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Keep_Going, I am kind of feeling like I am at where you are. My H does not seem to understand that you must choose to love someone, it is not some magical feeling that just happens. The odd thing is he knows (and says) he is making a CHOICE to cling to OW and he knows it blocks him from feeling for me but he does not think it is a CHOICE to love me or not. Funny how that works isn't it?
JAS--I agree. I believe, for the most part, love and compatibility are CREATED--by our actions, everyday. What we say and what we do.
sg Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001
Here are my thoughts re. Love Illusions related to my R
Love Illusion #1 I have been aware of this concept for months now, and I have really changed my behavior with H to show him that he is my priority #1. I continue choosing to love him, even as I have been finding out about OW, how bad he treats me sometimes and despite all the pressure I get from friends and family to resign, get a lawyer, divorce him and move on.
H just recently admitted he is in love with OW. So following the rationale of Illusion #1, I am not very hopeful about him coming back anymore and this is why: He has CHOSEN to love OW and really makes that R his priority. They both constantly nourish and improve their R, so it becomes stronger every day.
So there is no room for H to choose to love me, no matter how much I have changed, because he has chosen to love her. He is not giving any more water, nourishment or attention to ours. We both took each other for granted and now he has left and moved on to nourish another R.
In addition, he is not AWARE that he has chosen to love her. He thinks it "just happened" and with that thinking, the believes that his love for me just disappeared and will not ever come back, because it's something that "just happens."
Illusion #2: This is a HUGE factor in our R. We argued ALL THE TIME. I admit that I had A LOT of anger towards H for many years (it doesn't really matter if I had reasons for it or not.) All my life I have resorted to tantrums and anger to get my way. For my H, anger and arguments are a sign of failure (he comes from a broken home and his father was an alcoholic). H now blames the demise of our M on my anger. He describes it as 13 years of abuse. Since he left, I am taking care of my anger issue and have made a lot of progress, but H still believes this was a deal-breaker and does not trust that I will ever be any different, which leads to Illusion #3.
Illusion #3 My H has DEFINITELY convinced himself that I will never change and be in control of my anger. As a matter of fact, he wants a partner that Never gets angry (which is probably impossible). He has told me that OW never argues... My only hope is that with DB, 180s and TIME, I can prove him otherwise. Words right now mean nothing, specially when I have had so many setbacks in the last two months. I KNOW that people can change and ironically, my H used to believe so (his dad stopped drinking), but somehow H doesn't think I can.But I will keep trying and hope this program will help me show him with actions that I can change.
Illusion #4 One of our problems has been that H clams up and does not share his feelings with me. Part of it is my fault - I was so busy being angry that he gave up trying. He felt that he could not share with me because I would get angry or ignore him. Another problem in our communication is that because our R has deteriorated so much, we just assume the worst of each other. With so much arguing, he has resigned to simply avoid conversations that he feels will trigger a fight. We definitely have diff. ways of communicating - even though we both like to share feelings, I talk a lot and he is very succinct. He Hates when I repeat myself, which I tend to do a lot. He also means what he says and I, as many women, expect him to guess what I really want or mean. I also feel like he doesn't listen to me. He asks me things that we have talked about before (sometimes more than once...) I used to get really upset about this. Now I have accepted it and just take a deep breath and repeat myself. (yet, I don't believe he has noticed this change). H is also goal-oriented when talking and wants to fix problems and offer solutions when I talk about my feelings. I would hate this and get angry. I am now learning that we just simply communicate differently, but I have more work to do with this one. Bottom line - I need to remind myself of our gender differences. look out for triggers and train myself.
Illusion #5 I know H definitely felt unappreciated because of my complaints. He doesn't understand of the need for attention behind nagging. I am working on 180s - where instead of nagging, I show appreciation for the things he does, so he can feel loved. I am also working on not complaining and being more positive about everything. I need to do a better job of phrasing things differently so he doesn't get defensive or feel criticized.
My heart goes out to you. I know you have what it takes to persevere, to give real love, to work through this. But I don't envy what you are going through. You might kind of liken it to a wayward child, or someone at work who just is off on their own tangent, who can't hear and can't reason. You just have to do things differently to win them over, at the right time.
In the meantime...you are just building your skills yourself.
I admire your ability to work through the steps in this situation.
sg Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001
I am posting to let you all know that things can change. My H for the longest time (17 months) felt that he married his best friend, and told me many times that he believed he realized that we never had real love in all our lives, that we were living a lie. He fell in love with OW, and he believed that was the real deal.
What could I do? I believed that he had rewritten history, as we really had a great time together throughout our 16 years together before BD.
I told him honestly that I felt that he was infatuated with OW, that it would not last, and that I was not buying it when he said he did not love me.
September this year (15 months after BD) he told me that his feelings for OW were waning, and that I ws probably right that what he felt was only an infatuation. yay. The novelty had worn off, OW refused to have a real relationship with a married man, and he could not also imagine giving up his family and everyting else. But at that point he still felt stuck, because he said he felt miserable with the idea that he will be in a loveless marriage for the rest of his life. At this point our sex life was also non-existent.
Fast forward to November - he agreed to go to Retrouvaille with me. This was a huge turning point. He started to accept that love is a decision. Just this weekend, he told me that he realized that although we did not have romantic love, we did have love in our marriage - a true love that cared for eachother. He made the decision to keep on loving me and to commit to our M finally.
What did I do? I DB'd - I followed what people posted to me, I let go of the anger , as much as I could, I tried to keep the road home paved and smooth, I just kept on loving him and forgiving and giving him space.... and most importantly, time. I believe that time is essential - it takes time for them to realize, for the "hollywood stereotype love"- that is what my H calls it - to fizzle out.
WE are now actively working on love as a verb - love as a action. being kind, patient, forgiving, giving....
My advice - most of all, be patient. Keep_going, I think you are on the right track. JAS, you would be surprised at how many people believe that love is a feeling, not something that could be a choice. Honestly, I did not know that too. The "Love Dare" helped me realize that.
Me:49 H:45 D:12 M:14 T:18 Bomb: 6/26/10 EA: 9/3/10, fizzled out slowly, now ??? 11/5/11 Retrouvaille Finally piecing.... Its peaceful at last, but we got a looong way to go