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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126005
04/17/06 10:33 PM
04/17/06 10:33 PM
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The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Jamesjohn Offline OP
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From einstein....

*************************************************

Keep in mind that 'labels' tend to generalize and group problems together -they (labels) make it very 'easy' to discuss and focus on problems rather than solutions AND the 'labels' also tend to generalize and group THE specific solutions for the 'label'... One size fits all solutions are not realistic as all people and situations are different -some stuff may work BUT some may backfire AND some may not even be tried because it does not 'fit' the 'label'...

It is good that you may be realizing THIS now -'LABELS' are a solution limiting trap that many fall into...

Here is a recent quote from Michele I found on Bellis' thread -it talks to one aspect of DBing regarding not being afraid to experiment (test the waters)and find what works ...

Quoting Michele:

It's also important for you to remember that the proof is in the pudding. By this I mean that no approach is good or bad in and of itself, it's only good if it leads to good results. And oftentimes, you won't know or be able to predict the results until you try something. don't be afraid to test the waters. If something you're doing doesn't work, just quit promptly and shift gears. that's not failure, it's simply DBing.



JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126006
04/22/06 03:54 PM
04/22/06 03:54 PM
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Jamesjohn Offline OP
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From Michele, re: Concerning "I don't know if I love you anymore"

**************************************************

Tim,
I share your feeings about the "I love you but I'm not in love with you anymore," or something like that syndrome. It's exasperating.

But I don't think it's as confusing as you do. Love is a decision. It's not just a feeling. In order to maintain love over time, you have to decide each morning to do the things that will bring you close to your spouse and stop doing things that push you further away. You need to spend time together. YOu need to listen to each other, talk, make love, show interest in your spouse's life. Love is a decision to do all these things even when you aren't feeling crazy about your spouse. Love is a commitment.

So when one person says, "I don't love you anymore," what s/he is saying is "I don't feel like putting energy into this marriage." "I'm going to focus on all the bad times we've had and that will make me feel distant from you." "If I feel distant and separate from you, I can focus on me and make myself happy." It really is a decision to cut oneself off from positive feelings about the marriage.

If you've had good times together in your marriage, those memories don't just disappear. They live within us. However, sometimes when people burn out in a marriage, they bury those good feelings and memories so deep, it almost seems as if they're not there anymore. People convince themselves that the loving feelings have evaporated. They sometimes even tell themselves that they never loved you in the first place. This allows them to pull away. IT's a rationalization. But it's a rationalization that really hurts when you are the receiver of it.

So I understand your feelings. But you need to remember that whatever you feel in your heart about your marriage is real. Your wife's current perspective is colored by her need to pull away right now. Don't over-react and whatever you do, stop trying to point out to her that she isn't thinking clearly or seeing things accurately. That will only make her more certain she doesn't love you. And I know you don't want that.

Keep DBing and hang in there.
Michele


JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126007
04/28/06 03:55 PM
04/28/06 03:55 PM
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Jamesjohn Offline OP
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From Chrissa…

*****************************************************

You know, sometimes you just gotta talk! If you think this is the right time, do it. But if it seems to go off track, stop.

I did a 180 on showing affection - like you, I did not show H enough affection, it was like a cold war going on - he believes that physical attention demonstrates affection, so I learned to touch more (stroking shoulder when talking, putting my hand on his arm, massaging his feet when he would let me). Made a HUGE difference.

You say you basically tolerate each other. Another 180 would be for you to break out of that stagnant way of dealing with each other. Don't just tolerate her, act as if you are happy to be with her, blast her with friendship and unconditional love, do not expect anything in return, but I betcha if you make the first moves to thaw things out, she will follow.


JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126008
05/03/06 04:07 AM
05/03/06 04:07 AM
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Hey JJ - long time no post ! How are things? I just wanted to say hi to you & SG because it's been so long. Still miss you guys sometimes.

I really like this particular thread. What I keep going back to is - what was it that got you into that person in the first place? And how did you behave when you didn't think you could live without them?

Try that. I don't care if you think it's killing you or if they don't seem to appreciate it. Try it.

I think many of us get to know our SOs to the point that we don't remember that spark (or we don't want to admit it). Pretend you DON'T know how they really are.

The other thing (again) is...we forget how we were when we "bagged" our SOs. Like me. I forgot I was a cheeky girl who didn't take much of anything and I turned into a pleaser type. Not workin. When I went back to my orignal ways....this stuff works guys. Really, it does.

The only drawback I can still see is that you may find that you don't want it to.

Whew...that's it for now. Yikes - I gotta get up in the morning ! Good to type at ya JJ - as always. You know I loves ya madly. And SG...well, you know I loves her too. Until next time....

Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126009
05/25/06 05:03 PM
05/25/06 05:03 PM
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Jamesjohn Offline OP
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From jamie.....

******************************************************

Hi Carl- Let me give you my read on why perhaps so many walkaways need space and time. It took me a long time to really accept that my H was angry with me and, perhaps on one level, hated me for having in his view alienated him and shattering his dreams of what our marriage would be like. I believe that most walkaways really wanted a happy marriage and, at the time they leave, feel that they have essentially done everything they can to improve things and let their unmet needs be known. It is fair to say that many of us who have been left wish that our spouses' level of dissatisifaction and unhappiness had been communicated better to us. Did they do a poor job communicating or did we do a poor job listening? My guess is that most often it is a dangerous combination of the two.

It is critical to realize that the walkaway feels very wronged and entitled to do essentially whatever he or she chooses. Their seeming selfishness hits us like a brick along the side of the head and can push us into great depths of anger too. The time and space element allows you to do several things. First, it shows the walkaway respect for his or her wishes (remember they feel like the one left has shown little respect for their needs...) Second, it gives them time to cool down and reflect on what has happened with a clearer frame of mind. Third, it gives the walkaway an opportunity to potentially crave the companionship of someone who has been with them for years and at least at some point was likely their best friend. Fourth, the space and time is healthy for the one left behind to make any needed changes and to get his or her life in order. Fifth and related to number four, is the fact that the walkaway is terrified that any words or changes that are from the one left are temporary and just part of a "win you back strategy." The walkaways fear that they will walk right back into the circumstances that led them to leave or into a situation that is even worse.

Bear in mind that none of the above means that the one left is taking full responsibility for all of the marital problems, but it does mean that for the purpose of saving his or her marriage he or she is able to leave the "blame game" behind and move forward into a new and improved marriage when the walkaway is ready. None of this process is easy per se, but it is "easier" when you are able to say to yourself that you truly want your spouse to happy even if that means that being without you.

This whole process is filled with ups and downs and it typically only moves to a different level when you can try to just be friends with the walkaway again. When the walkaway senses an implicit list of expectations from their spouse the uncontrolable fear kicks in as do their doubts about meaningful possibilities. That is why you'll see so much advice re. keeping things light and fun. Granted, light and fun is no simple endeavor when you feel like your heart has just been torn out and trampled upon!

Of course every situation is different and what works for one person may need to be finetuned or abandoned by another. You know your history and relationship better than anyone, but being a good listener to what your W is saying and perhaps not saying is important. It is likely that we all share the reality that the anger and fear have to subside before meaningful longterm progress is likely.

Hoping for the best--Jamie

(continued)......

Good morning Carl and everyone else- One other thing I want to add re. the walkaway's possible frame of mind while they are still on the fence as to whether to try and return is that during their confusion and uncertainty they seemingly would welcome their spouse ending it all. I say this from reading so many stories on this board, but also from personal experience with my H. On a few occassions during my separation my H has almost jumped at the opportunity to end it all instead of listening to my complaints re. being in limbo. When I have initiated talks about the lack of progress or his slow pace (I've learned now to just really back off and process to myself) he has said that "we could always just end this." I have not been a doormat through any of my separation, but I have been clear that I want my marriage and family back together and, in a non-threatening way that my life is moving forward in healthy ways.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that your W may be consciously or subconsciously testing you to see whether you can give her what she needs right now (space, time...). She also is likely somewhat fearful that she is making a mistake by staying away, but feels that she really is unable to change the situation right now and needs to do what she is doing. She is willing to risk losing it all because she cannot have it together yet. I can say that I do believe that my H is still fearful that things will revert to the unhealthy condition they were in immediately prior to him leaving.

The best way to show your W that you are capable of forgiving your W for the affair and perhaps other things is to be her friend. Again, this is not always easy and you need to put her needs ahead of your own for it to work. A friend is there to listen and not to criticize during the other's pain and confusion. There will be moments when internally you backslide and think "wait a second, I'm the one who was left and she is being comforted by the new beau! When do I get comforted?" You need to keep those thoughts to yourself or with a support network (here, close friends, supportive family...). Avoid contact with people who will predictably say your nuts for putting up with her or should date and slam the door in her face. These people know nothing about DB and are projecting re. a topic they've never likely delved into. It's a personal journey and others' opinions are to be taken with one very large grain of salt.

The "act as if" approach not only will probably help your W feel more comfortable around you, but also has the effect of making you feel more like the way your striving to be. It is all about deciding how you will react to things and feel. Until all of this I never really believed or grasped the concept of choosing how we feel and respond to events. It always just seemed to be an uncontrollable reflex. Mellowing out and relaxing is a learned process and we can all change when we are ready.

I hope this makes sense Carl. My mind is moving a little faster than the fingers on the keys, but there are certain topics that just really strike a chord with me.

Have a great weekend--Jamie


JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126010
05/25/06 07:06 PM
05/25/06 07:06 PM
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Thx

Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126011
05/29/06 08:01 PM
05/29/06 08:01 PM
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Jamesjohn Offline OP
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From David.....

**************************************************

I had a similar situation in my relationship. Through the methods described in Divorce Busting it was possible for me to change myself to the type of person that my wife now adores ( and of course, my feelings for her are mutual). Basically, my wife always loved and admired the good things about me but chose to not live with me due my clouded alternate side, which, over time, showed itself more and more. I was grumpy, short sighted, given to temperamental outbursts, self-absorbed (actually, I was blatantly selfish) and totally given to making money. I don’t blame my wife for leaving me. When I look back at the way I was, I would have left me too!

My wife and I have been back together now since August, 1999 after being separated for eight months. During the eight months that we were apart, I made numerous, positive, consistent and, ultimately, permanent changes. These were changes that I wanted to make. I began to feel better because I was a happier and better person. It took my wife leaving me to get me to realize what and who I had become and that, no matter what, I needed to change.

I learned to change my tactics of contact with my wife. The toughest part of being apart from my wife was keeping my cool around her when I had the chance talk to her or be with her. I was probably in a similar emotional state as you are now.

I believe the most important and useful method of getting your wife back (as your wife)is to pull yourself away from the relationship as a husband and become a complete and total friend. This is incredibly hard to accomplish but, if attained, will set you apart from nearly every other man I know(at least among those who don’t access this site). Most men do what comes naturally, initially……..we let our self-absorbed emotions become the driving force in trying to get another chance. If you can show your wife absolute friendship and support and put your selfish emotions in the closet when you are in contact with her, your chances of another relationship with your wife will be greatly enhanced. Becoming a friend when you really want to be a husband can be an arduous task. Right now, your wife won’t trust you as a husband, but she will trust you as a friend, if you truly are a friend. It is very tough to be unfriendly to someone who is friendly. Think about friendship. Not just casual friendship, but sincere, true, unconditional friendship. What a great place to begin a new and better relationship.

My wife told me that my pledge to unconditional friendship was what brought back the first feelings of love. My wife was looking for parts of the man, to whom she was originally drawn, to be manifested. I tried to allow her see the good part of me that I knew was buried deep within myself. I tried to present myself in the finest light possible while continuing to work on becoming that person for real. Sometimes I would ask myself if it was worth the effort. Changing oneself, permanently, is a long, hard process. I knew, in my heart, that my wife was the person with whom I wished to be for the rest of my life…..and this made the effort so worthwhile.

Now, after being back together for nine months, my wife and I have the most incredible friendship, partnership and marriage. We both look back on the separation as a time of learning and growth rather than a dark period.

The possibilities of getting back together with your wife are very good. I believe that much of the burden of the getting-back-together-process will, however, be on your shoulders. You will have to pull strength from within yourself when you feel you have none. You may feel like venting. When you feel like letting go make sure you do it at home or somewhere away from your wife. The times you spend at home crying in the shower alone may seem terrible. It is much worse to vent in front of your wife. Believe in yourself and in your mission. Make your changes consistent and permanent. Start immediately! Don’t give your wife another chance to validate the reason that she left. Give her reasons to come back.

As long as there is a small burning ember of care for you in the heart of your wife, I believe you can start the fire again. Take it slowly, be patient and give yourself plenty of time. Time is always on your side whether is seems to be or not.

Don’t give in and don’t give up.

David


JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126012
05/29/06 08:16 PM
05/29/06 08:16 PM
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Jamesjohn Offline OP
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On snooping, from Zebra.....

*************************************************

Well, (leaning back and cracking my knuckles), I consider myself an expert on the topic of snooping.

It's not a good thing. It colors your judgement. It doesn't allow you to be the best you can be. In my case, where there is actually a torrid PA going on, it kept the OM in my head, where he ran my life. Snooping makes you believe you are in control, but in fact, your are totally controlled by things beyond your control. Snooping is an addiction. It is a drug. And worst of all, it's a drug that only makes you feel worse. And even worse than that, if you really find any proof that your W is having an affair, and she finds out you have violated her privacy by snooping, guess who is considered to be the more untrustworthy????? YOU ARE!!!! Yeah, the logic is dumb, but the logic of an affair is ridiculous.

Stay out of her email. I know, that's hard. You probably won't follow that advice, but it's best for you if you do. Then, you will be able to "act as if" there is no affair, and "act as if" your wife is truly trying to get back together. If you snoop, and you learn that she's having an affair, it will likely color you judgement, and not allow you to "act as if". You will be simmering under the surface, and the OM will be running your life.

As for showing her the emails, think about it, what good would that do???? Probably none, since you would only show her you don't trust her, and show her you don't respect her privacy. This is beyond backsliding. I know. I'm there. If it caused you to, as you say, plan your own walk-away, is that what you really want?????

Stop obsessing about W and her maybe EA/PA. Be good to you, make yourself the man your W wants to be with. Make you the man your W wants. Make you the best you can be, and if W goes away, you will still be the best you can be. Leave her alone. Respect her. Love her. Love you. Be the best you can be.

Good luck. Read this board. You'll learn you are not alone, and you'll learn ideas that will help you. But, the most important thing is that if you are not the best you can be, you can't help anyone.

Good luck
z


JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126013
05/29/06 08:20 PM
05/29/06 08:20 PM
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Jamesjohn Offline OP
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And more on snooping, from ILM.....

******************************************************

HEre is what I posted a day ago on another thread (reply to a woman):
***********
No fire for fire.
Fire is a clean and noble essence. Use it for a good purpose.

No snooping. Everyone can excel in it -- but just imagine how every step in this direction is ruining the trust (whatever is left). Imagine what wil you feel if you really succeed and learn something? There won't be anything really new -- but for sure there will be may little things that can take you to a deeper level in hell (or whatever hierarchy they have there). Until you learn it, you have a tremendous advantage which you will lose instantly: whatever lucid picture comes to your mind about them, you can always tell yourself that this is your imagination, that in reality it's different, that this is your mind playing tricks on you. But if you're seeking proof -- you'll get something. Not necessariy what you expected, but the least wanted nevertheless.

The most terrible thing that can happen -- you can find "something" and interpret it your way, in light of all other events - while in reality it can be something diferent. And it will grow as a snowball. remember Otello?

And if you find something, you'll have a choice of either going insane over it yourself or discussing it with your H. The first is unbearable, the latter can be the end of everything. Unless you're looking for a weapon to use in the war you declared, don't do it.

I stand by every letter of the following:

no matter what terrible things they are doing, no matter how insensitive they seem, they have their share of guilt, and it's not too little. If you give nothing but love, it can grow so big that it will become unbearable. If you begin demanding and accusing, they are relieved and feel more even. Your H's life is not easy. His relationship with the OW is not heaven, while he knows that you're suffering but still above it, but still want to understand and forgive him, still love him. The minute you begin acting as an enemy (snooping, playing games, accusing him) you change it for him: the situation is no longer under his control, he is threatened with an enemy, the war is declared, he has to protect himself, the Ow is an ally.

Don't ask me how to bear this uncertainty, this every day pain of thinking about them, the lies, the complete unpredictability of the future, the fear of making a wrong move... I wish I knew it myself... Perhaps, antidepressant drugs can do you good (I am inclined to begin this again myself)... The cooler and stronger you are, the better are the odds. How else can you be atractive and respected, unless you retain your dignity and love as the highest values?

And kindness... It matters...


JJ

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Re: Nuggets of Wisdom from the Veterans! #126014
05/29/06 08:40 PM
05/29/06 08:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,334
The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Jamesjohn Offline OP
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From Kent.......

*************************************************

Sol,
Do me a favor. Go back and re-read the posts in your two threads. It seems that there is a theme to them. The message is pretty much the same from a number of people. I see the message as:

Stop wondering what is wrong with W and how messed up she is to do this to you and your child. It is a given.

I consider this wallowing in self pity and the harboring of resentment. It is a first class ticket to divorce. You need to release these feelings and free yourself to be happy. Let W and her antics go for now. Focus on your personal life with your child. Act "as if" you would like W back in your life some day after she gets her sh## togather.

Try to find the strength to forgive W for her activities and yourself for helping to push her away. Don't kid yourself, forgiveness takes strength. Keep in mind that W's confusion comes from hurt and pain that was caused by her past and inadequacies in your relationship. Yes, her expectations may have been unfair to you. However, expectations not addressed turn into resentment and hurt.

You are not wrong for your feelings and W is not wrong for hers. You need to find a way to meet W in the middle. Don't worry about W's lack of effort to come to the middle. Focus on your efforts. Maybe even a wee bit of extra effort (not toooo much though). When you get to the middle you can wait for her.

If you do this in baby steps, you can handle it. If you can kill the resentment, you will find the strength to keep moving towards W rather than away.

Resentment kills respect which once lost, kills love dead.

Kent


JJ

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