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Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: OurHouse] #47124
01/08/11 01:55 AM
01/08/11 01:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: OurHouse
Goshdarn it, I'm breaking all the rules here!
Heck, that is how I learned almost everything. Breaking the rules. smile


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: OurHouse] #47145
01/08/11 02:15 AM
01/08/11 02:15 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al
Later I saw SB's posting


SB had just gotten started when she remembered that arguing religion with people who KNOW is pointless and harmful.

Didn't set the RIGHT boundary on engaging, but did set it on engaging further. Progress of sorts.

Originally Posted By: ourhouse
Goshdarn it, I'm breaking all the rules here!


Are there rules here?

I think all of this stuff bleeds into the rest of it -- I'm not sure there is a way to segregate it, and I'm pretty sure Al is tolerant of the mess we make of his whiteboard.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LadyGrey] #47197
01/08/11 03:05 AM
01/08/11 03:05 AM
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Looking back, I think I did a lot of the "Master talk" with my ex... I was on my own at a young age and growing up I looked after myself by going strictly along what seemed "right" to me. It is how I protected myself, as a wrong step meant a danger I may not be able to face on my own.
So when it comes to the loved ones... it was really difficult at times to relax and let things be.

This might be my 2nd Lizard, along with the fear of abandonment.

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: Not2fun] #47230
01/08/11 03:48 AM
01/08/11 03:48 AM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Not2fun
I've been reading along. Interesting stuff. I am, however, confused by this statement above.

Can't see what you are seeing. What is confusing?


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47253
01/08/11 05:01 AM
01/08/11 05:01 AM
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To avoid disrupting Al's whiteboard further with my response to Foreverhers, I am posting my thoughts here as I don't see them being connected to the whiteboard concepts.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LadyGrey] #47258
01/08/11 05:11 AM
01/08/11 05:11 AM
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oops

Last edited by seekingbalance; 01/08/11 05:15 AM. Reason: moved

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LadyGrey] #47259
01/08/11 05:13 AM
01/08/11 05:13 AM
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Al, is it better not to share these concepts with friends/ family?
I get the urge to share with close friends but when I do, the responses would be denial... like "no way, most couples I know don't have any power struggles" or "I just want her to APOLOGIZE!".

I get the urge to talk about it as I feel I process information better when I do.

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LotsaLove] #47298
01/08/11 06:38 AM
01/08/11 06:38 AM
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flowmom Offline
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Originally Posted By: LotsaLove
Al, is it better not to share these concepts with friends/ family?
I get the urge to share with close friends but when I do, the responses would be denial... like "no way, most couples I know don't have any power struggles" or "I just want her to APOLOGIZE!".

I get the urge to talk about it as I feel I process information better when I do.
Why don't you ask them if they are interested? IME, some of my friends and acquaintances would be very interested to read about this stuff, and others wouldn't. They would probably be able to tell me pretty clearly if they were open to it or not. I've learned that the hard way because I tend to be overenthusiastic about sharing my interests ;), but my best friends love me for it.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47303
01/08/11 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle

My intention, while I don't dislike you or your opinions or your beliefs, is to manage the communication style between you and me to be safe. I am not available for an argument. Other's can do as they wish. If you drop the MasterTalk, I'll continue with you.


I'm adding this to my 'boundaries' learnings. Really enjoy the level of nuance in this response. Helps me a great deal as I grew up with an 'inconsolable' kind of Mastertalk coming from Dad, and it still has the potential to paralyze me. You seem to have such a clear idea where and when your line is. Do you know by feel, or is there something specific that happens where you say, okay - here's the line and we've reached it? I ask because it seems it took us a bit of back and forth to get to this point. And yet I felt the effect, and where this was heading, a few threads ago..

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47318
01/08/11 07:30 AM
01/08/11 07:30 AM
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flowmom Offline
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I'm quoting this post from another thread because I think it's a very useful paradigm from which to approach hurting spouses on either side of an affair:

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: seekingbalance
We betrayed spouses are told *all the time*...once amends are made, remorse is shown and the wayward spouse is offering transparency and truly wants to work with you to rebuild the marriage, then you (meaning the BS) must now move past it...and move forward. You might not have seen those threads, but they are there. A few 2x4s for the BS who uses the affair to whap the former wayward over the head, over and over.


I hear this advice and think it a bit shallow. Probably brings up more trouble than it solves. The fun part is to look at it from the point of view of the Lizards involved. I will track both. You might call this a Lizard view of Affairs.

As I see it, in an Affaired-against partner, whom youall call the BS or some such terms, their Lizard will start to freak. This begins at the moment of the "discovery." Lots of stumbling around panic behavior will happen, but eventually I think two healthy processes will emerge.

In the Affaired-against partner, their image of their past months, maybe years, has been shattered. They know that much. Their trust in their partner is gone and perhaps will return solidly in 3 to 5 years, only if their partner displays significant change.

Apologies won't work. While the Affaired-against partner can generously "forgive," at best that is a shallow cognitive event. Their lizard cannot forget, won't believe the apology, and will start to plan the future based on what it know knows. Twill sound something like, "Omigod, I just forgave a, perhaps well intentioned, appologizing liar. What the hell am I doing!"

This first process then will be about the shock (Lizard hates shocks). This situation is a betrayal (big surprises) at the Lizard level, all about discovering your partner lying (how much?) or withholding data (how much?). It doesn't take an affair to kick this process off. Could be many things.

I also think this process is wonderful. I think it is earned. It is a huge wake-up call to what I call "blind living", living out of contact, living in fantasies. Tis about growing up. Hopefully the shock is big enough to truly wake up the Affaired-against partner and never let them go back into dreams-ville.

Once you've found your partner has lied or withheld, how do you go about "forgetting" that they have this capacity? Your lizard can't forget. A Lizardy rule of thumb is, "If you aren't hearing daily from your partner about the details of their inner world, you are probably heading for trouble." This is big grown-up stuff.

The second process that kicks off I think emerges from the first. The Affaired-against partner's Lizard wants re-establish safety - to have Predictive Information (it just got a big surprise) and a Sense of Control (it just got, "what the hell is going on", often called Chaos), thus it goes to work. (It never gives up.)

It wants to know how it got so surprised. Wants to know how it missed knowing what was going on in their partner. Wants to know all about what was/is going on in their partner that made their partner's behavior (the affair?) logical and predictable. Wants to know why friends didn't clue them in. In general the Lizard wants to see the "sense" in it all, so as to be able in the future to predict and prevent stuff like this. Tis all about a scared Lizard building safety.

This process will probably involve needing to build terrific communication skills in order to a) overcome whatever communication failures led to the partner's withholding and b) to facilitate the process of getting and assimilating all this data.

Often this starts by lots of questions (always a risky communication tool) directed at the other. "Why did you do that?" "How could you do that?" etc. etc. etc. etc.

Even if the Affairing partner shares all at once (which is extremely unlikely), I fear that will not be enough. The Lizard has lost trust in both the Affairing Partner and its host body/mind. It will feel betrayed by both. "I should have known? Why didn't I see it coming? Why was I so blind?" are questions that beg answers that you cannot get from the Affairing partner.

The Lizardy process in the Affiared-against partner will reach its conclusion over time, when their Lizard notices that the affairing partner has become, in a significant way, a new person, - such a person to whom an affair makes no sense. This new way includes knowing pretty much why led their partner to the affair and how their partner has changed their world view. This is certainly not a cosmetic change. Its big. Also necessary is a sense of confidence in the Lizard that its host is no longer blind. That means changes too. And fortunately all for the good.

[damn, this is becoming an article.]

A very different process is happening for the Affairing partner's lizard.

One thought is differing histories. In many ways history begins for the Affairing partner long before the Affair, and certainly long before the Affair was discovered. This often includes lots of details about distress-endured in their relationship for a long time. Quick or premeditated decision to put into action a tactic of Fleeing - toward another person. Collapse of that one or perhaps many attempts to get away to safety. The shock of exposure after probably years and years of managing to be invisible, to live outside your partner's awareness. A life of survival, Lizard pretty much active all the time. A profound trapped feeling of a) that didn't make me safe, and b) neither does this. Lots of panic and stumbling behavior. And, and, and, you gotta deal with your partner and their Lizardy behavior now! Wow.

Probably the biggest challenge will be the lack of confidence that your Lizard has of you.

Again I believe two healthy processes will probably kick off for the Affairing Partner's Lizard.

The first process will be mostly about creating immediate safety from their partner, their partner's Lizardy behaviors (including Fleeing, Submitting, Freezing and Fighting), their partner's questions (which will probably come across as attacks), their partner's genuine neediness, etc. This will include seeking safety from their "friends, family and acquaintances and their inner critic committees" who decide to use this occasion as an opportunity to vent anger and judgement. (Remember, people, and even you, are attacking you for doing your best.)

This will also include having to deal with the mid-brain's need for connection (abandonment)/and space(overwhelm) while all the above is going on. Wow, lots and lots of room for panic. But this stuff is kind of immediate, in-your-face stuff - just what the Lizard is designed for. Lots of Flee, Freeze, Submit, Fight stuff.

The second process for the Lizard in the Affairing partner is again about getting more Predictive Information and obtaining a Sense of Control or order. (I love those silly but logical quesions, "Gee, how did you find out?") I am talking here about building Trust where it has not existed for a long time.

This second process focuses in two general directions: how did I get myself into this mess/chaos and how do I get out of it reliably. The goal is to grasp the sense in what was done in the past and build a future that has more chance of being safe. Tis not a tiny or quick task. "Grasping the sense" means converting things that seem chaotic into predictable sensible behaviors. The cortex is really useful in this, while the Lizard is waiting. I think this is a good time to use a good counselor, to help your cortex understand what you did and plan better behaviors.

Now, put these two people side-by-side, and you can see why Trust (Lizards feeling Safe) is a major building project. Gotta calm panicking Lizards while developing long range skills of safety/Trust through lots of good communication.

Personally, I think from the Lizard's point of view, an "Affair disclosed" is a totally awesome and wonderful event. An abiding pattern of mistrust is about to be, at least can be, built into a relationship of trust - starting now. A relationship built on mistrust has been divorced by a non-avoidable event. Gotta build the new.


I was not a "victim" (that I know of) or "perpetrator" of an affair in my M, but I have found the MasterTalk about affairs (on this site and others) to be very triggering. My lizard feels threatened by "good" and "evil" talk, because that is so often used as justification for war and fighting. When an affair occurs in a M, very often children are the "innocent bystanders". Usually, spouses who are parents will have lifelong relationships based on their shared responsibility. I always want to help people look at the shades of grey rather than black and white.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47329
01/08/11 11:07 AM
01/08/11 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Dear ForeverHers, for you I have a gift. I printed you posting and then laughed and laughed. Took it with me to work - 12 pages - and I skimmed it a bit. I saw MasterTalk throughout and wondered if anyone would "flare" back at you or not. Later I saw SB's posting and thought, "Well at least one person spoke up." Then I saw more.


I'm glad you got a laugh, it's good for the soul. Seems your Lizard is under good control.

Perhaps when you have more time, you can actually read it rather than skimming it. That is, after all, what you want others to do with your writings that you post and link to, isn't it?

I expect SB to take a different stance, but I will continue to maintain that having an affair is NOT a good communication method, hope or no hope for the marriage notwithstanding, in addition to being a prohibited, by God, choice.

Most discussion comes after opposing opinions are stated, so I'm quite comfortable with people stating opposing opinions. I would expect to be asked to "defend" my opinions and statements and I also expect others to "defend" their opinions and statements. IF that is not the case, then I'd submit that stating something like "affairs are a good method of sending a signal" to be a MasterTalk statement that is attempting to convey a truth rather than an opinion.

If you think having an affair is a good communication method for someone who is unhappy with their spouse, then I can't change your mind. All I can do is to disagree, and to "risk" others not liking my disagreement. Having an affair is always a "wrong choice." It is prohibited by God and not dependent upon the opinions of Man. That is a MasterTalk sort of statement, but I stand by it regardless.

In addition to being prohibited by God; "You shall not commit adultery," Jesus himself said as much in a "kinder, more gentle way, to the Samaritan woman at the well and to the woman caught in adultery that was brought before him. To the one he said, "the one you are with now is not your husband" and to the other he said, "go and sin no more." It was clearly defined as a sin against God and His standards for human behavior and for God's intent for husbands and wives in a marriage. Both were MasterTalk truth sentences. Both referred to "affairs," to having sexual relations outside of marriage.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
It seems so predictable to me. Here's my gift. Share your message by losing the MasterTalk. It isn't necessary.


I've always been predictable, so I'm glad you can see that too.

As for the "gift," I do that on some things, but there are also some things that are "non-negotiable" and things where it is necessary.

I'm sorry if that causes you some heartburn or if it gets your Lizard all riled up, but that's the way it is simply because I do belong to the only true Master, and He has given us His "MasterTalk" in the Word of God. As one who has been "bought with a great price," I am not free to substitute my opinions for God's clear statements if those opinions are in conflict with what God has said. While I CAN choose to disobey God, my opinion does not supplant the truth because God is Sovereign and I am not, nor is any other human being.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
But what came to me more clearly is a bit wisdom from my friend, Jesus, that was handed to me today out of the blue.

I have defined MasterTalk as "any sentence that implies there is a single truth." I have shared and studied this phenomenon for a decade since I first ran onto it. I believed it was important when a) random people could identify MasterTalk immediately with almost no instruction, and b) I found that people who listened or read MasterTalk reacted with adrenaline and tension. For me I saw it as almost an objective phenomenon, one that implied threat. I further then found that MasterTalk generally implied threat more strongly to anyone who a) disagreed or b) wanted the freedom and perhaps time to decide things for themselves.

I began to seen MasterTalk as a kind of "throwing down the gauntlet," a signal that a fight is about to happen, kind of like cocking a pistol in a quiet room. I have seen meetings explode among professionals when one person utters just one too many MasterTalk sentences.

Today was handed me the phrase from Matthew 26.52 that he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. I believe MasterTalk to be such a sword. I think it is your call.


I would agree with your assessment of your observations concerning people's reactions to MasterTalk whenever that talk would not be agreement with the wants and desires of the hearer. "I don't think you should…." is a "thrown gauntlet" to someone who WANTS to do whatever they feel like doing regardless of anyone else's opinion. It really doesn't matter much if the "opposing opinion" is stated bluntly or "nicely." Anything that says or implies that what someone wants is, or may be, not a good choice or idea is going to open an area of "conflict." How the hearer reacts to that and responds is their "problem," not the problem of the speaker, just as how the speaker states the opposing position is the speaker's problem (which I believe is what you are trying to say about MasterTalk). In either case, if anger takes over, meaningful discussion ends, at least until people can calm down or "get a grip" on themselves. It has been MY observation that the reason behind the sort of reactions you have observed is based in the individual wanting to be the sovereign in their own life, with all the rights and privileges that pertain to being a sovereign. That position de facto makes everyone else "less than sovereign" and, in fact, a servant to the sovereign.


Okay, let me turn to my "call" as you stated it. I don't have any problem or difficulty with your reference to Matthew. But it would help if you framed it in context rather than attempting to take it out of context or as something "out of the blue" imaginings.

You can think it applies to MasterTalk if you so desire, but that is not what Jesus was talking about when he spoke to his disciples. He was there to fulfill the MasterTalk of God concerning the redemption of mankind, not to establish an earthly kingdom by means of might. He was not to be prevented from going to the Cross.

You see, Jesus is much more that just a friend, he is Lord (as in Sovereign) and Master, Savior and King. He doesn't just give friendly "opinions," he gives truth and truth statements (MasterTalk) because he is the Sovereign Lord.


"I have defined MasterTalk as "any sentence that implies there is a single truth."

I agree with your definition because it does apply in some situations. That's the nature of Truth. Anyone can deny Truth all day long if they want to, but it won't change the reality of truth.

"Jump off the Empire State building without a parachute and you will die" would be one example for which there is but one single truth.

For example, there are non-negotiable things in the Christian faith simply because God has said that they are THE truth and, therefore, non-negotiable. Other things are not clearly defined or spoken of by God and are areas of "accommodation" of differing opinions.

John 14:6, for example, gives a clear MasterTalk about Truth that operates regardless of anyone's opinion or like or dislike for "MasterTalk": "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

I accept that that sort of clear MasterTalk might get a few Lizards in a tizzie because to accept that likely means that the Lizard will find itself being surrendered to someone other than itself. It doesn't change the truth of the statement.

Now if I were to say, for example, "believe or burn in hell!", that would be what I call MasterTalk as you define it. But to state the reality of what God has said is not MasterTalk as you use it. It is stating truth and leaving the choice up to the hearer. That's no different than saying something like "get out of the street or you'll get hit by a car!" Now if that street is a busy expressway or is a quiet country road, the timing of the fulfillment of that truth may be quicker or longer, but it is still true that if you don't change direction and move out of the roadway, you will get hit by a car. That's MasterTalk that states a truth. Whether or not someone chooses to accept it is up to them, but it still won't change the truth in the statement. The above statement about hell is true, but I suspect your preference, and mine, would be to talk about that truth in some less blunt, "in your face," way.


Likewise, in John 14:15 Jesus said: "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

In John 14:23-24 Jesus said: "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

With respect to your reference to a sword, let's be a bit more contextual about truth as Jesus presented it. Going back to your reference to Matthew, in Matthew 10:32-40 Jesus presented the truth about Himself very clearly:

"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
My experience is that people who habitually use MasterTalk end up alone - which is a kind of death.


I suppose there is some truth in that, in that Jesus himself ended up alone as he fulfilled the MasterTalk of the Father.

But I would also refer you to the last sentence in the above quotation from Matthew.

If it's for Jesus' sake, I can take being "alone" by the world's standards.

If it's "MasterTalk" to make ME preeminent, I have little use for that. Perhaps that's why the very rich also find themselves very alone even while surrounded by lots of people.

Perhaps you are using your MasterTalk for your own benefit, as if only your opinion was correct. Perhaps not consciously, but that is the clear tone of your statements, just as you did with this statement that I quoted.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
My intention, while I don't dislike you or your opinions or your beliefs, is to manage the communication style between you and me to be safe. I am not available for an argument. Other's can do as they wish. If you drop the MasterTalk, I'll continue with you.

That is my gift.


Al, whether you choose to continue discussion or not is entirely up to you, just as it is for me. We can choose to engage in respectful disagreement on some points and agreement on other points.

You failed to answer my question about your belief in Christ, choosing instead to attempt what appeared to be "using" something out of context to "make the point" you wanted to make, in what appeared to be an attempt at MasterTalk.

Perhaps that's also why your pastor friend found it impossible to exclude ALL MasterTalk in his sermons. It can't be done without denying Christ. That's because, as Jesus said as I quoted above: "I am the way and the truth and the life.

Your writings, coming from your meditations and wrestling with things, contain many good thoughts and ideas regarding relationships and how we relate to others.

So does the Bible. It was written long before your writings and it was given to us by the Master. In 2Timothy 3:16-17 it clearly states another MasterTalk truth: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

What I think you are really getting at is the "style" in which something (truth) is presented or argued. In that sense I'll readily admit to sometimes being more patient than at other times and it is something that I keep trying to work on, sometimes with success and sometimes not. Patience and gentleness is something that I, along with many others, need to keep working on.


In Christ-like love at all times.

So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2Cor 1:4b)

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: ForeverHers] #47335
01/08/11 01:03 PM
01/08/11 01:03 PM
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Quote:
I will continue to maintain that having an affair is NOT a good communication method


Of course this is correct. Hopefully no one would argue otherwise.

Quote:
Having an affair is always a "wrong choice."


Exactly right.

Quote:
there are also some things that are "non-negotiable" and things where it is necessary.



Yep

Quote:
"I have defined MasterTalk as "any sentence that implies there is a single truth."



Of course there are "single truth's."




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

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

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: flowmom] #47337
01/08/11 01:05 PM
01/08/11 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: flowmom
I tend to be overenthusiastic about sharing my interests wink


Oh how I can relate to you flowmom.
I get really enthusiastic and excited when I'm learning something new.

As I talk about my journey through all this to my friends, I talk about the ideas I come across... but the majority of the response is along the lines of "what on earth are you on about? Just move on!"
and I find myself deflating.

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LotsaLove] #47353
01/08/11 02:15 PM
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Al, it may help you to understand some of the confusion/disconnect with your message on this point to know that on the MB forum the unfaithful spouse is routiinely characterized as a criminal akin to a rapist or child molester and even, in a moment of what I personally viewed as truly impressive hyperbole, Hitler.

I was never able to make the connection between having an affair and genocide so I guess I still don't "get it", whatever "it" is.

So your characterization of affairs as "foolish" is bound to raise a few eyebrows amongst those used to viewing the "mes" of the world as being on the same moral plane as child molesters and rapists.

FH- I never said an affair is a GOOD communication tool, but it may be A communication tool.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: Medc] #47471
01/08/11 06:08 PM
01/08/11 06:08 PM
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flowmom Offline
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flowmom  Offline
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Quote:
Having an affair is always a "wrong choice."
Always? I think that with a little imagination we can all imagine a scenario that contradicts the above.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: flowmom] #47506
01/08/11 07:25 PM
01/08/11 07:25 PM
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Posts: 5,926
Medc Offline
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Medc  Offline
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No, we can't. An affair is a choice and a decision(so any big immagination things you can come up with most likely remove a real choice). There is never an acceptable reason to have an affair. NEVER.



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

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

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: Medc] #47541
01/08/11 08:33 PM
01/08/11 08:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
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LadyGrey Offline
Professional Attorney
LadyGrey  Offline
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Posts: 4,657
Al, as another point of information, Harley (the MB guy) is of the opinion that, in what I have deemed the Hierarchy of Horribleness, infidelity is the worse offense in marriage, more damaging than physical abuse.

I don't know if Harley just means the occasional beating or broken bone, or if that statement encompasses hospitalizations for internal bleeding, maiming and disfigurement, all of which I saw when working with abused women.

I don't know why I was surprised when I read that statement by Harley (cited as justification for a husband assaulting the man who had an affair with his wife -- the logic there escaped me). Given what I now know about Harley's weak stance on emotional and physical abuse (and this time I'm not backing down from that statement so don't bother with the PM), I should have expected it.

Personally, I'd rather my H have an affair than push me down the stairs and break my arm, cut up my face with a razor blade, black my eye, dislocate my shoulder, or cause massive internal injuries, but that's me-- call me a wimp -- been called much worse. smile

I'm just trying to give you some background for a certain mindset of absolutes in the infidelity context that I'm certain you have already noted.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LadyGrey] #47551
01/08/11 08:46 PM
01/08/11 08:46 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: seekingbalance
Al, it may help you to understand some of the confusion/disconnect with your message on this point to know that on the MB forum the unfaithful spouse is routiinely characterized as a criminal akin to a rapist or child molester and even, in a moment of what I personally viewed as truly impressive hyperbole, Hitler.


I am really aware of this challenge/confusion/disconnection though I wasn't aware that the MB forum might be the source. My goal is to be clear about what I have found and to be patient letting people digest the difference.

For me, this was a fundamental change from a world of passivity and blaming-the-other into a world of mutual responsibility. It took me some years to make this new, and functional, way of thinking, automatic.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: LadyGrey] #47555
01/08/11 08:51 PM
01/08/11 08:51 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: seekingbalance
Al, as another point of information, Harley (the MB guy) is of the opinion that, in what I have deemed the Hierarchy of Horribleness, infidelity is the worse offense in marriage, more damaging than physical abuse.


Wouldn't it be fun to sit down and chat with this guy, Harley. I would love to validate him and see if he could validate me.

Heirarchy of Horribleness? Cool phrase. Affairs, nope, not the worst from my point of view. Worst is staying together and telling lies to each other until death part us. I think of this as a) Living Death and b) a tragedy and c) pretty darn normal. I think it certainly not what we signed up for when we fall in love.

That old physical abuse vs emotional abuse issue is one to ponder. I have decided that I believe the emotional abuse is about 10x worse than the physical.

Fortunately, currently, and more and more, physical abuse is illegal. Doesn't stop it. Almost every couple I see admits to some physical abuse which did not involve the police. Both parties witnessed a crime, physical abuse, and did not call 911.

Unfortunately, I fear, emotional abuse is "legal." We gotta do something about it. I am doing my part.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47560
01/08/11 08:58 PM
01/08/11 08:58 PM
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Posts: 1,883
Gateway to the West
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Not2fun Offline
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Not2fun  Offline
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Gateway to the West
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


I am really aware of this challenge/confusion/disconnection though I wasn't aware that the MB forum might be the source.


It's not. It's based on the experience people have had when they have been betrayed by an affair. No one has it been stated by those who have challenged or discussed with you some of your writings has even brought MB or Dr. Harley into it.

I, myself, find even bringing this up a distraction to what you, Al, are trying to say....

Not2fun


" If you couldn't change your partner when you were together, you sure aren't going to now that you aren't together..." Words of the teacher of the court mandated parenting class...and the ONE thing that stuck out to me!!!
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: Not2fun] #47567
01/08/11 09:13 PM
01/08/11 09:13 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: Not2fun
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I am really aware of this challenge/confusion/disconnection though I wasn't aware that the MB forum might be the source.


It's not. It's based on the experience people have had when they have been betrayed by an affair. No one has it been stated by those who have challenged or discussed with you some of your writings has even brought MB or Dr. Harley into it. Not2fun


Dear Not2fun, I am not sure what you are saying. Perhaps you could state your point again a bit more clearly - and without the MasterTalk. Twood help me.

I get the impression that you think I did not read the following posted message.

Originally Posted By: seekingbalance
Al, as another point of information, Harley (the MB guy) is of the opinion that, in what I have deemed the Hierarchy of Horribleness, infidelity is the worse offense in marriage, more damaging than physical abuse.


I was responding to that and not particularly bothered by the MasterTalk in it.

I hear you think this topic a distraction. I don't think it a distraction, by the way.

I would think it a distraction more if it were in another topic - like on Lizard or Reliable Membership or on Bullying. I was actually curious about what seekingbalance was sharing and amusing myself with the thought of chatting with Harley.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47576
01/08/11 09:31 PM
01/08/11 09:31 PM
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Medc Offline
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Medc  Offline
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Harley's position seems to have been mischaracterized. While I do not want to speak for N2F, I believe that was her point. I am not in the habit of standing up for MBERS, but I also do not believe that the stated positions and beliefs of the website owners has been accurately depicted.



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

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

Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: Medc] #47592
01/08/11 10:12 PM
01/08/11 10:12 PM
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Posts: 4,657
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LadyGrey Offline
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LadyGrey  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
Originally Posted By: Medc
Harley's position seems to have been mischaracterized. While I do not want to speak for N2F, I believe that was her point. I am not in the habit of standing up for MBERS, but I also do not believe that the stated positions and beliefs of the website owners has been accurately depicted.


I'm not sure where you think I have mischaracterized his position.

I was very careful to distinguish between the forum in the first instance and the man himself in the second.

The pervasive rapist/child molester/criminal analogies are a matter of public record. Many posters here have been exposed to that mindset, and may have adopted it. It appears to be dramatically different from Al's. Given the percentages here, I thought I'd do my part to clear up what I saw as an existing or potential point of confusion on a thread which is directed towards how to approach people.

Someday, an unfaithful spouse will show up here and likely be told they are a criminal on the same moral plane as a child molester/rapist/Hitler at the same time that they are receiving a different message from those who follow Al's line of reasoning. Could be confusing.

I will amend my post to clarify that it is my opinion that Harley takes a weak stance on emotional and physical abuse.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: AlTurtle] #47594
01/08/11 10:14 PM
01/08/11 10:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline
Board of Directors
Mark1952  Offline
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Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
Al,

Just to give a bit of my view...

Harley has stated that those with whom he has counseled that had experienced rape or the loss of a child and an affair by their spouse in some cases reported that the infidelity hurt them as much or more emotionally than the rape or death of their child. The people he counseled with made the claim. Personally, I have always found that hard to buy, but I can tell you that an affair was the worst thing that ever happened to me. There is a short video on the front page of his website in which he makes the statement. He does say that he believes that having an affair is one of the worst things that one spouse can do to the other.

Nowhere in his writing that I have found has he ever stated that he considers infidelity a worse form of abuse than physical abuse or even emotional abuse. He has said however that in cases of abuse he recommends separation at least until the abuser has taken steps to insure that the abuse will not happen again. (Individual counseling, abusers course etc) He also does not anywhere suggest that someone who has an affair deserves to be abused nor that he or she might have coming whatever the betrayed spouse might choose to dish out.

He is a behaviorist kind of guy and so focuses on behaviors more than on causes. He does not oppose find the cause but instead suggests that changing what happens is more likely to produce the preferred outcome than simply analyzing the reasons we act the way we do. He points to even instinctive ways we react that tend to hurt our spouse as being equally necessary to modify as those things that we have learned. Damaging behavior is damaging behavior no matter whether it comes from childhood, reacting to something our spouse might have done or from the human animal still having reactive responses from deep in our lizard brain. His whole program is about that part of our brain and using our cognitive parts to insure that it doesn't lead us to do something to threaten the lizard in our spouse.

Everything he promotes is based on the assumption that whatever we do, it affects our spouse either positively or negatively. His "program" is designed to sooth the lizard of both spouses and make both feel safe, secure and fulfilled.

In 4 1/2 years of listening to his radio program, reading his books and having at least a few email exchanges with Harley I have never experienced him telling anyone that he feels that physical abuse is any more or less pardonable than an affair. I find that he pretty much lumps all forms of abusive behavior into a single bucket most of the time, at least from what I have witnessed.

Much of what is attributed to Harley comes from what those posting on his forums have said. Like a lot of things that get repeated often enough, they get to be accepted as the truth though they were at best conjecture or misunderstanding in the beginning.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: Thoughts on how to approach couples/individuals. [Re: Mark1952] #47607
01/08/11 10:37 PM
01/08/11 10:37 PM
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Posts: 5,926
Medc Offline
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Medc  Offline
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Quote:
The most important exception to the Policy of Joint Agreement is that when your health and safety are at risk, the default condition (doing nothing until an enthusiastic agreement is reached) should not be followed.

As an obvious example of when the policy is inappropriate, if your spouse is threatening your life with physical abuse, you should not continue to subject yourself to that threat while trying to find a mutual enthusiastic agreement. You should leave your spouse immediately.


This is an exact quote from Harley...taken from the What are Plan A and Plan B page.

While I do think that Harley is oftentimes clueless about domestic violence, I do not see that he has entirely missed the boat on the seriousness of the issue.





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

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

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