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Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138184
07/22/11 01:33 AM
07/22/11 01:33 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
Lil Offline

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self edited. not worth it

Last edited by lildoggie; 07/22/11 01:40 AM. Reason: blar

AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138185
07/22/11 01:36 AM
07/22/11 01:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
It has always been a concern of mine that my husband and I have hurt each other too much to re
Hello LG and Vittoria (love the name). I didn't know where to drop a bit in here, so I pulled out this line of your, LG. I found the same thought in Vittoria's post.

I think you are struggling with a clear word-crazy thingy. The word "hurt" seems very dangerous.

It can be used as an adjective where I think it works well. "I am hurting." "I am a specialist in hurt."

It can be used as a feeling where I think it works well. "I hurt." "I hurt a little." "I hurt a lot." (Feelings always have intensity.)

It can be used as a verb, where I think it is completely unsane. "I hurt you." "I've hurt husband." "If you say that it hurts me." I see this as such normal/common nonsense, that it is worth rejecting outright whenever you hear it, even if out of your own mouth. Hurt is a feeling, not a theory or a belief or a thought. You can't hurt people.

We had this sign up in our house for years to teach us to quit the common habit of blaming ourselves for someone else's hurt/pain or letting them blame us for their choice to hurt.



Just my beliefs.


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: Lil] #138191
07/22/11 01:46 AM
07/22/11 01:46 AM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Hello, lildoggie. Nice to have you join. Sounds like a whole pile of passion on your part. I started trying to see your points, beyond that you got wonderfully stirred by LG's post. Then I thought I would just wait a bit for your olde Lizard to calm a bit.

Anyway, welcome. This topic I set aside for words only cuz I think they can become quite a problem particularly in couples attempting to build a peaceful partnership.

Hang in there.


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] #138237
07/22/11 04:14 AM
07/22/11 04:14 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al
beyond that you got wonderfully stirred by LG's post


I think a few people here may be shocked both by what I have to say and the fact that I am allowed to say it.

I'm working on being honest in the cyber world in the face of those who would like to silence or punish me, in hopes I can then develop the tools to translate that to real life.

Because that is precisely what my husband does: tries to silence me by shaming (your heart is in such the wrong place that tearing your family apart is preferable), acting as judge, jury and executioner (anyone who thinks the way you do cant be trusted to protect the marriage so divorce), then, the coup de etat Your issues arent worth my attention, but I didnt say that so you cant call me on it (self edited. not worth it.)

The last was so classically LordGrey, I laughed. I may be one of the few unfaithful spouses in history who for many years seriously considered carrying around a VAR. I don't believe in the concept of gas lighting in marriageb between people with all of their faculties intact, but I also don't think one should have to record conversations so every discussion doesn't deteriorate into "no, I said X, not x". I am, believe it or not, sympathetic to those who characterize themselves as gas lightees.

Originally Posted By: Al
It can be used as a verb, where I think it is completely unsane. "I hurt you." "I've hurt husband." "If you say that it hurts me." I see this as such normal/common nonsense, that it is worth rejecting outright whenever you hear it, even if out of your own mouth. Hurt is a feeling, not a theory or a belief or a thought. You can't hurt people.


Im having a hard time with this because I do see hurt as a verb.

Are you saying hurt is shorthand for I did X that I can see caused you pain?

I'm coming to the realization that what I would have once categorized as hurt was in fact loss of trust/safety and what I thought was anger was really grief at that loss.

Words matter.

Last edited by crazed student; 07/22/11 10:35 AM. Reason: moderator discretion - CS

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138267
07/22/11 07:08 AM
07/22/11 07:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,407
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline
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So much anger in you LG.

It's almost like you are deliberately trying to wind people up. Get a reaction?

I feel very sad for the people around you IRL if that is the real you.

(I know the same has been said of me)


Married 22years (this year) ~13y since dday(?)
DD17 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138271
07/22/11 07:42 AM
07/22/11 07:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
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New Zealand
Lil Offline

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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
beyond that you got wonderfully stirred by LG's post


Lil deleted her post before I saw it, but I think a few people here may be shocked both by what I have to say and the fact that I am allowed to say it.

I'm working on being honest in the cyber world in the face of those who would like to silence or punish me, in hopes I can then develop the tools to translate that to real life.

The exchange with Vittoria and Lil was like a microcosm of the conflict with my husband.

Because that is precisely what my husband does: tries to silence me by shaming (your heart is in such the wrong place that tearing your family apart is preferable), acting as judge, jury and executioner (anyone who thinks the way you do cant be trusted to protect the marriage so divorce), then, the coup de etat Your issues arent worth my attention, but I didnt say that so you cant call me on it (self edited. not worth it.)

The last was so classically LordGrey, I laughed. I may be one of the few unfaithful spouses in history who for many years seriously considered carrying around a VAR. I don't believe in the concept of gas lighting in marriageb between people with all of their faculties intact, but I also don't think one should have to record conversations so every discussion doesn't deteriorate into "no, I said X, not x". I am, believe it or not, sympathetic to those who characterize themselves as gas lightees.

Originally Posted By: Al
It can be used as a verb, where I think it is completely unsane. "I hurt you." "I've hurt husband." "If you say that it hurts me." I see this as such normal/common nonsense, that it is worth rejecting outright whenever you hear it, even if out of your own mouth. Hurt is a feeling, not a theory or a belief or a thought. You can't hurt people.


Im having a hard time with this because I do see hurt as a verb.

Are you saying hurt is shorthand for I did X that I can see caused you pain?

I'm coming to the realization that what I would have once categorized as hurt was in fact loss of trust/safety and what I thought was anger was really grief at that loss.

Words matter.


Since as you say, you never saw my post, the attempt to relate anything I might write, to your marriage, is inappropriate and offensive.


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: Lil] #138295
07/22/11 01:11 PM
07/22/11 01:11 PM
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Vittoria Offline
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I'm short on time right now and will be gone for the day, plus our internet is acting up.
I wanted to pop a say to you Al that my intent was not to throw your thread off topic, I think trust is a great topic and a very important one.
I'm with LdG in not quite understanding (which is how I took her response) the bit on 'hurt' that she quoted from you.

LdG, I can have more dialogue with you about what you have posted to me, this is not the thread for that, IMO. It steers away from the topic at hand.



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] #138328
07/22/11 02:43 PM
07/22/11 02:43 PM
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Medc Offline
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Quote:
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.


What a sad and pathetic way to live a life.

Last edited by Medc; 07/22/11 02:51 PM.


Don't go shaking the [Bleep!] tree and expect an angel to fall out.

Liars lie and cheaters cheat...know it and don't be surprised. Protect yourself.

Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138365
07/22/11 03:59 PM
07/22/11 03:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think a few people here may be shocked both by what I have to say and the fact that I am allowed to say it.
People can be shocked by all sorts of things. Since we are looking at words, I think there are two kinds of "shocks": I was surprised (shocked) and a dramatic use like "how dare you." Sometimes they come at the same time. "I am surprised by what you say and don't want you to say it."

I believe that, at least in couples, the shock/surprised has a great value. One is shocked because one didn't expect the words you are hearing. This is a situation of moving from "being in the dark" to "now I have some idea of what you are thinking." So I see this kind of shock as a wise invitation to learn more, hear more. I think the general rule is to work to not be shocked/surprised by sharing lots and lots, withholding very little. Share it all => No surprises/shocks =>Safety ( Link to this topic)

The second form of shock/how-dare-you-say-that seems to me much more than problematic. Seems to lead to real trouble. I discourage it actively whether in others or by me. My general rule is I want everyone in my presence to share anything and I want to be prepared to listen to anything.

Lg, sounds as if you've lived in a world of suppressed communication. I was raised in one. No more, if I can help it.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'm working on being honest in the cyber world in the face of those who would like to silence or punish me, in hopes I can then develop the tools to translate that to real life.
Great. And it is quite a work in process, for me too. How do I share my truth in ways that doesn't trigger off the fear in others, the reactivity in others. I know I make sense, and I know they do to. I've been working on this for years. Sandra once said, "If you are going to share it all, and I want you to, could you do it nicely." Join the effort. ( Link to this story of how Sandra and I learned this lesson..

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Because that is precisely what my husband does: tries to silence me by shaming (your heart is in such the wrong place that tearing your family apart is preferable), acting as judge, jury and executioner (anyone who thinks the way you do cant be trusted to protect the marriage so divorce), then, the coup de etat Your issues arent worth my attention, but I didnt say that so you cant call me on it (self edited. not worth it.)
Yep. Gas lighting or not, those what I call "You messages" are a real challenge. As I was learning boundary skills, the word "You" at the beginning of someone's sentence would put my soldiers on alert. If the you was attached to a sentence that seemed to define me (You are a liar.), then my soldiers would roil out of their barracks, to the walls, to the walls, and fight to protect my space/my sanity. (Soldier references are to my paper on Boundaries for Individuals.) In a group meeting I recall someone delivering a "you are" message and in a quarter of second I was across the room, in his face, calmly with clenched teeth saying, "I will define myself, thank you." Scared him, everyone else, and me too. It was not planned. Felt damn good.

My suggestion is don't let this guy get away with this any more. No "You" messages allowed. Calm is good. Firm is good. Clear is good.

--------------------------------------------------
The next bit is a whole topic unto itself, I fear. The dangerous word "HURT."

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
It can be used as a verb, where I think it is completely unsane. "I hurt you." "I've hurt husband." "If you say that it hurts me." I see this as such normal/common nonsense, that it is worth rejecting outright whenever you hear it, even if out of your own mouth. Hurt is a feeling, not a theory or a belief or a thought. You can't hurt people.
Im having a hard time with this because I do see hurt as a verb. Are you saying hurt is shorthand for I did X that I can see caused you pain?


My goal has for years to bring about resolution of conflict and promote happy marriages. Thus I often look for word usages that lead to conflict and lead away from resolution of the problem at hand. The verb usage of the word "hurt" misleads everyone. And it is common.

Let's take the simple case. She says/thinks-out-loud to her husband, "You hurt me."

First thing we know is she's hurting, she's feeling pain, discomfort etc. Second thing we know is that he did or refrained from doing something. Her words try to connect the two events, which are really only connected in time. One happened close in time to the other.

Her words try to suggest a causality which is not present. His action was part of his validatable behavior. Her hurt is part of her validatable reaction. Her words attribute her reaction to his behavior. (This is nutso, in my opinion. Common but unsane.) I love blame when I attribute to someone something they are responsible for. I detest blame when I try to attribute to someone something they are not responsible for.

The dangerous part of this mis-attribution is that the person in pain remains passively waiting for the other to fix the problem. And the person who supplied the trigger (even with really good will and concern) cannot fix the problem, they cannot remove the reaction in the hurt person, and feels helpless. Often they feel manipulated and controlled by the "hurting person." (How many times have I heard the phrase, "Nothing I do is enough or works!") I find they sit in this painful mess all because of the verb use of the word "hurt."

To resolve this I/we use PreValidation and clear boundaries. The person who hurts really hurts, and their reaction makes sense to them. The person who did the triggering behavior was doing something that made sense to them. (They might even been trying to hurt their partner for some reasons. This hurts me more than it hurts you..stuff.) Whatever, the couple has to deal/resolve both issues - not just one.

I language this situation like this. "I did this because I wanted......, I see that you got hurt when I did that. I don't want you to hurt. I have lots of questions. What can I do to help you with your hurt? What can I do differently to get what I wanted that will not trigger hurt in you? But for now, you're hurting. So, what can I do right now that would help your pain?" Then listen, pick out a doable thing and do it. The focus is on the hurt person and the hurt person's responsibility for their hurt. And the triggering person and their responsibility for their actions.
Here's the critical article on this.



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: Squeaky Tree] #138377
07/22/11 04:37 PM
07/22/11 04:37 PM
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Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: staytogether
So much anger in you LG. It's almost like you are deliberately trying to wind people up. Get a reaction? I feel very sad for the people around you IRL if that is the real you. (I know the same has been said of me)
Hello, staytogether. Glad to have visiting my area.

Perhaps it is because I've spent so much of my life recovering from an angry family that denied anger, I love being pretty skilled recognizing anger - particularly held anger. Since anger is a normal result of frustration and probably everyone at MA or other online groups is frustrated, I am used to seeing everyone as either pissed off or close to it or just leaking it (passive aggression is so cool). I just expect it - anger.

Oh. and lots and lots of people provoke others. I think of all the women around Mr. Spock in Startrek that would try to provoke him to display emotions - which they would take as candid behavior. Pretty common. I, too, tend to love it when people lose their polite exteriors and display their beautiful raw selves.

Oh, and I have a different take on LG. I think the people around her in real life are very lucky to have her. (They may not agree.) Rebels are what made America. Love 'em.

Any, glad to see you 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: Lil] #138381
07/22/11 04:47 PM
07/22/11 04:47 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: lildoggie
Since as you say, you never saw my post, the attempt to relate anything I might write, to your marriage, is inappropriate and offensive.
Interesting reaction. What's up?

Personally I would always rather hear someone's thoughts or reactions than encourage them to hide 'em.

But while you are visiting, I'd like to add "inappropriate" to my list of complex words.

Actually it was "offense" or "offended" that started our, Sandra and my, learning about dangerous words. I think that particular word is really a barrel of monkeys. Mentioned it in the posting that started this thread.

Ah well.


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: Medc] #138385
07/22/11 04:50 PM
07/22/11 04:50 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Medc
What a sad and pathetic way to live a life.
Boy can that be said about an awful lot of people's ways of living life. I am sure that God looks down and weeps a lot.


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] #138403
07/22/11 05:11 PM
07/22/11 05:11 PM
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I am trying to follow these types of threads, but it's difficult for me nowadays because I keep getting distracted by IRL stuff. But I see so much that I'd like to comment on... but without reading every word of all the previous and post posts (lol!) it seems a lot of times my comments by the time I post them are completely irrelevant to where the convo has gone.

It's so hard to contribute in a meaningful manner with so many IRL distractions. frown It may be that I've only ever really contributed one time... and that was when lil was right in the midst of being a BW and fighting for her M.

I never bought into the "Kill And Torture All Wayward Spouses Forever, It Is All Their Fault, The Betrayed Spouse Never Has Any Faults" mentality. I never would encourage physical violence by a betrayed spouse on a wayward spouse. Although I can understand temporary insanity, I don't think dragging your cheating spouse out of a truck and beating him up is anything to brag about as if it's a badge of honor.

LdG, I'm not saying that mentality doesn't exist. I've seen it. It disgusts me. The cheering/backslaps/high-5s of abuse of power and physical violence and threats of physical violence of a guy who didn't care how much he hurt the BW of his WW's OM... or other uninvolved bystanders under his "employ"... resulting in jailtime...

But let me assure you, lildoggie DID NOT HAVE ANY SUCH ATTITUDE. While <unmentionable things that are now in the past and have been forgiven so don't need to be brought up> were going on, lil was trying to think of ways to meet the needs of a WS who had moved out. She was thinking of things to text that would meet the EN of Admiration. She was caring for the WS's loved one on his deathbed. She was trying her damndest to eliminate DJ's.

Lil has much more control over her lizard brain than have I.

LdG, I hear so much anger and hurt in your posts. I feel for you. And for your H. I haven't read everything about the lizard brain that's been posted here, but I'm familiar with the concept as it is used in general, and just IMHO it seems you are writing from your lizard brain... striking out in anger at... whom?

If none of this is relevant any longer (if it ever was), then just ignore.


42.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: Jayne241] #138486
07/22/11 08:34 PM
07/22/11 08:34 PM
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SFB Offline
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LG:

You posted this:
Originally Posted By: LG
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.


I have a question for you:

Could you EVER get over all the things that your Husband did to you?

It would seem, since the infidelity "can't ever be forgotten" that neither can his actions over the years towards you.

Who has to drop the weapons first?

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: SFB] #138488
07/22/11 08:38 PM
07/22/11 08:38 PM
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SFB Offline
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Lady:

Understand, that I was FULL of resentments and anger about all the things that my betrayed wife did to me for years. She was quite expert at the LB's and DJ's.

Then I tossed that little hand grenade of an affair into the marriage.

I worked on me. I even tried to help you over at MB.

Flamingo worked on herself. Maybe Mr LG isn't interested in working on himself. And that is his choice. Not a wise one for continuing a marriage, but his choice.

Sorry for your pain.

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: SFB] #138529
07/22/11 11:41 PM
07/22/11 11:41 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al
"If you are going to share it all, and I want you to, could you do it nicely." Join the effort.



Your point is well taken.

I started to post something earlier, but decided to take some time to search my heart and say something meaningful.

I was cavalier with the feelings of faithful spouse, those who post and those who lurk. I know how deeply words can wound, and even more so surrounding a matter of such intense pain. I put me first, my need to express my feelings however I darn well please, abusing the generosity of the site founders, ahead of everyone else. My choice of words was at times careless and at times mean spirited. I should have taken the time to express myself carefully and thoughtfully, mindful of how my words might be received.

Kindness really is the characteristic I value most highly, and some of my comments were definitely unkind. I examined my motives today, and I must admit to some degree I was lashing out, but I dont understand where that came from -- who I was lashing out at or why.

I sincerely apologize and I hope Vittoria, Lil, Chrisner and anyone else who experienced pain after reading my words will forgive me.

Im not trying to tap dance around responsibility with the wording of that last sentence Im trying to implement Als stuff.

Honest to goodness though I REALLY didnt mean to suggest there was anything fun about the experience of the unfaithful spouse.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #138608
07/23/11 04:49 AM
07/23/11 04:49 AM
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Jayne241 Offline
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*hugs*


42.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #138817
07/24/11 02:28 AM
07/24/11 02:28 AM
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Lil Offline

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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: lildoggie
Since as you say, you never saw my post, the attempt to relate anything I might write, to your marriage, is inappropriate and offensive.
Interesting reaction. What's up?

Personally I would always rather hear someone's thoughts or reactions than encourage them to hide 'em.

But while you are visiting, I'd like to add "inappropriate" to my list of complex words.

Actually it was "offense" or "offended" that started our, Sandra and my, learning about dangerous words. I think that particular word is really a barrel of monkeys. Mentioned it in the posting that started this thread.

Ah well.


As an apology has been made, it would be wrong to revisit. I can only apologise for the TJ my comments created.

Originally Posted By: Jayne
But let me assure you, lildoggie DID NOT HAVE ANY SUCH ATTITUDE. While <unmentionable things that are now in the past and have been forgiven so don't need to be brought up> were going on, lil was trying to think of ways to meet the needs of a WS who had moved out. She was thinking of things to text that would meet the EN of Admiration. She was caring for the WS's loved one on his deathbed. She was trying her damndest to eliminate DJ's.

Lil has much more control over her lizard brain than have I.
That was the sweetest thing I have seen about 'that' time. Just know that you were what helped my lizard stay calm, by your willingness to stay online with me when everyone else was asleep.



AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #139293
07/25/11 08:35 PM
07/25/11 08:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 242
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futureunknown Offline
Member
futureunknown  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 242
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
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.


I had a busy weekend, so just getting back to this now.

Thanks for your comments and insight LadyGrey. As I look back, I know my wife wasn't lying and manipulating purposely to hurt me. I'm sure in her state of mind, she was doing what she thought would protect us both from horrible fallout. Of course the better option to protect us both would have been to not have the affair at all!

When we were trying to reconcile, I thought I went at LEAST halfway out to meet her. I sincerely and significantly owned my part in the deterioration of our marriage. I demonstrated clear and consistent change in my own attitudes. I did not judge her, in fact, I made every effort to direct all my energy toward myself and our marriage, and I did not dwell on the affair. I told her that although living through everything was very painful, I was having a hard time seeing it as totally bad, since I had grown so much, and liked myself so much better now as a result. I thought I showed her a path to reconciliation and a much better marriage. She was very obvious in her returned feelings of attraction and respect for me. However, I could feel how she was holding back from coming out to meet me. She seemed absolutely stuck. She knew that for us to reconcile she had to own the destruction she caused, and show remorse, and she couldn't. To her, it meant rejecting everything that happened, and she wanted to hold onto the feeling that her affair was a good thing for her.

I don't think she was getting messages that I would never get over it. In fact, when I expressed reservations about our future, she was the one trying to convince me that we could make it through, that other people have done it, that someday it would be something we could talk about without reaction, that my family would get over it when they saw how great our marriage was, and how happy we were. I appreciated her optimism, but it seemed almost a continuation of her affair fantasy, except now it was a reconciliation fantasy.

Unfortunately, each time she would see a glimmer of the pain in me she would take another step back. I needed to show it to her, so I could tell whether she was going to offer me remorse for what she did, and feel safe with her again. Instead, I could tell it was driving her away. Finally, I asked her "If it was all so great, and you loved each other so much, why aren't you together?", and she answered without hesitation "Because he won't move here." Not "because he WOULDN'T move here", not "because it wasn't what I thought it was", not "because I realized I don't want to lose you and our family". Nope, she was still pining for him. I told her there was no point in continuing, and that it wasn't going to work. I got up to leave. She pulled me back and tried to explain it away. I just got more and more angry, and eventually said things like "If he loved you so much, why isn't he here?" and "He didn't love you, he was using you, and you threw yourself at him over and over." She got angry back and started blaming me with "You didn't make me feel loved." I told her she should figure out if she wants to be with him, and she said "How can I do that?" I said "That's not my problem", and I walked out. I saw her get in her car, and I softened a little and went over. She was crying. I said "I needed you to see that in me, if we have any chance at all." She was crying and told me to leave. The next day she said "You're angry, and you have the right to be angry, but I can't do this anymore. I'm done." Her walls were back up in full force. I said we should get divorced then. She agreed.

I beat myself up a lot about that night, but I've come to realize that if she couldn't hear my anger without immediately bailing on me, our reconciliation was doomed anyway. Makes me very sad, because there was a lot good between us.

Since then the walls between us have grown and grown, as we each armor up to get through this divorce.

Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #139855
07/27/11 03:07 PM
07/27/11 03:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
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LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
Professional Attorney
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
I posted my thoughts to futureunknown here.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 7b: "Learning Communication Skills - Words" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #140575
07/29/11 02:32 PM
07/29/11 02:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,069
2long Offline
member
2long  Offline
member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,069
I have 2 go away for the weekend (well, "want 2!"), so I haven't finished this thread yet. But I intend 2 download:

Quote:
That's why my paper It takes one to make a marriage.... was such fun to write.


and read it under a tall pine tree in the next 2ple of days!

-ol' 2long

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