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Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: 2long] #122029
06/16/11 03:49 PM
06/16/11 03:49 PM
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Monterey, CA
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Originally Posted By: 2long
2 say the least! So much so that, even though my wife thought she was being clear that she needed more attention, I still thought that by simply explaining my perspective would be sufficient.
Now you have recognized that was not at all enough. And now if things like this come up, there is a deeper communication and mutual understanding.

Originally Posted By: 2long
But of course, although she said she had feelings for someone else all those years ago, she neglected 2 tell me (for the next 11 years) that she was having an affair.
How painful to have discovered that it had been happening for so long.

Originally Posted By: 2long
At first, I regretted all the wasted time when I found out 9 years ago. But soon, I recognized the need for the wake-up call. I wasn't "getting" her frustrations 20 years ago, in spite of her almost telling me all the truth at the time. Likewise, my "clarifications" of my perspective weren't gotten by her either.
There were signs about what was happening, and somehow you were unable to get them. And despite none of the clarifications having any impact, there seemed to be no alternative but to keep explaining.

Originally Posted By: 2long
Finally, I was able, though, 2 2rn the adversity in2 an oppor2nity for some personal growth spurts. I learned more about relationships in the first year after "d-day" than I had in the previous 27 years of our marriage.
For some reason, some of us need the 2x4 to the head to "get" what seems "obvious" in retrospect. I have belatedly and grudgingly become grateful for the 2x4's I have received, sor the same reason you have expressed, namely my own growth.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #122035
06/16/11 03:57 PM
06/16/11 03:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: fddlr3
I find that "what has not been spoken" is often the most important part of what is being conveyed. And I have also found that validation(fddlr) often helps a person say "what has not been said." I find "mirroring" to not go far enough in this regard, since (according to my understanding) it addresses the words that have been spoken, not the unspoken message.
Yup. I think we are using a bit of a microscope here, and it may be a bit off topic, but what the hay!

Here's how I see the situation. You are listening to someone. You guess they aren't saying their whole message. Or you cannot see their logic/sense in their sentence. You want to hear their whole message. You want to see their sense. What to do?

If you mirror their words, all you get is their words. I am comfortable with that.

If you "interpret" and share what you guess is going on beneath their words, you may help them become more clear - true. But you also run the risk of pushing them faster than they want to go - into themselves and into sharing too deeply. For me personally, the biggest risk in doing this is that I come across one-up (arrogant) to their current, maybe heartfelt, one-down (inadequate) position. Thus one runs the risk of stirring up their Lizard. Which don't help.

If you mirror them (explicitly or implicitly) and add what I call a Pull (an invitation to say more, Gentle Art of Pulling), and if you let them know you want to hear more, and are patient, you'll probably get it - at their rate of sharing.

And I remember my goals are to a) understand them explicitly (Validation) and fully, and b) help/guide them into more effective sharing/communication skills. Next time I want them to think as they talk, "Have I shared enough so that my listener(s) can easily understand me?" I want to create more of what I have experienced here at my home, both people working together, taking turns, feeling fully understood.

My wife's favorite phrase for this was, "I don't know how to say this right, so let me say it wrong and then let's clear it up later." Kind of participative model of communication and of improving communication.

Tis fun for me to split-hairs or get out that damn microscope with a good fellow traveler. Thanks, Fddl3. I hope others enjoy this sharing.

Last edited by AlTurtle; 06/16/11 05:03 PM. Reason: Tweaks and a bit about my arrogance.

Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #122172
06/16/11 11:47 PM
06/16/11 11:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,219
Monterey, CA
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Yup. I think we are using a bit of a microscope here, and it may be a bit off topic, but what the hay!
I love microscopes! smile and also getting "off topic" wink

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Here's how I see the situation. You are listening to someone. You guess they aren't saying their whole message. Or you cannot see their logic/sense in their sentence. You want to hear their whole message. You want to see their sense. What to do?
I have found that while it is indeed a "guess," when certain levels of skill are achieved, it can be a very educated "guess." I view this skill as being similar to reading nonverbal cues or the tone of voice in something that is being said.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you mirror their words, all you get is their words. I am comfortable with that.
I have noticed that, especially in potentially problematic areas, that the speaker is often not at all comfortable with it.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you "interpret" and share what you guess is going on beneath their words, you may help them become more clear - true.
It depends on how the "interpreting" is done. I have found the tracking skill I have been learning is most effective in peeling back the layers ever so gently while keeping the speaker's Lizard safe.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But you also run the risk of pushing them faster than they want to go - into themselves and into sharing too deeply. For me personally, the biggest risk in doing this is that I come across one-up (arrogant) to their current, maybe heartfelt, one-down (inadequate) position. Thus one runs the risk of stirring up their Lizard. Which don't help.
My experience has been different. I find that as I track and the person goes deeper, their Lizard seems to calm down. I believe the key is maintaining an attitude that they are completely okay and accepted.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you mirror them (explicitly or implicitly) and add what I call a Pull (an invitation to say more, Gentle Art of Pulling), and if you let them know you want to hear more, and are patient, you'll probably get it - at their rate of sharing.
I'll have to read more about Pulling. I wouldn't use that term to describe how I like to approach it though. I view it more as clearing a path for them to walk (or not as they choose). IRL at least, I find that many people are so unused to being listened to and validated that they are eager to share and even go more deeply into what they are feeling than they might have anticipated. If someone doesn't want to share, then I don't see it as my job to pull it out of them. If something seems to be bothering my wife, I would gently inquire about it, and leave the door open to talk about it, but if she wasn't ready to, I would validate that and let it be.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
And I remember my goals are to a) understand them explicitly (Validation) and fully, and b) help/guide them into more effective sharing/communication skills.
My goals are more modest - namely just (a). I think this is where our different perspectives might cause a difference in approaches. I don't see it as my job to help anyone else improve their communication skills - unless they have explicitly "hired" me to do so. For example, my wife once wanted help crafting a response to someone and she asked for my assistance - in essence she "hired" me for that particular job. When it was completed, my role as her facilitator likewise ended.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
My wife's favorite phrase for this was, "I don't know how to say this right, so let me say it wrong and then let's clear it up later." Kind of participative model of communication and of improving communication.
That's very cool! Maybe if I told my wife that she should be more like Al's wife.... grin

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Tis fun for me to split-hairs or get out that damn microscope with a good fellow traveler. Thanks, Fddl3. I hope others enjoy this sharing.
Thank you Al - I very much enjoy our exchanges and always learn a lot. I very much appreciate all the thought and effort you have put into this important area.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #122177
06/17/11 12:17 AM
06/17/11 12:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,069
2long Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

If you "interpret" and share what you guess is going on beneath their words, you may help them become more clear - true. But you also run the risk of pushing them faster than they want to go - into themselves and into sharing too deeply. For me personally, the biggest risk in doing this is that I come across one-up (arrogant) to their current, maybe heartfelt, one-down (inadequate) position. Thus one runs the risk of stirring up their Lizard. Which don't help.


In the specific case of recovering from infidelity, maybe even especially when one isn't aware of the other spouse's affair, I think the risk is like you say, the wayward partner's lizard's stirring will express as freezing 2 avoid discovery.

Quote:
If you mirror them (explicitly or implicitly) and add what I call a Pull (an invitation to say more, Gentle Art of Pulling), and if you let them know you want to hear more, and are patient, you'll probably get it - at their rate of sharing.


A very difficult and delicate process when one partner is oblivious 2 what the other partner is reluctant 2 disclose/discuss. I think a lot of good could be accomplished on sites like this if these "pulling skills" could be trained, somehow. But it's still going 2 be true that the pullee's rate of sharing will be their rate. Possibly protracted over years, as it was in my sitch.

-ol' 2long

Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: 2long] #122199
06/17/11 01:20 AM
06/17/11 01:20 AM
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Don Quixote Offline
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Hi, This is my first post on here. I came across these threads from another forum and I have loved your advice. I have started to read your website and I am learning a lot.

My question is about contacting the ex. If the romantic love has ended how can you contact with out pushing?

I was not married but was planning on proposing with in the next year. She told me we were still best friends but didn't want to be with me which doesn't make sense but i know everybody makes sense (just not to my brain). The one time I did contact her after our break she said she doesn't want anything from anybody including me. We have been apart for 4 months and she has yet to reach out.

I have read on your site that the childhood has a lot to do with the way people treat relationships. Her father has been married 3 times and her mother didn't have a regular boyfriend until she was out of the house. I wonder sometimes whether the fact that her father divorced her mother when she was so young had a negative impact on her idea of vintage love. We were set to move in together. I think this may have scared her lizard. Do you just wait? or can I call her again. Even if it scares her lizard a little bit maybe I can calm it down. Is there any particular way you handle someone who was hurt by this kind of thing when they were a kid?

Like maybe show them more love in order to make up for the abandonment she felt early on? sometimes I think I need to show her I don't give up easily.


"Become the change you want to see in the world"
--Gandhi
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Don Quixote] #122205
06/17/11 01:38 AM
06/17/11 01:38 AM
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believer Offline
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Welcome, Don Quixote. Glad you found us!

Hope you will find this site helpful.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: believer] #122237
06/17/11 02:37 AM
06/17/11 02:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
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LadyGrey Offline
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Posts: 4,657
Lizzy likes the US Mail, an oft overlooked resource in my opinion. I wish all the faithful husbands on this site would periodically use this resource.

Mail is not like email or texts or voice mail - it doesn't COMMAND a response.

Send her a funny card. No biggie.

The BEST funny cards are at car washes. Little known fact.

I have ideas after that, but try that one first.

I knew when I saw the new member that Edmond Dantes and Don Quixote would end up in the same sub forum.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #122238
06/17/11 02:43 AM
06/17/11 02:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Yup. I think we are using a bit of a microscope here, and it may be a bit off topic, but what the hay!
I love microscopes! smile and also getting "off topic" wink

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Here's how I see the situation. You are listening to someone. You guess they aren't saying their whole message. Or you cannot see their logic/sense in their sentence. You want to hear their whole message. You want to see their sense. What to do?
I have found that while it is indeed a "guess," when certain levels of skill are achieved, it can be a very educated "guess." I view this skill as being similar to reading nonverbal cues or the tone of voice in something that is being said.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you mirror their words, all you get is their words. I am comfortable with that.
I have noticed that, especially in potentially problematic areas, that the speaker is often not at all comfortable with it.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you "interpret" and share what you guess is going on beneath their words, you may help them become more clear - true.
It depends on how the "interpreting" is done. I have found the tracking skill I have been learning is most effective in peeling back the layers ever so gently while keeping the speaker's Lizard safe.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But you also run the risk of pushing them faster than they want to go - into themselves and into sharing too deeply. For me personally, the biggest risk in doing this is that I come across one-up (arrogant) to their current, maybe heartfelt, one-down (inadequate) position. Thus one runs the risk of stirring up their Lizard. Which don't help.
My experience has been different. I find that as I track and the person goes deeper, their Lizard seems to calm down. I believe the key is maintaining an attitude that they are completely okay and accepted.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you mirror them (explicitly or implicitly) and add what I call a Pull (an invitation to say more, Gentle Art of Pulling), and if you let them know you want to hear more, and are patient, you'll probably get it - at their rate of sharing.
I'll have to read more about Pulling. I wouldn't use that term to describe how I like to approach it though. I view it more as clearing a path for them to walk (or not as they choose). IRL at least, I find that many people are so unused to being listened to and validated that they are eager to share and even go more deeply into what they are feeling than they might have anticipated. If someone doesn't want to share, then I don't see it as my job to pull it out of them. If something seems to be bothering my wife, I would gently inquire about it, and leave the door open to talk about it, but if she wasn't ready to, I would validate that and let it be.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
And I remember my goals are to a) understand them explicitly (Validation) and fully, and b) help/guide them into more effective sharing/communication skills.
My goals are more modest - namely just (a). I think this is where our different perspectives might cause a difference in approaches. I don't see it as my job to help anyone else improve their communication skills - unless they have explicitly "hired" me to do so. For example, my wife once wanted help crafting a response to someone and she asked for my assistance - in essence she "hired" me for that particular job. When it was completed, my role as her facilitator likewise ended.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
My wife's favorite phrase for this was, "I don't know how to say this right, so let me say it wrong and then let's clear it up later." Kind of participative model of communication and of improving communication.
That's very cool! Maybe if I told my wife that she should be more like Al's wife.... grin

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Tis fun for me to split-hairs or get out that damn microscope with a good fellow traveler. Thanks, Fddl3. I hope others enjoy this sharing.
Thank you Al - I very much enjoy our exchanges and always learn a lot. I very much appreciate all the thought and effort you have put into this important area.


I so enjoy reading you all. Lizzy likes you both, but confronted IRL would be spitting and hissing like mad. Too clinical and you know too much. I would spend at least half the time trying to figure out which box each of you would put me In.

Last edited by LadyGrey; 06/17/11 04:50 AM.

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #122356
06/17/11 01:28 PM
06/17/11 01:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
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Don Quixote Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Lizzy likes the US Mail, an oft overlooked resource in my opinion. I wish all the faithful husbands on this site would periodically use this resource.

Mail is not like email or texts or voice mail - it doesn't COMMAND a response.

Send her a funny card. No biggie.

The BEST funny cards are at car washes. Little known fact.

I have ideas after that, but try that one first.

I knew when I saw the new member that Edmond Dantes and Don Quixote would end up in the same sub forum.


I like it because its also a little unexpected. Even if nothing comes of it was well worth the tip of where to get the best cards lol.

Haha... Yes I was lead right to this white board so I read through this thread first before registering. I guess I may have had literary figures on my mind from it. Plus, I feel like I'm fighting windmills sometimes so it just seemed to fit.


"Become the change you want to see in the world"
--Gandhi
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Don Quixote] #122380
06/17/11 02:23 PM
06/17/11 02:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
Hi, This is my first post on here.

Glad you are here. Lots of nice people. I also like your handle. Got an old drawing of Don Q and Sancho P on my wall, here - must be a Picasso. I always identified with Sancho's donkey.

To your question. I'm looking for clues to you moving forward.
Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
She told me we were still best friends but didn't want to be with me which doesn't make sense but i know everybody makes sense (just not to my brain).
You not knowing what is going on insider of her makes me think that you may have a lot to learn about Empathy, Skills of. Take your time on this cuz really talented people are raised that way and learn it bit by bit over 10 years.

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
The one time I did contact her after our break she said she doesn't want anything from anybody including me.
That makes me think of an Avoider taking care of her self. (Better learn about Reliable Membership: Topic 2 here.) They need lots of space, but still need contact a bit.

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
I have read on your site that the childhood has a lot to do with the way people treat relationships. Her father has been married 3 times and her mother didn't have a regular boyfriend until she was out of the house. I wonder sometimes whether the fact that her father divorced her mother when she was so young had a negative impact on her idea of vintage love.
I doubt it damaged her idea/dream of Vintage Love. That seems buried in everyone, nice and solidly. Her history might have made the dream seem more elusive and impossible to obtain, and might have given her a lot of dysfunctional skills toward getting it. Might have made her doubt that anyone else would work with her to get it.

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
We were set to move in together. I think this may have scared her lizard.
Sure, if that moving together began to appear like a trap.

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
Do you just wait? or can I call her again. Even if it scares her lizard a little bit maybe I can calm it down. Is there any particular way you handle someone who was hurt by this kind of thing when they were a kid?
I think you gently contact until you decide to go elsewhere or she clearly tells you to not contact her at all and you believe her.

But then, how to contact her. My bit on What do to when she leaves is good. Also When to Fold 'Em has good clues on how. I think "no contact" is not wise. On the other hand too much isn't wise either.

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
Like maybe show them more love in order to make up for the abandonment she felt early on? sometimes I think I need to show her I don't give up easily.
Well, how many of these gals do you need? Only one. Only have to figure out this one. If she's an avoider one way to show love is to make sure she has enough space - coming from your hands.

Good luck.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Don Quixote] #122415
06/17/11 03:17 PM
06/17/11 03:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,219
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Fiddler  Offline
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Monterey, CA
Welcome to Marriage Advocates Don Quixote! Hopefully your quest will not turn out to be Quixotic (to coin a phrase)).

Landing on one of Al's threads is one of the best places to be in my opinion. smile There is much to be learned from his wisdom and experience. Keep coming back!

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
My question is about contacting the ex. If the romantic love has ended how can you contact with out pushing?
So you are still hoping that you will be able to rebuild an intimate relationship with her. And something has given you the impression that she would be open to that possibility.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #122418
06/17/11 03:26 PM
06/17/11 03:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,219
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Fiddler  Offline
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Monterey, CA
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I so enjoy reading you all.
smile Likewise Ms. Grey!

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Lizzy likes you both, but confronted IRL would be spitting and hissing like mad. Too clinical and you know too much. I would spend at least half the time trying to figure out which box each of you would put me In.
Can't speak for myself - but something gives you the impression that Al wouldn't be able to keep Lizzy calm. (I think he would)

I enjoy dissecting conversations and thoughts about validation, et al, with folk with an interest and skill, especially masters (like Al). The actual conversations are anything but clinical, at least in my experience. It might be like the difference between working on how to swing a golf club versus actually taking the swing. I myself find that there is a "zone" I get into when validating someone and it gets deep. This is a place where both lizards not only feel "safe" but play and frolic.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #122420
06/17/11 03:29 PM
06/17/11 03:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
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Don Quixote Offline
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Thank you Al, this has been by far the most sensible guidance I have gotten. The other forum which I was looking through told everybody to just move on and contact will just make you seem weak and unattractive. While on some level I get that (being a clinger is not attractive) it didn't seem like it made anything better. Seems more like a convenient way to not get hurt anymore. But that's not my goal, the hurt already happened. My goal is to have vintage love. Thanks again and I'll certainly spend some time with those articles you suggested.



"Become the change you want to see in the world"
--Gandhi
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #122426
06/17/11 03:37 PM
06/17/11 03:37 PM
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Don Quixote Offline
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Originally Posted By: fddlr3
Welcome to Marriage Advocates Don Quixote! Hopefully your quest will not turn out to be Quixotic (to coin a phrase)).

Landing on one of Al's threads is one of the best places to be in my opinion. smile There is much to be learned from his wisdom and experience. Keep coming back!

So you are still hoping that you will be able to rebuild an intimate relationship with her. And something has given you the impression that she would be open to that possibility.


Thanks good to be here. Yes, when I did talk to her the one time on the phone I told her I was willing to work on the relationship and I was hoping she would (Now I realized I pushed too hard). She said maybe at some point but she just doesn't feel like being in any kind of relationship right now with me or anyone. I was pressing her for a decision, not good. I think there was something inside of her that wanted to but just couldn't right now. Another emotion seemed to be stronger stronger. Something else she said in that conversation is that she felt more like herself since breaking up (this was about 3 weeks after). I should have followed that up with pull as to why? After reading Al's articles I realize made a lot of mistakes.

Last edited by Don Quixote; 06/17/11 03:38 PM.

"Become the change you want to see in the world"
--Gandhi
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Don Quixote] #122450
06/17/11 04:11 PM
06/17/11 04:11 PM
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Monterey, CA
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You are recognizing that pushing to get back together at that point might have pushed her farther away, and in that conversation you were also seeing signs that she might be open to a relationship at some point.

Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
After reading Al's articles I realize made a lot of mistakes.
Well, speaking as one who has never made misteaks... wink There is much to be learned from Al's articles, and one of the nice things about learning to become more effective is there are always more opportunities to apply improved skills.

Perhaps you are figuring out what your next move is.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Don Quixote] #122461
06/17/11 04:30 PM
06/17/11 04:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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2long Offline
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Originally Posted By: Don Quixote
The other forum which I was looking through told everybody to just move on and contact will just make you seem weak and unattractive.


Originally Posted By: The Beatles, Hey Jude

And don't you know that it's a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder


Quote:
While on some level I get that (being a clinger is not attractive) it didn't seem like it made anything better. Seems more like a convenient way to not get hurt anymore.


It's also a fine line between self-protection and game-playing.

Quote:
But that's not my goal, the hurt already happened.


Yes! And moving forward with your healthy goals and Al's help is a good plan, in my view. [/quote]

-ol' 2long

Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #122584
06/17/11 07:20 PM
06/17/11 07:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I so enjoy reading you all. Lizzy likes you both, but confronted IRL would be spitting and hissing like mad. Too clinical and you know too much. I would spend at least half the time trying to figure out which box each of you would put me In.
Perhaps you confuse me with someone I wouldn't like. Ah well.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #123000
06/18/11 04:03 PM
06/18/11 04:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: EdmondDantes
I'd find your thoughts about what, if anything, your H could do that would make it easier for you to fill your life with colours bold and bright very, very helpful LadyGrey.

Is there a way he could show up that would help you feel safer with him?


I've been a lawyer and a mom and I was probably a better lawyer than I was a mom during those years.

Then I was a mom. And let me be crystal clear here: it has been my honor and my privilege to be my children's mother.

Now that role is drawing to a close.

You see, all of MY stories are THEIR stories. I don't have an experience independent of them. I am his wife and their mother and everyone knows me in reference to those roles. I go somewhere and meet someone new and invariably I am introduced as "LordGrey's wife or Daughter's mother", never the converse.

Mr. Dantes, when was the last time YOU were introduced as Mrs. Dantes's husband?

And how many times has the converse been true? And how many times were those introductions in the context of you introducing not your WIFE but your EMPLOYEE.

I went to the dreaded "Back to School Night" when my oldest was a sophomore. You know "Back to School Night" -- created so you will appreciate the rich learning environment the school is providing, but in actual fact you have to go or your kid will be complaining all year about how you couldn't POSSIBLY understand how INCREDIBLY boring the biology teacher is because you couldn't be bothered to go to "Back to School" night like all of the OTHER PARENTS so you couldn't possibly understand.

You go.

I walked in the 7 minute period six session late and the teacher took one look at me and said "Oh, you are Suzie's mother. Sit there." I said "yes, I'm Suzie's mother. It is a terrible shame I don't have a name of my own."

Are you with me ED? Your wife's work life centered around you in a subordinate position. I can just imagine what you were like to live with -- and I do NOT mean that as a criticism as I think you know.

But where did she end and you and your daughters begin?

For me, having an affair felt like I was scraping emotional play doh off of me -- I drew a LINE.

This is where you end and I begin -- right here, this line, this moment. Because see? I AM an autonomous human being. I DO have the power to decide. My children will be FINE because I will make sure of it.

What could he do?

Allow me to try and fail at things that are far outside his comfort zone.

Celebrate that I want to manifest my spirit in new and unexplored ways.

GET OUT OF MY WAY.



I'm grateful for this information LadyGrey. I believe my wife has had a similar experience. I think it's one of the reasons I was able to put my anger on a shelf when I learned of her affair and instead felt a great deal of compassion for her pain and distress.

I felt I understood her when she said she felt like an adjunct to my life and consumed with resentment for the sacrifices she made. She also told me that she didn't feel that I really wanted her, that she felt like a placeholder, someone who filled a role for me and the family. I've found it difficult to find a balance between giving her space and giving her so much space I simply confirmed that I didn't want her.

I've found that exercise even more challenging because of a phenomena you mentioned somewhere else, a kind of hypersensitivity on her part to anything I do. I get the impression that her assumptions about my feelings and the 'meaning' of my actions run very deep. I don't know how to communicate to her that I love her, that I can forgive her and that I want to build a better relationship with her without her assuming I just want her to 'get back in the box'.

Can you relate to this at all?

Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #123011
06/18/11 04:49 PM
06/18/11 04:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Edmond Dantes  Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Yes, though I would definitely consider another relationship with my wife in different circumstances.
I don't foresee anything changing for the better given her new living arrangements and I've decided it's better for me to let go, move on and make the most of the rest of my life.


A beautiful, clear description of the "normal hopelessness" that is the end to the Power Struggle for everyone, I believe. Tis the crux of the Map of Relationships. Three ways to go: Door #1, Door #2 or Door #3. Bummer of a place to be.

What do you plan to do, ED?


I'm struggling with this again, Al. I love my wife very much and I do think she's worth doing whatever I can to reach Vintage Love with.

My challenge is that she's about to move next door to her lover. Something that Janis Spring wrote in After the Affair resonated with me. She talks about the cognitive changes that happen in Romantic Love and describes them this way:

"When you fall in love, a perceptual distortion usually takes place, and you idealize the other person, assigning to him or her more positive attributes than any one person could actually possess. The object of your affection becomes beautiful, brilliant, stimulating, sensitive, and , above all else, the only one for you. It has been postulated that these distortions serve the evolutionary purpose of bonding partners together for the essential ask of child rearing. Whatever the reason, by exaggerating and selectively focusing on the positive attributes, while screening out the more questionable ones, you attach to your lover in incontestable ways that no long-term partner can compete with.

At the same time, you're likely to paint your partner in equally distorted, but negative terms, as a foil for your lover. Boring, constricted, joyless, critical- these are words with which you vilify your partner, and justify abandoning that person and attaching yourself to someone else."

I have been on the receiving end of this many times, to the point I would swear I could tell when they've been together because of the hostility with which she treated me.

Having said that she is being subtly but incontestably kinder to me recently. Unfortunately, like many former masters I suspect, I no longer have any faith in what she shows me. She has proven to be a very good actress and I suspect her change in approach is an attempt to manage me. That's on one side.

On the other is the perspective I took away from your article on how it only takes one to make a marriage. I see the sense in what you wrote there and it's possible some of the changes I've made have begun to change our dynamic somewhat.

I afraid to place any stock in my perceptions as long as she is in her lover's sphere of influence and yet I find it hard to walk away from my connection to her as long as there's the faintest hope.

The traditional approach seems to be that as long as there is contact between the spouse and even a former lover there is no basis to grow a new relationship with that partner. I'd be interested in your take on that challenge.

Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #123072
06/18/11 07:31 PM
06/18/11 07:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I have been on the receiving end of this many times, to the point I would swear I could tell when they've been together because of the hostility with which she treated me.
Yup. Me to. Happens when your kids move away from home and start talking with their friends and/lovers about "what a pig you are." Of course I earned some of this by being a bit of a pig. Didn't know better, but... there it is.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Having said that she is being subtly but incontestably kinder to me recently. Unfortunately, like many former masters I suspect, I no longer have any faith in what she shows me. She has proven to be a very good actress and I suspect her change in approach is an attempt to manage me. That's on one side.
I hope you realize how much evolved thought this is for an aging Master. You get to realized how much your partner consciously or unconsciously tries/tried to deceive you in order to survive (Lizard).

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
On the other is the perspective I took away from your article on how it only takes one to make a marriage. I see the sense in what you wrote there and it's possible some of the changes I've made have begun to change our dynamic somewhat.
Oh. Now you're in trouble. You read that article. smile

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I afraid to place any stock in my perceptions as long as she is in her lover's sphere of influence and yet I find it hard to walk away from my connection to her as long as there's the faintest hope.
Very wise of you I think. You've learned that you don't/can't trust her. AND you can feel a tiny bit of hope that someday you might and can do something to work in that direction. My guess.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The traditional approach..
is stupid, I think.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
seems to be that as long as there is contact between the spouse and even a former lover there is no basis to grow a new relationship with that partner. I'd be interested in your take on that challenge.
Well, you hear my view on the "tradition approach," I hope. I was never much of a guy who would blindly follow what other people suggested, especially when it shows signs of not working.

Here's my thoughts.

As long as your partner is in the Romantic soup, there is not much anyone can do - even therapists.

Before they went Romantic I think they were comparing you to "anyone else in the world" and noticed how much you 'sucked.'

When starting/entering the Romantic soup, they decide they have met Prince/Princess Charming, which they as sure as hell haven't. But they think they have.

Over time, as they get to know this person, they will go back to comparing the "[Bleep!]" they left behind (you) to the "[Bleep!]" they have (next door). (That may be potty-mouth, but those are the words I use to share this situation.)

Now, if you begin to appear in their life as an "[Bleep!]" who is aggressively learning to be a great partner, there is a significant chance they will "reconsider" and start coming back. (Of course someday they are going to have to grow up, too. But that's for later.) I've seen it happen over and over.

You can help her stay with this new guy and maybe leave him and jump to another, by remaining an active "[Bleep!]." She may believe that you aren't going to ever change. I wouldn't do it.

Any help?


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #123102
06/18/11 09:11 PM
06/18/11 09:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Edmond Dantes  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I have been on the receiving end of this many times, to the point I would swear I could tell when they've been together because of the hostility with which she treated me.
Yup. Me to. Happens when your kids move away from home and start talking with their friends and/lovers about "what a pig you are." Of course I earned some of this by being a bit of a pig. Didn't know better, but... there it is.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Having said that she is being subtly but incontestably kinder to me recently. Unfortunately, like many former masters I suspect, I no longer have any faith in what she shows me. She has proven to be a very good actress and I suspect her change in approach is an attempt to manage me. That's on one side.
I hope you realize how much evolved thought this is for an aging Master. You get to realized how much your partner consciously or unconsciously tries/tried to deceive you in order to survive (Lizard).

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
On the other is the perspective I took away from your article on how it only takes one to make a marriage. I see the sense in what you wrote there and it's possible some of the changes I've made have begun to change our dynamic somewhat.
Oh. Now you're in trouble. You read that article. smile

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I afraid to place any stock in my perceptions as long as she is in her lover's sphere of influence and yet I find it hard to walk away from my connection to her as long as there's the faintest hope.
Very wise of you I think. You've learned that you don't/can't trust her. AND you can feel a tiny bit of hope that someday you might and can do something to work in that direction. My guess.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The traditional approach..
is stupid, I think.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
seems to be that as long as there is contact between the spouse and even a former lover there is no basis to grow a new relationship with that partner. I'd be interested in your take on that challenge.
Well, you hear my view on the "tradition approach," I hope. I was never much of a guy who would blindly follow what other people suggested, especially when it shows signs of not working.

Here's my thoughts.

As long as your partner is in the Romantic soup, there is not much anyone can do - even therapists.

Before they went Romantic I think they were comparing you to "anyone else in the world" and noticed how much you 'sucked.'

When starting/entering the Romantic soup, they decide they have met Prince/Princess Charming, which they as sure as hell haven't. But they think they have.

Over time, as they get to know this person, they will go back to comparing the "[Bleep!]" they left behind (you) to the "[Bleep!]" they have (next door). (That may be potty-mouth, but those are the words I use to share this situation.)

Now, if you begin to appear in their life as an "[Bleep!]" who is aggressively learning to be a great partner, there is a significant chance they will "reconsider" and start coming back. (Of course someday they are going to have to grow up, too. But that's for later.) I've seen it happen over and over.

You can help her stay with this new guy and maybe leave him and jump to another, by remaining an active "[Bleep!]." She may believe that you aren't going to ever change. I wouldn't do it.

Any help?


Yes, that does help, Al. Thank you.

I don't know where I'm going to find the strength to keep my own Lizard feeling safe around her new place but I tend to be one of those ["Beeps"] who doesn't think any challenge is beyond him with the right help.

Perhaps I can convince myself that one day she will realise how much I've had to discipline myself to show some grace under pressure and maybe that knowledge will help her Lizard to relax around me and try out some honesty. And if she never does, perhaps I'll grow from the effort anyway.

Seems awfully risky to my Lizard though, I imagine I could emerge either a pretty cool guy or a pulpy, bloodied damaged mess.

How do I learn to keep my Lizard cool when it knows I'm deliberately taking on something that feels so unsafe, Al?

Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #123127
06/18/11 10:56 PM
06/18/11 10:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
How do I learn to keep my Lizard cool when it knows I'm deliberately taking on something that feels so unsafe, Al?
Right. Great question. Back to Topic #1 for you. I've been there hundreds of times.

Perhaps the clue is that you use your cortex to keep your Lizard safe. Do not depend on outsiders to take care of your lizard.

What is the name you gave to her Lizard?


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #123138
06/18/11 11:49 PM
06/18/11 11:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Edmond Dantes  Offline
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Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


Perhaps the clue is that you use your cortex to keep your Lizard safe. Do not depend on outsiders to take care of your lizard.



I have been enjoying finally really getting this. I find a nice quiet confidence comes with the knowledge that I can manage my stuff.

One thing that concerns me is the idea that there might be something a little disrespectful built into the attempt to calm and soothe my partner's Lizard. I don't want to be manipulative. It's a bad habit of mine as a controlling Clinger and I'm on a quest to be more honest and authentic as well as less needy. Sometimes I feel as though I need to be extremely focused on keeping her Lizard calm and it feels a little hard to keep clear on the boundaries between her stuff and my stuff when I'm really trying to manage both.

I'd like to be honest and respectful and not treat her as though she's a patient whose emotions require caretaking. Especially when enmeshment has been an issue for us. Is there anything you could share that might help me expand my perspective?

P.s

I actually haven't given my wife's Lizard it's own name yet. I'd like to think about it a bit. I like the shorthand that the term gives me but part of me resists the idea of giving specific names to aspects of her personality. I might not settle on that view but I see it on the horizon and I want to examine how I feel about it sometime. smile


Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #123152
06/19/11 01:35 AM
06/19/11 01:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'd like to be honest and respectful and not treat her as though she's a patient whose emotions require caretaking.
Besides you ain't even qualified to handle your own yet reliably, me thinks. So just be open about it. I did. "I am going to work to become a source of safety to your Lizard."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I actually haven't given my wife's Lizard it's own name yet. I'd like to think about it a bit. I like the shorthand that the term gives me but part of me resists the idea of giving specific names to aspects of her personality.
Yeah. Now that I think more of it, I think it might be better to ask her what she names her Lizard and use that name. Once you got an "agreed upon" name, you can say things like, "I'm going for a walk and take Mongo out for about an hour. Is there anything I can do for Jenny? help her feel more relaxed?"

The reason I wanted a name for her's was so that you could be more in contact that what you do to make your Mongo feel safer may complete trash her Jenny. Need a better solution for Mongo.

Last edited by AlTurtle; 06/19/11 01:37 AM. Reason: Added reason for name.

Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6: "Romantic Love Ends" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #123156
06/19/11 02:07 AM
06/19/11 02:07 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Edmond Dantes  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'd like to be honest and respectful and not treat her as though she's a patient whose emotions require caretaking.
Besides you ain't even qualified to handle your own yet reliably, me thinks. So just be open about it. I did. "I am going to work to become a source of safety to your Lizard."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I actually haven't given my wife's Lizard it's own name yet. I'd like to think about it a bit. I like the shorthand that the term gives me but part of me resists the idea of giving specific names to aspects of her personality.
Yeah. Now that I think more of it, I think it might be better to ask her what she names her Lizard and use that name. Once you got an "agreed upon" name, you can say things like, "I'm going for a walk and take Mongo out for about an hour. Is there anything I can do for Jenny? help her feel more relaxed?"

The reason I wanted a name for her's was so that you could be more in contact that what you do to make your Mongo feel safer may complete trash her Jenny. Need a better solution for Mongo.


I think you're right about my qualifications smile

I see what you mean about the Lizard names. I think it's good information to remember that sometimes what's calming me down may be freaking her out. I'll be on the look out for neutral strategies.

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