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A Message from Michele
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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794166
12/02/06 08:30 AM
12/02/06 08:30 AM
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The GREAT Pacific Northwest
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From DB Coach Laurie

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

Dear Stay Calm,
I encourage you not to think in terms of "fatal mistakes". That perspective only adds fear to your thinking, which can cause some pretty reactive responses. Instead, try to learn something about your relationship with that last interaction and use it to move in a positive, forward direction.

What do I mean by that? Ask yourself, "What could I take from this episode that will help me next time"? It appears that at this time in your R, sharing previously undisclosed secrets only verifies to your wife that she can't trust you.
So, now you know not to do that again. Be gentle with yourself...you will not do everything perfectly, but keep watching what does and doesn't work and keep making adjustments!!

Also, as others have, I encourage you to pull back on the questions, as hard as that is. Your questions may feel very intense to your W which will cause her to pull away. I know you have a need for some response from her...but it does not appear this is the right time to pursue it.

Calm, it's hard to stress enough at this point how important it is to allow space in the R. I have seen many relationships where one spouse wants to do everything to "fix it" (except "backing off"), and it almost always distances and moves the relationship closer to D. However, you sound like someone who is able to make the necessary and painful changes needed. I wish you well and hope you had a productive counseling session!

I highly encourage you to read DR - especially Chapter Two: "Start with a Beginner's Mind".
Take care, Laurie


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794167
12/02/06 08:55 AM
12/02/06 08:55 AM
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The GREAT Pacific Northwest
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From LovedOne

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

Before you say anything, ask yourself if it is going to move things with H forward. Will it most likely produce a positive outcome or a negative one? This has worked for me many times. If you know that the outcome will be negative, then you must keep quiet. That is extremely difficult when you really want to get things out in the open and hear H say what you want to hear. But, the chances of hearing what you want to hear are probably pretty slim. So, silence.

Act as if everything is wonderful with you. Okay, I'm sure that you probably don't feel wonderful, but H doesn't have to know that. I assure your that pretending is very difficult, but that it can have a very positive effect. There have been mornings (my H is still at home) when I wanted to be a real b*&ch, but I greeted him with a smile and a cheery attitude and he responded the same way.

If you say nothing about the OW or about the whole sitch, it will obviously be a change and your H will probably be taken off guard.

You can do it. It takes a whole lot of strength sometimes, but I don't know of a woman alive who hasn't got the strength to do whatever it takes when life gets tough.

Remember, if in doubt about what to say, say nothing at all. Wonderful advice I read on this board.

Find yourself something to keep busy, look good, feel good about yourself. Don't ruin your weekend with thoughts and convo about someone who I'm sure isn't worth the time and energy (OW).

You can do this.

Loved One


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794168
12/02/06 08:59 AM
12/02/06 08:59 AM
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From merrick

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

Let me add my two cents.

Snooping doesn't help with a WAS. It only matters 1) if your spouse thinks they can cheat and still have you --and continue loving you; thus snooping enables you to get proof to lay down the law; or 2) if you have decided to end the relationship and need proof to bolster your legal position.

If not, and you would forgive your spouse for adultery, snooping will certainly hurt you more than WAS. Think about it, if you knew your spouse was in PA from ceiling fans with OP and you would still have them back, why do you need to know. Moreover, snooping will push them further away to OP and give them another reason to hate you. And more important, you become obsessed with snooping, our minds play tricks on us, and we torture ourselves.

I had a reminder of this tonight. While putting W's laundry away, I noticed her black lengerie robe (which she rarely wore) was no longer in her drawer. Two months ago this would have killed me all night and I would have confronted her; tonight, after detaching, I was intrigued, but unsure what was going on. Alas, an hour later I was pulling together the trash, and W had thrown out several pieces of clothing, including the robe--which took up space in her drawer. Two months ago, I would have put my foot in mouth and pushed as closer to divorce; tonight, I'll live to DB another day.

At worst, I just assume W is having an A, but hope it's not true. If it is going on, there's nothing I can do about it, so I may as well help myself. Hope that helps.

Merrick


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794169
12/02/06 09:30 PM
12/02/06 09:30 PM
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The GREAT Pacific Northwest
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From gbon

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

As a rule of thumb, don't discuss your relationship, your ideas about how things should be, etc... unless your W initiates these conversations, then just let her lead. Right now its probably more important that you just sit back and listen to what she has to say rather than actively voice your thoughts and feelings. Sure, its unfair and lop-sided to use this approach, but believe me, it is what works.

Don't worry so much, its bad for ya! Let nature take its course.

G


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794170
12/02/06 09:33 PM
12/02/06 09:33 PM
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From Done

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

I almost started this post with "LMAO," because I did the same thing w/my condom stash when my W and I were beginning to separate. Except, it isn't really funny, is it? Also, do you feel that the fact you looked in the first place suggests that you may have doubts about there not being an OM? This is a hard question, I know, but one you probably need to think about.

The thing is, it doesn't matter whether or not there's an OM... if there isn't, fine. If there is, he's just a symptom of the problems you are having. He would not be the problem!

You want to know how to get past these two slips (actually, it was one slip and that generated the other)? Forgiveness. You need to forgive yourself, pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and move forward as though nothing had happened.

By forgiveness, admit your weakness (the snooping), which brought on the pleading. Forgive yourself for it as you should forgive your W... by this, I mean make a pledge not to snoop and then move forward. Once something is forgiven, it cannot be used as a weapon or an excuse. It is a lesson learned.

Snooping is perhaps the most destructive thing you can do at this point. And by approaching your W of what you've learned, you've shown her that you do not trust her (obvious that you wouldn't, but not to her alien mind). That 1 to 10 rating was a "How am I doing?" plea; don't do that because it hurts your PMA and pushes your W for a response that right now, you really don't want to hear.

Repeat after me, "Is what I'm about to do going to bring us closer together?" If the answer's no, stop! Do not proceed.

Right now, you have an opportunity to be your W's friend--if she feels like talking about your R and M. If she does, listen, listen, listen. She won't want you to fix things (if she did, she wouldn't be talking about separation). Do not react to what she's telling you, except when you are unsure what it is she's trying to say. Then you can say something like "I understand that you are saying... blah blah... Is this correct?" This is known as mirroring, and it's an excellent way to assure your W that you do (no matter how painful) understand what she's telling you. This "listening without fixing" is what being a true friend is all about. I hope this makes some sense for you.

Don


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794171
12/02/06 09:37 PM
12/02/06 09:37 PM
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From DB Coach Vernetta

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

Boy, the "whys" can eat you up, can't they? Problem is, the more you pursue them, the more elusive they are. Rather, try making it as safe as possible for your W to talk to you and they will tend to start coming out. The toughest thing will be not to want to correct her perception or thinking, but let speak in safety, without a sense that she will have to counter your arguments and explanations. Meanwhile, keep showing her HOW things can be different through your changed behaviors.

Well, there's lots of work to do, so take care of you and keep your tank full for the journey.

Vernetta


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794172
12/02/06 11:55 PM
12/02/06 11:55 PM
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From MomOfTwo

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

Hi Chris;

My H left me and our 2 boys, ages 4 and 6, in January too. I too wish I had known about Michele's books earlier - way earlier, like years ago!

Here's the good news: it's not too late. If you are having trouble with patience, just remember this: if you want this to work, you MUST be patient! No exceptions! It is the most difficult thing to do, but it WILL NOT WORK if you are not patient. Every time you feel like getting back involved in the circle of conflict, remember your 2 year old. That's what helped me get started in the patience area! I knew it was up to ME to do the best thing for our boys. I'm still working on me, and so far, I have seen small positives in my H. So I have much more hope than I did 3 months ago!

If you remember that you are in control of you - only YOU can control YOU - it gives you internal power that you've lost over time. You can change yourself. You can be a better person. You can see your faults. You can become a better person, and your spouse will see it with time.

If you read the other posts on these boards, you will see you are not alone by any means! We are all here because our marriages are not working right now. The common theme to start repairing your marriage is to repair yourself - and it works! It is really difficult to look deep inside yourself, acknowledge your role in the breakdown of the relationship, and DO something about it - and it all starts with you.

KEEP POSITIVE! These times are the most difficult times of your life. But stay on track. Do whatever you can to stay on track. You will be a better parent because of it! Don't let angry words hit your soul - let them go.

I hope you will read posts from others - they are really inspiring. And you will see that you too will have the ability and strength to do everything you can to save your marriage! Stay the course!

See you around the boards,
MomOfTwo


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794173
12/03/06 12:11 AM
12/03/06 12:11 AM
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From sparkie

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

Hi Ray. After reading your sitch, I see we have a lot in common in respect to our WAW's. The one comment from your W that struck a nerve with me was this one...
Quote:

She says she wants her freedom and wants to find herself again.




My W's sentiments exactly! I think your decision to detach and give yourself space is an excellent idea.

You need to respect your W's needs right now. No matter how much it hurts, and as others have already mentioned, you MUST GIVE HER SPACE TOO!!! If you don't, you'll be pushing her farther and farther away. In her eyes, you are smothering her and she needs to breathe in order to live.

In my sitch, I feel my W lost her identity by feeling controlled by my presence. Almost everythng she did in our M was for me rather than for herself. During our entire M, as well as our current separation, my w has always be outwardly pleasant with me, but I think on the inside, she was ready to burst. With my giving her space, she was able to regain control of herself and I could almost immediately feel her hidden resentments towards me start to diminish.

Going "grey" sounds like a good idea. Be there for your W during critical times, but make yourself unavailable for the petty stuff. Become a mystery to her. Let her start to think what's going on in your head for a change.


Quote:

What can I do get more time with her? How can I show her I have changed if she never has contact with me?




Be patient with showing your changes. Take some time for yourself to regroup and strengthen yourself while you put your DBing plan together. This will also give your W some time to gather her thoughts as well. There is no need to expedite things right now. Rememeber, haste makes waste. Let time be your ally and let things settle down a little before you begin exposing your changes. This is going to be a long ride, so fasten your seat belt and hang on.

Good Luck !


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794174
12/03/06 12:18 AM
12/03/06 12:18 AM
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From Steamer

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

Sorry you are here but hopefully you will find people who can help you save your marriage and support you during the process.

I am no expert but I will tell you my thoughts. I've found it really helps to read others' threads to get an idea of what works but obviously everyone's situation is unique.

Quote:

My W and I occasionally have contact on the phone and usually I am the caller. Is this counter-productive to DBing?




Not if she seems receptive to the calls. Just try and guage her reactions. If she doesn't seem to want to talk end the call quickly and back off for awhile.

Quote:

She often talks about me getting involved with other women, and this hurts me so much. How should I respond to these comments?




I would respond simply that you are not ready to think about that at this time. You would prefer to work on yourself and hopefully your marriage instead.

Quote:

She says that we are friends, which is great, but how do I know when to bring it to the next level?




Wish I had an answer for that one as I am working on that myself. My advice is don't rush it. You may need to be friends for awhile and let her notice the changes in you.

Quote:

My wife hasn't taken off her wedding ring; she says she is afraid that people will ask questions. Which is something I don't understand, any ideas?




Wedding Ring dilemma. Be glad she is wearing it and don't question why. My W took hers off right after she left and it really hurts to this day. I have stopped wearing mine because I've lost so much weight it no longer fits. I wrestle daily whether I should get it resized and start wearing it again. At the same time, I don't want to pressure W. It's sort of the same as no longer telling her you love her. Obviously you do but telling her makes her feel the need to respond and thats not good.

Hope I have helped and good luck!


JJ

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Re: More Nuggets of Widsom from the Veterans! [Re: Jamesjohn] #794175
12/03/06 05:06 PM
12/03/06 05:06 PM
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From ChristineE

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

If you really want to turn things around, you can do it!!! Don't ask W to read Db or DR. You alone can change the dynamics of the R and how she responds to you. I noticed the greatest change in my sitch during the first few weeks of DBing.

Actions speak louder than words, so it's ok that she's not talking much. In fact, don't get into ANY R discussions at all. Make a list of things that you want to change and start changing them. Become a better person. Where do you start? Make a list of things that she has complained about and change what you have control over.

Check your ego at the door. It's not about you. She's going through something. Don't argue or try to defend yourself...just validate.

Don't pursue. Don't try to convince her how much you love her and want her to stay. She already knows and it will just push her right out the door.

Have an "as if" attitude. Act as if everything is going to turn out fine.

These are a few things for starters. Hope it helps.

Christine


JJ

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