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Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust #146180
08/14/11 08:38 PM
08/14/11 08:38 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Thanks to some friends here, I recollected that here at MA another group of individuals will show up.

Using my Map of Relationship can help people who show up in my office or who contact me. These are people who are in the Power Struggle for the most part. They are struggling with using tactics that don't achieve the kind of loving relationship they dream of (Biological Dream) and desire to achieve - Vintage Love. So I work with them to learn and apply Biological Dream skills.

But there is another group. Here's a quote from the summary part of my Map of Relationships, written 5 years ago.

Quote:
Change in my attitude
When I finally figured out the Map of Relationship I experienced a great attitude change. I now really like lovers. I used to make fun of puppy love or infatuation. But now I see young people fully alive to the potential of the Biological Dream. I tend to like the view through their eyes.

I now really like people who are getting a divorce. I used to think of them, and myself, as failures. But now I see them as people who are determined to make it to Vintage Love, and who are refusing to Give-Up. I like those who are learning, taking courses, studying and trying. They are on their way. People like Oprah are a great help. They are my allies.

Im not too happy with those whove chosen Door #2 those who Give-Up. Sadly they often discourage those who want Vintage Love. And yet, I see them as potential lovers, temporarily lost. I want them to awaken.

I love children. They are fully alive to the Biological Dream, though they may not know it. Their dreams are most wonderful.


I do not see couples in the Door #2 area very often in the office. Many who have been in the Giving Up area for some time do come in because some powerful event has disturbed their "stasis": an affair discovered, an incident involving the police, a sickness, etc. They are at the Choice Point (#1,#2, #3) and I can help.

But in the office I don't see people who wanna stay in Door #2. Now, these are the majority of couples out there. I see them in town, on vacation, in my family, in church - all over the place. They just aren't asking for relationship help.

But online I think they do show up. Here's the quote that reminded me of this.

Quote:
I think some people are just not cut out for intimacy. I've given up on Al's Biological Dream/Harley's State of Intimacy in favor of guarding my privacy and protecting my heart from more pain. Truth be told, I do not think "my reptilian brain" will ever permit the level of sharing those states contemplate.
This is a perfectly great expression of what I see as the tone of Door #2.

I think there is a fairly common line of conflict between those in Door #2 and all others on the Map. I recall speaking on the radio once with a person who was in #2, the show host, who vehemently denied that true love (i.e. Romantic Love in a lengthy relationship) was possible. "People just have to adjust to a life of getting along and give up the silly romance. Like I have." She seemed actually quite angry at me for "speaking of something that doesn't exist." Her radio show.

I have had many names for Door #2. Once I called it "Going Home" because I saw it as a kind of reproduction of the kind of marriage the couple's parents had. I've called if "Giving Up" to celebrate the decision made to give up fighting, struggling, learning about Vintage Love and the Biological Dream. Since it is characteristic of probably 9 out of 10 lengthy relationship, I've called it "the Normal American Marriage." No name has seemed suitable, so I have stayed with the awkward labeling involving Door #2.

From my Map of Relationships.
Quote:
Different from Power Struggle
And while we are looking at distinctions, you may be wondering what are differences between Door #2, Giving-Up, and the Power Struggle. In the Power Struggle, people are still trying to achieve Romantic Love. The motive of the conflicts, or the conflict-avoidance, are to bring about love. In the Power Struggle you see the cycle of violence: a romantic period, a more or less quiet build-up, and then an explosive or implosive confrontation aimed at returning to romance. Remember that principle is hurt em till they love you.

Behind Door #2, people have given up improving the situation and are just trying to survive. Giving-Up couples hurt em to maintain the status quo.


My point in bringing this up is to make sure Marriage Advocates and me make plenty of space for people who show up here and who are in Door #2. I find that giving them what I think is helpful toward Vintage Love or University of Life, may not be helpful to them at all. I want to respect them.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146252
08/15/11 12:33 AM
08/15/11 12:33 AM
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TC_Manhattan Offline
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Al, is it possible to have one party resigned to Door #2 (what I term 'a life of quiet desperation') while their partner is still in the power struggle phase?

Seeing my question in writing makes me think of the proverbial irresistable force meeting the immovable object.

How long can this go on? Seems the party that gave up does so to hold on to ($$) resources that would be lost in a divorce (or so they claim), while their partner still wants the whole enchilada, even though they can't seem to see that manipulation and control won't get them there, or even close.

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146253
08/15/11 12:36 AM
08/15/11 12:36 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al
What do you want?


What a silly question - to stop feeling scared of course.

Ain't happening.

The toll is being taken - I take drugs for depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, waking up and going to sleep.

I'll give you an example of the kinds of conversations I do not have with my husband.

Sex means nothing to me - it has zero emotional significance. I understand academically that it isn't something I should hand out willy nilly so I won't, but emotionally I don't get it. I traded a commodity that I give low/no value, sex, for commodities I give high value, affection and conversation. I suspect the converse was the case for the guy I had an affair with.

I could explain to my husband how I feel - or more accurately don't feel- about sex. I could explain to him why I feel that way, which, of course, makes perfect sense. I would find that conversation terribly painful, he would find that conversation terribly painful, and in the end I still will attach zero emotional significance to sex, the only difference post conversation being that we both will have experienced a lot of pain and he would likely be even more suspicious of me as I place low/no value on something that he, and I think most men - most people probably - place a high value.

So I see no upside to sharing that particular facet of my admittedly screwed up self.

Multiply that by about ten thousand - we've been together, more or less, since I was fifteen, and my understanding is that all programs demand historical honesty (pause for a hearty laugh at THAT ever happening), and Giving Up makes perfect sense.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #146308
08/15/11 02:44 AM
08/15/11 02:44 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Al, is it possible to have one party resigned to Door #2 (what I term 'a life of quiet desperation') while their partner is still in the power struggle phase?

Seeing my question in writing makes me think of the proverbial irresistable force meeting the immovable object.

How long can this go on? Seems the party that gave up does so to hold on to ($$) resources that would be lost in a divorce (or so they claim), while their partner still wants the whole enchilada, even though they can't seem to see that manipulation and control won't get them there, or even close.


I think yes. I suspect in many couples the shifts occur when one leaves the Power Struggle and moves to Giving Up at which point the previously Giving Up spouse moves back into Power Struggle.

My experience is that it can go on for at least a couple of decades - my observation of my parents tells me it can go on for 50+ years. The way my dad trips over himself trying to keep my mother from getting pissed off at him - impossible to do - has become grotesque to watch. She is 81 and he is 84 and she has made him pay and pay and pay and she won't stop until he is dead and likely not then. No infidelity that I know of. Yes, his choice to dance her merry dance, but I find it so sickening I can't much be around them.

Hmmm - perhaps the lively reaction I have to the it takes 3-5 years to recover from infidelity and they never really get over it has its roots in watching my mother punish my father for 30+ years.

TC, consider being slow to ascribe financial motives to the Giving Up/Fleeing spouse. Not the case for me.

What I have come to understand over the last year is that the problem isn't my husband - it is me. I am constitutionally incapable of trusting ANYONE, so it makes no difference if I am with him, alone, or with some other man I won't trust either.

He hasn't exactly made trusting him a cake walk - he has been abusive and controlling - unreal controlling - but in the end I have to ask myself what it would take for me to trust him, and what it would take is me telling him the 35 years worth of secrets (pause to have a hearty laugh at that) and him not flipping out (funnier still).

Ain't happening.

May as well keep the family together.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #146367
08/15/11 12:42 PM
08/15/11 12:42 PM
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TC_Manhattan Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
She is 81 and he is 84 and she has made him pay and pay and pay and she won't stop until he is dead and likely not then.


Has it always been in just this one direction, with him the 'giver-upper' and she the power struggle 'fighter'? Or have they flipped back and forth over time?

I think part of my not understanding is why one would give up fighting (submit) yet continue to tolerate the abuse instead of finally just leaving (fleeing.) Perhaps this is the core of domestic abuse situations. Is the fear of fleeing really so much scarier than tolerating years of unhappiness? Yikes.

I see a HUGE difference between giving up and fleeing.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

TC, consider being slow to ascribe financial motives to the Giving Up/Fleeing spouse. Not the case for me.


I'm with you here. While it's difficult to appreciate each person's attachment to financial assets, it seems to me a somewhat hollow rationale to use as excuse (or as the principle excuse anyways.) It is as if they've given up leaving OR fighting and are resigned to being punished for life. Seems there must be a whole lot of fear hiding there somewhere to make the prospect of staying and suffering a (for them) viable option. Is it really that scary to leave for good?

In part, this is rhetorical. Reflecting back, I realize my parents were locked in the same dysfunctional dance for most of the years that I witnessed.

It seems such a situation has gone way far beyond any issue of trust, unless perhaps the issue of trusting oneself to make it okay once they chose to finally flee for good. (Did the prisoners of a Nazi war camp ever consider trust? I can't see what or how.)

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

May as well keep the family together.


In the folks I'm referring to, they're already 'empty nest,' just him and her (well, unless one considers a huge extended family on the part of the fighter.)

Thanks, LG, for your comments and insights. Tis a puzzlement..

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146414
08/15/11 03:59 PM
08/15/11 03:59 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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i would be one of those in door #2.

like LG, i have a very difficult time trusting others. even when i was married, i couldn't fully trust my h.

i didn't feel secure but i created my own sense of "security" when he could not provide it for me. this allowed me to stay in my marriage longer than i should have. i didn't want to give up on my marriage. i tried to make it work for me.

i think the concept of vintage love is a wonderful goal but i believe it is rare in today's society.

i would love to experience vintage love but if the path to get there involves bouncing from person to person, trying before you buy, to see if this person is capable of vintage love .. then i'm out.

perhaps i just don't failing at relationships. i've failed in other areas in life before and it has never bothered me so much as this has.


Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #146456
08/15/11 05:30 PM
08/15/11 05:30 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: TC_Manhattan
Al, is it possible to have one party resigned to Door #2 (what I term 'a life of quiet desperation') while their partner is still in the power struggle phase?
Sure. Seen it often. Given my theory, being in Giving Up means you have lost hope of getting Vintage Love with your partner AND in your life. Tis easy for one person to be there while the other is still flaying around in the Power Struggle area.

I think it is possible for the second partner to step into Giving Up and then back out many times. Both can. But usually over time they both settle into, and collude in, more or less quiet desperation. They can stay there till death or until some "oddity" kicks one of them out.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Seeing my question in writing makes me think of the proverbial irresistable force meeting the immovable object.
Not quite, but close. If you step out of Giving Up, you are back at the Choice Point. You still have three choices: Door #3 (i.e. screw it and try again), Door #2 (i.e. raise cane to get your partner to come out and join you on the battleground), or Door #1, lead the way into the University. My experience of this latter, when I was there, was that it was completely impossible - uh, because I didn't know how.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
How long can this go on? Seems the party that gave up does so to hold on to ($$) resources that would be lost in a divorce (or so they claim), while their partner still wants the whole enchilada, even though they can't seem to see that manipulation and control won't get them there, or even close.
Lots of reasons why the Giving Up party does it. The situation can go on forever except that the Frantic Partner won't let it. The Frantic Partner is the one that makes this system unstable. If you can just Give Up also and slide in there beside her, things can be stable (sarcasm).

I don't recommend it.



Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #146462
08/15/11 05:44 PM
08/15/11 05:44 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: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
What do you want?


What a silly question - to stop feeling scared of course.

Ain't happening.

The toll is being taken
Yup. Most often people in the Giving Up area don't talk to me, so I have a harder time seeing their ways of looking at the world. Your words are very valuable to me. Thanks.

Back in 2002 when I started writing about these people this was my best shot.
Quote:
In a Giving-Up Marriage people tend to Flee from each. They often have quite separate lives a parallel relationship some call it. Living together, but not close, they often become buried in work, their children, TV, addictions, etc. They just get away from each other a lot. But they dont divorce which is the ultimate relationship form of fleeing or getting away.

In a Giving-Up Marriage couples tend to Fight a lot. They argue or avoid conflict by silence. They often use many forms of passive aggressive fighting. But they dont fight illegally - not as much as would bring the Police. In most states this means no physical bruising.

These couples Freeze a lot. Ask them if all is going well and they will say, It is just FINE! when it is not. Conflict avoidant, they try to keep each other calm by keeping secrets. They may share a lot with people other than their partner. There is often a lot of evasion and silence between them. Better quiet than upset.

These couples Submit a lot. They say they agree verbally when they dont really, and seek to do what the other wants and never what they want themselves. And of course they build resentment, slowly and steadily over time.

In a Giving-Up Marriage people grieve quietly for the loss of the Biological Dream in their lives, even though they may not know why they are grieving.

They often disparage and make fun of lovers believing that romance is foolish. The sight of romance often hurts them reminding them of what is lost.

Their grieving often shows itself as depression and various illnesses.


I still have more to learn about these people.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146465
08/15/11 05:53 PM
08/15/11 05:53 PM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
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This is an interesting discussion and makes me think of my own M and the decisions made, especially recently.

See, my parents DO have that Vintage Love. I have scrutinized it a LOT to make sure I wasn't just romanticizing them. I'm not. They have it....after 50 years. And I grew up with that example. So I know it is possible. And I want it.

I was, in a lot of ways, a door #2'er....or one who was trying to be. But I couldn't. I would decide to resin, not care, bury these big parts of myself.....but they just wouldn't stay buried. Stubborn things that they are....I KNEW - because I had walking examples - that it didn't HAVE to be that way. That - dare I use the s word - that it SHOULDN'T be that way.

It's funny. People say they are just not....wired or cut out to expose those things, to trust, to be open. And you know, I have to say that makes sense to me. Because of the risk and the real and potential hurt. I get that. But me.......I can't survive WITHOUT that. I can pretend to survive, but sooner or later I have to be.....ALL. And if I can't be all, then I just can't be.

I realized through a series of things that I would never be able to give up....and that because my situation would never change, that would mean a lifelong struggle, growing depression (I believe that what I have stayed in has aggravated some of my mental stuff and not necessarily the other way round).....or, yes let me be honest, an eventual breakdown and desperation and more infidelity. And let me say that admitting that last thing is....horribly terrifying and difficult. But I bet I am not the only person like that.

And so I am where I am now. And I still believe in the dream. I may not get to live it; maybe I will. But I believe in it. And for me, the only acceptable way to reconcile living without it is living alone....because together needs to be real, or I can't be together.

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #146466
08/15/11 05:59 PM
08/15/11 05:59 PM
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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...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
My experience is that it can go on for at least a couple of decades - my observation of my parents tells me it can go on for 50+ years. The way my dad trips over himself trying to keep my mother from getting pissed off at him - impossible to do - has become grotesque to watch. She is 81 and he is 84 and she has made him pay and pay and pay and she won't stop until he is dead and likely not then. No infidelity that I know of. Yes, his choice to dance her merry dance, but I find it so sickening I can't much be around them.
Great observation. This seems an example of the collusion that can go on in this Giving Up territory of the map. Since my original writings I became much more aware of Codependency as a "Morphing of submitting behavior from a temporary reaction into a life style." My wife mentioned that people stay in Giving Up cuz it is familiar. They were raised in it and it feels "comfy."

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I am constitutionally incapable of trusting ANYONE, so it makes no difference if I am with him, alone, or with some other man I won't trust either.
Great line, LG. I've met people who walk around never trusting anyone and saying "I trust" a lot. Not even safe enough to say that they aren't safe. This sure sounds like early childhood stuff.

Thanks for sharing.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146467
08/15/11 06:04 PM
08/15/11 06:04 PM
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TC_Manhattan Offline
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So, the frantic party (who fights, struggles for power, manipulates, controls, chases, threatens) is trying (and failing) to get love by chasing their partner's lizard. Right? (And this won't work.) I can see that.

I can also see how their frantic behavior would continue to escalate in effort to beat a response out of the giver-upper, even if that response were to just finally flee. Is it perhaps that some movement regardless of which direction, is preferable to being stuck forever?

What I can't see is why the giving up party's lizard just doesn't 'get the hell outta Dodge.' Why resign oneself to submitting to ongoing abuse? Is the best one can hope for that the frantic party, too, gives up and they can live depressedly so forever? (Some goal.) blush

Have you ever witnessed a situation where the warring party was really trying to get the giver-upper to just go away? (But then the possessiveness wouldn't make much sense, would it?)

Is it possible that giving up is still part of the power struggle? I can see resignation or submission as a passive/aggressive tactic, also.

The more I think about this, the more confusing it seems.

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146498
08/15/11 07:18 PM
08/15/11 07:18 PM
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TC_Manhattan Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


Back in 2002 when I started writing about these people this was my best shot.
Quote:
In a Giving-Up Marriage people tend to Flee from each. They often have quite separate lives a parallel relationship some call it. Living together, but not close, they often become buried in work, their children, TV, addictions, etc. They just get away from each other a lot. But they dont divorce which is the ultimate relationship form of fleeing or getting away.

In a Giving-Up Marriage couples tend to Fight a lot. They argue or avoid conflict by silence. They often use many forms of passive aggressive fighting. But they dont fight illegally - not as much as would bring the Police. In most states this means no physical bruising.

These couples Freeze a lot. Ask them if all is going well and they will say, It is just FINE! when it is not. Conflict avoidant, they try to keep each other calm by keeping secrets. They may share a lot with people other than their partner. There is often a lot of evasion and silence between them. Better quiet than upset.

These couples Submit a lot. They say they agree verbally when they dont really, and seek to do what the other wants and never what they want themselves. And of course they build resentment, slowly and steadily over time.

In a Giving-Up Marriage people grieve quietly for the loss of the Biological Dream in their lives, even though they may not know why they are grieving.

They often disparage and make fun of lovers believing that romance is foolish. The sight of romance often hurts them reminding them of what is lost.

Their grieving often shows itself as depression and various illnesses.


I still have more to learn about these people.


Oops. Guess we both must have been writing at the same time, as this stuff here, Al, answers much of what I don't understand. I, like you, have tons more to learn about all this. Still a puzzlement..

Thanks!

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #146525
08/15/11 08:29 PM
08/15/11 08:29 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: TC
What I can't see is why the giving up party's lizard just doesn't 'get the hell outta Dodge.'


Perhaps the lizard of the Giving Up spouse doesn't see a safer place to flee.

I see one of the hallmarks of the Giving Up spouse as despair. I know I went through a "is this as good as it gets? Really? I'm out of here!" stage, but am now resigned that, in fact, this is as good as it gets.

And so, as Al noted, I grieve.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: D4MIL] #146544
08/15/11 10:28 PM
08/15/11 10:28 PM
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Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: D4MIL
i would love to experience vintage love but if the path to get there involves bouncing from person to person, trying before you buy, to see if this person is capable of vintage love .. then i'm out.
I doubt if anyone you met who was capable of being your partner all the way to Vintage Love, would look like it at first.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
perhaps i just don't failing at relationships. i've failed in other areas in life before and it has never bothered me so much as this has.
Yup. Relationships sure involve an interesting set of skills that most, including me, were not taught.

Hello, D4MIL


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146571
08/15/11 11:35 PM
08/15/11 11:35 PM
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hydin Offline
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Thanks for setting up this topic Al, I have learned so much from your site and articles. I have really looked at ME and seen exactly what I have chosen to do in my 26 yr marriage. I have changed a great deal since December. Not sure if it matters at this point with my W but even my Boss recognized the needed changes had taken place in my last performance review. You played a large part in that by supplying your articles on your site.

I wonder if one spouse at a time can step back into the power struggle when the other get too comfortable in the giving up stage. Does one spouse see the other getting most of what they need in the giving up stage and stomp back into the power struggle stage to get more of their needs met. Granted both never get the important needs met but can it be like a seesaw? tipping back and forth rather than settling into both giving up? I know my actions might be explained by this (not excused of course.. I was thinking only of my needs, not our needs). I know that for the last 3 years I have been looking at the empty nest closing in and I wanted to start rebuilding the romance and togetherness. W had been "fleeing" to volunteer assignments, our kids, cable movies watched alone, solitare on the computer and puzzle books. If we took a trip in the car for over 10 minutes she would pull out a puzzle book rather than talking with me. Her lizard liked the comfort of these things and I must have made her feel unsafe. I have recently found out that she rated zero on people skills on meyers briggs. If you saw her in public you would she a self confident, out going person. Everyone said she was so sweet. She really was and is now. I did not get this treatment. I realize now that I also did not make her as safe as she felt with these people. She says she is shy, but no one believes it when she says it. She is. I even listen to her on the phone and wish to be treated like that.

So the real question is how or if you can get someone who has filed for Divorce, is not pushing the process (seen lawyer twice in 4 months), is still in the house but separate bedrooms, fixed dinner for me, calls from stores to see if I need anything and checks in frequently? She even saves me a place in our Catholic Church for Mass. I doubt she wants to find someone else. She told my S 16 that he should stay with me in the house. No affair suspected. No face book account. Has been out a total of 5 nights but home before 10:30 (to movies with friends). Seems she is done. Wants to be friends. We were discussing the Divorce early on (have not openly discussed it for 3 months plus) and when Holidays came up said, "it is not like we won't spend all the Holidays together and have dinners together after the D". I told her I did not think that was the way it was going to work.

She refused to discuss the D, the M or anything serious. I have been sharing what I have been learning at a "Men's group" run by someone you might know in a southern city, Bob P., an Imago Therapist and Sulaiman) and sharing with her the thing I had noticed I had done that must have made her feel bad, things that I had done that were meant to hurt her (not physically at all), and the changes I am working to make. I am loving and considerate but not seeing much in return.

Now what.. In answer to your question - I want to have a new marriage with my soon to be ex wife, one that is much different than the past 26 years. I love her and my heart is broken. I do not blame her for doing what she is doing. I get it. It really makes sense to me... and I don't want it again either. I really like the new Hydin... love myself for the first time in my life. I really have changed to the core. I can see that they are real changes, not an act. I also know that I do not need to be married but I very much prefer to be married and to her. My regret is the impact the D will have on my kids life for the next 30 plus years... dealing with 2 sets of in-laws is tough enough, to deal with Divorce in-laws and managing that must be horrible (and I love my in-laws by the way, call them Mom and Dad... they have not spoken to me since April, avoid the house, said then they wanted to stay connected. I think they are uncomfortable and so they avoid the situation).

Sorry for being long winded...


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #146585
08/16/11 12:14 AM
08/16/11 12:14 AM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
What I can't see is why the giving up party's lizard just doesn't 'get the hell outta Dodge.' Why resign oneself to submitting to ongoing abuse? Is the best one can hope for that the frantic party, too, gives up and they can live depressedly so forever? (Some goal.)
I fear, TC, this is not an isolated phenomenon. I saw it back in the mid-70s for the first time. Twas then called Learned Helplessness and boy! are there stories and misunderstandings about it! Here's my version of the tale.

Quote:
A group of psych researchers wanted to use 50 dog in an experiment. First they wanted to find an amount of electric shock that each dog uniquely would respond to. So they took them, put them in a restrictive harness, then put them on an electric grid, turned up the juice looking for a specific level of nerve response. The dogs couldn't escape the harness or the grid. This took quite a while with each dog, but this setup was successful.

Next they put the dogs into the experiment and things got really weird! When they shocked to dogs, the dogs would just lie there on the electric grid and take it. They would not "try to get out of Dodge" at all. They just lay there. "Stupid dogs!" This kinda ruined the experiment.

They called this state Learned Helplessness. They had taught the dogs to act helpless.

Now what to do with these 50 messed up dogs. Finally they called in a shrink, "to fix" these damaged dogs. "What do we do? They just sit on the grid and won't move when we shock 'em."

The shrink thought and looked and finally said, "If it were me, I'd give them a kick in the ass." So the researchers put the harness back on one dog at a time, put em on the grid, turned the electricity on, and dragged the dog off the grid.

Some dogs took over a hundred tries before they showed any interest in moving themselves away from the pain. This scared everyone, particularly those who were thinking of how this could apply to families and husbands and wives.


Well, there's the story as I recall it. Probably way off from what really happened, but at least I have the idea.

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Is it possible that giving up is still part of the power struggle? I can see resignation or submission as a passive/aggressive tactic, also.

Sure. Lots of ways. For example, I see Clingers who get mad and pretend that they don't care anymore, just trying to get a rise out of their Avoiding partner. And golly, it can work. Doesn't solve the problem, I fear, but can get a reaction.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #146587
08/16/11 12:23 AM
08/16/11 12:23 AM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Dear Hydin, Yep. Keep going for it. I wouldn't worry about the effect of the D on everyone. I would congratulate yourself on the effect of yourself setting a positive example of change in that family. Proving to people that one can turn over a new leaf... well, it is worth a hole lot of points in heaven.

You asked about a "seesaw" effect. Actually the University of Life often feels like a rollercoaster. One steps forward stretching the other. Then get's comfortable, relaxes and the other points out something that ain't working. Back and forth. Takes quite a while. I am often surprised at how couples people manage to stumble into the University.

Good luck and my best to Bob P.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146599
08/16/11 12:56 AM
08/16/11 12:56 AM
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hydin Offline
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Thanks Al, So follow the "when people leave" article? Even though she has not really left.... I have had several people suggest not pursuing and others say... sweep her off her feet and court her. If her lizard has withdrawn she feels unsafe. I get it. How do you show you are trying to be safer for her without anything but casual conversation? I am doing things I want to do for her (example today was her first day at her part time job. She was gone from 8 am until 4:30 at her school. When she came in I suggested we bring in Chinese food since she had a long day. We did and she said thanks). Having tough time figuring out what is the right level of interaction. Treat her like she is my wife and will be? Treat her as if she is leaving and be considerate but detached? confused....


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #146740
08/16/11 02:06 PM
08/16/11 02:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: hydin
Having tough time figuring out what is the right level of interaction. Treat her like she is my wife and will be? Treat her as if she is leaving and be considerate but detached? confused....
I suggest you treat her like a deer coming out of the forest to your backyard, who, if treated right will eat grain out of your hand. (We had this happen. Stayed with us a whole summer.) Learn to enjoy witnessing her ambivalence while remembering what you would want, too.

The principle is to encourage her to come out, stick her nose out, of Giving Up and then to lead her into the University. You don't want to threaten her with Power Struggle, or Door#3. Kinda like "the pathway to Vintage Love is open. It may be long but it is open and ready."

Last edited by AlTurtle; 08/16/11 02:44 PM. Reason: Add a Principle

Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146755
08/16/11 02:47 PM
08/16/11 02:47 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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Quote:
I doubt if anyone you met who was capable of being your partner all the way to Vintage Love, would look like it at first.

how would you identify if someone was capable of doing the work to achieve vintage love? people change along the way. one needs to invest time, energy, work, etc. before you get to vintage love. person one, you might get 35% there before parting ways. person two might get 50% of the way there before you part ways. person three might get there 75% of the way before you part ways .. and it just keeps going.

along the way, you need to meet your partner's needs. after being hurt once, i am not so inclined to meet anybody's needs unless i am guaranteed vintage love. if there is no guarantee, then this path is not attractive for me to wander down.

despite the big jerk my stbx is, it is still the relationship that i want .. simply because of the investment i put in. i thought he was capable of vintage love. and not even 4 years later, he has decided that he wanted out. that marriage was too much work. that relationships were too much work. he invested a lot of $$ in our marriage. i invested a lot of time, work, and knowledge .. as well as $$. he is fighting to recoup the $$ he invested. i cannot recoup the knowledge and effort i put in. it pains me to the core ..

i don't know how to calm his lizard. we do not speak to one another. he lives alone. so do i.

he wanted a divorce but isn't doing the work to push it through. he has threatened to settle our matters in court but has not taken the initiative to do so (it's been almost 5 months since we told them to go file).

my lizard is scared and doesn't feel safe. my last recollection of him was him making accusations and name-calling.

i'm here because many have advised me to read your work. hoping that i may be open to a new relationship in the future. i don't want a new relationship with a new person. i would like a new relationship with my stbx.

thank you for the welcome. i didn't know where to jump in.

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146842
08/16/11 06:23 PM
08/16/11 06:23 PM
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futureunknown Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: hydin
Having tough time figuring out what is the right level of interaction. Treat her like she is my wife and will be? Treat her as if she is leaving and be considerate but detached? confused....
I suggest you treat her like a deer coming out of the forest to your backyard, who, if treated right will eat grain out of your hand. (We had this happen. Stayed with us a whole summer.) Learn to enjoy witnessing her ambivalence while remembering what you would want, too.

The principle is to encourage her to come out, stick her nose out, of Giving Up and then to lead her into the University. You don't want to threaten her with Power Struggle, or Door#3. Kinda like "the pathway to Vintage Love is open. It may be long but it is open and ready."


Wow, when I read this I immediately thought this is exactly how my W is treating me. She can see I want nothing to do with her, but she still offers little nuggets of kindness, to see if she can draw me out.

Unfortunately, what you describe is also one way you'd capture a deer to put them in a cage. "Come on, come on, here's some food, come on, there you go, good deer, ....., GOTCHA!"

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: D4MIL] #146922
08/16/11 08:36 PM
08/16/11 08:36 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: D4MIL
how would you identify if someone was capable of doing the work to achieve vintage love?
My belief, and I am very firm on this, is that all humans are capable of Vintage Love - but not without a lot of work.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
people change along the way. one needs to invest time, energy, work, etc. before you get to vintage love. person one, you might get 35% there before parting ways. person two might get 50% of the way there before you part ways. person three might get there 75% of the way before you part ways .. and it just keeps going.
I wish it worked this way, but I don't think it does. When most couples divorce, enter Door #2, or even enter Door #1 University of Life, I think they are maybe, if I'm feeling generous, 1% of the way to Vintage Love.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
along the way, you need to meet your partner's needs. after being hurt once, i am not so inclined to meet anybody's needs unless i am guaranteed vintage love. if there is no guarantee, then this path is not attractive for me to wander down.
Again, I wish life had guarantees. I try hard to share things that people can count on. I hate empty promises.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
despite the big jerk my stbx is, it is still the relationship that i want .. simply because of the investment i put in. i thought he was capable of vintage love. and not even 4 years later, he has decided that he wanted out. that marriage was too much work. that relationships were too much work. he invested a lot of $$ in our marriage. i invested a lot of time, work, and knowledge .. as well as $$. he is fighting to recoup the $$ he invested. i cannot recoup the knowledge and effort i put in. it pains me to the core ..
Sounds like a mess. By the way "jerk," to me, is the name we give a nice person who has yet to learn a lot - who does dumb things cuz they think it is right.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
i don't know how to calm his lizard. we do not speak to one another. he lives alone. so do i. he wanted a divorce but isn't doing the work to push it through. he has threatened to settle our matters in court but has not taken the initiative to do so (it's been almost 5 months since we told them to go file). my lizard is scared and doesn't feel safe. my last recollection of him was him making accusations and name-calling.
Yup. Sounds like the corridor before Door #3, or could just be the Choice Point all over the place.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
i'm here because many have advised me to read your work. hoping that i may be open to a new relationship in the future. i don't want a new relationship with a new person. i would like a new relationship with my stbx.
I like this. All I can say is "Go 4 it". I actually gave my wife a license plate for her car that said that.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
thank you for the welcome. i didn't know where to jump in.
Well, there's never a right place to jump in. Just do it. Read on.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: futureunknown] #146927
08/16/11 08:44 PM
08/16/11 08:44 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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Originally Posted By: futureunknown
Wow, when I read this I immediately thought this is exactly how my W is treating me. She can see I want nothing to do with her, but she still offers little nuggets of kindness, to see if she can draw me out.



Unfortunately, what you describe is also one way you'd capture a deer to put them in a cage. "Come on, come on, here's some food, come on, there you go, good deer, ....., GOTCHA!" [/quote]Yup you gotta watch out for that. Of course you are a not a deer and are not anywhere near as defenseless.

Months later in the livingroom.


And close to the last time we saw him. He would come on us with our walks in the morning.



What a miracle to have before and around us!

I encourage your partner to keep trying.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #146940
08/16/11 09:06 PM
08/16/11 09:06 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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Quote:
My belief, and I am very firm on this, is that all humans are capable of Vintage Love - but not without a lot of work.

i don't know if people are willing to do the work to get to vintage love. it seems like everyone is focused on instant gratification these days more than long term gains that vintage love would provide.

Quote:
Sounds like a mess. By the way "jerk," to me, is the name we give a nice person who has yet to learn a lot - who does dumb things cuz they think it is right.

he is a good person. he just doesn't know any better. a lot of things that have come out of his mouth and his actions .. are just plain dumb but it makes sense to him. i understand .. he's inexperienced in relationships as i am.

the way i saw it was as if he was a child who wasn't allowed to go out until he finished his homework. he stomps his feet, pouts, screams, and says "i hate you!" .. one day, he'll know i had only good intentions.

Quote:
Yup. Sounds like the corridor before Door #3, or could just be the Choice Point all over the place.

why choice point? i can only see door #3.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: D4MIL
i'm here because many have advised me to read your work. hoping that i may be open to a new relationship in the future. i don't want a new relationship with a new person. i would like a new relationship with my stbx.
I like this. All I can say is "Go 4 it".

it's kind of hard to do when both lizards are frightened and neither of us speak to one another.

Re: Topic 6a: "Living Without Romantic Love" - Building Trust [Re: D4MIL] #146955
08/16/11 09:30 PM
08/16/11 09:30 PM
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Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: D4MIL
i don't know if people are willing to do the work to get to vintage love. it seems like everyone is focused on instant gratification these days more than long term gains that vintage love would provide.
I see this, too. Seems to me it just makes for more spinning through Romantic Love, Power Struggle, Door#3 and start again. Or it makes for more time in the Power Struggle. Can either do the work, die. Just a matter of time.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
he is a good person. he just doesn't know any better. a lot of things that have come out of his mouth and his actions .. are just plain dumb but it makes sense to him. i understand .. he's inexperienced in relationships as i am.
Good summary.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
the way i saw it was as if he was a child who wasn't allowed to go out until he finished his homework. he stomps his feet, pouts, screams, and says "i hate you!" .. one day, he'll know i had only good intentions.
But I think you can do a lot to speed up or slow down the coming of this day.

Originally Posted By: D4MIL
Quote:
Yup. Sounds like the corridor before Door #3, or could just be the Choice Point all over the place.
why choice point? i can only see door #3.
Tis in Part III of my Map of Relationships.

Quote:
The Choice Point: Door #1, Door #2, Door #3
When hope of the relationship getting better reaches zero, I think we arrive at the great fork in the road. I call this the Choice Point: Door #1, Door #2 and Door #3. All couples get here.

Door #1 leads to Vintage Love and a small group of couples choose this door. I want everyone to choose Door #1. Ill talk more of this later.

Let me also leave Door #2 for later.

Door #3 is the Divorce door and is currently chosen by most first married couples. Unmarried couples choose this door by walking away. Either way, Ill call it divorce.


Originally Posted By: D4MIL
it's kind of hard to do when both lizards are frightened and neither of us speak to one another.
Yup. The way I see it, to fix this situation, first you gotta take care of your Lizard. That's your job. All about learning Boundaries and good Boundary Skills. Later you can work on his. First things first.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
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