Divorcebusting.com
Posted By: jim0987 jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/02/14 09:11 PM
Cor blimey guv'nor - thread #4 and 2 months already

Here's the link to #3
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2502685&page=1

So quick summary of my journey so far.

#1 - a lot of what is happening and please make it stop
#2 - self pity and guilt about all I did wrong
#3 - starting to get the idea and realising that I need to improve me.

The journey so far is a lot down to the great advice and support I've been getting so thankyou for that and also thanks to anyone who has been following my situation. Its much appreciated.

The thread title comes from a conversation a couple of weeks ago. Is there really a better example of being completely detached, setting boundaries and being loved/loving than a cat? Since boundaries and detachment are two of my big issues at the moment then the cat reminder makes sense (to me anyway)
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/02/14 10:58 PM
Quote:
Since boundaries and detachment are two of my big issues at the moment then the cat reminder makes sense (to me anyway)


Hey, whatever works for ya. wink
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 11:38 AM
So some reflections on the weekend:

What happened:
FRI - got in from work and put the kids to bed Friday night, did the chores and put my feet up. W went out with PF looking for 'Casual hook-ups in Birmingham got back Saturday lunchtime.
SAT - I played with kids all day Saturday, took D3 to football, made the Christmas cake and then took them to their first ever fireworks display (wasnít allowed last year, didnít care this year whether I was allowed or not). We chatted quite a bit during the afternoon. Sat night - wife asked to use the lounge so I went upstairs to read.
SUN - took D3 swimming (W took S1). Generally I was in full on silly, excitable but in charge dad mode all afternoon - had a really good day with the kids. W engaged here and there but then disappeared off a quite a bit. As soon as kids were in bed W disappeared into her bedroom. Surprisingly she was still up when I went to bed at 23:00 which is really late for her.

Good Points
- I had a lot of fun with the kids and made them laugh a lot
- I made my wife laugh a few times
- She bought up positive memories from the past
- I reacted pretty well to a couple of times when she started pushing my buttons
- I didnít sulk and I donít think I made any critical sarcastic remarks
- Lots of times she asked Ďdo you mind if I go and ......í and I was positive in my Ďof course, weíre goodí responses
- I had a plan for the weekend and went with it
- I didnít get too worked up by W going out Friday night (thought id be much worse)
- I didnít snoop even though I had lots of opportunity
- I didnít initiate any relationship talks
- I got some outstanding advice on this forum
- I did ok when D3 asked awkward questions
- Overall I think I did a good job of showing that ĎIíll be fineí when she leaves

Must do better
- I still wanted to snoop
- I donít think Iíve got my expression fully sorted yet , actions and words under control mostly but I think you can still see sad in my eyes or on my face.
- A couple of times I sighed with a pang of regret (in front of wife)
- I did rise slightly to a couple of things and a couple of times was maybe a bit too pointed for example she started talking about how she would have liked to take the kids to the fireworks and I said it was surprising as last year she was against the idea.
- PF bugs me way more than she should, oddly more than OM at the moment... weird huh?
- Iím nowhere near detached enough. Iím still too focused on what my W is doing and who she is talking to.
- I spent too much time feeling sorry for myself.
- I may have asked too many questions which put my W in a difficult position
- I drew attention to changes Iím making or being philosophical, but in context of the conversation. For example I said at one point ĎI realised Iíve spent too much time getting too worked up by stuff that doesnít really matterí

Other
- In a lot of ways it was like nothing had changed from the last however long. Iíve felt for a long time that days like that mainly consisted of me playing with the kids while my W watched in a sullen withdrawn mood. I probably should have done more to involve her in the past but that seems to go against the DBing now. Iím a lot more silly and energetic with the kids than she is Ė D3 loves to ride the ĎDaddy Dragoní. I do wonder if in these terms Iím too dominant and she feels excluded, but then whatís the alternative?

- It felt a number of times like she was trying to test me in some way whether temp checking or trying to push buttons. She also got cross about things that seemed to come from nowhere. Carried on this morning when she said something like 'whatís with the pained look on your face' I replied Ďpained? No. Hungry maybe?í A couple of times I maybe rose a little bit but hopefully not too much.

So in conclusion I think I did a good job of being an independent Dad who entertained his kids. I donít know what she thinks of my parenting style (it may actually annoy her) but I love my kids, they love me, I keep them safe, Iím in control and my kids listen to me (as well as any D3 and S1 is going to) and we all have fun. Beyond that I donít think I pressured or pursued her and did well in sorting my negative behaviours.

Like I said in a lot of ways no different to the past couple of years so Iím not really sure what that means for whether Iím doing the right things. The changes were more subtle in terms of my tone and that I was more in charge and less on eggshells.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:16 PM
So just read GoatGal's post on maybells thread and i encountered that dawning sense of realisation (no promises Ive got it right though)

Many times my W was upset and when I talked to her she always said it was because she was lonely and didnt have any friends. I would immediately launch into 'Well why don't you call xxxxx' or 'you could go to such and such with xxxx' or 'next time we are down south you should meet up with xxxx' or 'what would you like me to do?'

Generally all in the 'here's how to fix it' zone

What I took from GoatGal's post was that I should have said something more like 'its been really hard for you being away from your family but you've done great. we should try and make some more time for you to be happy. What would help you to feel less lonely?'

Something more along those lines anyway.
Posted By: Maybell Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:18 PM
Good for you! Sounds perfect! I often wished my H would have spoken to me that way.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:33 PM
Quote:
I often wished my H would have spoken to me that way.


Yeah.....I probably would have fainted if I'd heard it. frown
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:40 PM
Let's hope I can remember this for the future.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:40 PM
Yes, Jim, exactly right!

That response shows compassion without telling her what to do. If she ASKS, then by all means, offer suggestions.

I think you are doing some things quite well already:

1: You are becoming AWARE of your communication style and your W's reactions.
This is KEY.

2. You are learning and putting into practice what you are picking up here. It will take time to feel natural to you. Practice makes perfect!
No harm in rehearsing in front of the mirror. I play out conversations in my car all the time. "Ok.. if he says x... I'll say y..." and I'll practice the words, tone, and body language.

2. You are very cautious about choosing your words wisely! Having a basic script in your head is a great idea.
My go-to phrase for when I'm blind-sided by something he says is "Oh yeah?" with a very neutral expression.... "Oh. I didn't know that."
And then I have to go do something--anything--to get me out of there so I can think!
"I've got something on the stove..." "I want to hear what you have to say, but I really need to pee...."
I am a motor mouth when I get nervous, but I am getting much better with taking a breath and saying nothing. Or stopping myself in mid-sentence, modulating my tone, speaking more softly.
If all else fails, just say "That's a lot to take in. Let me think about it and get back to you after I've given it some thought."

3. Being aware of your facial expressions and body language, tone of voice, etc. is really important and you're off to a good start. For me this it the hardest thing because it's so unnatural. But these non-verbal communications carry as much, if not more, impact than our words.

You can practice this in private as well. Make sure your posture is open, no crossed arms, lean forward slightly, giving her your full attention, keep your body relaxed and release as much tension as you can. You can do it!

Jim, you are doing very well for living in an untenable situation.

I wish I could give you some guidance on how to handle this "W goes out with PF (???? what does that mean?) to find random hookups and doesn't come home until late the next day...?"

To me, this is very disrespectful behavior and if it were me, I'd feel I'd have to address this. You're not her father, you're her husband.
(Although we know in her mind, you're not, but whatever.)

Somehow it must be communicated that this behavior will not be tolerated and that there will be consequences.

You can't make her do anything or tell her what to do, but you can take action on your own.

Someone on here--Starsky?--said something like, "If you're not home by 2 AM, don't bother coming home. The doors will be locked and the lights will be off. I don't want you waking the children because they need their sleep."

I am paraphrasing this, and I don't know if it was said, or he just did it, but you get the idea.

Would Rhett Butler allow Scarlet to stay out chasing Ashley until all hours and then come sauntering in the next day, expecting brunch and happy family time? I think not!


I will defer to the vets on this one. But I wouldn't respect my H if he allowed this behavior without some kind of consequence.

Food for thought.


---(G)GGG
Posted By: Maybell Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:41 PM
Tattoo it to your arm. wink
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:54 PM
That's a long tattoo and I have a low pain threshold.

PF = poisonous friend
Ive covered this before but I generally feel that if your closest friend is constantly telling you how awful husband's are and that her affair is the most amazing thing ever 'never felt such passion' it has a negative effect. I was constantly being compared to her alcoholic, disconnected from children, unable to keep a job, financially wreckless and emotionally unstable husband. (He may be nothing like that but its how PF describes him). Between the two of them they would give everything the most twisted and negative slant. Its like she wants a buddy in her misery and my W jumped right in because she was lonely.

She did say should would be away overnight. Staying at PFs allegedly. As far as my W is concerned she hasn't done anything wrong because she told me she wanted a divorce a whole 5 days before pursuing a PA with OM.


Definite think I will have to do some mirror practice. I worry that I sneer when I don't mean to.



I'm going to have to watch gone with the wind aren't I?
Posted By: mandown Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 03:55 PM
Jim, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Even though the OM has since been out of the picture for me. The fact that my W has said she wants to "see others" makes me sick. When these thoughts enter my head, I sulk in my depression, feeling sorry for myself.

I am constantly worried about what she is doing, where she is at an such. It's not healthy, but it's a struggle we all have to deal with. Until we can ignore the fact that we love our S's to no end, it's near impossible.

I use most of my time doing things arounf the house and with the kids. When she is home all I want to do is be around her, so I try to find something to do outside the house; gym, run, visit family, just walk aroudn a store or something.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 10:55 PM
Jim,

I took the liberty of pasting Theoden's post to Jefe here because it might help you out. (Sorry, Theoden!)
Theoden has been on this board since '07, so he's seen a lot.

"Sorry you are going through this hell. It totally [censored]. My prayers are with you.

I did all the things you are doing here: filling my wife's love bucket, being super nice, trying to change myself.

It didn't work. Not while she was having an affair. My pursuing behavior turned her off.

This is pursuing behavior. It goes against Divorce-Busting 101 and basic male/female dynamics. You are pursuing her WHILE she's having an affair. Consider that you are enabling your wife to cake-eat (benefit from having a loving, supporting husband AND another lover). You are acting like her plan B. Why should she choose? She isn't afraid of losing your love or having her little apple cart upset by you. You're the nice guy giving her what she wants. It's also true what women aren't attracted to men they don't respect.

Think about it.

Theoden"



---(G)GGG

PS: Apologies to Theoden for stealing your thunder but I didn't know if you'd have time to post to these guys yourself!
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 11:41 PM
Thanks GoatGal

It makes sense and I'm getting there sort of. My W has made her choice in that she doesn't want me and hasn't for some time. She wants as far away from me as possible so I'm not even plan Z.

All she wants from me is childcare, which she will get that because I love my kids, and a fair settlement on the house, which she will also get. So she gets everything she wants and I get treated like cr@p but then I have been for 3 years so I guess its nothing new.

I'm trying to follow the advice about boundaries and improving myself but to be honest I'm pretty powerless in relation to my W - short of turfing her out of the house or accelerating the D, I don't know what else to do that isn't going to inflict further pain on the kids or worsen my long term position.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 11:46 PM
Some times the most powerful thing you can do is--nothing.

You don't always need to react/act/respond.

Sometimes it's best just to acclimate yourself to the current altitude, check your coordinates, fuel supply, review your flight plan, prepare for emergency landings.

Use the "wait" time to get stronger. Because this experience will drain you physically and emotionally. You need to keep yourself on track.



And yes, it does seem like they have all the power. But you still have power over yourself and your actions.

You always have choices. You just have to accept that she has choices as well and there ain't a gosh darned thing you can do about that.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/03/14 11:57 PM
So just trying to think about what I can control, which is me, and see if there is a better way forward.

- Ive started to assert boundaries but they need to be stronger and I expect I'm missing a few obvious ones

- I'm doing my own thing with the kids irrespective of W

- I'm trying not to pursue but I'm not sure exactly where this line is all the time

- I'm definitely trying to avoid being baited by reacting in measured but friendly tones.

- I probably need to drop words of affirmation unless it relates to parenting
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 05:25 AM
You and I have at least two precious things: time and shock. I intend to use this time and the eye-opening shock to work on myself as much as possible and to learn true change that will last a lifetime. Don't forget all the power you have to become a different, better person.

Regarding our chances of reconciliation, I have this image of a baseball or football thrown in the distance. At first, it goes higher and higher. It can't be caught, it might even look like it will go always higher into the sky. But it will come back down. To catch it, we need to run not towards it but in the opposite direction so that we're at the right place when it comes back down.
Posted By: Ggrass Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 10:39 AM
I'm a lousy catch and I gave up running in high school! wink

Just by being here and reading like a starving man, you will get it eventually. Just read everything a million times. If you can quote the book line for line even.

If I can, and I'm old and forgetful, you can too. You really can.
Posted By: Maybell Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 12:04 PM
Mozza, I like your analogy. Nicely done.

To further it, the changes we make in ourselves improve our skills so that we'll be able to catch even a really tough pass without fumbling.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 12:58 PM
So another day and my situation still occupies 95% of my thinking (an improvement actually) so another update to help me order my thoughts.

I had dinner with a couple of friends last night and they are both of the view that I am better of without her (donít worry we mostly talked about stuff not to do with my situation). Outside of this forum I donít think Iíve come across anyone who has suggested its worth trying to save the marriage and my entire support network is so ready to minimise my mistakes. It would be really easy to get entrenched

But having said that they also pointed out a couple of things that I had noticed but not really registered

- There are several specific examples she has given of ways I let her down but in many cases i agreed my actions at the time with her (ĎAre you feeling up to looking after the kids? is it alright if I still go out or would you prefer me to stay?í). I then followed what we agreed and it was never mentioned again until after BD. Not saying I was right because looking back it put her in a horrible position to have asked rather than just stay. What my mates pointed out was how would I have learnt differently if she said it was ok and then never mentioned it again.

- The very defensive reaction my W had to a number of things (pre-BD) seems odd. For example we had a letter about a problem with our joint account which she controls, when its should always be fine. The whole conversation went as follows:
M: Why are we getting letters telling us we have exceeded our £2 grand overdraft limit on the joint account?
M: Is there something I should know about?
W: Will call bank later. I donít lie to you, the money is as described and I can show you later
M: Iím not saying you are. I was concerned by the letter and needed to ask

Iíve since found out that she has in the last 12 months racked up over £8k of Credit card debt. My mate suggested that it sounds like she was having financial problems which she was too embarrassed to talk about and so when I asked questions the defences kicked in. The logic makes sense Ė no idea if itís true and certainly there is no way to find out.

- For my career I am employed to think through what the worst possible scenarios are and then come up with solutions to fix them. it therefore shouldnít be surprising to anyone that when Iím presented with a problem my first instinct is to find a solution. (big learning point for me on the emotional front)

- Looking back at my TM log I can see whole weeks (pre-BD) where Iíve texted her normal friendly everyday stuff (and not an excessive amount Ė maybe 10 in a week) and not had a single response which really hurt especially as she always spends hours a day on her phone. That certainly isnít going to have helped my fear of rejection

- I made way too many comments about how I wasnít good enough for her or that she wanted someone different from me e.g taller, dark hair, more muscular etc. (way too many!!!!!). She was really sensitive to this and was constantly assuming that I was suggesting she was cheating on me even when this isnít what i was saying. Actually thinking about it I realise I still hadnít/havenít let the ex thing go Ė I felt inadequate when I compared myself to them and I was still fixated on why she was much more interested in them than she seemed in me. Or more the point why I mattered so little she would knowingly hurt me in order to have a night out with her ex. I suspect that any conversation in this territory took us straight back to that whole period and that neither of us ever properly moved past it. We needed MC then but my W refused as she was scared what I would say.

So I feel like Iím being blamed for everything and that she views this as an escape. I donít know if I bullied her or not but certainly she seems convinced I did and I can see that viewpoint (and I know from my earlier threads 25yearsMLC would say I definitely did) Ė hence the personal changes I want to make. I know my W also says I wasnít there for her but I genuinely feel its more that I wasnít there in the way she wanted me to be and I was left guessing the whole time (still am) Ė again changes that I want to make for the future (the tattoo will help). I also know she has convinced herself that her happiness lies away from me and in a new relationship (preferably with OM from work) and there is a good chance that it does as it would be difficult for her to be less happy.

Not quite sure how such an entrenched set of views turns around. And equally I have a fear that given all she has said and done I will never be able to trust her fully again. I certainly feel like she would need to know that I can and that Iím prepared to forgive her but no idea how to let her know this as itís another barrier that will stop her even contemplating coming back to our M. My W has a really strong guilt reaction that makes her do some crazy things sometimes.

So after a detour into analysis, bringing me back to the reminders and the difficult changes that I need to make:
1) Become an integrated man rather than a Nice Guy by ceasing the covert contracts and accepting my own self worth. This means less comparing myself negatively to others
2) Assert and enforce my boundaries (need to figure out what these are) and engage in healthy adult conflict resolution rather than conflict avoidance. This includes making sure my emotional needs are being met.
3) I must learn to hear the feelings of what is being said not the actual words, I should then engage with these in a compassionate and supportive way Ė donít just give a solution.
4) I need to be a more reflective listener.
5) I need to re-establish myself as a leader in my personal life
6) Exercise emotional control by recognising and controlling my defensive reactions (strong link to number 3).
7) Build more (much more) self confidence and self esteem
8) Better control my body language, tone and facial expressions Ė Project kindness, confidence and assuredness
9) I need to be more open and transparent about my feelings and express these in healthy ways. This includes making sure I tell people I love that in a way they understand.
10) I need to choose to be happy and be more grateful for what I have. This means gratitude for the efforts others make, letting small stuff go and not needing to be right all the time. This also means accepting the stuff I canít change.
11) I need to get better at connecting through validation and agreement, and I need to check that Iím getting enthusiastic agreement rather than appeasement (back to point 3)
12) And my sarcasm needs to be under control to make sure it is not hurtful and is taken in the way it is intended.

IF I can do all of this on top of being a good dad, having a moderately successful career, decent cook and domestic helper, boyish charm looks, healthy sense of adventure and a decent amount of frankly ridiculous then I would hope that makes for a pretty good lighthouse.

If its not enough or my W wont see it then at least I know I will have done what I can and I will have given myself the best chance at my future happiness.
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 02:15 PM
This is an ambitious list of changes. Do you have any help, like a counselor, or do you plan to do this out of sheer will? Have you thought of how you'll make these changes last?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 02:35 PM
Ambitious yes but they are changed I feel I need to make. For me and my kids and yes also for my M.

I'd love to think it can be through sheer force of will but more realistically its going to be
1) reading, listening and learning
2) going through my analytical processing
3) Discussing with my IC though that's more about exploring the why's for me at the moment.
4) trying to make the most of these boards and the help that is here
5) giving myself some anchors and checkpoints
6) practuce , practice, practice until it becomes habit

Making it stick not sure yet. Im actually contemplating maybell tattoo suggestion as a visual cue for me.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 02:36 PM
It is a great list and I think it's totally doable.

It's going to take time, but you keep working on it and it will become second nature.
And I think you're really going to like yourself more if you can embody the qualities you listed above.

And liking yourself more means that other people will like you more, too.

If you feel at ease in your own skin, can be clear in your communications, and not have a hidden agenda, that draws people to you.

Now--would you mind sending that list to my H? smile
He struggles with exactly those issues. If I thought it would help, I'd give him the NMMNG book.
But as they say around here... "You can't fix him". Neither can I point him in the right direction.
-------------------------------------------------------------
For what it's worth, I have Asperger's, It's an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and in my case it's very mild. But it's definitely there.

But nobody I meet would ever suspect it. Because I have LEARNED how to behave, to listen, to empathize more, to control my voice and body movements.

Was it hard? Heck yeah!
But I was motivated. (Having no friends or having people turn away from you when you are being "nice" is a great incentive.)
I struggled from the time I was a small child, but I watched, I learned, I read books on non-verbal communication, social skills... all this before I was diagnosed just a few years ago.

That, aside from being sad, was a real-eye opener. It explained a LOT and gave me a lot of clarity and showed me where I needed to improve.

If I can pass for "normal" and have it feel pretty natural to me at this point, you can change for the better too!


---(G)GGG
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 02:51 PM
My IC and a coupe of others have suggested aspergers for me to..... Don't think I agree in my case. I think I just wasnt listening well enough.

NMMNG was such an eye opener for me. To the point I read it cover to cover in one sitting and felt a bit nauseous on occasion.

I think the list is doable just not easy (would be much easier with my W help) - not sure whether anything other than her leaving would have made me see it though. I'd heard of NMMNG two or three years ago but never read until it was too late.

Still my eyes are open now and I hope at some point your H opens his
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 02:51 PM
I forgot: There's a section at the beginning of DR about how most people around us ó friends, counselors, lawyers ó will quickly advise us to get out of a difficult relationship. Friends and family especially want to see us happy and they go for the quick fix. As MWD wrote though, it's no guarantee that the next relationship will be any easier. Most importantly: these people move on right after the conversation and we're left to implement and face the consequences. The choice is ours entirely.

The way I have my support network accept that I'm still acting towards reconciliation is to present my actions as identical to the ones I would take if I were to move on. And it's true. Don't pursue, work on yourself, establish boundaries, etc. Now, I'm at a stage where I tell people I'd like to reconcile, but I describe my actions as moving on. I don't even mention my readings and present the method as obvious ideas. People think I'm doing great.

Another thing I find amusing about the support network: at the very beginning, I discussed the path ahead with friends: she will definitely move out, I'll give her space for a while, she might have an OM for a while (we even agreed the one she has now would be perfect for quick failure!), we'll be in touch only for the kids, etc. People then gave me high chances of reconciliation. Now that we're going through these steps, people's faith is waning. I have to remind them (my close network) that we saw all of this coming when we made our earlier assessments, that all is going "according to plan".

No one else has the stakes we have in this. No one else lives so much with the consequences, except perhaps our kids. I don't want to be deaf to my support network, but I remain aware of their built-in weaknesses.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 02:57 PM
Hey, Jim,

If they're "suggesting" Asperger's, I'd listen. It's not something you'd attribute to someone unless they are giving off that vibe.

We are often the last to know how we're really coming off. I have a few friends who have it; they're really smart, funny, quirky people. They don't see it in themselves, but others do.

Many don't know exactly what "it" is, but now I can spot one of "us" a mile away.
Two friends have since gotten diagnosed--in their 50s! And their spouses are grateful. Now they know what they are dealing with.

Do yourself a favor and do some research. It doesn't present itself the same way in everybody. For many of us, myself included, it's more of an internal struggle.

My best friend, who I've known for over ten years now, still doesn't believe I have it.
That's because she met me after many years of "working on it."

She should have seen me in Elementary School...

Self-awareness is key.
"You can't fix what you don't acknowledge", to quote Dr. Phil.


---(G)GGG
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 03:31 PM
Mozza. Thanks.

I remember that section all too clearly and actually it annoys me that there is an attitude of there's no point trying to fix things. You wouldn't have that attitude to a house or a car.

I've kept telling people that there I things that I did that I'm not happy with and I want to deal with those. I've also used the same message about it not mattering what my goal is the actions are the same.

Still would like a few more people to be pro-marriage on both sides of this.
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 03:36 PM
Originally Posted By: jim0987
Still would like a few more people to be pro-marriage on both sides of this.
I had heard about the "culture of divorce" before but never really understood it. Now it strikes me how every women's magazine is "Don't put up with a bad relationship! Free yourself! Follow your gut! Happiness is around the corner!" I'm just amazed. It's likely that it makes for a lot of feel good articles, suggesting that there's an easy fix to your problems. Good reading.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 03:37 PM
I'll look into aspergers some more. Either way I think for me the list of changes is still the right ones.

Im pleased that you've learnt how to overcome it though, its a real reason for optimism that we can learn new behaviours
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 03:40 PM
A lot of women's magazines seem to be 'have the big expensive wedding you've always wanted' then 'bail at the first sign of trouble'

Frustrating.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 07:19 PM
Practicing my new Boundaries question.

So very tense with W this evening from the moment she walked in - she is really cross about something and I'm feeling pretty resentful about the whole situation. (Affair, her attitude, etc.)

Anyways while I was giving the kids their bath I went to tell D3 'one time minute' but W cut right accross me. I said 'I know you're trying to help but I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk accross me'

My tone was terse and I didn't look at her as I was busy dressing S1.

So boundary? Or stroppy? What did I do wrong/right?

Thanks in advance
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/04/14 11:11 PM
I think it was fine. As far as your W's bad mood, it could be that her and OM had an off day. It can work like that. When she's had her "fix" she's in a good mood. No fix = bad mood.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 08:20 AM
Bit of a tangent/hijack/detour on mikechc's thread all about being a good parent. I think we all basically agreed the core point but disagreed on how this would affect WAW.

Anyway as I got involved I thought I'd put a link on my thread. Some interesting points were made all round
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2498873&page=4
Posted By: Ggrass Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 09:11 AM
True, about the good father bit but h1 has taken 17 years to learn that.

I might update my thread, cause truely I need to vent stuff reacted to h1.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 09:18 AM
Im confused as to whether last 24hrs were good or not.

So my PMA was not good in fact I was hacked off about my situation. Still I played with the kids and got them into bed happy.

My W was kind of excluded from it all and I was curt/terse with her. Asked her not to talk accross me. Told her that I didn't really like the dress she wants D3 to wear for the nursery photos today but that I will put her in that as that's what W wants. She tried to tell me I'm wrong so I said I had a right to an opinion.

I think I probably cane accross as in a right grump. Not good. She was also in a bad mood so tense all round.

D3 had an accident in the night. I sorted her and stripped the sheets but didn't put the stuff straight in the machine. I intended to do it this morning but it was a 180 opportunity missed.

W was very cold this morning so I basically ignored her, kept to one word answers, and instead made the kids giggle - so much so they didn't notice her leaving for work.

So my confusion comes from how I should be when interacting with my W - friendly, upbeat and talkative or distant and uncaring. I can't seem to find a middle ground as she seems constantly angry or sad.

This is how its been for a long time and so its difficult to see how this might give her pause for thought.

She has said I was uncaring and unsupportive and to be honest that's what I'm now doing because she has said she doesn't want me and is having an affair (sort of). To do otherwise would be pursuing wouldn't it?

She's out with OM tonight so we will see what that brings.
Posted By: Ggrass Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 09:27 AM
It would be hard living in the same house.

Maybe just as house mate. Me personally I would find it hard to give her time of day, but I really Find cheating hard to reconcile. My sitch anit getting better as far as I can see., so perhaps nc isn't best option. It would be very difficult in the same house.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 11:51 AM
How would you act around a co-worker who showed up in a bad mood?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 12:32 PM
To be honest I'd ask them what was wrong and if there was anything I could do. If they gave me a sign they wanted to talk then I would do that, trying to reassure them.

Then I'd try to cheer them up with silliness. And if that didn't work I'd leave them to it because I wouldn't want to end up being dragged into a mood with them. Maybe thats not compassionate enough. Actually that would probably seem callous and uncaring.

I gave up on even this a long time ago with my wife because she always just said she was tired. I know she was tired but I took over on the kids the moment I walked through the door to do the best I could to help. I suppose it was a NG covert contract - I would have liked an acknowledgment that I was doing my best rather than being criticised for the fact I have to work. She probably wasn't criticising but that'd how I took it.

Even though i recignise this now i'm still feeling quite bitter at the moment. I've been roundly ignored for 3 years, emotionally shut out while at the same time being held responsible for her happiness. it turns out I suck at be 100% of a depressed persons support network especially when they won't open up to me or help me to understand what they need. (I do know I did plenty wrong and didnt properly listen when she did try to tell me

right now my W feels trapped here at home and just 'wants me to leave and never ever come back' (she told MIL this in front of D3) and 'she can't stand that she has to pretend to be nice just to keep me civil' (found this when I snooped a few weeks back). So either she has a very warped perception of me or I am way worse than I thought.

She doesn't want to interact with me at all but then seems more cross if im distant (reinforces callous and uncaring). Being positive has got a better response from her but leads to angry outbursts from her but that takes a lot of effort if I'm on a down day. To be honest everything I do seems to make her cross and reinforce her hatred in one way or another.

So as I said I'm a bit confused by it all.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 01:05 PM
OK so that has crystallised some thoughts.

My W has had it really hard the last few years
- She has had two children both with long deliveries and difficult recovery
- she isn't happy with the impact that it had on her body
- her dad died
- her gran died
- her best friend moved to new Zealand
- her other friends abandoned her
- her sister has ignored her
- she has moved cross country and is a long way from home
- changed jobs several times and now has an difficult and stressful role
- she had to give up her running which was a big part if identity

And through it all her one 'rock' - her husband - was busy making covert contracts and then being grumpy that he (I) wasn't appreciated enough. And that worse by always offering solutions rather than understanding he made her feel like she wasn't trying hard enough, so that even though he was there for her she didn't feel safe enough to ask for what she needed as she was scared he would just make her feel worse.

And the whole time she could see me directing the love and compassion she craved at our kids, just not giving it to her. So she knew I was capable just witholding.

Which on top of all of this there was the massive issue over her ex and my response to that which would have challenged any relationship.

%&£# %%££%&' &#@&%£

How could she resist the promise of OM or even being alone because at least alone there is no one she feels is judging her.


Answers on a postcard for fixing this one please.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 01:32 PM
So I'd love to talk to her about this to tell her that I was/am proud of her and that I just didn't know how to do compassion - its something I'm having to learn like parenting (I read a lot of books on this)

But its actions I need and I can't for the life of me figure that out at the moment given the relationship dynamic. If it were a mate I think I would know what to do but with regard to my W who is in the middle of an EA (with on off PA) .......

I'm hope this OK but I'm also trying to use these boards to practice sone of this by commenting on other threads. This being a compassionate integrated man with a decent amount of self respect is something I really want to nail.

Advice and ideas (and stern comments) gratefully received.
Posted By: Ahoy Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 03:54 PM
jim, it sounds like you're spending a lot of time thinking about your W and what is motivating her actions right now. How does that feel? Frustrating? There's not much you can do about it. You can't just jump back in and try to fix it, as much as you'd like to try (trust me -- I'm a fixer so I know how hard it is!).

Leave your W alone. Don't tell her that you're proud of her (HELLO she is having an affair -- be a strong man, have some boundaries -- read up on Starsky a bit).

It must be hard being in the same house. I would not be able to handle that at all. Are YOU getting out, having fun? If not, go do that right away. Not just to show her that you are moving on with your life but also for your own sake.

Hang in there, but try to shift your focus on the one thing you can affect -- yourself.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 04:24 PM
Thanks Ahoy

I do know that I can't say anything of the sort. In part its still hung up on the why didn't I realise and why didn't she talk to me merry go round. And yes I know its because she was too upset and sad to tell me calmly and I was too defensive to hear what she actually meant. But I'm hoping understanding will help me identify the right changes in my behaviour.

Wish I could see the route back to our M (and be confident I can trust her again)

Even though we share a house for the next couple of months while she buys somewhere, we have very little interaction not involving the kids. She can't stand to be in the same room as me and tolerates it just to be near the kids. If I accidentally come into physical contact (it happens with small kids) she flinches and retreats.

I haven't had an TM or email from her in over a month even though the only things I've sent relate to kid things (like applying for D3s school place). Man that's frustrating because this stuff is important, has a deadline and is not about our R. She has just added to the 'he's trying to control me pile'

Any night its not my turn to have the kids I'm going out. And on my nights if she is in - then I go for a run. She mostly stays in her room messaging someone.

She is 100% clear she wants out, denied OM, and then says its not about that. Which is partially/mostly true.

Her family and friends know about the A and have all encouraged it as 'she deserves to be happy'. No one sees it as an affair because she says it didn't start til a week after BD.

Sorry kind of gone off on one.

Right now I'm struggling to work out how to behave round my W. I want to build positive interaction in the hope of rekindling her attraction without pursuing or being a doormat. especially if she thought i was too distant in the past.

I think she thinks I moving on but its not even got close to giving her reason to reconsider her choices. I think she thinks ive given up on the M and that now I'm just out to hurt her.

She doesn't respect, love or find me attractive and I have no idea how to fix that.

So all in all it feels a bit of a tightrope walk.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 05:26 PM
Quote:
So my PMA was not good in fact I was hacked off about my situation.


And when it's not good......you start screwing up by second guessing yourself and rehashing the past again and saying you are trying to get your head around....and ask something that has already been addressed. So it seems to me if your mood is going to dictate all if this, your priority should be to have a PMA.

Quote:
My W was kind of excluded from it all and I was curt/terse with her. Asked her not to talk accross me


Which I already told you how you dealt with that time was okay. Now, by the way you word it, I am wondering if you reacted out of being in a bad mood or if you really all about holding to a boundary.

Quote:
Told her that I didn't really like the dress she wants D3 to wear for the nursery photos today but that I will put her in that as that's what W wants. She tried to tell me I'm wrong so I said I had a right to an opinion.


Is this the same situation where you said she was talking over you (interfering with you handling the kids)? B/c you are rehashing it, and this time you make it sound a little different. Was she dressing the little girl and you did not like her choice of dress? It makes a difference. IMO, you replying by saying you had a right to an opinion sounds more b'tchy than manly, but that's just me.

Quote:
I sorted her and stripped the sheets but didn't put the stuff straight in the machine. I intended to do it this morning but it was a 180 opportunity missed.


You took care of your child, while allowing her mother to sleep (I might add). Why is it a big deal you didn't put the sheets in washer immediately? Don't sweat the small stuff.

Quote:
So my confusion comes from how I should be when interacting with my W - friendly, upbeat and talkative or distant and uncaring. I can't seem to find a middle ground as she seems constantly angry or sad.


Thought this had been covered.

You have been giving others support. What would you tell another LBH in this type stitch?

Quote:
This is how its been for a long time and so its difficult to see how this might give her pause for thought.


If what gives her pause for thought? You listed several behaviors above. Which one are you referring to as causing her pause?
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 06:09 PM
Quote:
To be honest I'd ask them what was wrong and if there was anything I could do. If they gave me a sign they wanted to talk then I would do that, trying to reassure them.

Then I'd try to cheer them up with silliness. And if that didn't work I'd leave them to it because I wouldn't want to end up being dragged into a mood with them. Maybe thats not compassionate enough. Actually that would probably seem callous and uncaring.


I didn't say a friendly co-worker. What if it was person that didn't like you and you had to share a confined space? Why are you concerned how your actions would be seen?

Look, you have a lot of resentment over the past three yrs. she was a SAHM, right? Her job ended when you got home, and your second shift started? Plus you didn't feel appreciated and instead of manning up like you should have, you continued being passive-aggressive and your NG behavior.

Of course she doesn't want to interact with you!! She is miserable there with you. If you were in love with another woman and planning to leave her in a few weeks, would you be interested in working on the R? Well I can tell you, a WAW doesn't. But you are doing the same cr@p. You are whining about her. You are you looking to her for an answer. You want her to make you feel better. It doesn't work!

She is miserable and wants out. She isn't going to change. She isn't going to make you feel better. You can rehash the past three years from now on......and it won't change things. Now what?

Why do you keep saying you are a bit confused? There is nothing confusing about it. She lost her attraction to you. If you had made it clear to her that she would be crawling out of bed during the night to take care of her child, she probably would have respected you a lot more than the way you chose to handle it. I have yet to see a woman very attracted to a man who has a job providing for his family and does all the work at the house, plus do all the child care........while she doesn't do, at the least, her equal share (especially if she doesn't hold down a job!). She learned all she had to do was tell you she was tired and you would have to do. The fact that she complained about you having to leave long enough to go to the job.......tells me some very unflattering things about your W.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 06:17 PM
Thanks Sandi, for your advice and infinite patience.

Yes when my PMA is not good I start worrying whether I'm standing reasonable ground or being sulky. I get worried about tone posture and all the rest. My confidence is shot to bits on these issues.

So point taken sort the PMA and the rest will follow.

The dress was a conversation slightly before the talking accross. The kids had photos at nursery today and I took then. My W said that she wanted a very specific dress. I said that I didn't really like that dress but since it seemed important to her then I was OK with it. She started to try and tell me why it had to be that dress. And I stopped her by saying I had a right to an opinion and that I'd already agreed to what she wanted. Maybe it was b*****y it certainly pressed some of my buttons and I felt myself starting to rise to it.

I think it still confuses me about how to behave - I think I'm just being impatient about it all. I think the advice I'd give is to hold to my boundaries but otherwise perfectly friendly and interested. Resoect her privacy and space. No relationship talk. But otherwise as natural as I can manage. If my PMA is poor then excuse myself - no interaction better than bad interaction.

Pause for thought overall - something to make her question leaving the M.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 06:31 PM
Quote:
- She has had two children both with long deliveries and difficult recovery


What does that have to do with life today? Women have babies. They get over it.

She doesn't like what it did to her body. Why am I not surprised! Bet she tries to make you feel responsible, and some day she'll be telling the kids what they did to her.

Her dad and GF died. Sorry, I know how painful that is, but it is a part of life we will face....if we live very long. People move on, or get help in moving on with living.

Same is true when we have to move or lose friends. She needs to grow up and start dealing with reality like an adult. I know some people use these as excuses or to guilt their H b/c they aren't happy and it's his fault. Some people get attention when they complain about these things you've listed. Being the NG you are, I can see you buying into it, and carrying her around like a spoiled princess. Tell me, why did her friends abandon her? It should be a message to her.

You are going to have to change your way of thinking and behaving to people, and especially women. She will never respect and desire you as long as you continue buying in to her BS.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 07:54 PM
Stern but fair.

She had 9months maternity leave after each child then went back to work 30hrs a week. So not stay at home but was for half of the last 3 years. She resented me for 'making her' go back to work but she had to financially and because the social isolation was driving her nuts. Her mood massively improved within a week of being back at work though she still resented me for it.

I don't know how much she holds that stuff against me or whether its me grasping for things to lessen the impact of my negative NG behaviour.

She would bring this stuff up if I pushed her to find out what was wrong. Though when she was angry she would say more stuff about my negative comments and sarcasm or that I was putting too much pressure on her. Half the time I didn't even notice the negative comments she was referring to.

She would say she did way more than half the childcare I would say that if there was ever a choice between watching the kids or something else then she picked the something else 99% of the time.

So I can rehash the past all I like but it comes back to the same thing. Whatever the cause she stopped respecting, stopped finding me attractive and stopped loving me. She was miserable for whatever reason and OM gave her hope for a happier future.

What that tells me is that she is done (which she has said very clearly) and there is naff all I can do about it. What possible incentive could she have to choose trying to work on a situiation thats made her miserable over new love with OM (and the casual sex option she is also pursuing). I honestly don't know why I want to save my M any more. And I certainly need to let go of the hope that she might have second thoughts.

I do want to make changes in me though because this properly suxx and if I don't I'll be back here in a few years with someone else having left me.

It does make me want to vent some of my anger at her though. (Not going to though). Accepting its 100% over would change my attitude to some things but then I risk getting quite petty.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 08:25 PM
So stop trying to win her back. Take the pressure off yourself and stop being tense.

Start right now simply working on yourself. Consentrate on a life with your kids and planning your future. You are right, if you don't make permanent changes, you will repeat all of this with another woman.

BTW, you have talked to a lawyer, right? If there's ever a time to stand up for yourself and your kids.......it's when the W is leaving you for OM!
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 08:47 PM
Yes. Spoke to a lawyer and discussed my options.

They've reviewed the seperation and childcare agreements I drafted and okayed those. They have prepped an injunction to file should my W try and move the kids away from me.

We've negotiated a settlement pretty quickly which is fair to both sides. Just wait and see if she signs it.

I get to keep the house which protects my D3s school application and gives them a bit more stability (I don't really want to stay here but its the right choice for my kids)

When it comes to the finances and big decisions I've always been really firm in my boundaries.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/05/14 09:02 PM
Good!
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/06/14 03:10 AM
jim0987 - How much time do you spend on this forum each day? I'm asking because I realized that I need to find some balance myself. Reading about other people's sitches all day is not helping me to do the right things. It feeds my obsession with my sitch. I say that on the wrong day as I've gotten some marvelous advice for a tense situation, but over the last week, I found myself coming here as part of an obsessive behavior, rather than for a punctual visit with a beginning and an end. I encourage you to at least give yourself a time off of a certain period, slightly longer than what you would have done naturally. See if it helps.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/06/14 05:12 PM
That is a decision everyone needs to make for themselves, Mozza. Most newcomers spend a great deal of time here. Eventually, it changes as the stitch changes.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/06/14 11:20 PM
Jim, Mozza...


I agree with sandi. Initially people spend a lot of time here, trying to wrap their heads around what has happened to them, and, sad to say, searching for the elusive "Magic Bullet" that, if they implement it "just right", will fix their marriage.

Or maybe they're just looking for some hope, and hope is here in abundance. Maybe just not in the form you'd like it to be.

This is the best place to vent and to talk through difficult times without having to test them out on our spouses.

Jim, in your case, do whatever you can to stop taking responsibly for your wife's feelings. HER FEELINGS ARE HER BUSINESS.
If she is unhappy, with life, or with you, it's not your problem right now.

She doesn't want to be your wife at the moment. Or thinks she doesn't want to be.
Which means your role with her has CHANGED.

You are not her rescuer, nor are you her emotional support. Let OM rescue her!

That said, always be upbeat, busy, kind, and friendly to your wife.
There is no need to be cold or distant.

But end the conversations first, don't ask questions, don't nitpick, think of her as someone who really can't have empathy for you right now.

Let your actions speak. You're GALing, you're busy with the children--you're friendly to her ON A LIMITED BASIS.

She doesn't get unlimited access to you and your soul while she is giving herself to another. It doesn't work that way, and it's time she figured that out.

You can't tell her this, she'll just have to glean it from your interactions.

Again. NOT curt. Not cold. Not indifferent.
But all you need to do is listen to her and let you know you heard her. Validate.
Don't fix! And you don't need to listen ad nauseum, either.

Use Zues's 80% rule:
Whatever warmth she gives out, give back 80%.
That will keep you from creating too much distance, but will not come off as pursuit, either.


And don't reassure her, either. Surely she knows you love her, that you're incredibly hurt, and you don't want this.

Sadly, at this point, she doesn't really care all that much. She will only begin to care when she sees that you are moving forward in your life and that the changes you make are permanent.


She will likely keep checking that you're still neatly in place so she can go off to play, confident that you're keeping her seat warm.

It when she looks back and sees you're not there putting your life on hold, that she will feel the pinch that you might not wait forever.

Again, actions. No need to say a word.



Keep up the good work!


---(G)GGG
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 12:15 AM
Thank you once again.

Part of me is still looking for that magic bullet or that conversation that makes her understand that we should work on our M and that so many of her complaints are down to poor communication on both our parts. Odd how we both felt we were 'putting up' with the other's bad mood.

Anyway I know its not there just like there is no magic bullet that cures me of my issues.

Hard work, real actions and a lifetime of commitment is what it will take.


As for the warmth side well 80% of ice cold is really quite frosty indeed.
Posted By: Ggrass Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 12:32 AM
Yeap, same in my sitch too. 80% of cold as ice is pretty frosty. I do not bump into him he doesn't contact. Pretty cold IMHO.
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 04:15 PM
Originally Posted By: sandi2
That is a decision everyone needs to make for themselves, Mozza. Most newcomers spend a great deal of time here. Eventually, it changes as the stitch changes.
I hope I didn't come across as ungrateful or inconsiderate. I spend a great deal of time here myself and I've gained value beyond what I imagined (especially today).
Posted By: Little Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 04:32 PM
Wow wow wow. Thanks, GoatGal!
Originally Posted By: GoatGal
Jim, Mozza...


I agree with sandi. Initially people spend a lot of time here, trying to wrap their heads around what has happened to them, and, sad to say, searching for the elusive "Magic Bullet" that, if they implement it "just right", will fix their marriage.

Or maybe they're just looking for some hope, and hope is here in abundance. Maybe just not in the form you'd like it to be.

This is the best place to vent and to talk through difficult times without having to test them out on our spouses.

Jim, in your case, do whatever you can to stop taking responsibly for your wife's feelings. HER FEELINGS ARE HER BUSINESS.
If she is unhappy, with life, or with you, it's not your problem right now.

She doesn't want to be your wife at the moment. Or thinks she doesn't want to be.
Which means your role with her has CHANGED.

You are not her rescuer, nor are you her emotional support. Let OM rescue her!

That said, always be upbeat, busy, kind, and friendly to your wife.
There is no need to be cold or distant.

But end the conversations first, don't ask questions, don't nitpick, think of her as someone who really can't have empathy for you right now.

Let your actions speak. You're GALing, you're busy with the children--you're friendly to her ON A LIMITED BASIS.

She doesn't get unlimited access to you and your soul while she is giving herself to another. It doesn't work that way, and it's time she figured that out.

You can't tell her this, she'll just have to glean it from your interactions.

Again. NOT curt. Not cold. Not indifferent.
But all you need to do is listen to her and let you know you heard her. Validate.
Don't fix! And you don't need to listen ad nauseum, either.

Use Zues's 80% rule:
Whatever warmth she gives out, give back 80%.
That will keep you from creating too much distance, but will not come off as pursuit, either.


And don't reassure her, either. Surely she knows you love her, that you're incredibly hurt, and you don't want this.

Sadly, at this point, she doesn't really care all that much. She will only begin to care when she sees that you are moving forward in your life and that the changes you make are permanent.


She will likely keep checking that you're still neatly in place so she can go off to play, confident that you're keeping her seat warm.

It when she looks back and sees you're not there putting your life on hold, that she will feel the pinch that you might not wait forever.

Again, actions. No need to say a word.



Keep up the good work!


---(G)GGG



whistle whistle whistle whistle


Jim, you'd be wise to print that post out, save it, and read it about 10x/day. That's GOLD right there. ^^^


Starsky
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 07:56 PM
General update.

My PMA has been reasonable for the last couple of days though the endless mind circles are carrying on. On the plus side I got some actual work done rather than the bare minimum I've managed in the office the last few weeks.

Mainly I keep looping between 'was I really that bad?' 'How significant were the issues on her side?' And 'why didn't we seem able to talk about it'. None of its helpful except to try and figure out me from now on (more to follow on this)

Not had much interaction with W but what there has been I've been positive, talkative (small talk) and playful mainly towards kids but not excluding W. I hope I look happy and OK with life but I can't make my eyes lie yet. She is mostly looking very tired and not reciprocating chirpy but that's fine because I'm not being chirpy for her.

A couple of practical D points she has raised I've answered her question factually then continued with whatever I was doing

As I've said before its a lot like the last 3 years as I've always been really silly and playful with the kids. I'm concerned this isn't a 180 but I'm not going to not be silly with them. So actually I don't think I care what she thinks on this one.

I entirely take GoatGals excellent points but I'm left wondering about the issue where she seems to be scared of me (its something I still struggle to understand and makes me think I'm missing something big). Anyway I'd like to ease her fear and I'm not sure how best to do this?
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 08:18 PM
I don't understand the "scared of you" thing either.

It could just be projection on her part.

At this point just make sure you are always calm, listen more than talk, non-confrontational. Validate.
Watch your words carefully. When in doubt, say nothing.

The same DBing stuff we always talk about.

How that can possibly come off as "scary" is beyond me.

If she is doing things she believes deep down she should be punished for, perhaps she is waiting for you to fill that role? Who knows?

Maybe she sees your newly assertive yourself as being "scary"?
Don't know.

But I wouldn't let that stop you from asserting yourself on your non-negotiable boundaries.

Decide what those are and stick to them. Maybe write out a list here of your "Lines in the Sand".

Make sure they're about protecting you and the kids, and not about enforcing some code of behavior for her.

Some of mine:
1. I will not be spoken to in a disrespectful manner, in person or via text/email.
Consequence: I tell H firmly that I will not be spoken to in that way and end the discussion right there and then. If it's via text, I simply do not respond to spew. Of any kind.
2. I will not have a close R with anyone who I cannot trust.
Consequence: He will not live in this house with me until I feel emotionally safe with him by measures that are MINE to make. He legally can live here, but I am under no obligation to make it "comfortable" for him to do so if he is disrespecting me with his behavior.

As for your W's feelings--well, they're HER feelings, right?
And what did we decide about those? smile

(Once you determine that you are not, in fact, acting threatening towards her in any way, of course.)

STOP. WORRYING. ABOUT. HER. FEELINGS.

Focus on being the man you want to be. If you are acting responsibly, honorably, and pleasant and civil and reasonable, then her feelings are entirely her responsibility.

--(G)GGG
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 08:33 PM
I think its the whole emotionally safety thing.

Do you think little things like giving her warning that I'm on my home would help? Just talking a simple TM when I leave so she gets 30 minutes warning?
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 08:43 PM
Why? Does she get upset when you arrive at your own house?

I could see that in reverse. For example, I like my H to let ME know when he's coming because he is the one who didn't want to be a part of my life any more. I am living here alone because of choices he made.

This is no longer his home, by his choice. So I want to be informed when he's going to be here.

Jim... try and just stick to a few changes at the outset here. You're doing what many of us do and trying to do everything at once, looking for solutions.
But what happens with that is you don't know what's helping and what's making the situation worse.

Did you used to text her when you were on your way out of courtesy? Then by all means, continue if you think that would be courteous. Does she do the same?
Do you appreciate it? Then don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Continue to do the things that seemed to work well for you as a couple previously.

But don't start trying this, that, and the other thing. You'll make yourself crazy, not to mention those of us who are following along! smile

Stick to your lists:
GALS
Boundaries and Consequences
180s
PMA Plan
Base everything on the values you hold dear as a guideline FOR YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR, not hers.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 08:51 PM
Yes she does get upset and cross when I get home. She has said she just wants to be away from me (but apparently not enough to cope with living somewhere rented).

I take your point I'm trying to get to the end by skipping the journey.
Posted By: GoatGal Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 08:56 PM
Jim.

It's your house. If she wants to "be away" then let her take the necessary steps to make that happen.

You don't need to help her, assuage her guilt over it, make it easier for her, or to help her pack.

You certainly don't have to make yourself invisible so she can pretend you don't exist.

BTW, my H pretty much wanted me to do that. At BD he suggested I just "leave and go live with my mother in another state." Seriously. Just pick up and move out and leave my home and friends and husband without a second glance. He thought that was a viable solution.

So he could be "happier". Well you can read how that panned out! smile

Sometimes I'm surprised he didn't just kill me. That's pretty much what he wanted.
Everything to be exactly the same, except I was conveniently and neatly gone.

Except I know he doesn't have the guts for that since he can't even put a chicken out of her misery, so murder wasn't an option.

On the other hand, if it was "legal"...? Nahhh....
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 09:06 PM
Yep - she told me to move out. She just seems to want me eradicated from her life because I'm 'what's kept her alone and miserable'

Ive been getting out the house a lot and keeping my distance so she is sort of getting what she wants.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/07/14 09:58 PM
The more later i mentioned earlier.

On Ss06ís thread I saw the suggestion to write 20 things I like about myself. This was way, way harder than I thought it would be especially when I started taking off the things that are either transient or dependent on someone else.

Even with this list Iím not sure if its things I like or just things that I am. If it is the latter then I should learn to like these things because they are who I am.

20 things I like about myself.

1) My kids (they are part of who i am even though this is external validation)
2) Iím a good dad
3) Iím analytical
4) I get Ďconceptsí pretty quickly
5) Iím able to make connections between ideas
6) I can Ďwing ití better than most
7) I can improvise solutions
8) I have ideas, always (however unrealistic or unworkable)
9) Iím curious about how things work
10) Iím can make a tasty meal (and delicious cookies)
11) Iím loyal
12) Iím a little bit silly and abstract
13) I have a dry sarcastic humour
14) I can really talk when Iím passionate or excited about something
15) I have an adventurous side
16) Iím genuinely concerned about others
17) I like to snug
18) I love Christmas and get quite festive
19) I get interested in other peoples interests
20) I'm fair

At the same time and not because I was trying to, I thought of things I donít like and this was really easy and took only a couple of minutes to get to 27 Ė I probably could have kept this list going

Things I donít like about myself:

1) Iím constantly looking for external validation
2) I procrastinate
3) Iím easily distracted
4) Iím very anxious socially
5) I assume people donít like me
6) I constantly compare myself negatively to others
7) Iím very defensive when I perceive criticism
8) My sarcasm can be mean and vindictive
9) I sometimes say things I donít mean
10) My emotions trip me up and make me second guess everything
11) I lack confidence
12) I hesitate to act unless someone has given me permission.
13) Iím not good with boundaries.
14) I avoid conflict because Iím afraid of the consequences.....
15) I'm not very assertive.
16) I fear failure and rejection so much that it stops me from trying
17) I project my fears onto others to get that reassurance by saying something negatively leading
18) Iím capable of some dreadful passive/aggressive nonsense
19) I use covert contracts all the time
20) Iím not good at reading and responding to other peoples feelings
21) Iím needy and insecure
22) I donít respect myself enough
23) I donít live up to my potential and so feel like a bit of a failure
24) Iím sulky and struggle to let stuff go.
25) Iím combative when in conflict (if i cant win then we both lose)
26) I whinge and moan and pick holes in things
27) I over analyse to the point where I go round in circles

I realised that this list actually provides a pretty good opportunity for trying to reprogram my thinking in a 180 style but have struggled to rewrite it as positive actions mostly i just ended up writing ĎDont do that anymoreí.

Then I thought that for a lot of this stuff its maybe not about 180s but instead the Ďaggregation of marginal gainsí (if youíve not heard of this look up Dave Brailsford and British Cycling). The basic concept is that if you improve everything 1% then the overall improvement is massive.

Sooooooo........

Thinking about all of this and the overall changes in me i want to make (a few posts ago) I came up with this list of marginal gains that I can work on. Hopefully they are specific, positive and realistic ACTIONS that I can take every day and dont depend on opportunity.

1) Get a life Ė Always have a plan for tomorrow, whether that is with the kids, with friends or on my own, I should have a plan.
2) Detach Ė Slow my reactions and ask myself what am I feeling about this
3) Detach Ė ask myself does it matter, if it doesnít let it go.
4) Detach Ė base my actions on what i think is right not on expectations of what i will get the return
5) PMA Ė at every situation ask myself what is the positive here? Remind myself that happy thoughts lead to happy people
6) PMA Ė appreciate what is good and show my appreciation for others
7) PMA Ė reduce the negativity, criticism and sarcasm in my words (it is not always perceived as intended)
8) Confidence Ė remind myself what is good about me and my life, especially if i'm feeling anxious or starting to make mental comparisons
9) Confidence Ė Practice confidence in my body language and thoughts (daily in front of the mirror as well)
10) Empathy Ė Validate other people's feelings, they are their feelings and so cant be Ďwrongí
11) Empathy Ė Listen, really listen to what is being said
12) Empathy Ė Speak with care and compassion
13) Empathy Ė Dont offer a solution unless im asked for one.
14) Lead Ė be decisive when i need to be, be assertive in my decisions
15) Boundaries Ė understand, respect and enforce my boundaries

As for lines in the sand for my boundaries then I think these are
- I will not accept being disrespectfully treated or spoken to, this includes being lied to or being told my feelings are invalid
- I will not let someone else use guilt or shame to manipulate me
- I will not live in an open marriage

I thought there might be more boundaries but actually thatís kind of it

So thats a long train of thought and the end point is really not much different to Cadet's welcome post and what i keep getting told but i think its a realisation I had to come to on my own (repeatedly - until it sinks in). But what is nice for me is actually none of those actions are about my wife, they are about who I want to be.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 05:51 PM
Bit of journaling.

I've been out most the weekend with friends got home to take kids swimming and have had a day at home with the wife and kids. Cold between us. I put up a blind she has been waiting nearly a year for me to do (she commented on this'

She got cross about things which I didn't understand and anytime I made her laugh she immediately made a D related comment. My PMA was good and only once did I nearly rise to it.

Day took a turn for the worse. I snooped and think I was caught. PMA came crashing down and she commented on this. Feel bad that I snooped and that I think I was caught (she made no comment though). Also what I read upset me.

Couldn't keep PMA so made a flimsy excuse and left the room.

Read messages to poisonius friend abd the gist was that they want to date and are both signing up for online dating. W is still pursuing OM1. Me being at home puts W in a bad mood the moment I walk through the door. W loves being alone withiut me.

She described me as being in 'sickly parenting mode' - I was just being me and I'm hurt that playing with my kids is yet another thing that annoys her. What the hell makes me so awful? (And yes I know insecure snooping has to be part of the answer)

I realised that W and I used to be really playful and I stopped all that because W wouldn't let me. I let her stop me being me.
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 06:27 PM
I'm no expert, but I seem to recall that your good behavior is expected to make your wife mad. It makes her doubt her choices. I see it often on these boards, W getting mad because their H are changing for the best. You're likely putting money in the bank for later. When she reconsiders, these things will play in your favor. Perhaps it's time to set your sights on a place a few months down the road and hope for nothing at the moment. It sounds like she will leave and live through something before she has a chance to reconsider her choices.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 06:41 PM
She won't reconsider. She has invested too much and burnt too many bridges. She's nothing if not stubborn.

But seriously that 'sickly parenting mode' has really wound me up. what the ....... Is that suppose to mean? And why on earth would a mother resent a father for playing with his and being involved with his kids.

Until then I actually thought the day had been positive.

If I hadn't snooped I still would.
Posted By: 1foot2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 06:47 PM
That's toxic thinking and you don't need to expose yourself to it by snooping! Yuck. I really really liked your previous posts. You're going to come out of this better.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 07:19 PM
When you hit that point where someone is cross at you that 2 house moves ago some CDs, that she hasn't looked for until now, weren't put back in their boxes you really start to realise just how much resentment they are holding.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 07:21 PM
Knowing how it affects you, don't you think it would easier on your PMA to not snoop? You really are hurting yourself at this point. Besides, if she doesn't want you knowing (and if she did catch you) she will take it deeper underground.

You know she is not going to allow herself to be in a good mood around you, so why do you set yourself up for disappointment?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 07:32 PM
It would be so much easier on my PMA not to mention my dignity and self respect to not snoop. Its what stopped me the previous 50 odd opportunities I had. I can make an excuse why this was different but its an excuse.

She seems really determined to see me in a bad light and I suppose I just can't see that barrier coming down within the next couple of years.
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 07:45 PM
Originally Posted By: jim0987
When you hit that point where someone is cross at you that 2 house moves ago some CDs, that she hasn't looked for until now, weren't put back in their boxes you really start to realise just how much resentment they are holding.
I hope this made you realize that she's just looking for excuses. There's no way she's crossed because of the CDs or because you're a good dad. It has to be something else so I posit that she's crossed that you're reacting better than expected, making her doubt her choices. That's what DB would suggest. It gets worse before it gets better, right?

Originally Posted By: jim0987
She seems really determined to see me in a bad light and I suppose I just can't see that barrier coming down within the next couple of years.
I have moments like this too. The opposite of love is indifference, not this kind of hate. She hasn't moved on from you. She wants you to act in the wrong way, to stop being a good dad and to defend yourself. She's trying to control you. Are you trying to control your old girlfriend from 10 years ago?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 08:05 PM
Overtly hate seems to be giving way to indifference - the tone of what she says (to me and others) is more she feels trapped here and Im the reminder of that rather than hates me.

She's very focused on how she deserves someone who is going to 'beat down doors to be with her'

There is a trust issue there toward me and actually that's not likely to change as I realised its been pretty entrenched for years.

Having said that it doesn't change my action plan as if she doesn't want the improved me then she doesn't and in the end I want to be with someone who loves me for me
Posted By: Ggrass Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/09/14 10:33 PM
Jim,

Lets see look outside is the sky blue? is it cloudy?

= your wife thinks that's your fault. There is no logic none, zero, zip, nada, nothing. End of.

Don't bother, do what jim does, she will not be happy. Any excuse is a great one.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 01:15 AM
As I told another man on here, she is going to do everything she can to make life miserable when you are home, b/c she is trying to run you off. That's her mission. Make your life hell until you leave.

Put your steel of armor on, white knight, but not to knock down her doors to save her. Be a knight for your little girl and whatever lady is lucky to be your fair damsel.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 07:31 AM
What the hell is wrong with me...?

I picked a fight as I was walking out the door to go to work. For reasons I can't even fathom I mentioned that I wanted TI take the wedding photos down (I don't even really want to it just hurts when my kids look at them as it feels like the whole marriage was a lie.

Any way convo went roughly

M: I'd like to take the wedding photos down at some point if that's OK with you
W: yes if that's what you want
W: (aggressive tone) you can have the big frame those ones are mine
M: that's not really how I want to discuss these things
W: well they were mine before I met you
M: that's fine but Im not happy with you being rude to me when we talk about this stuff.
W: don't condescend me like I'm 3.
M: that's not what I'm doing I just..... Look I can feel my emotions getting up so I'm going to go downstairs
W: our wedding anniversary is coming up and I didn't realise we were eradicating things.


I went downstairs. W cane down a minute or so later and we discussed (still tense tones) that she felt I was ambushing her and making a parting shot - I said I was unhappy with her tone. I apologised that it felt like I was ambushing her. That wasn't my intent. She seemed to accept it but it felt like she tried to milk the apology.

I also said that we have spent far too long mistakenly assuming the others intent without ever asking. (W was walkibg away at this point)

A couple of minutes later I went back upstairs to explain that the reason I had said about the photos is because S1 was pointing at them and it upsets me when the kids do this. I repeated that I hadn't meant to ambush her.

She was annoyed as I left for work.

And feeling ambushed certainly does not help me build trust. I feel like I need to apologise more but then that doesn't help on the respect front.





Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 08:22 AM
So thinking about this and I see good points and bad

Good points:
- I called her out on her tone and style
- I limited escalation
- I walked away and said its because my emotions were getting up.
- I resisted sarcasm
- I validated her view on being ambushed and apologised
- I explained my trigger for being upset
- she acknowledged our wedding anniversary
- its something different in terms of wanting to take then down

Bad points:
- it happened
- timing
- I apologised too much
- once I apologised I yielded the power in the conversation allowing her to take the high road
- I kept going back to continue the conversation
- I was not assertive enough in tone, language or body language
- I think I seemed weak
- I specifically said twice that I had said sorry for ambushing her but that there was nothing more I could do about it.
- I was open that the divorce still hurts and upsets me
Posted By: South74 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 09:39 AM
Jim,
I'm not sure how you cope I didn't and couldn't , but I take my hat of to you .
Put on the suit of armour .
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 12:27 PM
Why on earth?

If I were your classroom teacher, I would not be able to give you a very high score. You took the position of a pissy female. Daring her to fight with you. And don't hand me that cr@p about how sad it makes you when the kids look at the wedding pictures. After all these years, they would pay no attention, unless " someone " was drawing attention to them. Get a grip, and stop acting like you are the one wearing a skirt.

Quote:
W: our wedding anniversary is coming up and I didn't realise we were eradicating things.


What a joke!
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 12:31 PM
Pissy female is probably a really good description. No clue why I said anything in the first place - I seriously need to man up.

Right now though that feel is like I need to gave way more arguements with her only to do it an a stronger assertive more masculine way. That would be a substantial 180 for me.

Though my kids do always point at them.

Not being sarcastic to that comment about eradicating things was a hell of an effort for me.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 12:41 PM
The two of you are in a power struggle, just like with two kids.

You can't bait her like that, and not expect her to come how with the claws. She has wore the pants all these years. You have basically taken the role of the traditional wife and mother. You will have a hard hill to climb.

Being masculine is not about who can yell the loudest. But I'm sure you know that.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 12:55 PM
And she won in the sense I backed down and apologised for the timing where as she said nothing about her rudeness. Did make a comment about it getting her hackles up so at least she recognised she was being defensive (maybe)

I did better by my standards by not escalating it into a proper cat fight

I need to muster up some inner strength and figure out this masculine self assuredness business. Fast.

I was her boss at work when we fell in love (not a great start). At work im confident, open and in charge. Ive seriously fallen a long way at home.....

That 'sickly parenting mode' comment has really hacked me off. Probably a good chance that the affect on my PMA is why I said anything.
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 01:03 PM
Originally Posted By: jim0987
I was her boss at work when we fell in love (not a great start). At work im confident, open and in charge. Ive seriously fallen a long way at home.....
But it's great that you have somewhere you can find the inspiration of how you should act. Try to put yourself into the work mindset. Imagine you're at work. Try to see your presence around the house as work.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 03:53 PM
So over the last 3 years barely ever a response to any email or TM from W. Including my email to ask availability for visits to potential schools for D3

I send one to say I've booked some visits (after waiting 4 weeks for a reply) and I get 5 emails in 10 minutes saying she can't make any of the appointments and that she has emailed them. Real high level of trust on display there.

Maybe she was caught off guard by it all.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 06:13 PM
Do you have a strong male role model that you look to, as far as picturing how he would address some issues?
Originally Posted By: sandi2
Do you have a strong male role model that you look to, as far as picturing how he would address some issues?



This ^^^ is So important. Most of us learned what NOT to do in some situations, but then we revert right back there under times of stress.

We need to replace the negative reactions and approaches, with positive ones.

So finding a role model for that is crucial and oh so helpful. Then, when the $h1t hits the fan (& life will continue to throw us curve balls)

you really will be ready. IF your spouse sees an "old" behavior, it's frightening and confirms their worst fears; e.g., that you have not changed.

And a WAS will not return to a marriage they left..........unless


they believe the marriage can be better/different than before.


How are you Showing that? (Not in words but actions)?

See, the positive role model (or a ton of reading about healthy behaviors in stressful times) or newly learned how TO DO, behaviors is vital.

Make sense?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 07:02 PM
It does make sense. I don't have a good male role model for dealing with conflict. My dads style is to belittke them abd utterly destroy the other persons confidence. my older brothers is violence.

No other men in my family really.

I've friends who have a good approach to life but no idea how they deal with tense situations. So in short my only male role models are fictional characters.

I'm trying to learn the better behaviours through reading and such. And ive worked out a bit more of a plan to improve myself.

I'm doing much better at not showing frustration and resentment but like you say one moment undoes days of good work. And overall I feel less resentful but its still there just different now. Little things that bothered me before now don't and it seems weird that I got so worked up by them.

In disagreements so far the improvement has been that I walk away rather than lash back. Next step is I have to stand my ground confidently but unthreateningly

It would be much, much easier if I wasn't sad and my W was helping with this is a loving a supportive way.

Finding the balance between positive but not weak is what I'm finding hard. I've always taken my strength from either being negative, being empowered by someone else or by being right. Not the way to be happy

Its very new and unsettling to me.

And I'll be honest I still have a sizeable chunk of fear and shame going on.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 07:27 PM
Quote:
My dads style is to belittke them abd utterly destroy the other persons confidence. my older brothers is violence.


Oh my! Well, both of those are clearly not doable, and I respect you for choosing not to follow in those tracks.

Do you know someone now or in your past that set a good example? Maybe when you were in school?

It doesn't have to be a real person to have an idea of how he would handle things. Ask Mr. Bond, James Bond.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 07:54 PM

Sorry my spelling was atrocious on that last post. Problem with always posting from my phone.

I've spent a lot of my life trying not to be my dad. Fictional is the only realistic option for a role model for me and the examples I can think of would all have kicked my W out the house and separated all the finances immediately before going no contact. (Not sure that's what you meant)

I know deep down that fear is my problem, when confident is what I should aim for.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/10/14 08:19 PM
I don't know how some guys do as well as they do. Even though I am a woman, my dad was a great role model. He taught me, by his example, how a man should treat his W and lead a family. Father's teach both their sons and daughters in these matters.

I think you are being a loving father, Jim. And I believe you have what it takes to get on track as a H and leader in the home. It makes perfect sense that you would hold back and become passive in your desire to not be like your father or brother. That's a hard thing to watch growing up, and not allow it to affect your own behavior. Most of us tend to have some our parents bad side's, even if we swear we'll never be like they were. So, my hat is off to you.
Originally Posted By: jim0987
It does make sense. I don't have a good male role model for dealing with conflict. My dads style is to belittke them abd utterly destroy the other persons confidence. my older brothers is violence.

No other men in my family really.

I've friends who have a good approach to life but no idea how they deal with tense situations. So in short my only male role models are fictional characters.

FWIW, my favorite older brother (and I have 5), has Captain Kirk as his role model. I say, whatever works. And so far, it has worked for him. He's truly a noble man.



I'm trying to learn the better behaviours through reading and such. And ive worked out a bit more of a plan to improve myself.

I'm doing much better at not showing frustration and resentment but like you say one moment undoes days of good work.


Sad but true


And overall I feel less resentful but its still there just different now. Little things that bothered me before now don't and it seems weird that I got so worked up by them.

Remember this^^ discovery.



In disagreements so far the improvement has been that I walk away rather than lash back. Next step is I have to stand my ground confidently but unthreateningly

It would be much, much easier if I wasn't sad and my W was helping with this is a loving a supportive way.

Finding the balance between positive but not weak is what I'm finding hard. I've always taken my strength from either being negative, being empowered by someone else or by being right. Not the way to be happy

Its very new and unsettling to me.

And I'll be honest I still have a sizeable chunk of fear and shame going on.




Fear is natural and has to be balanced with faith, (or even conquered by it.)

Shame? Well, shame just sukks.

However, Remorse for our errors & for harming others, is understandable. It's arguably a great thing IF IT Serves to motivate us to change AND if it does not spiral downward into shame.

Remember that if you are making the changes needed, then remind yourself also that "a problem being handled, is not a problem anymore" b/c you are fixing it.

Think about that. Do you complain or focus on a flat tire, WHILE you are changing that tire? No, b/c you are handling it.

Shame itself is NOT healthy. It's a form of wallowing and critical berating. Berating isn't good to do to anyone, including ourselves.
Hey, I'd bet that shameful voice is a voice from your past, e.g., your childhood, don't you think? You can silence that voice, if/when you know how. I have a suggestion to make if you are truly ready to change your life.

Please check into a personal workshop that is in total alignment with DB principles, called "Essential Experience" ("EE" for short). It's now only in Philadelphia. Other DBers have attended, as have I and my h. It was literally life changing for both of us and for every DBer who attended.

(including PowerOfNow, AutumnLeaves, LuckyLuke, StubbornDyke and some others who's names escape me atm).

I've been to a few different kinds of these self discovery workshops. Most all of them have some use, though some are hilariously superficial.

However, by far, EE was the most profound. And it was done in such a supportive environment, there's just no way it cannot help you with something. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it exponentially. One thing that makes EE different is that it's "experiential", a word I had not come across before.

That meant it was not a lecture or Q & A type of experience, but had exercises designed for you to discover or confront or accept something about yourself that maybe you did not know before. For ME, that meant I could not edit or rehearse my answers, and that was a huge change & big challenge. A VERY productive experience for me.

Check it out. It's personal/individual, not for marriages or couples per se. In most cases a lot of us bring our own baggage to our marriages but cannot resolve those in joint marriage counseling.

My h also said he found therapy, even with a good T, "fragmented" b/c when you do gain an insight or make a breakthrough, within a few minutes you have to leave and pick up your kids or go back to work and NOT ponder the breakthrough til the following WEEK. So you return and have to begin again to get back to where you are the week before and so, in my view, a long weekend workshop is going to save time in counseling, not add to it.

As for being focused on individuals and not couples, every relationship in your life will change, if you change and if you attend EE -then change is certain. I mean you'd have to try pretty hard not to get something valuable out of it. I don't know anyone who has done that and I've now been involved in about 9 of these, and seeing hundreds of people do it.

As you may know, the real value of these things, just like the value of DBing, lies in the changes others see in your life.


And at least In my case , my h saw dramatic changes in me, even as soon as I got off the plane. He said later that he could tell from my demeanor then, and my newly found inner/outer calm, and how I viewed myself as a then pregnant woman (a lot more sensual and attractive than before) ---that HE decided to go to EE himself... And so off he went, alone.

He called and said it was the "Best gift anyone had ever given" him. Then we went together to help other new participants, on "team". It was among the most bonding experiences of my life and certainly one of the closest moments of our m. That is when he said "I'm so glad to be married to my soulmate".

So Yes, I highly recommend it.

Also, are you a believer? Oh I'm not going to preach. It's just that if you are, this reminder helped ME deal with the fears I had when this all happened in my life.

So, When you operate from fear, you are NOT operating in faith.

Letting my faith comfort & guide me, was a lifesaver and a Godsend (literally, I suppose).

You can do this. Seriously.

Look where you were and then look where you are now.

Can you celebrate the difference - that you have created?


Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 12:19 PM
Thanks Sandi, 25.

Sandi your post really choked me up and im not really sure why it got to me so much.

25, I'm looking at the Feb EE, and trying to get the money together. I really do want to change who I am. I want to be more assertive I want to stop being so insecure. I have value and worth, I know that, but I'm crippled by self doubt.

My self doubt is why my wife didn't think I was there for her and its when I was wrestling with it openly that I made her connect with and feel her shame. And its this self doubt that gives me harsh and mean defences.

I hate the phrase but I need to be more alpha male in my being I'm just so far from that it seems hard (and yes its a massive contradiction from work where I'm in charge and the guy everyone goes to in a crisis) I'm way to dependent on external validation and empowerment.

Kirk (and others) are great role models. I suppose I can see it just don't know how to be it.

Leads me back to querying current interaction with my wife. Say nothing and be happy is passive (weak) acceptance of her A and the D, raise it and I'm forcing shame on her and it pushes her away. The only other option I can think of is to openly address the shame and guilt but that's pursuit and will look weak.

All if this is probably about control but I don't think she will see any changes because what need to change was my compassionate interaction with her. I needed to step forward and try rather than back and hide.

That and get my work head back on straight.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 12:26 PM
Actually another option would to be to really take charge of the divorce proceedings. I don't want it but I also don't want to be married to someone who has an A and thinks of me so badly.

There's nothing passive or manipulative its just taking charge if my destiny. It will wind her up and speed things up but its not like she can reject me anymore than she already has.

The fear that stops me is that it feels like I'm not keeping the way back open.
Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 02:32 PM
Quote:
Actually another option would to be to really take charge of the divorce proceedings. I don't want it but I also don't want to be married to someone who has an A and thinks of me so badly.


I think a few have done that in the past, and then regretted it. You do want to take charge of your own life. You do want to be a strong leader and have more alpha (especially at home). You are still getting information for yourself in ways to improve. However, I don't think you want a D, and beating her to file first does not show the kind of "take charge" you need right now. Unless you know without any doubt that you are through with her and the M, I wouldn't do it yet.

Have you checked with a lawyer to see about your rights, etc.?

Didn't you say she was moving out as soon as she found a place of her own?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 03:23 PM
Yes she is moving out. She is purchasing a new house and its going to financially cripple us both (I'm buying her share of the equity in our current house - no more than she put in, and my L says the deal is weighted in my favour).

She has already filed for D citing unreasonable behaviour by me (did that 2weeks after BD). I've not had the papers yet though to see the specifics.

I was thinking more pushing through the financials and sewing up the childcare agreement although actually thinking about it I've already done this - just needs a signature. Back to my classic sort the practical stuff rather than deal with the emotion.

We are leading seperate lives in the same house. The difference is I miss her and she just wants away. I make her sick apparently. She is pining for OM.

I could be more 'this is my space' about things but that's easily seen as petty and controlling. Same deal for moving the house around or starting to sort stuff for moving.

She avoids talking to me or has little huffs. Makes a big deal out of leaving a room at times. I take a fairly nonchalant attitude to it (in front of her)

I'm stuggling to think what there is to take charge of, other than my own emotions. Which comes back to the self doubt.

You could say that I'm being very alpha in a room on my own.



Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 07:11 PM
So new discovery.... My job really upsets my wife. I spend a lot of time preparing for death, destruction and disaster. Turns out that this puts my W's anxiety through the roof so anytime I've discussed work its made her really anxious and tense.

Brene Brown describes it as foreboding joy.

In other news I once again told her not to cut accross me when I'm talking to the kids. She responded with her normal smug patronising rudeness. I told her not to be patronising and rude.

In the past I would have made a vicious sarcastic comment

A few minutes later when the kids weren't causing chaos I said this:

M: when you talk over me like that it feels like you are undermining my authority.
W: well you do it all the time
M: its something I trying to make sure I don't do.

Quite friendly chat after that. Though I stayed in the chat too long and was dismissed

Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 07:56 PM
I read this on another thread but am posting it here so I can find it again. There may never be a time I can use it directly but I think the attitude and mindset feels more like where I want to be
Originally Posted By: Starsky309
Gotcha -- thanks for the clarification.

I kept this old post of a guy named Robx who used to post here often . . . maybe it can help you. He was all about the whole "let them go" technique, and not fighting it. He called it a "merry-go-'round" instead of a roller-coaster, but much of this applies:


RobXís approach:



Sit her down and have a discussion with her.
No need to be mad, angry, a$$hole, prick on anything,
keep it calm, light but straight forward, direct to the point, etc. Don't make it last more than a few minutes.

You tell her trust is based on actions that are consistent.

You don't trust her because she hasn't been consistent.

You don't trust her because she's been lying to you, in fact you tell her that is what you trust her to continue doing, because she has been lying to your consistently - that's what you can trust.

For you to be able to trust her, she has to build trust.
Sure you can trust her blindly and have faith and all that good stuff but honestly how well has that worked up to this point?

Don't ask for for full disclosure.

Do the opposite.

Tell her this:

"... I don't want your cell phone records, I don't want to look at your cell phone text msg's and call history, I don't want your email or fb password, I don't want your voicemail pw. If I have to monitor you 24/7 to force you to be consistent, that won't work for me because that's not what I want or need.

I wanted you to be trustworthy but I don't need you to be anything, truth be told, I'll be just fine without you, I see that now.

From now on I'm moving in this direction, if you want to come along, go ahead, I won't control you and tell you that can or can't come but I can't wait for you anymore and you already know that if you're with the OM, you aren't with me, I'm not settling for anything less than that.

If you really want to be with the OM, I really can't say or do anything to stop that and you should be with him if you're willing to lie so much to me, if you can't be true to me that means he's more important to you than I am and you know what... I'm ok with that because I'm more important to me and that's all that matters - I see that now.

If you wanted to be with me, you knew that you had alot of trust to rebuild and that's only through consistent action and I'm through with pressuring you to be my wife, I don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with me and that's pretty much what it looks like to me so let's stop playing games: you go and be with the OM, I'm ok with that, in fact I'm better than OK, I'm awesome because I'm finally being honest with myself about all of this and that includes being honest about who you are and where you are right now. I know what I'm worth and I've been settling for less for too long.

I can't wait for you anymore, I've spent enough time waiting for you to do the right thing and I know that doesn't work because I would probably have to wait forever and still not get what I wanted. So you can do what you want, be with the OM, I hope he makes you happy and I'm going to start wanting something better for me."


No being mean, spiteful, vindictive, you let her go.
No more discussions, arguments, no more talks about lies, no more sneaking around behind your back, she can do what she wants but you are letting her go to do what she wants to do but at the same time, you are now allowing yourself to be free of this crappy limbo place you've been living in for so long.

Bro, if she wants to be with you, she'll be with you, no amount of a$$ kissing, sneaking, snooping, being mean, angry, standing tall, etc. is going to change that.

You be the best gosh darn example of a MAN for you and for you only. If she wants this great MAN that you are in her life, she'll pursue you and do what it takes to be a part of that.

You need to respect yourself first, that's the first step and letting go of your wife her untrustworthy ways to establish that your self-respect, dignity and integrity are the most important things in your life is what you NEED and WANT to do. You know what you're worth, go out and get what you're worth and let go of the things that are worthy of you - starting feeling your personal value, know it, resonate with it, live it. You are worth better than what she is giving you right now, if you don't set that boundary, you'll allow her to do this to you forever and who could respect that?

Otherwise continue playing this game and you'll be playing this chase & pursue game, pushing & pulling for the rest of your life.

Time to get off the merry go round, this ride isn't that fun anymore.



Posted By: sandi2 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 08:49 PM
Guess what, Jim? Robx wasn't "all that" with his great wisdom when he first arrived here. He was just as floored by the actions of his WAW as most men are. I remember telling him that his W acted like a spoiled brat and was censored for it. shocked Anyway, he was a fast learner, and when he got the hang of it, he never changed back. Frankly, I loved his style b/c I think it works especially well on spoiled brats, entitled princesses, and b'tches. And......he busted the divorce! I wish his threads were still around here.

So, I said all of that to say this: You can do the same. You can adopt the same attitude.
Posted By: Vanilla Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/11/14 11:37 PM
Jim
Just caught up with your thread. As a potential WAW then a strong independent loving H with a GAL of his own would for me beat any Tarzan type. You appear to be choosing who you want to be and look to be moving towards your goals steadily and with determination. Taking guidance from the vets and DBing.
I am learning a great deal from you and your thread, and am one of your cheer team.
Blessings
Vanilla
Posted By: Mozza Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/12/14 12:15 AM
It must have been quite a surprise to discover after all those years that your job upsets your wife. Don't know if you can believe a thing she says now, but if you do, at least you're gathering intelligence. Beats not knowing.

RobX' approach is impressive. Are you considering giving it a shot?
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/12/14 06:54 AM
It was quite a surprise as she used to work with me doing the same stuff (pre-kids). It seems to be her anxiety over protecting them and in hindsight she has said similar things before. I just didn't register how much it concerned her.

I like the Robx attitude but at the moment my W is 100% wanting D (in both words and actions) so saying anything wouldn't have much affect. There is a trust issue to overcome first and she would need to face her own feelings of guilt. I haven't yet thought of a way to make this easier.

Vanilla, thank you. its good to have both advice and a cheer team. Im (semi) confident that I can turn me around even if it doesn't save my M.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/12/14 10:27 AM
OK well that was just awful...

Went to visit a potential school for D3 without W. That is absolutely something we should be doing together but she is busy off chasing OM.

Not what I signed up for when we had kids and got married.

Hhhrrmmmpphhh....!!!!!

Right looks like time for a new thread.
Posted By: jim0987 Re: jim0987 #4 - strengthening my inner cat - 11/12/14 11:02 AM
New thread here

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2506615&#Post2506615
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