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A Message from Michele
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Pursuit and Distance #2232709
03/22/12 09:10 PM
03/22/12 09:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
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Accuray Offline OP
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Time for a new thread -- old thread here:

MC Says to Call It Quits


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: Accuray] #2232713
03/22/12 09:29 PM
03/22/12 09:29 PM
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Accuray Offline OP
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Quote:

"The Solo Partner" says that the distancer will believe they can get more out of the relationship than they are willing to put into it. When the pursuer stops pursuing, they feel this loss and want it back, so they'll do just enough to try to restore it.


Originally Posted By: Crazyville

This was the quote that struck me from the chapter as well. It basically means that at whatever level you decide on for your pursuing, their reciprocation input will always be less. And it's not just a lack of understanding, like Men/Mars and Women/Venus issues. It's a lifestyle for them. I know (I've proven) for me, that just doesn't work. I'm worried for you because you clearly want more, AND you're willing to give more, but your W isn't. Period.


I guess that's not what I concluded from it. What I concluded from it is that as long as you pursue, your distancer will not, so you are always wanting more. When you get frustrated, you'll naturally back off, and when the distancer sees that they'll get nervous and pursue you enough to get your pursuit going again, then they run away.

I think what the book is suggesting is that if you break the cycle and don't pursue, even when the distancer seeks to suck you back in, then you can permanently upset the relationship dynamics. What happens next though isn't clear -- the implication is that you'll find a new point of equilibrium that is better balanced.

The book "The Passion Trap" addresses the same issue from a slightly different perspective. It talks about people being "one up" and "one down" in a relationship, where the one up is the distancer and the one down is the pursuer. It says that the one-up is as uncomfortable with the situation as the one-down because they feel they can never give enough, or the one-down is too critical, too needy etc. etc.

That model is slightly different because the one-up is not portrayed as selfish. That book suggests that when the one-down stops pursuing, the one-up will feel relief and will now have space to increase their contribution to the relationship.

So in "Solo Partner" model, the distancer enjoys being pursued and expects to get more from the relationship than they want to put in.

In the "Passion Trap" model, the one-up does not enjoy being pursued, and doesn't contribute more because they are effectively crowded out by the one-down.

In either model, backing off should lead to increased engagement by the one-up / distancer, and I have observed this short-term. Mid-term, it's creating problems. W doesn't know what's going on and is having trouble adjusting.

I've observed that she's been peppering in comments which I perceive as designed to "keep me in my place" as the one-down. She's said "It's not about me" several times with regard to physical affection, she said "there's nothing you can do for me, but you already knew that" with regard to ML, etc. I don't respond to that, but the only interpretation I have is that she feels the landscape shifting and wants to stay on top.

It will definitely be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Accuray


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: Accuray] #2232715
03/22/12 09:49 PM
03/22/12 09:49 PM
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Accuray Offline OP
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The other thing she keeps saying is "I just want you to be happy". When I say that to W, I expect her to tell me what would make her happy, and then I would do that. It took a while for me to learn that's not what W is looking for.

What W means is "I don't want to feel badly around you because of something I'm not doing for you. When you're happy I don't feel that way."

I get it.

Accuray


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: Accuray] #2232759
03/23/12 01:59 AM
03/23/12 01:59 AM
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greenblue90 Offline
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There's also game theory which states that people prefer to be chased, but loathe those that chase them. On the other hand people hate to chase, but love those they are chasing.

Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: greenblue90] #2232860
03/23/12 05:58 PM
03/23/12 05:58 PM
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Crazyville Offline
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Originally Posted By: Accuray
It says that the one-up is as uncomfortable with the situation as the one-down because they feel they can never give enough, or the one-down is too critical, too needy etc. etc.

That model is slightly different because the one-up is not portrayed as selfish. That book suggests that when the one-down stops pursuing, the one-up will feel relief and will now have space to increase their contribution to the relationship.

THIS is a different take. It sounds more like your situation, like your wife doesn't really like your extra effort because then it makes her feel bad.


Me:49 WAW H:59
T:19.5 M:19
S:13
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: Crazyville] #2233059
03/24/12 07:02 PM
03/24/12 07:02 PM
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Posts: 623
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jks Offline
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USA


Me: 32 H: 32
M 9 yrs
#1 D7 #2 S5 #3 D2
Bomb 8/12/11
H moved out 8/14/11
PA started w/H & OW in 1/12 - found out 3/24/12
Got my own place 8/25/12
H & OW move in together 9/15/12
Still married.


Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: jks] #2233331
03/26/12 01:47 PM
03/26/12 01:47 PM
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Sonoran Desert
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labug Offline
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Glad you started this thread, Accuray. As you know I've been at this for awhile but finally decided to stop contact. Any contact we have had has all been business or kid related, but all initiated by me.

I'm at week 4 and it's very difficult.


Me 57/H 58
M36 S 2.5yrs R 12/13

Let me give up the need to know why things happen as they do.
I will never know and constant wondering is constant suffering.
Caroline Myss
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: labug] #2233346
03/26/12 03:24 PM
03/26/12 03:24 PM
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Accuray Offline OP
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Did you read "The Solo Partner" or "The Passion Trap" Labug? You may find them helpful. (Nice to hear from you on my thread BTW)

Distancing for a pursuer is indeed very difficult. For me, I've felt like I've been doing a bad job as a husband when I distance. I've realized that measurement is against my own yardstick which W doesn't share, so historically I've been doing things that made me feel good and useful, but didn't necessarily help our relationship. To some degree, it feels badly only because it's different.

Now that I'm several weeks into it, some of it is becoming "normal" now, and a lot of the pain of new and different is passing. W went through a stage of being very anxious and uncomfortable, but we seem to be coming out on the other side of that as well. I've definitely noticed a difference in behavior where she is being more affectionate and trying harder for the last 5 or 6 days.

Hopeful this is a new norm versus a temporary correction.

Accuray


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: Accuray] #2233630
03/27/12 12:54 PM
03/27/12 12:54 PM
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labug Offline
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No, I haven't read those books. Is Solo Partner the one that's so hard to find?

I'll look into it.


Me 57/H 58
M36 S 2.5yrs R 12/13

Let me give up the need to know why things happen as they do.
I will never know and constant wondering is constant suffering.
Caroline Myss
Re: Pursuit and Distance [Re: labug] #2235265
04/04/12 01:47 AM
04/04/12 01:47 AM
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Accuray Offline OP
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My "Pursuit and Distance" experiment continues. I've really settled into letting W lead in terms of intimacy, but I have to admit it doesn't feel good. That said, I've pretty much stopped backsliding.

The good: W will hug me, W will reach out to me on IM to talk about household matters or the kids, we are ML about once a week.

The bad: Since I stopped saying "ILY", neither of us have said it at all. No kissing since I stopped initiating, no R talks, no real substantial "feelings" talks of any kind. No texting, no e-mailing, to me it feels very distant.

It's definitely been an interesting thing to do, when W is traveling it really takes an act of will not to send her a text saying "thinking of you" or something similar. I don't like not reaching out when I want to.

W clarified that she likes to hug me before we fall asleep, but she doesn't like it when I hug her as we're falling asleep, so I've stopped doing that and that has been a big loss for me in terms of feeling connected.

Overall I would say that the current distance is tolerable, but uncomfortable. I definitely feel much less connected than I did three weeks ago, and I feel like I'm not doing a good job as a husband and partner. When I step back, however, it's not as if I'm not reciprocating what I'm receiving, I'm just not projecting as much as I would like and that feels unnatural.

The experiment continues. Right now it's a square peg in a round hole. Either the edges will get rounded off or they won't.

Accuray


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
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