Marriage Builders®
Posted By: GreenMile Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:02 PM
Hi. GreenMile here. I have been reading the thread of "IHurtSomeone" and getting back to this forum generally and feeling remiss in not having drawn on the amazing help and advice available here more regularly. For those who don't know me, please check out my update a few days ago on IHS' thread.

I do need some help and advice. It is just a year a half since D-day and my breakdown and the beginning of the long journey to help heal DWG as much as possible and transform myself into a decent human being and husband. I have been struggling with the overwhelming horror of realizing what my soul has been most of my life until it all came crashing down, and all the things that I did during all those years to wreak the hurt and destruction on DWG. I have been trying to understand it and move forward without just breaking down and crying, and it seems like the only way I can function and be strong for DWG is to focus on the present and the future. Thinking too much about who I was and what I did is just so painful at times. I have resigned myself to facing it bravely, but my strength is a "work in progress." I went to a counselor who told me to write a hand written letter to the guy who I used to be and forgive him. I wrote a very long and emotional letter to him and made a deal with him. The deal was basically that I could forgive him under the condition that he never ever show his ugly face on my doorstep or in my life again. This seemed to help strengthen me, but that made DWG more nervous, so I backed away from that. DWG read the letter, and, though my counselor thought it was a very good one for its purpose, DWG was both skeptical and afraid of it.

But here is the problem: The self preoccupation that characterized who I was all those years, still rears its head at times. It did it today. I became absorbed in getting done what I wanted to get done on some errands, with DWG, and I did not consider what she wanted to do while we were out. Both before and during the excursion, my focus narrowed back to what I wanted to get done, and I forgot to POJA everything and put her first and consider her feelings. I just slipped into my old pattern, and this is something that happens still, sometimes frequently, until DWG points it out and becomes mad, triggers, and then ends up on a terrible dip in this roller coaster. Since DWG is everything to me, my whole life and everything I really care about, it is like taking day and turning it into a night so dark it can't be described. It makes her think that I have not changed and will fail, that I cannot be counted on or that my transformation into a decent person is a fake.

I don't quite know what makes me revert into these self-absorbed patterns and forget to POJA and simply relax and let our relationship be number one. It is most of the time, but then I lapse and feel like a failure. At these times, I start to wonder if I am truly defective and beyond help, but I know this is not true. I am not sure what the my question is, really, other than I need some help at learning how permanently stop these selfish behavior patterns. My commitment and determination are not in question. I will work at it until she gives up, not me. How do I stop these traits of the old GreenMile and make them go away completely? My heart is where it needs to be, but my behavior patterns are not there yet.

- GM
Posted By: sickwithworry Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:11 PM
GM,

The Apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest of them all said:

"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate."

He wrote many of his letters from a sewage filled basement prison cell where he was forced to hold paper up high so it would not get soaked with the filth. He was martyred.

You are not alone. You sound very sincere and repentent. No One is perfect these days. Just keep trying, that's all you can do right?

SWW
Posted By: Scotland Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:19 PM
GM- Could you please stick to ONE thread? This way we will be able to read your sitch and understand where you are and where you are coming from.

Are you on AD's and do you go to IC?
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:20 PM
Yes, it is all I can do. I just wish I were more successful, SWW. Your advice and wisdom is appreciated.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:24 PM
I did not want to horn in on IHS's thread more than I already did, and my original one doesn't fit too well with where I am now. But if that is the standard way of doing things here, I could try to copy my post here onto the old thread and delete this one. Is each member pretty much supposed to have one personal thread? Seriously. I don't know.

No, I am not on anti-depressants. I took one for just under a year after my breakdown, but I learned that continuing them beyond that makes it much more likely to have to stay on them forever, so I quit them. The independent counselor is a woman who is very good, who DWG and I both saw before we found MB. I had two appointments about a month or two ago, that I was referring to, but it is not anything regular.

I forgot to hit "quote" in the last two posts, and hit "reply", so I am out of practice a bit with this forum. I'll figure it out quickly LOL.

In order to tie in with my situation, my original thread is "Back From The Hospital". If you search on "WH back from hospital", you will find it.
Posted By: sickwithworry Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:29 PM
no,

you brought up a new concern from an ongoing situation. I think you are fine. Good topic too, "why can't i do everything just right?"

GM, Don't we ALL have that same feeling?

SWW
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:35 PM
Quote:
I don't quite know what makes me revert into these self-absorbed patterns and forget to POJA and simply relax and let our relationship be number one. It is most of the time, but then I lapse and feel like a failure. At these times, I start to wonder if I am truly defective and beyond help, but I know this is not true. I am not sure what the my question is, really, other than I need some help at learning how permanently stop these selfish behavior patterns. My commitment and determination are not in question. I will work at it until she gives up, not me. How do I stop these traits of the old GreenMile and make them go away completely? My heart is where it needs to be, but my behavior patterns are not there yet.



Anxiety?
Perfectionism?
Habit?


Have you ever ridden a rental horse at a stable?
You know, the type of horse that has carried many a rider down the same trail, over and over and over again.
Have you ever tried to get such a horse to go against history and habit, and try a different trail?
He will not.
Not at first.

That's you.
Learning a new trail.
But, at times, your old stubborn neural pathways tries to reclaim the old ways.

Sorry about comparing you to a horse ... grin
Posted By: Scotland Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:35 PM
It's okay if you just want to put some background info on this thread and keep it to this one now. It would just be easier to help you without having to go back to a few other threads to find out what you have been advised up until this point.

There are unfortunately, a lot of posters on here and it is hard to go to other threads to help. I am not a forum moderator or anything.

I was asking about the AD's and IC because this sounds like something that you may need serious help with. I know there are a lot of people who will try to help you out.

Now, by what I understand, YOU are the WS and your BW also posts here?

Did you read all of the info on this site? It helps WS's as much as BSs.

Does your BS want to recover? I am sorry, I really don't know your sitch(I actually keep a notepad doc to keep track of some people because I don't have the ability to keep them all straight sometimes.)
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:40 PM
Originally Posted By: sickwithworry
no,

you brought up a new concern from an ongoing situation. I think you are fine. Good topic too, "why can't i do everything just right?"

GM, Don't we ALL have that same feeling?

SWW


Well, maybe we do. In my case, when I don't do things right and revert to that pattern, it really hammers DWG, and then me with it. My self-centered persona and behavior was kind of the crux of the problem that fueled my destructive journey.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:43 PM
Originally Posted By: Scotland
It's okay if you just want to put some background info on this thread and keep it to this one now. It would just be easier to help you without having to go back to a few other threads to find out what you have been advised up until this point.

There are unfortunately, a lot of posters on here and it is hard to go to other threads to help. I am not a forum moderator or anything.

I was asking about the AD's and IC because this sounds like something that you may need serious help with. I know there are a lot of people who will try to help you out.

Now, by what I understand, YOU are the WS and your BW also posts here?

Did you read all of the info on this site? It helps WS's as much as BSs.

Does your BS want to recover? I am sorry, I really don't know your sitch(I actually keep a notepad doc to keep track of some people because I don't have the ability to keep them all straight sometimes.)


Yes. I am sorry, Scotland. DWG and I are old hands here. We have been to the MB weekend and worked the lessons for a time until DWG needed to take an extended break from them. We did months of telephone consultations with SH. Here is the actual link to my original thread: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2200252
Posted By: sickwithworry Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:44 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: sickwithworry
no,

you brought up a new concern from an ongoing situation. I think you are fine. Good topic too, "why can't i do everything just right?"

GM, Don't we ALL have that same feeling?

SWW


Well, maybe we do. In my case, when I don't do things right and revert to that pattern, it really hammers DWG, and then me with it. My self-centered persona and behavior was kind of the crux of the problem that fueled my destructive journey.


Ok,

So besides just trying, what sort of plan is in place to help you when you are tempted to act this way?

SWW
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:49 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:
I don't quite know what makes me revert into these self-absorbed patterns and forget to POJA and simply relax and let our relationship be number one. It is most of the time, but then I lapse and feel like a failure. At these times, I start to wonder if I am truly defective and beyond help, but I know this is not true. I am not sure what the my question is, really, other than I need some help at learning how permanently stop these selfish behavior patterns. My commitment and determination are not in question. I will work at it until she gives up, not me. How do I stop these traits of the old GreenMile and make them go away completely? My heart is where it needs to be, but my behavior patterns are not there yet.



Anxiety?
Perfectionism?
Habit?


Have you ever ridden a rental horse at a stable?
You know, the type of horse that has carried many a rider down the same trail, over and over and over again.
Have you ever tried to get such a horse to go against history and habit, and try a different trail?
He will not.
Not at first.

That's you.
Learning a new trail.
But, at times, your old stubborn neural pathways tries to reclaim the old ways.

Sorry about comparing you to a horse ... grin











Thanks PB! That is about right, I guess. As for the horse, I know them very well, because not only do DWG and I take care of 7 of them, but I was part of one myself for a very long time.
Posted By: thndrnltng Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:51 PM
Quote:
Sorry about comparing you to a horse ... grin


Well, I don't know that you have to apologize as long as the comparison is to the horse's head! mr eek

tl
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:53 PM
This is for Scotland. In case there is confusion: DWG is my wife, Dances With Goats. Initially, she was SadSoSad. Then she progressed to MadSoMad. Finally, she has become DancesWithGoats.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/26/10 11:54 PM
Originally Posted By: thndrnltng
Quote:
Sorry about comparing you to a horse ... grin


Well, I don't know that you have to apologize as long as the comparison is to the horse's head! mr eek

tl


You beat me to it. LOL. I was the back part of one for a very long time.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:02 AM
Originally Posted By: sickwithworry
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: sickwithworry
no,

you brought up a new concern from an ongoing situation. I think you are fine. Good topic too, "why can't i do everything just right?"

GM, Don't we ALL have that same feeling?

SWW


Well, maybe we do. In my case, when I don't do things right and revert to that pattern, it really hammers DWG, and then me with it. My self-centered persona and behavior was kind of the crux of the problem that fueled my destructive journey.


Ok,

So besides just trying, what sort of plan is in place to help you when you are tempted to act this way?

SWW


Well, if I knew that I was slipping into that old pattern, I could implement my plan, which is "Stop, you idiot". And then I would immediately stop. Unfortunately, it is not conscious when it is starting. I guess the breakthrough will be when it DOES become conscious before I start doing it. I know that it is how it will work. I do need some kind of trick to make it conscious in the earliest stages.
Posted By: not2fun Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:03 AM
Quote:
(I actually keep a notepad doc to keep track of some people because I don't have the ability to keep them all straight sometimes.)

rotflmao......for some reason this struck me funny...... grin

{{{{GM}}}},

Good to see you and DWG back!!! You know the only thing I have to say is TIME.....it took you a long time, in fact a lifetime for you, to develope those bad habits and behaviors and it gonna take more of it to UNDO them......

But the good news is you both recognizing them......most of the time that's the biggest part of the battle....

Not2fun
Posted By: Scotland Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:05 AM
Thanx GM. I will be reading the threads to get all caught up. grin
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:07 AM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
This is for Scotland. In case there is confusion: DWG is my wife, Dances With Goats. Initially, she was SadSoSad. Then she progressed to MadSoMad. Finally, she has become DancesWithGoats.


Scotty, this GreenMile is NOT the same man who first showed up on MB.
The old GM was one for the record book.

No 2 X 4 could ever have been big enough.
To make matters worse, he is a physician. Very smart. Too smart for his own good.
But, not very wise at all.

He has come a tremendous distance from where he began.
Posted By: not2fun Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:16 AM
doh2......has Pep's computer been revived????? Those were some awfully long posts to do by phone.....

We hope so....your wisdom has been missed..... wink

Not
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:24 AM
Originally Posted By: not2fun
doh2......has Pep's computer been revived????? Those were some awfully long posts to do by phone.....

We hope so....your wisdom has been missed..... wink

Not


Sadly, my puter is still packed away.
Mr Pep bought me an iPad for our 29th anniversary.
It's easier than my phone, but not quite like my HUGE screen HD puter.

I confess, I am a Mac addict.
I snort Mac.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:45 AM
Originally Posted By: not2fun
Quote:
(I actually keep a notepad doc to keep track of some people because I don't have the ability to keep them all straight sometimes.)

rotflmao......for some reason this struck me funny...... grin

{{{{GM}}}},

Good to see you and DWG back!!! You know the only thing I have to say is TIME.....it took you a long time, in fact a lifetime for you, to develope those bad habits and behaviors and it gonna take more of it to UNDO them......

But the good news is you both recognizing them......most of the time that's the biggest part of the battle....

Not2fun


Hi, back at ya! Thanks for the wisdom.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:47 AM
Originally Posted By: Scotland
Thanx GM. I will be reading the threads to get all caught up. grin



Better take something for nausea first!
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 05/27/10 12:50 AM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
This is for Scotland. In case there is confusion: DWG is my wife, Dances With Goats. Initially, she was SadSoSad. Then she progressed to MadSoMad. Finally, she has become DancesWithGoats.


Scotty, this GreenMile is NOT the same man who first showed up on MB.
The old GM was one for the record book.

No 2 X 4 could ever have been big enough.
To make matters worse, he is a physician. Very smart. Too smart for his own good.
But, not very wise at all.

He has come a tremendous distance from where he began.




Right as rain. Thanks so much, PB. Especially all you have done for DWG as well as me.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 03:45 PM
I need some advice and help. This kind of thing has come up before, and I am too much of a dunce to know how to handle this. Last night, I attended a rehearsal for a jazz performance group I play in, with DWG's blessings. I called her on the way out the driveway and immediately after the rehearsal and stopped and brought her some food on the way home. Later, while doing late night chores (at the barn, feeding the horses), she noticed that things in my car were moved around and not as she remembered them, including the night vision binoculars she had left in a specific place that we use to see where the horses are in the pasture at night, and some junk mail that was now on the floor in front. I could tell she was agitated, worn out, and feeling uncomfortable before, and then she lowered the boom, accusing me of seeing and having sex with my old affair partner. I tried to my best recollection to explain why things were moved around in the car, but she became angrier and angrier and more accusative. I had had a bad rehearsal and was tired and agitated myself, and I became defensive. That made her worse, which caused me to become angry instead of lovingly supportive. I have made a lot of progress in the last year (I think), and we have been resuming MB lessons. I suggested that she call our director in the morning to confirm I was at the rehearsal, but her anger and agitation just accelerated and pushed me into a state of frustration, and I became defensive. I had been doing much better handling these episodes, but this just knocked her waaay back. She stayed up all night in another room and has concluded that I am the same old GM and will never figure out things and never improve. I don't know how to make myself stop getting defensive and make myself become calm, comforting, and reassuring, especially when I am not at my best because of any frustrating circumstances going on at the time. I feel sure that this will settle down over the next few days, but DWG becomes so definitive and final in her judgement of me during these moments of weakness, that I become weaker and weaker and afraid of failure of our chances for recovery. I just feel like a failure at these times. How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years, that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted? How do I not become sad and frightened, when I am accused of being dishonest, even though it is a logical fear she has because of those many terrible years? How do I keep that sadness, fear, and frustration I feel at those times from knocking me back down into a quivering bowl of jelly, unable to help her recover? I know HOW to do it, I guess. But I have a terrible time invoking that knowledge and overriding the gut feelings I have at the time.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 05:15 PM
Let me think.
I will get back to you.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 06:33 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Let me think.
I will get back to you.


OK, PB. Thanks for acknowledging. I look forward to your insights.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 07:28 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I need some advice and help. This kind of thing has come up before, and I am too much of a dunce to know how to handle this. Last night, I attended a rehearsal for a jazz performance group I play in, with DWG's blessings. I called her on the way out the driveway and immediately after the rehearsal and stopped and brought her some food on the way home. Later, while doing late night chores (at the barn, feeding the horses), she noticed that things in my car were moved around and not as she remembered them, including the night vision binoculars she had left in a specific place that we use to see where the horses are in the pasture at night, and some junk mail that was now on the floor in front. I could tell she was agitated, worn out, and feeling uncomfortable before, and then she lowered the boom, accusing me of seeing and having sex with my old affair partner. I tried to my best recollection to explain why things were moved around in the car, but she became angrier and angrier and more accusative. I had had a bad rehearsal and was tired and agitated myself, and I became defensive. That made her worse, which caused me to become angry instead of lovingly supportive. I have made a lot of progress in the last year (I think), and we have been resuming MB lessons. I suggested that she call our director in the morning to confirm I was at the rehearsal, but her anger and agitation just accelerated and pushed me into a state of frustration, and I became defensive. I had been doing much better handling these episodes, but this just knocked her waaay back. She stayed up all night in another room and has concluded that I am the same old GM and will never figure out things and never improve. I don't know how to make myself stop getting defensive and make myself become calm, comforting, and reassuring, especially when I am not at my best because of any frustrating circumstances going on at the time. I feel sure that this will settle down over the next few days, but DWG becomes so definitive and final in her judgement of me during these moments of weakness, that I become weaker and weaker and afraid of failure of our chances for recovery. I just feel like a failure at these times. How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years, that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted? How do I not become sad and frightened, when I am accused of being dishonest, even though it is a logical fear she has because of those many terrible years? How do I keep that sadness, fear, and frustration I feel at those times from knocking me back down into a quivering bowl of jelly, unable to help her recover? I know HOW to do it, I guess. But I have a terrible time invoking that knowledge and overriding the gut feelings I have at the time.


OK Doc, here goes 'nuthin.

"and I became defensive"

Let's put you to work .... Explain to me EXACTLY what you were defending.
That is to say, WHAT principle/value were you defending?

If something is sooooooo important to you that you need to be defensive towards DWG, it better be an important VALUE or PRINCIPLE that you are speaking up about.

OK?
Try starting there.

After you answer that, then we can discuss the following:

Quote:


How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years, that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted? How



Because, unless you were defending an important principle/value, you are NOT fully the new GUY .... But still a work in progress becoming the new guy.


Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 08:52 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I need some advice and help. This kind of thing has come up before, and I am too much of a dunce to know how to handle this. Last night, I attended a rehearsal for a jazz performance group I play in, with DWG's blessings. I called her on the way out the driveway and immediately after the rehearsal and stopped and brought her some food on the way home. Later, while doing late night chores (at the barn, feeding the horses), she noticed that things in my car were moved around and not as she remembered them, including the night vision binoculars she had left in a specific place that we use to see where the horses are in the pasture at night, and some junk mail that was now on the floor in front. I could tell she was agitated, worn out, and feeling uncomfortable before, and then she lowered the boom, accusing me of seeing and having sex with my old affair partner. I tried to my best recollection to explain why things were moved around in the car, but she became angrier and angrier and more accusative. I had had a bad rehearsal and was tired and agitated myself, and I became defensive. That made her worse, which caused me to become angry instead of lovingly supportive. I have made a lot of progress in the last year (I think), and we have been resuming MB lessons. I suggested that she call our director in the morning to confirm I was at the rehearsal, but her anger and agitation just accelerated and pushed me into a state of frustration, and I became defensive. I had been doing much better handling these episodes, but this just knocked her waaay back. She stayed up all night in another room and has concluded that I am the same old GM and will never figure out things and never improve. I don't know how to make myself stop getting defensive and make myself become calm, comforting, and reassuring, especially when I am not at my best because of any frustrating circumstances going on at the time. I feel sure that this will settle down over the next few days, but DWG becomes so definitive and final in her judgement of me during these moments of weakness, that I become weaker and weaker and afraid of failure of our chances for recovery. I just feel like a failure at these times. How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years, that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted? How do I not become sad and frightened, when I am accused of being dishonest, even though it is a logical fear she has because of those many terrible years? How do I keep that sadness, fear, and frustration I feel at those times from knocking me back down into a quivering bowl of jelly, unable to help her recover? I know HOW to do it, I guess. But I have a terrible time invoking that knowledge and overriding the gut feelings I have at the time.


OK Doc, here goes 'nuthin.

"and I became defensive"

Let's put you to work .... Explain to me EXACTLY what you were defending.
That is to say, WHAT principle/value were you defending?

If something is sooooooo important to you that you need to be defensive towards DWG, it better be an important VALUE or PRINCIPLE that you are speaking up about.

OK?
Try starting there.

After you answer that, then we can discuss the following:

Quote:


How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years, that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted? How



Because, unless you were defending an important principle/value, you are NOT fully the new GUY .... But still a work in progress becoming the new guy.




I need to think about that for a bit, because it seems like a crucial question. My first thought is that I was not really defending anything except myself against an accusation that was both untrue and dismissive of all the hard work I have put into purging my old demons, making myself into a loving, reliable, and trustworthy human being and husband devoted only to DWG, devoted to her recovery, and with strong and effective EP's that I wrote and take more seriously than life, itself. The principle, I guess, was my truthfulness and fidelity and devotion to her, my transparency, the hard work I have made in transforming myself and dedication to healing her and our marriage. These are all things that she has reason to doubt because of my long history of self-absorbed, resentful, immature, secretive, duplicitous, and digusting thinking and behavior that almost destroyed her and made her entire adult life into a nighmare of pain. In fact, I guess that answers my own question. The old GM spent 26 years being that guy, but only the last year and a half devoted to her and to being a grown-up, loving and faithful husband. And really only in the last 6-12 months have I truly learned to become the person she thought she married. That's not much, compared to her long agony. She made a false accusation that seemed to dismiss all that I have made my life's work to being, and because I have worked so hard to discard that old person so completely, it seemed threatening and dismissive, and I became defensive.

I guess that answers my own question. 6 months or a year is not much compared to her long history with me. So, I guess there really IS no principle or value I was defending other than the absolute level of my commitment to her. Though that seems like everything to me, to her it is a brief side-trip that she fears will inevitably lead back to my original path. To me, the idea of deceiving and betraying her ever again seems so ludicrous and so outrageously impossible for me now, that an accusation that I was doing just that, not possibly but definitely, threatened the fortress wall that I have so painstakingly built against that happening. I can tell you, Pepperband, without question that the chances of my ever being unfaithful, with the precautions I have in place, and with the agonizing changes I have undergone as a human being, are so remote, that the accusation that is so logical for her, is beyond comprehension for me.

Is that what you mean by principle or value? Maybe there is something else I am missing here. I want to know, if there is. In the meantime, no matter how late it is, or how tired I am, or how bad a day I have had, I will try to remember that my efforts and transformation are to her like a brief interlude about to end at any moment. Being defensive against an accusation like that is what is actually ludicrous and seems more like the old GM than the new one. I should not expect her to have much faith in me for a very long time.

You are the greatest, PB. Thanks for answering and getting me to think and understand this episode better. (I sound like Bill Murray in "What About Bob?" smile )

- GM

Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:02 PM
I am way cuter than Bill Murray.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:17 PM
If I may, Doc, venture a guess.
It seems you were reflexively defensive.
With no real thought/principle/ value behind your defensiveness.

You want to enjoy DWG's admiration, don't you?
Reflexive defensiveness will trigger her, every time.
Posted By: QueeniesAdventures Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:17 PM
Oh YES you ARE
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:18 PM
In other words, ego defensiveness is not a good choice for you.

Take care.

Pepster
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:33 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
I am way cuter than Bill Murray.


Of that, I am sure.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:35 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
In other words, ego defensiveness is not a good choice for you.

Take care.

Pepster


No, m'am. Its not. Thanks.
Posted By: sexymamabear Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 09:59 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile

I could tell she was agitated, worn out, and feeling uncomfortable before,




Do you understand why she was agitated?

When you do, the natural response would be....

compassion.



Quote:

and then she lowered the boom, accusing me of seeing and having sex with my old affair partner.




Does this not seem to you like a logical conclusion based on her personal experience?



Quote:

I tried to my best recollection to explain why things were moved around in the car,



I would appreciate more detail here, GM. Exactly what explanation...or explanations....did you offer?

Were they truthful?



Quote:

but she became angrier and angrier and more accusative.



What do you think caused her more anger?



Quote:

I had had a bad rehearsal and was tired and agitated myself, and I became defensive. That made her worse, which caused me to become angry instead of lovingly supportive.



See my response above...

When you understand WHY she was already agitated, your response will be very different than defensive.



Quote:

I have made a lot of progress in the last year (I think), and we have been resuming MB lessons.



Progress over the last year...or last 10 years...will mean very little to a BS who is faced with a situation where it appears their FWH may have been unfaithful yet again.

We were gaslighted, tricked, and manipulated before. We are no longer naive enough to think it not possible to once again be gaslighted, tricked and manipulated.




Quote:

I suggested that she call our director in the morning to confirm I was at the rehearsal, but her anger and agitation just accelerated and pushed me into a state of frustration, and I became defensive.


It might have been more helpful to provide the proof yourself. I don't know...ask DWG's LATER if that would have helped her at all.



Quote:

I had been doing much better handling these episodes, but this just knocked her waaay back.



This should tell you something...

What?




Quote:

I don't know how to make myself stop getting defensive and make myself become calm, comforting, and reassuring,




I do....

STOP IT!




Quote:

especially when I am not at my best because of any frustrating circumstances going on at the time.



If your music rehearsals are causing you to become frustrated and aggravated, and causing DWG to be triggered, why do you participate in them?




Quote:
How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years,



By not being that guy.

Defensiveness IS that guy.

She's seen it many times before over the years, hasn't she, GM? So you ARE THAT guy when you respond to her hurt with defensiveness.

Her conclusion was very logical IMO. I would have come to the same conclusion if in the same situation tst responded to me defensively.

A defensive person is often acting that way because they are hiding something.


Quote:

that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted?



Let me point out the obvious. Or at least, it is the obvious to any BS.

A FWS can have the most stellar EPs in place, and can at any moment decide to ignore them.

When tst goes to work, I KNOW that he COULD choose to meet up with OW on any given day. Just now he called to ask if I was comfortable with him stopping by a friend's business to check on him while on his way home from work. I admit, it causes me a twinge of panic as I contemplate...is he telling me the truth? I mean, these are the same types of excuses he came up with during the affair.

A BS's reality is that IF the FWS ever decides to get involved with OW, they CAN find a way...and still appear to be living within EPs.

So, no, I don't even consider stellar EPs as a pass to be "automatically trusted".



Quote:

How do I not become sad and frightened, when I am accused of being dishonest, even though it is a logical fear she has because of those many terrible years?


GM, the only answer is to CHOOSE to not be that and then you ACT upon your choice. She is making very logical conclusions, whether they are correct or not.
Posted By: Tawandabelle Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 10:15 PM
I am relatively new compared to the sages on here, but I am a FWW, almost 4 years out from D-Day. And we went through a lot of the hills and valleys you describe (I guess everyone does). One thing that helped me was to understand that when DH triggered and worried about what I might be doing or who I might be talking to, he was responding to the hell I had put him through, not always how hard I was trying right at that moment. In other words, just because he triggered did not mean I was not changing, and just because I was changing did not mean he would not trigger. In my mind, I KNEW I was completely repentant and doing everything I could to repair our marriage. In his mind, I was the only woman he had ever been with, the one he trusted, and the one who slept with his daughter's guitar teacher. He still couldn't really be sure WHO I was yet.

I wish I could point to a magic date and say on THIS day the affair stopped being a major mile marker in our M. It just got better, two steps forward one step back. And for awhile now, though it is something terrible that I did in the past, it isn't something that hangs in the air.

On those days when everything I did reminded DH of what I had done, I learned to try to see our journey through his eyes and to say "I am so sorry that I have caused you to have to endure this. I want to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make things right. Tell me what you need or need to know, and I will move heaven and earth to get there." Yes, DH still got angry and distant and sad at times, but he knew I was there, ready for whatever he needed me to do.

I hope that's helpful.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 10:27 PM
Originally Posted By: lurioosi2
I am relatively new compared to the sages on here, but I am a FWW, almost 4 years out from D-Day. And we went through a lot of the hills and valleys you describe (I guess everyone does). One thing that helped me was to understand that when DH triggered and worried about what I might be doing or who I might be talking to, he was responding to the hell I had put him through, not always how hard I was trying right at that moment. In other words, just because he triggered did not mean I was not changing, and just because I was changing did not mean he would not trigger. In my mind, I KNEW I was completely repentant and doing everything I could to repair our marriage. In his mind, I was the only woman he had ever been with, the one he trusted, and the one who slept with his daughter's guitar teacher. He still couldn't really be sure WHO I was yet.

I wish I could point to a magic date and say on THIS day the affair stopped being a major mile marker in our M. It just got better, two steps forward one step back. And for awhile now, though it is something terrible that I did in the past, it isn't something that hangs in the air.

On those days when everything I did reminded DH of what I had done, I learned to try to see our journey through his eyes and to say "I am so sorry that I have caused you to have to endure this. I want to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make things right. Tell me what you need or need to know, and I will move heaven and earth to get there." Yes, DH still got angry and distant and sad at times, but he knew I was there, ready for whatever he needed me to do.

I hope that's helpful.


Luri, you're my heeeeerooooooo! hug
Posted By: believer Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 10:55 PM
Good to see you posting again!

This is an easy one. Offer to take a lie detector test.
Posted By: Tawandabelle Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:00 PM
Very good idea believer. I always forget about that one.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:12 PM
Hi GM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:20 PM
Originally Posted By: sexymamabear
Originally Posted By: GreenMile

I could tell she was agitated, worn out, and feeling uncomfortable before,




Do you understand why she was agitated?

When you do, the natural response would be....

compassion.



Quote:

and then she lowered the boom, accusing me of seeing and having sex with my old affair partner.




Does this not seem to you like a logical conclusion based on her personal experience?



Quote:

I tried to my best recollection to explain why things were moved around in the car,



I would appreciate more detail here, GM. Exactly what explanation...or explanations....did you offer?

Were they truthful?



Quote:

but she became angrier and angrier and more accusative.



What do you think caused her more anger?



Quote:

I had had a bad rehearsal and was tired and agitated myself, and I became defensive. That made her worse, which caused me to become angry instead of lovingly supportive.



See my response above...

When you understand WHY she was already agitated, your response will be very different than defensive.



Quote:

I have made a lot of progress in the last year (I think), and we have been resuming MB lessons.



Progress over the last year...or last 10 years...will mean very little to a BS who is faced with a situation where it appears their FWH may have been unfaithful yet again.

We were gaslighted, tricked, and manipulated before. We are no longer naive enough to think it not possible to once again be gaslighted, tricked and manipulated.




Quote:

I suggested that she call our director in the morning to confirm I was at the rehearsal, but her anger and agitation just accelerated and pushed me into a state of frustration, and I became defensive.


It might have been more helpful to provide the proof yourself. I don't know...ask DWG's LATER if that would have helped her at all.



Quote:

I had been doing much better handling these episodes, but this just knocked her waaay back.



This should tell you something...

What?




Quote:

I don't know how to make myself stop getting defensive and make myself become calm, comforting, and reassuring,




I do....

STOP IT!




Quote:

especially when I am not at my best because of any frustrating circumstances going on at the time.



If your music rehearsals are causing you to become frustrated and aggravated, and causing DWG to be triggered, why do you participate in them?




Quote:
How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years,



By not being that guy.

Defensiveness IS that guy.

She's seen it many times before over the years, hasn't she, GM? So you ARE THAT guy when you respond to her hurt with defensiveness.

Her conclusion was very logical IMO. I would have come to the same conclusion if in the same situation tst responded to me defensively.

A defensive person is often acting that way because they are hiding something.


Quote:

that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted?



Let me point out the obvious. Or at least, it is the obvious to any BS.

A FWS can have the most stellar EPs in place, and can at any moment decide to ignore them.

When tst goes to work, I KNOW that he COULD choose to meet up with OW on any given day. Just now he called to ask if I was comfortable with him stopping by a friend's business to check on him while on his way home from work. I admit, it causes me a twinge of panic as I contemplate...is he telling me the truth? I mean, these are the same types of excuses he came up with during the affair.

A BS's reality is that IF the FWS ever decides to get involved with OW, they CAN find a way...and still appear to be living within EPs.

So, no, I don't even consider stellar EPs as a pass to be "automatically trusted".



Quote:

How do I not become sad and frightened, when I am accused of being dishonest, even though it is a logical fear she has because of those many terrible years?


GM, the only answer is to CHOOSE to not be that and then you ACT upon your choice. She is making very logical conclusions, whether they are correct or not.





Those are all great questions, SMB. Good to hear from you. I don't know whether to try to actually answer all of them or merely say that your points are definitely understood and well-taken. But being the wordy guy that I am, I will try.

"Do you understand why she was agitated? "

I think it is stressful for her, whenever I am away for a couple of hours. Perfectly understandable. I do understand. She wants me to be able to continue to play music, because she is a musician in the symphony and knows what it would mean for me to give it up. I have been playing since I was 9 years old. That's 53 years. I did tell her that she seemed agitated and asked her what was wrong. I did that in a compassionate way, I thought, I and I was truly concerned.

"Does this not seem to you like a logical conclusion based on her personal experience?"

Of course, though our rehearsal schedules and are total calendars are known and shared, and she knows I have a concert coming up. She did not express any of those feelings when I left, and when was driving home and called her to see if she would like me to pick up some food for her to eat, she seemed fine. What triggered her was the way things had been moved around in the car. I had moved the binocs, so that my music stand would not hurt them, but was confused by her agitation about that and did not remember why I had put them in the back seat, so I hmmed and hawed trying to remember exactly why I had moved them. That seemed very suspicious to her. Some junk mail was on the floor in front, and she remembered it being tucked next to the seat. I did not remember when they fell all over the floorboard, and my answer must have seemed evasive...because I did not really know and tried to explain it logically rather than saying, "I'm not sure".

"What do you think caused her more anger?"

My defensive and incomplete answers to why things were moved around in the car ( I really could not answer specifically). She immediately accused me of cheating rather than going to rehearsal. Then I became really defensive, because it had been a bad and difficult rehearsal. Our lead trumpet was sick, and I had to play lead, and I am not a high note player. It was a disaster LOL. Plus they were all new charts, and I was sight reading everything, which is not my best thing. I was stressed and embarrassed even before I got home. I think that answers another of your questions. Overall, I love playing in that band. I play mainly mid-range harmony and a lot of solos (improv).

My explanations for why the binocs and the mail were where they were were uncertain and seemed evasive. This made her certain of her suspicions, and I knew we were in for a long bad episode and trigger. At that point, I became very upset instead of steady and loving and reassuring. On any other evening, I probably would have handled it much better, but I was definitely not in my best frame of mind. I reverted to my old patterns and became angry and agitated and told her that I would quit the band. I became the victim. I was definitely at my worst at that point, and she responded as would be expected for someone who was victimized by ME all those years. That seemed to reinforce her suspicions and convinced her of my untruthfulness and of her own suspicions. SMB, I know I handled this very poorly. I did all the wrong things.

"Progress over the last year...or last 10 years...will mean very little to a BS who is faced with a situation where it appears their FWH may have been unfaithful yet again.

We were gaslighted, tricked, and manipulated before. We are no longer naive enough to think it not possible to once again be gaslighted, tricked and manipulated."

Oh, I do understand. Totally. I built this myself. I own it. I have to deal with it. Really, SMB. I understand that. It doesn't make it any easier.

"This should tell you something...

What?"

It reminds me how wounded and fragile I have made her.

"I do....

STOP IT!"

At those times, I need faith and the strength that it affords. I am not there yet, obviously. You make it sound easy. It is not, not for me,,,not yet. But the next time this happens, I will settle myself and remember your words. I have read TST's wisdom and advice over and over on this. The simplest sounding things can be the hardest. But I know that I have to do it, or there will be no recovery.

"By not being that guy.

Defensiveness IS that guy.

She's seen it many times before over the years, hasn't she, GM? So you ARE THAT guy when you respond to her hurt with defensiveness.

Her conclusion was very logical IMO. I would have come to the same conclusion if in the same situation tst responded to me defensively.

A defensive person is often acting that way because they are hiding something."

I do understand that. Still, it is such a catch-22 to try to answer questions or accusations completely and honestly when that history is there. Every truth becomes another source for suspicion. Every attempt at explanation sounds like a cover-up. But to not answer or attempt to explain would seem to be worse, would it not? It is truly a no-win. That is the hardest and saddest thing of all.

"Let me point out the obvious. Or at least, it is the obvious to any BS.

A FWS can have the most stellar EPs in place, and can at any moment decide to ignore them.

When tst goes to work, I KNOW that he COULD choose to meet up with OW on any given day. Just now he called to ask if I was comfortable with him stopping by a friend's business to check on him while on his way home from work. I admit, it causes me a twinge of panic as I contemplate...is he telling me the truth? I mean, these are the same types of excuses he came up with during the affair.

A BS's reality is that IF the FWS ever decides to get involved with OW, they CAN find a way...and still appear to be living within EPs.

So, no, I don't even consider stellar EPs as a pass to be "automatically trusted".

I understand, SMB, though at the time, I did not remember this. I have certain tools at my disposal, certain strengths that I can use to be the person I feel that I am now. I am grateful for those tools and strengths, because they are my life's blood. I have to put enormous weight and trust in them. If I think of them as you describe, they cannot be that for me. This is one where I have to keep in mind your experience and DWG's experience to appreciate why this is so difficult to trust for the BS. But I cannot allow myself to lose faith in those things. I just can't. Neither can TST.

I wish I could go way back. Back before I was married. When I was still a child, and fix these things before they created pain and tragedy. But I can't. But I do have a strong will, at least, and I am confident of my ability to be a loving, honest husband who will heal the wounds I have caused and make a new life, with years of happiness. I can and will do this. I suppose that is what you mean by simply saying DO IT.

Thanks, SMB, and please give my best to TST. He has been so helpful to me.
Posted By: believer Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:21 PM
As a recovered addict, I just have to say that EP's don't help unless you are attending a 12-step or SA program.

Someone quoted Romans 7:15-24

Romans 7:15-24 (New International Version)
15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:31 PM
Originally Posted By: lurioosi2
I am relatively new compared to the sages on here, but I am a FWW, almost 4 years out from D-Day. And we went through a lot of the hills and valleys you describe (I guess everyone does). One thing that helped me was to understand that when DH triggered and worried about what I might be doing or who I might be talking to, he was responding to the hell I had put him through, not always how hard I was trying right at that moment. In other words, just because he triggered did not mean I was not changing, and just because I was changing did not mean he would not trigger. In my mind, I KNEW I was completely repentant and doing everything I could to repair our marriage. In his mind, I was the only woman he had ever been with, the one he trusted, and the one who slept with his daughter's guitar teacher. He still couldn't really be sure WHO I was yet.

I wish I could point to a magic date and say on THIS day the affair stopped being a major mile marker in our M. It just got better, two steps forward one step back. And for awhile now, though it is something terrible that I did in the past, it isn't something that hangs in the air.

On those days when everything I did reminded DH of what I had done, I learned to try to see our journey through his eyes and to say "I am so sorry that I have caused you to have to endure this. I want to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make things right. Tell me what you need or need to know, and I will move heaven and earth to get there." Yes, DH still got angry and distant and sad at times, but he knew I was there, ready for whatever he needed me to do.

I hope that's helpful.


Yes, it is! Thank you so much.

- GM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:50 PM
Originally Posted By: believer
As a recovered addict, I just have to say that EP's don't help unless you are attending a 12-step or SA program.

Someone quoted Romans 7:15-24

Romans 7:15-24 (New International Version)
15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?





I guess Nipsy Russell said it less scripturally but no less biblically: "The devil made me do it." I used to laugh at that line. Now I know why. It was an example of using the conflict between good an evil within all of us to justify evil. Well, I don't and can't cater to, or "laugh" at that kind of thing any more. It makes no difference what truths any prophet or any disciple might have written in the bible or anywhere else other than as a nice description of the inner struggle we all face and learn to deal with in one way or another. For me, SMB probably sums it up the simplest. "Just DO IT." Do the right thing, and it will become its own reward in life, not in some afterlife. Hell is a place we go right here where we are living on this Earth, when we make the wrong choices. I have gotten myself there, and I intend to claw my way out. At the tender age of 62, I understand what it takes. Just DO IT.

Please don't take my response as an argument or a judgement of the scripture you quote. Those quotes are obviously profound. Thank you for them. The choice remains within this life, I am sure you would agree, but the consequences and rewards are, too IMO. I will be making the right ones. Of that, I have no doubts.

- GM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/29/10 11:56 PM
Originally Posted By: believer
Good to see you posting again!

This is an easy one. Offer to take a lie detector test.



DWG knows I am ready for that at any time. In this case, calling the director of the band would be a lot cheaper LOL!
Posted By: believer Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 12:00 AM
Oh, that's just may favorite scripture because it applies to me.

Unfortunately, an addict usually can't claw their way out.

But of course you know that. I think that is Step One in a 12-step program.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 12:06 AM
Originally Posted By: tst
Hi GM


Hi, TST!
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 12:20 AM
Originally Posted By: believer
Oh, that's just may favorite scripture because it applies to me.

Unfortunately, an addict usually can't claw their way out.

But of course you know that. I think that is Step One in a 12-step program.



Believe me, I do! I have thought long and hard about whether my infidelity was an addiction. I do know about addiction and worked the steps for a chemical addiction in the 1980's. I attended meetings for at least two years. I never worked all of them, but I gained control and stopped the disease.

In my case, the dynamics of my infidelity don't really fit an addiction for me. It did in some ways, but not really in most. I am not saying it doesn't for some people, but I don't believe that was it for me. It was entitlement, immaturity, and resentment. Lying became a habit, for sure, and I became more and more adept at it to the point where it was fluid and natural. But when the need to lie was removed, and the excuses and lies were stopped as a result, so did the habit. Now, just like last night with the rehearsal episode, sometimes even telling the truth feels like lying, because it sounds like one. Lying itself is an incredibly destructive habit, but there is no withdrawal from stopping it, only reward. I am told that there is actually a form of addictive lying for its own sake, so-called pathological lying, and the textbooks list several categories of that. I know of some people who fit those categories over the years. Fortunately, neither the infidelity nor the lying was a true addiction. A disease of the soul, yes.
Posted By: believer Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 12:37 AM
Well, I'm no expert. So take my advice with a grain of salt. I say you are still an addict, just changed your drug of choice.

I really hope you will complete a 12-step program, because I like you.
Posted By: TheRoad Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 12:52 AM
GM
You going out alone in the evening triggers BW.

Is this when you saw the OW?

Did the OW play in the same band as you?

Did you use playing music as a cover for seeing the OW?

Do you need the income from being in this band or is it just a side job?

If you do not need or get income from this band then it's time to say goodbye to the band.

Why?

Because you danced and now have to pay the band. You had an affair. Many things have to be given up after an affair thats the price for stepping out.

You going out alone is triggering BW so you are going to have to stop doing things that trigger her.

As trust gets restored after a few years maybe BW will not trigger if you want to play in a band again.

But for now for get about it.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 01:21 AM
Originally Posted By: believer
Well, I'm no expert. So take my advice with a grain of salt. I say you are still an addict, just changed your drug of choice.

I really hope you will complete a 12-step program, because I like you.



I like you too, Believer. I think it would be of benefit, for sure, to complete a program, starting at the beginning again. And you might be right about me. I just don't really know.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 01:28 AM
Originally Posted By: TheRoad
GM
You going out alone in the evening triggers BW.

Is this when you saw the OW?

Did the OW play in the same band as you?

Did you use playing music as a cover for seeing the OW?

Do you need the income from being in this band or is it just a side job?

If you do not need or get income from this band then it's time to say goodbye to the band.

Why?

Because you danced and now have to pay the band. You had an affair. Many things have to be given up after an affair thats the price for stepping out.

You going out alone is triggering BW so you are going to have to stop doing things that trigger her.

As trust gets restored after a few years maybe BW will not trigger if you want to play in a band again.

But for now for get about it.


No, that was a daytime thing for me. But in the early years, when things first got bad (because of me, I realize), I would go to prostitutes at night before coming home after a visit to another city to see my parents every few months, and at professional meetings when out of town. I was a mess, seriously. I had already ruined my marriage, and I justified it as a last resort thing rather than work on my problems to fix my marriage. None of the encounters, nor the affair were related in any way to my music. I have cut out all other activities and am retired from work. DWG and I spend virtually all of our time together. We have even joined the same organizations and travel to those meetings together. Since DWG is a concert clarinetist, she knows all the musicians in town, and my rehearsals are all with people she knows. So, that part isn't a problem. There are no triggers from the music. My parents are dead, so I never go to visit relatives without her.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 02:56 AM
As children bring their broken toys

With tears for us to mend.

I brought my broken dreams to God

Because He was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him

In peace to work alone,

I hung around and tried to help

With ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,

How can you be so slow?

My child, He said

What could I do?

You never did let go.


One of my favorite poems.......

GM, you are still trying to control outcomes. We desire to control outcomes in order for US to look and feel good. Our selfishness drives this desired outcome. It's a selfish habit!

When DWG starts to spiral down quickly, it appears you are still grasping for a good answer, maybe even lies, in order to help change her course and stop the spiral... When all she wants and needs is an honest answer. She may continue to spiral, but you must remain... Honest and Calm! Reassuring and Calm! Peaceful and Calm! Loving and Calm!

Did I mention Calm?


You might want to remember that when you cry out, "look at everything I've done". What DWG is doing, is looking at EVERYTHING you have done.

{{{{{{{{DWG & GM}}}}}}}}}}}
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 04:32 AM
GM,

Just a point to think about. The devil doesn't make anyone do anything, ever. He can't compel anyone to sin, yet we all do.

What the devil offered to Eve and Adam in the garden was the right and power to choose for themselves what was right and what was wrong. It is thinking we have the right to make that decision that is at the heart of sin, all sin.

The devil is not the evil version of God, is not omnipotent nor omnipresent nor omniscient nor able to produce physicality on his own. He therefor cannot and never could compel us to do anything against our will. WE choose to take his bait and do what he wants us to do even though we know from the beginning that he wants us to do it so that it might destroy us in the end.

Now as for the practical...

You and DWG need to spend more time together, meeting the intimate emotional needs of each other and less time involved in any activity that reminds either of you of the days of betrayal of the past. I won't say "quit playing music" but would rather ask, "what would you do if she asked you to stop playing music?"

All of MB hinges on one assumption. That is the assumption that whatever we do, it affects our spouse in some way and the effect is either a positive emotional response or a negative response. This is not only true of things that we know might cause an emotional reaction but also of things we never considered before. What we have for lunch when we are sitting alone at work might be a trigger for a negative reaction and if some affair time trigger or past moral failure trigger is related to something we continue to do, then every time we do that thing we are causing our spouse to relive that pain all over again, not just figuratively but literally since the same emotional content of the original event is present in the recalling of the memory of that event.

The two halves of the Love Bank equation are to make deposits so that our spouse loves us and to avoid Love buster that make withdrawals to maximize the balance in our account so that they continue to love us.

It takes both halves for MB to work. We have to maximize the deposits and minimize the withdrawals and no matter what we do, we are doing one or the other of those two things.

Even things we do that we think should have no effect do have an effect, even when we don't see it right away.

Whenever we find ourselves falling into conflict or having a difficult time resolving some issue, our first order of business is to examine our UA time and ramp it up a bit with a focus on meeting the 4 intimate emotional needs.

And just so you know, the sudden loss of trust was probably not even related to the incident it centered around. It probably happened way before that and caused a twinge of fear about getting the whole truth and then on top of that came this binocular thing and the stopping on the way home and the mail on the floor...

Knowing how things run around here, look really hard at IB on your part concerning anything at all. Have you done anything at all recently that might have indicated that you were not taking DWG's feelings into account even for a moment in time?

Mark
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 05:53 AM
Originally Posted By: tst
As children bring their broken toys

With tears for us to mend.

I brought my broken dreams to God

Because He was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him

In peace to work alone,

I hung around and tried to help

With ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,

How can you be so slow?

My child, He said

What could I do?

You never did let go.


One of my favorite poems.......

GM, you are still trying to control outcomes. We desire to control outcomes in order for US to look and feel good. Our selfishness drives this desired outcome. It's a selfish habit!

When DWG starts to spiral down quickly, it appears you are still grasping for a good answer, maybe even lies, in order to help change her course and stop the spiral... When all she wants and needs is an honest answer. She may continue to spiral, but you must remain... Honest and Calm! Reassuring and Calm! Peaceful and Calm! Loving and Calm!

Did I mention Calm?


You might want to remember that when you cry out, "look at everything I've done". What DWG is doing, is looking at EVERYTHING you have done.

{{{{{{{{DWG & GM}}}}}}}}}}}


I talked to DWG tonight. She didn't want to. In fact, she was mad that I needed to find out what it was that I had done. She is bone tired of having to spell out to me what any five year old with responsible parents should already have a grasp of. That is exactly what it was. I mean EXACTLY. I wonder if it is too late to grow up at 62. I suppose for occasional people that is a major accomplishment. My time has come. There is a terrific LP that Herbie Hancock wrote and recorded decades ago. The album is called "Speak Like a Child". One of the tunes on it is called "Goodbye to Childhood". I thought I had said goodbye long ago, but I never did. I never let go. It is time. Better late than never, TST. Your poem was on the money and has touched me profoundly. It is exactly what I was looking for. I knew I could count on you. Thanks...with all my heart.

- GM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 06:12 AM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

Just a point to think about. The devil doesn't make anyone do anything, ever. He can't compel anyone to sin, yet we all do.

What the devil offered to Eve and Adam in the garden was the right and power to choose for themselves what was right and what was wrong. It is thinking we have the right to make that decision that is at the heart of sin, all sin.

The devil is not the evil version of God, is not omnipotent nor omnipresent nor omniscient nor able to produce physicality on his own. He therefor cannot and never could compel us to do anything against our will. WE choose to take his bait and do what he wants us to do even though we know from the beginning that he wants us to do it so that it might destroy us in the end.

Now as for the practical...

You and DWG need to spend more time together, meeting the intimate emotional needs of each other and less time involved in any activity that reminds either of you of the days of betrayal of the past. I won't say "quit playing music" but would rather ask, "what would you do if she asked you to stop playing music?"

All of MB hinges on one assumption. That is the assumption that whatever we do, it affects our spouse in some way and the effect is either a positive emotional response or a negative response. This is not only true of things that we know might cause an emotional reaction but also of things we never considered before. What we have for lunch when we are sitting alone at work might be a trigger for a negative reaction and if some affair time trigger or past moral failure trigger is related to something we continue to do, then every time we do that thing we are causing our spouse to relive that pain all over again, not just figuratively but literally since the same emotional content of the original event is present in the recalling of the memory of that event.

The two halves of the Love Bank equation are to make deposits so that our spouse loves us and to avoid Love buster that make withdrawals to maximize the balance in our account so that they continue to love us.

It takes both halves for MB to work. We have to maximize the deposits and minimize the withdrawals and no matter what we do, we are doing one or the other of those two things.

Even things we do that we think should have no effect do have an effect, even when we don't see it right away.

Whenever we find ourselves falling into conflict or having a difficult time resolving some issue, our first order of business is to examine our UA time and ramp it up a bit with a focus on meeting the 4 intimate emotional needs.

And just so you know, the sudden loss of trust was probably not even related to the incident it centered around. It probably happened way before that and caused a twinge of fear about getting the whole truth and then on top of that came this binocular thing and the stopping on the way home and the mail on the floor...

Knowing how things run around here, look really hard at IB on your part concerning anything at all. Have you done anything at all recently that might have indicated that you were not taking DWG's feelings into account even for a moment in time?

Mark


Thanks, Mark.

As a retired guy, DWG and I spend 99% of our waking hours together, and part of the reason there is even any chance for us to recover after my behavior and her experience of that for so long is because we do spend literally all of our time together. How much is UA time? I don't know. But I would guess close to twice the 15 hours per week that is the MB minimum. Since we are both musicians (she is a symphonic clarinetist), she is loath to ask me to give up the Jazz Workshop. For both of us, playing has been literally our life's blood. I have offered to quit many times in the year and a half since D-Day, especially because my involvement as administrative director of a jazz festival was the cover for 90% of my lies during my affair. But she won't hear of it. She even joined our board in order to allow me to try to revive the festival in this awful economy. Still, I am running out of energy and passion for it largely because of my own guilt at what my life had become. I am committed to playing our scheduled summer concerts. I think at that point, I may very well stop, especially if it is a source of anxiety for her, no matter what she says. Nothing is really important to me any more accept for her and our two grown boys. Not surprisingly, they are both great jazz musicians. Our youngest is leaving for New York City next month to spend at least a decade there developing his skills in that milieu. Part of DWG's emotional hair trigger state right now is because of his leaving this region, and it is part of mine, as well. In fact, she is nearly a basket case over his leaving, though he has lived in a city 60 miles away for the last 5 years, making his reputation and becoming one of the best. That is the thing missing from my thread and hers, but it explains why we both are so emotional and volatile right now. Because of the long problems in our marriage, her relationship with our sons has been the thread holding her soul and sanity together. It is a huge loss for her. They are both great young men because of the values they learned from her.

- GM
Posted By: karmasrose Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 07:56 AM
This is good, that you recognize you must give some things up because they will always be triggers for DWG even if she tells you that they are not.

You are a year older than my grandfather when he died, so I suppose this is why I say what I say next.

Treat every day with DWG like a gift. You never know when it will be taken away by cancer or a sudden heart attack, or any number of things.


Perhaps you two can do something like play a song together, or something, and Youtube it if you're computer savvy.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 02:21 PM
Originally Posted By: karmasrose
This is good, that you recognize you must give some things up because they will always be triggers for DWG even if she tells you that they are not.

You are a year older than my grandfather when he died, so I suppose this is why I say what I say next.

Treat every day with DWG like a gift. You never know when it will be taken away by cancer or a sudden heart attack, or any number of things.


Perhaps you two can do something like play a song together, or something, and Youtube it if you're computer savvy.


Thanks, Kamarose!
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 03:20 PM
Quote:


There is a terrific LP that Herbie Hancock wrote and recorded decades ago. The album is called "Speak Like a Child". One of the tunes on it is called "Goodbye to Childhood". I thought I had said goodbye long ago, but I never did. I never let go. It is time. Better late than never, TST. Your poem was on the money and has touched me profoundly. It is exactly what I was looking for. I knew I could count on you. Thanks




I sense you are within hollering distance to profound insight.
You are an intelligent man.
You are intelligent enough to recognize you have been an emotional imbecile.
Your IQ is high. Your EQ is very low.
Your emotional responses to DWG have been child-like .... How long?
Forever?
Her disapproval hits you as if you were five years old.

As a mature man, her disapproval will strike you as an opportunity to learn and grow, not as some "you've been a bad boy" punishment.

Doc, you are close to a breakthrough.
Watch for it.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 03:57 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:


There is a terrific LP that Herbie Hancock wrote and recorded decades ago. The album is called "Speak Like a Child". One of the tunes on it is called "Goodbye to Childhood". I thought I had said goodbye long ago, but I never did. I never let go. It is time. Better late than never, TST. Your poem was on the money and has touched me profoundly. It is exactly what I was looking for. I knew I could count on you. Thanks




I sense you are within hollering distance to profound insight.
You are an intelligent man.
You are intelligent enough to recognize you have been an emotional imbecile.
Your IQ is high. Your EQ is very low.
Your emotional responses to DWG have been child-like .... How long?
Forever?
Her disapproval hits you as if you were five years old.

As a mature man, her disapproval will strike you as an opportunity to learn and grow, not as some "you've been a bad boy" punishment.

Doc, you are close to a breakthrough.
Watch for it.



Thanks, PB. I dearly appreciate your encouragement. I will carry it close to me to help me make it happen.
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 04:04 PM
Hey, GreenMile. I can really see a lot of similarities in the way you and I react to things, so I thought I might be able to point some things out in ways that would be helpful to you. Even if it's not helpful to you, maybe writing some of the thoughts will be helpful to me. smile

I really, really empathize with that feeling that every time there is a downturn it feels like what your wife is saying is definitive and final and there is no hope. I get that feeling a lot, and if I let it happen, it can make me completely crazy, make me do absolutely STUPID stuff, and make me do things that absolutely HURT my wife. Then the next thing I know, the reason there is no hope is ME!

Listen, she is likely to use language that to you sounds like "I'm through with you and this marriage and this recovery," when what she means is "I'm through with this discussion because it is hurting me." She is also likely to say things out of emotion in the heat of the moment that she won't feel like later. Have you seen this happen? Remind yourself of this in the heat of the moment; let her vent. It's not the make or break moment for your marriage.

And listen, you've got to face the fact that she's always got the choice to end it. What will you do if she does make that decision? In order to avoid turning into that quivering bowl full of helly, you've got to come to grips with this fact and face it with a measure of acceptance. You need her badly, but you need to become a person who would be capable of standing on your own. If you had a plan for personal recovery in the event of DWG deciding to be through with you, a plan that involved yourself and your sons and your personal recovery, then maybe you would react with less fear when you feel like your marriage is threatened. Yes, it would be very sad for you if DWG were to pull the plug. But, you would keep breathing. You would still have a lot to live for.

When things get rough, the most important issue is THE WAY YOU HANDLE IT. I’m sure you know that, but your instincts about how to handle it are going to be totally, totally wrong. You want recovery to continue, you want the good times you two are starting to experience to continue, you feel like those things are threatened by this obstacle (and they are), and so you desperately start trying to MAKE the obstacle go away. DO NOT DO THIS. This is the wrong way to handle it. From your point of view you are just trying to make things better. You feel like in fact you are just trying to help your wife. But that desperation and that attempt to MAKE things get better makes her feel controlled!!! That makes the problem worse!!! In fact, whether you realize it or not, you are trying to control your wife’s thinking. It’s the classic Disrespectful Judgment, and it’s a Love Buster here just like it is always. A massive Love Buster. Your instincts are gonna kill you here if you don’t get them under control and quit following them.

And I hate that because it sets progress back so much.
But take heart. It is not too late in the game for you to learn new habits and learn how to not follow these instincts. It’s just new habits and skills for you to learn as far as how to react when there appears to be a threat to recovery. (A conflict, though you might not realize at the beginning that conflict is occurring; you’re likely to simply perceive a threat to recovery/marriage, and not notice there’s a conflict until you guys are into massive Love Busters. We rationalize our own controlling LBs (SD, DJ, AO), and that means they appear rational to us so we don’t even notice them!!!)

I empathize with some of the things you are saying about Extreme Precautions. Long before Marriage Builders, before I even met my wife, I put in my own “extreme precautions” (using a different name) to avoid sexual behaviors I regarded as wrong. And I had to do a lot of talking to myself, basically personal coaching. “I am a new man, I am not the man I was before, I am strong and have walls in place that cannot be broken through,” etc. They way you talk about your EPs sounds a lot like the way I talked to myself back then, and it’s probably a great way to encourage yourself and keep those EPs strong. But it’s no way to talk to a woman. It’s not going to reassure her at all. How do you help her understand you were not that guy you were all those years? You DON’T do it the same way you convince yourself of that fact. Your thought is actually a rationalization of wanting to CONTROL what she’s thinking. You think it’s helpful, but that desire to control her thinking is more damaging than you can possibly imagine.

What you need is a plan you can stick to and fall back on. A written plan for yourself with three aspects: your extreme precautions, your plan to overcome Love Busters (especially including your plan for eliminating control/abuse LBs: SD, DJ, AO, all attempts to control her and her thinking), and your plan to meet her Emotional Needs. You probably already have all this. (If not, get it!) Your plan is to be continually refined as you become more of an expert at all of these. When obstacles come, you remind yourself “I have a plan for success. I will keep following my plan. I won’t try to control her here and bring her along; I’ll just fall back on my plan.” This will give you confidence and take away that fear. Because of your increasing understanding of your wife, your plan is nearly guaranteed to succeed, if you follow it faithfully with continuing refinements, and IF SHE LETS YOU. The trick is she doesn’t have to let you, and you have to accept that. So you tell yourself “I’ll stick with my plan until the very end. I’ll go down with the ship, if necessary. Even if she starts trying to get out, I’ll continue to offer compensation by working at becoming an expert at meeting her emotional needs, having no tolerance for Love Busters on my part, and taking Extreme Precautions to avoid any outside threat to our marriage.” (Though it probably won’t come to going down the ship. But if it did, your plan is to keep on following-through, even up to two years after she’s gone. If you will aim out that far, you will likely hit your target and it won’t be an issue.)

I made a discovery recently. My discovery is about the words “defensive” and “defensiveness.” My discovery is this: I always thought that “being defensive” was about my feelings. It was a feeling I needed to learn to control. And if my wife thought I was being defensive, well, really she was judging my feelings, and this is a subjective thing with multiple opinions and points of view.

Turns out I was wrong. If you’re defending yourself, you’re defensive, no matter how you feel. smile Same for me, here. I gotta quit defending myself, and so do you. Women tend to word things in ways that make men look at and question their feelings (and then proudly proclaim that the feelings are right, because they are), but men need things worded in terms of behavior: what should I do? What should I stop doing? What you should do is stop defending yourself, entirely. Like Pep said, there’s nothing to defend here. If she doesn’t like something, you’ll quit doing it, period, without even trying to negotiate a way to do it. If she wants to know something, you’ll tell her. If you don’t remember, you’ll simply say you don’t remember. If you remember later, you’ll go back and tell her. Be honest. Always be honest. Just be honest and let her decide if your answer is something to worry about or not, and how to react to it.

What should you do instead? You focus on her and her feelings. That’s what thoughtfulness is!

Women, especially your wife, don’t want to teach you how to do this. That’s the shortcut approach anyway. You’re obligated to learn it even if she won’t help you. It’s still your responsibility. And she does NOT have it in her to help you! Even if she did, she’d probably be ineffective, because she speaks Woman, and you speak Man. All she’d tell you is how to feel, and you already feel that way; you need to know how to ACT.

So, here’s how to act: when your wife comes to you with ANYTHING she wants to know, anything that’s wrong, anything that indicates a conflict, anything that smells to you like a threat to recovery: FIRST, make sure you have an understanding of what happened, what’s worrying her, what you did, etc. SECOND, achieve empathy by understanding why she is hurt: “This is how you got hurt?” “This is why you got hurt?” “When stuff is moved around in my car, it worries you because it looks like somebody has been in there?” Validate her on the fact that she got hurt. Don’t do or say anything to give her the idea that you think she should not be hurt or would like for her to get over being hurt quickly. (No matter how much you do feel for her pain and want her to feel better. This is not the time for apologies.) Both of these steps are all about being a good conversationalist and using conversation to investigate and understand your spouse. Seek understanding. THIRD, express apology: “I am sorry that I gave you cause to worry by moving things around in my car!”

No defensiveness, at all. That means no defending yourself, no matter how you feel. We don’t need to determine who is right or wrong; what matters is her feelings! Defending yourself even includes these statements, which my crappy instincts would have told me sound thoughtful: “I didn’t know” “I didn’t realize,” or their cousin “How was I supposed to know?” It’s all about her and what she feels at this point, not about you and what you know.

LATER (possibly MUCH LATER if she is still reeling from the hurt), offer to have some discussion and brainstorming and negotiation on how to make sure it never happens again.

Read this great article, and you’ll see a perfect image of how you came off to your wife. (Painful for me to read, as I know I’ve been doing this for six years.) http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8507_fft.html

You wanted to tell your wife she has nothing to worry about. This instinct doesn’t help, because essentially you are telling her not to be hurt. Ow. When you cause a wound (which you did by moving stuff in your car), tend to the bleeding instead, using the process I outlined above. (Steve Harley gave it to me on the phone, so it must be good. It looked like liquid gold to me, like just the piece I was missing.) You don’t reassure her by reassuring her.

Finally, I’d say it doesn’t matter much that you have DWG’s blessing to be in this band. It sure looks risky, and she looks reluctant. Do you think she’s still ENTHUSIASTIC about it?

Why can’t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

By the way, don’t be surprised your wife can remember exactly where everything was in the car. Women’s brains are more connected than ours (I tell my wife their brains are more melted than ours) and they notice details like that.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 04:19 PM


A
MAZE
ING
dance2





Originally Posted By: markos
Hey, GreenMile. I can really see a lot of similarities in the way you and I react to things, so I thought I might be able to point some things out in ways that would be helpful to you. Even if it's not helpful to you, maybe writing some of the thoughts will be helpful to me. smile

I really, really empathize with that feeling that every time there is a downturn it feels like what your wife is saying is definitive and final and there is no hope. I get that feeling a lot, and if I let it happen, it can make me completely crazy, make me do absolutely STUPID stuff, and make me do things that absolutely HURT my wife. Then the next thing I know, the reason there is no hope is ME!

Listen, she is likely to use language that to you sounds like "I'm through with you and this marriage and this recovery," when what she means is "I'm through with this discussion because it is hurting me." She is also likely to say things out of emotion in the heat of the moment that she won't feel like later. Have you seen this happen? Remind yourself of this in the heat of the moment; let her vent. It's not the make or break moment for your marriage.

And listen, you've got to face the fact that she's always got the choice to end it. What will you do if she does make that decision? In order to avoid turning into that quivering bowl full of helly, you've got to come to grips with this fact and face it with a measure of acceptance. You need her badly, but you need to become a person who would be capable of standing on your own. If you had a plan for personal recovery in the event of DWG deciding to be through with you, a plan that involved yourself and your sons and your personal recovery, then maybe you would react with less fear when you feel like your marriage is threatened. Yes, it would be very sad for you if DWG were to pull the plug. But, you would keep breathing. You would still have a lot to live for.

When things get rough, the most important issue is THE WAY YOU HANDLE IT. I’m sure you know that, but your instincts about how to handle it are going to be totally, totally wrong. You want recovery to continue, you want the good times you two are starting to experience to continue, you feel like those things are threatened by this obstacle (and they are), and so you desperately start trying to MAKE the obstacle go away. DO NOT DO THIS. This is the wrong way to handle it. From your point of view you are just trying to make things better. You feel like in fact you are just trying to help your wife. But that desperation and that attempt to MAKE things get better makes her feel controlled!!! That makes the problem worse!!! In fact, whether you realize it or not, you are trying to control your wife’s thinking. It’s the classic Disrespectful Judgment, and it’s a Love Buster here just like it is always. A massive Love Buster. Your instincts are gonna kill you here if you don’t get them under control and quit following them.

And I hate that because it sets progress back so much.
But take heart. It is not too late in the game for you to learn new habits and learn how to not follow these instincts. It’s just new habits and skills for you to learn as far as how to react when there appears to be a threat to recovery. (A conflict, though you might not realize at the beginning that conflict is occurring; you’re likely to simply perceive a threat to recovery/marriage, and not notice there’s a conflict until you guys are into massive Love Busters. We rationalize our own controlling LBs (SD, DJ, AO), and that means they appear rational to us so we don’t even notice them!!!)

I empathize with some of the things you are saying about Extreme Precautions. Long before Marriage Builders, before I even met my wife, I put in my own “extreme precautions” (using a different name) to avoid sexual behaviors I regarded as wrong. And I had to do a lot of talking to myself, basically personal coaching. “I am a new man, I am not the man I was before, I am strong and have walls in place that cannot be broken through,” etc. They way you talk about your EPs sounds a lot like the way I talked to myself back then, and it’s probably a great way to encourage yourself and keep those EPs strong. But it’s no way to talk to a woman. It’s not going to reassure her at all. How do you help her understand you were not that guy you were all those years? You DON’T do it the same way you convince yourself of that fact. Your thought is actually a rationalization of wanting to CONTROL what she’s thinking. You think it’s helpful, but that desire to control her thinking is more damaging than you can possibly imagine.

What you need is a plan you can stick to and fall back on. A written plan for yourself with three aspects: your extreme precautions, your plan to overcome Love Busters (especially including your plan for eliminating control/abuse LBs: SD, DJ, AO, all attempts to control her and her thinking), and your plan to meet her Emotional Needs. You probably already have all this. (If not, get it!) Your plan is to be continually refined as you become more of an expert at all of these. When obstacles come, you remind yourself “I have a plan for success. I will keep following my plan. I won’t try to control her here and bring her along; I’ll just fall back on my plan.” This will give you confidence and take away that fear. Because of your increasing understanding of your wife, your plan is nearly guaranteed to succeed, if you follow it faithfully with continuing refinements, and IF SHE LETS YOU. The trick is she doesn’t have to let you, and you have to accept that. So you tell yourself “I’ll stick with my plan until the very end. I’ll go down with the ship, if necessary. Even if she starts trying to get out, I’ll continue to offer compensation by working at becoming an expert at meeting her emotional needs, having no tolerance for Love Busters on my part, and taking Extreme Precautions to avoid any outside threat to our marriage.” (Though it probably won’t come to going down the ship. But if it did, your plan is to keep on following-through, even up to two years after she’s gone. If you will aim out that far, you will likely hit your target and it won’t be an issue.)

I made a discovery recently. My discovery is about the words “defensive” and “defensiveness.” My discovery is this: I always thought that “being defensive” was about my feelings. It was a feeling I needed to learn to control. And if my wife thought I was being defensive, well, really she was judging my feelings, and this is a subjective thing with multiple opinions and points of view.

Turns out I was wrong. If you’re defending yourself, you’re defensive, no matter how you feel. smile Same for me, here. I gotta quit defending myself, and so do you. Women tend to word things in ways that make men look at and question their feelings (and then proudly proclaim that the feelings are right, because they are), but men need things worded in terms of behavior: what should I do? What should I stop doing? What you should do is stop defending yourself, entirely. Like Pep said, there’s nothing to defend here. If she doesn’t like something, you’ll quit doing it, period, without even trying to negotiate a way to do it. If she wants to know something, you’ll tell her. If you don’t remember, you’ll simply say you don’t remember. If you remember later, you’ll go back and tell her. Be honest. Always be honest. Just be honest and let her decide if your answer is something to worry about or not, and how to react to it.

What should you do instead? You focus on her and her feelings. That’s what thoughtfulness is!

Women, especially your wife, don’t want to teach you how to do this. That’s the shortcut approach anyway. You’re obligated to learn it even if she won’t help you. It’s still your responsibility. And she does NOT have it in her to help you! Even if she did, she’d probably be ineffective, because she speaks Woman, and you speak Man. All she’d tell you is how to feel, and you already feel that way; you need to know how to ACT.

So, here’s how to act: when your wife comes to you with ANYTHING she wants to know, anything that’s wrong, anything that indicates a conflict, anything that smells to you like a threat to recovery: FIRST, make sure you have an understanding of what happened, what’s worrying her, what you did, etc. SECOND, achieve empathy by understanding why she is hurt: “This is how you got hurt?” “This is why you got hurt?” “When stuff is moved around in my car, it worries you because it looks like somebody has been in there?” Validate her on the fact that she got hurt. Don’t do or say anything to give her the idea that you think she should not be hurt or would like for her to get over being hurt quickly. (No matter how much you do feel for her pain and want her to feel better. This is not the time for apologies.) Both of these steps are all about being a good conversationalist and using conversation to investigate and understand your spouse. Seek understanding. THIRD, express apology: “I am sorry that I gave you cause to worry by moving things around in my car!”

No defensiveness, at all. That means no defending yourself, no matter how you feel. We don’t need to determine who is right or wrong; what matters is her feelings! Defending yourself even includes these statements, which my crappy instincts would have told me sound thoughtful: “I didn’t know” “I didn’t realize,” or their cousin “How was I supposed to know?” It’s all about her and what she feels at this point, not about you and what you know.

LATER (possibly MUCH LATER if she is still reeling from the hurt), offer to have some discussion and brainstorming and negotiation on how to make sure it never happens again.

Read this great article, and you’ll see a perfect image of how you came off to your wife. (Painful for me to read, as I know I’ve been doing this for six years.) http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8507_fft.html

You wanted to tell your wife she has nothing to worry about. This instinct doesn’t help, because essentially you are telling her not to be hurt. Ow. When you cause a wound (which you did by moving stuff in your car), tend to the bleeding instead, using the process I outlined above. (Steve Harley gave it to me on the phone, so it must be good. It looked like liquid gold to me, like just the piece I was missing.) You don’t reassure her by reassuring her.

Finally, I’d say it doesn’t matter much that you have DWG’s blessing to be in this band. It sure looks risky, and she looks reluctant. Do you think she’s still ENTHUSIASTIC about it?

Why can’t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

By the way, don’t be surprised your wife can remember exactly where everything was in the car. Women’s brains are more connected than ours (I tell my wife their brains are more melted than ours) and they notice details like that.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 04:21 PM
Doc, print out Marco's post.
Carry it with you at all times.

Added to Notable Posts thread.
clap
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 05:18 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Hey, GreenMile. I can really see a lot of similarities in the way you and I react to things, so I thought I might be able to point some things out in ways that would be helpful to you. Even if it's not helpful to you, maybe writing some of the thoughts will be helpful to me. smile

I really, really empathize with that feeling that every time there is a downturn it feels like what your wife is saying is definitive and final and there is no hope. I get that feeling a lot, and if I let it happen, it can make me completely crazy, make me do absolutely STUPID stuff, and make me do things that absolutely HURT my wife. Then the next thing I know, the reason there is no hope is ME!

Listen, she is likely to use language that to you sounds like "I'm through with you and this marriage and this recovery," when what she means is "I'm through with this discussion because it is hurting me." She is also likely to say things out of emotion in the heat of the moment that she won't feel like later. Have you seen this happen? Remind yourself of this in the heat of the moment; let her vent. It's not the make or break moment for your marriage.

And listen, you've got to face the fact that she's always got the choice to end it. What will you do if she does make that decision? In order to avoid turning into that quivering bowl full of helly, you've got to come to grips with this fact and face it with a measure of acceptance. You need her badly, but you need to become a person who would be capable of standing on your own. If you had a plan for personal recovery in the event of DWG deciding to be through with you, a plan that involved yourself and your sons and your personal recovery, then maybe you would react with less fear when you feel like your marriage is threatened. Yes, it would be very sad for you if DWG were to pull the plug. But, you would keep breathing. You would still have a lot to live for.

When things get rough, the most important issue is THE WAY YOU HANDLE IT. I’m sure you know that, but your instincts about how to handle it are going to be totally, totally wrong. You want recovery to continue, you want the good times you two are starting to experience to continue, you feel like those things are threatened by this obstacle (and they are), and so you desperately start trying to MAKE the obstacle go away. DO NOT DO THIS. This is the wrong way to handle it. From your point of view you are just trying to make things better. You feel like in fact you are just trying to help your wife. But that desperation and that attempt to MAKE things get better makes her feel controlled!!! That makes the problem worse!!! In fact, whether you realize it or not, you are trying to control your wife’s thinking. It’s the classic Disrespectful Judgment, and it’s a Love Buster here just like it is always. A massive Love Buster. Your instincts are gonna kill you here if you don’t get them under control and quit following them.

And I hate that because it sets progress back so much.
But take heart. It is not too late in the game for you to learn new habits and learn how to not follow these instincts. It’s just new habits and skills for you to learn as far as how to react when there appears to be a threat to recovery. (A conflict, though you might not realize at the beginning that conflict is occurring; you’re likely to simply perceive a threat to recovery/marriage, and not notice there’s a conflict until you guys are into massive Love Busters. We rationalize our own controlling LBs (SD, DJ, AO), and that means they appear rational to us so we don’t even notice them!!!)

I empathize with some of the things you are saying about Extreme Precautions. Long before Marriage Builders, before I even met my wife, I put in my own “extreme precautions” (using a different name) to avoid sexual behaviors I regarded as wrong. And I had to do a lot of talking to myself, basically personal coaching. “I am a new man, I am not the man I was before, I am strong and have walls in place that cannot be broken through,” etc. They way you talk about your EPs sounds a lot like the way I talked to myself back then, and it’s probably a great way to encourage yourself and keep those EPs strong. But it’s no way to talk to a woman. It’s not going to reassure her at all. How do you help her understand you were not that guy you were all those years? You DON’T do it the same way you convince yourself of that fact. Your thought is actually a rationalization of wanting to CONTROL what she’s thinking. You think it’s helpful, but that desire to control her thinking is more damaging than you can possibly imagine.

What you need is a plan you can stick to and fall back on. A written plan for yourself with three aspects: your extreme precautions, your plan to overcome Love Busters (especially including your plan for eliminating control/abuse LBs: SD, DJ, AO, all attempts to control her and her thinking), and your plan to meet her Emotional Needs. You probably already have all this. (If not, get it!) Your plan is to be continually refined as you become more of an expert at all of these. When obstacles come, you remind yourself “I have a plan for success. I will keep following my plan. I won’t try to control her here and bring her along; I’ll just fall back on my plan.” This will give you confidence and take away that fear. Because of your increasing understanding of your wife, your plan is nearly guaranteed to succeed, if you follow it faithfully with continuing refinements, and IF SHE LETS YOU. The trick is she doesn’t have to let you, and you have to accept that. So you tell yourself “I’ll stick with my plan until the very end. I’ll go down with the ship, if necessary. Even if she starts trying to get out, I’ll continue to offer compensation by working at becoming an expert at meeting her emotional needs, having no tolerance for Love Busters on my part, and taking Extreme Precautions to avoid any outside threat to our marriage.” (Though it probably won’t come to going down the ship. But if it did, your plan is to keep on following-through, even up to two years after she’s gone. If you will aim out that far, you will likely hit your target and it won’t be an issue.)

I made a discovery recently. My discovery is about the words “defensive” and “defensiveness.” My discovery is this: I always thought that “being defensive” was about my feelings. It was a feeling I needed to learn to control. And if my wife thought I was being defensive, well, really she was judging my feelings, and this is a subjective thing with multiple opinions and points of view.

Turns out I was wrong. If you’re defending yourself, you’re defensive, no matter how you feel. smile Same for me, here. I gotta quit defending myself, and so do you. Women tend to word things in ways that make men look at and question their feelings (and then proudly proclaim that the feelings are right, because they are), but men need things worded in terms of behavior: what should I do? What should I stop doing? What you should do is stop defending yourself, entirely. Like Pep said, there’s nothing to defend here. If she doesn’t like something, you’ll quit doing it, period, without even trying to negotiate a way to do it. If she wants to know something, you’ll tell her. If you don’t remember, you’ll simply say you don’t remember. If you remember later, you’ll go back and tell her. Be honest. Always be honest. Just be honest and let her decide if your answer is something to worry about or not, and how to react to it.

What should you do instead? You focus on her and her feelings. That’s what thoughtfulness is!

Women, especially your wife, don’t want to teach you how to do this. That’s the shortcut approach anyway. You’re obligated to learn it even if she won’t help you. It’s still your responsibility. And she does NOT have it in her to help you! Even if she did, she’d probably be ineffective, because she speaks Woman, and you speak Man. All she’d tell you is how to feel, and you already feel that way; you need to know how to ACT.

So, here’s how to act: when your wife comes to you with ANYTHING she wants to know, anything that’s wrong, anything that indicates a conflict, anything that smells to you like a threat to recovery: FIRST, make sure you have an understanding of what happened, what’s worrying her, what you did, etc. SECOND, achieve empathy by understanding why she is hurt: “This is how you got hurt?” “This is why you got hurt?” “When stuff is moved around in my car, it worries you because it looks like somebody has been in there?” Validate her on the fact that she got hurt. Don’t do or say anything to give her the idea that you think she should not be hurt or would like for her to get over being hurt quickly. (No matter how much you do feel for her pain and want her to feel better. This is not the time for apologies.) Both of these steps are all about being a good conversationalist and using conversation to investigate and understand your spouse. Seek understanding. THIRD, express apology: “I am sorry that I gave you cause to worry by moving things around in my car!”

No defensiveness, at all. That means no defending yourself, no matter how you feel. We don’t need to determine who is right or wrong; what matters is her feelings! Defending yourself even includes these statements, which my crappy instincts would have told me sound thoughtful: “I didn’t know” “I didn’t realize,” or their cousin “How was I supposed to know?” It’s all about her and what she feels at this point, not about you and what you know.

LATER (possibly MUCH LATER if she is still reeling from the hurt), offer to have some discussion and brainstorming and negotiation on how to make sure it never happens again.

Read this great article, and you’ll see a perfect image of how you came off to your wife. (Painful for me to read, as I know I’ve been doing this for six years.) http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8507_fft.html

You wanted to tell your wife she has nothing to worry about. This instinct doesn’t help, because essentially you are telling her not to be hurt. Ow. When you cause a wound (which you did by moving stuff in your car), tend to the bleeding instead, using the process I outlined above. (Steve Harley gave it to me on the phone, so it must be good. It looked like liquid gold to me, like just the piece I was missing.) You don’t reassure her by reassuring her.

Finally, I’d say it doesn’t matter much that you have DWG’s blessing to be in this band. It sure looks risky, and she looks reluctant. Do you think she’s still ENTHUSIASTIC about it?

Why can’t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

By the way, don’t be surprised your wife can remember exactly where everything was in the car. Women’s brains are more connected than ours (I tell my wife their brains are more melted than ours) and they notice details like that.


Wow! Thank you for the time and effort you made to help me, Markos. This is yet another giant piece of the puzzle for me. Like others' advice here, I will re-read and study your wise words many times until I can apply this. It is copied and on my desktop for quick reference. I have been such a dunce for so long. So many of these things seem so counterintuitive to a guy like me, but they should not be. This is much appreciated.

- GM

P.S. "Why can’t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

Ans: Because at our age, going to the bathroom takes up almost 1% of our time LOL.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 05:18 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Doc, print out Marco's post.
Carry it with you at all times.

Added to Notable Posts thread.
clap


I did just that before I read your post. Its terrific.
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 07:45 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Wow! Thank you for the time and effort you made to help me, Markos. This is yet another giant piece of the puzzle for me. Like others' advice here, I will re-read and study your wise words many times until I can apply this. It is copied and on my desktop for quick reference. I have been such a dunce for so long. So many of these things seem so counterintuitive to a guy like me, but they should not be. This is much appreciated.

- GM

P.S. "Why can’t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

Ans: Because at our age, going to the bathroom takes up almost 1% of our time LOL.


Thanks, GM. It IS counterintuitive, isn't it? Your instincts are gonna kill you!

My instincts screwed up my marriage, and we had everything going for us.

Now I know what habits to build to override those instincts.

Can't wait till I can say "Now I've built the right habits."

It sure is hard when you have no idea what habits to build, isn't it? laugh
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 06/30/10 07:45 PM
Quote:
Ans: Because at our age, going to the bathroom takes up almost 1% of our time LOL.


ROTFLOL. laugh
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 07/01/10 01:34 AM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Wow! Thank you for the time and effort you made to help me, Markos. This is yet another giant piece of the puzzle for me. Like others' advice here, I will re-read and study your wise words many times until I can apply this. It is copied and on my desktop for quick reference. I have been such a dunce for so long. So many of these things seem so counterintuitive to a guy like me, but they should not be. This is much appreciated.

- GM


P.S. "Why can’t you guys spend 100% of your time together?

Ans: Because at our age, going to the bathroom takes up almost 1% of our time LOL.


Thanks, GM. It IS counterintuitive, isn't it? Your instincts are gonna kill you!

My instincts screwed up my marriage, and we had everything going for us.

Now I know what habits to build to override those instincts.

Can't wait till I can say "Now I've built the right habits."

It sure is hard when you have no idea what habits to build, isn't it? laugh


It most certainly is, Ollie! (as Stan Laurel would say). For me, it is becoming clear at the tender age of 62 exactly what happened to me. My parents had a terribly dysfunctional marriage. There was no respect, constant fighting, hiding things from each other, etc. My Dad, a respected physician, was cruel to my mom and my older brother but lavished love and attention on me and made me into his own image. My mother was sweet and creative but childish and manipulative, full of sadness and disdain for my father, and drew me and my brother into deceptions, encouraging one or both of us to not tell the other or my Dad about such and such. Their marriage was cold, and he had mistresses. I was the "ok" kid who could be left alone, and I was really saved by being ignored in one respect, but I was allowed to get away with everything, was never held accountable, and never had to pay the consequences of my actions. It is no wonder how I became such a horrible and deceptive husband with no concept of what a healthy marriage should be. I am having to learn to be a mature and accountable human being and loving husband now. So, it is not only counter-intuitive to me as a male, but especially to me with my lack of any decent experience at normal relationships between a husband and wife.

In other respects, I have been lucky and accomplished, but in my personal life, it has been a mess. The fixing has started, but it will take a lot of determination and time. I know I have the former and hope I have the latter. Thanks again for your help.

- GM
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/10/10 06:45 PM
GM, you've been popping in and out on other threads, but haven't really been here on your own.

Updates?
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/10/10 09:56 PM
GM,

I'll echo what Mrs V said above...

Updates?

In RM's thread you mentioned that you took something of value from my post to her. I'm glad to help in any way I can, but there are some differences between your situation and hers that you need to keep in mind.

First of all, she is new to this whole process and is just now beginning to learn her way around the whole MB thing. You've been here for a year and a half and even your start at MB follows your getting caught in your affair by some time. By now you and DWG should be well into phase three and not still dealing with phase 1, which seems to be where your wife is stuck at the moment.

So I guess the question I would ask is why do you think that is?

I have what I think might be an answer but will wait for your thoughts first because I am really testing you to check your level of empathy and communication with DWG. And no, it isn't a "no win" kind of deal and it isn't a trick question. I am not trying to trick you, just get a handle on something specific.

Mark
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/11/10 12:15 AM
GM, I have no idea what Mark is thinking, but I hope you know by now it would be wise to dialogue with him.

Also, I have many, maaaaany questions for you regarding your recovery with DWG. I'll save them for when you get here on your own thread and get everyone up to speed...

Much obliged!
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/12/10 06:05 PM
GM,

I would really like to dialog if you can manage the time and I can fit it into my crazy life. I want you guys to succeed at this and be happy forever in your marriage.

Mark
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 04:47 AM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
GM, you've been popping in and out on other threads, but haven't really been here on your own.

Updates?

Hi, Mrs. Vanilla. I am sorry for being so late to getting back here and answering. Very distracted the last couple of days. I sincerely need the help of you and other vets. This is a very dark time for DWG, and I am not doing the right things. Caught in a catch-22. I am just starting to catch up here.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:20 AM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

I'll echo what Mrs V said above...

Updates?

In RM's thread you mentioned that you took something of value from my post to her. I'm glad to help in any way I can, but there are some differences between your situation and hers that you need to keep in mind.

First of all, she is new to this whole process and is just now beginning to learn her way around the whole MB thing. You've been here for a year and a half and even your start at MB follows your getting caught in your affair by some time. By now you and DWG should be well into phase three and not still dealing with phase 1, which seems to be where your wife is stuck at the moment.

So I guess the question I would ask is why do you think that is?

I have what I think might be an answer but will wait for your thoughts first because I am really testing you to check your level of empathy and communication with DWG. And no, it isn't a "no win" kind of deal and it isn't a trick question. I am not trying to trick you, just get a handle on something specific.

Mark


Hi, Mark. I am so sorry for not getting back here. For some reason, this thread got removed from my watch list, and I put it back in. I have been relying on the email notifications, and those stopped for me with this thread, but I fixed it. DWG told me about this. I had basically followed Kim's advice and posted my desperate need for help to Dr. Harley in the follow up forum. But I respect your help and insights so much, that you can probably help me as much as anyone.

Basically the thing that seems to be holding up progress is the sheer weight of the damage I inflicted with my lying and serial adultery for so many years, that even though I have been working hard on fixing the many things that I avoided about myself for so long, it really doesn't help DWG with her pain. It isn't like I had an affair or two or three. What I did was so destructive for so long, it almost transcends MB principles to fix and DWG's ability to heal. DWG is stuck with the realization that building the feeling of love may be impossible because of these obstacles. I love her dearly, but I do not have the love bank balance to be "in love" with her in the manner that I felt during the long affair, even though that was delusional. Even though it was literally bought, had many of the feelings as described in Dr. Harley's books that are typical of an affair. I even told her that she was my "soul mate." DWG wants me to be "in love" with her, with all of the overwhelming feelings that entails, but I cannot feel that as long as I can only feel shame, remorse, and even fear of what DWG's mood will be from day to day. I am 100% dedicated to learning to meet her most important EN's, hoping that if I do that long enough, many years most likely, she will be able to put aside enough memories of the past to move on. She claims that she will never be able to heal further unless I am "in love" with her. Somehow, I must feel what a spouse feels when all of their EN's are being met, and their LB deposits have a brimming balance, when really, this kind of thing is no longer possible for her, because of what I did. If I cannot honestly tell her that I am "in love" with her yet, she cannot move on, because she can only think about those feelings that I had for the OW, feelings which I am convinced were delusional. I feel only shame and disgust when I think of the OW now.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Posted By: barbiecat Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:50 AM
GM;

Breaking out of poor communication and bad thoughts about your spouse is a very big issue for me.

I know they are huge LB's and lead to DJ's- I do not find it sasy to "just stop". Patterns have taken years to be established and it is next to impossible to identify (at first) the thoughts and patterns that lead conversations down this path.

The book, Couple Skiils by McKay, Fanning and Paleg
(I have seecond edition)
is a good source to start with. It is broken up to many strategies, you can chose the chapter that can be helpful to you. It cites historical precident for the strategy and theoretical background.

It also tells you how long they feel a strategy/lesson is going to take. Most need 6+ weeks before and real change occurs.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:58 AM
GM. Thank you for coming and posting. Now, though, pardon me, but: faint

Let me see if I understand your post.

1) DWG needs you to be "in love" with her. I think that translates into her needing to feel like she is the woman for you. Do you agree?

2) It is impossible for you to feel "in love" with DWG, not in any way equivalent to feeling "in love" w/ your last OW. You are actively comparing your feeeelings now for DWG to your OW? In other words, you are comparing DWG to your OW. I know you said you think of the OW with nothing but unpleasant thoughts, but you preceded that statement with mentioning your rosy thinking about that time...

3) You're special because of the uniquely destructive nature of your longstanding modus operandi of adultery, is that correct?

GM, Mark made a very good point to you. You are well past D-day, you have had the forum and the Harleys to hold your hand and coach you through this.

And you are saying that you can't feel "in love" with your wife who has given your lying, adulterous butt a second chance because YOU feel bad about what you did?

GM, you should know better by now: get over yourself. This is not about you. This is about healing your victim. How do any of the above attitudes help that?

Listen, I understand the misery, the guilt, the paralyzing depression. It bites, sure. But it pales in comparison to what our BSs are feeling, and, lest we forget: they never signed on for this. We did. To that end, it is our responsibility, as the WS, to heal them as best we can.

Your attitude is doing just the opposite. So guess what that means? You need to drop it and try something new.

****

I'm taking a break for now. I will try formulating something helpful. Maybe nicer people will be along in the meantime and handle this more capably than I.

I am appalled, GM. And, no, this is no excuse for you to start wallowing in any sort of "poor me" pity party.
Posted By: SmilingWoman Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 01:06 PM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
GM. Thank you for coming and posting. Now, though, pardon me, but: faint

Let me see if I understand your post.

1) DWG needs you to be "in love" with her. I think that translates into her needing to feel like she is the woman for you. Do you agree?

2) It is impossible for you to feel "in love" with DWG, not in any way equivalent to feeling "in love" w/ your last OW. You are actively comparing your feeeelings now for DWG to your OW? In other words, you are comparing DWG to your OW. I know you said you think of the OW with nothing but unpleasant thoughts, but you preceded that statement with mentioning your rosy thinking about that time...

3) You're special because of the uniquely destructive nature of your longstanding modus operandi of adultery, is that correct?

GM, Mark made a very good point to you. You are well past D-day, you have had the forum and the Harleys to hold your hand and coach you through this.

And you are saying that you can't feel "in love" with your wife who has given your lying, adulterous butt a second chance because YOU feel bad about what you did?

GM, you should know better by now: get over yourself. This is not about you. This is about healing your victim. How do any of the above attitudes help that?

Listen, I understand the misery, the guilt, the paralyzing depression. It bites, sure. But it pales in comparison to what our BSs are feeling, and, lest we forget: they never signed on for this. We did. To that end, it is our responsibility, as the WS, to heal them as best we can.

Your attitude is doing just the opposite. So guess what that means? You need to drop it and try something new.

****

I'm taking a break for now. I will try formulating something helpful. Maybe nicer people will be along in the meantime and handle this more capably than I.

I am appalled, GM. And, no, this is no excuse for you to start wallowing in any sort of "poor me" pity party.


Mrs. Vanilla,
You summed it up well...I was so confused when I read his post.

He is paying for his sins for sure....DWGs is paying more though. I am anxiously awaiting vets to give him practical advice to get over himself. The first thought that came to my mind was that he needs to stop focusing on himself and instead focus on DWG.
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 01:11 PM
GM,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have an early service call that just came up so I will get back to this when I get a break at work. Since I am on vacation next week, my day is likely to be a little long and a bit crazy, so give me a little time and I'll be back. cool

Mark
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 03:20 PM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
GM. Thank you for coming and posting. Now, though, pardon me, but: faint

Let me see if I understand your post.

1) DWG needs you to be "in love" with her. I think that translates into her needing to feel like she is the woman for you. Do you agree?

2) It is impossible for you to feel "in love" with DWG, not in any way equivalent to feeling "in love" w/ your last OW. You are actively comparing your feeeelings now for DWG to your OW? In other words, you are comparing DWG to your OW. I know you said you think of the OW with nothing but unpleasant thoughts, but you preceded that statement with mentioning your rosy thinking about that time...

3) You're special because of the uniquely destructive nature of your longstanding modus operandi of adultery, is that correct?

GM, Mark made a very good point to you. You are well past D-day, you have had the forum and the Harleys to hold your hand and coach you through this.

And you are saying that you can't feel "in love" with your wife who has given your lying, adulterous butt a second chance because YOU feel bad about what you did?

GM, you should know better by now: get over yourself. This is not about you. This is about healing your victim. How do any of the above attitudes help that?

Listen, I understand the misery, the guilt, the paralyzing depression. It bites, sure. But it pales in comparison to what our BSs are feeling, and, lest we forget: they never signed on for this. We did. To that end, it is our responsibility, as the WS, to heal them as best we can.

Your attitude is doing just the opposite. So guess what that means? You need to drop it and try something new.

****

I'm taking a break for now. I will try formulating something helpful. Maybe nicer people will be along in the meantime and handle this more capably than I.

I am appalled, GM. And, no, this is no excuse for you to start wallowing in any sort of "poor me" pity party.


I think you misinterpreted. I would be appalled, too, if that is what I was feeling or meant. I am not comparing DWG and the OW at all. I don't think about OW at all. This obstacle is what DWG is obsessing about. She is obsessed with the idea that I had feelings for the OW at one time, which are feelings that she feels that I never had for her. This thought is driving her crazy. I cannot express to her the depth of my love and respect for her and my gratefulness of having this chance to stay with her and become a real husband and decent human being without her simply writing it off as untruthful or insincere, because she cannot trust anything about me and may never. I don't expect her to. It is my job to simply take of her. The fact that she has stayed with me deposited overwhelming love units, and I am committed to doing whatever it takes forever to take care of her, no matter how wounded she is or difficult it seems to me at times. My own EN's are simply unimportant to me, which is a complete inversion of what I was for so long.

Believe me, Mrs. Vanilla. i am not focused on myself or my feelings or sorrow. I was for some time, but that has been over for a long while. It is her feelings that are my only concern. I have faith and confidence that by meeting her EN's and learning how to take care of DWG will, in time, allow her to heal. Please don't be concerned about being "nice". You can write your thoughts to me without concern about that.

My problem is not feeling sorry for myself or resentment or anger at her not thinking of my needs. My confusion is how to help her with this thought that is driving her crazy and which is stopping her healing possibility in its tracks. It is HER obsessive thought that I do not have, or never had, the "in love" feeling for her that people have when they fall in love, whereas she believes that I did have these feelings for the OW at the time. She makes these comparisons in her thoughts, not me. I had some of those types of feelings for OW at the time, because of the way that secretive, forbidden relationships affect people. When those feelings happened, I became terrified. But I was a coward. I could not face the mess that I had created and just continued to pretend that this situation could just go on, that I would not have to face the music, face what I had become, face the horrors of what I had done. I procrastinated and avoided and made myself believe that this scuzzy, awful woman was a legitimate option in my life, and she played me perfectly in that. I was a true rat, trapped, ruined, afraid to face the music, so I kept putting it off one more day, becoming almost consciously more careless. I put my own deluded self above DWG, knowing full well that when it all came crashing down, DWG would be devastated beyond description and would make my decision for me by throwing me out and divorcing me. But she didn't, and when she didn't, I was flabbergasted, realized that she did actually love me all those years, and realized the full horror of what I had done. I don't know if this description helps you. At this point, my cowardice and emotional illness are mine to fix, and my actions over my adult life are mine to deal with, fix, and try to live with until the day I die. The last thing I expect is for DWG to be trying to meet my EN's.

You know from your readings of DWG on this forum what an absolutely remarkable and wonderful human being DWG is. I love her, and I only want the opportunity to be with her and help her, and for me to grow in the process. I cannot expect her to try to meet my EN's. And yet in this program, our coaches are saying that she must try. They say that my feelings of being in love with her depend on this, and I trust them. But she is stuck with the idea that I must first have those feelings of being "in love" with her, before she can move on. She is stuck, because I had some of those "in love" feelings with that horrible woman but believes that I never had those with her. I did, though, but they were muffled and destroyed by a combination of my own selfishness, the interference of my dad, and by DWG's own reactions to those things, which put her unwillingly in the position of either caving in to a jerk or standing her ground and putting me in my place. She did the latter, because she is a strong, proud, and accomplished woman, and my resentments of her treatment toward me those many years ago drained my love bank, and that feeling of being in love with her was short-lived. In my immature, petulant, and entitled way, I decided that I would get one of my main EN's elsewhere, outside the marriage. Once I started doing that, I no longer felt the need to face my own problems and actually fix the marriage. It made it impossible. I withdrew from her further and further. It is a very sad tale, indeed. I must live with it. DWG cannot really live with it right now and may never, but the catch-22 is that she wants us to have restored love and does not want to live without me, but she is insisting that the love be restored as a condition for trying to restore it. I don't know how to deal with that. Does that make more sense?

Mrs. Vanilla, I hope you will calm back down from your reaction to what you thought I was saying, reconsider a bit, and offer me some help on that. I am way past the 2X4 stage.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 03:22 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile


Basically the thing that seems to be holding up progress is the sheer weight of the damage I inflicted with my lying and serial adultery for so many years, that even though I have been working hard on fixing the many things that I avoided about myself for so long, it really doesn't help DWG with her pain.


We're back to square one with this vicious circle!

What are you going to do that's different?

What did you see in my last post to you on this thread?
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 03:27 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have an early service call that just came up so I will get back to this when I get a break at work. Since I am on vacation next week, my day is likely to be a little long and a bit crazy, so give me a little time and I'll be back. cool

Mark


Good luck with that, Mark. Try to have a great vacation. I have this thread back on watch, and I will wait to hear from you whenever you can. No hurry. If you read the post to Mrs. Vanilla above, it might clarify it a little more also.

Thanks,

GM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 03:48 PM
Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
Originally Posted By: GreenMile


Basically the thing that seems to be holding up progress is the sheer weight of the damage I inflicted with my lying and serial adultery for so many years, that even though I have been working hard on fixing the many things that I avoided about myself for so long, it really doesn't help DWG with her pain.


We're back to square one with this vicious circle!

What are you going to do that's different?

What did you see in my last post to you on this thread?



Hi, HPB! Yes, absolutely I saw your post and poem about bringing my broken dreams to God like a child with a broken toy, but letting go, so that He can fix it. I copied it and read it literally every day, sometimes more than once.

I have let go, HPB. And I know that this takes very long time. I also re-read Markos' post every day. Both of those things give me strength. I am not holding out on anything. I am being strong, calm, reassuring, and I am doing the work on myself that needs to be done. I just wish that I could help DWG with this thought she is having about needing me to feel "in love" with her. I cannot feel "in love" with anyone, even DWG, while hating myself for who I was. Somehow, I have to stop hating myself. Right now, I receive daily reminders of who I was. I think that when I am reminded about that each time, it still kind of sucks the life out of me. But it also helps me re-dedicate myself each time. That does seem to help DWG. Many days, she tries so hard not to remind me of who I was, and I feel so much love for her, knowing the effort she is putting into that. I should tell her that more. That is one thing I can do a lot more.
Posted By: Wheels_spinning Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 04:02 PM
Hey GM,
I only skimmed your post, but what I gleamed from it I suppose that DWG recognizes through your actions that your LB$ for her is not in the "In Love" area. Perhaps it is her own beaten view of things that she is having a hard time recognizing your love for her. I feel that you are saying ILYBINILWY through your actions.

I would have to say that you need to change something again. It time to take inventory of your marriage with a serious sit down discussion (Record the status of your $LB over the past few weeks to make sure it is going up). Talk with DWG, find out what ENs you are and aren't meeting. See what are her current top 5 ENs. Check if your ENs are being met. Discuss your status on LB's, and recent withdrawls that occured. Make sure you express your love for her in the way that she understands. This means you really have to go out of your way for her to prove you love her.

I hope during your proof that you love her you will both get into that territory where both your $LB are full for each other.
Posted By: Mulan Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 04:06 PM
Quote:
DWG wants me to be "in love" with her, with all of the overwhelming feelings that entails, but I cannot feel that as long as I can only feel shame, remorse, and even fear of what DWG's mood will be from day to day. I am 100% dedicated to learning to meet her most important EN's, hoping that if I do that long enough, many years most likely, she will be able to put aside enough memories of the past to move on.


This is all very typical Passive/Aggressive philosophy.

me me me me me me me me me

It's not my fault

It's somebody else's fault

she does this and she does that poor me what do I do

I can't, because of her

I'm just a victim

but that's good because victims have no consequences (or shouldn't)

Quote:
She claims that she will never be able to heal further unless I am "in love" with her. Somehow, I must feel what a spouse feels when all of their EN's are being met, and their LB deposits have a brimming balance, when really, this kind of thing is no longer possible for her, because of what I did.


Again - me me me me me

what about MY emotional needs

I can't give her what she needs but that's her fault

poor poor me I'm a victim

You claim to love your wife, yet turn right around above and say that She's Not Doing Enough For You You You

GM, the bottom line is this:

Once you pull your head out of being a Sneaky 11-Year-Old BOY Who Got Caught and is (still) Desperately Trying to Avoid Consequences By Making Excuses and Blaming Others

and

You start behaving like a responsible adult MAN who UNSELFISHLY cares for the ones who depend on him without worrying about the reward and without worrying about how long it might take

then you might see some progress.
Posted By: Doormat_No_More Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:13 PM
My two cents.

GM, it sounds as if you're in a state of Intimacy from what you're saying... but Conflict creeps in and your Taker is rearing his ugly head repeatedly from your posts. You're vacillating between the two states.

Why not pledge to try a time period of simply meeting needs with ZERO expectations? Set a limit for how long you believe you can keep it up -- a few months, a year, whatever -- and do your level best to try to love her without wanting or expecting anything in return.

DWG has been at this game a long time. She's exhausted. She needs you to run with recovery for a time while she catches her breath from years of trying to bring you back to Intimacy.

The hidden benefit here is, you'll stop thinking about yourself for a while, and stop obsessing about what she's thinking. Set your time limit for how long you're willing to try this experiment of just meeting her needs without any thought for your own. When that time ends, talk with her about where you are.

Chances are good you'll both be in a much better place. But I don't think DWG has the energy to give much right now, and is deeply in Conflict verging on Withdrawal.
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:21 PM
Not much time but let me throw this out there...

GM, she's not in love with you either.

That IS the problem.

The question then becomes what is LOVE?

According to the MB model there are two versions of LOVE we need to look at. The first is CARING LOVE and that is what we DO. It us showing care for each other, not BECAUSE of how we feel but simply because we should. It is providing for the ENs of each other and also protecting each other from doing things that hurt each other (avoiding Love Busters).

But the feeling of love is based on something else entirely and is really the result of the other person providing the stimulus to make us happy. When that is done long enough in in ways that get repeated enough times, we begin to associate the happiness with the person. This is when the romantic threshold is reached and when we FEEL in love.

The problem that is faced in the case of prolonged infidelity is that the opposite also takes place. That is, hurtful actions occur repeatedly and even though those actions end, the association is still present and the person who hurt us becomes sufficient stimulus for us to be unhappy.

But another little wrinkle shows up here too, one of healing after something like this. That has to happen on two levels but in three instances. First each person must heal individually. A WS has to heal mostly based on the realization of the damage that has been wrought. The BS must heal enough to be able to go on with his or her life and not continue feeling the pain that comes from being betrayed, which while I think every WS believes very soon after the fog starts to lift that they do grasp it, they can't really understand it or realize fully how betrayal on that level feels.

We all think we know what a heart attack will feel like. We can read about symptoms, the "feelings" as described by others who have experienced it and even think we would know one when we are having one. Yet most people who have a heart attack had no idea that is what was happening to them the first time it happens. Some die as a result simply because they didn't KNOW what the feelings they were having meant. GM, you understand this concept, I would think.

But imagine having feelings that continue simply because you are face to face with or even thinking about a person, knowing that those feelings are because of what they have done and yet being helpless to do anything except to feel them. The feelings don't just come from what happened but also from the memory of what happened and each time the memory is invoked the feelings are there, not just the memory of them, but the feelings themselves.

People who are severely burned experience this kind of memory triggers. ANYTHING that causes the memory of being burned makes the person FEEL being burned again, not just the pain but the fear, the anguish, the terror of being on fire and not being able to do anything about it all come flooding back with something as benign as a smell, a light, a sound, or anything else that might trigger the memory to be recalled.

The way these memories are overcome is not to get over them. The memories have to be replaced in sequential order. In the case of a great marriage that went wrong at some place some of those memories can be replaced by things from the past. A person can "self soothe" or self medicate" by thinking about better times.

But when everything of the past has been shown to be a lie or invalid or even worse, there simply were not a lot of good memories to associate with the past, all of that goes out the window and only NEW memories can alleviate the pain and suffering. Only things done in the present will build those new memories and those things must be good enough and last long enough to overcome the negative feelings of the past enough times so that even the trigger of the hurt becomes associated with the new actions that resulted in comfort and assurance that things are different now and the past actions no longer exist.

I can also tell you that we all THINK we are practicing MB all the time. We understand the concepts, identify the parts and believe that now we are doing the right things. Yet none of us actually DO the right things all the time and still have difficulty controlling our own DJs, AOs, IBs, SDs etc. And if any of those things resulted in the betrayal, no matter which of us did them before or during the betrayal, those things trigger us to relive the same stuff all over again.

For a new habit to become a habit it has to happen enough times that we do it without thinking about it at all. As long as we have to decide what to do, we probably do the wrong thing about half the time. It's like playing a piano. We have to practice a piece over and over again until we can play it without thinking about it at all. Eventually we can play ANY piece because seeing the note or knowing the note causes the notes to be played in the right order in the right way without having to think about where to put our fingers. We play the piece rather than thinking about the piece in order to play it. It becomes our language and not just something we translate from one language to another.

Customers here...

I'll be back. cool
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:26 PM
Originally Posted By: Mulan
Quote:
DWG wants me to be "in love" with her, with all of the overwhelming feelings that entails, but I cannot feel that as long as I can only feel shame, remorse, and even fear of what DWG's mood will be from day to day. I am 100% dedicated to learning to meet her most important EN's, hoping that if I do that long enough, many years most likely, she will be able to put aside enough memories of the past to move on.


This is all very typical Passive/Aggressive philosophy.

me me me me me me me me me

It's not my fault

It's somebody else's fault

she does this and she does that poor me what do I do

I can't, because of her

I'm just a victim

but that's good because victims have no consequences (or shouldn't)

Quote:
She claims that she will never be able to heal further unless I am "in love" with her. Somehow, I must feel what a spouse feels when all of their EN's are being met, and their LB deposits have a brimming balance, when really, this kind of thing is no longer possible for her, because of what I did.


Again - me me me me me

what about MY emotional needs

I can't give her what she needs but that's her fault

poor poor me I'm a victim

You claim to love your wife, yet turn right around above and say that She's Not Doing Enough For You You You

GM, the bottom line is this:

Once you pull your head out of being a Sneaky 11-Year-Old BOY Who Got Caught and is (still) Desperately Trying to Avoid Consequences By Making Excuses and Blaming Others

and

You start behaving like a responsible adult MAN who UNSELFISHLY cares for the ones who depend on him without worrying about the reward and without worrying about how long it might take

then you might see some progress.


I don't think I must be expressing myself clearly. The best thing would be for you to re-read my post. I am past that stage. I am not a newbie. We are nearly two years into this. I am not at all concerned about me or desiring that she do anything different to meet my EN's. She would if she could. This is not about me, so you are misinterpreting that, I believe. I am expecting many, many years, and it may not happen at all. I am not "worrying about how long it might take". I am aware that it is 100% my fault for everything. I am not trying to justify anything, make excuses for anything, or expect anything other than the roller coaster. I think you are mistaking me for some guy still in a fog who refuses to take responsiblity. My posts are not about that. Let me re-state it differently: My BW right now, nearly two years after learning that our marriage was a horrible lie, and after experiencing nearly two years of unrelenting horrifying pain far beyond anything that I could ever feel despite my own sense of shame, remorse, and sadness, and despite herculean efforts by both of us to recover, is stuck on a single obsessive idea that has put a roadblock in our path to potential recovery. That idea is the ILYBIANILWY feelings that she has asked me about repeatedly that I have answered honestly, and comparing them to the "in love" feelings that I had with the OW during the affair. The thought of that woman and the entire tapestry of my life for a quarter century only fills me with revulsion and self-loathing. I have deep, deep love for my W, and thousands of love units were deposited in my LB by her for simply not using her "get out of marriage free" card. Yet, I answer her honestly and openly when she asked if I am "in love" with her. Those kinds of romantic feelings are still not happening because of my sense of shame at myself and the pain that comes with feeling guilty, even though that pain is not even in the same universe as that which she must suffer because of my actions. I am not concerned with my pain. Seriously. I accept it and know I must live with it forever. I mention it only because it keeps me from feeling "in love". But my BW obsesses with the idea that I do not feel that kind of giddy feeling that I had for awhile with the OW but do not currently have for DWG. It does not bother me that I do not currently feel giddy over my W, because that will surely come with some years of healing. I love everything about her and being with her, which is a new thing after all those years of discounting her and running away from her and her judgement of me. I fully understand that those judgements were based on who I actually was and how I acted, and they were deserved, logical, and justified. But I am not giddy "in love" with her, and this is driving her crazy. She keeps comparing my lack of that feeling with those feelings that she believes that I had for the OW, and it is driving her nuts and holding back further progress. I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock. That is the status of our situation right now. Does that make more sense, or do you still believe that I am just focusing on me, me, me, me? If you do, then I can only say that you are not interpreting this correctly and are simply aghast and angry at who I was and what I did in the past. If so, you are not alone. I share your feelings about that.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:41 PM
Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More
My two cents.

GM, it sounds as if you're in a state of Intimacy from what you're saying... but Conflict creeps in and your Taker is rearing his ugly head repeatedly from your posts. You're vacillating between the two states.

Why not pledge to try a time period of simply meeting needs with ZERO expectations? Set a limit for how long you believe you can keep it up -- a few months, a year, whatever -- and do your level best to try to love her without wanting or expecting anything in return.

DWG has been at this game a long time. She's exhausted. She needs you to run with recovery for a time while she catches her breath from years of trying to bring you back to Intimacy.

The hidden benefit here is, you'll stop thinking about yourself for a while, and stop obsessing about what she's thinking. Set your time limit for how long you're willing to try this experiment of just meeting her needs without any thought for your own. When that time ends, talk with her about where you are.

Chances are good you'll both be in a much better place. But I don't think DWG has the energy to give much right now, and is deeply in Conflict verging on Withdrawal.


Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner. It bothers her big time. I understand it but do not know how to help her with that. I cannot lie and feign giddy romantic feelings after 26 years and coming to loath who I was most of that time. There is nothing giddy in our experience at this time, only the painful roller coaster. At the peaks, I do feel almost giddy, and I am bad about not telling her that. Perhaps that is it. Maybe I need to learn to be more expressive of my feelings when things are going well, while still being calm and strong for her when things are going poorly. That is quite a trick to pull off for anyone, is it not?
Posted By: Mulan Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:47 PM
Quote:
I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock.


"I can't give her what she wants, but that's her fault."

Of course she feels like garbage. That's how you treated her for years. What did you expect?

When do you stop worrying about what SHE is doing/thinking/feeling and start concentrating ONLY on what YOU are doing/thinking/feeling?

If you love your wife as you say you do, you will STOP blaming your recovery problems on her (and you are).

You will concentrate ONLY on what YOU YOU YOU are doing to make things better - big things, little things, and things done with NO expectation of reward.

Next post, just come here and tell us about what YOU did today to make things better. Not one word about DWG's problems and DWG's roadblocks to recovery. ONLY what GM did today to make something, anything, just a little bit better - with NO expectation of reward.

Little kids do things for a cookie and they want the cookie RIGHT NOW.

Grownups do things because they're the right thing to do and because they're going to make things better in the long run - maybe not right now, but in the long run.
Posted By: Doormat_No_More Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:49 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner.


Stop all talk about recovery. Period. Any questions about "why" you did what you did, or how you felt, can be answered by looking at the Three Stages of Marriage and Exclusive Need-Meeting. When the other women met your needs, you loved them. It's unfortunate, but that fact won't change. Don't squash your wife's questions, but answer them as quickly and matter-of-factly as you can, then turn the topic toward something that doesn't have to do with your affairs.

You don't want to further reinforce your mutual memory of those dark times. You must always be honest, but don't initiate discussions of the past and try to keep your answers about the past brief and to-the-point. Then go back to work meeting her needs and showing her she's the only one you want to love for the rest of your life.

She's afraid to trust you. That means she's moving from Withdrawal into Conflict. Keep that new leaf turned over for three months, six months, a year, two years... eventually you'll both know your heart is in the right place.

My wife's EA lasted eight months and has been over for a year. I'm just now starting to trust her again in small ways, and very occasionally feel happy and giddy like we're newlyweds.

Yours went on for decades. It's no wonder both of you look at the task ahead and worry if you're up to it.

I have faith that you are. Keep on keeping on, and keep very close track of any of your Love Busters, planning on how to stop engaging in them in the future.
Posted By: Wheels_spinning Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:52 PM
I don't think you should feign giddy romantic feelings, but I think it is possible to have the true giddy romantic feelings. I think that is what you should both be striving for. For me it comes and goes, and I know what I have to do to get those giddy feelings. One of my favorites is by talking over the phone with my wife late at night. We had a year long 500 mile distance realtaionship, and that is how we fell in love. It makes me feel giddy, I also enjoy planning something special with her for our date night. It makes me giddy with anticipation for that night to come.

I think DWG wishes you were giddy for her, and it triggers her. Why were you giddy for OW and not for me now? I expect she fears that if you are not giddy for her, that you might fall back into your old patterns.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 05:57 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Not much time but let me throw this out there...

GM, she's not in love with you either.

That IS the problem.

The question then becomes what is LOVE?

According to the MB model there are two versions of LOVE we need to look at. The first is CARING LOVE and that is what we DO. It us showing care for each other, not BECAUSE of how we feel but simply because we should. It is providing for the ENs of each other and also protecting each other from doing things that hurt each other (avoiding Love Busters).

But the feeling of love is based on something else entirely and is really the result of the other person providing the stimulus to make us happy. When that is done long enough in in ways that get repeated enough times, we begin to associate the happiness with the person. This is when the romantic threshold is reached and when we FEEL in love.

The problem that is faced in the case of prolonged infidelity is that the opposite also takes place. That is, hurtful actions occur repeatedly and even though those actions end, the association is still present and the person who hurt us becomes sufficient stimulus for us to be unhappy.

But another little wrinkle shows up here too, one of healing after something like this. That has to happen on two levels but in three instances. First each person must heal individually. A WS has to heal mostly based on the realization of the damage that has been wrought. The BS must heal enough to be able to go on with his or her life and not continue feeling the pain that comes from being betrayed, which while I think every WS believes very soon after the fog starts to lift that they do grasp it, they can't really understand it or realize fully how betrayal on that level feels.

We all think we know what a heart attack will feel like. We can read about symptoms, the "feelings" as described by others who have experienced it and even think we would know one when we are having one. Yet most people who have a heart attack had no idea that is what was happening to them the first time it happens. Some die as a result simply because they didn't KNOW what the feelings they were having meant. GM, you understand this concept, I would think.

But imagine having feelings that continue simply because you are face to face with or even thinking about a person, knowing that those feelings are because of what they have done and yet being helpless to do anything except to feel them. The feelings don't just come from what happened but also from the memory of what happened and each time the memory is invoked the feelings are there, not just the memory of them, but the feelings themselves.

People who are severely burned experience this kind of memory triggers. ANYTHING that causes the memory of being burned makes the person FEEL being burned again, not just the pain but the fear, the anguish, the terror of being on fire and not being able to do anything about it all come flooding back with something as benign as a smell, a light, a sound, or anything else that might trigger the memory to be recalled.

The way these memories are overcome is not to get over them. The memories have to be replaced in sequential order. In the case of a great marriage that went wrong at some place some of those memories can be replaced by things from the past. A person can "self soothe" or self medicate" by thinking about better times.

But when everything of the past has been shown to be a lie or invalid or even worse, there simply were not a lot of good memories to associate with the past, all of that goes out the window and only NEW memories can alleviate the pain and suffering. Only things done in the present will build those new memories and those things must be good enough and last long enough to overcome the negative feelings of the past enough times so that even the trigger of the hurt becomes associated with the new actions that resulted in comfort and assurance that things are different now and the past actions no longer exist.

I can also tell you that we all THINK we are practicing MB all the time. We understand the concepts, identify the parts and believe that now we are doing the right things. Yet none of us actually DO the right things all the time and still have difficulty controlling our own DJs, AOs, IBs, SDs etc. And if any of those things resulted in the betrayal, no matter which of us did them before or during the betrayal, those things trigger us to relive the same stuff all over again.

For a new habit to become a habit it has to happen enough times that we do it without thinking about it at all. As long as we have to decide what to do, we probably do the wrong thing about half the time. It's like playing a piano. We have to practice a piece over and over again until we can play it without thinking about it at all. Eventually we can play ANY piece because seeing the note or knowing the note causes the notes to be played in the right order in the right way without having to think about where to put our fingers. We play the piece rather than thinking about the piece in order to play it. It becomes our language and not just something we translate from one language to another.

Customers here...

I'll be back. cool


Wow. Thank you, Mark. You write and explain in a way that resonates really well with me in my brain in the same way that HerPapaBear's posts resonate in my heart. Take care of your customers, and then please get back to me.

- GM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 06:36 PM
Originally Posted By: Mulan
Quote:
I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock.


"I can't give her what she wants, but that's her fault."

Of course she feels like garbage. That's how you treated her for years. What did you expect?

When do you stop worrying about what SHE is doing/thinking/feeling and start concentrating ONLY on what YOU are doing/thinking/feeling?

If you love your wife as you say you do, you will STOP blaming your recovery problems on her (and you are).

You will concentrate ONLY on what YOU YOU YOU are doing to make things better - big things, little things, and things done with NO expectation of reward.

Next post, just come here and tell us about what YOU did today to make things better. Not one word about DWG's problems and DWG's roadblocks to recovery. ONLY what GM did today to make something, anything, just a little bit better - with NO expectation of reward.

Little kids do things for a cookie and they want the cookie RIGHT NOW.

Grownups do things because they're the right thing to do and because they're going to make things better in the long run - maybe not right now, but in the long run.


Thanks. Mulan. I appreciate your thoughts. In this case, I am NOT expecting reward. You have that wrong. I am just trying to help DWG, because this particular thought is just eating at her and keeping her wounds festering. But I am probably not in any position to do that, only to do what I can do to give caring love to her. It may be that I interpret everything that she says as something where she is looking for a response or for me to fix the problem rather than her just telling me her feelings. That has always been a trait of mine, and I am learning that (slowly, but surely). We even talk about this. When I try to answer everything with some attempt at helping, it comes across as trying to control her feelings, and that is exactly the wrong thing to do. Markos explained that to me, but I am still doing it. When she states this idea to me, I somehow have to listen and just affirm her feelings of pain and misery and not try to come up with some kind of band-aid. She is not a patient of mine. She is my wife. That may be the clue to the actual answer I am seeking. Don't try to fix it. Just validate and support her.

I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that. Then I would just touch her and kiss her. That would be ideal, but at those times, she does not want me to touch or kiss her.

Today, our beloved golden retriever may be dying. She has metastatic cancer and is unable to get up. We may have to make the awful final trip to the vets today. So, if anyone reading this posts and does not get a response anytime soon, that is what is going on.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 06:45 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
But when everything of the past has been shown to be a lie or invalid or even worse, there simply were not a lot of good memories to associate with the past, all of that goes out the window and only NEW memories can alleviate the pain and suffering.


Mark has hit on the one ingredient that neither you nor anyone else can create.... TIME!

You cannot undo the past or live in the future....

All you have to work with is the memories you create TODAY.

You know how to get ahold of me if you need to talk!

Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 06:50 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that.


My friend, just continue being open & honest! Don't make this more complex than it is, OK!
Posted By: Wheels_spinning Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 06:59 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? .... In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust.


There is no reason to explain why you are there in ther marriage. I can ask why are you here on MB? You can explain the situation of the past, but that is not what I would want to hear either. I would rather you give me a straight answer like: "I am here on MB to learn ways to build a better marriage." Its honest and there is no trying to explain your past.

Explainations of your past to determin what you are doing now, even if what you are doing now, is a bad idea. Its all about what is happening now and what you can do for the future.

I find that when my wife asks me a question I don't answer it. Most of the time it might be a rhetorical question, and she just wants someone to listen to her. Many times I have to exercise empathetic listening. The hard part is trying to block my problem solver mode, and put myself into support mode.

Men by trait are problem solvers. They want to give solutions to any problem. Sometimes women what to be listened to, and don't want a solution. You know it and I know it, so there is no need to further explain. The hard part is practicing it. When is the right time to listen empithetically, nod to a rhetorical question, or shut your yap.

Of course maybe we are all reading into this too much and her real question was what are you doing here? meaning: I wasn't expecting you to be home.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:06 PM
Originally Posted By: Wheels_spinning


There is no reason to explain why you are there in the marriage.


WS, we all need to have an answer to this question, and need to be able to articulate the answer or we might as well pack our bags!

This is an honest question when our BS asks it!

It deserves an honest answer..... Every time it's asked!
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:08 PM
Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that.


My friend, just continue being open & honest! Don't make this more complex than it is, OK!


I do know how to contact you, and I will be less reticent to do so. I promise. Thanks so much for all you do for others and for me.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:09 PM



Originally Posted By: GreenMile


Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner. It bothers her big time. I understand it but do not know how to help her with that. I cannot lie and feign giddy romantic feelings after 26 years and coming to loath who I was most of that time. There is nothing giddy in our experience at this time, only the painful roller coaster. At the peaks, I do feel almost giddy, and I am bad about not telling her that. Perhaps that is it. Maybe I need to learn to be more expressive of my feelings when things are going well, while still being calm and strong for her when things are going poorly. That is quite a trick to pull off for anyone, is it not?



think

Calling your wife's pain "obsessive" over the fact that you deeply loved OW/hooker and hated DWG for years .... makes me want to twoxfour

Another thing to raise redflag is that you are talking about your inability to feign "giddy romantic feelings" ... WTH? Who suggested "giddy" to you?

I am trying REALLY HARD to think of something helpful/constructive to offer you.

But, at the moment, the very best I can do is to refrain myself from calling you ugly names.

I'll be back later, when I can control myself. grumble
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:10 PM
PS

Sorry about your dog.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:13 PM
Originally Posted By: Wheels_spinning
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? .... In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust.


There is no reason to explain why you are there in ther marriage. I can ask why are you here on MB? You can explain the situation of the past, but that is not what I would want to hear either. I would rather you give me a straight answer like: "I am here on MB to learn ways to build a better marriage." Its honest and there is no trying to explain your past.

Explainations of your past to determin what you are doing now, even if what you are doing now, is a bad idea. Its all about what is happening now and what you can do for the future.

I find that when my wife asks me a question I don't answer it. Most of the time it might be a rhetorical question, and she just wants someone to listen to her. Many times I have to exercise empathetic listening. The hard part is trying to block my problem solver mode, and put myself into support mode.

Men by trait are problem solvers. They want to give solutions to any problem. Sometimes women what to be listened to, and don't want a solution. You know it and I know it, so there is no need to further explain. The hard part is practicing it. When is the right time to listen empithetically, nod to a rhetorical question, or shut your yap.

Of course maybe we are all reading into this too much and her real question was what are you doing here? meaning: I wasn't expecting you to be home.


That is it exactly, Wheels. I have been told this before by other veterans, as I mentioned. I still suck at it. I really am still a 2X4 guy, and most of the time, I need to remember to hit myself with it. My whole professional life was being expected to be a problem solver. But this is not what is being asked of me in my marriage, when I am being asked something by my wife.
Posted By: Wheels_spinning Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:15 PM
Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
Originally Posted By: Wheels_spinning


There is no reason to explain why you are there in the marriage.


WS, we all need to have an answer to this question, and need to be able to articulate the answer or we might as well pack our bags!

This is an honest question when our BS asks it!

It deserves an honest answer..... Every time it's asked!


I agree that he needs to answer it. I was suggesting don't use past experience to explain it. Just answer the question straight up, O&H.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:22 PM
Originally Posted By: Wheels_spinning
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? .... In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust.




Of course maybe we are all reading into this too much and her real question was what are you doing here? meaning: I wasn't expecting you to be home.


Naah. We are always together at home or when we run out to do stuff. I am retired. She meant exactly what I thought she meant. In this kind of question, I think HerPapaBear is right. Openness and honesty. And be prepared to give it calmly and with understanding to this important question, and let the chips fall where they may. That is what I did. The chips were difficult. But apparently I did the right thing, until I tried to explain too much.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:24 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
PS

Sorry about your dog.


Thanks, PB. If I could come back and relive my life, I think I would choose to be Phoebe...more than I would even choose to be a better version of me.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 07:38 PM
Originally Posted By: Doormat_No_More
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner.


Stop all talk about recovery. Period. Any questions about "why" you did what you did, or how you felt, can be answered by looking at the Three Stages of Marriage and Exclusive Need-Meeting. When the other women met your needs, you loved them. It's unfortunate, but that fact won't change. Don't squash your wife's questions, but answer them as quickly and matter-of-factly as you can, then turn the topic toward something that doesn't have to do with your affairs.

You don't want to further reinforce your mutual memory of those dark times. You must always be honest, but don't initiate discussions of the past and try to keep your answers about the past brief and to-the-point. Then go back to work meeting her needs and showing her she's the only one you want to love for the rest of your life.

She's afraid to trust you. That means she's moving from Withdrawal into Conflict. Keep that new leaf turned over for three months, six months, a year, two years... eventually you'll both know your heart is in the right place.

My wife's EA lasted eight months and has been over for a year. I'm just now starting to trust her again in small ways, and very occasionally feel happy and giddy like we're newlyweds.

Yours went on for decades. It's no wonder both of you look at the task ahead and worry if you're up to it.

I have faith that you are. Keep on keeping on, and keep very close track of any of your Love Busters, planning on how to stop engaging in them in the future.

I am doing exactly that. Thank you for the encouragement. Like anyone in this situation, encouragement is like food.
Posted By: princessmeggy Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 08:10 PM
GM, having walked in DWG's shoes (but not as long) I think I understand where she's coming from. I relate so much because that was exactly the MAJOR problem for me in getting to recovery with my DH. I found all these astonishing love letters that my DH had written to not just one OW but both of them! Never in our married life had I received such a letter from him. After 25 years, I had chalked it up to he's just not that kind of guy, so you imagine my shock and pain when I read those words stolen from me and given to an OW. He really did love them! He'd never loved me like that in all of our years together.

Nothing my DH SAID could convince me that what I believed was not the truth. For the longest time I believed that I didn't measure up to OW(x2).

It took a long, long time for me to finally believe that my DH truly loved/loves me but it was through his consistent actions. When I would have a meltdown, eventually, he would let me rant and rave and then hold me when I finally broke down. The only words I would HEAR were, "I know you don't believe me now, but I will show you how much I love you and that you are the only person for me if you'll let me."

Eventually, his actions did prove it but I would still have these little doubts pop up from time to time. Finally, I had to learn to stop the stinkin' thinkin' because I was beginning to sabatoge our recovery completely. At that point, my DH didn't deserve my rants because he was doing everything right. Remember, I didn't have MB so I didn't know anything about EN, EPs, love banks, etc. and was flying by the seat of my pants.

You guys are EARLY, EARLY into your recovery, even if it seems like this has been going on forever. You WILL get there. Remain steadfast, true and a ROCK for DWG. She hasn't had that from you in a very long time. It takes time and consistency from you. Lots and lots of time and consistency.

(((DWG and GM)))
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 08:25 PM
GM,

My wife's affair was over in June and it was November when I discovered what appeared to be a pimple on the side of my chest, just below my arm pit. It very quickly gave indication that it wasn't just a simple pimple but actually a boil and did what all boils seem to do. It grew in size, swelled significantly, broke open and began to drain and bleed a bit. Then the swelling began to subside a little, a scab formed over the wound and though still tender, I gave it little thought at all on a daily basis.

By now it was the first week of December and though it didn't get demonstrably worse, it didn't really heal either. It didn't seem that important in light of trying to put our marriage back together and learn new ways of communicating and showing each other that we cared about each other.

A couple of days after Christmas, it swelled a little and drained a little more and I covered it with a bandage, just a band-aid, after pouring alcohol on it. (That will wake you up in the morning, I tell ya.)

It drained and bled and soon being out of strips to put on it, I covered it with a piece of gauze cut from a 4X4 pad and held it in place with a piece of tape.

The first weekend of the new year, my wife and I spent the weekend together doing some fun stuff on the spur of the moment. During that three day weekend, the spot went from an open wound of about the size of a quarter to one 4 inches across.

On Monday I made an appointment to see a doctor and after sitting there waiting for two hours found out he had an emergency at the hospital and wasn't going to see me. I went to the ER that night only to find that they had a couple of heart attacks, three gunshots, a car accident with three life-threatening injuries and about 100 people in line ahead of me. A couple came in with a baby with a high fever and struggling to breathe. The woman who began taking information from the husband as others rushed the baby and mother into a treatment cubical looked at me and said "If you aren't having chest pains, it will be at least two hours..."

I went home.

The next afternoon, I went to the local Quick Care and after a two hour wait, saw a nurse first. She called in the doctor who took one look, scheduled me with a surgeon the next day, ran blood tests, gave me a script for 4 grams per day of Augmentin and sent me home with pills in hand. The next day they took samples, sent them to the lab and I waited a week for results.

A week later the surgeon saw that while taking Augmentin, the wound had again doubled in size and was now 4X8 inches. He hospitalized me that night, debrided the wound the next afternoon and had IV antibiotics running into both arms with hourly blood being drawn. They changed one of the bags every couple of hours to something else they found to try and still had no idea what I had.

That was on Friday and on Tuesday they discovered that what I had was an acinetobacter infection. Almost nobody had ever heard of it and the only other people with this particular strain had all been blown up or shot recently. (this was 4 years ago)

Once it was ID'd, they put me on Bactrim (4 grams per day ) and 750 mils of Levaquin for secondary infection and sent me home with the fascia of the muscle on the side of my chest exposed in an area just over 4X8 inches in size. My wife, who nearly vomited and had to rest before being able to drive home after seeing the wound for the first time was about to become my care giver and considering that 7 months earlier she was considering walking away from the marriage to be with another man my Plan A was about to be tested as well as her commitment to recovery.

She watched the home health nurse change the dressing one day. The next she took pictures of it to give to the ID docs when I went to see them on Friday. On Sunday, she changed the dressing herself while the nurse told her what to do and by Wednesday, she was changing it for me. She changed it every day until I went back again 6 weeks later for a graft to close the wound.

She also did just about everything else that needed to be done. She cooked, cleaned, took care of our granddaughter most days, fed the dogs and cats...She washed the laundry, took me to the doctor...

As my wound began to heal, I found my heart healing as well. It was that she was SHOWING care for me that let me know that she cared for me. As I healed, she healed and the things she did for me were the most important things in her day. While I have made hundreds of extrapolations using my illness as analogy for recovery, healing and MB stuff, the main lesson I think is that it was what she did for me that allowed me to heal. She showed care, compassion and demonstrated empathy for my feelings and condition almost constantly.

I honestly think that had I not gotten sick, we could very well be divorced.

It will be what you DO for DWG that will let her heal, GM. What you know or what you say or why you do it won't really matter in the long run. Only what you do to show her care, compassion and empathy for her feelings will matter when all is said and done.

She'll never care how much you know until she knows how much you care.

You need to be transparent. I'm not talking about answering questions here but about daily life stuff. You don;t get to decide what she needs to know about your life, she gets to decide that. She needs to know where you are, what you are doing and when you change to something else. She needs you to tell her and not wait to be asked. She needs to know that you aren't hiding anything at all from her. If she discovers anything at all, no matter how trivial it seemed to you at the time you failed to reveal it, it will call into question everything she thought she knew. Nothing will be trusted no matter how genuine and empathetic you seem to be.

She needs you to take steps to comfort her in her times of distress since that distress was caused by you. You don't need to FIX it or ANALYZE it or EXPLAIN it, you just need to show her you care for her by caring for her.

She needs YOU to be the leader when it comes to UA time and providing for HER needs. She needs to know that you want to be with her and that you are willing to be with her more than you want to do anything else. She needs to know that she is FIRST in your life and not second, not even a close second. She needs to be asked what you can do for her to make her feel better and then you need to follow through and do it.

She also needs you to listen to her rant sometimes and just let her rant and vent. Again, you don't have to explain it or fix it or justify it or even answer it unless it is posed as a question she specifically says you need to answer.

Ultimately it will be she herself that has to heal, but it will be what YOU do that will give her what she needs in order to heal.

Coffee break's over. Back on my head...

Mark
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 09:40 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband



Originally Posted By: GreenMile


Yes, I am already doing those exactly that and feel as you are suggesting. That is exactly where I am and where things should be at this point. I was just looking for some advice on how to help her with this obsessive idea she expresses of comparing our current state of intimacy with that which was present for awhile with my adultry partner. It bothers her big time. I understand it but do not know how to help her with that. I cannot lie and feign giddy romantic feelings after 26 years and coming to loath who I was most of that time. There is nothing giddy in our experience at this time, only the painful roller coaster. At the peaks, I do feel almost giddy, and I am bad about not telling her that. Perhaps that is it. Maybe I need to learn to be more expressive of my feelings when things are going well, while still being calm and strong for her when things are going poorly. That is quite a trick to pull off for anyone, is it not?



think

Calling your wife's pain "obsessive" over the fact that you deeply loved OW/hooker and hated DWG for years .... makes me want to twoxfour

Another thing to raise redflag is that you are talking about your inability to feign "giddy romantic feelings" ... WTH? Who suggested "giddy" to you?

I am trying REALLY HARD to think of something helpful/constructive to offer you.

But, at the moment, the very best I can do is to refrain myself from calling you ugly names.

I'll be back later, when I can control myself. grumble

Pepperband, it is a loaded word, but maybe I am being too clinical. Just because it is something that she cannot stop thinking about does not mean that I think it is unjustified or abnormal or wrong in any way. All it means to me as a word is that it is something that she cannot stop thinking about. When a thought is recurrent and difficult to deal with emotionally, it is usually called obsessive. Please don't read into that what you seem to be reading into it. I value your insights more than you can know and respect you immensely. I did not mean anything bad by using that term.

I meant nothing bad by using the term "giddy" when describing the feeling of being head over heels in love. It is part of that feeling and describes the same thing that Dr. Harley describes in his books about falling in love. It does not mean that it is foolish, dumb, or less valuable than it is. I would give up an arm and a leg to be back there feeling giddy about DWG. In fact, there are times on this roller coaster when I do feel that, but instead of telling her that like I should, I just feel it. It is something else again that I need to work on.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 09:50 PM
Another great post by Mark! hurray

GM, do you get it yet? You can say all you want, (which, by the way, is still leaving me confused and wondering what exactly is up with you), but it's what you do that will get to DWG.

And before you say you know all of this already, that you are already practicing just this such thing, stop. Think. Would you guys be at this particular low in recovery right now if that were the case?

What you're saying and what DWG is seeing are two very different things.

I suggest you reassess your treatment plan. Go back to first year of medical school - you know the "OLD CARTS" mnemonic? Focus on the CARTS part - what are the characteristics of DWG's pain? What is associated with it? What aggravates it? What alleviates it? Does it radiate - are there other parts of her life affected by this? What has she done to treat it? What is its significance?

You may think you have these answered, but I suggest you approach it again. Re-evaluate. You acknowledge that you are supposed to be the one leading and guiding the healing here - clearly your strategy has not been as successful as desired. What are you going to do differently?

This is not about what you think is best, or if you decided something at one point and are just sticking to that even in the face of it no longer working...Infidelity and recovery from it are many-faceted beasts, and you will need to constantly revisit and reassess your plan to heal your victim.

You say you get all of this stuff, but your actions don't always seem to show it. Now's your chance to start showing it.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 09:50 PM
And no expectations. It's unnecessary pressure, and it appears to affect you greatly when things aren't always sunshine and roses. That, in turn, affects DWG. Not in a good way.

One thing my BH said to me a number of months into recovery was that my emotional mess-ness was not reassuring. The emotional instability was working directly counter to our recovery.

Just something else to think about.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 09:51 PM
One last thing (for now): Be the kind of man DWG wants to be married to, not the kind of man you think she wants you to be, or you think she should be married to, or whatever else.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 09:56 PM
Originally Posted By: princessmeggy
GM, having walked in DWG's shoes (but not as long) I think I understand where she's coming from. I relate so much because that was exactly the MAJOR problem for me in getting to recovery with my DH. I found all these astonishing love letters that my DH had written to not just one OW but both of them! Never in our married life had I received such a letter from him. After 25 years, I had chalked it up to he's just not that kind of guy, so you imagine my shock and pain when I read those words stolen from me and given to an OW. He really did love them! He'd never loved me like that in all of our years together.

Nothing my DH SAID could convince me that what I believed was not the truth. For the longest time I believed that I didn't measure up to OW(x2).

It took a long, long time for me to finally believe that my DH truly loved/loves me but it was through his consistent actions. When I would have a meltdown, eventually, he would let me rant and rave and then hold me when I finally broke down. The only words I would HEAR were, "I know you don't believe me now, but I will show you how much I love you and that you are the only person for me if you'll let me."

Eventually, his actions did prove it but I would still have these little doubts pop up from time to time. Finally, I had to learn to stop the stinkin' thinkin' because I was beginning to sabatoge our recovery completely. At that point, my DH didn't deserve my rants because he was doing everything right. Remember, I didn't have MB so I didn't know anything about EN, EPs, love banks, etc. and was flying by the seat of my pants.

You guys are EARLY, EARLY into your recovery, even if it seems like this has been going on forever. You WILL get there. Remain steadfast, true and a ROCK for DWG. She hasn't had that from you in a very long time. It takes time and consistency from you. Lots and lots of time and consistency.

(((DWG and GM)))


Thank you so much. Hugs to you. I do understand, and your telling me your similar experience helps me to understand it.. There is so much pain inside DWG, and I am responsible for it.

I have all the time in the world for this, meaning the rest of my life, as long as DWG lets me. The consistency is something I have to keep working on.

Anyway, I plan to live forever. So far, so good. (I stole that from some comic whose name escapes me).
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 10:01 PM
By the way. There are times when I kind of disappear from this forum for a few days. When that happens, I am not ignoring the task before me. I am usually re-reading the best advice from the best posts to me that I have copied and pasted into text documents in a special folder. If that keeps me on track and settled, then it is usually enough for me for that day. Yours is in there.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:26 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

My wife's affair was over in June and it was November when I discovered what appeared to be a pimple on the side of my chest, just below my arm pit. It very quickly gave indication that it wasn't just a simple pimple but actually a boil and did what all boils seem to do. It grew in size, swelled significantly, broke open and began to drain and bleed a bit. Then the swelling began to subside a little, a scab formed over the wound and though still tender, I gave it little thought at all on a daily basis.

By now it was the first week of December and though it didn't get demonstrably worse, it didn't really heal either. It didn't seem that important in light of trying to put our marriage back together and learn new ways of communicating and showing each other that we cared about each other.

A couple of days after Christmas, it swelled a little and drained a little more and I covered it with a bandage, just a band-aid, after pouring alcohol on it. (That will wake you up in the morning, I tell ya.)

It drained and bled and soon being out of strips to put on it, I covered it with a piece of gauze cut from a 4X4 pad and held it in place with a piece of tape.

The first weekend of the new year, my wife and I spent the weekend together doing some fun stuff on the spur of the moment. During that three day weekend, the spot went from an open wound of about the size of a quarter to one 4 inches across.

On Monday I made an appointment to see a doctor and after sitting there waiting for two hours found out he had an emergency at the hospital and wasn't going to see me. I went to the ER that night only to find that they had a couple of heart attacks, three gunshots, a car accident with three life-threatening injuries and about 100 people in line ahead of me. A couple came in with a baby with a high fever and struggling to breathe. The woman who began taking information from the husband as others rushed the baby and mother into a treatment cubical looked at me and said "If you aren't having chest pains, it will be at least two hours..."

I went home.

The next afternoon, I went to the local Quick Care and after a two hour wait, saw a nurse first. She called in the doctor who took one look, scheduled me with a surgeon the next day, ran blood tests, gave me a script for 4 grams per day of Augmentin and sent me home with pills in hand. The next day they took samples, sent them to the lab and I waited a week for results.

A week later the surgeon saw that while taking Augmentin, the wound had again doubled in size and was now 4X8 inches. He hospitalized me that night, debrided the wound the next afternoon and had IV antibiotics running into both arms with hourly blood being drawn. They changed one of the bags every couple of hours to something else they found to try and still had no idea what I had.

That was on Friday and on Tuesday they discovered that what I had was an acinetobacter infection. Almost nobody had ever heard of it and the only other people with this particular strain had all been blown up or shot recently. (this was 4 years ago)

Once it was ID'd, they put me on Bactrim (4 grams per day ) and 750 mils of Levaquin for secondary infection and sent me home with the fascia of the muscle on the side of my chest exposed in an area just over 4X8 inches in size. My wife, who nearly vomited and had to rest before being able to drive home after seeing the wound for the first time was about to become my care giver and considering that 7 months earlier she was considering walking away from the marriage to be with another man my Plan A was about to be tested as well as her commitment to recovery.

She watched the home health nurse change the dressing one day. The next she took pictures of it to give to the ID docs when I went to see them on Friday. On Sunday, she changed the dressing herself while the nurse told her what to do and by Wednesday, she was changing it for me. She changed it every day until I went back again 6 weeks later for a graft to close the wound.

She also did just about everything else that needed to be done. She cooked, cleaned, took care of our granddaughter most days, fed the dogs and cats...She washed the laundry, took me to the doctor...

As my wound began to heal, I found my heart healing as well. It was that she was SHOWING care for me that let me know that she cared for me. As I healed, she healed and the things she did for me were the most important things in her day. While I have made hundreds of extrapolations using my illness as analogy for recovery, healing and MB stuff, the main lesson I think is that it was what she did for me that allowed me to heal. She showed care, compassion and demonstrated empathy for my feelings and condition almost constantly.

I honestly think that had I not gotten sick, we could very well be divorced.

It will be what you DO for DWG that will let her heal, GM. What you know or what you say or why you do it won't really matter in the long run. Only what you do to show her care, compassion and empathy for her feelings will matter when all is said and done.

She'll never care how much you know until she knows how much you care.

You need to be transparent. I'm not talking about answering questions here but about daily life stuff. You don;t get to decide what she needs to know about your life, she gets to decide that. She needs to know where you are, what you are doing and when you change to something else. She needs you to tell her and not wait to be asked. She needs to know that you aren't hiding anything at all from her. If she discovers anything at all, no matter how trivial it seemed to you at the time you failed to reveal it, it will call into question everything she thought she knew. Nothing will be trusted no matter how genuine and empathetic you seem to be.

She needs you to take steps to comfort her in her times of distress since that distress was caused by you. You don't need to FIX it or ANALYZE it or EXPLAIN it, you just need to show her you care for her by caring for her.

She needs YOU to be the leader when it comes to UA time and providing for HER needs. She needs to know that you want to be with her and that you are willing to be with her more than you want to do anything else. She needs to know that she is FIRST in your life and not second, not even a close second. She needs to be asked what you can do for her to make her feel better and then you need to follow through and do it.

She also needs you to listen to her rant sometimes and just let her rant and vent. Again, you don't have to explain it or fix it or justify it or even answer it unless it is posed as a question she specifically says you need to answer.

Ultimately it will be she herself that has to heal, but it will be what YOU do that will give her what she needs in order to heal.

Coffee break's over. Back on my head...

Mark


What a story! I understand, Mark. Thank you so much.

- GM
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:29 PM
GM,

Keep pluggin, Bud.

I'll check in tomorrow night or Sunday some time.

Till then...

I've GONE FISHIN'.

cool
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:52 PM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
Another great post by Mark! hurray

GM, do you get it yet? You can say all you want, (which, by the way, is still leaving me confused and wondering what exactly is up with you), but it's what you do that will get to DWG.

And before you say you know all of this already, that you are already practicing just this such thing, stop. Think. Would you guys be at this particular low in recovery right now if that were the case?

What you're saying and what DWG is seeing are two very different things.

I suggest you reassess your treatment plan. Go back to first year of medical school - you know the "OLD CARTS" mnemonic? Focus on the CARTS part - what are the characteristics of DWG's pain? What is associated with it? What aggravates it? What alleviates it? Does it radiate - are there other parts of her life affected by this? What has she done to treat it? What is its significance?

You may think you have these answered, but I suggest you approach it again. Re-evaluate. You acknowledge that you are supposed to be the one leading and guiding the healing here - clearly your strategy has not been as successful as desired. What are you going to do differently?

This is not about what you think is best, or if you decided something at one point and are just sticking to that even in the face of it no longer working...Infidelity and recovery from it are many-faceted beasts, and you will need to constantly revisit and reassess your plan to heal your victim.

You say you get all of this stuff, but your actions don't always seem to show it. Now's your chance to start showing it.


I try to show it, Mrs. Vanilla. I want to show it. My heart is there. I do make mistakes. I am trying to eliminate them. Maybe your conclusions about my failure in this regard are based more on not knowing the extent of the damage, the thousands of embarrassing and shameful episodes and actions of mine that hurt DWG, the length of time it went on, and DWG's own sense of embarrassment, where she is taking some of the blame for allowing it to happen (which I disagree with). Cumulatively, I did so much damage in so many ways for so long, that part of the difficulty in our recovery is the magnitude and length of the damage. That takes a huge amount of time and intense careful effort to show my care, consistency, and sincerity. It might take us ten years to put a dent in it. It is worse than nearly all, if not all, the stories in here. I would be careful about attributing it to something that I am just doing wrong. I am giving it my all, and my effort is not perfect yet, and I still screw up. Please just wish us well. It will take us much longer than it would for younger couples with less history and long term patterns. Something wonderful can eventually happen, but there is no quick way in our case. Effort and faith and diligence. It is all I can do right now. Encouragement and not doubts is what I need now and in the long term. I feel especially bad about posting in clinical terms and using words like "obsession" which Pepperband did not interpret that way I meant it. My intentions are good, and my cry for help here is real.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:56 PM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
And no expectations. It's unnecessary pressure, and it appears to affect you greatly when things aren't always sunshine and roses. That, in turn, affects DWG. Not in a good way.

One thing my BH said to me a number of months into recovery was that my emotional mess-ness was not reassuring. The emotional instability was working directly counter to our recovery.

Just something else to think about.


So true. You are spot on.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/13/10 11:57 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

Keep pluggin, Bud.

I'll check in tomorrow night or Sunday some time.

Till then...

I've GONE FISHIN'.

cool


Catch a big one, Mark!
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/14/10 09:33 PM
GM, sounds like things are looking up! hurray
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/14/10 10:56 PM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
GM, sounds like things are looking up! hurray


I am working on it! Thank you, Mrs. Vanilla for all your posts and advice.
Posted By: Chrysalis Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 03:38 AM
GM,

I just want to say a little bit about the dilemma you have over not feeling in love with DWG, in the same way you felt towards OW.

You need to stop indulging the fantasy. That's all it is. The relationship with OW was nothing but lies and vapors, smoke and mirrors. You were not in love with her. You were in love with your own perfect reflection in the magic mirror she was holding for you.

When you find yourself thinking fondly in any way about OW or your feelings during the A, demand better of yourself. Stop those thoughts dead in their tracks by confronting them for the lies they are.

"Stop! That's a lie! That relationship was built on evil and deception! No more! I choose real life with the real woman who loves me!"

Don't give the fond thoughts any quarter. They are lies. Embrace the truth.

My condolences on the loss of your retriever. I am glad to hear that things are a bit better for the 2 of you the last 24 hours.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 04:29 AM
Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
GM,

I just want to say a little bit about the dilemma you have over not feeling in love with DWG, in the same way you felt towards OW.

You need to stop indulging the fantasy. That's all it is. The relationship with OW was nothing but lies and vapors, smoke and mirrors. You were not in love with her. You were in love with your own perfect reflection in the magic mirror she was holding for you.

When you find yourself thinking fondly in any way about OW or your feelings during the A, demand better of yourself. Stop those thoughts dead in their tracks by confronting them for the lies they are.

"Stop! That's a lie! That relationship was built on evil and deception! No more! I choose real life with the real woman who loves me!"

Don't give the fond thoughts any quarter. They are lies. Embrace the truth.



Believe me, I know that very well. I think you are a bit confused about what I have been writing. I never think of OW. That relationship was fake and nasty to boot. I have no thoughts of her. It seems a century ago. Also, like some others who posted responses, you are concluding that those comparisons are happening in my own thoughts and are bothering me. If you re-read the last bunch of pages, it is DWG who has been bothered by this comparison, enough to occupy her thoughts constantly, and her dreams as well. I have been struggling with how to help her with that. I think we have had a breakthrough with that in the last day, so I am very grateful for all the help and insights here. I do appreciate your concern, Chrysalis. And thank you, also, for the condolences. It is interesting about beloved pets. It seems to affect us often more than the loss of a sibling or parent, because we basically inherited the former, but we choose our pets and put ourselves into them. So losing them is actually losing major parts of ourselves. At least it seems like that to me.
Posted By: Chrysalis Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 06:03 AM
GM,

Fair enough, the topic of "in love with OW" is one that pushes my buttons because of my own history. I apologize if I was unfair to you. And I appreciate the effort you are putting into helping DWG.

Pets.....my kids are all very in tune to the family pets. It makes for great grief, sometimes, but that is a price worth paying for the love they give.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 06:06 AM
Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
GM,

Fair enough, the topic of "in love with OW" is one that pushes my buttons because of my own history. I apologize if I was unfair to you. And I appreciate the effort you are putting into helping DWG.

Pets.....my kids are all very in tune to the family pets. It makes for great grief, sometimes, but that is a price worth paying for the love they give.


No problem. It was hard to tell from my description of what the problem was.

Yep, having those critters is worth the grief that is eventually gonna happen.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 05:58 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile


I meant nothing bad by using the term "giddy" when describing the feeling of being head over heels in love. It is part of that feeling and describes the same thing that Dr. Harley describes in his books about falling in love. It does not mean that it is foolish, dumb, or less valuable than it is. I would give up an arm and a leg to be back there feeling giddy about DWG. In fact, there are times on this roller coaster when I do feel that, but instead of telling her that like I should, I just feel it. It is something else again that I need to work on.


Has it ever occurred to you, that DWG has NEVER experienced romantic love the entire duration of your M? While you have .... just not with DWG, your wife.

She doubts that it is possible.
With good reason.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 06:09 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Originally Posted By: GreenMile


I meant nothing bad by using the term "giddy" when describing the feeling of being head over heels in love. It is part of that feeling and describes the same thing that Dr. Harley describes in his books about falling in love. It does not mean that it is foolish, dumb, or less valuable than it is. I would give up an arm and a leg to be back there feeling giddy about DWG. In fact, there are times on this roller coaster when I do feel that, but instead of telling her that like I should, I just feel it. It is something else again that I need to work on.


Has it ever occurred to you, that DWG has NEVER experienced romantic love the entire duration of your M? While you have .... just not with DWG, your wife.

She doubts that it is possible.
With good reason.





Well, it does occur to me in a big way now, and this thought has been devastating to her. But what focusing on this has done is make me get past the acute problem and really examine my feelings about DWG, and there is nothing lacking there. In fact, it is overwhelming. I have been suppressing it, which is a longstanding problem for me, which became a habit. I am learning to recognize and acknowledge my feelings and communicate it to her better. I really do think we have been making some sort of breakthrough on this, Pepperband. I know that you care for her a great deal, and I am grateful for your friendship to her and your help to me as well. Things are looking up.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 06:28 PM
"I adore you" is not a silly thing to say to your wife.
"You are precious to me" is not stupid.

My husband of 29 years emails me love songs.
He made a decision to court me on a daily basis, a long time ago ...

As H likes to say
"Happy wife, happy life".

I really don't give a chit if it feels weird, or makes you uncomfortable to be over-the-top expressive towards my friend, your wife. I don't really care if you don't feel ready, or sincere.

Do it.
Every day.
Posted By: Mulan Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 06:31 PM
Quote:
. . . and really examine my feelings about DWG, and there is nothing lacking there. In fact, it is overwhelming. I have been suppressing it, which is a longstanding problem for me, which became a habit.


Of course. Every WS has to suppress any positive feelings they have for their BS, or else they wouldn't have all that time and energy to pour into somebody else.

You are so right when you say it becomes a habit - and then it becomes an entitlement - and then it's just normal life, the way it's supposed to be. And anybody who thinks otherwise is just dead wrong and becomes an enemy.

Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 11:40 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
"I adore you" is not a silly thing to say to your wife.
"You are precious to me" is not stupid.

My husband of 29 years emails me love songs.
He made a decision to court me on a daily basis, a long time ago ...

As H likes to say
"Happy wife, happy life".

I really don't give a chit if it feels weird, or makes you uncomfortable to be over-the-top expressive towards my friend, your wife. I don't really care if you don't feel ready, or sincere.

Do it.
Every day.





I feel so stupid and incompetent for never learning this. And I am, actually, in these kinds of things. But it's changing. I know you are dead on right, Pepperband. This is new territory for me, oddly enough. Pretty sad, isn't it? But I'm starting it. And it feels good.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/15/10 11:52 PM
Originally Posted By: Mulan
Quote:
. . . and really examine my feelings about DWG, and there is nothing lacking there. In fact, it is overwhelming. I have been suppressing it, which is a longstanding problem for me, which became a habit.


Of course. Every WS has to suppress any positive feelings they have for their BS, or else they wouldn't have all that time and energy to pour into somebody else.

You are so right when you say it becomes a habit - and then it becomes an entitlement - and then it's just normal life, the way it's supposed to be. And anybody who thinks otherwise is just dead wrong and deserves to be punished.



Yep. That was my mentality for years. Its appalling, looking back. I was the cause of all of my unhappiness and all of DWG's pain, and now she has to somehow live with that pain. All I can do is not be that any longer and be the source of her happiness. If I do that long enough, well...maybe the pain will become bearable. There is only one viable path ahead. All the others lead deeper into darkness.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/16/10 03:03 AM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile


I feel so stupid and incompetent for never learning this. And I am, actually, in these kinds of things. But it's changing. I know you are dead on right, Pepperband. This is new territory for me, oddly enough. Pretty sad, isn't it? But I'm starting it. And it feels good.


New territory is good.
Don'cha know.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/16/10 04:18 AM
Yep
Posted By: armymama Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 09:27 AM
GM,

Are you going silent again? Will you discuss why you want to befriend a woman on facebook? Do you think you are protecting your BWs feelings with your internet conversations with this woman?

AM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 03:00 PM
Originally Posted By: armymama
GM,

Are you going silent again? Will you discuss why you want to befriend a woman on facebook? Do you think you are protecting your BWs feelings with your internet conversations with this woman?

AM


Dear armymama. I have not been on that thread, so it is not on my list of watched topics. Unless DWG posted some misinformation, then you have mis-read her. This all started because I REFUSED a facebook request from her and told DWG about it. Because she is the widow of a famous musician, and because she has met me and talked to me at some music events, I felt compelled to click the "message button" on the ignore friend area and told her why I was NOT friending her. She messaged back some paragraph about how she was just routinely friending after a suggested friend message based on mutual acquaintances, and said that she was offended and hurt by my comment. So, foolishly I messaged back, mentioning how it is not appropriate for me to be friending unmarried women on Facebook and not to be offended, because "I like you very much". That was the big mistake and issue with DWG. For me, it was something i was saying insincerely to be polite and let her know strongly that I did not mean to offend her. So, she came back with more garbage about how she was just a poor, widowed woman with few friends and was only offering help with a couple of music organizations that I am part of.

DWG was furious and hurt that I would write "I like you very much", and I see her point. To make it even more stupid, I had been warned by a board member of one of my music organizations, where I sit on the board, to watch out for this woman, because she is after men constantly. So, I should have just ignored her request and not sent the original message. This woman was playing me, and the "offended" bit was just a huge manipulation.

I have always, all my adult life, been a sucker for these kinds of manipulations, so DWG was rightly very concerned, hurt, and frightened by my "I like you very much, but" response to her. DWG and I had a long discussion about how women manipulate men, the methods they use to do this, and what I should have been reading between the lines of her "hurt" response. She explained to me that this was the classic "damsel in distress" ploy, which I am patterned to fall for for two reasons. 1) I am a man, so I am born susceptible to this and 2) I am a retired physician, and I spent a career trying to jump in and save this person or that person's problem.

But for me and for both of those reasons, as well as my history, it is extremely dangerous for me to fall for this kind of thing. So, I learned a lot about women and how they manipulate men that I never really learned understood before, and DWG helped me do that. I have eBlaster on my computer, so everything I do and post is quite visible to DWG, and I discussed this episode immediately with DWG while it was occurring, though DWG did not know about the "I like you very much, but" comment until she read it on my keylogger report. That is what raised a huge flag for her and led to her strong reaction and posts on this forum in another thread.

I hope that explains it sufficiently. I did not friend nor try to friend that woman, and I was open and honest with DWG about it from the get go. But my falling for her "hurt and offended" ploy was a red flag, and I realize that it was incredibly stupid and violated my plan to protect my emotional weaknesses" and that it was unbelievably stupid to say "I like you very much, but....etc." I realize that now, have learned from it, have updated my plan, and that is really the end of the matter for both DWG and myself.
Posted By: armymama Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 03:17 PM
If you are aware that you are a sucker for manipulation, why do you have a facebook page? Is it something that is necessary?

AM
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 04:14 PM
Originally Posted By: armymama
If you are aware that you are a sucker for manipulation, why do you have a facebook page? Is it something that is necessary?

AM


At this point, it is kind of necessary, because both of our sons communicate almost exclusively by Facebook, and we can keep up with their lives, as they have moved away but are very active in music in two different cities, including NYC. One of them is a poor communicator, so we can keep up with his life through Facebook. Though sharing a single account would accomplish that, we have been involved in some organizations that lead us to have separate circles of "friends" that communicate things, and neither of us wants to have many messages per day coming into our smartphones that have nothing to do with us. The notifications, alone, are disruptive.

There might be some better way, but as long as I have eBlaster installed, there is no chance that I could be pulled off into some bad direction that would threaten our recovery and marriage.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 04:27 PM
Quote:

" I like you very much "


The fact is, you DO NOT "like" her at all.
Let alone, "very much".

You were being dishonest. Again.

Even a casual observer recognizes that you are still comfortable with dishonesty.

Honesty is not one honest act.
Honesty is also a quality as well as a personal value.

Dishonesty is not one dishonest act.
Dishonesty is also a quality as well as a personal value.

You STILL value dishonesty when you want to avoid something that is tough for you to do.

A person with the quality of, and who values honesty, will not (so effortlessly) lie to anyone.

You seem to focus on each misstep you make as if they were isolated events.
They are not.

You "get it" that this upset your wife.
What you fail to fully comprehend is that even small lies TO OTHER PEOPLE puts your character flaws in a bright spot light.

Let me ask you a question.
Were you ever dishonest making your medical reports?
Why or why not?

Let's pretend you did lie professionally.

Let's say you lied on a coroner report (not just an error) and got found out.
What do you think would have happened to your professional reputation?
Would you explain that you were just trying to spare someone's feelings by the lie?
Would you claim to have been "suckered" or "manipulated" by an outside influence to make a dishonest report?


Quote:

it is extremely dangerous for me to fall for this kind of thing


You did not "fall".
You were dishonest, because that is what you do.


Quote:

learned a lot about women and how they manipulate men


You were not "manipulated".
You lied.

I STRONGLY urge you to re-think these comments you made.
Can you see the ultimate purpose of your comments?

Both quoted comments were you excusing yourself for being dishonest.

Think about this.

If I see or hear my CURRENT husband (after 14.5 years of M recovery) being dishonest to ANYONE .... it is a redflag

I do not want a dishonest spouse.
I do not want a scapegoating spouse.
Neither does your wife.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 04:28 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: armymama
If you are aware that you are a sucker for manipulation, why do you have a facebook page? Is it something that is necessary?

AM


At this point, it is kind of necessary, because both of our sons communicate almost exclusively by Facebook, and we can keep up with their lives, as they have moved away but are very active in music in two different cities, including NYC.


In that case, you only need 2 "friends" on FB.
Your sons.
You "ignore" other requests.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 04:46 PM
*LINK* to "The painful truth"

People of the Lie

Have you read this book, by M. Scott Peck MD?

You can avoid a lot of future pain for DWG if you accept the pain/discomfort of honest self examination and, ultimately, accept that truth is less worrisome than lies.

Little lies are dangerous too.

Especially for someone such as yourself.


Quote:

"Those who fully experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain, complacent, and self-satisfied."


Take care.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:01 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:

" I like you very much "


The fact is, you DO NOT "like" her at all.
Let alone, "very much".

You were being dishonest. Again.

Even a casual observer recognizes that you are still comfortable with dishonesty.

Honesty is not one honest act.
Honesty is also a quality as well as a personal value.

Dishonesty is not one dishonest act.
Dishonesty is also a quality as well as a personal value.

You STILL value dishonesty when you want to avoid something that is tough for you to do.

A person with the quality of, and who values honesty, will not (so effortlessly) lie to anyone.

You seem to focus on each misstep you make as if they were isolated events.
They are not.

You "get it" that this upset your wife.
What you fail to fully comprehend is that even small lies TO OTHER PEOPLE puts your character flaws in a bright spot light.

Let me ask you a question.
Were you ever dishonest making your medical reports?
Why or why not?

Let's pretend you did lie professionally.

Let's say you lied on a coroner report (not just an error) and got found out.
What do you think would have happened to your professional reputation?
Would you explain that you were just trying to spare someone's feelings by the lie?
Would you claim to have been "suckered" or "manipulated" by an outside influence to make a dishonest report?


Quote:

it is extremely dangerous for me to fall for this kind of thing


You did not "fall".
You were dishonest, because that is what you do.


Quote:

learned a lot about women and how they manipulate men


You were not "manipulated".
You lied.

I STRONGLY urge you to re-think these comments you made.
Can you see the ultimate purpose of your comments?

Both quoted comments were you excusing yourself for being dishonest.

Think about this.

If I see or hear my CURRENT husband (after 14.5 years of M recovery) being dishonest to ANYONE .... it is a redflag

I do not want a dishonest spouse.
I do not want a scapegoating spouse.
Neither does your wife.



I talked with DWG about this, and you are right. Though I was taught that dishonesty is sometimes OK, if it is done to avoid hurting other people's feelings, it certainly is, and has been, a pattern with me that has infused my entire married life, and it is one that must be completely eliminated in our marriage, and it has. In my professional life, my cases and reports were scientific. There was nothing social about them, so there was never any motivation or reason to be at all dishonest. The reports went to other doctors, not to patients, since I was a pathologist, though sometimes the primary doctors shared those reports with patients word for word. No. My policy in my career was to seek and report absolute truth or be as precise as possible in expressing the degree of uncertainty I had. I was good at it and was never sued in 24 years. So, that was not an issue there.

I need to ask you a question. If an acquaintance has a severe deformity they are self-conscious about, and they ask you if they look "ugly", are you perfectly honest with them, or do you tell them "I think you are a beautiful person, and people judge you on that, not on your appearance", even though you know that to the vast majority of people who sees her, that person is revolting or disgusting? I know that is an extreme example, but there are many other examples in social interactions, where "white lies" are merely something that people do when they are caring and humane. I know that you know that. Is such a thing unacceptable from the standpoint of MB radical honesty? I don't think it is, unless it involves marital relationships. And in my case, trying to be kind to someone who expressed hurt was not recognized by me as manipulation, because when thinking about it more, it was manipulation, and it was a threat. I believe that as long as I am radically and obsessively careful about any such expressions of feelings coming from a member of the opposite sex, such as "hurt" or "offended" or something positive for that matter, then I will be protecting myself from my weaknesses. Radical honesty to such a person is not only a good idea, but necessary. This episode was a good point of learning for me, and a lesson in reinforcing and improving my precautions. But it was no more than that, Pepperband. If you see my explanation as mere excuse for something unacceptable and something that has global consequences for our recovery, I understand that. But you would be wrong. I fully understand that my attempt to not hurt someone's feelings was dangerous, and I can no longer be concerned about the feelings of any woman who might be manipulating me. Lesson learned. As far as I am concerned, that is a good thing. Now, can you answer my question about white lies in social interactions?
Posted By: howtoheal Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:04 PM
I am not a fan of M. Scott Peck, he was a philanderer. Not a worthy person to emulate, imvho.
Posted By: Vibrissa Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:13 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I need to ask you a question. If an acquaintance has a severe deformity they are self-conscious about, and they ask you if they look "ugly", are you perfectly honest with them, or do you tell them "I think you are a beautiful person, and people judge you on that, not on your appearance", even though you know that to the vast majority of people who sees her, that person is revolting or disgusting? I know that is an extreme example, but there are many other examples in social interactions, where "white lies" are merely something that people do when they are caring and humane. I know that you know that. Is such a thing unacceptable from the standpoint of MB radical honesty?


I'm not Pep, but why is your answer the only one? Why can't you say

"I think you are a beautiful person, and people I judge you on that, not on your appearance"

Not a lie -

If the aquaintance asks if you think PEOPLE judge them on their appearance -

"They may, one of the negatives of our society is that looks are very important. I think that is wrong, and I don't judge you by your appearance. I think you are a lovely person."

There are ways to speak positively and truthfully.

It isn't either or.

It's like telling a spouse they can't use Selfish Demands or Disrespectful Judgments - they have no clue how on earth they will cope without these tools.

And yet - it is possible and actually easy once one learns how.

It's a matter of making it a priority and learning how.

White lies are not necessary. Actually it has been my pet project to try to eliminate White Lies so I can try to live a life with more integrity and honesty. I'm liking what I'm seeing as I've tried this - now I'm not perfect, but I think I'm getting better.

So can you.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:14 PM
Quote:

I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.


The first sentence (above) of your first MB post.
(Thread is 'locked' but I think this quote is OK)

I can't believe you think that I am going engage you in a discussion of the nicieties of social conversation ... ...

Quote:

there are many other examples in social interactions, where "white lies" are merely something that people do when they are caring and humane.


You have a serious problem with self-deception.


Quote:

But you would be wrong.


I could be wrong.


Quote:


Now, can you answer my question about white lies in social interactions?


No, I will not.
It is a detour away from your self examination.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:17 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
*LINK* to "The painful truth"

People of the Lie

Have you read this book, by M. Scott Peck MD?

You can avoid a lot of future pain for DWG if you accept the pain/discomfort of honest self examination and, ultimately, accept that truth is less worrisome than lies.

Little lies are dangerous too.

Especially for someone such as yourself.


Quote:

"Those who fully experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain, complacent, and self-satisfied."


Take care.


Thanks for the link. I saved it as pdf and will read it later. I have heard of the book, and DWG has told me about it relation to me. I cannot tell a lie, PB smile. It is me, or at least one form of it. I have had this problem all my life. It was enabled and handed to me, but as an adult, it is my responsibility to identify and correct such things. It has about destroyed a beautiful human being and caused untold pain. I have looked in the other direction to explain my problems, and avoided my issues entirely. I believe it is a form or true mental or emotional illness. In the course of breaking down and rebuilding myself, this has come into painful focus, but I am facing it full on and dealing with it. This program is my chief source of doing this at this point.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:19 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:

I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.


The first sentence (above) of your first MB post.
(Thread is 'locked' but I think this quote is OK)

I can't believe you think that I am going engage you in a discussion of the nicieties of social conversation ... ...

Quote:

there are many other examples in social interactions, where "white lies" are merely something that people do when they are caring and humane.


You have a serious problem with self-deception.


Quote:

But you would be wrong.


I could be wrong.


Quote:


Now, can you answer my question about white lies in social interactions?


No, I will not.
It is a detour away from your self examination.





Fair enough.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:23 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile

Thanks for the link. I saved it as pdf and will read it later. I have heard of the book, and DWG has told me about it relation to me. I cannot tell a lie, PB smile. It is me, or at least one form of it. I have had this problem all my life. It was enabled and handed to me, but as an adult, it is my responsibility to identify and correct such things. It has about destroyed a beautiful human being and caused untold pain. I have looked in the other direction to explain my problems, and avoided my issues entirely. I believe it is a form or true mental or emotional illness. In the course of breaking down and rebuilding myself, this has come into painful focus, but I am facing it full on and dealing with it. This program is my chief source of doing this at this point.


Here is a compliment (and, I don't give compliments unless deserved)

You chose well when you chose to title this thread:
Breaking old patterns

My size 7 on your backside is NOT done to make me feel better about myself ... I want to help you achieve your stated goal ...Breaking old patterns

.... and when you try to deflect to a conversation about little white social lies .... I will have no qualms about kicking you back to your purpose.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 05:32 PM
Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I need to ask you a question. If an acquaintance has a severe deformity they are self-conscious about, and they ask you if they look "ugly", are you perfectly honest with them, or do you tell them "I think you are a beautiful person, and people judge you on that, not on your appearance", even though you know that to the vast majority of people who sees her, that person is revolting or disgusting? I know that is an extreme example, but there are many other examples in social interactions, where "white lies" are merely something that people do when they are caring and humane. I know that you know that. Is such a thing unacceptable from the standpoint of MB radical honesty?


I'm not Pep, but why is your answer the only one? Why can't you say

"I think you are a beautiful person, and people I judge you on that, not on your appearance"

Not a lie -

If the aquaintance asks if you think PEOPLE judge them on their appearance -

"They may, one of the negatives of our society is that looks are very important. I think that is wrong, and I don't judge you by your appearance. I think you are a lovely person."

There are ways to speak positively and truthfully.

It isn't either or.

It's like telling a spouse they can't use Selfish Demands or Disrespectful Judgments - they have no clue how on earth they will cope without these tools.

And yet - it is possible and actually easy once one learns how.

It's a matter of making it a priority and learning how.

White lies are not necessary. Actually it has been my pet project to try to eliminate White Lies so I can try to live a life with more integrity and honesty. I'm liking what I'm seeing as I've tried this - now I'm not perfect, but I think I'm getting better.

So can you.


Outstanding! Those are great points. Those are skills I certainly need.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 06:46 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Originally Posted By: GreenMile

Thanks for the link. I saved it as pdf and will read it later. I have heard of the book, and DWG has told me about it relation to me. I cannot tell a lie, PB smile. It is me, or at least one form of it. I have had this problem all my life. It was enabled and handed to me, but as an adult, it is my responsibility to identify and correct such things. It has about destroyed a beautiful human being and caused untold pain. I have looked in the other direction to explain my problems, and avoided my issues entirely. I believe it is a form or true mental or emotional illness. In the course of breaking down and rebuilding myself, this has come into painful focus, but I am facing it full on and dealing with it. This program is my chief source of doing this at this point.


Here is a compliment (and, I don't give compliments unless deserved)

You chose well when you chose to title this thread:
Breaking old patterns

My size 7 on your backside is NOT done to make me feel better about myself ... I want to help you achieve your stated goal ...Breaking old patterns

.... and when you try to deflect to a conversation about little white social lies .... I will have no qualms about kicking you back to your purpose.


I am glad you have no qualms, Pepperband. It isn't always easy and not fun to hear it, but because of the emotional reaction that has been patterned from hearing it from DWG, it definitely helps to get the size 7 placed by an independent observer. I know that is why you do it, and that is why I am here. Don't feel bad about it at all. Even if I get a little PO'ed about it for 20 minutes or so, that reaction goes away rapidly, and I end up better for it. Believe it or not, PB, I depend on it.
Posted By: Mulan Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 06:47 PM
Quote:
Now, can you answer my question about white lies in social interactions?


No, I will not.
It is a detour away from your self examination.


I had the same reaction. The "white lies" question was just a distraction and a deflection away from a far more important question. I'm not going to address it, either.

Manipulation sucks for everyone, GM, including you. I feel great pity for you, because you have missed out on the genuine love and trust and companionship that an honest relationship can bring you.

You think that P/A manipulation is the way to run your life and avoid trouble? How did that work for ya?

What you really avoided were real and rewarding human relationships born of love and trust - you know, like the one you could have had all those years with your wife (and that she has also been robbed of).

Honesty with all things makes life sooooo much easier and so much richer. You would be amazed.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 06:58 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Even if I get a little PO'ed about it for 20 minutes or so, that reaction goes away rapidly, and I end up better for it. Believe it or not, PB, I depend on it.


Some day, when you are ready.
I'd like to discuss the fear you live with, the fear you think you've hidden so effectively.

I don't think you're ready, yet.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 07:05 PM
Originally Posted By: Mulan
Quote:
Now, can you answer my question about white lies in social interactions?


No, I will not.
It is a detour away from your self examination.


I had the same reaction. The "white lies" question was just a distraction and a deflection away from a far more important question. I'm not going to address it, either.

Manipulation sucks for everyone, GM, including you. I feel great pity for you, because you have missed out on the genuine love and trust and companionship that an honest relationship can bring you.

You think that P/A manipulation is the way to run your life and avoid trouble? How did that work for ya?

What you really avoided were real and rewarding human relationships born of love and trust - you know, like the one you could have had all those years with your wife (and that she has also been robbed of).

Honesty with all things makes life sooooo much easier and so much richer. You would be amazed.


I share your impression that what that has done is pitiful, even though no one likes to feel that they are pitied. You are right. It has not worked for me at all, and it robbed my W. It doesn't work. It has never worked for anyone, unless they somehow enjoy being miserable and causing misery to others.

When I suddenly got the compulsion to click the "message" button and explain why I was not going to accept that friend request, the only thing that crossed my mind was that I wanted her to not think I was being a jerk for not friending her. Looking back, I have to ask myself why that was so important to me. DWG said that it was part of an old pattern where I wanted to keep any woman "in reserve" as a possibility for potential future illicit contact. I keep asking myself, "Is that true? Is that what I was doing? Was that my unconscious motive?" It is part of a pattern, and this thread is all about learning to break old patterns (see Pepperband's post above). There is every reason for DWG to think that. I don't want to delude myself or ignore an opportunity to break old patterns. And even if that was not what I was thinking, even unconsciously, it is crucial for me to stop the pattern of just thinking something, deciding it must be good because I thought it, and then acting on it. I have to filter everything, every thought. The truth is that there was no reason to have to explain myself to that woman on facebook, whether she is the widow of a famous musician or not. If my boundaries are strong and conscious, I should have been recognizing her as a single woman, not an acquaintance of influence, and a simple "ignore request" was all that was necessary. I should have especially recognized that, because I was warned about her. And when she came back with another message about how offended she was, I should have instantly recognized that it was a manipulation, especially by someone with her reputation. I failed to do that, and that was bad. There is nothing else to really debate about it.
Posted By: not2fun Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 08:07 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband


My size 7 ]on your backside is NOT done to make me feel better about myself ... I want to help you achieve your stated goal ...


I'm an 8 1/2. If you ever feel yours is not working, Pep....feel free to borrow mine...... grin

Not
Posted By: Mulan Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 08:29 PM
Quote:
When I suddenly got the compulsion to click the "message" button and explain why I was not going to accept that friend request, the only thing that crossed my mind was that I wanted her to not think I was being a jerk for not friending her.


You were concerned with what Facebook Woman would think of you, so that's what you acted on.

If you were concerned with what DWG would think of you, *that's* what you would have acted on.

You can't have it all. You can't connect with every woman you meet, much as you have tried, and expect to have a rewarding marriage with a happy wife.

Either your wife comes first or she doesn't. In this case, once again, she didn't. She was expected to just disappear while you got strokes and attention from some other woman. I guess she was supposed to be happy for you that some woman made you feel good, and you can't understand why she wasn't?

Mommy is happy when girls are nice to her little boy. A wife is devastated when other woman are allowed to "be nice" to her husband (that is, to fill his ENs.)

That's how you've run your "marriage" for years and years - though the truth is, of course, that DWG has been married and you have not. Worrying about what Facebook Woman thinks of you instead of what your wife thinks of you is proof that you are still not married.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 08:44 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Even if I get a little PO'ed about it for 20 minutes or so, that reaction goes away rapidly, and I end up better for it. Believe it or not, PB, I depend on it.


Some day, when you are ready.
I'd like to discuss the fear you live with, the fear you think you've hidden so effectively.

I don't think you're ready, yet.


I'm looking forward to that.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 08:46 PM
Originally Posted By: Mulan
Quote:
When I suddenly got the compulsion to click the "message" button and explain why I was not going to accept that friend request, the only thing that crossed my mind was that I wanted her to not think I was being a jerk for not friending her.


You were concerned with what Facebook Woman would think of you, so that's what you acted on.

If you were concerned with what DWG would think of you, *that's* what you would have acted on.

You can't have it all. You can't connect with every woman you meet, much as you have tried, and expect to have a rewarding marriage with a happy wife.

Either your wife comes first or she doesn't. In this case, once again, she didn't. She was expected to just disappear while you got strokes and attention from some other woman. I guess she was supposed to be happy for you that some woman made you feel good, and you can't understand why she wasn't?

Mommy is happy when girls are nice to her little boy. A wife is devastated when other woman are allowed to "be nice" to her husband (that is, to fill his ENs.)

That's how you've run your "marriage" for years and years - though the truth is, of course, that DWG has been married and you have not. Worrying about what Facebook Woman thinks of you instead of what your wife thinks of you is proof that you are still not married.


I'm getting rid of my account.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/17/10 10:07 PM
Originally Posted By: Mulan
Quote:
When I suddenly got the compulsion to click the "message" button and explain why I was not going to accept that friend request, the only thing that crossed my mind was that I wanted her to not think I was being a jerk for not friending her.


You were concerned with what Facebook Woman would think of you, so that's what you acted on.

If you were concerned with what DWG would think of you, *that's* what you would have acted on.

You can't have it all. You can't connect with every woman you meet, much as you have tried, and expect to have a rewarding marriage with a happy wife.

Either your wife comes first or she doesn't. In this case, once again, she didn't. She was expected to just disappear while you got strokes and attention from some other woman. I guess she was supposed to be happy for you that some woman made you feel good, and you can't understand why she wasn't?

Mommy is happy when girls are nice to her little boy. A wife is devastated when other woman are allowed to "be nice" to her husband (that is, to fill his ENs.)

That's how you've run your "marriage" for years and years - though the truth is, of course, that DWG has been married and you have not. Worrying about what Facebook Woman thinks of you instead of what your wife thinks of you is proof that you are still not married.


You are right about how I ran my marriage. This is not longer the case.

The rest of it, regarding how I feel about her and what or who I value more is a projection carved out of your own painful experiences and is no longer true for me. You have been posting about honesty, and if you are honest, you will admit that don't have any real idea how I feel or what my motives were in this case, only what you are projecting, unless you are talking about how this episode made DWG feel. Remember, those are feelings that she shared in a post. They are what she FELT as a result of how I handled this Facebook episode. Those feelings are my responsibility to address by showing care and loving support, ending my Facebook account, etc. Your harshness is based on your interpretation. I am asking you in a nice way to back off, because your insights are valuable to me, and I don't want to stop reading them.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/18/10 03:29 PM
How are you today?
Posted By: Lexxxy Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/18/10 03:35 PM
Quote:
They are what she FELT as a result of how I handled this Facebook episode. Those feelings are my responsibility to address by showing care and loving support, ending my Facebook account, etc.


What Mulan is trying to get you to look at is changing your behavior so you are not REPAIRING damage, but PREVENTING damage.
If you had approached the situation with your wife topmost in mind, this never would have happened.
And you wouldn't have to end your account etc.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/18/10 03:39 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
How are you today?


Still waking up LOL.

DWG has Pandora playing, and Simon and Garfunkel are on, playing "Feeling Groovy". So, that is our mood at the moment.

I left her a gift subscription and a love note. That's about it, PB. Thanks for inquiring.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/18/10 03:58 PM
Originally Posted By: Lexxxy
Quote:
They are what she FELT as a result of how I handled this Facebook episode. Those feelings are my responsibility to address by showing care and loving support, ending my Facebook account, etc.


What Mulan is trying to get you to look at is changing your behavior so you are not REPAIRING damage, but PREVENTING damage.
If you had approached the situation with your wife topmost in mind, this never would have happened.
And you wouldn't have to end your account etc.


I do get that Lexxxy. Thanks. Because DWG was at the top of my mind, I instantly told her about the Friend request as it was happening. DWG was sitting at the table with me with our laptops. I told her I was rejecting it, but my decision to send a note of explanation to the woman was just an impulse, and I did not ask DWG about that. When I did it, there was no thought other than not hurting someone's feelings, as hard as that is to believe from a guy like me. But in retrospect, I should have POJA'ed the note, also. Not doing so was an old pattern, an impulse. And it gave no thought as to how DWG would have felt about the note.

This is a good episode for me to learn from and change my patterns. If I don't look at mistakes as opportunities to improve, I am not worth anything. As bad it sounds, I will make more mistakes. Hopefully, they keep decreasing in frequency. As for the Facebook account, I don't even sign in very often. It is more of an annoyance than anything else, as long as DWG has an account to follow our sons' goings on. The MB team regards it as a problem and recommends that no one having had marriage problems have a Facebook account. I am following that recommendation. I am not sitting here feeling loss or sacrifice about it. There is simply no reason for DWG to have any more worries about me than those that cannot be avoided because of the past. She deserves to have as much peace of mind as possible. Other than my giving up breathing, I am prepared to give up just about anything else.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 01:14 AM
Another big mistake: This morning, I gave DWG a subscription to the audio service, Pandora. She was enjoying it so much, that she was completely immersed in it. I should have let her just enjoy it, but I wanted to interact with her and talk in the usual way, but there really was no conversation because she was listening, sometimes with earphones. A couple of times, I asked her something, and she either did not hear my questions or was just delaying an answer while she listened to the music. When we went out to do chores, it continued, and, like a selfish little kid, I was feeling kind of alone or ignored instead of taking joy in how much she was enjoying her gift. Her brother, who is living in a bedroom at the barn, came out and asked her if she was in a good mood. She looked at him and said the name of the artist she was listening to. I didn't see that they had made eye contact, and that her response was a real answer of happiness and an actual answer to his question. I kind of felt bad for her brother and said, "did you know that #### was asking you a question."?

Well, this was like stabbing her. She felt that I was treating her like a child and trying to control her use of her gift, after I had given it to her. The level of anger was enormous and remains so even tonight. She said she was going to end the subscription and has not been willing to talk to me all day.

I understand that the main issue is not what I meant by my comment, It is how she felt and what she thought as a result of it, and I injured her once again. This thread is about breaking old patterns, and what I did was conclude something that was wrong instantly in my head and acted on it. I didn't filter my thoughts or stop myself and think how it would sound or be taken by DWG. Now I have set her way back once again and left her angry and hurt and probably ready to give up on me. It was stupid for me to interfere in her interaction with her brother and say something that made her feel controlled and disrespected. Now sitting motionless at the bottom of the roller coaster, just wondering how to convey my sadness at how I made her feel. I just can't seem to put even two days together without making some terrible blunder. In a way, this was very similar to the facebook episode. I was worried about her brother's feelings instead of worrying about DWG's feelings, the one person who is actually of (monumental) importance to me. I didn't take care of her feelings first and foremost. It is not because I don't care or put her number one. It was just an obnoxious interference that happened because I thought she did not hear him accurately due to listening to the music. Boy! Did IT come out wrong.!! How do I learn that my first thought may be just plain wrong? I think something, then I act on it without questioning first in my mind whether it is true or not. This is a very bad habit.

- Feeling sad and disappointed in myself...and discouraged with my ability to make myself better at loving and taking care of DWG. I wanted to give her a surprise present and just blew it. I am so clumsy and incompetent at this.

Let the pounding begin...
Posted By: johnstwin Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 02:03 AM
GM-

I'm not going to pound you. I just wanted to say that this statement is very revealing:
Quote:
like a selfish little kid, I was feeling kind of alone or ignored instead of taking joy in how much she was enjoying her gift


Why do you feel like a lonely, ignored child after you did something that was a gift that was being enjoyed?

I hope you are in IC, because I think some of the issues in your M and R are deeper (and older) than just your behavior during most of your M.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 02:22 AM
Originally Posted By: johnstwin
GM-

I'm not going to pound you. I just wanted to say that this statement is very revealing:
Quote:
like a selfish little kid, I was feeling kind of alone or ignored instead of taking joy in how much she was enjoying her gift


Why do you feel like a lonely, ignored child after you did something that was a gift that was being enjoyed?

I hope you are in IC, because I think some of the issues in your M and R are deeper (and older) than just your behavior during most of your M.


I do have some problems that are deeper than I ever realized.

Oh. By the way, DWG was never wearing headphones during this episode. I was wrong about that. I thought that she did for a while. She did nothing wrong at all. I just want to make that clear.

As for your question, I don't really know why I felt that. Seriously. I don't know.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 02:39 AM
Quote:
I was worried about her brother's feelings instead of worrying about DWG's feelings


I beg to differ.

I sure hope I can explain this ...

Back to your very first post on the forum ...

Quote:
I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.


This is you, doing your thing.

Let's put aside, for now, the lies and obfuscation of the actual depth of your betrayals.
Let's just look at the last bit.

"I am a good person"

Who are you trying to convince when you write such a thing?

The MB peanut gallery?
Complete strangers?
Why?

Are you even aware, that a person who KNOWS they are a "good person" does not feel compelled to convince others of that fact?

Have I ever written "I am a good person" on the MB forum?
No.
Why not?
Because my ability to recognize my own good qualities does not hinge on my convincing others that I am "a good person".
It would never occur to me to even write such a thing.

GM, you are not the first wayward on MB to write "I am a good person" in order to convince others (complete strangers) that they are not a "bad person".

You see, GM, I don't need to announce that I am "a good person" because I know I am not a "bad person".

Here's my 2 cents.

The man in the mirror, the guy who you see shaving every day, is not sure if he is good, or not. In fact, he's pretty sure he is not.
But, he wants to be.

The only way you know how to take your own measure ~~~> What is reflected in the opinions of others? What do I look like to ~~~> that person over there.

So, you say to a suspect man-fishing FB widow, "I like you a lot" ... when you don't like her a little.
Why?
You say it is to spare her feelings.
I say, it is to gain her favorable opinion so that you can feel better about yourself.

You were really not concerned with DWG's brother's feelings.
You wanted to look good ....

GM, isn't it exhausting?
The reflected sense of self?

A reflected sense of self is a never-ending appetite to be "stroked" by others. (for the lack of a better word)

Now, getting stroked by others is not a bad thing.
Sometimes we earn that.

I'd like you to imagine what you might think of yourself if you did not rely on the approval and stroking of outsiders ...

Are you "a good person" ?

Now, go back and re-read that first post of yours.

You were lying to us.
And you wanted us to believe you are a good person.
While you were lying.

Can you see the problem with this?

Are you a good man if no one but you is around?

Think about it.

Take care.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:15 AM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:
I was worried about her brother's feelings instead of worrying about DWG's feelings


I beg to differ.

I sure hope I can explain this ...

Back to your very first post on the forum ...

Quote:
I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.


This is you, doing your thing.

Let's put aside, for now, the lies and obfuscation of the actual depth of your betrayals.
Let's just look at the last bit.

"I am a good person"

Who are you trying to convince when you write such a thing?

The MB peanut gallery?
Complete strangers?
Why?

Are you even aware, that a person who KNOWS they are a "good person" does not feel compelled to convince others of that fact?

Have I ever written "I am a good person" on the MB forum?
No.
Why not?
Because my ability to recognize my own good qualities does not hinge on my convincing others that I am "a good person".
It would never occur to me to even write such a thing.

GM, you are not the first wayward on MB to write "I am a good person" in order to convince others (complete strangers) that they are not a "bad person".

You see, GM, I don't need to announce that I am "a good person" because I know I am not a "bad person".

Here's my 2 cents.

The man in the mirror, the guy who you see shaving every day, is not sure if he is good, or not. In fact, he's pretty sure he is not.
But, he wants to be.

The only way you know how to take your own measure ~~~> What is reflected in the opinions of others? What do I look like to ~~~> that person over there.

So, you say to a suspect man-fishing FB widow, "I like you a lot" ... when you don't like her a little.
Why?
You say it is to spare her feelings.
I say, it is to gain her favorable opinion so that you can feel better about yourself.

You were really not concerned with DWG's brother's feelings.
You wanted to look good ....

GM, isn't it exhausting?
The reflected sense of self?

A reflected sense of self is a never-ending appetite to be "stroked" by others. (for the lack of a better word)

Now, getting stroked by others is not a bad thing.
Sometimes we earn that.

I'd like you to imagine what you might think of yourself if you did not rely on the approval and stroking of outsiders ...

Are you "a good person" ?

Now, go back and re-read that first post of yours.

You were lying to us.
And you wanted us to believe you are a good person.
While you were lying.

Can you see the problem with this?

Are you a good man if no one but you is around?

Think about it.

Take care.






You're right, PB. About everything.

I'm frightened. I am not a "good person". I am deeply flawed and have wrought sadness and enormous damage. I am nothing like I thought I was. I am an easy liar and live in a fantasy world, where unless it is revolving around me, I get agitated and resentful. Ideas that pop into my head become truth rather than just a daydream. For the first time, I am really frightened. I thought I was getting better, getting well, after that breakdown, but I need a power much greater than myself to help me. For the first time, I have deep doubts about whether I can become the person that DWG needs and deserves. TST is so kind and has been calling and coaching and helping me. He was able to change and learn. I want to be like him, but I just can't seem to break through. Sometimes, I think I am making some steps. Then, it just vanishes. Trying to have faith.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:22 AM
You need a psychiatrist.
You're not dumb as dirt.
You are sick. You have an illness.
You need treatment.

Take care.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:26 AM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:
I was worried about her brother's feelings instead of worrying about DWG's feelings


I beg to differ.

I sure hope I can explain this ...

Back to your very first post on the forum ...

Quote:
I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.


This is you, doing your thing.

Let's put aside, for now, the lies and obfuscation of the actual depth of your betrayals.
Let's just look at the last bit.

"I am a good person"

Who are you trying to convince when you write such a thing?

The MB peanut gallery?
Complete strangers?
Why?

Are you even aware, that a person who KNOWS they are a "good person" does not feel compelled to convince others of that fact?

Have I ever written "I am a good person" on the MB forum?
No.
Why not?
Because my ability to recognize my own good qualities does not hinge on my convincing others that I am "a good person".
It would never occur to me to even write such a thing.

GM, you are not the first wayward on MB to write "I am a good person" in order to convince others (complete strangers) that they are not a "bad person".

You see, GM, I don't need to announce that I am "a good person" because I know I am not a "bad person".

Here's my 2 cents.

The man in the mirror, the guy who you see shaving every day, is not sure if he is good, or not. In fact, he's pretty sure he is not.
But, he wants to be.

The only way you know how to take your own measure ~~~> What is reflected in the opinions of others? What do I look like to ~~~> that person over there.

So, you say to a suspect man-fishing FB widow, "I like you a lot" ... when you don't like her a little.
Why?
You say it is to spare her feelings.
I say, it is to gain her favorable opinion so that you can feel better about yourself.

You were really not concerned with DWG's brother's feelings.
You wanted to look good ....

GM, isn't it exhausting?
The reflected sense of self?

A reflected sense of self is a never-ending appetite to be "stroked" by others. (for the lack of a better word)

Now, getting stroked by others is not a bad thing.
Sometimes we earn that.

I'd like you to imagine what you might think of yourself if you did not rely on the approval and stroking of outsiders ...

Are you "a good person" ?

Now, go back and re-read that first post of yours.

You were lying to us.
And you wanted us to believe you are a good person.
While you were lying.

Can you see the problem with this?

Are you a good man if no one but you is around?

Think about it.

Take care.






You're right, PB. About everything.

I'm frightened. I am not a "good person". I am deeply flawed and have wrought sadness and enormous damage. I am nothing like I thought I was. I am an easy liar and live in a fantasy world, where unless it is revolving around me, I get agitated and resentful. Ideas that pop into my head become truth rather than just a daydream. For the first time, I am really frightened. I thought I was getting better, getting well, after that breakdown, but I need a power much greater than myself to help me. For the first time, I have deep doubts about whether I can become the person that DWG needs and deserves. TST is so kind and has been calling and coaching and helping me. He was able to change and learn. I want to be like him, but I just can't seem to break through. Sometimes, I think I am making some steps. Then, it just vanishes. Trying to have faith.



GM, it's not about hoping it works. You commit and you do. There may be mistakes, but committing to being a good person - NOT as reflected by other people, as Pep brilliantly pointed out - will get you much further than "I just can't seem to."

EVERYthing is a chance to learn and do better. As you can see, your first thoughts and instincts are not always correct. Practice, practice, practice being humble, admitting honest fault, learning.

Commit. And do.
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 04:39 AM
Hey, GreenMile, I am unfortunately not getting all of the Marriage Builders forum time I would like right now, but I am still trying to follow your situation, and thinking about you a lot.

I'm a little bit behind but I want to respond to some earlier posts because there's something that I think you needed to hear that I don't feel was said quite to my satisfaction.

When you say that your wife is obsessing over something, you are
Disrespectfully Judging her. You have decided that she should not be thinking about something as much as she is thinking about it, and your judgment of her is an instinct to try to control her to get her to not think about it as much, more at a level that you think is appropriate. You probably believe this is appropriate because you believe this is best for her. But it does not matter how you defend or rationalize it: the fact is that you are committing a disrespectful judgment, which is a serious and abusive love buster.

Regardless of what you meant by "obsessive," the clear facts are that you believe your wife should stop thinking about it so much because it is hindering recovery. And you are trying to figure out how to help her to stop thinking about it so much. It's clearly very important to you because you've identified this as the major stumbling block for recovery right now.

But this is a Disrespectful Judgment, staring you in the face. You are judging how much your wife should be thinking about this. Whatever stumbling blocks to recovery your wife might have right now, a DJ from you is clearly a major stumbling block for recovery. And if you've missed this one, is it not possible that you've missed other stumbling blocks on your part? These are things you can take care of. You cannot take care of what your wife is thinking.

It doesn't matter if Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., PhD, himself comes to your door, sits down on your couch, and tells DWG that she should stop thinking these thoughts so much. YOU absolutely have to refrain from telling her that or sending her that message. It is a Disrespectful Judgment coming from you. It is controlling coming from you. You believe recovery will be helped if she diminishes the frequency of these thoughts. Your wife does not believe this, and she doesn't have to. If you want to influence what your wife believes about this, then use Respectful Persuasion (detailed in the Disrespectful Judgments chapter of love busters and here), not Disrespectful Judgments. If you can't refrain from Disrespectful Judgments on the subject, then refrain completely from trying to sway her on the issue, and leave it to the professionals and others. We don't have to get this woman in love with us. Dr. Harley can say things to DWG that you simply cannot and should not, if you want her to be in love with you.

The last thing DWG wants is for you to teach her Marriage Builders, even in one small point.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 04:55 AM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
You need a psychiatrist.
You're not dumb as dirt.
You are sick. You have an illness.
You need treatment.

Take care.


I am making an appointment in the morning.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 05:15 AM
pray
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 05:28 AM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Quote:
I was worried about her brother's feelings instead of worrying about DWG's feelings


I beg to differ.

I sure hope I can explain this ...

Back to your very first post on the forum ...

Quote:
I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.


This is you, doing your thing.

Let's put aside, for now, the lies and obfuscation of the actual depth of your betrayals.
Let's just look at the last bit.

"I am a good person"

Who are you trying to convince when you write such a thing?

The MB peanut gallery?
Complete strangers?
Why?

Are you even aware, that a person who KNOWS they are a "good person" does not feel compelled to convince others of that fact?

Have I ever written "I am a good person" on the MB forum?
No.
Why not?
Because my ability to recognize my own good qualities does not hinge on my convincing others that I am "a good person".
It would never occur to me to even write such a thing.

GM, you are not the first wayward on MB to write "I am a good person" in order to convince others (complete strangers) that they are not a "bad person".

You see, GM, I don't need to announce that I am "a good person" because I know I am not a "bad person".

Here's my 2 cents.

The man in the mirror, the guy who you see shaving every day, is not sure if he is good, or not. In fact, he's pretty sure he is not.
But, he wants to be.

The only way you know how to take your own measure ~~~> What is reflected in the opinions of others? What do I look like to ~~~> that person over there.

So, you say to a suspect man-fishing FB widow, "I like you a lot" ... when you don't like her a little.
Why?
You say it is to spare her feelings.
I say, it is to gain her favorable opinion so that you can feel better about yourself.

You were really not concerned with DWG's brother's feelings.
You wanted to look good ....

GM, isn't it exhausting?
The reflected sense of self?

A reflected sense of self is a never-ending appetite to be "stroked" by others. (for the lack of a better word)

Now, getting stroked by others is not a bad thing.
Sometimes we earn that.

I'd like you to imagine what you might think of yourself if you did not rely on the approval and stroking of outsiders ...

Are you "a good person" ?

Now, go back and re-read that first post of yours.

You were lying to us.
And you wanted us to believe you are a good person.
While you were lying.

Can you see the problem with this?

Are you a good man if no one but you is around?

Think about it.

Take care.






You're right, PB. About everything.

I'm frightened. I am not a "good person". I am deeply flawed and have wrought sadness and enormous damage. I am nothing like I thought I was. I am an easy liar and live in a fantasy world, where unless it is revolving around me, I get agitated and resentful. Ideas that pop into my head become truth rather than just a daydream. For the first time, I am really frightened. I thought I was getting better, getting well, after that breakdown, but I need a power much greater than myself to help me. For the first time, I have deep doubts about whether I can become the person that DWG needs and deserves. TST is so kind and has been calling and coaching and helping me. He was able to change and learn. I want to be like him, but I just can't seem to break through. Sometimes, I think I am making some steps. Then, it just vanishes. Trying to have faith.



GM, it's not about hoping it works. You commit and you do. There may be mistakes, but committing to being a good person - NOT as reflected by other people, as Pep brilliantly pointed out - will get you much further than "I just can't seem to."

EVERYthing is a chance to learn and do better. As you can see, your first thoughts and instincts are not always correct. Practice, practice, practice being humble, admitting honest fault, learning.

Commit. And do.


Most of the time, my first thoughts ARE wrong. Feeling agitated, non-specifically, when things are not going according to the story line I have concocted for myself at the moment, is the first clue. That always happens right before I behave badly. I felt really agitated this morning before I said that to DWG. I look for others to follow my scenario in order to "be happy". DWG was in my scene, but she was not following the script.

Early in this process, when I first came here after DWG had been here awhile, I read a lot of posts that opined that I was a narcissist. After reading about that disorder, I concluded that I had some of those features but not really all, and that I didn't fit that very well. I felt I was more "narcissoid". When I was in the hospital for a few days, I asked the psychiatrist in a later follow-up appointment for my meds if I fit that. He didn't think so, but that is not his specialty. And, of course, I most likely slicked over some things and lied to make myself look less ill than I am, other than the acute depression after the D-day earthquake. But I am making an appointment and going back and will open up honestly and fill in many of the things I am learning here from others. Though I told Mulan to back off yesterday, which I regret, she has posted to DWG on her thread and explained something profound. I'm not the fake wizard in the Wizard of Oz. I am the tin man, scarecrow, and cowardly lion, and I have been looking for a wizard to give me a heart and a brain, and courage. Nothing could be truer. At the end of that story, they find that they get those things from within, that they were there all the time, not from an imaginary wizard. I think I know how I got to this place, but I probably will not be able to punch my way out myself just by sheer force of will or just doing, as much as I would like to. I am going to need professional help. I'm ready.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 05:33 AM
You know, I think you do, that my H is very active in his AA program.
Before he embraced that program, he was one sick puppy.
And, unless he committed to AA and his own mental health, I was D.O.N.E. with him.

Here's one of the many "slogans" that I like:

We are only as sick as our secrets.

I'm praying for you, whether you like it or not !
stickout
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 05:53 AM
Originally Posted By: markos
Hey, GreenMile, I am unfortunately not getting all of the Marriage Builders forum time I would like right now, but I am still trying to follow your situation, and thinking about you a lot.

I'm a little bit behind but I want to respond to some earlier posts because there's something that I think you needed to hear that I don't feel was said quite to my satisfaction.

When you say that your wife is obsessing over something, you are
Disrespectfully Judging her. You have decided that she should not be thinking about something as much as she is thinking about it, and your judgment of her is an instinct to try to control her to get her to not think about it as much, more at a level that you think is appropriate. You probably believe this is appropriate because you believe this is best for her. But it does not matter how you defend or rationalize it: the fact is that you are committing a disrespectful judgment, which is a serious and abusive love buster.

Regardless of what you meant by "obsessive," the clear facts are that you believe your wife should stop thinking about it so much because it is hindering recovery. And you are trying to figure out how to help her to stop thinking about it so much. It's clearly very important to you because you've identified this as the major stumbling block for recovery right now.

But this is a Disrespectful Judgment, staring you in the face. You are judging how much your wife should be thinking about this. Whatever stumbling blocks to recovery your wife might have right now, a DJ from you is clearly a major stumbling block for recovery. And if you've missed this one, is it not possible that you've missed other stumbling blocks on your part? These are things you can take care of. You cannot take care of what your wife is thinking.

It doesn't matter if Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., PhD, himself comes to your door, sits down on your couch, and tells DWG that she should stop thinking these thoughts so much. YOU absolutely have to refrain from telling her that or sending her that message. It is a Disrespectful Judgment coming from you. It is controlling coming from you. You believe recovery will be helped if she diminishes the frequency of these thoughts. Your wife does not believe this, and she doesn't have to. If you want to influence what your wife believes about this, then use Respectful Persuasion (detailed in the Disrespectful Judgments chapter of love busters and here), not Disrespectful Judgments. If you can't refrain from Disrespectful Judgments on the subject, then refrain completely from trying to sway her on the issue, and leave it to the professionals and others. We don't have to get this woman in love with us. Dr. Harley can say things to DWG that you simply cannot and should not, if you want her to be in love with you.

The last thing DWG wants is for you to teach her Marriage Builders, even in one small point.


Thanks, Markos, once again, for a very thoughtful post and for thinking about me and our situation. DWG was truly stuck with a recurrent thought about comparing my feelings for OW at the time of the affair with my feelings for DWG and feeling that she could never match up to the feelings I had with OW, and it was literally driving her up the wall. She was dreaming about it and thinking about it all day, and getting only a couple hours of sleep per day. Yes, I wanted to find out here what I could do to help her. Was that really trying to control her? Was that disrespectful?
Posted By: Bubbles4U Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 06:11 AM
**edit**
Posted By: Bubbles4U Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 06:12 AM
**edit**
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 07:20 AM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
You know, I think you do, that my H is very active in his AA program.
Before he embraced that program, he was one sick puppy.
And, unless he committed to AA and his own mental health, I was D.O.N.E. with him.

Here's one of the many "slogans" that I like:

We are only as sick as our secrets.

I'm praying for you, whether you like it or not !
stickout


Thank you. I'll take it. I know others here are busting their butts trying to help me, also. I know of no other place where something like this is available to people in need.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 07:24 AM
Originally Posted By: Bubbles4U
**edit**


Nice. Sounds like you have it all figured out, Bubb. And how much baggage are you carrying?
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 12:20 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: markos
Hey, GreenMile, I am unfortunately not getting all of the Marriage Builders forum time I would like right now, but I am still trying to follow your situation, and thinking about you a lot.

I'm a little bit behind but I want to respond to some earlier posts because there's something that I think you needed to hear that I don't feel was said quite to my satisfaction.

When you say that your wife is obsessing over something, you are
Disrespectfully Judging her. You have decided that she should not be thinking about something as much as she is thinking about it, and your judgment of her is an instinct to try to control her to get her to not think about it as much, more at a level that you think is appropriate. You probably believe this is appropriate because you believe this is best for her. But it does not matter how you defend or rationalize it: the fact is that you are committing a disrespectful judgment, which is a serious and abusive love buster.

Regardless of what you meant by "obsessive," the clear facts are that you believe your wife should stop thinking about it so much because it is hindering recovery. And you are trying to figure out how to help her to stop thinking about it so much. It's clearly very important to you because you've identified this as the major stumbling block for recovery right now.

But this is a Disrespectful Judgment, staring you in the face. You are judging how much your wife should be thinking about this. Whatever stumbling blocks to recovery your wife might have right now, a DJ from you is clearly a major stumbling block for recovery. And if you've missed this one, is it not possible that you've missed other stumbling blocks on your part? These are things you can take care of. You cannot take care of what your wife is thinking.

It doesn't matter if Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., PhD, himself comes to your door, sits down on your couch, and tells DWG that she should stop thinking these thoughts so much. YOU absolutely have to refrain from telling her that or sending her that message. It is a Disrespectful Judgment coming from you. It is controlling coming from you. You believe recovery will be helped if she diminishes the frequency of these thoughts. Your wife does not believe this, and she doesn't have to. If you want to influence what your wife believes about this, then use Respectful Persuasion (detailed in the Disrespectful Judgments chapter of love busters and here), not Disrespectful Judgments. If you can't refrain from Disrespectful Judgments on the subject, then refrain completely from trying to sway her on the issue, and leave it to the professionals and others. We don't have to get this woman in love with us. Dr. Harley can say things to DWG that you simply cannot and should not, if you want her to be in love with you.

The last thing DWG wants is for you to teach her Marriage Builders, even in one small point.


Thanks, Markos, once again, for a very thoughtful post and for thinking about me and our situation. DWG was truly stuck with a recurrent thought about comparing my feelings for OW at the time of the affair with my feelings for DWG and feeling that she could never match up to the feelings I had with OW, and it was literally driving her up the wall. She was dreaming about it and thinking about it all day, and getting only a couple hours of sleep per day. Yes, I wanted to find out here what I could do to help her. Was that really trying to control her? Was that disrespectful?


Yes, it was. You have a rationalization and a justification. They sound like a good rationalization and a good justification. But they still don't justify you wanting to CHANGE your wife's feelings.

Read what I said again: you are not trying to INFLUENCE your wife's thinking with respectful persuasion. You are trying to CHANGE your wife's thinking with disrespectful judgment. You won't take no for an answer, because you won't accept failure. But disrespectful judgment like this dooms you to failure.

The way you help your wife is by taking care of her, not by trying to change her negative feelings. Become the kind of person she feels good about all the time. (Hint: that person never becomes frustrated at her for not thinking in a way that he believes is more healthy.)

Disrespectful judgment for you wife is written all over these last many posts. It is obvious that you know what your wife should do and are focusing on that instead of on what you should do.

Do your part and let her worry about hers. She is not the obstacle you face right now.
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 12:28 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Most of the time, my first thoughts ARE wrong. Feeling agitated, non-specifically, when things are not going according to the story line I have concocted for myself at the moment, is the first clue. That always happens right before I behave badly. I felt really agitated this morning before I said that to DWG. I look for others to follow my scenario in order to "be happy". DWG was in my scene, but she was not following the script.


That's the essence of control and disrespectful judgment. People are not doing what you think they should be doing. That agitation you feel is the beginning of the escalation to the next, even worse, form of abuse and control: angry outburst.

GM, are you talking with your coach about eliminating the abusive Love Busters: Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, Angry Outbursts? TRUST ME, you have got to get rid of these.

Your wife is not recovering because this far into recovery you are still practicing abuse and control.
Posted By: Wheels_spinning Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 01:34 PM
I am horrible at DJ's and your story is a good example of one. It may be an expectation or a want I have from my wife. These expectations and wants are only wishes that I have no control over and more than likely I have never told my wife about. If my un-communicated wishes are not met then I get resentful and DJ. Here is an example of how I resisted DJing my wife because of an expectation that I had.

Just two days ago was DS4 first soccer practice, and sapph took a message from the city park & rec. about where and when soccer practice would be. At least she got the time right, but told me to take him to the wrong park. I arrive at a deserted park at exactly 5:00, but no one was there. The deserted park was next to the parks and rec. department, but they were closed. I drove all over looking for the right park. I finally found it and was 35 min late. I also found out my boy needed shin guards and cleets the first day of practice. I was really upset at sapph because I blamed her for this mess. I really wanted to DJ her really good.

Instead, I let her know that it upset me that she told me to go to the wrong park, but I didn't hold it over her head because I could have made the same mistake. I also asked her to help pay for the cleets. She agreed to help me, I was happy, and I can only assume that sapph was happy. I tried my hardest not to DJ, I communicated my frusteration in a good way, and we were both happy.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:39 PM
This may seem nitpicky, but it illustates how insidious LBers can be:

Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I think I know how I got to this place, but I probably will not be able to punch my way out myself just by sheer force of will or just doing, as much as I would like to.


I did not say in my original post that you have to just up and do all by your lonesome. You assumed that's what I meant, or that you still knew better, or that there was some flaw in my advice such that you could correct and re-write things. (And this is me assuming your thoughts... not a very pleasant habit or cycle to be on, is it?!)

You have larger issues to work on than this, but wanted to point it out while I was thinking of it.

Hope your appt. w/ the p-doc goes well.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:41 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: markos
Hey, GreenMile, I am unfortunately not getting all of the Marriage Builders forum time I would like right now, but I am still trying to follow your situation, and thinking about you a lot.

I'm a little bit behind but I want to respond to some earlier posts because there's something that I think you needed to hear that I don't feel was said quite to my satisfaction.

When you say that your wife is obsessing over something, you are
Disrespectfully Judging her. You have decided that she should not be thinking about something as much as she is thinking about it, and your judgment of her is an instinct to try to control her to get her to not think about it as much, more at a level that you think is appropriate. You probably believe this is appropriate because you believe this is best for her. But it does not matter how you defend or rationalize it: the fact is that you are committing a disrespectful judgment, which is a serious and abusive love buster.

Regardless of what you meant by "obsessive," the clear facts are that you believe your wife should stop thinking about it so much because it is hindering recovery. And you are trying to figure out how to help her to stop thinking about it so much. It's clearly very important to you because you've identified this as the major stumbling block for recovery right now.

But this is a Disrespectful Judgment, staring you in the face. You are judging how much your wife should be thinking about this. Whatever stumbling blocks to recovery your wife might have right now, a DJ from you is clearly a major stumbling block for recovery. And if you've missed this one, is it not possible that you've missed other stumbling blocks on your part? These are things you can take care of. You cannot take care of what your wife is thinking.

It doesn't matter if Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., PhD, himself comes to your door, sits down on your couch, and tells DWG that she should stop thinking these thoughts so much. YOU absolutely have to refrain from telling her that or sending her that message. It is a Disrespectful Judgment coming from you. It is controlling coming from you. You believe recovery will be helped if she diminishes the frequency of these thoughts. Your wife does not believe this, and she doesn't have to. If you want to influence what your wife believes about this, then use Respectful Persuasion (detailed in the Disrespectful Judgments chapter of love busters and here), not Disrespectful Judgments. If you can't refrain from Disrespectful Judgments on the subject, then refrain completely from trying to sway her on the issue, and leave it to the professionals and others. We don't have to get this woman in love with us. Dr. Harley can say things to DWG that you simply cannot and should not, if you want her to be in love with you.

The last thing DWG wants is for you to teach her Marriage Builders, even in one small point.


Thanks, Markos, once again, for a very thoughtful post and for thinking about me and our situation. DWG was truly stuck with a recurrent thought about comparing my feelings for OW at the time of the affair with my feelings for DWG and feeling that she could never match up to the feelings I had with OW, and it was literally driving her up the wall. She was dreaming about it and thinking about it all day, and getting only a couple hours of sleep per day. Yes, I wanted to find out here what I could do to help her. Was that really trying to control her? Was that disrespectful?


Yes, it was. You have a rationalization and a justification. They sound like a good rationalization and a good justification. But they still don't justify you wanting to CHANGE your wife's feelings.

Read what I said again: you are not trying to INFLUENCE your wife's thinking with respectful persuasion. You are trying to CHANGE your wife's thinking with disrespectful judgment. You won't take no for an answer, because you won't accept failure. But disrespectful judgment like this dooms you to failure.

The way you help your wife is by taking care of her, not by trying to change her negative feelings. Become the kind of person she feels good about all the time. (Hint: that person never becomes frustrated at her for not thinking in a way that he believes is more healthy.)

Disrespectful judgment for you wife is written all over these last many posts. It is obvious that you know what your wife should do and are focusing on that instead of on what you should do.

Do your part and let her worry about hers. She is not the obstacle you face right now.


Excellent points, markos!
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:44 PM
Originally Posted By: Wheels_spinning
I am horrible at DJ's and your story is a good example of one. It may be an expectation or a want I have from my wife. These expectations and wants are only wishes that I have no control over and more than likely I have never told my wife about. If my un-communicated wishes are not met then I get resentful and DJ. Here is an example of how I resisted DJing my wife because of an expectation that I had.

Just two days ago was DS4 first soccer practice, and sapph took a message from the city park & rec. about where and when soccer practice would be. At least she got the time right, but told me to take him to the wrong park. I arrive at a deserted park at exactly 5:00, but no one was there. The deserted park was next to the parks and rec. department, but they were closed. I drove all over looking for the right park. I finally found it and was 35 min late. I also found out my boy needed shin guards and cleets the first day of practice. I was really upset at sapph because I blamed her for this mess. I really wanted to DJ her really good.

Instead, I let her know that it upset me that she told me to go to the wrong park, but I didn't hold it over her head because I could have made the same mistake. I also asked her to help pay for the cleets. She agreed to help me, I was happy, and I can only assume that sapph was happy. I tried my hardest not to DJ, I communicated my frusteration in a good way, and we were both happy.


Thanks, Wheels. You felt something strongly but filtered it and settled yourself. It is hard. I think I do that quite a bit, but not yesterday for some reason. It was impulsive. If it hadn't been that, it likely would have been something else.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 03:53 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Originally Posted By: markos
Hey, GreenMile, I am unfortunately not getting all of the Marriage Builders forum time I would like right now, but I am still trying to follow your situation, and thinking about you a lot.

I'm a little bit behind but I want to respond to some earlier posts because there's something that I think you needed to hear that I don't feel was said quite to my satisfaction.

When you say that your wife is obsessing over something, you are
Disrespectfully Judging her. You have decided that she should not be thinking about something as much as she is thinking about it, and your judgment of her is an instinct to try to control her to get her to not think about it as much, more at a level that you think is appropriate. You probably believe this is appropriate because you believe this is best for her. But it does not matter how you defend or rationalize it: the fact is that you are committing a disrespectful judgment, which is a serious and abusive love buster.

Regardless of what you meant by "obsessive," the clear facts are that you believe your wife should stop thinking about it so much because it is hindering recovery. And you are trying to figure out how to help her to stop thinking about it so much. It's clearly very important to you because you've identified this as the major stumbling block for recovery right now.

But this is a Disrespectful Judgment, staring you in the face. You are judging how much your wife should be thinking about this. Whatever stumbling blocks to recovery your wife might have right now, a DJ from you is clearly a major stumbling block for recovery. And if you've missed this one, is it not possible that you've missed other stumbling blocks on your part? These are things you can take care of. You cannot take care of what your wife is thinking.

It doesn't matter if Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., PhD, himself comes to your door, sits down on your couch, and tells DWG that she should stop thinking these thoughts so much. YOU absolutely have to refrain from telling her that or sending her that message. It is a Disrespectful Judgment coming from you. It is controlling coming from you. You believe recovery will be helped if she diminishes the frequency of these thoughts. Your wife does not believe this, and she doesn't have to. If you want to influence what your wife believes about this, then use Respectful Persuasion (detailed in the Disrespectful Judgments chapter of love busters and here), not Disrespectful Judgments. If you can't refrain from Disrespectful Judgments on the subject, then refrain completely from trying to sway her on the issue, and leave it to the professionals and others. We don't have to get this woman in love with us. Dr. Harley can say things to DWG that you simply cannot and should not, if you want her to be in love with you.

The last thing DWG wants is for you to teach her Marriage Builders, even in one small point.


Thanks, Markos, once again, for a very thoughtful post and for thinking about me and our situation. DWG was truly stuck with a recurrent thought about comparing my feelings for OW at the time of the affair with my feelings for DWG and feeling that she could never match up to the feelings I had with OW, and it was literally driving her up the wall. She was dreaming about it and thinking about it all day, and getting only a couple hours of sleep per day. Yes, I wanted to find out here what I could do to help her. Was that really trying to control her? Was that disrespectful?


Yes, it was. You have a rationalization and a justification. They sound like a good rationalization and a good justification. But they still don't justify you wanting to CHANGE your wife's feelings.

Read what I said again: you are not trying to INFLUENCE your wife's thinking with respectful persuasion. You are trying to CHANGE your wife's thinking with disrespectful judgment. You won't take no for an answer, because you won't accept failure. But disrespectful judgment like this dooms you to failure.

The way you help your wife is by taking care of her, not by trying to change her negative feelings. Become the kind of person she feels good about all the time. (Hint: that person never becomes frustrated at her for not thinking in a way that he believes is more healthy.)

Disrespectful judgment for you wife is written all over these last many posts. It is obvious that you know what your wife should do and are focusing on that instead of on what you should do.

Do your part and let her worry about hers. She is not the obstacle you face right now.


I see that, now, Markos. You have explained this to me before. When I read this, is makes sense. It also makes me think of my father and how he reacted to things and behaved. I spent the first 30 years of my life wanting to be like him, and now I have to figure out how to expunge that. It is an enormous task ahead of me. Trying not to feel something is like trying not to think of an elephant. I will make a lot of progress if I can mentally realize where these instincts come from and then consciously filter out the behavior. Maybe the urge or feeling will melt if I do that.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 04:10 PM
Originally Posted By: Mrs_Vanilla
This may seem nitpicky, but it illustates how insidious LBers can be:

Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I think I know how I got to this place, but I probably will not be able to punch my way out myself just by sheer force of will or just doing, as much as I would like to.


I did not say in my original post that you have to just up and do all by your lonesome. You assumed that's what I meant, or that you still knew better, or that there was some flaw in my advice such that you could correct and re-write things. (And this is me assuming your thoughts... not a very pleasant habit or cycle to be on, is it?!)

You have larger issues to work on than this, but wanted to point it out while I was thinking of it.

Hope your appt. w/ the p-doc goes well.


I understood what you meant and agree with it. I didn't mean that there was anything wrong with your advice, Mrs. Vanilla. Yes, it is not a pleasant habit or cycle. Its a nightmare inside a nightmare. Living in a world of concocted scenarios designed to make me feel better is the very definition of neurosis. I do so desperately want to be well. There is no scenario I can live in that will stop this cycle except for the "no scenario" scenario. I am not, as TST explained, some Western hero or some figure in a Greek tragedy. What happens to me is of no consequence to anyone in this world but myself. There is no one for me to rescue other than myself. I wanted that sense of heroic rescue and affirmation and admiration so badly, I was willing to pay someone to get it and did so for years and years. Neurosis is not just "psychosis lite". It is a destroyer of lives. It made me into a real life villain.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 04:17 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
Most of the time, my first thoughts ARE wrong. Feeling agitated, non-specifically, when things are not going according to the story line I have concocted for myself at the moment, is the first clue. That always happens right before I behave badly. I felt really agitated this morning before I said that to DWG. I look for others to follow my scenario in order to "be happy". DWG was in my scene, but she was not following the script.


That's the essence of control and disrespectful judgment. People are not doing what you think they should be doing. That agitation you feel is the beginning of the escalation to the next, even worse, form of abuse and control: angry outburst.

GM, are you talking with your coach about eliminating the abusive Love Busters: Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, Angry Outbursts? TRUST ME, you have got to get rid of these.

Your wife is not recovering because this far into recovery you are still practicing abuse and control.


I thought I had eliminated them. They morphed into a more subtle form. I can recognize where the feeling is coming from now. Using that awareness should help me to eliminate them.
Posted By: Vibrissa Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 04:53 PM
I always say DJs are the most insidious LBs. They are so easily justified and rationalized as love and care. We only want what is best for our spouse, we care about them, we know better. We recognize that AOs and SDs are harmful - but we can't possibly be DJing - we LOVE our spouse...

Yeah no...

Any time you think you're smarter than your spouse, you're DJing. Any time you think your way is better, you're DJing. Any time you think it would be nicer if, you're DJing. ANY time you use the word SHOULD with your spouse, you're DJing.

Until you recognize that your spouse is an adult, fully capable of reasoning and making decisions; until you see them as capable of processing information and coming up with an opinion (there are no wrong opinions) you will not be able to eliminate DJs.

Humility is essential. Until you realize you aren't smarter, more logical, more reasonable, more capable than your spouse you will ALWAYS fall victim to DJing them.

Your thoughts, feelings and opinions aren't more 'right'. They just are. Your spouse's are JUST as 'right'. Because there is no 'right' or 'wrong' they just exist. You like your thoughts, feelings and opinions because they're YOURS. Your spouse doesn't have different thoughts, feelings and opinions to spite you, or because they aren't as smart or good as you - they have them and like them because they are theirs. Every bit as valuable and important as your own.

What you need is to look in the mirror and REALLY see yourself. See the flaws and imperfections. Humility and Honesty - first and foremost with yourself.

You are not perfect.
You are not smarter.
You don't have better manners.
You are not a better person.
You are - what you see in that mirror. Really look into the eyes - you probably don't want to because you don't want to see what is there. But accept that what is there may not be pretty, be humble enough to see it, be honest enough to accept it.

You cannot be honest with others because, fundamentally, you are not honest with yourself. You lie to yourself to make it through each and every day.

That is why you justify white lies. That is why you are disingenuous about your motives.

You keep saying all this behavior is 'in the past' that 'you're better now'. You want to be over it.

But you're not - you are fundamentally the same man looking into that mirror, avoiding the eyes. This isn't in the past. This is a few weeks ago, this is yesterday, this is today. TODAY you are lying to yourself. TODAY you are disrespecting your wife.

It isn't in the past.

This isn't about changing behavior - it is about changing the very way you think, the very thing that motivates you. This is about overcoming what it is you don't want to see in that mirror, so that you can become a good man - one who needs no front, no bluster about their 'goodness' because the goodness emanates from within them, undeniable to any who interact with him.

The only way you get that: honesty and humility.
Posted By: V_planifolia Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 05:15 PM
Great post, Vibrissa!
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 05:50 PM
I know it is what is in the mirror. As you say, I try not to actually see it. You are right, Vibrissa. There is no disputing the truths you post.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 06:00 PM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
It made me into a real life villain.


The encouraging part is... this is no longer your modus operandi.

Are you perfect...... Of course not, nor have you claimed to be. But I want to suggest that you be very careful with the defeatism that can substitute for a desire to become humble.

Defeatist attitudes are counterfits for the real deal of humility.

IMVHO defeatist attitudes, when examined closely, are really no more than selfish, self-centered, look-at-me attitudes that actually stand in the way of achieving real humility. smile



It would also serve you well to remember that it is never enough to just eliminate old habits and break old patterns. They must be replaced with something.

Otherwise your life will become like Jesus was explaining in The Book Of Matthew 12:43-45

"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

My simple interpretation.... This man cleaned up and swept out all the old..... but never replaced the old with something new, leaving it unoccupied. Therefore the old was able to return, except the old returned with an even greater fury.

These verses impacted me greatly once I read them with new eyes just a few short years ago.

I would recommend replacing the old habits with some new habits.

1) The habit of Prayer pray

2) The habit of Study think

3) The habits of Charity & Love loveheart

These are just my top three..... you can ask DWG and others for some suggestions in this area as well. But keep it simple.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 06:55 PM
Originally Posted By: HerPapaBear
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
It made me into a real life villain.


The encouraging part is... this is no longer your modus operandi.

Are you perfect...... Of course not, nor have you claimed to be. But I want to suggest that you be very careful with the defeatism that can substitute for a desire to become humble.

Defeatist attitudes are counterfits for the real deal of humility.

IMVHO defeatist attitudes, when examined closely, are really no more than selfish, self-centered, look-at-me attitudes that actually stand in the way of achieving real humility. smile



It would also serve you well to remember that it is never enough to just eliminate old habits and break old patterns. They must be replaced with something.

Otherwise your life will become like Jesus was explaining in The Book Of Matthew 12:43-45

"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

My simple interpretation.... This man cleaned up and swept out all the old..... but never replaced the old with something new, leaving it unoccupied. Therefore the old was able to return, except the old returned with an even greater fury.

These verses impacted me greatly once I read them with new eyes just a few short years ago.

I would recommend replacing the old habits with some new habits.

1) The habit of Prayer pray

2) The habit of Study think

3) The habits of Charity & Love loveheart

These are just my top three..... you can ask DWG and others for some suggestions in this area as well. But keep it simple.


Thanks, HPB. I do have those defeatist feelings at times, but it never lasts. I'll fight this problem till the end. I'll go down with the ship if necessary. Fortunately, that is also part of my makeup. The caution about the vacuum left when eliminating demons is understood. I will keep it in mind and replace it with positives as you have cautioned. (If I need a dose of defeatism and humiliation to replace that vacuum, I know where to go...Bubbles4U. LOL.)
Posted By: faithful follower Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 08:12 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
You know, I think you do, that my H is very active in his AA program.
Before he embraced that program, he was one sick puppy.
And, unless he committed to AA and his own mental health, I was D.O.N.E. with him.

Here's one of the many "slogans" that I like:

We are only as sick as our secrets.

I'm praying for you, whether you like it or not !
stickout
That is a very to the point "slogan", pep. I am praying for you as well, GM.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 08:58 PM
Originally Posted By: faithful follower
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
You know, I think you do, that my H is very active in his AA program.
Before he embraced that program, he was one sick puppy.
And, unless he committed to AA and his own mental health, I was D.O.N.E. with him.

Here's one of the many "slogans" that I like:

We are only as sick as our secrets.

I'm praying for you, whether you like it or not !
stickout
That is a very to the point "slogan", pep. I am praying for you as well, GM.


Thank you, FF.
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/19/10 11:15 PM
Looks like I've got some reading to do to catch up...
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 06:08 AM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Looks like I've got some reading to do to catch up...


Oh, a bit. LOL
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 06:17 AM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I thought I had eliminated them. They morphed into a more subtle form.


They do that.

But you can still kill them.

Prisca and went over the Disrespectful Judgments lesson in the Love Busters course tonight. One of the key concepts for us to discuss was Dr. Harley's assertion "Disrespectful judgments in a marriage should not be tolerated."

I agree. I should not tolerate Disrespectful Judgments from myself toward my wife.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 07:42 AM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
I thought I had eliminated them. They morphed into a more subtle form.


They do that.

But you can still kill them.

Prisca and went over the Disrespectful Judgments lesson in the Love Busters course tonight. One of the key concepts for us to discuss was Dr. Harley's assertion "Disrespectful judgments in a marriage should not be tolerated."

I agree. I should not tolerate Disrespectful Judgments from myself toward my wife.


Yes. This is the trickiest part of all: The thing is that my nudging DWG toward doing the week's assignment or lesson, no matter how gently it is done, is still a DJ. On one side, I have a telephone coaching assignment that "you two need to do this" etc., but by worrying that it is not getting done and even making a gentle suggestion, is just a morphed DJ in subtle form and can't be tolerated. It is another example of putting my not wanting to look bad to Kim, or on the weekly survey, ahead of DWG's feelings and her rights as a human being to follow her own course with this. When she is ready, she will be ready. What difference does it really make how I look at the next phone session? None, really. By doing that, I am concerning myself with HOW I LOOK. The whole point is to eliminate LB's and meet each other's EN's. This is where the process of MB kind of breaks down a little bit, at least in this situation. When DWG is ready to jump into these lessons, then the lessons will work, not one minute earlier. Nudging her is a DJ. We do it or we don't that week. Trying to nudge DWG to complete the assignment with me is a DJ. A big one.

Here is another one, at least for me: Succeeding at eliminating LB's, meeting EN's, and gradually winning the trust and affection of DWG on some distant rainbow's end has been looked at by me as an heroic quest. Snagging victory in life out of the jaws of abject defeat and riding into the sunset. But these scenarios in my mind are a destructive neurosis. I am building a dream castle in my mind where I can come out a hero in the end, wiping out forever my villainy and getting off free (redeeming myself) in the eyes of God. This has been my problem all along. Because when DWG, or anyone for that matter, does not fit my script or play their part in my imaginary theatrical productions, I get angry with them, like a football coach whose wide receiver keeps running the wrong route. This is how I ruined my marriage from the get go. I had a vision in my own mind of how it would be, and she did not read my script. I am discovering that even my pursuit of MB thus far has been yet another fanciful dream or neurotic quest that, in the end, revolves around ME. Clearly, if I am really well and take on life on its own terms rather than mine, I can utilize MB as simply an excellent aid in helping US have a real marriage.

At least I am learning how it works, but it looks like my biggest challenge is to eliminate the neurotic constructs under which I have been trying to guide my life. As long as I build these dream castles around myself, no program is going to succeed, including MB. We will just drown in the moat. Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 09:33 AM
GreenMile, I keep forgetting to say this: change your signature.

Take "FBW" out of your signature.

I am sorry to tell you that DancesWithGoats is not a "formerly" betrayed wife. She experiences the pain of betrayal every day. She is by no means recovered. Until then, referring to her as a "formerly" betrayed spouse is like a slap in the face.

Kinda makes the rest of us cringe, too.

(Also, don't you think the very thought kind of opens the gateway back to you disrespectfully judging her? If she is a betrayed wife, then her pain and her reactions are understandable and she deserves our empathy and compassion. But if she has "admitted" she is "recovered" then you are tempted to use that as a bargaining chip to, again control her behavior: you are SUPPOSED to be recovered, so therefore you SHOULD ... It's all just another version of telling her what to do.)

(Tip: let her decide how she feels every day, in fact every hour, for the rest of her life. She doesn't have to feel a certain way today just because she felt that way yesterday.)
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 10:04 AM
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
On one side, I have a telephone coaching assignment that "you two need to do this" etc.,


You do? Kim has given YOU, GreenMile, an assignment for the TWO OF YOU? You are responsible for carrying out an assignment that involves making DancesWithGoats do her part???

That doesn't sound like the same Kim who is coaching me and Prisca.

Hint: you can't control DancesWithGoats, and you shouldn't try to. Nobody knows this better than a Marriage Builders coach, and they certainly won't fault GreenMile for something DancesWithGoats did not do.

And since we're on the subject, the last time I talked to Steve Harley he expressed a little bit of befuddlement as to why we weren't progressing faster through the lessons. He emphasized to me that much of the lesson work can and should be done individually. There's nothing stopping YOU from eliminating controlling and abusive behavior, in the form of Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, and/or Angry Outbursts. And in fact, even though we didn't go over our DJ lesson until tonight, Prisca told me last night that it seemed that SDs and DJs from me had just about been eliminated. (NOT time to rest on my laurels, of course. This habit certainly hasn't been worked long enough to stick with me for a lifetime, yet, nor is it anywhere near perfect, IMO.)

Quote:
but by worrying that it is not getting done and even making a gentle suggestion, is just a morphed DJ in subtle form and can't be tolerated.


GreenMile, have you actually read the Respectful Persuasion procedure Dr. Harley outlines?

For that matter, what is the last Marriage Builders book you read, and when did you read it?

Theoretically, you could engage in Respectful Persuasion to try to persuade your wife to join you. Since you have such a big Disrespectful Judgment problem, I don't recommend it; I just wanted you to know that this is where you marriage is headed some day if it gets good: you will be able to try to respectfully persuade each other of your own personal beliefs, including beliefs about Marriage Builders. Of course, Respectful Persuasion actually works much better when you are in love with each other.

Have you talked with Kim about this problem you are having of trying to make DWG do the lessons? Will you talk with her about it, if you have not?

Quote:
It is another example of putting my not wanting to look bad to Kim, or on the weekly survey, ahead of DWG's feelings and her rights as a human being to follow her own course with this.


After all, DWG is your wife, right, so she ought to understand the importance of making sure the two of you look good to people outside your family, right? She ought to understand the need to pull together and sacrifice and take care of things so that you don't inconvenience other people, right?

Yeah, I used to think like that, too. I hope it sounds as ridiculous to you there as it does to me.

You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances. Only her. Her FEELINGS come first. Not her Marriage Builders program success. Her FEELINGS. In marriage, that's the most important thing about her.

(And I shouldn't need to add that what matters is her feelings as a reaction to your ACTIONS. Not her feelings as a response to you convincing her to believe something or go along with something.)

Quote:
What difference does it really make how I look at the next phone session?


I don't understand how DancesWithGoats not wanting to do the next lesson makes YOU look bad at the next phone session. Can you enlighten me about this?

Quote:
This is where the process of MB kind of breaks down a little bit, at least in this situation.


Wrong, Mister! The process of MB isn't breaking down for you AT ALL. The concepts, especially the Love Bank, are working exactly the way the always do.

The problem is that you haven't eliminated abusive behavior such as Disrespectful Judgments.

That's not a minor problem, by the way. It's a major problem. Ask your coach for help.

Quote:
When DWG is ready to jump into these lessons, then the lessons will work, not one minute earlier.


Your wife can't eliminate Disrespectful Judgments for you. You have to do that yourself. Don't blame her for your failure to do this, thus far.

And don't you dare get into the mindset that you are sitting on your hands and waiting for her to finally "be ready." I guarantee you she does not wake up every morning and think "Oh, I hope GreenMile doesn't quit trying to prod and prompt me today and suddenly sweep me off my feet, because I'm not ready! That would be a terrible tragedy."

She is ready for you to eliminate abusive behavior a LONG TIME AGO, friend.

When you can quit kicking massive holes into the Love Bank account, you will finally have a shot at filling it.

Quote:
Nudging her is a DJ. We do it or we don't that week. Trying to nudge DWG to complete the assignment with me is a DJ. A big one.


Having your wife fill out a bunch of paperwork telling you what you need to change is a shortcut. This shortcut is very painful for your wife. Don't sit still. Take the long way.

If you can't make progress on your own (with the help of Kim and Dr. Harley and this entire board, no less!) towards eliminating love busters and MASSIVELY meeting Dances' emotional needs, then you aren't worth staying with.

Quote:
I am building a dream castle in my mind where I can come out a hero in the end, wiping out forever my villainy and getting off free (redeeming myself) in the eyes of God.


I'm not going to speak negatively of your personal motivations, and I don't know what your particular faith may be, but I will let you know that in Christian theology, a person isn't redeemed in the eyes of God by doing good from now on, no matter how much they may do. It is as if you tried to clean a dirty, oily rag with pure water. You can wash and wash and wash, but the oil is still in the rag and it is still filthy. (Because you took a swim in dirty oil. We all did.) Washing that rag clean is going to require soap. Very special Soap.

I want you to give Dances With Goats a marriage so wonderful that your past can be forgotten and she can become glad to be married to her. In fact, if you're not willing to do this, I hope she leaves you. But even if you succeed in this, I have to tell you as a follower of Jesus not to ever think for a minute that it redeems you in the eyes of God.

(Don't go the other way though and latch on to some theology and decide that that saves you even if you never lift a finger to effect her healing.)

Anyway, I don't remember Marriage Builders having a whole lot to say in its Basic Concepts about dream castles and whether they are good or bad. It does say an awful lot about Disrespectful Judgments, and I hope you will get cracking with Kim about that very soon because it is killing your poor wife.

Quote:
Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?


You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 10:08 AM
Originally Posted By: markos
You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances.


Oh, and on that note, you don't need to explain to other people when you are unwilling to provide some kind of care for them. Your reasons are your private business. You aren't married to them.
Posted By: markos Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 10:14 AM
Originally Posted By: markos
but I will let you know that in Christian theology, a person isn't redeemed in the eyes of God by doing good from now on, no matter how much they may do. It is as if you tried to clean a dirty, oily rag with pure water. You can wash and wash and wash, but the oil is still in the rag and it is still filthy. (Because you took a swim in dirty oil. We all did.) Washing that rag clean is going to require soap. Very special Soap.


Understatement.

The fact is that in Christian theology the whole idea of you redeeming yourself in the eyes of God by your actions is massively blasphemous.

However, redeeming yourself in the eyes of your wife? That is completely Christian, and I believe it is exactly what God wants. But to do that you will have to tailor yourself to HER perspective, not to some perspective which you imagine belongs to God and is therefore omniscient and objective.

Her feelings are the key.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 03:23 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
GreenMile, I keep forgetting to say this: change your signature.

Take "FBW" out of your signature.

I am sorry to tell you that DancesWithGoats is not a "formerly" betrayed wife. She experiences the pain of betrayal every day. She is by no means recovered. Until then, referring to her as a "formerly" betrayed spouse is like a slap in the face.

Kinda makes the rest of us cringe, too.

(Also, don't you think the very thought kind of opens the gateway back to you disrespectfully judging her? If she is a betrayed wife, then her pain and her reactions are understandable and she deserves our empathy and compassion. But if she has "admitted" she is "recovered" then you are tempted to use that as a bargaining chip to, again control her behavior: you are SUPPOSED to be recovered, so therefore you SHOULD ... It's all just another version of telling her what to do.)

(Tip: let her decide how she feels every day, in fact every hour, for the rest of her life. She doesn't have to feel a certain way today just because she felt that way yesterday.)


Its gone. I never noticed it or thought about it since I re-did it. If it has been making everyone cringe, I wish my attention had been called to it earlier. That makes perfect sense. Wrong term for exactly the reasons you state. She is, was, and always will be my BW. As for your tip, of course that is right. It is what I was referring to in my post about fitting her into my scenario in my brain, instead of allowing everyone and every thing to exist on their or its own terms. To me, that has been a revelation. To a normal person without this kind of neurosis, it is kind of "well, duh"! I am beginning to see my self and the problem that has led to this entire mess of DWG's and my life, and the destruction left in my wake as a result of it. A quarter century of withdrawal and resentments leading to despicable behavior and lying, has been the price of that neurosis. To get well, and to have a chance at recovery requires addressing and curing this. It is a problem that runs deeper than fixing the marriage, because it is the root cause of all of it and is an obstacle to recovery of our marriage.

Though I know better, it almost feels as though becoming conscious of what I am doing and thinking in that regard is already working to dismantle it, which is a very good thing, because my appointment with a psychiatrist is not until Sept. 28. Even then, he will probably just refer me to another subspecialist in this area, with yet another wait. Yes, I understand that this will not be any quick process or one visit cure. This will take a major effort.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 03:49 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: GreenMile
On one side, I have a telephone coaching assignment that "you two need to do this" etc.,


You do? Kim has given YOU, GreenMile, an assignment for the TWO OF YOU? You are responsible for carrying out an assignment that involves making DancesWithGoats do her part???

That doesn't sound like the same Kim who is coaching me and Prisca.

Hint: you can't control DancesWithGoats, and you shouldn't try to. Nobody knows this better than a Marriage Builders coach, and they certainly won't fault GreenMile for something DancesWithGoats did not do.

And since we're on the subject, the last time I talked to Steve Harley he expressed a little bit of befuddlement as to why we weren't progressing faster through the lessons. He emphasized to me that much of the lesson work can and should be done individually. There's nothing stopping YOU from eliminating controlling and abusive behavior, in the form of Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, and/or Angry Outbursts. And in fact, even though we didn't go over our DJ lesson until tonight, Prisca told me last night that it seemed that SDs and DJs from me had just about been eliminated. (NOT time to rest on my laurels, of course. This habit certainly hasn't been worked long enough to stick with me for a lifetime, yet, nor is it anywhere near perfect, IMO.)

Quote:
but by worrying that it is not getting done and even making a gentle suggestion, is just a morphed DJ in subtle form and can't be tolerated.


GreenMile, have you actually read the Respectful Persuasion procedure Dr. Harley outlines?

For that matter, what is the last Marriage Builders book you read, and when did you read it?

Theoretically, you could engage in Respectful Persuasion to try to persuade your wife to join you. Since you have such a big Disrespectful Judgment problem, I don't recommend it; I just wanted you to know that this is where you marriage is headed some day if it gets good: you will be able to try to respectfully persuade each other of your own personal beliefs, including beliefs about Marriage Builders. Of course, Respectful Persuasion actually works much better when you are in love with each other.

Have you talked with Kim about this problem you are having of trying to make DWG do the lessons? Will you talk with her about it, if you have not?

Quote:
It is another example of putting my not wanting to look bad to Kim, or on the weekly survey, ahead of DWG's feelings and her rights as a human being to follow her own course with this.


After all, DWG is your wife, right, so she ought to understand the importance of making sure the two of you look good to people outside your family, right? She ought to understand the need to pull together and sacrifice and take care of things so that you don't inconvenience other people, right?

Yeah, I used to think like that, too. I hope it sounds as ridiculous to you there as it does to me.

You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances. Only her. Her FEELINGS come first. Not her Marriage Builders program success. Her FEELINGS. In marriage, that's the most important thing about her.

(And I shouldn't need to add that what matters is her feelings as a reaction to your ACTIONS. Not her feelings as a response to you convincing her to believe something or go along with something.)

Quote:
What difference does it really make how I look at the next phone session?


I don't understand how DancesWithGoats not wanting to do the next lesson makes YOU look bad at the next phone session. Can you enlighten me about this?

Quote:
This is where the process of MB kind of breaks down a little bit, at least in this situation.


Wrong, Mister! The process of MB isn't breaking down for you AT ALL. The concepts, especially the Love Bank, are working exactly the way the always do.

The problem is that you haven't eliminated abusive behavior such as Disrespectful Judgments.

That's not a minor problem, by the way. It's a major problem. Ask your coach for help.

Quote:
When DWG is ready to jump into these lessons, then the lessons will work, not one minute earlier.


Your wife can't eliminate Disrespectful Judgments for you. You have to do that yourself. Don't blame her for your failure to do this, thus far.

And don't you dare get into the mindset that you are sitting on your hands and waiting for her to finally "be ready." I guarantee you she does not wake up every morning and think "Oh, I hope GreenMile doesn't quit trying to prod and prompt me today and suddenly sweep me off my feet, because I'm not ready! That would be a terrible tragedy."

She is ready for you to eliminate abusive behavior a LONG TIME AGO, friend.

When you can quit kicking massive holes into the Love Bank account, you will finally have a shot at filling it.

Quote:
Nudging her is a DJ. We do it or we don't that week. Trying to nudge DWG to complete the assignment with me is a DJ. A big one.


Having your wife fill out a bunch of paperwork telling you what you need to change is a shortcut. This shortcut is very painful for your wife. Don't sit still. Take the long way.

If you can't make progress on your own (with the help of Kim and Dr. Harley and this entire board, no less!) towards eliminating love busters and MASSIVELY meeting Dances' emotional needs, then you aren't worth staying with.

Quote:
I am building a dream castle in my mind where I can come out a hero in the end, wiping out forever my villainy and getting off free (redeeming myself) in the eyes of God.


I'm not going to speak negatively of your personal motivations, and I don't know what your particular faith may be, but I will let you know that in Christian theology, a person isn't redeemed in the eyes of God by doing good from now on, no matter how much they may do. It is as if you tried to clean a dirty, oily rag with pure water. You can wash and wash and wash, but the oil is still in the rag and it is still filthy. (Because you took a swim in dirty oil. We all did.) Washing that rag clean is going to require soap. Very special Soap.

I want you to give Dances With Goats a marriage so wonderful that your past can be forgotten and she can become glad to be married to her. In fact, if you're not willing to do this, I hope she leaves you. But even if you succeed in this, I have to tell you as a follower of Jesus not to ever think for a minute that it redeems you in the eyes of God.

(Don't go the other way though and latch on to some theology and decide that that saves you even if you never lift a finger to effect her healing.)

Anyway, I don't remember Marriage Builders having a whole lot to say in its Basic Concepts about dream castles and whether they are good or bad. It does say an awful lot about Disrespectful Judgments, and I hope you will get cracking with Kim about that very soon because it is killing your poor wife.

Quote:
Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?


You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.


Markos, that is a long post to try to respond to, but I can do it in a short way. You are preaching to the choir. I don't disagree with a single point you make, but I do think that you have read my post slightly wrong. I was not justifying any of these actions, inactions, or thought processes. I was describing them in terms of my realization, from the help I have received here, as neurotic, destructive, and a complete obstacle to recovery, as the source for my DJ's, in fact for the stinkin' thinkin' throughout my marriage, and even for the way I have been regarding and mis-applying the advice received from our coaches and from the MB program. You are right on. I know what has to be done, and to do it includes and requires that I leave behind the world of self-constructed scenes conjured in my own head where I expect other people to play the part that I wrote. It is a deep neurosis plain and simple. And it is going to require more than simple will and application of MB principles to make happen. I must address that in order for MB principles to be applied by me appropriately. That is all I was saying in my post last night.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 04:03 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: markos
but I will let you know that in Christian theology, a person isn't redeemed in the eyes of God by doing good from now on, no matter how much they may do. It is as if you tried to clean a dirty, oily rag with pure water. You can wash and wash and wash, but the oil is still in the rag and it is still filthy. (Because you took a swim in dirty oil. We all did.) Washing that rag clean is going to require soap. Very special Soap.


Understatement.

The fact is that in Christian theology the whole idea of you redeeming yourself in the eyes of God by your actions is massively blasphemous.

However, redeeming yourself in the eyes of your wife? That is completely Christian, and I believe it is exactly what God wants. But to do that you will have to tailor yourself to HER perspective, not to some perspective which you imagine belongs to God and is therefore omniscient and objective.

Her feelings are the key.


Markos, I kind of addressed this in my last response to you after you already wrote these other posts. Please re-read the original. There is no need to argue any of those things with me, because I agree with you. In my post, I was explaining, or tried to explain, that these thought processes have been wrong, and based on a process in my head that is a neurotic fantasy, with no basis in reality. I write scenes in my head that no one cares to be actors or actresses in. By doing this, everything that happens in life has been forced into this model, and so it ends up revolving around me, because it is my own little theatrical production. This, I believe, has been the root cause of all problems. I also recognize that it is something that my mother did all the time, though she was a very sweet woman. It is becoming no mystery to me how I learned to do this, but it also gives me no illusions about how daunting is the road ahead at getting rid of it completely.
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 04:09 PM



Originally Posted By: GM
Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?


Originally Posted By: Marcos
You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.


Marcos ... THANK YOU !!
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 04:11 PM
Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: markos
You don't have a relationship in which you need to provide extraordinary care to Kim, or anyone else. Just Dances.


Oh, and on that note, you don't need to explain to other people when you are unwilling to provide some kind of care for them. Your reasons are your private business. You aren't married to them.


Marcos - THANK YOU again.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 04:51 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband



Originally Posted By: GM
Is 62 too late to leave childhood behind and grow up?


Originally Posted By: Marcos
You know, GreenMile, this task isn't going to be achieved by self-deprecation.


Marcos ... THANK YOU !!


I guess that was self-deprecating. Certainly don't need that.

*Edit*
Posted By: Bubbles4U Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 04:57 PM
Why not clean up your life and quit thinking about me!
Posted By: Mark1952 Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 05:24 PM
GM,

Looks like this might be time to speak again of repentance...

The word repent has often been interpreted to denote a change in the way we act. We once did ___ and no longer do ___ and so we have repented. While our actions might have changed, it is still incumbent upon our own will and effort in order to keep those changes moving along. What it requires is for us to constantly override our own instincts and even long standing habits that come from our own experiences in life.

The word itself is in two parts. The first, "re-" means what we have come to think of it as meaning. "re-" before any term or action, implies to do that action again, or to "REpeat" that action. While I am referring to actions here, I am not talking about repeating just acting a new way and the second half of the word explains why this is true.

The second part of the word repent means to think. So the word in whole means to REthink, or literally to have a second thought, as in "I was doing X, but on second thought, I will do Y."

What this means is that what we do changes, but it changes because we think differently and not simply because we have acted differently. Our changed actions happen because we are thinking differently and not just because we are working to change the consequences of our actions. We choose to do something else because we now see that something else as the RIGHT choice and not simply as the choice that will result in our being perceived as a better person.

So real repentance means that we change what we do BECAUSE we think in a different way and not only as the result of our own will and ability to overcome our ingrained way of doing things in the past. It is the new thinking process that results in new habits and not merely stopping ourselves from doing things the way we have always done them.

Dr Harley's most basic concept of all of his basic concepts is that no matter what we do, it affects our spouse either positively or negatively. It is learning to act from this place of understanding that leads us to begin to put the feelings and needs of our spouse into proper perspective. It is understanding that before anything at all is done, what it will do to DWG's feelings is not just considered but addressed as being more important than the action itself.

When this sort of foundational change happens, the efforts to change behavior are easily redirected toward the changes that are needed. Once grasped, this leads us to ALWAYS be considerate above our own choices and in so doing, to make the right choice more often and more consistently than by sheer force of willing ourselves to do something in a different way than the way we have been accustomed.

This is what leads to true empathy for our spouse. It is KNOWING that what we do is not done in a vacuum nor is it done without causing a reaction in the emotional state of our spouse. It affects EVERYTHING we do because the reasons we do those things has changed.

And just so you (and anyone reading along) understand that I am not talking about putting your wife FIRST, above your own needs, desires and wants. I am talking about realizing that no matter what we choose to do, our spouse is affected by it since the marriage has created a special, not just connection, but relationship between us that is unlike any other relationship we ever have. Things done in the present affect the future in ways that must be considered BEFORE choosing what we will do today, even right this second.

This shift in thinking results in not only reduction in IB but also increases honesty since unless we can create true intimacy in the marriage in which we are both known fully and know and understand the other, it can become paralyzing to us to have to check with each other before doing something as simple as deciding what to order for lunch when not with each other. Only by KNOWING each other fully, and BEING KNOWN by the other can we begin to make choices that are best for BOTH of us and the two of us together rather than simply what makes us feel good, look good or seem good at the time. It changes from being seen as the right person into BEING the right person.

Mark
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 05:37 PM
Mark
Quote:

This is what leads to true empathy for our spouse. It is KNOWING that what we do is not done in a vacuum nor is it done without causing a reaction in the emotional state of our spouse. It affects EVERYTHING we do because the reasons we do those things has changed.


Thanks for this as well.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/20/10 07:19 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark1952
GM,

Looks like this might be time to speak again of repentance...

The word repent has often been interpreted to denote a change in the way we act. We once did ___ and no longer do ___ and so we have repented. While our actions might have changed, it is still incumbent upon our own will and effort in order to keep those changes moving along. What it requires is for us to constantly override our own instincts and even long standing habits that come from our own experiences in life.

The word itself is in two parts. The first, "re-" means what we have come to think of it as meaning. "re-" before any term or action, implies to do that action again, or to "REpeat" that action. While I am referring to actions here, I am not talking about repeating just acting a new way and the second half of the word explains why this is true.

The second part of the word repent means to think. So the word in whole means to REthink, or literally to have a second thought, as in "I was doing X, but on second thought, I will do Y."

What this means is that what we do changes, but it changes because we think differently and not simply because we have acted differently. Our changed actions happen because we are thinking differently and not just because we are working to change the consequences of our actions. We choose to do something else because we now see that something else as the RIGHT choice and not simply as the choice that will result in our being perceived as a better person.

So real repentance means that we change what we do BECAUSE we think in a different way and not only as the result of our own will and ability to overcome our ingrained way of doing things in the past. It is the new thinking process that results in new habits and not merely stopping ourselves from doing things the way we have always done them.

Dr Harley's most basic concept of all of his basic concepts is that no matter what we do, it affects our spouse either positively or negatively. It is learning to act from this place of understanding that leads us to begin to put the feelings and needs of our spouse into proper perspective. It is understanding that before anything at all is done, what it will do to DWG's feelings is not just considered but addressed as being more important than the action itself.

When this sort of foundational change happens, the efforts to change behavior are easily redirected toward the changes that are needed. Once grasped, this leads us to ALWAYS be considerate above our own choices and in so doing, to make the right choice more often and more consistently than by sheer force of willing ourselves to do something in a different way than the way we have been accustomed.

This is what leads to true empathy for our spouse. It is KNOWING that what we do is not done in a vacuum nor is it done without causing a reaction in the emotional state of our spouse. It affects EVERYTHING we do because the reasons we do those things has changed.

And just so you (and anyone reading along) understand that I am not talking about putting your wife FIRST, above your own needs, desires and wants. I am talking about realizing that no matter what we choose to do, our spouse is affected by it since the marriage has created a special, not just connection, but relationship between us that is unlike any other relationship we ever have. Things done in the present affect the future in ways that must be considered BEFORE choosing what we will do today, even right this second.

This shift in thinking results in not only reduction in IB but also increases honesty since unless we can create true intimacy in the marriage in which we are both known fully and know and understand the other, it can become paralyzing to us to have to check with each other before doing something as simple as deciding what to order for lunch when not with each other. Only by KNOWING each other fully, and BEING KNOWN by the other can we begin to make choices that are best for BOTH of us and the two of us together rather than simply what makes us feel good, look good or seem good at the time. It changes from being seen as the right person into BEING the right person.

Mark


Great post, Mark. I do understand. Strange as it may seem, by your definition of true repentance, it is happening. I am not stuck. It is happening without thinking about it to some extent. Just trying to make faster progress by understanding where my stinkin' thinkin' has been coming from. I am finding out things about myself that are deeply ingrained and based on what has classically been described as a neurosis. This part is going to take a lot of work and some therapy.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/21/10 05:18 PM
I know this sounds kind of dumb, and I wasn't going to post it, but DWG thought I should, because this time we both did something right:

I was cleaning the floors last night in prep for a visit from friends from Hawaii. I swept the mountains of dog and cat hair that collect in no time and then was going over with attachments from the vacuum. A large, free-standing window screen fell over, and before I could catch it, it fell onto and destroyed a glass pedestal bowl that DWG's best friend's mother had given to us at our wedding and which survived raising two boys. I felt devastated. DWG felt awful and momentarily angry. My first reaction in horror was to go into a depressed "I can't do anything right" scenario in my head, hoping for some validation and comfort and telling me I was "not a bad boy" coming from DWG. Her first reaction was to get incredibly angry and nail me to the wall for not caring about things that are important to her. Instead, I removed myself from the room, meditated, and consciously collected myself and made myself not create that scenario in my head. DWG greatly limited her negative reaction, and we succeeded in being mature adults. Seems like a little thing, but after the last week (and all those years) maybe it was not so little. She wanted me to post this. Big deal LOL.
Posted By: HerPapaBear Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/21/10 08:01 PM
smile
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/22/10 03:14 PM
GM, how are you today?
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/22/10 03:31 PM
I'm doing great. No mistakes or stinkin' thinkin' for over two days. No scenarios playing out in my head. DWG and I have had a great couple of days. We watched a movie last night until 3:30 AM and both just woke up. I have a jazz concert to play today in front of a big crowd, kind of a major gig, and I have several solos, so I am kind of keyed up. How are you, Pepperband?
Posted By: Pepperband Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/22/10 04:08 PM
Have fun with your music.
I woke up with a nasty sore throat.
Nothing serious.
Just a painintheass.
Posted By: GreenMile Re: Breaking old patterns - 08/22/10 05:00 PM
Originally Posted By: Pepperband
Have fun with your music.
I woke up with a nasty sore throat.
Nothing serious.
Just a painintheass.


Take care of yourself, PB.
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