Marriage Builders®
Hi ! Looking for thoughts from 2-year plus recovered BS's whose recoveries haven't gone as far as they hoped.

In my own case I have described recovery for ME as being "intelligently managing the tension between acceptance and settling".

Now, at 3.5 years after d-day, we are well into recovery, but not much advancement has occurred in the past 1.5 years.

Don't get me wrong - I have more than I could even IMAGINE back on that bleak day in July 2004 when I discovered the affair, but I had such high hopes of a radically improved marriage that would somehow compensate somewhat for the trauma of the A.

It feels like "settling for less" not to keep trying.

Squid has been reluctant to self-analyse or to study and apply MB since day one, but through herculean efforts I managed to drag her kicking and screaming to some level of MB-ness in our marriage. She has a lot of issues I guess.

But I have grown tired of the one-sided effort. I do not want a wife who does MB tricks on demand, because I taught her to, I want a wife who CARES ENOUGH about our M to learn and apply MB to it.

Now she loves me, is a great mom and the best wife she knows how to be. She is transparent in her activities and movements and tries when she thinks of it to meet my ENs that are uninstinctive to her.

I'm not unhappy, but nor do I feel remotely compensated by our marriage for the trauma.

Do I call it " my lot" and choke it down ?

Am I ungrateful for hoping for more when I already have so much ?

Am I "settling" and letting Squid off the hook ?

I'd appreciate any thoughts.
Hi Bob!

I do not meet the criteria for those who's opinions you requested, however, I'd share my thoughts with you and have a conversation about this if you're interested. Or I could wait and hope your thread develops more as you wished.

Anyhow, I read your post, gimme a cookie! :P
All opinions welcome! i have oatmeal & raisin if they suit you
Quote:

Hi ! Looking for thoughts from 2-year plus recovered BS's whose recoveries haven't gone as far as they hoped.




Well, here I am .


Quote:

In my own case I have described recovery for ME as being "intelligently managing the tension between acceptance and settling".




Yup, I know that EXACT feeling. Same here. It feels at times like I'm doing EVERYTHING wrt recovery of our M. My wife? She "reacts".


Quote:

I had such high hopes of a radically improved marriage that would somehow compensate somewhat for the trauma of the A.




Here's the raw awful truth of it Bob: there is NOTHING that can compensate for the trauma of an A. And I think your W knows that too, which might explain her reluctance to really engage, because she thinks it might just be futile in the long run.

Bob, If you're looking for a timetable for when your W's A no longer colours your thoughts, consider this: it took me at *least* 10 years and lots of positive effort on my FWW's part for me to complete put her first infidelity away to a point that it never entered my mind again, and I know that this time around it's probably going to take longer than that.

Bob, I had a long chat with my FWW last night - one of the first relationship talks we've had in quite a while. I deliberately avoided mentioning her A for most of the talk, and tried to concentrate on what we were doing now. The funny thing is, while I viewed my activities as trying to get the best our of M, she viewed some of them as me finding fault with her and trying to find enough reasons to leave the M because I no longer found her suitable as a partner. To this I replied that if I did not find her suitable, I would not be here trying to recover our M, but it did leave me thinking a bit about the approach I've been taking.
Hey Bob! Good to see you are still around and posting!

I guess I meet the criteria, and I feel a bit like you do. First of all, I was stunned that my W could/would become involved in an A. The shock of that possibility kept me from doing the snooping I should have done when my gut told me something was wrong.

Secondly, my W is somewhat like Squid, very reluctant to engage in ANY plan to make the marriage better. I have introduced many of the MB principals, without saying so, and she has taken to some and ignored others. My W is not about change. She is the poster child for status quo.

I have found out, during the initial MC we did that my W has extremely low self-esteem, and is seriously obsessive/compulsive, and probably should be in IC for a very long time, but she lives in constant denial. I have learned to cope with it most of the time, but it sometimes feels like a real job to do so. Not wholly unlike "caring for someone with a physical disability", but different, with the mood swings and self depreciation.

In addition, my W has never been able to meet my (now greatly reduced) need for SF. It's been an ongoing issue for years of marriage, and is still not resolved. However, I am better able to cope with that as my age increases and my libido decreases.

We have periods of time where we really get along and have fun together, and other times when she gets consumed by the OC disorder, when she can really rock the boat, for reasons unclear to me. That can be frustrating beyond description. Like reasoning with an Alzheimer's patient.

One other point, that CV55 and I discussed at length way back when, do BS's set their hopes to high when it comes to recovery. Are our expectations too high? When is enough, enough? How much is enough? Is too little "really" too little? Do we set our expectations so high our spouses cannot obtain them? Perhaps we do, to some extent.

I waited and waited for my W to break down, become totally contrite, and sob and beg me for forgiveness and to love her and care for her as I once did. Well, truth is, she never did. I still feel somewhat unloved and cheated that that never happened. And if it did happen, it should have lasted 48 hours or more, complete and total breakdown. But she says she loves me?

Is this a difference in "love languages"? Do we just not communicate well? Did she effectively get me to sweep it all under the carpet? Am I still a doormat to some extent? Or is she still so self centered and has SUCH a sense of entitlement that she expects me to love her unconditionally, in spite of the A's, the lies, the humiliation, the shock, the grief, the triggers, the whole bag of sheit?

Am I settling? Yes, in some areas. Is it soo bad I should consider divorce and seek happiness in my "next" relationship? Even after splitting my retirement funds in the process at age 57?

Nope, not me, not now. I will settle for what I've got for it's not horrible, it IS better than parts of our marriage before the affairs, and my financial security IS that important to me. I don't wish to be saying "Hello, welcome to Walmart" when I'm 70, so I don't have to eat crackers spread with my favorite flavor of catfood to exist.

No, it's not what I hoped for. Nope, it's not what I worked my a$$ off for (plan A, recovery, all that). But I have come to fully understand that she DOES have disorders, which are illnesses by any description, and even if she doesn't seek counseling, my vows included "for better or worse, in sickness and health", and so, I stay. But, yes in part, I have settled.

If I were 20 years younger....who knows?
Quote:

All opinions welcome! i have oatmeal & raisin if they suit you




BP - allow me to ASK you directly if you want MY thoughts on your current musings before I offer them up for your consideration. I ask simply because of past postings where you indicated a desire that I not post to you or that you didn't want to hear what I might have to say.

You are dealing with an issue that we all have to face at some point, or even multiple times, during the process of building a new marriage from the ashes of the "old marriage."

God bless.
Hi Bob,

I'm almost to two years, going on 19 months now. I'll do anything I can do to assist you, Bob as your posts are one of the reasons I sought help here on MB....and now it's been almost a year since I registered.

During our 32+ year detached marraige, I often dreamed of the day when I would be cherished and loved like I had read about in the romance novels and booklets. But my H was the opposite with no hope of changing that I could see. (It's what I had to settle with because I had married, not for love, but to NOT be left behind and my multiple efforts to force him to change via MC, IC, books, seminars, marriage workshops, church retreats, etc. only made things worse.)

I honestly thought that getting out of this M and starting over would be the only way I could attain my dreams. So I settled and suffered for 30 plus years...surviving on my AEA's (details in my sig line, chapter 6).

WH had 2 EA's; I discovered the first when he got caught with the second six years later (June, 2006).

My first thought was that I now had my Biblically justifiable reason so get out. I was actually relieved and began to mentally play with that notion, except DS25 begged for us to fight for our family that very night.

Not sure if my giving WH multiple chances has anything to do with it, but I think that when he saw that I was serious about letting him go on D-Day #4, he realized what he might be losing. And he knew that he had to learn how to value/cherish/fall-in-love-with-me in order to keep me. And he has....he does everything you mentioned and has for the last year for the most part. I know, I know....we're still in the honeymoon stages...but I'll take it. Just recently he mentioned plans for 30 years from now with ME...so I think we're gonna make it.

Does your Squid really know what she might have been losing if you had dumped her? Are her 'issues' something that can be treated with counseling/meds like Mrs. RIF's? (So sorry he's on R & R but I'm sure he'll weigh in via email/post when he returns.)

That's my only thought so far, Bob and it may be off based, but like I said, I'll do anything to try to help you find what you're looking for. Cuz you and FH and others here on MB have really helped me change into the spouse that my FWH deems worthy of cherishing/valuing/fallin-in-love-with for the first time. And he's committed and dedicated to proving it to me and the entire world (his words) for the rest of our lives.

I realize that my situation is so unique that it is unfathomable by many. But it doesn't matter because we are living the passionately romantic life I once only dreamed about. Now if I can only figure out how/why, I'll bottle and $ell it to finance the MB BBQ BK invited us all to in Australia in 2010!

Praying for you two and looking forward to seeing other thoughts on this thread.

Ace

P.S. I like chocolate chippers.
Hi MIM

Thanks for posting

Quote:

Here's the raw awful truth of it Bob: there is NOTHING that can compensate for the trauma of an A. And I think your W knows that too, which might explain her reluctance to really engage, because she thinks it might just be futile in the long run.




Of course I agree, MIM. I have said previously that those BS who value what they GAIN through recovery more than what they LOST through infidelity are blessed indeed. Those are the "poster child" BS on this site IMO.

As for me I expect no de facto compensation for the grossest insult of my life, but I was hoping ( early on) for some radical improvements in our marriage that would at least give me something to focus on when I wonder if I have betrayed myself in making this huge, one-sided investment in recovery.

I have still not wholly forgiven myself for not immediately divorcing Squid when I discovered her A. A small, foolish but noble part of me believes that is the most dignified thing for a BS to do. I know intellectually that is not true, but emotionally....I can't fully shake the guilt.

Some gross tangible EFFORT by Squid to make my life better at her own expense would be a gesture only, but a GRAND gesture indeed that might assuage these thoughts, if you know what I mean.

This isn't strictly fair, because Squid has HURLED herself into motherhood and practical wifely duties like never before. She is an awesome mother and practically a wonderful wife. Just a pity that those are not high EN of mine I guess.

Quote:

Bob, If you're looking for a timetable for when your W's A no longer colours your thoughts, consider this: it took me at *least* 10 years and lots of positive effort on my FWW's part for me to complete put her first infidelity away to a point that it never entered my mind again, and I know that this time around it's probably going to take longer than that.




Mate, I'm not. I am no longer consumed with pain over the A. Its power to hurt me has almost gone now. I have developed emotional " calluses" where triggers have repeatedy hit me over the years. But I am left with an unequal and unsatisfying marriage that I might have accepted in the past but now I feel I am worth more than that.

I won't divorce over it, but I AM looking for advice or examples of ways in which I might be able to drive recovery on with a reluctant FWS.

I know there may be none, but its worth asking I guess. I read K's situation and realised that even after a decade I may not have the marriage I really desire for whatever reason. Thats something I'll change if I can !
Hiya SD !

Quote:

Hey Bob! Good to see you are still around and posting!




Like a bad cigar the smell lingers for years

Quote:

My W is not about change. She is the poster child for status quo.




Isn't that INCREDIBLE ? That some folks fear change so much they'd rather have a crappy but predictable status quo rather than a potentially magnificent future ?

Quote:

I have found out, during the initial MC we did that my W has extremely low self-esteem, and is seriously obsessive/compulsive, and probably should be in IC for a very long time, but she lives in constant denial. I have learned to cope with it most of the time, but it sometimes feels like a real job to do so. Not wholly unlike "caring for someone with a physical disability", but different, with the mood swings and self depreciation.




Squid has huge FOO issues but just stuffs them. The only emotional therapy she ever volunteered for was her affair. And how did THAt work out for her ?

Quote:

In addition, my W has never been able to meet my (now greatly reduced) need for SF. It's been an ongoing issue for years of marriage, and is still not resolved. However, I am better able to cope with that as my age increases and my libido decreases.




Squid has some plumbing issues but when they aren't manifesting she is far more appreciative of me SF efforts these days than ever before. Its me who has let SF slip out my top 5 ENs.

Quote:

We have periods of time where we really get along and have fun together, and other times when she gets consumed by the OC disorder, when she can really rock the boat, for reasons unclear to me. That can be frustrating beyond description. Like reasoning with an Alzheimer's patient.




When I engage on HER terms, Squid and I have a fine time. We're on holiday / vacation right now. When I utterly back off any MB'ing she is fun, confident - also hyper critical of me, which I can't tolerate. There's joy in denial I guess.

Quote:

One other point, that CV55 and I discussed at length way back when, do BS's set their hopes to high when it comes to recovery. Are our expectations too high? When is enough, enough? How much is enough? Is too little "really" too little? Do we set our expectations so high our spouses cannot obtain them? Perhaps we do, to some extent.




I remember that useful debate.
You know SD I don't contrition and increased investment in return for not divorcing over infidelity is too high a bar setting. I don't want blood, just that: contrition and increased investment.

I wonder if the kind of woman that feels entitled to have an affair also feels entitled to make as little investment in arrears as possible. Maybe they are two sides of the same coin ? I dunno. Frustrating though.

Quote:

I waited and waited for my W to break down, become totally contrite, and sob and beg me for forgiveness and to love her and care for her as I once did. Well, truth is, she never did. I still feel somewhat unloved and cheated that that never happened. And if it did happen, it should have lasted 48 hours or more, complete and total breakdown. But she says she loves me?




Squid was upset once a long time ago when I asked if she was sorry for her A. We were in Nandos too, which was pretty inconvenient for blubs

Since then when I have pressed MB and recovery issues she ignores me until I press a point too hard then she snaps back with bitter words. Apologies do not come easily to Squid. Never have.

Quote:

Is this a difference in "love languages"? Do we just not communicate well? Did she effectively get me to sweep it all under the carpet? Am I still a doormat to some extent? Or is she still so self centered and has SUCH a sense of entitlement that she expects me to love her unconditionally, in spite of the A's, the lies, the humiliation, the shock, the grief, the triggers, the whole bag of sheit?




(D) All of the above - check

Quote:

Am I settling? Yes, in some areas. Is it soo bad I should consider divorce and seek happiness in my "next" relationship? Even after splitting my retirement funds in the process at age 57?

Nope, not me, not now. I will settle for what I've got for it's not horrible, it IS better than parts of our marriage before the affairs, and my financial security IS that important to me. I don't wish to be saying "Hello, welcome to Walmart" when I'm 70, so I don't have to eat crackers spread with my favorite flavor of catfood to exist.




Amazingly Squid has been talking this week about us retiring to the Keys. She has no doubts whatsoever that we won't be together in our old age. The cynic in me wonders if she wasn't scared by the vision her future presented when she woke up from her OM dream - a state-pension retirement.

Thats OK of course, but I'd like to see some deliberate EARNING of a place in my retirement plans. There, I've said it.

Insert 2x4's here -- >

Quote:


No, it's not what I hoped for. Nope, it's not what I worked my a$$ off for (plan A, recovery, all that). But I have come to fully understand that she DOES have disorders, which are illnesses by any description, and even if she doesn't seek counseling, my vows included "for better or worse, in sickness and health", and so, I stay. But, yes in part, I have settled.




Squid has personality traits that can only exist because I allow them., But I have allowed them for all her adult life and she doesn't have any idea how to move on without them.

See if anybody tells me " your vows said " for better or worse - so shut up and stick with it" I'm fine with that. Maybe I'm looking for an excuse to settle. I'm so tired of the effort.

Quote:

If I were 20 years younger....who knows?




Hmm.
Hi FH

I welcome your thoughts. we are grown up enough to politely disengage with each other if we feel our engagement is becoming unproductive, right ?
Hi Acey !

Thanks for weighing in !

Quote:

Does your Squid really know what she might have been losing if you had dumped her?




I think that realization was what made her come back.

She clearly doesn't fear my loss enough to invest in areas that are uncomfortable to her. Squid has FOO issues I could spend a day talking about. She fears but expects abandonment.

She won't invest in counselling.

I have to cut bait for DS10 now, back later !!
Hey there Bob! I qualify! D-month began almost 4 years ago on 1/8/04. Oh the fun of it all. Remember the good old days SD? Quick threadjack to say to SD that I never did update you because I thought you left MB again and I didn't want to bore the people who don't know me here with an update. Glad to see you on Bob's thread. Bob wrote:

"Hi ! Looking for thoughts from 2-year plus recovered BS's whose recoveries haven't gone as far as they hoped."

Well this part I might not entirely qualify for because in some ways this recovery has surpassed what I had hoped for. Let's review my recovery checklist.

Did H thoroughly dump the OW Beeitch? check

Did he totally get over any feelings/fantasies for OW? check

Has H done the work to understand what caused him to go over to the dark side? check

Is he now protecting our M in concrete ways so I know he will never do this again? check

Did he walk through the ****** I required of him to get through this mess he created? Examples, participate in ongoing MC, work hard to get over withdrawing from me as a defense mechanism, go to the scene of the crime for my healing, read OW's love letters out loud together, etc. check

As good as I thought our M was pre-A, is it better now? Most of it "yes". I feel a freedom now that I really didn't feel before. I think H feels it also. The only thing that took a hit I think is SF. It's kind of like what you wrote Bob.

"Squid has some plumbing issues but when they aren't manifesting she is far more appreciative of me SF efforts these days than ever before. Its me who has let SF slip out my top 5 ENs."

The sexual betrayal was so huge for me, and H's shame almost equalled my hurt, that we did get kind of screwed up. Especially me. The good news is that neither one of us are indifferent, and I believe this is just one more thing that will have to be recovered fully. I'm not as hyper about it as I once was.

SD wrote:

"I waited and waited for my W to break down, become totally contrite, and sob and beg me for forgiveness and to love her and care for her as I once did. Well, truth is, she never did. I still feel somewhat unloved and cheated that that never happened. And if it did happen, it should have lasted 48 hours or more, complete and total breakdown. But she says she loves me?"

SD, my H never did that either. Any crying he did was over his great loss of OW early on, and also the giant mess he created. For a long time I wondered if he really loved me because I didn't get the magnificent Plan Aing that I thought I so deserved. It took me at least a few years to realize that he was giving me all of that in another way, which was sticking with my brutal recovery requirements. These were never forced because H always could have chosen to leave.

Bob, I would say that the last couple of years is where the most change occurred during recovery. Before that point H was still in self-protective mode. At some point he began to get that it was more important for him to help me heal than to protect himself. That is when we began to be able to talk more openly about issues like sex. That's when I began to feel more like a team. That is also when H began to face how his adultery effected him, especially spiritually.

Would I call us recovered? Probably not yet, although I barely think about the A. I was triggered a few weeks ago unexpectedly to when H was such a shi!! when my dad was dying. I couldn't let it go so I had to tell him. We talked, he comforted me, apologized again, and it was over. As are MC has said, some things can't be undone. H can never give that time back to me, but he can apologize as often as necessary if I need that.

The other thing that took a hit is my views on marriage. I'm not sure I really believe in it anymore. I'm kind of like I was before I ever Med in the 1st place. H knows this, even though he still apparently believes in M and our M. Maybe this will change in time. I'm not worried about it presently. Just accept where I am right now.

Anyhoo, there's my update SD. Bob, hope this helps in some way.
Bob, you might find a book called 'Fear of Intimacy' by Robert Firestone quite interesting. It's not exactly a self-help book - more an academic tome - but it's a great description of why people who are damaged by childhood conditions come to have defences that they are terrified to let go of in adulthood.

The book, unfortunately, doesn't tell you how to solve the problem unless both of you are really willing to work on it, but it does give a useful insight into how people like Squid and my WH get stuck in this twilight semi-comfort.

I think the only answer, when a spouse is so defended against intimacy, is to stop yearning to achieve it and start accepting that your spouse is more than a bit lacking in the closeness department. Pushing for it will not make it happen. All you can do is make it clear that the marriage is not meeting your needs and leave the rest to her.

I do think both of you would benefit from a really good MC, although I know you're not keen. We've been going to a phsychotherapist (not Relate) and she's absolutely gone for WH's jugular. None of this prissy mincing around with 'communication problems', it's been straight into 'exactly why did you make those choices?'. He hasn't been able to squirm away from anything. He hates it, but it's the first time in 5 years he's been made to face up to the fact that what he's done is seriously wrong in the eyes of the world.

It's a very good book, anyway

TA
BP WROTE:

"As for me I expect no de facto compensation for the grossest insult of my life, but I was hoping ( early on) for some radical improvements in our marriage that would at least give me something to focus on when I wonder if I have betrayed myself in making this huge, one-sided investment in recovery.

I have still not wholly forgiven myself for not immediately divorcing Squid when I discovered her A. A small, foolish but noble part of me believes that is the most dignified thing for a BS to do. I know intellectually that is not true, but emotionally....I can't fully shake the guilt. "

___________________________________________________________

From what I read in the paragraphs you wrote, those "changes" you hoped for (early on) are more than a past desire. They are a present and ongoing desire - radical changes in the marriage that haven't taken place.

So maybe the question isn't whether you haven't "accepted" or that you have "settled", but if you haven't progressed to the point where you have what you want in this marriage and how/what to do now?


Or are the questions, "Will I ever get there in this marriage?" and "Can I live with it if I don't?". I see you in a point where I was, feeling like I did the heavy lifting and FWH seemed to move along at his rate, in his world, not recognizing the need to change.

That part was my fault. I made it too easy for him to stay the same.

So I changed. I changed in the way I treated him, changed in how I spoke to him, changed in how I acted around him.

And he changed.

We also incorporated lots of talking with one another, although he fought it at first, with virtually every cell in his body ;-)

But soon it came to pass that this talking was the key that opened up the intimacy again. I think what you seek is that, intimacy. She is giving you the "wifely" stuff - being a mom, doing the things around the house - but you still feel disconnected, which sounds to me like intimacy, closeness, her "self" involved with your "self", for lack of a better way to put it.

I agree that it isn't "communication problems" per se - it's the lack of HONEST communication here. It's been ongoing in your posts, since the start. She hasn't really opened up to you in the way you have needed her to, and that's an issue you're going to have to overcome.

I need to have that connection, that closeness, and to have that kind of ability to become almost one in thinking with my mate - a high level of intimacy, which is tough to do if you carry the distance it sounds like you two still have between you.

As for your "guilt" - I don't know if it would have been easier to leave, Bob. You would have always looked back, wondering, "what if", "if only", and the like. We make our choices with the information we have at the time. You can't have guilt about that, can you? Doing the best you can with what you have, every day, making choices that are best for you, your family, that takes strength of mind and character. To get rid of that guilt, maybe some focus on yourself and why this strikes at your ego.....remember, her affair was NOT about YOU. It's still the rollercoaster ride, even though that "timeline" is supposed to have lapsed.


You can make the points to her that you make here. Why not?

Is there anything to lose with trying to have a discussion about your needs, in a way that makes her feel safe that it isn't a discussion about her failings? How about re-doing the EN questionnaire with her? Things change over time. Maybe YOUR needs have changed, and you haven't recognized it?

Perhaps going back to the basics and thinking in simpler terms would help. I do that when I have these days, on the downhill, cogitating side of the ride.


One last thing: Try to avoid "knowing" what she's thinking. You might want to ask her instead. Just be prepared to listen, and keep asking questions that require an "essay" answer. It can be very helpful.
Quote:

Hi FH

I welcome your thoughts. we are grown up enough to politely disengage with each other if we feel our engagement is becoming unproductive, right ?




I'd like to think we are, BP. So let me "start slowly" and we'll see how it goes, okay?

Unless things have changed, you are both believers in Jesus Christ. So how goes your walk and your wife's walk with Christ?

So far what I've been "hearing" is that you have both "done what you can do," that is what is "humanly possible." But there is a third person in your marriage who doesn't seem to be being given much time or attention. That is the basis of my inquiry.

For a Christian, the "logical question" is "do I walk alone or with Christ every day and in every decision I make each day?"

So how do you think God "feels" about "accepting" and then "settling" for less than what He wants to freely give you?
Bob, it might be that Squid is very happy now with her 'lot' but that you may never 100% recover from her A. I also ponder on whether I should just have divorced upon discovery but there were so many factors stopping me, not least the fact that I couldn't financially support my children or that we all would have had to move half way round the world if we weren't here as his dependants.

Truly don't think I'll ever get over the A. It doesn't overshadow my life now but our relationship has definitely not changed for the better. It's acceptable; for now.
hey TA !

Squid would genuinely rather die than consult a shrink. I think it would benefit her very much indeed.

I'd even go myself if there was a deal that Squid would also go.
Hi CV !
Quote:

Anyhoo, there's my update SD. Bob, hope this helps in some way.




Much to comment on at length CV, as usual.

For now I will say only that I think the differences in our recoveries stem from our FWS attitudes and personalities, not from anything you or I did differently.

With the ingredients we have we will bake different pies.

Maybe I need to start accepting that ?More later. Thanks again !
hi FH

Quote:

Unless things have changed, you are both believers in Jesus Christ. So how goes your walk and your wife's walk with Christ?

So far what I've been "hearing" is that you have both "done what you can do," that is what is "humanly possible." But there is a third person in your marriage who doesn't seem to be being given much time or attention. That is the basis of my inquiry.

For a Christian, the "logical question" is "do I walk alone or with Christ every day and in every decision I make each day?"

So how do you think God "feels" about "accepting" and then "settling" for less than what He wants to freely give you?




Well this year we joined a church and have grown enormously in Word and Spirit of God as a result.

In early December Squid and I spent a day at our church undergoing a "steps to freedom in Christ" ministry.

STFIC is a proven framework whereby through conviction, renunciation and recommitment we can root out strongholds within us and rededicate ourselves to God and to good.

It was a most excellent day and I was blessed enormously by it; being convicted of sins I never knew I had blocking my path to God.

I can't possibly write up the whole experience here, it would take ages !

However, It DID present me with something of a faith challenge.

You see as part of the process is a section on sexual sins, and removing the negative spiritual residue of them.

The program leans on prayer that the holy Spirit might convict us of sins that we are aware of and unaware of that may be giving satan a stronghold in our lives.

Squid and i were together for the communal prayer and explanation but we went to separate quiet places to pray our prayers. we did so out loud because satan cannot read minds and needed to know we renounce him.

we prayed :

Quote:



Lord,I ask You to bring to my mind every sexual use of my body as an instrument of unrighteousness so that, in Christ, I can renounce these sexual sins and break their bondages. In Jesus' name, Amen




Then we had a quiet time with the Lord as He identified these sins to us.

Then for each occurrence & sin, we prayed :

Quote:

Lord,
I renounce * this particular sin * with * this particular person *.
I ask You to break that sinful bond with * person *.




Then at the end of the list :

Quote:


Lord,
I renounce all these uses of my body as an instrument of unrighteousness, and I admit to any wilful participation.I chose now to present my Eyes, mouth, mind, heart, hands, feet and sexual organs to You as instruments of righteousness. I present my whole body to You as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable.

I choose to reserve the sexual use of my body only for marriage.

i reject the devil's lie that my body is not clean, or that it is dirty or in any way unacceptable to You as a result of my past sexual experiences.

Lord, thank You that You have totally cleansed and forgiven me and that you love and accept me just the way I am.

Therefore, I choose now to accept myself and my body as clean in Your eyes. In Jesus' name, Amen.




Squid prayed this earnestly, as did I.

When we got home she talked about all the day quite a lot, but not the sexual sin part. That night in bed she asked me to make love to her ( very rare) and was quite emotional about it.

This clearly meant a great deal to her.

I now have to come to a place where I too see her as God sees her. That may take some time, but I think a lot of progress for Squid right here.

God also told me through two unconnected brothers that I need to stop trying to "rescue" Squid and let God work on her a while. So I am trying.

So FH as you can see we are making great strides in our spiritual life.

I think from reading the responses on this thread an elsewhere I am coming to see that I cannot expect the same outcome from our recovery that others achieved because they have different ingredients. MB is a cookbook, not a ready-baked cake.

My marriage and life aren't bad. Just as Squid won't meet my personal priority ENs in my marriage, maybe I cannot expect her to meet my "recovery ENS" either ?
Hi SB

You post too deserves more of as response than I have tie to give today, but here goes a start :

Squid will undergo any trauma in order to avoid doing something she has decided she doesn't want to do. ANY trauma.

Her A is an example of that. She knowingly set off the atom bomb in our lives by choosing an affair rather than face the problems in our marriage, more specifically her complicity in them. She has always been very vocal regarding my perceived shortcomings.

I have been very direct in communication with Squid since the beginning of 2006, after a period of mourning following her mom's death. Her response is to clam up and manipulate me with a nuclear winter sulk.

The longest one I actually counted lasted nine weeks and two days. See she will undergo all that misery to avoid communicating honestly with me regarding topics that are uncomfortable for her. Big K will back me up here

Pavlovian it might be but its hard for me to continue to press when my whole family's life is turned to miserable crap every time I press for advance in our M.

I see no way to change that behaviour in Squid. Its always been her way.

I don't need intimacy with her right now, SB. Maybe thats one of the problems.

TT

Your response to your H's affair was the embodiment of MB selflessness IMO.

And as you know a large chunk of my own resolve to stay when my recovery got sh*tty was to keep the kids lives stable.

Its underrated IMO. People divorce too easily.

I think I am coming to realise that I don't understand Squid at all. I only know the evidences of her thought processes, not the thought processes themselves.

And its hard to like some of the evidences.
Quote:

I don't need intimacy with her right now, SB. Maybe thats one of the problems.




Now there's a remark that jumped off the page for me. Intimacy is what I have been seeking in my marriage for years. Of course my W thinks that means all I want is SF

These past few days have been pretty cool, because my W, who is driven to be "busy" at all times, slept in with me a few mornings over the holidays. Just yesterday, I told her that was my favorite Christmas present, her sleeping in, me waking up with her next to me. She questioned me like I was spoofing her, or something. Finally, I explained to her that her sleeping in was some of the intimacy I have been looking for in our marriage. I could almost see the light bulb pop on in her head.

If not for me, my W could walk around the house for days, and not take the time to stop and give me a hug or a kiss. She is so focused on "things she has to do", that she'll not allow herself to be sidetracked while she attacks her list. It's just one of those behavior traits she sees no need to address or change. How perplexing it is to be the H of a woman who sees no need for this casual interaction during the course of a day. She is, however, receptive to my hugs and kisses when I take the initiative.

I have often thought that CV should be the poster child for "MB Recovery". CV, you KNEW what you needed, and you continued to ask your H to deliver. Sometimes all it took was some conversation and sometimes you had to bring out the "black mamba" to get his attention. But the facts are that you were unrelenting in asking him to deliver to you what you needed to heal from his A. For that I will always admire and respect you.

Bob, having said that, perhaps you and I (and others) asked for too little from our WS's. However, if I had been as strongly committed to getting my W to do all I asked of her through recovery, I'm certain I would be sitting here writing this a divorced man, because there is NO WAY she could have met the criteria. But, I will say that I never really knew, like CV did, exactly what I needed in order to recover, so I guess a fair share of the blame lies in my lap.

I do believe that my W is glad that I endured what I did and stayed in the marriage. She also believes that she endured a lot from me, prior to her affairs, and we should consider ourselves somewhat "even". Now I don't know how you can tally up all the misdeeds we have done each other over the years and ever come up with an accurate tally, but she seems to be able to do so.

Our marriage IS better. It is NOT all I hoped it would be. There is still improvement. I have hope for the future. All that is better than having divorced, for us as individuals, for our kids and for our extended families.

Like Bob said, staying together for the kids is underrated.

Happy New Year's to All of you!!!
Bob-
I have not been in recovery for a year- so I hope you dont mind my two cents- My D-day has been right at a year and for the last few months I too have questioned- did I do the right thing by staying with my FWH?

I often wonder if there will ever be a day in my life that I do not question- is he being faithful- where is his mind trying going- what is he really doing when he says he is working, etc. But I have CHOSEN to stay- just as you have- my reasonings are simple- he is a good man that made a horrid choice that was painful to me, our children, our family and our friends. MY CHOICE TO STAY- OUR ROAD TOGETHER TO REPAIR THE ALL DAMAGE.

I agree with SD, none of our marriages will EVER be the same, what we all had died the day our spoused decided to cross the line. It is up to both partners to decide the type of marriage that they would like to be in and work together to obtain that goal.

WHY DO WE STAY?
For the kids? - maybe - a stable home says alot- BUT unhappiness in that stable home is not a good role model for children either.

For the money?- not for me-
I could leave him- pay cash for a very nice house, support 3 children just as well as he is doing from child support and me working- and I don't think I would be a greeter at walmart- I might not get to travel like I plan on doing now- but I dont think blue would be in my future

Possible insecurities of not finding someone else?- not worried about that- there are tons of people in this world

FOR LOVE? for me- yes- AND no this has not been my dream marriage- I am at the age you said you might make a different choice, if I made a different choice could I ever really have a DREAM marriage- isn't like 80% of marriages suffer adultery. So why would I leave a man I dearly love, is still my best friend, is still what I feel my soul mate, the person I enjoy spending my free time with- to risk it with someone I dont know as well.

What's odd is I think I hear you saying similar things about you FWW- so if you were younger why would you want to be with someone else? Why do you even ponder in unrealistic thoughts- we need to stay present in today- that keeps us out of those spiraling thoughts and aides in a reduction of anger and resentment.

Today I am satisfied with my marriage, it is not the dream I had when I walked down the aisle 15 years ago- I don't think it was prior to the affair either. That was a bar no one could live up to- well maybe June and Ward Cleaver.

I challenge you to decide what type of marriage you want and talk to you wife about this- what kind does she want. This is something that continues to help myself and my FWH. Defining us and making a goal to achieve it.

good luck
AM
Bob,

By "intimacy" I don't mean SF. I mean closeness, safety with one another.

Maybe by building that with Squid, you could get answers to what you need to know. She would talk of those things that are uncomfortable for her. Because that intimacy makes for a safe place to do that kind of talking.

Just sounds like that type of closeness isn't there, like she has walls, fears of opening up too much. It takes patience and lots of time for those to come down, but they can. But it does require a change on one side or the other in how the talking between the two of you takes place, and what level of intimacy is offered up, and how.

SB
Happy New Year BP!!!!

I read through your post and it's wonderfully open responses, and I wanted to weigh in with my thoughts.

Let's see, hubby and I are almost four years into recovery and it has been a lot longer and harder road then I ever thought it would be,, if I knew then what I know now,, would I? Could I do it again?? Honestly I don't know.

I love my husband with all my heart and in so many ways our marriage is better then before the affair and seperation.I have grown so much as a person, and so has he and we are in a good place but its the ghost of the affair that I am so tired of dealing with. It's hurts and it's guilts and the fact that it tarnished the greatest man I have ever known. My daughter will never look at her dad as the heroe that he once was to her. I don't know if it will ever be "gone", and that is what kills me.

My husband is the love of my life and I want to put it behind us, but... theres always a but huh? Anyway BP I guess this is just the nature of the beast and its part of the package.

I too wonder some times did I do the right thing in staying and working on the marriage. All of our Children are grown so I didn't stay for the kids, I have a good job I could support myself, not at the same level as now, but close and less is more right?? So why did I stay? I love him.

Is it the marriage I want/wanted? Yes most days. I just wish we could of gotten here a different way.

Oh well enough rambling,, Thank-you for the post.

F-26
We spent New years day lazing by the pool and fishing off the dock. Tonight we went to Rib Daddy's in Key Largo for excellent food.

My kids, squid could not be happier. Loving, content family.

And it occurred to me tonight - this is MY doing.

I manned up and applied MB WELL. I ended squid's affair, kept OM away while she withdrew from him. Choked down the insult while investing in her $lb.

I fought the very devil and won, not just for me but all my family.

I did this. I was what my family needed me to be when it was very hard to do.

I am very proud I need to remember when I am focussing on the imperfection of our recovery that we could be a whole lot worse off than this. A WHOLE lot.
Amazing what some time off, with the family, some sunshine and good food will do for the soul, eh Bob? It's often just a matter of perspective. Dwelling on the positives outweighs dwelling on the negatives by a long shot.

Happy New Year to you, Squid and the kids. May all your days be filled with family, sunshine and good food!
Hi Bob,

Quote:

She has no doubts whatsoever that we won't be together in our old age.

Thats OK of course, but I'd like to see some deliberate EARNING of a place in my retirement plans. There, I've said it.




I am just past the four year mark and your above comments express my sentiments exactly.

For me, well, I made my choice to stay married to my FWH and have accepted that there is simply nothing he can do to make me feel any better.

Our marriage is better than it was pre-affair, but it will never be as good as it could have been had he simply expressed his displeasure with our marriage in any more productive way other than having an affair.

WE are making all sorts of wonderful plans for the rest of our lives together. I, on the other hand, still feel like I need a contingency plan for what I will do if he has another affair.

Maybe I am just too afraid to trust again.

Who
Hi AM !

Quote:

I challenge you to decide what type of marriage you want and talk to you wife about this- what kind does she want. This is something that continues to help myself and my FWH. Defining us and making a goal to achieve it.




I've done this many times. Squid won't tell me what she DOES want, only what she DOESN'T want.

She doesn't want anything she considers to be a punishment for her affair in our life - that includes any marriagebuilding.

Nothing that makes her uncomfortable.

And she'll make my life ****** until I stop trying to advance marriagebuilding in our life. Then when I stop she is nice as pie.
Bob -

Honestly, do you think it is the lack of commitment to marriagebuilding on Squid's part that is bothersome to you, or is it "residue" from the whole mess? Perhaps some of both?

I ask because I often have the feeling of "settling for less" at nearly 4 years out. Yet I know Cruise has done much "marriagebuilding" along the way. I wonder at times if it will ever be enough. As in...when will Cruise's efforts reach the tipping point for me to reach a state of "non-settling?"

Also, I am right there with you on the issue of not forgiving myself fully for not immediately divorcing Cruise. Perhaps this plays a part in how I feel now.

No answers here, only more questions. At least this is giving me some structure around which to organize my thoughts/feelings. Thanks for that.

Todd
Hi Bob,

Quote:

We spent New years day lazing by the pool and fishing off the dock. Tonight we went to Rib Daddy's in Key Largo for excellent food.

My kids, squid could not be happier. Loving, content family.

And it occurred to me tonight - this is MY doing.

I manned up and applied MB WELL. I ended squid's affair, kept OM away while she withdrew from him. Choked down the insult while investing in her $lb.

I fought the very devil and won, not just for me but all my family.

I did this. I was what my family needed me to be when it was very hard to do.

I am very proud I need to remember when I am focussing on the imperfection of our recovery that we could be a whole lot worse off than this. A WHOLE lot.




There you go...

Quote:

She doesn't want anything she considers to be a punishment for her affair in our life - that includes any marriagebuilding.




Hmmm, that sounds like someone I married (I still insist that she would rather have sex with me than counsel with Steve or Jenn...).

I don't have any great answers on how to move past the hump---I've certainly been less than successful in some aspects of our marriage. But then---it's possible (just barely), that maybe this isn't your fault. Continue to brainstorm for new ways to bring these issues to the table, and perhaps one of them will stick with her. I know that for my wife, the pain and shame of what she's done is overwhelming for her---I believe that she hasn't gotten past the self-forgiveness phase. Burying it doesn't help a whole lot...

Peace to you---as well as congratulations!
Hi K

Quote:

I know that for my wife, the pain and shame of what she's done is overwhelming for her---I believe that she hasn't gotten past the self-forgiveness phase. Burying it doesn't help a whole lot...




I sometimes wonder if having a supportive , reliable, faithful H doesn't allow some FWS the "luxury" of extended melodramatic self-loathing. "Lesser" men might require that effort be expended in their self IMPROVEMENT not self admonishment. "we" just tut and pray and get the kids ready for school or remodel the dining room..

Know what I mean ?
Hi Todd !

Well, you're right that nothing will ever be enough to wipe away the effects of Squid's affair.

But Squid's contribution to recovery has been like her contribution to life - completely within her comfort zone.

Squid has studiously avoided learning and applying any MB.

What she has effected is the parts that I have shown her by example or osmosis.

I'd like to see her ask me what she can do to help me heal. To say sorry while looking into my eyes. To tell me honestly how she feels about OM and her A now.

Is that too much to ask ?
BP,, No that's not too much to ask, I'm still waiting for my hubby to say many of the same things. What I want is for him to tell me that he sees her now as the devil incarniate (sp?).LOL,, ain't going to happen, she wasn't. He has told me how sorry he is, he has done a lot of soul searching to try to understand how "it" happen, how he allowed things to cross that line, and for that I am thankful. Basically BP I am thankful for the victories I have and constantly remind myself that I choose to forgive him flaws and all. We can't make them do the things to help us heal, all we can do (imvho) is love them, pray for them, and release the rest to God. (Of course I have to remind myself of this daily if not hourly since I attach rubberbands to everything I release so that I can pull them back and disect them for later use LOL)

anyway just my 2 cents worth.. F-26
Quote:

What I want is for him to tell me that he sees her now as the devil incarnate




See, Faith , I don't need that. If Squid still pines for OM I'd like to know. I'm not going to leave her or D her, but I'd like to know if that's the reason for her lack on investment in me.

Squid would be scared that her life might become less comfortable if she fessed up, I think. Or she may loathe OM as a reptile now. In the absence of any word from Squid, I can't know.
I do hear what you are saying BP, do you think that she really knows that she can be that honest about what her feelings are about the OM with you, good or bad, with out fear that you may judge her harshly? Or worse yet leave her? Or even worse shut down emotionally?

I would think that would be very hard for anyone to do, to be that vulnabule (sp?), to take the risk that what they may say will/would hurt someone they have already hurt so much. I don't know BP maybe in more time she'll be able to.
Hi Bob:

Quote:

I sometimes wonder if having a supportive , reliable, faithful H doesn't allow some FWS the "luxury" of extended melodramatic self-loathing. "Lesser" men might require that effort be expended in their self IMPROVEMENT not self admonishment. "we" just tut and pray and get the kids ready for school or remodel the dining room..

Know what I mean ?




Yeah, I do know what you mean. In our case, I think a lot of the current marital issues (and there's not a lot---except for the 'big one') lay pretty much in my wife's domain. And it's simply the way she is and the way she behaves. I doubt that beating on her more during the affair would have had any effect other than driving her off (and Steve H agreed with this assessment years ago).

My dear wife doesn't care for personal growth too much---it's hard work, and she's had so many other health issues to preoccupy her time, that I believe that she's not capable of doing it. Having said that, a 2008 goal for me is to see if I can get the two of us working on some program together for the marriage.

Wish me luck---I've let this rest for a couple years...
Well here's some irony, K : in 2008 I've been asked to set up and run a marriage building ministry through my church.

Squid seemed pleased to be involved, but I asked Squid gently how she felt about advocating and policing Dr Harley's principles when she so clearly did not believe in them for her.

She shrugged and smiled. Thats her stock answer meaning " I yam what I yam and thats all that I yam " I think there's an opportunity to use this to suffuse Squid in MB, but I'm not hugely hopeful.

Quote:

Having said that, a 2008 goal for me is to see if I can get the two of us working on some program together for the marriage.

Wish me luck---I've let this rest for a couple years...




Strangely I have decided to back off trying to rebuild our M until I get some sign that it is worth my investment. I've tried to clap one-handedly for a loooong time now. I need to breathe and live a bit, you know ?

Squids a nicer person when I am not trying to improve our marriage.

She seems content with her self loathing, absence of conflict and self improvement and my adhering to Squid-friendly behaviours such as tending Squids lovebank and advocating POJA.

fun fun fun

Good luck K. Your sit is a toughie and reminds me that while my foxhole is sometimes uncomfortable, others' foxholes are uncomfortable AND filled with manure. I just cant see it over the lip of my own foxhole !
Quote:

I sometimes wonder if having a supportive , reliable, faithful H doesn't allow some FWS the "luxury" of extended melodramatic self-loathing. "Lesser" men might require that effort be expended in their self IMPROVEMENT not self admonishment. "we" just tut and pray and get the kids ready for school or remodel the dining room..





BP,

I'm a newbie, so to speak, so feel free to discount anything I post, just as we all discount advice/observations that we don't find truth in.

In my few months of reading here at MB, I have an observation regarding BH/WW who have successfully recovered (or in the process of recovering) and those who are mired in some sort of limbo.

It appears to me that the BH's that have successfully negotiated recovery are those BH's who have reconnected with their confidence and improved themselves. In addition, they are the BH's who have established boundaries for themselves to continue in the marriage and were SERIOUSLY ready to leave the M if those boundaries were violated.

There was a reason that our W's fell in love with us originally, and it probably wasn't because we were indecisive, beaten down, weinies (representative of mine and others situations), and when we reestablished ourselves as the head of our households, our WW's reconnected with their compromised feelings for us. They then became invested in the recovery with US, moving forward as a team.

I may be saying this all wrong, but I see WW's as being like some children, in that they will do the least amount required or whatever they can get away with. There was a great thread a few months ago about "Setting the Bar High for Waywards" and I truly believe that to be successful in recovery, as a BS we need to know what we want and set the bar at that level.

The key to it all as a BH is being "READY TO WALK" if our recovery boundaries are crossed. As I see it, our WW's know us better than anyone, and they know when we're serious or bluffing. So for us to be a part of a successful R and a fulfilling M, we as the BS have to be prepared to drive the recovery bus to our desired destination or be ready to pull over and get off the bus.

As a BH, it all comes down to our own self-respect. If we don't respect ourselves, how do we expect our WW's to have any respect for us.

For me, once I had the revelation of just how far I'd slid, and reconnected with my old self-confidence, I didn't fear starting over as much as I would hate myself for settling for less than I could accept to remain in an unfulfilling M. I knew that I could be happy as a single man again ... I'd done it before ... but I couldn't be happy as a cuckold BH.

Obviously, that "line in the sand" will be placed at different places for different BH's and WW's, but until we are willing to establish those personal recovery boundaries and enforce them, then our WW's will continue to exist in some sort of unsatisfying limbo.
MR I was ready to walk for years. But thats a tiring way to live when my personal boundaries were being respected and my kids were so happy and stable.

It was liberating for me to admit I was here for the long run unless there was another affair.

Like K I think I am left with some facets of my wifes' personality that is not conducive to my hopes of recovery.

Even threat of divorce hasn't change Squids fundamental traits, believe me.

* edited "turning " for "tiring"
Hi Bob,

Please don't think I'm being a smart alec here.

" Even threat of divorce hasn't change Squids fundamental traits, believe me. "

But, has it ever occurred to you that Squid doesn't believe that you will ever divorce her?
Bob,

I don't really know your situation, but what WhoMe just posted was exactly my first thought when I read your post. The "key" is that your WW KNOWS you will walk and be COMFORTABLE with that decision. Remember, they KNOW us better than anyone ... they KNOW when we're bluffing.

Could you explain this statement "But thats a turning way to live when my personal boundaries were being respected and my kids were so happy and stable."? I don't understand the phrase "thats a turning way to live". Not arguing with your point, I'm just unfamiliar with that phrase.
The thing is, he ISN'T willing to walk away from the M over these issues, for several reasons, the most predominant one being the welfare of the kids, if I remember correctly.

I guess to me the answer seems obvious Bob (complicated by life, but obvious). If you want change but are as yet unable to achieve it, and are unwilling to leave the situation, then yes, you are "settling" for less than what you want. IF what you wanted were important enough to you, you would not be willing to "settle". So, the fact that you are still there to means that what you have is worth more than what you'd risk to get more.

So, what do you do when things aren't going the way you want? You either give up on trying to change them and apply those efforts to something more useful to yourself, or you keep seeking new ways to effect change.

I think that MB ministry seems like a great way to get Squid more aware of and invested in MB. Sounds like an incredible opportunity to do that, in fact, can't think of a BETTER situation to land in your lap regarding her and MB. Seize that opportunity. Ask HER advice on how to counsel people and interpret the material etc. Get HER to LEAD THE WAY in regards to this event. Pretend to be an absolute imbecile if you have to, make her the expert, that's what I would suggest.
I often believe I learn more through teaching others. I hope this to be true for Squid. She will need learn and understand the principles in order to be an effective co-leader- who knows there may be a day that you are late from work and she needs to start without you.

I would look at this opportunity as a gift from God, be very glad she is a willing participant in this experience.

AM
Happy New Year! For the past week H, myself, & our 2 boys have all gotten hit with some nasty bugs. I just haven't had the energy to actually post here, but have been reading this thread with interest. I'm determined to finally add my 2 cents so I can get rid of the conversations that are flying threw my head to you fine folks here. Now if I can only remember what some of those thoughts actually were. Bob, I might as well start with what you wrote to me since it is your thread.

"For now I will say only that I think the differences in our recoveries stem from our FWS attitudes and personalities, not from anything you or I did differently."

Bob, I have to differ with you on what you wrote above. You and my good friend SD were the kings of Plan Aing. You both beat me hands down on that aspect of recovery. I was pretty darn good, but as SD has noted, I had an evil Black Mamba side of me that H was on the receiving end of numerous times. In fact, I think I used to get 2X4ed on MB because of it. However, My lovely FWH was not that different than your FWW or many other FWSs I have observed here. Which leads me to what SD wrote.

"I have often thought that CV should be the poster child for "MB Recovery". CV, you KNEW what you needed, and you continued to ask your H to deliver. Sometimes all it took was some conversation and sometimes you had to bring out the "black mamba" to get his attention. But the facts are that you were unrelenting in asking him to deliver to you what you needed to heal from his A. For that I will always admire and respect you."

Thanks SD! I'm definitely not the poster child for recovery. Maybe that should be reserved for those MBers who who have stated they are so in-love with their Ss now. Truthfully I still don't exactly know what that word "in-love" means. I can tell you that I am back to being in-like with my H, and that in itself was a huge feat. He wasn't exactly the most likeable guy 4 years ago.

I did always know certain things about what it might take to recover from infidelity he!!. I knew that I personally had experienced a severe trauma, and that our M had also. I knew that I had to personally heal from this trauma, and that in order for our M to have a shot at recovering, H had to help me to heal. I intuitively knew H had to do certain things that "might" help me to heal, which I listed in my earlier post. You also wrote:

"Bob, having said that, perhaps you and I (and others) asked for too little from our WS's. However, if I had been as strongly committed to getting my W to do all I asked of her through recovery, I'm certain I would be sitting here writing this a divorced man, because there is NO WAY she could have met the criteria. But, I will say that I never really knew, like CV did, exactly what I needed in order to recover, so I guess a fair share of the blame lies in my lap."

SD, I think you, Bob, and so many other wonderful BSs here underestimate just how good and valuable you are. You assume that your W would have dumped you if you had set the bar high. MyR, it was me who wrote the "Setting the bar high" thread, and I really do believe in the importance of doing just that. My H told me at some point during our recovery that if I hadn't of set the bar high he probably wouldn't have done most of what we've done. The majority of FWSs don't want to revisit the pain they caused. Most people don't jump at the thought of looking at their issues. Our defense mechanisms run very deep and began in order to protect ourselves. They just don't work very well as an adult, and especially not in a good M.

This is what I just don't get. Unless you can't afford MC, or don't have adequate insurance, why does the screwed up FWS get to decide whether MC will or won't occur? Believe me, I get the reluctance of some of you BSs to push this issue. I was like you are pre-A. Post-A not an issue for me. H totally "F"ed up my life, his life, our M, and put our kids at risk. If he really felt remorse, and wanted to make amends, then there were certain things that had to occur. Was he uncomfortable doing these things? Yep! Many times I thought we hit the recovery wall and our M would definitely end, but then he would rise to the occasion. Now this H of mine actually calls me out on my sh!! when, for example, I don't acknowledge his feelings exactly right. I created a monster!

I can say 4 years later that I have recovered from the A trauma. The questions that some of you still want to ask your FWS concerning their feelings and thoughts about the OP and the A, I did that many times over. Was that hard for H? Very hard! But it was way harder for me going through his A and this trauma. It took him a while to realize that when I got triggered, and needed to talk to him about the A, it was to help me to heal. It's hard for the FWS because they were not traumatized. They will never get that. SD you said it best in that post about the BS and FWS come at recovery from different directions. Many times I had to explain this to H by using metaphors, such as a crime visctime might need to revisit the scene of the crime to get over the trauma. W also had Steve Harley in the beginning guiding us through the withdrawal period, and a great MC who has helped us immensely. Recovering from adultery is no easy task. I really do believe that only the BS knows what he/she needs to recover from this. Maybe most won't need what I needed. Still, I think it's OK to require the bare minimum.
Quote:

MyR, it was me who wrote the "Setting the bar high" thread, and I really do believe in the importance of doing just that.




Then, FogFree and I owe you a huge favor for posting that thread. I originally printed it off for her to read, and it made such an impression that we have now incorporated "setting the bar high" into our normal vocabulary when discussing these issues.

Needless to say then, but I agree completely with your great post here. As BS's, we can't be afraid to "set the bar high" for our WS's, and if they are as committed to R as us, they will embrace the concept ... FogFree is living proof.

Just like your H, FogFree also calls me on things when I don't quite meet one of her important needs, and I appreciate it. It shows her committment to improving our M for BOTH of us, and as a BS, I really like to see her effort.

Thanks again for making a difference in OUR M.
CV,

I, too, owe you a big "THANK YOU"!! I'm the FWW of MyRevelation, and your "raising the bar high" standard has worked great for us. I consider myself a total Type A personality and a highly competitive person, and any time that I can "prove" myself to anyone, especially MR, I love to rise to the occasion. He expects a lot out of me, and I demand a lot out of myself, and it feels great to be able to be transparent and O/H with him.

Bob,

Even though I'm a newbie, maybe I can offer a little insight from the FWW perspective. MR made it clear early on what he expected from me if I wanted our marriage to work. In fact, after he had his "revelation" (read the Serenity Prayer), he almost immediately became again the MR I fell in love with over 13 years ago--strong, confident, assertive. After about a 2-3 week fog timeframe, I jumped into the MB principles with both feet. In fact, one of the best things to come out of MB for us is certain lingo that we use EVERY DAY in our communications.

My question to you is this: what was it about "Bob" that attracted Squid to you in the first place? When you first got together, were you hesitant to discuss your wants and needs with her, or did you openly discuss them?

One thing that I just thought of--is it possible (and Bob, please don't take ANYTHING that I am saying here as trying to stir up *&^$) that she feels that you spend too much time on MB, and whenever you mention anything MB related, she has a negative reaction? Does she seem to tune you out?

Again, I only want you to do a little self-examination and see if the "old" Bob is still here--the one that Squid fell for in the first place. It certainly has worked for MR and I!!

Take care. Please know that I am asking these questions because I would like to maybe help someone even a fraction as much as CV and Acey have helped me.
Quote:

Could you explain this statement "But thats a turning way to live when my personal boundaries were being respected and my kids were so happy and stable."? I don't understand the phrase "thats a turning way to live". Not arguing with your point, I'm just unfamiliar with that phrase.





Oops ! I meant " tiring". * blush *
Hi FF

Quote:

that she feels that you spend too much time on MB, and whenever you mention anything MB related, she has a negative reaction?




I spend almost no time on MB FF. I lived on here. 8500 posts in 2 years. Almost nothing now.
Heaven forbid I'm going to quote MyRev and respond...

Quote:

The "key" is that your WW KNOWS you will walk and be COMFORTABLE with that decision. Remember, they KNOW us better than anyone ... they KNOW when we're bluffing.




Quote:

..."setting the bar high" ...




I agree with these statements---you do have to 'wonder' if the WS knows that you're bluffing. But when you bluff, you have to also be willing to lay the cards down in the end. I can say with a high degree of certainty, that had I tried to bluff (or do a legitimate Plan B when needs aren't being met) during our recovery process (first couple years)---that we'd be divorced. My wife didn't have what was needed to do the recovery work herself. In fact, she's got a pretty sweet deal now---and I doubt that the Plan B/D threat would do anything except achieve a divorce.

Knowing your boundaries, what you absolutely need in a marriage, and how willing you are with regard to the time needed to achieve these are all factors in where you draw that line. I've drawn my line out farther than I would recommend for most people. Bob, you seem to be wondering about where that line should be...

Setting a high bar is critical---really for anything. Who want's to achieve "below average"? This was something that I think I could have done better during our early recovery phase---if there were any regrets on any of my plan there, it would have been to try to insist on more counseling during early recovery.

Bob, I think the ministry aspect might be a way to bring the two of you together. I'm actually cooking up a 2008 plan for me and Mrs. K---we'll see how that goes...
Ironically K, Squid read this thread today. First time in YEARS she read my stuff on MB. Thats positive too I guess !!
WOW
MyR & FogFree, glad I could be of some assistance. Like Bob, I practically lived on MB for a long while. Now I check in but only post if I feel like I maybe have something to say. You never know who will get what from a post here.

FogFree, I just wanted to comment on something you wrote.

"One thing that I just thought of--is it possible (and Bob, please don't take ANYTHING that I am saying here as trying to stir up *&^$) that she feels that you spend too much time on MB, and whenever you mention anything MB related, she has a negative reaction? Does she seem to tune you out?"

It is very common for a FWS to have a negative reaction to MB for a variety of reasons. My H was cool with me posting here, but it was never his thing. He tried posting here during his withdrawal period, got somewhat blasted for his then feelings for OW, and bolted forever. Most of the time he understood my need for support here. However, there were times I'd bring up something from MB and he felt MB was triggering me. He'd suggest maybe I'd be better off not coming here so often. At those times I made it clear that there were certain things that were not negotiable. I'm not a 100% MBer when it's come to things I've needed to recover. Coming here whenever I wanted, and saying whatever I needed to say, has always been one of those things. I never POJAed when it came to my recovery, and I'm sure some folks here might disagree with that approach. You also wrote:

"Again, I only want you to do a little self-examination and see if the "old" Bob is still here--the one that Squid fell for in the first place. It certainly has worked for MR and I!!"

Fog, just a little check in here. I don't mean to be insulting in any way, but you do realize that often these As have nothing whatsoever to do with what the BS is or isn't doing. And often the FWS has difficulty with the recovery work because of their own demons. It sounds like you are moving along fairly quickly considering when your D-day was. Keep up the good work and you and MyR will recover. Take Care!
Does Squid feel attacked or sympathetic?
Quote:

Does Squid feel attacked or sympathetic?




She hasn't mentioned it, TT. She never speaks of recovery matters etc. Asked me to remind her what some of the acronyms are...BH, MB etc. No more than that.

We'll see in the next few days whether it made an impact within her or not.
Quote:

But, has it ever occurred to you that Squid doesn't believe that you will ever divorce her?




She knows I won't divorce her now unless she has another affair, or if our marriage decays to a place where the kids are suffering.

Early on she was moved to dry retching when she found evidence of just how serious I was about moving on without her.

Right now our kids are doing great. Happy, content, loving.

I'd need to be very unhappy indeed to chuck that away for my own purpose WhoMe.

Also I'd hope that my spouse might want to invest in our marriage for reasons OTHER than the threat of divorce.

Early in recovery, when (F)WS don't think too straight, the practical threat of potential divorce is very real and very required. But after 3.5 years of being a forgiving, investing husband I'd hope that I alone was worth increased marital investment, without fear of divorce , you know ?

Thing is my marriage isn't BAD. I'm not UNHAPPY. I'm just frustrated that with some small investment from Squid I ( and WE) could be far far happier.
Hi Bob,

Hey---having Squid showing up and reading is what I would think very positive. I also discussed MB stuff with my dear wife yesterday---that's almost always a big trigger for her. I a -10 to +10 scale, it usually ranks below -5. Last night, it was around a '4', so the fact that it even tipped past neutral was a bit shocking.

Quote:

I'd need to be very unhappy indeed to chuck that away for my own purpose




I identify very strongly with that. And in fact, I'd carry that through to my wife. If I thought she was sandbagging---I'd be pissed. But she's not. It's easy from the outside to imagine that this must be the case (and sometimes I can convince myself of that too---when rampant 'taker-mania' is running in my head), but I know that this isn't the case.

Quote:

Also I'd hope that my spouse might want to invest in our marriage for reasons OTHER than the threat of divorce.




Yup. Let me be crude here. I'd love to get laid. Is that gonna happen if I use the line "Hey baby---let's get busy tonight or you're gonna get served tomorrow?" I've used lots of fun pick up lines in the past. I just don't see this one having ANY chance of working.

Quote:

Thing is my marriage isn't BAD. I'm not UNHAPPY. I'm just frustrated that with some small investment from Squid I ( and WE) could be far far happier.




How are you doing with regard to the rule of Time? 15 hrs/week. That's something that most couples have difficulty with, and is certainly something that I've not done, especially in recent years. Part of my commitment to the marriage this year is to up the amount of time that we spend together. I think if the two of you can get excited about the Ministry opportunity---it'd be a great way to make that time commitment, as well as giving you each new opportunities to fill each other's lovebank. My guess is that you'll be impressed with Squid's offerings there---and this will fill admiration needs in a new way that she'll really dig.

Cheers Bob. I'm really thrilled that the two of you have come so far together. It's more than a minor miracle, considering what it was like when you showed up here!
Hey CV !

Quote:

Bob, I have to differ with you on what you wrote above. You and my good friend SD were the kings of Plan Aing. You both beat me hands down on that aspect of recovery. I was pretty darn good, but as SD has noted, I had an evil Black Mamba side of me that H was on the receiving end of numerous times. In fact, I think I used to get 2X4ed on MB because of it. However, My lovely FWH was not that different than your FWW or many other FWSs I have observed here. Which leads me to what SD wrote.




You are correct of course. We did things very differently.

I do believe though that had I raised the bar as high as you did I'd be divorced now. I'll never know now I guess.
Hi K

Quote:

How are you doing with regard to the rule of Time? 15 hrs/week. That's something that most couples have difficulty with, and is certainly something that I've not done, especially in recent years.




Well as part of being "serious" about changing myself, I changed my job after D-day. I was broken after d-day and my boss then 9 A ferocious tiny French lady !) actually gave me a month's sabbatical to get my head straight. Full pay. I'll never forget her for that.

Anyhoo, when I returned I had studied MB and also realised my dedication to work had contributed to making our marriage fertile for trouble.

I went to see my manager and quit. She wouldn't accept my letter, and asked me instead to write the attributes of a job I would be prepared to do within her organization.

To my amazement she accepted my requests verbatim!

I became based from my home, travelled far less and had a single focus for my job rather than the several I had before.

This meant for example, I was able to start " dad's diner" where I get up before everyone else on school mornings and make breakfasts and packed lunches. I get to put a funny face and message on my kids lunch bags, and squid get sto start the day in the "gradual where's my coffee?" way that suits her best.

This hit a couple of Squid's big ENS - family commitment particularly but also domestic support.

Also, being based at home, we were able to take time out during the week to spend some lunchtimes together. We'd go for meals together, no kids, at lunchtime rather than in the evening where it was difficult for us, with no babysitters and what not.

Early on we got much of our marrigebuilding done during these meals, but these last 2-2.5 years they've been UA and RC time. We also took to playing squash and attending the gym together during the day when my work could fit it in.

So in a typical week, K, we probably spend 10 hours UA & RC time. rarely less than that, sometimes more , beyond the 15 hours.

Quote:

I'm really thrilled that the two of you have come so far together. It's more than a minor miracle, considering what it was like when you showed up here!




Me too K Makes me feel ungrateful for my dissatisfaction I guess !

all blessings
CV,

I am not insulted!! Let me clarify--in NO WAY was I suggesting that Bob was responsible for the affair. My thought was that for me, when MR reverted back to being the man that I fell in love with, that attitude made the recovery process FOR ME much easier to dive into, and made me WANT to recover. I thought that Squid might be having those same feelings. I realized that I did not want to lose MR and would do anything that I could to save our marriage.

As far as spending too much time on MB, for a while, I felt that MR was doing just that. Now, however, I see that most of the time it doesn't trigger him, and helps his recovery process. I find myself on here lurking quite a bit, and reading some of the stories helps ME. I personally have found that FWS get quite a bit of support and that is a good thing, because most of us FWS on here are here to better our relationships with our BS.

Take care! Good luck, Bob!
Bob, one thing you posted really stood out for me...

Quote:

We also took to playing squash




You have no idea how much I miss playing squash---especially with the mushy, flat, yellow-dot English ball. Not those freakin' golf balls that Americans use... I used to be a semi serious tennis player, but back injuries led me to give it up. But I still had a damn good squash game---for a Yank, anyway.

So, back on topic---your recovery with regards to time sounds really quite good! Impressive with regards to the job---it's nice to be valued, and have supportive management. Don't feel ungrateful for the dissatisfaction---you've probably got an "8" for a marriage, but you want a 10. And I don't think you want that just for yourself---you'd like it for Squid too. That's just called 'setting the bar high', and it's positive. It's motivating. You have little chance of getting there if you decided to settle---and I imagine that you will get there eventually. And it'll probably just be a couple simple things that trip it for you...

Blessings to you and your family as well!
FogFree

Quote:

I personally have found that FWS get quite a bit of support and that is a good thing, because most of us FWS on here are here to better our relationships with our BS.




Congratulations on your work and recovery as well. It's really great that you could cut through the fog quickly and join MR in recovery. Well done! (And I'm trying to avoid raising MR's BP too much... )
Hey Bob,

An MB weekend in London has just been announced!

Bob,
I am 2 years past D-Day.
Tonight my husband and me got into it and I found myself at marriage builders and came across your post. Must have been meant to be.

Our biggest problem is his lack of involvement in our recovery. I feel like I was the one who had the affair and now I have to do all the work. He has never shown true remorse for his affair. I never really got a remorseful apology.

He did come to marriage builders posted 2 posts the last one not to long ago and that was his effort for marriage building principles.

It’s sad I am in my early 30’s and afraid of being alone.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that I have been with him since I was 16.

And the fact that I truly never had my parents in my life. My father was sent to prison for abusing me. My mother blamed me and to this day has nothing to do with me even after my dad died.

Knowing everything I’ve been through he still choose to do this to me.
He knows that he and the kids are all I have.

He is comfortable in the fact that I am going nowhere.

He’s right I am here for the long haul.

But there are days that I regret not walking away and making him realize the blessing he has been given.

Am I asking for too much? “ I don’t think so”. Just like I don’t think your asking for too much.

We deserve to know that we are worth fighting for. That our spouses are truly sorry for what they did. So why is it so hard for them to just put a little effort into it? Only they know.

We are left to try and figure out the hand we were dealt. I just pray that my husband realizes what God has blessed him with before it’s to late.


I know I didn’t answer anything for you but your post helped me. I needed to get this stuff out. And today I felt very alone in the way I was feeling until I came across your post.
Thank you

Bob I pray that squid will find it in herself to open up to you and give you what you desire.

Blessing on starting Marriage Builders in your church.

Am I settling a little bit. But I have faith that we will get through this. He's an awesome father no doubt about that. And I truly do love him I just need him to step up

( sorry to ask on your thread Bob.. but K when is the MB W/e in London. Tried to find some info, not sure where to look.)

Many thanks
Click here for London MB weekend details
You know K I never could play tennis. I never got the handle of spinning off the racket when hitting the ball fast so I used to knock it to freakin' MARS when I hit it hard.

Squash is another ballgame * ahem *.

I was a fine player in my twenties, and have returned to the game since d-day with Squid. My game now is based on positioning and accuracy, not speed and fitness 'cos I'm a crock, but I'm not a bad player.

Hate American balls. Way too fast and bouncy to make the game interesting. ANYONE can get to a ball, and drop shots are almost non-existent IME.

Its good playing a sport with squid that isn;t bloody Karate * ptooey !*
Quote:

You know K I never could play tennis. I never got the handle of spinning off the racket when hitting the ball fast so I used to knock it to freakin' MARS when I hit it hard.




Spin... it's the secret to life. It's somewhat easier with those monster racquets they have nowadays.

Quote:

Squash is another ballgame * ahem *.

I was a fine player in my twenties, and have returned to the game since d-day with Squid. My game now is based on positioning and accuracy, not speed and fitness 'cos I'm a crock, but I'm not a bad player.




It is another game---but the thing it emphasizes like tennis is strategy, not necessarily just a dominant rocket shot. My game was based on being so tall and long I could stand in the middle of the court and just lunge with a step to cover most of the court... There's nothing I liked better than covering a short smash and flipping a lob that skimms along the wall and lands in the back corner. Ahhhh.

Quote:

Hate American balls. Way too fast and bouncy to make the game interesting. ANYONE can get to a ball, and drop shots are almost non-existent IME.




Yeah---you might as well be playing racquetball! I'll never forget the first time I played squash (against a English professor). We played tennis together (I'd hand him his shorts). He handed me the ball. I dropped it---and it sat on the floor! I looked at him and told him it was broken---the look he gave me was priceless.

Quote:

Its good playing a sport with squid that isn;t bloody Karate * ptooey




I bet!!!!!!
Hi Bob,

We have been in recovery for nearly a year and I would say that for the most part our recovery is going fairly well and quickly, all things considered. But I have been struggling with this same issue for ages. If I am honest, I think most of the BS's on here have settled. Judging by all the posts on these forums very few WS's jump on board with both feet and are prepared to really do 'whatever it takes' (even though many claim they will).

For me the difficulty lies in the fact that I have 2 very small children, and my FWH is the best father I could hope for. By staying with him though, I do feel that I have let myself down, I am worth so much more than this. I do often wish I’d had the guts to divorce him the moment I’d found out. For me as an individual, staying hasn't been the right decision. But I am a mother and doing that well and acting in the best interests of my children is far more important than any pride issues that this situation may present for me. I really resent my FWH for putting me in this position, where I have to choose between what's right for me as a human being and what is right for me as a parent, and I really resent that he probably hasn't even given it a seconds worth of thought that he has put me in this dilemna or the anguish it causes me.
At the end of the day I think it's just a bitter pill that I have to swallow - I have to put my pride aside in order to put my children first. In so many respects we have a very happy family, and I feel that in the grand scheme of things I need to be mature enough to appreciate this, and to keep investing and make the best of it. Focus on the good things and improve the things I can or cut my losses and get divorced (waaaaay easier said than done though!!!)

I also find that my tolerance level for any of FWH's lovebusting behaviours is very low. What pre-affair would have been construed as a big or small irritation that I could overlook, now has a major impact on my lovebank. I know from conversations that FWH just does not get that a 2 year affair has basically put my lovebank in overdaft and that it's going to take enormous effort to fill it again. I also find that when things go well, deposits are made, but one or two minor irritations now empty it out immediately. I expect him to be making a gargantuan effort to fill my lovebank and to make an even bigger effort to not make any withdrawals. I want to feel like he will fight to win me back. Reading these posts always leaves me with the impression that WS’s are rewarded for having an affair - suddenly they have a spouse who now tries even harder to meet their needs, whether or not they step up and put in the same effort.

We are in counselling with Steve Harley and it has helped a lot, especially in getting him to appreciate his accountability. But I still can't help but get the impression from my own FWH and the posts here that most WS's are just not as invested as the BS's who try against the odds to keep their families intact. My FWH does try, probably even very hard by his own standards, but it's not enough. For the damage he has done to me and for what an affair and a subsequent divorce would have done to our children, but for my decision to give him another chance to make this right, I really need to see some grand gestures. I think that's what most of us BS's need, but it seems to me that there is something in WS's that stops them from giving it. Is it pride, or is it that in doing so they will have to really face what they have done? Are they heartless and unable to empathise? Are they incredibly selfish by nature or just immature? I dunno. Maybe it's just power struggle issue.
I'm pretty sure that if I had an affair, I would beg, grovel and feel unworthy. I would do the grand gestures.
[THREAD JACK] Onethousandwords....I have been praying for you but could not remember your name. Do you remember me, Ace, from last spring? I kept bumping your thread but you were gone. So glad to see you checking back in. Now if the teacher BrokeninCali and gsh are reading, you're the other 2 of that MIA trio in my prayers from March and April. [end of threadjack]

Bob, my FWH says he will do anything to help me heal. Last night we were talking about attending an MB weekend and we noted that he has to work the end of January. He said, find out where the next one is and we'll go. I said OK and then discovered it was possibly London in June from your link.

His eyes got a little big, but he said, "I want to go with you." Not sure if that will happen but thanks for your link to this info.

Ace

Hey Bob. . .

What we cannot change is that our wives can cheat; they did, so the evidence is irrefutable. What we would most like is a situation wherein we feel safe. We don't because retribution hasn't been adequate and their personality changes insufficient. Betrayal changes our perception of life and we cannot restore the blind faith we had before affair. Yet we would want that above all else.

In other words, we want our FWW to become someone in whom we can place our absolute faith and trust; our vision of who they should be. Given free will, they in turn want to be themselves, not our vision of who they should be. Since we cannot really know what moves their spirit: mindreaders we ain't, we extrapolate.

Last night, we got rid of a reminder. The OM had constructed (badly) a doll house for daughter. I had looked at it numerous times and now worked up to suggesting that we replace it. Wife went along and I built it in the living room floor, complete with well applied glue in all the right places. Wife was emphatic that it needed replacing as she no longer wanted the reminder. Whilst working away, she observed my efforts and said, "You know what we are doing, don't you?"

Not sure as to what she meant, I said, "What do you mean?"

Her reply was, "Replacing bad memories with good ones."

What does all that mean in terms of who my wife is? Certainly she isn't the same person who spread her legs for the cretin who was intent on destroying all our lives, as was she at the time. Just as I have memories, so does she. And we cannot escape from our memories. Our memories make us who we are for better or for worse.

Larry
Hi lar !

Quote:

What we cannot change is that our wives can cheat; they did, so the evidence is irrefutable.




Yep

Quote:

What we would most like is a situation wherein we feel safe.




I feel safe Larry. Safe because I won't be destroyed if Squid cheats again, NOT because I am certain she won't have another affair.

I feels plenty safe, what I want to feel is admired, valued, loved more.

Quote:

We don't because retribution hasn't been adequate and their personality changes insufficient.




I didn't have ANY retribution, and I don't want or expect a personality trait change. behaviour trait changes that invest in me YES. Personality, no.

Quote:

Betrayal changes our perception of life and we cannot restore the blind faith we had before affair.




AMEN manchile !

Quote:

Yet we would want that above all else.




Not me, mate, see above. Nowadays I think people are saps who have blind faith in people.

Many changes in me I don't like, but I am happy to be more self reliant and realistic than before.
Quote:

Bob, my FWH says he will do anything to help me heal.




Then ace, you are truly blessed. I mean it.
Quote:

I also find that my tolerance level for any of FWH's lovebusting behaviours is very low.




SAME HERE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For all of those who want more from their post A marriages; maybe if they divorced and married again, just maybe they would discover that all marriages eventually become old, and that people every where don't put in as much as they should. I suspect it's the sole domain of a BS to expect more from their marriage mate, after they have been so wronged by them. The thing is that most of the time the WS finds it impossible to understand the extent of the damage they have done. It's like thinking we know how it feels to have a terminally ill child. We have no idea really - we feel sorry for those affected but after 10, 20 or 40 minutes of dwelling on a sad story, we put it out of our minds and get on with our life as we know it - which is what the WS tries to do after infidelity. Their laps in behavior can be put to rights by returning to the M and giving up the OP (or so they think). Whereas the BS is forever changed. Craving more - unable to live the peaceful routine existence they once enjoyed as it reminds them of life when their S went wayward.

AN
Quote:

Whereas the BS is forever changed. Craving more - unable to live the peaceful routine existence they once enjoyed as it reminds them of life when their S went wayward.




Well said, Anyname!
Wow, that's a scarey thought! That a peaceful state of being could be a trigger? I hope not, but maybe!
Hi Anyname !

I certainly agree that few FWS truly see the devastation their affairs caused their BS.

Thing is, however briefly, FWS typically derived huge pleasure from their A - while the BS has not a single positive attribution to it. Many FWS come to regret , even HATE their affairs, but I don't see how something that was once worth risking their marriage / life as they knew it for can be seen as a BS sees it: i.e. "life rape".

We got home today ( after a 48 hour delay at JFK airport) from a LOVELY family holiday / vacation. Squid was lovable and funny. We got on great with the kids and each other. Genuinely happy.

Yet 90% of that happiness is a result of MY work. Regardless of the effect of it, I want to see some heavy lifting from Squid in this marriage.

Writing this I can see perhaps its the GESTURE of Squid valuing me and our M enough to invest uncomfortably in it that is important to me, not the marriage improvements that might result from that.

Hmm.

Thanks again all, very interesting responses !
Quote:

Craving more - unable to live the peaceful routine existence they once enjoyed as it reminds them of life when their S went wayward.





AN, thanks for sharing this. Tyk's perception triggered a lightbulb for me because my sitch is so different. Now I see how it might seem like we have recovered quickly.

We had 32 years of detachment. I longed for a Biblically justifiable reason to get out.

H had 2 EA's, and I didn't find about the first til the second six years later. That was June of 2006.

I found and we began reading MB books together in the fall of 2006, but I did not register on these forums until Jan. of 2007.

After I began learning and changing, my WH chose to change nearly overnight. But what it appears he did was decide for the first time that he truly wanted to marry me and then I truly wanted to marry him.

So it's almost like we're newlyweds. I've always dreamed of this but almost felt guilty because it seems so unreal.

Your little nugget of truth has just explained a question I've had for nearly a year.

I can't tell you have much this helps me. And makes me glad I didn't tone down my story. As unbelieveable as it may seem, it's all true.

Quote:

Wow, that's a scarey thought! That a peaceful state of being could be a trigger? I hope not, but maybe!




I intend no disrespect for posters who had truly loving peaceful marriages pre-A and can't get back to it due to the triggers that 'peaceful' might represent. But this makes it so much easier for those of us who did not.

Thanks for sharing Anyname and Tyk. And thanks for this thread, Bob. It's been very helpful for me!

Ace

PS I don't think I've ever posted to you Tyk, but I appreciate all your posts. You seem to have learned quite quickly and I'm glad you shared what you did.
Bob wrote:

"You are correct of course. We did things very differently.

I do believe though that had I raised the bar as high as you did I'd be divorced now. I'll never know now I guess."

You know what Bob, I had the luxury of figuring out what I might need to recover from this mess because I didn't have the total responsibility of supporting our family. Recovering became a full time job for me. We all do the very best we can given the total devestation we are left to deal with.

onethousand wrote:

"For the damage he has done to me and for what an affair and a subsequent divorce would have done to our children, but for my decision to give him another chance to make this right, I really need to see some grand gestures. I think that's what most of us BS's need, but it seems to me that there is something in WS's that stops them from giving it. Is it pride, or is it that in doing so they will have to really face what they have done? Are they heartless and unable to empathise? Are they incredibly selfish by nature or just immature? I dunno. Maybe it's just power struggle issue.
I'm pretty sure that if I had an affair, I would beg, grovel and feel unworthy. I would do the grand gestures."

Nah! If you had an A you'd probably do exactly what you have witnessed with your H and what you witness here. I think we BSs have difficulty realizing that a person who has an A is "really" screwed up. Then when we, the BS, go through the ****** of Plan Aing (for those of us who did that) and we do expect and desire those grand gestures. The problem is that we are still dealing with one screwed up person. Most FWSs are incapable of leading the recovery effort. The FWS doesn't have a clue how to get out of the dung pile they put the M in.

AN wrote:

"The thing is that most of the time the WS finds it impossible to understand the extent of the damage they have done."

You're right AN. I think a FWS can open themselves up enough to see the damage and to feel horrible about it. However, a FWS, just like anyone who hasn't experienced being a BS, will not be able to understand through knowing on a feeling level what this does to a person.

Two days ago H heard on the news that someone we used to know was randomly beaten up badly by masked teenagers. H and I were eating dinner and he was talking about this, very upset by the cruelness of this act. All of a sudden I'm feeling triggered and don't even want to finish eating. Why? Because at that moment I remembered that H was one of those masked teens. He and OW beat the crap out of me, and then at some point the masks came off and I saw my assailants were people I knew, and more importantly someone I loved and trusted. That is what makes infidelity such a difficult thing to heal from. We knew our attacker, and we decided to try and heal with that person. How totally bizarre! And then we all are scratching our heads at the difficulty of this recovery process.

Bob wrote:

"Yet 90% of that happiness is a result of MY work. Regardless of the effect of it, I want to see some heavy lifting from Squid in this marriage.

Writing this I can see perhaps its the GESTURE of Squid valuing me and our M enough to invest uncomfortably in it that is important to me, not the marriage improvements that might result from that."

Right on mate! At some point the FWS has to do some of the heavy lifting. The FWS might not be able to feel the damage done to us, but they need to get it enough to help us to heal.

Ace, just a comment. Infidelity is a kick in the gut to any BS, regardless of the state of the M pre-A. Yet, I think maybe the fall for the BS is even greater when the M was pretty good pre-A. JMHO!
Quote:

Yet, I think maybe the fall for the BS is even greater when the M was pretty good pre-A. JMHO!




I totally see how that could be true, CV. I don't mean to minimize anyone's pain. My first d-day was bad enough but the subsequent ones (pre MB) nearly left both of us suicidal.

I have never realized that by having so few memories of 'happy times' that recovery from such a devastation would be a little easier than not. It's very enlightening and I'm grateful for knowing this....it's almost like another missing piece of the puzzle for me.

Thanks,

Ace
Hey BP,

I am glad you enjoyed your family vacation,,sounds like a good time was had by all.

You posted that squid had read some of this thread,,has she read any further and has she said anything about it??
She read it faith, responded by being shocked into silence as far as I can tell.

When we're not jet lagged from travel I'll offer Squid to discuss her thoughts properly.
Just b4 Christmas, we had a call from friends we had had in HK in 1985/6. My H had gone to school with this guy and had contacted him when we went to live in HK in 1985. They left HK soon after and we heard they had split up but had lost contact with them. Turns out they now live in the next suburb and have done for a number of years and frequent all the same cafe's and restaurants as we do, but if we saw them, we failed to recognise them.

We went to dinner at their house just before Christmas. Their story is: He was playing around on her in HK (she is a Filipino, the same age as him and had given him 3 children and had been a devoted wife and mother) She got distressed by his 'playing around' and left him. He was stunned. She was attractive - so when someone else came along, she took the opportunity to leave her unfaithful husband. She thought she was madly in love with the new guy. She married him and they had a child together. My H's old school friend realised what he had lost when his options to keep the marriage were gone. He eventually married again too.

Both their new marriages were unsuccessful. The initial couple used to get together for their kids at Christmas but over the years they both struggled with unhappy marriages. Then in 2003 they sat down and discussed their unhappy lives and decided to leave their spouses and start seeing each other again. They decided to remarry but only because of the children who wanted them to be together again as a family. (the kids were early 20's by then)

Her comments to us were that she doesn't believe in love anymore. Her experiences with love and marriage have shown her how unreliable love is. She wanted to be back with her first husband, but not for SF or love or romance or to have a great marriage. She's done with such ambitions. She just wants her husband around to enjoy a simple life with her and the family all together, and to this extent, she looks after him very well (I don't know if SF is part of the package) . He seems VERY content to have her back and to be together as a family again. They are renting a house because the broken marriages have cost them their financial security. (his initial playing around cost them heaps both financially and emotionally)

Bob, you haven't settled. You have simply tried to work out how to live your new marriage with less than ideal prerequisites. Squid's fall from grace has made her more difficult to love over the long haul - and maybe in order for you to enjoy those loving feelings for her you want her to make more effort towards you, so you don't have to try so hard to feel loving feelings for her.

I am a lot better than I was, but as a poster said on the last page, if we have a few things go 'belly up' then I can start feeling hostile towards H. All the slack he was cut for 30 yrs is used up. I don't want to be dealing with any inadequacies on his part, unless I'm feeling exceedingly generous that day. Fact is that he has plenty of inadequacies, as do I - and we can both get a bit disenchanted with recovery (or is it just marriage?). I really feel that all of this would have been the same without an A in our history, but with an A there, we are more fragile, more unsure of ourselves and sometimes just plain confused about what we should be feeling. Before the A, we were allowed to have days/weeks where we weren't strongly in love... experience had shown us that these phases came and went and it wasn't anything to worry about. Now if H and I have a week where we don't connect (we had overseas visitors for christmas - with no time for bonding) - then I particularly start to feel uneasy and I start to question our relationship yet again.

AN
Hi Bob! Glad to hear you had a good vacation. I'm sorry that you are still struggling with Squids refusal to confront her "wound" as Pep used to call it.
I've come to believe that most of us won't change unless our back is against the wall. I know that you want her to invest in the relationship because of her own desire, but she really has no reason to. She has everything she wants right now, and got it all without stepping out of her comfort zone.
And you say that you won't divorce her, but the resentment in your heart doesn't go away either. You manage to stuff it away for a time, and rationalize your way out of your discontent, but it keeps coming back.
Perhaps she should be pushed a little more that you feel comfortable doing....

Not a day goes by that a man doesn't have to choose, between what he wants, and what he's afraid to lose.
Robert Cray
Quote:

All the slack he was cut for 30 yrs is used up. I don't want to be dealing with any inadequacies on his part, unless I'm feeling exceedingly generous that day. Fact is that he has plenty of inadequacies, as do I - and we can both get a bit disenchanted with recovery




Ding ding ding !

Reading this makes me recognise that Squid may not be investing as I would like but she does not indulge in "chit" with me anymore.

Almost all the lovebusters she used to do have been stopped.

IB has almost stopped, DJs only happen couple of times per year" rarely, instead of daily as once was.

Hmm. Why had I not recognised that ? Squid has quietly and increasingly dealt with her LBs over the past couple of years.

This holiday for example she could hardly have avoided LBs any better and it helped create a lovely environment for our vacation.

I need to look detachedly at our marriage - there's clearly more improvement than I had been seeing.

Regarding your friends, I completely recognise that situation. Companionship , shared history, kids and practicality aren't good reasons to GET married, but are pretty fine reasons to STAY married (or to remarry as in their case).

On a thread by "annointed" she asks if its wise to have a child with a FWS.

I could write " we're too old" or "our family is complete" but in truth I would NEVER choose to add another child to our post-A situation. NEVER. Even though Squid is transparently trustworthy now.

That says a lot. I'm learning a lot from these threads just this week. Some of it isn't very nice, but its all useful.

Thanks again AN.
Hi starting ! What a blast from the past !

Quote:

I'm sorry that you are still struggling with Squids refusal to confront her "wound" as Pep used to call it.




Thanks JUST what Squid is doing. Nail on the head right there.

How are you doing ?
I'm doing well Bob. Kids are wonderful, the oldest two are very appreciative of my personal struggle to keep the family together.
Most days I am content. I still hope we can get to a passionate, intimate relationship, but I am happy with where we are today.
Quote:

He and OW beat the crap out of me, and then at some point the masks came off and I saw my assailants were people I knew, and more importantly someone I loved and trusted. That is what makes infidelity such a difficult thing to heal from. We knew our attacker, and we decided to try and heal with that person. How totally bizarre! And then we all are scratching our heads at the difficulty of this recovery process.





I don't know why, but this was one of those things that struck me as I read it!
I suppose the only difference to someone "beating the crap out of you" and cheating on you is that there really is no intent to hurt a BS by cheating on them. The hurting is a clumsy oversight on the part of the WS, during his mad scramble to put himself first.

Bob.... I wouldn't have children again with anyone. Mostly because I now view marriage as too tenuous to have to divide my attention more than one way. I see so much devastation in relationships that I look back in sheer wonderment that I managed to get husband thru the child rearing years without him needing his EN's filling elsewhere. I look at some of the young mothers in the change rooms of the swimming pool and cringe at their bulging thighs and tatty underwear. Clearly they don't know that danger lurks and they don't have the luxury to be so relaxed.

In all seriousness though, I believe that we BS will never recover the relaxed attitude we had to our marriage and that is part of what we have to accept. I don't think we should be expecting a super duper marriage with bells and whistles. We have to differentiate between what is normal and what we are viewing thru the conceptual lense of a spouse who was once betrayed. It's hard... I'm 5 yrs 3 months out and on medication to stay kool, but still I angst about whether we are ok and whether I really care if we aren't?

AN
Quote:

Quote:

All the slack he was cut for 30 yrs is used up. I don't want to be dealing with any inadequacies on his part, unless I'm feeling exceedingly generous that day. Fact is that he has plenty of inadequacies, as do I - and we can both get a bit disenchanted with recovery




Ding ding ding !

Reading this makes me recognise that Squid may not be investing as I would like but she does not indulge in "chit" with me anymore.

Almost all the lovebusters she used to do have been stopped.

IB has almost stopped, DJs only happen couple of times per year" rarely, instead of daily as once was.

Hmm. Why had I not recognised that ? Squid has quietly and increasingly dealt with her LBs over the past couple of years.

This holiday for example she could hardly have avoided LBs any better and it helped create a lovely environment for our vacation.

I need to look detachedly at our marriage - there's clearly more improvement than I had been seeing.

Regarding your friends, I completely recognise that situation. Companionship , shared history, kids and practicality aren't good reasons to GET married, but are pretty fine reasons to STAY married (or to remarry as in their case).


That says a lot. I'm learning a lot from these threads just this week. Some of it isn't very nice, but its all useful.

Thanks again AN.




BP when I was in IC dealing with my issues, one of them being I was not letting go of the affair, and I discovered that one of the reasons I held on to it was for self defense, if I truly let go then I could become vulnable again to hubby and that meant he could hurt me again. It woulds almost always flair up when Hubby and I were doing the best, almost like I would start to feel "safe" again and suddenly bam the emotions come flooding back and I'd be right back in the middle of the hurt and the pain all over again.

I don't know if I am making any sense here, but, basically could the reason you haven't recognised Squid's efforts is part of your self defense system, your way of not letting her get too close??
Quote:

I don't know if I am making any sense here, but, basically could the reason you haven't recognised Squid's efforts is part of your self defense system, your way of not letting her get too close??




Thats a big question with a lot of issues around it.

Squid has made efforts but they have been in areas that are comfortable to her until this recent "LB reduction" thing.

I think I need to re-read my old posts.

3 years ago I wrote :

Quote:



Now I am developing a unique view of recovery based on my own experiences and studies of folks on here.

I think recovery has at least THREE separate threads.

PRACTICAL - Day-to-day relationship and life support
PERSONAL - Individual recovery from overdependence and behaviours that contributed to the poor M that allowed an affair
TRAUMATIC - the recovery from the hurt, guilt and pain that D-day and withdrawal caused. Also learning to protect each other from hurt by selfishness.

I see that at least some of these three are required even if a divorce is chosen, but all three are required if a recovered M is possible IMO.

I think the first one non-MB aware folks will go for is day-to-day. Its thee natural place to start as we all have the skills, however latent to make each others lives better, which also make our own life better.

Chicken soup , intimacy, SF, openness. Etc.

Squid has THROWN herself into these tasks. She is transformed as a wife and mother since MANY years nowadays.

My own personal recovery has progressed faster than Squids - but then again FWS and BS timelines are different. Maybe I had to get strong first to help her now ? I dunno.
Traumatic recovery has not been so fast. Frustratingly so for me. I feel I DESERVE a bit of dedication to healing my heart after seven months of holding our whole lives together.

But, RIF helped me realize that the PRACTICAL recovery can provide a platform that allows FWS to be confident enough to risk hurting FBS again in order to help us heal from the TRAUMA without fear of being kicked to the curb.

This seems to be a very real risk of many or all FWS in early recovery.

It is important - imagine having a healed heart but no effort to reintegrate your practical lives..No shows of affection..no active caring. No good 'spousely' behaviours.

For ME, Squid has contributed so obviously and dedicatedly to the only part of recovery she is capable of right now( practical) that I love her for it and will help consolidate our lives on the pratcical level. This , like in RIFs case, may allow us to work on the traumatic recovery together more soon.Just my $0.02.






When I come to reread that and assess our marriage in the light of your comment it is interesting and thought provoking.

Squid's practical recovery has been very deep. She is a very good mom and the best wife she knows how to be in a "domestic support" and "family commitment" way.

I can't fault that.

Her PERSONAL recovery has progressed far more than I previously thought. She has examined many of her FOO issues in the past couple of years, slowly but surely. She is no longer so needful of me and others to complete herself.

Maybe she is also starting TRAUMATIC recovery - helping me by avoiding LBs such as IB, DJs and not baking me up with the kids ?

I need to have more of a think. Your post is very thought provoking, thanks.

Right now my answer is that I have no desire of ever being vulnerable enough to anyone ever again that I am destroyable by betrayal, that includes Squid.

I don't see what benefit such dependence would bring. What disturbs me a little is that I know Squid really wants me to need her and depend on her. Am I protecting myself or punishing her ? Both perhaps ?
[

Right now my answer is that I have no desire of ever being vulnerable enough to anyone ever again that I am destroyable by betrayal, that includes Squid.

I don't see what benefit such dependence would bring. What disturbs me a little is that I know Squid really wants me to need her and depend on her. Am I protecting myself or punishing her ? Both perhaps ?




I feel/felt the same way, there was now way in he!! I was ever going to let Hubby hurt me again. but I can't be in a relationship like that, I want it all, I want the trust and faith back. I needed to be able to feel safe with him again,,he is the great love of my even now. Yes and punishment is another issue I had/have, sometimes it seems like he got off fairly easy, sometimes when he looks me in the eye and says he's happier then he has ever been in his life,, I think gee isn't that nice, and all it took was you nearly destoring me. oh yeah isn't love grand?? LOL,

Good Luck BP... F-26
Quote:

but I can't be in a relationship like that, I want it all, I want the trust and faith back.




I will never trust anyone blindly again.

I DO trust Squid, but I do not depend upon her to complete myself as I once did. We DO love each other, whatever that means now.

Maybe its a guy thing

Glad you're doing OK faith !
I hear ya BP,, what can I say I am a hopeless romantic
:::: one of them being I was not letting go of the affair, and I discovered that one of the reasons I held on to it was for self defense, if I truly let go then I could become vulnable again to hubby and that meant he could hurt me again. It woulds almost always flair up when Hubby and I were doing the best, almost like I would start to feel "safe" again and suddenly bam the emotions come flooding back and I'd be right back in the middle of the hurt and the pain all over again.

We had exactly the same deal happening to us. e.g. peace and contentment triggered me. I thought I had to be creating something more special and interesting than just living our lives together.

an
Quote:

I thought I had to be creating something more special and interesting than just living our lives together.




Nail / head.
^^^bumped for sh0cked^^^
Quote:

Do I call it " my lot" and choke it down ?

Am I ungrateful for hoping for more when I already have so much ?

Am I "settling" and letting Squid off the hook ?

I'd appreciate any thoughts.




Time to stop looking for anything "except" where you've been and will never be again old friend.

Your Lot has improved, you've just forgotten how it was before

I haven't read a post in years but that you're still here tells met that.

Oz
hello Oz ! Always glad when I don't see you for ages, because it means you're living a fulfilling life !

Quote:

Time to stop looking for anything "except" where you've been and will never be again old friend.

Your Lot has improved, you've just forgotten how it was before

I haven't read a post in years but that you're still here tells met that.

Oz




Life generally and my marriage have improved beyond recognition since d-day AND even in many aspects since before d-day, you're right.

What I don't want to do is settle for that if far greater improvement is possible. And I know this is possible because all these benefit shave been achieved so far with the bare minimum investment from Squid.

I dunno. Maybe I'm looking for compensation that I did not make a condition of my not divorcing Squid over her adultery I guess.

Hindsight , huh ? waddayagonnado?

All blessings oz !
dunno where else to put this update really, but while Squid and I were out having dinner together last night, she got a call to say her biomom had finally drunk herself to death over the Christmas holiday.

For those who don't know the story, Squids biomom left Squid and her sisters with her mom ( Squids gran) aged 1 so she could find herself, then returned to live as Squids "aunty for ten years. When Squid discovered the truth, her biomom rejected her again by leaving immediately.

As an adult squid and I went to visit with her in 1991, where she rejected Squid again with the most apathetic greeting you could ever imagine, nice after a long-planned 8 hour drive.

Squid isn't externally incredibly upset over this, but bear in mind Squid fears becoming her biomom ( hence part of her self loathing after her affair, a very biomom-type behaviour).

I wonder if this will mark another opportunity for her personal growth ?

* sigh *
Hey Bob,

I'll be praying for Squid as she goes through this period...

How are you doing?

Semper Fi,

RIF
That's really sad news Bob. So sorry.
Hey RIF !

We're doing OK, kidder. I'll respond to your email when I get chance.

I trust your R&R was pleasant ?
Hi TT

More odd than outright sad really. Biomom made intelligent choices that led to this point.

Raising all kinds of issue sin Squid of course.

Ah well.

Hows tricks in sunny HK ?
Hey Bob!

R&R was great!!! The girls had a great Christmas and we made it over to see my dad in the VA hospital and he is doing very well.

I hope that you and your family had a good time in the states... sorry we couldn't link up.

Semper Fi,

RIF
It is sad - I mean, what kind of funeral will she have? Sounds like nobody will be missing her.

Sunny HK is bloody cold at the moment (about 15C). Trouble is the houses are built for the hot weather so when the temperature drops, it's very cold indoors. We;ve got a new puppy from the dustbins. There are three big letters printed on my forehead. M.U.G.
TT, we found out more. She was squatting. She was on life support through alcohol related liver failure & diabetes for 3 weeks before she died.

The docs diagnosed they needed to amputate her hands and feet owing to alcoholic diabetes, and decided to turn the machine off instead.

It took only minutes for her to die. Never recovered consciousness.

If that's what a life of entitled choices leads to, you can stuff it.

She was buried last week. We don't know, or care where.

No family attended.

Squids still "odd" about it all. The tragedy of it is getting to her a bit.
Hi Bob,

I am so sorry for Squid. The mental pictures alone of that hospital scene that stick in my mind make me believe this is tough stuff for Squid. Or do you think she completely stuffs it?
I will be praying that God continues the chipping away of the hard veneer on her heart and that in His time His work will be complete in her.

I know you will continue to be her man!! Show her how its done.

NL
NL she's an olympic standard stuffer, but chinks are showing.

She is moved with pity for this monstrous woman, who at her end was as helpless and broken as anyone ever was.

We discussed how Squids middle sister, who is the living embodiment of their mother, is making the same choices as she did. Squid asked a question - she wondered how much closer to her mother's model she would be without me - but we didn't answer.

When overloaded, Squid adopts a "thousand yard stare" and goes quiet. Time to stop that topic then, I have learned.

I'll love her like I always have. Its what I do. Like breathing. Dammit.

Hey BP just wanted to see haw squid is doing with the loss of her mom,, you doing alright?
Found this old thread. I could write it today verbatim.

At what point does it become not selfish to divorce when the kids are clearly happy and thriving with the status quo ?

Any opinions please ?

Thanks !
Hi Bob! I'd be happy to give my opinion, but would you mind giving a few more details. Are you saying that if not for your "thriving" kids you would end your M? And if so, why? Somthing must be very painful and unsatisfying about your M presently that makes Ding your W appealing. Mind filling in the blanks? Thanks!
Well, CV, it may be different for the average BW, but D’ing an adulterous wife, active or former and often even more so for a former, is always and eventually going to appeal to the typical BH on some level.
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Found this old thread. I could write it today verbatim.

At what point does it become not selfish to divorce when the kids are clearly happy and thriving with the status quo ?

Any opinions please ?

Thanks !


When your youngest is 18 years old.

May I ask, what would you gain if you divorced?
 Quote:
May I ask, what would you gain if you divorced?


Peace. An end to the constant criticism and ingratitude. An end to me being disappointed.

 Quote:
Peace. An end to the constant criticism and ingratitude. An end to me being disappointed.


Are some of the bad habits of the old M starting to display themselves again, Bob?
And a bunch o'new improved ones MiM ;\)

Definition of irony ?

I was given a couple to coach this morning from my Pastor ( I run a small MB ministry from my church).

Apparently H is a good guy, successful most everywhere in his life except at home where his W belittles him rather than trying to rise up to his standards. His very WALK makes her feel judged. Who is HE to judge HER ? ( despite never actually saying anything judgemental she is so insecure even his EXAMPLE feels judgemental to her).

How exactly, in all good will, am I supposed to coach them, MiM ?

\:D
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
 Quote:
May I ask, what would you gain if you divorced?


Peace. An end to the constant criticism and ingratitude. An end to me being disappointed.


May I ask what you would lose if you divorced?
 Quote:
May I ask what you would lose if you divorced?


Lots of stuff, dear friend. A reluctance to lose much of that has kept me in this frustrating marriage for quite a while now.

I just spent a while working away and apart from missing my kids I had a quite magnificent time. Respect, peace, choice, no expressed disappointment in me. Lovely. I would have my life like that as a default, Pep.
No advice my friend just a hug ((((BP))) I had hoped that things where better \:\(
Hi F26 !

I guess "better" one way or another is on the horizon for me. I don't regret fighting the A. Its still the thing I'm proudest of in my life.

I wasn't to know that the "fair maiden" would turn out to be a dragon too ! \:D

All blessings !
Hi Bob. Where were you working and for how long? Is it just a case of getting used to one another again after a spell apart? Sounds like it unsettled you.
Hi TT

The states for a couple of weeks. It was heaven. I wasn't unsettled, TT, more that i revelled in what I miss at home.

No endless soaps and reality crap on the TV, no complaining about what I did or didn't do, what time I worked till or didn't. Nobody disappointed in me, no A triggers. I realised that if you added my kids to that Mix I'd have a quite wonderful life.

In summary I realised that Squid adds only hurt to my life now. I'm really tired of hurting now and when that is deliberately caused by my wife, I think I need to stop that.

But the kids are happy with us both at home. I have a great relationship with both of them. They aren't suffering or learning any bad lessons. So I'd certainly upset their applecart if I left.

Maybe I should get a job for a year or so overseas ? See how I like it and how the kids cope ?
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure



I just spent a while working away and apart from missing my kids I had a quite magnificent time. Respect, peace, choice, no expressed disappointment in me. Lovely. I would have my life like that as a default, Pep.



Bob, I'd ask how you've been, but I can sort of tell from your posts. Look, why does your wife treat you this way? Why do you let her to do this? Maybe you could separate from her for a time and see if you do indeed feel peace.

I wonder why your wife disrespects you. Do you think that your wife finds you weak or a push-over? I think you have done an amazing thing in trying to put right your marriage and giving your wife a second chance after she had an affair. How many men would do what you did? My guess is not many.

I don't really know what to say Bob. Only you know when you have had enough. If your wife refuses to behave in a loving way to you and living with her causes you pain, I think you really should consider getting out. Perhaps that will cause her to wake up?

Sorry,

CN
Are your kids around and able to hear when your wife talks to you like that? If they never hear your wife critize you, then no, they aren't learning anything bad. Does your wife criticize your kids? Or is it only directed towards you?

Please don't underestimate what your children might be learning. I learned that verbal abuse was OK, since that was my "normal" growing up. Not only was I criticized, my father was, to his face, and to me when he wasn't around.

I'm not particularly proud to admit I then treated my husband as mom treated dad. It took a very big wake up call for me to stop. I've also had to pay a big price for stopping my behavior.

Does she know how to engage you in a loving way? Is this a slip in her behavior?

CN

I am far from weak. Or a pushover. I have responded to this with every response from calmness to belligerence and back again, and none stow her behaviour for long.

I honestly think some of it is genetic. Her mother , one sister and SO MANY of her aunts have pushed away those who love them by middle age, become bitter and twisted only to become alcoholic hateful women alone in old age.

Her biomom died in January a spiteful promiscuous alcoholic.

If we divorce and my influence is removed from her who knows where she'll end up ?

But I deserve better than this. Than her.
BP you travel a lot for work right??

How much time do you spend at home between assignments?

And I'm just throwing this out there for thought... Could Squid be "acting" out because she is not happy being home alone so much?
Bob,

I know you aren't weak, not in the slightest. That wasn't what I meant at all. But what I think doesn't really matter, I just was wondering how your wife sees you. If she has mental disorder that affects the way she treats you that is terrible because it is beyound your control. Regardless, you are right you deserve better that this.

You cannot save your wife Bob. She has to do that. And it looks like she isn't really willing to change.

Are you just staying until your kids are grown? I did that initially, but not now. I have changed and I think that that has changed how I view my wife. She is flawed and can be cold. I am a former adulterer. We both have our issues.

CN
He BP, I missed the post about her family acting the same way perhaps it is a genetic trait such as a chemical imbalance, um perhaps her biomom "self" medicated with drinking and squid is suffing from depression, bi-polar or any other mental health issue. I personally suffer from OCD and medication has been a God send for me.
I travelled a lot before the A. I quit my job as part of trying to spend time with her. Now I am based at home most days, and travel abroad a couple of days every two weeks.

Squids not acting out anything, she is just being what Squid has been for a decade with some periods of hope after her A for a while.

My very WALK intimidates her, but rather than up her game she tries to pull me down.

I can't do it any more. Tired.
 Quote:
I just was wondering how your wife sees you


She likes to manipulate me by gaslighting and other methods. Just like her (lovely but) manipulative Nan ( My de facto MIL). She'd never ask for a drink she'd say " oh I am so THIRSTY * koff! * if only I had a glass of pop !". \:\) It was fun when nan did it, less o when Squid does it just for a laugh.

Invalidates my opinions and emotions. Tells me when I should be hurt by something she does and when I shouldn't.

I correct her and she sulks off with an " oh he's disappointing me with his unreasonableness again" look on her face.

So she sees me as a manipulation challenge I think.

 Quote:
Are you just staying until your kids are grown? I did that initially, but not now. I have changed and I think that that has changed how I view my wife. She is flawed and can be cold. I am a former adulterer. We both have our issues.


I dunno. Its an absolutely alien concept to me to leave my marriage. I don't know how a person goes about it or anything. It scares me.

But the thought of spending the second half of my life unappreciated, unhappy and resentful makes me ANGRY and scared.
Bob,

Does she treat everyone this way or is this loveliness just reserved for you?

I'm sure there is some diagnosis that describes her behavior, but it seems from here that she is just selfish and manipulative.

There are so many woman in this world that would treat you so much better. Even if you don't pull the trigger keep that thought in mind. You can leave anytime you want. You are only staying with her because you choose to. And you will find someone else if you divorce. I think that that is empowering.

I think that if you stay married your Squid will continue to treat you the way she always has. She has to want to change and she appears to be quite content the way things are. It doesn't sound like she is having much fun either.

Have you read No More Mr. Nice Guy? I was a horrible feeling reading my behavior in that book . . . I really gave me pause.


CN
BP - I'd say divorce her. It's just my opinion, but when one accept the impact of solvable problems, they are settling. Settling grinds a person down.

Acceptance is "reserved" for perpetual problems.

What you are describing seems like solvable problems to me.
Her behavior is abusive, plain and simple. No matter if her behavior is rooted in mental illness, bad upbringing, what have you, it's abusive.

Why would you want to stay in an abusive situation?

Have you done any reading on detatching?
Could you eventually do better with someone else? Or no one else, for that matter.

I know I could.

Can.

Will.


With prayers,

PS: Maybe your children will too.
Thanks for your care IRN !

 Quote:
Why would you want to stay in an abusive situation?


Because it isn't always abusive, and because my kids aren't being abused or witness to this abuse.

I've walked pretty much all the steps of the affair killing / recovering path these past four years, and even helped many other folks get further than I have managed. Yes, I know about detachment. I've pretty much lived in loving detachment for four years now. I want to live either in loving ATTACHMENT or physical detachment now.
Aph

No-one else sounds pretty good right now. Just me and the kids an prayer. Sounds wonderful.

What did Marley sing ? "no woman no cry?" \:D
Hi Aph! You wrote:

"Well, CV, it may be different for the average BW, but D’ing an adulterous wife, active or former and often even more so for a former, is always and eventually going to appeal to the typical BH on some level."

Aph, I don't think we BWs are all that different than the BHs here. I had many moments where the thought of Ding vs trying to recover seemed very appealing to me.

Bob, I'm not one who thinks staying Med no matter what is always the best alternative. I have always thought that you and your W needed MC, and a really good one at that. Truthfully I don't know how people do recover without it. So if you aren't too far gone already I would give MC a try, one last shot to see if you can recover your M. What do you have to lose after everything you've been through? And if she isn't willing to invest in your M then you have your answer. After going through this sh!! I couldn't imagine staying with H if he treated me like crap.

Concerning your kids, no time is a good time for your kids if you divorce. If you stick it out until they are older they will either pick up on the dysfunction, and that is what you will be modeling for them, or the rug will be pulled out from under them. Older teens are at an age where they are separating from their parents, yet are also needy and insecure. Our MC told us after d-day it is a terrible time for kids to deal with divorce.

Hey CN! Good to see you pop in here. Hope you're well!
I have no advice to offer, but I can hear the pain and disappointment in your words and it breaks my heart. I hope you're not offended, just a few words of caution:

 Quote:
because my kids aren't being abused or witness to this abuse.



Please don't under estimate the power of perception - children see and hear a lot more than the spoken word. The dynamic bewteen you and your wife is more than just what comes out of her mouth. It's tone, it's body language, expression. I'm sure that anyone close to you can see the exhaustion on your face; I can hear it in your writing.

Would you want the marriage you have for your children? That's exactly what you are setting them up for - teaching them that it's ok to be unhappy, or to be treated badly, or to settle if that's what you feel you are doing. Look at what Squid learned from her childhood; just be conscious of what your children will learn from theirs.
Firenze using your yardstick ( and that is EVERY onlookers yardstick - I'm a little unfair to pick on you here) every child witnesses abuse / is taught bad lessons every moment of every day.

My children don't have a perfect life, but then again I can' think of any who do.

You would TRULY suggest that the lessons my kids are learning by example now are WORSE than a divorce because of MY dissatisfaction with my marriage would ?

You don't know me from Adam, so you can't know this statement is true: but I tell you if I thought my children would be 1% better off with us divorced than they are with us together I would effect the fastest divorce in history. But it is not so clear cut as that.

Squid offers them none of the treatment she offers me. She is a loving, indulgent mom to them. And she also knows better than to offer me any negative treatment in front of the kids.

Squid was abandoned in a cardboard box with her two sisters on her grandmothers doorstep when she was under two years old by her mother who left to "find herself" with a guy she walked out on her husband for.

Many of my wife's problems surely derive from not having a family unit when she was growing up. The lesson she learned primarily from that mess was " My happiness was not worth my parents sucking up a little to stay together".

I will not have my children learn that lesson too unless the alternative is too hurtful.
Hi CV

I have interviewed 5 MCs. Every one was crap; knew less about this marriage stuff than I do. Also Squid desperately needs a psychologist to look at her. A lifetime of big issues and stuffing is hurting her.

You, my friend, deserve more detail from me but it breaks my heart to be writing this cack to you after so many years. All that effort and hope for what ?

In summary my wife doesn't want to ( or cannot) effect the changes needed to be the wife I want. I need to work out what to do with that information.

I shouldn't have posted.

All blessings CV \:D
HOLD UP there BP,,, Yes you should have posted,, you have been such a strong influence on me and probally many others and not because of your success but because you have a way of helping me really look inside of myself and address the elephant in the room. I have a tendencey of inoring the elephant because I don't want to stir up the waters, but because you question things you cause me to be real and look at the issues and for that I am thankful..

Second why is it ok for you to help so many (me, others here and the people in your church ministries) but not willing/wanting to allow us to maybe in some small way help you or at least listen and be a sounding board to you?

And as far as staying for the children, yes I think in a perfect world that is noble but if you are not happy and not satisfied you are cheating yourself and waiting until they are older to maybe save them some pain doesn't work either.

You are a great father and that won't change if you and squid seperate, I've told you before I want it all I want trust, I want passion and I want friendship and thankfully my hubby was finally willing to do great effort in giving me that, but, I can honestly say I would have given up if he had not come around and started treating like I needed to be treated.

You have been there for so many allow us to pay it forward...
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Hi CV

I have interviewed 5 MCs. Every one was crap; knew less about this marriage stuff than I do. Also Squid desperately needs a psychologist to look at her. A lifetime of big issues and stuffing is hurting her.

You, my friend, deserve more detail from me but it breaks my heart to be writing this cack to you after so many years. All that effort and hope for what ?

In summary my wife doesn't want to ( or cannot) effect the changes needed to be the wife I want. I need to work out what to do with that information.

I shouldn't have posted.

All blessings CV \:D


BP I can always relate so well to your sitch. I do not know why but maybe it is because Squid and my H seem a lot alike, I dunno. He too had a lot of issues from his childhood that he has never “dealt with”.

I have thought a lot since my FWH A about things that I have “put up with” through out our whole M because I loved him with all my heart. Things like his temper, he goes into “rages” quite often (he has never physically hurt any of us but his rage is scary none the less), there are a few things along these lines that I have always just overlooked thinking that no one is perfect and he has many other good qualities. However since his A it is almost like I do not feel I should have to “put up with” ANYTHING, none of these things that I do not like and have told him about many times through out our M.

I feel that my H is not the H I want either. Yet I am not miserable, my kids are not miserable, he is truly remorseful for what he did. I feel almost like I am “stuck” because I probably would have always been okay with the things he did that I did not like if he had not had an A. But since he did have an A I feel I am justified to expect him to be a different person than he was before.

Is this asking too much? I dunno probably it is, but it is how I feel. And I do not know how to talk to him about it either. So I like you have been trying to decide what to do with this information.
Bob,

Of course you should have posted.

The more I think about your situation the more convinced I am that your fundamental problems isn't a marriage problem, it is a wife problem. Your wife needs to learn how to behave in a loving fashion. She need to deal with her issues. She needs to learn how to have an intimate relationship with you.

So if/while she is doing that what are you going to do? You play guitar right? Are you in an active band now? I used to do a little of that too and it was such a rush to be up there on stage jamming.

Personally I think it is better if you stay put until your kids are gone. Yes they will freak if you divorce even then, but they will be adults and they will have adult resources to deal with it.

Do your kids know that your W had an affair? Mine don't. My wife really only told a few of her close friends. She didn't want people to think less of me . . . How about that. I married a good woman.

Back at you CV . . . how are you? Still putting the H through the ringer ;\)

Have you found a job yet?

CN
Bob, you have put so much effort into your recovery; I;ve put very little. However, I find we are pretty much in the same place and it is down to the fact that our spouses "don't get it". I think we let our partners off too lightly; well, I know I did.
 Quote:
your fundamental problems isn't a marriage problem, it is a wife problem. Your wife needs to learn how to behave in a loving fashion. She need to deal with her issues. She needs to learn how to have an intimate relationship with you.


Ding ! Ding ! Ding !

I agree with that.
"too lightly". Hmm TT.

The main thing I didn't do is tell the kids. It would have been make or break for our M I think.

She may not have been arsed to change for ME but she certainly would for the kids.
BP-

Hey-

I believe it is a personal choice whether to let your children know about the affair... with that understand two of my three children do not know about my FWH affair... my oldest was old enough and figured it out... he also tried turning my fwh actions back at him- by saying things like- I don't have to listen to you about being honest- look what you did... it took much for me to mustard up the strength to defend my fwh (weeks after d-day)... but I did... I put it in terms of we all make mistakes and with his dad's he is trying to correct what he did- if he didn't we would not be together... that was the end of that... yes my sons image of his dad was shattered- but you know he learned that he's not perfect- what a hurtful choice he made- and the pain it caused me... hmmm what a life lesson for a teenage boy...

now my others were too young- they only know what they needed to know- there were problems and we were working hard to correct them.

It is my firm belief- that just the mere fact that children understand problems- even bad problems- exist in a marriage and are worked on to be resolved... we don't just toss the towel in... is where they learn a valuable lesson.

And yes... my kids did witness their dad being extremely selfish and belittling towards me during the time of his affair... yes that is wrong... I guess some would call it abusive... I don't(and I investigated child abuse for the state for years)... it was fallout from an unhealthy time in our marriage...that to me by NO MEAN would justify divorcing and causing even more turmoil and heartache to these innocent children.

I hear that you want what is best for your children- I would say most parents do... so continue to look for the good in your situation and teach your children some very valuable life lessons...and if sometime down the road you divorce- wow what a lesson you've taught them- don't just give up on a marriage- be strong- and work on it... I really wish my fwh's parents would have demonstrated that to my fwh- they hid all disagreements...leaving my fwh with a disillusioned image of marriage.

Keep up the good work... you are a strong man

Amartini
edited: Changed my mind
deleted, by popular demand...
Aph:

While I appreciate your support, I have to ask for a HUGE FAVOR--

Since I removed my original post, would you please kindly remove your reply to my post?

Thanks much! omm
OM

Only you can change your own post. Log on, click edit then delete whatever you want.

Your post box will stay but what you originally typed will be gone.

If you still need help then contact a moderator.

We do not know who you are. So why be afraid to tell us something?
I already edited MY OWN post.

Alp's post contains quotes from my original post (and I was asking Alp to ammend his/her post).

For the record, I just thought my original post was a little "harsh" for the newly recovered. I'm certainly not afraid to own my thoughts and feelings. -omm
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
 Quote:
It's been nine freakin' years of recovery for me-- and I'm still pained by all of this. I'm still disappointed that my M isn't better, that we haven't had more counseling, that at times I still wish I had divorced from the "get go." Truth is, I think you reach a point as a BS when you feel as though you've "dug yourself in so far" that it seems pointless to divorce now. I reached that point years ago... (I'm still going with the flow).

This is exactly it! I have been “recovering” for four years, OK, nine if we count back to D-Day 1 of the VLTA, and I don’t feel much better about this marriage than I did then. I also wish I had divorced right away. After D-Day 1 would have been best, but certainly after D-Day 2. I stay for DS, mostly.

 Quote:
And, I still feel "watched"-- as if I'll never measure up (funny, that we both say these things, and yet we were both the FAITHFUL spouse). Wanna hear something funny?-- ever since my H's affair, I've never sent anything back at a restaurant. I swear to God, I could be served a salad with pubic hair in it and I would rather push my fork aside and announce that I was either full or not feeling well than to COMPLAIN about the salad. Why?... because one of the reasons my H said he had the A was because I always complained about my food. Honestly, I have NEVER complained about a meal while at a famiy dinner or friend's house, BUT when I'm at a restaurant and paying for service, why wouldn't I want my meal hair-free? And, why am I an embarrassment to my H for requesting a hair-free meal from the waitress? Why isn't my H COMPLAINING TO THE WAITRESS THAT HIS PRECIOUS WIFE WAS SERVED A SALAD CONTAINING PUBIC HAIR??!

Yeah, I still don’t quite measure up either. This is more than missing EN’s, you know. The vast, vast majority of all WS are acting as who they have always been. They seem to have bigger EN’s, more urgency in having them met, more entitlements all along - before the A and after the A – they think they deserve more from us than they care to give. They always have, they continually do, and they always will be this way. Renters all. No WS in the history of humanity has ever truly changed from a freeloader or a renter to a genuine buyer. Not that I have seen. Not even among the few vaunted WS here on MB. They are all different from BS from the very beginning. Before they ever married, even. And they still are different and always will be, for all eternity.

Well, good for them. More power to ‘em.

I am planning my exit. Taking my time. This is perhaps the one thing I have had any reasonable control over in this farce of a marriage. I will pull the trigger when it is best for me, now.

 Quote:
You know, I think it has a lot to do with how we FEEL about the way they LOOK at us... how they are judging us... how we FEEL that we will NEVER MEASURE UP (when in reality, we are GOOD, honest, loving individuals that deserve to be treasured).

Naw, it’s real. They do truly think and act that way towards us BS. In fact, they think that way a lot more than they show it. The acting of it is the bit they forget to or can’t mask. They always have - every WS ever was always has – thought this way towards their spouse – and from the beginning of the marriage. It is just who they really are. Yeah, FOO and whatever. It’s still who they really are and who they always will be.


I completely disagree with your sweeping generalizations, Aphelion.

Mrs. W is NOW a buyer. It CAN happen. It DID happen and it CAN and WILL happen again for others that utilize and implement the MB concepts. When you have two people working the program, the program works.

I remain very sorry for YOUR personal experiences.
Bob, I know you called for BSs and I'm obviously not in that category but we're old friends so I hope you don't mind my input.

I know Aphelion has me on ignore so I won't even address what he said but, Mr Wondering said it for me. Our five year d-day is on Oct 22. I know everyone on this board counts the second d-day as the REAL d-day but Rob doesn't. I know that for a fact.

Let's see, five years on. Certainly no one is coming up wanting, neither me nor Rob. I feel very, very sorry for people who feel they are settling. Neither of us are "settling". Yes, it will always be there - what I did will always be there but it doesn't define us, it doesn't define our marriage and it doesn't define me.

To be honest if I put Rob in the position that some people here put there BSs in - not learning anything, not stepping up to the plate, not being a better person all round, not enjoying every day - then I'd say don't bother with it. Divorce.
Hey Aph

Not sure I agree with your broad brush generalizations here either.
I've seen LOADS of spouses who have earned their "f" so profoundly that its now been replaced by a "M" for MAGNIFICENT. (Mrs W is really one of them from what I have seen. The right ingredients, the right baking, great cake is how I see them.)

I envy their spouses to be honest. Your and my missus' might be malfunctioning years after the warranty ran out but I'd say that far from universal. But I'd also bet we're contributors to our circumstances too. Just as Linkin park sing " I tried to hard, and got so far...but in the end,it doesn't even matter".


Jen I'm delighted for ya, honestly \:D

Did I ever say I was sorry for cussin' you out BTW ? * blush * \:D
Not to beat a dead horse, but google emotional or verbal abuse.
The first questionned asked is

Does your partner humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?

Unless your children are NOT around every time you and your wife interact, they are picking up on this. Do you know for certain your wife isn't belittling you to your kids when she isn't around?

I know I'm only one voice. But I'm product of witnessing such a marriage. In the 20 years I was at home, my mom said about 10 nice things to me about my Dad. Really, she just complained about him to me most of the time. You don't think that shaped my perception of how a wife should treat a husband?

I know my situation isn't necessarily the norm. My mom had a childhood similar to your wifes. And she never healed herself. I've spent nearly 3 years in therapy. I have little adult communication skills (I'm in my 30's), and I wasn't great marriage material. What I have learned about healthy marriages, I've learned from here, therapy and other books.

I unknowlingly married an addict. My only red flag was there wasn't a whole lot of non-sexual intimacy between us. I figured that was OK. Because my parents don't have intimacy in there marriage. I thought it was normal for parents to not talk to each other for months at a time.

I know your situation probably won't be as bad as mine. I just get frustrated when one marriage partner enable this behavior for the sake of the kids. I think it's my way of making peace with my dad choosing my mom over a healthy life.
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
In fact, they think that way a lot more than they show it. The acting of it is the bit they forget to or can’t mask. They always have - every WS ever was always has – thought this way towards their spouse – and from the beginning of the marriage. It is just who they really are. Yeah, FOO and whatever. It’s still who they really are and who they always will be.


Aph, it saddens me that you believe this myth when we are in the midst of so many examples that refute it. You can't see the recovery all around you. But that does not mean it doesn't exist. It does. Some that come to mind on this forum would be MrsW, lifechoice, Marshmallow, Susan, newbeginnings, and my husband. Look beyond your own situation, Aphelion.
Excuse the ever so slight t/j was does FOO stand for?

Thanks F-26
faith full 2 x 13,

FOO = Family Of Origin .....(I believe)
Kool!!! Thanks \:\)
 Originally Posted By: omm
Aph:

While I appreciate your support, I have to ask for a HUGE FAVOR--

Since I removed my original post, would you please kindly remove your reply to my post?

Thanks much! omm

I didn't see this until now.

Sure, no problem. It's deleted.

You didn't read harsh to me, though. Appeared to be simply a statement of what you feel.
A changed WS, deeply and truly changed?

I have not seen such irl. Not once. No adulterer I know changes. And I know many. They are still the same person they always were. You just lave to look closely once in a while.

And, well, on here it is all just hearsay to me. Third-hand reports on an anonymous forum.

And even on here, of all the WS that cause this site to exist in the first place, maybe a handful of those WS claim to have changed? That is so few it does not even rate a percentage.

I never believe a WS, F or no, who says they’ve changed. They are proven not credible.

Oh, there are stories, legends of adulterous resurrection … but they are no more than somebody knows somebody who had a friend who’s WS-in-law is …

…is what, changed?

No, not changed.

White knuckling their adulterous inclinations, perhaps.

Will not commit adultery again?

Right. Right.

They are wired for it, remember?

And they have insatiable EN’s, remember?

Entitled to have them met whenever they want, wherever they want, by whomever they want.

They are demonstrated liars, cheaters and lack empathy for anyone, remember?

They are still who they always were.

They themselves have proven this.

They are just in disguise. Lurking. Waiting for another.

You can take it to the bank, and you won’t need a bailout.
Faithful, (if someone else hasn't already said so) FOO = Family of Origin ;\)

Marie,

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to quote you - it looks like that ship has sailed already anyway...If others remove your quotes though, please know that I'd certainly be willing, however, I think your words here are just as important as anyone else's and I would encourage you to feel free to share them...JMHO...

Anyway...

 Quote:
And, I still feel "watched"-- as if I'll never measure up (funny, that we both say these things, and yet we were both the FAITHFUL spouse). Wanna hear something funny?-- ever since my H's affair, I've never sent anything back at a restaurant. I swear to God, I could be served a salad with pubic hair in it and I would rather push my fork aside and announce that I was either full or not feeling well than to COMPLAIN about the salad. Why?... because one of the reasons my H said he had the A was because I always complained about my food. Honestly, I have NEVER complained about a meal while at a famiy dinner or friend's house, BUT when I'm at a restaurant and paying for service, why wouldn't I want my meal hair-free? And, why am I an embarrassment to my H for requesting a hair-free meal from the waitress? Why isn't my H COMPLAINING TO THE WAITRESS THAT HIS PRECIOUS WIFE WAS SERVED A SALAD CONTAINING PUBIC HAIR??!


As a recovered wayward spouse I'd like to address the above, because I would bet that you are not the only BS that feels the need to walk on proverbial eggshells due to the choices made by the WS...I think that is a horrible shame and something I'd like no one to endure...

When was the last time your husband said that Marie? That one of the reasons that he had an affair was because you complained about your food? I ask for a couple of reasons...A statement like that sounds like a very foggy one that would come from a WS EARLY on...either during the affair or right after it. If it was made way back then, I think you should revisit it with him and let him explain to you why his having an affair had NOTHING to do with that (or anything else you might have been doing)...However, if this statement has been made years afterwards, then I think you are not dealing with a truly recovered/former WS...A true FWS would NOT be laying the blame for his affair at your feet...Instead, he would understand and own that his own weakness was what allowed him to choose to have an affair. That his lack of personal boundaries and lack of honesty about his needs, were actually the culprits that helped make him vulnerable in the first place.

I have no idea how often you complained about your food, and who would care if they were indeed valid complaints anyway? But I would ask him what specifically bothered him about your "food complaints" -maybe [and that's a BIG maybe] the WAY you do it is what constitutes an "annoying habit" for him...BUT even if it does fall under what Dr. Harley calls "annoying habits" that STILL would NOT be an excuse to have an affair. Of course, you would want to find a way to have BOTH of you WIN in the "food complaint" department (poja)...Eliminating annoying habits (and other lovebusters) IS important because doing so helps you and your spouse remain in love.

The KEY here is open and honest communication Marie, because that just might be one of those trumped up WS grievances and NOT really an annoying habit that would lead to lovebank withdrawals. I'll give you an example [an embarrassing one]...One of my wayward trumped up grievances at the time of the affair was that Mr. W used what I ridiculously referred to as "grandma toothpaste"! I can assure you that I do NOT care one iota what kind of toothpaste he uses - why in the world would I? That's NUTTY!!! But that was my very wayward over the top way of trying to justify my horrible actions by picking him apart (See? MY issue, certainly NOT his)...Btw, I've found since then that Mr. W was right, and Pepsodent really DOES taste great!

 Quote:
You know, I think it has a lot to do with how we FEEL about the way they LOOK at us... how they are judging us... how we FEEL that we will NEVER MEASURE UP (when in reality, we are GOOD, honest, loving individuals that deserve to be treasured).


Marie...If your husband is an honest to goodness recovered/former WS then I think you'd be surprised to find out how he really sees you...I think it's something you ought to find out too...

In the case of Mr. W and myself...Mr. W measure up? Oh my goodness, he is a GIANT in my eyes...The admiration that I feel for him is pretty much impossible to put into words...I'm in AWE of him Marie...I do my best to emulate the example he sets for me daily...I get overwhelmed by the amount of love that I feel towards him...The grace and mercy that he has shown me - I wish I could properly convey this here - As a WS I did all that I could to tear him down...make him feel inferior...I was a terrible, abusive shrew to him...And still he stood strong... still he knew who he really was...still he loved me...still he never yelled at me...still he never called me a name...The amount of gentle strength that he possesses is beyond this world and I view it with wonderment...How in the world could I have done what I did to such an amazing man? You see Marie, there is no doubt that Mr. W had nothing to do with my horrendous and immoral choice to have an affair, no, that was born of my own shortcomings...

I've learned so much about the person that I am supposed to be by watching Mr. W - the calm and rational way that he acts instead of reacting - the kindness with which he approaches all things...the optimistic way that he tackles everything before him...I watch as almost everything he does shows me how deeply he loves God, myself and our dd...It is because of the way that he loves me (and leads me) that I've been able to deepen and strengthen my relationship with God and become the woman that I was intended to be...Because Marie, a BS that chooses to reconcile and extends mercy, grace and empathy to their WS demonstrates the kind of love that comes the closest that I've ever seen here on earth to how Christ loves us...It is breathtaking, awe inspiring, humbling, beautiful and absolutely amazing...

I hope something I've said helps...\:\)

Best,

Mrs. W

P.S. Thank you to BP and Mel for the kind words...
WOW, That was rather bleak,,

hey I can't say my hubby will never have another affair, I can't see the future, I can't honestly say I won't ever have an affair I never in a million years thought my hubby would.

I can say that right here, right now I am ever vigilant not to put myself in any situation where an affair may be possible.

That both myself and my hubby have learned a heck of alot about boundries and those darn slippery slopes.

I do know he has done a lot of work on himself, I do believe he loves me more now then he has ever loved me.

I do know we are happier now then ever, we are both working towards a common goal and that is making our marriage work and last forever.

I'm sorry I don't know your story Aphelion, so forgive me if I stepped on any toes. \:\)
Aphelion...

Submission and obedience to God changes people. Repentance is an undeserved gift not to be squandered. I often see you sign off here with the phrase "with prayers"...That must mean that you have both belief and faith in God...Don't you believe that people can be truly transformed by Him?

I'd invite you to email Mr. W (our address is in both of our signatures here) - Heck, you can contact him daily if you'd like...Allow him to give you reports of what our life looks like...Additionally, we'd be glad to meet you so that you could see "IRL" what recovered looks like...I'll volunteer us for you to study from now until one of us dies if you wish...I'm being serious...

When you have this...

Remorse
Repentance
Grace
Mercy
Empathy
Buy-in and commitment by both partners to the program in it's entirety...

You get this...

A recovered marriage...

Of course, I'd rather see recovery modeled for you in your own life...

Aphelion, as a Christian man, you are charged with being the leader of your household...LEAD your wife...Require her to do the work involved in real recovery - you do neither one of you any favors by conflict avoiding and just letting things slide - she doesn't come to genuine remorse that way, and you continue resenting based upon your choice to stay with someone who hasn't truly repented...If I were you I'd book the next MB weekend seminar and tell your wife that you are both going and following through with the program...I'd make that my boundary for staying in the marriage...

Best,

Mrs. W
 Quote:
But the thought of spending the second half of my life unappreciated, unhappy and resentful makes me ANGRY and scared.


Like it or no - you need couple's counseling.

Mr Pep and I recently restarted counseling - and it is helping immensly --- and MR PEP is the one who said "We need counseling. I am not happy."

I know Squid is resistant to talking to others - but I'd insist if I were you.
I'd tell her just exactly what you said in the above quote.
 Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Aph, it saddens me that you believe this myth when we are in the midst of so many examples that refute it. You can't see the recovery all around you. But that does not mean it doesn't exist. It does. Some that come to mind on this forum would be MrsW, lifechoice, Marshmallow, Susan, newbeginnings, and my husband. Look beyond your own situation, Aphelion.

Six cases? Out of something like 55299 registered users, each representing a case of their own? And those are just current registered users. Better double that second number. I don’t really believe those six anyway. A lot of wishful thinking by BS goes on around here.

I am looking beyond my sitch, Mel. Far beyond it.

Methinks the (F)WS doth protest too much. All hearsay or (F)WS self-claims.

There is way too much flowery pink smoke being blown up BS rectums in this adulterous world.

MB is probably a reasonable sample of the real world of abuse, adultery, betrayal and treason. And the stats here match my real world observations.

There is also a study (I’ll try to locate it, but it was a while ago I saw it) about couples who stay together after adultery. Couples who claim to be recovered five years after D-Day. More than 85% (in another study it was above 90%) of these recovered couples said they were still not happy after all that time and effort.

Seems adultery and the affects of adultery never go away. (And, Mel, you are still here on MB, so the affects of your husband’s adultery are still present even for you.) One just gets kind of numb, eventually. Why does adultery never go away? Because the WS is still the same basic person!

Mel, you know alcoholics, inside and out. So do I, if from the other side of the coin. I agree with your recurring analogy that you cannot have an alcoholic hang out in bars. It is a mistake to place a drink in front of him, anywhere. Sooner or later his knuckles will turn white and he will drink it, if you keep doing it to him long enough. OK, the natural extension of your analogy is, WS cannot be around marriage. Can’t be in a marriage, cannot place a married person in front of one. Since this is impossible, the latter anyway, they will fall off the wagon eventually. It’s only a matter of time.

Their ENs are too overpowering for them. Their ENs are their real addiction.

It’s just a matter of time. Even Harley says so. We are all wired for it, right? Well, WS’s are somewhat more hard-wired for adultery than the rest of us. WS are at higher risk for adultery when around anyone, and always were at higher risk. It seems to happen with them sooner, and more often, and recurring. .

Sheesh, it seems as if the only way for a BS to stave off a WS acting out his/her natural inclinations towards adultery is to super-enable his/her EN addictions. Not the way I want to live any longer.

Aph,

Divorce your wife.

CN
 Originally Posted By: Comfortably_Numb
Aph, Divorce your wife.

CN

Hah, so I'll shut up? lol.

OK.
Bob, I hope you won't mind me treading in here, very carefully.

I am sorry that you're still having such a hard time. You can't change Squid. The behaviors she exhibits that are so hurtful probably existed before her affair. It's just that your tolerance is so much lower now due to the fallout from the affair. Add to that Squid's feelings of disgust with herself, possible hormonal changes...well, you get the picture.

I like Pepperband's suggestion of counseling....if you could find a good one. Around here, they seem to be needles in a haystack. Children suffer if you divorce or separate. I know you don't want that and would probably rather brave the fires of [censored] than cause them pain.

One thing I have learned in the last few years is that most marriages have some issues - and not just those marriages that have suffered an affair. The trick is dealing with the issues openly and honestly. Maybe it's my American preconception of the British stiff upper lip, but I imagine you being upset with Squid but deciding just to endure it rather than level with her. I imagine her feeling like a horrible person because of her affair, but not telling you. And the cycle continues. Perhaps I am wrong.

Anyway, some of what you describe sounds like Squid being angry with herself and taking it out on you. As a FWW, (or WW as Aphelion would have it) I can tell you that it's easy to self-loathe.

Take care.
Aphelion, I'm not going to blow any colored smoke.

But I wonder about your nihilistic attitude toward your marriage. Perhaps it's the fact that your wife had a vlta as you put it, different than the standard affair. Or that she was so cold to you (you related some things she said which were incredibly cruel. But be assured, you're getting some payoff out of staying in your marriage, and it isn't just that you get to be with your son.

You say that the WSs on this site protest too much. I see the same tendency in you.

Take care.
Sorry
but I believe that Alph is more correct than not.

His words about this is who they are and mostly have been ..........yep & Yep.

{as a slight aside}
Just cause someone came up with a made up definition about "the fog" ....it still doesn't take away that all the actions taken, lies told and hurtful words spoken .....were indeed done by YOUR SPOUSE.
Sadly It wasn't an alien, they were not insane and they did not become another identity.
Nope .....like it or not ....it was them. Every last bit.

Now how one processes and deals with that, I guess is up to the individual.
{Hence, I do understand the appeal of blaming things on "the fog" as it helps with the resentment issues .....I just don't subscribe to needing that OUT myself}

Now
(in regards to more of what Alph was referring too}:
With the overwhelming # of infidels out there in the universe .........the insignificant # that actually can and do change (fundamentally at the core, not just putting on a good front or a clever mask) ......I'd state that this small number almost makes them THE anomaly....rather than the rule.

Honestly,
even here on a web site devoted to improving and saving marriages from infidelity ......we still have Loads and Loads of phonies, fakes and for lack of a better term ,
Half Steppers (meaning those who kind of buy into MBing, but only the parts they decide they Want to do).
Sorry but that's not Real Change.

Its still reeks of selfishness .....and selfishness is one of the corner posts of Adultery.

Actually many times
you can tell the (not really) [F]WSs just by the advice they give and the overall tone of their posts.

Just to keep it brief,
one great example is WS's that don't condone informing whichever BS doesn't know about the A.
This just shows how they *still* don't get it.
Which means they haven't changed fundamentally from a WS mentality.

Unfortunately,
its that outlook and mindset that is the issue and problem.....not the current or previous OP.
Indeed, its that overall attitude which is where the entire situation all starts from.
Remember,
you don't have to be currently boinking someone to be a WS.
Indeed, One is wayward long before any cloths come off or even lies are told.
Hence
one can Still Be WayWard long after one has returned home & changed some phone numbers and email addresses.

Now to the VERY Few of you out there (that are the less than whatever %%%) that truly have made the changes needed .........This post is NOT directed at you at all.
So to you faithful few, I say "Good job & carry on".
Truly wish there were more of ya.

On the other hand,
since I haven't mentioned any names at all ........then for any out there that still harbor wayward thoughts and sympathies .......simply sit back, relax and keep quiet ....and no one will know that its You that still think/feel that way.

Although unfortunately,
more of you are out there than anyone would care to admit.
 Originally Posted By: top rope
Sorry
but I believe that Alph is more correct than not.

His words about this is who they are and mostly have been ..........yep & Yep.

{as a slight aside}
Just cause someone came up with a made up definition about "the fog" ....it still doesn't take away that all the actions taken, lies told and hurtful words spoken .....were indeed done by YOUR SPOUSE.
Sadly It wasn't an alien, they were not insane and they did not become another identity.
Nope .....like it or not ....it was them. Every last bit.

Now how one processes and deals with that, I guess is up to the individual.
{Hence, I do understand the appeal of blaming things on "the fog" as it helps with the resentment issues .....I just don't subscribe to needing that OUT myself}

Now
(in regards to more of what Alph was referring too}:
With the overwhelming # of infidels out there in the universe .........the insignificant # that actually can and do change (fundamentally at the core, not just putting on a good front or a clever mask) ......I'd state that this small number almost makes them THE anomaly....rather than the rule.

Honestly,
even here on a web site devoted to improving and saving marriages from infidelity ......we still have Loads and Loads of phonies, fakes and for lack of a better term ,
Half Steppers (meaning those who kind of buy into MBing, but only the parts they decide they Want to do).
Sorry but that's not Real Change.

Its still reeks of selfishness .....and selfishness is one of the corner posts of Adultery.

Actually many times
you can tell the (not really) [F]WSs just by the advice they give and the overall tone of their posts.

Just to keep it brief,
one great example is WS's that don't condone informing whichever BS doesn't know about the A.
This just shows how they *still* don't get it.
Which means they haven't changed fundamentally from a WS mentality.

Unfortunately,
its that outlook and mindset that is the issue and problem.....not the current or previous OP.
Indeed, its that overall attitude which is where the entire situation all starts from.
Remember,
you don't have to be currently boinking someone to be a WS.
Indeed, One is wayward long before any cloths come off or even lies are told.
Hence
one can Still Be WayWard long after one has returned home & changed some phone numbers and email addresses.

Now to the VERY Few of you out there (that are the less than whatever %%%) that truly have made the changes needed .........This post is NOT directed at you at all.
So to you faithful few, I say "Good job & carry on".
Truly wish there were more of ya.

On the other hand,
since I haven't mentioned any names at all ........then for any out there that still harbor wayward thoughts and sympathies .......simply sit back, relax and keep quiet ....and no one will know that its You that still think/feel that way.

Although unfortunately,
more of you are out there than anyone would care to admit.





As much as it saddens me i believe this as well.
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
 Originally Posted By: Comfortably_Numb
Aph, Divorce your wife.

CN

Hah, so I'll shut up? lol.

OK.



No not at all. Post all you want. It just seems to me that you have so much hate/resentment/whatever for her that you will never heal. I don't think you want to heal either or perhaps it is that you just can't. So the rational action would be to move on. Maybe you can find a woman without sin to marry.

CN
 Quote:
I've walked pretty much all the steps of the affair killing / recovering path these past four years, and even helped many other folks get further than I have managed. Yes, I know about detachment. I've pretty much lived in loving detachment for four years now. I want to live either in loving ATTACHMENT or physical detachment now.


Hi Bob.

Just a few words, perhaps a few things to think over.


 Quote:
I've seen LOADS of spouses who have earned their "f" so profoundly that its now been replaced by a "M" for MAGNIFICENT. (Mrs W is really one of them from what I have seen. The right ingredients, the right baking, great cake is how I see them.)

I envy their spouses to be honest. Your and my missus' might be malfunctioning years after the warranty ran out but I'd say that far from universal. But I'd also bet we're contributors to our circumstances too. Just as Linkin park sing " I tried to hard, and got so far...but in the end,it doesn't even matter".


Your feelings and thoughts sound about the same as mine were about the same length of time into recovery as you are.

But please note that I said "recovery," not "recovered."

I wasn't recovered then and neither, it would seem, is your marriage.

THE issue that still seems to be remaining is actual, real, CHANGE. What I am hearing from what you've posted is "more of the same old behavior" coming through again now that your wife has gotten to the point in HER recovery that she believes you do love her and you won't just "walk out the door."

She is "reverting to form" because there is still work that needs to be done in CHANGING the past behaviors. If you'll pardon a cliche', "been there, know what you're feeling."

The "problem" is a marriage problem as well as an individual problem.

And that is where a relationship with Christ also comes in. If she is reluctant to make changes for YOU, what do you think about her willingness to make changes FOR Christ, who made the "ultimate change" for all of us?

Back last December, I think, you and she went to a church related "encounter" type of thing that seemed to have a profound effect on her. Has that "worn off" in the "day to day" grind of living?

I don't know if she wants to continue working on rebuilding your marriage or not, but if you think she might, I would recommend a book called "Magnificent Marriage" by Josh McDowell.

There are also one or two others that I haven't looked at in several years that I remember. One in particular dealth heavily with this issue of being a "wife" and the differences between men and women. If you would like that one let me know and I'll try to dig up the book and get the title for you.

Recovery, Bob. Not recovered.

Man how I hate those days when the "toss in towel" feelings just seem to close in.

God bless, and hugs ((((Bob Pure))))
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion

Six cases? Out of something like 55299 registered users, each representing a case of their own? And those are just current registered users. Better double that second number. I don’t really believe those six anyway. A lot of wishful thinking by BS goes on around here.


Thats an irrational way to look at the situation and I know you know it. Those are all the posters who have registered here over 12 years.

 Quote:


There is way too much flowery pink smoke being blown up BS rectums in this adulterous world.


You know me better than that. If you don't, then you have been smoking too much hoochie weed.

And on that subject, I do wonder if there is some kind of subtance abuse going on here? There has to be some explanation why an intelligent, normally well reasoned man, says the irrational, bitter things I have read in your posts here. There is an irrational aspect coupled with a DEEP BROODING that is indicative of substance abusers who are emotionally self obsessed. I could be dead wrong, but I sense something more going on here.

What is going on, Alph?
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion

And those are just current registered users. Better double that second number. I don’t really believe those six anyway. A lot of wishful thinking by BS goes on around here.


That is not from their wishful thinking, but from my own personal observations. I can smell bull**it a mile off. I sniff it out like a bloodhound. Those 6 are at the top of my list of those who don't stink. There are others, but I know those the BEST. Some I have met in person.
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
Seems adultery and the affects of adultery never go away.


The FACT of adultery never does go away. We cannot "undo" the past, things we wish we might have done differently, etc. The past IS the past.

But adultery is VERY personal and extremely hurtful at every level. It is a "severe trauma" to the BS on the same sort of level as rape would be to a woman.

Now the "effects" you refer to CAN "go away," but it requires changes to "make them go away."


 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
(And, Mel, you are still here on MB, so the affects of your husband’s adultery are still present even for you.)


That's unfair and uncalled for, Aph.

Several people are "still here" because they try to help out others because THEY received help when they needed it. IF the "affects" you refer to are the same things "knowledge gained through the school of hard knocks," then "yes" the affects are still present. Let's get this straight, Aph, most likely NONE of us would ever have found MB, let alone joined up, if adultery of one type or another were NOT present at some point in our lives. There would have been little reason even look for such a site as MB.


 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
One just gets kind of numb, eventually. Why does adultery never go away? Because the WS is still the same basic person!


Would you like another opinion? It's one I have shared from time to time over the years. I personally find it hard to believe that anyone can recover their marriage WITHOUT Christ being the center of that marriage and their relationship with Him as the "most important" relationship personally.

And THAT has a LOT to do with "changed lives" and "forgiveness" of wrong-doing. It has lot to do with WHO we "live our lives for" and what it means to be forgiven, as well as being a true forgiver.
 Quote:
And on that subject, I do wonder if there is some kind of subtance abuse going on here? There has to be some explanation why an intelligent, normally well reasoned man, says the irrational, bitter things I have read in your posts here. There is an irrational aspect coupled with a DEEP BROODING that is indicative of substance abusers who are emotionally self obsessed. I could be dead wrong, but I sense something more going on here.

Holy cow, Mel. ‘scuse me. Took me a while to stop laughing.

That is a hard to larboard tack.

OK, I’m not dizzy.

I assure you, I am abusing neither substance nor self. Not things, not people, not even small furry pets.

Really.

I simply took the rose-colored MB glasses off a while back.

The world of adultery, real-world recovery from adultery, is not even close to being anything like the threads a newbie will read here.

Most, if not all, recoveries aren’t.

I’ll find those other real-world studies for you.
 Quote:
It just seems to me that you have so much hate/resentment/whatever for her that you will never heal. I don't think you want to heal either or perhaps it is that you just can't. So the rational action would be to move on.

No, I am much, much closer to that indifference state.

I simply do not believe anything any WS or FWS says. In anything. All, every statement from a WS or FWS, forever, requires confirmation. Even the time of day. But especially when they say they are recovered.

 Quote:
Maybe you can find a woman without sin to marry.

Don't put words on my fingertips, CM. Replace sin with adultery - maybe I might agree to write that some day.

And maybe not.

Much better to remain unmarried, actually.
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
I assure you, I am abusing neither substance nor self. Not things, not people, not even small furry pets. I assure you, I am abusing neither substance nor self. Not things, not people, not even small furry pets.


ok, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, because you truly do sound irrational and tied to SELF. I find it hard to comprehend.

And no, I don't believe that recoveries are not real, because I know better. The worst people can change and I am a living example.

And FH is right about why I stay here. [thanks FH \:\) ] I get enormous personal satisfaction out of helping people here. I have been richly blessed by Marriage Builders and I sincerely wish the same for others.
Aph - you really are projecting your own bitter experience here. Your experience may resonate wih many people but it does not make it a rule.
You people are scaring me
 Originally Posted By: lildoggie
You people are scaring me


Not sure who "you people" are, but WHAT is scaring you, and WHY?
People who have been in recovery for a long time and they still havent got over it.

It scares me because I have only just got to 3 months and I so don't want to be still feeling like this in years and years.
Maybe I shouldnt read this thread
 Originally Posted By: lildoggie
People who have been in recovery for a long time and they still havent got over it.

It scares me because I have only just got to 3 months and I so don't want to be still feeling like this in years and years.
Maybe I shouldnt read this thread


I agree!!!!
Don't read this thread.
It will suck the life out of you.

The fact is, all the people here complaining about their recoveries did not have spouses fully engaged with the MB program.

That makes the world of difference. Many of them should have divorced when it was obvious their spouse would not join them in recovery.

But you are not in that situation Lil so my advice is to ignore this negativity.
 Quote:
People who have been in recovery for a long time and they still havent got over it.

It scares me because I have only just got to 3 months and I so don't want to be still feeling like this in years and years.
Maybe I shouldnt read this thread


lildoggie - ditto to what bigkahuna said.

NOBODY wants to be feeling like this in years to come, but there are NO "guarantees." But if you both work at recovery, at making needed changes, at learning to "fall in love again," it doesn't have to apply to YOU.

But if YOU want to feel this way in a few years, then DON'T do what is necessary. Don't keep the threefold promise you, as a Betrayed Spouse, make when you choose to forgive your spouse.

Remember this truth...."garbage in, garbage out." You want the program to run smoothly, get rid of the "bugs."
BK, FH

I hear you and I'll sit this thread out. I think Flick is engaged and I think we'll make it.

I hope the rest of you find what your looking for.
 Originally Posted By: lildoggie
People who have been in recovery for a long time and they still havent got over it.

It scares me because I have only just got to 3 months and I so don't want to be still feeling like this in years and years.
Maybe I shouldnt read this thread


Well i don't particularly like feeling this way myself.

I feel my FWH is remorseful, he is transparent with his activities and phone and etc, he does lots of things to show me he loves me and he is sorry for the pain he caused me.

I also feel that i owned up to my short comings and have tried to change them as well and actually we get along quite well and have a good M.

But like i stated in my earlier post, my FWH has always had some very "selfish" ways and i just "overlooked" them because i loved him and the good parts seemed to outway the bad parts.

Since the A though i am not as willing to "overlook" his "selfish" ways. It is as if i feel because of what he "did" to me and i took him back and forgave him that he should do get rid of thos "selfish" ways. But is that realy right of me? Am i asking too much? I dunno.
 Quote:
Six cases? Out of something like 55299 registered users, each representing a case of their own? And those are just current registered users. Better double that second number. I don’t really believe those six anyway. A lot of wishful thinking by BS goes on around here.

I am looking beyond my sitch, Mel. Far beyond it.

Methinks the (F)WS doth protest too much. All hearsay or (F)WS self-claims.

There is way too much flowery pink smoke being blown up BS rectums in this adulterous world.

MB is probably a reasonable sample of the real world of abuse, adultery, betrayal and treason. And the stats here match my real world observations.


Aphelion - if you are looking for "guarantees" of a successful end result to attempts to recover a marriage, then I would agree with you that "there is way too much flowery pink smoke being blown up BS rectums in this adulterous world."

If fact, if you are looking for "guarantees" of a successful Marriage, there is way too much flowery pink smoke being blown up Engaged Couple's rectums in this "world" that is increasingly anti-marriage, anti-commitment, and pro-"do it if it feels good to you."

However, to the argument you are trying to make, let me simply toss in that I know of many "members" of MB who have had both failed attempts at recovery and successful attempts at recovery who no longer post on MB.

What was a major difference between the successful and unsuccessful recoveries? That would seem to be a better sort of question for you to ask than making unfounded opinions based on your own situation apply to everyone else, especially to those "new" to the struggle of dealing with infidelty and recovery.


 Quote:
Seems adultery and the affects of adultery never go away. (And, Mel, you are still here on MB, so the affects of your husband’s adultery are still present even for you.) One just gets kind of numb, eventually. Why does adultery never go away? Because the WS is still the same basic person!


So you, therefore, ascribe to and endorse the "Fear" that virtually all Wayward Spouses feel, "You will never get over it no matter what I do." Is that right?

If not, then WHAT does it take to have a successful recovery and finally reach the point where your marriage IS recovered, even though the FACT that infidelity DID happen in the past?


 Quote:
Mel, you know alcoholics, inside and out. So do I, if from the other side of the coin. I agree with your recurring analogy that you cannot have an alcoholic hang out in bars. It is a mistake to place a drink in front of him, anywhere. Sooner or later his knuckles will turn white and he will drink it, if you keep doing it to him long enough. OK, the natural extension of your analogy is, WS cannot be around marriage. Can’t be in a marriage, cannot place a married person in front of one. Since this is impossible, the latter anyway, they will fall off the wagon eventually. It’s only a matter of time.

Their ENs are too overpowering for them. Their ENs are their real addiction.

It’s just a matter of time. Even Harley says so. We are all wired for it, right? Well, WS’s are somewhat more hard-wired for adultery than the rest of us. WS are at higher risk for adultery when around anyone, and always were at higher risk. It seems to happen with them sooner, and more often, and recurring. .

Sheesh, it seems as if the only way for a BS to stave off a WS acting out his/her natural inclinations towards adultery is to super-enable his/her EN addictions. Not the way I want to live any longer.


This, more than anything else, shows that you have a real lack of understanding about marriage, people, and recovery.

1. Infidelity is NOT the same thing as Alcoholism. Addiction is.

2. You ever get, or know anyone who has gotten, "falling down drunk and did something that they regretted?" Then they "swore off" drinking and committed to CHANGING their lifestyle to AVOID a reoccurence?

3. Sex addiction IS similar to alcohol addiction and NO amount of "Recovery Efforts" will be any good until the addiction itself is first addressed. And addressing it INCLUDES a lifelong commitment to "extraordinary measures" to protect against a 'relapse'.

4. "It’s just a matter of time. Even Harley says so. We are all wired for it, right?" Wrong This is yet another of Harley's principles that I strongly disagree with. It is NOT "just a matter of time" for a large number of people, especially to people who are committed to being "on guard" to all temptations in their lives that would lead them AWAY from God and into sin.

5. "Sheesh, it seems as if the only way for a BS to stave off a WS acting out his/her natural inclinations towards adultery is to super-enable his/her EN addictions. Not the way I want to live any longer."

YOU don't have to. YOU don't have to totally misunderstand the concept of meeting someone's Emotional Needs, but you seem to be doing so from this sort of statement.

What you are "equating" here is the same sort of nonsense that "performance in bed" makes someone a "good lover." LOVE is itself an action verb, not a noun and not "just feelings." You seem to be playing in a "zero sum" mentality and LOVE transcends "zero sum" and has increasing returns that far exceed "you do this and I do that" sort of "score keeping."

If you really think that a successful recover is restricted to Emotions, emotional responses, and feelings, then there is little wonder in my mind why you think it's "impossible" to recover from infidelity.

Aph, there ARE some things that are impossible for Man to do, but with God ALL things ARE possible.

It is one of the reasons why I am such a strong believer in the "Triangle of Marriage" reality, even though many people don't want it or don't want to consider it.
 Originally Posted By: bigkahuna


The fact is, all the people here complaining about their recoveries did not have spouses fully engaged with the MB program.


Agree. In addition, I believe that there is a world of difference between someone who has an affair and when caught can immediately see the horror of their ways and stop immediately. Chances are good, and I know this myself, that this kind of WS was plagued by guilt throughout the affair because they knew that it is wrong, but they just hadn't hit bottom yet. Chances are also good that this kind of spouse will buy into a program like MB that lets them save their marriage.

 Originally Posted By: ForeverHers
What was a major difference between the successful and unsuccessful recoveries? That would seem to be a better sort of question for you to ask than making unfounded opinions based on your own situation apply to everyone else, especially to those "new" to the struggle of dealing with infidelty and recovery.


This is a good question to keep in mind when reading MB. The kind of WS that I describe above is a far cry from a WS who when caught simply either 1)takes the affair further underground and lies that it's over or 2)continues to pursue the affair in the face of their BS's pain. Sure, these kinds of affairs may end eventually, and the WS come to his/her senses, but the trauma to the BS has to linger.

I know that it's often said that the BS has to take charge of recovery since the WS is the one who drove the marriage into the ditch. But! My husband was in no shape to take charge of anything after Dday, as he will freely admit. If I had expected him to steer us toward recovery, I don't think we would be as far along as we are now. The WS has to actively engage.

Lil Doggie, your H sounds engaged to me.

 Originally Posted By: Still_Crazy
Since the A though i am not as willing to "overlook" his "selfish" ways. It is as if i feel because of what he "did" to me and i took him back and forgave him that he should do get rid of thos "selfish" ways. But is that realy right of me? Am i asking too much? I dunno.


IMHO, overlooking his selfish ways before the affair sounds like sacrifice to me, on your part.. Dr. Harley says sacrifice is a marriage killer and he is so right. All it does is build up resentment, which is toxic.

StillCrazy, have you communicated your feelings about your husband's selfishness to him? He deserves to know that his actions are making you unhappy. Have you come to him with specifics?
Please, if anyone has quoted "bits & pieces" of my original post, PLEASE REMOVE IT. It most definitely IS SCARING NEWLY RECOVEREDS (which is SO NOT what I wanted to accomplish).

(BTW, thanks ALP, for removing my quotes. I appreciate it!) \:\)

My recovery story is NOT ALL ABOUT hair in my salad-- i simply posted feelings that sometimes still creep up and TRIGGER me (nine years post d-day)-- BUT it's MOST CERTAINLY not every day, it's not even every month, not EVEN every year that I have these feelings! \:\(

I originally posted my response based on this question from BobPure: "Hi ! Looking for thoughts from 2-year plus recovered BS's whose recoveries haven't gone as far as they hoped."

And, while my recovery has never "gone as far as I had hoped," we ARE STILL GOING (and I will NEVER GIVE UP ON MY MARRIAGE OR QUIT LOVING MY H just because I can't forget certain TRIGGERS, or how things once were, or how things might ALWAYS make me feel sad and/or bitter). Despite my flaws, and despite my H's flaws, we truly LOVE each other-- and have a loving, HOPEFUL marriage.

On the other hand, I felt that BobPure needed someone to validate his feelings-- and I can certainly DO THAT FOR HIM (as I have felt, and continue to SOMETIMES FEEL (albeit rarely these days), similar feelings towards my H that Bob feels towards his Squid).

And maybe my point should have been that some of this affair crap stays with you for a very long time-- but that it doesn't necessarily DEFINE the marriage (or how you view your spouse) in the furture. It's just there. and maybe it will never go away? Kinda like when you're a kid and your dog gets ran over by your uncle-- you just don't forget that (but I certainly DO NOT REMEMBER it when I see my uncle each Christmas-- it just sometimes comes to mind if someone mentions their first dog as a kid, or if I see a dead dog on the side of a road... ya'know?)

The truth of what I believe regarding my own personal recovery, is this: One of these days my M, our recovery, will have GONE FARTHER THAN I HAD EVER HOPED or DREAMED. And, maybe when I'm 50 years post d-day, I'll come back to MB and post about it...

'Cause one day I'm gonna be 82 years old, sitting in my rocker on the porch, with my great-grandchild curled up in my lap, and he/she is gonna ask me how great-gramps and I first met and fell in love...

AND MY STORY IS GONNA BE THE BEST FREAKIN' LOVE STORY EVER TOLD

(and there won't be a single mention of infidelity, triggers, or SALAD in that story!)

Honestly, with each passing year in my life, the infidelity is truly LESS and LESS significant to MY/OUR story... AND THAT IS PROBABLY WHAT I NEED TO BE POSTING.

(and maybe I was wrong-- maybe BobPure needs to hear that MORE than my silly stories of validation...)

Much peace and love, ohmy_marie
 Originally Posted By: penaltykill

 Originally Posted By: Still_Crazy
Since the A though i am not as willing to "overlook" his "selfish" ways. It is as if i feel because of what he "did" to me and i took him back and forgave him that he should do get rid of thos "selfish" ways. But is that realy right of me? Am i asking too much? I dunno.


IMHO, overlooking his selfish ways before the affair sounds like sacrifice to me, on your part.. Dr. Harley says sacrifice is a marriage killer and he is so right. All it does is build up resentment, which is toxic.

StillCrazy, have you communicated your feelings about your husband's selfishness to him? He deserves to know that his actions are making you unhappy. Have you come to him with specifics?



Yes i have pre-A and since D-day. There are two things i can think of right away that i have told him bother me emensely and because he does not agree with me chooses to ignore my feelings on the matter so i no longer say anything.

The first one is hanging out with a guy at his work (although it is not very often he still does it against my wishes) whom i am "positive" is having an A with a co-worker. My H's excuse is that "we do not know for sure" and while that is true, it stills bothers me that he does it when he knows i do not like it at all.

The second one is that my H is and has always been a friendly person, however IMHO he is "too friendly" with females. It has always bothered me throughout our M and i have told him and he always says that i am over reacting and that he is just talking to them after all i am standing there when he is talking to them.

So maybe i am wrong and these are not "selfish" things but i do not think so.
 Quote:
and maybe I was wrong-- maybe BobPure needs to hear that MORE than my silly stories of validation.


Hi Marie !

There are no silly stories if honest an well intended.
Like you I've done more miles down this rocky road than I ever thought I would. Your experiences neither validate nor invalidate my experiences. Mine are mine, yours are yours.

I could write reams of junk, but my situation is summed up perfectly by Comfortably Numb above. I have a wife problem, not a marriage problem. I have to decide if that is something I can change, or live with if I can't. I suspect that I can't.

While a select bunch of folks are blessed with the right ingredients and attitudes to build a magnificent recovery together after adultery, i have come to believe that another select bunch need a miracle to achieve the same. Some WS will never earn their "f" fully, some BS will never be able to stand upright again after the undefended gut punch of being cuckolded.

Hindsight is 20/20 vision, I know, but in retrospect I think we are sadly part of the latter bunch.

I was too hurt by the loss of lifelong monogamy: too dependent on Squid: too incapable of putting the past behind me to ever get over this. Squid was and remains too, erm, SOMETHING to work on changing herself.

I should have ended the affair then divorced. But that was then, this is now. And there have been some lovely moments we have share since d-day.

My challenge now is to unemotionally consider what I can bear and what I cannot. I know the kids are far better off with us together than divorced, but at some point my own peace of mind has to count for something. Dr H says sacrifice is not a sustainable MB behaviour.

I'd be interested if anyone has contact with newlife07. She moved out of the house. I'd like to know her experiences of that in case anyone is in contact, please.

Anyway i DO regret posting. I hate to dishearten anyone new to this I can only reiterate what BigK said that when both spouses are on board this MB stuff works brilliantly \:D

All blessings
Hey Bob! My computer has been down because of an extremely stupid reason. My son came home from college yesterday and fixed it in a second. And I have no time to properly respond right now. However, you wrote:

"Anyway i DO regret posting. I hate to dishearten anyone new to this I can only reiterate what BigK said that when both spouses are on board this MB stuff works brilliantly"

I posted hear years ago, and I still feel this way, that people here who are not fully recovered still need support. So I'm telling you to please get over this attitude you have. You are facing some big decisions and how many people actually know exactly what you have gone through and are going through better than us? You know it is exactly the attitude that if we BSs aren't 100% happy and recovered that has kept me from posting here on MB some of my unresolved recovery issues that rear up every now & then, like now. We can't fix a problem unless we name it, understand it, and then face it head on. Denying it, avoiding it, repainting it ain't gonna work. That's one thing I've learned from this friggin mess. So I hope you don't disappear again.

Ya know, I realize marriage itself is a difficult prospect at times for many reasons. Maybe the reasoning that all of us living longer, instead of kicking the bucket in our 40s, makes M even harder to sustain. Add adultery into the mix to just complicate and confuse things even more.

Hi CN! I actually did get a job in Sept. I am buried in paperwork. We'll see if I last the 6 months probation. Forget about being a well prepared, good therapist. It's all about the paperwork! It has been nice getting a pay check, and I'm saving H lots of money in insurance. Hope you're well!
CV

DELIGHTED you're earning \:D

Move to the UK and we'll be your first clients \:D

I really do think I have a wife problem. Or she has a Bob problem. Or summat.

Not convinced its a M issue. She be freewheelin' br'a.
"Move to the UK and we'll be your first clients"

Bob, I'm not working with any married folk, at least not yet. I'd probably drive them out of the M because of everything I've been through. I need more time and space. Although it's kind of funny, this job is doing the 2 things I said I would never do, work with kids in their homes. Ever see the show "The Nanny"? That's me. I swear I'm not kidding. It's an insane job, but kind of fun if not for all this stupid paperwork. Of course it's way too soon to see if I'm any good at it.

"I really do think I have a wife problem. Or she has a Bob problem. Or summat."

Bob honey, it doesn't matter if it's a wifey problemmo or a hubby problemmo. If it's a problem for one of you, and you're Med, than it's a M problem. It's that simple. Also, some here might not agree with me, however, if the FOO issues are big enough the S who has them will have difficulty jumping into a behavioral approach like MB. The resistance is so great because of his/her fear, that truthfully it's probably not even conscious that they keep on sabatoging the R. What's familiar, even if it's dysfunctional, feels safe because that is what they did to survive their pain in their childhoods. Squid had a horribly dysfunctional childhood. I'm sure she has huge abandonment issues. You can set the boundery that she needs to get help because you are incredibly unhappy. I told you once, I think, that I looked up Imago MCs in the UK. I highly respect Harville Hendricks who created Imago Therapy. If you both did that type of therapy the MC would incorporate the past dysfunction with current behavioral strategies. It's a nice combination and I know those therapists pay a lot of money out of pocket to get trained, which tells me they are at least dedicated.

Anyway, it's not easy being Med to someone who has these issues. My guess is that most WSs have something going on that causes them to fall for the A addiction. Some extra hole in their soul. The sucky thing for we BSs is that even an incredibly remorseful WS, IMO, will not be able to fully grasp and empathize what this experience does to a BS. Maybe the FWSs who post here are different. I know my friend CN put himself into some very dark places with me in order to better understand. I think that is the exception.

The other thing I've been thinking about is this. Recently I saw a bunch of people on TV talking about what they would do if their Ss cheated on them. The typical response, none of what we all have done here. Fought for our Ms, lived through months of humiliation while our WSs pined away for the OP, etc. You get my point. I realized to a lot of folks out there a BS who does this is kind of looked at as a loser wimp. Instead of seeing the strength it takes to go through this, the Christy Brinkley's are way more admired than the Hillary Clintons for sticking it out. And every now and then it's difficult not to wonder if we got it backwards here. We'll never know what our lives would look like now if we had said Adios immediately. Yet the ones who did do that won't know the reverse either.

OK, I'm way too gabby this evening. See, I miss talking to my old MB buddies who I know get all this. No one else would.
Bill Clinton?-- I'd take him back in a heartbeat. ;\)

Peter Cook?-- not so much.
Oh yeah - we get it!

Lilybelle - omg - class of 2004!
Class of 2004. Wow. A fifth of my marriage has been affected by adultery now....

( Hi lily \:\) )

CV its the frustration that gets me. Part of my personal recovery walk has been to become self-actualized. Well scrub that I've become something of an island. I depend on nobody doing what they promise me. I always have a plan B which involves me doing stuff for me.

Now that was very much needed in early recovery - I was pathetically codependent on D-day - I had no personality apart from the roles I played in other people's lives - so I had to get some self-actualization. Some personhood.

I do think I have swung too far the other way though. Squid is DESPERATE for me to need her so she can feel secure, yet she behaves in a way to me that no sane person would ever depend on her.

Her default response in so many situations is to cut me down verbally. Dismiss my feelings, gaslight me when I call her on BS.

I'm not even going to pretend to need her because I don't need that in my life.

So I have an attitude that I am wondering apart from commitment whet is she doing in my life ? I get almost no ENs met by her ( in many cases because I do not permit her to, in truth) I don't like her very much, and she can't cook \:\) ( joke!).

So I tolerate her in my life now. She has had more then three years of incredible opportunities to build herself a niche in my life and my heart but she has spectacularly dropped every one on her toe.

In MY job I learn to look at results and behaviours and try to determine incentive or objective. The premise of that is "every machine or process is perfectly calibrated to achieve the results it gets"

Not not all calibrations are deliberate but they are settings nontheless.

It would seem that Squid wants me to need her so desperately ( as I used to) that she has permission to dismiss me and criticize me and I will take that without complaint.

No more.

I have explained this in every form of words I know, and that's quite a few forms ! \:\)

There are sometimes small changes for a while then I hate myself for how pathetically grateful I am for them; for the peace and the opportunity to unclench that fist in my gut.

Then she opens her foolish mouth , will not discuss that reasonably and I affirm my inner commitment to not allow myself to be duped by this woman again.

She perceives love as acceptence OF HER but not as a reciprocating rule. *I* have to change to be what she needs in any given moment: she can do as she wishes while I crawl through hoops to make her happy.

Again, no more.

What she does to me is not "abuse". I do not feel abused by it. I get frustrated by it, and resentful of it but it is not really abuse.

What she does is drain a little bit more of the dwindle love units I have for her with every one of these events.

She is broken : even my own feeble psych analysis of her tells me that. yet she almost PROUDLY sates she will bottle everything up, tell nobody. She sees it as weakness to admit to problems.

I've told her many times we would both benefit from her getting counselling. She takes it as a slight. We attended a "relational leadership" training course for leaders at our church the other week. She was physically drained at the end of the day through the effort of not letting out any shred of herself to the coaches.

I do not believe it is projection or denial on my part to say I have a wife problem. She refuses to address herself and her own issues.

Now the women in her family have a theme: they push away anyone who loves them by middle age, become drunk lushes who die alone and loathed. He biomom and Auntie did this. Her other auntie is dying of cancer now in a cheap whiskey-fuelled haze having done just that in the last 25 years.

If I divorce Squid I have no doubts the same will happen to her.

Yet now My best times are away from her. This afternoon, for example, she is going to a karate class. I am looking forward to the time with my son, or reading a book or something. Its lovely time spent on my own or with the kids.

One pity is we spent a lot of time in "UA" going to lunch when I work from home. That's pretty much stopped because I hate having to bite my tongue so much. Its a pity because it used o be an opportunity to discuss recovery issues in a public place where histrionic responses were not as likely.

Now, doesn't happen.

So there you have it. My wife has made herself baggage in my life and won't change.

I think I need to tell her in those exact words. We'll see what the response is.
 Quote:
My challenge now is to unemotionally consider what I can bear and what I cannot. I know the kids are far better off with us together than divorced, but at some point my own peace of mind has to count for something. Dr H says sacrifice is not a sustainable MB behaviour.


BP, I am mulling over the wisdom in responding to this sort of thinking. So I think I'll just wait as I consider things like rationalization and justification for choices, what being surrendered to God is like, why God hasn't just "cut and run" from all the ungrateful, self-centered things we all continue to do because it's what WE want to do.

But you DO seem to be back into the same "no hope" mindset that I remember you being in "way back when" you first began posting about your situation.
CV,

Congratulations on the new job!!!!


I can almost see you as the Nanny . . . upbraiding the parents of out of control kids.

Paperwork sucks. It seems that that is becoming a very large portion of my job as well. I'm glad to see you are doing well.

Bob,

I don't have much wisdom to share. Perhaps your wife is just too damaged to interact with you in a fashion that you need. Perhaps she just cannot allow herself to be in a intimate bonded marriage. I just don't know. If she is like me at all I'm sure she hates what she did. I'm sure that she hates seeing you still pained by her actions. Sometimes people in pain lash out and you just happen to be the nearest target. I used to have fantasies where I would just move to a different part of the county, alone, and start my life again. I was just too hard to face all the pain that I caused.

At first I stayed for the kids. I then stayed because I made promises to my wife and I could still keep some of them. Now I stay because I want to. I have changed a great deal and so has my wife. We don't take this marriage for granted. We both know that we can leave at any time if we treat each other poorly and refuse to stop doing it.

If you asked my wife what her marriage is like, I'm not sure what she would respond. She would probably that I broke her heart. That I was the person that she respected and trusted the most and look where that got her. And that just sucks.

Only you know what you can tolerate. I think you earned the right to a good marriage. I also think that you have earned the right fo a divorce. You have done the work Bob.

I don't think talking to your wife will work. She seems to not respond to your words, your worries and insights as anything other than criticism of her. If you say you are having a bad day she probably thinks you are blaming her in some way. And I don't know how to change that. You are in a pickle.

CN

CN

Your decency and regret shines like beacon from your posts. I have seen in other BS of regretful, investing FWS that they eventually find themselves so rewarded in each day that the hurtful past offers no incentive to look upon it very often. I pray that for your wife and yourself.

As for me, mate its not great. I've done pretty much everything I can do , but one hand can't clap.

I would have Squid released from this marriage if it makes her as miserable and snappy as she appears.

I don't want to be a divorced person, but that may be more authentic than this limbo. Still workin' still prayin'

\:\)
Bob, it really DOES sound like you have a wife problem not a marriage problem.

Reading your summation of what your life looks like made me very sad.

Because my life/our life is SO different. Our marriage is full of laughter, full of respect, full of love. The nicest thing that has happened is that we are back to our old banter. During recovery we were both too frightened to banter - it was too dangerous.

For example, we're not afraid to call each other silly names or say "hey, when did they take that pic of you?" when a pic of a chimpanzee or something is in the paper.

It sounds a small thing but it's HUGE.

We talk again - about all sorts of things. That's another thing - if he's watching TV or reading and I interrupt he's not afraid to sigh. If I'm reading or watching TV, same thing. I say "Do you MIND, I'm reading." But it's all done with a smile and underlying affection. During recovery we wouldn't have dared. We'd have dropped everything to give each other the attention.

We're not afraid to dream or make plans for the future. We're working together getting our DD's wedding off the ground.... all sorts of things, nice things, good things.
Brilliant Jen. Just brilliant. \:D

KY was still right. She said ( and you agreed) " in six months Bob you'll feel better than you can even imagine feeling ever again, right now" when she and you held my hand through the endless night.

And I did. And I still do. Thanks.
I do not know if any of you have read this post from the GQII section or not but I feel it goes along with my thoughts about why I have “overlooked” my H’s “selfish” ways, don’t know if any of you have the same thoughts or not.


 Originally Posted By: Kalahari
I have been a long time reader of this site and must admit that advice given to all the people really helped me a lot.

I thought that today I will share with you something that I received from a friend which says a lot.

Interesting quote from the movie "Why did I get married?"

In most cases, especially in relationships, you will only get 80% of
what you NEED and you will hardly get the other 20% that you WANT in
your relationship. There is always another person (man or women) that
you will meet and that will offer you the other 20% which is lacking
in your relationship that you WANT

And believe me, 20% looks really good when you are not getting it at
all in your current relationship.

But the problem is that you will always be tempted to leave that good
80% that you know you have, thinking that you will get something
better with the other 20% that you WANT

But as reality has proven, in most cases, you will always end up with
having the 20% that you WANT and loosing the 80% that you really NEED
and that you already had.

Be careful in deciding between what you WANT and NEED in your life.


Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don't have. "Wow,
this girl in my office is a real looker. But it's not her Wynona Rider
features that got me. I'm crazy about her because she's also
understanding, intelligent, tender - so many things that my spouse is
not"

Somewhere along the way, you'll find a woman or a man who will be more
charming or sensitive. More alluring. More thoughtful. Richer. Have
greater sex appeal. And you will find a woman or man who will need you
and pursue you and go loco over you more than your spouse ever did.

Because no wife or husband is perfect. Because a spouse will only have
80% of what you're looking for. So adultery takes place when a husband
or wife looks for the missing 20%. Let's say your wife is melancholic
by nature.

You may find yourself drawn to the pretty clerk who has a cherry laugh
no matter what she says: "I broke my arm yesterday, Hahahaha . . .."

Or because your wife is a homebody in slippers and pajamas, smelling
of garlic and fish oil, you may fall for a fresh-smelling young sales
representative that visits your office in a sharp black blazer, high
heels, and a red pencil-cut skirt Or because your husband is the quiet
type, your heart may skip a beat when you meet an old college flame
who has the makings of a talk show host.

But wait! That's only 20% of what you don't have.

Don't throw away the 80% that you already have!

That's not all. Add to your spouse's 80% the 100% that represents all
the years that you have been with each other. The storms you have
weathered together. The unforgettable moments of sadness and joy as a
couple. The many adjustments you have made to love the other. The
wealth of memories that you've accumulated as lovers.

Adultery happens when you start looking for what you don't have.

But faithfulness happens when you start thanking God for what you
already have.

But I'm not just talking about marriage.

I'm talking about life!

About your jobs.
About your friends.
About your children.
About your lifestyles.

Are you like the economy airline passenger that perennially peeks
through the door of the first class cabin, obsessed with what he's
missing? "They have got more leg room! Oh my, their food is served in
porcelain! Wow, their seats recline at an 80% angle and they've got
personal videos!"

I guarantee you'll be miserable for the entire trip! Don't live your
life like that. Forget about what the world says is first class. Do
you know that there are many first class passengers who are miserable
in first class -- because they are not riding in a private Lear Jet?

The main message???

If you start appreciating what you have right now, wherever you are,
you are first class!


You see I believe this whole heartedly. None of us are “perfect” there is no such being on earth. So when you find someone that you feel is “perfect” for you, you “overlook” their flaws because the good tends to out way the bad and you know there is no “perfect” person, yourself included.

So while I know that Dr. Harley has a wonderful philosophy regarding “overlooking things causing resentment”, I believe that we all “overlook” things in our lives everyday.

My struggle is the things that I have “overlooked” pre-A, now bother me a great deal more since D-day.
Bob,

Would it help / does it help if I tell you that since you and I are by coincidence very close in timelines, I've suffered through similair thoughts.

I know you are a bit more deep than I am, but...similair to some extent. Seeing your postings though, well, I'm writing thoughts off to part of timeline of healing, and not going to react to them other than perhaps tell my wife that right now, I'm struggling throguh some part of the forgiveness / healing process.

Hang in there man.
A great deal of this BS angst is because, as CV notes, the bar is raised.

The typical WS was always the less invested in the marriage.

After their adultery the bar gets, and should get, raised. But the WS is still who they always were. WS could not clear the original easy bar. WS certainly cannot clear the new raised bar.

Hence unsatisfied BS.

Perhaps divorce first, recover at leisure?
Hey Lily! I know you get it!

CN, it sound like you, and you and your W, are in a much better place. I'm happy for you.

Bob, I'm not saying you don't have a wife problem, but I am saying that while Med, her problem becomes a problem in the M. Personally I think things have been at the point for a long time and that you have needed to just say, "Squid, we need help! If we don't get that help I don't think I can stay in this M."

These patterns are rough. I get what you are saying, believe me. After my H's remorse stage, during his shame stage, he very much wanted to resort to his old, protective pattern of withdrawing from me to keep safe. I wouldn't allow it in the sense of I wasn't going to live with that. His withdrawal triggered me to when he withdrew from me during his A. I told him he had a choice. We had a great MC and he chose to work with me in MC.

Lately, probably because of my preoccupation with looking for a job, and now trying to learn and keep the job, we have been slacking on our R. The reality is it doesn't take long, even when things are going pretty good, to get screwed up without effort in the M. I think as a BS it doesn't take long for me to get frustrated with any perceived lack of effort from my H. The reality is that pre-A I dealt with the ebbs and flow of M in a much more easy going manner. Post-A it just feels different.

I was thinking of something the other day that I would love the opinions of MB folks like Pep and Melody. I "think" that for those of us who had to endure the humiliation of Plan Aing there is an extra feeling of entitlement. OK, I'll speak for myself. I want and need to know every now and then that my H gets what I went through to get him unfastened from OW, what I endured to keep our M and family together. I want and need to know that he is actually grateful. He says he gets it, and that he is grateful, yet the words don't flow spontaniously. Probably because he doesn't want to be reminded of the schmuck he was.

Anyhoo, back to my question. I sometimes wonder if Plan A is really that great. I wondered that while I was Plan Aing. I wonder if the results would have been just as good to go directly to Plan B. I really believe that Plan A is an extra trauma to the BS. Having to live with a lier, having to live with your S withdrawing from the OP, etc. It really was awful. I remember the feeling of fight or flight constantly. As a result I do have high expectations. So why Plan A? The only good thing I can say about it is my boys didn't suffer as much as they would have if I had kicked H out and the A would have been totally out in the open. And, if H and I did get back together we would have had to deal with my family being totally pissed off at him.

Bob, do you ever think about that? What you went through for your W, and so why isn't she jumping through some hoops for you?Any comments from you or some other old timers out there?
CV, plan A is a way to end affairs , and i can see the logic of it.
It counters the delusion ( or perception perhaps) of the WS that the BS is a vile person. When the BS is manifestly being a great person, AND not throwing kitchen utensils at them that theer may be a place to return if they ended the A.

Bearing in mind MB is a marriage-centric process, I can see how this works.

Is it as SATISFYING for the BS as applying plan " FU" and having the WS crawl on their belly back to the BS begging forgiveness ?

Probably not but I BET that approach does not lead to as many saved marriages.

I wish I'd done that however. Break the haughty entitled spirit of my wife or divorce her. Both good options, in hindsight.
 Quote:
Any comments from you or some other old timers out there?


Not sure if I am an old timer or not, but I'll comment.

When I consider the correctness of plan A, B, D or FU, I always consider it a function of the WS.

More spcifically, what exactly is the nature of my WS. I'm sure their are many ways to describe their nature, but in general, I see 3 types. The first is the type where the infidelity is not consistent with the WS's normal strategies for dealing with relationships. The second is the type where the infidelity is consistent with the WS's normal strategies for dealing with realtionships. I would say these people have learned dysfunctional strategies, such as conflict avoidance.

Of that second type, I think you can split them into two groups, those that are willing to change those dysfunctional strategies and those that are not. For those that are unwilling to change, there can be a myriad of reasons. They are unaware they use these strategies. They are aware but believe it is not dysfunctional. They are aware and believe they are dysfunctional but aren't sufficiently motivated to change. They are aware and believe they are dysfunctional, are motivated but believe they can't change. They are aware believe it is dysfunctional but just don't want to change. etc.

I think many BS's go through this progression of trying to understand the nature of their WS. And if one wants to look back and consider whether a specific plan was correct, they need to frame the question as was my plan correct based on what I assumed as the nature of my WS. I'm not sure one really needs to do this, since I guess what's most important is what should one do now given what they currently assume as to the nature of their WS.

BP - This is sort of where I think about your situation. I have not read all your threads, but what I see recently is you saying Squid is in that latter group. Dysfunctional strategies and unwilling to change. I'm sure we could all post reasons why she is unwilling to change, but I really think we can rule out she is unware of them (as you have said you have pointed it out every which way you can imagine). Perhaps we can rule out that she is sufficiently motivated (as I think you have been more than generous in your efforts). We can most likely rule out that Squid disagrees that they are dysfunctional strategies (since she has agreed to change them, but ultimately reverts back). So we are left with can't change or won't change.

For me personally, I struggle at this point, because I don't know where to draw the line on deciding when is someone telling you this is just "who I am" versus someone telling you this is "who I choose to be." Others may not care and say its irrelevent and you should base your choice on whether you are getting what you need. But I tend to feel if it's just "who they are" I tend to give a little more leeway (this is the acceptance, at least in my mind). But if it's "who they choose to be", its settling.

I once posted to you and at the time, you seemed to be comfortable that these issues were just a matter of "who Squid is", but was struggling with acceptence. I suggested the issue may be that you weren't really sold that this is who Squid is, because you were contrasting that to what you thought of her pre d-day. My thought being if you realized that Squid was always this way, it might help accepting her now. Got kind of blasted on that one.

From what I read now, I think you are coming face to face with the fact that this is who Squid is. And when I advised divorce her, it was because I think you are is convinced that Squid could change but just won't. Which is an opinion I agree with, but its not my call. I don't think you will be able to live with that.

Anyway, I am just trying to help.
 Quote:
CV55: Anyhoo, back to my question. I sometimes wonder if Plan A is really that great. I wondered that while I was Plan Aing. I wonder if the results would have been just as good to go directly to Plan B. I really believe that Plan A is an extra trauma to the BS. Having to live with a lier, having to live with your S withdrawing from the OP, etc. It really was awful. I remember the feeling of fight or flight constantly.

I went down hill fast on Plan A. Physically as well as mentally. Didn’t need ADs until three months into Plan A is for Anguish, actually. It would have been much better to go directly to Plan B is for Bite The Bullet immediately

I remember when she wanted to come home at the end of Plan B, about six months later. I was still undecided. I was very calm and relaxed and actually unstressed for the first time in years. I didn’t really want, in hindsight, to end Plan B. I was feeling better than I had since she first met OM all those years ago. But someone here on MB posted to me if the affair was ended she had every right to come home, we were still married before God after all. I wasn’t ready, but I figured MB and God must know, probably in that order. Big mistake.

 Quote:
CV55: I "think" that for those of us who had to endure the humiliation of Plan Aing there is an extra feeling of entitlement. OK, I'll speak for myself. I want and need to know every now and then that my H gets what I went through to get him unfastened from OW, what I endured to keep our M and family together. I want and need to know that he is actually grateful. He says he gets it, and that he is grateful, yet the words don't flow spontaniously. Probably because he doesn't want to be reminded of the schmuck he was.

For me it’s not an entitlement. I don’t see that in me at all. I do see a total failure on her part to understand what it took. How much it took away from me and us both, forever. I don’t even care about hoop leaping. Nothing extraordinary is required. She could demonstrate understanding in many little ways every day. But she doesn’t.

IMO No WS, with or without an F, truly understands. It isn’t in their very nature to understand this. If they understood even a little bit they would not have committed the adultery in the first place. They are all still entitling themselves. They all say some variant of, “I should not be punished forever.” And that is an entitled statement in itself. How many times have you read that very statement in a WS, F or none, posting right here on MB. They don’t have a clue it isn’t punishment. It isn’t even “just compensation". It isn’t anything but caring to the degree that caring was always required. But they don’t get it and they never will. If they had the capacity to get it they would not have done it.

 Quote:
BP: CV, plan A is a way to end affairs , and i can see the logic of it.

According to the stats published on MB, and DR H’s own writing, Plan A rarely ends an affair that was not already ending. The Plan A success rate is miniscule. It’s only plan B that has an effect. A good Plan A can heighten the desired effect of a good Plan B, but Plan A by itself does not actually cause the end of an affair. And it has a very bad side effect. It greatly increases WS appetite for cake. With thick icing. Al la mode.


Rprynne, I 99.44% agree.
Bob, I am a BS but I did not recover my M. I did what probably could be described as an excellent Plan FU. Now I don't really know what that is exactly, but I didn't do Plan D (more out of spite than anything) but I have completely separated myself from WstbxH, physically, legally and emotionally whilst giving him as little as I could legally get away with. As I type this, he is likely working OT to pay for his little love nest with the OW, her lawyer fees and God knows what he's spent to try to impress her, all the while alienating everyone in his life short of his immediate family. Meanwhile, my finances have never been better, I just sold my house at a tremendous profit, I travel a lot now (I'm going south in 2 weeks) and I have a host of friends and a wonderful mature guy that I'm dating these days.

That brings me to this:
 Quote:
Is it as SATISFYING for the BS as applying plan " FU" and having the WS crawl on their belly back to the BS begging forgiveness ?

The answer is no. At one point I thought it might be. But now I'd rather just not deal with him anymore. Life is good now.

And this:
 Quote:
Probably not but I BET that approach does not lead to as many saved marriages.

Nope it didn't.

However, what I do have is personal recovery. Well, working on it (I'll consider my graduation day the last day I log on here - as long as I need MB, there obviously must be something more that can be done).

My version of Plan FU was actually based on MB principals. I completely floundered at Plan A and the information I found out snooping only spun me harder in the FU direction. I didn't abandon MB then - I continued to read and learn. And I applied Plan B. Not with a letter stating conditions for his return, because there were none, but with no (well truthfully, minimal) contact to protect me from the continual hurt. Then I went to work on myself and my life. ICs. ADs. Joining clubs. Fixing up my house. Taking charge of things - all the way to now that I'm selling the marital home so I can truly be my own self. And I motivated myself by reading here, studying the plans, learning how other WS's and BS's reacted to things and how similar they were to me.

I truly believe that the basis for MB works on the individuals involved in the marriage. The whole point of it is to fix the things wrong with you - recover yourself as a whole so you can BE a good spouse. Both the WS and the BS are damaged. Until both have healed, how can the M be anything but damaged also?

I didn't want to be divorced. I don't even really know how to be divorced. But it's not about learning to be this or that - it's about learning to be yourself. When I can do this, it doesn't matter if I'm married or divorced. In my case I will be divorced, and my WstbxH is the true loser because he'll still be damaged. And I'll be ok.

You are so hurt - your personal damage level is high. Something has jammed and you've stopped healing. Perhaps something has jammed with Squid also. You are stuck and now you are second guessing the choices you made.

Sure, you could initiate a plan D at any time. But what difference will it make. You are damaged married. You will be damaged divorced as well. No matter what you do, you have to heal. And so does she.

You have at least one thing I didn't. You have both made a commitment to try. But I think somewhere you got the cart before the horse. Your M can't be recovered until you are, and she is. A lot of the MB stuff is about this - read closely.

When you are happy, you are happy in your own skin regardless of the circumstances around you. When you are confident that you can handle anything, even that dreaded divorce, and be ok with it because you are a whole person yourself - when you feel that way, you will be the most desirable husband to Squid ever. And she to you when she feels that way. (does this make sense of have I messed it up?)
Hi tabby ! Thank you for taking the wtime to post to me ! I appreciate it very much !

You are so hurt - your personal damage level is high. Something has jammed and you've stopped healing. Perhaps something has jammed with Squid also. You are stuck and now you are second guessing the choices you made.

True statements. Maybe I'm not second guessing my choices: rather just looking for the ingredients in my life that need to be changed in order for it to produce a different outcome. I dunno. In any case in our circumstances what we have both done has not served to make us both happily recovered.

Sure, you could initiate a plan D at any time. But what difference will it make. You are damaged married. You will be damaged divorced as well. No matter what you do, you have to heal. And so does she.

This concerns me. I believe that a divorce may just swap one bunch of hurts for a new bunch of hurts. There are parts of my currelt life that ar every good. Chucking that baby out with the bathwater is not necessarily a recipe for life success. There are no completely good choices here.

You have at least one thing I didn't. You have both made a commitment to try. But I think somewhere you got the cart before the horse. Your M can't be recovered until you are, and she is. A lot of the MB stuff is about this - read closely.

I agree with this too. What I had considered to be personal recovery in my vase is actually just advanced defence mechanisms. In truth my trust engines are completely smashed. Circumventing that has helped me survive but not thrive.I thought this was personal recovery but it isn't. Healthy people have to need other people. I don't so I can't be healthy.

When you are happy, you are happy in your own skin regardless of the circumstances around you. When you are confident that you can handle anything, even that dreaded divorce, and be ok with it because you are a whole person yourself - when you feel that way, you will be the most desirable husband to Squid ever. And she to you when she feels that way. (does this make sense of have I messed it up?)

I'm confident I can handle anything, I just don't think my way of so doing is healthy. I think Squid's brokenness from her FOO has manifested only now and she needs a lot of help.

Thanks again for posting ! Glad you are personally recovered so well !
A "notable post" that is worth re reading.
As long as we're reading today - here's some more - possibly a different paradigm from Stosny's blog:

 Quote:
***stop viewing emotional pain as a punishment inflicted by someone else and learn to act on it as an internal motivation to heal, correct, and improve. This will lead to a deeper self-compassion and put us more in touch with our deepest values, which will, in turn, inspire more compassion for one another. You can love without hurt, but only if you use pain as a signal to heal and improve rather than punish.

***Seeking to "get your needs met" in a relationship will not improve it. Neither will just solving problems. Besides the fact that these are often veiled attempts at manipulating your partner into doing what you want, they are likely to increase the emotional reactivity at the heart of your discord. To improve your relationship, you have to change your emotional reality. If you don't consciously choose your emotional reality, your brain will create one on automatic pilot, based on past experience and biases, and that will keep you making the same mistakes over and over.

Most people want the emotional reality of their relationships to be harmonious, affectionate, loving, and compassionate. But instead of behaving more harmoniously, affectionately, lovingly, and compassionately, they blame their partners for their failures to do so. Because emotional reactivity is so strong between people who are emotionally bonded, they each see their own negative feelings and behavior as merely reactive to the other.


***You are far more likely to create the emotional reality you want by striving to be the person and the partner you most want to be than by manipulating your loved ones to meet your needs. The good news about emotional reactivity is that compassion, affection, and love are almost as contagious as criticism, resentment, and contempt.

The only real emotional need you have in a relationship is to be true to your deepest values about what kind of person and partner you want to be. Violation of your deepest values produces guilt and shame that only worsens when blamed on your partner. When blamed on your partner, the guilt and shame of failure to be the kind of person and partner you want to be hardens into resentment and contempt, which evaporate the joy of living with the ferocity of the sun on desert sand.

***Emotional reality, unlike physical reality, is created rather than observed. By and large, people create the emotional reality in which they live. Unfortunately the choice of which reality we create is usually made by default, a kind of habitual automatic pilot derived from temperament, metabolism, and experience. The human brain filters information within its default choices, processing that which conforms to them and excluding that which deviates from them. The result can keep us pretty much stuck in a rut.

When we try to make changes in emotional reality, we tend to think in terms of problems and challenges, as if these were rocks to be removed from a garden. This approach often fails because the emotional reality we create is more like a broad cityscape than a particular rock or garden within the city. Emotional reality is general; problems and solutions are specific.

***The key to lasting positive change lies in creating mental states of connection. That's right; you create connection in your head. (It doesn't even require that another person create it with you, as so many parents of estranged children or survivors of deceased loved ones know.) You choose to feel connected or choose to feel disconnected. The choice you make will go a long way to determining the response you get from loved ones. Coincidentally, you will more easily solve relationship problems connected than disconnected. The alternative - you cannot feel connected until you solve the problem - devalues the connection.

When you choose to feel connected and forsake excuses to feel disconnected, you create a cityscape of light and promise. You see then that there is enough power in the human heart to light up the world.

He's a smart feller, pep ! handsome too I suspect \:D

LD is a great way to ride out a storm, but a rubbish way to live a marriage. LD does not allow intimacy. I know this all too well.

Ah well. How are you and Mr P flower ?
Lilybelle:

That was excellent. I will have 2 look that up.

Bob:

By itself, LD doesn't create intimacy. But it sure helps set the environment up so that intimacy can develop/re2rn.

Just my paradigm (that's 20 cents).

-ol' 2long
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure


How are you and Mr P flower ?


We are back in couples counseling. Been 2 times.

We are OK, need a tune up.
 Quote:
***Seeking to "get your needs met in a relationship will not improve it. Neither will just solving problems. Besides the fact that these are often veiled attempts at manipulating your partner into doing what you want, they are likely to increase the emotional reactivity at the heart of your discord. To improve your relationship, you have to change your emotional reality. If you don't consciously choose your emotional reality, your brain will create one on automatic pilot, based on past experience and biases, and that will keep you making the same mistakes over and over.

***You are far more likely to create the emotional reality you want by striving to be the person and the partner you most want to be than by manipulating your loved ones to meet your needs. The good news about emotional reactivity is that compassion, affection, and love are almost as contagious as criticism, resentment, and contempt.

The only real emotional need you have in a relationship is to be true to your deepest values about what kind of person and partner you want to be. Violation of your deepest values produces guilt and shame that only worsens when blamed on your partner. When blamed on your partner, the guilt and shame of failure to be the kind of person and partner you want to be hardens into resentment and contempt, which evaporate the joy of living with the ferocity of the sun on desert sand.


MB Treason?

I always met wife’s EN’s very well. She admits it. Missing EN’s had nothing to do with her VLTA.

She never met my EN’s at all. Ever. Missing EN’s had nothing to do with my not committing adultery.

Missing EN’s appear to be mostly just a face saving device for the WS.
Pep,

Is he jonesing?

This would be about the time for a melancholy remembering.

How is AA going?
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion

MB Treason?


I won't speak for Lily, but I don't think so. I think it was SH who said that affairs don't happen due 2 unmet needs, but caving 2 weaknesses.

On the other hand, expecting that a WS will recommit simply because the BS is meeting their needs is probably flawed. Mainly because of the expectations, which lead 2 disappointment if they aren't achieved.

 Quote:
I always met wife’s EN’s very well. She admits it. Missing EN’s had nothing to do with her VLTA.


Same here. Only I wasn't nearly so good at it before I learned of the affair as i was after. Now, I'm b*chen! Ask my friends, they'll tell you I'm ALWAYS b*... well, never mind.

 Quote:
She never met my EN’s at all. Ever. Missing EN’s had nothing to do with my not committing adultery.


Mine didn't meet all my ENs, but she probably felt like she met some of them as justification of her behavior. But I agree, missing ENs has little 2 nothing 2 do with choosing 2 have an affair - justifies it in a warped mind, but not a healthy one.

 Quote:
Missing EN’s appear to be mostly just a face saving device for the WS.


Yep.

-ol' 2long
 Originally Posted By: Aphelion
Pep,

Is he jonesing?

This would be about the time for a melancholy remembering.

How is AA going?


Our eldest moved back in with us and marital tension ensued immediately - parenting conflicts in bloom.

PS - MR PEP suggested we see a counselor
Dear Bob, I am 5 years post most recent affair, so I believe I qualify under the '2yr requirements'.

Ok first what I have to say may sting, I hope it only gives you pause to think of your own personal direction.

Bob reading this thread & your personal reflections, reminds me of how a person about to embark on an affair or just coming out of one justifies their position.

I would like to believe that you have not encountered female attention while away, that you have taken onboard as a comparative to your own wife.

You are unhappy.
So what are your options?
Change or divorce.
I get the impression that it is Mrs Bobs fault in your opinion (I may be wrong).
Yet you know all too well that each individual is fully responsible for their own happiness, regardless of external factors.

Step back to basics.

How horrifically esteem shattering it must be for your wife to read here & read exactly how superior (though probably unintentional) you appear to be to her.

Yes it is probably a badly needed kick in the arse too for her. To recognise & actual digest the whole fact that you have reached what feels like the end of your tether, you want more, you want your wife to fall in love with you passionately.

Yet in your current state of mind is that even possible?

Would you accept her as real if she did swan over you?

I feel very sorry for your wife at this moment in your relationship.

She is not where you need or want her to be so by your current definition the marriage is unsustainable for you.

Again I reiterate change. Not hers yours.

It is not acceptance because that would not be sustainable.

It is telling & listening honestly to each other, about feelings, fears, hopes. & hold onto the idea that you would really like both of you to be happy with a preference for being happy together.

You know feelings are transient, & neither right nor wrong.

This may be just a phase of self deluisionment.

Do you tell Mrs Bob in way that she herself can accept that you do really love her & want her, admire & respect her?

She already knows how awful you consider her. & now her human history simply can never be re-written. Where is the room for her to grow confident in herself, in her ability to love completly & be loved without judgement.

Just my own meandering thoughts on this Friday Morning.

Bob I wish you well, slow down the negative process in your mind & allow yourself & your wife to enjoy the moments of being without expectation.

Unexpressed or sometimes even expressed expectations can put an huge burden on us & nearly prevent us from genuinely enjoying simply being, Squid must feel as if she is on constant performance review, even when you are being supportive & loving.

It's hard I know, others know, so do you, so does your wife.

We are all free to chose, how to be.

Peace to you this weekend.
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
As for me, mate its not great. I've done pretty much everything I can do , but one hand can't clap.


That's very true, Bob. But you have "two hands," one yours and one God's, and together they CAN clap.

I know that in my case I had many of the same feelings you have been expressing. The "unfortunate" part about recovery is that you don't often "progress" at the same rate and there are times when you reach the "I don't know what more *I* can do" point.

It is at those times where divorce seems to become more and more attractive. In the sort of "been there, done that" way, I'd suggest that many, if not all, of BS's have faced those thoughts and feelings many times during their recovery.

I know that in my case, it took almost 6 years before my wife "finally" got to the point where *I* thought we were "recovered" from the affair and dealing only with differences in our personalities.

I remember all too well the dispair and hopeless that you felt, and wrote about, back when you were just fighting to have a "chance" at trying to recover your marriage. Call that "round 1" if you like, of a 15 round "championship fight."

I remember very well your hostility toward God for "allowing" adultery into your life even though you had prayed for it not to be a part of your marriage. I'm fairly certain that Hosea also didn't want adultery to be a part of his marriage, not does God want adultery to be a part of His Son's "marriage."

But it is IN Romans 8:28 that reassurance comes that regardless of the "circumstances" in our lives, GOD will use them to work good outcomes in your life. Not as a "blind give-away" or as some "fairy Godfather" sort of thing, but as a response to those who love Him and seek to follow Him.

A long long time ago we talked about the "Triangle of Marriage." Perhaps it might be a good time to "revisit" that and talk about the "center" of our individual lives and the "center" our our marriages. What do you think?

Do you think that perhaps Squid has "gotten off track" in her relationship with God, and therefore with you also? Is God perhaps "back on the closet shelf" for Squid, because she may think she doesn't "need Him" anymore? Why does anyone "change" their behaviors, their "heart," if God is not foremost and center in THEIR life?
Hi ****edit****! Thank you for investing your very first post in me \:D


Bob reading this thread & your personal reflections, reminds me of how a person about to embark on an affair or just coming out of one justifies their position.

I would like to believe that you have not encountered female attention while away, that you have taken onboard as a comparative to your own wife.


I encounter loads of female attention 'cos I'm lovely \:\) I'm also very protective of my weaknesses. I've learned a lot from MB. You only have my word for that of course. Time alone sounds peaceful to me right now: the though of the effort of a new relationship fills me with horror.

You are unhappy.
So what are your options?
Change or divorce.
I get the impression that it is Mrs Bobs fault in your opinion (I may be wrong).
Yet you know all too well that each individual is fully responsible for their own happiness, regardless of external factors.


I have spent much of the last 4.5 years changing myself, meeting Squids ENs, etc. My faith in God has been reignited. I run a marriage building ministry from my little church. I am a better man than I have ever been.
What that have served to do is place yet more distance between Squid and I. She hasn't changed. Quite deliberately so.

People are responsible for the own happiness, but that can mean changing unhappy circumstances right ?

Step back to basics.

How horrifically esteem shattering it must be for your wife to read here & read exactly how superior (though probably unintentional) you appear to be to her.


I have done everything I could think of or research to recover our marriage. Squid, sadly, has done very very little. Those are facts, if she ( or you) read that as me being "superior" in attitude, well, I have no control of that.

Yes it is probably a badly needed kick in the **** too for her. To recognise & actual digest the whole fact that you have reached what feels like the end of your tether, you want more, you want your wife to fall in love with you passionately.

Yet in your current state of mind is that even possible?


Yes it is possible. I respond with near pathetic gratitude if she ever chooses to invest some little effort in me. I see that as undignified and unsupportive of building a great marriage though.

Would you accept her as real if she did swan over you?

is working on our marriage as hard as I have done "swanning" ? Is it humiliating for a FWS to be asked to overcompensate in love and investment to try to earn a place back in their BS heart in your opinion Dora ?

I feel very sorry for your wife at this moment in your relationship.

I do too. I love her, you see.

She is not where you need or want her to be so by your current definition the marriage is unsustainable for you.

How long should I tolerate no change and no hope of change before moving on, Dora ?

Again I reiterate change. Not hers yours.

It is not acceptance because that would not be sustainable.

It is telling & listening honestly to each other, about feelings, fears, hopes. & hold onto the idea that you would really like both of you to be happy with a preference for being happy together.


I ask you to accept that a lot of this has taken place in the last 4.5 years.

You know feelings are transient, & neither right nor wrong.

This may be just a phase of self deluisionment.


I am disillusioned with my one-sided recovery. How long does that have to sustain before it is not considered "transient" dora ?

Do you tell Mrs Bob in way that she herself can accept that you do really love her & want her, admire & respect her?

Yes when she does things that are lovable, wantable, admirable and respectable.


She already knows how awful you consider her. & now her human history simply can never be re-written. Where is the room for her to grow confident in herself, in her ability to love completly & be loved without judgement.

I don't see her as "awful". Not even Christ loves without Judgement.

Just my own meandering thoughts on this Friday Morning.

Bob I wish you well, slow down the negative process in your mind & allow yourself & your wife to enjoy the moments of being without expectation.


If we are to "enjoy being without expectation" why should any of us ever take any action to change our unsatisfying circumstances if it is within our gift so to do?

Unexpressed or sometimes even expressed expectations can put an huge burden on us & nearly prevent us from genuinely enjoying simply being, Squid must feel as if she is on constant performance review, even when you are being supportive & loving.

If she does feel that way she makes little perceptible effort to improve her score.

It's hard I know, others know, so do you, so does your wife.

We are all free to chose, how to be.

Peace to you this weekend.


But I am not free to choose to feel undignified in the loving investment in our marriage being all one way ?

Peace to you too, and genuine thanks for investing your time in me.

All blessings !
“…when people are really and truly done there is no anger or hurt or ranting or other buzzy energy around it. They simply are. And it's quiet and calm and at peace.

And that makes me think it's less about being done [right now] than it is about wanting to escape from the pain..... most of which is one’s own internal demons raising their heads and eating one’s soul from the inside out.”

Above is Penny paraphrasing Star*.

You are not there yet, it seems.

I am closer, but not quite there yet either.

Depends what you mean by "done" doesn't it ?

Indifference is not the only place from which successful divorce is launched IME.

In my case I don't WANT a D, but I'm out of tools and factors to make any more change. And I know hope is not a plan.

Maybe a D would be the making of me ? Maybe the breaking of me ? does anybody know that for sure before they do it ?

Its just another option now. Something better change.
Bob, what do you think about a 180? To help you get that loving detachment back, to feel more at peace letting go of the consequences?
Interesting reading Lily. I'm going to have to check out his website. Concerning compassion I'm thinking of the Moody Blues album "On the Threshold of a Dream". Isn't there a line that goes something like "With Understanding comes compassion"?
Now remember I was into the Moody Blues back in the 70s so I might not be remembering that line exactly right.Anyhoo, I can honestly say that I have really worked very hard to understand the mind of a WS, particularly my little FWH's brain. And truthfully understanding did help bring me to feel some compassion for how screwed up he was to go against his values. Yet, as good as he is to me, and I really do think he is remorseful and would never want to walk down the infidelity path again, I don't think he has put the same effort into understanding this BS's little peabrain. Could be it's just too hard to go there. It doesn't seem like it would be that hard. You know, just take a few minutes and really imagine your BS boinking someone else in technicolor. My buddy CN explained to me once why it was so hard for my H to go to the places I asked him to go. Do you remember CN if you're still around? Your explanation makes more sense to me know.

As far as ENs, I think they make a M vulnerable, however there are going to be times in a M where it's just going to be tough to meet ENs. People need to understand that. People also need to understand how these As happen. And if an A happens more than once than there are other issues at hand.

OK Bob, here's me, the broken record talking to you again. You don't want to D your W. Will you PUULEASE listen to me on this one? PLEASE!!!! Find yourself a good shrink, there has to be at least one in the UK, and simply tell your W you need MC. I agree with you that the whole LD thing is good for just so long. I also think that making oneself happy is all well and good, but if you're unhappy in your M it's hard to sustain individual happiness indefinitely. The very best advice our MC drilled into us, which we aren't following right now BTW, is "When you both move towards the uncomfortable feelings you move them out of the way." It really works like magic and I plan on doing that with Mr. CV this weekend. I've just been too pooped to even care about our present need to talk thus far.

Ya know Bob, this is what I don't get. We Med folks, (pre-A, post-A, whatever), seem to not understand that having a satisfying M takes both effort and sometimes needs help. Would anyone who has a business think twice about hiring a consultant if they needed help in a certain area? Would any professional think twice about attending a workshop in an area they need more expertise in? Look at Pep. She and Mr. Pep needed a M tuneup so they are going to MC. Why in the world would your W know how to be Med given her background? How about you? Quit white knuckling it, face this problem with your W, and give MC a good shot. WTH do you have to lose? You don't want to D her, even though you don't really like her now. So get help! Just do it!!!

Your USA mate! CV
Hi there Bob!

I just dropped in for the first time in months (...active almost two year old DD plus demanding job....).

Its nice to hear you're still around, but not good to hear that things are not going as well as you would want.

H and I are going better than ever. The year of MC and talking and reconnecting, as well as my IC, set us up. I don't think there is any way our M would have survived the pressure of a baby who doesn't sleep (for almost 2 years)...plus two careers... if we hadn't done all that work. Even with the stress, we haven't had an argument in years, we are loving and happy, we laugh a lot, and we solve problems creatively.

For me, actually, more important than MC was IC. This was because it allowed me to understand what behaviours I had that were contributing to my own unhappiness and to the problems in my M. They weren't obvious to me, and at times I was convinced that H had all the problems, especially the problem childhood, and I was fine.

Then, in IC I began to see myself...not asking directly for what I wanted...wanting to control another person's reaction or an outcome... not being direct about my boundaries, about what I liked or disliked....not being prepared to face a fear of rejection or a fear of confrontation... and so on.

I do still struggle with some of these issues, but at least now I'm mostly aware of them. It also amazes me constantly how much of this has roots in my FOO. I can see exactly where some behaviours come from, which gives me compassion for myself (and others). I can strive to change the behaviour, but at the same time not give myself a hard time about it.

I now have a much more balanced perspective on my FOO. I can see the strengths and the weaknesses of each family member... I don't put anyone on a pedestal. I can see my parents worked hard to be the best parents they knew how to be. I can also see the pain I suffered because of things they said or did and things they didn't say or do. I take responsibility for all of my choices, since becoming an adult, including many I am not proud of! I can now choose to change certain things. I enjoy the feeling of power and strength I get from that knowledge. I will probably still make mistakes, and thats ok too.

The best aspect of IC for me was that I could go to MC and discuss issues without feeling defensive or attacked, and without blame. I had a much greater sense of what was "mine" and what was H's. So, for example, if he made a "you" statement..."you're not trustworthy"... I could listen to that, not take it personally and get angry or defensive. I could see that it was just H's opinion at that instant. So I could calmly reply something like "is that what you think?". Then, most of the time, he would calm down.

I hope things work out and hello to you, Bob, its time for bed here now!

Smu(r)
Hi Smur !

Just saw this, will reply properly at a more Godly hour OK ?

DELIGHTED things are going well for you , lady !! \:D
Hey there!

Yes, my M is going really well. The rest of my life is actually going through some changes.... seems inevitable after having your first child, in hindsight, although I didn't see it coming.

For me the MC and the IC, which I started due to affair recovery, has sort of opened a pandora's box. I am so aware now of relationship dynamics. I understand much more when I am 'acting out', due to hurts or sensitive issues that have nothing to do with my DH or the present situation.

Having a child is sort of like stepping back into my childhood self. So I can't say that life is easy at the moment.... not that its hard. I am reliving a lot of my early childhood through watching and caring for DD, except that now I am trying to be an adult about things. Instead of just giving myself permission to act out, I am having to learn new skills and process old feelings.

Luckily my M and DH are my rock, helping me through this very busy and sometimes difficult time!
Bobp

I lost a job about 1995. I was happy there. I would of been retiring with a good pension and health benefits in five more years.

About 12 times a year I would have to drive by the old job. It would hurt every time that I would pass by that place. It took me 10 years to be able to drive by there without it hurting.

I still get sad for a brief moment when on a rare occasion I think about what happened and was lost back then. No more pain though.

You haven't been 10 years past yet. Time will make things fade.
Forcing, pushing, willing it, these things will not make it happen faster.
Thanks for writing 'road.

Those ten years since you lost that great job, have they been filled with other stuff ? Distracting stuff ?

Do you think you'd be as well recovered from its loss if you'd lived ten years in the same building you used to work in, but now without pay or privileges ? Sat next to the guy who fired you ?
 Originally Posted By: smu
Hey there!

Yes, my M is going really well. The rest of my life is actually going through some changes.... seems inevitable after having your first child, in hindsight, although I didn't see it coming.

For me the MC and the IC, which I started due to affair recovery, has sort of opened a pandora's box. I am so aware now of relationship dynamics. I understand much more when I am 'acting out', due to hurts or sensitive issues that have nothing to do with my DH or the present situation.

Having a child is sort of like stepping back into my childhood self. So I can't say that life is easy at the moment.... not that its hard. I am reliving a lot of my early childhood through watching and caring for DD, except that now I am trying to be an adult about things. Instead of just giving myself permission to act out, I am having to learn new skills and process old feelings.

Luckily my M and DH are my rock, helping me through this very busy and sometimes difficult time!


So wonderful to hear Smur !! I know just what you mean about reliving childhood through a child of our own. It can be disconcerting.

Its great to see such deserving success stories as you and H ! I remember how dark it was for you back in the day... 'nuff said.

ALL BLESSINGS !!
The people that you feel I should hate have keep their careers intact.

Why should I hate them?

Who's paying me to hate them?

Why waste time on them?

What bother's me is that my career life has had it's up and downs. And, way down right now. What I lost: To retire with health benefits, making $100,000. Will I have a good pension?
Will I make good money again? Will I have health insurance again?
Will I have a job by January? In January I will be out of work for a year. Had a temp job for six weeks this past spring.

These things worry me.

"if you'd lived ten years in the same building you used to work in, but now without pay or privileges ? Sat next to the guy who fired you ?"

I'd go back to work there tomorrow for the income and benefits.

I'd of went back the next day all those years ago.
 Quote:
The people that you feel I should hate


Whoah ! road !

Where was I saying you should hate anyone? !

You offered your job history as an analogy of a marriage after an affair right ? I am GLAD you got beyond that loss of a great job, but I don't think the situations compare.

In a marriage you have live with and love and be vulnerable to the person who hurt you so very badly. Everything you do together is reminder of the hurt and loss.

In those cases I do not believe time alone , even ten years, heals.

But thanks for your comment.
Dear Bob Pure

I've read through this post from the beginning. I've also seen bits of your previous posts and your wonderfully wise and supportive posts in other people's threads.

And I don't know where you're going with this one or what you wantin reponse. I am not a 2year + or even close, (and am already up against the acceptance/settling issue) so am not qulaified to repond, by the terms you've set..

But you've had several responses to the effect that you should consider knuckling down and going back to MC, which you seem to have avoided. I sees from your early threads that you have little respect for the ones you've encountered, and that you've started some kind of counselling service yourself...

But I also see inconsistencies from earlier in this thread..and times when you recognised that your FWW was trying in ways that you hadn't recognised but seem since to have forgotten/decided to ignore.

If you're asking for some honest input, and not just people to tell you you've done everything right and deserve better (which is true!), I think you need to accept the fact that, despite all that you have done to date and the FACT that you are a resource for so many here, you cannot control the outcome of this alone - you cannot be an equal partner in a recovering marriage AND the only "EXPERT" (in one that seems to need an expert, and someone with an objective perspective to provide a safe space for both sides of the story to be heard). I think you need to humble yourself and find an MC.

Best wishes

Aprill
bobpure

I felt you were comparing apples to oranges when I wrote that last response.

Also to me your sounding like a jail house lawyer: hate.

Hate, mad, angry, dislike, can't stand, all mean that you will let someone's presence affect more than it should.

"You offered your job history as an analogy of a marriage after an affair right ?"

Wrong. It was to show how pain fades with time. I also had to let work based friendships die with the loss of that job. Many other things were lost with that job besides financial well being. Not everything is permanent in life. But I've had good things and good times happen since then. I don't know where my life will take me.

I don't know if I will ever land a good paying job again. It saddens me when I think that I may never achieve or exceed my past income level again. That does not stop me from engineering a financial come back for the future.

"that loss of a great job, but I don't think the situations compare"

Never said or even thought that they did.

"In a marriage you have live with and love and be vulnerable to the person who hurt you so very badly. Everything you do together is reminder of the hurt and loss."

Everything does not have to be a reminder. One chooses to use everything as a reminder.
Everything can be judged on it's own merits.

"In those cases I do not believe time alone , even ten years, heals."

Time has removed the pain of losing that job. I worry about financial success now because I not on track to reach it.

It seems these words of yours are showing how you are coming here to get approval to seek a divorce.

What happened in my marriage happened in 1981. Was my decision to separate, there was no OM, my wife didn't want to. Short version. We separated, during this time my wife dated, I didn't know, then divorce went through. We decided to remarry shortly after the D went through. The thing is my W told not much happened, nothing that would upset me. She kept a piece off jewelry that the OM gave her. Repeatedly asked her to get rid of it. She wore it for one or two years then stopped and she told me it was gone. This jewelry would reappear every few years, this made me believe that "the nothing much went on" was not true. This reappearance would get me to question her on what really happened.

This reappearing and questioning every few years would result in me finding out that more went on then she originally led me to believe. Until 2004 I found out that they had gone all the way. Every few years each time she would admit to more but be very brief on details and then by the next day get hostile when asked to talk about it anymore.

Until 2004 every time that jewelry would appear and new detail would be revealed, I would be able to forget and move forward. Now since 2004 I want to know everything that went on. My W won't talk. I have not been able to let go not knowing since then.

All these years since 1981 she has and is a good wife, mother, and, DIL.
 Quote:
Never said or even thought that they did.


Well it seems we're both putting words in each others mouths, I think I'll quit while I'm behind \:\)
 Quote:
I think you need to humble yourself and find an MC.


Hi Aprill !

Thank you SO MUCH for investing your time in us !

I do not consider it humbling AT ALL to attend MC. Finding on is horrendous here in the UK.

I spoke with another one, probably the 9th I spoke with yesterday.

Another person with conflict minimisation as primary objective rather than upholding the marriage.

If I could find a f2f MB-style MC I'd be there in a shot.
Never quit. If ahead they will over take you. Behind you will never catch up.

I never held that job loss to be even close to having a WS. But it just wasn't any run of the mill job that one would not care if the would of lost it.
OK, my friend, I'll throw this out to you again. Look up imago therapy, find a shrink, and type in your location. I have no idea whether any of these folks are close to you in the UK, but I KNOW they have to go through a lot of training to be certified imagop therapists. Plus, don't mean to be sacriligious here, but MB is an extremely behavioral approach, and if one or both Ss have deeper issues I don't personally believe MB alone can always do the trick. Imago therapy is a combo of behavioral techniques like MB, but also gets into the unresolved FOO issues that might be holding your W back. It can't hurt to contact or even meet with one of these MCs to check them out. Good luck! CV

ps. road, the one thing about your job analogy that doesn't quite compare is this, IMHO. A job that goes south is tough, and a loss, but you can choose to avoid driving the route past it if you absolutely have to. When a BS is with a FWS that hasn't earned recovery the BS is living with those triggers and bad memories daily. If my H didn't go into the trenches with me, sometimes kicking and screaming BTW, and allowed me to purge myself of the pain he caused, it would be he!! living here. Our whacky OW put things like our bills in her name. So every 6 months or so I get something from the energy co. that says "Ms. OW" on it. So I got one the other day. Didn't even flinch. Just handed it to H and said, "Will you please take care of this. That crazy B put her name on this too." My H earned my not flinching anymore.
This job was along an interstate right after you cross a large suspension bridge. Everyday life did not require me to go there. Family functions, road trips, vaction, hunting, fishing, camping did.

Should I of added an hour to my already long trips?

Then how would I explain to friends, family, and, relatives that I refuse to take the most direct way, we have to turn a three hour trip into a four hour trip, all because it hurts poor me to drive by where I got fired?

My point was it takes time to heal/forget. It took me ten years
not to hurt when I would drive by there. But, time did it's job.
Bob, you're stuck. Kiddo, you've been stuck since the moment you Plan A'd and boundaried Squid back from the brink...then stopped dead. There was work to be done at that point, and that work's never been started.

A marriage that has enough gaps to let something like this in, is a marriage that needs to be re-engineered. The marriage, period. The two of you and the way you relate to each other, not just Squid and her character failings. Both of you. Bob's role in this marriage needs to be re-engineered too.

Trouble is, that process needs third-party help, as Aprill pointed out. It needs someone to facilitate a dialogue, and mediate conflicts, and identify patterns and hold a person's feet to the fire when that's needed. It needs someone who's trained in doing those things and has experience of doing them.

Whether they're MB-certified is frankly irrelevant to whether they can get you and Squid talking on a completely different level to what you've always done. It's like fussing over the plumber's testimonials when the kitchen is knee-deep in water and you don't know where the stopcock is. Bob, your marriage is knee-deep in water and all that matters is that someone knows how to take the first steps to getting you out of the crisis.

This 'MB-style counsellor' requirement sounds to me like an avoidance strategy. You know perfectly well that MB is a US programme, pretty much unheard-of here in the UK, and the chances of finding a therapist who's even heard of it are remote. Swearing that you'd see a MB-style counsellor 'like a shot' is easy, because you know you won't find one. If you were really determined, I doubt if anything would stop you from phone counselling with the Harleys themselves. The time difference is even less at this time of the year too...

However, I find it very hard to believe that there isn't a body of reasonably good 'ordinary' therapists in your part of the country who could provide a safe environment to get you and Squid talking. Whether they're MB or Imago or CBT-enthusiasts or neo-Freud or School of Neuro-macrame, the important thing is that they're able to get you both to start thinking differently and opening your minds up and sharing yourself honestly with each other.

What's more, I think CV hit on an important point about MB not working in some situations. From all you've said, Squid comes across as being someone who has been forced to protect her vulnerabilities by reinforcing a very hard shell. She's not going to drop that easily, maybe not at all, and with that defence in place, MB - which is largely about admitting needs and therefore making yourself vulnerable to rejection - simply isn't going to work. You need different kind of help to sort out that fundamental problem in your marriage before you can even think about MB.

BTW, when it comes to UK counselling, I've built up a wealth of experience. Over the last six years, we've used the services of one psychiatrist, two psychotherapists, about four Relate counsellors and one independent couples counsellor.

Of course, they varied in how helpful they were. None of them believed in keeping the marriage going at all costs, but none of them - not one, not even the ICs, not even Relate - remotely suggested that we bail out of the marriage if it got too painful. That was despite a situation which involved multiple affairs and many years of prostitutes - a pretty much grimmer sitch than your own, I think you'd agree? The attitude each took was that, if I was prepared to grit my teeth and try to make it work, they were willing to do their best to help.

None of these people did damage, and all helped in some ways. The last couples counsellor was superb. This time last year, I was talking to a divorce lawyer and was on my way out. Right now, my marriage is astonishingly happy, beyond what I could ever have imagined. It took a third party with skills of listening and confronting, to get us there.

You don't need a specialist. You just need a professional. But you need SOMEONE.

TA
 Quote:
But you need SOMEONE


You know what TA ? That's a big part of the problem.

I don't need anyone. I don't trust anyone. I can't rely on anyone.

self-actualization gone mad.

We're in a fix, make no mistake.
Bob, why don't you call Dr Harley? You never know, he might offer you some words of wisdom even if they are not what you want to hear. Or ask TA where she counselled?

Is Squid as miserable as you are at the moment in your marriage?
 Quote:
I don't need anyone. I don't trust anyone. I can't rely on anyone.


Then I think the problem you need to start with is YOU.

You don't trust Squid, for perfectly rational reasons. Extrapolating from Squid to the rest of humanity is NOT rational, as I'm sure you recognise.

Let's assume you walk into a therapist's office - just you - no Squid - and tell him/her about what's happened to you. What do you fear will happen? Where is the sense of distrust coming from?

TA
TT, Bob and I are at opposite ends of the country; consulting down here wouldn't be feasible!

Bob, I'd like to suggest that you think about approaching your local branch of Relate.

If you've talked to Relate, you've probably worked out that they're pretty woolly on the moral issues; a Relate counsellor would cut out her tongue before she'd hint that there was anything wrong about having s*x with someone else's spouse in Room 361 of a cheap motel. They take the idea of non-judgementalism to depressing lengths.

However, there is a benefit to this. The experience is safe for the WS. They're not being judged or criticised or made to feel bad about what they did. The whole subject of their infidelity is not on the agenda.

Infuriating and unfair though this is for the wounded BS, it's possibly the best way to get a hugely defended WS into a counselling situation at all. And you need them to get into that environment so they start learning some emotional vocabulary and beginning to understand what is expected of a person in a long-term committed relationship. They get to learn the fundamentals of listening respectfully to the other, and they learn that it's not OK to withdraw, or behave disrespectfully to their spouse, or cross boundaries where they have no right.

I looked on Relate as starter-therapy. It was never going to be able to solve the bigger problems, but to solve those problems we needed both of us to have skills that FWH certainly didn't have, and Relate gave him a safe space to start acquiring them.

Our last (non-Relate) couples counsellor was a soft-voiced rottweiler - she made it plain that what H had done had caused huge damage, and she firmly made him face his own responsibility for fixing it. There were many times when I know he wanted to walk out of her office, but he didn't. He stuck it out because he'd learned enough to know that she was talking sense, but it took us five years to get to that point.

Relate's not MB, but it has a useful place in the re-education of the WS.


TA
Hey there Bob,

 Quote:
I remember how dark it was for you back in the day... 'nuff said.


You know, I am grateful that I hit rock bottom. Getting to the point at which I felt utter despair was the only way for me to lose my defenses, so that I was prepared to reach out and try something really, really new and weird.

I am a private person, a natural skeptic (a scientist...), therapy to me was American and self-indulgent and just not done in my family. For me to become a member of this forum, to read books about relationships, to go to an IC and then an MC, was hugely different and risky.

When my life seemed ok (not brilliant but not terrible), I would not have considered doing those things. Now, I see what a gift I had from learning those skills. I feel led. I feel that even in my despair I was being cared for in a way that I didn't understand at the time. Writing those words shows how I have changed.... the me of 5 years ago was a spiritually disinterested atheist.

Bob, my impression is that inside you know what you want. From your MB posts, I see that when things have worked well for you, they did because you acted from listening to the quiet voice within. I don't think anyone here can help. I think its about you listening, and letting go of the outcome.
Hi TA !

 Quote:
You don't trust Squid, for perfectly rational reasons. Extrapolating from Squid to the rest of humanity is NOT rational, as I'm sure you recognise.


By "not trusting" I mean "Not depending on".
This means that I *ALWAYS* have a "plan B" for when somebody else is supposed to do something for me, and also when people tell me something unverifiable that I need to be accurate. I do not believe that everyone is conspiring against me or lying to me. I do believe people as a general rule aren't as dependable to support ME as myownself.

It's pretty tiring, but I am kind of tired of handling the consequences of other people's failure in my life. Tired of having to forgive people for easily-avoidable insults to me. I'd rather not have to rely on other people. I prefer dogs to most people, in all honesty. Never had a dog fail me. My pooch'd die rather than disappoint me.

I know it's not healthy. This is what I am reduced to. Great isn't it ? \:\)

I agree I probably need personal help. I must find a trustworthy counselor though. And it really is hard here in the Midlands. I can find multiple opportunities for bargain clothing and bulk-buy frozen chips but little obviously high quality counsellng.

Its not often I wish I lived in a city but...

 Quote:
Let's assume you walk into a therapist's office - just you - no Squid - and tell him/her about what's happened to you. What do you fear will happen? Where is the sense of distrust coming from?


I fear making myself vulnerable to somebody who offers me absolutely no help in return. I do not relish getting emotionally naked with anyone face to face, and it bloody well better fix me.

 Quote:
Relate


I have spoken with relate. I interviewed 3 counsellors.

One was a fellow of perhaps 25, and unmarried who kept referring to his primary objective being "conflict management".

The second was the branch manager, nice chap but who didn't counsel much.

Third was a senior counsellor whom I discovered was in an affair with my brother's boss.

I do not have a great hope for Relate, sorry TA.

I did see a lady from marriagecare that seemed nice, and competent but their diaries are incredibly full. Odd sessions are possible but not a planned sequence.

I've started looking for Imago therapists at CVs word, but only see London so far.

I need a local paid counselor who is married, close to our age and...with a guarantee of success \:\)

* sigh *

I work for a great company. They offer all kinds of support. I might just phone their nut-job line later to see what serves they can offer me.

Delighted you seem so well TA by the way \:\) Who'd a thunk that ?
 Quote:
do not relish getting emotionally naked with anyone face to face, and it bloody well better fix me.


Good golly, Bob!

That's a humongous sense of entitlement you've got there.

MC won't fix you, Silverback.

Squid CANNOT provide the tools or the energy enough to fix you.

Your children can't.

Only YOU can do that.

Remember when...a LONG time ago (not to be mistaken with 2Long a time ago) when I told you that our futures are NOT guarenteed to us? That we may not end up pruney old shrivels in rocking chairs on our porches? I said that we had a vision of how we wanted our lives to be and one of the best things I could do for MYself was to let that not-set-in-stone future go? You agreed with me on that one.

Bob, when you let got of the future-not-cemented-in-place, what did you grasp instead?

I think you tried to grasp Squid and your marriage - and I think it worked for awhile - till the present caught up with the future and what is - AGAIN - didn't live up to your vision.

Let the FUTURE go. It does not belong to you. You do not own it.

Where is your JOY, Bob? You had it before...when do you LIVE your blessings?

I think it needs to be found again. I think you've misplaced bits of yourself that allow you to have your joy and blessings.
anything authored by Bob is always top of my list to read.

but after reading, i'm too exaughsted to post. and i'm late for a mtg!!

"My challenge now is to unemotionally consider what I can bear and what I cannot. I know the kids are far better off with us together than divorced, but at some point my own peace of mind has to count for something."

i think these exact same thoughts sometimes. i try to fight them off, but they do come back.

today i saw something that was sent to me about a month ago. i'll link it here later.

love has NO limits.

focus on the fact that you are choosing to love Bob.

our marriages may not ever be what we want them to be.

as the FWS, I am the unhappy one. I have so many similar thoughts/feelings as you have. i want us to be more recovered. i want us to be closer friends.

my BS is not into MB concepts, would not have had any interest in them regardless of my faithfulness.

not everyone wants to have the same degree of intimacy in their marriage.

does not matter what side of fence you are on.

but regardless, i can choose to love him till death due us part as I vowed to do.
Bob, no truer words than the following quote by you.

"It's pretty tiring, but I am kind of tired of handling the consequences of other people's failure in my life. Tired of having to forgive people for easily-avoidable insults to me. I'd rather not have to rely on other people. I prefer dogs to most people, in all honesty. Never had a dog fail me. My pooch'd die rather than disappoint me."

I just experienced over the weekend an amazing bout(sp?) of stupidity from my FOO. Luckily now I don't get depressed over people's crap in general, just can't quite believe it when it occurs. And it is an improvement to get POed rather than down in the dumps. So I fully understand preferring dogs to people at times.

I also respect you Bob for laying out your frustration here. I stopped doing that several years back because I just didn't feel comfortable doing that here anymore. Like somehow after you reach the 2 year mark something changes in what can be shared, even though I knew inside that wasn't the case. I always respected anyname also because she didn't sugarcoat this infidelity experience. It sucks! Plain and simple. The problems in a M that are already difficult become magnified many times over because of the betrayal. H and I are a bit disconnected now because of life circumstances, and I'll be honest now. Even though I'm no longer traumatized by the infidelity, when I feel even a hint of being undervalued I can wonder if all this Plan Aing and recovery efforts was worth it. That unfortunately is the consequence for me of H's A. The whole idea of marriage kind of took a shot for me. Maybe that will be my last part of recovery, actually believing there is such a thing as a sacred bond. Knowing that I'll actually feel happy for my boys if they ever decide to get Med. However, I know that if H & I talk and reconnect I'll be OK again. Pre-A we would go through disconnects, but maybe back then it was minus my "booking it" fantasy.

You wrote:

"I fear making myself vulnerable to somebody who offers me absolutely no help in return. I do not relish getting emotionally naked with anyone face to face, and it bloody well better fix me."

Speaking as a counselor, and someone who has had my share of therapy, the hardest part is finding a good shrink and making that 1st appt. With all due respect to TA (I think) I could never see a MC who didn't understand the wrongness and the trauma of infidelity. I get that person could teach the communication kinds of stuff, and I give you credit for allowing your H the time to build up to real therapy. But knowing me I'd probably want to pummel a MC who had that attitude.

Bob, one more thing. I get you not wanting to have a 20 something MC or IC. However, it is possible to have a good MC who isn't Med. It could be someone who has worked with enough couples, and is wise enough, to understand this issue. It's like you don't have to be a recovering drug addict to be a good drug counselor.

OK, enough said. I wish you the best mate! CV
Please Read and Watch The Video!

A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?' The father who, despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'. They went on to complete the marathon together.

Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Iron Man together.'

To which, his father said 'Yes'.

For those who don't know, Iron Man is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island.

Father and son went on to complete the race together.

View this

I know a love of a parent for a child is probably the strongest love there is.

I want my love for my spouse to be as strong.

So yes, there are days I get frustrated. I get MAD. It's not fair!!! He hurt(and hurts) me too.

Even though my BS still does things that hurts (still will only kiss a certian way, and only a certain amount, that he is in control of. still tells me that he will not emotionally feel strongly for me ever again). Even though these things hurt me very much. I want to love him as unselfishly as that father loved his son.

I will stay married till death due us part. I will not betry him. I will not hurt him. I will not hurt our children. I will not hurt the rest of his family. And I WILL love him inspite of his inabilities.

Although our marriage will not really be a success story (unless he one day decides to come on board) I WILL BE.

I can face God and honestly state I loved my husband till death due us part.

FL, that is such a wonderful video. I worked in a mainstream school for 6 years and last year swapped into the Learning Support Class (mainly autism and celebral palsy). What a revelation to get to know the children behind the disabilities and their wonderful parents. The video really captures the joy the young man feels!
I'm not a BS but I feel very similar to FLT2H in that my H either can't or won't fill some of my EN's based on "since I'm happy you should be too" and other "excuses."

I'm to the point where I've mostly accepted his attitude but sometimes struggle with the resentment I feel about it.

On Sunday he didn't do something that was very important to me and I actually debated whether to address it with him or not. I decided, "why bother?" since I imagined a conversation in which he would probably become defensive and say, "I never do things right for you anyway", since that's how most of our relationship talks go - if we ever have them.

My point is, the issue of acceptance and settling comes in most marriages, I think, even without physical betrayal. You can betray someone by not following through on other promises you made in your wedding vows, too.

In fairness to my H, let me say that I sometimes find myself in withdrawal which is not a good place to be and not what I believe marriages are supposed to be like. I shouldn't be putting up walls, but I do.

Em
Em,

thanks for the post. It is re-assuring in a way. not that i am happy to hear of another in same state \:\(

my husband also pulls the same response to me regarding blowing off my specific comment by responding with the "you are never happy with me" stmt. i recognize it now as a thing he does to get himself off the hook of looking at himself and his specific actions. i would suggest to you to still speak up. but only if you can keep it respectful and specific. when he tries to blow it off or talk me out of it, i will normally say something like, "i'm telling you my feelings/opinions, what you want to do about it is up to you." and i leave it at that.

I agree with you: the issue of acceptance and settling comes in most marriages

I also STRONGLY agree with: You can betray someone by not following through on other promises you made in your wedding vows, too.

Withdrawing, disconnecting, neglecting your spouse is another form of betrial.

stuff along that lines is actually what i took out of my original post.

and i also find my self withdrawing at times. i know it is wrong, like i just mentioned above, it is betraying the "love" part of the vows. you cannot love when you are in withdrawl.

when i catch myself i try to work my way back out of it. it's tough. Because I can't seem to find a steady state. if i'm not in a withdrawal state, i'm wanting to strengthen our conection. but when i try to strengthen our connection, that put pressure on husband to do the same. and if he does not want to, it makes me feel bad/rejected. which of course makes me withdrawal.

i guess i am dealing with that by ACCEPTING our current level of connection and finding my own outside activites to fill the gap. i.e. i joined a swimming class to help me reach goal of doing a triatholon in spring and i roller skate every wed night because that is something i love to do. when the weather was nice i took a lot of bike trips too. too cold now. stuff like that. maybe not ideal but that is current path.
 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
and if he does not want to


And I am sure there are a bunch of things he does want to do. And isn't that really the key......to find those things that are good for both.
when i said he does not want to, I meant in general regarding strengthening our connection. he is ok with the level we have. to me, we don't have much. we mostly live our own lives. undivided attention is close to zero. and he is ok with that. he does not need undivided attention.

so now if you ask me what do i try to do in specific....

in specific I would invite him to play a couple of games of backgammon occasionally because that gives us the opportunity to sit together and talk while we play. but games is not his thing, and he would watch tv while playing and then he would get hung up on the fact that i would get too lucky with my doubles. i gave up on that concept. i can accept that games is not his thing.

i realize there has to be other ways to engage him in converstaion but i don't know how and we really need something to do while talking so that we are not just sitting there in silence.

in generaly i want us to have more fun together. in specific i would ask him if he would like to play raquetball. He enjoys raquetball. And sometimes he will accept and we will have fun together. so that is a good example.
Hey Bob,, how are you??

Here is my perspective,, do with it what you wish..

About two months ago while hubby and I were away on his training trip we went to the movies and saw "FIREPROOF", well during that movie I really felt God speak to me and show me that I had not forgiven my hubby, I said I had, and I thought I had, but what God showed me was if I forgave my hubby I would not hold what he did against him anymore. Forgiveness isn't forgive and forget because I can never "forget" what had happen, but forgiveness is not holding it agaisnt him anymore. At that point I totally broke down and cryed like I never had before, that changed my whole perspective, changed my life.

Anyway just wanted to share that...

Take care F26
 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
when i said he does not want to


You are not hearing.

There are clear reasons why people choose to withdraw as a strategy. There are clear reasons why others choose to be aggressive as a strategy.
so how do i hear better???

when i try to ask him questions, about how he feels, about what he needs from me.

all i ever get it "i don't know"

and i can accept that as his honest answer, but what do i do with that?
 Quote:
There are clear reasons why people choose to withdraw as a strategy.


There may be reasons why people choose to withdraw, but it is usually based on poor assumptions. Ultimately, at least with respect to relationships, withdrawal is a losing strategy.
 Quote:
and i can accept that as his honest answer


Can you really? You're okay with your H either not being able to say what he wants (lack of O&H) or doesn't know what he wants? Both of those leave you in a precarious position.

I think a lot of people are too quick to conclude they can accept something. If you are floating in and out of being withdrawn, then I would guess you don't really know if you can accept this.

Additionally, accepting something doesn't mean it goes away. It most likely comes up again and again.
 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
all i ever get it "i don't know"


This is another example of withdrawal, right. What do people do when they withdraw?

They don't want there needs met, have no desire to meet your needs, they are in a stage of emotional divorce.

So, the question is why? Why is he choosing to withdraw? There are reasons.

When I say you aren't hearing what I am saying is that you are very tuned into what you feel and what you perceive. But, it sounds like you do not understand him nor do you really understand his feelings. When with a person who withdraws most tend to hammer or drive or become aggressive with that individual to try to get them out of withdrawal. I've yet to see that work. There has to be a pursuit to understanding.

When I read this:

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
when i said he does not want to, I meant in general regarding strengthening our connection. he is ok with the level we have. to me, we don't have much.


I hear you understanding your needs very well, that connection and how you define that and somewhat implying that he is happy and his needs as you define connection being met just fine. I'll bet he is not happy at all. In fact, I'll bet he would be happier if he had a great relationship with you or if we was single than where he is now. In those situations he can thrive. There is no thriving without understanding and respecting each point of view.

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
as the FWS, I am the unhappy one.


Again, you imply he is one happy dude. People don't withdraw if they are happy. Maybe he is trying to get away from you because of how you make him feel. Maybe he is protecting himself. You have alot of feelings, maybe, he is protecting himself from your feelings, or are they emotional reactions, and maybe your logic should be leading you instead of your emotional reactions. Though, you'd have to understand why he is withdrawing to really understand.

I somewhat see this in Bob's communications about Squid. That she wants to be just like the rest of her family. It wouldn't at all surprise me that she isn't happy being that way. It wouldn't surprise me at all that she married him so she wouldn't end up like that. Now, as the WS Squid isn't in counseling and that says alot. It also says alot that you are here.

Last, I sense that you believe in sacrifice. That ones sacrifices for the other. When I read between the lines it sounds like that is what you expect him to do. Maybe he is withdrawing because he can only lose. Maybe he doesn't believe that being with you can be a win/win proposition. So why try. He can just withdraw and accept it as the way it is just like you are contemplating.

If you understand and appreciate that he is not happy you may approach things differently. You know you want to be happy and if you care you also want him to be happy. The next time you have an issue you can maybe being to approach things differently.

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
Even though my BS still does things that hurts (still will only kiss a certian way, and only a certain amount, that he is in control of. still tells me that he will not emotionally feel strongly for me ever again). Even though these things hurt me very much.


The next time you go through these things again recognize your pain but also recognize his. Instead of hammering your point ask him how he would feel about things. Ask him how he would feel if you kissed in a different way and respect his point of view.

It is not easy to pull someone out of withdrawal. There are likely things that you do that you don't even recognize that effect him and cause him to go into withdrawal making it even harder. But, I think you would be surprised how much of it is in reaction to you and thus my encouragement to search for understanding of his point of view.
rprynne. I can accept that it is his honest answer. I really don't think he knows.

But I think you are asking if i can accept that as his final answer. At the time it happens, he says he will think about it and get back to me, but that does not happen. Sometimes I try to bring it back up, sometimes I don't. When I do, he continues to say he does not know.

Am I really ok with that?? well, no, I don't think this is an ideal situation but I cannot control him. I cannot force him to come up with better answers. i can only love him as is. true??

and yes, it does come back again and again. but each time, the only thing i can do is work on acceptance. I can respectfully ask him to think about it and tell me later but i just cannot force him to really do that.
TJD,

thanks for your time in your reply (you too rprynne).

"Why is he choosing to withdraw?"

well, isn't the reason obvious?? because i cheated on him!!!

I agree, I don't understand him. I agree becoming agressive to try to get him out of withdrawal is NOT going to work.

and so i also agree, a pursuit of understanding is what is needed.

"I'll bet he is not happy at all."

well that is great, you can bet all you want, but i have ASKED HIM TJD. he says he is. and not only that, he will get annoyed that in asking him, i must be implying that I am not. and that makes him mad!!

you say "people don't withdrawal if they are happy". actually, i'll bet he would not define himself as in withdrawal.

He does not want me to need anything to change. He has literally said, "I've done all the adjusting i'm going to do". he has literally said, "You need to be ok with accepting the boundaries he has regarding kissing because he is not going to change" and he says "he has a right to set make these decisions".

come on, what choice do i really have????

this is why I have such a hard time with MB. You all want to make it sound so easy!!!

as for him being happier single. he makes it very very clear he does not want to divorce.

what he really really wants, i can't give him. he wants the past to not be the past.

as far as sacrafice goes. ideally, no sacrafice in a good marriage is required. each spouse just naturally wants to fullfill the others needs. but life is not ideal!

you said "The next time you go through these things again recognize your pain but also recognize his. Instead of hammering your point ask him how he would feel about things. Ask him how he would feel if you kissed in a different way and respect his point of view."

done that already. he has said he just does not want to. specifically we are talking about long kisses that involve the touching of tongues. all kisses need to be short. you say, respect his point of view. I AM!!! by abiding by his wishes.

does that really sit well with me? NO!!!! It's hurting more every day actually!! I'm finding myself more and more not wanting to kiss in any way. but what choice do i really have.

i will not hurt him by divorcing him!

i really do wish i could improve things. and yes, I really do want him to be happy. I REALLY REALLY DO!!!

why can't being with me be a win/win proposition???

actually you are not telling me anything i don't know already. except WHY??? why can't the new and improved me be something he wants enough to re-engage.

i can't answer that question.

do i believe in sacrafice, no. if faced with the choice of choosing his happiness vrs mine, i'm sticking to choosing his.

lately most night i pray to God to change me. make me into someone he does want.

attempting to negociate the kissing issues is a lose/lose proposition.

trying to figure out what change in me would lead him natrually to wanting to kiss me again is all i have.

but i don't see how i'm going to do that without his input.

i'm really trying to hear you guys. i really am.

maybe i'm being stupid. i still don't see any solutions.

and then there is my own depression to deal with. feeling so strongly "not good enough in his eyes" does not leave me very capable of being a fun and happy person around him. but if i'm not fun and happy around him, how can i expect him to be charmed by me?
 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
"Why is he choosing to withdraw?"

well, isn't the reason obvious?? because i cheated on him!!!


It is more than this.

And it is not easy. I believe it takes 2 committed people. And then it takes a large amount of work to understand and create new habits.

Unfortunately, my wife and I have spent too much time with Dr. Harley. He is a wonderful, caring man. If it weren't for him I could only imagine where our marriage would be.

My style, when I couldn't communicate with my wife, was to remain committed to the marriage and then withdraw. It wasn't a great way to make our marriage work but I didn't know what else to do. To this day, it is still my instinct.

To begin solving the problems in our marriage, Dr. Harley finds out very quickly who is the aggressive one in the relationship and who withdraws. He works to get the aggressive one to tone down and the withdrawn to engage back into the marriage.

I engaged because of him. I engaged alot for about 1 year after the A but the problems I had with my W kept coming back and got stronger over time so I withdrew again. I had had enough.

Without Dr. Harley I would likely have done the exact same thing your H has done. I would have seen divorce as a failure but it really didn't matter to me anymore except for my children. So, staying married but finding different ways to get my needs met without dealing with the pain from dealing with my W on a regular basis would have probably been a much better solution that what was happening. Reasonably happy at the time but with a whole bunch of flaws as a long term strategy that would have caused a bunch more problems a little while later. Thus, I still believe my bet about your H and even more so if he gets annoyed you are asking him. You see it from your point of view and I see it from his.

You believe in self sacrifice. That is why you stay married isn't it. Regardless of how you are treated you will stay because you feel guilty.

Hmmmmm......

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
And I WILL love him inspite of his inabilities.


Not that it is the right way, but, if I were your H I would want to withdraw.

And here too,

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
"you are never happy with me" stmt.


There are two points of view. How to get him out of withdrawal and engage in the marriage is your first step. Definitely won't be easy as he has assumptions about you and you probably convince him more and more every day that these assumptions are true. Maybe he thinks you won't consider his feelings or point of view and you'll do whatever you want so he lets you so he can do whatever he wants then.

There is something about the kissing that really bothers him. What is it? If he feels it is about you getting what you want and not considering how it makes him feel bad you'll never come to an agreement that is good for both.


i'm listening TJD. I don't want to reply to any of it right now. I want to take it in and think about it. i just wanted you to know i'm listening.

i just wish i could see what you see.

what assumptions about me do you think he is making?

i do want to clearly state: I am NOT staying because I feel guilty. I let go of the guilt, it was doing nobody any good. I cannot change the past.

i am truely trying to understand. Why do you think I am doing whatever I want? what do you think i am doing?

what are you seeing that I am not?

please help me see it.

i do care about his feelings. I'm not trying to push him to kiss me in anyway that he is uncomfortable with. That would be meaningless. I want it to be meaningful for him. So that he enjoys it. I can't believe that he just inheriently doesn't enjoy kissing. Should I be? do you think that is the point?

i have to hang on the the idea that if we grew closer that would happen naturally. So I try to manage myself and my own feelings of hurt. I have to work on not obsessing internally about it. But I admit, it's very hard. I am the type of person that craves physical touch.

i wrote more than i meant to....
FLT2H,

I want you to know that, just like your A, there are no excuses for your H to withdraw from you. There are reasons, but, simply no excuses to hurt someone the way he is hurting you.

Marriage is so much about care. And hurting one another is the opposite of care.

You recognize that you and your H are at a stalemate.

I believe you when you say this,

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
i do care about his feelings. I'm not trying to push him to kiss me in anyway that he is uncomfortable with. That would be meaningless. I want it to be meaningful for him. So that he enjoys it. I can't believe that he just inheriently doesn't enjoy kissing. Should I be? do you think that is the point?


What I hear in this instance is caring and concern from you and it is different than what I hear in these comments from him,

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
He has literally said, "I've done all the adjusting i'm going to do". he has literally said, "You need to be ok with accepting the boundaries he has regarding kissing because he is not going to change" and he says "he has a right to set make these decisions".


Kissing is about intimacy. Your asking for a more intimate interaction with him and he is not comfortable going there for some reasons. You likely stay on him as it is a need you have. He feels you are making demands and not considerate of his side. He doesn't want to you close as he will fall for you but the problems in the marriage aren't fixed and he will get hurt.

And I agree, I don't believe that he just inherently doesn't enjoy kissing either.

When I hear these types of statements I hear you pushing him to have your needs met.

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
And I WILL love him inspite of his inabilities.


 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
"you are never happy with me" stmt.


And when you say you will love him inspite of his inabilities I hear you discount and underestimate what he has to offer. Your critical of him and tell him he can't do what YOU want. He is unable. Even if you don't make this statement directly to him, he feels it.

When you have a complaint, when you aren't happy with him, try respectful requests. How would you feel if.....? Don't use this to ask for approval, but, to get him to open up and for you to show you are being considerate. It takes some time but he will begin to see you as being considerate. He will also likely still be in withdrawal. But, you'll gain credibility and be in a better position to ask respectfully for the same consideration in return.

I do not know how folks like you and Bob are able to make it through recovery without a MC. When I read about the progress that Bob has been able to make without it I find it amazing. I don't know how he has been able to climb some of the mountains he has without it. We tend to have big emotional reactions to our spouses in trying to recover. When we have these emotional reactions we are literally crazy. When we can get a handle on these you actually can make great progress. This is where a good MC can really help.

Now, developing a strategy to get a reluctant spouse into MC'ing can be an adventure as well but it can be done. I was able to do it. My W wanted a vacation. I wanted to goto a MB weekend. I wasn't going on a vacation. And she wasn't going to a MB weekend. So we did nothing. Finally, I saw the next MB weekend was in Orlando and I presented the idea to do both. It worked...whew...and she now leads us in the process of recovery.
 Quote:
Am I really ok with that?? well, no, I don't think this is an ideal situation but I cannot control him. I cannot force him to come up with better answers. i can only love him as is. true??


Don't know. I never think about it as controlling someone, I think about it as informing someone. For me, it all comes done to whether it is a solvable problem or not. I think when people try to "accept" what they know is solvable, they suffer.
Bob

I've been reading your thread. For what its worth, heres my thoughts.

Your W is wounded in one of the severest ways people can be wounded by her FOO. Abandoned/unloved. Her spirit is broken. She has a hole inside so full of pain that all the love you give her cannot fix it until she loves herself enough to fix it.

Most likely that is the biggest reason she had an A in the first place.

When she fell in love with you she likely saw someone who could help her heal. From listening to you, I think she was right, but what she failed to see is that you cant heal her, you can only support her healing if she learns to love herself enough to get professional help. When your M didnt fix her pain; she went looking for someone else to fix it.

You seem also to have some wounds that are complementary or related and have spoken briefly of codependency issues. Thats not uncommon for those of us attracted to the walking wounded. Whether they existed prior to her or result from living with her only you can answer.

She is being emotionally and verbally abusive to you and the A is part of that abuse. She does this to leak out her pain when it bubbles up from the toxic mess of shame/pain/rage that her FOO issues created for her and tries to get you to carry it for her.

And, you let her. Because you love her. Because she confuses you. Because she gaslights you by disguising this dynamic as a marriage problem instead of her problem.

Current body of knowledge is that you dont go to MC with an active abuser. First it will do little good for the M; second it will just enable her continued gaslighting. She cant work on the M until she works on herself in IC.

The only way imo to truly recover your M to the level you want is to require that she do that as a condition of remaining M. While she does that you should do the same to understand the impact her abuse has had on you. Once some progress has been made then reconsider MC imo. If you do this you may find that you do not need MC.

velvetrain
Hi VR

A very wise post. Thank you. I think you are right.

 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
 Quote:
But you need SOMEONE


You know what TA ? That's a big part of the problem.

I don't need anyone. I don't trust anyone. I can't rely on anyone.

self-actualization gone mad.

We're in a fix, make no mistake.
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Hi TA !

 Quote:
You don't trust Squid, for perfectly rational reasons. Extrapolating from Squid to the rest of humanity is NOT rational, as I'm sure you recognise.


By "not trusting" I mean "Not depending on".
This means that I *ALWAYS* have a "plan B" for when somebody else is supposed to do something for me, and also when people tell me something unverifiable that I need to be accurate. I do not believe that everyone is conspiring against me or lying to me. I do believe people as a general rule aren't as dependable to support ME as myownself.

It's pretty tiring, but I am kind of tired of handling the consequences of other people's failure in my life. Tired of having to forgive people for easily-avoidable insults to me. I'd rather not have to rely on other people. I prefer dogs to most people, in all honesty. Never had a dog fail me. My pooch'd die rather than disappoint me.

I know it's not healthy. This is what I am reduced to. Great isn't it ? \:\)

I agree I probably need personal help. I must find a trustworthy counselor though. And it really is hard here in the Midlands. I can find multiple opportunities for bargain clothing and bulk-buy frozen chips but little obviously high quality counsellng.

Its not often I wish I lived in a city but...

 Quote:
Let's assume you walk into a therapist's office - just you - no Squid - and tell him/her about what's happened to you. What do you fear will happen? Where is the sense of distrust coming from?


I fear making myself vulnerable to somebody who offers me absolutely no help in return. I do not relish getting emotionally naked with anyone face to face, and it bloody well better fix me.

 Quote:
Relate


I have spoken with relate. I interviewed 3 counsellors.

One was a fellow of perhaps 25, and unmarried who kept referring to his primary objective being "conflict management".

The second was the branch manager, nice chap but who didn't counsel much.

Third was a senior counsellor whom I discovered was in an affair with my brother's boss.

I do not have a great hope for Relate, sorry TA.

I did see a lady from marriagecare that seemed nice, and competent but their diaries are incredibly full. Odd sessions are possible but not a planned sequence.

I've started looking for Imago therapists at CVs word, but only see London so far.

I need a local paid counselor who is married, close to our age and...with a guarantee of success \:\)

* sigh *

I work for a great company. They offer all kinds of support. I might just phone their nut-job line later to see what serves they can offer me.

Delighted you seem so well TA by the way \:\) Who'd a thunk that ?



Hi BP.

It strikes me that you keep looking "horizontally" and "inward," but not "upward."

I'd like to discuss that some with you, but I don't think you want to, so I'll just leave it at that for now and extend the offer to discuss those things should you ever want to have a "Bible Study" sort of discussion.

Consider this, if you will.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Hi VR and all

As some know, Squid's bio-mom abandoned her as a child and she was raised by her nan and various aunties.

Nan's diagnosis with cancer in 2004 catalyzed her affair. Then her bio-mom died in pathetic circumstances in 2007. It dug out a lot of issues in her.

Well Squids auntie ( her third "mom" substitute) was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. Squid has been nursing her as we live closer than her own daughter. She died last night.

So Squid is sad again.
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Hi VR and all

As some know, Squid's bio-mom abandoned her as a child and she was raised by her nan and various aunties.

Nan's diagnosis with cancer in 2004 catalyzed her affair. Then her bio-mom died in pathetic circumstances in 2007. It dug out a lot of issues in her.

Well Squids auntie ( her third "mom" substitute) was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. Squid has been nursing her as we live closer than her own daughter. She died last night.

So Squid is sad again.


BP, sorry to hear about your wife's loss of her auntie.

Sadness does accompany such loss of people we know, especially those who are "important" to us in our lives.

May your wife find comfort in the Lord, who has shown us that this life is "not all there is."

God bless.
Sorry to hear this news, Bob. Does Squid have much biological family left?

TA
Bob,

My condolences to Squid and you.

Stand up straight, hold her in your arms, with a reassuring smile on your face, tell her Nan is in a better place, her suffering is over and everything will be fine.

That is what we do. We men. We BSs.

Our feelings again are pushed to the back as we stroke and comfort the one who tore our heart from our chest.

I have read through your thread (whew!) I have similar settling (unsettling?) feelings.

I will be checking on you, brother.

kirk
 Originally Posted By: TogetherAlone
Sorry to hear this news, Bob. Does Squid have much biological family left?

TA


Hi TA

Sure, Squid's family is Indian Catholic, there are hundreds of the boogers \:D

However...Squid's upbringing has led her to place a really high value on extended parts of her family, perhaps in an attempt to compensate for not having a mother. The loss of this auntie, in whose home she lived for much of each week growing up is very painful.

She's off to the funeral directors this morning with her cousin.

Her auntie was a late-life convert to Wicca too - she claimed to be a white witch at the end. This is sore news to a Christian like Squid who knows what that choice likely means for Auntie's eternal destiny.

Ah well. As Dory says " just keep swimming".
Hey Kirk !

Always warm to hear from you bruv'.

You're spot about about my response in this. Its what I do. Its what I always do.

We've had some progress just lately too that I will write about when I get time & inspiration. This death will stop all that though. Again.

Ah well.
Bob,

Progress is good!

It sounded like you had hit a bad patch and were venting/ranting.

Hope that's all it was.

Stay strong and supportive (like always)

kirk
Hiya Bob Sorry about Auntie....

It's bloomin tough on you all, your wife & kids.

Hugs to you all.

It is not fair. Never was. Never is.

We do go on. We do live. We do live well.

We learn, we grow, we hurt, we heal, we grow some more.

And sometimes we putaside our own pain in the face of someone else's.

Wouldn't it be great if when we putaside that pain, we actually never get around to picking it up again, because we become so engrossed in living & loving well.





Rosaline;

Great last line!

Wouldnt it just. For me thats the perfect description of recovery.
"I'm not unhappy, but nor do I feel remotely compensated by our marriage for the trauma."

When I clicked on this thread tonight. It went to your first post. It was so long ago I don't remember that line. Though it got me thinking.

An affair can never be undone. One can never get even when their WS had an affair.

Post affair, all the BS can get is a good marriage where both spouses are happy. BS can have a good marriage with the WS, or divorce and seek a good marriage with someone new.

Then why does the BS stay/divorce? Because after all the plus' and minus' are sumed up. They take there choice.

What can a WW do to pay back?

Cook BH's favorite meal every night?

Wash BH's clothes?

Care for their kids?

Clean the house?

Have SF with the BH two times every day for the rest of BH's life?

There is nothing that can make up for one's WW banging an OM.

Doing what one should do is not compensation. Not breaking NC is what one should do. No more new OM, EA's, PA's, keeping to these things are only doing what one should do.

For those that want just compensation, what is it that they are wanting to feel even?
A with OMW springs to mind!

But its stupid right?
trax

I don't undestand the meaning of: "A with OMW springs to mind!

But its stupid right?"
 Originally Posted By: TheRoad


For those that want just compensation, what is it that they are wanting to feel even?


Well, if just compensation is what you're after then one (stupid?) way is to start a RA (Revenge affair) with the OMW. I suppose it is an RA for both BS/BW then.

Has anybody here gone through with this option?
RA's do not solve anything. They only create more pain. Which is never helpful. Then having a RA never undoes the original PA.
 Quote:
What can a WW do to pay back?


Try. REAL hard.

That's what.
 Quote:
Try. REAL hard.

That's what.


I'll second that and add as a personal expansion -- be willing to sacrifice ANYTHING if it adds to the sense of security and peace of mind of the BS.

Obviously there are limits to ANYTHING -- nothing that would be life-threatening or damaging to their health or the safety of the family.

But...

If it means the WS quitting their job because the BS asks them to or moving to another state or changing routines and circles of friends -- the WS should do it without griping or complaining or sniping at the BS.

What I think compensation gives the BS is that the WS is willing to do whatever it takes to demonstrate how much they value the spouse they betrayed.

I guess it's a half-formed thought, but it's what I didn't get and still don't have. Anything I asked my wayward wife to do was met with refusal or ridicule or bargaining.
When a returning WS doesn't try hard to help the BS recover I think it says " This is better than a divorce but not worth making myself uncomfortable for".

Its a very selfish action. And the BS is left with the thought: " I am clearly not loved and appreciated enough by by FWS for them to invest in me. Is this enough for me ?".

Hence my starting this thread.
 Quote:
Its a very selfish action. And the BS is left with the thought: " I am clearly not loved and appreciated enough by by FWS for them to invest in me. Is this enough for me ?".


This is exactly how I feel. He is improving at meeting my needs but not as much as I need to feel secure.

 Quote:
" This is better than a divorce but not worth making myself uncomfortable for".


This is what I fear he thinks. He stands to lose a lot if we were to divorce. I would still have the farm that has been in my family for generations. He would lose it all. After a year long affair that is what he would deserve. I just hope he is staying for the right reasons.
 Quote:
I just hope he is staying for the right reasons.


Hope is not a plan, FW. Have you considered having H sign a post-nup that surrenders any rights to any joint assets in he event of his adultery ?

If *I* had cheated and *I* was sorry and repentant *I*'d sign it in order to win back my wife's trust.

Interestingly I am in the process of redrafting my will. Hmm.
Hi Bob,

My story in a nut shell, I found out about what I thought was H's first A 22 years ago, we never really recovered, I knew that I didn't, he refused to discuss it, everyone told me to shut up about it, mainly his family, we went 20 yrs of "under the same roof" I wanted my kids to have everything I didn't, my H brought home the bucks. I had always said when my youngest turned 18 I would leave, he turned 18, I started wanting truths, in between these years I had put up with some bad behavior from the H, keeping money from me, not buying groceries for me, just for him and the kids etc...I decided I was done now that S was 18, D on her own, H didn't want to tell me truths or treat me right, I got a moving van and left,4 days later H spilled all of it, everything H had done, it was a lot. We had already done MC, he lied through it. I was going for the D, he begged me to come home, cried, carried on, I stayed moved out for 6 months, reluctantly I moved back home.

Now, present time, almost 2 yrs later, he still goes to MC, he will do anything I ask, and seems to catch on with things I don't ask about, but, every once in awhile tell me how he does EVERYTHING for me, almost throws it back at me, I explain that now he is up to standard, that before he was below, now he is where he should be. I do feel that I got a new H out of the deal, H is different then before there is no doubt, but one little dip below what H is doing now and I am on it like white on rice, I hate to demand how I want to be loved and cared for but thats just how it is and demand I do, now.

My pain will be with me whether I am single, married to present H or with someone else, I feel like it can never be erased.
I do feel like I live with one foot out the door.
I have not made myself vulnerable, I am always bettering myself, keeping my options open. Not sure if I will ever change, I feel like I have lived this way for over 20 years.
 Quote:
My pain will be with me whether I am single, married to present H or with someone else, I feel like it can never be erased.



of course this may explain my many tattoo's and nose piercing
Ten years ago Squid was planning a surprise fortieth birthday party for me - and quietly getting deeper into an affair with a man she did karate with. Right now she is planning a surprise fiftieth birthday party for me. So what has changed a decade after the affair that has been my life's most profound event ?

Positively I am recovered from her A. The devastation it wrought within me at the time has dissipated with each passing year. I am changed but no longer weakened by my cuckolding.

Also my faith walk is transformed beyond all recognition. I have attended a great local church for 8 years, am a leader there and I regularly preach. I have become a praying man. This is very good.

My daughter is now coming up to 21, is at university reading Nursing, while holding down a job in a jewellers to sustain herself. She still lives at home with us. I am very proud of her.

My son is a faithful and handsome 16 year old who has become my gig and rugby buddy. My relationship with my kids could barely be better.

My Harley studies certainly helped me recover even if our marriage didn't. Y'see Squid would rather be within her comfort zone of a miserable distant marriage than be a happy but vulnerable spouse in a loving, intimate marriage. Squid has become more and more like her mom. She is critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative. She is genetically incapable of apology or praise. Just like her Mom to be fair. I have learned to live without intimacy or affections, which is hard as they are two major ENs for me.

I quit instigating SF last year, which means we never have SF. Squid would rather die than risk rejection by instigating SF herself.

Our marriage has been functional enough this past decade to provide fertile soil for our children to grow in. We are both very proud of what they have become ! However I can;t help thinking that I should have known early on that we would never recover and I should have divorced Squid after I ended the affair using MB tools. To divorce now would impoverish everyone as we approach retirement. Ten years ago, not so much.

I have stopped running my marriage ministry through my church, as the hypocrisy of telling others how to be happy when it was so obviously far from my own life was too profound for me to sustain. Towards the end of hat ministry last year I found myself advising BS with a profoundly entitled WS to end the affair then divorce to save pain. I can hardly think of a single such marriage who have successfully recovered from an affair.

Please do not consider me a pity case: a profoundly malign thing happened to me, yet I emerged from it alive, with faith and much much knowledge.

I say to any newly betrayed people that I know the living hell you are in seems persistent but you WILL be better in three months than you can even imagine right now. And with a humble WS you can build a wonderful marriage unencumbered by past hurts!

Even if you don't achieve these things you can survive and hold your head up proudly.

I am profoundly grateful to Dr H and his wonderful books, and the blessed vets on these boards. I would be dead without them. Ten years after my life fell in ruin about my ears, i stand tall and proud. Whether my future be wed or not, I will be just fine.

All blessings Marriagebuilding folks !
I have read so much about your posts during my short time here and digging through the archives or when an old thread is linked to check out.

I guess personal recovery is every bit as critical as marital recovery to restore the beliefs in the allure of a romantic union.

It seems such a waste though, for one spouse to be so seemingly dedicated to striving for and reaching that plateau, yet so unfortunate that their spouse does not jump in all aboard.

What do you think? Ten years from now, will you be comfortable in the fact that you settled for a companionate marriage, vs. either continuing your efforts to break down the walls built to prevent that achievement or get out while you are still 50 years young?

Is there any fight left in you to pursue changing the marital dynamics that you settled into?

Or, is sometimes, good enough just good enough?

I wish you well Sir. Your path was not easy.

I would be hesitant to so quickly judge the amount of self entitlement shown by any current WS though, because occasionally, their fog does lift, but i defer my opinion to someone else with much longer term experience.

I would encourage you to continue to post and see what comes of any deeper reflection.

LTL
Bob, I feel for you and pray for you. You have been an inspiration to many, and we all want to see you get the fulness of what God has to offer in marriage.

IMO, the best kept secret of Marriage Builders is the potential that is there for a husband to turn around a marriage to a reluctant wife. MB does offer a plan and hope for your situation, although a lot of the printed material implies the cooperation of both spouses.

When I finally got to the point where I felt like I was at the end of my rope, I finally went to my doc and got put on antidepressants. It took only three months - during that time I said and did a lot of things I don't think I would've had the courage to say before. I somehow magically acquired the ability that I had lacked to calmly and respectfully complain to Prisca. I wasn't sure if I'd ever make any headway, but I did. I was able to keep myself following the rational plan of making love bank deposits. And it worked - Prisca's feelings about me changed, overwhelmingly. She began to care about me and to care about responding to my complaints.

There is still hope for your marriage, friend. But the problem is that in a depressed state of mind even when others around you can see the solution you personally will still feel that there is no solution.

A husband with a withdrawn wife has got to get both his Giver and his Taker in the game. It's going to require Love Bank deposits and complaints. And eliminating disrespect on your own part. We would not be your friends if we gave you a pass for the disrespectful comments, even as much as she has hurt you. There is a way to recover this, and we would not be your friends if we did not tell you that.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure


My Harley studies certainly helped me recover even if our marriage didn't. Y'see Squid would rather be within her comfort zone of a miserable distant marriage than be a happy but vulnerable spouse in a loving, intimate marriage. Squid has become more and more like her mom. She is critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative. She is genetically incapable of apology or praise. Just like her Mom to be fair. I have learned to live without intimacy or affections, which is hard as they are two major ENs for me.

I quit instigating SF last year, which means we never have SF. Squid would rather die than risk rejection by instigating SF herself.



Lots of disrespect in these couple of paragraphs. Why would anyone be in love with someone who thinks they are critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative?

AM
Originally Posted By: armymama
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure


My Harley studies certainly helped me recover even if our marriage didn't. Y'see Squid would rather be within her comfort zone of a miserable distant marriage than be a happy but vulnerable spouse in a loving, intimate marriage. Squid has become more and more like her mom. She is critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative. She is genetically incapable of apology or praise. Just like her Mom to be fair. I have learned to live without intimacy or affections, which is hard as they are two major ENs for me.

I quit instigating SF last year, which means we never have SF. Squid would rather die than risk rejection by instigating SF herself.



Lots of disrespect in these couple of paragraphs. Why would anyone be in love with someone who thinks they are critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative?
AM


Hi armymama, I don't think this is disrespectful. Bob is sharing his assessment of his relationship with us, on a message board. How he relates things to his wife is what matters most. He could convey these thoughts in a loving constructive way which would be a good thing.

My guess is he has, but to no avail.
How exactly would you tell someone that they are critical, controlling, unforgiving, manipulative and genetically incapable of apology or praise in a loving, constructive way?

I am reminded of a few US Army chaplains I have known, pious and "pure" and horrible to their wives.
I believe you've tried and tried and you've been beating your head against a wall, Bob. I am so sorry you haven't found fulfillment in your 'recovery'. I think you are stating fact from your own experience...to us...not necessarily in disrespectful or judgmental way towards her.

It is like you've been two trains on different tracks going the opposite directions ...for years.
Quote:
Why would anyone be in love with someone who thinks they are critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative?


Indeed ArmyMama. And she is not.

I will not trot out the efforts I have expended in trying to one-handedly recover our marriage.... Just know that I tried for many many years, without any useful response.. and frankly I felt a bit stupid keeping it up after a while so I quit. And it made no difference to Squids response to our marriage.
BP, at least you got to beat up the OM. There are many that never even got to know who the OM was.

Try a round of counseling with the Harley's to jump start recovery.
I could be wrong but I don't believe she would be interested in counseling with MB...she would refuse....and maybe even laugh at him if he were to suggest it at this point. Lots of time has passed since her A.
I hope you don't mind if I share some thoughts. I know that you have a very long history around here, so I guess I'm going out on a limb. And I haven't read your history. So this is just referencing your recent post.

Yours is in Black, Mine is in Blue.



Written by Bob Pure on 1/9/14

Y'see Squid would rather be within her comfort zone of a miserable distant marriage than be a happy but vulnerable spouse in a loving, intimate marriage.

Is that what she has told you?

Squid has become more and more like her mom. She is critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative.

Is this with you AND the kids or just you? do you reward that behavior?

She is genetically incapable of apology or praise. Just like her Mom to be fair.

I can't see how this is not a disrespectful judgement. You see, I can relate a bit as my partner was the same. He cannot logically see the point in apologizing for something unless he understands why it is wrong. But having said that, it is still disrespectful to determine your spouse as "INCAPABLE" when she is capable, just not motivated. When they see a long term benefit, people choose to do many uncomfortable things. To avoid negative consequences they will change their behavior, like end affairs. Your wife is no exception. Dr. Harley has said that most people who make it to the marriage altar are definitely "capable", they just have unhelpful instincts and need to complete a plan of behavioral change to demonstrate thoughtfulness. She is being disrespectful in that she does not accept and acknowledge your hurt, for whatever reason, or she is too concerned about herself (prideful)to care for you by apologizing.

Just like her Mom to be fair.
Can you help me understand why this is fair?

I have learned to live without intimacy or affections, which is hard as they are two major ENs for me.

Been there, done that. So you stopped complaining because you didn't want to rock the boat? Has your Taker disappeared? I guess you have found a way to live divorced, without the paper.

Squid would rather die than risk rejection by instigating SF herself.

Been there, done that. On the Not receiving end also.

I should have known early on that we would never recover and I should have divorced Squid after I ended the affair using MB tools. To divorce now would impoverish everyone as we approach retirement.

Does she know that you regret being married to her, but prefer it to poverty? Ouch.

Please do not consider me a pity case: a profoundly malign thing happened to me, yet I emerged from it alive, with faith and much much knowledge.

So glad that you have faith and knowledge. Wouldn't you prefer to have affection and sex? I do pity you a bit. But I also pity your wife. How can she feel safe initiating with you when you regret being married to her?

I hope that she can break through her walls someday, and that you can be a loving protector to her once she does. Would she laugh at you and your MB ideas if the alternative were poverty? Yikes. Opposite dilemma.

Have faith. You never know, crazier things have happened. It happened to me. And I would have never believed it. I hope it sticks smile
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Quote:
Why would anyone be in love with someone who thinks they are critical, controlling, unforgiving and manipulative?


Indeed ArmyMama. And she is not.

I will not trot out the efforts I have expended in trying to one-handedly recover our marriage.... Just know that I tried for many many years, without any useful response.. and frankly I felt a bit stupid keeping it up after a while so I quit. And it made no difference to Squids response to our marriage.


We are not meant to live this way. You are a young man. Don't spend another 30+ years like this.

AM
Bob,

I'm a newbie here, so if I am out of place asking things, please met me know.

Has your W been like this the whole 9-10 years? Or have some things changed over the last several years? Does your wife have some hormonal issues that are aggravating her ability to recover? Or is she possibly still in contact with the OM?

Wishing you the best. I hope things do get better for you.
Originally Posted By: Trix
I could be wrong but I don't believe she would be interested in counseling with MB...she would refuse....and maybe even laugh at him if he were to suggest it at this point. Lots of time has passed since her A.


At this point it does not matter what she cares. He is here. He is not happy. Maybe he can get a professional view that will help him to get to the next step. Staying were he is not his best choice.

Though many BH stay in limbo forever.
Originally Posted By: markos
It took only three months - during that time I said and did a lot of things I don't think I would've had the courage to say before. I somehow magically acquired the ability that I had lacked to calmly and respectfully complain to Prisca. I wasn't sure if I'd ever make any headway, but I did. I was able to keep myself following the rational plan of making love bank deposits. And it worked - Prisca's feelings about me changed, overwhelmingly. She began to care about me and to care about responding to my complaints.

There is still hope for your marriage, friend. But the problem is that in a depressed state of mind even when others around you can see the solution you personally will still feel that there is no solution.

A husband with a withdrawn wife has got to get both his Giver and his Taker in the game. It's going to require Love Bank deposits and complaints. And eliminating disrespect on your own part. We would not be your friends if we gave you a pass for the disrespectful comments, even as much as she has hurt you. There is a way to recover this, and we would not be your friends if we did not tell you that.


This is Gold. Terrific advice and insight.

How difficult it was for me to get to this place too, Marcos. And what a difference it has made in our M once we developed these skills.

I would venture to guess that there is an overwhelming majority of marriages that suffer because of the lack of ability to accomplish this.
Originally Posted By: 20YearHistory
Originally Posted By: markos
It took only three months - during that time I said and did a lot of things I don't think I would've had the courage to say before. I somehow magically acquired the ability that I had lacked to calmly and respectfully complain to Prisca. I wasn't sure if I'd ever make any headway, but I did. I was able to keep myself following the rational plan of making love bank deposits. And it worked - Prisca's feelings about me changed, overwhelmingly. She began to care about me and to care about responding to my complaints.

There is still hope for your marriage, friend. But the problem is that in a depressed state of mind even when others around you can see the solution you personally will still feel that there is no solution.

A husband with a withdrawn wife has got to get both his Giver and his Taker in the game. It's going to require Love Bank deposits and complaints. And eliminating disrespect on your own part. We would not be your friends if we gave you a pass for the disrespectful comments, even as much as she has hurt you. There is a way to recover this, and we would not be your friends if we did not tell you that.


This is Gold. Terrific advice and insight.

How difficult it was for me to get to this place too, Marcos. And what a difference it has made in our M once we developed these skills.

I would venture to guess that there is an overwhelming majority of marriages that suffer because of the lack of ability to accomplish this.


Thanks, 20year. It's an amazing discovery - I wish I could learn how to effectively get it across to others.

Once you get to this point, things suddenly start to seem so obvious. The old debates/fights we used to have seem so pointless, painful, and unproductive - the way forward when we have a conflict is now crystal clear because we know how to negotiate and have the habit built into us.

But it is so hard to explain when people are not there themselves. Dr. Harley is a real genius for being able to do this!
Friends, I thank you for your investment. I have tried everything for a long time.
I ran a Marriagebuilding ministry for my church and Squid joined in it with me. She actually taught from the front with me on the principles of MB, then steadfastly refused to apply them in our marriage. She has acknowledge that I have communicate what are LBs to me and ENs to me, but "its just not me" to make those changes in behaviour. I have for long periods invested in her ENs and avoided LBs to the great improvement of Squids life, and no commensurate improvement in mine. After many years of this I just felt silly doing it so I quit investing to my detriment. I communicate respectfully and very rarely LB with Squid.

Without exposing inappropriate detail I have asked Squid:

* Is there a reason why you will not show me affection ? A: Its a bit pathetic that you need so much "touchy feely" - man up. ( she was very affectionate and proactive with OM, and with me some years ago)
* Have I explained clearly that it feels to me like I am constantly criticized, and I feel like I live under your contempt ? - Answer : I can't say anything can I ? You're not perfect I have a right to complain !

I could go on but it is depressing.

Squid's mother was a fairly unique example of a wholly entitled human being, and there are traits of that in all three sisters. Genetics I guess.

She asked why I seemed sad at Christmas and i explained that i felt lonely. She replied that I chose to not spend the evenings with her ( watching the kind of TV that makes my IQ run out of my ears and make pools on the floor)so it was my fault.

She constantly offers advice and comments as to how i should do things. When drunk at Christmas she actually said " I wish you'd do something F'in stupid so you can't keep lording my affair over me ( I don't).

I have told Squid as RH and respectfully as I could in answer to her questions that 1) she is the only source of unhappiness in my life and 2)perhaps it would have been better for both of us if we had divorced ten years ago. She responds angrily to this honesty claiming everything is my fault.

She might be right.

if i could press a button and my whole family not be impoverished i would divorce right now. As it is it would condemn Squid and myself to impoverished middle and old age, and our kids would lose our support through college. At fifty that HAS to be a consideration. I do not know what else I can do.

My wife does not seem to want the marriage I want. She has spent ten years avoiding happiness. we started an MB counselling course, completed the questionnaire then Squid changed her mind.
markos "us" is the magic word. Where there is the mutual desire of an "us" success is assured.

There is no "us" in my marriage.
This posting tugs at me. I appreciate the long suffering and struggle and efforts to want to have a very special connection with your spouse and do the program here and yet remain in limbo.

After time you too wall off. Pretty tough to experience daily rejections. MB program caused me to be hypersensitive or aware of these feelings. Not a bad thing to motivate.But I am in chronic physical pain from nerve and arthritic condition and this extra sensitivity like chronic physical pain takes on a life of its own and is destructive of the host--me.

Like physical pain you have to control it or it will control you. Its hard to complain, ssk for your needs to be met, and continue to give of yourself. Dr Harley says you can't keep up plan A forever. I believe it impossible to not build resentment and many negative feeling. This just increased my own pain. One way or another I had to break out.

And I saw my children merging into adulthood were being adversely affected by this demonstration. Its not that they weren't great people. My children are now in their early thirties and taking on bigger responsibilities themselves and not always making positive life choices.

We cannot trust our spouses. They cannot trust us. We can trust God with our spouses and us. Letting go of our marriage from a financial planning perspective could create serious damages. But for me this is the crisis of faith God placed me in. This is the message I gave to my husband. It took a lot for my husband to 'get it." Nearly 10 years really. It was not a mere threat. Like a heros journey this was real.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I have tried everything for a long time.


Sorry Bob but no, you haven't. Step 1 = being honest with yourself.

The path you have taken is not what Dr. Harley prescribes. Not even close.

I believe he would have recommended a long time ago that you separate from your W until she was willing to meet your needs and participate in R.

Until you actually get on board with the program, we both know the ending to this story. But, hey, its your life. Your choices.



Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
markos "us" is the magic word. Where there is the mutual desire of an "us" success is assured.


Not really, Bob. If she didn't want to be there, she wouldn't. So yes, there is an 'us' now.

Regardless of what she is doing, YOU are not doing the program. Even with an 'us' in the relationship it takes more. It takes goal setting, implementation and change.

She is still complaining about you. Right? What have you done to change yourself to address her complaints?

Sure you can have an 'us' and still be miserable. That is what you have now....an unhappy 'us'.

You must stop the LB'ing each other and start making LB deposits. But you know this.

Why do you accept mediocrity? Don't you want more for yourself? Why don't you make it happen? You have the knowledge and the tools right in front of you to turn this around.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
markos "us" is the magic word. Where there is the mutual desire of an "us" success is assured.

There is no "us" in my marriage.


Bob, I have been exactly there - no US in the marriage. No motivation from my wife.

It was still possible to use this program to turn it around.

I decided I wasn't going to ignore any single one of Dr. Harley's suggestions. I started by getting to my doctor and going through the extreme embarrassment of asking for antidepressants. With my head cleared I was able to think much more strategically and save my marriage.

There is definitely an us now, but there would not have been if I hadn't hung on and followed the recommendations for turning things around.

When a wife is reluctant, a husband still has incredible potential for turning things around. Dr. Harley is much more optimistic when the husband is motivated and the wife is reluctant, than when it is the other way around.

But you probably need to get yourself some help first. Go see your doctor. Until then, it's not really accurate to say you've done "everything," is it?

Wishing you the best, Bob, and praying for you daily.
Bob, I hear you saying that you are respectful to your wife (in her presence, at least). But the things you say here about her are very disrespectful. I can testify to the fact that when your wife is not motivated to work on your marriage it is hard to talk about that problem respectfully. Extremely hard.

But I can also tell you that when HerPapaBear/tst spoke to me privately about my marriage (MANY times) he did NOT cut me any slack on this subject. Each and every time he pointed out that I was being disrespectful. It was a proud day for me indeed when he said "I noticed that you are now being respectful about Prisca when you complain about her." Wow! If he had not done this for me, my marriage would probably not have been saved.

I had to learn to be respectful about my wife ALL THE TIME. Not just when I was in her presence.

I got the exact same message from Kim (our coach from Dr. Harley in the Marriage Builders followup program) and from Steve Harley. Steve Harley told me my wife was right to be upset with me for how disrespectful I was toward her in the things I said here and to not treat this board as a place where I could post without her knowledge and be disrespectful about her. Kim's constant refrain was "don't go there, markos" whenever I began to start blaming Prisca. Prisca was not motivated to follow the program, and I still had to learn to construct my sentences in such a way that they did not blame Prisca. Now that's some trick! But it has to be done.

Question: how does Mrs. Pure feel about the nickname you use for her here?
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
* Is there a reason why you will not show me affection ? A: Its a bit pathetic that you need so much "touchy feely" - man up. ( she was very affectionate and proactive with OM, and with me some years ago)


You can't go to a wife in withdrawal and reason logically with her like this. She won't give you any information. In withdrawal she doesn't want her needs met and isn't willing to meet your needs, so she has no motivation whatsoever to give you any information that will help you. She's not going to tell you why she doesn't show you affection. There's a good chance she does not even know.

It's clear that when a man hits the romantic love threshold in her love bank, as you did in the past, she becomes affectionate. A lot of women are like this. Apparently for whatever reason, despite your strong efforts, you aren't hitting the target. You need some more information to hit that target, information like you were looking for with this question. But she is in no position to give it to you. Let us help you adjust your aim so your arrows don't miss and you can succeed and get the affection you need.

(BTW, Affection is an important EN to me, too. But I got none from Prisca when she was in withdrawal - and I later found that she had an aversion to being affectionate with me during that time. In fact, when she tried, she was later going off by herself and throwing up! Dr. Harley is coaching a couple right now in the private forum where the wife has an aversion to touch and affection with her husband. It's not that uncommon, and it can be changed - but it's going to take some adjustment to your pump priming effort. That adjustment CAN be made, but as long as you keep defending yourself claiming you have done / are doing everything, you won't do so.)
Bob, please listen to this - it's the one Marriage Builders Radio broadcast above all others that turned things around for me:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03324
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03325
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03326
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03327
Quote:
Question: how does Mrs. Pure feel about the nickname you use for her here?


She was eighteen when I met her in college class, pretty as a picture. She came into class and I had my big old rocker boots on her desk. She chided me. Next day I bought in pledge, cloths and a bucket and made a big show of cleaning her desk. She laughed til she cried. She had a bad cold. I asked her " So like-clean-desk-girl, whats your name ?"

She replied " It's Quinn". With her cold it sounded like " Id Squid". We laughed til we made tears.

She was Squid from that day to this.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Quote:
Question: how does Mrs. Pure feel about the nickname you use for her here?


She was eighteen when I met her in college class, pretty as a picture. She came into class and I had my big old rocker boots on her desk. She chided me. Next day I bought in pledge, cloths and a bucket and made a big show of cleaning her desk. She laughed til she cried. She had a bad cold. I asked her " So like-clean-desk-girl, whats your name ?"

She replied " It's Quinn". With her cold it sounded like " Id Squid". We laughed til we made tears.

She was Squid from that day to this.
You went to quite an effort to connect with her that day. Clearly, it was worth the effort then. So, what has changed?

I would venture to say that your wife has an EN for these kind of romantic gestures. In your exhaustion, you have stopped meeting that need. So, why not try meeting it again? Try being spontaneously fun.
To reinforce Marcos notion to stop all disrespectful actions and reactions towards your spouse so you can be in love once again....

I have recently come to appreciate how I am personally affected by my husbands negative non-verbal energy. In fact, how he'd been directing his energy both positive and negative helped me understand him to be wayward even while it was fantasy and I had no material evidence. And when he arrives home from work feeling not so good about his day and emotes non-verbally it feels I am on the receiving end or being used to rid himself of bad feelings. For one, I've had to learn to protect myself from being hurt this way. But now that my husband is 'on board' he is better at owning his stuff and telling me whats going on thus helping to create safety/set precautions. Interestingly if I'd ask my husband for example if he was mad he would deny it but his body language and non-verbal vibes said otherwise.

I'm saying this because your wife is likely aware at some level how your really feel. Your children likely have a clue too. Its all going to come out at some point sideways no matter your herculian efforts.

Fully own your feelings and take action to protect yourself and others.
Quote:
So, why not try meeting it again? Try being spontaneously fun


I have always been this way. I keep my kids in hysterics. The only person in the room to not laugh is Squid. Either she doesn't find me funny or cute, or she can't allow herself to reward me with a laugh.

There are a couple of things that people who haven't been shoveling this for a decade refuse to hear. I know, I was one of them.

Firstly I do not intend to leave my marriage so the MB "leaving" as leverage will not work. My son has residual separation anxiety from when his friend committed suicide almost seven years ago. I have a unique relationship with him and I have a way to help him through his anxiety attacks. He started college in September and was a mess through anxiety. With work and prayer he is doing much much better now. He does not handle change well. My leaving would make him ill, until he is much much stronger and resilient. Divorce the same.

So my leaving until Squid decided to reach out to me with a preparedness to contribute to the MB program would be devastating for my son. I am not that selfish. It would be an empty gesture from me.

Also, frankly, Squid hasn't really changed her level of response to me in 8 years regardless of whether I am in a plan-A level of investment or not. I just end up feeling a bit pathetic when I look at all the work on my part with nothing back.

She has given me no hope, no glimpse in ten years that she is prepared to contribute anything towards my happiness.

Squid had a very complex upbringing with a strange and dysfunctional FOO. she and her sisters clearly carry baggage from that in how they behave. Whatever she is unresponsive to any positive attribute of mine, or any investment I make in her, yet micro-sensitive to any flaws. It is very tiring to live under the contempt of a person.

I had no intention of writing this much, just to post a cautionary tale for anyone similar. Don't beat yourself up. Some people just don't want to be better spouses.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Some people just don't want to be better spouses.
I certainly believe that is true, but I likewise believe that for one to say that about one's own spouse is a DJ.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I had no intention of writing this much, just to post a cautionary tale for anyone similar. Don't beat yourself up. Some people just don't want to be better spouses.


I appreciate your posting BP and am glad you wrote as much. As a cautionary tale it serves to underscore how any recovery depends on two willing spouses. Even though my FWW is working to be a better spouse, I bet I may have stayed if she weren't. For the kids. Your story would have helped me make a more educated decision.
Quote:
to say that about one's own spouse is a DJ


Even if they admit it ?
She might not want to be a better spouse, Bob, but I'll bet she wants to have a happy, romantic marriage.

I don't know why she won't put in the effort to have one, but I'm certain that she wants one. Women do!
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Quote:
to say that about one's own spouse is a DJ


Even if they admit it ?



Yes, Bob, it is. Even if they admit it.

I know you're convinced you did everything you could, but it sounds like you had further to go on learning to recognize disrespect. I hear you saying that you don't use disrespect in her presence - but I also hear you having trouble recognizing when you are being disrespectful. So it makes me wonder how much disrespect you are expressing in her presence without being aware of it. You have related several examples here of things you have said to her, directly, that are disrespectful.

The love is busted, and with love busters around, it is not surprising. Like many women your wife is probably swayed very much by emotion. She is probably not interested in following a logical plan to restore your marriage, but it's clear that her attitude and behavior toward you are vastly different when your account in her love bank is higher. But it can't ever get higher when disrespect is present, because you can't fill a bucket when you are shooting holes in it.
Sir,

I have a Very Deep respect for your ongoing 10 year efforts.....

But,

Could some of these posters possibly be correct?

Is there more improvement you can work on for yourself and also eliminate any hint of Lovebusters that others have recognized?

Would your relationship be More or Less satisfying if you were to become a student with a new perspective once again?

LTL
I removed all lovebusters. For years. Made no difference and was hard work,as no effort was made by my wife to stop lovebusting me.

Squid has told me that she does not respect me. I need correcting so she corrects me. Any and all occasions.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I removed all lovebusters. For years. Made no difference and was hard work,as no effort was made by my wife to stop lovebusting me.

Squid has told me that she does not respect me. I need correcting so she corrects me. Any and all occasions.



Stopping the main Lovebusters of demands, disrespect, and anger is part of the equation, but not all of it. Have you eliminated independent behavior, dishonesty, and annoying habits? Meeting ENs are also part of the equation. I don't see how you could possibly be showing her care and affection with the thoughts you have expressed here.

Stopping Lovebusters is something you do for the rest of your life, regardless of what your spouse does. If your spouse doesn't stop theirs, there are other alternatives to you returning to committing your own Lovebusters.

She says she doesn't respect you, and that's information you can use. Why doesn't she respect you? What kinds of things does she correct you about? Can you let her know that you understand her point of view, but find a different way to communicate her complaints so she's not correcting you? Is it mostly annoying habits?

How about the policy of joint agreement? Do you follow it as Dr. Harley defines it?

Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I removed all lovebusters. For years. Made no difference and was hard work,as no effort was made by my wife to stop lovebusting me.

Squid has told me that she does not respect me. I need correcting so she corrects me. Any and all occasions.



You have said:

You need correcting...so she corrects you. Any and all occasions.

She doesn't respect you.

She has made no effort to not love bust you.

She committed adultery.

You will not leave under any circumstance.

She will not engage in MB's.

You will not engage in MB's.

She will not meet you EN's.

You are not meeting her EN's.

You are both very disrespectful to each other.

You do not follow the POJA.

You do not have Radical Honesty.

You do not spend 15hrs/wk UA.

This is a grim summary indeed. I am very sad for you friend. There is no way that love can be built under these conditions. none.

Do you know how Dr. Harley defines a marriage? It is a relationship of extraordinary care.
You do not have a marriage Bob. You are living (in misery) with a woman that you are legally bound to.

Yes, you are both LB'ing each other all over the place and you don't even realize it.
You have been given some great advice here. Why don't you take it?

What do you want? What are you willing to do to get there? Why are you here?
I may be out of line here. I've been around on this site a very long time. But like you we have had a difficult go. Not a text book recovery. Mostly all arrows pointed to hopelessness. I so wish my husband had bent over backwards from the 'new beginning' after D-day. Saved so much time and pain and money too. But the experience we've had is the experience we have had and I have to come away with the lessons the experience has offered. And here we are now and it seems there really is an opportunity to have the kind of relationship we all deserve. I'm hopeful. If you and I sat down and I told you the full story you would probably be surprised how far we have suddenly come.

Anyway, here's what I'm wondering and I am sure others with more concise knowledge can help clarify for me.

From what I understand the name of the game is to stay clear of SD, DJ, and AO. And from what I know of my own experience one another's stinking thinking or contempt can infect the other. So say for example your husband/wife does not want to follow POJA and negotiate to create win-win solutions and protect LB. If spouse is a IBers you experience them as dictators in the relationship due to their self interests at your expense. Then pretty soon you might have dualing dictators while you both assert for individual needs and rebalance. LB of both is drained to point of hatred.

And from what I understand one strategy to stop this cycle is to protect your own LB from further withdrawal by living apart. Contempt can take on a life of its own and kill the relationship. But sticking around is like death by one thousand cuts. Its suicide. Your son is watching this. Would it make sense to take a break. Test it out. Perhaps live near your son. Gather yourself and get a clearer view?

I look forward to hearing from you or the vets around here.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure

I had no intention of writing this much, just to post a cautionary tale for anyone similar. Don't beat yourself up. Some people just don't want to be better spouses.


Let's be very careful here. This is a cautionary tale to anyone who does NOT use MB's that this is most likely your fate.

We are 2years into R and our M has never been better. We chose to follow the program so this is our fate. If we wouldn't have, we would be just like Bob and Squid.

Yes, you CAN have a happy M. By not following the program this is the result.
Quote:
We are 2years into R and our M has never been better


Yep. I said that at around two years as well.

The "Poster child" I was called at two years. And now newbies accuse me of knowing nothing about MB having never tried....

I wish you all very well. Just know that the spouse that controls a marriage is the one that values it least.That shows up over time.
I wrote this many year sago. It seemed to strike a chord with many longer term recovered folks.

I have seen my own recovery, and that of many other BS follow predictable steps. The steps or stages may be similar but the timelines are very different. Also, once the full set has been run through, stages can be selected in seemingly random fashion.


1.- Devastation.
Fear, shock, confusion, existential pain. Loss of hopes, dreams and every assumption about God and man.
D-day and just afterwards. Don't want to go there again, ever.

2.- Appeasement.
OK, I've been dealt a cr@p hand, but if she will at least stay home SOME of my life support systems may at least function a bit.

3.- Indignation.
Screw that ! I'm stronger now and i WILL NOT suck up any more pain than I have to. Still scared, but not settling for crumbs.
This is where MB gets SERIOUSLY assimilated and applied. Turns hatred on OM as being to blame for affair.

4.- Gratitude.
The affair is ended, WS sends NC letter, exposure scares OM into darkness. THANK YOU GOD ! LA LA LA LA LA ! Still suspects FWS motivations for coming home, i.e comfort not love.

5.-"Advising others how to be wonderfully recovered like we are"

We have like SF 3 times a day, and a restored marriage is a decent possibility again and I am so DESPERATELY grateful to not be in the deepest cr@p imaginable I am hyper-happy. Yessiree, no recovery problems for me !This is it for ever and it only took us a year or so ! Secretly suspects FWS motivations for coming home, i.e comfort not love.

6.-"Ah, theres an elephant in the sitting room"

So day to day life has been OK for a while now. SF, even maybe some ILYs. Kids are happy. Life is ACTUALLY not happier than for years but it is so much better than during the dark times of the affair and withdrawal that it seems that way. But you start to notice the 'elephant' in the sitting room : the enormous baggage of the affair that the BS has been previously too 'fight or flight' or psychotically happy to address. Suspects FWS motivations for coming home, i.e comfort not love.

7.- "I am angry and I don't need you so why am I here ?"

BS has operated in a loveless and hurt world for so long is now almost completely self sufficient. Is no longer even slightly desperate. Does not NEED FWS as whole life support mechananism has HAD to regrow without her while she betrayed and sulked over the months. Feels indignation at both the insult of the affair AND the insult of FWS not contributing HARD to recovery. Feels like an ATM machine and bodyguard and hugely taken for granted. KNOWS FWS still loves OP.

8. - What about MY needs ?

BS has developed a sense of self worth independent of what others think. Has had to. Thinks he deserves MUCH more affection, admiration respect, gratitude. " I didn't put this amount of effort in just to be nagged at all the time, and never be praised. I deserve MORE than that!." The kids happiness at a stable family quells thoughts of rebellion. realises OP was just an amoral scumbag who made the most of an opportunity FWS offered , 100% of the blame for the A is FWS. This hits hard.

9. - Resignation

The kids are happy, I am not unhappy, FWS is happy, this is just my lot in life. Better get on with it.

10.- make or break drive to get a M the BS deserves.

An effort from BS to challenge the peaceful but unsatisfying status quo in an attempt to get BS needs met.


I think I am hitting 10 again.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Quote:
We are 2years into R and our M has never been better


Yep. I said that at around two years as well.

The "Poster child" I was called at two years. And now newbies accuse me of knowing nothing about MB having never tried....

I wish you all very well. Just know that the spouse that controls a marriage is the one that values it least.That shows up over time.


I can respect that. Never said you didn't know anything about MB. Not at all.

What I said was you are not using it. There is a difference. It makes me very said to hear of your experience and the mental shape you are in.

My point is..there are always options. Always.

The difference between you and I (and I do not mean this as disrespectful to you at all) is that I refuse to live in a marriage void of love and respect.

We all have the right to chose what we want out of life and to live with it.

At any point my W bailed on the MB program, our M would be over. And I would expect the same of her if the role was reversed.

We hold each other accountable. Do you?

eta: The one that controls? That is confusing to me. You know as well as I do that Dr. Harley does not condone anyone 'controlling' the M. It is an equal partnership. Neither you or your wife should control anything but their own choices and actions.



BP, I am truly sorry you are in this spot. Im in a similar one, although our roles are different. I very rarely post anymore, as I am not following MB advice, so Im certainly not in a place where I feel comfortable advising others. Commiserating is more my style.

Its not only that some people dont want to be better spouses. Some people dont believe in happiness. And before I am accused of a DJ, I have that straight from the mouth of my H. There is no happiness. Only existence.

At least, on a good day, I no longer believe that I am solely responsible for causing him to feel that way.

Hoping you find peace.
I am sorry for the situation you are in.

However, I know many people lurk on these boards seeking Marriage Builders Advice.

It is very dangerous and reckless here to post advice and thoughts that do not align with Dr. Harley's program.

You have chosen to not follow the program and where you are at is the result.

If followed, the program is bullet proof. I know first hand. If not followed, as evidenced by your story, you end up in a worse marriage than before the A.

Good luck to you.
My wife never seriously committed to the MB program. She believes (consolidated by the first 18 years of our marriage) that simply men who love women treat them like princesses, and manly men do not need anything back, are never hurt by words and make up sex fixes everything( a summary of a lot of discussion, but it does not misrepresent her views).

MB is unnecessary in her view.

Quote:
eta: The one that controls? That is confusing to me. You know as well as I do that Dr. Harley does not condone anyone 'controlling' the M. It is an equal partnership. Neither you or your wife should control anything but their own choices and action


In a fully realised MB based marriage that is true. I suspect however that such marriages represent less than 1% of all marriages. In most marriages one or the other spouse gets their own way most often without POJA.

The spouse that most often does this is the one who cares least for the marriage. They have all the leverage.
Quote:
You have chosen to not follow the program and where you are at is the result.


I followed the program for many more years than you have. Big difference is that your spouse also follows the program.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Quote:
You have chosen to not follow the program and where you are at is the result.


I followed the program for many more years than you have. Big difference is that your spouse also follows the program.



How can you say this?

Step 1 of the program for R is that BOTH spouses agree to follow it. If either spouse does not agree then you are not in R. Period.

Seems to me that you never got past square 1 and never actually started the program. Ever.

Sad to hear. Really. You seem like a great guy with a big heart.
Step 1 of the program (in the case of adultery) is to apply Plan A and / or plan B isn't it ?

Can't remember the last time an active wayward spouse agreed to that.
Step 1 after discovery is to apply Plan A and potentially B.

Step 1 of R is for both the WS and BS to agree to the program!

Can't you see the difference? Sorry to say but you never entered the R stage.

My intentions were to try to show you a different perspective and try to help you turn the corner of your M.

Sorry I was not successful. I will not argue with you.

I wish you nothing but the best.



BobPure,

I was not meaning to argue with you about what you have decided to do with your Recovery. The only thing I was asking was if your wife was having early menopause or a hormone issue, and if this was affecting her actions and desire to work on the M. f(Those durn hormones can cause a lot of problems if even one of them is being dodgy.)

Wish you the best.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Step 1 of the program (in the case of adultery) is to apply Plan A and / or plan B isn't it ?

Can't remember the last time an active wayward spouse agreed to that.



The affair was ten years ago. I am pretty sure Dr. Harley would say you shouldn't be applying Plan A, Plan B, or the terms WS and BS to your situation.

What you have is a bad marriage where the wife is not engaged in the marriage. The affair was ten years ago. This is a situation that can and should be fixed without any reference to the affair.

This is a situation that would be addressed by the husband working to fill the wife's love bank. That can't be done if you're still treating it as an affair situation, because you'll keep dwelling on this mistake of the past. We can see this complaint from your wife in what she has said to you, but it doesn't sound like it has been addressed by you.
20YH don't bottle out now !

If you are willing let me lay our the series of circumstances I was presented with, and you can tell me what you would have done, or what I should have done. That will help me to measure my actions against a straight edge.

Let me know if you are willing to help me in this way ! i would appreciate it, honestly !
Originally Posted By: BlairBluefin
BobPure,

I was not meaning to argue with you about what you have decided to do with your Recovery. The only thing I was asking was if your wife was having early menopause or a hormone issue, and if this was affecting her actions and desire to work on the M. f(Those durn hormones can cause a lot of problems if even one of them is being dodgy.)

Wish you the best.


Hey BBF !

I appreciate the question ! No, Squid has not been in menopause. She is just beginning the first stages of that journey.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
My wife never seriously committed to the MB program. She believes (consolidated by the first 18 years of our marriage) that simply men who love women treat them like princesses, and manly men do not need anything back, are never hurt by words and make up sex fixes everything( a summary of a lot of discussion, but it does not misrepresent her views).


And the program would specify that in that case you:

Meet her needs in sustainable, non-sacrificial ways that do not offend your Taker, (in my experience this took a lot of experimentation)

Keep your complaints about your unmet needs and her love busters on the front burner. Are you doing that? And if so, does she feel that your complaints are respectful? (Because if she does not feel they are respectful, then they are not.)

Bob, from what I can see you have a long way to go in learning how to eliminate disrespectful judgments. It sounds to me like you've been missing the mark on several of the above points. You are resentful because you have sacrificed. And while at times you have complained to her, you have done it in disrespectful ways and/or ways that dwelt on her mistake of the past. And at other times I suspect you have buried your complaints - for example, when you started posting here again it seems that your basic outlook was to assume that she will never act on your complaints and so there is no point continuing to talk to her about it.

What happens when you try to take your wife out on a date?
Originally Posted By: 20YearHistory
Step 1 after discovery is to apply Plan A and potentially B.

Step 1 of R is for both the WS and BS to agree to the program!

Can't you see the difference? Sorry to say but you never entered the R stage.

My intentions were to try to show you a different perspective and try to help you turn the corner of your M.

Sorry I was not successful. I will not argue with you.

I wish you nothing but the best.
20 year - I agree with everything you have said on this thread.

It is important to realize that recovery does not lead to a state of "happily ever after". Rather, it lead to a very romantic, fulfilling marriage that is, how shall I put it, "high maintenance". It requires lots of attention and work. It is very much worth it, but if you don't keep it up, it will fall apart. That's just the way it is.
Hi Markos !

I am not treating it as an affair situation. I was challenging 20's assertion that no part of MB is executed by only one spouse.

My marriage is unsatisfying new each day, not hungover from a decade old event.

The affair was one of my life's defining events, however.I suspect it has taken years off my life It has only been a couple of years ago that it was in my thoughts at least once every day. I was changed very profoundly by it, for ever.

What keeps the A relevant and hurtful is when some of the criticisms Squid levels at me are the same ones she used to justify her A. It triggers and springs into view. She never took those back.

I may have misrepresented our life: it is not stark and miserable all the time. We laugh, and we parent pretty well. we enjoy each other's company in some way when we go to meals or gigs etc.

But then my wife LBs in major and unapologetic ways and it resets me to zero, and makes me feel foolish for not divorcing her a decade ago. I don;t want to be divorced, but I do not want to be hurt by my wife. She will not or cannot change that You have chosen to not follow the program and where you are at is the result. so I am left with the state I am in: balancing between acceptance and settling.

As I see it the only card I have left is to divorce and see if it triggers squid to fight for our M. Problem is that would impoverish my entire family, hurt my son and most of the time I am not unhappy enough for that to seem like a good bargain to me.

Its a loop of hope and disappointment. If I'd known my M would be like this a decade after I fought the very devil to save it, i would not have bothered.




Quote:
And at other times I suspect you have buried your complaints - for example, when you started posting here again it seems that your basic outlook was to assume that she will never act on your complaints and so there is no point continuing to talk to her about it.


Complaint : " I feel constantly corrected and criticized"
Response :" When exactly have I criticized or corrected you ?"
Bob : " here, here, here and here"
Squid : " What a loser keeping a list of every little thing I say ! Do you think you are so perfect that i am not allowed to say ANYTHING critical ?"

or

Complaint : " I feel constantly corrected and criticized"
Response :" When exactly have I criticized or corrected you ?"
Bob : " I haven't been keeping notes but I know how I feel"
Squid : " so you can't give me examples, but I'm still mean to you ? You think you're mister perfect, and you're NOT".

The "I think i am mister perfect" is a regular expression of squids resentment. FWIW I am starkly aware of my failings. My forum name has nothing to do with behaviour and everything to do with my playing the guitar like Bob Mould smile
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
As I see it the only card I have left is to divorce


Bob, my point is that this is not the only card you have left. You have not done everything.

I notice that you leave a lot of my questions unanswered, and it suggests to me that you may be missing a lot of the points I'm making about other things that you can do. There is a lot of hope here, Bob. There are a lot of things you can do.

I understand how your wife's barbs hurt. That is how Prisca treated me in 2011. And most times I complained about it, she got nasty about it. It hurt like hell and was only made worse when I remembered her unfaithfulness at the beginning of that year. But I was also hurting her as well by my disrespect. Learning to eliminate disrespect toward each other was a massive and difficult struggle for both of us.
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Quote:
to say that about one's own spouse is a DJ


Even if they admit it ?



Yes, Bob, it is. Even if they admit it.

I know you're convinced you did everything you could, but it sounds like you had further to go on learning to recognize disrespect. I hear you saying that you don't use disrespect in her presence - but I also hear you having trouble recognizing when you are being disrespectful. So it makes me wonder how much disrespect you are expressing in her presence without being aware of it. You have related several examples here of things you have said to her, directly, that are disrespectful.

The love is busted, and with love busters around, it is not surprising. Like many women your wife is probably swayed very much by emotion. She is probably not interested in following a logical plan to restore your marriage, but it's clear that her attitude and behavior toward you are vastly different when your account in her love bank is higher. But it can't ever get higher when disrespect is present, because you can't fill a bucket when you are shooting holes in it.

QFT.

Bob, your wife has no reason to be interested in following MB because you haven't shown her that there's anything in it for her. You have been and continue to be disrespectful. Why, then, should she show any interest in MB?

A wife doesn't have to buy into MB in order for the husband to turn the marriage around, however. But you will have to prime the pump, and in order to do that you are going to have to completely eliminate the disrespect. I know you believe you have already done so, but please listen when we tell you that you are still very disrespectful of your wife.

You can turn this around. You haven't tried everything yet.
Originally Posted By: markos
What happens when you try to take your wife out on a date?
Some people you know, Prisca, have met my wife, spent time with my family and I and seen us interact. They can say whether or not I am or have been for ten years "very disrespectful of my wife". You have only my hurried dialog written as I also work.

And here is another statement you can critique; i am TIRED. It is always ME who has to do the intervention, avoid DJs in the face of DJs, offer respect in the face of contempt, meet ENs in the face of apathy in hope that she may respond. I'd quite like Squid to initiate something, Just once
Have you ever addressed a complaint like Dr. Harley suggests?

Have you thought about emailing him and being on the show?

markos is giving you excellent advice.
Disrespect is disrespect, Bob. I don't need to have met you and your wife in order to recognize it.

You don't HAVE to change anything if you don't want to. You don't HAVE to eliminate your DJs. But don't claim you've tried everything.
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: markos
What happens when you try to take your wife out on a date?


We used to go out 3 or 4 times per week for lunchtime dates, whenever I could arrange to work from home and at weekends. We had lovely times, and it didn't hurt us financially as so many lovely places have specials for Lunch !

So much of our early progress after the A took place over long lunches in a wonderful Thai restaurant we found locally.

One outcome of those discussions was that Squid hated and resented being SAHM. She gave up nursing to raise our kids but it was not fulfilling enough for her. It led to her hyper-investing in her sport and so to the affair.

In response to this I paid for Squid to be qualified as a driving instructor and bought her a car. She started up a driving school. She loves this and gives her the challenge and independence she craved. Trouble is we now almost never have time for dates. She works every lunchtime and it pooped most evenings. Hmm.... * strokes chin *
Not being picky Prisca but you have not witnessed a single interaction between my wife and I,only reportage of them. I am not sure how you can be so certain. I am not so careful to avoid Djs these days that much is true. The volume of disrespect i receive makes that difficult.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
And here is another statement you can critique; i am TIRED. It is always ME who has to do the intervention, avoid DJs in the face of DJs, offer respect in the face of contempt, meet ENs in the face of apathy in hope that she may respond. I'd quite like Squid to initiate something, Just once


I know what you mean, Bob - that would be fantastic. But it is not very realistic.

I guess the question is, when she does damage to your marriage, is it a good idea for you to do further damage? When she makes a love bank withdrawal, does a love bank withdrawal on your part make her more, or less, likely to ever come around like she used to be?

My marriage did not improve until I committed to Dr. Harley's ideal which was that even when your spouse breaks the rules, you can't break the rules in return. Things continued to suck and life continued to be hell.
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
Have you ever addressed a complaint like Dr. Harley suggests?

Have you thought about emailing him and being on the show?

markos is giving you excellent advice.


BH I know Bill quite well, and spoke with him a lot up to a few years ago.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
20YH don't bottle out now !

If you are willing let me lay our the series of circumstances I was presented with, and you can tell me what you would have done, or what I should have done. That will help me to measure my actions against a straight edge.

Let me know if you are willing to help me in this way ! i would appreciate it, honestly !

Bob, I think everyone who has posted to you recently would be willing to help you step by step with your marriage and your interactions (or lack of them, sometimes) with your wife.

I think you would benefit from starting again, as if you hadn't bumped this old thread, and simply laying out the problems that you face. Your criticisms, her criticisms, each of your responses, her lack of affection towards you, your lack of interest in the TV programmes she watches...everything you have mentioned, and everything else.

I think you'd be amazed at the level of help that is given nowadays here. These forums have become much more like an academy in which we read Dr H's books and articles, write to and listen to the radio programme, and use our knowledge from the online course.

As far as I can see, most people here have identified situations that you should be handling differently. If you can commit to listening to feedback and not arguing with it (unless you genuinely think that it is a misinterpretation of Dr H), I think you could make a great difference in your marriage.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Not being picky Prisca but you have not witnessed a single interaction between my wife and I,only reportage of them. I am not sure how you can be so certain.


Bob, we have witnessed you writing disrespectful things about your wife in nearly every post you have made here the past few days.

I am not convinced that you have ever committed yourself to learning what disrespect is. It appears to me that you simply do not recognize it.

You continue to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons in response to nuclear weapons. The result is mutually assured destruction.

We have watched you push the DJ button about your wife in nearly every post. I believe that if you went back and reread your posts you would find some of your disrespectful comments about your wife, but I don't think you would find a majority of them. I think you haven't learned how to tell what disrespect is. A great example was when you suggested that a comment you made about your wife wasn't disrespectful because your wife had said it about herself - that doesn't at all mean that your comment was not disrespectful. Those of us who have been working to apply these concepts in our marriage know this. I know you've been working hard, but your efforts must have been misdirected, because somehow you have really missed this lesson.

Bob, you do own the book Love Busters, don't you? The recent revised edition? (Year 2008 or 2009, I believe.) There is a lot more material in it than the older edition. If not, can I offer to buy you a copy and help you through it?
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Originally Posted By: BrainHurts
Have you ever addressed a complaint like Dr. Harley suggests?

Have you thought about emailing him and being on the show?

markos is giving you excellent advice.


BH I know Bill quite well, and spoke with him a lot up to a few years ago.


What we usually suggest to people is that they continue to contact Dr. Harley if things are not working.

I'm betting you've heard about Dr. Harley's "concentric circles" approach to problem solving. He suggests the simplest solution that could possibly work, and then if that doesn't work, he moves outward to increasingly complex and more-encompassing solutions until finding the solution that does work.

That's why it's vitally important to keep him up to date on what's going on - let him know that things aren't working, your marriage did not recover, and see what he suggests next.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: markos
What happens when you try to take your wife out on a date?


We used to go out 3 or 4 times per week for lunchtime dates, whenever I could arrange to work from home and at weekends. We had lovely times, and it didn't hurt us financially as so many lovely places have specials for Lunch !

So much of our early progress after the A took place over long lunches in a wonderful Thai restaurant we found locally.

One outcome of those discussions was that Squid hated and resented being SAHM. She gave up nursing to raise our kids but it was not fulfilling enough for her. It led to her hyper-investing in her sport and so to the affair.

In response to this I paid for Squid to be qualified as a driving instructor and bought her a car. She started up a driving school. She loves this and gives her the challenge and independence she craved. Trouble is we now almost never have time for dates. She works every lunchtime and it pooped most evenings. Hmm.... * strokes chin *


It's not hard to see why things took a downturn .. the situation changed, the dates went away, and no new arrangements were made to get dates scheduled again.

This is something I would keep on the front burner. A year ago, Prisca did not want to have dates with me. And she even got mad at me when I brought it up. But I was not happy, and I spoke to her about it, and I backed away when the conversation got heated, and then brought it up again later.

What happens when you tell her "I would like to take you out alone - can we schedule some time for it?" What is her initial response?


Bob, did you listen to this?
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Some people you know, Prisca, have met my wife, spent time with my family and I and seen us interact. They can say whether or not I am or have been for ten years "very disrespectful of my wife". You have only my hurried dialog written as I also work.

And here is another statement you can critique; i am TIRED. It is always ME who has to do the intervention, avoid DJs in the face of DJs, offer respect in the face of contempt, meet ENs in the face of apathy in hope that she may respond. I'd quite like Squid to initiate something, Just once

Bob - your disrespect for your wife is very apparent to those of us in the third person, and the third person is really a much more reliable perspective to recognize disrespect from than the second person is. In other words, if I know you, I'm less likely to get it right.

I suspect that you have become very skilled at wrapping lovebusters in pretty packages. Your wife has no interest in working with you because there is nothing in it for her. She has had too many experiences with opening the box only to find a lovebuster inside. There is no surer way to turn a spouse off on using MB than to craft it into a club and keep hitting them over the head with it.

Now, I don't know you and I don't know exactly what is going on. I can only go with what I see. But I have to say, the disrespect you disclose here is considerable.
If I was in your shoes, here is what I would say.

"Squid. I love you very much and want nothing more than to have a loving, happy, mutually beneficial marriage with you. We certainly have a lot of history together and to fight for in this marriage. I want you to know that I am unhappy the way things are. However, I am willing to do my part to be the husband that you love and can respect. I know we can get there if we both make the effort.

How does the prospect of both of us being romantically in-love with each other sound to you? I truly believe that if we take another look at the Marriage Builders program we can both get what we want out of this marriage.

I cannot continue to go on the way we have been going. I fear that if we continue down this path, I will fall completely out of love with you and that scares me terribly. That is the last thing that I want. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, my wife, happily married.

I don't want to ever talk about what happened 10 years ago again. Never. What is in the past, is in the past. I am focused on today and the future. That is what we have control over.

I believe MB's can help both of us create the M we have always wanted. It can create a win-win for both of us!

Would you be willing to seriously consider looking at the MB program again? I am unsure exactly what your impression are of the program but if you are willing, we can tackle this thing together"


After I said this and if she was open to it, I would get HNHR and LB's out and read each book chapter by chapter out loud together.

I would then fill out the LB's questionnaire and the EN's questionnaire to pinpoint the exact areas to focus on.

Then have a minimum of 15hrs/wk of dates meeting each other's needs.

This would be a wonderful way to start your NEW M!.


This would be a fantastic way to start.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
20YH don't bottle out now !

If you are willing let me lay our the series of circumstances I was presented with, and you can tell me what you would have done, or what I should have done. That will help me to measure my actions against a straight edge.



What good does it do today to discuss what you could have done differently 10 years ago?

None of that matters now. Not one bit. Living in the past will do you no good.

What you can control is today and tomorrow. That starts with making wise decisions starting today. January 16, 2014.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Some people you know, Prisca, have met my wife, spent time with my family and I and seen us interact. They can say whether or not I am or have been for ten years "very disrespectful of my wife". You have only my hurried dialog written as I also work.

Bob, many of the women here know your wife. We know very well what it feels like to refuse to work on the marriage because we are withdrawn. However, there is probably nobody on the board who could help you more than Prisca. She has been where your wife is now, and she can tell you how markos turned that around and made her care about him and the marriage again.

I'll give you one example of something that might not seem significant to you but that might well feed into her distance from you: you mentioned not wanting to watch TV programmes that make your IQ bleed out onto the floor (or similar words).

I realise that you probably do not use those words to her, but do you say this in another way? Do you let her know that you find some of the stuff she watches pointless, or unintelligent, or mind-numbing? Do you ever pass comments about how programmes like hers appeal to the lowest common denominator? Do you say things like "OMG, not another cookery/home decorating/reality show!"?

If you say anything like that, this is probably being interpreted by her as insulting her intelligence and her taste. That would be a disrespectful judgement of her. If you've done this even sporadically over a long period of time it could be making her feel that you look down on her. That's a horrible feeling, and it doesn't make a woman want to be affectionate and friendly towards her husband.

You might not be doing that. I'm only asking you to consider it.

It is important to say that you don't want to watch a programme without expressing a judgement of your wife, who likes that kind of programme. If she ever asks you why you don't like home decorating shows or why you won't watch TV with her, you can say that you like reality shows when they involve wildlife. Don't demean the programmes she likes.

If you were going out on dates 4 times per week, you could build enough love units that it wouldn't matter if she sometimes watched her programmes while you did something else. You wouldn't feel that you never spend time together and that you have little in common when it comes to RC choices.

A couple should meet the intimate ENs mutually on and after dates, and avoids LBs in their daily interaction.
Bob, I've been making a list of additional things you can do that I think have a good chance of helping your marriage recover.

Would you like this list?
I have been reminded starkly on another thread that this site does not permit advocacy of any methodology but MB. I never dreamed that would also lead to a recommendation of love and grace being deleted by mods, but that is fair enough. This is no longer my house.

I do not think I have the calories to burn on only MB in my life now. All my fault. Thank you for your care. I shall seek another path. Be blessed.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I have been reminded starkly on another thread that this site does not permit advocacy of any methodology but MB. I never dreamed that would also lead to a recommendation of love and grace being deleted by mods, but that is fair enough. This is no longer my house.

I do not think I have the calories to burn on only MB in my life now. All my fault. Thank you for your care. I shall seek another path. Be blessed.

That wasn't deleted, Bob. It's stil there:

"I would offer that the secret to forgetting the past is for the FWS and BS to both walk in grace, humility and love. It is a beautiful thing to see."

And you were agreed with.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I never dreamed that would also lead to a recommendation of love and grace


Bob, your "love and grace" post was very sarcastic and rude, my friend. You were making fun of those who disagreed with you.

I'm very sorry for the terrible situation you find yourself in, and hope that we can someday help you with it. I have been praying for you for a long, long time.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: markos
What happens when you try to take your wife out on a date?


We used to go out 3 or 4 times per week for lunchtime dates, whenever I could arrange to work from home and at weekends. We had lovely times, and it didn't hurt us financially as so many lovely places have specials for Lunch !

So much of our early progress after the A took place over long lunches in a wonderful Thai restaurant we found locally.

One outcome of those discussions was that Squid hated and resented being SAHM. She gave up nursing to raise our kids but it was not fulfilling enough for her. It led to her hyper-investing in her sport and so to the affair.

In response to this I paid for Squid to be qualified as a driving instructor and bought her a car. She started up a driving school. She loves this and gives her the challenge and independence she craved. Trouble is we now almost never have time for dates. She works every lunchtime and it pooped most evenings. Hmm.... * strokes chin *






Well if you dont value each other enough to spend time together you will never be in love.
I've been in business...before I got married I was on committees, etc. I understand this now. Your wife's passion is her business/ independent lifestyle

So, you used parts of MB and parts of other programs to make a patchwork more to your liking, and it didn't work. Then you complain that there's no room here for other programs as if this is a closed-minded venue, but your situation only supports the reality that the MB's principles, philosophies, and actions doesn't work as an a la carte program. Markos has relayed many times that when he was demanding about Prisca doing the program, it didn't work. He realized that demanding her to do what MB says to do was him actually not doing MB himself. I think he has some good stuff for you and it would be in your best interest to let him help you.

You still have not told us what your wife's complaints are. What does she "correct" you about? Why doesn't she respect you? (After a little reading, I think what you are needing is admiration, though).

Don't leave just because we aren't commiserating with you about how almost perfect you are and what a great martyr you are for putting up with such an uninvested, unfulfilling wife. Most here want to help you to get out of martyrdom.

Question is, do you?
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I have been reminded starkly on another thread that this site does not permit advocacy of any methodology but MB. I never dreamed that would also lead to a recommendation of love and grace being deleted by mods, but that is fair enough. This is no longer my house.

I do not think I have the calories to burn on only MB in my life now. All my fault. Thank you for your care. I shall seek another path. Be blessed.


Bob, I think you may have possibly misunderstood about the grace and love. No one said grace and love were attributes that are not positive in a marriage. Not at all.

You well know that MB's is a process of specific actions not simply displaying feelings such as grace and love to their spouse. Most cannot overcome resentment or R their M after an A by showing grace and love alone. That is not nearly enough.

For some that lurk these boards or are new to MB's may be unfamiliar with the extent of the program, they may interpret that grace and love alone can heal a M after an A. I suspect that is why those comments were made and the mods jumped in.

Many here that try to help folks typically walk a person step by step through the program and take action steps. That is what MB's is all about. Action.

The motto here is Feelings Follow Actions. To get the desired results you want, the actions must come first.

Dr. Harley has addressed the issue of faith on the radio program many times. He and Joyce have very strong Christian beliefs. Some that he council believe that if they just sit back, put their situation is God's hands and wait, he will right the ship for them.
Dr. Harley believes that this is very dangerous. That is why he developed the program the way he did and created ACTION steps. By putting your faith in god AND do the Action steps he created is how he has had the most success!

I really hope you stick around. Many here can offer you a great deal of help to assist you through your difficult times. We want to see your M succeed!

MB is THE tool which can help make your M successful.
May I suggest that Love can be a verb, and not just a noun?

Love is Patient - even when POJAs sometimes can take a week or more, it is the best for the M to follow an intellectual plan, and so when the POJA needs to be shelved until tomorrow's discussion, patience prevails. <----MB tool for ACTION

Love is Kind - even when that annoying habit shows up for the 999th time, thoughtful requests are the kind way to handle the emotion of GRRRR, and thoughtful requests are not selfish demands or DJs. <--- Thoughtful request = MB tool for ACTION

Love does not dishonor others - When speaking of our spouse's shortfalls, we CAN state it that it bothers us when ____, rather than dishonoring our spouse with labels (DJs) <----MB tool of getting rid of LoveBusters ACTION

Love is not Self Seeking - we can work to keep the Taker in line by using the tools of POJA, PORH, and making complaints rather than criticism. <---- MB ACTION

Love is not easily Angered - again, complaints rather than criticism so that our Taker doesn't have to get involved <----MB ACTION

Love keeps no record of wrongs - we can choose to live in the Present and the Future, rather than keeping our focus on the past <---- Dr. Harley's direct suggestion for never speaking of the A again after we have all of the facts ACTION

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth - we can EXPOSE an affair so that we are bringing it to the light of day, where it has the most chance of dying
ACTION
Bob, I am very sorry if I have hurt you. You have certainly been hurt more than you deserve in life, and the last thing I would ever want to do is to add to that and make it worse. I do not blame you for the choices you have made.

I know what it feels like to be in a lonely and unfulfilling marriage where your wife tells you she just isn't going to do the things Marriage Builders would recommend to improve your marriage and is nasty to you all the time. I know that you are hurting, and I want you to know that there are some more things that you can do that have a good chance of ultimately ending the hurt and giving you the marriage you always wanted.

I love you, friend, and I am praying for you.
I can understand if all the fight is worn out of you. If at any point you find it it in you to try again - differently - I hope you'll consider some of these thoughtful suggestions. (And ignore any thoughtless ones.)

Back when you and I were first on the boards, the recovery part of the program, at least its application on the forums, was just not as streamlined as it is today. My mom asked me not too long ago, "Why do you always recommend POJA now, and yet sometimes AJ doesn't use it when he wants something?"

Well, some parts of R that are crucial now were barely touched on back then. And when the foundation for R was laid without some of these components, it's very hard to retro-add them in later. It can be done, and yes AJ has made HUGE progress in POJA and avoiding IBs, just for one example, but how much easier it would have been if we had understood and implemented these things at the beginning. So in some ways, the help given here now is even better and more targeted than back in our day.

I certainly don't want to push you into doing anything you don't want to. Still, if by any chance you would ever consider it, I do think that MB has some new ideas to offer, or at least new applications of the same ideas.

PS I don't remember every hearing the Squid story before - adorable! You guys were so sweet!
Originally Posted By: BlindSighted2013
May I suggest that Love can be a verb, and not just a noun?

Love is Patient - even when POJAs sometimes can take a week or more, it is the best for the M to follow an intellectual plan, and so when the POJA needs to be shelved until tomorrow's discussion, patience prevails. <----MB tool for ACTION

Love is Kind - even when that annoying habit shows up for the 999th time, thoughtful requests are the kind way to handle the emotion of GRRRR, and thoughtful requests are not selfish demands or DJs. <--- Thoughtful request = MB tool for ACTION

Love does not dishonor others - When speaking of our spouse's shortfalls, we CAN state it that it bothers us when ____, rather than dishonoring our spouse with labels (DJs) <----MB tool of getting rid of LoveBusters ACTION

Love is not Self Seeking - we can work to keep the Taker in line by using the tools of POJA, PORH, and making complaints rather than criticism. <---- MB ACTION

Love is not easily Angered - again, complaints rather than criticism so that our Taker doesn't have to get involved <----MB ACTION

Love keeps no record of wrongs - we can choose to live in the Present and the Future, rather than keeping our focus on the past <---- Dr. Harley's direct suggestion for never speaking of the A again after we have all of the facts ACTION

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth - we can EXPOSE an affair so that we are bringing it to the light of day, where it has the most chance of dying
ACTION


This was beautifully written
BP, got to beat the manure out of the OM.

Some people can never be happy. Perfection is not attainable for mere mortals.
Bob_Pure,

I have spent some time reading many of your posts. There's a lot that could be discussed, but one main impression I get is that no matter how hard your wife tries, no matter how well she is complying to your wishes, it's still not quite good enough for you. Then, when she flags and you're feeling really down about that, you're going to pull out the heavy artillery to get her to straighten up better. That helps no one to fall in love.

As much as you believe you have not been engaging in Lovebusters and meeting her emotional needs, have you asked her (without demands, judgement, or anger) if she sees it that way?
Originally Posted By: LifetimeLearner
Bob_Pure,

I have spent some time reading many of your posts. There's a lot that could be discussed, but one main impression I get is that no matter how hard your wife tries, no matter how well she is complying to your wishes, it's still not quite good enough for you. Then, when she flags and you're feeling really down about that, you're going to pull out the heavy artillery to get her to straighten up better. That helps no one to fall in love.

As much as you believe you have not been engaging in Lovebusters and meeting her emotional needs, have you asked her (without demands, judgement, or anger) if she sees it that way?




Good insight.
Originally Posted By: LifetimeLearner
Bob_Pure,

I have spent some time reading many of your posts. There's a lot that could be discussed, but one main impression I get is that no matter how hard your wife tries, no matter how well she is complying to your wishes, it's still not quite good enough for you. Then, when she flags and you're feeling really down about that, you're going to pull out the heavy artillery to get her to straighten up better. That helps no one to fall in love.

As much as you believe you have not been engaging in Lovebusters and meeting her emotional needs, have you asked her (without demands, judgement, or anger) if she sees it that way?




A priori research will always produce the researchers desired conclusion. Your conclusions do not surprise me. I do not agree with them, which will not surprise you.

Your opinion of me is none of my business. The one whose opinion of me is germane has not made any investment in improving our marriage in many years. Recently neither have I.



That brings me back to the original premise of this thread when I started it. All of us, MB successes or not, have to one day check that the best achievable balance between acceptance and settling is tolerable for them. The balance is not tolerable for me right now. I am starting to think perhaps it will never be so I must take the same choice you did to divorce. Without any joy though.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Originally Posted By: LifetimeLearner
Bob_Pure,

I have spent some time reading many of your posts. There's a lot that could be discussed, but one main impression I get is that no matter how hard your wife tries, no matter how well she is complying to your wishes, it's still not quite good enough for you. Then, when she flags and you're feeling really down about that, you're going to pull out the heavy artillery to get her to straighten up better. That helps no one to fall in love.

As much as you believe you have not been engaging in Lovebusters and meeting her emotional needs, have you asked her (without demands, judgement, or anger) if she sees it that way?





Your opinion of me is none of my business. The one whose opinion of me is germane has not made any investment in improving our marriage in many years. Recently neither have I.




That is the talk of a person that does not want to see where his is coming up short. BP I remember as your story unfolded. And rooting for you to prevail. I still want to see you prevail. You need to regroup. Stop talking like an American politician.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure

...
Your opinion of me is none of my business. The one whose opinion of me is germane has not made any investment in improving our marriage in many years. Recently neither have I.


It's sad you dismiss the efforts your wife made as so much nothing.

Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure

...The balance is not tolerable for me right now. I am starting to think perhaps it will never be so I must take the same choice you did to divorce. Without any joy though.



You earlier said that you talked with Dr. Harley often. Have you actually taken the online course or availed yourself of the coaching? Maybe before you spend money on a divorce, you could set up an appointment with Steve Harley. Would you give this a try? He can help with the most depleted of love bank balances.
Quote:
It's sad you dismiss the efforts your wife made as so much nothing.



I have posted almost nothing in years. You are filling this time with assumed huge effort from my wife, and assumed rejection of same by me.How can you possibly be so certain that I am lying about the efforts expended by my wife in recent years ?
Originally Posted By: markos
Bob, I am very sorry if I have hurt you. You have certainly been hurt more than you deserve in life, and the last thing I would ever want to do is to add to that and make it worse. I do not blame you for the choices you have made.

I know what it feels like to be in a lonely and unfulfilling marriage where your wife tells you she just isn't going to do the things Marriage Builders would recommend to improve your marriage and is nasty to you all the time. I know that you are hurting, and I want you to know that there are some more things that you can do that have a good chance of ultimately ending the hurt and giving you the marriage you always wanted.

I love you, friend, and I am praying for you.


Bob, I can only presume that you have me on ignore, since you replied to some posts but have not been replying to mine.

I am very sorry, friend. frown Nobody said there were any simple solutions, here, but there are still things you can do. I'm not here to rake you over the coals for things left undone - I'm here to let you know how I worked out of this exact situation, if you want to stay married.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure

...

I have posted almost nothing in years. You are filling this time with assumed huge effort from my wife, and assumed rejection of same by me.How can you possibly be so certain that I am lying about the efforts expended by my wife in recent years ?


I'm not certain at all that you're lying.

Will you give Steve Harley a try?
Originally Posted By: markos
Bob, I can only presume that you have me on ignore, since you replied to some posts but have not been replying to mine.

I am very sorry, friend. frown Nobody said there were any simple solutions, here, but there are still things you can do. I'm not here to rake you over the coals for things left undone - I'm here to let you know how I worked out of this exact situation, if you want to stay married.
Dr. Harley has talked on the radio show about the fact that depression makes things seem hopeless, and causes people to turn away from solutions that could help them. I hope Bob finds a way to manage his depression. If he does, then he may be more receptive to your help.
Quote:
I'm not here to rake you over the coals for things left undone - I'm here to let you know how I worked out of this exact situation, if you want to stay married.

And neither am I.

I do not judge you -- I was the queen of DJs, and have spent quite a bit of time learning to spot the slightest disrespect in order to eliminate it completely from my marriage. Disrespect is, in my opinion, the hardest of all the lovebusters to eliminate because we hardly ever spot the disrespect in ourselves.

I can see where you are making the same mistakes that were made in my marriage. We've been there, we've made it through, and we'd like to share how. All is not lost.

I was a lot like your wife -- disengaged and disinterested. Markos won me back, but it took eliminating all his disrespect, even in the face of the hate I showed him. I could not begin to feel interested in him or our marriage until he did so. He had to take antidepressants to do this. But it worked.

As a man, you have a great chance of winning your wife back and living a fulfilling, happy life with her. I hope you'll consider it.
Quote:
I hope Bob finds a way to manage his depression.


I am not depressed. Not slightly. My life, apart from my marriage is good. Even my marriage is tolerable much of the time. This kind of unevidenced assumption is why I am hardly responsive to help offered here.
So far: I am depressed, my wife tries so hard to make a great marriage for us but I am stern an unappreciative, and I Never actually tried using MB in the decade since my wife's affair, evidence = We are not madly happy and ANYONE who had applied Harley properly would be because it is perfect in all circumstances,even when one spouse understands and rejects its tenets.....

My wife has told me when we ran MB nights through our church together that she considers an MB marriage to require "Living a constantly restrained life through a filter in exchange for a kind of mechanical happiness" and says she would rather divorce than that.

She lives instinctively manifesting her personality which does not instinctively meet my ENs.

Markos I have nobody on block, I disagree that one-sided Harley will fix my marriage given all my experience and evidences. That's all.

MB is far and away the best relationship building template I have ever seen ( and I have studied a LOT) but it cannot force participation of a deliberately reluctant spouse.


Will you try the coaching available through MB?
If it didn't work for you, why do you advocate it so strongly for me LTL, when I have explained my wife , from a position of knowledge intelligently rejects MB ?

I advocate it because it's an avenue that has a chance of helping your marriage become fulfilling to both you and your wife, even now, even if she says she doesn't think "mechanical" will work. You may not have quite eliminated your lovebusters. You may not have hit meeting her most important needs. Coaching will help you make sure you didn't leave those stones unturned before you choose divorce.
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure


My wife has told me when we ran MB nights through our church together that she considers an MB marriage to require "Living a constantly restrained life through a filter in exchange for a kind of mechanical happiness" and says she would rather divorce than that.

MB is far and away the best relationship building template I have ever seen ( and I have studied a LOT) but it cannot force participation of a deliberately reluctant spouse.



True. You cannot force anyone to do anything they don't want to do.

If you asked your W what she thinks the main goal of Dr. Harley's program is for a married couple...What would she say?

What do you think she wants out of your M? Is she happy?

Why do you think she never agreed to enter the program with you?



Two hunters are out in the forest when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls 911 and gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

Have a beer, Bob!! laugh
I'm not you but from my own experience my husbands discouragement towards our marriage (sometimes blame shifting) has unfortunately infected me. Its very hard to feel encouraged when contempt is in the atmosphere.

I'm sure you have read thru Dr Harley's info about how to find a good marriage counselor. This third party has to be a great encourager and often might be the only person around who believes in your marriage when you are both infected with discouragement and maybe contempt.

I too have come to the juncture where by all you have left is a dream of what your heart has grown accustomed as a desire. There is a point one has to let go and allow healing to begin and not force a square peg through a round hole.

I have experienced my husband bucking this so called (MB) system right and left. Yet we keep coming back to the premises. It appears I've had to lose or be willing to lose everything I hold dear to get to this point. Progress has included many loses with the gains. MB has given a basic structure which by itself can seem flat/ mechanical or too scientific when love has been lost. But mixed with faith hope and love there are infinite number of dimensions and ways this can all turn out.

I'm not sure it is entirely possible to compartmentalize or keep separate this circumstance with your wife and make a life for yourself while you remain married, at least the marriage simply on paper alone. No matter what you do its going to be out of reaction to your circumstance with your wife. One is going to play off the other negatively and keep infecting both parties--- at least from my perspective. Death by a thousand cuts. I hope you are able to get unstuck from this mode. Its way too painful to sustain. Perhaps you are here to help yourself remain open to a variety of options that provide win-win solutions. You seemed to have centered on a divorce at some point but perhaps that could change too. I appreciate you are making a shift.
BOB!

It's been such along time friend! Sorry to hear things have taken a turn for the worse.
I'm surprised this has happened. You seemed so encouraged the last time we spoke. I really
thought you and squid had turned a corner in you M. What happened?

W2S
Dear Bob,

Just wanted you to know that I have prayed for you every day since you have posted, and have not stopped thinking about you.
Me too. pray
Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
I have been reminded starkly on another thread that this site does not permit advocacy of any methodology but MB. I never dreamed that would also lead to a recommendation of love and grace being deleted by mods, but that is fair enough. This is no longer my house.

I do not think I have the calories to burn on only MB in my life now. All my fault. Thank you for your care. I shall seek another path. Be blessed.


Me too.
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