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Really?! Because that was a reflection on me, not you. And certainly not on you personally, as there were a number of posters with your same message. I'm still chewing on them all, but I hope there's some evidence that I'm also listening and applying.
I was only trying to point out that I recognize that I'm reactive. I'm intimidated easily. Once "bitten," I don't often put my hand out again to risk another bite. It's not a conscious choice. (re: Pavlov's dog)
I'm still not sure why my responses are being received as offensive (re: dart.)
Sandi, in your case, half real, half hypothetical... If you told a friend, "No, I don't want to have the party at our place because H has the yard trashed with his collection of junk, and it would just be too embarrassing for me for everyone to see that." Does it still count as your forgiving him?
Short answer is Yes!
Explanation is longer (And I'm glad you asked that question.) This has been an ongoing thing with my H. I kind of doubt it will completely stop anytime soon, but it has slowed down, so I'm in hopes. I still do not like all the junk he "collects" b/c we do not have adequate space to store it. I don't want people thinking we are trashy,even if the yard says otherwise. It's like when a man is not pleased at his unorganized home--but he still loves the homemaker.
I no longer b!tch to him about the yard. I don't show a bad attitude and start holding resentment that allows walls to go up which are hurtful to the R. When I forgave him for cluttering the yard, I let go of the clutter I had in my heart toward him.
I would love to have a pretty yard and invite my friends over for a party. However, I would tell my friend that I'm embarrassed about the appearance of the yard. But instead of going on futher to explain how bad my H is to bring home all that junk, I would let the conversation end where I said I was embarrassed about the yard (and make sure I didn't turn that embarrassment into a H bashing segment.) When I start bad mouthing my H, then bad feelings begin. After the bad feelings come, then I feel pretty much defeated. Best thing to do is
I have identified that area as one of my triggers. If I don’t control my tongue, then I don’t control the things that usually follow. I would be experiencing the same thing I had to let go when I decided to forgive my H of this particular fault.
And, if someone asks about your history, your past problems with your H, does it not invoke some unhappy feelings? I would have suspected it still did, even if you've forgiven him.
It has not made me unhappy to talk about it here. And, to answer questions about my M. However, I talk about it here to try to help others as best I can. If it should start to affect my feelings, or I am riled toward my H due to my talking to prying folks, and listening to their take on things I've been forgiven--and on things about him that he's been forgiven, then that's when to pack it up.
I think most people vary in how that would affect your emotions. In that case, I would choose to not discuss it or change the subject quickly.
It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
Well, that last paragraph did not make much sense, I'm sure.
CV, it does not affect my feelings toward my H when I come to DB and discuss issues. And honestly, I don't remember anyone else who has asked me anything about our R.
For me, it was therapy to come here and talk. My unhappiness was evident then. I have to give credit to several board members at that time who taught me. After I was able to let it go, then it did not make me unhappy to discuss my MR with new board members b/c I wanted to help others the way I was helped.
Right now, it's very difficult for you b/c you are dealing with a lot of "stuff", and it is painful to talk about it. If family and/or friends want to discuss something that you know is going to put you right back into that sad place again...you will have to tell them you are dealing. It's personal and you aren't required to talk about it to anyone you do not chose to discuss it with.
After we forgive, we are rather delicate for a while (IMHO), and we need encouragement to lift us up and see hope. So, you may have to avoid certain folks or situations that could affect your resolve (if you've made one).
I look at it like healing physically from an infection. You need to keep the infected wound shielded from germs until it has time to start healing.
I'm blessed that I don't have family or friends that try to influence me against my H. If they did, I would have a hard time. OTOH, if they are always talking about him as if he's like perfect and I'm lucky to have him....that would probably stir up my "old feelings" quicker than most anything. Crazy, huh?
It's a matter of knowing yourself and how you react to certain things. If it's bad, then stay away from it.
It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
...and yet, so many WAS never seem to reach that level of understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation that you have.
While I am tremendously encouraged by the strength and determination you have exhibited to make things right, I can't help but be discouraged that some WAS will never find their way out of the fog and do the things necessary to get their hearts and minds in a place where they can try to make a go of it again.
Me49 W52 S16 S12 M21 T24 Bomb-9/11; A-11/11; I move out 11/11
It's easy to find our bottom, it is our top that requires cultivation.
Every rough spot adds to our emotional constitution. -Barney Fife
2TP, maybe it's not that they haven't reached that level of understanding and forgiveness. Maybe the only thing lacking is the desire for reconciliation. I think Sandi2 would agree that hers was a long and difficult road. There was no guarantee that she was going to be happy at the end of it. There are many people that get divorced and remarried and find themselves very happy in their new R. It's not all about being happy, but being miserable isn't something anyone wants.
I have nothing to add here, other than to say I'm happy you've been putting your toe in the water and trying yet again to make things better with H. I really hope you continue making small steps and giving H an honest chance in those areas.
I'm glad you're here, and I hope that despite how painful this is for you, that it is helping in some way.
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced M: 47, W: 49, D: 16, S: 14, D: 11 Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11 Start Reconcile: 8/15/11 Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced) In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Unfortunately, it seems putting my toe in the water has resulted in it getting bitten off.
H wants to call during the day and check in. It has no real value to me because it's a lot of dead air, but I've been accommodating. I've also removed all criticism from my conversation/interaction. H has noticed and is appreciative. Nothing has changed on his part, I just don't comment. I've made a point to be pleasant, even if I'm not feeling it. H has noticed this as well and has commented that he appreciates it. Conversations have been very non-intimate (eq. schedules, plans for house repair, school or boy scouts for S, etc.) This seems to be all that H wants.
About a week ago, I offered to move back into the master BR and to reengage sexually. H took me up on it. I was hesitant but my heart was open. He was quite pleased and happy about the change. Me, not so much, because I was woken up several times by his snoring because he wasn't wearing his cpap.
H had been doing some sexual "research" and had something he wanted to try (I'll skip the details.) I said I didn't want to do it because I wasn't comfortable with it at all. He did it anyway, and I felt utterly humiliated. I told him how I felt, asked him to stop, he continued. He loved it, I'll never forget it.
I didn't "hound" him about his "plan" that he had been working on. He approached me about mid-week. Apparently he was working on listening to some marriage CD's and was insistent that this was the solution to all of our problems. I asked a couple of questions about it, but he sort of just blew them off or replied with "I don't know." I listened to the set of CD's later in the week. It doesn't address any of our issues, just paints a picture of how a couple can be romantic.
H often references the wonderful life that some friends of ours have. They have a boat and a lake house and will spend a week there occasionally, just the two of them. He imagines this as his ideal fantasy. The problem is, we have a boat, we've gone out just the two of us, and he is completely bored after just two hours. This same couple went on a week-long camping trip to the middle of nowhere. After hearing about it, I thought to myself, "How fabulous!" H says to me that that would be his worst nightmare. I bring this up because that's one of the aspects of the "romantic" approach on these CD's. We're supposed to plan a 3-day vacation, 4 times a year, just the two of us. But if he's bored with me that easily, what would be the point?
He read to me some notes he had taken from the CD's. One of the things he read to me was something to the effect that your entire life is affected by the state of your marriage. I said that I completely get that, which is why I'm so depressed right now, but that I honestly didn't see that with him. He doesn't seem to miss a beat. If anything, he's even more active and social when we're in a poor state. He definitely doesn't respond like I read from posters on this site. GAL'g would never be a problem for him. He explained to me that he didn't see any reason why our M issues should impact his social life. Basically I just didn't get the point of his saying it.
We talked at one point about the basic principles of a M relationship. I stated that I think one party insisting that the other party do something that they clearly don't want to do is counter-productive to the R. They may win the battle, but they'll lose the war. H immediately says he absolutely agrees, no hesitation. This surprised me because his interactions with me are contrary. I asked about that, and he went on to explain that it is worth it to him if it's something he really wants, which includes going to church with him, boating with him, sleeping in the same bed, visiting his family with him, etc. I can't think of anything that he has wanted that doesn't fall into that category. If he wants it and I don't, it becomes something he really wants and he'll nag until he gets it. I don't know how to digest his claim that he believes it's bad but then does it anyway.
For my part, I've stopped reading R books altogether for now and I'm reading some on personal goal setting/life strategies, etc. I'm exercising more, which feels great. I've also looked into some personality studies for myself. Ironically, I've learned that I really am not a perfectionist afterall. I don't qualify for any of the tests. Apparently this is just a label I've picked up from my H's accusations without really understanding what it meant (I'm sure he doesn't either.)
I realize I've only been at this for a little under two weeks, but I'm really questioning the purpose. I really don't get any value from giving H everything he wants with no return. Maybe I'm just too selfish that way and shouldn't be in a M.
I spent a lot of my previous M denying being critical, though I was hypercritical. Really, if someone thinks you are being critical, odds are extremely high that you are. So, you can deflect my "dart" comment, but you haven't dissuaded me. But, it is really OK. The only reason I mention it is because the more you recognize this in yourself, the better your life will become.
Anyway, my point in asking about what YOU learned is that, contrary to the message that you might be receiving from others, the important thing is NOT that your exercise might have made H happy, though that is a nice consequence.
What IS the most important thing in my book is that you made a change that benefits YOU. IF you make such changes consistently, your life will be better, no matter what happens with your personal relationships.
-- Give people more space to shine, more space to love you.
-- Give people space to be generous and thoughtful, more space to help.
-- Give yourself more chances to appreciate generosity from others, more chances to appreciate what they freely choose rather than what you request or demand.
-- Accept imperfection more in yourself and others, take joy in who you are, sincerely approve of yourself because of your accomplishments. Take pity on those who said you always fall short, they must have been coming from a very sad place.
-- What MATTERS is that you let go a little bit, let go of a little bit of control, of a little bit of your need for perfection, and I bet it FELT a lot better.