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#2755481 08/08/17 02:31 AM
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mxdup Offline OP
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Newbie here looking for some advice. Two months ago my wife of 5 years (friends for many years before that) suddenly decided that she wants to be single again. Says there's nobody else just that she misses having a small apartment to maintain and "not having to do everything around here". I asked her to go to marriage counseling and she agreed. During our sessions she tells the counselor that I'm her best friend but she wants to leave me because there's no passion, I'm not fun and our life is too routine.

Within several appointments he asks to meet with me one on one. During this session he tells me that I am harboring shame from childhood and that I'm codependent. He proceeds to tell me to stop trying to please my wife because it's not working and is actually pushing her away. He wants me to only do things that I want to do. Stop doing things to please her and stop fishing for compliments. He said he is going to teach me how to detach from her.

After reading a few codependency books, they all seem to say that the codependent is in love with a narcissist and that they must get away. Essentially narcissists are the devil and you must run from them at all costs. My wife has some of these narcissistic traits (lots of people probably do) but she was in the past someone who cared very deeply for me and our relationship. Is there any chance that my shame/codependency issues are what really caused the issues in our relationship? Am I trying to save a marriage that shouldn't be saved? Is my counselor trying to tell me to get away from her?

I also feel like I should mention that now months later my wife is still sleeping in our marital bed with me and has made zero effort to leave. She still rejects affection and complains about me as a husband on a fairly regular basis but also thanks me for household tasks. She seems to check most of the boxes for a MLC.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


BD: 5/28/17 "We're like roommates, there is no passion anymore"
Early October she is moving out so she can "think about what she really wants in life"
10/22/17 She's gone
Joined: Nov 2009
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Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

The first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.


Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon


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Hello mxdup,

I'm so sorry for the situation you are in.

Originally Posted By: mxdup

He proceeds to tell me to stop trying to please my wife because it's not working and is actually pushing her away. He wants me to only do things that I want to do. Stop doing things to please her and stop fishing for compliments. He said he is going to teach me how to detach from her.


Even though you have good intentions, pursuing your wife in this way is having the opposite effect.

Originally Posted By: mxdup

I also feel like I should mention that now months later my wife is still sleeping in our marital bed with me and has made zero effort to leave. She still rejects affection and complains about me as a husband on a fairly regular basis but also thanks me for household tasks. She seems to check most of the boxes for a MLC.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I would hold off on pursuing affection at this point. However there are things that could work and make a difference. I suggest you speak to a DB coach, as they are experts in looking at what has happened to bring you to this point in your relationship and what is the best way to interact with her, so that you are most likely to bring her closer and not push her any further away. Your coach's expertise will help you come up with a very specific plan (that may be counter intuitive to what you feel like saying and doing) on how to best turn things around. I wish you all the best and would be happy to discuss the coaching with you.

Cristy

Resource Coordinator
The Divorce Busting Center
303-444-7004


A Divorce Busting Coach can help you save your marriage, even when your spouse wants out.

Email virginia@divorcebusting.com or 303-444-7004 for more information or to get started right away.
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Hi mxdup,

No one here is going to be able to tell you if you're codependent or if your wife is a narcissist based on the brief description you've shared above, and really a diagnosis like that is beyond what you should expect to find on a public forum as I doubt anyone here has a degree in psychology.

We can offer you support and advice in reaching your goals, so tell us more -- what do *you* think of what your counselor is saying?

*Why* do you want to save your marriage?

What do you think of your wife's complaints that there is no passion between you?

What are you passionate about?

What are your goals for yourself?

Tell us more about what you want to accomplish and what you think is really going on here. Dig deep.

Acc


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
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 51
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mxdup Offline OP
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We can offer you support and advice in reaching your goals, so tell us more -- what do *you* think of what your counselor is saying? I believe the counselor is trying to get me to let her go. If I only do things that I want to do, this will push her out the door. Who actually wants to do household chores?

*Why* do you want to save your marriage? I want to save my marriage because being with her has been the happiest time of my life.

What do you think of your wife's complaints that there is no passion between you? I can't say I disagree. She has pushed me away over the past year by working more hours. I'm lucky if I see her for more than a few minutes a day.

What are you passionate about? Other than her? Following the stock market. Studying self help books.

What are your goals for yourself? To retire once the house is paid for in 12 years. Otherwise. IDK

Tell us more about what you want to accomplish and what you think is really going on here. Dig deep. I want to work together towards common goals. I think she would rather be with someone more adventurous, spontaneous, interesting. I'm pretty boring compared to her. I go to work every day, keep up with the household chores, etc. She likes to go to heavy metal concerts and jump out of airplanes. I'm not trying to sound pathetic but I was flabbergasted when I found out that she liked me. I seriously have no idea what she saw in me. If I could figure that out, it would probably be the switch I need to flip to change her mind.


BD: 5/28/17 "We're like roommates, there is no passion anymore"
Early October she is moving out so she can "think about what she really wants in life"
10/22/17 She's gone
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 13,357
Likes: 9
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Just keep POSTING and one other bit of advice from Wonka
that I totally agree with.

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Get DR/DB book. Keep this to yourself. DO NOT share this book or this site at all with your spouse. It is your playbook and not to be shared with the "opposing" team.

It is important to clear the search/browsing history from your computer on a daily basis to prevent the possibility for your WAS to stumble on the DB site and discover your posts here on DB. Erasing the search history will protect your posts and you as well.

We have seen too many Marriages blow up in pieces after the WAS discovers the DB site or DR book. Why is that? It is because the WAS thinks, erroneously I might add, that you are "manipulating" them back into the M.

Keep the DR book and DB site very close to your vest.


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Originally Posted By: mxdup
I believe the counselor is trying to get me to let her go. If I only do things that I want to do, this will push her out the door. Who actually wants to do household chores?


You're probably right about that -- counselors will often be convinced that the best thing for the couple is to separate and view it as their job to help the reluctant party accept the outcome. On the other hand, it would be irresponsible to couch that in a diagnosis of narcissism and codependency. Do you reject the counselors codependency assessment? (I'm not saying the counselor is right at all, I'm asking what you think)

I agree with you that when you're in a relationship you can't just do whatever you want, that would be irresponsible.

Originally Posted By: mxdup
I want to save my marriage because being with her has been the happiest time of my life.


Why? What did the marriage give you that made you so happy, and what did she do that made you so happy? It's unusual for a marriage to have one super happy spouse and one upset spouse. Typically both people are unhappy to varying degrees.

Originally Posted By: mxdup
I can't say I disagree. She has pushed me away over the past year by working more hours. I'm lucky if I see her for more than a few minutes a day.


So in this analysis the lack of passion is 100% due to her pushing you away. That may be completely accurate but I just want to challenge you to push a bit deeper -- do you own any part of the lack of passion? If so, what?

You say that you are passionate about the stock market and self help books. Is your wife passionate about those things as well? What passions do you share or have you shared historically? What is she passionate about right now and is there any way you can participate in that?

Originally Posted By: mxdup
I want to work together towards common goals. I think she would rather be with someone more adventurous, spontaneous, interesting. I'm pretty boring compared to her. I go to work every day, keep up with the household chores, etc. She likes to go to heavy metal concerts and jump out of airplanes. I'm not trying to sound pathetic but I was flabbergasted when I found out that she liked me. I seriously have no idea what she saw in me. If I could figure that out, it would probably be the switch I need to flip to change her mind.


That is a fairly low self-esteem outlook right? You're describing yourself as non-adventurous, non-spontaneous, uninteresting and boring. If you see yourself that way, she will too (and so will everyone else).

Turning this around starts with you, but you have to *want* to change it. If you're just doing it as a tactic to get her back, she'll see through it and it won't work at all.

I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with you or that you need to do some kind of crazy personality reversal -- everybody lives on a spectrum. If your current tolerance of spontaneity and adventure is a 3, can you set a goal to make it a 4? That's different from trying to make it a 10. Focus on baby steps. If you were more adventuresome, spontaneous, interesting and engaging what would you be doing? Figure that out, and then try doing that and see how you feel, *or* decide that you're just fine the way you are and if she doesn't like it she can pound sand. It's your choice to make what you want to do. She's established that the current relationship equilibrium isn't working for her, so you can either say "goodbye good luck" or change things up.

In terms of what your wife saw in you, or why she was attracted to you to begin with, the answer is that because she saw something in you that appealed to something she needs, maybe subconsciously. Typically the things we love about someone are the same things we hate -- it's a ying/yang. If you love someone because they are spontaneous, you will also typically hate that they are unpredictable. If you love that someone is outgoing, you may eventually hate the fact that they don't spend enough time focusing on the relationship, etc. etc.

As with everything else, these things are on a spectrum. If you "need" someone who is spontaneous, you can either end up with someone who's a "10" on the scale and is completely unreliable, or you can end up with someone who is a "6" and is spontaneous "enough" of the time, but can also be responsible when they need to be, or for the things that matter.

For your wife, she may have loved your stability and reliability. Maybe when you met you were a "7" on the stability/reliability scale and since getting married you've moved to a "9" and now she doesn't like it. Or maybe you were always a "9" but she convinced herself you were a "7".

I believe what your counselor is suggesting is that you try moving down this scale, become more spontaneous and more adventuresome. I believe the counselor's recommendation would represent an extreme change to how you operate, and that's not realistic. Instead of going from a "9" to a "1", try going from a "9" to an "8", and then two weeks later to a "7".

Your wife will notice, and you have time, you have much more time than you think you have. Focus on you and decide what you want, and what you're willing to do to get it.

Acc


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
Joined: Aug 2017
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mxdup Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Accuray
Originally Posted By: mxdup
I believe the counselor is trying to get me to let her go. If I only do things that I want to do, this will push her out the door. Who actually wants to do household chores?


You're probably right about that -- counselors will often be convinced that the best thing for the couple is to separate and view it as their job to help the reluctant party accept the outcome. On the other hand, it would be irresponsible to couch that in a diagnosis of narcissism and codependency. Do you reject the counselors codependency assessment? (I'm not saying the counselor is right at all, I'm asking what you think)

From what I've read about it, I think he's correct. My Mom was verbally abused by her father in her childhood and my father was an alcoholic.
Either one of those things could make me codependent.



Originally Posted By: Accuray

I agree with you that when you're in a relationship you can't just do whatever you want, that would be irresponsible.

Originally Posted By: mxdup
I want to save my marriage because being with her has been the happiest time of my life.


Why? What did the marriage give you that made you so happy, and what did she do that made you so happy? It's unusual for a marriage to have one super happy spouse and one upset spouse. Typically both people are unhappy to varying degrees.


That's just the thing that I don't understand. We were both very happy up until sometime recent. In fact last year she mentioned renewing our vows for our 5th year anniversary which was in April. As recently as February we took a cruise together and we completely connected throughout. Then sometime after we got home she started complaining more and more about work, the cats and me. Looking back I get the feeling that when she came home after our week away she became overwhelmed at the life she came back to living.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: mxdup
I can't say I disagree. She has pushed me away over the past year by working more hours. I'm lucky if I see her for more than a few minutes a day.


So in this analysis the lack of passion is 100% due to her pushing you away. That may be completely accurate but I just want to challenge you to push a bit deeper -- do you own any part of the lack of passion? If so, what?
I believe that I became discouraged by her constant complaining about her job. It's all she wanted to do is complain. I told her to quit and she said she couldn't leave. I believe that I started to ignore her ramblings about work thus pushing her away.

Quote:
You say that you are passionate about the stock market and self help books. Is your wife passionate about those things as well? What passions do you share or have you shared historically? What is she passionate about right now and is there any way you can participate in that?
No, she could care less about investments, politics, etc. The one thing that we have always shared is a passion for music. For the most part we listen to very different music but we both love all kinds. Seeing live music is definitely something we can do together. In fact we have several tickets to upcoming shows.
Quote:

Originally Posted By: mxdup
I want to work together towards common goals. I think she would rather be with someone more adventurous, spontaneous, interesting. I'm pretty boring compared to her. I go to work every day, keep up with the household chores, etc. She likes to go to heavy metal concerts and jump out of airplanes. I'm not trying to sound pathetic but I was flabbergasted when I found out that she liked me. I seriously have no idea what she saw in me. If I could figure that out, it would probably be the switch I need to flip to change her mind.


That is a fairly low self-esteem outlook right? You're describing yourself as non-adventurous, non-spontaneous, uninteresting and boring. If you see yourself that way, she will too (and so will everyone else).
You are absolutely correct, I didn't realize how bad that sounded. I would only describe myself in those ways when comparing myself to her. Compared to many people I'm adventurous, interesting, etc. I think the lesson here is that I see myself as boring compared to her and so she must be seeing it too.

Quote:
Turning this around starts with you, but you have to *want* to change it. If you're just doing it as a tactic to get her back, she'll see through it and it won't work at all.

I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with you or that you need to do some kind of crazy personality reversal -- everybody lives on a spectrum. If your current tolerance of spontaneity and adventure is a 3, can you set a goal to make it a 4? That's different from trying to make it a 10. Focus on baby steps. If you were more adventuresome, spontaneous, interesting and engaging what would you be doing? Figure that out, and then try doing that and see how you feel, *or* decide that you're just fine the way you are and if she doesn't like it she can pound sand. It's your choice to make what you want to do. She's established that the current relationship equilibrium isn't working for her, so you can either say "goodbye good luck" or change things up.
Great advice. I don't have to suddenly become Indiana Jones, she would think it was fake anyhow.
Quote:

In terms of what your wife saw in you, or why she was attracted to you to begin with, the answer is that because she saw something in you that appealed to something she needs, maybe subconsciously. Typically the things we love about someone are the same things we hate -- it's a ying/yang. If you love someone because they are spontaneous, you will also typically hate that they are unpredictable. If you love that someone is outgoing, you may eventually hate the fact that they don't spend enough time focusing on the relationship, etc. etc.

As with everything else, these things are on a spectrum. If you "need" someone who is spontaneous, you can either end up with someone who's a "10" on the scale and is completely unreliable, or you can end up with someone who is a "6" and is spontaneous "enough" of the time, but can also be responsible when they need to be, or for the things that matter.

For your wife, she may have loved your stability and reliability. Maybe when you met you were a "7" on the stability/reliability scale and since getting married you've moved to a "9" and now she doesn't like it. Or maybe you were always a "9" but she convinced herself you were a "7".
That's probably very true. When we started dating I was stable in my job but I had hobbies, crazy friends etc. Now I've settled into a much more boring routine.

Originally Posted By: Accuray

I believe what your counselor is suggesting is that you try moving down this scale, become more spontaneous and more adventuresome. I believe the counselor's recommendation would represent an extreme change to how you operate, and that's not realistic. Instead of going from a "9" to a "1", try going from a "9" to an "8", and then two weeks later to a "7".

Your wife will notice, and you have time, you have much more time than you think you have. Focus on you and decide what you want, and what you're willing to do to get it.
Acc

Thanks for the advice, that sounds logical. I really appreciate hearing that I have time. I feel like I'm holding onto a runaway horse and it's a horrible feeling.


Last edited by Cadet; 08/09/17 12:26 AM. Reason: fix quote

BD: 5/28/17 "We're like roommates, there is no passion anymore"
Early October she is moving out so she can "think about what she really wants in life"
10/22/17 She's gone
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Yes it does feel like that -- for men in particular we want to fix things now! It can also feel like every interaction is incredibly important and takes on so much gravitas which makes you feel like you have to do and say everything absolutely correctly.

In reality there is never a quick fix, putting things back right takes lots of time, it's a marathon not a sprint.

Your best prescription is to give her more space than she wants and focus on you and not her. She will do what she wants and you can either fight her or stay out of the way, but you really can't change her frame of mind through a frontal assault.

Instead you have to back WAY off, slowly make your changes and she will notice. I often tell people that the shortest path back together is a straight line in the opposite direction. If you can drop the rope and just let her go you stand the very best chance of getting her back.

Acc


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
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 51
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mxdup Offline OP
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Thanks again Accuray.

Last night I believe I got my first temp check while she was opening a new bar of soap (she was getting ready for her shower). She said something along the lines of this will probably be the last bar I open here. She said it just loud enough for me to hear. I completely ignored the comment and walked downstairs to give her privacy.


BD: 5/28/17 "We're like roommates, there is no passion anymore"
Early October she is moving out so she can "think about what she really wants in life"
10/22/17 She's gone
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