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A Message from Michele
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Re: Black and white [Re: gonegrl] #2616817
10/17/15 04:06 PM
10/17/15 04:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,708
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Zues126 Offline OP
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Zues126  Offline OP
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JulieH/photoka: This black/white rant applied to my belief in the commitment of marriage. In many of our cases our spouse broke that commitment. I agree that them bomb-dropping us and starting a physical affair with an outside party is terminating the marriage. At that point we need to move forward with our lives. There is nothing left to be committed to. This doesn't mean we burn bridges. It just means we keep our eyes open. My last point was that we move forward focused on positive thoughts, and don't fixate on our WAS's or our M's failings. Yes, there are emotions to work through, but at the end we must simply own our part, work on ourselves, and let the past go. It's definitely a process, but with enough time and deliberation it does happen.

Avanti: My plan with STBX is very simple. I communicate only when absolutely required, and then I do so with as few words as possible, speaking only to the business end of things, with and possible emotions/judgments/opinions/defenses or ANYTHING taken out. For example, I won't ask her not to put the kids in the middle. I won't tell her how I think we should agree on things before communicating to them. I won't explain why I won't make the schedule change. I won't apologize. I won't reason. I won't debate. Nothing nothing nothing.

She did email me and ask if I could bring the children over so she could take them trick or treating. She mentioned that our D8 was really sad that she couldn't go with mom like she does every year and offered an adjustment that would make that work. Personally I think she is being extremely manipulative, and is making a mountain out of a molehill with D8 in an attempt to coerce me to give her what she wants. I believe what she should have done would be just to tell D8 casually "this is your time with dad" and then bring it up with me if she wanted. NOT to allow it to become a big deal and tell D8 she'd see what she could do. This is a joke. HOWEVER- I will respond with something strictly business-like and professional like "I agree we should continue to flex when possible for the best interest of the children. Unfortunately my plans with the children won't make that possible."

I can tell you that in the last YEAR those have been my responses. Why? Because I'm not playing. I don't pretend to know her motives, but if she is trying to push any of my buttons she will find me like she's trying to play a game that has dead batteries. She can push buttons all she wants but nothing will happen. It doesn't matter what she does, I will not give her a reaction of any type. It will be completely flat. Because any emotional response I gave would just pour gas on the fire and encourage her to try further ways to manipulate me or push my buttons. Pass. She gets nothing from me. She can do what she wants but she'll be playing solitaire. Of course she can get exasperated and complain to her friends about how unreasonable or crazy and inhuman I am...but she will do that anyway...and if she can't see it's her own horrendous behavior that has driven me to this point to protect myself from her then it doesn't matter anyway. So I'm not starting a war. She's trying to light a fire, I'm just becoming wet wood.


Me:38 XW:38
T:11 years M:8 years
Kids: S14, D11, D7
BD/Move out day: 6/17/14, D final Dec 15
Re: Black and white [Re: Zues126] #2616883
10/17/15 10:31 PM
10/17/15 10:31 PM
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Posts: 867
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JulieH Offline
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Zues, I think that the way you are communicating is a strategy that would drive me crazy as a spouse. It is so hurtful and effective because there is nothing worse then indifference. I understand why you are doing it. She definatly is pushing buttons, and you can't allow your life to be consumed with petty arguments. Do you think they push buttons because they are still attached and want to see if you are, or do you think it's because they are just selfish and controlling and incapable of thinking of anyone but themselves?

Do you think this would have the same effect on a male as it would a female? If i communicated this way I think my husband would not even notice and possibly just think everything is going great.

I did not ask you, is infidelity a deal breaker for you as well? Are you done? Let's say she had remorse and wanted to work on marriage, would you still be willing to try?


Me: 42
H: 43
Twins age 5
Physically Separated 7/2015
Re: Black and white [Re: JulieH] #2616899
10/17/15 11:19 PM
10/17/15 11:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,708
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Zues126 Offline OP
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Zues126  Offline OP
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Quote:
Do you think they push buttons because they are still attached and want to see if you are, or do you think it's because they are just selfish and controlling and incapable of thinking of anyone but themselves?

In general this type of speculation is considered mind reading. However it turns out that you can indeed discover their motivations when their behavior is specifically aimed towards you. There is a chart that I was given by my DB coach. Based on how YOU feel when they act a certain way, you can determine THEIR motivations. How is this possible? It's because they know you intimately, they know your buttons and what each one does, so when they are doing things strictly for your benefit you actually can tell what they are trying to accomplish. Here is the chart:

You feel: Irritated
Their motivation: Attention

You feel: Insufficient
They feel: Insufficient, desire to prove their value

You feel: Powerless
They feel: Powerless, desire to gain control

You feel: Hurt and/or Angry
They feel: Vindictive, desire for revenge

Couple of examples. I took my kids on a trip once early on. When I dropped the kids off I was only there for 30 seconds, yet she managed to tell the kids about all the things she did over the weekend at a mixed bonfire. It was clear she was aiming this to me. My DB coach asked me how it made me feel. It came down to I felt insufficient, like I was left out, she didn't need me to have a good time. My DB coach pointed out that she probably felt insufficient as I just had a great weekend with my family without her. Another example would be when she took back Sunday nights from me and said she wouldn't allow that again until after court. I felt quite powerless and a bit angry. It was clear her motivation was that she felt she was losing control, and possibly wanted to hurt me as well.

In this instance (with the Halloween thing) I feel partially irritated, partially angry. So I expect she is looking for attention and maybe a little revenge.

Before moving on I must say this is very cool. Again, I would never have believed how I felt about anything could reflect someone else's motivations, but when it is someone that knows your buttons and is taking specific actions aimed only at you, it is actually possible.

As to the other reason of 'why is she doing this', it is really just her acting on how she feels. There is no overarching strategy or consistent underlying theme (like she wants R, or she doesn't want me to move on, etc). She just acts based on how she feels. When she feels hurt, she might lash out. When she feels forgotten about, she might cry for attention. This doesn't MEAN anything, other than she is going through her own emotional journey and simply feels justified in acting out her feelings.


Quote:
Do you think this would have the same effect on a male as it would a female? If i communicated this way I think my husband would not even notice and possibly just think everything is going great.


I really don't know. When you said this would drive you nuts as a spouse I hope you know that wasn't my intent (except for the 5% of the time I'm feeling very childish myself). I really am simply protecting myself. But I would never treat my spouse this way. I am doing this because she ended our marriage, destroyed my family, and will continue to do as much damage as I allow her to in my life. I'm out on that. So if SHE did this I would be appreciative because I don't want anything from her. However if I was in a relationship with someone that did this it would be pretty difficult. I guess I wouldn't feel like I was in a relationship with them, because there's really no communication other than level 1 stuff. I DEFINITELY wouldn't recommend this as a 'strategy' in terms of trying to change WAS's behavior. Don't worry about changing his behavior. You can't. Just do what you think is appropriate based on the situation you are in. Unfortunately I was in a situation where this is appropriate for me.

Quote:
I did not ask you, is infidelity a deal breaker for you as well? Are you done? Let's say she had remorse and wanted to work on marriage, would you still be willing to try?


It's funny, I used to ask myself that question all of the time, as do most new LBS's. As well as "how could this ever come back together again", and "are we moving towards that or not", and "what would she need to do differently", and "could I forgive her", and many others. Eventually you get tired of that. Because quite simply that's not happening. She has already destroyed my family and my marriage. I don't see any reason to let her destroy my present. And at this point it wouldn't even be her doing it, it would be me by obsessing and spinning in circles. Which is necessary for a while (a LONG while it seems like), but eventually you let it go. One more point- LBS's sometimes feel the need to tell themselves it is done to try to achieve 'closure' and end the 'limbo', when in reality they don't know how they'd really feel and they haven't even started to comprehend how permanently destructive divorce really is because they're still reeling in shock.

So I will tell you where my brain goes if those thoughts ever pop up. I think "it doesn't matter because that's not what's in front of me", and "if that situation ever arises I'll figure it out then", and "I can't really imagine how I'd respond in that situation", and "God only knows, anything is possible with God, and I will follow his lead".

What I can tell you is that I am moving forward with my life as if I knew there was zero chance of R ever being possible, and I truly don't expect that to happen, and I've gotten pretty comfortable with that fact. But because I'm enjoying my life and excited about the direction I'm going I don't need to ensure that percentage is 0% to continue to grieve, grow, heal, and move forward. And I don't need to cling to whatever non-zero percentage is there because I am appreciative of what God has given me and the journey I am on.

Hope that answers the questions a little bit for me anyway. Thanks for following Julie. smile


Me:38 XW:38
T:11 years M:8 years
Kids: S14, D11, D7
BD/Move out day: 6/17/14, D final Dec 15
Re: Black and white [Re: Zues126] #2616912
10/18/15 12:30 AM
10/18/15 12:30 AM
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Quote:
She just acts based on how she feels


Exactly. That's the kind of thing that used to turn me in knots, because I am analytical (which is why I'm good at my job) and I don't make hasty decisions on impulse or simply on my feelings. So I have run myself ragged in the past trying to figure out the reasoning until I, too, finally realized there wasn't any reasoning, at least not like I do it. She will act based on how she feels, yet doesn't understand that actions drive feelings. If you want to change how you feel, you have to change what you do and how you do it. And you change what you do because of the commitment, because you've been doing something hurtful or destructive, etc.

Quote:
So I will tell you where my brain goes if those thoughts ever pop up. I think "it doesn't matter because that's not what's in front of me"...And I don't need to cling to whatever non-zero percentage is there because I am appreciative of what God has given me and the journey I am on.


Amen brother. Well said. This is where I'm at as well.

Re: Black and white [Re: tl2] #2616916
10/18/15 01:06 AM
10/18/15 01:06 AM
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That's great stuff zues. And it's true, it really does not indicate anything other then the feelings they are having at the time. I am someone that always lashes out and acts out based on my feelings of the moment in regards to my husband. It is just so consuming to me in the moment. It's my reality at the time. I guess The more I am hurt, the more I had hurt him.

When you are left feeling sad after a conversation, is there also a motivation?

I did not think you were intentionally closing off to hurt her. I realize you are detached and have to be detached in order to protect yourself. And for all practical purposes you were able to let go. Your comments, "it doesn't matter cause that's not what's in front of me" are comments my very logical husband would say. I wish I could think that way. Its very healthy.


Me: 42
H: 43
Twins age 5
Physically Separated 7/2015
Re: Black and white [Re: JulieH] #2616917
10/18/15 01:09 AM
10/18/15 01:09 AM
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Zues, a short diversion to tell you I saw an alligator today. He was just lurking around the edge of the lake, I was a little surprised to see him, I didn't even realize that lake had alligators, certainly wasn't looking for one. There you go.

Back to your serious conversation.



"Don't look back, you aren't going that way"
Re: Black and white [Re: SunnyB] #2617082
10/18/15 11:21 PM
10/18/15 11:21 PM
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I went looking for gators today and spotted another half dozen or so. Amazing what you can find when you look. Hope your weekend was great.



"Don't look back, you aren't going that way"
Re: Black and white [Re: SunnyB] #2617086
10/19/15 12:13 AM
10/19/15 12:13 AM
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Zues, the idea of my feelings indicating H's motivation has intrigued me. What if my feeling is of complete and total WTF? For example, H still regularly brings up that I destroyed his mother's life. Usually while drinking, he will give off this angry vibe and then make a comment like "how can you just act like everything is fine when you've destroyed 20 years of my Mother's life? What is your plan for making that up to her?" My feeling I guess is most closely related to feeling powerless/disbelief/pity. I can't describe it. What is the motivation there? It is these comments above all else that has given me serious doubt as to whether we will ever reconcile.

I believe I know what is going on in his head, but I am curious as to what you would think.



Re: Black and white [Re: gonegrl] #2617370
10/20/15 01:02 AM
10/20/15 01:02 AM
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Zues126 Offline OP
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tlr, thank you. I like your point about acting on feelings without realizing that feelings are derived from actions. Something we all know to a degree, but it helps to be clear on that when you're feeling negatively.

Phou/Julie, unfortunately I don't have all the answers. Whether you're feeling sadness, disbelief, pity...I think that's just par for the course. In both of these examples I didn't get the impression that WAH was specifically trying to push your buttons, but rather that he was just ranting a little. For the whole "feelings to reflect motivation" it has to be him doing things deliberately to get a rise. I'm not sure that's the case if you're just feeling sad or stunned. The things you two described seemed more global and unintentional. But if you feel like he's taking stabs at you deliberately this chart can be useful.

Of course, right along the time I learned the chart I stopped caring. To some degree. Julie, you mentioned me being detached. It's funny. It's always a spectrum. I mean, I am detached from HER. To a degree I didn't know would be possible. But I'm still dealing with the ramifications of the divorce. Big time. Also, to be fair, when I do have to reply to an email from her it does still pain me because I can still feel the disdain, contempt, criticism, and dismissiveness that she has towards me. It's almost like I don't feel it 99% of the time, but when I have to interact with her and I'm exposed to her then I can still feel her negative energy. And this is unpleasant for me. Which is why I avoid her. To be fair I feel that way about a person I used to be friends with that burned a bridge with me...I see him at pool tournaments now and then and if I have to play a match with him it's very uncomfortable. The difference is I don't have kids with him. But I guess I would agree that I'm getting more detached, but the loss from the divorce and dealing with the legal process is still distressing.

Biggest thing is to know it takes time, but it does pass. I've been doing this coming up on 16 months now and it has gotten easier...but I know when the D is finalized, a few months blow by and I get in my post-D rhythm, and I move into a bigger place and settle in...at that point I think I'll be in really good shape. So it will continue to get much easier over the next 3-12 months. At that point I'll be in for 2 years, officially D, and will be a totally different person than I was during the M. Shoot, I might even be ready to talk to a woman again shocked.

Sunny, thank you for checking in on me. I am touched that you'd keep an alligator watch for me. I wish we could post pictures on here. That would be totally fun. I watched "PAN" with my daughters yesterday. At one point there was an enormous crocodile attacking them and I got super excited. I was like "this is just a day in the life for SunnyB"...I'm glad you took my black and white rants with a grain of salt. Hey, haven't seen any updates on your thread for a while. Please do check in when you can.

Good weekend with the kids. REALLY good. My son has needed some special attention in a key area and hasn't gotten it (I can't give it to him, it takes specific skills I don't have) but I had a friend of mine who's an expert in that field hang out with him on Saturday for 3 hours, I was there too. It was a great time. My friend is going to be his mentor a bit and help him through some things he's working on. It was a delight to see the impact on my son. I know he needed that more than he could vocalize. Meanwhile my mom was in town for some family support and took my daughters out. Then yesterday I spent some good time with my daughters and read to them all a bit. Nothing crazy, just life, but we're rock solid right now.

OK, that's all for now...but DID YOU KNOW? Alligators are a great way to destroy evidence. Remember, it's only murder if they find a body. Otherwise it's just a "Missing Person". Food for thought...;)


Me:38 XW:38
T:11 years M:8 years
Kids: S14, D11, D7
BD/Move out day: 6/17/14, D final Dec 15
Re: Black and white [Re: Zues126] #2617375
10/20/15 01:26 AM
10/20/15 01:26 AM
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Another solid update Zeus, I think 3 - 12 months is going to fly by for you. My IC today is also a divorced father and he said that it never gets easier to not have his kids, but he's learned new ways to deal with it. I think that's how it will be for all of us, things don't get "easier" they just get different.

You're going to be a completely new man after going through what you've gone through. With kids it's got to be a trial by fire and the fire is definitely forging you. One day at a time my brother.

PP


M 39 W 36
T5 M3
BD - 1/15 Separated - Same Day
Served 9/15
D finalized 6/17
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