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please don't discount the advice you've been given.
RE: PEI's point about finances: you are not a STAHM mom with six kids, or in your 50s and looking at retirement in a few years. She just meant that you and are in a relatively good position to recover. That is a huge positive.
snodderly~ Thank you for all the advice and tips, I greatly appreciate it. I do totally see the childish behavior, and am trying my best to ignore it and go about my business. I really feel like a lot of things he does to try and get a reaction out of me or pick a fight, but I don't say a word, I just let it go, I'm not stooping to the childish level.
I really appreciate everyone here and their tips/advice, and patience with me learning through this process. This journey is not easy for anyone and I will continue to do the best I can, while realizing I will still make mistakes from time to time.
I we rereading your thread. I noticed you asked about the 37 rules and I didn't see where anyone had got them to you. Here they are:
There are a set of 37 rules/guidelines that are frequently shared with individuals arriving here for the first time. They have helped me (and others) tremendously and I would suggest you read them and do your level best to apply them to your situation. I wrote them down in my notebook. Helped me think about them. Print them out, put them in your purse!
1.Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore! This turns the spouse completely off!
2. No frequent phone calls to spouse.......let him/her be the one to call you. Then don't try to hang on to your spouse through conversation.....instead, you say good-bye first.
3. Do not point out good points in marriage or try to get him/her to read marriage books, look at your M pictures, etc. Especially, do not get him/her to read the DB/DR book. That is for you only!
4. Do not follow your spouse around the house like a puppy dog trying to get his/her time and attention.
5. Do not encourage talk about the future. They don't want to think about a future with you at the moment, so stay clear of that subject.
6. Do not ask for help from family members or friends. Don't discuss private matters with them that would upset your spouse.
7. Do not ask for reassurances (That is showing neediness and being clingy.) Show self-respect and self confidence.
8. Do not buy gifts to make "brownie points". (Can't buy his/her love and affection.)
9. Do not schedule dates together at this point. (That is pursuing.) Save for later when the R is much better.
10.Do not spy on spouse by checking emails, phone bills, etc. (Not good for you and will make matters worse.)
11.Do not say "I Love You" (It is being "pushy" and trying to make your spouse say it back to you......he/she will despise you for it.)
12.Act "as if" you are moving on with your life with or without them and that you are going to be okay. Keep a good attitude.
13.Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive at all times! In other words, be the best you can be and look the best you can look at all times. Even when wearing jeans and T-shirt, wear good cologne, b/c it does cause the spouse to take notice.
14.Don't sit around waiting on your spouse to see what kind of mood he/she is in or what he/she is going to do or say – get busy, think of things to do. Go to church, go out with friends, etc. in order to get a life for yourself without waiting on your wife/husband.....but it is okay to invite them, just don't act as if it will change your plans if they do or don't go.
15.When at home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation---then don't, wait for him/her) then, be rather scarce or with your words, but don't sound rude or too short like you are mad. If your spouse asks what's wrong....just say "nothing" and have a pleasant expression on your face. Keep it short and simple. Don't get into an argument! Stay polite and don’ t act like you are pouting. Use poise and class. This does not mean to act like you aren’t speaking, but don’t be overly talkative.
16.If you are in the habit of asking your spouse his/her whereabouts, ASK THEM NOTHING!! No matter what time he/she comes home! You are giving them space and asking no questions! You enjoy your time with your kids, friends, etc. Remember, you are getting a life, also.
17.You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.
18.Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what he/she will be missing. (But never ask him/her if he/she has noticed any changes!!) This is important! If you do, then you have blown it.
19.No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. This can confuse some of them b/c it is not what they expected. Show your spouse someone he/she would want to be around all the time, somebody that can be attractive and fun to be with. That somebody is you! Don't overkill in your attempts to outshine another person your spouse may be having an A with (if there is OP in the picture) to the point of looking like your attempts are "fake" b/c your spouse will see through all of that.
20.All questions about marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while)so this takes patient on your behalf.
21.Never lose your cool! Don't let your spouse trap you into a fight. Don't take her/his bait.....leave the room or the house for a while, if you have to, in order to avoid a fight.
22.Don't be overly enthusiastic, don't over-kill; in anything you do b/c it will come across as fake.
23.Do not argue about how your spouse feels about something (it only makes his/her feelings more negative.) Only they know how they feel!
24.Be patient......very, very patient. Give your spouse space and time. When you pull back, it will draw them towards you. It feels opposite of what you want to do, but it works!
25.Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you. Look them in the eyes when they talk to you. Do not interrupt them when they are speaking and stop what you may be working on to look at them when they talk. This shows them that you really care about what they are saying.
26.Learn to back off, shut up and walk away when you want to speak out (or scream and yell).
27.Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil). This is for your health's sake.
28.Be strong and confident and learn to speak softly. Read self help books, inspirational books or listen to tapes. They are for you only.
29.Know that if you can do 180's, your smallest CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write.
30.Do not be openly show that you are "desperate" or "needy" even when you are hurting more than ever and truly feel desperate and needy. This is a large turn-off for your spouse.
31.Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse, instead, focus on them.
32.Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because he/she is hurting and scared.
33.Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
34.Do not ask your spouse if he/she has noticed your changes. Those changes are for you and for the rest of your life...with or without your spouse. If it is just to get your spouse back...they won't last and the same problems will return.
35.Do not send several TM's or emails throughout the day unless absolutely necessary.
36. It is best to stay away from the bar scenes where other problems easily arise.
37. Do not backslide from your hard earned changes
Me 53 XH 54 Sons age 27 & 22 M:32 T:33 D final 9/12 Still in same house, waiting to sell it. A silly plan if ever there was one!
I just wanted to let you know, that these 37 rules are really, really hard at first. Especially when they speak complete irrationality and your first instinct is to call them on it. That's what I did. I still have no regrets in how I handled myself because I did the best with what I could at the time. You seem to be an assertive person that will call it like it is ( as am I as well) which is an awesome trait. However it doesn't matter if you're God himself, there is no reasoning with the MLCer, when they're in the throws of replay. Think of this as something to save your sanity, first and foremost.
Even though what they say is unreal, untrue, and insane, just stepping back and not getting engaged into what they're saying/projecting/and accusing you of in the long run is the best way to protect ourselves and our sanity. Just don't partake in it to save yourself. Now Im the first one to stomp my foot and say that's so much easier said than done. Oh it's hard. There will still be backslides, and like I said, sometimes they're necessary. But getting into the tit for tatt crap with them is just the time to be quiet and don't go there.
However if you find yourself in the sitch that some sort of response is needed or appropriate, especially if spew is coming in droves, I would suggest objective statements or questions to redirect where all this is coming from and/or active listening. For example:
Why are you acting this way? Why are you so angry? What makes you feel that way?
So if I hear you correctly, what I hear you saying is : (fill in the blank).
Either they'll be so stumped they can't speak or just come up with more spew and get worse.
Kimmerz~You are absolutely right, I'm sure if God Himself were speaking to my husband he would be stubborn and tell him how wrong he is. It's just so strange to be living with someone who is having, well, a mental break. It's also strange to go from being that same persons best friend, to being someone, they seemingly, don't even like anymore. The whole thing is just messed up, there's no other way to look at at. I just really wonder what goes through people's minds, it's fascinating.
Anyway, got back from my super fun road trip yesterday! A friend and I went to Salem, something she and I had talked about doing for years! It was a blast, and I wish we were still there, but we do plan on going back sometime. It's definitely a place worth visiting!
Yesterday was a little strange, I figured I would not see my H for most of the day, assumed he would be spending Easter, like every other holiday, at his mothers. Oddly, he was home most of the day, only disappeared briefly, he mostly watched tv, and asked me if I needed anything from the store. Other than that I was not spoken to. I did thank him for doing the dishes while I was gone. Of course the grass was nice and long by the time I got back, so I mowed it yesterday, on the up side, the sloping backyard is a great work out!
WenikiTiki~ I'm not sure about the dog poop since I don't have a dog, lol.
Salem, MA.... they have a lot of cool shops there, some GREAT restaurants, and we had a blast dressing up as witches and pirates for pictures!
Yeah, DBing under the same roof is hard, it's like there is no break, and always being ignored stinks! Any tips for the living in the same house situation?
It's hard to stay happy and Ms. Sunshine when Captain Cranky pants is around huffing and puffing and pretending he's great, if only you were gone!
Oh I'm sure it is scary in his head, what I can't get is how they can function like everything is normal and fine around co-workers, and family members, and better yet these people buy into it! Like really, who buys, "um, I just don't feel that way anymore. No emotional connection." To me, and other people I have talked to this does not make sense, that is the only reason in his little messed up mind the relationship is over. Nothing to work on, it's just over, have a nice life. Sorry, that's not acceptable in my eyes. I feel bad he doesn't have a good support system.... probably another thing against our marriage.... however, God is bigger than it all, and so I continue to pray.
LOL, flipping off from the other room! I love it, so I'm not the only one who does stuff like that!!! Sometimes, when he's not here, I will go into "his" room and dance around, and say/sing, "I'm in your room, I'm in your room!" It just gets annoying all the door shutting, it's my freaking house too, I can go into any room I want. Doing that helps with my anger.... also yelling at pictures sometimes helps.... especially at the holidays it did.... pics of him, his dumbass mother and brothers..... very therapeutic.
Also, is it just me or do they do things to try and start fights or try and get reactions, even though they claim they don't care? Just curious..... stuff he's been doing makes me think so, like doing or trying things I've wanted him to do or try for years... but I don't react to any of it..... I just ignore and go about my business.... and deal with my anger and hurt later.
I am doing the "in-house" separation thing too...I know how you feel.
I did the flipping off from behind closed doors as well (sometimes two handed flip offs!), some exaggerated mimicry (behind closed doors off course)...but what really helped me was to use my meditation and music CDs with headphones...just tune them out...and A LOT of books...lol, I think I have read more books since BD (a couple weeks before yours) than I did in college.
Lots of walks (get a dog, or offer to help a neighbor walk theirs), a lot of extra time in at the office after hours, and lots of GAL like working out, etc.
I had to accept that I had a roommate with issues instead of a spouse...ugh...but once I accepted MY REALITY, it got a lot easier.
Like really, who buys, "um, I just don't feel that way anymore. No emotional connection." To me, and other people I have talked to this does not make sense.
It doesn't, and I believe that somewhere hidden away, they know it as well. Myself, I think they have to convince themselves of that to justify OP, and/or what they are doing...almost as if they think pushing us away like that will somehow make it hurt less...IDK, anymore, and I think I am done trying to analyze it...
Also, is it just me or do they do things to try and start fights or try and get reactions, even though they claim they don't care? Just curious.....
OH YES! Do they ever...in my sitch I think a lot of it was testing...testing if I would leave (be the bad guy), or if I could take it, to see if my changes were real, and of course, just some good ol' malice...W was such a sweetheart, man did I learn a side of the hidden her :P ...but like others have said...in MLC the mild BPD/HPD/NPD/PA or hidden or shadow sides come out in full force.
I think they DO care, in a twisted sort of way.
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. --Buckminster Fuller
Every problem has a solution. Not every problem is mine to solve.