewise they may quite likely repeat the errors of the first.<p>cali...WSs discount BSs feelings for them... as pooh-pooh... I have moved on... why can't you... why would you want me now that I have done this... <p>snl...And that is quite insensitive, but it does raise the issue of why would a bs want a ws who is that insensitive? IMO how a ws (and a bs) handle the stress of a affair is very revealing re the capacity of either to be a successful marital partner. I am a believer in judging people (in that way) by how they deal with extreme stress, not how the behave when things are going their way...ya know? I have no idea why many of you (including you cali) hang on to spouses who treat you very poorly, for long periods of time. You seem to focus on when it is nice and feels good, when you really should be focused on the bad stuff, it is there where the truth lies.... There is time of course, and a season for this, but IMO discovery, and the crazy times should not go more than a few months, plan a 6 months max, plan b another 6 months, and then divorce (some leeway there)....there is a lot of talk here about plan a being about you, and preparing to move on by fixing yourself, and working on the marriage by not LB...but instead I see alot of focus on plan a as manipulative, even plan b....until a bs internalizes, and exhibits that they are not dependent on the ws, are ready willing and able to leave, and bond elsewhere, I think it difficult to achieve a clean resolution to the issue of whether you fit or not. I have been married for 24 years, and suffered my ration of fear and rejection, and anguish over my kids and such, but there was never any doubt in my mind, I would be ok if she left, nor would I have lifted a proverbial finger to stop her. I think marriage should always be a free choice, and I am very sensitive to being settled for vs being passionately chosen. However when she talked about divorce, I did say no, and would not participate, she would have to do the work. And I did do all the counselling and such stuff, but I would never, in this lifetime, ever beg someone to love me, or stay with me. That is probably one of the things that ended my emotional connection to the marriage over last 5 years, when thinker was so adamant about my worthlessness, and how she did not want to be my wife, I finally let her go inside, I accepted she did not want me. <p>cali...talk about bonding... I have YEARS of bonding w/ my H... thing that makes me angriest is THAT I WAS REPLACEABLE...<p>snl.... To me, the anger is inappropriate. You are replaceable, we all are. Your comment feels like property, and like you owe me, yada yada yada... And years of bonding, what does that mean? History is meaningles just cause it is history...there is an old saying about "experience".....does 20 years of experience mean a great depth of skill developend? Or does it mean 1 year of experience repeated 20 times....marriage is subject to that same rule. I have been married for 24 years, that is not 24 years of bonding, that is 24 years of co-habitating, an entirely different experience...and that is why people walk away from marriages, they are walking away from very little in many cases, cause the growth stopped long long ago, and many times never even got started. You cannot lose what you never had, and bonding has little to do with time, it is something else alltogether. Sort of like a cake, you mix all the ingredients fairly quickly, the bond is formed....then you gotta cook it, decorate it, etc.. and the cake may flop, may get burned in the oven, dog may eat it, lots of things, but the bond was formed, and cannot be undone, just neglected, ignored, denied, but not undone. On the other hand, if the wrong ingredients were used, all the mixing, and fooling around, and cooking by the most expert chef will be to no avail, cause the ingredients didn't fit.....is a shame all that effort, all that work, all that time, but makes no difference, the cake is still inedible.<p>cali...to me my H is irreplaceable... I had thoughts of others, but dismissed them easily...<p>snl..You have revealed many times what drove you cali, and I understand cause is the same thing that drove me....you were determined not to be divorced, not to do to your kids what was done to you, that is why your H is irreplaceable, not cause of who he is, but what he is...the H in your picture of how your life should be. You dismissed others cause they could never be the father of your children, I wonder if your H "feels" this too a bit. It is a reasonable feeling, and is a significant part of the urge to "settle", but has nothing to do with fit, anyone can be the father of your children, cause we all "fit" sexually. It would be kinda cool if fertility were related to fit, but its not, we can make babies with anyone.<p>cali...but humans fail to look at life as stages and really investigate why they feel a certain way at a certain point in time...<p>snl...I agree, so do most psychologists, we are a very shallow (reactive) species.<p>cali...some get stuck and in that place find great unhappiness and instead of looking for the lessons to be learned in that place... they start to look outside of themselves for the happiness... 'cause it couldn't be about themselves... it has to be about where they are and who they are with...<p>snl...Sometimes that is true, sometimes not, sometimes it is indeed the job you chose, the career you chose, the friends you chose, the marriage you chose that is the problem...that is why humans have the unique capacity to evaluate where they are in life and change. If we can do that, and it is good (and change is good right?), that means the set of changes has to include changing relationships too...right? <p>cali...The other part of that is that when I signed on about being a parent, H and I talked about being parents for life and SHARING the duties... DIVORCE WAS NOT AN OPTION... <p>snl...As you know now it is always on the table, marriage is meaningless unless the possibility of divorce exhists. Would you want your H to say, marsha, I really don't want to be here, I am not in-love with you, and I am not going to pretend like I am, but I made a contract, so will stay if you enforce it. Would that be ok? Would that be the marital example you would want to raise kids under? Of course not, so saying to H, you understand we can never get divorce was an exercise in futility, divorce is the risk you take when marrying, it cannot ever be gaurded against. The only way you can ever be sure you will not be divorced, is to never marry....unless you want to make marriage a property issue, and sign up a spouse as chattle and enforce the contract. What really annoys you (I assume), and bs in general is that they do want the ws to stay, and work, but they want them to want to do it, and lie if that is not true, radical honesty is a real problem, cause it will not allow that kind of denial by either party. <p>cali...I married with a pure heart and I meant my vows... <p>snl..No you didn't... by your own words you married for a gaurantee that you could raise kids in a 2-parent household, you had expectations, nothing pure about it. In return you offered a gaurantee, one you also will not keep...if your H falls below a line of acceptability you will divorce him, so your vows mean nothing also....they are conditional. Not trying to be hard or annoying with you (cause I know you can take this sort of honesty), but I must point out you are taking YOUR expectations, YOUR rules, and making them the general case....everyone below you is remiss, everyone above you is to be emulated....that is what we all do, and cannot seek out truth that way...the truth is inescapable, vows mean nothing, are an exercise in feeling good and warm and fuzzy....what they really mean is I will keep my vows as long as my life standards are not violated....NO ONE can gaurantee love, and very few will honor a vow solely based on duty (although there may be one or two somewhere), and for those who would honor a vow no matter what spouse did, a good case could me made for them being mentally ill, (secularly, and releigiously) based on obsessive behaviour. What vows really are is a representation that I will treat you with respect, and deal with you fairly, and that right now, I freely choose you (although that is often not the case). I dunno cali, there is something vaguely disquieting in an evil sort of way about the notion 2 people will "stick" together for a lifetime regardless of loving each other, it is kinda celebrating duty above all else, and that is no good, we have emotions for very good reasons, and I do not think I would like a world based only on contracts....rules are made to be broken....when needed.<p>cali...it is so easy for either side to say what God wants... truth is... neither of us knows...<p>snl..Yep, that is why I do not bring it up unless someone else does, IMO this is a psychological issue, and the answers found there, not in religious dogma.<p>cali...how can you know for sure that thinker was not meant to be your oneflesh and that God's plan for you was to figure out how to do this? <p>snl...I can't know that with certainty. I realize that, and do not make my decisions based on such a determination. I pray to God for discernment, and help in lighting the path I follow, and I leave the outcome up to Him...in the meantime I do what I have been doing, and make choices, proactive ones...this is doable cali, if you understand what drives you (your internal paradigms, and start there, you do find answers). What I cannot escape is the absolute certainty that freewill gaurantees we will err from what God meant for us, but that inplies both entering and leaveing a marriage, both are equally likely to be be right or wrong choices. And I have pretty much read all the Scripture, nowhere is it said or implied (rather the opposite actually) we are gauranteed the marriage we are in is where God for us to be. What we are instructed in, is how marriage should be, we are given the standards to assess with, and we are given instructions in assessing our own hearts as well. We are also given explanations of different kinds of love, and that agape is not marital love. Nor are we instructed to love maritally as a sacrifice. Humans can make all kinds of mistakes, and there is no reason to eliminate marital mistakes as a possibility.....what I think God wants us to do, is recognize when we are fited right, and not live any other way, but He leaves that up to us to determine....however, He does not want us mistreating each other, so if you are going to live in a marriage you have specific obligations.<p>cali...and why do you think that God even expects 'in-love' in marriage? He says to love as Jesus loves... <p>snl...In-love is just a label, but God specifies cleaveing, and oneflesh, these are specifics re male/female/procreation paradigms.... they imply fitting...this consistent with the inherent knowledge we have that we do not want to be yoked to just anyone, it does make a difference who we are married to. I think way to much is made of Jesus in re to marriage...we aren't Jesus, never will be, never will even be close...but even Jesus had standards, and consequences, he did make choices on who and how he interacted with people. He loved everyone, but He did not treat all the same..... that suggests marriage is subject to the same considerations, is not an absolute (which of course it isn't, even Biblically it isn't)...it also involves 2 people, one person cannot make a marriage no matter how close to Jesus they are, so what happens when the other party is not Jesus like? It comes down to whether marriage is sacrificially based (makes no difference who you marry), instead of chosen (fit, God's will, etc). It makes a lot more sense a marriage is a dynamic, living breathing entity that has everything to do with fit.<p>FM...Sigh.. Ok - how do you determine fit? I don't want to ever go through this again. Apparently, the way I thought I felt was not a good indicator..<p>snl...There is actually a lot of info out there that helps a lot with this. But to be brief I think the following applies<p>1. Educate yourself about human psychology, why we do what we do.<p>2. Know yourself, get real with yourself (a la Dr. Phil et al).<p>3. Apply one and two to your understanding of potential mates, assess how well they know themselves, and are willing (and able) to go deep with you.<p>4. Make friends first (a very different experience than dating), lots of books about this. Mostly deals with taking lots of time, and intrerracting with a prospective mate under a wide variety of life situations.<p>5. Radical honesty, you do it, and also assess how well your prospective mate does this, look for warning signs.<p>If you put the same effort into finding a mate as you do decideing a career, training for it, and working at it, should be able to successfully find a good fit. Unfortuneately, this is nothing like what most of us do (did) in selecting a mate. <p>fm...Loving deeds I had done ( I was a giver throughout our marriage) were described as " actions, deeds, you weren't watching the connection". Our actions are sometimes described as an indicator of the way we feel..<p>snl...Fitting has nothing to do with giving, or what you did, it is an inherent reality between 2 individuals...and must be assesed that way.<p>fm...The argument for changing the model if you hadn't been happy is interesting; I had recently come to that conclusion independant of this thread. Likely mistakes while changing the model is a bit troubling though, at 41 I feel I'm in a race to understand and change; ain't much time left..<p>snl..You nailed it pretty good. You reached the right conclusion (albeit probably not very clearly, hence the need for counselling type help), and you identified one of the main "constraints" that paralyze us... it's too late for me to change...get the book, you will love it. Humans are wired to resist change fm, for very good reasons, so that means taking control of our life is hard work, very hard...it means overcoming the fear of change, and taking risks, another not so popular human trait.

#969404 01/13/02 06:05 PM
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double post<p>[ January 13, 2002: Message edited by: sad_n_lonely ]</p>

#969405 01/13/02 09:43 PM
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FamilyMan... as you know SnL and I have been going at this for sometime... I think we kindly agree to disagree... both of us hoping that the other will eventually "see."<p>An analogy...<p>A family is a body. When the body loses a part sometimes a new part is transplanted. But the body knows it is not the same. Huge amounts of medication and care are needed to avoid rejection. People are replaceable... just as some body parts are replaceable... but the family will never be the same and everyone knows it.<p>It is not easy to be a family... it is not easy to be man and wife... we are all flawed so marriage is flawed... perhaps the work in marriage is to overcome our personal flaws and keep the marriage intact... to learn to be individuals that are married...<p>And articles like the following do not help me understand why divorce is so much better than learning how to love one another in the original family... wouldn't that be a 'better' way to restore a child's faith in love and show him 'how' to be married? And again... I am talking about marriages where the people are fundamentally good people... one has just found him/herself in the "I am unhappy"/"I am no in-love anymore"...<p>http://www.pe.com/columns/mitchellrosen/10022689_PE_FAM_nrosen13.html<p>Cali

#969406 01/13/02 10:13 PM
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interesting cali, I agree with the article, in fact it is what I did....I "adopted" two families and spend lots of time with them....the down side is the main one was a typical 50's male dominated marriage (sahm, who deferred), so I had to ...ahem...unlearn a few things as well [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>I wanted so bad a normal life. And was so determined not to have the same for my kids...well I was successful on one score, I stuck it out (and so did thinker) and they were raised to adulthood in a complete family...but we paid a price....they are all very very gunshy of relationships, but I did what the article said all along, tried to help them understand no one hated anyone, and that relationships are about communication, behaviour, and fitting. The final chapter is not quite written, the kids are 23, 20, 19, 16, and I oft times feel like a crappy father..but whatever I was, they had it much better than I did, and hopefully there kids will have it even better...I come from a long line of very messed up people, and am the most stable, by a long shot, so maybe there is hope for the kids, who are all pretty good. I will forever wonder if staying together all those years for the kids was the best choice, maybe thinker and I would have had more successful 2nd marriages, and set better examples for the kids...but right or wrong, that time has come to an end, and now it is just about us, we deferred that resolution for a long time, we cannot defer it anymore.


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