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Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust #135477
07/15/11 06:48 PM
07/15/11 06:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
A couple of days ago I was seeing a couple I had worked with 5 years ago. One thing I noticed was how focused they were on each other's words. They seemed to be really listening and speaking with care. They didn't sound "normal" to me. They sounded "super-normal."

It got me to thinking about how important I believe it is to pay attention to the symbols (words) we use when we are trying to share our world with each other. And it gave me some satisfaction to think that my teaching sometimes helps people.

I noted recently on Marriage Advocates a strong discussion about "gas lighting". I skimmed the posting and enjoyed what people were learning and sharing. Someone then commented that they'd looked up the subject on my website and found no reference.

Sandra and I then had a chat about "gas lighting." We were first entranced by the old problem of whose definition are we dealing with. That is generally our first reaction to a specific word.

Quote:
We both recall that "words have no meanings. Only people have meanings. And people use words to try to share their meanings.

And we don't use that word/phrase (gas lighting) at all, even though we've seen the movie and stage play. On the other hand we obviously deal with the issue, so "why haven't I written about it" is a good question.

My first thought is that we're all dealing with one of those words that is based upon interpersonal confusion. The first word of this type we dealt, with a long time ago, was "offend" - as in "You offended me." or "I am offended." I think it took us several months (in what I call our Boundary Laboratory) to resolve our thinking about that word - "offend." And the resolution has been useful for lots of other words, too.

Here are my thoughts.

Al's first word principle: humans can easily make up words that do not refer to anything or which refer to complex thingies. The words we chose can help us think clearly or confuse us or in-between. (For examples: a) nouns often have the implication of permanence, while everything is really changing all the time; nouns are often used instead of adjectives and thus can imply that permanence where there is none.)

Al's second word principle: some words refer to a relational event or a trans-personal event. These are events which have one component in one person and different component in another person. Only if both events happen (in separate people) does the word seem relevant.

Al's second word corollary: If I am trying to avoid responsibility, I may use an interpersonal word as if it were a label for the other's behavior, only. If I am trying to take on guilt, I may use an interpersonal word as a label for my behavior, only.

I think there are lots of interpersonal words. I mention some: offend, judge, gas light, scare, push, but also validate or mirror, etc.

Examples: if I say something offensive (to some people) it may or may not bother or offend my listeners. Or I may say something I think is not offensive, and some listener may feel offended. If I think I am judging someone, they may or may not feel judged. If I try to gas light someone, they may feel amused. I may think I validated someone and they may feel misunderstood. I think there is a reliance on MasterTalk in the middle of all this. Friend-Friend straightens it all out, I believe.

Given the definition I see in the online postings, I fear the most common form of gas lighting is the way parents typically treat their young kids.

"Dad, you're mad at me!" wails the frightened kid. "No I am not, I love you," loudly replies the pissed off dad.

"Mom, do you love daddy?" "Of course," says Mom. "Why then are you yelling at him?"

"Grandma, I hate broccoli," says the kid. "No, you don't. You like your vegetables. You know they are good for you," replies the frustrated grandparent.

The problem in couples, with affairs or anything, just seems an extension of that childhood process.

I believe, good dialogical communication skills will straighten this out.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #135598
07/15/11 11:47 PM
07/15/11 11:47 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Quote:
I'd also be interested in hearing more (or being pointed to an article) about "offended". I experience similar kinds of words as having a double-edge - on the surface appearing to describe a feeling, and also containing an implied criticism (e.g. "I'm offended" = "You offended me" or "I feel judged" = "You judged me").
Here's an article a friend wrote and we put on my website. About your stuff and my fault.

Here's another on clarity in this area. This is pretty strong but valuable stuff.

Tis what I think and probably can help you see why this isn't much trouble for Sandra and I.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #135615
07/16/11 12:44 AM
07/16/11 12:44 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,219
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Great stuff Al - thank you!

These two short articles are rich in wisdom! I especially like the one-liner about chronic disobedience. And the approach to switch to "interview" mode upon hearing some of the key phrases is one I aspire to - sometimes successfully even!

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I believe, good dialogical communication skills will straighten this out.
This has been my experience - and the times when things have not been "straightened out" have inevitably been in part to my not being sufficiently skilled in communication. I see it as a 'win' anyway if I can use it as a learning experience.


"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 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: Fiddler] #136619
07/18/11 07:50 PM
07/18/11 07:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
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futureunknown Offline
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I understand your comparison to the way parents deal with kids sometimes, but that behavior doesn't have a destructive or inherently selfish component. It's just the way a tired or impatient parent will try to get their child to accept their will, presumably for the benefit of the child.

In an ironic twist, many years ago my wife pointed out to me a form of gas lighting I was guilty of with my young son, when he was a toddler. If I came in the room and sat down with a cookie hidden in my hand, and he smelled the cookie and came over looking for it, I'd sometimes playfully pretend like I had nothing. My wife said "Don't deceive him or he'll learn to doubt his senses and instincts." That was certainly gas lighting, but was harmless in intent. I understood what she was saying though, and I agreed and stopped doing it.

To those of us that have lived through wayward gas lighting, it is lying and manipulation, to allow the wayward partner to traverse the mine field they've constructed, to protect them, at the complete expense of the other partner. I'd almost consider it totally NOT interpersonal, because one partner has decided to remove themselves from the relationship, and is now acting completely in their own interests, though portraying themselves as still vested in and caring about the other partner. That's what is so ugly about wayward gas lighting, and why it completely destroys trust.

Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #136705
07/18/11 09:23 PM
07/18/11 09:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Dear futureunknown, Hi. Glad to have you drop by. I think this is a tricky issue.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
I understand your comparison to the way parents deal with kids sometimes, but that behavior doesn't have a destructive or inherently selfish component.
Maybe, maybe not.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
It's just the way a tired or impatient parent will try to get their child to accept their will, presumably for the benefit of the child.
I like to think of it that way. Unfortunately often I don't see that to be the case. Ah well. To me the behavior is similar either way.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
In an ironic twist, many years ago my wife pointed out to me a form of gas lighting I was guilty of with my young son, when he was a toddler. If I came in the room and sat down with a cookie hidden in my hand, and he smelled the cookie and came over looking for it, I'd sometimes playfully pretend like I had nothing. My wife said "Don't deceive him or he'll learn to doubt his senses and instincts." That was certainly gas lighting, but was harmless in intent. I understood what she was saying though, and I agreed and stopped doing it.
Great lesson. Like a lot of the ones I learned from. I think it points to the issues of "intent" vs "how it is interpreted." Which is what leads me to the label of "interpersonal".

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
To those of us that have lived through wayward gas lighting,
Wow. Pretty dramatic. I actually like that phrase "wayward gas lighting." I see it as a field of grass (broken glass?), a state that both people wander through. Lots of learning and pain.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
it is lying and manipulation,
Yup, that's the broken glass I am familiar with.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
to allow the wayward partner to traverse the mine field they've constructed, to protect them, at the complete expense of the other partner.
Not sure what you mean here. Who's allowing who to do what? The "Wayward partner" certainly is walking a wild path. So is the one who is watching this. So, I think it is wild for the "uninvolved" witnesses. Seems to me.

What is the "expense" part? Not sure what you are referring to. Sorry.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
I'd almost consider it totally NOT interpersonal,
I think you misread me. I think the word is an interpersonal word - has two simultaneous but different meanings. Oh well, the situation seems interpersonal also. Both seem a bit screwed.

By the way, the capitol "NOT" seems to me to be about your passion. Glad to hear it. Always glad to hear of passion/intensity.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
because one partner has decided to remove themselves from the relationship, and is now acting completely in their own interests, though portraying themselves as still vested in and caring about the other partner.
Yeah this is confusing for so many. I think it is easier to realized that everyone is always "acting in their own interests" so as not to be surprised when they seem to shift.

The trick I think is to become aware that the affairing behavior is, at least temporarily, in the interest of the affairing partner. And the stay at home behavior is in the interest of the stay at home partner. Now what. What next. That's the choices

Kind of like hiding the cookie behind your back and saying there was no cookie was in your interest and your kid wanted the cookie. (By the way, this sounded like simple teasing.)

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
That's what is so ugly about wayward gas lighting, and why it completely destroys trust.
I completely concur with that sentence, futureunknown, and hasten to add my firm belief, trust was long gone before the gas lighting appeared.

By the way, is it gas lighting if you are aware of it? Seems to me, a good gas lighter is never found out. Once it is found out, I suggest it is just the normal deception and self-deception that unsafe people perpetrate all the time.

Goal I think is to remove the unsafety from that field. Remove all the broken glass.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #137027
07/19/11 04:34 PM
07/19/11 04:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
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futureunknown Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
In an ironic twist, many years ago my wife pointed out to me a form of gas lighting I was guilty of with my young son, when he was a toddler. If I came in the room and sat down with a cookie hidden in my hand, and he smelled the cookie and came over looking for it, I'd sometimes playfully pretend like I had nothing. My wife said "Don't deceive him or he'll learn to doubt his senses and instincts." That was certainly gas lighting, but was harmless in intent. I understood what she was saying though, and I agreed and stopped doing it.
Great lesson. Like a lot of the ones I learned from. I think it points to the issues of "intent" vs "how it is interpreted." Which is what leads me to the label of "interpersonal".


I believe it was gas lighting, in that I was purposely deceiving my son and withholding information from him, which caused him to doubt if his own perception was correct. Of course in this case the intent was simply fun teasing, and the relationship was solidly one of love and trust.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
To those of us that have lived through wayward gas lighting,
Wow. Pretty dramatic. I actually like that phrase "wayward gas lighting." I see it as a field of grass (broken glass?), a state that both people wander through. Lots of learning and pain.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
it is lying and manipulation,
Yup, that's the broken glass I am familiar with.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
to allow the wayward partner to traverse the mine field they've constructed, to protect them, at the complete expense of the other partner.
Not sure what you mean here. Who's allowing who to do what? The "Wayward partner" certainly is walking a wild path. So is the one who is watching this. So, I think it is wild for the "uninvolved" witnesses. Seems to me.

What is the "expense" part? Not sure what you are referring to. Sorry.


The wayward partner has decided to deceive and manipulate in order to avoid consequences of their actions. They are allowing themselves that breach of trust. The expense paid by the stay at home partner is their right to decide for themselves if they want to stay in the relationship with a cheating partner.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
I'd almost consider it totally NOT interpersonal,
I think you misread me. I think the word is an interpersonal word - has two simultaneous but different meanings. Oh well, the situation seems interpersonal also. Both seem a bit screwed.

By the way, the capitol "NOT" seems to me to be about your passion. Glad to hear it. Always glad to hear of passion/intensity.


I do have passion about this topic. It deserves that.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
because one partner has decided to remove themselves from the relationship, and is now acting completely in their own interests, though portraying themselves as still vested in and caring about the other partner.
Yeah this is confusing for so many. I think it is easier to realized that everyone is always "acting in their own interests" so as not to be surprised when they seem to shift.

The trick I think is to become aware that the affairing behavior is, at least temporarily, in the interest of the affairing partner. And the stay at home behavior is in the interest of the stay at home partner. Now what. What next. That's the choices

Kind of like hiding the cookie behind your back and saying there was no cookie was in your interest and your kid wanted the cookie. (By the way, this sounded like simple teasing.)


Yes, everyone acts in their own interests. The change is that the stay at home partner still believes that both partners have significant common interests, where in reality the wayward partner has shifted interests to their own and their affair partner, but yet takes action to maintain the mistaken belief of the stay at home partner.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
That's what is so ugly about wayward gas lighting, and why it completely destroys trust.
I completely concur with that sentence, futureunknown, and hasten to add my firm belief, trust was long gone before the gas lighting appeared.

By the way, is it gas lighting if you are aware of it? Seems to me, a good gas lighter is never found out. Once it is found out, I suggest it is just the normal deception and self-deception that unsafe people perpetrate all the time.

Goal I think is to remove the unsafety from that field. Remove all the broken glass.


Gas lighting isn't just lying, so it's not like a good gas lighter can ever be perfect. The whole point is that gas lighting is needed to cause the stay at home partner to doubt their own perception of reality, once an inconsistency is revealed. The wayward partner must use gas lighting to maintain the illusion that the trust is still present in the marriage, as in "Honey, you KNOW I would never do that, so you MUST be mistaken."

Trust is definitely not gone long before gas lighting, or it wouldn't work at all. The wayward partner relies on the trust the stay at home partner still has in them. It's particularly ugly, because the trust isn't just betrayed, it's actively used against the one still believing it. Trust is an essential ingredient of gas lighting. One sided trust that is.

Once it's found out, the gas lighting can return whenever a measure of trust has been re-earned.

I have no idea how to remove all that broken glass. How can it ever be safe again?

Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #137616
07/20/11 08:11 PM
07/20/11 08:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: futureunknown
I believe it was gas lighting, in that I was purposely deceiving my son and withholding information from him, which caused him to doubt if his own perception was correct.
Yup. I hear you. Would it have been gas lighting if he had known you are going to tease him?

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
Of course in this case the intent was simply fun teasing, and the relationship was solidly one of love and trust.
I'm gonna take your word for this.


Originally Posted By: futureunknown
The wayward partner has decided to deceive and manipulate in order to avoid consequences of their actions. They are allowing themselves that breach of trust.
I think you and I are together on this. Someone is deceiving and that blows trust up.

I'm not sure what you refer to as a "breach of trust"? Is that a deception that is discovered?

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
The expense paid by the stay at home partner is their right to decide for themselves if they want to stay in the relationship with a cheating partner.
Ok so you think the expense is that the stay at home partner has to deal with the reality that they've got a deceiving partner? Does that mean it is less expensive to not know that your partner may, does and has deceived you?

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
I do have passion about this topic.
Yup. I'm guessing you've seen or experienced it - partnership deception, etc. So have I. I also have a lot of passion for the issue.


Yes, everyone acts in their own interests. The change is that the stay at home partner still believes that both partners have significant common interests, where in reality the wayward partner has shifted interests to their own and their affair partner, but yet takes action to maintain the mistaken belief of the stay at home partner.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
Gas lighting isn't just lying, so it's not like a good gas lighter can ever be perfect. The whole point is that gas lighting is needed to cause the stay at home partner to doubt their own perception of reality, once an inconsistency is revealed. The wayward partner must use gas lighting to maintain the illusion that the trust is still present in the marriage, as in "Honey, you KNOW I would never do that, so you MUST be mistaken."
Much clearer. So we start with a deluded (in someway blind-as-a-bat) stay at home partner, one who is believing in some untruth. Then the leaving partner does and says things that keeps the stay-at-home partner in their delusion. And this you call gas-lighting. Did I get that more clearly?

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
Trust is definitely not gone long before gas lighting, or it wouldn't work at all. The wayward partner relies on the trust the stay at home partner still has in them. It's particularly ugly, because the trust isn't just betrayed, it's actively used against the one still believing it. Trust is an essential ingredient of gas lighting. One sided trust that is.
More clear and more clear. The gullible blindness of the stay-at-home partner is then being fostered by the leaving partner. Betrayal is huge. Arrgh.

By the way, I see this situation very very differently than you seemm to. I would not use the word "trust" on the feelings of a gullible partner or a blind partner. I could say that before my partner did the things that woke me up, I was trusting her. But I don't think that observation very useful or helpful in what to do about that situation. My favorite phrase is "that before my wife did those things that woke me up, I was stupid." I was "trusting" when I shouldn't have, and she was not speaking up in spite of my opposition to her sharing. Here is a link to a short paper and graphic I use for this.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
Once it's found out, the gas lighting can return whenever a measure of trust has been re-earned.
Yup. Once you've found a way to bullshinola your partner, it's always there. Can be exploited again.

Oh and once you've found that you've been exploited, how do you ever feel trust again? (Seems a wise question.)

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
I have no idea how to remove all that broken glass. How can it ever be safe again?
Yup. Tis exactly the problem as I see it. Once trust is broken, then general doubt appears in everyone and no one wants to go back to being deluded or deceived. Great point.

Well, that's my job - how to take a couple where trust is in tatters and rebuild that trust. Done it, know how, wrote the book and wearing the coonskin cap. Takes work.

You may notice that almost all threads on my Whiteboard include "Building Trust" in the title. Pretty passionate guy, here.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #137619
07/20/11 08:16 PM
07/20/11 08:16 PM
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The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline
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Quote:
Given the definition I see in the online postings, I fear the most common form of gas lighting is the way parents typically treat their young kids.


Very true. Many parents and other adult caretakers of children attempt to define and create the child's world.

I can mention many from my own childhood, but the worst was love. It's a wonder I came out of my childhood with any positive idea of love. See, everything was done because it was a way of showing love for me.

I'll give an example. My father never said it this way, but this was the message, "I beat you with a belt until you have welts from your shoulders to your knees as a way of expressing my love." Then, the other adults in my family, "You know he only does that because he loves you."

Woah. Total mind-F. smile

When I was around 12, I remember asking, "Daddy, I love you, too, so when do I get to smack you with the belt?" I was more than a bit sarcastic, so that just earned me a few more lashes. Looking back, though, I'm proud of myself.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AntigoneRisen] #137625
07/20/11 08:25 PM
07/20/11 08:25 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Yup. I hear you. And kids are so exposed (alone, vulnerable) to this. Often no one around to say, "Hey, your dad is gas lighting you." Ow!

Part of growing up is becoming aware that anyone can do this and you have to be prepared to tell the gas lighters from the candid speakers - who you can't trust from those you can. Anyone want to add politicians, salespeople, lawyers, etc. etc!

I think a healthy relationship keeps moving toward more and more candid sharing.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #137630
07/20/11 08:43 PM
07/20/11 08:43 PM
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The Dark Side of the Moon
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Here's where your lizard is so crucial, though. My lizard is impervious to reason. It simply doesn't care about all your "reasons" or "explanations". It also was, and remains to this day, very damn sure that this was not safe and not love. Thanks, lizard, for keeping me grounded and sane. smile lizard

Those to throw in your list: marketing/advertisers. It's been this way for quite a long time. The goal is no longer to meet a natural demand that already exists. The idea is to create demand where there was none before. Thus, all marketing that you see is designed to convince you that you need something about which you previously had not thought. You certainly didn't sit around needing it.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AntigoneRisen] #137679
07/20/11 10:06 PM
07/20/11 10:06 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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I love that Lizard concept/metaphor. So simple to grasp, but so useful it dealing with reality/realities. Very useful in working with people who are trying to bamboozle me - my word for "gas lighting".

I love it when someone says, "You can trust me," and I can respond "Well, my lizard doesn't." I love it when someone says, "You don't believe that," and I turn around, look confused and ask, "Really, I don't believe what I am believing?!" Tis a great tool for dealing with MasterTalk, which I tend to believe is a first sign of "attempted bamboozlement."

Oh, I forgot to add "news commentators, spin doctors, political ads, advertisements, etc." to my list of people trying to get me to drop my view and adopt theirs.

Saw my wife reading a new book that seems all about combining advanced studies on the brain and the wisdom of the far east. Tis called "Buddha's Brain." Here's a link.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #137739
07/21/11 12:54 AM
07/21/11 12:54 AM
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The only way I know how to really avoid MasterTalk is to speak about my personal situation -- something I have vowed not to do. I'm working on my skills....

Originally Posted By: Al
trust was long gone before the gas lighting appeared.


Perhaps the unfaithful/fleeing spouse loses trust in the faithful/staying spouse first.

The unfaithful/fleeing spouse doesnt trust that the faithful/staying spouse would handle and/or address their issues in a healthy way, and, almost by definition, doesnt trust that a future with their spouse is in their best interests.

If the unfaithful spouse trusted their spouse, an affair could never get off the ground because the information surrounding the genesis of the affair would have been shared.

Committing to share with the faithful spouse any tug of attraction seems to me the most meaningful EP. I used to laugh about how I might not be able to trust my husband with much, but I was pretty sure I could trust him to keep me from another affair if he had the right info.

Originally Posted By: Al
To be a source of safety to your partner you must gently share new stuff.

Most people in our culture do not feel safe enough to share their inner workings, and thus they are careful about what they say. They selectively share. I think a foolish example of this is to share only nice things and keep awkward or negative things hidden. Sometimes this is called being polite.


And perhaps the receiving spouse has a corresponding obligation to NOT FLIP OUT about what is gently shared.

So, for example, if I were to tell my husband that I met someone who hit on me, he might be thankful for that information rather than enraged by it.

I see much infidelity advice discouraging the cultivation of honesty. MUCH more fun, not to mention dramatic, to catch that cheating spouse than to encourage the cheater to be forthcoming by consistently signaling safety over time. I dont think the affair partner stands much of a chance against a spouse who demonstrates emotional safety.

But emotional safety is my Holy Grail - others will have different priorities.

Originally Posted By: Future
though portraying themselves as still vested in and caring about the other partner.


I take issue with the tacit assumption that the unfaithful spouse doesnt care about their partner.

Originally Posted By: Al
Oh and once you've found that you've been exploited, how do you ever feel trust again?


Some unfaithful spouses have likewise been exploited unfaithful spouses have not cornered the lying and manipulation markets, however appealing that idea might be to the faithful side.

Originally Posted By: Al
Pot smoking results in people who have an almost impossible time sharing what is going on inside themselves.


Total threadjack here, but I ran across this clicking Als links. Explains why I got high and refused to talk to ANYONE every single day for quite some time after we separated.

There were no words my amorphous, all consuming rage was beyond the beyond.

Interesting.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #137779
07/21/11 01:57 AM
07/21/11 01:57 AM
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...
So good to hear from you, LG.
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
The only way I know how to really avoid MasterTalk is to speak about my personal situation -- something I have vowed not to do. I'm working on my skills....
Tis interesting observation. The one area where I can absolutely speak with authority is about my own personal experiencing. If I say, "I remember the pony ride yesterday." nobody can contradict me, "No you don't remember the pony ride yesterday." - sounds silly. So speaking of my self and my memories and my values, etc. seems utterly free from contradiction and correction and I can use MasterTalk all I want. I cannot tell you what you think, tho. AH well.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
trust was long gone before the gas lighting appeared.
Perhaps the unfaithful/fleeing spouse loses trust in the faithful/staying spouse first.
I think you got it.

One of the first WORDS I worked on was "trust". I remember thinking that so many people used it so sloppily (back in 1972) that I decided I wanted to find Al's definition for that word. Read a great book at the time called I think Trust which point out that Trust and Safety were the same word. "I trust you with my wallet" meant/was the same as "I feel safe with you holding my wallet." This definition, which I still use, really means "my lizard is currently relaxed with this situation." The word refers to the trustor not the trustee. "I feel safe with you" is the same as "I trust you."

When I refer to the trust going away in a couple, I am referring to unsafety rearing its ugly head. The unfaithful/fleeing partner ain't feeling safe with the faithful/staying spouse. That's why they think of Fleeing - unsafe behavior. The faithful/staying partner is not noticing that their partner feels unsafe. Somehow their lizard is numbed out to noticing that unsafety in their partner. When this pending disaster is present, I think that "safety" is gone and "trust is gone."

Mind you, the faithful/staying partner may be relaxed, their lizard feeling safe because they are blind to the clues all around them. I think they shouldn't be trusting, but they are. Lots of peculiar twisting going on in the faithful/staying partner, me thinks - but out of their awareness. Lemmings walking off a cliff?! Negligent/culpable and unaware. (Maybe pot or some other addiction to the rescue.)

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
The unfaithful/fleeing spouse doesnt trust that the faithful/staying spouse would handle and/or address their issues in a healthy way, and, almost by definition, doesnt trust that a future with their spouse is in their best interests.
Just a little further and more simple. The unfaithful/fleeing spouse doesn't feel safe with their thoughts and actions of how to make the relationship more safe for both. The unfaithful/fleeing partner has come to no longer trust in their or their partner's or their collective ability to make things better. The future with their partner looks unsafe. They think of fleeing. Since you are focusing on the inner working of the unfaithful/fleeing spouse, I think they do not trust/feel safe with their own abilities to make their relationship/home a safer place.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
If the unfaithful spouse trusted their spouse, an affair could never get off the ground because the information surrounding the genesis of the affair would have been shared.
Yep you got it. If they had felt safe they would have been working together on resolving lots and lots of issues long before an affair seemed a potential or last ditch solution.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Committing to share with the faithful spouse any tug of attraction seems to me the most meaningful EP. I used to laugh about how I might not be able to trust my husband with much, but I was pretty sure I could trust him to keep me from another affair if he had the right info.
Fun there. I think you came to a) trust/rely on the threatening habits of your partner and b) not trust your ability to positively deal with those behaviors in a way that led to more safety. Mind you your partner probably had no awareness of what was deeply going on in you. Blindness is fun.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
To be a source of safety to your partner you must gently share new stuff. Most people in our culture do not feel safe enough to share their inner workings, and thus they are careful about what they say. They selectively share. I think a foolish example of this is to share only nice things and keep awkward or negative things hidden. Sometimes this is called being polite.
And perhaps the receiving spouse has a corresponding obligation to NOT FLIP OUT about what is gently shared.
Well, I see this as more a joint operation. Flipping out is, to me, profoundly stupid in adults. I see it as the adult version of baby temper tantrums. I think it takes a community to produce temper tantrums: at least one person to do it, and another to let them get away without paying a heavy price. I am kinda hard core on this issue.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
So, for example, if I were to tell my husband that I met someone who hit on me, he might be thankful for that information rather than enraged by it.
I would focus on you in this situation being caught between two dorks. Your partner getting enraged sounds pretty similar to someone hitting you. I think you might develop a short/long range plan to become a dork-stopper.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I see much infidelity advice discouraging the cultivation of honesty. MUCH more fun, not to mention dramatic, to catch that cheating spouse than to encourage the cheater to be forthcoming by consistently signaling safety over time. I dont think the affair partner stands much of a chance against a spouse who demonstrates emotional safety.
I think I get what you are saying. There does seem to be more advice of the "let's beat the shinola out of the bad person" type. I don't advise it. But who the hell listens to me.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
But emotional safety is my Holy Grail...
and your lizard and mine too. Tho I would add physical and emotional and psychic safety to your/my Holy Grail.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
Oh and once you've found that you've been exploited, how do you ever feel trust again?
Some unfaithful spouses have likewise been exploited unfaithful spouses have not cornered the lying and manipulation markets, however appealing that idea might be to the faithful side.
You got it. I would almost suggest that all unfaithful partners have felt exploited, too. Perhaps a little dramatic.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
Pot smoking results in people who have an almost impossible time sharing what is going on inside themselves.
Total threadjack here, but I ran across this clicking Als links. Explains why I got high and refused to talk to ANYONE every single day for quite some time after we separated. There were no words my amorphous, all consuming rage was beyond the beyond. Interesting.
Yeah. Probably a topic for another thread. Still it is an amusing observation of mine.

Hang in there LG. I think you got a lot to offer.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #137874
07/21/11 05:13 AM
07/21/11 05:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
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LadyGrey Offline
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Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: Al
I think I get what you are saying. There does seem to be more advice of the "let's beat the shinola out of the bad person" type. I don't advise it. But who the hell listens to me.


Yea, no one listens to me either. Periodically I decide to stop talking, then I dont.

Thats actually not what I was saying though.

The protocol is to be really nice to the unfaithful spouse, all the while collecting information to confirm the affair via computer keyloggers that, unbeknownst to the target, email all websites visited and the content of all emails and chats to the suspicious spouse, voice activated recorders hidden in the subjects car, gps systems, spy ware on cell phones to monitor text messages, semen detection kits to test womens underwear (!!!!), etc.

We have a Spying thread on this forum, complete with links for semen detection kits. Makes me want to vomit and/or sue someone and/or kill someone. I simply cannot imagine "hey, I ran the semen detection kit on your panties but I want to work things out." At some point, things are just too screwed up to fix.

Anyway, the way it works is that once all the spying stuff is in place and the faithful spouse has the goods, then, and ONLY then, the faithful spouse confronts the unfaithful spouse with the evidence while at the same time exposing, i.e. telling everyone known to man all family members, friends, bosses, co-workers, etc., about the affair under the theory that all those people will urge the unfaithful spouse to return to the marriage and offer support, but really to publicly punish and humiliate the unfaithful spouse to where 99% of them have no options, in particular the women.

As far as I can tell, their husbands continue on being absolute perfect asses with the encouragement of the forum, except now with the requisite ammo to keep the little lady in line (except she keeps leaving -- you go girl!), but I've only been reading on forums for a year.

The way it goes next is that, confronted with the goods and the fact that every single person in their life knows about the affair, the unfaithful spouse then capitulates and is invited to return to the marriage under certain conditions, one of which is passing a polygraph.

I cannot imagine how desperate one would have to be to submit to a polygraph, people who are presumably desperate enough to not hold the demanding party in utter contempt, at least not immediately.

One would think that anyone whose spouse has had an affair would have had to by necessity learned that certain things have a very long fuse, sometimes decades long. I can think of no more perfect revenge for the punishing humiliation of a polygraph and exposure than to have another affair a few years down the line, when trust has been established again, very, very carefully. If you humiliated the shinola out of your spouse by engaging in that nonsense because you COULD and you are reading this and it scares you, good.

In the interim, the humiliation beast MUST be fed. I'd think a polygraph would be a big chunk of meat to keep it quiet for a while, likely with all the other stuff, years.

Gee, where do I sign up for that program? Is there a waiting list? Fees involved?

At some point, things are simply too screwed up to fix. A recovery program that, due to its inflexibility, screws up a potentially fixable marriage to the point of unfixibility is not much of a recovery program.

I cannot imagine living for 12 seconds with someone who would do those things. It boggles my mind that ANYONE would be that desperate. I want to creates shelters so people don't have to put up with that stuff, but then again I didn't need my husband for ANYTHING.

I suppose if I sat down and thought about it for a while, I MIGHT could come up with a plan that is more likely to confirm to the unfaithful spouse that their husband/wife is utterly unworthy of trust with their emotional safety, but nothing springs to mind right off hand.

I find the protocol grotesque.

An alternative might be for the faithful spouse to become emotionally safe instead of becoming Columbo with a big mouth. Seems to me like a better use of energy long term. But not nearly as much fun.

The further I get away from the end of my affair, the more appalled I am by the protocol. Like feeding meningitis bacteria to a body infected with HIV.

Originally Posted By: Al
Since you are focusing on the inner working of the unfaithful/fleeing spouse, I think they do not trust/feel safe with their own abilities to make their relationship/home a safer place.


Exactly right.

Eroding my trust in myself was NOT HELPFUL.

I remember the night he found out about the affair, he wanted to talk about it and I wanted to pack.

I totally didnt care. He had it coming. I doubt my heart rate went up.

He said come back in here and sit down and I turned around, walked back to go sit down and then it hit me.

I dont ever have to do anything you tell me to do, EVER again! I was GIDDY laughing, so much weight off my shoulders I thought I could lift off and fly. I literally danced out of the room. Literally.

Safe at last.

Even today, well over a year later, I view that moment as one of the top 5 moments of my life and I have three kids, so only two top moments are left.

I cant imagine it will ever be dislodged from the top 5 list.

I get SO TIRED of hearing about all the woes of the always-innocent-of-any-wrongdoing, victim of the most heinous crime known to man, gas-lightee faithful spouse who couldnt POSSIBLY have been a factor in their scum bag spouses decision to, one way or another, walk away.

Poppycock.

Between gas lighting (I ignore MY reality in favor of yours so I can continue to feel OK) and fog-babble (I ignore YOUR reality in favor of mine so I can continue to feel OK), it seems the faithful spouse has the full complement of tools to abdicate all responsibility across the board.

I could never maintain that level of self-deception and self pity because I am always the first person I throw under the bus, and, more importantly, I am very easily bored.


Last edited by LadyGrey; 07/21/11 05:21 AM.

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #137941
07/21/11 02:11 PM
07/21/11 02:11 PM
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futureunknown Offline
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Quote:

Ok so you think the expense is that the stay at home partner has to deal with the reality that they've got a deceiving partner? Does that mean it is less expensive to not know that your partner may, does and has deceived you?


No, the expense is that the choice is taken from the stay at home partner. If the affairing partner finds themselves wanting to pursue someone else, they could be honest and tell the stay at home partner. Then the stay at home partner has a choice to either stay in the marriage with an unfaithful spouse, or leave the marriage. When the affairing partner lies and manipulates to prevent the stay at home partner from knowing the truth, the choice is taken from them.

Quote:

So we start with a deluded (in someway blind-as-a-bat) stay at home partner, one who is believing in some untruth. Then the leaving partner does and says things that keeps the stay-at-home partner in their delusion. And this you call gas-lighting. Did I get that more clearly?


Exactly. That is what I'd call gas lighting.

Quote:

By the way, I see this situation very very differently than you seemm to. I would not use the word "trust" on the feelings of a gullible partner or a blind partner. I could say that before my partner did the things that woke me up, I was trusting her. But I don't think that observation very useful or helpful in what to do about that situation. My favorite phrase is "that before my wife did those things that woke me up, I was stupid." I was "trusting" when I shouldn't have, and she was not speaking up in spite of my opposition to her sharing.


Actually, I agree with you. Whereas there is a component of trust still present in the stay at home partner, at some point it looks more like "hope". As I think back, that's more what it felt like. I "hoped" my wife was being honest, but true trust was minimal. Eventually the trust withered to the point where I checked up on a story she told me, and found out the truth.

Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #137959
07/21/11 02:54 PM
07/21/11 02:54 PM
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futureunknown Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
I think I get what you are saying. There does seem to be more advice of the "let's beat the shinola out of the bad person" type. I don't advise it. But who the hell listens to me.


Yea, no one listens to me either. Periodically I decide to stop talking, then I dont.

Thats actually not what I was saying though.

The protocol is to be really nice to the unfaithful spouse, all the while collecting information to confirm the affair via computer keyloggers that, unbeknownst to the target, email all websites visited and the content of all emails and chats to the suspicious spouse, voice activated recorders hidden in the subjects car, gps systems, spy ware on cell phones to monitor text messages, semen detection kits to test womens underwear (!!!!), etc.

We have a Spying thread on this forum, complete with links for semen detection kits. Makes me want to vomit and/or sue someone and/or kill someone. I simply cannot imagine "hey, I ran the semen detection kit on your panties but I want to work things out." At some point, things are just too screwed up to fix.

Anyway, the way it works is that once all the spying stuff is in place and the faithful spouse has the goods, then, and ONLY then, the faithful spouse confronts the unfaithful spouse with the evidence while at the same time exposing, i.e. telling everyone known to man all family members, friends, bosses, co-workers, etc., about the affair under the theory that all those people will urge the unfaithful spouse to return to the marriage and offer support, but really to publicly punish and humiliate the unfaithful spouse to where 99% of them have no options, in particular the women.

As far as I can tell, their husbands continue on being absolute perfect asses with the encouragement of the forum, except now with the requisite ammo to keep the little lady in line (except she keeps leaving -- you go girl!), but I've only been reading on forums for a year.

The way it goes next is that, confronted with the goods and the fact that every single person in their life knows about the affair, the unfaithful spouse then capitulates and is invited to return to the marriage under certain conditions, one of which is passing a polygraph.

I cannot imagine how desperate one would have to be to submit to a polygraph, people who are presumably desperate enough to not hold the demanding party in utter contempt, at least not immediately.

One would think that anyone whose spouse has had an affair would have had to by necessity learned that certain things have a very long fuse, sometimes decades long. I can think of no more perfect revenge for the punishing humiliation of a polygraph and exposure than to have another affair a few years down the line, when trust has been established again, very, very carefully. If you humiliated the shinola out of your spouse by engaging in that nonsense because you COULD and you are reading this and it scares you, good.

In the interim, the humiliation beast MUST be fed. I'd think a polygraph would be a big chunk of meat to keep it quiet for a while, likely with all the other stuff, years.

Gee, where do I sign up for that program? Is there a waiting list? Fees involved?

At some point, things are simply too screwed up to fix. A recovery program that, due to its inflexibility, screws up a potentially fixable marriage to the point of unfixibility is not much of a recovery program.

I cannot imagine living for 12 seconds with someone who would do those things. It boggles my mind that ANYONE would be that desperate. I want to creates shelters so people don't have to put up with that stuff, but then again I didn't need my husband for ANYTHING.

I suppose if I sat down and thought about it for a while, I MIGHT could come up with a plan that is more likely to confirm to the unfaithful spouse that their husband/wife is utterly unworthy of trust with their emotional safety, but nothing springs to mind right off hand.

I find the protocol grotesque.


For what it's worth, I'm glad you're here telling your side LadyGrey. I understand what you're saying, and I essentially agree. The hard core spying and exposure advice never sat too well with me. Would have been impossible for me anyway. The moment I found out about my wife's affair I was such an emotional wreck. The next time she saw me she knew something BIG was wrong. When I sat down with her and confronted her, she denied it, of course, but then I showed her what I found out, and her world of secrecy and lies was exposed.

Quote:

An alternative might be for the faithful spouse to become emotionally safe instead of becoming Columbo with a big mouth. Seems to me like a better use of energy long term. But not nearly as much fun.


That's exactly what I tried to do. In fact, I did it pretty well. It took a year, but when my wife's affair died, she reached out to me as someone safe. Unfortunately, she had such a fundamental conflict inside her about what she did. She felt in some ways like you describe, but she also knew she behaved in such a horrible manner that I don't think she felt I could ever truly forgive her. That prevented her from feeling fully safe with me. We were pursuing reconciliation, but the one and only time I expressed how angry and hurt I was over what she did, she bailed and said we need to get divorced. Our divorce is in progress, and it sucks big time, but to this day I don't believe she truly wants to get divorced. She feels there is no other choice.


Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #137992
07/21/11 05:02 PM
07/21/11 05:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
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LadyGrey Offline
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Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: futureofhope
When I sat down with her and confronted her, she denied it, of course, but then I showed her what I found out, and her world of secrecy and lies was exposed.


I'm so sorry you went through this. I do know that feeling of having your legs cut out from under you, although not in the infidelity context. You can't believe that what you are experiencing is actually happening. It's been five years and even now if I let myself go there, I get physically nauseated and weepy -- so I don't go there. crazy

I think sometimes people lie not for the sake of lying, but to buy time -- I know I do that sometimes. I've wondered whether some confrontations wouldn't have a better, more honest outcome if the faithful spouse laid out the facts, then said "let's talk about this tomorrow." I know the conventional wisdom is that that time would be used by the unfaithful spouse to concoct more lies, and I'm sure some would. But some wouldn't.

Originally Posted By: futurehopeful
We were pursuing reconciliation, but the one and only time I expressed how angry and hurt I was over what she did, she bailed and said we need to get divorced. Our divorce is in progress, and it sucks big time, but to this day I don't believe she truly wants to get divorced. She feels there is no other choice.


I think this is terribly sad and so unnecessary.

For me, it wasn't the anger that was the problem. Of course he was going to be mad! It was never knowing when it was going to bubble up and believing that I had no right/ability to do anything but take it.

I will tell you this: the message I got as the unfaithful spouse about forgiveness and rebuilding was overwhelmingly negative. For every one hopeful message, there are ten negative messages. "He'll never get over it" was a consistent message across the board as well as "recovery takes two to five years, at the end of which he isn't over it". I'm not just talking about forums -- I'm talking about books, websites and IRL people -- friends and family -- that I have discussed it with who uniformly told me that he'll never get over it so I need to cut my losses and divorce.

So your wife may be making the decision to divorce based upon messages of which you are understandably unaware. You would have no reason to tune into it. If you haven't read the "How to Return to the Marriage" guide directed at the unfaithful spouse in the Construction Zone, you might want to do so because it is reflective of the overall message sent and isn't exactly chock full of hopefulness. I wish it started with the healing power of regaining integrity and focused on empowering the unfaithful spouse from that foundation, but maybe that's not real world.

Then ask yourself whether you would sign up for that. Maybe that will give you some insight into her decision and a way to reach her.

There is a lot of discussion about the fear of the faithful spouse, and I have no doubt it is a terrifying place to be. But I'm not sure people understand how terrifying it is to be the unfaithful spouse. It seems your wife's decision is driven in part by fear. I'm wondering if you could validate that fear.

A divorce isn't over until it's over. I didn't consider reconciliation until the reality of divorce was staring me in the face.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #138025
07/21/11 06:38 PM
07/21/11 06:38 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: futureunknown
the expense is that the choice (to stay together - Al) is taken from the stay at home partner.
Yup. I remember a college kid a couple of years ago who yelled, "Its unfair! It took both of us, my boyfriend and I, to make this relationships. It's not fair that he can back out on his own without consulting me!" Yup. The normal conventional thinking has two parts: a) life should be fair and b) it takes two to make a marriage and one to make a divorce. That's why my paper It takes one to make a marriage.... was such fun to write.

Originally Posted By: futureunknown
If the affairing partner finds themselves wanting to pursue someone else, they could be honest and tell the stay at home partner. Then the stay at home partner has a choice to either stay in the marriage with an unfaithful spouse, or leave the marriage. When the affairing partner lies and manipulates to prevent the stay at home partner from knowing the truth, the choice is taken from them.
I am completely with you with the one addition. The stay at home partner has consciously or unconsciously participated with the affairing partner in building a relationship where deceit/lying is normal. I think they both built this mess and the "affair" is often the stay at home partner's first wakeup call.


Originally Posted By: futureunknown
Actually, I agree with you. Whereas there is a component of trust still present in the stay at home partner, at some point it looks more like "hope". As I think back, that's more what it felt like. I "hoped" my wife was being honest, but true trust was minimal. Eventually the trust withered to the point where I checked up on a story she told me, and found out the truth.
Yup. I tend to see this as a horrible tragedy in which the affairing partner is often a bit more aware of what is going on. A tragedy built for two (music). smile

Humans seem to be the only creatures that are designed to live for long times based on blind hope. Sad. frown


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #138026
07/21/11 06:42 PM
07/21/11 06:42 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: futureunknown
That's exactly what I tried to do. In fact, I did it pretty well. It took a year, but when my wife's affair died, she reached out to me as someone safe. Unfortunately, she had such a fundamental conflict inside her about what she did. She felt in some ways like you describe, but she also knew she behaved in such a horrible manner that I don't think she felt I could ever truly forgive her. That prevented her from feeling fully safe with me. We were pursuing reconciliation, but the one and only time I expressed how angry and hurt I was over what she did, she bailed and said we need to get divorced. Our divorce is in progress, and it sucks big time, but to this day I don't believe she truly wants to get divorced. She feels there is no other choice.
So sad. So close. Wonder why she believes there is not other choice. I think she certainly has lots.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138047
07/21/11 07:45 PM
07/21/11 07:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
A divorce isn't over until it's over. I didn't consider reconciliation until the reality of divorce was staring me in the face.
Great posting, LG. (How did we get going on this in this thread. Oh, yeah, "gas lighting." Well, I don't mind wherever this topic comes up.)

I wanted to add that "divorce" is another one of those interesting words.

Harville Hendrix talks a lot about the Invisible Divorce and that most marriages (90%!) could be described as being Invisible Divorces.

As you point out, the act of calling in lawyers sometimes wakes people up.

And me, I worked with a couple who were thinking of getting married. They were in their 60s. I asked about previous marriages and they each had had three previous marriages - to each other! They were still trying to do better.

To me the only real goal is the "waking up."


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #138116
07/21/11 10:20 PM
07/21/11 10:20 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: futurepeace
the one and only time I expressed how angry and hurt I was over what she did, she bailed and said we need to get divorced.


I've been mulling over the sense of this to your wife.

I learned the following in my family of origin:

Anger ---->Withdrawal of Love ---->Abandonment ---->I'm for sure going to die.

None of that "I'm mad at you but I still love you" nonsense.

My mother was deadly serious about it too -- she cut my brother out of our family when he married a woman of color. She told me I could have her or him at my wedding. I'm aware that as an adult, I'm not supposed to allow that sort of thing impact my thinking, but it does.

If I'm angry, I withdraw/abandon to beat him to the abandonment punch.

If he's angry, I withdraw/abandon to beat him to the abandonment punch.

I cannot tell you how many arguments culminated in me leaving the house, usually after some dramatic global pronouncement.

I can't seem to reprogram my brain to not skip from anger to "I'm going to die", or it is taking a ridiculously long time. I have this sinking feeling that boundaries are involved...

I think I'm called a "conflict avoider" which is in the world of infidelity forums a bad thing.

But it's a good thing for Lizzy.

I'm wondering if there were times in her life that your wife experienced anger as having catastrophic results and her response wasn't really about your anger -- I mean, realistically, she had to expect it -- it was about other times where having someone angry at her is associated with enormous pain and fear.

I'm also wondering if you consider your wife an empathetic person. For me, that has been perhaps the hardest thing of all. I tend to agree with Al that I am a specialist in pain with no skills to turn it off. To look directly and clear eyed at the pain I caused my husband is excruciating because I know. Maybe part of your wife's trepidation is because she doesn't want to see -- it's too much, and she feels powerless, not understanding that soothing that pain will heal her too.

Maybe some of the above will give you a handle on reaching her by validating, not fixing or arguing.

I have once again said too much. I just feel so badly for the husbands here that I see have indeed woken up, and their wives who are passing up the opportunity to heal and grow alongside the man they once loved to distraction.

Last edited by LadyGrey; 07/21/11 10:22 PM.

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138137
07/21/11 11:15 PM
07/21/11 11:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Vittoria Offline
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Vittoria  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
I think I get what you are saying. There does seem to be more advice of the "let's beat the shinola out of the bad person" type. I don't advise it. But who the hell listens to me.


Yea, no one listens to me either. Periodically I decide to stop talking, then I dont.

Thats actually not what I was saying though.

The protocol is to be really nice to the unfaithful spouse, all the while collecting information to confirm the affair via computer keyloggers that, unbeknownst to the target, email all websites visited and the content of all emails and chats to the suspicious spouse, voice activated recorders hidden in the subjects car, gps systems, spy ware on cell phones to monitor text messages, semen detection kits to test womens underwear (!!!!), etc.

We have a Spying thread on this forum, complete with links for semen detection kits. Makes me want to vomit and/or sue someone and/or kill someone. I simply cannot imagine "hey, I ran the semen detection kit on your panties but I want to work things out." At some point, things are just too screwed up to fix.

Anyway, the way it works is that once all the spying stuff is in place and the faithful spouse has the goods, then, and ONLY then, the faithful spouse confronts the unfaithful spouse with the evidence while at the same time exposing, i.e. telling everyone known to man all family members, friends, bosses, co-workers, etc., about the affair under the theory that all those people will urge the unfaithful spouse to return to the marriage and offer support, but really to publicly punish and humiliate the unfaithful spouse to where 99% of them have no options, in particular the women.

As far as I can tell, their husbands continue on being absolute perfect asses with the encouragement of the forum, except now with the requisite ammo to keep the little lady in line (except she keeps leaving -- you go girl!), but I've only been reading on forums for a year.

The way it goes next is that, confronted with the goods and the fact that every single person in their life knows about the affair, the unfaithful spouse then capitulates and is invited to return to the marriage under certain conditions, one of which is passing a polygraph.

I cannot imagine how desperate one would have to be to submit to a polygraph, people who are presumably desperate enough to not hold the demanding party in utter contempt, at least not immediately.

One would think that anyone whose spouse has had an affair would have had to by necessity learned that certain things have a very long fuse, sometimes decades long. I can think of no more perfect revenge for the punishing humiliation of a polygraph and exposure than to have another affair a few years down the line, when trust has been established again, very, very carefully. If you humiliated the shinola out of your spouse by engaging in that nonsense because you COULD and you are reading this and it scares you, good.

In the interim, the humiliation beast MUST be fed. I'd think a polygraph would be a big chunk of meat to keep it quiet for a while, likely with all the other stuff, years.

Gee, where do I sign up for that program? Is there a waiting list? Fees involved?

At some point, things are simply too screwed up to fix. A recovery program that, due to its inflexibility, screws up a potentially fixable marriage to the point of unfixibility is not much of a recovery program.

I cannot imagine living for 12 seconds with someone who would do those things. It boggles my mind that ANYONE would be that desperate. I want to creates shelters so people don't have to put up with that stuff, but then again I didn't need my husband for ANYTHING.

I suppose if I sat down and thought about it for a while, I MIGHT could come up with a plan that is more likely to confirm to the unfaithful spouse that their husband/wife is utterly unworthy of trust with their emotional safety, but nothing springs to mind right off hand.

I find the protocol grotesque.

An alternative might be for the faithful spouse to become emotionally safe instead of becoming Columbo with a big mouth. Seems to me like a better use of energy long term. But not nearly as much fun.

The further I get away from the end of my affair, the more appalled I am by the protocol. Like feeding meningitis bacteria to a body infected with HIV.

Originally Posted By: Al
Since you are focusing on the inner working of the unfaithful/fleeing spouse, I think they do not trust/feel safe with their own abilities to make their relationship/home a safer place.


Exactly right.

Eroding my trust in myself was NOT HELPFUL.

I remember the night he found out about the affair, he wanted to talk about it and I wanted to pack.

I totally didnt care. He had it coming. I doubt my heart rate went up.

He said come back in here and sit down and I turned around, walked back to go sit down and then it hit me.

I dont ever have to do anything you tell me to do, EVER again! I was GIDDY laughing, so much weight off my shoulders I thought I could lift off and fly. I literally danced out of the room. Literally.

Safe at last.

Even today, well over a year later, I view that moment as one of the top 5 moments of my life and I have three kids, so only two top moments are left.

I cant imagine it will ever be dislodged from the top 5 list.

I get SO TIRED of hearing about all the woes of the always-innocent-of-any-wrongdoing, victim of the most heinous crime known to man, gas-lightee faithful spouse who couldnt POSSIBLY have been a factor in their scum bag spouses decision to, one way or another, walk away.

Poppycock.

Between gas lighting (I ignore MY reality in favor of yours so I can continue to feel OK) and fog-babble (I ignore YOUR reality in favor of mine so I can continue to feel OK), it seems the faithful spouse has the full complement of tools to abdicate all responsibility across the board.

I could never maintain that level of self-deception and self pity because I am always the first person I throw under the bus, and, more importantly, I am very easily bored.


I think you are making a wise choice to divorce yourself from your M.
Had my H wrote anything close to your post above, we would have divorced also.

I also hope that your quoted post above, remains free from a fellow mod editing seeing that my post is based on every word you wrote.


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: Vittoria] #138148
07/21/11 11:51 PM
07/21/11 11:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
L
LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
Professional Attorney
L
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: Vittoria
my post is based on every word you wrote


I have no idea what posts you are talking about.

And I'm not a moderator.

Good to know your thoughts on me divorcing.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138152
07/22/11 12:10 AM
07/22/11 12:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
Vittoria Offline
Member
Vittoria  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,737
My mistake .... you're an Marriage Advocate 'Advocate'. I'd thought that you were a mod for your legal forum.

The post that I quoted LdG is the one I'm referring to. Had my H wrote that post as in those words being his thoughts toward me, I would not have trusted him to protect our M. I would have sought D. And the flip side is that if that is how he felt about how our journey has been, his goal to rebuild would not be what is in his heart.
I'm not for D, tearing families apart. If this had been our sitch, D would be the healthy choice for all involved.


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: Vittoria] #138178
07/22/11 12:53 AM
07/22/11 12:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
L
LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
Professional Attorney
L
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: Vittoria
My mistake .... you're an Marriage Advocate 'Advocate'. I'd thought that you were a mod for your legal forum.


Actually, you were right. I am so temperamentally unsuited to the role of moderator that I never thought of myself in those terms I think moderator is just a setting thing so I can edit content on the legal forum past the usual deadlines.

Originally Posted By: Vittoria
I also hope that your quoted post above, remains free from a fellow mod editing seeing that my post is based on every word you wrote.


Im unclear on why you were concerned that the events, feelings and opinions in the quoted post might be edited.

Im aware that my opinions and feelings will be unpopular, but I dont know that that is grounds for editing.

Perhaps you don't see how a glimpse into the unfiltered thoughts of an unfaithful/fleeing spouse be useful and would prefer they be edited.

Originally Posted By: Vittoria
Had my H wrote that post as in those words being his thoughts toward me, I would not have trusted him to protect our M. I would have sought D.


I am glad for your family that he didnt share similar feelings with you.

Originally Posted By: Vittoria
And the flip side is that if that is how he felt about how our journey has been, his goal to rebuild would not be what is in his heart.


The journey of your marriage was likely very different from mine.

It seems to me that acknowledging what happened in the marriage and being honest about how each spouse feels about their shared history would be indicative of a desire to rebuild. Otherwise, why bother.

Im not sure how to tell what is in someone elses heart.

Originally Posted By: Vittoria
I'm not for D, tearing families apart. If this had been our sitch, D would be the healthy choice for all involved.


I hear you. It has always been a concern of mine that my husband and I have hurt each other too much to re


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
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