Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our guidance forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
These are notes taken by a client of Steve Harley about the role of intermediaries. Please add anything you think relevant.

1. Intermediaries act as "SPAM filters" (Steve Harley's words), allowing only communication that fits the boundaries set forth in Plan B to be passed on to protect the BS.

They do not share any other info he sends, regardless of how benign the content. He said they can tell me he sent something.

2. They remain neutral...just a messenger sending info on, no reactions.

3. If he sends something inappropriate, they thank him for his communication, but let him know it will not be shared and refer him back to the PBL.

4. He said if he tries to contact me any other way, they will indicate I have not opened/listened to whatever it is, and refer him back to them for all communication.

Obviously, the key here is to be very consistent and not allow WS to push the boundary.



Regarding attempts at contact for discussing reconciliation and poor recoveries I have seen on MB--Steve said the biggest mistake people make is taking the WS back with no clear-cut plan for R. Steve also mentioned the following:

1. WS does not have to end the A before we can talk about R (Steve said he will help guide us and negotiate the end of the A and make a plan for R). So a NC letter FIRST is not a requirement.

2. I spell out what WS needs to do...get help for the addiction

3. He said I should wait for WS to show me what he is offering without me giving any indication of where I stand.

-WS does all the talking

-See what his plan is for R

-How does he know he is ready?

-He has to be showing actions that are consistent with R

-Show me he has/plans to remove OW from his life

-He said tell WS we need help/guidance, and let Steve then talk with him (no recovery demands as he will feel he is being controlled or I am being demanding). Steve said I could say something like,"We are really close to the edge here, and I do not want to make any mistakes. I would like to get someone to help us through this. All I know is I want us to be in love again. I am not asking you for a commitment, I am just asking you to speak with him so you find out his professional opinion of what R would involve for us."

4. During this time, I remain guarded and can say that it is not that I do not care, but that I just want to ease into R.

[My note on the above issue. Some WS' will make overtures about "reconciliation" early on only because the Plan B is working and they are missing the BS. They don't want to end the affair, but want to return to the status quo where they were getting needs met in both places. A good IM will be able to screen out the false alarms. A false alarm is usually indictated by bullcrap attempts like "how can I know if my feelings will come back if she won't let me contact her??" An IM should protect the BS from this kind of stuff.]




"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
"Bouncing" e-mails from WS: [written by a client of Steve's]

I created a rule that stated:

If e-mail comes in from WH's e-mail address, then:


1. Forward to intermediary's e-mail address,

and WS' (optional--see below)


2. Delete it



Then, you will never see them, but you need to have a reliable intermediary.

The optional part was suggested by me to Steve H. He liked it because my WS was so consistent about sending e-mails to me directly, that he wanted WH to be clear that I was not reading/getting them. He also had my intermediaries send something informing WS that all correspondence, etc. was deleted and/or forwarded unread.

What is nice about my WS seeing the "bounce" is that it sends the message to him, everytime, that I am not reading the e-mails because he "sees" it get bounced out automatically (a second or two after it was sent). Steve felt this was very important reinforcement. And, it needed to be consistent.

I have this rule set up for all of his different e-mail addresses. When he sends me e-mail from a new address (which he has done twice), I just add that one to the rules.


***Have your intermediary keep copy of all correspondence, in case you need it for court.***


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
What to do about children's events:

Question: if I decide to do a full Plan B, what do I do when we attend the same children's activities? Soccer games, band concerts, plays, etc. are all part of our lives. Do I ignore him completely? Is it okay to smile and wave? Do we sit together or what?
FYI, I have a mediator in mind, but I'm just not emotionally read to Plan B him yet. But I'm getting there.


Dr. Harley's ANSWER: Read my answer to "What Now!" by NZJ in the Questions about Infidelity section of the MBW Forum. It probably applies to your situation.

About 95% of affairs die a natural death within 2 years of discovery. And 70% of those 5% that survive to marriage end in divorce. Even the 30% of the 5% (1.5%) are not all happy marriages. So the odds of your husband finding happiness with his present lover is so unlikely that it's safe to say that his affair is the worst mistake of his life. But because you're married to him, it's the worst mistake of your life, too. And you didn't do anything to deserve it.

Your best plan of action right now is plan B. And you will have to make it air-tight to keep you sane. Otherwise, every casual contact, even at your children's events, is likely to take a terrible toll on your mental and physical health.

Some day, your husband may come out of the fog. And he may be ready to win you back to him again. But I would encourage you to avoid hoping for that outcome. In fact, try to avoid thinking of him at all. Start going down a new path that does not include him in any way. There's nothing more that you can do to encourage him to do the right thing. All you're left with now is to try to protect yourself from future suffering. And that means having absolutely nothing to do with your husband, possibly for the rest of your life.

Best wishes
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
The occasional WS will go crazy when they lose control over the BS in Plan B and attempt to force them to legally communicate with them. It is usually quickly dropped, though, when the WS realizes he has opened the door for the BS attorney to explain to a judge how abusive and cruel the WS has been, hence the need for Plan B. Here is the support that some of our members have used in their defense:

Quote
QUESTION: If WH is still threatening intermediaries, what suggestions do you have for communicating info about the kids?

ANSWER: He has a choice of communicating with someone or communicating with no one. But you should rule yourself out of the picture. Dr. Willard Harley

Plaintiffs' adulterous affair has been traumatic to the entire family, most especially the defendant. Reknowned psychologist and leading US expert on adultery and families, Dr. Willard Harley, author and founder of Marriage Builders, likens the trauma of an affair to rape. It is Dr. Harley, among other experts, who recommend ceasing direct communication with the adulterous spouse to lessen the emotional pain of witnessing the affair first hand.

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr:

Quote: "The problem with a coninuation of contact is that it usually leads to severe emotional symptoms, including years of post-traumatic stress disorder, even when the [wayward spouse] eventually returns. Many women that I've counseled actually have nervous breakdowns in their effort to draw their wayward spouse back to them."


Dr. Deena Stacer, Ph.D, Founder and Director of the San Diego County High Conflict Intervention Program, recommends ceasing contact for a minimum of two years in order to protect the children:

Quote:In a breakup or divorce, with children, there may be high emotion and tension between the parents. This tension creates anxiety for the children as well as the parents. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, body language and in their parents behavior. To significantly reduce the amount of tension for all the family, the parents should follow two simple rules for the first two years, in order to control the communication and contact between the parents.

Number One: Eliminate all face-to-face communication between the parents, {including telephone contact} for a minimum of two years.

Number Two: all communication should be done in writing, using a memo format.

Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children.

Coparenting often fails, because it assumes that the parents can eventually get along. Our program assumes that with every interaction between the parents more anixety results creating less ability to agree of child sharing issues. If parents couldn't coparent while together, the gap now is wider between them since separatation and their anxiety level is increasing due to the ongoing court conflit.

Our program focuses the parents away from their feelings of failure to communicate and redirects their anger at each other to bonding more closely with their children instead.


http://www.highconflictintervention.com/useruploads/files/EX%20Communicate%202009.pdf


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by Dr. Harley
The conditions for recovery should be made very clear: (1) No contact with the lover with extraordinary precautions in place to guarantee it (eliminating the conditions that made the affair possible), and (2) a plan for marital recovery in place (to follow the MB courses until a romantic relationship is reestablished). At first, it's customary to spend a week or two dating before the WS returns home to be certain that vacillation does not occur. Since the WS is usually still in the fog, these conditions must be made very clear, and there should be an understanding that following this program will be difficult, especially at first.

Best wishes
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by Dr Harley
I generally encourage a spouse in Plan B to make sure that the unfaithful spouse knows that reconciliation is possible if there is (1) no contact with the lover, with extraordinary conditions to guarantee compliance and (2) restoration of the marriage by following the MB plan of recovery. While this can be said once, it doesn't hurt for an intermediary to remind the WS of the offer. But I don't encourage a spouse to wait more than 2 years in Plan B. After that amount of time, reconciliation is very rare.

Best wishes
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,449
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,449
bump


Ddays 2007 and 2011
Plan B 6/21/11
Divorced July 2012
2 kids
How to Plan B Correctly
Parallel Parenting in Plan B
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,775
Z
Member
Offline
Member
Z
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,775
One of my friends offered to put me in touch with two "intermediaries" from a neighboring state who would make the OM "disappear".

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 186
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 186
Hey Zelmo! thanks for the chuckle - I needed it! dance2Can you hook me up with those "indermediaries"

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,775
Z
Member
Offline
Member
Z
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,775
Clay, this buddy was serious, too. he lives in Vegas and had some guys in Chicago. Guess i better be nice to him.
My dad represented Frankie Carbo(guy who probably killed Bugsy siegel). He was always worried Frankie would take somone out for him.

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 186
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 186
Hey! OW lives near Chicago! Just kidding... sort of.

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Being an intermediary is an EASY JOB if you do it right. Many WS' will try very hard to engage the IM in a debate. This is a TAR PIT you should avoid at all costs.

Do not express any opinion about anything. Tell them you are not here to judge, your only job is to pass on pertinent information in accordance to the BS' letter.

For example, if you get a long winded tirade about how immature the BS is for not speaking to him, just pull out a KERNAL of pertinent information that should be passed on [if you can find one] and say "thank you for your email, I will let Sally know that you will be picking up DS at 1:00 on Friday." Don't even acknowledge the tirade. And most certainly, do not pass on any hint of the tirade to the BS. Just tell the BS, "Bob will pick up DS on Friday at 1:00."

If there is nothing to pass on, politely say that "in accordance to BS's letter, this isn't something that can be passed on. If you have any pertinent issues about child visitation or finances, I would be happy to pass that on."

Don't step into the TAR PIT, no matter what!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,344
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,344
Thank you for reposting this. It's thumbtackable, imo.


I never had to take the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?

O'hana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

My Story

Recovered!
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Thanks Kimmy, the reason I made this thread up is because if you don't do this right, this very easy job can become an absolute nightmare. I know so many IM's who quickly wore down because they allowed themselves to get dragged into the tar pit. And it is SO TEMPTING, too!! When a WS tells you something stupid like "it is all her fault I am having an affair!" it is hard to ignore such a retarded statement. But, an IM's job is to only pass on information, not to engage a falling down drunk.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
P
Member
Offline
Member
P
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 35,996
BUMP

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
bump


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 11,539
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 11,539
bump for P&H


Faith

me: FWW/BS 52 H: FWH/BS 49
DS 30
DD 21
DS 15
OCDS 8
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 738
N
Member
Offline
Member
N
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 738
Originally Posted by claygal
Hey! OW lives near Chicago! Just kidding... sort of.

Thanks for bumping this , Faith! smile Chicago is only a plane ride away from me.... wink haha!

Good to get clarity on the role of the IM too. How does this work when you have children the WS will be coming to see? Can you just disappear into the next room?


Me: BW, 27
Him: WH, 29
DD 4
DS 1
Married 07/25/09
A began end of 08/2009 (possibly sooner)
D-Day: 3/31/10
2nd D-Day: 4/9/2010
3rd D-Day: 4/21/10

Plan B (shortlived as it was): 18/05/10
WH decides to work on marriage: 20/05/10
False Recovery, Back to Plan B: 13/08/10

Filed for D Feb 2011, D April 2012

Looking forward to the sunshine and rainbows life should hold for us all!
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 11,539
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 11,539
P&H, it is not recommended that the WS visit the children at home. It gives the WS a "home fix" to be allowed into the marital home. HE will need to figure out the how and where of visitation. I would see if you file for LS if you can prevent him from bringing the OW around your children.


Faith

me: FWW/BS 52 H: FWH/BS 49
DS 30
DD 21
DS 15
OCDS 8
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,617
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,617
Bump


BW me-41
WH -39
DS - 9
married 12 Yrs together(?) 18 yrs when A discovered
DDay aug 2007
found MB dec 2007
Moved out april 2008
still seeing OW
Plan B

Okay I fixed the ages, it was looking screwy. smile
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 118 guests, and 123 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Rjack, russelltonya, arielwilson, Debby Woman, Comfortable Shoe
71,850 Registered Users
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 2024, Marriage Builders, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5