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hi lodo
well.. it's been many many years since our first attraction he was 16 & I was 14. He had a nice a$$ \:\) Hours on the phone when he went off to college (back when there was no 'unlimited long distance'), real love letters (not email),..

I'm not trying to "recapture" as what we built on was the immature puppy love of teenagers both grasping for something each of us were lacking growing up.

I am working on my trust issues from childhood that living with someone who had anger issues compounded. He was working on his anger issues that living with someone who has trust issues compounded. Together we need to work on our communication skills....

Before I can trust him enough to talk about hopes, dreams & fantasies we need to connect emotionally, before that can happen we need to communicate more effectively.. to do that we need help from a counselor who is not 'pushing' me to commit to a marriage first.

I have found the name of 3 counselors within an hour & half drive distance that have good reputations for solution-based counseling, that also specialize in communication skills & conflicct resolution training.

That is how I have started the ball rolling.


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Well Bridgestone it sounds like you are on the right track, hopefully his mind is open and he will follow suit.

Good Luck!

Also there is a marriage education program called PREP.
Website is http://www.prepinc.com

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Originally Posted By: Bridgestone
Before I can trust him enough to talk about hopes, dreams & fantasies we need to connect emotionally, before that can happen we need to communicate more effectively.. to do that we need help from a counselor who is not 'pushing' me to commit to a marriage first.

I have found the name of 3 counselors within an hour & half drive distance that have good reputations for solution-based counseling, that also specialize in communication skills & conflicct resolution training.

That is how I have started the ball rolling.

Hi Bridgestone,
That all sounds great. I guess I wasn't addressing my post at your sitch as much as I was asking. I believe that connecting emotionally REQUIRES you to open up first. It takes sharing a little of your inner life - not as puppy-love teenagers but as close adult friends who trust each other. There's that word trust again, and I guess that answers my question - you need to take that first step of trusting someone else in order to confide in them. And that's what most of us are lacking in our sitches - trust. I'm not meaning this to specifically address your mention of trust issues - just thinking aloud.

I'll be interested in hearing how your counselor has you work on communication. My W and I unfortunately communicate incredibly well. I say unfortunately because she is focused on herself and her career and doesn't place any value on our friendship and ability to intimately communicate. She wants to be alone and I have to respect that - I don't agree because I think it's hard to find someone you connect with and can communicate with, but I accept her decision.

lodo


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Hi L (or is it i?)odo,

My individual counselor had me pick up the 5 languages of apology by Chapman, months ago, because I was having difficulty in forgiving my LBS for his abusive behaviour towards me and the kids.

When I finally had enough intestinal fortitude (read here emotionally saftey with him) to share it a few months back, he took the initiative to order the 5 love languages for Men on his own.

That lead to more conversations about what was missing & what we each needed. Not to completion however, as our poor communication seems to side-track us hashing through negative emotions (stage 1), but at least some of these issues saw a glimmer of the light of day for the first time in years.

Those two things combined have done wonders for us feeling more connected to the other than anything we have done to this point in our marriage. We however, seem to be at an impasse in using the tools we have to get back on track when our communications break down or when we can not resolve a conflict.

I am hoping a counselor will help provide us that. Since I'm much more knowledgable this time around going into Counseling.. I'm not sure if I should schedule phone interviews with them and say...

here's our goals, here's how far we've come (love that Matchbox 20 song), here's the tools we have used to get here, what can you do and what are you willing to do to help us move forward.

Or are we going to 'waste' time sitting in 3 different counselors offices + car ride time just to find out that they don't believe in the 5 love languages or the other tools we find DO work for us. Maybe I should be in "piecing' forum with these questions.

I'm sorry your wife does not place the value for what she is looking for in a partner on the same things you do.. it is rare to find someone you connect to & communicate with intimately, I agree, just as it is rare to find that level of intimacy physically & mentally (IMHO). I hope you can find common ground or at least common happiness on non-common ground.

Peace.


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Hi,

It's Lodo.

I've seen others mention 5 LL, guess I should probably pick it up one of these days.

I think counselors (good ones) exist to do exactly what you are looking for. There are also communication workshops that are really good - my parents went to one 5 years ago and gained a lot from it.

I think you should call and discuss things with the Counselor. You're paying for a service and if you know what you're looking for and that isn't what they do, you should know that up front. I look back at my sitch and I think 2 inappropriate counselors really screwed things up. One was just bad and the other was extremely good for IC, but not for MC and not action-oriented. So it left W feeling worse about things. Don't waste time - find out up front.

I'm sorry my W isn't approaching things as well. I know there is a lot I need to work on with myself and I'm doing so. The rest requires the input of another. I have to keep telling myself it isn't all my problem but it's hard not to take all of that on. Ultimately, though, I'm not a mind reader and I need to know what she wants in a R so I have the opportunity to provide that. Anyway, I have my own thread so won't burden this one with my ramblings.

Hope you aren't in the midst of all the storms! lodo


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I would try to make sure that the counselor did not get off into a long drawn out thing about the childhood stuff and get more down with solutions about how to fix the M or how to communicate. Unfortunately, a lot of counselors think the answer to finding happiness is for a couple to go their separate ways. It there are deep emotional problems....it may take a doctor of higher degree than just a counsleor. I have been to a couple and I think you will know pretty quickly if it is the one for you or not.

Good luck.


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
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Hey Bridgestone,

I sure hope you keep posting! I think you're really good at putting your finger on complex emotions and I've benefited immensely from the insights you've posted on various threads. And I hope you reconsider about having your own thread; if you decide to go that route it's easier for the rest of us to get a hold of you.

Hope all is good - lodo


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Hi Lodo,
Thanks for the kind words. I wish it was so easy with my H & me. But if it was I guess I would not be here now would I?

I remember reading another WAS's postings I think it was smartcookie and crying (& until lately, I have not been a cryer)because she so wonderfully articulated my feelings & thoughts in a way that I wish my H could hear how it was & still sometimes is to me.

I guess we get different things from different people's postings. Some of yours give me hope that people can see their role in the breakdown of the marriage and truly take responsibility for their part of the separation by making changes that are true to their values & beliefs.

I keep wondering though, even when LBS & WAW finally talk it all out, give it (the new "R") more chances... is there such a thing as incompatability.. or does the DB philosophy believe that once compatible (that's why you got married right?) always compatible?

Can I love him as a person, be his friend, and still not find enough things in common for values, recreation, intellectual pursuits, work habits, parenting, money matters, etc. for it to 'work' as a life-partner?

I remember my IC asking at one time.. if you were sitting across the table from him over dinner, would he be someone you'd want to have ask you out for a 2nd date? And my immediate and intense reactions was 'hell, no', I'm not even sure why I'd be on the first one.

Has he changed, yes he most definately has changed. Do I believe the changes are for him... some of them, yes. Others, no. I see him saying.. look at what I did or what I am, and then as you so clearly put in another post, gawking at me to see if I noticed.

uggg.. maybe I should start my own thread. I am finding my self getting long winded about my sitch are here a lot.

Thanks for listening.


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Hi Bridgestone,

I've been affected by smartcookie as well.

I keep wondering the same thing about WAW & LBS. In my particular sitch, my W is determined to get D - I'm a "wonderful person and we connect on many levels" but she doesn't think she can be the person for me. What does that mean? That she's changed. That marriage for her is different than what she thinks it is for me.

A long-term relationship is a compromise and I don't think we truly appreciate what that means. It's really hard. It's accepting someone for who they are and knowing that there are things you'll never like in them. Are those things big enough to throw the whole thing away? I think my W is currently saying "yes," but will those things still seem so huge when she starts trying with someone else? Only time will tell. My W and I are basically compatible, we have a solid friendship, and we communicate well. She asked me if that was enough to sustain a relationship. I think yes, she thinks no. What would you say? It's hard for me to see basing a long-term R on anything else and I don't see Rs as being self-sustaining. I think my W thinks they need to be more self-sustaining - those things in common should just come naturally. I think you have to work at involving each other. Both of you. Working hard.

Parts of people who are compatible will always be compatible, I think, and parts won't be. You can concentrate and work on the parts that are compatible, or decide too much has changed. I commend you for concentrating on the parts that work. You have to do that to figure it out. I wish my W was willing to do the same.

And the gawking, yes, us guys are really good at that. We aren't so good at being subtle, so when something is bothering us we want to change it as fast as possible. I recognize that changes I made 4 months ago have slid away, so I guess you're smart to be wary. But I'm glad that, unlike my W, you continue to engage him and give feedback about his changes. One question I have, though, is if the burden of proof should all be on him. Relationships take two, so are there changes you should be making to be more accepting of who he is? Would transcending the present turmoil and reaching a place of comfort that will never be as exciting as new love - is that worth the compromise?

I guess I'm divided about all of this. I tried going dark to move on but emailed W yesterday. I am who I am - a nice person who can't play games and I miss her. I miss her conversation and deep down I know she misses mine even though she's trying hard to put it out of her mind and heart.

Have I done enough to show her someone who "gets it"? Obviously not. Should I keep trying? I don't know. I'd decided there was nothing more I could do and I deserve someone who would be there for me as much as I've been there for them (my W has always been focused on her self & career), so was ready to move on. Then I re-read various posts and DR about truly being patient, knowing when you have no more to give, etc. and have been going back and forth. Should I be friends with W or go dark to separate emotionally? Should I keep trying with blind determination or move on? Of course my sitch has the added complication of OM and I don't know how big that wrench is, but I see similar things in your postings that address my inner struggles. Is this how you feel as well? grasshopper posted that the LBS can be as much a WAS as the WAS - I guess that has stuck with me these last few weeks but I don't know what to do with the info.

Sorry for the rambling. Hope you have a great day!

lodo


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Hi Lodo
I'm listening, but a bit distracted today as my major professor needs for a summer class are pressing, the weather here is a major concern, and I have two hour drive each way today to get to campus to deal with the summer class issues.

I'll re-read this right before I leave and then ponder your thoughts & questions on my drive. I'll check in later tonight.

Right now I can tell you that you & my H have said the same thing about how the R could be enough... best friends with sex is how he defines what is enough for him to be in a marriage relationship. Is that what I'm hearing you say is enough for you?

I don't agree with that. Maybe women & men define best friends differently, I don't know about that. I need to think about that and your question about being more accepting of who he is.

Have a good day.
Thanks for the thoughts.


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