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Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #63542
02/02/11 05:46 PM
02/02/11 05:46 PM
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CajunRose Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
While you are working at the "leading" bit, I encourage you to remember that he has to make it to Vintage Love along with you. While you look at your journey ahead, you can spend a bit of time thinking of his.

You might lead the way into discussions about "what would our relationship look like if it were perfect to both of us."


I agree that it's critical, if you're trying to save a marriage/stop a divorce, to know what your partner needs to get to that point where they want to go to vintage love with you. And that's one of the more powerful, to me, messages in the Turtle wisdom. Everything seems to boil down to finding a way for my heart to understand his heart.

I've really been trying to adapt all of this wisdom into a plan, and for those reading, I can be a case study. (Feel free to move this to my thread if it's too much for here).

STBXH and I had one really good relationship talk a few weeks after he moved out. I learned that he doesn't know how "to break our bad patterns"; he thinks "people can't change"; and "even if we make it work right now, in three years we'll be back here again." He doesn't think he can forgive me for words/actions from years ago. From past conversations, I also identified that he thinks I was controlling and "mean". He had not been confiding in me, so I assume he didn't feel safe sharing. STBXH consistently refused in the first two months of our separation to speculate on what a good relationship with me would look like ("we won't be having one of those"). When I asked what he thought a good relationship ought to look like in general, he has always answered "I don't know" (since before he moved out). I stopped asking these questions the week after he filed for divorce. (I also think STBXH has an inappropriately close relationship with a female coworker - I worked a bit to expose that, then determined that all I could do was fix the other issues.)

My goals: Make his lizard feel safe with me again. Learn for myself what a good relationship ought to look like and teach him. Show him ways that communication patterns can be changed.

In the first three months of our separation, I worked on eliminating Angry Outbursts, resentful tones of voice, criticism, and other icky communication things. Also worked on boundaries, and not taking his bait. About 85% successful, I think smile Also worked on getting a life/taking care of myself. And I started reading everything I could get my hands on about relationships.

In late December I finally started to "get" Al's wisdom and use it.
*I started identifying my use of MasterTalk and trying to remove it from my conversations with STBXH.
*I looked for physical clues that his lizard was going into overdrive, and stopped or modified my behaviors that precipitated that. (His lizard has been a lot more outwardly calm lately.)
*Tried even harder to eliminate pushing.
*Cut a lot of our interactions shorter than they had been.
*Worked on prevalidation and tried to figure out what his "sense" was. This helped me a lot to stay calm when we interacted - no more nasty assumptions. It also gave me more ideas on what to do/what went wrong.
*I'm trying to learn and use validation. This is hard for me, and I need a lot more practice.
*Started sharing with him some of my fears/emotions that I hadn't shared during our marriage. He's acknowledged that this has helped him to understand why I acted in the way I did. I also hope that the act of sharing will show him that I'm willing/able to make this change going forward to. (Although Al says not to selectively share, I'm not sharing the current moments when I get so mad I want to stake him over an ant bed. There's a time and a place for that kind of sharing - if we reconcile.)
*I worked on the "visibly" part of working on myself. ( What to do when He/She leaves) I mentioned my IC in passing (he yells at me for something, I say "thank you for telling me you are concerned about X. I'll make sure I discuss it with my IC and see if we can find alternative strategies for me."). I left books lying around the house when I knew he'd be visiting. Finally, I told him something along the lines of "I read a really great book that I think described the core problems of our marriage. I'm glad I found that because the knowledge will be useful to me in my next relationship. I think it would help you too." He borrowed the book (hasn't read it yet, to my knowlege, but he still has it).
*I adapted the advice on making amends and gave him a written list of actions/inactions I'm sorry for. I'd have preferred to do this in person, but he's not amenable to that yet - relationship talks still scare his lizard. Writing it out was a VERY powerful exercise - very cathartic for me. And the words seemed to mean something to him. He used the same format to send a written amends to me for one of the issues for which I had been trying to make amends to him.

Of course, we're still actively taking steps toward divorce, but I'm learning what I need to know and doing my best.


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: CajunRose] #63579
02/02/11 06:45 PM
02/02/11 06:45 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: CajunRose
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
While you are working at the "leading" bit, I encourage you to remember that he has to make it to Vintage Love along with you. While you look at your journey ahead, you can spend a bit of time thinking of his.

You might lead the way into discussions about "what would our relationship look like if it were perfect to both of us."


I agree that it's critical, if you're trying to save a marriage/stop a divorce, to know what your partner needs to get to that point where they want to go to vintage love with you. And that's one of the more powerful, to me, messages in the Turtle wisdom. Everything seems to boil down to finding a way for my heart to understand his heart.


Beautiful sharing and work. I think you are doing great.

One question I had is, "Do you think you would be heading for a divorce now if you had learned all the stuff you have, let's say, 10 years ago?"

I love the phrase my heart to understand his heart, and let's add the other bit. Make it easy for His heart to understand my heart. Very nice.

He seems to have a series of beliefs that are common to many. "No one can change." Well, the proof is in the pudding. At some point as you are changing, he will get the idea that people can change. I think it is easier for older people to change. That's leading.

Sharing about how difficult it is for you to change, even about your struggles, can help him get used to understanding your heart, which can lead to him starting to share his heart with you. Gentle Prevalidation and Pulling are the skills. "Oh I see that you did that, but I don't quite see the reason(s), yet? Can you tell me more about it?"

I found dropping off books for my partner to read really really didn't work. I recall her throwing one across the room. John Lee, an author and friend, said he knew that most of his books were gathering dust under the beds of many couples. And he said that as long as they paid for the books, what did he care. smile

You might try my posters for the wall." Being short phrases, they often work much better than books.

Also I find it normal for Clingers/Problem Solvers/Researchers to make significant progress into "understanding things" faster than their Avoider partners. People often say, "I don't know." And you have to be ready with a gentle Pull, " Ok. Do you have a quess, then?"

Don't know where else you should share this. Tis cool stuff.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #63850
02/02/11 10:42 PM
02/02/11 10:42 PM
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TX
CajunRose Offline
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We were actually taught some of this 5 years ago. We "graduated" from MC with a therapist who really liked Harville Hendrix's work, and we both read Getting the Love You Want as part of the therapy. What we learned in the MC bought us 3 years of happiness and 2 years of blah. We each made some small permanent behavioral changes in response to the other, but a lot of the core skills didn't stick (I think too much time spent analyzing FOO issues in therapy and not enough practicing of skills outside of therapy - and we were young and oh-so-arrogant/misguided about what was really necessary to do).

If we had truly learned the skills, then no, I don't think we'd be headed for divorce now. But we weren't in the right emotional/mental place to do that. Back then, we wanted the pain to stop, and when it stopped, when the patches were in place, we quit working. We had no idea what we should be reaching for, so we settled.

Now, I'm in the right place in my life to learn, to apply, to make these skills a part of me. I don't know whether STBXH is yet. My IC (who hasn't met STBXH but hears a lot about him) says he sounds like he's 4-8 weeks behind me in processing everything. I had assumed that when someone chooses divorce, they've already analyzed and processed everything they need to process (it's what I would have done), but apparently that's not the norm. Or at least maybe it's not the norm to analyze ways to fix when you're not intending to do that?

I was flabbergasted when he took the book. I tried ever-so-hard not to push, just to casually mention it. He whispered something like "I really am doing a lot of thinking about everything", I whispered back "I know", I changed the subject, and when he left he scooped up the book and told me he'd bring it back when he was done.

Do you think it's too pushy to validate or pull after the fact? Sometimes I think about things he told me during one of his angry moods, and I'd like to bring it up again later - "You said something that interested me last week: XXXX. Could you elaborate on that? (or) I thought about it and I can really see why you felt X, Y, or Z in that situation." He doesn't process a lot of what I say when he's angry, so I try not to say anything important then. But a few days later, sometimes I'd like to practice my new skills and see what happens.


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: CajunRose] #63934
02/03/11 12:14 AM
02/03/11 12:14 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...
Validating after the fact is the only way to deal with Resentments, so it has to be ok. The operative word is "push."

General rule is to ask/invite only one topic at a time. As I was training myself, a pretty wild clinger, I would allow myself 1 question per day. I would allow myself two pulls at a time.
In otherwords if I get some data from the first question, I allow myself to say, "great, and....." or "go on...." or "I'd love to hear more...." two times.

If your partner says, "I have no more to say." or "I don't know." I respond with something like, "Well if you come up with anything, I'd love to hear." and then I drop it.

Another general principle/goal is to utter half as many words as your partner.

The goal of this to me is to a) get your partner to share something/anything, b) invite them to process themselves and c) for them to enjoy the sharing/processing (i.e. not feel pushed).


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #65004
02/04/11 09:01 AM
02/04/11 09:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,821
flowmom Offline
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CR, I really admire the marriage work that you're doing. No matter what happens, I think that your efforts will bring you peace (which can be hard to come by as a divorced parent).

Reading your posts makes me wonder if I've been too passive in dealing with STBXH leaving me. I've done a lot of visible 180s which I assume he has noticed. And I think that I've helped to calm his lizard, mostly by not punishing him for leaving me and showing that I'm moving on (I think he was worried that I would not let him go). He seems quite relaxed around me now, quite a contrast to the tension and hostility I got from him after he moved out.

But I have been passive about communication. I haven't *touched* anything relationship-related in a year. I've wanted to write an amends letter many many times but keep arguing myself out of it.

My excuse for not making efforts is grounded in 1. being worried that any tiny attempt at communication will activate his lizard and make coparenting harder, 2. feeling hopeless that he would ever be willing to make the effort needed even if he did start to shift, and 3. feeling unsafe about communicating with him.

Al, any advice for how to achieve closure when one has made progress in accepting the spouse's choice to divorce, but it still feels "unfinished"?


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: flowmom] #65123
02/04/11 04:03 PM
02/04/11 04:03 PM
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CajunRose Offline
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Flow, I have/had the same three fears/excuses as you. The hardest one for me was 3 - feeling unsafe with him. But I realized that if I had to pick ONE reason my marriage failed, it was lack of communication. We were both too darn scared to talk. And that is something that I have control over (for me). So as terrifying as it is, sometimes I force myself to open my mouth and speak (my IC is terrific at assigning me homework - which is basically "the next time you see your H, tell him exactly what you just told me". And she'll nag me about it until I actually do.)

I've communicated a lot in writing instead of in person. It is easier for me to feel safe because I can't be rejected to my face. It's easier (I think) for him to feel safe because I'm not pushing him for a response/immediate reaction. We can both pretend that the letter doesn't exist when we see each other in person. If he wants to address it, he can do so when it feels safe for him. The few times that IC made me speak in person, I actually started the conversation as "my IC gave me homework. She said I have to talk to you about X. Would you mind listening so she won't yell at me next week?" I could see his lizard start to flare and then calm down, because now we were on the same side - both thinking "that darn IC is causing this difficult moment!" Plus, I got to follow Al's advice and drop those hints that I am putting in the work.

But the hardest, was dealing with 2. I wrote my amends list two months ago. And I could not make myself give it to him until I was in a state where I felt "done". Where I honestly didn't care if he didn't even read it. I needed to give him that for me, not for him. I felt really selfish when I gave it to him because I thought I'd get the biggest benefit, the peace, and he'd probably end up upset.

It's highly likely that none of what I've done will make any difference whatsoever to my H. It's possible that he'll get some peace/closure in understanding but I don't see him coming back. But I feel a lot better for having made the effort, for putting the puzzle pieces together for myself. Now I know what to watch for next time.


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: CajunRose] #65175
02/04/11 05:39 PM
02/04/11 05:39 PM
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flowmom Offline
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Thanks CR. Yes, I have let go of the outcome. I assume that reconciliation is high unlikely. But it still feels like there's a lot at stake in our R. I have worked *very* hard at managing myself to have the best possible coparenting R, and I'm really proud of where we're at with that. I'm scared of rocking the boat by bringing in my personal need for closure. But then I think that I made it convenient for STBXH to ignore and have contempt for my needs in the M, and I owe it to myself to just make room for my needs one last time during this ending process.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: flowmom] #65752
02/06/11 12:33 AM
02/06/11 12:33 AM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Looking back, I think that the single most important step for both of us was in redeveloping communication skills. Some way for us to be in the same room, for us both the speak what was true for us, to contemplate words and ideas, and to use those words handed back and forth to develop solutions that were good for both of us.

Looking back is was so simple. Not at the time! It is just mouthes, words and perhaps some gestures.

I've often thought that if a camera crew were to follow us around, they could capture piles and piles of tiny specific gestures/phrases that we have learned to use.

Our start was in learning Mirroring - something to do when our partner talks that prevents argument, creates calmness, slows the speed, and forces ears to open. Mirroring taught us to be clear when "talking was ok to do" and when we, or one of us, were so heated up that we needed a break - TimeOuts.

Mirroring was a beginning, but for years we stumbled on the next step. Imago did not help. Later we came to believe that Imago people misstaught the next step. The next step was Validation and PreValidation.

Each of these steps were made of tiny specific actions and procedures. Anyone could learn them. Its easier to be shown. Its easier if your partner practices too. But I don't think that's necessary. Besides, sometimes one person needs the skills when your partner has lost their balance.

None of this was taught by my parents or my teachers. If communication is a problem for you, then learn it.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #65911
02/06/11 12:08 PM
02/06/11 12:08 PM
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LotsaLove Offline
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As CajunRose has said before, I too am so grateful to learn from you Al, I cannot express well enough how much I appreciate your materials.
I now see things in a very different light, not just intimate relationships but any interactions with people.


I have been trying the Fold'em letters with STBXH.
I didn't expect any response whatsoever as we have been separated for a year now in different states, and there is no communication at all.
However, when I addressed the issue (giving space) which I knew his lizard would react to, a reply... actually two replies, came back.
I was scared to do this as I thought he will just criticize me, it almost felt like submitting to admit the issue.
But what am I scared of, we are about to file anyway, I might go down trying. So I decided to send the letters.

I started the letter with a light greeting, followed by 'I'm determined to learn to make the next relationship work' and 'you have taught me that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it'(which he said often). Then I wrote about giving some space.
I thought praising him in the beginning would relax him a bit and give the letter better chances of being read.

Although he sounds a little bitter and the reply is masked with 'as a friend I would like to say', the reply contained what he thought of the issue... sharing his thoughts?
And I guess now is the time to practice mirroring/pre validation/validation... the juicy part of learning.


It seems quite simple reading other people's but when it comes to my own, I can feel myself going back to the same old in my head, wanting to defend myself.
(Then what I have read so far would kick in and my lizard would freeze, not knowing what to do)

It is no easy feat isn't it... emails are a lot easier for now as I can plan what to say.
I'd probably blow it if I have to talk to him, until I learn a lot more.

Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: LotsaLove] #67039
02/09/11 02:59 AM
02/09/11 02:59 AM
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Al,

I had a thought today, and couldn't figure out where to put it. I might do a thread on this topic later. I don't know.

You may remember that we discussed that when we are small children we accept our parent's (and other authorities we have been told to trust) as always right. They must be right. We just accept that. Then we move to the rebellious stage (well, some of us do...most of us do, although some repress it) and we think that our parents and authority figures do nothing right. We move from seeing infallibility to seeing complete incompetence. Finally, one day we wake up and realize we model a lot of our parent's behaviors. We also, hopefully, move into the discernment phase (as I will call it). We realize that they had some things right, and some things wrong.

I think this correlates well to romantic relationships. I'll reference the stages in your Map of Relationships. In the Romantic Stage, our partner can do no wrong. Some call this "rose-colored glasses". He/she is perfect, or nearly so. As we move into the Power Struggle phase (rebellion), we realize that this is not true. We advance towards a place where we can't see that the person did anything right - ever. Every event is re-interpreted through this lens.

Hopefully, we can move to the discernment phase - Vintage Love - and adjust ourselves and our relationships to reality, and not a dreamlike fantasy or a nightmare like horror.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AntigoneRisen] #67285
02/09/11 07:00 PM
02/09/11 07:00 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
This is great thinking and I like it. I think drawing parallels is often a way of both building predictive theories and also discriminating between things that seem alike but are fundamentally different. Comparing views of childhood to the evolution/revolution of people in intimate relationships I think if very instructive. Tis also fun for those of us who like to build theories.

Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
You may remember that we discussed that when we are small children we accept our parent's (and other authorities we have been told to trust) as always right. They must be right. We just accept that.

In the Romantic Stage, our partner can do no wrong. Some call this "rose-colored glasses". He/she is perfect, or nearly so.


I'd personally track two features: needs and "right/wrong". In childhood we expect our needs to be always met by our parents/caretakers. Predominately we think this because our cortex is still undergoing radical development which has specific requirements, and because we start off with a body problem it won't yet do what we want. Our emergency system (Lizard, etc) is fully functioning when our needs are not met.

Right/wrong is simple. Most parents symbiotically punish the development of independent thinking in their kids. Our brain's development requires safety (Lizard) more than independent thinking. For most of us our parents fake it that they agree or disagree so violently that we become terrified. Most of us will worship our caretakers out of a need for survival and "accept" their opinions as right out of survival.

I think this period starts to end around age 7 .

The Romantic Stage seems very much a replay of some of this. First, I am comfortable with the thought that both partners have a wonderful sense that "all will be well." I think this is an action of the Lizard, and is a replay of the very first- in life sensations of a baby when my parents are feeding me, etc. I look at my current baby grandaughter and see that fat, happy, contented little Lizard. Truly beautiful to see. And the look on people's faces in the first blushes of Romantic Love appear the same to me. The pending tragedy is that both shift into being passive just as they "had to be" when they were infants. Both expect "everything to be ok now," without significant effort on their part.

The issue of Right/Wrong vanishes in a tremendous desire to be together in the "all will be well" state. Agreement flashes up as the way to go and buries all the needs for independent thinking. Tis a wonderful period when for a while The Lizard and the need for Reliable Connection overwhelm the needs for Autonomy and Diversity. I think this is a period of profoundly telling lies to each other and to our selves.

Thus one period (childhood) ends because of development of the capacity for compassion and empathy, and the other collapses because it is founded on the quicksand of neediness from the other, and the delusion of agreement.

Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
Then we move to the rebellious stage (well, some of us do...most of us do, although some repress it) and we think that our parents and authority figures do nothing right. We move from seeing infallibility to seeing complete incompetence.

As we move into the Power Struggle phase (rebellion), we realize that this is not true. We advance towards a place where we can't see that the person did anything right - ever. Every event is re-interpreted through this lens.

I love the rebellious impulse. I think it is simply the urge to break up symbiosis and develop healthy diversity autonomy and democracy. It certainly seems powerful in childhood directly in proportion to how dictatorial the caretaker system is. Now the first impulse most of us see in this rebellion is to reject/replace our dictator parents with us being the dictator. That's what is most often modeled by our parents: one the bully and one the passive enabler. While we rebelliously reject being the passive-wus, we most often do it by trying to out-bully the bully.

Had our parents modeled autonomy and diversity this probably would not be a very strong rebellious impulse. If they try to bully us for our rebellion, then our rebellion seems to become stronger. And I think it should. The goal, of course is safe, reliable, diversity and autonomy. I don't think you can beat that out of people forever. It's built in.

In the Power Struggle this I think has two facets. First we discover that our partner is not our "servent" meeting our every need as our caretakers were supposed to. The issue of self-fishness surfaces and the Lizard shifts into fighting (or other tactics) to get our needs met by our now dysfunctional-caretaker/slave.

The second facet is the mature discovery of autonomy and diversity with only the tools of bullying and passive enabling available.

Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
Finally, one day we wake up and realize we model a lot of our parent's behaviors. We also, hopefully, move into the discernment phase (as I will call it). We realize that they had some things right, and some things wrong.

Hopefully, we can move to the discernment phase - Vintage Love - and adjust ourselves and our relationships to reality, and not a dreamlike fantasy or a nightmare like horror.


Lots of kids seem to move into relationships without firm rebellion or with much too firm rebellion, but never having achieved much democracy: diversity and autonomy.

I recall at age 17 learning about the word "maturity." My dad often told me I was immature. I took that word to my English professor. "What does the word ‘maturity' mean?" He said, "Oh. That's an ethnocentric term." "Damn, now what does ‘ethnocentric' mean?" I cried. Sydney Eaton looked at me and said, "It is a term that has a different meaning in each ethnic grouping." "Ok, how big is an ethnic grouping?" I said. "Oh, it could be as big as the earth, or a country, or a village or a neighborhood," he replied. "Or," he added, "As big as a single person." Now I had my answer. I watched my dad, listened. He used the word "maturity" to refer to anything he did and the word "immature" to refer to anything I did that he didn't agree with. I was lucky. I discovered that while there may be truth somewhere, everyone sees it differently and that is ok. Two people will think the same thing is right and wrong at the same time and that is ok.

I've found that when a couple reaches the Vintage Love stage, one characteristic is that they both handle the words "right" and "wrong" and "fact" and "I know" with very gentle and firm gloves. They seem to never speak of right and wrong without the firm awareness that this IS their opinion only. They seem to firmly make room for the opinions, beliefs, recollections, theories of others, particularly their close partners, friends and and and children.

If they do that for their children they sure can save their kids lots of trouble.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #67359
02/09/11 08:40 PM
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AntigoneRisen Offline
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I don't like talking about "right" and "wrong" very much. I do think that absolute wrongs exist - genocide, for example - but in the vast majority of life, the distinction is more subjective and ultimately self-defeating. (You have run into one that I categorize as "wrong" on a day-to-day basis: lying and manipulation.)

I have this problem with my partner, who does think in "right" and "wrong" for day-to-day interactions. He thinks (or told me he did many times) that conflict resolution should be initiated by the person in the "wrong". Well, I can't think of a less effective approach, myself.

When two people are fighting, they generally both think that they are in the "right" and the other person is in the "wrong", and if they both sit around and wait for the person in the "wrong" to initiate conflict resolution...well, the conflict resolution won't happen.

Giving up this idea of who is "right" and who is "wrong" is one of the first - and best - steps towards effectively dealing with conflict.

For me, dealing with conflict has nothing to do with who was "right" or "wrong" (Yes, even with things like lying and manipulation...doesn't matter if that happened or not). Thus, I will initiate even if I think I have the better position. *sigh* He doesn't agree with me on this, so that's one of the reasons I am the person who initiates addressing any conflict. Frankly, I'm sick of that.

Yet, I do not want to give up on the idea that "right" and "wrong" don't really matter when it comes to addressing conflict.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AntigoneRisen] #67389
02/09/11 09:18 PM
02/09/11 09:18 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
I don't like talking about "right" and "wrong" very much. Yet, I do not want to give up on the idea that "right" and "wrong" don't really matter when it comes to addressing conflict.


I am glad you focused on this. I like the idea that each of us constantly revises our beliefs based on what we think are better information. At any moment what we belive is our best - which will be improved upon in a moment! While our Lizards love Predictive Information, the world around us and in us is always changing. I think it is our cortex' job to deal with this - and I think it always tries. I think this is true of everyone we meet.

I found that I most people use MasterTalk to empower themselves. Yet I found that simply sharing what I believe is vastly more empowering. And I don't have to argue.

I dislike lying. I have lots of reasons why I do. I avoid it. But most people I meet lie all the time and that is their decision or habit. I validate their decisions to lie and work to give them the environment where they will choose to be frank. I found that being "angry" at someone who lies, increases the chance that they will lie some more. So my challenge is/was how to express my frustration with someone who does what I don't want, without the normal anger that goes along with frustration.

Learning this is part of why The University of Life is so long. I guess.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #67450
02/09/11 11:31 PM
02/09/11 11:31 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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I got a call from someone who asked me for some guidelines about how long the stages in a relationship last. I started to share my thoughts and he said, "Please write them." Ok. I think I've written this before and wonder if my number now may have changed. Here's a fairly advanced article on this subject.

Romantic Phase
I generally laugh and say, "9 minutes to 9 months." I think you can fall in love with someone who is walking away and fall out when they turn around. People fall in love so often that there is a learning effect. May get shorter or longer the next time. If someone has been together for more than 9 months and they say they are "in love," I look skeptically at them. Remember there are a lot of people who are "victims of domestic violence" who say, "I stay with him/her cuz I love him/her." What the hell is that definition of love! I just believe that the fantasy, which is a lot of what is going on, will wear off - not the desire for it, but the belief that you got it. Another tongue-in-cheek statement is "you can't stay stupid forever."

Power Struggle
Again this varies but my rule of thumb is about 3 years. Remember a Power Struggle is stage where two people are still dreaming of that perfect marriage and are being ugly and foolish in their techniques of getting it. They have to "try the tools, all the tools, they know" before they will say, "Nothing works," feel hopeless and move on to the Three Doors.
The phrase "nothing works" is a mask for saying more acutely, "Everything I know how to do, does not work." Of course I believe that is the time for learning things you don't know yet.

Choice Point
This is a fairly short period of actual choosing - let's say 4 months. Of course one can wander back and forth between the three Doors and the Power Struggle for quite some time, but I think that most of the time you are in one or another of those Doors - usually Door #2 or playing with Door #3. In general, "talking about Divorce" is a threatening tactic either of the Power Struggle ("I will divorce you if you don't give me enough ....") or a threatening tactic of Door #2 (I will divorce you if you don't let me golf, see my girlfriends, etc. etc.). Threatening divorce is a particularly pernicious tactic because it seems to threaten talking and finding solutions. Thus I see threatening or talking about divorce as a kind of divorce all on its own.

Door #3
People can live single forever. I have seen hermits. But they are often people who have a tortured history of relationship. Generally the need for connection will arise and push people toward connection. I recall one study from Australia that said the avg women waits 7 years and the avg guy waits 7 months. I have not theory about how long this lasts. I just have theories about the dynamics. Women who live divorced with their kids living at home can stay single for quite a while - until the kids start to leave home. I don't think that is healthy for anyone.

Door #2
Most couples die here.

University of Life
Probably a minimum of three years. Certainly Sandra and I took about 9 years. Can't make it alone. I've met people who were quicker. I've met an awful lot of people who claim they are there, but their partner isn't. This seems so silly. All of us have the Biological Dream. We don't need anyone in order to have the dream. Turning it into a realistic community for two or more takes time.



Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #68308
02/11/11 08:27 PM
02/11/11 08:27 PM
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star*fish Offline
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So where are people after 20 years? Terminally stupid ? Lol?

Last edited by star*fish; 02/11/11 08:32 PM.

"Yes, I'll have the love combo, open faced with a side of respect and large a glass of forgiveness, easy on the ice please--my brother
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: star*fish] #68337
02/11/11 09:39 PM
02/11/11 09:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: star*fish
So where are people after 20 years? Terminally stupid ? Lol?


Well, I don't think so. The only thing I think that makes you terminally stupid is that you do something dumb just before the eighteen-wheeler runs over you.

20 years, hmm. With my first wife at the end of 20 years I about 3 years into my divorce and was thoroughly trying to learn what all was my fault. With Sandra, we've been married 27 years, at the end of 20 I think we were just pulling into Vintage Love after a long learning spell.

At 20 years of age, most people are still playing around with getting married or dating or whatever.

If you mean where are people after living together for 20 years, well, I'd say they can be anywhere other than Romantic Love.

Most, vast majority, perhaps 90%, seem happily ensconced in Door #2. I think we meet them every day. They generally don't wanna be bothered by the likes of me (or you) or by memories of romantic love. Probably never show up online or on Marriage Advocates. If nothing happens to them, I think they do die that way. When I have presented the Map of Relationships to them they assert they are in Vintage Love and they are happy. It is easy to see how Lizardy their lives are. But I cannot find a benefit for me to "ruin" the silence they have built. So why not die that way? I leave 'em alone.

Some percentage of them are "lucky" enough (that's my value statement, there) to have all hell break lose: domestic violence, close brush with death (sickness or car accident), or an affair discovered, etc. They get to reconsider their life values and may drop out of Door #2, back to the Power Struggle, or Door #3 (Divorce) or mebbe, mebbe, they discover and launch into Door #1 - off to Vintage Love.

Thus after 20 years some can be in the Power Struggle again, can be twisting around and around with Divorce, more or less solidly in Door #2 --- or some can be toughing their way through the University of Life or even actually in Vintage Love. All over the place.

Terminally stupid? I've actually never met that. "Dumb as a post?" Hell, that was me on many occasions! God, do I have kind feelings toward the me that was and didn't know what I was doing.

Hope that helps.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #68414
02/11/11 11:40 PM
02/11/11 11:40 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Al, my husband and I dated for ten years before we married in 1985 - he was my first date at 15, and first of everything else - HUGE decade long power struggle over sex because good girls don't. . I've been trying to figure out whether and how that played into the pre affair marriage (bunker mentality with occasional strategic use of armed weapons - lizards running the show) my decision to have an affair and the current situation.

I have some thoughts on this I have never dared voice.

The phrase that MB uses to describe the conditions the affairing spouse must put into place for the benefit og the affaired against spouse as part of Just Compensation (a defined term) is Extraordinary Precautions (EP) which are things like no friendships with members of the opposite sex, polygraphs, GPS on phone/car, installation of key loggers- Lizzy is now blanking out in utter horror but I know there is a whole long list, some of which I find quite sensible, some not so much...

Then I read something LA wrote to the effect that healing your emotional wounds is an EP and, at last, I thought "YES! That I GET!"

So I have been reflecting on those early days- your timeline matches our progression quite nicely, but I'm wondering if there might be systemic differences in marriages where the couple started dating so young and for so long?

I feel there is something there I need to examine but it keeps slipping out of my grasp.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: LadyGrey] #68439
02/12/11 12:41 AM
02/12/11 12:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Al, my husband and I dated for ten years before we married in 1985 - he was my first date at 15, and first of everything else - HUGE decade long power struggle over sex because good girls don't. . I've been trying to figure out whether and how that played into the pre affair marriage (bunker mentality with occasional strategic use of armed weapons - lizards running the show) my decision to have an affair and the current situation.

Thanks, LG, for joining. Some people wanna figure this sort of stuff out, paths taken, roads missed, caves wandered into along life's journey for each of us. I find it fascinating.

The Map of Relationships provides for me a solid guideline and reference against which to examine each person's story. Lemme look at a bit of your story. I've learned that "marriage" really starts when two people move together, sleep together, dwell together. The beautiful marriage ceremonies, world over, seem more a community issue of announcing the joining, and while I love that support for community and affirmation of the couple stuff, I tend to focus on what most people call that mutual attraction stuff. I think of this as the energy of the Romantic Phase, which includes all the wonderful physical effects of PEA and oxytocyn, etc.

It is also profoundly, I find, a delusional state. Lots of lying and withholding and putting on your best side. I loved that phrase, "I am in love with the person I dream of when you show up." I think Romantic Love is all about living in a dream.

Thus the more data you have the shorter Romantic Love will tend to be. Or put another way, if you don't see each other much, if you communicated by limited bandwidth (text messages, long distance), I think you can stay in a Romantic period for a very long time. The old phrase, "Lots of great relationships are ruined by Marriage," seems to me more of "Lots of romance is ruined by data."

About your thoughts about 15 year olds falling in love, I think the best idea is that one can have lots of fairly shallow relationships. One can cycle through (Rom,PwrStr,Div,rest,Rom,PwrStr, etc) connections for quite a while. Waking up, one more time, or one deeper time, to the powerful pull of the Biological Dream can happen over and over. I think the Biological Dream is a damn huge thing.

And you can go through Romantic Phase multiple times with the same person. Look at those stuck in Domestic Abuse situations rocking back and forth between the Power Struggle and Romantic Love. There's a chart about this but I just see it a people stuck in the dream without the knowhow of going on for the real thing.

How would this lead to affairs. Oh hell. That's a fun and to me a pretty obvious thought.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I have some thoughts on this I have never dared voice.


Oh you devil. Gonna whet my appetite?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
The phrase that MB uses to describe the conditions the affairing spouse must put into place for the benefit og the affaired against spouse as part of Just Compensation (a defined term) is Extraordinary Precautions (EP) which are things like no friendships with members of the opposite sex, polygraphs, GPS on phone/car, installation of key loggers- Lizzy is now blanking out in utter horror but I know there is a whole long list, some of which I find quite sensible, some not so much...


I don't know where I come down on MB's ideas. Thing for me is that you have to build trust where now there is none. Tis a major, I don't mind extraordinary, project. Doable, but not I think if you don't take into account the Lizard. The ideas you list seem a bit silly, mechanical and perhaps counter productive. The particularly pernicious part is the focus on the Affairing partner and not on the relationship that both had colluded to build. I see the affair as a wake-up call to a disastrous relationship. "Fixing" the affairing partner, by it self I fear won't do much. I'd go further, since at one time I believed that. I think it's stupid. ("Stupid" for me is another word for dysfunctional.)

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Then I read something LA wrote to the effect that healing your emotional wounds is an EP and, at last, I thought "YES! That I GET!"


I think I completely agree with this. Fixing/resolving/"healing" emotional wounds in everyone is for me the goal of relating. And not just "fixing" them. Tis about creating and maintaining a tiny community which is all about "fixing."

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
So I have been reflecting on those early days- your timeline matches our progression quite nicely, but I'm wondering if there might be systemic differences in marriages where the couple started dating so young and for so long?
I feel there is something there I need to examine but it keeps slipping out of my grasp.


Love your thinking, LG. Share what you find.

Here's a question that might help your study. Given what I have shared, when did you "actually" get married, compared to the wedding ceremony?


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #69451
02/14/11 02:51 PM
02/14/11 02:51 PM
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Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline
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Quote:
The beautiful marriage ceremonies, world over, seem more a community issue of announcing the joining...


And approving the joining, which also gives power to disapprove. Given my personality, it will not come as a shock that I'm averse to seeking approval or sanction for my relationship. smile

As a rite of pure celebration, I enjoy a wedding.

Quote:
I dislike lying. I have lots of reasons why I do. I avoid it. But most people I meet lie all the time and that is their decision or habit. I validate their decisions to lie and work to give them the environment where they will choose to be frank.


Lying and dishonesty go further than simply being a means to protect oneself. Withholding information or giving false/misleading information is a method of controlling another's response, and a significant "weapon" in the ever-present and always-futile power struggle.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AntigoneRisen] #69617
02/14/11 08:50 PM
02/14/11 08:50 PM
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CajunRose Offline
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Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
Lying and dishonesty go further than simply being a means to protect oneself. Withholding information or giving false/misleading information is a method of controlling another's response, and a significant "weapon" in the ever-present and always-futile power struggle.


I never quite looked at it in this way. By not telling someone what you expect from them, by not telling them when you are unhappy with their actions/inactions, you generally ensure that they don't change their behaviors. And when they continue to repeat the same mistakes (because they don't know better), you can blame them. Whereas if you tell them what you want, you run the risk of not knowing how they'll react and how you will have to respond to them. Hmmmm....


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AntigoneRisen] #69620
02/14/11 08:55 PM
02/14/11 08:55 PM
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TACticGAL Offline
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TACticGAL  Offline
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DFW, TX
Originally Posted By: AntigoneRisen
Lying and dishonesty go further than simply being a means to protect oneself. Withholding information or giving false/misleading information is a method of controlling another's response, and a significant "weapon" in the ever-present and always-futile power struggle.


Thank you for this. It gives me a new perspective on a dynamic with my Ex#2.


Let me not be so vain to think I'm the sole author of my victories and and a victim of my defeats. -- ze frank
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: CajunRose] #69796
02/15/11 02:27 AM
02/15/11 02:27 AM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: CajunRose
I never quite looked at it in this way.

Originally Posted By: theantichick
It gives me a new perspective on a dynamic with my Ex#2.


My life has been a series of "waking-ups" and looking at it from a new perspective. Finding better ways to look at things - ways that lead to solutions and love.

I salute you both!


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #70721
02/16/11 10:45 PM
02/16/11 10:45 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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I'm in the "Giving Up" stage and my husband is in the "Power Struggle" stage.

No matter how long I stare at it or how many different ways I turn it, it looks like to get to Vintage Love, I have to return to "Power Struggle" and I do NOT want to do that AT ALL. I'm beyond sick of it, and I don't have the tools to keep Lizzy safe so a return to "Power Struggle" will be a relentless cycle of Submitting and Freezing, with occasional respites in Flight.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: LadyGrey] #70764
02/17/11 12:06 AM
02/17/11 12:06 AM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'm in the "Giving Up" stage and my husband is in the "Power Struggle" stage.


Go, LG!

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
No matter how long I stare at it or how many different ways I turn it, it looks like to get to Vintage Love, I have to return to "Power Struggle" and I do NOT want to do that AT ALL.


Hell me too. That Power Struggle sucks big time. No one wants to get back into it. I think that is what the Power Struggle is for, to really get it across that you gotta learn something new.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'm beyond sick of it, and I don't have the tools to keep Lizzy safe so a return to "Power Struggle" will be a relentless cycle of Submitting and Freezing, with occasional respites in Flight.


Brilliant! You're aware you don't have the tools. I think that is life giving information. A questions: Who the hell were the teachers that did not teach you those tools? Remember to give them the finger a few times.

And get away and relax for a while. Your Lizzy deserves it.

If my model is right, there are two ways to Vintage Love, for you. Learn some skills and sneak up past that Door #2, sneak past the Power Struggle, and leap into Door #1. That's a lot of sneaking!

Or take a nice long break, swearing off turkeys like that guy. Then start again with another dose of Romantic Love, another turkey, slide into the Power Struggle again, and learn some tools and leap as quick as you can to Door #1.

You gotta learn them tools to keep Lizzy safe either way, but the second method, Door #3 through Divorce, gives you more time. Go 4 it.

I just want to support you with the idea that Vintage Love, a cozy place where we live with Biological Dream skills going on, seems alive for you. And it's doable.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 5: "The Road to Love" - Building Trust. [Re: AlTurtle] #365817
10/17/14 09:39 PM
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beckyrob Offline
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Hi Al, I started a discussion on Infidelity after 40 years,
Actually I didn't find out until right before our 42nd anniversary. We never have fought, not until I found out about his affair, which he still vehemently denies as a real affair, since there was no sex involved. I think that is a major reason why I still can not forgive him. I just don't know if I ever will, or will ever be able to trust him again. Do you have any advice for me ?

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