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BigJohn Offline OP
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Thinker,

You are right; I agree with you completely. I continue working on myself and moving towards greater detachment. Believe me, I'm long past griping about how unfair it all is. I realize that I need to minimize the impact my W's crisis is having on me, not just for me but for my kids and the rest of the family.

Thanks for the continued feedback, I appreciate it.


M: 41
W: 39
S: 11
S: 10
D: 4
1st contact w/OM: 1/19/09
EA began: 2/14/09
EA discovered: 3/1/09
I file for D 8/25/09 to protect myself
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BigJohn Offline OP
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Quote:
I think there may be at least two options here.....either her going to meet OM and getting "shocked" into reality of what he truly is and feels about her......or have some type of health intervention.


Sandi,

Was talking to my W tonight and asked her about a prior comment she had previously made to me: "I'm not interested in being M to a Boy Scout". (Recall that we were previously discussing why many WAWs seek out OM the exact opposite as their H.) I know- I shouldn't have asked- but my S had a scout meeting last night and it was on my mind.

My W responded by stating that she meant that she didn't like being M to "Mr. Perfect", specifically someone who thinks they (me) are better than her (W). I asked for specific examples of what made her feel that way and she basically broke it down for me by mentioning 1. I've talked down to her when I'm really angry in the past (this is true), 2. I have strong convictions about right/wrong and usually "win" any arguments with her (this is true), 3. I take pride in holding myself to high standards(this is true) and 4. that she feels that my love for her is conditional (not accurate from my perspective).

I told W that I respected her feelings but that it was never my intention to convey that I thought I was better than her to her. (I do NOT feel I am better than my W, just different than her.)

Just thought I'd share this with you as it relates to how my W finds OM so appealing.

Talk to you soon.


M: 41
W: 39
S: 11
S: 10
D: 4
1st contact w/OM: 1/19/09
EA began: 2/14/09
EA discovered: 3/1/09
I file for D 8/25/09 to protect myself
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Well that's pretty telling.

Sandi once told me that when I talk to my W now, talk to her in soft tones. I didn't understand what that meant until my W told me that she felt I talked down to her. I didn't understand what that meant at the time, but now I do.

Maybe when you are talking to her, you need to do the same. You do come across as still very judgemental in your posts and even though they may be right, they aren't going to be re-attracting your W back to you.

Just my 2 cents.


M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

RECONCILED AND WISER
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BigJohn Offline OP
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Stuck,

Thank you for the feedback. I have been consistently talking much more softly to my W (and kids too) since the beginning of April and have definitely noticed a positive difference in our interactions (this is mostly true with the kids; I can't seem to do much right in my W's eyes no matter what I do.)

Regarding coming across as being judgmental in my posts- you are right and I need to drop being judgmental altogether. I know that it is yet another thing holding me back in being a better man and having a better R with my W... as well as being able to detach.

BTW, I like and agree with your tag line re: passion. I am a very passionate person by nature myself- I presume you are too. Do you find that to be a significant obstacle for you in your efforts to detach?


M: 41
W: 39
S: 11
S: 10
D: 4
1st contact w/OM: 1/19/09
EA began: 2/14/09
EA discovered: 3/1/09
I file for D 8/25/09 to protect myself
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Posts: 12,602
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I definitely do find it hard. In the beginning of all this madness, I was very impatient. I had tons of backslides and I really needed the support of this site to help me through it.

You can do it though. When you change, your W will change. Right now she's in the OM fog. No telling how long she's going to be in there, so fortify your defenses and make the environment safe for her to return.


M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

RECONCILED AND WISER
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Hi BJ,

I believe your W has the "bad boy" desire. Apparently, she was drawn to that type if she dated him before M and didn't introduce him to her family & friends. It's as if she has to hide to be with him and maybe that adds to her desire.....I don't know. I sure hope she didn't M "up" (as they say) in order to please her family, when she was wanting to M "down" according to their standards. Sounds like something for a IC to figure out. Some women just have a thing for bad boys.....I never did, so it's hard for me to understand it. She is saying a lot refering to you as a "Boy Scout" and "Mr. Pefect"........that says volumes to me. One, she sees you as a "goodie-two-shoes"......which must have a degree of turn-off for her. Especially since she seems drawn to the bad boys. Second, by calling you Mr. Perfect, she feels that you are too ridgid and self-rightous and she feels very inferior to you! That's the biggest thing right there......her self-confidence is lacking when she's around you. Perhaps she feels more important, more confident around OM b/c she knows she more classy than he could ever be! Unfortunately, some people have to have friends who are seen in a lower class.....in order for them to feel better about themselves. If your W has felt that you have "put her down" all these years, then I could see how her ego has taken a beating and she would look for a man who would build her up. However, if OM verbally abused her......that makes no sense to me! Again, something for an IC.

Quote:
1. I've talked down to her when I'm really angry in the past (this is true),
Quote:
2. I have strong convictions about right/wrong and usually "win" any arguments with her (this is true),


It takes a strong woman to hold her own with a man who is angry and talking down to her. It especially takes a strong woman when that man is her H. Over time....she begans to wear down and finally gives up and lets him win the arugments b/c it just isn't worth it. My question is, why must you always win? Most people feel that they are right in their opinions of what's right/wrong. Is she never right? And, why did you have to talk down to her in order to win? Isn't that being a bully? Doesn't the OM talk down to her also???

Quote:
3. I take pride in holding myself to high standards(this is true)


As I said, most of us think our opinions are correct. We think that our standards are high.......but exactly how do you mean you take "pride" in that? Is that to say that you put others whose opinion differ from yours as having a lower standard? Somehow, I kind of think that "pride" of yours comes shinning through! That's not good. Some women see men like that as a huge turn-off b/c they appear to be arrogant and haughty.

Some men may think they are speaking with a voice of "authority" when all they are doing is sounding angry and putting another person down. That is not authority. That is not "strength" and it certainly is not "honor".

Quote:
4. that she feels that my love for her is conditional (not accurate from my perspective).


Well let me tell you, I could certainly understand why she would think your love for her was conditional. Not accurate from your perspective? Go back and read numbers 1-3 and tell me she doesn't have a right to think that! You really are blind to yourself, aren't you? You take "pride" in what you should be ashamed of! That isn't how you should treat your wife and kids! Bet your kids feel like they have a hard time living up to your expectations also. You better be careful or you will have children with a lot of "issues" where daddy is concerned.

Quote:
I told W that I respected her feelings but that it was never my intention to convey that I thought I was better than her to her.


I don't think she believes you do respect her feelings. You would not have to try to convince her otherwise, if she did. I suddenly see you as some type of drill instructor in the military. Gosh, I hope that's not the case, BJ. Have I been too hard on your W when you were the one driving her away?

Quote:
Just thought I'd share this with you as it relates to how my W finds OM so appealing


Kind of makes sense in why she would want to find a man totally opposite from you, doesn't it?


















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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BigJohn Offline OP
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Sandi,

Perhaps you have not been hard enough on ME.... either that or I'm paying the price for tapping out a crappy post before running out the door. I have to admit, there are days when I just have to jump on here to post/vent to get stuff off my chest- sometimes I can't always wait when it is most convenient.

Like every LBS or potential LBS, there is absolutely another side of my story- my W's side. I have made mistakes in our MR and I accept full accountability for them. I am NOT "Mr. Perfect" by a long shot! Despite what she is going through with her EA, she does have legitimate issues with me and our MR.

Quote:
She is saying a lot refering to you as a "Boy Scout" and "Mr. Pefect"........that says volumes to me. One, she sees you as a "goodie-two-shoes"......which must have a degree of turn-off for her. Especially since she seems drawn to the bad boys. Second, by calling you Mr. Perfect, she feels that you are too ridgid and self-rightous and she feels very inferior to you! That's the biggest thing right there......her self-confidence is lacking when she's around you. Perhaps she feels more important, more confident around OM b/c she knows she more classy than he could ever be!


When I'm referring to personal standards, I mean the standards I hold myself to NOT what I hold others to. I did not mean this in the context of being "right" or having the only opinion that matters or putting other people down. I am NOT always right. What I'm referring to here is always striving to be the best that I can be: best father, husband, son, brother, friend, employee, etc. I think that you captured some of the problems with this as it relates to my W in this first paragraph of your post. Both my W and I agree that she does have self esteem issues.

Quote:
It takes a strong woman to hold her own with a man who is angry and talking down to her. It especially takes a strong woman when that man is her H. Over time....she begans to wear down and finally gives up and lets him win the arugments b/c it just isn't worth it. My question is, why must you always win? Most people feel that they are right in their opinions of what's right/wrong. Is she never right? And, why did you have to talk down to her in order to win? Isn't that being a bully? Doesn't the OM talk down to her also???


Sandi, There is no justification for talking down to my W under any circumstances- ever. The incidents where I talked down to her involved four separate car accidents along with a handful of other disputes regarding money or child rearing. These incidents occurred some time ago- like many of her complaints. Looking back, these were immature outbursts of frustration on my part and served little purpose beyond making my W feel bad. I have mellowed out some with age!

Regarding arguments with my W, it's not that I must always win- that is not it at all. I am not always right and my W is not always wrong. Rather, it is more of me having the stronger of the two personalities in the R and just being a naturally passionate person whereas my W is more laid back. Not considering the "talk down" incidents above, I do not intimidate my W or use strong arm tactics of any sort in my dealings with her. I definitely do NOT see myself a bully whereas OM has a public record of being a punk/bully. And yes, I believe that OM has verbally bullied my W.

If there are things in my posts which suggest I could/might be a bully by some definition, I'd sure like specific feedback on that, because I absolutely hate bullies!

Quote:
4. that she feels that my love for her is conditional (not accurate from my perspective).


Quote:
Well let me tell you, I could certainly understand why she would think your love for her was conditional. Not accurate from your perspective? Go back and read numbers 1-3 and tell me she doesn't have a right to think that! You really are blind to yourself, aren't you? You take "pride" in what you should be ashamed of! That isn't how you should treat your wife and kids! Bet your kids feel like they have a hard time living up to your expectations also. You better be careful or you will have children with a lot of "issues" where daddy is concerned.


Yikes! I guess I can't argue with your conclusions given how my post came across- and with limited information. I've had quite a few sessions with my IC and being "blind" to myself isn't something that has been identified as an issue for me. Not that it couldn't be- I'm not here just looking for sympathy for my sitch- I genuinely want feedback to help me be a better person, husband and father.

The conditional love issue with my W does relate at least in part to her sense of my expectations of her and perhaps deserves it's own post within this thread to really drill down on. The bottom line is that I married my W because I love her as a complete package; her strengths far outweigh her weaknesses. Just because I've been frustrated with her in the past- as she has been with me on occasion- doesn't mean that I don't love her unconditionally.

Well it's getting late. I hope I clarified a few things for you Sandi because I don't want you to think that I'm "The Great Santini" by any means! I respect your feedback very much. Thank you for calling me out on what I put out there so I could provide additional info. BTW, I read in one of your previous posts that you were out ill recently. Hope you are feeling much better. Take care.

BJ















[/quote]


M: 41
W: 39
S: 11
S: 10
D: 4
1st contact w/OM: 1/19/09
EA began: 2/14/09
EA discovered: 3/1/09
I file for D 8/25/09 to protect myself
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I thought I had made you mad at me BJ! The truth is.....I knew exactly how "you" meant what you were saying....but I wanted to help you see it from her POV. I hope maybe I did a little. I certainly understand about writing posts when I'm in a hurry b/c I have said things kind of harshly to a newcomer and then realized that particular person was in no shape to hear what I had said right then. Anyway, just wanted to comment on a couple of things here, hoping that you'll see what I'm seeing when you talk. Maybe that is how your W sees you, or maybe it's not.

Quote:
When I'm referring to personal standards, I mean the standards I hold myself to NOT what I hold others to. I did not mean this in the context of being "right" or having the only opinion that matters or putting other people down. I am NOT always right. What I'm referring to here is always striving to be the best that I can be: best father, husband, son, brother, friend, employee, etc. I think that you captured some of the problems with this as it relates to my W in this first paragraph of your post. Both my W and I agree that she does have self esteem issues.


If you knew some of my relatives, you would know why I can almost picture you in my mind. Maybe you are one of my relatives! (Just kidding.) I knew what you meant by your personal standards and perhaps you have no problem mixing the standards you set for yourself from those you think others should have, however, "most" people who expect a lot from themselves.....expect a lot of others. Maybe you don't.....and if not, then you are an exception. However, since your W has low self-esteem, you would have to be cautious not to cause her to feel that you are stepping on her toes.....especially when talking "to" her or "about" other situations. It simply comes through our conversations to others, (with most people in most cases). Yes, you know you are not automaticaly "right" about every issue, but can you lay it down without arguing or stating your case about how you see it? If she tends to be passive, then you may come across as being a bit over-bearing. I don't know.....just speculating.

Quote:
I do not intimidate my W or use strong arm tactics of any sort in my dealings with her.


You may think you do not intimidate her, but she may "feel" the intimidation and won't admit it to you. May be her pride that keeps her from saying anything. But IMHO, people who feel low self-esteem can easily be intimidated by a stronger personality.

So, anyway, enough about all of that. Just hope it may have given you a spotlight from a different angle.

How has she seem the last couple of days?




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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I thought I had made you mad at me BJ! The truth is.....I knew exactly how "you" meant what you were saying....but I wanted to help you see it from her POV.


Sandi,

It's kind of funny you say that because I thought you were mad at ME! Either that or disappointed that I may have misrepresented myself somehow... which is definitely not my intention. Anyways, part of why I'm here is to help me understand my W's POV, relate to it and become the H my W and I need me to be.

Quote:
I knew what you meant by your personal standards and perhaps you have no problem mixing the standards you set for yourself from those you think others should have, however, "most" people who expect a lot from themselves.....expect a lot of others. Maybe you don't.....and if not, then you are an exception. However, since your W has low self-esteem, you would have to be cautious not to cause her to feel that you are stepping on her toes.....especially when talking "to" her or "about" other situations. It simply comes through our conversations to others, (with most people in most cases). Yes, you know you are not automaticaly "right" about every issue, but can you lay it down without arguing or stating your case about how you see it? If she tends to be passive, then you may come across as being a bit over-bearing. I don't know.....just speculating.


I agree. I do try to make a conscious effort to separate my personal standards from my expectations of others- it is simply not realistic or fair to do otherwise. I take full ownership for being hard on myself sometimes- it's something that I need to work on. It could be that I'm not sensitive enough to how much and/or often my personal standards may be creeping into my interactions and/or conversations with my W. I'm going to give this point a lot of thought.

Quote:
You may think you do not intimidate her, but she may "feel" the intimidation and won't admit it to you. May be her pride that keeps her from saying anything. But IMHO, people who feel low self-esteem can easily be intimidated by a stronger personality.


Agreed. I think that this is certainly one of the big stumbling blocks with couples like my W and I who have complimentary personalities. The self esteem issue is one of the most significant disparities between my W and I. As a younger man, I guess I mistakenly thought that being a part of me in M would somehow boost my W's self esteem enough to where it wouldn't be a significant issue. I realize now that I can't provide this to my W simply through osmosis- it takes a lot more care and work by both of us. If we can get through this crisis, building my W's self esteem is going to be one of my top priorities in our R going forward.

Quote:
How has she seem the last couple of days?


She appears to still be in regular contact with OM. She keeps stating how she is looking forward to the trip out of state in August to "visit her family"- and see OM. She continues to work very hard on exercising and her tan- she looks fantastic- while putting little effort on the employment front- according to her, this will wait until after the trip in August.

I'm guess this trip in August is my W's version of the Super Bowl for her. She has put everything on the table for OM- including her heart and soul. The only thing she hasn't given him yet is her body. It sure is looking like she must have OM at any cost.

I'm pretty much keeping to myself right now when not spending time with the kids. She tried picking a fight with me two nights ago about my posting here- said she doesn't like me talking about her to others. I asked her if it bothered her that I told people how much I loved her and wanted our M to work. She responded that she didn't mind that I told people that.

Just got off the phone with my W as I was finishing this post. She called to ask me what I was doing about child care arrangements for the week after next- she is attending church camp the entire week. She told me I ought to burn a few vacation days that week instead of her having to arrange a babysitter. I told her I had other plans for using my vacation days. She asked what my plans were- I said maybe I'll be going with you and the kids on the out of state trip in August. She didn't like that idea too much.


M: 41
W: 39
S: 11
S: 10
D: 4
1st contact w/OM: 1/19/09
EA began: 2/14/09
EA discovered: 3/1/09
I file for D 8/25/09 to protect myself
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Quote:
She asked what my plans were- I said maybe I'll be going with you and the kids on the out of state trip in August. She didn't like that idea too much.


grin That's funny!

So, do you think she reads what you post here on the board?


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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