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Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust #147428
08/17/11 11:10 PM
08/17/11 11:10 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...
This is a topic for stuff about my work, that is "off topic." I and you can post any topic vaguely related to my stuff here.

On my Whiteboard I created seven topic-threads in the same way that on my Website I created a directory of topics over on its right. As I kept learning about relationships, my inquiries went broadly to cover the different areas that are involved in building great relationships and well as went deeply into specifics, concrete ideas and skills. Looking across the width of topics I was cheered that this was not endless. I believe there are just so many general areas of Relationship Wisdom. Looking downward I was cheered to see that there were specifics, simple and concrete. And the whole fits together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

But people who approach from the top often seem bewildered. I am sorry for that. I've tried many times to create simple guides, like the ones in my head: "Turtle Logic," "How to use this website," "What goes first..," etc. But each guide would fit only a limited number of people as most people seem to be coming from different directions and needing to follow the unique steps ahead of them. My friend, Scott Dodson who has taken the joy of writing a fiction book based on my website, seems to be constantly rewriting, including new events and characters, in order to flesh out his new learning.

So here in this thread, people can just lay things out without being off topic. I may refer them to parts of my WhiteBoard or to articles or folders in my Website.

Beyond what is online, here and there, are direct contacts with me: by phone, in my office, on phone bridges, and in rare public appearances. One is coming up next month, Sept 24 and 25th in Anacortes, Washington State.

And so,


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #147439
08/17/11 11:29 PM
08/17/11 11:29 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...
The weekend in Anacortes is on Sept 24th and 25th and is listed here in this link..

Laura and I earlier produced a set of weekly hour long phone chats. You can download them here.



Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #151701
08/29/11 02:40 AM
08/29/11 02:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
H
hydin Offline
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hydin  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
Hi Al, Coach suggested I ask you what to do when your spouse is extremely emotionally shut down.

My thread is located at:
http://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthre...hope#Post151262

My wife told me she wanted a divorce 3 months after she told me she loved me but was not in love with me. No affair that I can find. We were great at the silent treatment. I have done a ton of work on myself by reading your stuff, reading a ton of books and scouring the internet. One thing I am is trainable. I am attending a "men's counseling group" weekly. I have drastically changed myself. My self worth has never been higher. I can say I now love myself... for the first time I can remember. All this while in the divorce process.

My wife has been seeing an IC and at that first meeting she was advised to read Patricia Evans book on verbal abuse. You can preview it on amazon. I did not hit many of the examples given but the book basically says if you feel bad when someone talks to you, you are abused. If I had read it first she would have been abusive. Fun lines like, if you feel abused, you are abused. Plus verbal abuse always leads to physical abuse and by the way, a verbal abuser can not change....

We are still living in the same house and she cooks my meals and does stuff for me. She even saves a seat for me at Church and expects us to sit together each week. If you saw us in public or conversing in the house you would never think she has filed for Divorce. She asked for space in December and after Christmas told me she loved me but was not in love with me. In March she said she wanted to divorce. I wanted to reconcile. I had seen issues with me and was working to fix them. I understand why she wanted the D at that time. I was not getting what I wanted from the marriage either. For the last two years I had been working on getting closer. Empty nest is two years away. I suggested Colaborative divorce since I want to be fair and wanted to reconcile. We met with the CD counselor who did not know us. She asked W why she wanted a divorce. W said, I go through her stuff and I kicked her out of the bedroom in December. She had been sleeping out of the bedroom for two weeks prior. Details in my thread..

Counselor spent 90 minutes asking W why and other stuff. C said we were a 6 or 7 out of 10 and most couples she was were 9 -10. She told W to wait 30 days and not hire lawyer, just sit with decision. W agreed to 3 weeks, no relationship talk, no hiring a lawyer, this was on a Monday. Thursday W went to counselor, and Friday at 8 am she was at the lawyer (first she called) and stayed until D was filed.

I have tried to talk to her as you can read but she won't converse. I know she does not feel safe. She also said her IC said she must learn to stand up for herself. She never had any issue standing up to me. She did it regularly. She would do what she wanted even when I had a different opinion. I felt ignored many times. 3 years ago she even told me I would never be more important than the kids. She also said that she did not want to tell me the reasons she is divorcing me "because I don't want to hurt you. We are getting along so well now that if I told you it would change things in our relationship during the divorce and I don't want that. She had never let a relationship or divorce talk go more than 3 sentences. She now says (again after an IC appt in June - "I can't change". That stops the conversation. I have continued to give her space but she is shut down. Details in my thread.

What do you do when a spouse is so shut down you can't even gently pull or mirror? It is tough even pre-validating. She has seen her lawyer twice, the first day and in June to do a settlement offer. I am responding this week (her lawyer took 6 weeks to get her offer to me after they met). She is not pushing the D but not open to talking. I am not sure what to do. I am responding to her settlement offer. I almost think it would be best to get her out of the house (She told my son in May that she wanted me and him to stay in the house) and truly separate. I feel she has the best of both worlds now. Maybe she needs to feel a true divorced life. I still want to reconcile but hope is fading. She has rewritten history.

I can take any advice you can offer. I am trainable. I know my faults now. I am changing (work review and kids have recognized it. W said last week when I asked her if she had noticed changes (men's group homework) that I am lecturing the kids less and have lost a ton of weight (I have dropped 60 lbs in a year, on purpose, not divorce related).

Help!

Hydin


She has latched on to this. Her counselor has also given her lines to defuse discussions. When I shared with her that a home work assignment from the group was to find out a couple of the issues that lead her to file she


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: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #151863
08/29/11 03:56 PM
08/29/11 03:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: hydin
Hi Al, Coach suggested I ask you what to do when your spouse is extremely emotionally shut down.
I haven't read your thread yet. Lots of words. My guess is that your label (emotionally shut down) is probably not accurate. Usually that term refers to a person who is emotionally contracted and who can hardly move. Your wife sounds as if she is in an Avoider position and sees getting rid of you as a solution. Suggests you are in the clinger position and pretty darn needy. The idea of "empty nest" means she's put up with this situation for a long time and thus her new found momentum to change the situation is pretty profound. I am glad you are trainable (I think all god's chilluns are trainable). Lots of learning ahead of you, me thinks.


Originally Posted By: hydin
My wife told me she wanted a divorce 3 months after she told me she loved me but was not in love with me. No affair that I can find.
This line is one that people grab onto to express being in the Power Struggle or more likely in Door #2 for a long time and reflecting back on Romantic Love and their Biological Dreams. Very common phrase. I bet there are books with that title.

Originally Posted By: hydin
We were great at the silent treatment.
Yup. Door #2 and something happened that led her to wake up and move back to the Choice Point. You can go with her, but still have to participate with her in choosing which Door to take. If she thinks you want to recreate the relationship you have had with her, you've probably lost her. I am guessing this is "new relationship" time for you and hopefully her.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have done a ton of work on myself by reading your stuff, reading a ton of books and scouring the internet. One thing I am is trainable. I am attending a "men's counseling group" weekly. I have drastically changed myself. My self worth has never been higher. I can say I now love myself... for the first time I can remember. All this while in the divorce process.
Great.

Originally Posted By: hydin
My wife has been seeing an IC and at that first meeting she was advised to read Patricia Evans book on verbal abuse. You can preview it on amazon. I did not hit many of the examples given but the book basically says if you feel bad when someone talks to you, you are abused. If I had read it first she would have been abusive. Fun lines like, if you feel abused, you are abused. Plus verbal abuse always leads to physical abuse and by the way, a verbal abuser can not change....
I see verbal abusers changing all the time.

Originally Posted By: hydin
We are still living in the same house and she cooks my meals and does stuff for me. She even saves a seat for me at Church and expects us to sit together each week. If you saw us in public or conversing in the house you would never think she has filed for Divorce.
Whenever I see an Avoider, I begin looking around for the "verbal abuse" they have put up with. Almost sounds as if she is "laying low" in public. Might consider her church to be a source of her "verbal abuse." Tis pretty common.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She asked for space in December and after Christmas told me she loved me but was not in love with me. In March she said she wanted to divorce.
She asked for... sure sounds like power stuff - Valley of the Masters.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Empty nest is two years away.
Lots of women see empty nest as a relationship crisis time. In my office it was probably the most common predictor of marital trouble - age of youngest kids.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have tried to talk to her as you can read but she won't converse.
I give you my blunt gift. You probably suck to talk to.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I know she does not feel safe.
She doesn't feel safe, you won't feel safe and how long have you both let that go on?!

Originally Posted By: hydin
She also said her IC said she must learn to stand up for herself.
Yup a partner who can stand up for themselves is a godsend.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She never had any issue standing up to me. She did it regularly. She would do what she wanted even when I had a different opinion. I felt ignored many times.
Sounds like a regular feast of low-intimacy. This means all you have is clues.

Originally Posted By: hydin
3 years ago she even told me I would never be more important than the kids.
Not bad, a nice clue. The felt more intimacy or connection with the kids thus when they are about to leave what is left for her at home?

Originally Posted By: hydin
She also said that she did not want to tell me the reasons she is divorcing me "because I don't want to hurt you.
Big clue. A guess is that you've acted fragile and she's taken care of your feelings by withholding data from you. Lots of Door #2 stuff here.

Originally Posted By: hydin
We are getting along so well now that if I told you it would change things in our relationship during the divorce and I don't want that. She had never let a relationship or divorce talk go more than 3 sentences.
Trying to get out without all hell breaking loose. Did she come from a family with emotionally explosive people? Have you been an emotionally explosive partner?

Originally Posted By: hydin
She now says (again after an IC appt in June - "I can't change". That stops the conversation.
This is useful, but unclear. She thinks you can't change or she thinks she can't change?

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have continued to give her space but she is shut down.
Doesn't sound like shut down. Sounds like avoiding.

Originally Posted By: hydin
What do you do when a spouse is so shut down you can't even gently pull or mirror?
Find out what memories she has of "all hell breaking loose when she talks," and learn how to be a source of safety to her in repeats of those situations, and demonstrate it to her in any way you can. Don't push. Lots of learning to listen. Build your empathy skills.

Originally Posted By: hydin
It is tough even pre-validating.
I think we have different definitions of PreValidation. I think it is always easy to PreValidate anyone. My guess is that you mean it is hard to understand her. Well, yup. If she won't tell you and/or you won't listen, understanding is difficult. Got to go with guesses. A poor second to intimate chatting.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She has seen her lawyer twice, the first day and in June to do a settlement offer. I am responding this week (her lawyer took 6 weeks to get her offer to me after they met). She is not pushing the D but not open to talking. I am not sure what to do.
What you think is meant by the word "talking" and what she thinks it means are probably pretty different. Find out what you have done or typically do when "talking" that sucks. Change it.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am responding to her settlement offer. I almost think it would be best to get her out of the house (She told my son in May that she wanted me and him to stay in the house) and truly separate. I feel she has the best of both worlds now. Maybe she needs to feel a true divorced life. I still want to reconcile but hope is fading. She has rewritten history.
We all re-write history all the time. Hers just is different from yours. What stops her from tell you her view of history?

Originally Posted By: hydin
I can take any advice you can offer. I am trainable. I know my faults now.
Well some of them. Some are hers. Learn.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am changing (work review and kids have recognized it. W said last week when I asked her if she had noticed changes (men's group homework) that I am lecturing the kids less and have lost a ton of weight (I have dropped 60 lbs in a year, on purpose, not divorce related).
All to the good.


Keep a going.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #151907
08/29/11 05:29 PM
08/29/11 05:29 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...
I was just thinking of how useful the Map of Relationships is to grasping where a couple is and what suggestions to offer them.

On the surface the situation that hydin describes might be a simple "emotional shutdown" or perhaps even "depression."

But gathering information about the stages these people are in (he learning, she "love but not in-love," she filing divorce, kids almost leaving home, etc.) leads one to think of a) how long were they in Romantic Love, how long in Power Struggle, how long in Door #2 and who encouraged them to make that choice, what damage done to both and kids in PS and in Door #2 that has to be recovered from, what support/or lack is offered by their families/counselors/church, etc.

If you use my theory that "all people desire Vintage Love" because it is designed into us all (Biological Dream), then the shortest path is for both to get into Door #1. But the cost is a whole lot of learning and probably a whole lot of boundary skills to be used to protect them and their learning from their kids/parents/community who are used to the kind of Door #2 relationship they have had. Who supports them? him?

Well, I can. Sounds like a good guy and good guy's pick good gals (hmm guys?).


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #151916
08/29/11 05:56 PM
08/29/11 05:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
Member
Edmond Dantes  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But the cost is a whole lot of learning and probably a whole lot of boundary skills to be used to protect them and their learning from their kids/parents/community who are used to the kind of Door #2 relationship they have had. Who supports them? him?

Well, I can. Sounds like a good guy and good guy's pick good gals (hmm guys?).


It's one of my goals to love myself even in the face of wide spread hostility. But in the meantime, I appreciate the support while I'm learning.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #152112
08/30/11 04:46 AM
08/30/11 04:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
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hydin Offline
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hydin  Offline
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Your wife sounds as if she is in an Avoider position and sees getting rid of you as a solution. Suggests you are in the clinger position and pretty darn needy. The idea of "empty nest" means she's put up with this situation for a long time and thus her new found momentum to change the situation is pretty profound. I am glad you are trainable (I think all god's chilluns are trainable). Lots of learning ahead of you, me thinks.

I see this too. She is an avoider but I must have made her feel unsafe, very unsafe for a while. I have spent the last 4 or 5 years watching her do activities that gave her praise from others. She was not getting that from me. I tried but I was always 3rd or 4th in her life. We had great times and "quiet" times. When we fought and went silent I was the one to bring up talking to end the silence. I never called her names, shouted, lied, told her what she could and could not do, commented on her clothes, demeaned her, put her down in front of others, called her stupid, or any of the things outlined in the verbal abuse book. I feel the book was her excuse to get out... She must have wanted out pretty bad too.


Originally Posted By: hydin
We were great at the silent treatment.
Yup. Door #2 and something happened that led her to wake up and move back to the Choice Point. You can go with her, but still have to participate with her in choosing which Door to take. If she thinks you want to recreate the relationship you have had with her, you've probably lost her. I am guessing this is "new relationship" time for you and hopefully her.

I have made that statement 2 months ago, our last talk about the marriage. Well, I tried to share my thoughts with her in a loving manner with no expectation that she would respond. she didn't. I left it at that. How do you show a person who won't have an intimate discussion with you? I have even thought of bringing up working on the relationship one more time and telling her that Sex would be off the table for at least 6 months so that she knew I wanted a real relationship with her, not just sex. (we had a great intimate "life" up until last November, her "enjoyment" was not an issue). I wonder if that would make her feel safer. I also sometimes feel being alone is the only way she can snap out of her feelings. I have no clue what to do on this.




Originally Posted By: hydin
We are still living in the same house and she cooks my meals and does stuff for me. She even saves a seat for me at Church and expects us to sit together each week. If you saw us in public or conversing in the house you would never think she has filed for Divorce.
Whenever I see an Avoider, I begin looking around for the "verbal abuse" they have put up with. Almost sounds as if she is "laying low" in public. Might consider her church to be a source of her "verbal abuse." Tis pretty common.

I think I am seen as her verbal abuser. The church issues are a counselor their giving her a book on verbal abuse after one appt and not even knowing or seeking me out. We are Catholic so she is suppose to work at reconciling even under serious physical abuse situations (never any with us). Priest met with her before she saw the church counselor... he reccomended that my W see her. My W came away from that meeting with the priest thinking divorce was OK... Priest refuses to seek her out to explain she is wrong. He says she has to come to him... I have met with him twice, showed him the book (before he knew his in house counselor was using it) he said it was feminist garbage (his words not mine) he was shocked the counselor was handing it out. He asked that I tell my W that he wanted to see both of us in April. She said she would think about it, saw her IC the next day (from Church) and told me as soon as she got home that she was not going. The only thing that could have happened at the meeting was that she would be told she was wrong. By avoiding the meeting she avoided criticism. Her best friend was not told about her filing for a month, actually I told her after a month, when I saw her I asked if W had been talking to her. She was shocked. This person had her husband cheat on her, move out and then come back and they went to counseling. Their marriage is great 3 years later. I feel she knew if she told her that her best friend would say she needed to go to marriage counseling before filing.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She asked for space in December and after Christmas told me she loved me but was not in love with me. In March she said she wanted to divorce.
She asked for... sure sounds like power stuff - Valley of the Masters.

I said asked, she really told me that she was not in love with me and was 75% sure she wanted a divorce but needed space. That was the last week of December. Late january I checked in and asked if she was ready to talk. She was not. End of Feb. I asked again. We had a good talk. She said she thought we needed counseling. I agreed. Two days later she saw her counselor and came hold and told me she did not want counseling, it would be a waste of money. 5 days later we talked again. She said her counselor asked her if she could tell the kids she had done all she could to save the marriage. My W told me she did not think she had and wanted counseling again. Her counselor suggested a counselor and she interviewed him as did I. He was sort of a counselor of last resort. Expensive but intense program. W saw forms she had to fill out and again said no to counseling and she wanted a D. This is when we met with the collaborative divorce counselor.



Originally Posted By: hydin
I have tried to talk to her as you can read but she won't converse.
I give you my blunt gift. You probably suck to talk to.

I have sucked to talk to but I am working my butt off on getting better. Work reviews specifically called this out as a change my boss noticed. I was opening up to see the other side rather than fighting for my side. Much more respect for other opinions. This was a very needed change and one of the major reasons I am loving myself more than ever. Low self esteem drove me to prove I was right... Reading your stuff helped me a ton here. Much easier to live life now. Not going back. I am OK with me for the first time. I make sense, but so do they. Never thought that way before. Much better this way.



Originally Posted By: hydin
I know she does not feel safe.
She doesn't feel safe, you won't feel safe and how long have you both let that go on?!

I see my W as more male in relationships than female. She really does let her opinion be known with me and stands up for herself very well. She is no way a weak person, avoider for sure, but not submissive at all.


Originally Posted By: hydin
3 years ago she even told me I would never be more important than the kids.
Not bad, a nice clue. The felt more intimacy or connection with the kids thus when they are about to leave what is left for her at home?

I think she took greater pride in being a Mom vs a wife. Her love language was service. She volunteers a ton for jobs that have no risk but high praise. She puts herself in positions that almost have no risk (serving pizza to teens at church, being an adult chaperone at teen mission trips or retreats, boy scout leader etc.) I did not meet her needs. I see some of the areas that I failed her. We both failed each other.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She also said that she did not want to tell me the reasons she is divorcing me "because I don't want to hurt you.
Big clue. A guess is that you've acted fragile and she's taken care of your feelings by withholding data from you. Lots of Door #2 stuff here.

So what to do? I fear she may be waiting for me to fight for her. To reach out for her and tell her how much I love her and want to have a new relationship with her. I have no interest in going back to what it was. I would rather D and that means being alone for the rest of my life (Catholic remember).

Originally Posted By: hydin
We are getting along so well now that if I told you it would change things in our relationship during the divorce and I don't want that. She had never let a relationship or divorce talk go more than 3 sentences.
Trying to get out without all hell breaking loose. Did she come from a family with emotionally explosive people? Have you been an emotionally explosive partner?

We both would let things build up then finally get so frustrated that we would just go silent. I did it as much as she did. She would also withhold sex as punishment. We never really fought for long periods. Usually for a few minutes then we would get silent. I know, really mature. I am learning....

Family is interesting. Dad retired army, several tours to vietnam. Mom basically raised kids alone. Mom still dominates her Dad (my father in law). He retired in his 50's and they bought a house out of state. He would go there alone for months. I always thought that was weird but held my tongue since it was her dad. He would stay for a month to 3 months and then come back and stay a couple of months and then go there again. I have known them for 30 years and never seen them show affection. They have never gone out or done things together. No date nights etc. Grandmother's husband died in his 50's and she had a big pension (he was union and killed on job). she lived alone until her late 70's then moved in with W mom until 92. Guess she has seen that women do not need men after kids are gone. W sister is very submissive to her husband. Her world revolves around him. He is very demanding but not abusive that I have seen. FYI, W did not tell her little brother (39 years old) for 10 weeks and he lives in the same city we do.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She now says (again after an IC appt in June - "I can't change". That stops the conversation.
This is useful, but unclear. She thinks you can't change or she thinks she can't change?

She says she can't change. I feel this is a line supplied by her counselor to avoid conflict. No way to discuss that. (this counselor is from our church and has guided 3 women to separation and filing for divorce in the last two years.)

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have continued to give her space but she is shut down.
Doesn't sound like shut down. Sounds like avoiding.

How to I handle this? Trying gentle pulling but she stonewalls.

Originally Posted By: hydin
What do you do when a spouse is so shut down you can't even gently pull or mirror?
Find out what memories she has of "all hell breaking loose when she talks," and learn how to be a source of safety to her in repeats of those situations, and demonstrate it to her in any way you can. Don't push. Lots of learning to listen. Build your empathy skills.

When you are not talking (that may be my error, giving her too much space... so she can exit...)how do you demonstrate empathy? I have shared some of my frustrations with the divorce paper work and stuff and asked her if she was doing OK with it. Her answer was "I am fine".

Originally Posted By: hydin
It is tough even pre-validating.
I think we have different definitions of PreValidation. I think it is always easy to PreValidate anyone. My guess is that you mean it is hard to understand her. Well, yup. If she won't tell you and/or you won't listen, understanding is difficult. Got to go with guesses. A poor second to intimate chatting.

I have been practicing mirroring, asking if there is more, validating etc. My men's group is built on that. Great learnings there and a place to face issues with no spin. I am listening better and still working hard. It is really tough to listen when someone won't talk. HELP!

Originally Posted By: hydin
She has seen her lawyer twice, the first day and in June to do a settlement offer. I am responding this week (her lawyer took 6 weeks to get her offer to me after they met). She is not pushing the D but not open to talking. I am not sure what to do.
What you think is meant by the word "talking" and what she thinks it means are probably pretty different. Find out what you have done or typically do when "talking" that sucks. Change it.

I ended up talking at her when she would shut down. I was the reason she shut down. I needed to listen more. Learning that now.. hope I am not too late.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am responding to her settlement offer. I almost think it would be best to get her out of the house (She told my son in May that she wanted me and him to stay in the house) and truly separate. I feel she has the best of both worlds now. Maybe she needs to feel a true divorced life. I still want to reconcile but hope is fading. She has rewritten history.
We all re-write history all the time. Hers just is different from yours. What stops her from tell you her view of history?

I guess she does not feel safe. I have not pressured at all in the last 4 months. I really feel she is not discussing the divorce or relationship because she doesn't want to change her mind.. the stand up for yourself is being played out in ending our marriage. When the collaborative D counselor asked her if the kids would be shocked she said no, D 19 would expect it, S 18 would understand, and S 16 would help her. All were shocked. D 19 had to call her 3 weeks after she was told to get her to come and talk to her at college, an hour away. I asked D 19 if she was expecting the divorce a week after she was told and she said "Oh no Daddy..." W thought they would expect it. When we told the boys she actually turned to me and expected me to tell them that she was divorcing me. It was really almost funny...we sat down with them and she just looked at me waiting for me to start.... I never did so she had too. She told me she had filed for Divorce yet wanted me to tell the kids. I found that interesting.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I can take any advice you can offer. I am trainable. I know my faults now.
Well some of them. Some are hers. Learn.

Yep, tons to learn, Just hope I get a chance.

FYI, she told S 16 that he should live with me in the house 6 weeks before I saw the settlement offer. We never discussed it. I also see her avoiding conflict in her settlement offer. She is not being crazy on asking for stuff.

Sorry for the long post again. I am losing hope fast and as the D progresses It is going to get tougher to reach her if she is an avoider. As we divide up the house stuff their is going to be some conflict. That may really drive her away.

I love her with all my heart. I realize that more than ever. I want a new and improved marriage. I want my best friend back. I want to be the man she married but improved. We have great kids. The thing I hate the most is the impact this is having on them for the rest of their lives... In law are tough when you have a family and I have fantastic in laws. splitting holidays and vacations 3 ways is going to be that much more complicated than two ways. Plus our model for them is when things get tough, leave. I hate that. That is not what I believe. We need help for sure but we can regain our marriage... if both of us work at it. That of course had to make sense to her... and it doesn't now..

Keep a going. [/quote]


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: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #152201
08/30/11 02:23 PM
08/30/11 02:23 PM
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In your general observation over the years, have you found a high percentage of those who are uncomfortable with your approach seeming to be comfortable in abusive relationships?

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LivingWell] #152278
08/30/11 05:37 PM
08/30/11 05:37 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LivingWell
In your general observation over the years, have you found a high percentage of those who are uncomfortable with your approach seeming to be comfortable in abusive relationships?
Sure. Most often when someone reacts strongly against what I share or teach, I tend to find that they are ongoingly involved in a tragic relationship or perhaps in a system that produces tragic relationships. Most relationships out there seem to have major abusive components: active or passive or both.

I believe the majority of people who contact me are those seeking to remove abusiveness from their lives. Frequently they want to change their partner and neglect thinking about changing themselves. Well, that is at least a start.

But the word "abusive" is one I am cautious about, as it tends to be used on one person in a relationship ("the abuser") and has no balancing label for the other partner. I am willing to accept "abuser" and "abusee", but I prefer to assert my belief that both are "abusive" and don't, as yet, know better.

Oh, and to respond to what may be under your great question, how people respond to my stuff I do think is a bit diagnostic. Tells something about them. For example, those who hate my sign "All people make sense all the time" are frequently into overt controlling and bullying of others, consciously or unconsciously, as a life style.

Of course some just "hate my face." Can't please everyone.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #152281
08/30/11 05:53 PM
08/30/11 05:53 PM
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LivingWell Offline
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Thank you for your reply. I'm planning on focusing more on this stuff this fall because I think that it will help with my personal recovery progress. I appreciate your forum here at MA. smile


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But the word "abusive" is one I am cautious about, as it tends to be used on one person in a relationship ("the abuser") and has no balancing label for the other partner. I am willing to accept "abuser" and "abusee", but I prefer to assert my belief that both are "abusive" and don't, as yet, know better.

I don't like the word either but I don't know of another that would work better. One of the reasons that I don't like it is because of the wide range that it covers which I think results in a lot of misunderstanding of what someone is describing.

Also, I haven't been able to explain very well my realization that where you find an abusive partner.....you find another. I'm looking forward to reading what you have written about that.


Quote:
Oh, and to respond to what may be under your great question, how people respond to my stuff I do think is a bit diagnostic. Tells something about them.

Tells me something about myself, too. There are times that I receive your stuff in a very different way than I do at other times. I'm starting to recognize a pattern to it.

Diagnostics......useful but unpleasant at times. Not unpleasant today....so that gets a grin . laugh

Last edited by LivingWell; 08/30/11 05:57 PM.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #152300
08/30/11 07:01 PM
08/30/11 07:01 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...
Originally Posted By: hydin
She is an avoider but I must have made her feel unsafe, very unsafe for a while. I have spent the last 4 or 5 years watching her do activities that gave her praise from others. She was not getting that from me. I tried but I was always 3rd or 4th in her life. We had great times and "quiet" times. When we fought and went silent I was the one to bring up talking to end the silence. I never called her names, shouted, lied, told her what she could and could not do, commented on her clothes, demeaned her, put her down in front of others, called her stupid, or any of the things outlined in the verbal abuse book. I feel the book was her excuse to get out... She must have wanted out pretty bad too.
I am wondering what you know but are not noticing or telling me about. I hear you fought. I don't hear what you did to fight. I hear you had quiet times and wonderful times, but I don't hear that she thought they were wonderful times. Hmm. Me listening closely.


Originally Posted By: hydin
I have made that statement 2 months ago, our last talk about the marriage. Well, I tried to share my thoughts with her in a loving manner with no expectation that she would respond. she didn't. I left it at that.
Ok. So you talk, she pretends to listen. Hmm.

Originally Posted By: hydin
How do you show a person who won't have an intimate discussion with you? I have even thought of bringing up working on the relationship one more time and telling her that Sex would be off the table for at least 6 months so that she knew I wanted a real relationship with her, not just sex. (we had a great intimate "life" up until last November, her "enjoyment" was not an issue). I wonder if that would make her feel safer. I also sometimes feel being alone is the only way she can snap out of her feelings. I have no clue what to do on this.
Of course you have no clue. If you had a clue you would have followed it.

On the other hand, what are the clues you choose to not notice? "If you are not hearing from your partner regularly about everything, you are in deep doodoo!" That's a clue. When she doesn't talk, you try to talk at her more? Well, that's dumb. Doesn't work at all, I found.

What the heck did you do, by habit, that made her so unsafe?


Originally Posted By: hydin
I think I am seen as her verbal abuser.


Hmm. You think she sees you as a verbal abuser or you think other people see you as a verbal abuser? That's not clear. Also what the heck to do you do that can easily be interpreted as verbal abuse?

Originally Posted By: hydin
The church issues are a counselor their giving her a book on verbal abuse after one appt and not even knowing or seeking me out. We are Catholic so she is suppose to work at reconciling even under serious physical abuse situations (never any with us). Priest met with her before she saw the church counselor... he reccomended that my W see her. My W came away from that meeting with the priest thinking divorce was OK... Priest refuses to seek her out to explain she is wrong. He says she has to come to him... I have met with him twice, showed him the book (before he knew his in house counselor was using it) he said it was feminist garbage (his words not mine) he was shocked the counselor was handing it out. He asked that I tell my W that he wanted to see both of us in April. She said she would think about it, saw her IC the next day (from Church) and told me as soon as she got home that she was not going. The only thing that could have happened at the meeting was that she would be told she was wrong. By avoiding the meeting she avoided criticism.
Oh, wow. Read my stuff on Master/Slave - Topic #2. I believe people in The Catholic Church (many churches) are often a major source of verbal abuse. As a group they try to helpfully guide other people, but as a practice they often practice/teach bullying. Sounds as if she is reconsidering not just you, but The Church, her faith, (her family?) as well. Big glorious awakening stuff here.

Originally Posted By: hydin
My W told me she did not think she had and wanted counseling again. Her counselor suggested a counselor and she interviewed him as did I. He was sort of a counselor of last resort. Expensive but intense program. W saw forms she had to fill out and again said no to counseling and she wanted a D. This is when we met with the collaborative divorce counselor.
Good for her. She's not found the right kind of counselor yet. Help her continue to look.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have sucked to talk to but I am working my butt off on getting better. Work reviews specifically called this out as a change my boss noticed. I was opening up to see the other side rather than fighting for my side. Much more respect for other opinions. This was a very needed change and one of the major reasons I am loving myself more than ever. Low self esteem drove me to prove I was right... Reading your stuff helped me a ton here. Much easier to live life now. Not going back. I am OK with me for the first time. I make sense, but so do they. Never thought that way before. Much better this way.
I salute you. Keep working on this.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I see my W as more male in relationships than female. She really does let her opinion be known with me and stands up for herself very well. She is no way a weak person, avoider for sure, but not submissive at all.
This passage is so contradictory to what you've suggested before, that I have to ask about it. She's quiet and won't talk and is in no way a weak person. Hmmmm.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I think she took greater pride in being a Mom vs a wife. Her love language was service. She volunteers a ton for jobs that have no risk but high praise. She puts herself in positions that almost have no risk (serving pizza to teens at church, being an adult chaperone at teen mission trips or retreats, boy scout leader etc.)
Interesting. She was trying to earn what? Praise, self-esteem? She avoiding judgmentalness? "Give me a simple job where I can be successful." Interesting, evolving gal.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I did not meet her needs. I see some of the areas that I failed her. We both failed each other.
Well, that's what you are looking at. Good for you.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She also said that she did not want to tell me the reasons she is divorcing me "because I don't want to hurt you.
Originally Posted By: Al
Big clue. A guess is that you've acted fragile and she's taken care of your feelings by withholding data from you. Lots of Door #2 stuff here.


Originally Posted By: hydin
So what to do? I fear she may be waiting for me to fight for her. To reach out for her and tell her how much I love her and want to have a new relationship with her. I have no interest in going back to what it was. I would rather D and that means being alone for the rest of my life (Catholic remember).
Boy! is this a place where I think the Catholic Church fails its congregations. I have no problem with asserting that people should work out their problems and stay together, but to tell them they "have to stay married" and then not help them with how to be good partners - tis very very sad. I've seen it a lot.

Originally Posted By: hydin
We both would let things build up then finally get so frustrated that we would just go silent. I did it as much as she did. She would also withhold sex as punishment. We never really fought for long periods. Usually for a few minutes then we would get silent. I know, really mature. I am learning....
Go for it.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Family is interesting... Dad retired army, several tours to vietnam. Mom basically raised kids alone. Mom still dominates her Dad (my father in law). He retired in his 50's and they bought a house out of state. He would go there alone for months. I always thought that was weird but held my tongue since it was her dad.
You a critical cuss? hmm. If you had opened your mouth would a criticism of him have come out?

Originally Posted By: hydin
He would stay for a month.....
Thanks for the stuff about her family. Helps illuminate the power of perfectionism, control, Valley of Masters, all that stuff in her life and with you.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She says she can't change. I feel this is a line supplied by her counselor to avoid conflict.
Yup sounds like that. Everyone can and will change, but it sounds certainly like a nice "wall" statement. I don't think she would use it if she weren't fighting such a whole world of tyrants.

Originally Posted By: hydin
How to I handle this? Trying gentle pulling but she stonewalls.
Nope pulling is secondary, first you help her building her walls - so that eventually she doesn't have to build them in your direction, just toward other people. I think she is stumbling out of zero-boundaries into growing a sense of self.

Originally Posted By: hydin
When you are not talking (that may be my error, giving her too much space... so she can exit...)how do you demonstrate empathy? I have shared some of my frustrations with the divorce paper work and stuff and asked her if she was doing OK with it. Her answer was "I am fine".
Well, if I remember rightly, FINE means Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. Comes from AA.

By the way, you two have been in Door #2 for a long time and dealt with a lot of silence, is there addiction somewhere in you too or in your families. Sounds like alcoholism is around.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have been practicing mirroring, asking if there is more, validating etc. My men's group is built on that. Great learnings there and a place to face issues with no spin. I am listening better and still working hard. It is really tough to listen when someone won't talk. HELP!
Hmmm. Actually easier to listen when someone won't talk. Listening to chatty persons like you or me can be a [Bleep!]. One use of Mirroring is there to help our listeners slow us down and give us practice at having to slow down and simplify. Of course if you are super needy/clingy of her talking, then her silence will drive you to distraction/nuts. Can't let your panic out at her.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I ended up talking at her when she would shut down. I was the reason she shut down. I needed to listen more. Learning that now.. hope I am not too late.
Well, if the only problem were your neediness, twood be easier. But sounds as if the adventure she is on has a lot of features.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I guess she does not feel safe. I have not pressured at all in the last 4 months. I really feel she is not discussing the divorce or relationship because she doesn't want to change her mind.
Nope. I think you are way off. She probably doesn't wanna talk with you cuz she doesn't anticipate you will understand her. My guess is that you have the habit, from the past, of invalidating her. Gonna take a while before she believes you have changed. Talk with your men about this.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She told me she had filed for Divorce yet wanted me to tell the kids. I found that interesting.
Then PreValidate her and seek to Validate her.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Yep, tons to learn, Just hope I get a chance.
Always can learn. Not dependent on her behavior and choices. Good luck.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I also see her avoiding conflict in her settlement offer.
My guess still is that she sees disagreement as a conflict. And so have you, in the past. With her dad in the military, remember that disagreement is a reason to be shot on a battle field. And then dad came home to his wife, a General! No wonder he enjoyed going out on maneuvers to the other house. But that meant he left the kids with the "General".

Originally Posted By: hydin
Sorry for the long post again.
Yeah. Please shorten.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am losing hope fast and as the D progresses It is going to get tougher to reach her if she is an avoider. As we divide up the house stuff their is going to be some conflict. That may really drive her away.
Good chance to practice disagreeing in an agreeable fashion.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I love her with all my heart. I realize that more than ever. I want a new and improved marriage. I want my best friend back. I want to be the man she married but improved. We have great kids. The thing I hate the most is the impact this is having on them for the rest of their lives... In law are tough when you have a family and I have fantastic in laws. splitting holidays and vacations 3 ways is going to be that much more complicated than two ways. Plus our model for them is when things get tough, leave. I hate that. That is not what I believe.
So much nice stuff here. But the last bit caught me. Actions speak louder than words. Much better to say, I believed in leaving to avoid conflict, but I am learning better. Much better to say, I've learned to say one thing and do another. I'm working on this.

Originally Posted By: hydin
We need help for sure but we can regain our marriage... if both of us work at it. That of course had to make sense to her... and it doesn't now..
Right now, I think of Validating yourself, and PreValidating her, and helping her build them walls, and pondering the lessons before you.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #152473
08/31/11 04:50 AM
08/31/11 04:50 AM
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I am wondering what you know but are not noticing or telling me about. I hear you fought. I don't hear what you did to fight. I hear you had quiet times and wonderful times, but I don't hear that she thought they were wonderful times. Hmm. Me listening closely.

I missed a ton of signs I guess. When we fought it was usually about how to do something (both working on christmas lights together). I would say something like "what do you think about doing this..." rather than "I would like to do this". Her normal response was to say something like "no, I think it should be this way.." and she would do it that the way she wanted. My what do you think was passive, she ignored my suggestions most of the time. I would react OK the first couple of times during the day (we did Christmas lights big) then it would build up and I would get quiet. I also was quite negative, putting people down to build me up. I had very low esteem. Realizing the real reasons for this negativity now.I also was very opinionated on politics and other stuff. She has said she felt like she needed to agree with me and sometimes didn't, but did not want to say it because I would want to discuss it. She was right. so she never said much. If must have frustrated her. Passive aggressive was used by both of us.


On the other hand, what are the clues you choose to not notice? "If you are not hearing from your partner regularly about everything, you are in deep doodoo!" That's a clue. When she doesn't talk, you try to talk at her more? Well, that's dumb. Doesn't work at all, I found.

I guess I missed the clues of her silence. She really avoided conflict in outside activities. I have always been a leader. She would not want to discuss topics that caused her to feel uncomfortable. When I was negative she would defend the people I was criticizing. I see that now. Did not love myself much in the past.

What the heck did you do, by habit, that made her so unsafe?

I always stayed with a topic too long. I could not just drop something. I had to say more. Must have been tough to live with.


Originally Posted By: hydin
I think I am seen as her verbal abuser.


Hmm. You think she sees you as a verbal abuser or you think other people see you as a verbal abuser? That's not clear. Also what the heck to do you do that can easily be interpreted as verbal abuse?

Sorry, she read the book by patricia evans and decided I was a verbal abuser. Here is the check list In the book it is followed with, of course if you feel you are verbally abused, you are verbally abused. check list follows.
He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week. When you ask why he's mad, he either denies it or tells you it's in some way your fault.
When you feel hurt and try to talk with him, the issues never get resolved. He might refuse to discuss your upset feelings by saying "You're just trying to start an argument!" or claiming he has no idea what you're talking about.
You frequently feel frustrated because you can't get him to understand your intentions.
You're upsetnot so much about concrete issues like how much time to spend together, but about communication: what he thinks you said and what you heard him say.
You sometimes think, "What's wrong with me? I shouldn't feel so bad."
He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything, and his opinion isn't stated as "I think," but as if you're wrong and he's right.

Originally Posted By: hydin
The church issues are a counselor their giving her a book on verbal abuse after one appt and not even knowing or seeking me out. We are Catholic so she is suppose to work at reconciling even under serious physical abuse situations (never any with us). Priest met with her before she saw the church counselor... he reccomended that my W see her. My W came away from that meeting with the priest thinking divorce was OK... Priest refuses to seek her out to explain she is wrong. He says she has to come to him... I have met with him twice, showed him the book (before he knew his in house counselor was using it) he said it was feminist garbage (his words not mine) he was shocked the counselor was handing it out. He asked that I tell my W that he wanted to see both of us in April. She said she would think about it, saw her IC the next day (from Church) and told me as soon as she got home that she was not going. The only thing that could have happened at the meeting was that she would be told she was wrong. By avoiding the meeting she avoided criticism.
Oh, wow. Read my stuff on Master/Slave - Topic #2. I believe people in The Catholic Church (many churches) are often a major source of verbal abuse. As a group they try to helpfully guide other people, but as a practice they often practice/teach bullying. Sounds as if she is reconsidering not just you, but The Church, her faith, (her family?) as well. Big glorious awakening stuff here.

confusing on my part, counselor was suppose to try and get us to reconcile, not my W. Catholic Church says couple should try and work things out.

Originally Posted By: hydin
My W told me she did not think she had and wanted counseling again. Her counselor suggested a counselor and she interviewed him as did I. He was sort of a counselor of last resort. Expensive but intense program. W saw forms she had to fill out and again said no to counseling and she wanted a D. This is when we met with the collaborative divorce counselor.
Good for her. She's not found the right kind of counselor yet. Help her continue to look.

Not clear again, my fault. The counselor we interviewed was a marriage counselor for both of us to see together. Saw the program and filed for divorce within 10 days of telling me she did not want counseling. Changed her mind 4 times in a month. She still has the same counselor she started with and refuses marriage counseling.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I see my W as more male in relationships than female. She really does let her opinion be known with me and stands up for herself very well. She is no way a weak person, avoider for sure, but not submissive at all.
This passage is so contradictory to what you've suggested before, that I have to ask about it. She's quiet and won't talk and is in no way a weak person. Hmmmm.

She is strong with me. She normally got her way and I got frustrated. She was quiet but still did things she wanted to do. She would be quiet when she was mad or mad at me for being upset because my thoughts were not discussed or considered. Many times it was her way or no way. I was too passive and then took it personally as her not caring about me and pouted.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I think she took greater pride in being a Mom vs a wife. Her love language was service. She volunteers a ton for jobs that have no risk but high praise. She puts herself in positions that almost have no risk (serving pizza to teens at church, being an adult chaperone at teen mission trips or retreats, boy scout leader etc.)
Interesting. She was trying to earn what? Praise, self-esteem? She avoiding judgmentalness? "Give me a simple job where I can be successful." Interesting, evolving gal.

She took great care in public life to avoid conflict. In marriage she avoided conflict by usually getting her way or I paid... no sex, no contact, her withdrawing. I also got to the point that I would do the same behavior. We were horrible at communicating and used passive aggressive stuff way too often.


Originally Posted By: hydin
So what to do? I fear she may be waiting for me to fight for her. To reach out for her and tell her how much I love her and want to have a new relationship with her. I have no interest in going back to what it was. I would rather D and that means being alone for the rest of my life (Catholic remember).
Boy! is this a place where I think the Catholic Church fails its congregations. I have no problem with asserting that people should work out their problems and stay together, but to tell them they "have to stay married" and then not help them with how to be good partners - tis very very sad. I've seen it a lot.

I was very disappointed and expected more from our church. They could have at least gotten us together and made us talk to each other in a safe place for her. Instead they expect her to come and seek them out. Not going to happen.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Family is interesting... Dad retired army, several tours to vietnam. Mom basically raised kids alone. Mom still dominates her Dad (my father in law). He retired in his 50's and they bought a house out of state. He would go there alone for months. I always thought that was weird but held my tongue since it was her dad.
You a critical cuss? hmm. If you had opened your mouth would a criticism of him have come out?

I would have said that when I retire I could not imagine not wanting my wife to be part of my life. ironic huh?

Originally Posted By: hydin
How to I handle this? Trying gentle pulling but she stonewalls.
Nope pulling is secondary, first you help her building her walls - so that eventually she doesn't have to build them in your direction, just toward other people. I think she is stumbling out of zero-boundaries into growing a sense of self.

If she is not open to talking how do I help her build her walls? Treat me like I am 4 years old... I am having real trouble grasping this and really need to understand it.

Originally Posted By: hydin
When you are not talking (that may be my error, giving her too much space... so she can exit...)how do you demonstrate empathy? I have shared some of my frustrations with the divorce paper work and stuff and asked her if she was doing OK with it. Her answer was "I am fine".
Well, if I remember rightly, FINE means Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. Comes from AA.

By the way, you two have been in Door #2 for a long time and dealt with a lot of silence, is there addiction somewhere in you too or in your families. Sounds like alcoholism is around.

No alcohol at all. I have not had a drink for 20 years. Told myself that when I gained weight that I could not drink until I lost weight. Lost weight and decided to not start drinking again. Never had drinking problem. W also does not drink or hasn't drank in front of me for about 15 years. She never had over 3 drinks at a time after college years.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have been practicing mirroring, asking if there is more, validating etc. My men's group is built on that. Great learnings there and a place to face issues with no spin. I am listening better and still working hard. It is really tough to listen when someone won't talk. HELP!
Hmmm. Actually easier to listen when someone won't talk. Listening to chatty persons like you or me can be a [Bleep!]. One use of Mirroring is there to help our listeners slow us down and give us practice at having to slow down and simplify. Of course if you are super needy/clingy of her talking, then her silence will drive you to distraction/nuts. Can't let your panic out at her.

Confused here too. If she won't talk there is nothing to listen to. She is happy to have things as they are. She deliberately does not discuss anything about D or marriage. I know I make her feel unsafe. How do you communicate with someone like this? I have avoided asking her questions to avoid pushing her away further. Am I wrong in not asking her stuff?

Originally Posted By: hydin
I guess she does not feel safe. I have not pressured at all in the last 4 months. I really feel she is not discussing the divorce or relationship because she doesn't want to change her mind.
Nope. I think you are way off. She probably doesn't wanna talk with you cuz she doesn't anticipate you will understand her. My guess is that you have the habit, from the past, of invalidating her. Gonna take a while before she believes you have changed. Talk with your men about this.

I agree I have not validated her. We both have not validated each other. I was horrible at her disagreeing but still not feeling attacked. We were bad at agreeing to disagree. We both pushed points to the place where we would just shut down.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She told me she had filed for Divorce yet wanted me to tell the kids. I found that interesting.
Then PreValidate her and seek to Validate her.

Not sure what this means...

Originally Posted By: hydin
I also see her avoiding conflict in her settlement offer.
My guess still is that she sees disagreement as a conflict. And so have you, in the past. With her dad in the military, remember that disagreement is a reason to be shot on a battle field. And then dad came home to his wife, a General! No wonder he enjoyed going out on maneuvers to the other house. But that meant he left the kids with the "General".

So what do I do now? I agree we both saw disagreement as conflict. I was very guilty of this.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am losing hope fast and as the D progresses It is going to get tougher to reach her if she is an avoider. As we divide up the house stuff their is going to be some conflict. That may really drive her away.
Good chance to practice disagreeing in an agreeable fashion.

How do I do this with her when she avoids all talk on D or marriage? I fear she will see my not agreeing with her settlement offer not as taking care of myself and kids but as trying to hurt her. How do I position things so she does not see it as an attack... proving that I am an abuser and she is better off without me.


Originally Posted By: hydin
I love her with all my heart. I realize that more than ever. I want a new and improved marriage. I want my best friend back. I want to be the man she married but improved. We have great kids. The thing I hate the most is the impact this is having on them for the rest of their lives... In law are tough when you have a family and I have fantastic in laws. splitting holidays and vacations 3 ways is going to be that much more complicated than two ways. Plus our model for them is when things get tough, leave. I hate that. That is not what I believe.
So much nice stuff here. But the last bit caught me. Actions speak louder than words. Much better to say, I believed in leaving to avoid conflict, but I am learning better. Much better to say, I've learned to say one thing and do another. I'm working on this.

I was not clear again. I fear the kids will watch her leave the marriage and think when times get tough in their marriages that it is OK to leave rather than try and work things out and keep the family together. She has never taken any blame, only says it is me... Dec. to filing D, then switched to I can't change when I tried to discuss the reasons for the D. Not thinking at all about the kids in her settlement agreement. Wants college fund split 50/50 and most of the equity in the house... without realizing if she gets it I can't pay for their college Which she wants me to pay 70% of. No consideration for telling a 16 year old that he is better off not living with her.

Originally Posted By: hydin
We need help for sure but we can regain our marriage... if both of us work at it. That of course had to make sense to her... and it doesn't now..
Right now, I think of Validating yourself, and PreValidating her, and helping her build them walls, and pondering the lessons before you. [/quote]

What do I prevalidate? and help build walls while doing the tough part of dividing the property and ending the marriage. I need help here. I will do it but confused...

Thanks for your responses so far and in the future. I am working hard to understand and be a better husband and father. How do I get another chance?


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: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #152498
08/31/11 10:45 AM
08/31/11 10:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,407
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline
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Not quite here
I like Al's stuff on abuse. I wish it had been so much easier to find when I needed it and was cautiously starting out on making the changes I needed in my life.

I think, like your wife Hydin, i was very keen to point out my H's abusive tendencies. I knew we weren't right and I looked to blame. And actually started giving him the opportunities to be abusive so that I could make myself more "right" than him
Once he started working on him, I realised that I needed to do some work and that indeed I was abusive too.


My best advice would be that you heed what she is saying and examine yourself....if you identify the areas where you can be being seen as abusive and can alter your interactions, it is likely to be a wake up call for her aswell.

I'm not sure what would have happened if J hadn't looked at himself. I would still be blaming him, oblivious of my part and we wouldn't be happily together today.

It's not fair that it has to be that way, obviously if your wife was here and pointing the finger, I would be suggesting she look within.



Married 22years (this year) ~13y since dday(?)
DD17 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Squeaky Tree] #152551
08/31/11 02:30 PM
08/31/11 02:30 PM
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LivingWell Offline
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Originally Posted By: staytogether
It's not fair that it has to be that way, obviously if your wife was here and pointing the finger, I would be suggesting she look within.

I think that it's interesting that you say this, staytogether, because it was by focusing on my personal recovery that I discovered that I was in an abusive marriage. Before I reached a certain point in my personal recovery, I actually didn't realize how abusive it had become.

With hindsight, I realized that I could begin to recognize it because as I focused on my personal recovery, I became less and less abusive than I had been previously.....which made his abuse stand out more and more. Not one person that I knew then would have said that I was abusive......they would have said quite the opposite. I think that it's easy to miss when it's done defensively or as a preventative measure. I think that it's easiest to miss when someone else's abuse is in the spotlight.


Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #152561
08/31/11 03:12 PM
08/31/11 03:12 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...
Originally Posted By: hydin
I missed a ton of signs I guess. She was right. Passive aggressive was used by both of us.
Ok. We got blindness, right/wrong, and passivity. Stop, do not pass go. Read the series of papers starting with Master/Slave. Digest them and come back. I am guessing that your relationship has foundered on the olde "You can either be Right, or in Relationship. Take your pick." ( Papers referenced in first article of Topic #3.)

Originally Posted By: hydin
When I was negative she would defend the people I was criticizing.
OK. Stop. Do not pass go. Read and digest my article on Are you a Controller?

Originally Posted By: hydin
I always stayed with a topic too long. I could not just drop something. I had to say more. Must have been tough to live with.
Please do not drop being a stubborn cuss. Just take that stubborn perseverance and use it to learn.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She still has the same counselor she started with and refuses marriage counseling.
More clear. Support her seeing the counselor she trusts.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She took great care in public life to avoid conflict. In marriage she avoided conflict by usually getting her way or I paid... no sex, no contact, her withdrawing. I also got to the point that I would do the same behavior. We were horrible at communicating and used passive aggressive stuff way too often.
I'm not as concerned about the passive aggressive as I am about the entrenched deceit that it common in Door #2 relationships. One way to say it is that "everyone is lying" and doesn't often know it. Read How Much Should You Tell, and To be safe, share it all.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I was very disappointed and expected more from our church. They could have at least gotten us together and made us talk to each other in a safe place for her. Instead they expect her to come and seek them out. Not going to happen.
Actually this is a place where I am with The Church. In this case, forcing people seems deplorable.

Originally Posted By: hydin
If she is not open to talking how do I help her build her walls?
Lots of ways to support her for not talking and lots of other things she does. Mind you she needs walls because her boundary skills are poor. I'd tell you to read my paper on Boundaries, but I've already thrown a pile of work your way.

Originally Posted By: hydin
No alcohol at all.
Well, good. In her family, in your family. Pot use? I am still wondering if this could be an addiction to The Church. Hmmm. Just groping around, curious.

Originally Posted By: hydin
If she won't talk there is nothing to listen to. She is happy to have things as they are.
Well that's horsedoodoo. I get it that she's miserable with the way things are - enough to maybe throw over her marriage, her family, her faith.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She deliberately does not discuss anything about D or marriage.
with you... Sure.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I agree I have not validated her. We both have not validated each other. I was horrible at her disagreeing but still not feeling attacked. We were bad at agreeing to disagree. We both pushed points to the place where we would just shut down.
I want to add here that I believe not validating an intimate partner is the act of invalidating. And I think in a family this is one of the most cruel things you can do.

Originally Posted By: hydin
So what do I do now? I agree we both saw disagreement as conflict. I was very guilty of this.
So, stubbornly become an expert at Validation and PreValidation. (Ok one more reference. Read the papers referenced in Topic #4 first page. That will fix all of that trouble including the guilt bit.

Good studying. See you on the other side.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #152959
09/01/11 12:32 PM
09/01/11 12:32 PM
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hydin Offline
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Got the articles, even downloaded the podcasts for the flight home. Thanks for the information Al. I have tons of study to do. Self evaluation continues.

Thanks for taking the time to help me. You are a blessing for those on this board. You will never know the extent you have improved my life with or with out divorce. I am leaving a very tension filled 3 day meeting with a totally different outlook than ever before. I was able to really focus on both sides of the issues, not just mine. Everyone made sense to me and really helped with both finding solutions and making everyone feel heard and respected. No winners or losers. Leaving with no frustrations or with me taking things personally. I like this place.

Much more work to do..


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: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: hydin] #153029
09/01/11 03:24 PM
09/01/11 03:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Dear hydin, I hear you. Go for it.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am leaving a very tension filled 3 day meeting with a totally different outlook than ever before. I was able to really focus on both sides of the issues, not just mine. Everyone made sense to me and really helped with both finding solutions and making everyone feel heard and respected. No winners or losers. Leaving with no frustrations or with me taking things personally. I like this place.

Lots of people don't realize that the principles I write about fit in any situation. The Biological Dream seems a simple way of describing the primary social drives of all humans. So the skills work in groups and not using the skills messes things up in groups.

One example is that if you are dialogical (noticing and assertively respecting all points of view), meetings can remain both peaceful and productive. If you are not essentially Dialogical, it just seems a matter of time before explosions and troubles will occur.

The skills seem very useful in meetings, but even more so in relationships and Marriages. I think it is nice to turn the skills into automatic habits.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153430
09/02/11 04:28 PM
09/02/11 04:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Ontario, Canada
My wife's parents have now gone home and she is just about set up in her new house. I've been in my new place for about five weeks and I'm surprised at how much I like it.

I'm finding this a challenge. A sense of peace has come over me since I've become increasingly disconnected from the situation, partly my choice because of the 'friendly neighbour' and partly because she's been busy with renovations.

Being around her and having any contact with her now feels like touching a hot stove. I've been aware of that phenomenon for awhile but the contrast between peace and glowing element has never been this large.

The worst part for me seems to be the lack of predictive data for my dragon. I don't know what the nature of her relationship is with her 'neigbour'. My Dragon assumes the worst. Especially given what I hear about the addictive quality of these relationships.

It's possible that the shine has already come off it but I can't help thinking it is a convenient retreat for her. Feels like she is trying to navigate with both of us to get her reliable membership needs met. Fair enough for her, I guess. Not working for me. I believe I could end up in 'come here, now go away' land for a very long time and since I don't get to express any resentment without her reacting as though I've made her unsafe, it feels like I'm circling the drain.

Different perspectives always appreciated. Cheers

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153555
09/03/11 12:50 AM
09/03/11 12:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'm finding this a challenge. A sense of peace has come over me since I've become increasingly disconnected from the situation, partly my choice because of the 'friendly neighbour' and partly because she's been busy with renovations.
Pretty common phenom. You lizard doesn't need her. When she's out of sight, not so difficult. When she appears then the idea of her "leaving" surfaces in that old mid-brain and you have fire. To take a rest get away from her enough.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Being around her and having any contact with her now feels like touching a hot stove. I've been aware of that phenomenon for awhile but the contrast between peace and glowing element has never been this large.
Yup. Experience it to get to feel its dynamics.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The worst part for me seems to be the lack of predictive data for my dragon. I don't know what the nature of her relationship is with her 'neigbour'. My Dragon assumes the worst.
That is the Lizard's job - imagine the worst and react to that imagination. Makes life a bit harrowing. Gotta train your cortex to take care of things.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Feels like she is trying to navigate with both of us to get her reliable membership needs met. Fair enough for her, I guess. Not working for me. I believe I could end up in 'come here, now go away' land for a very long time and since I don't get to express any resentment without her reacting as though I've made her unsafe, it feels like I'm circling the drain.
Couple of suggestions. While she is waffling around, everything you can do to make yourself appear a better and growing better partner is to your advantage. She's comparing the known-stable-awful-partner (you) to the unknown-dreamy-becoming real-scary-partner that's him. So he is slipping in her eyes, day by day. If you can improve in her eyes then he'll more likely lose in her eyes.

Second thought when it comes to your needs for connection, do not, repeat do not, try to get them all met by her or no one else. Quickly build a team of friends (probably not including women) who can be there for you. I think most people require a staff of 5 support people, of which only one can be your partner.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153557
09/03/11 01:07 AM
09/03/11 01:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
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LadyGrey Offline
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Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: MrDantes
A sense of peace has come over me since I've become increasingly disconnected from the situation


The relief I felt when we separated was bliss. No other word for it.

It was like that moment when the codeine kicks in and suddenly the absence of pain is affirmative pleasure.

I have X amount of tolerance for negative stimulus and then I'm all done. The CPU shuts down. Withdrawal is a completely inadequate word to describe it. Disappear is closer.

Originally Posted By: MrDantes
I don't get to express any resentment without her reacting as though I've made her unsafe


If I express a negative feeling, the first order of business is to prove that he has nothing to do with that. The defensiveness is insurmountable, and I seriously don't give a rat's ass what anyone here says on that point -- it is INSURMOUNTABLE.

I don't suck in the choosing words department, nor do I have particularly high expectations. Sometimes the problem is NOT in fact with the poster.

Rant over.

No way to get his lizard to trust me that I can see. His lizard goes directly from "she asked me to carry my dishes to the kitchen" to "she is [Bleep!] someone else."

Originally Posted By: Al
I think most people require a staff of 5 support people, of which only one can be your partner.


How very discouraging. I severed the relationships I had with my very few friends under the MB "if they knew about the affair they have go" rule so I got nothin', nor do I have any realistic idea how to fix that.

Probably shouldn't be posting tonight - it was a stressful day, I am in severe pain and inexplicably codeine-less, and I'm tired and lonely. Sorry.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #153558
09/03/11 01:34 AM
09/03/11 01:34 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey


If I express a negative feeling, the first order of business is to prove that he has nothing to do with that. The defensiveness is insurmountable, and I seriously don't give a rat's ass what anyone here says on that point -- it is INSURMOUNTABLE.

I don't suck in the choosing words department, nor do I have particularly high expectations. Sometimes the problem is NOT in fact with the poster.

Rant over.

No way to get his lizard to trust me that I can see. His lizard goes directly from "she asked me to carry my dishes to the kitchen" to "she is [Bleep!] someone else."


Probably shouldn't be posting tonight - it was a stressful day, I am in severe pain and inexplicably codeine-less, and I'm tired and lonely. Sorry.



I've been that insecure, defensive bully. I didn't know how to operate differently. I get why you feel that's insurmountable. I hope for his sake your husband gets as tired of himself as I did.

I imagine it's been a hellish day for you. I'm not an MB guy and I must say, with due respect for their good intentions, advocating dropping friends who knew about your affair seems inhumane to me. I remember, as a teenager, believing I would meet a nearly infinite number of people who would have a meaningful impact on my life. Now I see how precious those connections are. Even the 'extras' seem somehow more special. Does your husband expect you to drop these people?

Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 09/03/11 01:39 AM.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153562
09/03/11 02:42 AM
09/03/11 02:42 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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In fairness to Harley, I don't recall reading where he advises that the unfaithful spouse must end all friendships/relationships if the person knew about the affair and didn't blow the whistle to the faithful spouse.

From what I can tell, that is a position completely made up by the forum which, despite their protestations to the contrary, is intent on ensuring that the straying spouse suffer to the greatest possible degree.

I had no ...

screw it. I started to write a completely pointless explanation but who gives a damn why. The current reality is that I have no support system whatsoever, a fact that I know with certainty is pleasing to some readers as is the fact that I had a biopsy today. Doubtless the vision of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy is giddy making.

Edmund, you are a criminal lawyer. It should come as no surprise to you that there are people who are, in fact, that vindictive.

My husband was bright line on some, grey on others. He is happiest when I talk to no one. Any interaction by me with the outside world makes him nervous so I don't. I'm so twisted up in the MB model I cannot even breathe.

It is impossible to describe how trapped I am.

Last edited by LadyGrey; 09/03/11 02:50 AM. Reason: Not worth it

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #153605
09/03/11 01:57 PM
09/03/11 01:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Ontario, Canada
Yes, I've seen a great deal of vindictiveness. Tremendous pain under all that anger I've found and these boards are the home of pain. Almost seems like you've been putting your head in the lion's den, my lady.

It's hard for me to hear your descriptions of your husband. He sounds very scared and disconnected from his fear to me. Been there. Wasted a lot of time there. I think I understand why you feel he's unapproachable and just plain unsafe with your feelings. I hope he gets some help. Is he in IC?


Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153613
09/03/11 03:42 PM
09/03/11 03:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
LG, I know this isn't the topic, but since MB is in the past....I say rekindle friendships and blow off that ridiculous hermit requirement. I'ts one thing if a friend helped you cover up or offered you her summer home for a tryst. Other than that, who cares? Find some of those people who KNOW and LOVE you and reinvite them in, I say.

Those legalistic things no longer apply in normal life as far as I'm concerned.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153629
09/03/11 07:23 PM
09/03/11 07:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Edmond Dantes  Offline
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Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'm finding this a challenge. A sense of peace has come over me since I've become increasingly disconnected from the situation, partly my choice because of the 'friendly neighbour' and partly because she's been busy with renovations.
Pretty common phenom. You lizard doesn't need her. When she's out of sight, not so difficult. When she appears then the idea of her "leaving" surfaces in that old mid-brain and you have fire. To take a rest get away from her enough.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Being around her and having any contact with her now feels like touching a hot stove. I've been aware of that phenomenon for awhile but the contrast between peace and glowing element has never been this large.
Yup. Experience it to get to feel its dynamics.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The worst part for me seems to be the lack of predictive data for my dragon. I don't know what the nature of her relationship is with her 'neigbour'. My Dragon assumes the worst.
That is the Lizard's job - imagine the worst and react to that imagination. Makes life a bit harrowing. Gotta train your cortex to take care of things.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Feels like she is trying to navigate with both of us to get her reliable membership needs met. Fair enough for her, I guess. Not working for me. I believe I could end up in 'come here, now go away' land for a very long time and since I don't get to express any resentment without her reacting as though I've made her unsafe, it feels like I'm circling the drain.
Couple of suggestions. While she is waffling around, everything you can do to make yourself appear a better and growing better partner is to your advantage. She's comparing the known-stable-awful-partner (you) to the unknown-dreamy-becoming real-scary-partner that's him. So he is slipping in her eyes, day by day. If you can improve in her eyes then he'll more likely lose in her eyes.

Second thought when it comes to your needs for connection, do not, repeat do not, try to get them all met by her or no one else. Quickly build a team of friends (probably not including women) who can be there for you. I think most people require a staff of 5 support people, of which only one can be your partner.


Thanks for th feedback, Al. I hear you about giving myself some space, getting a support network and being the better option.

I've been avoiding her neighbourhood for sometime and I think I'm going to have to address this issue fairly soon. I would like to find a way of explaining my discomfort, setting a boundary for myself, not coming off as too defensive and still leaving myself available to be 'the better option'.

I'm thinking of just telling her my Lizard feels uncomfortable in her neighbourhood, that looking after him is a priority for me, I'd prefer not to go to her new place and I hope she understands.

Any thoughts?


Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #153636
09/03/11 08:54 PM
09/03/11 08:54 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...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
How very discouraging. I severed the relationships I had with my very few friends under the MB "if they knew about the affair they have go" rule so I got nothin', nor do I have any realistic idea how to fix that.
As I was a learnin', I ended up almost completely changing my friends. Lots of my old friends became just acquaintances. Over time I got a whole pile of much more "tolerant" new friends. It twas quite a process and painful along the way.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Probably shouldn't be posting tonight - it was a stressful day, I am in severe pain and inexplicably codeine-less, and I'm tired and lonely. Sorry.
You are always welcome - codeine or not.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #153640
09/03/11 09:14 PM
09/03/11 09:14 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
In fairness to Harley,.....I had no ... screw it. The current reality is that I have no support system whatsoever....It is impossible to describe how trapped I am.


Beyond all your pain and a whole pile of mastertalk, I was thinking of your words. Reminded me of two pictures. The first is about what it may feel like. And the second is more about what it is. Enjoy.







Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153642
09/03/11 09:24 PM
09/03/11 09:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I've been avoiding her neighbourhood for sometime and I think I'm going to have to address this issue fairly soon. I would like to find a way of explaining my discomfort, setting a boundary for myself, not coming off as too defensive and still leaving myself available to be 'the better option'.
In explaining yourself to others sometimes you have to teach them a bit about humans and how humans work. The Lizard is a pretty useful concept in doing this, I've found.

"Something inside me, part of myself I've learned to call my Lizard, freaks when I go into your neighborhood. I don't understand my Lizard's sense yet, but I was concerned you would note that I act odd around you or around that area and would wonder." She may ask about this Lizard thingy and you can always say a little or drop one of my papers on her. "I'm just learning. I know you aren't causing this. It's my stuff, but I thought it might help you to understand my actions. I sure am interested in trust and safety for you and me."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'm thinking of just telling her my Lizard feels uncomfortable in her neighbourhood, that looking after him is a priority for me, I'd prefer not to go to her new place and I hope she understands.
She will someday.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153648
09/03/11 10:40 PM
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I shared the Lizard concept and some of your papers with my wife last winter, AL. I believe she liked the Lizard concept though I had the sense she was very stand-offish about the whole area because I think she thought it all sounded too encouraging of reconciliation.

Knowing what she does, I expect she will interpret any communication about my freaked out Lizard as distress from my inability to control her and proof nothing has changed with me. Maybe she'd be right. I don't know. I'm tired right now and as much as I try to prevalidate her my anger is inviting me to disrespect her choices and protect myself from more pain.

Not sure what I want anymore.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153659
09/04/11 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I shared the Lizard concept and some of your papers with my wife last winter, AL. I believe she liked the Lizard concept though I had the sense she was very stand-offish about the whole area because I think she thought it all sounded too encouraging of reconciliation.
Or to get her to go back to "being controlled some more". Hmmm

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Knowing what she does, I expect she will interpret any communication about my freaked out Lizard as distress from my inability to control her and proof nothing has changed with me. Maybe she'd be right. I don't know. I'm tired right now and as much as I try to prevalidate her my anger is inviting me to disrespect her choices and protect myself from more pain.
I love this. A woman after my own heart! Doesn't sound like she is so much troubled by the Lizard issues as she is about your lack of "knowing what she truly desires."

Perhaps it's time for one of my favorite stories. I first heard it told by Robert Bly. The story is really old, perhaps 1500 years. It's a King Arthur story and is told in many ways. I like my way the best, but tis much too long to write it here. The most common title is "Sir Gawain and Lady/Dame Ragnelle".

The core issue is the question posed by a threatening Knight to King Arthur and Sir Gawain. They have a year to try to answer it. If they find the right answer, they live. If not, they die. The question is "What is it that women truly desire?" or "What is it that every woman desires most?"

I've told this story so many times to me, with joy in my heart. I needed to know the answer, as probably do all men. ( Here's wikipedia on the subject.) Don't know what version of the story you can find is right for you. The answer in all versions should be the same.

You may get a kick when you find this venerable story was the comedy basis for the movie, Shrek.

Enjoy, Edmond.

P.S. Ok, ok. Men truly want the same thing. smile

Last edited by AlTurtle; 09/04/11 04:35 AM. Reason: Added a PS

Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153824
09/05/11 02:13 AM
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Thanks, Al. I'm grateful for the timing of your message.

I was familar with a version of the story to which you referred but, like Shrek, the version I knew focused on Gawain. What struck me when I looked at your link was Gawain's selfless love for Arthur. I saw his 'sacrifice' as an expression of love for the kingly archtype.

After I looked at the story I could see my perspective on my wife and her hardships was coloured by righteous selfishness and not coming from love.

So easy to get off track. Sigh.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153865
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Wow. How those stories have a lot in them!

I recall being told that in the first part of Jack and the Beanstalk, in the original, that person on the road that talked Jack into trading the cow for beans was originally a "wise man" or a "shaman", but was changed in the telling. But that over the years the whole point of being disobedient to the mother infused the story with the idea that the beans came from a fraud who fooled the boy - when the story clearly proves the beans were magic, the gift of a holy man.

Anyway I love my version of Dame Ragnelle where the Sir Gawain's give of "sovereignty" to her frees her from the evil spell. King Arthur and Sir Gawain giving a woman/women sovereignty in that long ago! I think that gift to my wife was and is very wise. I encourage you to consider how to make that gift, too.


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Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153874
09/05/11 06:15 AM
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So Al the giving of sovereignty is about detaching from them and letting them go to follow their own path?

For me it's also been about not expecting any improvement in the relationship. I think it has got to a point after 6 months seperation, that this aint going to reconcile.


Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153881
09/05/11 06:44 AM
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Yes, Sovereignty. I see that. That's why I described this situation as a Pre-Validation challenge for me.

I accept my wife's sovereign choices make sense. Somehow, someway. I'm struggling to see it.

The thing that strikes most people immediately about my wife is her elegance. She has an air of graciousness about her that is quite remarkable. Since she left me she has adopted a new support system. They consist primarily of three man-hating, bitter divorcees (one of whom ranted to my oldest daughter about her alcoholic ex-husband and how she was 'on your mother's side') all of whom live 'independently' on spousal support and her boyfriend who cleans up after street people in a detox center and moonlights as a singer-songwriter when his mental illness allows him to do anything at all. What these people all seem to have in common ,besides mental instability (three of the four are bi-polar), are a fierce loyalty to my wife and unflinching support for anything she says or does.

I know they all must have more going for them if my wife has befriended them, I just have no idea what those things might be. All of their lives are in turmoil from what I can see.

Since she left 18 months ago and quit her job, ostensibly to express her independence (that's what our daughters were told), she has lived exclusively on the substantial financial support I provide her and has occupied herself with volunteering, drawing, painting, photography and smoking and drinking daquiris. My kids don't get it either.

She has become a kind of priviledged queen among 'losers'. I know she's in pain. I believe she's looking for a new identity among people who will accept her without reservation. I accept it is not wise, healthy or loving to come from such a judgmental place when it comes to her friends and life choices, particularly when this kind of judgementalism has been such a handicap for me in the past. This is all so extreme though that I am struggling to penetrate it. Talk about jumping in the deep end.

That's why I was so struck by Gawain's unhesitating ' yes, of course, I'll marry the hag for you'. I understand that's not the central theme of the story but it sure spoke to me in the moment.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153883
09/05/11 07:35 AM
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Perhaps the Toxic Trio validate your wife in her decisions to drink, smoke, paint, divorce etc. I know my wife has only spoken to her friends including the OM, who were pro divorce - looking for the validation as to her decision to leave. Probably your wife Edmund wanted similar re inforcement. I find it insulting that people you dont even know weigh in and influence your marriage like that. But what to do, can't stop them doing that ( the sovereignty ).I know how you feel about all of this - me too. Trying to learn the new skills,but it doesnt seem to get better.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153908
09/05/11 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
After I looked at the story I could see my perspective on my wife and her hardships was coloured by righteous selfishness and not coming from love.
Yup. Part of the beauty of the story was that this was a lesson for a King and his friend. Kings can easily get lost is righteous selfishness. Tis a reminder.

I once heard of a tribe in Africa where the kingship was inherited from father to son. To make sure the kid did not fall into righteous self-centeredness, the tribe would in ceremony break his leg and then set it poorly, so that he would always limp and be never able to forget that he was just a simple person. Hard lesson.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Manup] #153909
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Originally Posted By: Manup
So Al the giving of sovereignty is about detaching from them and letting them go to follow their own path?
I don't see it that way. If you read the story, they lived happily ever after together, once sovereignty was established. Yes a "letting go" and a "letting them follow their path" but not a leaving.

Originally Posted By: Manup
For me it's also been about not expecting any improvement in the relationship. I think it has got to a point after 6 months separation, that this aint going to reconcile.
I hear your disappointment. Learning can be awful painful and slow. I am just wondering. Does she have more sovereignty with you away? Even as sucky as this is, can you consider this to be an improvement in the kind of relationship you had with her?

Is it possible that giving her sovereignty while she is with you would be an even bigger improvement in the relationship?


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153915
09/05/11 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Yes, Sovereignty. I see that. That's why I described this situation as a Pre-Validation challenge for me. I accept my wife's sovereign choices make sense. Somehow, someway. I'm struggling to see it.
Yep. Maybe we've narrowed down the growth point to a clear issue. Could be you have trouble with the process of Validation and PreValidation. I certainly did until my break-thru. Once I saw the problem I carried, I could not imagine going back to my previous understanding of people. And at core, it had to do with sovereignty. Wow. Study on.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The thing that strikes most people immediately about my wife is her elegance. She has an air of graciousness about her that is quite remarkable.
Hmmm. Wonder what is going on, there.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Since she left me she has adopted a new support system. They consist primarily of three man-hating, bitter divorcees (one of whom ranted to my oldest daughter about her alcoholic ex-husband and how she was 'on your mother's side') all of whom live 'independently' on spousal support and her boyfriend who cleans up after street people in a detox center and moonlights as a singer-songwriter when his mental illness allows him to do anything at all. What these people all seem to have in common ,besides mental instability (three of the four are bi-polar), are a fierce loyalty to my wife and unflinching support for anything she says or does.
I love the "man-haters."

I think it was one of the phenomena of the 1990s that "when women get together they talk about hatred of men and men's failings." When men got together (seriously), they didn't bash women. They contemplated how messy the world and their relationships had become. To me it seemed that men often took a kind of responsibility for the mess in the world, while women still reminded men that women were not responsible. Of course this is a wild generalization. And I think this has changed a lot since the 1990s.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I know they all must have more going for them if my wife has befriended them, I just have no idea what those things might be. All of their lives are in turmoil from what I can see.
I love the judgementalness explicit in your line. From a PreValidational and Sovereignty point of view, these are struggling valuable humans who you may not like.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Since she left 18 months ago and quit her job, ostensibly to express her independence (that's what our daughters were told), she has lived exclusively on the substantial financial support I provide her and has occupied herself with volunteering, drawing, painting, photography and smoking and drinking daquiris. My kids don't get it either.
Sounds as if her growth is just started. What the heck is this about her living on your financial support!? You enabling her, perhaps?

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
She has become a kind of priviledged queen among 'losers'. I know she's in pain. I believe she's looking for a new identity among people who will accept her without reservation. I accept it is not wise, healthy or loving to come from such a judgmental place when it comes to her friends and life choices, particularly when this kind of judgementalism has been such a handicap for me in the past. This is all so extreme though that I am struggling to penetrate it. Talk about jumping in the deep end.
Are you helping this confusion exist for her? Sounds as if you gave her only partial sovereignty.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
That's why I was so struck by Gawain's unhesitating ' yes, of course, I'll marry the hag for you'. I understand that's not the central theme of the story but it sure spoke to me in the moment.
Yup. I can see it.

Oh, well. There's more to the story.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Manup] #153919
09/05/11 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: Manup
Perhaps the Toxic Trio validate your wife in her decisions to drink, smoke, paint, divorce etc. I know my wife has only spoken to her friends including the OM, who were pro divorce - looking for the validation as to her decision to leave.
Perhaps. But I encourage you to PreValidate the process your partner is going through which includes listening to whoever and deciding to let them influence her or not. They don't make her decisions for her. She's learning. ("Toxic Trio" forsooth!)

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I find it insulting that people you dont even know weigh in and influence your marriage like that.
Wow, "insulting." Would be nice to run the world and have your partner only listen to people or radio stations or only read book you choose? I don't believe you would really want that.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
But what to do, can't stop them doing that ( the sovereignty ).I know how you feel about all of this - me too. Trying to learn the new skills,but it doesnt seem to get better.
Hey. (Sarcasm warning) Maybe we can get rid of that sovereignty thing and all will be better.

Or maybe I can continue to share the terrific advantages of applied sovereignty (I'm getting tired of typing that word).


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153964
09/05/11 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Since she left 18 months ago and quit her job, ostensibly to express her independence (that's what our daughters were told), she has lived exclusively on the substantial financial support I provide her and has occupied herself with volunteering, drawing, painting, photography and smoking and drinking daquiris. My kids don't get it either.
Sounds as if her growth is just started. What the heck is this about her living on your financial support!? You enabling her, perhaps?


Yup. That's what it feels like. However, the law says because she helped me build my business and was otherwise a stay at home mother (though she made violins and did countless other unlucrative things) I have to split my income with her 'in perpetuity'. Frustating but there it is.

At one time it was very important to her to be financially independent. Seems less so after each passing month. She has had a long history of starting projects and not finishing them or getting distracted and moving on to the next thing. I haven't noticed any change since she dumped me.



Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153968
09/05/11 07:21 PM
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Edmond, has SHE ever been evaluated for any type of disorder? I do realize that sometimes when one is a hammer, everything seems like a nail, so I try to err on the other extreme. But when you write about her changes and behavior (and things that have never changed) I see some of my unmedicated and episodic self - I have bipolar disorder.

I can tell you that for someone who does have a disorder...the rules of engagement or lack of engagement are very different. The WORST thing someone could do for me if I was episodic would be to assume I make sense and give me sovereignty. because to put it bluntly....an unmedicated manic does NOT make sense...at all. The granola approach won't work for us when were are not sane smile

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: herfuturesbright] #153979
09/05/11 08:42 PM
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Good point, hfb. How did you go about finding out your "condition?" Was it left up to you? How long did it take? What way would you have appreciated being helped into discovering yourself?

I think lots of people suffer w/o any treatment. Very sad.

And thanks for sharing what sounds like "contempt" about the "granola approach."


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Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #153980
09/05/11 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I know they all must have more going for them if my wife has befriended them, I just have no idea what those things might be. All of their lives are in turmoil from what I can see.
I love the judgementalness explicit in your line. From a PreValidational and Sovereignty point of view, these are struggling valuable humans who you may not like.


Yes, I hear you. Unfortunately, my wife has surrounded herself with these struggling, valuable people I don't like. And it's breaking my heart that part of her seems to want to be like these valuable people I don't like.

It's making it very hard to loiter around in the lobby to Door#3 hoping she'll re-discover the person I like and want to head with me toward Door#1.

In the meantime, though I think I see things a little differently than Manup, I certainly understand his hostility toward what he perceives as 'bad influences'. My Lizard doesn't like these people and he has a hard time accepting the value of their existence. My cortex feels differently but I hear my Lizard on this point too, lol.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #153989
09/05/11 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Yes, I hear you. Unfortunately, my wife has surrounded herself with these struggling, valuable people I don't like. And it's breaking my heart that part of her seems to want to be like these valuable people I don't like.
Boy, are you talking about a huge issue, and it seems so relevant today - world wide.

I've got a close friend working in Israel on the forefront of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She's working so hard to bring "understanding" to people who often seem to simply want to terminate their opponents.

To make sure I have your point, let me restate this part of your challenge. "How do I manage myself when a person I love befriends/chooses to be with people who's values I do not like at all?"

Did I get that?


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Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #154000
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Yes, I hear you. Unfortunately, my wife has surrounded herself with these struggling, valuable people I don't like. And it's breaking my heart that part of her seems to want to be like these valuable people I don't like.
Boy, are you talking about a huge issue, and it seems so relevant today - world wide.

I've got a close friend working in Israel on the forefront of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She's working so hard to bring "understanding" to people who often seem to simply want to terminate their opponents.

To make sure I have your point, let me restate this part of your challenge. "How do I manage myself when a person I love befriends/chooses to be with people who's values I do not like at all?"

Did I get that?


Yes, I think that captures an important aspect of my challenge. To add yet another wrinkle and also respond to HFB, I can say my wife has not been diagnosed with any condition.

My oldest daughter has been diagnosed with bi-polar though and is taking medication that has helped her a lot. Prior to her diagnosis she was in great distress, tried to commit suicide and it put a great deal of stress on our marriage. I had a one night stand and my wife was hanging on by her fingernails. As my daughter improved, my wife seemed to sort of just let go. I could understand that of course and I felt very compassionate as I watched her quit work, stay out late, take an unstable lover and dump out marriage.

I don't think she's bi-polar herself. But I do think she feels it's a very 'creative' condition and I believe part of her admires the drama as being 'artistic'. She wants desperately to unlock her creativity and I believe she feels surrounding herself with these erratic people will help her do that.

So more than just being around people whose values I don't like, I believe she is experimenting with her identity and wants to play with and possibly adopt many of these values for herself. I want to respect her sovereignty but I also want to respect myself. I feel tremendous remorse about the mistakes I've made and tremendous loyalty to her but at some point if she wants to be with and maybe become someone I don't like, maybe I have to not only let go but move on.

Very painful stuff.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #154004
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Ahhhh......so she could be a bipolar wanna-be. Actually, I have read some about this. People read about Van Gough, Beethoven, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.....and it's all so romantic....yeah, right.

Gosh, I was diagnosed in 2006, and it was the same time as the whole A thing. I was always....um....let's see what all words were used: artistic temperament, mercurial, dramatic, hot/cold, highly creative and sensitive. Did pretty well until after my first child and terrible post-partem. Then I was given an AD for mitral valve prolapse in the late winter/early spring of 2006 and within a couple of months I was full blown manic. The typical family history, long questionnaires, appointments with psychiatrist/psychologists were done. I was on a lot of meds for awhile, then less, then more......now I am on less than I have been in years.

I use the word "granola" kind of tongue in cheek and not in a mean way. I call the elementary school I went to "the granola" school because it was one of those creative, discovery learning type schools for gifted kids - so you can imagine smile I actually kind of like the exploration side of counseling to be included in most cases. But when I was at my most bizarre, I needed structure because.....let's just say that I was.....somewhat chaotic.

My DD has gone through a bit of fascination with the idea that she might have some disorder....and the internet has not been her friend. I think sometimes friends and family members deal with their response to someone's bipolar/MI in strange ways. Difference is, your wife is a grownup, not a teen like my DD, so she needs to grow up out of this.

The only other comment I would make is that though a variety of gifted and creative historical figures have had bipolar....I wouldn't wish it on a stray dog I didn't like.

Last edited by herfuturesbright; 09/05/11 10:42 PM.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: herfuturesbright] #154016
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Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Ahhhh......so she could be a bipolar wanna-be. Actually, I have read some about this. People read about Van Gough, Beethoven, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.....and it's all so romantic....yeah, right.
I really want to thank you for your input, HFB. I recall a book ( Link Here) by a friend about how lots and lots of greatness in our world has been lost on the couch of psychoanalysts or with the drugs of psychiatrists. On the other hand an horrifying number of kids have been shamed all the way through childhood as they simply displayed symptoms of distress. World can be pretty awful and chaotic.

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Gosh, I was diagnosed in 2006.... I was on a lot of meds for awhile, then less, then more......now I am on less than I have been in years.
Congratulations.

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
But when I was at my most bizarre, I needed structure because.....let's just say that I was ..... somewhat chaotic.
My imagination runneth rampant. I like your awareness that you needed structure. Often "liberal" parents don't know what that is, and "non-liberal" are the ones a kid is trying to get away from. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
My DD has gone through a bit of fascination with the idea that she might have some disorder....and the internet has not been her friend.
Good advice. And warning. For all of you out there who are taking psychology courses, you'll have to take an Abnormal Psych class. You may find you are a name-the-diagnosis wanna-be throughout that course. Read the fine print and you'll find that almost every diagnosis/label has a threshold of symptoms, above which you "have the disorder" and below which you are simply miserable w/o the nice mastertalk label. A very tricky field.

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Difference is, your wife is a grownup, not a teen like my DD, so she needs to grow up out of this.
Great point. Tis tough on parents who often have no training or perhaps negative training in this area.

Still as an adult, what are your thoughts about how you would have been receptive to ideas about "growing up out of this" from a partner or parents?

On a side issue, my experience is that "control freak families" like mine often face this problem. For years they maintain structure in the best way the know how. Then when their kids grow up, suddenly the behavior of the kids looks like a bunch of convicts who are just let out 20 years of prison with $5000 in their pockets. All hell breaks loose.

If this explosion of rebelliousness occurs 10 years into a marriage, which happened to be an extension of that "prison," I would expect surprises. And I am no longer, personally, surprised by this.

At home we joke about "the warden." Tis part of both our personalities that watches others for signs of rebelliousness.

Me, I'm learning still. Trying to always recall that I live in the U.S.of A., a culture built upon rebellion not obedience.

I love creative people and artists and, oh, computer programmers.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #154027
09/05/11 11:36 PM
09/05/11 11:36 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
"How do I manage myself when a person I love befriends/chooses to be with people who's values I do not like at all?"

Yes, I think that captures an important aspect of my challenge.
Good. I got it then. See below.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
My oldest daughter has been diagnosed with bi-polar though and is taking medication that has helped her a lot.
Glad you are sensitive to this.
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
So more than just being around people whose values I don't like, I believe she is experimenting with her identity and wants to play with and possibly adopt many of these values for herself.
This is a critical place that I disagree with Harville Hendrix. If you look at my Biological Dream or my idea of Vintage Love you will note the component I believe is built into us called Purpose. In other psychologies this is often called Self-Actualization, but I prefer to go back to the idea of Purpose / Meaning that you will find referred to in Man's Search for Meaning ( Link here) or in most indigenous cultures.

sually I think Purpose, which I believe has a powerful spiritual component, begins to surface after the four lower needs of Safety, Reliable Membership, Diversity, and Autonomy are well into being satisfied in the relationship.

But, says I to Harville, "What if you satisfy those earlier needs and find a couple with unique Purpose's that take then away from each other - take them down different paths - paths that are not compatible? I think the couple would end up splitting up." In reality, I think the couple would help each other go their separate ways. Thus it is possible to have an Imago Match who would leave each other - not live together happily ever after.

Hmmm, well, I don't think that is happening here, with your wife, but it's possible.

I think, and I am just guessing, you are witnessing a bunch of "released felons," and rather than helping them/her enjoy their freedom with better responsibility and better skills, you see yourself either a) trying to get her to come back to jail, and leave her carousing buddies on the street, or b) leaving her where she finds herself. What a choice! What you gonna do?

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I want to respect her sovereignty but I also want to respect myself.
Great thinking.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I feel tremendous remorse about the mistakes I've made
Feeling remorse isn't probably anywhere near enough. Sorry.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
and tremendous loyalty to her but at some point if she wants to be with and maybe become someone I don't like, maybe I have to not only let go but move on.
Tough decision. I wouldn't dream of trying to make this for you. Tis yours.

If you want her back, tis a long journey, but I think fruitful for you.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #154045
09/06/11 12:02 AM
09/06/11 12:02 AM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
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Quote:
On a side issue, my experience is that "control freak families" like mine often face this problem. For years they maintain structure in the best way the know how. Then when their kids grow up, suddenly the behavior of the kids looks like a bunch of convicts who are just let out 20 years of prison with $5000 in their pockets. All hell breaks loose.

If this explosion of rebelliousness occurs 10 years into a marriage, which happened to be an extension of that "prison," I would expect surprises. And I am no longer, personally, surprised by this.


More like 12 years into the M.....I do love my parents, but here is an example:

I took art lessons for a few years and was pretty good. The teacher went to our church. When she moved, I was 11, and I never took art again. The reason? The other art teachers in the area were rather "hippy-ish," and Mom and Dad had already observed some "hippy" tendencies in my personality. They didn't want to encourage it. Interestingly enough, it is my parents who have always been most skeptical of my diagnosis. While H was immediately ready to accept it, as it not only explained everything about me he did not understand....it is a ready "reason" for any irrationality I might display.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #154099
09/06/11 01:12 AM
09/06/11 01:12 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes

Yes, I think that captures an important aspect of my challenge. To add yet another wrinkle and also respond to HFB, I can say my wife has not been diagnosed with any condition.

My oldest daughter has been diagnosed with bi-polar though and is taking medication that has helped her a lot. Prior to her diagnosis she was in great distress, tried to commit suicide and it put a great deal of stress on our marriage. I had a one night stand and my wife was hanging on by her fingernails. As my daughter improved, my wife seemed to sort of just let go. I could understand that of course and I felt very compassionate as I watched her quit work, stay out late, take an unstable lover and dump out marriage.

I don't think she's bi-polar herself. But I do think she feels it's a very 'creative' condition and I believe part of her admires the drama as being 'artistic'. She wants desperately to unlock her creativity and I believe she feels surrounding herself with these erratic people will help her do that.

So more than just being around people whose values I don't like, I believe she is experimenting with her identity and wants to play with and possibly adopt many of these values for herself. I want to respect her sovereignty but I also want to respect myself. I feel tremendous remorse about the mistakes I've made and tremendous loyalty to her but at some point if she wants to be with and maybe become someone I don't like, maybe I have to not only let go but move on.

Very painful stuff.


This is getting downright spooky weird.

From where I sit, it looks like your wife took her sovereignty back from you then turned around and immediately handed it off to those people you find distasteful.

Reminds me of that childhood game of "Hot Potato".

I suspect the nature of the way you interfered with her sovereignty is diametrically opposed to the way these now folks interfere.

It doesn't seem to me she has taken if for her own.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #154106
09/06/11 01:36 AM
09/06/11 01:36 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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FWIW to MrDantes or Manup, here are the thoughts I posted on sovereignty last November.

I hope this is OK for the Corral.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I can recite the quadratic equation and chant Chaucer, things I learned in high school that I am absurdly proud I still know.

I have been reading about the relationship between love and power, and stumbled across the Wife of Bath Canterbury Tale. In that tale, the queen commutes the death sentence imposed on one of her knights for rape on condition that he return within twelve months with the answer to the question of what women want. The knight travels around but cannot find a single answer on which all agree. Near the end of the year, he poses the question to a hag who replies that she will tell him the answer if he will do her bidding. He tells the hag's answer to the queen: women want sovereignty, all agree and his life is spared.

The hag then tells the knight he must marry her, and he is obliged to comply. She notices his reluctance and gives him a choice: he can be married to a faithful hag, or an unfaithful beauty. The knight wisely leaves the choice to her, and she chooses to be both faithful and beautiful of her own free will. The knight, who exercised extreme sovereignty over a woman, learned the value of giving his wife her free will.

I'm pretty sure this significance of this tale got by me in high school.

Not too long ago, we had in Indian exchange student who as it turned out was from royalty. I'm reasonably certain that the school was unaware of that fact when they placed him with this particular family. I learned this when he was showing me his kingdom on Google earth, complete with palace. I stomped my foot and said, "Where is my kingdom? I want a kingdom! No fair!"

The juxtaposition of running across the Wife of Bath and meeting someone who actually has a kingdom has caused me to pause and reflect. I realize I have several kingdoms, one of which is internal. My internal kingdom has been at war, the blood from it's casualties trickling into the ocean, then thrown back on the beach by the storm, diluted, but darker. My knights have been slaughtering one another, compassion and empathy in a battle to the death with self preservation, self loathing with a knife to the throat of self esteem, humility and pride taking axes to one another, honor and integrity wrestling in the bloody mud with annihilation.

I am not governing my internal kingdom responsibly. I have been too busy for the last two decades defending the perpetual assault on my sovereignty over my life to learn how to govern wisely. I must find a way to get all of my internal knights to lay down their weapons, to maintain peace, one with the other, before I can govern my live with grace.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #154167
09/06/11 04:44 AM
09/06/11 04:44 AM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I hope this is OK for the Corral.
You're welcome.

I lived in Montana for 8 years. Here's a corral story.

One night a guy from Wyoming, another from Montana and a third from North Dakota settled in to sleep in a corral. They put their saddles to one side, undid their bedrolls and lay down. The wind blew. Looking at the clear, starry sky, the guy from Montana shivered and said, "Darn right cold tonight." The guy from North Dakota grumbled, and then up and closed the gate.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #154310
09/06/11 04:40 PM
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Edmond Dantes Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

I think, and I am just guessing, you are witnessing a bunch of "released felons," and rather than helping them/her enjoy their freedom with better responsibility and better skills, you see yourself either a) trying to get her to come back to jail, and leave her carousing buddies on the street, or b) leaving her where she finds herself. What a choice! What you gonna do?



I had hoped it went without saying that I don't want to put my wife back in jail. I understand she may see it that way.

I'd like to hear more, if you're willing, about the third way you hint at of leading her (and her boyfriend!?) To a better skilled and more responsible exercise of freedom.

I'm having a hard time at the moment imagining having the personal power to attempt such a thing but I'm open to expanding my vision.

My hurt and anger is poisoning my perspective right now.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #154314
09/06/11 04:50 PM
09/06/11 04:50 PM
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Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I feel tremendous remorse about the mistakes I've made
Feeling remorse isn't probably anywhere near enough. Sorry.



Just to be clear, I have used my remorse as a spur to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can about why I made the mistakes I did and how to do better in the future. I've been studying for over a year, sometimes to the detriment of my law practice, in an effort to grow myself up.

I'd appreciate your perspective Al on anything else you think I might do or think about.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #154316
09/06/11 04:54 PM
09/06/11 04:54 PM
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Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
FWIW to MrDantes or Manup, here are the thoughts I posted on sovereignty last November.

I hope this is OK for the Corral.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I can recite the quadratic equation and chant Chaucer, things I learned in high school that I am absurdly proud I still know.

I have been reading about the relationship between love and power, and stumbled across the Wife of Bath Canterbury Tale. In that tale, the queen commutes the death sentence imposed on one of her knights for rape on condition that he return within twelve months with the answer to the question of what women want. The knight travels around but cannot find a single answer on which all agree. Near the end of the year, he poses the question to a hag who replies that she will tell him the answer if he will do her bidding. He tells the hag's answer to the queen: women want sovereignty, all agree and his life is spared.

The hag then tells the knight he must marry her, and he is obliged to comply. She notices his reluctance and gives him a choice: he can be married to a faithful hag, or an unfaithful beauty. The knight wisely leaves the choice to her, and she chooses to be both faithful and beautiful of her own free will. The knight, who exercised extreme sovereignty over a woman, learned the value of giving his wife her free will.

I'm pretty sure this significance of this tale got by me in high school.

Not too long ago, we had in Indian exchange student who as it turned out was from royalty. I'm reasonably certain that the school was unaware of that fact when they placed him with this particular family. I learned this when he was showing me his kingdom on Google earth, complete with palace. I stomped my foot and said, "Where is my kingdom? I want a kingdom! No fair!"

The juxtaposition of running across the Wife of Bath and meeting someone who actually has a kingdom has caused me to pause and reflect. I realize I have several kingdoms, one of which is internal. My internal kingdom has been at war, the blood from it's casualties trickling into the ocean, then thrown back on the beach by the storm, diluted, but darker. My knights have been slaughtering one another, compassion and empathy in a battle to the death with self preservation, self loathing with a knife to the throat of self esteem, humility and pride taking axes to one another, honor and integrity wrestling in the bloody mud with annihilation.

I am not governing my internal kingdom responsibly. I have been too busy for the last two decades defending the perpetual assault on my sovereignty over my life to learn how to govern wisely. I must find a way to get all of my internal knights to lay down their weapons, to maintain peace, one with the other, before I can govern my live with grace.



Thank you, as always, LadyGrey, for expanding my ability to imagine what my wife might be going through and helping me grow my ability to be compassionate.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #154323
09/06/11 05:03 PM
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Ontario, Canada
Edmond Dantes Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Yes, Sovereignty. I see that. That's why I described this situation as a Pre-Validation challenge for me. I accept my wife's sovereign choices make sense. Somehow, someway. I'm struggling to see it.
Yep. Maybe we've narrowed down the growth point to a clear issue. Could be you have trouble with the process of Validation and PreValidation. I certainly did until my break-thru. Once I saw the problem I carried, I could not imagine going back to my previous understanding of people. And at core, it had to do with sovereignty. Wow. Study on.


I see this as my biggest challenge right now. Not only does it impair my ability to connect with other people, it causes me to be fundamentally incurious about them. I believe I am missing out living in this righteous bubble.

Is there anything you can share Al about how you eventually made this shift? I have seen a glimmer from time to time of the mystery of the 'other' and I sense getting my learning about boundaries deeper would help a lot but the picture gets snowy fast.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #154368
09/06/11 06:19 PM
09/06/11 06:19 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Just to be clear, I have used my remorse as a spur to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can about why I made the mistakes I did and how to do better in the future. I've been studying for over a year, sometimes to the detriment of my law practice, in an effort to grow myself up.
Not to worry about Law Practice. You'll be better at it as you grow, me thinks.


Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'd appreciate your perspective Al on anything else you think I might do or think about.
When you've identified how you "wronged someone," the next full step is Making Amends. The most important part of that is to Validate their memory of their experiences when you were "wronging" them. You'll see this in the end of the Making Amends article and in my article on Getting Rid of Resentments. It all involves becoming an expert in Validation(Al).


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #154375
09/06/11 06:28 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I believe I am missing out living in this righteous bubble. Is there anything you can share Al about how you eventually made this shift? I have seen a glimmer from time to time of the mystery of the 'other' and I sense getting my learning about boundaries deeper would help a lot but the picture gets snowy fast.
For me I had to spend time with people (men) who eschewed that "righteous bubble," who were real to themselves and to others. I don't think I could have learned this alone. I needed others who had gone before me. I needed to feel the possibilities their lives offered me.

There might be men who are part of MA who can help. Might look for a tough older man therapist. Might check out the ManKind Project. The journey is yours.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #155933
09/10/11 10:40 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al
I think, and I am just guessing, you are witnessing a bunch of "released felons," and rather than helping them/her enjoy their freedom with better responsibility and better skills, you see yourself either a) trying to get her to come back to jail, and leave her carousing buddies on the street, or b) leaving her where she finds herself. What a choice! What you gonna do?


The number of jail metaphors surrounding marriage is both hilarious and apt. One reads often that the "wayward"" spouse has handed the "betrayed" spouse a "get out of jail free" card which seems fair to me seeing as how the wayward spouse is already on the lam.

The felons in question likely believe additional years of hard time will be added to their sentence if they are caught. My observation in my brief time on forums is that they would be correct in that belief.

Originally Posted By: Mr.D
I had hoped it went without saying that I don't want to put my wife back in jail.


It may go without saying, but it won't go without proving. How are you going to get a jury finding from her on that Edmond? What evidence have you presented and is it credible? I'm not being ugly -- I think you are about a million miles ahead of most -- I'm speaking our language.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #156097
09/11/11 04:10 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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I am visiting with family this weekend and some are from Ireland and Scotland. We had a discussion about how the United States is based on both control-freak behavior and rebellion/revolutionary impulses. I think it pretty normal to find yourself on one or the other side of this "debate." Sometimes the CFs are trying to get you to sit down, be quiet, and shut up. Sometimes the Rebs are encouraging you to break the rules, to let it out, to find your own path.

Me, I think the Rebs "have it" if they can learn to create and maintain respectful ways of relating. (All my Master/Slave stuff. Link)


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: LadyGrey] #156374
09/12/11 02:51 PM
09/12/11 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: Al
I think, and I am just guessing, you are witnessing a bunch of "released felons," and rather than helping them/her enjoy their freedom with better responsibility and better skills, you see yourself either a) trying to get her to come back to jail, and leave her carousing buddies on the street, or b) leaving her where she finds herself. What a choice! What you gonna do?


The number of jail metaphors surrounding marriage is both hilarious and apt. One reads often that the "wayward"" spouse has handed the "betrayed" spouse a "get out of jail free" card which seems fair to me seeing as how the wayward spouse is already on the lam.

The felons in question likely believe additional years of hard time will be added to their sentence if they are caught. My observation in my brief time on forums is that they would be correct in that belief.

Originally Posted By: Mr.D
I had hoped it went without saying that I don't want to put my wife back in jail.


It may go without saying, but it won't go without proving. How are you going to get a jury finding from her on that Edmond? What evidence have you presented and is it credible? I'm not being ugly -- I think you are about a million miles ahead of most -- I'm speaking our language.


Yes, I do understand the language, Lady. I think it sidetracked me for the longest time, actually.

It took me quite awhile to accept that I wasn't going to convince my wife of anything with my words, reasonings, arguments or submissions. I think that's turned out to be a good thing, mostly because it caused me to dig deeper and confront my own BS and not rely on my ability to talk my way out of anything. I continue to work on it.

In the meantime, I've decided to leave my wife where she finds herself. This has been a difficult decision for me. After a lot of soul searching, I think it's the right thing to do.

She's been clear enough that she doesn't want to be with me anymore and I think it's up to me to respect her wishes. I believe she has a vision for herself and she's convinced she can't make it a reality with me as her partner.

I've known this for some time and I've made it my goal to show up as a more patient, kind, understanding, compassionate and respectful person. Not to 'plead it' but to live it. Unfortunately, I think there's too much water under the bridge and life's too short.

I'm committed to continue my learning and I look forward, in time, to working toward the biological dream with someone else.

I've already learned so much and there's so much more to learn. I'm grateful for the wake up call and I'm grateful to the many wonderful teachers I've met on this path.

I want happiness for my wife and I believe by letting her go without bitterness in my heart, she might find what she's looking for. For myself, I'm becoming more content as I learn to listen and accept and respect and maybe even eventually celebrate the differences between people.

As much as I would like to heal things with my precious wife, I've now accepted that she wants other things for herself.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #156411
09/12/11 04:31 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Now we work together to turn this into a Win-win.
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
It took me quite awhile to accept that I wasn't going to convince my wife of anything with my words, reasonings, arguments or submissions.
I will restate this. "I took me quite a while to realize the way I communicate with her comes across very different from my intent. I am trying to be her friend and I seem to come across as a jailer." The reason I am a bit picky is that I think these are not abstract problems, but are very specific communication problems. And being specific, they can be changed.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I think that's turned out to be a good thing, mostly because it caused me to dig deeper and confront my own BS and not rely on my ability to talk my way out of anything.
"Plus I found that my communication skills work in some areas but not with this partner. And I wasn't aware of this." First step to changing any behavior is "awareness."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
In the meantime, I've decided to leave my wife where she finds herself. This has been a difficult decision for me. After a lot of soul searching, I think it's the right thing to do.
I hear and respect your decision.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
She's been clear enough that she doesn't want to be with me anymore...
"the way I've been coming across" Specifics again.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
and I think it's up to me to respect her wishes. I believe she has a vision for herself and she's convinced she can't make it a reality with me as her partner.
"Ok. She saw me as interfering with who she wanted to become. And she came to believe I wasn't going to become supportive."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I've known this for some time and I've made it my goal to show up as a more patient, kind, understanding, compassionate and respectful person. Not to 'plead it' but to live it. Unfortunately, I think there's too much water under the bridge and life's too short.
Only you can make this decision. Just like only she can make the decision to believe that you won't learn to be supportive.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'm committed to continue my learning and I look forward, in time, to working toward the biological dream with someone else.
Go for it.

Also you might want to keep an eye open to seeing her change someday.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #156729
09/13/11 02:50 AM
09/13/11 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Now we work together to turn this into a Win-win.
Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
It took me quite awhile to accept that I wasn't going to convince my wife of anything with my words, reasonings, arguments or submissions.
I will restate this. "I took me quite a while to realize the way I communicate with her comes across very different from my intent. I am trying to be her friend and I seem to come across as a jailer." The reason I am a bit picky is that I think these are not abstract problems, but are very specific communication problems. And being specific, they can be changed.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I think that's turned out to be a good thing, mostly because it caused me to dig deeper and confront my own BS and not rely on my ability to talk my way out of anything.
"Plus I found that my communication skills work in some areas but not with this partner. And I wasn't aware of this." First step to changing any behavior is "awareness."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
In the meantime, I've decided to leave my wife where she finds herself. This has been a difficult decision for me. After a lot of soul searching, I think it's the right thing to do.
I hear and respect your decision.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
She's been clear enough that she doesn't want to be with me anymore...
"the way I've been coming across" Specifics again.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
and I think it's up to me to respect her wishes. I believe she has a vision for herself and she's convinced she can't make it a reality with me as her partner.
"Ok. She saw me as interfering with who she wanted to become. And she came to believe I wasn't going to become supportive."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I've known this for some time and I've made it my goal to show up as a more patient, kind, understanding, compassionate and respectful person. Not to 'plead it' but to live it. Unfortunately, I think there's too much water under the bridge and life's too short.
Only you can make this decision. Just like only she can make the decision to believe that you won't learn to be supportive.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I'm committed to continue my learning and I look forward, in time, to working toward the biological dream with someone else.
Go for it.

Also you might want to keep an eye open to seeing her change someday.


The BS I was referring to is my enormous capacity for self-deception. I like to believe my manipulations are somehow less awful because, on some level, I'm as duped as everyone else about my true motivations.

LadyGrey asks some pointed questions. She has expressed doubt about the motivations of most so-called betrayed spouses, suggesting a covert desire for revenge might underlie many attempts at reconciliation. I understand this perspective and I think my wife shares a similar view.

At this point, having moved herself and my children in next door to her affair partner, I have to ask myself, honestly, if I could get past this. I don't know. I think I could under the right circumstances but I would need some help from her and the sense I get from her is that she is not willing to do anything that will help me feel safer.

I imagine you're right that she doesn't believe I can be supportive and at times I feel like she tests me with these extreme choices to see if I will judge her. If so, I've failed. I don't feel confident I can accept these choices and not take them personally. I know it's my shortcoming and no one else's. That, at least, is something I can accept.

I wish I could love more unconditionally but for now the best I can do is to walk away and leave her to her freedom with as much grace as I can muster.

I also accept that whoever I partner with there will be power struggles and lots of baggage to work through but at least I will have a partner. Right now I don't.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #156994
09/13/11 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The BS I was referring to is my enormous capacity for self-deception. I like to believe my manipulations are somehow less awful because, on some level, I'm as duped as everyone else about my true motivations.
One cool thing about getting good communications skills is that your partner can help you with waking up to the things you don't notice. Bottom line is that "you can't notice what you don't notice." People call this "denial" but I don't tend to buy that. Tis just stuff you don't notice. Tho it is nice to be ready to "wake up" when you get a clue.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
LadyGrey asks some pointed questions. She has expressed doubt about the motivations of most so-called betrayed spouses, suggesting a covert desire for revenge might underlie many attempts at reconciliation. I understand this perspective and I think my wife shares a similar view.
Heck. Betrayed partners often feel betrayed, hurt, screwed, and frustrated. All this stuff's gotta be expressed safely along the way. Gotta get it off their chests, eventually. Tis just that both partners have lots of feelings and both may not be too good at facilitating the process. Oh, yeah, and who goes first.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
At this point, having moved herself and my children in next door to her affair partner, I have to ask myself, honestly, if I could get past this. I don't know. I think I could under the right circumstances but I would need some help from her and the sense I get from her is that she is not willing to do anything that will help me feel safer.
I bet you could get past even this but the pathway ain't clear to you yet. And I am with you that she's probably gotta show some signs of being on that path, too.

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
I wish I could love more unconditionally but for now the best I can do is to walk away and leave her to her freedom with as much grace as I can muster.
Follow that line of "doing your best." Tis a good one.

Also you may want to investigate how you were trained toward "conditional love." Tis a bummer of a training. Probably something around wanting to be in control of others. Need to re-learn this anyway, I think.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #157016
09/13/11 08:16 PM
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Al, I just want to interject that this thread and your teaching in it are real gold. Thank you. I am learning A LOT.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #157106
09/14/11 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
This line is one that people grab onto to express being in the Power Struggle or more likely in Door #2 for a long time and reflecting back on Romantic Love and their Biological Dreams. Very common phrase. I bet there are books with that title.


I have something to share about the "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" statement. I've used it. I was not in an affair, or even close to being so. (I think I would have been within a year or so if I'd not found Marriage Builders.) My use of the phrase didn't have anything to do with any attachment or feeling in love with someone else.

So, as I said, I'll share what I meant by it. Perhaps it will help. Perhaps not.

I used that sentence to describe an emotional state where I did love my ex, but it was more of an attachment/family type love. I'd liken it to what you feel for a fairly close cousin with whom you grew up. I cared, and I didn't want him to hurt or anything. Without question, I would have been (and was) there for him in the same way as fairly close (but not immediate) relatives.

However, I didn't love him as one loves a spouse, and I'm not just talking about dwindling PEA infatuation. I didn't care to spend that much time with him, nor did I care to get any closer. I felt no deeper connection to him nor comfort in his presence. The time I spent with him felt more like inertia in a routine.

I absolutely think that this is a fixable, temporary state. There were times after that, for brief/sporadic periods, when our relationship pulled out of that caring-but-mostly-ambivalent state.

I can also say that I definitely did not say it with the intention of hurting or scaring him. My intent was solely to describe to him my internal state so that he was aware and would, hopefully, work with me to do something about it.

Hope this helps in some way.


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"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #161266
09/27/11 02:30 AM
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My oldest daughter is seventeen and a couple weeks ago I decided to tell her about my W's relationship with her new neighbor. The girls had taken to calling him the Sasquatch because they heard about him but never saw him.

Last week my W heard about the name and brought him over. My daughter said she could see my W is infatuated. She had trouble sleeping after meeting him and in the morning asked my W if there was something going on between them. Apparently, W said there is too much going on in both of their lives for them to be in a relationship 'right now' but that she feels a strong emotional connection to him. My daughter felt she was being prepared for a future relationship between them.

I don't feel like I can be around her or deal with her right now. I remind myself that I want her to be happy and this is her choice about how to do that. Seems best to just step away rather than try to compete, even as a friend, with this infatuation. The longer it goes on and the more distant we get, the more I feel little pieces of my love for her die.

I'm finding this heartbreak to be really tough stuff.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #161320
09/27/11 12:21 PM
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And of course she's angry with me, not returning messages then two word texts, presumably because I talked to our daughter about the situation. Trying to let that be her stuff.

Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #161441
09/27/11 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Seems best to just step away rather than try to compete, even as a friend, with this infatuation.
Yup. I think there is no way to compete with "infatuation." Tis much too strong. When I was seeing a lot of individual clients, they would be working on all sorts of heavy issues, then they'd fall in love. I'd kick em out. They would be "too healthy" for therapy. I'd tell em to come back when they got into the power struggle, which they always would. Like clockwork. So, I'm with you. I don't think a more mature relationship (moved into Power Struggle or beyond has much of a chance of competing with the Romantic Phase. Just wait. Romance will end and then you are in a much better place to "compete."

Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
The longer it goes on and the more distant we get, the more I feel little pieces of my love for her die.
Yes, that is also a bit true. And sad. But then those pieces of "your heart" were probably part of your personal fantasy material anyway and were gonna die. You might start thinking about what mature love for her or with her would look like.

Oh. And letting the kids into this will probably cause distress, sure. But I believe, keeping them in the dark will eventually cause more distress. (I'm speaking of kids over 14 or so.) Try to keep them from taking a role in your troubles. Not their job. Encourage them to learn from your mistakes and get on with their lives. Just some thoughts.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #161807
09/28/11 12:55 PM
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Quote:
But then those pieces of "your heart" were probably part of your personal fantasy material anyway and were gonna die. You might start thinking about what mature love for her or with her would look like.


Wow, Al, I think is true for a lot of us here. I know for years I still thought there would be a way to get back to where I thought I was supposed to be. Who knew!


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: NewEveryDay] #161967
09/28/11 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
Wow, Al, I think is true for a lot of us here. I know for years I still thought there would be a way to get back to where I thought I was supposed to be. Who knew!
Tis always an internal debate for me, to balance the "trivialness of the "dreams" or "fantasies" that are at the core of Romantic Love with the "vital" impetus within them to grasp the "Biological Dream."

I think of the Biological Dream being what "life is about" and therefore kind of a "life or death" issue. Big stuff not to be thought of lightly. On the other hand these fantasies are fantasies. Our partner and partnership with them will not magically make those dreams happen. Gotta get to work. (Bummer.)

At least there is a way to go. And I encourage everyone to set their sails for journey to Vintage Love. Tis my view.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #164547
10/06/11 06:53 AM
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Al:

I really have enjoyed these last couple of posts, thank you. Based on what you're saying, I am getting the sense that you feel there is no way of avoiding the power struggle phase, and the assured ending of these personal fantasies we have created.

Is that your sense? My partner and I have been together 10 months, and we're happy as can be. We are both working together with articles from your site. While we're happy and working together well, we both find ourselves worrying about the "inevitable power struggle" based on your writings. Should we?


Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: 3rdeye] #165088
10/07/11 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: 3rdeye
I am getting the sense that you feel there is no way of avoiding the power struggle phase,
Actually, yup. I've been working with a lot of people over the years and my experience is that even if they know the Power Struggle phase is coming, even if they frantically learn all they can, they still seem to hit it. My guess is that no matter how hard we work, we cannot be as "perfect" as an intimate relationship will demand that we be. The features we pay not attention to, up front, will surface.

I do experience that people can move through the Power Struggle much more quickly and get into the University of Life with the suggestions I share. My bet is that they can get to Vintage Love faster, but then who can measure that. Just a guess.

Originally Posted By: 3rdeye
and the assured ending of these personal fantasies we have created.
Well yes and no. Some fantasies are cool and you will want to keep them. Some are simply based on insufficient data and they will evolve.

Originally Posted By: 3rdeye
My partner and I have been together 10 months, and we're happy as can be. We are both working together with articles from your site. While we're happy and working together well, we both find ourselves worrying about the "inevitable power struggle" based on your writings. Should we?
Yeah, that's a tough question. Here's a similar one. If a company is going to lay off half it's workers is it a) better to let everyone know this up front or b) wait and tell everyone as the doors to the building are locked? I've been in this situation. Even a tougher question is if your doctor knows you have terminal cancer, do you want to be told? Seems to me each of can name our preferences on these.

Me, I love lots of data and figure that is the best way to deal with the future. I want to be told.

I would try not to worry too much and would enjoy yourselves as much as you can.

If you figure out how to avoid the Power Struggle, let me know.



Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #165234
10/08/11 03:23 AM
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Al, is the idea that you work through the Power Struggle, and then come to realize we have power over what's in our own hula hoop? Does that need to be repeated with each new relationship, or can it be once and for all? I guess the example I'm thinking of is what if you hit power struggle, started getting to vintage love, but something external to the marriage struck, or struck again, and the marriage dissolved. Does that person have to start over, or do they pick up where they left off with the next partner?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: NewEveryDay] #165381
10/08/11 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
Al, is the idea that you work through the Power Struggle, and then come to realize we have power over what's in our own hula hoop?
Well, my thinking is that the work you do, no matter where on the chart is really part of the University of Life - learning the skills that work toward Safety, Reliable Membership, Diversity, Autonomy and Purpose for both/all. Once learned each of you, individually, don't have to learn that lesson again.

The Power Struggle is a time of using skills that don't work, that were taught you by people who knew no better. I think it is characterized by stubbornly doing things that don't work with the expectation that the things "should work." Quicker you get into a learning-mode the better, methinks.

Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
Does that need to be repeated with each new relationship, or can it be once and for all? I guess the example I'm thinking of is what if you hit power struggle, started getting to vintage love, but something external to the marriage struck, or struck again, and the marriage dissolved. Does that person have to start over, or do they pick up where they left off with the next partner?
I loved this question because I think the answer is so cheerful.

There seems to be a kind of "trading-up" that goes on. Let's say you work your butt off with a person who suddenly dies. Your next Imago Match (the only person who can make you "forget" your previous Imago Match), will tend to be on a higher order of learned skills. There may be a bit of a Power Struggle, but I think you tend to go through it quickly as it relates to the remaining unlearned skills.

The principle connects to the idea that we match up with people who are equally "crazy" or "dysfunctional". (The nutty doctor matches with the nutty patient. The nutty football player matches with the nutty investment broker. The nutty cop matches with the nutty housewife. Etc. "Nutty" is defined by each person's core issues.)

Thus it appears that if I clean up my act a lot, I will be attracted to, and by, people who've cleaned up their acts a lot.

I think this is pretty good news.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #165603
10/09/11 01:47 PM
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Al, that's what I was hoping you'd say. Very few answers are like that, "yes, it gets easier with practice."


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #165923
10/10/11 05:50 AM
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Quote:
I've been working with a lot of people over the years and my experience is that even if they know the Power Struggle phase is coming, even if they frantically learn all they can, they still seem to hit it.


I'm in complete agreement. I was married before. I've been through so much marital counseling, coaching, self-help, seminar, studying, etc that one may not believe it. I don't believe it sometimes, myself.

I began dating my now-H. I knew the phase was coming. I knew it was happening. I knew what was happening. I knew this and struggled to stop it for years. It didn't stop it, and nothing but getting another person involved would, IMO, have stopped it. That "nothing else would have stopped it" is about my own personal situation, but I do not believe that you can skip the power-struggle or "conflict" phase.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Edmond Dantes] #167959
10/14/11 06:44 PM
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2long Offline
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Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


Originally Posted By: Edmond Dantes
Since she left 18 months ago and quit her job, ostensibly to express her independence (that's what our daughters were told), she has lived exclusively on the substantial financial support I provide her and has occupied herself with volunteering, drawing, painting, photography and smoking and drinking daquiris. My kids don't get it either.
Sounds as if her growth is just started. What the heck is this about her living on your financial support!? You enabling her, perhaps?


Yup. That's what it feels like. However, the law says because she helped me build my business and was otherwise a stay at home mother (though she made violins and did countless other unlucrative things) I have to split my income with her 'in perpetuity'. Frustating but there it is.

At one time it was very important to her to be financially independent. Seems less so after each passing month. She has had a long history of starting projects and not finishing them or getting distracted and moving on to the next thing. I haven't noticed any change since she dumped me.




Sorry for parachuting in based on this old post and after not having been on the whiteboard for a long time, but this struck me: Is there no way 2 change the dynamic here? I assume from what you've posted that you're still married? Would it be liberating (2 both of you) 2 proceed with a divorce and settle your finances with a lump sum? (if you have the resources that is?).

Because it seems 2 me that you both may be "trapped" by your own different perceptions of what this "split my income with her 'in perte2ity'" means 2 each of you. She may be "trapped" by being enabled (e.g., it'd be riskier 2 make a living on her own when she has a known, paced income from you for perpe2ity, but it might be healthier for her; and would you really be able 2 find love again with someone new if you're supporting an ex 'in perpe2ity'?).

I posted a youtube video on the "music" thread, of a song by Neko Case called "I wish I was the moon" that had this lyric in it that I thought of when I read your posts:

"God bless me
I'm a free man
With no place free to go
Paralyzed and collared tight
No pills for what I fear
This is crazy"

and I'm also reminded of Al's pic2res posted above, only I think there needs 2 be a third pic2re: Similar 2 the 2nd, only there are no bars and the guy in the box is standing right in the middle - he can't see the problem, or maybe he perceives that the control is overarching both him and his W (the legal decree) so he sees no point in looking for solutions because there can't be any.

Apologies, again, for parachuting in like this...

-ol' 2long

Last edited by 2long; 10/14/11 06:53 PM.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: 2long] #169687
10/19/11 03:57 PM
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Al, How do we use what we learn about our Imago match help us to better see our partner and to grow ourselves? I see how the lizard gets triggered quickly by the old hurts and the need for better coping skills. There is also value in applying those lessons outside of our marriage.

I think part of my question is does our partner really help heal us from those old wounds or are we doing a better job of healthy self-soothing? How do you quiet those "snakes on a brain" (my term for lizard) once and for all?

Cheers


You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end which you can never afford to lose with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Coach] #169810
10/19/11 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: Coach
Al, How do we use what we learn about our Imago match help us to better see our partner and to grow ourselves?
Big topic here. I have been pondering and discussion and checking out the concept of Imago Match for, oh, about 20 years. In my men's group we chat of it a bit every week. In the office I see it as well as seeing in my family, and in those that I meet. Lots of ways it has become useful. Where do I start?

The most obvious place is with that flood of feelings that ushers in Romantic Love. If those feelings last for days and weeks, and hits both people, then Imago Matching is most probably going on strongly. At that point what use is knowing about it? Nada. The phenomena of Romantic Love, of dreaming the Biological Dream, is so powerful, I don't even think of messing with it.

You might get a kick out of this, but the next place where I think of the Imago Match working is in horrid relationships between people who won't get away from each other. I have individual who come in all the time who seem to be in an ongoing terrible pattern with another, but who doesn't want to leave or be left by this "horrible" person. I think of this a a kind of "super sticky" relationship.

Often they will tell me that everyone in their life is telling them to get away from that other, and I just validate their profound need to be with them. I am often alone in doing this.

The Imago Match is quite a discussion piece for people who have been married or coupled many times. Makes comparing and contrasting those relationships quite a fun project.

The idea that your Imago Match (current one) will be your worst nightmare by about 20 to 50 times worse than anyone else in your life, is useful. If you learn how to be friends with this person, everyone else is much easier. This also provides a lot of empathy for couples who are "battling" and some wonderful wisdom for the Christian teaching about learning to "love your enemy."


Originally Posted By: Coach
I see how the lizard gets triggered quickly by the old hurts and the need for better coping skills. There is also value in applying those lessons outside of our marriage.
Well, yeah but your partner is paradoxically chosen to provide those triggers at an awesomely high rate. Therefore the coping skills you will develop will be industrial strength coping skills. This seems to be particularly true as in childhood the best skills are often to run away or to wait until you can leave home, but in an Imago Match relationship you have to develop skills that will handle/deal with those triggers maybe forever. No escape.

I often think that if I could take a couple in the Power Struggle phase, drop them in a spaceship to Mars, they would be the best of lovers by the time they came back partially cuz they could not get away from each other and the solutions to all their problems had to be that good.

The word heal is an often misread one. In my website I have a story about a Water Buffalo that I think contains the best image for me of healing. I heal you by helping you find your wounds, working with you to find what action you need to heal each wound, practicing the triggering and the healing actions until the reactivity is gone - till the wound is healed. And you me. Water Buffalo story.


Originally Posted By: Coach
I think part of my question is does our partner really help heal us from those old wounds or are we doing a better job of healthy self-soothing? How do you quiet those "snakes on a brain" (my term for lizard) once and for all?
Couple of additional thoughts. The snakes are healed when the same trigger behavior has no effect of so little effect that you are not even bothered anymore. Avoiding the triggering situation doesn't heal the wound. I think this is partly why divorce profoundly doesn't work.

The original wound (wounding situation) is in your past, often way far in the past. Once that wounding was done, it will never be gone simply because we cannot forget. Not designed to. While you can trigger yourself (in your thinking) what really brings the wound to the surface is a)someone mimicking the original wounding situation who is b) in significant ways like unto the original person who did the wounding.

In b) we see our Imago Match - a person who our unconscious selects as a reasonable facsimile of the wounding parts of our caretakers. (This is called a transference relationship, one where I transfer onto the person near me the attributes of someone else - in this case the pain causing caretaker.)

In a) we see the triggering.

The healing of the wounds involves adding new memories on top of the old. Now the "caretaker" is doing what I needed them to do in the past. And the new experiences help us expect new reactions/behaviors and we get to consign the reactive trauma to our old history.

How I see it. And I am just scratching the surface here.

Good luck.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #169910
10/19/11 09:02 PM
10/19/11 09:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,220
Coach Offline
Member
Coach  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,220
Quote:
I heal you by helping you find your wounds, working with you to find what action you need to heal each wound, practicing the triggering and the healing actions until the reactivity is gone - till the wound is healed. And you me.


I think to often a wound is perceived as a hole that one or both sides see that needs to be filled usually with poor coping skills. "Fix me" or "let me fix it."

I know all to well how the Water Buffalo was trained. I had a conversation today that triggered me, I was "blaming the stick" and did not respond my best. I need to talk to her about how, why and what to do differently. Thats for teaching me.

Cheers


You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end which you can never afford to lose with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Re: Turtle Corral: A Bit off the Open Range - Building Trust [Re: Coach] #170785
10/21/11 03:44 PM
10/21/11 03:44 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: Coach
I think to often a wound is perceived as a hole that one or both sides see that needs to be filled usually with poor coping skills. "Fix me" or "let me fix it."
I try to be very careful on this "healing" or "fixing" issue.

I think both the Romantic and the Power Struggle phases are good examples of people acting like little tiny kids. "Fix me" is what kids ask of caretakers. ("Mommy/Daddy fix my hurt finger.") And I think "Let me Fix you" is what kids-damaged-into-Codependency ask of caretakers. ("Mommy/Daddy don't cry. I'll make it better.")

Neither are examples of two adults or two peers working together. And that is what, I think, a real coupled relationship/marriage is based upon - peers.


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