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#794146 - 09/14/06 03:03 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From DB Coach Laurie

******************************************************

In regards to your question about how not to mess it up, please remember Michele’s wisdom: “Keep doing what is working and stop immediately what is not”. So, if you have been watching carefully, you could probably make a list about things you could do to really mess this relationship up right now, right? Make a concerted effort to NOT DO THOSE!

Then, for those behaviors or words that you have seen good responses, keep them up. Think through the past when you have gotten positive responses from your W. What were you doing (or not doing) that might have helped your W to become more responsive to you?

The great news is you are making changes that are helping the R! Keep them up!
_________________________
JJ

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#794147 - 09/18/06 06:33 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Zebra Offline
Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 994
Loc: Lower Hudson Valley, NY
jj,

I've not been around for a long time. I just thought I'd check in, and I searched on "zebra". I found this post that you quoted. Nice to see the reference from an old friend.

Update. I am still married (to the same woman). I BUSTED the divorce. We recently celebrated 16 years. We are still working hard to make this marriage work, and always will, but we are no longer struggling at it. I've found my old Best Friend, and her "new friend" (the OM) is out of the pix. We are making a life. I owe the success of my efforts to make this marriage work to this board, because it was here that I learned how to let go of my fear, my pride, my demands... Marriage is not a controlling relationship, but a partnership. It required lots of work and lots of nourishment. When you get married, you don't own you spouse, you cannot control your spouse, but you must strive to continue to attract your spouse.

Glad to see you guys still think what I did say mattered.

I will still check in from time to time....

z

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#794148 - 11/20/06 05:04 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From marchhare72

**********************************************

FOCUS ON YOURSELF! Do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. This is really, really hard - especially if you're like me and are often your own worst enemy. They say that happiness is a decision and in many ways it is. You decide to let go of trying to fix things and people and just concentrate on trying to fix YOURSELF.

FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS! What do you want to do? What have you always wanted to do? Is it take a class, go on a trip, switch careers, take up a new sport? I figure this part of this whole sitch is the Universe's way of getting us off the path of complancency and back on the road of life. It's our chance to break out of the rut we were in (even if we were happy to be there!) and get to where we want to be. For myself, it's being more self-reliant. Big job instead of little part-time ones, own apartment, taking care of what needs to be done on my own. For me, it's also probably to teach me to have faith - in the process if not in the outcome. There is a reason for all of this to be happening. If I look at it positively, then the outcome is more likely to be positive. If I look at it negatively, well - you get the point. Take a minute to think about what lessons the Universe may be trying to teach you...

The point is - live your life to the fullest every day. Laugh some if you can, try to eat and relax, make yourself the number one priority. It's hard to say if supportive friendship, complete darkness, or something in between is the best way to reach her. After all, this is happening to teach her lessons too. The sad fact is that she may not choose to try to learn them.

We're always here for you. It's a very supportive place.
_________________________
JJ

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#794149 - 11/22/06 06:06 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From DB Coach JoannS, Re: Detaching & Therapy??

***********************************************

You ask a very interesting question. "How do I act like I am detaching during couple's therapy?" To me "detaching doesn't seem appropriate for couple's therapy and couple's therapy doesn't seem to fit with someone who is trying to detach.

It is important that you know what your goal is for therapy. What is your husband's goal for therapy (don't ask him)? What is your therapist's goal for therapy?

When I see couples who have the same goals, for example, to work on the marriage, I will usually see them together to work on joint goals. When a couple has opposite goals or very different goals, I see them individually. Then depending on what they want to do and are motivated to do or not do, I may continue to see them individually or just see the one who is more motivated and invested in doing whatever it takes.

It is important to know that real change can occur with just one person in the session. As Michele has said, we are very aware how other people affect us, but we are not very aware of how we affect other people. If we change how we respond and/or act, our partner or spouse will respond to our change.

I think it is important when someone wants to get their marriage on track that they ask the therapist right out if the therapist is pro-marriage and will support their efforts. Also, it is important that the therapist has a fair amount of experience getting marriages on track and working with just one person to do that.

I have not read your first thread so I apologize for that. I will tell you what I think from what you have said. You are the expert on you and your marriage, so you will have to determine if what I say fits for you.

First of all, before you say or do anything. You need to ask yourself, will what I am going to say or do pull my husband closer or peek his interest, push him away or be neutral. If his response will be neutral, don't spend too much time on that, spend the time on making yourself happy. If something will push him away, even if it makes sense to you, do not say or do it or things will continue to get worse. If something you say or do pulls him closer or peeks his interest, keep doing it. Stop and think about these concepts before you say or do anything. However, remember change is three steps forward, two back.

It sounds like you feel you need to be more upbeat. The best way to be attractive to your spouse is to be happy. I know what I am asking you to do may seem impossible, but it sounds like you are doing it already. How were you able to be upbeat and end the phone call first? Identify what and how you did it and keep doing it. You are doing other good things as well--writing in your journal and reading DB.

If you have determined to do the LRT in Chapter 6, of DR, remember the biggest part of LRT is to "Get a Life". That means no matter how hard it is, we develop a full life filled with family, friends, hobbies, activities, and interests that really do make us happy. We don't "pretend" we have a life, "we have one".

Also, it is very important to read, "Wait and Watch" step 3 of LRT. Sometimes we are so busy with our approach we fail to notice and respond appropriately to our spouse or partner.

Sometimes the LRT needs some slight adjustments for one's particular situation. That is where a DB coach or counselor can come in handy. Also, if you feel you need help in dealing with your own emotions or in becoming more upbeat, a counselor or DB coach can be helpful.

Best of luck in your journey. It will probably take more patience and hard work than you ever imagined. Take really good care of yourself even if it is hard!

Joann
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JJ

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#794150 - 11/22/06 06:12 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From va-andy

**************************************************

Ok, first off take a deep breath and slow on down. Just wanted to say sorry you are here and hurting, but you've found your way to a great place to get support and to help to begin to work towards a better place.

Please take a bit to read through some of the newcomer threads and those that have tips for newcomers, etc. I saw that you read DB, that is great. Please don't take this the wrong way, but you are much too soon in the process to jump to the LRT.

How about some more information on why you think your W left, and some of the things she's telling you she's been unhappy with. You should really start out with some specific short-term goals. Post them here and ask for feedback...folks are glad to chime in and let you know what they think. Goal setting is critical at this stage so please don't jump ahead. Sometimes as a newcomer you might not get a lot of traffic at first. IF you are reading through some of the more experienced DBer's treads (those who've been at this for awhile) feel free to post a comment and ask for their feedback on yours. It is okay to invite some new friends over if you get my drift.

And finally, DBing is not a quick fix. If you are really serious about making DB work for you, you gotta really work at it and give it some time. The most important thing about DBing is that it is for you, to really take a look at yourself and to make changes that you feel need to be made becuase you want to make them for you. If you do it to win your W back it won't work. If you look deep in side and can identify flaws that need changing and then make them a permanent part of you, who knows, your W might like what she is seeing and want to take a closer look. But in the end, if you Db for you, you will get to a better place.

Please slow down and start at the begining with a beginners mind. Dbing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Good luck!

Andy
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JJ

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#794151 - 11/22/06 06:20 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From DB Coach Laurie

***********************************************

Dear VCAL,

Your last few messages seem to indicate that your shorter responses seem to get your H to want to connect with you. I’m glad you’re keeping track of these small, positive responses! So, generally it seems distancing is somewhat working for you now. Then, you said that the last few days he has been distancing, but I’m wondering what’s happened between this time? On 4/24, you wrote:

“He was very talkative and I was kinda of disappointed because I wanted to be somewhat distant for a couple of days.”

This makes me wonder if you then followed up the last few days not being distant? If that’s true, then you are discovering that, at least at this time in your relationship, distancing gives you better results! That should help you make your decision about tonight.

VCAL, may I suggest to something in mind as you go? Just because your husband was very talkative, didn’t mean you lost your option to be distant. You are in control as far as choosing how to respond. Chose your actions more by his “behavioral responses” than by what he says. As stated above, experiment with balancing some responsiveness with some aloofness (in other words, have some of your life without him). Then, give it some time. If after a few days, you mixed results, allow a bit more time (10-14 days) to really judge it.

I wish you well tonight!

Laurie
_________________________
JJ

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#794152 - 11/25/06 07:43 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From Johnny R

**************************************************

Tony,

A word of caution about how you are feeling about this.

It's good to be positive, and it's important not to feel threatened by your wife's search for independence and fulfillment.

But, I want to ask you not to be happy about her apparent unhappiness. I say this for two reasons, really.

First, it's not a positive emotion for you. I know that you are not welcoming her unhappiness in a vindictive sense. But give a thought to how your own feelings about this might project onto her. If she gets any sense of how you are reacting, it's likely to drive her even further away.

Second, don't fall into the trap of thinking that her apparent unhappiness is a manifestation of her willingness to come back. I know it would be nice if this were true, but prepare yourself for the likelihood that this isn't the case.

I don't want to seem negative about this (and BTW I would welcome any other perspective on this, because this is exactly the situation that I'm in myself).

My wife moved out in April. She told me a week or so ago that every morning since then, she has woken up and cried tears of complete unhappiness. She has said that she wishes beyond anything else that she could put the clock back and do things again, but properly.

Why, then, won't she come back?

Your wife (and mine) have both taken a step of enormous emotional and symbolic importance. They are both unhappy as a result. To make them step back and reverse their decisions is what you and I (and all of us on this forum) are all about.

I don't know the answer. I wish I did.

I think it's around issues like being prepared to acknowledge their unhappiness, but avoiding any attempt to persuade them that coming home is the easy fix.

I think it's definitely about being prepared to relinquish absolutely any misguided wish to take control of their unhappiness. I think it's about being there, and being supportive, but staying well outside their unspoken boundaries.

Make no mistake; the barricades have been thrown up. A frontal assault will result in them being reinforced. All we can do is to wait, and earn the right for the door to be opened to us. This might happen quickly, it might not. It might not happen at all.

This is what I find so heart-breaking. The person I love more than anyone else in the word is suffering, and I have contributed so much in the past to bringing her to this awful situation. And yet, she is so suspicious of my motives, that any attempt on my part to remedy the situation is seen as a threat.

Just remember that your wife's overt unhappiness represents many covert feelings under the surface that probably have nothing directly to do with you. I'm talking about her need for self-worth, a solid sense of her own unique identity, and the need for her to reconcile these things with a relationship which she is afraid to leave, but frightened to stay in.

Keep doing what you are doing. Be supportive and loving. Remember, it's not just about doing things well, but about being sure to do the right things.

Love ... Johnny
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JJ

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#794153 - 11/25/06 07:55 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From nater

*************************************************

tony -

OK, I'm going to assume that DB hasn't arrived yet, so I'm going to try a mini "crash-course" for you to get you through...

Your W is as confused (maybe more) as you are right now. She knows that something is wrong, but can't put her finger on it. She knows there's a better life, but doesn't know what it will take to get it.

Right now, YOU are a convenient target. She can point to things that she doesn't like and, by blaming you, can say that by getting rid of you, life will be better. That's why the ring is gone, that's why she's trying to blame you ("because I asked her to leave, this marriage is now totally over."), that's why you're hearing a lot of anger in her voice, that's why she says the love isn't there.

You don't have to avoid her to the point of being rude, but giving her space is an excellent first step to salvaging your marriage. Definitely avoid conversation about your relationship right now. That is a topic that will push your buttons. That is a topic that will push her buttons.

If one of your buddies from work was pissed off at you, how would you handle it? Most guys would back off for a while, let him cool down. But we don't offer the same room to our W's. We ask for reassurance that there are still some feelings from the same person who just told us to back the h*ll off.

Love is not something that just happens - it CAN and DOES grow because of deliberate choices that we, as humans, make. We choose to spend time with someone. We choose to do enjoyable things with someone. We choose to open up about private things. We choose to trust. We choose to make ourselves vulnerable. We choose all the things that make love possible. So, to answer your question, YES YES YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! Love can grow again!

Until the book shows up and you have had a chance to read through it all the way at least once, the best thing you can do is nothing. Don't ask questions about how she feels about your relationship. Don't try to get reassurance. Don't push for intimacy (even a hug or kiss!). Just back off & "Act as if" she is a roommate not married to you. It will be hard, but don't show her that either. When you are around her, put on a happy face and live your life as if she isn't your W who you love & adore...

Hang in there,

-Nathan
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JJ

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#794154 - 11/25/06 09:29 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From hope42ndchances

*******************************************

Keep up the PMA even if your heart is hurting when he is around. Sorry you ended up here but this is a great forum to get support from. We all have been there and we understand what you are going through. There are days when its absolutely the pits, expect them but also keep in mind that tomorrow is another day. Use this forum when you have to vent. Things will actually get better as time goes. That has been my experience. Remember back when you were still dating or newly weds, what did you do for him that made him feel special or loved? If you can remember, and you have a chance to act on it when he is around, just do that. If you have been accused as a nagger, figure out a way to communicate without making him feel that you are nagging. Here's a hug for you ((((( ))))).

Hope
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JJ

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#794155 - 11/25/06 10:06 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From OneCanChange

*********************************************

Hi Tera,

The more I read of your situation with your H, the more I think I wrote it myself! My W's affair was all about connection and communication with the OM that she said we didn't have. To top it off, the OM was (is) also married and going through his own rough martial times, so like your situation, my wife and the OM were "taking on the world" together--indeed powerful stuff. I was happy that after a few weeks after my W dropped the affair bomb on me that I was able to start learning what NEEDS of hers the OM was fulfilling that I was not. That was my starting place for my own 180--I needed to start fulfilling my wife's needs for intimacy (emotional), connection and communication. I slowlee tried to do those things for her as she would permit such interaction. That in addition to the other stuff that I was doing (see other threads). I too did not want our old marriage back, and similar to your situation, my W would tell me that she loved me, loved our marriage in general, but she just had this "something" that was being fulfilled elsewhere the she just didn't know if I could fulfill for her. Well guess what--I CAN! And so can you! So, if you can, try to pinpoint more and more what needs your H is missing from you, and devise a specific goal-oriented plan to start meeting them. It will need to be in very small ways at first, but you have a great opportunity since your H is interacting with you still. You have the opportunity to show him change. Don't tell him you are changing (talk is cheap); show him in all the little ways. And define your needs too, and when the time comes, you need to communicate what you need to him. I worry quite a bit that, similar to your situation, my W (even though home now--see today's new thread) will slide back to her relationship with the OM. That would kill me, but I've decided to stop worrying and the best way to keep that from happening is to fill the needs the OM filled for my W everyday myself. If I'm the kind of H she wants, then she has no incentive to leave me.

As to your specific issues--I think you need to try to be as strong as possible in front of your H and not cry, but hey--you are human. So if it happens, then it happens, and accept it and move forward with your plan. The DB techniques are not carved in stone. It can use some tweeking based on individual circumstances. For example, my W was always telling me that she loved me and missed me even though she was having an affair and left me. The DB techniques say that I should not tell her that I love her back. Well, that didn't feel right to me, and I wanted to reciprocate that feeling of love back to my wife. It worked for me. So, do what feels right.

Take care--Adam.
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JJ

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