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Cadet, There is no ebook version of "The Solo Partner" so I ordered "The Passion Trap" which is supposed to have the same theme, but to be more gender neutral.
Try searching for the title of the book with the word mlc. You are correct that their is no e-book, and the book may be out of print. You do not need to buy it. And understand that this book is a relationship book, not one on MLC. If you find any information on it, like a book review, then you might register for that website.
Originally Posted By: Accuray
I started pulling back when I got home last night. I've already gotten 2 "is everything alright?" and one "is something wrong?" so far this morning, and it's only been 5 hours. So far I've just been deflecting those by talking about trivial stuff I'm working on / thinking about.
Again she is pursuing you looking for you to do what you normally do. It is classic pursuit and distance.
Originally Posted By: Accuray
Originally Posted By: Cadet
She will more than likely not recommit to your marriage at this point because she is still in crisis. She does not want to lose CONTROL.
She never really sought to control me, at one point she just wanted me gone.
Originally Posted By: Cadet
So my question is why? for both you and her? Just think about that no words to her will help
You lost me there -- I don't know what the question is in reference too, and I don't understand your last sentence.
Thanks! Feels good to have something new to work on.
Why do you feel that you must pursue? Or why do you feel that you must be controlled by her? Even though you state that she is not controlling you. Are you sure? Who controls the relationship in LD/HD?
FWIW monster behavior is not required to be a MLC. So you have drawn a wrong conclusion there.
I am not familiar with the book passion trap and have no opinion on it.
Last point is that even if you are piecing that does not mean that you pursue her. I think you might be confused about that point. I am not saying that you are mean or controlling or anything like that, but you want her to pursue you. MIRROR, but let her control the contact. Oh and the most important point of the book. DO NOT TELL HER ABOUT IT.
Let me run this by you -- I don't think she wants me to pursue, she wants me to be "ok" which is to say require nothing from her beyond which she chooses to give. I think this is more of a defense for her feelings of inadequacy than anything else.
I can inventory my pursuing behavior and knock it off. There's a fine line there between not pursuing and being cold or appearing completely disengaged. I believe it is the "acting different" that bothers W more than the lack of pursuit, because she's anticipating that some complaint is brewing that she will have to deal with.
When I pursue, W is not disengaged, and does do some pursuing of her own, but to the point of the book, we are not in balance.
The Passion Trap seems good, I'm going to keep going. I did read the Pursuit and Distance chapter from the Solo Partner on the other website. It seems to be written from the perspective of a WAH who has already moved out or who is cake eating and I don't have that. I get the point about balance, however, and will work on restoring ours.
I don't think she wants me to pursue, she wants me to be "ok" which is to say require nothing from her beyond which she chooses to give. I think this is more of a defense for her feelings of inadequacy than anything else.
Absolutely she does not want you to pursue. And yes this is a defense of her feelings. So stop pursuing and be OK. Yes it is a fine line, a tightrope that we walk. Tough stuff, I agree, if it were easy then none of us would be here. Please re-read the first paragraph of my last post and be sure to follow anything else it says to DO. No need to post about it here. Just do it, I will know whether you follow my instructions or not. So I have another question. Why are we here? Can you explain scientifically what is happening to your wife? Maybe by knowing those answers you will understand the process a little bit better.
I've done what you've suggested, I assume you'll know I have. I also looked back at your original sitch, I wanted to understand where you were coming from. It's very clear to me that my sitch is significantly different from yours, and since you're relatively new to my thread, I wanted to be sure you understand this as well as you think you do. I have no doubt of your expertise in MLC, but I do doubt your skills in understanding my W. When I read the "MLC Profile" in the resources links and from the book review site, I don't really fit the stereotype emotional pursuer, nor does my W fit the emotional distancer. There is *some* of that going on, but it is not cut and dry.
If you pretend that you're not sure my W is having an MLC, or that I'm egregiously pursuing, are there some questions I could answer for you that would help you to confirm your understanding?
I think if we go through that exercise, I'll feel better about following your suggestions because I'll know you "get it". I do feel I'm playing with fire experimenting with my marriage while we're getting things back on track, so I want to be sure we know what we're dealing with.
WRT my MC session tonight, I assume you did not find MC very helpful. I will say I think the therapist I have is very good, he's the third one I went to before I engaged W to come. Given what we're reading about pursuing, I'm not sure how to handle the session tonight, I assume I'm better off not having any asks. I was going to go with "let me be happy and stop looking for problems" type theme.
Also, we've established some habits. Each night when we go to bed, I put my arm around her and she puts her head on my chest. From most of what I've read, that's a very positive practice because it reinforces pair bonding and helps you let go of any accumulated resentments. Per Althol Kay it's also an "alpha move". Now this could also be perceived as pursuing, because I have to make the first move, she can't put her head on my chest unless I move my arm under her pillow first to make room. She really seems to enjoy when we do this, and waits for me to move my arm. We tend to do it when we wake up too.
From my perspective, this is a major positive change in our relationship -- same bed time, physical connection each night and morning, etc. Historically, she would go to bed first and I would just do my own thing until I got tired. Most nights she'd be asleep before I came to bed.
If I disrupt this pattern, she's going to feel punished -- I can't very well say I don't want to do it anymore and stay credible. Here's what I have done:
-- I've stopped kissing her, if she wants to kiss, she can kiss me. She has been kissing me before we fall asleep, but she's initiating that. It's quick and non-passionate, but it's a kiss. -- I've stopped complimenting her (few weeks now) -- I've stopped inviting her to connect during the evening, if she wants to talk to me she can seek me out -- she has been. -- I've stopped spooning her after ML, if she wants to cuddle she can come to me (she has been) -- I used to get her coffee on Sunday morning. I stopped doing that about a month ago
Things I can still do to cease pursuit:
-- We've been connecting each day at work via Skype, I probably initiate that 80% of the time, I will cease doing so. -- When she travels for business, I've been putting a card or a note in her bag. I will stop doing that. It's been several weeks since she traveled, she's getting on a plane for the day tomorrow -- no note. -- I like to do a date night once per week. One of her historic complaints is that I would never line up the sitter. I did that a couple times but she just said that it's easier if she does it. Now, if we've gone a week with no date night, I'll usually point it out and ask her when she wants to go for the coming week. I'll stop doing that and just let her bring it up.
Here's the thing Cadet, I was not a historical pursuer, I was more the stereotype sexual pursuer and emotional distancer. It was that emotional distancing that lead to the bomb. That's why I'm hesitant to do emotional distancing now -- I know how to do it very well. The emotional pursuing and connecting have been 180's for me, and they take work on my part, they do not come naturally.
I've been doing them as 180's, and because my security in the relationship has been shaken. As time has passed and I've regained comfort, the pursuing behavior has been throttling back on it's own -- I firmly believe it's a transitional issue versus a character issue.
That said, I can accelerate outside of my comfort zone the emotional distancing if you can convince me that's what's called for.
Men are emotional distancers and women are emotional pursurers, and sexually, the opposite occurs.
So do I understand that you are blaming BD on the fact that you were normal?(emotional distancer, sexual pursurer)? And you are 180 these things but that has not resulted in the desired outcome? And yes I know that you did what I suggested. My sich is not your, never said it was, does not mean that I am not aware of scientfic facts. Please do not trust anything that I say, do your own research and figure it out for your self. It is YOUR marriage, not mine, you ultimately must decide how to proceed. If you have read all my posts then you will also know that I have read tremendously about these subjects. I am not giving you advice trying to experiment. I am reading what you say and making comments on what I hear.
My W is an emotional distancer and a sexual distancer, although on the emotional side, I believe she projects distancer, and wants to be a distancer, but still has many elements of pursuer. It's what makes her challenging -- she doesn't want to need what she needs, she thinks less of herself for needing it. That is less crisis and more "has always been that way".
Originally Posted By: Cadet
So do I understand that you are blaming BD on the fact that you were normal?
No, one of the things I really liked about "Passionate Marriage" is that it pointed out that people like to find simple cause and effect relationships. If I press the lever I get a pellet, etc. Relationship dynamics are far more complicated, so just because you find a cause that seems to "fit" and explain what has happened, chances are it is nowhere near that simple. That's what my MC said about my W's affair -- you may be able to intellectually put together a story that explains why it happened, and 100% of it may make sense, but chances are it's not quite right and the reality is that you'll never know.
I don't "blame" the bomb on a simple story. It was a combination of (a) my W's personality, (b) my personality, (c) the "normal" dysfunction we allowed to develop in our marriage, and (d) an opportunity that my W was presented with. I could go on and on about how I believe each of these factors combined to lead to what happened, but it really doesn't matter.
As a result of this crisis, I realized some things about myself -- I was taking our marriage for granted, I was not connecting with my W, I resented my W due to sexual rejection, I'm a driving personality and have some annoying perfectionist tendancies, I created a lot of clutter around our house which drove my W nuts, I wasn't treating W as a partner in decision making, in many ways we were "separate but equal" versus working together.
Some of my W's complaints I disagreed with, some I viewed as perception alone, and others I owned as "bad". I know she re-wrote history, I know she made mistakes too -- I can't do anything about that. I do feel I have addressed my W's complaints, but I did it from the perspective that I wanted to do it for myself. If she didn't like it and ended up leaving, I'd be in a better place. I feel the same way about losing weight. If she likes it great, if she doesn't, that's ok too, I like it.
Originally Posted By: Cadet
And you are 180 these things but that has not resulted in the desired outcome?
I didn't 180 these things to get a desired outcome. I did them because I wanted to. Separately, I'm not happy with the state of our reconciliation. I would like more intimacy, I would like to feel wanted and needed, I would like W to work on her own issues.
Originally Posted By: Cadet
If you have read all my posts then you will also know that I have read tremendously about these subjects. I am not giving you advice trying to experiment. I am reading what you say and making comments on what I hear.
To be fair, I have not read all your posts. I just started reading from back in 2009. I have also read on this subject a ton -- just not MLC-specific resources yet. When I give advice or offer opinions on this forum, I do catch myself perhaps talking more about my own sitch than the one I'm helping with at times, because that's my frame of reference. That's a natural place to go, we just have to exercise due caution.
Originally Posted By: Cadet
Why are we here?
I'm here because I was in crisis and needed guidance. Now that I'm here, I like it. I'm not out of the woods yet, and the accumulated wisdom of those who have come before me is much appreciated. It's an emotional outlet, and it's a place I can vent, and all of that is appreciated.
Originally Posted By: Cadet
Can you explain scientifically what is happening to your wife?
I'm not sure what kind of science I would apply. Can you provide an example and I'll try to answer?
Thanks Cadet, don't feel like I'm pushing you away, I welcome your guidance.
I've done what you've suggested, I assume you'll know I have. I also looked back at your original sitch, I wanted to understand where you were coming from. It's very clear to me that my sitch is significantly different from yours, and since you're relatively new to my thread, I wanted to be sure you understand this as well as you think you do. I have no doubt of your expertise in MLC, but I do doubt your skills in understanding my W. When I read the "MLC Profile" in the resources links and from the book review site, I don't really fit the stereotype emotional pursuer, nor does my W fit the emotional distancer.
FWIW I spent the day reading your threads. I see I am not the first person to mention MLC. As the Captain said the same thing on a previous thread. You have gotten good advice here and your MC seems to be on the ball. I will not counter any of it FWIW, I still agree with my assessment of what is going on, although I agree I do not know you or your wife and can only read what is on the written on the page.
As far as MHO of MC it is that until both parties are ready to go all in, that it is a waste of time and money. That being said I did it for 6-9 months and my wife used it to validate her position.
Menopause is not that much different than a full surgical hysterectomy, the results being somewhat similar. So the advice that the CAPTAIN was giving you I believe has been spot on.
Oh and CAPTAIN, just as an aside reading what you posted as of my birthday last week you and I are the same age. And men go though menopause too!(I know I am not telling you anything new)
Accuray what you posted above a few posts I think is a good idea. DO not punish your wife. I think you are correct about that. MLC like I said before can come in all forms. It does not have to have an affair or monster. But their are templates that seem to follow a script. I think what you may need to understand is that PURSUIT = Enabling. So when you continue to pursue, you are enabling what is happening. I will not judge you for what you think or do, nor tell you what you should do. I am just trying to say that you are not the first person to go down this road and although every sich has its own specifics, some are very similar.
I had an interesting session last night with MC. MC knew my W wasn't coming back so last night was the last shot and I think he wanted to leave us with the message "everything is fine".
We did talk about "what's different now" than before the A, and from what W said I was definitely too alpha before. Greenblue I think assumed I was too Beta, but it was the opposite historically. I think I'm too Beta now and am getting things back in balance.
I did confirm the distance issue identified by Cadet. MC had us stand on opposite sides of the room. He said that if our distance across the room represented a marriage of convenience where there was no intimacy, he asked my W to move toward me to the distance that would represent the level of intimacy she would like to have in our marriage. She walked toward me and stopped about 5 feet away.
I was surprised and saddened by this, but didn't let on, as to me it represents quite a bit of distance. He then asked me to adjust the distance for myself by stepping forward or backward. I closed the distance to about 2 feet.
He then talked about the pursuit and distance dance. He said that in a given relationship, your "distance" will fluctuate, some days will be closer, some days will be farther. He said that if you get the difference in your distances to be less than your average fluctuation, then the apparent distance disappears (yes, my MC is an economist and mathematician by training).
We also talked about W's general happiness. She said she rates herself a 45 on a 100 point scale in terms of baseline happiness. MC asked to what degree she's accepted that, and she said 90 on a 100 point scale. He then told me that since she's accepted being less than happy, there's no hope of that changing and it's up to me to accept it.
He didn't really prescribe how to adjust distance preferences or how to accept having an unhappy spouse, but from what I've read I believe it's up to me to back off. I have to figure out how to do that without being cold, off-putting, or disengaged, as those cause W to panic.
He then sent us off into the world with an "I'm sure you'll be happy and fine" message which was kind of laughable given how things went.
I'll try walking that tightrope for a while and see how that feels. I do know that when I back off W does step up a little bit, and that usually feels good, but it's hard not to reciprocate.
W is traveling today so after MC we went out to dinner for Valentine's Day. Had a nice dinner, split a bottle of wine. W wanted assurance we don't have to go back to MC. W also wanted to make sure I'm not just "settling". I told her I'm here because I want to be and if that changes she'll know.
Night ended on a good note, exchanged cards, etc. 2x4 because I just assumed we would ML since we were celebrating Valentine's Day, shared a bottle of wine, were feeling good etc., but W just wanted to hug and fall asleep. (I didn't ask to ML or initiate) When I saw nothing was going to happen I did disentangle myself and rolled away from W, then neither of us slept well.
I really want to stop this "punishing" behavior when we don't ML when I expect to. Not sure how to do that, because staying in an embrace with raging hormones is painful. I will figure that out.