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#269250 - 03/31/04 06:59 PM Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
I had a caller ask me about the specifics about what helps make communication more positive and productive. And as a coach, it reminded me that going back to some important basics might boost your talks with your spouse. Michele calls these the “Ground Rules for Constructive Conversations”.

1. Use “I” messages.
For example, instead of saying, “You get me angry” say “I get angry when you do ‘X’
or
“You’re trying to hurt my feelings” say I get hurt when you say ‘X’”

2. No mind reading. Try not to tell someone what they are thinking or feeling.
Examples: “You did that to get back at me”
“I know you how you’re feeling”
“It’s obvious you’re in a bad mood”

3. Remember that you or your spouse’s feelings are neither wrong or right. So, if you are one that tells your spouse what they “should” or “should not” feel a certain way, try hard to take that out of your conversation!

4. Leave the past in the past. Bringing up “old stuff” can leave the blamed one with a sense of “why try” because they know they cannot fix the past. Focus on the present, more viable issue.

5. Avoid “always” or “nevers”. These are adjectives that also invite hopelessness or a “why try” attitude because they communicate to your spouse that any positive attempts they have made have been totally overlooked and/or disregarded.

6. “Whys” can be heard as judgments or put-downs. “Why didn’t you take out the garbage?” “Why do you always have to do it that way?” “Why can’t you be nicer to me?” Can you sense the attacking mode? That will more likely invite a defensive response, right?

Remember to stick to the point and be concrete in your discussions. It probably goes without saying to avoid name-calling, right? And if one of you needs a time out, then please allow each other that breather.

And here’s my favorite one from Michele: Unless he or she is deaf, then he or she has heard you! Instead of constantly repeating the same thing over and over, trust that your spouse has heard you the first time. It might be a good idea to make your point, then let it go. As Michele suggests, in the following days watch to see if your request or concern has been acted upon. When someone feels less pressured or controlled (and that can happen when one feels nagged), they are more willing to respond to the request. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269251 - 03/31/04 09:20 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
slowly Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 2938
wow. thanks, laurie
_________________________
A Liberal Allowance of Time

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#269252 - 03/31/04 09:23 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
merrick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 1467
Loc: Northeast
One more Laurie-

NO SWEARING!!!!!

Merrick
_________________________
Keep on fighting the good fight.

Merrick

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#269253 - 03/31/04 10:27 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Good point Merrick,
How could I have left THAT one out! If you have anymore, let me know, OK?
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269254 - 03/31/04 10:29 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
You're welcome Slowly,
If any of these specifically help you, would you let me know? Thanks!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269255 - 04/01/04 08:18 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Briget Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 3694
Loc: Florida
Are there any ground rules for email contact.I think sometimes it is hard not to come off to strong in emails.
Thanks
Briget
_________________________
The grass is always greener over the septic tank... Erma Bombeck Treat hate with Love... DR. Martin Luther King

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#269256 - 04/01/04 08:26 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
BA42 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 1147
Loc: spain
Wow, I can relate to that. The language my W uses in her emails is very strong. Also I notice that she always replies withing seconds, where I am writing emails for hours, weighing my words, posting them here for opinions before sending them, etc....

I was thinking of inviting my W to IM to try something different.

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#269257 - 04/01/04 10:04 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
dealing_with_WAW Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/03
Posts: 88
I am guilty of a lot of the above and my W has told me that she couldn't handle anymore of it from me. I do try extremely hard not to say them but sometimes I still don't get what was so inappropriate about some of the things I that she would get so upset over. Maybe I just need more practice but I don't think I'll get the chance since my W is done talking to me because it's just too stressful for her. She said it's my aggressive type A personality and that I am an angry person. Even if I do get rid of my anger, my personality alone will drive her nuts and there is nothing we can do about it.

I know I was a difficult person to communicate with but thought I had made some significant improvements. Now I really don't know if it's her trying to find fault with me to justify ending the M or if it's me still.

Any further advice on staying within the groud rules? I know I should think things through before I talk and I should remain calm and make sure I am not saying anything out of anger, but it's still not good enough.


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#269258 - 04/01/04 02:52 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
sgctxok Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/01
Posts: 10731
What helps me most is to remember to only say it once. And it always works for me. To push my point always fails.

No brainer...you'd think.
_________________________
sg
Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001

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#269259 - 04/01/04 02:52 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
odga Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 942
Loc: Georgia
Laurie - I just found this thread - printed out your first post for reference - I may need it tomorrow night - C IMed me Wed around noon and asked me to come over tomorrow night for dinner. I plan to be as plesant and friendly as I can. Wish me luck.

_________________________
ODGA

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#269260 - 04/01/04 03:40 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
rottzilla Offline
Member

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 1015
Loc: Massachusetts
EXCELLENT post, thanks Laurie. I'm guilty of almost every one of these in the past.

BTW, I had a consult with you just before your vaca and just wanted to let you know you changed my life for the better. Thanks.
_________________________
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...445#Post1956445

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#269261 - 04/01/04 10:35 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
slowly Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 2938
hi laurie - your points 1 and 6 resonated most with me - i tried the switch from you to 'i feel x when you' and boy did it work wonders. also, my H used to freak out at the why questions, and i finally understand why . i'm also learning from everyone else's posts on this thread. thanks again, slowly
_________________________
A Liberal Allowance of Time

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#269262 - 04/02/04 09:43 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Briget,
I think you are right. Emails can communicate something you never intended! You do not have control over the "tone" of your message as much, so reviewing emails carefully (even reading them outloud to yourself) before you send them is important.
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269263 - 04/02/04 09:55 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Dear Dealing with WAW,
If you are goal-oriented, your communication do's and dont's will focus on what will "work" in your M. You don't have to "get" why your W is upset, as long as you can identity WHAT type of communication you do that pulls her away from you. Then you can adjust the way you communicate that reduces her anger/frustration.

Any further advice? Well, I'd suggest practicing some of the approaches discussed above first. Breaking your style of communicating can take some time, but well worth it. So, I'd encourage you to really watch what tone or words you use that causes your W grief and back off from those, OK? And when a talk goes well, really try to think what you said that helped it go well. Also, if you're on the phone, tape your side of the conversation and listen to it. It might give you a sense of how you sound to your W, right? I wish you well as you attempt these changes!


Edited by Laurie (04/02/04 09:56 PM)
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269264 - 04/02/04 09:57 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
d_o_c Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 563
Loc: PA
I would like to practice these rules but there has been very little contact with my W in the last 5 weeks. So how would you recommend that communication be restablished?
_________________________
d_o_c

The Final Chapter?

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#269265 - 04/02/04 09:58 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Hi OGDA!
I am wishing you luck - hoping that as I write this, your PMA is doing quite well!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269266 - 04/02/04 10:02 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Dear Rottzilla,
Wow - you really honor me! I am thankful that our talk offered something valuable to you. It's comments like yours that affirm my goal of trying to help others take a healing step forward. You made my night - thanks!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269267 - 04/02/04 10:08 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Thanks Slowly for sharing what works. I believe your sharing can really inspire others to attempt communication changes that could have a great on their M's! Keep telling us what works!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269268 - 04/02/04 10:15 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
DOC,
Please give me a sense of your sitch. Also, if you can share what R goals you think are realistic for your circumstances within the next week, that might offer a better sense of what your possible communication goals could be. I can come back to you on Sunday and explore some options, OK?
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269269 - 04/02/04 10:41 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
d_o_c Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 563
Loc: PA
Quick run down of sitch. Me 42 W 37 M 13 no children. W announced in August that she was leaving. January she moved out. I start DBing in February and was somewhat successful. I stopped calling my W and saying ILY. W started pursuing. Phone calls were almost daily. We went out on a few of dates. They were on VD, her birthday, and we went see the Passion on the 28th(last date). We spent the night together twice durng that period(no ML).

Last date that night my W said it was too hard [to continue seeing each other]. I am guessing why. Since then no phone calls and no sight of each other except when we were at the hospital visiting our niece.

We will see other next Tuesday to do the taxes. After that there will be no reason to see other except to divide up our possesions. My W still has a large amount of her things here at the house. If you want to see more details of my sitch click on the link at the bottom.

My R goal is to establish some way of staying in touch with my W. I need contact to practice DBing. Tuesday night gives me a chance but that's it as far as I can tell.

One of our problems in our M was communication and it seems to have extended to our separation. I am on somewhat friendly terms with my W. Our last conversation was tonight lasted about 4 minutes. My W wanted to talk about the R but when I brought it up she said she did not think that us getting back together would work. This better than hearing "I am not coming back." Then she did not want to talk anymore. My W suggested we could talk Tuesday night.

I am at a loss as to what to do. I had so much success so fast now I cannot see even baby steps.
_________________________
d_o_c

The Final Chapter?

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#269270 - 04/03/04 10:33 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
seattlehopeful Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 718
Loc: Seattle, WA
Hi Laurie

Heres the link to my thread as you requested. Thank you.

my thread

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#269271 - 04/05/04 10:08 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Hi DOC,
First, I apologize for being a day late! Next, I’d encourage you to carefully think what you want to have happen tomorrow night. Realistically speaking what would tell you that tomorrow night was successful? What can you most practically hope for tomorrow? And how do you need to behave/talk that will encourage your night to go well?

DOC, we may see this differently, but you still have opportunities to DB through your negotiations of dividing up your things, plus any contact possible when your W may need some of her things from you. So, I see a number of chances to show her your changes.

You said you’re at a loss for what to do, yet you got your W to start pursuing. So, do not let go of successful backing off, OK? As tempting as it is to respond enthusiastically to your W’s positive behavior toward you (and I am not necessarily assuming you did that), I must encourage you to be receptive, yet keep some cool distance. If you get too excited about the progress made, she will sense that and back off – fearing you are gathering too much hope from her pursuing and responsiveness.


Does that help as you sort out tomorrow night DOC?

_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269272 - 04/06/04 08:13 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Briget Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 3694
Loc: Florida
Laurie,
Next week my husband and I have court ordered cousuling.I requested it and I got it.Now I'm scared it might not work and it might push him away more.I wonder how I should act and what i should and should not say it tharapy.

I pretty sure I should not act angry.But I am angry.I'm sure i should act happy.But if I do won't that make him think I'm better off without him.
I think I made a mistake with asking for counsuling.My thread is in midlife if you want to take a look.I think I'm just nervous to finish what I started.
Thanks
Briget
_________________________
The grass is always greener over the septic tank... Erma Bombeck Treat hate with Love... DR. Martin Luther King

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#269273 - 04/06/04 08:57 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
d_o_c Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 563
Loc: PA
Quote:

Next, I’d encourage you to carefully think what you want to have happen tomorrow night. Realistically speaking what would tell you that tomorrow night was successful? What can you most practically hope for tomorrow? And how do you need to behave/talk that will encourage your night to go well?




Well I would like to stay away from R talk because my W does not seem ready to discuss it also I don't want her to make decision one way or another since she stills seems confused as to what she truly wants.

I would like the night to be very positive in all aspects. Finances has always been a thorny issue and I need to maintain an upbeat attitude while going over our taxes. I would like the conversation to be centered around small talk and taxes. Ultimately I would like to hear a positive comment about our sitch. Nothing major just a little phrase suggesting she is thinking about "us" rather than continuing down the road towards divorce.

I need to be acting "as if" and upbeat as much as humanly possible because I want to leave my W with a positive impression of the night. I need a lot of patience.

Quote:

DOC, we may see this differently, but you still have opportunities to DB through your negotiations of dividing up your things, plus any contact possible when your W may need some of her things from you. So, I see a number of chances to show her your changes.




I see the possibilties for contact but they seem to be in a more negative rather than positive setting .


Quote:

You said you’re at a loss for what to do, yet you got your W to start pursuing. So, do not let go of successful backing off, OK? As tempting as it is to respond enthusiastically to your W’s positive behavior toward you (and I am not necessarily assuming you did that), I must encourage you to be receptive, yet keep some cool distance. If you get too excited about the progress made, she will sense that and back off – fearing you are gathering too much hope from her pursuing and responsiveness.




Thanks for the advice I'll keep it in mind when we meet.


Quote:

Does that help as you sort out tomorrow night DOC?




It certainly gives me a lot more to work with.

Thanks,
_________________________
d_o_c

The Final Chapter?

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#269274 - 04/06/04 09:15 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
merrick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 1467
Loc: Northeast
Laurie-

I've got you at 3 CDT this afternnon. If you can look at my latest before then, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Merrick's Ambivalent Wife
_________________________
Keep on fighting the good fight.

Merrick

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#269275 - 04/06/04 01:58 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Thanks for the heads-up Merrick..I just reviewed it!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269276 - 04/06/04 04:47 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
DOC,
Thank you for responding. You sound like you have a solid plan for your tax meeting. Let me know how it went!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269277 - 04/06/04 04:49 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Briget, Please give me some time to look at your thread and I'll be back!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269278 - 04/06/04 06:03 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
wishingtoheal Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 1539
Loc: midwest
Laurie,

H and I had sessions with you for about a year with the last one being just before Christmas 2002. I appreciated your "cheerleading" for me then, as well as the support you give to those here.

H did have D papers drawn up last July, and asked for a D in Sept. But, so far I have seen nothing of those papers (but then we have had no R talks since Sept. either).

During our sessions you always made sure to tell me to "take care of yourself", and I have done that. In fact, other than my M, life is good and continues to be so. I really am blessed.

Of all the advice that you give to others, I believe that the "take care of yourself" is one of the most important, at least it has been for me.

It is good to see you on the bb once in awhile!

Wishing

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#269279 - 04/06/04 09:37 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
d_o_c Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 563
Loc: PA
Laurie,

I posted the following in my thread as well. I believe over all the night went fairly well. I did not get the positive statement or response to our sitch from my W no matter how small but she did use terms of endearment. Whether she slipped or not I do not know. But read on and if you have questions or comments I would like to hear them. Thanks for taking the time to look over my sitch.

The night started out fairly well. My W was hungry when she arrived and asked what we have to cook. Then she corrected herself and said there isn't a we anymore. Then she suggested walking to this little restaurant around the corner. The food has gone downhill a little since the last time we were there though. Even though she offered to pay I paid for the meal which wasn't much.

During the meal she asked questions abouut the dance lessons such as is it a singles club? It isn't and I told her it was a dance studio. I also informed her that I was headed to the shore for the day next weekend. My W started to cry and would not tell me why but said that we would talk later. She also made a comment about how now I dance(not true my first lesson is tomorrow night). I always disliked dancing but I figure with steps it might not be bad.

My W made a comment about some real estate we own here and said she could get a good price cash but turned down the offer. My W told the person it is not up to her to which I replied that she knows how I feel but if she wants to go ahead there was nothing I could do. I was referencing the fact that I do not want the D. She stated she thought she could get more for the real estate. I did not say anything.
After dinner my W made a comment about moving back to MD and I said we will probably both end up there. She asked why I wouldn't stay here? I replied that there was no reason for me to stay. I hate the politics in MD but there are some things I miss. My old church for one.

The part of the night doing the taxes went well and I can handle the payment fairly well. My W needed to scan some paper work and then copy it to CD. After that she was gone. She needed to get up early for work tomorrow.

During the night she used on 5 occasions terms of endearment. Except for what she said on voice mail earlier today it was the first time she used such terms in about 6 weeks.

When we were saying goodbye my W approached me as though to give me a kiss but it did not happen. I wondered if she was waiting for me to initiate the kiss. I don't know for sure but when in doubt do nothing.

It seems R talk is still too difficult for her to approach and talk about D is not as certain either. But since my W is not talking one way or another who knows what is going on including her.
_________________________
d_o_c

The Final Chapter?

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#269280 - 04/07/04 10:24 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
camcoop Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 104
Bridget, how do you go about getting court ordered counseling. Do you think this will work for or against you. If you order your H to go, won;t that upset him?

Steve

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#269281 - 04/07/04 07:47 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Briget Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 3694
Loc: Florida
Steve,
I don't know if it will work.In fact it is a very risky thing to do.

My husband filed for divorce and had me served.I had to respond in 20 days.In the state of Florida you can respond with a motion to abate and enter into marrage counseling.

I don't know if other states have this provision.

But I would caution you against this.It mad my husband very angry.

My thread is in midlife if you wish to read how this all came about.

Later Friend.
Briget
_________________________
The grass is always greener over the septic tank... Erma Bombeck Treat hate with Love... DR. Martin Luther King

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#269282 - 04/07/04 08:45 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Briget,
First could you fill me in on what kind of behavior would you be doing that would push him away in the counseling session? Can I assume that you would feel somewhat satisfied with this session if you just didn’t go “backwards” during this time?

You said that if you act happy, won’t that give your H the impression you’re better off without him? May I ask what other options have you considered as far as how to act during this time? And what impact would those other options have? (I need a better feel for what’s been working for you.)

Sorry to leave you with more questions than answers, but each couple have their unique way of relating and I want to respond in a way that offers a more productive direction for you!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269283 - 04/07/04 09:04 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Dear Wishing,
Thank you so much for stopping by. As you said, I have become more convinced how very crucial taking care of yourself must be part of the DB process. And comments like yours will continue to help me encourage others in that direction.

You're on to some good DB'g if your H has halted any movement toward D! Sometimes not asking about the R (and being able to accept the not knowing) can offer important processing time our spouse may need to become aware of the true impact of their decision. Bless you for your perseverance!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269284 - 04/07/04 09:24 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Briget Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 3694
Loc: Florida
Hi Laurie.

I would definitely feel satisfied if we didn't go backwards.

We tried marriage counsuling back in Oct. the tharapist had us do an exercise out of john grays book.We had to write a letter and in it we had to write what we were angry,sad dissapointed and and such.these ended up being the most mean unkind letters. We used to write each other love letters.Needless to say I found another therapist.

I'm sure i should let him do the talking.That way one I don't say anything hurtful. And two he will be heard.


Maybe just let the counsulor lead.That way he doesn't think I'm trying to control things.

No matter what he says I think i should not show anger.i have a very bad temper.if I show anger he will think I'm still the same.

Only lately has he even been speaking to me.I'm not even sure what I have done to get him to speak to me.I'm always upbeat and happy.

I think he does see a change in me.But he is still seeing ow so even though he see's it he wants to be with her.I no longer mention her.I have even stopped calling her names.Of course I do to me sister and best friend.

I think he is passive agressive.I however am controling.If I can't get it one way I will get it another.I'm now working on that.I'm needy and clingy.

For years I had panic attacks.I no longer have them.For lack of a better word they are in remission.I haven't had an attack in about five years.However I have a few phobias.I really only have one left.Driving.

I used to never go out.In the 16 years we ahve been together I maybe had four drinks.I have a family history of alcholics.I was always afraid I would become one.So I hampered our social life.Now I go out and have a few and shoot pool.

I have a job.Not one I like but it pays the bills.

We don't talk much.

In fact he pretty much ignores me when hecomes over.

he used to hide out in the kids room so he wouldn't have to talk to me when he visited.now the kids arein the living room whenhe gets here.In fact they stay out of there rooms so he won't hang out there.

I think should just stay quiet and let him do the talking and just agree if possible.

I'm not sure how to do this.

But if I let him do the talking I can't say anything hurtful.I do have a sharp tongue.

But other than that I'm not sure how to act.

Do you think if I call for a phone appointment with you I could get it before I go to my session on monday?


Thanks Laurie.
Briget

_________________________
The grass is always greener over the septic tank... Erma Bombeck Treat hate with Love... DR. Martin Luther King

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#269285 - 04/07/04 09:29 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Dear DOC,
It seems to me that your night was probably as successful (realistically) as it could have been. I get the sense you were very purposeful in your behavior and communication that night. 5 endearments in one night is a pretty incredible increase compared to your previous 6 weeks! She's reponding to you as if you were more approachable or safe, don't you think? That’s a good sign you’re on the right track, DOC.

OK - where are we going from here? Have you reviewed/renewed your goals?
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269286 - 04/07/04 09:47 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Hi Briget!
So, as I am reading, I understand for things NOT to go backwards that your H needs:
1. to be heard/listened to
2. to not be controlled
3. to not experience your anger

I’d encourage you to rethink what “control” might be for you. If your goal can be to leave that session with your R as intact as it was when you went in, then that should tell you how to “control”, OK? And we’ve covered at least three ways as mentioned above. Your controlling attempts CAN WORK FOR YOU if it focuses on getting positive results (vs. needing to defend or be right).

And if you’d like to talk before Monday, call Keri and she may have a Saturday morning time still available. I would look forward to “meeting” you!
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269287 - 04/08/04 08:15 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
d_o_c Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 563
Loc: PA
I have reviewed my goals.

1) Know response to R if W brings it up - This is a running speech in my head daily.

2) Validate my W's pain - I have been doing this when the need arises. Lately we have not talked about the R so not much to do here currently. I just have to be prepared.

3) How to respond to W crying - She did cry the other night at the restaurant. Since it was a public place I asked if she would tell me why she was crying later. She said yes but no talk occured later.

4)Work on friendship - This has been tough because contacts have been far and few in between.

5) Create some mystery - I accomplished this when I left a message about setting up a time to do the taxes. On the message I included nights I would not be available without stating why. When my W called about setting up a date she asked me if I was moving on. I did tell her that on Wednesday nights I was taking dance lessons. This had sparked questions of a partner if it was a singles club and so on.

6)Take dance lessons - Goal in progress.

7) Get out and socialize more - Working on it. Since I am an introvert this is a big 180.

8)Let go of the rope - This has been a little more difficult to implement but I am still trying.

These are the current goals that I have at the moment if you have any suggestions I would be glad to here them.
_________________________
d_o_c

The Final Chapter?

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#269288 - 04/09/04 11:54 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Doc,
I looked back at one of your entries and realized I had missed this:

Quote:

My R goal is to establish some way of staying in touch with my W. I need contact to practice DBing.




I agree you need contact to show your DB'g. My concern is that if your focus in how to create more contact, that she could really sense pressure from you and won't even be open to experiencing your new DB behavior. Putting more focus on working on yourself, reducing any contact that could be construed as pressure or control and being very, very, very patient could open up more helpful times with your W. (Remember, you still can practice much of your DB'g even without your W, right? For example, taking better care of yourself, practicing with others your changed behaviors that hurt/bothered your W, getting into a habit of communicating with others that would also work better with your W, etc...)

DOC, Your list of behavior changes sound solid - that's great. I am wondering what responses you are hoping for from your W as a result of these behaviors? Or, what would be happening in your R that would tell you your changes are working?
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269289 - 04/09/04 03:38 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
d_o_c Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 563
Loc: PA
Quote:

I am wondering what responses you are hoping for from your W as a result of these behaviors? Or, what would be happening in your R that would tell you your changes are working?





Goals 1-4 are there for my interaction with my W and I am hoping as a result that my W will be less distant, less guarded, warmer, and more trusting towards me. Tuesday night when we worked on the taxes there was a distance between us that is hard to describe but nevertheless exists. I get a sense that she does not trust her feelings towards me one way or another and that is why she will not discuss our R. I could be wrong but that is how I see it at the moment. Unless my W feels comfortable around me then it will be hard to make any progress.

Goals 5 & 8 are there to possibly create some pursuit from my W. As I mentioned in another response or thread there were a few questions from my W regarding the nights I would be unavailable for doing taxes. Goal #8 is also for me to let go of my W a little bit to keep from riding the roller coaster based on my W actions or inactions. For example early on in the separation my W would call me and I would be up that night and most of the next day. When the next night rolled around and she had not called me I would then be down once again. So letting go will give me an emotional break even though I know there could be some rough times ahead.

Goals #6&7 are for me as well but if the W notices they could generate some positive responses. I am basically an introvert and do not like to go out that often. My W is the exact opposite she loves to go out and be with people and she loves to dance. These particular 180's will help me in the long run no matter what happens. If my W comes back then we have new experiences to share if not then there will be opportunities to meet someone else by meeting these goals.

What would happen to tell me that things are working? My W would start staying in touch with me more often. The last I heard from her was a voice mail on Wednesday reminding me of another deduction to put towards our taxes.

Laurie thanks so much for taking the time to assess my current sitch and goals.
_________________________
d_o_c

The Final Chapter?

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#269290 - 04/10/04 08:34 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
sgctxok Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/01
Posts: 10731
up
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sg
Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001

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#269291 - 04/21/04 01:56 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Up again!!!
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JJ

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#269292 - 04/23/04 03:59 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
sgctxok Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/01
Posts: 10731
*******
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sg
Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001

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#269293 - 05/06/04 05:32 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
slowly Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 2938

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A Liberal Allowance of Time

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#269294 - 07/01/04 10:39 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
^
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#269295 - 07/04/04 05:59 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
sgctxok Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/01
Posts: 10731
hi
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sg
Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001

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#269296 - 10/14/04 01:06 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Up we go!!
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#269297 - 10/14/04 01:16 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Underdog Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 6088
Loc: Denver
Oh, what a terrific thread! I wonder how I missed it all this time?

After having been on this DB path for so doggone long now, I see things differently now. Here's what I would like to add:

1. Work on bringing neutrality to each and every conversation.

2. Choose times and places where you have the best chance of communicating well. For me? I figured out a long time ago that Mr. Wonderful is very receptive to chats (even R chats) when he is in his car on his mobile phone. Now he initiates tough chats with me, and often he is able to do this from his office but the best conversations take place in his car.

3. Leave your emotions at the front door... or on your desk... or somewhere else.

4. Make concrete goals for the communication before you begin.

5. Quit playing the conversation out in your head before you even begin! That will sabotage your efforts to find solutions instead of more problems.

6. See the statements that hurt you as an opportunity to change behaviors, thoughts and actions.

7. Commit to listening and not defending your position.

8. Seek understanding before you ask to be understood. And mean it.

9. Dump the bag of expectations you carry. There is a big chance that you will be disappointed.

10. Try to adopt an attitude of "this is for the best". See your difficulties as a means of getting your prayers answered. You only find value in a rubber band when you apply tension to it.

Betsey
_________________________
"There are only 2 ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

Albert Einstein

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#269298 - 12/23/04 12:08 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Bump time!!
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JJ

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#269299 - 12/27/04 05:01 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
JIMC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 5
Loc: Cape Cod,Mass,USA
I loved Laurie's constructive talk list especially the suggestion to use I instead of you and to avoid the attacking mode prefaced with 'why's" excellent advice.
Jim C
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Jim C Cape Cod,Massachusetts

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#269300 - 01/05/05 12:43 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
desdamona Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 1027
Loc: Ca
Regarding mind reading. I have always thought that I knew his motivations for everything. He didn't call because he doesn't care. I seem to find the worst possible meaning in everything he says or does...that is proof that he doesn' love me. I was left to guess because I thought he never talked. Tonight I tried something different. I LISTENED. I did not interrupt. Did not make encouraging or discouraging gestures, nod my head in agreement, roll my eyes or speak. I waited everytime it seemed he was done, my usual cue to jump in and correct him. I didn't do anything but listen. He talked more than he ever has. The quieter I was, the more he talked. That is a big 180 for this miss know it all. When it was time for me to go, he got up and came to hug me. He wouldn't let go ( I had a dentist appointment, so I had to cut it short and THAT never happens). Less mind reading. Leave up to the psychic hotline.
_________________________
Arguing with reality is like trying to teach a cat to bark—hopeless. (Byron Katie)

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#269301 - 02/07/05 02:47 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
^^^~~~~^^^
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#269302 - 02/21/05 10:28 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
KeepTheFaith Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 1044
http://www.divorcebusting.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=855327&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=31&fpart=1

laurie can you give me some advice? My wife reads my cards but we still have no contact. She hasn't replied or called in about 2 weeks now. I was wondering what I should say to her in an email. Should I focus on the things I'm doing daily? I don't want to stop emailing her because she may think I don't care anymore but I don't want to seem too pushy either. I also want to express my desire to change and how much I love and miss her. I'm really bad at this.
_________________________
I wish I could run into the arms of my wife and wake up from this nightmare......

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#269303 - 03/22/05 12:39 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
supportneeded Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/02
Posts: 285
Laurie, if you have time can you stop by my thread? It is under supportneeded, titled "i know someone can wake me up."

link to it is:
http://www.divorcebusting.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=855469&page=3&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=31&fpart=1

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#269304 - 04/20/05 06:50 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
sgctxok Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/01
Posts: 10731
Laurie's advice to "Chef"


"Dear Chef,
I think by you taking advantage of those times when your W is softer makes sense. It is hard to really know someone's motivations, but it is wise of you to make the most of any moment that can create a positive interaction ."

_________________________
sg
Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001

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#269305 - 04/23/05 08:45 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
emmar Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 219
Loc: south wales uk
Hi
this is a really interesting thread

just wandered if there are any tips when in my sitch i have a very big opportunity to show h all of the changes that i have made, by way of responding calmly, i plan to take a deep braeth before each thing i say in order to give me an extra second to think what outcome my words may have (hurtful, antagonistic etc) rather than being the reactive defensive person that just always managed to press every one of the wrong buttons with h.

i also think that i will remind myself before this call happens that he will not realise the impact of his words and therefore i will take what he says(if any of it hurts) as his defense mechanism and not an attack on me personally. i think that this will quell the flames somewhat.

what i would like though are any other tips for constructive talks that will.....help h to be my friend and see the changes so that maybe in a few years we can open the door a little..... he has ow at the moment and i have a mega sitch that i need to be focused on for some time, but when it is all over,assuming that all else has settled then i would like to think that if we leave a door of friendship open ajar now, that we may in time be able to rekindle something else one day.

im not looking for a miracle cure but something positive that i can leave him with that will allow him to think on me fondly and contact me now and again to see that i am ok..... without that is just rolling over and allowing him to have what he wants at my expense..

bold phrases would be good.... positive comments, maybe flattery but without desperation, you know what i mean?

em

oh ps im on 'HERE WE GO AGAIN' if you would like to check out the sitch before suggesting anything
_________________________
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#269306 - 06/06/05 04:00 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Lilith1963 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 24
Loc: North Carolina, US
How can I have constructive talks if he won't talk with me. He said he avoids conversation with me so that he doesn't give me the impression he wants to reconcile. What a heartbreaking statement. Advice? Please?
_________________________
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin.

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#269307 - 06/28/05 11:21 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
RNC814 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 883
Loc: North Carolina
How did I miss this thread?

I am guilty of constantly breaking #6 ("Why did you do that?", etc.) and I need to work on it as it's so unconsious for me to ask questions like that. I NEVER mean them as attacks, but I can see now how they can be taken that way...
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#269308 - 07/07/05 12:51 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Gville Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 2
I'm new here... and this is exactly what I needed to see. Thanks.

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#269309 - 07/08/05 04:28 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
nnn49 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 11
Loc: NY
Laurie,

if you have a minute could you please stop by my thread in it's in "we're separated -what now?". The thread is "I'm in NY, H is in Atlanta and not coming back".web page
I really need your advice on how to keep it all together when I know it was mostly my fault that our M went down, I realized my mistakes but he feels it's too late. He said he's not coming back to me and I'm just desperate - life totally doesn't make sense without him. It's so hard not to see him and be cool and reserved on the phone. Especially we don't talk that often... Please HELP!

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#269310 - 07/20/05 01:22 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
2STX Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 2
I have realized lately that my W can read into and between the lines and sense an attitude in my emails even if I am sincere...example: If you are late with a payment and the lender calls...

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#269311 - 11/04/05 10:29 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Up we go again!!!!
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JJ

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#269312 - 11/09/05 08:26 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Bowtech Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 927
What can I do when she has not made up her mind on what she wants with our marraige?
_________________________
"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:27-28

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#269313 - 12/13/05 12:10 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
doc9151 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 99
Loc: florida
Hello
if anyone could give any advice on my sitch please help. I do not know how to get through to my W. we do talk but she will not discuss our R at all. she keeps saying tomorrow but tomorrow never comes. shes moving to NY from fl in 2wks if you have any advice please help also should i give her a copy of DR she says she would read it but I dont know if its a good idea. my sitch
_________________________
william

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#269314 - 12/15/05 07:04 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
FirstLoveLastLove Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Maryland
Laurie,

For starters, I'm a newcomer, so please bear with me. Also, I am not married but was unoffically engaged. The relationship has gone south and I still have hope that I can bring the relationship back. I read through the Ground Rules, and my initial question is this...
On Number 1 you say to use "I" instead of "You". I have tried this in the past using " I feel" this or that and the responses I would get in return are "It's always about your feelings". In response I would usually say something along the lines that I care about her feelings. Seems as though it backfires in some cases. Any help in this type of situation would be greatly appreciated. I have a lot to learn but I am just starting and diving in with hopes of rekindling a wonderful Love.

Thanks,
FirstLoveLastLove

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#269315 - 12/15/05 09:43 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
doc9151 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 99
Loc: florida
thats a good question i get the same response from my W. Hope someone has an answer.
_________________________
william

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#269316 - 12/17/05 06:10 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
FirstLoveLastLove Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Maryland
In addition to my previous post, I also have some further questions regarding the Ground Rules. I am trying to understand how to handle number 4 Avoid bringing up the Past. What do I do when we are engaged in what seems like a constructive discussion and she brings up the Past. I try to be understanding, and listen to what she is saying. I know that it is constructive in that she is identifying problems, perceived and real, which I need to address. I may not agree with all aspects of her issues, but understand they are real to her and I need to find a solution. So basically the question is if I am approaching this from a constructive solution, when she brings up the past vs me bringing it up? This same question applies to Rule 5, Not using Always and Never... I may have in the past but have been keeping that in check, but once again, how to handle when she uses these. Any and all insight would be appreciated.

FirstLoveLastLove

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#269317 - 03/07/06 03:55 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
^^^^
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#269318 - 06/09/06 08:41 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
janc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/06
Posts: 3
Laurie, I am struggling just getting started in a conversation. Allowing for her space. Things have been so tense between us that conversation has just been centered around kids schedules. I feel like a person who is in the pilot seat and wondering which instrument to read touch or not touch. I want connection to begin with as a goal? How specific or how do I begin without W feeling I am persueing.
I have over persued as a history. Trying to fix and work it out verbally has not worked. So, the distance has her wondering. help?

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#269319 - 08/13/06 01:42 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
kirby69 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 76
I am guilty of being a "chronic repeater". A marriage counselor once said I was like a "Russian Hypnotist".

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#269320 - 09/05/06 08:02 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
todd123 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I am struggling always with the line I get from WAW having A that "I don't care, I just don't care anymore, so what" and the like to anything I say when we try to discuss or negotiate. I just don't know what to say to that at all. I can't believe there is no care but rather, a deep intention or desire to avoid and feel relief from guilt, shame fear and that stuff that I'm sure she must be feeling. I do accept it without response when she says things like these but, it hurts and I guess I don't want to believe it, well...I don't believe it.

How can I respond well showing her I care, I accept, I believe, etc.?
_________________________
Adversity introduces a man to himself

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#269321 - 09/05/06 10:22 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
StevieRay13 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Illinois
If you have read DR you know that bringing up talks about the R are usually counterproductive. WAS usually feels pressure and that does stem from guilt, etc... Usually if the WAS brings up the R talk you just validate what they say, but remember that just because you validate them doesn't mean that you agree with what they are saying. You are just listening and letting them know that you are hearing what they are saying without becoming defensive.

A big part of DBing is doing more of what works and less of what doesn't. Sounds like what you are doing isn't working so you need to do something else. To figure this out you need to look at what you are trying to accomplish and why.
_________________________
"Our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

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#269322 - 09/05/06 11:47 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
todd123 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the feedback SR13. I have read DR over and over.

I don't dare bring up conversations about R. It is when she is initiating talks asking me to go to mediator or conversation about talking to kids. There is actually very little to almost no communication between us right at this moment. I'm not sure whether to or when to or if I should talk to her at all or about what. I feel pretty spineless at the moment. I just end up silent but, that seems along the line of depressed (which I certainly am inside). But, that is far from my normal self expression and certainly not a healthy presentation of my GALing.

While she says nothing about R, I follow the lead. While she says nothing about D or S, I follow the lead. While she says nothing about the A (which she never speaks 1 word about), I follow the lead. While she lies through her teeth to me and sons, I remain silent.

It is typically when she gets back from a C session or lunch with Family Violence Prevention woman that she's all fired up and that is typically when she confronts me with moving ahead to S (like immediately - yesterday even). She's bitter, dismissive, aggressive, angry and spiteful (all signals of a lot of unresolved feelings toward me and/or about us). That is usually when that type of talk erupts and usually in response to my saying practically nothing - I am soft spoken, gentle, affirming and cooperative.

I guess the differnt thing I am doing right now is to be quiet, say nothing and allow the separation that her behaviour seems to demand of me. I do wish to remain passively resistant though and not facilitate S. Other moments I think "well maybe I should blast right into separation and ask her to move out immediately". I don't know.
_________________________
Adversity introduces a man to himself

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#269323 - 09/05/06 01:37 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
StevieRay13 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Illinois
Quote:

There is actually very little to almost no communication between us right at this moment. I'm not sure whether to or when to or if I should talk to her at all or about what.




You can and should talk to her, but when you do keep it light and about some of the everyday things you both deal with, kids, work, school, etc... Try to talk to her about stuff that she or you would talk to a friend about. At the same time, and I know how hard this can be, you need to act like a friend to her and nothing more. She in turn will not treat you very much like a friend, but this isn't something that you can control. In every sitch you always have two ways to approach them, ether positively or negatively. You just have to take the time to (which is also very hard to do) think about what choice you want to do.
_________________________
"Our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

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#269324 - 09/08/06 09:37 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
spikecharlie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 127
Hi Laurie,
I need advice quick! My forum is on the Divorced, but not "Done" section under SpikeCharlie if you would like to read it to know my full story. My husband and I both have attorney's now and we are waiting on a mediation date now. I talked to my husband 3 weeks ago on the phone and he said things like "people can remarry you know, but right now We need to divorce", and "if you fight me in this divorce asking for money from my business then we'er going to be enemy's and there will not be a chance for us in the future" I don't know if he is just saying that trying to make me back down on him in this divorce (attorney is very good and asking for alot from him) or if he is having regrets and would like to get back together, but wants a divorce? He talks from both sides of his mouth. He tells me "I never said I wanted a divorce, I just wanted a separation but when your family got involved with us and starting saying mean things about me then I realized I couldn't forgive your parents and we can't reconcile right now". he says "I feel trapped like I'm stuck in a corner and I can't get out. This is what I have to do right now." But he served me two sets of divorce papers one a noncontested and the other one contested so that to me says he wants a divorce bad. I'm also planning on moving to Tenneesse to work on a music career and he told me "I'm not saying that even after this divorce I wwon't come up to see you in Tn and see if maybe we could work on something in the future, but right now we are getting a divorce" He is very confusing. He tells me he doesn't love me and then says "I'm not saying I don't have any love for you, I care for you, but I'm not In love with you". And he tells me "I don't miss you and I'm very happy now". It is hard to believe. He is upset that I'm asking for so much in this divorce, but it's been unfair that he never wanted to work on the marriage or give me a chance. If you would please read my story it may help you understand things better about my situation. Anyway...I don't know if I should keep working on this or just give him this divorce. I wish I knew if he really was happy or having regrets. Also when I do see him I don't know what to say without us arguing and fighting on the phone. We are not talking at all. Just waiting on mediation date. If you could I would appreciate ANY help!!! Thank you.

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#269325 - 09/11/06 07:22 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Laurie Offline
DB Coach

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 833
Loc: DB Telephone Coach
Dear Spikecharlie,
I understand how you must be confused, as he offers bits of hope in the midst of wanting a divorce. I will read the rest of your story, but in the meantime, tell me what kind of contact you will be having with him during the next few weeks (i.e., phone, face-to-face, email, etc...)? Also, how frequently do you think you will be connecting in the next few weeks?

OK, I am off to read the rest of your story!

Take care,
_________________________
Laurie,
Divorce Busting Coach
Contact The Divorce Busting Center at 303-444-7004 or 800-664-2435 if you would like to schedule a telephone consultation with a DB Coach - or email virginia@divorcebusting.com for info.

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#269326 - 09/11/06 10:13 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
Davidanton13 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/06
Posts: 47
Loc: Michigan
Hi Laurie,

I've been reading about techniques as well and trying to apply them...my story is below but I feel increasingly confused. Per My rapidly accelerating divorce..." target="_blank">my thread my wife has bounced between demanding the divorce to occassionally softening her stance...right now, she's full speed ahead. I am starting to feel that the best thing is to get this over with as I am really struggling with the constant negativity in our house. I think I'd like to move out because I'm worried about the impact on our two teenage sons. Yesterday, she berated me again for not being a good provider, not being able to keep a job (I've always been employed, but have switched companies, as is common in advertising, every 2-5 years, and have never failed to pay the mortgage/bills, credit cards) and ruining most of her 19 years with me by being moody, difficult and negative towards her. In other words, it was all bad.

I'm now at the point where, although I love her very much, and would like to make the marriage work for us as well as the kids (they desperately want us to work this out, but she refuses to attempt SBT...we saw her therapist twice...a total, complete disaster -- the second and third sessions, with her therapist for the past year, ended with her saying, I don't know why I'm here, I just want a divorce)

I've GAL...that seems to enrage her as well. I go out often with new friends and enjoy myself...I look the best I have in probably 10 years (Im a former athlete) and I get many compliments about how I look. I often cook/clean/do laundry/grocery shop when she's not in the house, and that makes her mad as well. Even my kids have commented that the last 3 months, I'm a new person...happier, closer with them and they really enjoy being with me. Both boys told me yesterday that, "mom is just angry all the time."

I feel like we're at an impasse...she's having at least one, or several EAs and possible a physical affair because she often goes out and doesn't come home untnil midnight to 3-4 am. I've accidentally overheard her conversations with her male friends on her "secret" cell phone. Recently, she even sneaked out of the house and came home at midnight the night before the first day of school...she slept right through the kids's first school day...I was up with them and got them out the door.

What do I do? I feel like it's regressing and I'm starting to feel really stupid for even spending time thinking about her. Almost as if, I should just get on with life, and open myself up to new experiences with other women who will be kind to me and not tell me what a total loser I am (yes, she says that as well).

Incidentally, there was no separation...she went straight for divorce...in the week I was gone, she bought clothes and went out to the bars with several of her divorcee friends. I suspect that's when the EAs started. Also, her divorcee friends are encouraging her to get freedom and get rid of me.
_________________________
My situation...

David
Me-46, Ex-46, S-15, S-17, divorced after 20 years, she filed June '06
Mediated divorce in Feb. 07
50/50 custody

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#269327 - 09/18/06 01:18 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
spikecharlie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 127
hi Laurie,
it;s me SpikeCharlie!
I am getting a little discouraged now. I haven't heard from him at all and I have no contact with him at all. It just seems like no matter what I do his mind is made up and he is going to get a divorce. He is mentally detached from me. The only time I will see him will be at Mediation Oct. 16th. So I'm just waiting for some miracle to happen and it's been 5 months and I don't see a miracle happening. It seems that when thier mind is made up..it's made up and nothing you can do to change them. Let me ask you: when they say they don't miss you....do you believe that they really don't miss you at all? I find it hard to believe that he doesn't miss me, but he says he doesn't. He said he has tried to miss me, hoping that would change his mind, but he doesn't. I guess today is a down day for me and I wish things were different, but I see nothing is happening. Have any advice for me...I'm trying to detach and move on, but it's so hard!

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#269328 - 10/02/06 09:10 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
spikecharlie Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 127
Hi Laurie,
I've been trying to contact you. I'm still on the "Soon to be divorced" sitch. There is also another person that would like for you to contact them with advice. Thanks so much!!

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#269329 - 10/05/06 05:24 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
verycrazy Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 1567
Loc: somewhere out there...
Hi, Laurie, I was wondering if you could give me some tips on just what to say when my husband brings up how our marriage has been terrible for all twenty-three years. Or when he says things to me about how I have been a neglectful wife, and that he is the innocent victim in our whole marriage. I now usually try not even to defend myself, but I wonder if there is anything I can say to get him to see it was not a one-way street here? Surely he knows the truth. Or is it the MLC fog still in his head? Thanks, L

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#269330 - 10/21/06 06:16 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
mixedup Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 2
Hi I am new to this site and not sure if I am working this forum the right way. I am confused as to if I want to save my marriage anymore. I try to have constructive talks with my H but right now I'm unsure if I want to save relationship at all. I am only trying to have small talk with him. It is hard when he keeps pushing me to a set an appointment for a mediation. I am feeling pressured and he acts like he does not want to have me as a partner in our business. I feel as though he is going through a MLC and there is a OW in the picture who has no kids and no life. My H travels alot and since my D is in jr high it is difficult for us to travel with him. We definitely have been growing apart over the years. I have done so much for him and tried to be the best wife and mother I could. I know there I times when I could have been better at things but I don't want to dwell on that. My D knows about the OW and I don't want my D to be involved with this person at all. I have been working on a 180. I have lost weight and have been facing this whole situation to the best of my ability. H just called and actually apologized for his pressuring behavior-I am surprised by that then the call dropped. Anyone have any suggestions on ways to concentrate on yourself when you are used to doing for others?
Thanks

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#269331 - 10/22/06 02:43 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks
beincog4u Offline
Member

Registered: 10/14/06
Posts: 46
The problem I have with using all the regulary recommended techniques of talking to my husband is that I am a social worker and he accuses me of treating him like a client whenever I try to talk to him in this manner.

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#269332 - 12/18/06 05:59 AM Re: Laurie
Confident_Me Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 1193
Hi Laurie


Any chance you can jump over to my thread & see how I'm doing?


Thanks!!
_________________________
Bomb dropped - (09-11-2006) my 9-11

My CURRENT Thread

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#1373970 - 03/02/08 08:04 PM Re: Laurie [Re: Confident_Me]
short1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 955
Loc: calif/LA
Hi Laurie,

Great thread! My H and I did practice the I statements in MC. I now try to use them in all communication. I don't always do it, but I am practicing even with friends.

I have one question.....

Even before this MLC/affair my H lied a lot. He often renamed things (called fun activities work), would say I don't know my schedule when he did so he did not have to commit to family stuff, withheld information, and sometimes would out and out lie. He also had emotional attachments to about every woman he met and would lie about the depth of the relationship...maybe even to himself. Can any kind of communication help. Do I confront the lies (I usually know) or is there some better way?



Edited by short1 (03/02/08 08:05 PM)
_________________________
me 54
WAH 53
M 26 yr/T 30 yr
S 18
Sep April 07

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#1377217 - 03/06/08 01:31 AM Re: Laurie [Re: short1]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
UP!!
_________________________
JJ

Read about Divorce Busting® Telephone Coaching here!

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#1382880 - 03/10/08 02:40 PM Re: Laurie [Re: Jamesjohn]
Gypsy Offline
Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 4577
Loc: Northeast
Hello all...

I try to remember the following:

"When (describe the situation), I feel (say the emotion) because (tell the effect it has on you)."

For example:

"When you watch TV and surf the internet simultaneously when we're together, I feel frustrated because it seems like I am shut out."

It's a non threatening way of saying what's going on, removing the blame by describing how you feel.

The other thing I try which is difficult is to make sure I say less than H does. It's a technique I use with my teenagers. It makes it easier to listen.

*hugs*
_________________________
Current

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best

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#1507948 - 07/07/08 12:31 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: Laurie]
REM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/08
Posts: 6
Great advice Laurie. I have done all of those at least once. My LRT has been going very well, but when I do actually talk with my WAW, my communication skills go down the toilet. For this reason, I get nervous every time I talk to her, fearing I will say something totally inappropriate.

How can I keep the focus of the conversation away from the R?

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#1610189 - 10/02/08 02:21 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: REM]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
^
_________________________
JJ

Read about Divorce Busting® Telephone Coaching here!

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#1626922 - 10/22/08 03:43 AM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: Jamesjohn]
Meant Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: PNW
I would like help, if anyone has any ideas, on dealing with WAW's blunt responses to me.

H-"Did (son) get the video camera to work on a PC format?"

WAW-"You'll have to ask him."

We work together. She severely limits conversation to the bare minimum to get our jobs done. Nothing more.

In fact, I overhear her conversations with others and learn more about what's going on with her that way.

Any ideas about how to make small talk work when she's so shut down?

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#1712245 - 02/07/09 05:36 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: Meant]
kassie Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 1161
Loc: PA
Laurie,
I have read the list on the first page for communication. I am aware of knowing most of these things and do them as much as possible. Question is," what are ex of how to redirect spouse who does any and all of them in every conversation" It drives me crazy to try to resolve anything because our conversations end up all over the place and/or just plain angry with each other over something that had nothing to do with the original call.
_________________________
Me late 50's
M 9/06
D 4/11


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#1754180 - 04/19/09 04:45 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: odga]
hopefullfaith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 28
Loc: New Mexico
Laurie- I need some advice. My H has gone to pick up the OW and her kids to live with him. He has his surgery next week and already wants to introduce our kids to the OW. My kids want their dad to be happy but have expressed that all the want is for us to get back together. I think it is was to early to introduce our kids to OW and her kids but I know he is going to push the issue since hes already tried building the kids up to it. I want to be able to show that I care for his decision but want him to respect the kids feelings and mine. Would it be more damaging to say no to him and explain why or should I put my kids in this spot and let him learn from himself? I am so confused and dont want to do anything that might damage what I have already built up. Plus I worry about the effects it will have on our kids. Can you please help me with this.
NM

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#1785715 - 06/18/09 09:30 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: odga]
pswall Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1
Loc: North Carolina, USA
How do you attempt to communicate with someone who is not only emotionally far away but also physically far away? My H travels ALL the tiem for his work. He is busy all day and spends a great deal of his itme in the evenings in an extrememly social settign with the same people. By the time he gets to me-if at all-he is either tired, disattached or drunk. I have tired to communicate and be inderstanding but it gets very frustrating when I am home all noght waiting for him to call and it not be of any quality. A greta deal of our "quick" communication is via instant messanger and for soem reaosn it always ends up with him thinking that I am gridning or starting which then turns int o his response of swearing...all I want ot do is communicate with my H again-help.

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#2105127 - 11/12/10 06:24 PM Re: Ground Rules for Constructive Talks [Re: odga]
angel61 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 1046
Loc: California
HI Laurie,

I also was thinking
of other communicaton failures I've had:
- no assumptions (which might fall in the mid reader category)
- no verbal manipulations (such as trying to do reverse psychology) - this seems a little more complex, and I found out that even if I did not mean to do it, if I had some sort of hidden intention when I was speaking to him, sooner or later it would come out.
- Just as you don't attack, don't be defensive too
- Do not impose your will - hard when deaing with dominant personalities.

Angel
_________________________
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

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