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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
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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
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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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Squeaky Tree  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,407
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
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,222
L
LivingWell Offline
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LivingWell  Offline
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L
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,222
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
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
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
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
H
hydin Offline
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hydin  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
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
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
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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Edmond Dantes  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
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
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
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
Posts: 4,657
L
LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
Professional Attorney
L
Joined: Oct 2010
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
Member
Edmond Dantes  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
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
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
L
LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
Professional Attorney
L
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
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
Member
Edmond Dantes  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
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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herfuturesbright  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
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
Member
Edmond Dantes  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 140
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?


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