Michele, I wanted to thank you for the advice you gave regarding avoiding the things that you know cause a negative reaction, if you can't identify what you are doing what works. I know pretty much what to avoid.
I sometimes feel that my H has dug himself a hole that he doesn't know how to get himself out of. I could always throw down a ladder for him but I need to give him an incentive to climb. I am working on myself and trying to remain positive but there are inevitable setbacks. What would you advise to help someone like me get over these setbacks quickly so they can get back on track as soon as possible?
I've read Divorce Busting, Getting Through..., and Divorce Remedy--three excellent books, by the way. Not only have they made a difference in my marriage, but also in the way I interact with everyone else in my life.
My husband told me (almost 2 months ago) that he was miserable and that he loved me but didn't know if he wanted to be with me any more. I was devastated, but found this message board and got a copy of Divorce Busting. I immediately started applying the principles in the book, took responsibility for my contributions to our problems and prayed. I also started seeing a counselor, and I am now seeing definite improvements.
In Divorce Remedy, you talk about how for men, sex is a way to feel emotionally connected to their wives. I've also seen this addressed in other threads here, buy I've not seen my particular situation discussed. My question is whether men distinguish between forms of sex. When all this started, we were not having sex at all. I would try to initiate, and was turned down; in fact, he wouldn't even let me touch him casually. This progressed to oral sex; and for a long time (in the last few weeks, that is) he was only interested in oral sex (giving and receiving) and sometimes touching each other. Occasionally, intercourse would happen. Intercourse has been much more frequent lately, but it is still mostly oral sex. This isn't really a problem for me (mostly because I've seen intercourse increase), but I have still been struggling with the fear that he has been placating me. (My counselor says that is unlikely he is doing that.)
So back to my question. Do men distinguish between forms of sex with their wives? Does any form of sexual contact with their wives serve to make them feel emotionally connected with their wives? (Or am I just making a bigger deal out of this than I should?)
I do sympathize with "Lonely at Night." I've been in that lonely boat myself for several years. My husband suffers from depression, and this seems to have pushed him into a state of non-intimacy. At first he blamed me, then he stopped blaming anyone, although he still has no desire to be anything other than a room mate. It gets a little old at times. And what "Lonely" says about sleeping next to your spouse is so true, because even when there isn't any actual contact of a sexual nature, it can be very reassuring just to know that some cares enough to be vulnerable about waking up next to you in the morning. It is really frustrating and lonesome not to have that reassurance.
I have read several of the DB books and listened to the tapes too, many times over in fact. Also, I have spoken to two different phone counselors in your group as well as others in person and on the phone from other organizations. While it has helped matters some, I am really at an impasse and wondering how folks like "Lonely" and others like me can take any comfort in the long run. Please help, anybody? Thanks.
I’ve read both DB and DR and have a question that I don’t think you’ve addressed. In my research I’ve discovered that there are 3 types of affairs: 1) The bridge affair; 2) the self-serving affair; and 3) the repair affair.
Bridge - The bridge affair is a bridge out of the marriage-the death of the marital relationship. The purpose finding a new partner is to leave the marriage while avoiding the confrontation of marital problems. When your partner is having a bridge affair you will notice, if you let yourself, a change in your partner's attitude. If you confront the person at this stage, either you will be targeted as the problem or he or she will lie or deny anything and everything, which will confuse, confound and temporarily help you to deny your intuition and suspicions. Meanwhile, the betrayer is readying for a transition out of the relationship.
I think it’s obvious that 2 & 3 are repairable, 2 being a little more difficult than 3. Is there any hope for the Bridge affair? I'm certain this is the type my W is engaged in. She’s not the self-serving type and if it were a repair affair she wouldn’t be seeking D. It sounds like once this thing has gone to the attorneys the W wants out and that’s that.
Well not only was it Thanksgiving in Canada but a lot happened this weekend.
W has become pissy again. She stopped having our daily 10 minute chats. She agreed we could use these chats to minimizing stress between us. Worked for about 10 days. They stopped on Friday. I suspect she met with her therapist that day.
Sunday we watched a movie together with an agreement that we'd talk after the movie. Buttons got pushed. She refused to talk. I pushed for talk. Nothing physical. All verbal. She called 911. They put it down to a domestic with no criminal intent.
This morning she drops a letter on the kitchen table just before going to work. I was in the shower when she did that.
Letter is a proposal for mediation and living separately. Included is a booklet on mediation. I'l let her know later today that I've received it. And hope to get back to her after next therapy session.
Good thing I have my therapy session this Friday. Much to talk about.
[ October 10, 2001: Message edited by: IAMCANADIAN ]
I'm still having problems with patience. I did reread that part in your book, as well as the LRT. This time I highlighted both parts and plan to go back and reread them faithfully.
Patience is a virtue, but it's never been one of my virtues. I've been ready to throw in the towel so many times due to my impatience. Now I have released my H to do and be whatever he wants. That's really no problem for me as long as I don't see him. But when I see him, I become impatient again. That's something I really have to work on.
He came by last night to drop off our S, and I again became impatient and he noticed it immediately. I'll have to be like the little engine that could: "I think I can," over and over until I do!
Thanks so much for providing this way for "us" to "talk" directly to you. There is no SBT therapist within 300 miles of me, so I have been going this alone and with the help of some special angels on the bb, and, of course, I'm armed with your books.
quote: Things do not sound bleak at all. In fact, it sounds like your wife is coming around. You have to be patient. I know that you want to be intimate, that makes perfect sense. But for now, she needs to forgive herself first.
Michele, it might sound that my wife is coming around. In fact it has been, but it just stopped short of being intimate. I don’t see it will ever proceed any further than this. I know that I have to be patient. As a matter of fact I have been patient for 20 months now. I don’t see any sign of her to do anything to forgive herself other than just being here with the family. As long as I don’t say anything or don’t bring any OR talk it is perfectly fine with her with the current arrangement (just being a roommate).
Michele, I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to “further” rock the boat, stir the pot, or shake the fence. I did in the past and it only got worse. That’s why I stopped.
Lot of people here thought that I was a saint already. I just don’t feel like I have enough energy to continue with this any more. I hope the “good time” is right around the corner.
I too feel stuck. I haven't been patient quite as many months as you but my H seems so content to continue things as they are.- in limboland - no papers filed.
Reading Michele's books gives me hope but I am having trouble finding any other solutions to our situation. Playing games and rocking the boat is not for me. My H and I have been separated over 7 months. It has effected my children and me tremendously - but we still want him back and become a family again. I know you want more from your W but it sounds as if you have quite a bit. She is still living in your house and is part of the family. I would love to have at least that.
Feeling stuck and being patient are so difficult when life continues - my children are growing up and their lives are so topsy turvy. Mine too. Stability is one of the things that caused my H to run. He wants to live life on the edge. For my children's sake I need to provide them with some stability and consistency.
So all I can say to you is decide what you and your children need and go for it. Your W will have to decide for herself - there is very little you can do to decide for her. Make changes for yourself - to better yourself and your life.
I still have hope for my situation but I have no expectations. I am living my life now as I think I need to and am doing my best to show my H unconditional love. (Right now he is stepping all over it.) But it is the only way I will feel good about my situation. Getting angry and feeling victimized just pushes my H away and makes me feel like a failure.
I thought I'd pop over here because I have a prob that I haven't been able to find a solution to... Those of ya'll who are familiar with my story know that I was strongly contemplating leaving my H when I came here and read DB. Things have improved tremendously in a short period of time and I have Michele and the people on the board to thank for that...
I've read DB several times and have almost completed DR, but the one thing I can't really find addressed is what to do if there are inlaw problems... I mean, we have those to an extreme degree. My H's family feels like I've stolen him away from them-- because his single mother family looked to him as a sort of "daddy" figure and so they expect him to always drop everything and put their needs/desires first-- the way your children expect that of you... Despite this, I've always treated them with common courtesy-- and even extended an olive branch and tried to be friends at times-- because I was taught that you H's family should be treated the way you want your family treated... On the other hand, my H treats my mom like crap on the bottom of his shoe... she lives with us at this time and unless it has to do specifically with him needing her to do something for the children, he doesn't speak to her... and when he does he's very gruff and short with her. And this is not because my mom has in any way done something to offend him-- she's pleasant to him and would treat him like royalty if he'd be just kind to her because she always wanted a son and had thought having a son-in-law would be like getting that wish fulfilled.
Now I'm not idealistic-- I'd love for them to have a close relationship because I am close to my mom... but I'd be completely satisfied with him just showing her common courtesy so that she doesn't feel unwelcomed in our home. This has been a problem since the beginning of our marriage but I never tried to do anything about it because I thought in time things would work themselves out... but instead it has steadily gotten worse... in the last month or so, I've tried talking with my H about it, but he just sees it as me always taking her side...and says, "this is how I am, I'm not going to kiss up to her just cause she wants it..." which I continue to tell him is not the case at all... besides, it doesn't really have to do with what my mom wants, but what his W wants and what I am expressing to him as something that will keep me from being as stressed as I have been.
It's been recommended to me that I do a 180 and agree with him the next time this sitch comes up, but I can't really see how I can do that without alienating my mother and feeling bad about it because he's so obviously in the wrong... I mean it's to the point that people outside of the family who have been around him ask what his problem is... so besides the whole situation being a tension to me, I have the added pleasure of being embarrassed in front of friends because my H is acting like an ass to my M...
Suggestions are definitely welcomed because after the last go round, I realized that I can't continue like this much longer. I am not a person who understands being mean just for the sake of being mean and at this point, that is what it seems like my H is doing... and that is the kind of person I don't want to be married to for the rest of my life-- that is for sure.