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#1673346 - 12/14/08 12:52 PM Listening and Learning
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
I think this is my fourth thread.

Carlos - Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. I really want to give it the response it deserves and I will, but there is a lot there for me to digest.

The weather here is bad so my riding lesson got cancelled again, puts a damper on my run, too.

Fighting to find PMA today, fighting to keep busy and distracted. Always fighting...

SMW - I practice Employment law and ERISA (employee benefits law).


Edited by Bettou (12/14/08 12:56 PM)
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#1673393 - 12/14/08 02:25 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Carlos,

I have done some thinking about some of what you have said. Here are a few preliminary thoughts.

1. You are correct that I approach things like a lawyer and that probably is not going to work very well in a marriage, or in saving one or letting one go, for that matter.

2. My trailer is definitely still hitched to H's wagon and that is certainly contributing to the rollercoaster ride. But, I have more than one trailer.

You said:
"[w]hen you wait to have your value defined or determined by someone that lives in his own confusion, you will continue to stumble. Stop that. Consider how much you have accomplished - and how much you bring into the lives of others (even strangers on this site) and value yourself enough to know that detaching from you H is an act of love for both you and your H. Detachment gives you the gift of taking care of you - and detaching gives him the gift of having to deal with his own issues so he can grow...and if he doesn't...you will still be in a healthy, strong, empowered place."

First, thank you for that. Second, I do not derive my sense of value from H. I do not have a self-esteem problem and I do realize what I bring to this world. I think my problem is that I cannot truly let him go.

I am working very hard to sort out why this is the case. Some have suggested co-dependence, but from what I have read about it, I am not co-dependent. I think Puppy called it being enmeshed. That sounds a little more like it but it still does not resonate in my gut as the reason.

Here is my struggle: though I know I can be happy without H in my life, it will take time and I have to grieve, but I will be happy again. I know I am a whole person all by myself. I know I am strong and can accomplish things. But despite all of that, he is the person with whom I want, over all others, to share my life. There is a bond that grew between us when that was a mutual feeling and it is that bond that keeps me from wanting to detach.

Maybe that's what the truth is, maybe I just simply do not want to detach. I am not saying I want to hurt and be sad. But just because he wants out, does not mean that I want out. And in my mind, detaching is getting out.

This is heady stuff, Carlos. You have given me a lot to process. Thank you for that and taking the time to post all of this to me.

Beth
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#1673399 - 12/14/08 02:30 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
AnotherNightmare Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 278
Loc: PA
Hi Beth,

Having followed all of your threads, I can tell that you are great at GAL and also PMA as long as your feelings for your H do not get in the way. The one thing - and Carlos said it much better than I will ever be able to say it - you need to accomplish is detachment. I repeat what techguy once told me:

The one who cares the least about the M is in control.

From what you are writing you are not there yet. You still care a lot about your M and your H. And I know it is a lot easier if there is something else you can devote all your love to. Unfortunately, noone can tell you when it will happen, and I am not sure I would do anything differently than you to get there in your situation.

Keep up the good work and keep detachment in your mind more than anything else.

AN
_________________________
M43 W45, M17
S9 D6
Bomb: 11/11/08
EA: 10/26-12/31/08 ?
Retrouvaille: 2/13-2/15/09
Healed, but still heading for D
My situation

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#1673403 - 12/14/08 02:39 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: AnotherNightmare]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
AN,

Thank you for that. I feel a lot of pressure to detach, from myself I mean. I guess it is not something that can be rushed and you made me realize that with your post.

I am glad it comes across to others that I am doing things for myself, I really am. I need more of a social life, to be sure.

Thanks again.

Beth
_________________________
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#1673413 - 12/14/08 03:04 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth,

"I do not derive my sense of value from H. I do not have a self-esteem problem and I do realize what I bring to this world. I think my problem is that I cannot truly let him go."

Sorry - I didn't mean to suggest sense of value in terms of self-esteem - rather, I meant sense of value in terms of happiness...Like you, I don't have a self-esteem problem - and don't have much in the way of security/insecurity issues - but...and here was the big revelation for me...I had no idea just how much of who I had become was intertwined with my W, my expectations of my wife, and my frustrations with her and myself (which grow out of those unfulfilled expectations). For me, a sense of value isn't about self-esteem but about getting through an occluded sense of self.

"I am working very hard to sort out why this is the case. Some have suggested co-dependence, but from what I have read about it, I am not co-dependent. I think Puppy called it being enmeshed. That sounds a little more like it but it still does not resonate in my gut as the reason."

I agree with Puppy - it is about being enmeshed. Early in my sitch, I also went into the co-dependence angle - but didn't find it fit. But I did realize that before being with my W, I enjoyed being on my own and being independent...and I don't know how or why I lost that, but I did. I think it's just the reality of a relationship (especially a troubled relationship) that we lose ourselves to an extent when we become too defined by our enmeshed personality - rather than the independent personality we first brought into the relationship.

What ever happened with the rings, btw?

I finally took mine off after my W moved out...and I then realized that having it on just made me look at it too much - and think too much about what I wished for with her - rather than what I should be doing in the moment...even when doing something as simple as going out to dinner with a friend...the ring added a presence there that started to feel more and more like an intrusion...but it took me a long time to get there and accept that. All of this stuff takes time - especially the process of detachment - which was/is completely contrary to my "fix it", "solve it", "understand it", "tackle the impossible" way of being. That mindset served me well through graduate school...but it didn't do much for me in my M...so now I'm a student of a different kind.
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1673420 - 12/14/08 03:14 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Carlos,

I think you hit the nail on the head. I think I had no idea how intertwined my sense of self had become with H and the couple. That strikes a chord with me. I think that is the crux of my struggle. Detaching feels like excoriating myself and it should not. It should be sad and difficult, but I should not feel as though I am losing a part of myself.

Rings are currently still on finger. It caused me more pain to have them off. I am trying to take that day-by-day.

I do recognize that I am the only one in my way. I also recognize that if I am to reconcile with H, as I so much desire, and not end up right back here, I do have to redevelop my own, independent sense of self.

The rain has eased, so I am off.

Thanks for this discussion and your insight. It really helps me focus my thinking.

Beth
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#1673447 - 12/14/08 03:51 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{{{{Beth}}}}}}}} It sounds like you are having a down day, so I am here to try to hug it away..not that I can, but I would if I could \:\)

So what did you do with your mom this weekend?? I hope you did or are doing something fun for you \:\)

Hugs my dear friend

Tawnya
_________________________
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#1673470 - 12/14/08 04:33 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Tawnya,

Thanks for the hugs. My mom and I did some shopping, rented some movies, had dinner. I am so glad she is here.

This weekend has been tough, I have been sad a lot. My mom is convinced it is because H is out of town and that the holidays are approaching.

I suspect she may be on to something. I know I am so tired of thinking about it. So, tonight, I am trying to take a break from the endless analyzing that I put myself through.

I am just trying to stay in the present moment and find a few things to be happy about, like my mom's company, a nice warm house, good food and friends like you and the others I have here.

I am just asking myself to let that be enough for tonight.

Beth
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#1673508 - 12/14/08 05:56 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
Beth..I certainly hope it is enough..I'm so glad your mom is there with you too..

You know, I don't know that I said it in my "sitch recap" of Friday night (the novella LOL)..but hub and OW are traveling to MA and then to NY to see her mother..I totally thought of YOU when he said NY..I even asked if they were going to like see shows or something..and he said "no..it's not NYC that we are going to"..but I couldn't believe it after you had talked about that this weekend..

Check in and let us know how you are! Glad you got some "retail therapy" in..that's always fun..well usually..not as much fun the closer to Christmas with the 800000 people shopping ;\)

Tawnya
_________________________
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#1674172 - 12/15/08 02:46 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth:

I hope the time off gave you some much needed and deserved inner peace.

When my W moved out at the beginning of November - and as Thanksgiving approached - I started to fall apart a bit...and some of the best advice I got was just to go through the day as if it were just another day...not make more of it than I had to, but just accept it as another day...and not the last Thanksgiving. It was hard to imagine adopting that kind of mindset but it did surprise me how doing so helped. Our hearts listen to our minds much more than I ever realized.

Hugs,
Carlos
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1674243 - 12/15/08 04:02 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, hope everything is going better for you today. Life continues and will be good again.

I went out to the new restaurant on Saturday with friends. This is the steakhouse that my wife didn't want to go to. The restaurant was great. It sits at the top of a hill overlooking a lake in the area. We sat down, looked out, and the full moon was rising. It was a great moment. We had a great meal and talked for hours.

I realized that life can still have great moments.
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
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#1674339 - 12/15/08 06:12 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
Tawnya Offline
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Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{{Beth}}} Hope you are having a day filled with "great moments" (I LIKED that JWM..so I'm borrowing it ;\)

JWM..so glad you had a nice night and were adventurous and glad it turned out so great for you!

Tawnya
_________________________
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H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
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#1674358 - 12/15/08 06:45 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Carlos, JWM and Tawnya - thank you for checking on me. Sorry I have not been around, as you will see below (though I would not blame you for not reading the whole long post) I have had a bit on my mind these last two days.


Update:

I think I may have experienced a small breakthrough with H. I think it is a small step in the right direction.

Yesterday, on the advice of my DB coach, I sent H a "letter of release" by email. It was essentially a note identifying the things I think I did to contribute to the current state of our R, acknowledging how those things must have made H feel and telling him I am sorry. I sent it with no expectations.

24 hours later, H emailed me. It is the most open he has been with me about his own emotions for 16 months. It was a note of five paragraphs - a lot given my H. In the first paragraph, he stated that while he had felt and thought the things I indentified, since he has been living alone,with no one else around to blame (his words) he now realizes that he is not an easy man to live with. He said he did not want me centering all the guilt on myself.

The remainder of the note was H telling me that he is getting worse and worse. He recognizes that he is unhappy and that he does not see an end to it nor does he know what to do. He also said he knows now the cause is mostly the wrong career. Indicated a strong aversion to therapy but based on a misconception of what it is. Said he does not think it is good to see him these days because he has nothing to say. Knows he has to keep up the horrible work hours for a while but then says maybe January will bring good things.

I was stunned. I took it all in but knew I had to respond. I could feel it in my gut. I wrote to him telling him that I sense how much he is struggling and thanked him for sharing with me what must have been very difficult for him to say. I responded that I understood his feelings about not seeing him, but that I have no expectations of him and he need not have anything to say to me. That I care about him as a friend and think he could use a good friend right about now. I told him I was concerned for his well-being (all very bad DBing, I know, but my gut said do it). I asked him if it was okay for me to ask him to meet me for a walk in the woods or a coffee.

His response, while not specifically addressing all that I said, indicated it was fine for me to ask and that he will call me when he returns to town.

What I took away from this is that sometines I have to read between the lines. By this, I mean use what I know about H as a person to guide me. When he said he thought it was not a good idea to see him, that he had nothing to say, it occurred to me that he was thinking I would want to see him because I want something from him. That I want him to tell me what he will do about his problems. As soon as I assured him that I had no expectations, that he could say nothing at all, he responded that he would see me.

I tried this tack a few months ago. Shortly after he left, I wrote to him, asking him to let me support him as a friend and be there for him. He thanked me but declined, saying it was something he had to handle on his own, without me. Now, after an email full of my saying I am worried about him and asking him to let me support him as a friend, he has said yes to meeting me. I think this is a good sign. He could easily have insisted that it was not a good time to see him, as he stated in his earlier email, but he did not. I also think it is a step in the right direction that he no longer blames me alone for the state of our R and has identified his career as a major factor.

My goal now is to be a good friend to him. To reach out to him on a regular basis for walks. (I will reach out because the depressed person will not do it). I know he likes nature and I have read that men do better talking if they are active at the same time. I think he may have finally opened the door just a crack to let in a friend. So I will be that friend.

Just wanted to share the events of the last couple days.

Beth
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VV:41

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#1674373 - 12/15/08 07:07 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
nw626 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 498
Beth
I think you did great.
This is definitely moving the right direction.
Just take it slow. Like you said, be there for him as a friend, be supportive and don't try to fix anythings.
It looks like he just needs someone to listen/vent. Don't we all do?
Remember all those PMA that you have saved up for both of you, it is time to use them, slowly but steady.
Please continue to give him space and time and try not to over analyze everything because he is still confused.
At the end, he will be the ONLY one can truely fix himself.
As long as you are ready with your helping hands, you two will be just fine.

Keep up the good work.

NW626
_________________________
Me:33 STBXW:38 S:3
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you fight the fight....!!

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#1674398 - 12/15/08 07:45 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: nw626]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{Beth}} It does sound like you did great and nw is right..just take it slow..and I'm glad you trusted your gut and it led you in the right direction!

Tawnya
_________________________
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#1674432 - 12/15/08 08:46 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
NW626 and Tawnya - thank you both for reading my epic post. And
thank you both for your thoughts. I am feeling very grounded and recognize that this is only a small babystep. I am being very careful not to get overexcited about it.

NW626 - great reminders! I cannot fix him, I can only support him. It looks to me like he has started to identify some of his problems on his own. So, hopefully, he will eventually take steps to address them. I will be here if he needs me.

In the meantime, I will be a supportive friend. And you are right about needing enough PMA for both of us. I will have another coaching session before we meet so I will be as prepared as possible to handle things the right way for me and for him.

Beth
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#1674441 - 12/15/08 09:10 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, good news. He sounds like he is not in a good place. You did great.
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
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#1674442 - 12/15/08 09:12 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth,

While it's very painful for him, I think it's so important that he told you he's identifying some of his own problems. Good to trust your gut - as it seems like it took you in the right direction - being a supportive friend can be so hard - but it seems to be something her needs but just doesn't know how to ask it of you.

...on a cautionary note...I once had a similar conversation with me wife...and it seemed like we had talked about a lot of things that really needed to be addressed...only to have her turn that conversation on its head a couple days later - and use it as proof that I don't believe in her...my mistake was that I did too much talking...and should have listened more...it seems like you're listening so well - and are sensitive to what you hear him asking of you - even if he can't say it outright.

Were you able to get out for another run today?

Has he said anything about the suicide at his firm?

-Carlos.
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1674457 - 12/15/08 09:36 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
JWM - thanks, I feel like I handled things pretty well. Just have to keep my feet on the ground and use my head rather than my heart.

I meant to tell you that I am so glad you went to the new place with friends and had a good time. You reminded me of the importance of staying in the present. You clearly did a good job of that and in doing so allowed yourself to have a good time.

Carlos - thank you for sharing your story with me. If you cannot tell from my posts, I am a big talker. SO I will have to do a lot of listening, once H is ready. I have already noted from his email that he currently has nothing to say. I do think from the context that he meant nothing to tell me about us (which I validated by telling him I had no desire to discuss the R) but I will let him set the tone. I have a book on how to communicate with depressed people and it suggests asking them whether they would like to talk about their feelings/thoughts, whether they prefer to be asked questions or whether they just would like to be together in silence. I will give him the choice and respect his answer.

I have been giving it some thought. We used to go bird-watching on our hikes. I think I will bring along binoculars so we can have a good reason to be silent. He usually will open up if given enough time and quiet from me.

He has not mentioned the suicide. What are your thoughts on this? I had not planned on mentioning anything depression-related to him unless he brings it up.

Thanks,
Beth

oops - the run. No, I have problems this time of year due to lack of daylight. We have a surprisingly high number of perverts/flashers plaguing female runners and I am afraid to run alone at night. Soon, it should be getting light out early enough for me to run before work.


Edited by Bettou (12/15/08 09:38 PM)
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#1674616 - 12/16/08 06:11 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
whateverittakes Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Hi Beth,

Just a quick drop by to say that I was happy to read your post. It's wonderful that you are finding ways to connect with your h in ways that are healthy and positive for both of you. You're doing great!

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#1674693 - 12/16/08 09:18 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: whateverittakes]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
WIT - thanks for stopping by and the kind words.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1674822 - 12/16/08 10:52 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
AlexEN Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 792
Loc: IL
Hey Beth,

I don't have any new lawyer jokes, but just wanted to say hi (and remind you that it's below zero with the windchill here, which makes it even harder to run whether or not it's dark out) and chime in in agreement with the others who've commended you on how well you're doing and the steps you are taking. Hang in there!

-AlexEN
_________________________
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#1674845 - 12/16/08 11:27 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: AlexEN]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
AlexEN,

Thanks for the support. I will tell you that my H once described my drive to run as "military." When we moved to Charlotte, I had to take the bar exam (license in IL was not enough, go figure). I studied long hours and the only time I could run was 5:00 a.m. Since it was dark, my sweet H would run with me. This was February and most mornings the temp was around 10-15 (with windchill, of course).

I grew up in northern IL and really can take the cold. It's kind of sick, I know. I miss those morning runs with my H.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675050 - 12/16/08 02:50 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{Beth}} WOW..running with 10-15 temperatures..oh gosh..you ARE a strong brave soul \:\)

How's your mom enjoying NC?

Tawnya
_________________________
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H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
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#1675149 - 12/16/08 05:10 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Tawnya - My mom lives in NC, too. She retired to the beach. She lives in Southport, NC. She loves the weather. She and I are very close and she loves my H very much, so this has been hard on her but she is so strong.

I am so lucky to have her and she has been an incredible support to me.

Thanks for checking on me.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675257 - 12/16/08 07:47 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
Beth..smart lady your mom retiring to the beach \:\) I'm with her with loving the beach weather

I'm glad she is so strong..I see where you get it from then and I'm glad she is there to support you \:\)

Tawnya
_________________________
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H:40
D18/S12
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Bomb 10/11/08
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#1675267 - 12/16/08 08:11 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Tawnya,

Thanks, it is nice to hear someone say they think I am strong. It is easy to doubt that about oneself going through these situations.

My mom and I were talking about the changes in my H since he left and now. I was telling her how he told me it was all me, that he left because of me and that he was unhappy with me. She told me it took a lot of strength to hear that and keep going.

I am not sure I agree it is strength. There are so many people here dealing with so much more than I and they show strength. I think I am just stubborn and determined.

Beth
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#1675311 - 12/16/08 09:16 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
Beth..that's exactly how I feel about myself too..LOL..but you have to have strength to go thru this stuff we have been thru and still be walking and breathing and occasionally smiling and helping other people..

I say we are like steel magnolias (from the other thread)..sweet and tough..we are definitely tougher than we think we are.

Hugs to you

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
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#1675501 - 12/17/08 04:18 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
smartcookie Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 2978
Bettou, if you're still wondering about pasting your other threads in your signature line, here's how to do it.

Control C on the thread

[url=] your title [/url]

You can use this:
http://tinyurl.com/
to get the url shorter.

Then, you can use this format:
[url=the url from tiny url$]the text you want to see[$/url]

Without the "$" signs, to print something useful, rather than the url itself!
_________________________
M 19 years, MC for 8 months, DB'd for 8 months
4 kids; 18, 15, 14, & 10
I was never meant to be a doormat. It took me years of therapy to become assertive enough to stop his abuse.

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#1675546 - 12/17/08 07:32 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, just checking in. Hope you are doing OK today. From what you said in your post:

Originally Posted By: Bettou

My mom and I were talking about the changes in my H since he left and now. I was telling her how he told me it was all me, that he left because of me and that he was unhappy with me. She told me it took a lot of strength to hear that and keep going.


Your H's last email shows a big change in his attitude about what caused his problems. Importantly he now sees it is not you...maybe a small turning point?

By the way...you are strong. To keep going in the face of what he was saying...you are a blessing in his life. He will see that one day.

My MIL and I are very close also. She will be here this weekend and through Christmas. I think all of us will feel better with her here.
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
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#1675603 - 12/17/08 09:24 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
JWM,

Thank you. It means a lot to me.

I do hope it is a small turning point with H. I hope that through friendship he will find his way back to me, slowly but surely.

For now, I just have to be a steadfast friend to him. I am realizing that may mean pushing him a little - not toward reconciliation - rather, just toward letting in a friend.

The depressed mind is a wonder. The more I read, the more I am learning they really need a gentle hand helping them to keep moving forward. Because we use the word "depressed" so loosely in the English language, we think we know what someone with clinical depression is feeling. From what I have read and learned, we have no idea. It is not just feeling sad and down. It is truly disordered thinking. Their reality is different. I am not saying they are suffering from a total break with reality. But they do not see a way out.

So the trick is not to push him too hard so that he will keep letting me in. Maybe that way, slowly, he'll want to get help for himself.

I am talking with my DB coach tonight and my IC on Friday so I should be as well prepared as possible.

Thanks for checking on me.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675604 - 12/17/08 09:26 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: smartcookie]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
SC,

Thanks! I am going to try it your way. I really suck at this computer stuff. It's embarrassing.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675778 - 12/17/08 12:53 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
Hey cool Beth you did it..now I'll have to give that a try to make my thread name smaller..it drives me bananas LOL \:D

Hope your day is good in the dreary rain AGAIN! I saw on the weather channel that it is possible that we are gonna have SNOW on Christmas? CRAZY...

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1675783 - 12/17/08 12:56 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
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Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Hi Beth!

I don't want to be arrogant, but I just can't resist: I'm going to have a 'told you so' moment. I think this was the last post I made to you... Then your husband sends the mail a couple of days later!

Originally Posted By: techguy
Hi Beth,

I guess you could say that things aren't working based on interaction frequency with your husband. But they aren't getting worse either.

If you weren't DBing, who knows how much worse things would have gotten by now?

And I'm just not sure that measuring progress based on interaction frequency or trying to analyse the tone of a few words in email is a good measure. The only 'true' measure is to know what is going on inside husband's head. That's something you just don't see.


We couldn't see into his head at the point... but he surely had some big thoughts about you going on, didn't he!

I'll post some more thoughts after lunch.
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1675809 - 12/17/08 01:25 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth,
Just dropping by to see how you're doing - and reading your stuff made me realize right away that I should direct my sister to your thread...She's going through something so very similar with her H - and just has no idea how to cope with his depression.

I'm so impressed with your attitude and your strength - one thing I read and see for myself on this board is that the people who succeed are the ones that have the strongest PMA throughout their ordeal - and by succeed - I don't just mean the people that reconcile - I also mean the people that find themselves and get stronger...

Given what you're doing for your H - how much you're learning about his condition - he is certainly blessed to have you in his life...working on friendship is a brilliant approach...

Hugs,
Carlos.
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1675852 - 12/17/08 02:26 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Techguy,

Glad you came by, thanks! I'll take the I told you so from you any day of the week.

You see, I was not kidding when I said you are my measure of reason. You always say something that pulls me out of emotional tailspin and reminds me to look at the bigger picture and to look at it in its entirety, not just through my own lenses.

Thank you.
Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675861 - 12/17/08 02:31 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Carlos,

Wow, thank you. I appreciate the kind words but am not sure I am the poster child for PMA.

As for learning about my H's condition and doing whatever I can, he is my family and my friend. I would never let someone I love flounder if there were anything I could do. I have said from the beginning of all of this that I will not walk away from him so long as I think he is unwell and that illness prevents him from getting better.

We may never reconcile, I hope very much that this is not true, but I will never walk away from him while he is unwell. I know in my heart he would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. That's just who he is.

And I do not think I am alone in this resolve. You have it, I have seen it in your posts. Everyone here, fighting for someone they love has it. We are all doing what we can.

Tell your sister to read as much as she can on depression in men. The symptoms are very different. There are lots of books on talking to people with depression that are also helpful.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675868 - 12/17/08 02:41 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Hi Beth,

I've been kind of busy last couple of days. I had a LASIK enhancement on my eye yesterday. I had LASIK done five years ago, but my prescription had 'drifted' so my vision had dropped to 20/30 now. You get a lifetime guarentee with LASIK, so they redid one of my eyes for free.

Nothing like having a laser blast your eye while you watch! (You have to watch, they clamp your eyelids open so you can't blink).

The best part is when you can smell your own eye burning while the laser is running! Smells just like burnt hair. Yummy!

Anyway, back to you...

So I think this is great. Not sure I have any super-profound advice. I think you just need to feel him out a bit. This is a real 'monitor and react' moment.

My only small thought would be to try and avoid dropping into the 'fixer' mode too quick. I would imagine that you might have a thousand ideas to suggest to him.

But I found with my wife that we had to go through a period of just getting used to being around each other. It really is awkward at first when you've been apart for a long time. And it will probably be more awkward for him, since he may have feelings of guilt, etc...

So I might suggest that your first couple of interactions be kept to nothing but 'togetherness'. And not too much talking in general. Perhaps a walk or bird watching etc... Just something fairly low key and mundane.
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1675874 - 12/17/08 02:48 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Techguy,

Eew. Sorry about the LASIK procedure. I am making a face just typing about it. I am one of those "knock-me-out" types for everything. Hope you are feeling okay.

I think you are absolutely right. My goal with this meeting will be, as you once said to me, just to get another one. I want to show him I am here for support. So, I agree it will be essential not to leap into fix-it-all-today mode. I will have to be vigilant about that.

From your post, it seems you think there may be a small turn of events here. I am afraid to think that. My self-protective instinct is to believe that he simply agreed to see me out of a sense of obligation.

My plan is to show up with binoculars in hand and say, "What can I do to be supportive? Your email showm me you have a lot to handle right now. We can walk in silence, you can talk and I can listen, I can ask questions, or I can babble about me. It's up to you." And then just do as he says or shows me.

What do you think?


Edited by Bettou (12/17/08 02:50 PM)
_________________________
VV:41

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#1675879 - 12/17/08 02:55 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
nw626 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 498
Techguy
The LASIK bit was nice....may be only guy can appreciate that.

Beth
I think you are on the right track...
Based on my pass experiences with my W and MIL (both with depression), depressed people hate being 'Fixed'...be really careful in this area. I've learned it the hard way.

You are doing good...keep up the good work.

NW626
_________________________
Me:33 STBXW:38 S:3
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you fight the fight....!!

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#1675935 - 12/17/08 04:04 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: nw626]
Tawnya Offline
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Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
Techguy..EEW..but glad you can see well now \:D

{{Beth}} You sound like you are going to take this slowly and carefully and sounds like you will follow his lead!! Good plan \:\)

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1675948 - 12/17/08 04:31 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
AnotherNightmare Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 278
Loc: PA
Beth,

I think your plan is good. Continue to let him think that he is in control. I said something to techguy that I will repeat here:

The grass has germinated. Now you need to carefully water it, but not too much, so it fouls.

I am not sure I will have the patience and strength to go through what you been through. This has been a long, long time to finally see the first little sign of change. I am very happy for you and cannot wait to hear how it will develop.

AN
_________________________
M43 W45, M17
S9 D6
Bomb: 11/11/08
EA: 10/26-12/31/08 ?
Retrouvaille: 2/13-2/15/09
Healed, but still heading for D
My situation

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#1675987 - 12/17/08 05:18 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: AnotherNightmare]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
AN,

Thank you so much. I am actually sitting here crying because I am afraid to think that something might have gotten a little bit better. Can you believe that? I am so scared all the time. I suppose this is normal.

You are right that I cannot foul the grass. I like that. Here is something I have said to others that bears repeating to myself:

When I run a 10K, often, when I have only 1.5 miles left to run, I am hit with the overwhelming urge to speed up to get the rest of it over with. By then it feels that the road has been long and I am ready to finish. But, I have learned the hard way, that if I break my pace and speed up, I will run out of energy and not be able to finish the last mile, which would be shameful since by then I have run about 5.5 miles. So, I stick to my pace and I finish. It is the only way.

So here, I have to stick to my pace and the techniques that have been working. Cannot change the strategy now, cannot speed up now, cannot even assume anything has changed, really.

Thank you for your kind words. They came at exactly the right moment.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676061 - 12/17/08 07:18 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
nw626 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 498
Beth
Don't worry about the crying. You are doing good. Your emotion is normal.
Instead of thinking 10K run, this is more like a marathon.
Like you said, pace yourself with no expectation and you will be just fine.
Good luck..

NW626
_________________________
Me:33 STBXW:38 S:3
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you fight the fight....!!

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#1676082 - 12/17/08 08:06 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: nw626]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
NW626,

Thank you for saying that. I am feeling better now. I have spoken with my DB coach and feel confident about my next steps.

How are you doing?
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676108 - 12/17/08 08:43 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
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Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, I had a crying jag late last night. I ended up praying and actually think I got a bit of assistance. An old friend and mentor called today. He is an old friend but also a business partner. We only talk once or twice a year and I had not thought to call him. He has gone through bad times with his ex-wife...adultery and divorce. He came through that experience and became very spiritual person. He invited me to a men's weekend retreat and I told him about my sitch.

What a great help he was to me today and will be as I go through this.

I'll post some of what he said on my thread. He did give me hope...

I wanted to say to you also...I realize now that when I feel the worst...I'm crying and having a bad time...I always think that in a few minutes the bad time will end and I will have let go a little of that particular hurt. I always feel better afterward. If we allow ourselves to feel the emotion, and get through it, it makes us stronger. You are getting stronger and your sadness seems better that last week and the week before...right?


Edited by JWM (12/17/08 08:48 PM)
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
Second
Third
last

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#1676110 - 12/17/08 08:56 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
JWM,

Yes, I am better. Thank you. You are always very thoughtful and I really appreciate that.

I look forward to reading what you post on your thread. I like what you said about letting go of "that particular hurt." It is a really positive way to look at it. I'll be thinking of that in the future.

I am glad you reconnected with your friend. I hope that he will be a good support for you.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676113 - 12/17/08 08:59 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
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Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{Beth}} Glad your DB coach session went well and are the steps what you had said..you said you felt confident about the next steps, are they the ones you had mentioned above about meeting up, gently pushing, and just following his lead?

Glad you are doing better my friend \:\)

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1676132 - 12/17/08 09:17 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Tawnya,

Yes, those are the steps. She gave me a lot of advice about how to be a "non-anxious" presence in the face of his depression and angst.

One of the things H liked about me when we were first dating was that I could, in his words, handle his intensity. That's really all this is now, more intensity. Of course it is more serious, but I still just have to be that person who can handle him and his moods. Calm, quiet strength, no matter what he throws at me.

She pointed out that depressed people need routine so my idea of regular emails to ask for walks is a good idea.

I am ready for whatever he's got. Most important for me will be to stifle the urge to fix things for him (as Techguy wisely reminded me) and to keep myself quiet to give him the opportunity to talk.

Thanks for cheking in and asking.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676186 - 12/17/08 10:44 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By: Bettou
From your post, it seems you think there may be a small turn of events here. I am afraid to think that. My self-protective instinct is to believe that he simply agreed to see me out of a sense of obligation.

What do you think?


Well, truthfully, I think this is a huge turn for the better.

He wouldn't have shared his weaknesses if it was just a sense of obligation to spend time with you.

The ability to share deep feelings, especially weaknesses, is a key part of what Retrouvaille trys to encourage. Your husband just did it on his own. That's a big deal.

But if I say that you will either get your hopes up too high or you will be gripped with paralyzing fear that you are going to screw it up.

So... I officially think that this is only one small step.
_________________________
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Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1676294 - 12/18/08 03:49 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth,
I would be in tears too if I sensed a turn in my W...how could you not?

It sounds like you have a very healthy approach in mind - and I think it's wonderful that you remember his attraction to your calm - it says a lot about what he needs - and what you offer. Reading that reminded me of something my wife used to tell people about me - that she was attracted to me because I would always react to confrontation with a lot of calmness...of course, she doesn't see that in me anymore...but I know it's still in me...I've been experiencing that calm a lot lately...

But back to you - not fixing is important...so too is not trying to correct anything he might say that doesn't jive with your sense of reality...since I imagine that anything he would identify as painful is very real to him...will you be taking your camera with you too?

Hugs,
Carlos
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1676319 - 12/18/08 06:27 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
whateverittakes Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Beth - just stopping by to let you know you're in my thoughts. I don't have much mental focus right now (partly because of these meds) so am not following people's threads closely.... but I do know that your sitch is developing positively. My positive thoughts are with you.

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#1676522 - 12/18/08 11:29 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Techguy - You already know me so well. I chuckled at your closing. But in all seriousness, you are correct. I need to not get my hopes too high and not be paralyzed by fear of screwing it up either.

Thanks for giving me your insight from Retrouvaille. That helps a lot and it is very meaningful.

Carlos - thanks, no, I will not take my camera. It does not sound like we will have too much time and I think the bird watching will be enough. I am glad to be reminded about accepting his reality. I definitely have to table by desires and not let them lead me.

WIT - thanks for your kind words. I know you are having a rough time right now. Just keep doing what you have been doing.

Update:

I was surprised to receive an email from H this morning telling me he is swamped but that he "wants to do his best to see me this weekend" and offering to meet for coffee instead of gardening.

First, I was certain he would not contact me and that I would have to nudge him into meeting me.

Second, I cannot explain it, I just sense a shift in him. Cannot say more than that, it's just a feeling.

I countered his email with a proposal of coffee and a walk. He agreed.

I wish I could put my finger on what it is but something is different. Guess I'll know more after Saturday.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676529 - 12/18/08 11:43 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Nasmat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Georgia
Hey, Beth! Just wanted to stop by and say that I am thinking of you and praying for you still.

I will pray for the best for you this weekend, and I hope you enjoy your time no matter what.

*hugs*

You're a strong, kick-butt woman, Ms. Sydney. ;\)

~Nas
_________________________
"Don't dream it. Be it."

First
Second

Me: 26
WAH: 27
T/M: 11/4

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#1676537 - 12/18/08 11:47 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
nw626 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 498
Beth
That's great....he could have just flat out cancel the whole thing.
Instead he still want to meet with you. That's wonderful.
I don't want to get you too excited.
Funny, I am actually excited for you....strange.
Remember there are still plenty ups and down for you.
Please be prepared.....

Enjoy the meeting....be the best friend that he always has.

You are doing great.
NW626
_________________________
Me:33 STBXW:38 S:3
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you fight the fight....!!

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#1676545 - 12/18/08 11:59 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: nw626]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
...and...no expectations...try to keep them under control as best you can - since expectations can really get in the way right now - especially with small signs of change. Just as we can read too much into the negatives, sometimes our hopes can make too much of the positives - not that this doesn't seem positive - but it's just best to be cautious...I say this only because a couple months ago I hit a point where I thought my W was warming up - accepting favors from me, talking with me, even being friendly - only to have it culminate in her telling me that she was going to move out - and that she didn't even like me anymore...

NOT to say that your H is headed in that direction - and I think it's a good thing to trust your gut on this one (since your gut feelings have been pretty impressive in reading your sitch) - but I just wanted to offer that experience as a caveat - since you have to be prepared (in a way I was not) for anything he might say - since if he's feeling comfortable and close, it could also bring out some stuff that's hard to hear. My mistake was to listen and feel wounded by the stuff she said...only now can I look back and realize that she was able to say some of the things she said because she was feeling safer with me...I thought I understood that at the time...but I did not get it as I do now...

-Carlos.
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1676574 - 12/18/08 12:45 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{Beth}} Very cool that he contacted you first, a good babystep in the right direction, and that he still wanted to get together, another good babystep!

I hope you have a good weekend no matter what happens my friend!

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1676648 - 12/18/08 02:07 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
ff468 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/18/08
Posts: 100
Loc: utah
Beth
This is awesome that H is wanting to hang out with you. I am so happy for you and can't wait to hear how it goes. Remember, strong, confident and positive.:)
B

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#1676670 - 12/18/08 02:22 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: ff468]
lovehimso Offline
Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 238
Hi Beth,

I haven't checked in with you much lately, but not because I haven't been thinking about you. I have been trying to keep up with your sitch, and I am so happy for you that things with your H seem to be moving in a positive direction.

I think your plan sounds like a good one, and I think you have a great mindset about it.

Is your mom still with you? If she is, I hope you two are having a great time together.

Are you ready for the holidays? I am so stressed right now because I haven't really done much of anything to prepare. I'm just not "feeling" it this year, but this is just one of many things I have to learn to do, even if I don't "feel" like it. I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting lately on the person I have become, and I'm really trying to get out of my "comfort zone" (which had me trapped in a life and personality that I didn't like), but it's only made things that much harder for me this holiday season. I hope you are holding up well.

I'll "see" you around, okay?
_________________________
Me: 38
H: 41
M: 12
D12, S10
H began EA: 7/08
H moved out: 9/30/08
Bomb (sleeping with OW): 10/23/08

My story:
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1638048&page=2#Post1638048

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#1676714 - 12/18/08 03:07 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: lovehimso]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
NW626, Nasmat, Tawnya, Byron and LHS - thank you all for checking in with me so often when you all have things to deal with, too. I truly appreciate your support and kindness.

Carlos - great advice, thank you for that. What you said about being prepared to hear painful things because H feels I provide safety echoes what my DB coach said. She said it was clear from H's email that he feels safe with me. Thank you for trying to help me benefit from your own experience.

I have been thinking a lot today about tempering my expectations and hopes. I am still very concerned/fearful that H will never want to come back to me. Rather than wallow in that fear, I try to use it to temper any over excitement that is creeping in because of this small change in H's attitude and openness. I keep reminding myself that what he said in that email, while very expressive, shows what a dark place he is in. If he feels I am safe and he opens up, who knows what will pour out. My mantra is: maintain a non-anxious presence in the face of his angst.

I am also trying to prepare myself to not react to his physical appearance. It was already pretty bad when I saw him one month ago, so it may be even worse now.

I am also reminding myself frequently of my running analogy because I feel myself wanting this to speed up and end. It is not going to happen at any pace other than his. Only he can solve his problem, only he can decide he needs help and/or treatment and only he can decide if he wants to reconcile. All I can do is be a good friend, offer kindess and support. I can also hope that those attributes might be attractive to him.

I left work early today and will be going for a nice long run this afternoon. Man do I need to burn off some of the emotions inside of me.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676752 - 12/18/08 03:54 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
whateverittakes Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Beth - I'm so happy for you. My only observation is to "stay with yourself" during your visit with your h. You are doing such an amazing job of rediscovering the wonderful person you are... hang on to that.

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#1676787 - 12/18/08 04:50 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: whateverittakes]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
WIT - good advice. That might be the place from which I will draw the strength I need for the visit. I think this is where being more detached than I am would be helpful.

As any couple does, H and I can feel each other's moods and we feed off of them. The more detached I am, the calmer I can remain no matter how he is feeling. Since I have not been the best detacher, my calm will have to come from strength. "Staying with myself" as you so nicely put it just might give me some of that strength.

Thank you for hanging in there with me when you are having such a tough go of it.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1676802 - 12/18/08 05:15 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
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Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
I like the way WIT put that about "staying with yourself" and I guess I'd add "staying in the moment" and you are definitely a STRONG one!

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1676824 - 12/18/08 05:31 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
techguy Offline
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Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
WIT, Tawnya and Beth... you are turning this thread into an Eastern Philosophy seminar. Buddhist slogans aplenty! I love it!
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1676825 - 12/18/08 05:31 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
techguy Offline
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Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Accidental Double Post. Arg...


Edited by techguy (12/18/08 05:32 PM)
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1676890 - 12/18/08 07:27 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
Tawnya Offline
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Registered: 10/13/08
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Tech..and I had no idea..LOL..

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1677008 - 12/19/08 12:08 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
techguy Offline
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Registered: 10/02/08
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Loc: Midwest
That's OK. You're probably reincarnated. Some buddhist from a prior life was 'channelling' those sayings through you! ;\)
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1677041 - 12/19/08 12:53 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
techguy Offline
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Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Hi Beth,

OK... so one last post before I hit the sack.

I was actually thinking of this relative to my own sitch, but it really applies to your situation as well. So I thought I would post it over here.

My thought was that our WAS's mind is <always> at work:

Sometimes they see us LBS'es. They note our changes and that is a good thing.
But sometimes they <don't> see us LBS'es. But even then, this is still useful. It's these very times where your husband finally clearly see's that his issues are truely his.

So the message is that there is opporitunity for progress in the R 24-hours a day! It's so easy to think that there can only be progress in those occasions where WAS is interacting with us. The truth is soooo much better!
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1677084 - 12/19/08 03:23 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
smartcookie Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 2978
Hey, I agree with TechGuy. I remember when H & I would go out together. We weren't at the touching point. It was so weird & awkward. I felt like I was with some stranger, he was acting so gentlemanly. It took a long time for us to get comfortable probably for the first time ever.

p.s. Ewww on the lasik smells. I sure don't remember smelling burning. Thank goodness. That would have put me out for sure. I had it 10 years ago. Best money I ever spent. Went from 20/800 to 20/25 in 6 hours.


Edited by smartcookie (12/19/08 03:24 AM)
_________________________
M 19 years, MC for 8 months, DB'd for 8 months
4 kids; 18, 15, 14, & 10
I was never meant to be a doormat. It took me years of therapy to become assertive enough to stop his abuse.

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#1677107 - 12/19/08 07:21 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: smartcookie]
whateverittakes Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Beth,

I'll be thinking of you over the weekend and sending positive energy to you.

A few years ago I began reading Buddhist texts. Michele's notion of a "beginner's mind" is borrowed from buddhism, along with the practice of "staying in the moment". I have not fully embraced buddhism in my life, partly because it is anti-gay (I am a human rights activist), however, many of the teachings are useful as a basis for daily practices.

Would you consider a brief period of "sitting" - which is meditation - before meeting with your h? There is nothing special that one has to do. It can be something as simple as focussing on your breathing, then visualizing yourself in the encounter, perhaps seeing you and your husband surrounded by healing light. It facilitates the "discipline" of being in the moment, which is the only way to truly fully live. The past can only be learned from and the future is to be discovered.

These were some of the practices that allowed me to heal from abuse. Over the past few days I've turned to them again to deal with what has been going on.

I look forward to reading whatever you wish to share following your meeting with h.

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#1677174 - 12/19/08 09:27 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
AnotherNightmare Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 278
Loc: PA
Wow, Beth, you are making giant steps foward. Every time I cannot follow your thread for a day or so, it seems like you have traveled half way to the moon. I feel so happy and excited for you. Now you just have to believe in yourself and that all the work you have done will pay off. Easier said than done? I trust you can do it!

AN
_________________________
M43 W45, M17
S9 D6
Bomb: 11/11/08
EA: 10/26-12/31/08 ?
Retrouvaille: 2/13-2/15/09
Healed, but still heading for D
My situation

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#1677420 - 12/19/08 03:14 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: AnotherNightmare]
JWM Offline
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Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, I've been out of touch for a bit. How are things going?
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
Second
Third
last

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#1677436 - 12/19/08 03:31 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Tawnya, Techguy, Smartcookie, Whateverittakes, Another Nightmare and JWM -

Thank you all for checking in with me. I am having a hard time controlling my own anxiety and desires today as my visit with H is looming.

I know four months is not long for a lot of folks around here, but it has felt like ages to me. I KNOW that I am not getting H to come home tomorrow. But what the brain knows and what the heart wants are two very different things.

I am feeling like I cannot do this thing tomorrow. I just want to throw my arms around him and tell him it's enough now. I know I cannot but I am truly emotionally overwhelmed right now.

I will pull it together in time but I just feel very overemotional and I cannot get it out. I am venting here because I cannot leave work to run.

On the one hand, I feel like he has made a step towards me but on the other, I am afraid nothing really has changed and he will shut me out again tomorrow. Just because he realized his source of unhappiness does not mean he will want me back. I am not sure where to find the strength to keep going. But what choice is there. The two alternatives are live my life and follow his time line or move on without him. I do not want either.

I am whining and I know it, I am just feeling weak and overwhelmed. It is so hard to be calm when the person you love tells you he no longer wants to be with you, he is miserable and you are not allowed to tell him how to fix it, he is not wearing the wedding ring and I have to pretend like that does not affect me. I am scared to think that there has been any change for the better but want so desperately for that to be true.

And I am so scared to see his physical appearance. On top of all of that, I have to remember the DB principles and not mess those up. According to my coach and my IC, all of that goes out the window if I think he might be suicidal. I am scared to have that much responsibility all on me. How do I know for sure whether he is or isn't suicidal? I mean, I know the questions to ask but I am no professional. What if I ask him, he is not and he shuts me out again?

Sorry, just a lot of fear and trepidation and I had to get it out.

It kills me to feel this way. This man is the person with whom I have been the most comfortable and felt the most safe and now, I am scared to see him. I just do not know what to do with that.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677445 - 12/19/08 03:44 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
whateverittakes Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
You're in a tough spot that is filled with hope.

It may not be the time to ask questions that you don't think he wants to or can answer. Can you try to focus on what creates safety for him based on acceptance of the fact that he is still in a fog, he probably doesn't know the questions he needs to address let alone the answers. Mirroring, validation and acceptance may be what he needs.

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#1677454 - 12/19/08 03:48 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: whateverittakes]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
WIT

Thank you. I am reminding myself as I type this my only goal tomorrow is to offer support on HIS terms, not mine and make the experience one he would like to repeat.

A friend does not show up to support a friend with an agenda. If I keep it simple and forget about my desires, the fear falls away. The fear is all tied to my not getting what I want. Tomorrow is not about getting what I want. Got to keep the end game in mind.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677494 - 12/19/08 04:22 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
lovehimso Offline
Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 238
Hi Beth,

Just doing a fly-by check in here. I know you're feeling anxious about your meeting with your H. I can imagine how you must feel (well, of course I can, you told us!). It may be hard to believe, but I have moments like that with my H, and I see him all the time, as you know.

I think you're on the right track with keeping it about HIM. What he is going through right now is HIS, not yours. I know how hard it is to watch someone you love self-destruct. You just want to make things okay.

I see a lot of "projecting" in your post. I recognize it because I do it all the time! "what ifs" run through my head constantly, and I create more stress and worry for myself than is necessary. I think it is very positive that your H wants to meet with you, so don't put a negative spin on it just yet. You don't know what is going to happen. Take a couple of deep breaths, remember how well you did the last time you met, and be confident. I know you can do this!

Gotta run, but I'll certainly be checking in with you this weekend to see how it goes!

((((Beth))))

LHS
_________________________
Me: 38
H: 41
M: 12
D12, S10
H began EA: 7/08
H moved out: 9/30/08
Bomb (sleeping with OW): 10/23/08

My story:
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1638048&page=2#Post1638048

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#1677502 - 12/19/08 04:35 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
nw626 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 498
Beth
Sorry you feel little down today.
I know it is an uneasy feeling because of all the unknown.
make the experience one he would like to repeat.
You are on the right track. The meeting is for his support.
Going in with an open mind and just be there for him.
Just go with the flow, let him set the tone and I know you will be just fine.
You are a strong woman. Let him feed off from your positive energy.
Let go the fear, welcome the unexpected (good or bad). I know you can handle them.

Small realistic goals, small baby steps = successful DBing.

NW626
_________________________
Me:33 STBXW:38 S:3
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you fight the fight....!!

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#1677540 - 12/19/08 05:16 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: nw626]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
LHS and NW626,

Thank you both for the support. I have got to stop wanting it all to end tomorrow. It will not. That is where I go astray.

You are both right, tomorrow is about supporting him. Receiving support when we are down feels good. We want more of what feels good. No pushing my agenda. No agenda.

When I am honest, I can see that all the fear and crying comes from my wanting him to want to come home and desperately trying to figure out how to make that happen tomorrow. It will not happen tomorrow.

The best I can do tomorrow is make him want to see me again.

It is so incredibly hard to slow myself down.

Thank you for trying to help me.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677643 - 12/19/08 09:20 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, as we all tell each other...stay in the present. All you need to do is validate and take things slow.

Also no matter what happens...it will be ok. Life will go on. It is just one meeting, one day in both your lives, and you will see him again.

Have faith in yourself. You did not cause his problem and he has already said he realizes that.

...and the moment you get back...let us know how it goes. \:\)

All of our thoughts and prayers will be with you.
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
Second
Third
last

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#1677647 - 12/19/08 09:29 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
John,

Thank you so much for that. What you have said brings me a lot of comfort. I will particularly remember that I will indeed see him again.

Thoughtful as always, thanks.
Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677674 - 12/19/08 10:53 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{{Beth}}} My dear friend..of course we are "instant mashed potatoes" women and our time in this "race" definitely feels like forever doesn't it?? I totally know that this step SHOULD feel like a monster step, but you need to see it as a baby step only, no more, no less..which you KNOW..but knowing and feeling are 2 totally different things aren't they??

I will try to check on you tomorrow and see how it goes..my advice is to just BREATHE...and breathe some more..talk yourself thru the "what ifs"..and YOU will come thru with shining colors my friend!

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1677677 - 12/19/08 11:12 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Sam1007 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/08
Posts: 537
Originally Posted By: Bettou
When I am honest, I can see that all the fear and crying comes from my wanting him to want to come home and desperately trying to figure out how to make that happen tomorrow. It will not happen tomorrow.

The best I can do tomorrow is make him want to see me again.


Started checking out your thread! \:\)
Keep your thoughts above! Those are what will keep your expectations in check and make the most of the meeting! If you make him feel like he can emotionally connect to you and just be himself (even in his current state you let him be himself around you), then he WILL want to see you again because you are providing him with a safe environment where he can express himself. And I think that is what most WAS's miss.

You'll do great!
_________________________
Me:37/W:38
T11/M8
S12 S4 S4
Bomb 10/07
Sep 7/08-

1st Thread
2nd Thread
Current Thread

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#1677684 - 12/19/08 11:25 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Hey Beth,

What else are you doing tommorrow? Especially after your meeting with husband.

If I know you, you will not have anything planned. You'll end up at home afterward all alone. No matter how well it goes, you will over analyse it to death and end up crying.

Can you do me a favor and plan something? Anything?

You have so much to be thankfull for. And there will be more to be thankful for after your meeting with H. I guarantee it. Plan something to maintain PMA and not diminish tommorrow's small victory!

I'll be checking on you tommorrow and I'll have to be cross with you if you end up at home alone! COG isn't around, so I have to do his job in his absence.
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1677779 - 12/20/08 08:33 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
ff468 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/18/08
Posts: 100
Loc: utah
Beth
Good luck today. I am excited for you. No matter what have fun then go do something for Beth after. If that means you need to run and run and run do it.
Wishing for the best today.
B

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#1677882 - 12/20/08 01:08 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: ff468]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth:
Thinking of you today - and hoping that you find your way through the questions in you.
Hugs,
Carlos
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1677887 - 12/20/08 01:19 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: ff468]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
I am back and I am overwhelmed. I have not had any time to process so this may be fairly "stream of consciousness" writing.

WOW! I just took off my wedding rings and this is a really good thing.

Here is what happened:

After about 20 minutes of talking about work, I asked H how he is doing, saying that he did not sound very well in his email. He said he is struggling to find himself and his identity. He likened himself to the character in Steppenwolf who vascillates between wanting to be alone and wanting human connection. He said he likes his solitude right now, alot. He said he does not know how to ask a significant other to accept him for who he is, as someone who swings back and forth like a pendulum needing connection and independence.

I listened and then talked about me and what I have learned about myself in the last four nmonths. I talked about how I have learned that I like being independent and self-sufficient. That I recognize and embrace that it is my responsibility to make myself happy. That all a person "needs" is air, food and water and everything beond that is a want. I told him that there is nothing wrong with being who he is. I told him he should just ask a significant other to accept that and give her the choice.

He then started a R conversation saying he does not think he is a "marriage" kind of guy.

I asked him if I could talk about some of the issues he raised. I said that I think his pendulum swinging was to be expected and that he is probably just trying to find equilibrium. I told I think that my overwhelming neediness in the last few years contributed significantly to his current swing towards solitude. It prevented him from feeling any independence at all. I think that his extreme need seems like a bit of a rubberband-like snapping in the opposite direction and that once he has some time to relax (work is insane) he'll settle in the middle between complete isolation and needing to connect. He agreed.

I then broke almost every DB rule in the book on gut instinct. I told him that he is someone I want to have in my life. He is still my best friend and the most interesting and intriguing person I know. I told him that I have come to realize that I accept him for who he is and would like to have him in my life as he is.

I then said I think where we went wrong was in living life under lables. Acting like the traditional "husband" and "wife" and that that, more than any one thing, got us into trouble. I reminded him that when we were first dating and things started to get serious, he said, "let's not call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend." When I asked him why he said that because if we did that, we would let the traditional definition of those labels define us, rather than letting ourselves define the roles. I agreed with him all those years ago and we never looked back. Things were great, we fell in love, we were monogomous. He just does not like to be labeled.

He agreed with my assessment. He then said I seemed very open to things. He asked what I had done to get here. I said that among other things like lots of reading and social activities, I had healed. He seemed to like that.

He said that he still has feelings for me, that he cares for me a lot. He said that I am still for him, man or woman, one of the most amazing people he knows. He asked me if I would be so calm "if he put us through a formal divorce."

I said I will be sad, but less sad if we are still in some sort of relationship. I said I would like to explore what we feel for each other without labels or expectations. I said maybe we will end up in a better relationship than we ever had if we just stop living life as labels. He said he agreed and that he certainly could not say that would not happen. He also agreed to spend time together to explore our feelings. Then he said he was not sure that would include intimacy because he has no desire for intimacy, from me or anyone else.

I said that is exactly the kind of hnoest I am talking about. He tells me how he feels and I can decide how I want to react. I told him I have no problem with his lack of desire for intimacy.

I said that certain things about me would not change, that I was not someone who could be in an intimate relationship with a person who was intimate with another. But where I had changed was in my crushing need for him to assure me right this moment that he would not ever meet someone else. I no longer need him to promise me he will never want to be with someone else.

He said that he does not think he is the sort of person who could be intimate with more than one person either and thinks it is wrong to try. He said it is just a matter of honesty. I said that is all I am talking about. Be honest with each other so the other can decide what he/she wants to do.

I wish I could remeber how it all went and everything that was said but here is the rest as best as I can remember:

When he was talking about his feelings for me and I for him, I said I was sick of being afraid to hug him when I wanted or kiss him when I wanted. He said his concern about kissing was that it would lead back to labels. I said not if we are of the same mind that a hug or a kiss is just something one person feels like doing at the moment. I also said I respected his feelings but that since I had no intimacy issues, if he ever feels like kissing me, he can. He chuckled.

I said I could see us getting a divorce and then getting a cake to celebrate the death of the labels and the beginnignof the best relationship we ever had. He agreed saying that was "so us."

More DB rulebreaking: I asked him to see a movie with me Christmas day and he said that sounded like fun.

As it was time to leave, he wanted to play me his latest song. As we walked to our cars, I said I had an idea but he was free to tell me it was too much too soon. I asked him to join me in Tango lessons. He said he would like to do that. We will start taking them after New Years.

So we sat in his car listening to his song. It was beautiful and I told him so. He got out of the car to hug me. It was a tight, close great hug and I said how good it felt. Then as I was pulling away from him, he kissed me on the mouth. It was just a peck, but it was the best peck ever.

This is easily the longest post of my tenure. I am sorry for that. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me. As always, they will be very much appreciated.

I have no idea where we go from here, but I am feeling good.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677904 - 12/20/08 01:58 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
Wow {{{Beth}}} It sounds like an incredible day and to just keep taking it one day at a time..it sounded like you did a good job of helping him to be open and honest and you were also..

That is a great convo that I pray someday I will have one as open, unemotional (not that you were unemotional, but not over emotional as I can tend to be LOL), and good with my hub!

I'm glad you posted and glad it went well!

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1677909 - 12/20/08 02:15 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Tawnya,

Thank you so much for plodding through that very very long post. And thank you for being so supportive.

I am still letting the events sink in and trying to process everything. More thoughts come to me as this happens and I will post them as they come.

After today's conversation it seems to me that H is really having a mid-life identity crisis. He is really struggling to find what makes him happy and whole. I think that is causing some depression but he looked pretty good today. Still very thin but not as bad as I had feared.

I also think he is understandbly skeptical of the "new" me. He is curious about the source of the changes. I know he must have as much to think about as I have.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677935 - 12/20/08 03:35 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
lovehimso Offline
Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 238
Wow Beth! I would be overwhelmed, too! After going SO long with no contact, you finally get an honest, revealing, and what I think was a productive interaction with your H. I'm so glad that it went well, and that you feel good about it!

Quote:
I then broke almost every DB rule in the book on gut instinct. I told him that he is someone I want to have in my life. He is still my best friend and the most interesting and intriguing person I know. I told him that I have come to realize that I accept him for who he is and would like to have him in my life as he is.
It's hard when those instincts kick in, huh? I don't know that you broke the "rules" so much, Beth. I am still quite the "newbie" at this myself, and not a very successful one so far, so maybe a veteran will disagree with me. But I don't see what you said as "pleading" or "begging". I guess it could be construed as "persuing", since from what I can gather, ANY comments about how you feel about your spouse, or your R, can be construed that way. I guess it's all in how the S perceives it. You were just stating how you felt, plain and simple. And as long as you don't do it over and over and over again, to the point where it becomes annoying to your H, I think it is okay to let him know how you feel right now, especially since so much time has passed and you haven't communicated. At least he knows where you stand, and I don't see anything wrong with that. He's free to do with that information what he wants. I didn't see any "pressure" in your comments.

Quote:
He agreed with my assessment. He then said I seemed very open to things. He asked what I had done to get here.
Wow! Seems like he's seeing you in a "new light", and asked you to open up to him about your "journey"! I see this as a very good sign!


Quote:
I said I could see us getting a divorce and then getting a cake to celebrate the death of the labels and the beginnignof the best relationship we ever had. He agreed saying that was "so us."
I find this so brave! I don't know that I could be strong enough to do this! If this is how you truly feel (and I'm guessing it is, because you took your wedding rings off today), then I say, if a D is what you guys need to restore and reestablish your R, and you're both comfortable with it, maybe that's what you need to do! I hate to say that, because a D is what we are all trying to avoid, but really, isn't what we're really all looking for is a solid, strong R? I personally need the "label", but that's just me. It isn't the "traditional" route, but hey, whatever gets the job done, right? \:\)


Quote:
More DB rulebreaking: I asked him to see a movie with me Christmas day and he said that sounded like fun.

Well, he responded positively, so I would just keep that "date" light and fun! No pressure, just two people hanging out together.

Quote:
As we walked to our cars, I said I had an idea but he was free to tell me it was too much too soon. I asked him to join me in Tango lessons. He said he would like to do that. We will start taking them after New Years.
Again, another positive response. If it were me, however, I would do the movie thing, do the dancing lesson thing, and then let him make the next move. Stand back and see if HE startes to pursue YOU. If your dance lessons are weekly, he'll have plenty of opportuniy. I would still play it a little "mysterious"; after the lessons, I would just say "goodbye" and not linger. Again, I'm not great at taking my own advice, and I'm just sort of spitting out what I have heard the guys here say about how to get a man to "notice" you. So, any guys/DB veterans out there, please correct me if I'm giving Beth bad advice!

Quote:
He got out of the car to hug me. It was a tight, close great hug and I said how good it felt. Then as I was pulling away from him, he kissed me on the mouth. It was just a peck, but it was the best peck ever.
How wonderful that must have felt! You told him you would be open to this kind of affection and he responded. Yay!

Quote:
I have no idea where we go from here, but I am feeling good.
I don't think you can know, but someone here on the board always says, "slow and steady". Don't get too excited and start trying to make more and more "dates", since he seems interested right now. You don't want to make him get "cold feet". Follow through with the plans you've already made, try to keep your next meetings light and fun, and watch and see.

I think you are doing SO GREAT Beth! You should feel good! Take some time and let this all sink in. Reflect on it. You have the time, which is nice. As you know, my H is around all the time, and sometimes I feel like I am on a train with no brakes. I don't really have time for my emotions to settle after an interaction with him, and that just sets me up for failure in our next one. You've got a great situation set up right now. You'll see him next week for a movie, then weekly, I assume, after the New Year for dance lessons. Often enough for him to see and feel the changes in you, but far enough apart for some "thinking" time, for both of you. Ideal, I think!

I'm so glad you updated us Beth! Keep letting us know how things are going. Even if I don't post a lot, I always keep up with your sitch.

Have a great "rest" of the weekend!
LHS
_________________________
Me: 38
H: 41
M: 12
D12, S10
H began EA: 7/08
H moved out: 9/30/08
Bomb (sleeping with OW): 10/23/08

My story:
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1638048&page=2#Post1638048

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#1677941 - 12/20/08 03:46 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: lovehimso]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
LHS,

Thank you so much for such a thoughtful response. You have so much going on and yet took all that time to write to me.

One of the things that has made me feel good is that unnameable (not sure that is a word)feeling. When H started the R talk and as the rest of our time together progressed I felt connected to him again.

He even said he feels like we "got past something" today. I know what he meant though it would be difficult to describe here.

I think it was important for him to feel accepted by me as he is. He told me that he likes living alone right now, that he likes his life that way. I told him that I understand and accept that. I could feel his relief.

And I meant what I told him. If he needs us to get a divorce to move forward together, I am fine with that. But all of that is way down the road.

It is as important as ever for me to stay in the present and keep focused on living the best life I can live.

Of course I am still scared, it is not as though I now think the problems are all over. We have taken another step in a direction I like but there is much more to be done.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677945 - 12/20/08 03:51 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: lovehimso]
nw626 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/08
Posts: 498
Beth
Wow wow and wow.....
I think your meeting went really well and you handled it wonderfully.
I am so happy for you. This is such a big step for both of you.
Take your time to process things but please do not over analyze them. Just take it slow and steady, you will be just fine.
Keep this in mind, even he sounds pretty upbeat about the Christmas movie and tango dance. He could still turn you down when time comes, but it is OK because he is still confused and you just don't know how he feels later on. Just prepare of that...

You are doing so great....our new DB poster girl...

Keep up the good work.

NW626
_________________________
Me:33 STBXW:38 S:3
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you fight the fight....!!

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#1677949 - 12/20/08 03:58 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: nw626]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
NW626,

Thank you so much. I don't know about DB poster girl. There were moments where I felt pretty sure I was blowing all the DB rules but I was sticking with my gut. My gut has not led me astray yet so I trust it.

You are right to remind me he could retreat some. But I will say his response to the movie invitation and the dancing was very different from his responses in the past few months. His responses were more relaxed today.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677986 - 12/20/08 05:47 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth:
So many positives - and not just in terms of your interaction with your H - but in terms of you and where you're finding yourself.

Taking off your rings after meeting with him today must have felt both cathartic and difficult - but I can see why you did - since it's very clear from what he said that what he's going through really does seem to be an MLC. A lot of your conversation seemed to be about defining things and not defining things...and not fulling under certain definitions - all questions that, when in crises mode, must seem all that more confusing and pressing.

He clearly has a lot of feelings for you - and something about his words as you conveyed them also suggested to me that maybe he feels unworthy of you. Letting him know that you love him for who he is was probably very important to him.

Having the movie and the dancing to look forward to sounds so very positive...and it will give you the chance to be there for him/with him without any expectations...and it seems like offering him you without expectations could be great for both of you.

I wouldn't make too much of his bringing up divorce - as I've noticed that sometimes, when the WAS speaks in front of the LBS, a lot of what they say is liking thinking out loud - and we're just there to hear it...not necessarily to respond...oh...that reminds me of something I heard the other night - it doesn't directly relate to anything you've written about your sitch - but I think it relates to relationships in a more general way - it was: whenever we act defensive the other person feels unheard.

I guess I'm just mentioning that here because sometimes the partner going through an MLC can start making statements that just aren't very true or accurate to what we perceive - and the trick seems to be not to defend ourselves...since we want our partners to feel heard.

I'm happy for you, Beth. You are moving in the right direction.

-Carlos.
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1677988 - 12/20/08 05:58 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Carlos,

Thank you so much for your kind words and your insight. One thing he said that bothered me was that he likes living alone. But, just like you said with the divorce, I can see that as an MLC/WAS outloud thought. I simply responded that I can understand why he might like that and that it is fine with me.

I am feeling bad that so many of my friends here are hoping for any positive sign. I hope for the best outcome for all of us. I will say that today's events, whatever they mean, certainly show that anything can happen to any one of us at any time.

Just a little over one week ago I was wondering how to keep going with this and now I have some new positive steps.

I need to write down your words: whenever we act defensive, the other person feels unheard. Looking back this has been key in my and H's interactions.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1677991 - 12/20/08 06:11 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, great, great, news. Don't over analyze this. Stay with the moment. I'm happy for you.
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
Second
Third
last

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#1677993 - 12/20/08 06:14 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
Hi Beth:
I wish this site had more of an interactive function to it - as sometimes these conversations seems so truncated...

You won't always find the positives if you look for them in the words - sometimes the positives are more in the actions - like the kiss, the music, the listening.

I didn't mention it specifically before, but this really jumped out at me:

"He likened himself to the character in Steppenwolf who vacillates between wanting to be alone and wanting human connection. He said he likes his solitude right now, alot. He said he does not know how to ask a significant other to accept him for who he is, as someone who swings back and forth like a pendulum needing connection and independence."

Isn't it normal to fluctuate like that? And isn't it the goal of a healthy relationship to have both the connection and the independence...seeing that fluctuation as the problem seems to be part of the problem...

He tells you that he likes his solitude a lot right now - while also saying that he swings like a pendulum...and here's the positive in those words - he's opening up to you about his vulnerability - he's opening up to you about his fear - and he's opening up to you about not being centered. It may take some time for him to see that a healthy relationship with oneself leaves room for both connection to another and independence for oneself - but I don't think you (or anyone else) could show him that. He has to come to it on his own, no?

Look past the words to find the positives - there are lots of positives there - both just for you and for your R with your H (no matter what the outcome).
_________________________
Me:39
S3,S13

"We consent to live like sheep." W.H. Auden

On my own
Separation #4

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#1677994 - 12/20/08 06:16 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
whateverittakes Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Hi Beth,

It sounds like the interaction with your h was healthy if not always easy. Given the stage you're at, this is wonderful.

Perhaps feeling a bit protective of you, I can only echo another's post in which it was stated that he might retract a bit from the shared activities. I hope not.

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#1678108 - 12/20/08 10:04 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
AnotherNightmare Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 278
Loc: PA
Beth,

This is absolutely great! You did very well. You got a lot more than you wanted. You said you just wanted a second meeting. You got a movie and dance lessons. That is a lot more than you were hoping for. And you handled the situation so well.

Keep doing what you are doing. You are definitely on the right track.

AN
_________________________
M43 W45, M17
S9 D6
Bomb: 11/11/08
EA: 10/26-12/31/08 ?
Retrouvaille: 2/13-2/15/09
Healed, but still heading for D
My situation

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#1678148 - 12/20/08 11:45 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: AnotherNightmare]
Silent Chrleader Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1125
Loc: WA
Hi, Beth.

I don't think I have posted to you before but I have been following your sitch. Your H sounds sooooooo much like mine! A few months back, my H and I had much the same talk as you just had. I even made the same joke about "maybe we can get a divorce and live together in sin" (after 25 years of marriage). We started "dating" and even were intimate. Then he seemed to cool off. H withdrew back into his shell. Then I found out (from my son) that H had actually had had a PA with his secretary during the early months of our seperation, before we started "dating" again. Now my H has said he spent the time with me during those "dating" months because he felt guilty, and that he just wants to be alone, and that he hasn't loved me for years, but didn't want to hurt me. Now, in January, I am moving into an apartment so he can move back into our home to fix it up to sell it. I wonder if it's just that he can't get past the guilt and doesn't want to do the work of fixing the relationship. But he is on his own journey and I have to drop the rope and let him take it.

My point in all this is not to discourage you! Really! I think it's very obvious that you love your H very dearly and I believe that he loves you too! And I don't mean to imply your H had an affair. But, my advice to you is to go very slow!! And be careful to maintain no expectations. You seem to psychoanalyze your H a lot. I do that too!!! All the time! Try to minimize that if you can. (I know that is part of what pushed my H away again). And it may be that your H will withdraw again. Maybe he won't, but if he does, don't be surprised. Remember, this is a long journey, with many twists and turns in the road.

Take care!! {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}


Edited by Silent Chrleader (12/20/08 11:47 PM)
_________________________
TJ

Me45,H49
D24,S18
M26,T28
Bomb 3/19/08
Sep 6/23/08
EA/PA with Secretary 2007-8
3/2009 H moved in w/OW2
7/2009 Let him go w/Love.
8/2009 Legally Sep'd

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#1678255 - 12/21/08 09:15 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Silent Chrleader]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
JWM - You are right that I have to stay in the moment. That will help me. I am having a bit of a downturn this morning, mostly because the reality sinks back in - that this is a long process.

Carlos - Thank you for spending so much time looking for and helping me see all the positives. I will be revisiting your words during shakier moments to help me stay focused on the positive.

WIT - Thank you for your concern, I am thinking that H could withdraw again. I cannot say I am prepared for that because if he does, I know it will hurt but I know it could happen.

AN - Thanks! You are right that I did get more than I hoped for and I am hanging on to that.

SilentCheerleader - Thank you for taking the time to read through my posts and to share your thoughts. You areright that I should go slowly and I will.

I will also say that while I agree that many MLC/WAS seem to read from the same script, I think their individual experiences are so different that it is risky for us to compare them. I have seen how my H behaves when feeling guilty, since leaving. When he acts out of guilt, he avoids things. He avoids eye contact, he avoids discussions, he avoids me. So I do not think that any of his actions yesterday stemmed from guilt.

I have also struggled, a lot to put the notion of an OP out of my mind. I have no evidence or reason to believe there is an OP and it is simply not productive for me to entertain the idea.

Thank you all for your time and helpful input.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678270 - 12/21/08 09:40 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Journaling

I decided that I want to compile a list of behaviors/statements I saw yesterday, while they are fresh in my mind, that indicate MLC. The reason I want to do this is that when I am with H, I lose sight of the fact that he is going through something. And since he was so much less guarded yesterday, it makes it even harder to remember that he is going through something.

H said that the music he is writing at the moment is much edgier and more hard rock with distorted guitars and synthesizers. He disparaged the sort of music he had been making for the last few years. He is revisiting the music/influences of his youth.

H said he does not think is the marriage kind. He said he was happy being a family guy for years but now realizes that he probably just should not be married because he is too independent and needs a lot of solitude.

He likes being alone for weeks at a time. He said he only sees his friends every three weeks or so, otherwise he is alone.

He does not think he is the sort of person who will ever be happy. He said his dad is not really a happy guy so that's probably where he gets it. He used to say he was nothing like his dad, that he is a basically happy guy who got that from his mother.

Something about his demeanor is just off - he is not as I have known him. I cannot really describe it other than that.

Just some thoughts for myself to review when I am in need.


Edited by Bettou (12/21/08 09:42 AM)
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678301 - 12/21/08 10:42 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Hi Beth,

I think lovehimso had a really excellent post to you. It echoed many things that I would have said.

So here is the thing I would like to add beyond what has been said in all the excellent posts:

The most important thing from the interaction was nothing your husband said or did. Rather, it is the way you 'performed' (to use an athletic term). You've been training for months... and you were well prepared.

Just think back five months ago: Imagine husband telling you he is not a marriage sort of guy and is enjoying the solitude of a single life. Wow... the untrained Beth would have melted down. Game over.

But the new Beth persevered. You accepted his comments and kept your composure. Then you formulated a response strategy (based on your gut) and turned the rest of the conversation into a positive.

Bravo! Congratulate yourself and celebrate your personal victory!

_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1678302 - 12/21/08 10:42 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
Accidental double post. Grrrr.


Edited by techguy (12/21/08 10:43 AM)
_________________________
My thread, Carpe Diem #4
Orig Thread: Carpe Diem #1

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#1678371 - 12/21/08 02:31 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Techguy,

Thanks. A bravo from you always makes me feel good. You call me on my crap and hold me accountable, so if you say I did a good job, then I believe it.

Now I have my inner battle raging. I am fighting to keep myself in the moment, in the present. That brain of mine is always going to the future and the what ifs...
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678399 - 12/21/08 03:32 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
breakaway Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 1464
Originally Posted By: Bettou


Something about his demeanor is just off - he is not as I have known him. I cannot really describe it other than that.

Just some thoughts for myself to review when I am in need.


Well, it sounds like depression. I'd guess it's more that than a MLC. Especially when he includes comments like not even engaging with friends.
_________________________
Me-42,H-41,M-14
S-12,9


Previous thread

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#1678414 - 12/21/08 03:56 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Silent Chrleader Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1125
Loc: WA
Originally Posted By: Bettou
Now I have my inner battle raging. I am fighting to keep myself in the moment, in the present. That brain of mine is always going to the future and the what ifs...


This is what I call "future f**king"....... and I am a master at it!!!! ;\)
_________________________
TJ

Me45,H49
D24,S18
M26,T28
Bomb 3/19/08
Sep 6/23/08
EA/PA with Secretary 2007-8
3/2009 H moved in w/OW2
7/2009 Let him go w/Love.
8/2009 Legally Sep'd

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#1678421 - 12/21/08 04:18 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: breakaway]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Breakaway,

Oh, he is definitely depressed, he has all the symptoms. I think he is in the depression/withdrawal stage of MLC. When he says things like he does not want to see my brother, a good friend of his, because he is too far gone or that he does not see a light at the end of the tunnel, added to his anger, irritability, inability to sleep, weight loss the list goes on.

From what I have read here and in books, depression often goes hand-in-hand with MLC. It is just odd that he has periods of time like yesterday where he can be almost his old sweet self but not quite. There is a distance, but it is definitely not personal.

I am pretty sure he has the walls up for everyone. My guess is that I am the only one who gets in, very occasionally.

I have been thinking a lot today about how I have to accept that he has to find his own way through this. But that is so hard to accept, you know? I just want to fix it and I cannot.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678425 - 12/21/08 04:23 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Silent Chrleader]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Silent Cheerleader,

I like that phrase. I will try to think of it when I engage in that fruitless activity.

AnotherNightmare reminded me in a post on his thread that it is so important to just be happy with what we have in the moment. Just ten days ago, I would never have guessed H would kiss me. But rather than be happy it happened, I start picking it apart, thinking, maybe he did that because he felt sorry for me among other stupid things.

Rather than try to figure out why he did it, I should just be happy that he did. And happy that he will see me on Christmas day. He turned me down cold when I had asked about Thanksgiving, so this is an improvement. I need to stay focused on that rather than looking ahead to think, I bet I won't see him on New Years. What a waste of my energy and it is so counter-productive.

But, knowing all of this and putting it into practice each lonely day that I miss my H are two different things.

I have to just keep moving forward.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678431 - 12/21/08 04:44 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Silent Chrleader Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 1125
Loc: WA
You and me both, Beth!!

Right now I am just trying to take a little comfort in the fact that H told me he is not in a hurry to legally divorce, and he has no plans to pursue any relationships right now. For the next couple months, H will be working on the house getting it ready for sale, so he won't have time to do anything else. But hopefully it will give him time to think. So, it ain't over yet.

I am going to try to enjoy my new start in my own place (I've never had that since I have been with H since I was 17!). I am going to concentrate on what makes me happy and just let go of H and his issues. Or at least I am going to try!

What is meant to be will be. I will live the moment! [That is a real challenge for us analyzer, fixer types!!! ;\) ]

Take care, ((((((Beth)))))).
_________________________
TJ

Me45,H49
D24,S18
M26,T28
Bomb 3/19/08
Sep 6/23/08
EA/PA with Secretary 2007-8
3/2009 H moved in w/OW2
7/2009 Let him go w/Love.
8/2009 Legally Sep'd

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#1678489 - 12/21/08 06:36 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Silent Chrleader]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, you have defiantly seen some improvement. Enjoy what you have and don't over analyze what he said. Try not to go to the future. All we have is today.

I'm feeling the same way. My W and I are getting along OK...she is still in the house and we are spending our days together. I'm still with my D7 all day and that is good. I need to be thankful of that. Thinking of what might be or wishing things will change is hard.
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
Second
Third
last

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#1678500 - 12/21/08 07:09 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
John,

Thank you for that reminder. It helps to hear others say they think there has been some improvement. It is so easy to start to feel as though we have imgained the improvement out of wishful thinking and desire.

You are right that all we have is today.

I am happy that things are calm for you and that you are with your W and daughter. Those are all very good things.

Beth
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678547 - 12/21/08 09:01 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
breakaway Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 1464
Hi Beth,

I know depression can be part of a MLC...it just sounded like classic D to me...again mostly because of the withdrawal from everyone...actually he stays closest to you, which is interesting.

My college boyfriend, which was a very very deep R in my life, suffered from terrible depression. He would go through these same phases. It was very hard. This all sounds so familiar. My heart goes out to you. The boyfriend wasn't my husband so eventually I gave up on that R. But I understand some of what you're going through.

I have often wondered about this, about this personality type, if there really are people who do require periods of "solitude" when they can't cope with other people, especially loving people it seems. And yet they will have periods when they seek connection with you. And what does one do if one loves such a person? I was intrigued by your description of your relationship and having no labels, etc. That struck a chord from my past.

Anyway...you're in my thoughts and prayers. You seem to have an innate intuitive understanding of your H...I pray that takes you both where you need to be, and if it doesn't, that you find your own peace in dealing with this.

((((Beth))))
_________________________
Me-42,H-41,M-14
S-12,9


Previous thread

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#1678570 - 12/21/08 10:00 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: breakaway]
Tawnya Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{{Beth}}}} Just stopping by to say hey and hope your day/evening is going well..you and your mom and your brother have plans (isn't he getting in/in now?) for the weekend?

Tawnya
_________________________
Me:39
H:40
D18/S12
M20/T21
Bomb 10/11/08
One
Two
Three
Four



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#1678597 - 12/21/08 10:49 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
JWM Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Beth, any chance that he is bi-polar. Does he have periods of deep depression before alternating with good days. Here is the link from NIH that you might review:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-publication.shtml
_________________________
John
Me 56 W 46 D7
First
Second
Third
last

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#1678693 - 12/22/08 08:15 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: breakaway]
VeronicaV Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Breakaway - I have struggled trying to figure out if my H has classic depression, depression combined with MLC, or MLC and now he is in the depression stage.

The reason I think there is an MLC component is that he has never, ever been like this before. In all our years together, he has never had dark periods. I have never seen the symptoms I see now.

It all started, looking back, when he turned 40. I guess part of me hopes it is MLC so there is a chance he'll exit the fog. From what he's saying right now, if it is depression alone, I do not know whether he'll ever seek treatment.

JWM - Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. From what I have read about bipolar disorder, I have never seen Michel have a manic stage. He was in a better mood when I saw him Saturday, but nothing I would describe as manic.

This is all so exhausting and really scary.
_________________________
VV:41

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#1678741 - 12/22/08 10:18 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
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Beth, I know it is tough to deal with especially at this time of year.

At best you can only be there to support him and that is good...it doesn't mean we need to find the right label. I take the link back. \:\)

At least he is coming closer to you right now.
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#1678780 - 12/22/08 10:58 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
breakaway Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bettou
Breakaway - I have struggled trying to figure out if my H has classic depression, depression combined with MLC, or MLC and now he is in the depression stage.

The reason I think there is an MLC component is that he has never, ever been like this before. In all our years together, he has never had dark periods. I have never seen the symptoms I see now.

It all started, looking back, when he turned 40. I guess part of me hopes it is MLC so there is a chance he'll exit the fog. From what he's saying right now, if it is depression alone, I do not know whether he'll ever seek treatment.



I'll confess to not knowing a hell of a lot about MLC...did anything else happen around that time? Loss of anyone? Death, I mean...

You hang in there, you're doing great, really. I know it's scary.
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#1678917 - 12/22/08 01:14 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: breakaway]
VeronicaV Offline
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JWM - No need to take the link back \:\) Thanks as always for the support and ideas.

Breakaway - there have been a few things but the event that escalated everything was his aunt's diagnosis with end-stage myeloma (bone cancer). He is an only child who was raised by a close-knit family and he is incredibly close to them. His uncle died of cancer at a young age (50ish) and now this. I believe that was his trigger.

He's got other symptoms of MLC - the ILBNILWY speech, he says really inconsistent things outloud as if he needs to hear himself think. (e.g. last Sautruday he said, "I do not think you and I are soule mates." Then he said "but you may be the very best person out there for me." Huh???). I have learned to validate and listen - definitely not to argue with him. Plus, it's the timing of it all. I think he had a low-level mild depression brewing for a few years and then the MLC hit and the two combined have produced his current state of mind.

Thanks for saying you think I am doing well. I do not feel like it right now.

Beth
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#1679164 - 12/22/08 06:45 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
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Beth,
You are doing more than well - you are maintaining perspective of yourself - and that is so vital - since getting sucked into the perspectives of a troubled mind can only make us tumble.

Your H does seem to have a combination of MLC and depression going on - and I think you're doing everything you could possibly do just be learning more about what he might be going through - and knowing that you have to take care of yourself - since you cannot love him into being healthier.

My wife gave me that same "soul mate" line - and then added that the next person she's with won't be as "smart, handsome or successful as you" - but turned those three qualities into negatives in the very next breath - adding - "but people like you want someone who just caters to them, and I can't just cater to someone anymore."

Listen to the internal dialog as he talks around you - but just remember he just wants you to hear it - not repair him - not disagree with him - not show him a better point of view - not convince him - he just needs to swim through that serpentine river until he gets out of the brooding gloom of that jungle (with all due respect to Joseph Conrad)...maybe he'll make it out, maybe he won't...but loving him also means loving yourself enough to keep living you life to the fullest - so that when/if he comes out - you're there as a whole person...not a fraction of yourself - and that's where I think you're doing great - because your strength and resolve to move forward always comes through in your words.

Smile, Beth. Sit up and smile. I am certain there is plenty in your life that merits your joy.

Hugs,
Carlos.
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#1679247 - 12/22/08 09:15 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
VeronicaV Offline
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Carlos,

Thank you for the kind words and seeing something in me that I do not see myself that often. Your words could not have come at a better moment.

Beth
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#1679278 - 12/22/08 10:06 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
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{{{Beth}}} I was gonna come on here and post something sweet and kind to you, but dang Carlos said anything I could have said, but said it 100 times better..(psst..Carlos..you rock \:\)

I am QUITE sure that YOU are a joy to those who are around you, you are caring, and kind, and smart, and a person who loves to learn and grow..and that is someone that is a truly special gift!

I pray that you have a WONDERFUL Christmas week my friend \:\)

Tawnya
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#1679974 - 12/23/08 06:49 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
VeronicaV Offline
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Tawnya - thank you so much. I know you are in a tough spot right now. I will get over to your thread to check on you.

Update

So H and I are set for a movie on Christmas day at 2:20 in the afternoon. I am very happy about this babystep. I have been spending as much free time as I have (not much with mom and bro in town) reading on MLC as I can.

I really have got to accept that this is going to take a very long time. I need to just be happy with what I have compared to where I was. H appears to be willing to have some sort of friendship.

My gut is telling me that for the foreseeable future, our meetings need to be light and fun, period. While I have not initiated R talks, H did and I participated. I do not want him to associate visits with me with nothing but serious talks.
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#1679991 - 12/23/08 07:17 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
A in Ohio Offline
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Bettou - Very nice babystep. You know what to do. Light and fun.

I don't post on your thread much anymore but I still follow your sitch. I'm so happy with how far you've come.

Carlos - Very good post.
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#1679995 - 12/23/08 07:25 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: A in Ohio]
whateverittakes Offline
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Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Hi Beth,

Sorry I haven't been posting to you. I'm not up to much these days unfortunately.

I do think about you every day and hope you are gaining strength. I can well imagine you being light and fun when you seen your h. How about one of our great runs before the movie so that you're filled with endorphins when you see our h?

Good luck my friend and happy holidays to you and your dear ones.

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#1680088 - 12/23/08 10:09 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: whateverittakes]
JWM Offline
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Registered: 11/10/08
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Beth, the news about the movie is great. Just my 2 cents...Don't over analyze with the MLC stuff. That will tend to make you over think and what ever you do or say on the date will seem un-natural.

Remember that he now realizes that you are not the cause of his problem. He has loved you for many years just as you are. From what we all know here, you are a pretty incredible woman...don't pursue, but show him...he's a man. We are not that complicated. \:\)


Edited by JWM (12/23/08 10:10 PM)
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#1680099 - 12/23/08 10:28 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
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A in Ohio - so good to hear from you. Thanks for keeping up with my sitch, I really appreciate it. I have done the same with yours, also not posting much. Good to hear from you and thanks for the kind workds.

WIT - Thanks! I love the idea about the run and will do it. I hop you are doing okay.

John - Thank you so much for the compliment. I also like your practical advice and will put it to good use. Also, it helps to be reminded about normal attributes of men and women. We get so caught up in analyzing that we forget to act naturally and normally.

Beth
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#1680111 - 12/23/08 10:40 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
Tawnya Offline
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{{{Beth}}} You sound so amazingly great..I'm so happy for you and I'm glad you have your mom and your brother in town as well so you won't be alone my friend and COOL that you have the movie set..what will you see?

JWM..I dunno..from my point of view you men can be more complex than I thought at least LOL (at least in my hub's case) ! \:\)

Tawnya
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#1680115 - 12/23/08 10:44 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: Tawnya]
techguy Offline
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Any time a man gets complicated... it's a sure sign of serious psycological imbalance.
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#1680119 - 12/23/08 10:49 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
Tawnya Offline
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Tech..you may be right indeed!

OK..the board is really freaking out tonight..when I posted on here earlier it said Beth was the last post above mine, but the name was SharonR..NOW I am back and it says VeronicaV..LOL..unless Beth is just messing with my brain ;\)

Tawnya
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#1680120 - 12/23/08 10:49 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
VeronicaV Offline
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Techguy,

I agree. Have you seen my post on your thread? I had no idea about the google. thing. Now I am totally paranoid that H could find my posts if he ever googled my old display name.

Such an Internet idiot I am!

V.
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#1680130 - 12/23/08 11:10 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
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Okay...so are we going to call your Veronica now? Almost sounds like your super hero alter-ego name...which would be grand.

I agree with JWM - don't over-analyze the MLC stuff...for me, at least, recognizing that I could do nothing for my W but be friendly and not play into her drama freed me to focus on myself and other things...it was like letting go of the obligation to unravel her knots. Have you ever done that? Gotten a line so tangled that most people would walk away or toss it? I have - and I've always had this need to untangle it - maybe that's okay for some things, but certainly not this.

What movie will you go see?

Also - though I think it's been mentioned on this board dozens of times, most people come out of MLC eventually - it's just a matter of time - and a matter of how willing the LBS is to take care of themselves in the meantime. I only wish there were some magic formula for figuring out how long it lasts.

Now then, are we to address you as Veronica? (I've changed my nickname a few times, btw - my first nickname was one that my wife used to used for me...that latest is my own creation.
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#1680138 - 12/23/08 11:25 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
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Well, the good thing is that it will almost certainly get lost in the giant cesspool that is the internet.
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#1680150 - 12/23/08 11:40 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
healthydad Offline
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Techguy - carpe diem is one of my favorite codes - and it's also a source of one of the funniest things I ever heard while I was a busboy in high school...the restaurant I worked at had put Carpe Diem at the bottom of the menu (this was when Dead Poets Society made the phrase very popular) - well, not everyone had seen the film or was familiar with the phrase - and one of the customers turned to me and asked how the carpe diem was prepared - I said, "it's not a fish, ma'am. It's Latin for -" - but before I could finish, her overbearing husband chimed in with, "young man, don't you condescend to my wife. That's her favorite fish, and she wants to know how it's prepared." In a brief moment of clarity I said, "it depends on the day." He scowled, I was scolded, and the lady got a carpe diem fish special that night. I hadn't thought of that moment in years - and I just happened to drive by that restaurant (now closed) today with my son...just thought I would share...

-carlos.
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#1680151 - 12/23/08 11:44 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
likingMEagain Offline
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Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 55
Hey B! Or V! (Let us know which! Here I am even afraid to use the full "handle"! The 'net can be scary, sometimes, huh?)

I'm not really new around here, and you know me, but I had to not only change my name, but get a whole new account. I had reasons but I can't say what they are. I'll try to give you some hints without too many details, because I can't do that right now, but I'll just say I'm a LBS, H having an EA/PA, we're separated, and I'm heartbroken, to say the least (as we all are). But I still love him, so even though I'm not the best DBer, I keep trying and fighting to save my marriage, to keep the love of my life.

Think of this as a word search...but don't give it away or use the full name, cuz I don't want it to come up in any searches, here or google, okay? I don't have my own thread, yet, so if you can figure it out, just put a little "aha!" here on your post, okay? I'll be checking in...

Glad you've got firm plans with your H on Christmas. I'll be thinking about you, and I hope it goes well. Light and fun!

((((hugs))))

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#1680166 - 12/24/08 12:22 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: healthydad]
techguy Offline
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Originally Posted By: healthydad
Techguy - carpe diem is one of my favorite codes

Hi Carlos!

Yeah, I thought the phrase really captured the essence of DBing. Has that nice implication of positive action, with a sense of staying in the moment thrown in to boot.

Funny story!
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#1680167 - 12/24/08 12:25 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
techguy Offline
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My gosh... seems like I've caused a full scale panic!

What was that old British show where all the people were called only a number? Used to show on public TV back in the early 80's.
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#1680239 - 12/24/08 06:18 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
English Muffin Offline
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Registered: 08/15/08
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Originally Posted By: techguy
My gosh... seems like I've caused a full scale panic!

What was that old British show where all the people were called only a number? Used to show on public TV back in the early 80's.


The Prisoner? \:\)

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#1680265 - 12/24/08 08:01 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: English Muffin]
whateverittakes Offline
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Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Beth - I did want to say something about the MLC because I think it's a big basket of symptoms and behaviours that can't be treated "en bloc".

My general sense is this: these guys (mostly men) get to a point where they wonder what it's all about, what's left, what they didn't do and why not. They want to change something and their m is often what seems easiest to change. For the more responsible ones, walking away from a job they are unhappy with feels more frightening. My h has been unhappy in his job for years; he'd rather leave the m than leave h is job.

I don't think he's depressed anymore; he feels freer, definitely very self-aborbed and now has the balm of the ow's attention and interest. For my h, it's a pretty compelling package so why would he even think of returning to the m? I sometimes get the sense that he feels he might be on the cusp of that wonderful feeling of "anything might now be possible in his life". The feeling of a much younger man (he's 50), but intoxicating and compelling.

It's a long journey.

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#1680291 - 12/24/08 09:28 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: whateverittakes]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
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Carlos - Veronica it is. I like the notion of her being my superhero alterego. And your story is fantastic. All this name changing reminds me of a story involving names. When I was 20, in college and full of existential angst, I used to sit outside of my classes smoking (gave that habit up quite a while ago along with the angst). So I am sitting there on a heating vent that looks more like a low bench and this sleezy player sits down right next to me, sliding me over with his hip. As cool as he can be he asks "And you might be?" rather than just being a human and asking my name. In a rare moment of having the right thing to say ready at the right moment I replied, "I might be sick." He got the hint.

I am like you Carlos, always one to try to untangle a knot no matter how tightly wound and no matter how long it takes. It is a great analogy. And you are right, these knots will have to unwind themselves.

Techguy - I think it was the Prisoner.

WIT - Are you Canadian? I ask because of the way you spell "behaviour" and now your use of "en bloc." Just curious. I speak French and H and I have a great love affair with Quebec City.

I hear you about MLC being a long process but I also hear some pain in your words. Try not to focus on the negative aspects of hat is happeneing in your situation. Believe me, I know how hard this is to accomplish. But most OP in an MLC scenario are just a symptom of the problem. She will most likely eventually start making normal demands on your H and the bubble will burst.

LMA - aha, I think.
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#1680316 - 12/24/08 10:13 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
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So Carlos and I were just talking about not handling things for others and I wanted to share something that just happened because I have stopped trying to control all details of all situations.

As you know, H and I are meeting to see a movie tomorrow. As a small 180, after he selected the time of movie he preferred to see, I simply responded, "sounds good," rather than including instructions on where to meet and the time. It really is hard for me to let that stuff go, but I did it.

So, this morning I had to email him about the car. He replied asking what time we should meet but added in all sorts of info about his plans for the day - info I did not need to have because we had already decided on the time for the movie. He assumed my family and I were eating lunch. I responded we were having dinner not lunch and I was available if he wanted to eat first. He did. He asked me to find a place because his work is hectic.

I chose a place we have always liked to go and he is excited to go there. I realize this is not some big turnaround. H is not going to recommit to me because we have lunch. It is just a small lesson to me in the value of letting go. Sometimes, doing so can lead to a nice surprise. Now, if I can let go of the bigger things, I may really be onto something.

V.
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#1680373 - 12/24/08 11:20 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
JWM Offline
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Veronica, you did good. Great work! Now lunch and a movie...what a deal!
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#1680376 - 12/24/08 11:25 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: JWM]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
John,

Thanks so much. I am really trying to embrace this little lesson on a bigger scale. Letting go can bring good things.

I really want to try to implement this to the whole relationship/situation. I am getting there slowly. But it is tricky because of the depression component and my coach's advice that I have to keep reaching out to him for now.

I'll just have to keep finding a balance.

Tomorrow's challenge: not asking him to do something on New Year's Eve. Just have to go with the gut and the gut says that is too much too soon. And, it is a sympbolic night. I think the the better plan is to just stick to my latest plan, Friday emails asking for a lunch, a walk or a movie the following Saturday.

Though I am curious if he has plans. Curiosity killed the cat, right?
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#1680390 - 12/24/08 11:43 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
techguy Offline
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Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 513
Loc: Midwest
That's great V!

Well, I'll be a bit MIA for the next 36 hours (like many people I suppose). Going to my sister's house this afternoon. Then my wife invited me to stop by her side of the family's celebration tonight.

The plan is for us to attend midnight mass tonight as a family (incl wife!). Kids will transfer to me after mass and spend the night at my house.

Wife will come over in the morning for Santa time.

Then tommorrow afternoon with my family.

Should be very nice. Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hope your day goes well V!
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#1680395 - 12/24/08 11:46 AM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: techguy]
VeronicaV Offline
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Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 1485
Techguy,

Good for you, your plans sound great! Seems your wife is letting you in quite a bit. That is very good news.

Merry Christmas to you.

V.
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#1680470 - 12/24/08 01:16 PM Re: Listening and Learning [Re: VeronicaV]
healthydad Offline
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Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 1425
Loc: California
So...Veronica...
What you described in terms of just letting things go is exactly the kind of thinking I was thinking about. I had something similar happen with me regarding the pageant tickets for S2. Normally, I would have asked W about it, and reminded her to get them, and then asked her for the directions each time she forgot to bring them by - this time, I didn't ask about the tickets or the directions - after she mentioned them, I just left it up to her how she would handle it - and she did finally get the tickets and email me the directions...we didn't go to the pageant because S2 was still under the weather, but it was interesting nonetheless to see her step up and take care of it...which never used to happen...

Your gut must be tuned up right for the winter or something...since I don't think the gut response would work for everyone in your situation - good for you, though, in trusting yourself - and I imagine that trust comes through in your actions - which, in turn, lets your H feel more comfortable with you. Isn't trust a major issue in depression and MLC? Trusting yourself, exuding that trust, must send out a very strong signal.

And, yes, I agree that too much too soon could be risky - and scare him away...if he brings up New Year's Eve would you accept? I imagine so - but I wonder about that notion of accepting some offers to do things together, but not all...in your case, it seems like accepting offers from him would be best, no?

Keep that positive energy flowing, V. Merry Christmas.

-Carlos.
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