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#794136 - 09/10/06 04:09 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From Mycroft

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When you wake up in the morning and have doubts, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about the loving things you or he has done or are you focused on the negative? What we focus on expands. As you have probably learned from this bb, people that are negative ONLY see the negative. Similiarly, people that are focused on the positive only see the positive. Reality is in the middle. You will ALWAYS have negatives and positives in any relationship.

What you have to do is take a real long and hard look at your relationship, both the negatives and the positives. You need to decide whether or not you want to be in that relationship. Also, as you know, a successful marriage is not one where you have things in common. It is one whether the two of you accept each other for how they are, regardless of how dissimiliar your interests are, and working together to make the marriage successful.

Maybe you should write down all the positive and negative things you see in your relationship. Additionally you might want to right down why you want it to succeed and what you want from a relationship. Then try to make a decision on whether or not you can make it work.

I don't believe you can save something you aren't sure you want to save. It takes too much effort and committment. If your heart isn't in it, it is likely to fail.

Once you have made the list of negatives and positives, you can then decide upon the things you would like to change in the relationship. You must realize that you may be the one that has to change since you can't force your H to change. However, you can ask him to. But if he can't then you have to decide if you can accept that or not.

It may not seem like it right now, but you aren't in a bad place. If you can objectively look at your marriage and see both the negative and the positive, you will be able to make a decision on how to proceed. This is a good thing.

Also on a more positive note, appreciate the positives in your marriage. This is where your thougths should be focused concerning your relationship. While you may want to change the negatives, don't think about them all the time. You can work on them without them dominating your thoughts.

I hope this helps.
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JJ

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#794137 - 09/11/06 09:53 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 kml

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Quote:

However lately I have noticed the changes I have made are really taking on a momentum and a life of there own. I am excited about the future for the first time in my life




This is SO key! Don't worry - your wife will naturally have her doubts, just as you may have your doubts about her as your R comes back together. Time will show the truth to her, and to you.

My H told me he started to fall back in love with me even as he was still in the throes of romantic feelings for the OW. You are absolutely on the right track - and I hope someday you can say what I can now say - that as painful as this has been, it was also the best thing that ever happened to our R.

Ellie
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JJ

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#794138 - 09/11/06 10:35 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 JEC

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Andrew:
I have cut and paste some of my replies to other posts, but I think this applies to you also. I hope this will be of some help to you.

Don't move out, it may feel like a better choice right now, but it would be harder to get back together. The main thing you need to do is give her space, don't talk to her about her feelings, that will just make things more confusing to you because you can't control her. Calmness and patience is a virtue here. You need to give her space by not nagging her and not overwhelm her. Get in touch with your own feelings, communicate all (positive and negative) your feelings with her. By being in touch with your own feelings, you can better control your emotions. You need to be calm and cool under fire, no matter what she does, you don't get angry. Detach from her problems, you can't control her anyway, so why think or act like you can?

I understand that it may feel easier to give her space by moving out and that may happen anyway. I can't speak for anyone else, but my W told me all these things also, she wanted to move out then she wanted me to move out. For me, I did not want to move out and didn't. There is a lot other ways of giving her space and not move out. I just think living together, it's easier for her to see your change (that's the key, you need to change for the better). You are confused about what she is telling you, don't believe anything she says (I don't mean that in a bad way), she is confused with the whole thing, she does not know what she wants, she has many mood swings, that's why she is giving you conflicting signals. Be her friend, look for opportunity to help her when she needs it. Most women like a gentle and caring man. Be that man in her life, she may do and say many things to hurt you, but you can't let that bother you. Just keep plugging away at your changes. I speak from experiences, I did all these and it's working for me in a big way.

Here was some of what I did to give her space. I listen to her but I make no suggestions for her. I do activities by myself or with my children. I don't argue with her. I don't check on her. I basically detached from all (most) of her problems. I read "Codependent no more" and realized that I was codependent on my wife, so I made a conscience decision not to do that anymore. Also, one of the biggest problems with my marriage was communication. I was never aware of my own feeling until we start fighting, then I let all the negative feeling come out all at once. I stopped doing that by talking with my W all the time. I basically spill my guts to her, I know it's hard for a man to do and it was hard for me also. But, she really appreciated that I share my every thought with her, to her I am respecting her. When I communicate with her, I told her both my positive feelings and negative feelings, be honest with her. This made me feel better about myself and about my whole circumstances, in turn, it also made her feel better. I was/am really doing a 180 like "Divorce Busting" said to do, without really knowing it at first. I really did less of what didn't work before, and did a whole lot more of what worked before. You need to find that in your relationship with your W. Really treat her like when you were first dating her, she will go for that, it did for my W.

It's very easy to be passive and let days go by without any improvements. Actually, that's not all bad. Time is a great healer. You need to work on yourself, for me it was reading every book I can get my hands on, working with a counselor, pray a lot, go to church. If you believe, then it will happen. Because if you really believe you love your W, then you will act like you do. And, she will come around.

JEC
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#794139 - 09/12/06 12:12 AM 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, re validating

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Validating is what we do when we behave and respond in ways that tell the other person their feelings and thoughts are very important to us. (FYI - We can validate someone without necessarily agreeing with them.)

How can we communicate validation? Let me run down some practical approaches:

1. Good eye contact

2. Body turned toward the speaker

3. Relaxed and focused, not fidgety & impatient

4. Let them speak without interruption.

5. Avoid jumping in to correct, defend and/or explain yourself. Just listen!

6. Physcially acknowledge what they are saying (nod, lean forward) and/or verbally acknowledge (checking in with an "OK", "Uh-huh", or "yes" at appropriate times.)

7. Acknowledge their feelings ("Mary, you're really irritated that I forgot the garbage? I understand that could irritate you." "You told me you're hurt and I hear it in your voice." "You're frustrated about your job? It sounds like it frustrates you!")

8. Respond with empathy and remorse. ("I am so sorry our situation has caused so much pain for you." "I can see that I have done some things to cause much of your anger right now. I am sorry." "I am beginning to understand how important [source of her anger/pain] was to you. It was insensitive of me not to see this earlier.")

9. Asking questions in response to what was said. ("I just heard you say I made you angry. I'd like to understand, so could tell me more how I did that?" "I see you're upset and I'd really like to know what happened for you to feel this way?")

I hope this is a helpful start. In Michele's "Keeping Love Alive" series, she reviews more completely how to communicate well with each other. It would be very helpful and I'd recommend it!
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JJ

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#794140 - 09/12/06 02:00 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 response to "It's Christmas, now what?". Great advice for other special occasions, too!

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Deciding what to for Christmas is going to be somewhat unique depending on your situation. So, there's no "hard and fast" rule here.

If you have read DB or DR, then most likely you have set some do-able, specific, positive goals for your R. You probably are also watching for specific responses from your spouse that tell you what you're doing is begining to work.

So, ask the question if sending a card, present, etc., is going to help your R move toward your goals. For example, would your Christmas card add to the possibility that your spouse will respond in a hopeful way - one that moves closer to your goals? Measure your actions by how it will most likely impact your goals, OK?

If, after considering this, you do choose to send something, then give some thought to how your card/gift will be perceived by her. For example, would a friend-type card/gift be received better than anything with a romantic undertone? If so, then avoid romantic cards, sayings, salutations, etc..

Your question is one many ask at this time of year - and can be very difficult to discern which way to go. So, I hope I was somewhat helpful. I wish you well,

Laurie
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JJ

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#794141 - 09/12/06 02:33 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 gbon, re sharing the book with your partner

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The main premise of the DB book is that one person in a relationship can make changes that will affect the other persons behavior/attitude as well.

Rarely do two people in a relationship change at the same time or pace. Most often, the techniques in the book need to be kept "confidential" from your spouse in order to achieve maximum benefit in the least amount of time. The worse condition your relationship is in, the better off you'll be for keeping DB to yourself, for now.

Good relationships can be better by sharing the DB principles with your partner. These techniques can be used for ANY relationship, personal, business, etc...

BTW, your actions will speak louder than any words or book ever could.

G
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JJ

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#794142 - 09/12/06 02:55 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 kml

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Michele talks about a dog training technique - "reward the good behaviors, ignore the bad ones". Sounds like your H came up with a "good" behavior and instead of rewarding it, you took the opportunity to vent a little of your (understandable) frustration.

Some things to remember about your H - crazy and unfair as it may seem - from his point of view, he felt unloved and unappreciated in the marriage. He doesn't want to go back to the "old" R, that was an unhappy place for him. If he has seen a lot of positive changes in you, he may want to go forward into a NEW R with you.You need to validate the things he was feeling (no matter how crazy it seems to you, they were still his feelings and his experience). If you were just starting to date a new guy, would you say "Yes, I'll go out with you, but we have to work on a few things first"?

Take a look at the summary at the start of my thread in the Piecing forum - I detailed what worked for me. It's called "Valentine's Day Massacre - the Happy Ending".

Ellie
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#794143 - 09/12/06 04:03 PM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
Jamesjohn Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 8334
Loc: The GREAT Pacific Northwest
From Zebra, re spending time together

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The spending time together is a really good thing. Take it for what it is, don't try to make it more, just let it happen. I got my wife to attend one session with my SBT therapist, and inspite her insistance that she wants a divorce and nothing less, she agreed that things might be different if we could become friends again. C suggested we needed to spend time together -- any time. Since then we've been doing things together, like golf, shopping, yard work, taking daughter to school bus, a better effort at having dinner as a family. We're looking at dates, but she has a very busy social schedule which she will not compromise (I suspect OM has something to do with this). We just booked a 3 day stretch at a golf school (something we've talked about for years, but not done).

C also seemed to say that in may ways, simple thing were as good or better than extravaganzas. Just shared time. Not to say that extravaganzas aren't good, but that they are extraordinary events where boring mundane things are the things life is made of... and it is day to day life where we interact with our SO most of the time. Make that routine and comfortable, and there is progress. From what I read, you say when you spend time together your anxiety is high, and that the time isn't quality time. Could those two comments be related???
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#794144 - 09/12/06 04:19 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
More from Zebra

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Actually, putting the relationship books away is a really strong form of "acting as if", in my opinion. If you feel the need to constantly be brushing up on what you should do, or are always looking for answers you haven't found yet, you're acting as if there is a problem that needs to be solved. If you aren't doing that, you might be acting as if the problem is not there. It's as good, or maybe even better, for you as it is for SO's perception of you. The same thing could be said about your allowing your anxiety to overpower your any good that comes from spending time together.

I'm certainly not saying that we should avoid the reading or this BB, but maybe we should schedule the times that we indulge in them so not to let them run our lives. I am not good at this, by the way. I am a freelancer in an industry that is in a "flat business cycle" right now (read, pretty much unemployed), so I have lots of free time so I gravitate toward this board a lot. However, whenever I'm here a little voice in the back of my mind keeps reminding me of things in Michele's book about "if by some miracle, your marriage was suddenly healed overnight, what would you do with all the time you now spent working, reading and obsessing about your marriage?"

Hmmmmm.... Has anyone else ever noticed that when we share our thoughts and offer advice here, that sometimes you say things you never really thought of, and that maybe the advice is better directed inward?

No, wait, I get it now, That is the point.

z
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#794145 - 09/13/06 08:23 AM Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn]
princess_nic Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/05
Posts: 5490
Loc: Canada
Quote:

"if by some miracle, your marriage was suddenly healed overnight, what would you do with all the time you now spent working, reading and obsessing about your marriage?"


I've thought of this a lot myself. I hardly ever used to think of my M, even when it wasn't going that well. Ah, okay, now I'm getting that comment about advice directed inward! Maybe I SHOULD HAVE paid more attention to my M. But my actual point is that I've been obsessed with it since we separated. It's so annoying!

These are great posts; thanks for finding them JJ.

Nicola
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My thread: Trusting God's Plan

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