Marriage Advocates

MA Core values

Posted By: Lil

MA Core values - 09/26/13 07:15 AM

Its been a while since this topic has been revisited, and I thought it would be interesting to bump around a few ideas and see how we've changed and evolved over the last 3 years.

I also have some ideas for articles and this sort of info would help cool

I'll start with one I think we have:

Everyone has the right to choose their own path, even if we dont agree with it


Whatcha reckon?
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 01:19 PM

YES!!

That's sorta like "first do no harm" that doctors have. We've gotta acknowledge free will and allow folks to find their own way.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 01:24 PM

Here's a few possible ones:

*Advice doesn't affect the life of the one who gives it, so give respect to the one whose life it does affect.

*Everyone has a right to fight for their marriage as long as they want to, even if it seems futile to anyone else.

*No single marriage strategy or program fits everyone at every time, and each person is the most important "expert" on their own life.

*Everyone has a right to give or take advice without being personally attacked.
Posted By: TimeHeals

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
YES!!

That's sorta like "first do no harm" that doctors have. We've gotta acknowledge free will and allow folks to find their own way.


Reinforcing codependent or manipulative behavior isn't "doing no harm". It's enabling somebody to harm others or continue self-harm.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 01:38 PM

I especially like those last two, Star...

Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased. Thus we do refute entropy.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 01:39 PM

Originally Posted By: TimeHeals
Originally Posted By: Miranda
YES!!

That's sorta like "first do no harm" that doctors have. We've gotta acknowledge free will and allow folks to find their own way.


Reinforcing codependent or manipulative behavior isn't "doing no harm". It's enabling somebody to harm others or continue self-harm.


<heavy sigh> I wasn't saying it is like "do no harm" in MEANING. I meant in the way a guiding principle should be. Sort of like the prime directive. Or the first law of robotics.
Posted By: TimeHeals

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 01:45 PM

I think "doing no harm" is a great aspiration.

I'm just am not so sure that is what is going on here often, and I am not sure that can or will change.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 02:00 PM

TH,

"Codependency" is a psychological term that is best determined by a psychologist who is trained in assigning that designation. It takes more knowledge, and understanding of a person's history and situation, than we are likely to get here. Since we are a peer counseling site, and not professionals, there is also an ethical question about whether we are qualified to diagnose anyone. If we suspect someone is co-dependent, we can certainly recommend professional resources.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: TimeHeals
I think "doing no harm" is a great aspiration.

I'm just am not so sure that is what is going on here often, and I am not sure that can or will change.


again, I wasn't suggesting anything of the sort. sorry for the confusion.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 02:30 PM

TH,

I think that some people have philosophical differences about what the purpose of the forum should be. Some people believe that we are here to advise people...to tell them what they need to do. "Help" means different things to different people...so there's bound to be some disagreement between us.

I am particularly qualified to tell you what the founders had in mind. We imagined MA as a place to support people, help them discover for themselves what they need to do by sharing our own experience, and point them to professional resources, books and programs that could help them determine their own path....as it relates to marriage.

We were determined to get away from the absolutism of "my way is the right or the only way" or "I know better than you do (or anyone else does) about what is right for you". There are many ways to get from point A to point B. Some may take longer, but some people need the extra time, preparation, and experience...and it is their right to determine that for themselves.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 02:48 PM

I certainly neede a cubic ton of time myself (or, I 2k it, in any case!), so I understand that viewpoint. In the end, I also did what worked for me, and I give my wife and myself FULL credit for our success, though I certainly did consider advice given over the years. One thing stands out 2 me though: if I'd acted more firmly and earlier on, we likely would have recovered sooner. So most of my "advice" given these days urges the recipient 2 be more decisive - or "hard line".

But advice should always be prefaced with "the best advice I can give you is 2 never take advice." Meaning, by all means listen, but make your own decisions. I also believe that self respect is more important than saving a marriage, in the sense that one can't accomplish much that is meaningful or valuable in saving their marriage if the can't respect themselves and act accordingly.

-ol' 2long
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 03:25 PM

Quote:
if I'd acted more firmly and earlier on, we likely would have recovered sooner. So most of my "advice" given these days urges the recipient 2 be more decisive - or "hard line".


"Most advice" from where? I actually see much advice as fairly passive on the majority of professional sites and resources. There are few exceptions like Dobson, but I agree that the "trend" may be towards a more hard-line approach...at least on the forums. I personally believe that extremes on either end serve very few people. But there is a lot of real estate between "standing" and "FU". I like to see a balanced approach that has elements of both self-examination and self-respect. I think that marriage benefits from working problems from both ends and individually determining the right timing for different strategies.

I agree that you probably could have gotten where you wanted to be sooner if you had taken a harder line, but there are all kinds of reasons that factored into why you did what you did when you did it. Long before this forum was ever built, people urged you to set some real boundaries...but you weren't ready to do it. You took a lot of heat for it, but in the end...you reserved the right to determine the timing on your own schedule.

Posted By: TimeHeals

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 06:48 PM

I don't read minds or any such thing, so I'll take your word for all of that, but it doesn't really change my observation.

I'll give you just one example of something used often in forums dealing with infidelity (including this one) that might be interesting to somebody doing some study in the behavioral sciences, but only from the view point of "the beliefs of a particular subculture". And I mean "beliefs", not something documented in anything resembling scientific or professional literature.

"The Fog": you have articles on it here, endless posts dealing with "the fog", but you know what you don't have? Any significant body of empirical documentation that it really exists. For something so often repeated, you'd expect it to get worthy mention in some journals, right? But nope, expecting that would be wrong.

You know what you will find a lot of in journals which include case studies and such? Discussion about things like "Coping Mechanisms" like Projection and "Denial" and other things like "control issues". You'll even find articles in journals dealing with "romantic relationships", "lust", "infidelity" and "infatuation", but no "Fog".

Ahem.

I'm just sayin' wink

As for how promoting that particular fiction might actually be harmful to somebody, you only need to imagine somebody who is already skewed codependent who is dealing with somebody skewed toward narcissistic entitlement.

But if you want to "Believe" that promoting "The Fog" is a "philosophical difference", go on ahead and do that, but add promoting belief in "Leprechauns" and "Unicorns" (etc) to the list of things with which most of the planet has significant "Philosophical Differences" .
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/26/13 10:30 PM

"The fog" is just another word for infatuation, and describes how the confused state of infatuation affects the brain (akin to walking in a fog). It's an abbreviated way of describing the very complex nature of brain chemistry that is present during the early stages of romantic affairs....and that has been well documented by many articles and research.

If you look at the "chemistry of love" (rather than using the vernacular "fog") you'll find a very real phenomenon that could easily be termed a fog. The ground breaking studies of Dr. Helen Fisher are some of the most famous, but plenty of research followed on the heels of her now famous research published in "Why We Love".

In this article for instance http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200909/the-plunge-pleasure she says:

Quote:
"When I first started looking at the properties of infatuation, they had some of the same elements of a cocaine high: sleeplessness, loss of a sense of time, absolute focus on love to the detriment of all around you. People walk out of marriages, abandon children. Infatuation can overtake the rational parts of your brain."


^^^^ that is what we call "the fog".

Quote:
As for how promoting that particular fiction might actually be harmful to somebody, you only need to imagine somebody who is already skewed codependent who is dealing with somebody skewed toward narcissistic entitlement.


Again...psychological terms are best assigned by psychologists.

Quote:
But if you want to "Believe" that promoting "The Fog" is a "philosophical difference", go on ahead and do that, but add promoting belief in "Leprechauns" and "Unicorns" (etc) to the list of things with which most of the planet has significant "Philosophical Differences" .


You can pretend that documentation doesn't exist because the lay term "fog" is used in very few psychological journals...but if you're actually interested, I'd be happy to provide some links or material that support the meaning of the term.

Moreover...I have personally witnessed WSs in that state over the last ten years. I have also witnessed the "clearing".
Posted By: TimeHeals

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 12:20 AM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
"The fog" is just another word for infatuation


Then why the euphemism? Because I see the euphemism being used often to fuel outright denial ("The lust that dare not speak its name").

Originally Posted By: star*fish

You can pretend that documentation doesn't exist because the lay term "fog" is used in very few psychological journals


Very few? How about Zero when I did a Lexus-Nexis search of scholarly articles published in the last 10 years. Or rather, Zero having anything to do with infidelity. It came up in articles on "Depression" with some frequency.
Posted By: Lil

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 12:56 AM

Well geese, I wasn't expecting it to turn into a defense.

TH, as he author of both the fog articles, I'll tell you exactly why I used those terms...

They are commonly used search terms.


Like it or loath it, they are common terms and widely used. I write articles with the expectation that the reader is under stress and struggling to grasp much. They may even be suffering from an inability to understanding concepts at the same IQ comprehension they had before d-day. So I dumb it down and provide bite morsels of information for easy digestion.

BTW I dont consider fog a core value.
Posted By: Mark1952

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 02:10 AM

Since the term "Fog" isn't something invented by MA, is used extensively among the infidelity forums and is typically the term used by those who had an affair to describe their mindset during the affair (especially those attempting to reconcile or already reconciled) the fact that the term is not scientific in origin doesn't bother me a bit. Neither are the terms foggy thinking, foggy memory, fog of war or alcohol or drug induced fog.
Posted By: TimeHeals

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 12:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Since the term "Fog" isn't something invented by MA, is used extensively among the infidelity forums


An Identifiable Subculture.

I think Sociologist/Psychology researchers could make a study of this: who exactly are all these people who form "clubs" and "organizations" and what are their "in-group" characteristics? What traits do they tend to share? Do they tend to have similar clusters of attachment styles or coping strategies, for example? I'd be interested in reading such a study if a group of researchers undertook that effort.

Originally Posted By: Mark1952

and is typically the term used by those who had an affair to describe their mindset during the affair


Not much that I have noticed. I have read this claim a lot, and it is mostly presented by betrayed spouses or people who frequent infidelity forums. The absence of these claims in professional literature is what makes them suspect, IMO.

Now I get it that new relationships/infatuation can be exciting in a way mature relationships are not, but this "fog" concept smells, and I wonder why it is that you only come across it in forums dealing with infidelity and not in professional literature dealing with infidelity.

If anybody is likely to be in any kind of "fog", I would suspect the betrayed spouse more likely because sometimes they are depressed, and they are often traumatized.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 01:29 PM

It doesn't really matter in terms of this thread TH. it's not a core value. If you wanted to discuss the merits of the term "fog" it might be a lively discussion best taken to another thread created for that purpose.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: TimeHeals
Originally Posted By: star*fish
"The fog" is just another word for infatuation


Then why the euphemism? Because I see the euphemism being used often to fuel outright denial ("The lust that dare not speak its name").


Spot on, IMHO.

Personally, I see "denial" as a core value at MA. Denial allows for "indecision", which leads to perpetual limbo and dysfunction.

I also see a definitive split mostly along male and female lines, as to whether someone agrees with the above statements, which has been an ongoing subject of debate at MA.

I have no acceptable solutions to this issue, primarily because MOST at MA don't agree that it is even an issue, which is why I check in most days, but rarely post anymore.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 04:46 PM

TH, myrev...

Please check the name at the top of this forum: Marriage Advocates.

We founded this forum in the hope of promoting marriages DESPITE the challenges they face, and the poor odds on survival.


The statistics are grim:

*69% of marriages don't survive an affair.

*Studies suggest that only 31% of marriages make it through infidelity.

*80% of couples who get divorced after an affair regret the decision.

*17% of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.

*Research suggests that 56% of divorces are caused by an obsession with pornography.

*Weight loss surgery patients have an 85% greater chance of divorcing their spouse.

*Studies suggest that 75% of married couples with special needs children get divorced.

*Recent studies suggest that there is infidelity in 8 out of 10 marriages in the United States.

*68% of women in the United States say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught.

*74% of men say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught.

*54% of married men do not know that their wives are involved in extramarital affairs.

*Studies suggest that 70% of married women do not know their husbands are having an affair.

*14% of married women in the United States admit to having had an affair.

*12% of Americans spend up to ten hours a week looking for sexual encounters online.

*44% of married men cheat because they feel they are not having enough sex in their marriage.

*40% of married men who have an affair use an escort service.

*Research suggests that almost three percent of all children are the product of infidelity.

*Studies show that 75% of relationships which start out as affairs end in failure.

*10% of adulterers eventually marry their lovers.


That doesn't look like denial to me.

However, like it or not...most people want to save their marriages and preserve their families anyway. They want their children to have two parents who live together. They want to work through the problems in their current marriages because the odds of survival go down...not up....in second marriages.

Psychology Today: The High Failure Rate of Second and Third Marriages

"Denial" implies that we are unaware of the poor odds marriages face, especially following infidelity....and it's simply not true. If we were in denial, there would be no need for a forum at all, we could just pretend everything would get better on it's own.

Discussions, like those about "the fog" are attempts at understanding the mindset and dynamics of affair chemistry...because talking about this stuff helps people to find some logic in the pain and confusion. "Fog" is not a euphemism to lessen the impact of more direct discussions of "lust" and "deceit". It's a simple way of describing the collective state of mind that includes a whole list of elements and chemistry...including those. Tons of research has been done on brain chemistry and the obsessiveness and idealism of infatuation. The fact that the term "fog" has become so prevalent on marriage forums is an indication to me that there is enough of empirical data to create such a description across so many different boards. Why would that term resonate with so many people? And it isn't just the betrayed spouses...I've heard many WS's describe it that way as well.

Obviously you believe that those types of discussions will give people false hope and lock them into limbo and dysfunction. It's a fairly pessimistic view of the intelligence of people who come here. I suppose I give people more credit than you do. I think that people do what they need to do when they're ready to do it and that discussion/knowledge/shared experience is a good thing.

Quote:
I think Sociologist/Psychology researchers could make a study of this: who exactly are all these people who form "clubs" and "organizations" and what are their "in-group" characteristics? What traits do they tend to share? Do they tend to have similar clusters of attachment styles or coping strategies, for example? I'd be interested in reading such a study if a group of researchers undertook that effort.


It's interesting that you don't acknowledge your own membership and participation in this "club" you think is so dysfunctional. Both of you have been participants in various marriage forums...and despite your dissatisfaction obviously find it hard to let go. And that points to "our" dysfunction?

There may be some gender differences in approaches...which is a good thing...but the goal of this particular forum is to advocate for marriage. I think that includes an important core value:

Fight for your marriage first...there's plenty of time to dispose of it.

However, no one on this forum is urged to fight for a marriage they are ready to leave. I don't buy the belief that this forum promotes indecision. Making the decision to divorce or work on recovery are both processes that go through steps and stages. We allow people to go at their own pace without demoralizing them or attempting to bully them into speeding up...OR slowing down.

You think one of the core values of MA is "denial". Given that opinion...why are you here?
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 05:12 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish

[i]*69% of marriages don't survive an affair.


I think this means 2 say "69% of marriages afflicted by infidelity don't survive an affair.

Quote:
*17% of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.


Sounds like a small number, that appears inconsistent with the 69% figure above and this 80% figure:

Quote:
*Recent studies suggest that there is infidelity in 8 out of 10 marriages in the United States.


Quote:
*68% of women in the United States say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught.

*74% of men say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught.


For these people, the infa2ation, or "fog", is more important than personal integrity or values, particularly related 2 commitment. After an infidelity, is the transgression attributed more 2 fog - as an excuse - and not enough 2 an inherent character flaw? Or maybe marriage isn't really that important 2 the FWS as it is 2 the FBS?

Quote:
*54% of married men do not know that their wives are involved in extramarital affairs.


I didn't know - for 11 years!

-ol' 2long
Posted By: Gladstone

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 05:41 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
*Advice doesn't affect the life of the one who gives it, so give respect to the one whose life it does affect.

*Everyone has a right to fight for their marriage as long as they want to, even if it seems futile to anyone else.

*No single marriage strategy or program fits everyone at every time, and each person is the most important "expert" on their own life.

*Everyone has a right to give or take advice without being personally attacked.


I think these are great.

I think it is important - and a core value - to recognize that the person coming here for help is the one who will have to live with the consequences of their decisions. Therefore, they are the ONLY person who has standing to make decisions affecting their own lives. They come here asking for advice, but it is up to them what they do with the advice they get.

Those seeking help are the only ones with the right to make those decisions, also the only ones with the responsibility to do so. And it is their responsibility.

I think it is helpful for newbies to hear from all sides and all points of view - especially those who I may disagree with - because we do the newbie a disservice if we assume our way is the only correct approach and try to squelch other points of view.

For example, I saved my marriage by recognizing my own faults and resolving to change them, and demonstrating that change to my wife. I made no ultimatums and drew no boundaries in the process. It worked for us, but I would not assume that it would work for everyone, and, when I give advice, I don't advise everyone to do exactly what I did, because in most situations here, it simply is not appropriate and wouldn't work out well. And I think the "hard-line" approach is often valid, and certainly something the newbie needs to hear about when determining their own path out of the minefield they find themselves in. So while I may argue against such an approach if I feel it is the wrong strategy, the newbie has the right to hear what those who advocate that approach have to say.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 06:28 PM

Just a couple of points, I'd like to address and then I'll move along ...

Originally Posted By: star*fish
However, like it or not...most people want to save their marriages and preserve their families anyway.

I think a better way to state this is "most people, who seek out advice from marriage forums, want to save their marriages".

However, most people, in general, proceed straight to D court once they discovered they've been betrayed.

and ...

Quote:
They want to work through the problems in their current marriages because the odds of survival go down...not up....in second marriages.

To my mind ... this seems to suggest that survival = marriage at all costs. Because, quite honestly, what I see here and on other marriage forums are a collection of people simply "surviving" in dysfunctional relationships trying to prop each other up in order to accept their dysfunction as normal, or at least, not as dysfunctional as the other guy.

And never mistake that I don't see the irony in making such a statement after my own D-Day + 6 years.

I often speak of self respect and its importance, and while I try to convince myself of that, I'm forced to deal with the reality (through actions I didn't take) that I compromised that belief for myself.

On D-Day, I acted as swiftly and decisively as any BH to put a stop to the A and in retrospect, probably made the right decision to R given the situation, relative to others, but that doesn't mean I don't deal with the fallout of compromising my own self respect. You see, my issues are no longer with my W, but with how I failed myself.

Quote:
Given that opinion...why are you here?


Good question, and I suppose once I answer that for myself, I WON'T be around marriage forums any longer.

We talk about how infidelity affects the M, the kids, etc., but we never talk about how choosing to R negatively affects the betrayed themselves. Maybe my perspective is skewed, but I see people who choose to go straight to D, being much more healthy than those who choose to compromise themselves.

I've made some huge life screw-ups, and even though this choice to R seems to be the right one ... WHY ... can I accept those true mistakes and move on, but not be able to get past this choice?

Sorry for the "screen dump", but in an attempt to bring this back to the topic, maybe "denial" really is a MA core value, and quite possibly those that have the ability of self-denial weather this issue better than those that thought they valued self-respect.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By: 2long
Originally Posted By: star*fish

[i]*69% of marriages don't survive an affair.


I think this means 2 say "69% of marriages afflicted by infidelity don't survive an affair.

Quote:
*17% of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.


Sounds like a small number, that appears inconsistent with the 69% figure above and this 80% figure:

Quote:
*Recent studies suggest that there is infidelity in 8 out of 10 marriages in the United States.


Hmm, you're right!

If 80% of marriages have infidelity, and 69% of those marriages end in divorce, 0.80 x 0.69 = 0.552, i.e. 55% of marriages end in divorce due to infidelity.

There would also be divorces that are not due to infidelity. If 17% of all divorces are due to infidelity, that means 83% of all divorces are due to something else.

If 55% of marriages represent 17% of divorces, then you have way more than 100% of marriages ending in divorce...

It sounds like these statistics are either from different studies that contradict each other, or these are just numbers that have been quoted again and again like the Harley success rate statistics.

It would be interesting to see references for these statistics.

Quote:
Quote:
*54% of married men do not know that their wives are involved in extramarital affairs.


I didn't know - for 11 years!

-ol' 2long


Does that mean you count in the 54%, or not any more?

Now I'm feeling paranoid, I wonder if I'm in the 70% of women:

Quote:
*Studies suggest that 70% of married women do not know their husbands are having an affair.
Posted By: Gladstone

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 07:47 PM

It looks to me like star*fish was probably quoting various headlines, not presenting a series of facts from a single study.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 07:51 PM

I love statistics! I suspect that this might be better in its own thread, though..


I think the 17% figure comes from people who cite infidelity as a cause in divorce. With so many states offering no-fault divorces, I wouldn't be surprised to see that number fairly low. I couldn't find any backing for it when I searched (except Oprah).

According to
Title Unmarried Couples with Children
Editors Paula England, Kathryn Edin
Publisher Russell Sage Foundation, 2007
ISBN 1610441869, 9781610441865
page 108
"Infidelity precedes as many as 40 percent of divorces (Sweeney and Horwitz 2001), is the most commonly reported cause of divorce by survey respondents (Amato and PReviti 2003; Kiston, Babri, and Roach 1985), and consistently predicts divorce in both retrospective surveys of divorcees and longitudinal studies (Amato and Rogers 1997; Previti and Amato 2004; South and Lloyd 1995)."

It goes on to say that depression is much higher in betrayed spouses - where the other spouse committed infidelity and then filed for divorce without input from the BS. frown
Posted By: Mark1952

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 09:34 PM

I think that the fact that people have such a hard time actually making any decision points to the decision only being a real choice when they have time to process things.

Like Star said, our name, Marriage Advocates, pretty much says what our core values are about, if not codifying them in some fancy rhetoric.

According to Ofer Zur, PhD. there are different kinds of affairs and different approaches to dealing with them that have to do with individual core values kinds of things. Dr. Zur runs The Zur Institute. The Zur Institute offers continuing education (CE) credits for therapists, counselors and those working in the fields of psychology, not just infidelity and marital counseling. An article summarizing a lot of work on infidelity, including research conducted by Helen Fisher, Judith Eve Lipton, Shirley Glass, Alfred Kinsey and even Michele Weiner-Davis, among others, is available to read or download. This article is available in html as well as PDF formats and is worth the read for those who want to understand infidelity better. It should probably be avoided by those who are riding the emotional rollercoster while locked in a crisis brought on by discovering infidelity in their marriage.



One of the elements of the article is a list of various views and approaches for dealing with infidelity or as Dr. Zur says it, ways to look at affairs (points of view). Being one of those wicked problem deals that seem to permeate our world today, the way the affair is defined probably has a lot to do with the way a person might deal with it. This speaks to therapists and not just those blindsided by a secret affair that has come to light.

Some see affairs in light of a family systems POV. In this case, the affair is seen in terms of a failure within the family structure or some sort of breakdown related to the family and the way it functions. In this view it is not a moral failure, a character flaw or just a simple choice to do wrong by the unfaithful individual. Fixing the marriage problem then means finding out what was broken and often, that includes the betrayed spouse.

A moral and punitive view would say that the affair was a sinful and immoral act that does irreversible harm to the marriage. The only way to save and rebuild the marriage from this POV is for the unfaithful spouse to repent and atone for his or her sins and transgressions. It lets the uninvolved spouse set the bar, usually raise it a few times and only really begins to allow for healing of the relationship once the score has been settled and the betrayed spouse has gotten even. This often has strong religious undertones though many with a strong moralistic world view and black and white sort of sense of justice and fairness seem most likely to hold this view, even without believing in any god or religion.

Many see an affair not just as an individual failure, but related to some underlying weakness, addiction, unhealed hurt from the past or other personality defect or individual coping mechanism and unresolved crisis. This is the realm of the midlife crisis, of too much time looking at porn, too much free time to spend at the bar and that Mommy or Daddy attachment issue thing that was all the rage for a while. It is also the most likely to define an affair as being something the cheater had no control over, and defines the affair in terms of some sickness, mental problem or disorder beyond the control of the cheater.

A cultural view suggests that some cultures are more accepting of infidelity and less prone to crisis in marriage when one is discovered. In some cultures, it seems, it is considered quite normal to have a mistress, a clandestine lover on the side or to openly use prostitutes. In this construct, marriage and having a lover outside of the marriage are not viewed as being mutually exclusive. In this view, a wife might be told that her husband's cheating is just about sex while a husband might be told that his wife's lover is a friend who helps her be a better wife.

In Western Culture there is even a subculture in which a non-monogamous relationship is accepted, even negotiated without destroying the marriage. Partners outside of the marriage are seen as not a threat to the relationship and often considered to enhance the partnership itself. Many cultures over history have held this kind of view, at least among a few of its members. These are the swingers, the fantasy players who seem able to separate marriage, even love, from playing around with others and the "hotwife" and shared wife subcultures often with strong BDSM and dominance-submission themes.

The fifth POV is the that biology and evolution have reprogrammed humans to not be monogamous at all. In this view, biology and genetics trump any moral or ethical reason for monogamy. Those who hold this view see being faithful as the exception and maybe even the flaw rather than infidelity being a failure. These folks point out that just under 3% of all animals in the world seem to be biologically pre-programmed for monogamous relationships and mating. Even among those who seem to carry a definite biological predisposition for it, will mate with others of their species, even mates of others, under certain conditions. True monogamy these people might say really only exists in myth or among such creatures as insects who mate once and both die soon after the eggs are laid and even before they hatch. Some types of salmon are really truly monogamous. it seems. They struggle against the streams of life, overcome great obstacles an, find each other, have sex and die to float downstream and feed the insects upon which their offspring will feed.

BTW, people are among the 3% with brain structures that seem to support monogamous lifestyles.

Then there is a view that suggests that our modern (post-modern) culture and the influence of popular culture and media cause cheating and seduce us into its clutches by glamorizing infidelity and suppressing faithfulness. It all seems to be about finding oneself, fulfilling our own desires and being true to our hearts (aka: feelings) rather than any sort of failure of commitment or character and poor moral choices. This view looks at the Internet as the cause and not just the method of online affairs. It sees movies like Madison County, TV shows like Desperate Housewives or Mistresses as steering our world down a road never traveled before today.

Some even blame radical feminism for the proliferation of affairs. They might claim that women not only strive to be equally treated under the law and in relationships as men, but want to become more like men, even being just like men, who might have really been more prone to cheating all along. Others in the modern culture dominated group will point to birth control, abortions and other factors along those lines as why women are having more affairs while men seem to be holding at previous levels. The girls still haven't caught the boys, but they are gaining on us.

So there you have six basic ways to view infidelity. Each of them speaks to the core values of the person or group offering the way to deal with them. Those who see an affair as a moral failure that must be atoned for before marriage can continue, are more likely to make the conversation come around to what the unfaithful spouse must do for the betrayed spouse before the betrayed spouse even allows a discussion of reconciliation to begin. If your view point is that some defective character trait or psychosis caused someone to stray, then fixing the underlying ethical weakness or treating the addiction (sex addiction anyone?) and maybe spending years in therapy to deal with the horrible childhood issues that only those who act out regularly seem to have.

The way you define an affair determines what you think should be done about it. But the way you view marriage does as well, along with your opinion of whether the self or the family is more important. Willingness to sacrifice personally whether emotional sacrifice or financial sacrifice might play a role in what you ultimately decide should be the result.

Emily Brown, LCSW, discusses the types of affairs and has a self assessment that can shed light on what kind of affair might be happening. The self-assessment includes questions for those having an affair while married and the spouses of those having an affair as well as a series of questions for an unmarried affair partner having an affair with a person who is married.

Her list of types of affairs matches that of Dr. Zur pretty closely and is what most experts and researchers find acceptable these days. They are not categorized simply by observation but by dynamics that often take a lot of work and therapy to uncover. This is some of the research, still ongoing, that was often missing from earlier attempts to classify affairs according to type. By this method, any of them might be an accidental affair, a romantic affair, or MLC affair while the actual dynamics involved might better provide a direction for how each one might be dealt with.

While we might all share certain core values, each of us has our own values, world view and personal point of view that governs the way we see infidelity, personal lifestyle choices and even marriage. We do not all hold all things in common. Our primary core value is that marriage is of value to those who are married. Most might believe it is worth protecting, building up and nurturing. Some might see it as a convenience or even as an annoying part of raising a family.

Now the whole reason we have a forum has to do with the peer counseling notion that supporting people make their own choices and decisions helps the greatest number of folks while avoiding trying to put them into a specific box as it relates to their own values and beliefs. It also provides numerous points of view in regard to what advice a person might pursue on a myriad of topics. Though our most frequent topic is a marital crisis brought on by infidelity by one partner, it isn't really "why" we are here. Our current membership includes those who had an affair, those who did not but their spouse did and couples not touched at all by infidelity but wanting to improve their relationship. There are those who divorced, those who recovered and those waiting to see what happens next as well as those still dealing with the crap on a daily basis.

We might have some values that groups might have in common as well, such as a religious point of view or political views, which are sure to be expressed from time to time. Like infidelity, many areas where we disagree are those wicked problem deals in which the way you see the problem determines what you see as the solution. Some might agree when discussing one topic and be worlds apart on other topics. That's the way it works. I might not be a "fan" of Al's stuff, but his statement that all people make sense all of the time is why we don't all have to agree all of the time for us to work together for something that might benefit others and ourselves.

Even when I believe I am right and someone else is wrong, I don't think it is always my job to make them not be wrong. People can be wrong if they want to be and that is none of my business. But that does not mean that I simply must agree with everyone on every topic forever. It is possible to try to persuade others without attacking them or their POV and beliefs. Since we seem to be sharing what we believe might be wrong here, I think this might be the biggest cause for concern, that so many of us seem that for others to express an opinion that differs from our requires that the opinion be suppressed, repressed and pushed to the fringes if not driven away.

Our core values we might all agree on?


How's that work for a start?

We also have vision and mission statements that are published. Those are what Marriage Advocates, as an organization, stands for. That is who we, the organization, are and what we are about by making this site available. If those do not fit with your core values, you are a visitor from another realm and might never be fully accepted. As a guess, even those defined and published values might not be agreed upon by all of us here. That's OK, in my book. I am not asking anyone to go away even for not holding those most basic values in common. But that doesn't mean that the culture here can be changed to not include those values or to only offer one kind of advice or even one kind for certain occasions while excluding other types of advice from the mix. Right or wrong isn't even the point.

The whole point of helping someone has to do with helping them act and not making them let you decide for them what they should do. Even if you are right, those who deal in therapy as a profession and follow the code of ethics that most agree on and everybody has to sign off on (sort of like our TOS here) before getting a license, doesn't try to tell their clients how to fix themselves. Instead they offer help for them to find solutions within themselves. People recover (a shrink term not only dealing with infidelity) because of resilience (another shrink word) and not just because they did something right or wrong, no matter who is deciding which is which.

Humans heal from most wounds, physical or emotional. Some must be dealt with quickly to stop the bleeding or prevent further damage, but not one thing anyone can do can heal. It isn't something you do, but something that happens and it can be slowed down by really not doing what it takes to let the wound heal but not much can speed things up unless we talk about relative to doing everything to prevent healing. People heal, learn to cope with new stuff, including disabilities that they did not inflict on themselves. Either that or they die. It really is that basic. The best any of us here can actually do for those in crisis is to offer support while they deal with the crisis.

For me this is much like some of the theological and religious debates around here. I can probably quote as much scripture and as many Bible stories as anyone. My religious faith affects my world view. I even believe it is right and other "religions" are wrong. Pointless to believe that everybody is right because the one on whom my faith is based made it pretty much exclusive. His way or the highway. He can't be one way if he said he was the only one and still be who he claimed. Even this, for me, is part of the lesson of dealing with an affair and I believe it is possible to avoid being an option without forcing one to decide on any other option they might see as possible. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here... But for me to quote scripture to a person who is Hindu or doesn't believe the bible is any more than fables akin to the stories of Romulus and Remus being raised by wolves or the Epic of Gilgamesh, serves little purpose. If I am trying to help someone deal with a marriage crisis and must first convince them my religion is right and theirs is wrong, I can never actually give any advice they will take. If I have to change what someone believes before I can give them support or even share information with them that might help, then I have a really long road ahead. I might even be able to offer what I see as biblical advice without having to quote the bible and change someone to believe everything I do as the first step to helping them, but don't believe it is up to me to convert anyone or everyone else to my faith or POV.

We DO have some core values here. Some might even hold other beliefs and values in common. If only changing someone's core values will let your advice be accepted, then find a way to offer support for whatever the person decides to do. Maybe your advice will click later, maybe not.

People ultimately act from their core beliefs. They might do something that doesn't line up with their core beliefs for a while, as long as someone tells them those things are right, but any real change, and therefore any real healing, requires that their beliefs and their actions line up. I might even go so far as to say that is when healing takes place. It is the struggle between core values and beliefs against what is going on and a reality that doesn't make any sense in context of those beliefs that causes the crisis. Infidelity can challenge many core beliefs and even core values. The crisis continues until those sorts of issues are resolved. Even immediate resolution, one way or the other, does not remove the need for that to happen over time... It takes time for healing to occur and takes time for people to overcome emotional trauma. The more what they experience is unlike their core beliefs is, the harder it is to deal with and usually the longer it takes.

It also helps to remember that we are actually dealing with a pretty small subset of all affairs here, and I am not talking about just because most people don't end up here. 10 % of affairs are a ONS or a one time quick roll in the hay kind of deal. About half last over one month but less than a year. The majority are never discovered at all by the spouse and most of those marriages stick it out, and survive the crisis, even without actually doing anything about recovering from infidelity at all. Some affairs last many years without the unfaithful spouse seeking divorce, flaunting the affair, using it to control the faithful spouse or even being found out.

A percentage, and I have no idea right now what percentage of the total of all affairs might be, end once confronted. Some of those marriages still end. Those who find a way to heal the marriage and keep the root cause of the affair from causing another can have a great marriage for the rest of their lives. Those who just set it aside and struggle to get over the raw emotions or punish each other time after time might stay married but not end up really very happy. I think a lot of this category end up repeating the whole mess later, though not always the same partner cheats.

A pretty good chunk of them seem to end up in separation when the ultimate ultimatum is issued by one side or the other... One side says "end it now or move out." The other side says, "accept this or I am gone." A few eventually work it out. Not many it seems from 7 plus years on marriage forums. That speaks to core values right there. I get that. My next rodeo won't go the way of the last one and "right now" won't be soon enough to end an affair. What can make it up to me will be not a damned thing. Of course that was what I said before the last one, so maybe even that isn't so cut in stone. Hope I never have to find out because I sure don't want to do that again.

People will survive, heal and move on, with or without an intact marriage, no matter what any of us tells them to do. In fact, they will often heal in spite of what we tell them to do. Even the real experts are wrong most of the time and some are wrong often enough I question what they actually understand about infidelity. Ultimately, people will find a way to move on and the crisis will lessen and the doom and gloom will be not so catastrophic and they will adapt and live on. They have done it for centuries and will do it until the end of time. They did it before any of us were even born and will continue long after we are dead. They will do it whether they do what I tell them I think they should do or not, pretty much in the same way, and in the same time frame, whatever way they decide to act. Ain't none of us all that damned important.


Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 09/27/13 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Jayne241

Quote:
Quote:
*54% of married men do not know that their wives are involved in extramarital affairs.


I didn't know - for 11 years!

-ol' 2long


Does that mean you count in the 54%, or not any more?

Now I'm feeling paranoid, I wonder if I'm in the 70% of women:

Quote:
*Studies suggest that 70% of married women do not know their husbands are having an affair.


No, Not Ne More! D-day was almost 12 years ago.

-ol' 2long
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 12:14 AM

Yes....those stats are from all over the place...and only consistent in the grim picture they paint...not the math.

Myrev,

Quote:
I think a better way to state this is "most people, who seek out advice from marriage forums, want to save their marriages".


You might be right, but it isn’t what I experience in real life. Three couples in my neighborhood have marriages currently in crisis. Only one couple is dealing with infidelity. Two have already filed for divorce, but both of those couples are reconsidering that course of action. Two are seeing a marriage counselor. All three have expressed interest in working things out and saving the marriage. It’s certainly true that people who come to marriage forums want to save their marriages…it’s why they come, but that doesn’t mean those who don’t come have given up on their marriages. There’s no way of knowing what the percentages are.

Quote:
However, most people, in general, proceed straight to D court once they discovered they've been betrayed

Why do you think this? If it’s an observation, it isn’t consistent with what see. I’ve known so many people dealing with infidelity off the boards, and only a small percentage that went straight to divorce. Your experience must be different than mine. I hear lots of people say “If my husband/wife EVER did that…”, but shoot…I said that too (and I'll bet you did) and here we are. When it happened however….I didn’t feel the same way. A lot of that bravado melted away when faced with the reality.

Quote:
and ...
Quote:
They want to work through the problems in their current marriages because the odds of survival go down...not up....in second marriages.

To my mind ... this seems to suggest that survival = marriage at all costs. Because, quite honestly, what I see here and on other marriage forums are a collection of people simply "surviving" in dysfunctional relationships trying to prop each other up in order to accept their dysfunction as normal, or at least, not as dysfunctional as the other guy.

Have you ever heard anyone on MA suggest “marriage at all costs”? I have not. In fact, more times than not lately…I’ve worried that MA sounds like a divorce site rather than a marriage site. I see new members getting divorce advice almost immediately….sometimes even before getting their history down. Marriage is hard and I think that most marriages do go through dysfunctional periods, but are you suggesting that forgiveness/recovery after an affair is dysfunctional in and of itself?

Quote:
And never mistake that I don't see the irony in making such a statement after my own D-Day + 6 years.

I often speak of self respect and its importance, and while I try to convince myself of that, I'm forced to deal with the reality (through actions I didn't take) that I compromised that belief for myself.

On D-Day, I acted as swiftly and decisively as any BH to put a stop to the A and in retrospect, probably made the right decision to R given the situation, relative to others, but that doesn't mean I don't deal with the fallout of compromising my own self respect. You see, my issues are no longer with my W, but with how I failed myself.

Wow….this I understand and have had similar feelings myself. I’ve been able to deal with my husband’s betrayal easier than I have dealt with my self betrayal (taking him back). However, I don’t regret the decision to stay, and still think it was the right choice. It sounds like you don’t either. And yet, it’s hard to forget how compromised I did feel.
Quote:
Quote:
Given that opinion...why are you here?


Good question, and I suppose once I answer that for myself, I WON'T be around marriage forums any longer.

We talk about how infidelity affects the M, the kids, etc., but we never talk about how choosing to R negatively affects the betrayed themselves. Maybe my perspective is skewed, but I see people who choose to go straight to D, being much more healthy than those who choose to compromise themselves.


Then let’s talk about it! A discussion about whether people believe it’s personally healthier to go straight to divorce is a valid topic. A discussion about why even if someone believes it’s healthier….they don’t want to do it for other reasons is also a good topic. I remember reading “After the Affair” by Janis Abrams Spring and she described how infidelity creates overwhelming self-doubt. Her description was so spot-on it took my breath away.

Quote:
I've made some huge life screw-ups, and even though this choice to R seems to be the right one ... WHY ... can I accept those true mistakes and move on, but not be able to get past this choice?


What choice? Your choice to forgive? Stay? Do you perceive your willingness to remain married to your wife, despite the fact that she was unfaithful…as a weakness in you? I think you’re being mighty hard on yourself. How can you be happy in your marriage if you feel that way?

Quote:
Sorry for the "screen dump", but in an attempt to bring this back to the topic, maybe "denial" really is a MA core value, and quite possibly those that have the ability of self-denial weather this issue better than those that thought they valued self-respect.


You say that you have been able to accept some true mistakes and move on. I don’t think you did that with “denial”. There was probably some acceptance about your lack of perfection and poor choices. There may have been some personal work to prevent making the same mistakes. Maybe other people can move on after infidelity without denial too. Don’t apologize for the “screen dump”…this is the most understanding I’ve ever gotten about why you get so angry with MA sometimes. I thank you for it.

Do you believe there are healthy ways to recover a marriage after infidelity? If you don’t….then it makes sense that you might believe that others feel the same way….and therefore must live in denial in order to stay in a marriage.


Mark

Wow...Thank you for taking the time to write that!
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 04:15 AM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
Advice doesn't affect the life of the one who gives it, so give respect to the one whose life it does affect.


I'm pretty sure this isn't true.

Advise does affect the life of the advisor in the sense that if their advise is taken and there is a positive outcome, they will be more likely to carry that advise into their own personal life.

If their advise doesn't work or is rejected, they may become more strident with the points in their own lives and on the forum such that they can feel "Right," they may draw the adversarial line in the sand such that any other perspective is blasphemy, they may determine that certain classes of people are hopeless, etc.

I find it a scary thing to give advise. I have to be really, really confident that the perspective I'm suggesting has, at least in my mind, relevance and merit. I also don't think giving advise works very well, pretty much ever as I've noticed that almost no one likes being told what to do, and they particularly dislike it when they are infantilized or castrated in the process.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
Personally, I see "denial" as a core value at MA.


Denial of WHAT, exactly?

If you view denial as a core value, you must have a very clear idea of what is being denied.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
Denial allows for "indecision", which leads to perpetual limbo and dysfunction.


I wonder if what you view as denial is in fact processing during which time the couple is in limbo in a sense, but there is effort.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
I also see a definitive split mostly along male and female lines, as to whether someone agrees with the above statements, which has been an ongoing subject of debate at MA.


I've not seen this. Can you link some examples for me?

Originally Posted By: MyRev
I have no acceptable solutions to this issue, primarily because MOST at MA don't agree that it is even an issue, which is why I check in most days, but rarely post anymore.


What is "that" that is an issue?

I confess to having never understood why the hardliner thing became such a big deal.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
I think a better way to state this is "most people, who seek out advice from marriage forums, want to save their marriages".


We are on a marriage forum, ergo, most people here want to save their marriages.

I wonder whether you think marriage is a religiously, culturally or societally useful mechanism.

Some people don't, and maybe you are one of them? If so, I can see why you are chafing within the confines of your own marriage.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
However, most people, in general, proceed straight to D court once they discovered they've been betrayed.


I have no idea whether this is true and suspect you don't either.

What I do know is that it is completely irrelevant to this topic.

See above.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
To my mind ... this seems to suggest that survival = marriage at all costs. Because, quite honestly, what I see here and on other marriage forums are a collection of people simply "surviving" in dysfunctional relationships trying to prop each other up in order to accept their dysfunction as normal, or at least, not as dysfunctional as the other guy.


Really? There a number of marriages that I look at as the ideal because they have fought through the mire and come out the other side.

The mire isn’t always infidelity.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
I often speak of self respect and its importance, and while I try to convince myself of that, I'm forced to deal with the reality (through actions I didn't take) that I compromised that belief for myself.


This isn’t the first time I’ve read this, and I think I’m missing something that I hope you will explain to me.

From the outside looking in, it appears to me that you honored your self respect, your boundaries and your marriage by deciding to reconcile.

I’ve been treated like crap from any number of sources for, like, my whole life, and the only times I feel good about how I handled it was when I acted mindfully.

Because I am me, when I act mindfully, I trend very heavily towards forgiveness and redemption.

But there are relationships I’ve cut off because the other person did something, after a whole lot of other somethings, that I simply can’t accept. And I’m OK with that because I am acting mindfully.

Originally Posted By: MyRev
I often speak of self respect and its importance, and while I try to convince myself of that, I'm forced to deal with the reality (through actions I didn't take) that I compromised that belief for myself.


Strange as it may be for you to hear this, I understand.

I compromised my values for my kids.

I’ll never get over it, not really. It changed me – it changed who I am and I’m not sure I’ll ever be done grieving that. I’m so uncertain of myself and my judgment that I’m almost paralyzed because every thing I believed in turned out to be untrue and I believed in it to my very last cell and it was untrue.

I get the horror of that moment where you go, “WTF? This can’t be true. You must have us confused with someone else. May I remind you of a few things? Not enough? What would be enough?”

I get what is it is to be betrayed in your soft spot – that place where you just know you are safe, where there is absolutely no signal whatsoever that you aren’t safe then “we have decided” -----&#8594; welcome to the land of the f’ed, and in case you were wondering you are the only person in this country.

I get what it is to look at the whole of your life, knowing you were fooled, trying to incorporate that new most unwelcome truth into the narrative of how you lived.

I get the price paid to suck it up and move on down the road without actually killing someone – truth told, I’ll forever believe the cancer was a price.

I get going back and revisiting the betrayal and wondering afresh why I didn’t actually kill someone.

I get walking around in your own skin thinking “if I had been more forceful or made more bright line decisions, we would all be so much better off.”

I get thinking “I should have made a bright line decision immediately because had I done so, my family would have endured far less suffering.”

The fact is this: had I made a bright line decision immediately, my family would have endured far less suffering.

OR maybe the fact is this: had I made a bright line decision immediately my family would have endured far more suffering.

What actually happened was that my father had a conversation with my husband and my husband made a bright line decision and it was without question the right decision. My husband didn’t tell me what we were doing – he simply relayed the wisdom from my father and wanted to know my thoughts on it.

Sometimes I wonder what I lost versus what I gained and since what I lost is always way more than what I gained, it is usually a short analysis.

You think I don’t understand you or agree with you, but I do. I think that if your wife is having an affair, you should give it about six weeks. Strangely, my husband basically followed the Plan A/Plan B thing without knowing a thing about it.

MyRev, here is the benefit of Plan A: by the end of that six weeks (or so) I had a hard time remembering why I hated him. Maybe I’m out of the norm on that, but if you decide to be nice to me, I’m always willing to get behind that.

We settled the terms of the divorce and we came together intimately and we talked for hours in bed until dawn about all the funny stuff we had been through and laughed until we cried.

And at the airport the next morning I said, “I’m not letting you go.” I told the Guy we were done and the Guy respected that.

The fact is that we relate on a memory level to the last however many interactions and when however many interactions are positive, it is hard to conjure up the bad stuff. Make no mistake, conjuring up the bad stuff CAN be done and sometimes that is the emotionally healthy response but sometimes it is just lazy because it is easier to be mean and opt out than be nice and work through it.

My husband and I aren’t going to win any recovery prizes, but we are good. Three years ago we couldn’t work in the yard together – hell, sitting in a room together was from my standpoint a major challenge and today we actively seek out projects to do together because both of us want the other involved in the project.

There was a time where when any mistake, real or perceived, caused me to go “sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, he is going to KILL me” and my daughter loitered around until the bad news of the traffic ticket was delivered to make sure I was OK.

That never happens now – that is so not part of my marriage. And I’m feeling tired and scared posting this to you, so I’m going to stop there.
Posted By: Ace

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 08:05 AM

Very insightful post, Lady Grey. Thank you.

Originally Posted By: star*fish


*Advice doesn't affect the life of the one who gives it, so give respect to the one whose life it does affect.


I tend to agree with Lady Grey's statement that she doesn't agree with the above core value. Giving advice can affect the life of the one who gives it. At least it did in my case when I gave wrong advice on another forum a world away and got blasted to smithereens for it. (It ended up being a blessing in disguise but that's another story for another time.)

One possible way to clarify this might be to state:

Originally Posted By: star*fish, with suggested revisions


*Giving Aadvice doesn't may affect the life of the one who gives it as much as the one who receives it; so give and receive advice respectfully to everyone all the time. The one whose life it does affects positively may be yours.


Like I said, that's only one way to clarify the statement from my perception. A condensed version might be this:

Even if you disagree with advice given or received, always do so with respect.

Sorry for butchering your statement Star. I think it's a great core value to which we should all aspire.

Ace
Posted By: Validate

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 11:17 AM

Validate.

Warmly.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 01:21 PM

I don't mind y'all rewriting anything of mine, because truth be told...I chose my wording poorly...and consequently what I intended to say has been lost.

Of course you are both right...the person who gives advice is affected indirectly by giving advice. However, it's the person who takes advice who lives with the direct consequences of of taking it.

For instance...if someone tells me to stay with an abusive husband, the advice giver might feel badly if my husband subsequently hits me...but I would be the one with the black eye. I would be the one "living" the advice.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I don't mind y'all rewriting anything of mine, because truth be told...I chose my wording poorly...and consequently what I intended to say has been lost.

Of course you are both right...the person who gives advice is affected indirectly by giving advice. However, it's the person who takes advice who lives with the direct consequences of of taking it.

For instance...if someone tells me to stay with an abusive husband, the advice giver might feel badly if my husband subsequently hits me...but I would be the one with the black eye. I would be the one "living" the advice.


While I can see LG's point (and hadn't thought of it like that before), I interpreted star's comment in the way she describes above, esp. the bolded part.

Not to deny what LG and Ace said, but I think star's point is an important one to convey. Somewhere I thought I'd read a really good way to word this, maybe in someone's sig?

What about:

"While everyone gives the best advice they know based on their own experiences, each situation is unique and not all the details and nuances can be described in a few posts. The person receiving advice is the one who has to live with the consequences, so please respect their right to make their own decision, informed by all the information presented."
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 03:00 PM

I actually have seen people respecting this right IMHO. If anything, I think I see more advice to take a tougher stance than an accommodating stance.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 04:04 PM

I like "The best advice I can give you is 2 never take advice."

-ol' 2long
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 09/28/13 09:06 PM

2long, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to ignore that advice.


















laugh
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 09/30/13 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish

You say that you have been able to accept some true mistakes and move on. I don’t think you did that with “denial”. There was probably some acceptance about your lack of perfection and poor choices. There may have been some personal work to prevent making the same mistakes. Maybe other people can move on after infidelity without denial too. Don’t apologize for the “screen dump”…this is the most understanding I’ve ever gotten about why you get so angry with MA sometimes. I thank you for it.

Do you believe there are healthy ways to recover a marriage after infidelity? If you don’t….then it makes sense that you might believe that others feel the same way….and therefore must live in denial in order to stay in a marriage.



Star*,

Thanks for the time and the insights. The last two paragraphs quoted above have led to quite a bit to ponder about over the weekend, and it finally hit me what the difference was this time.

After past life screw ups, I was able to accept my lack of perfection and poor choices and move on determined not to make the same mistake again, but this time I just can't seem to shake it. Then it occurred to me what the difference was ... the past mistakes remained in the past, but I live with this one every day. After 6+ years, the triggers have lessened, but they still pop up every few days.

Then that brings us back to the real question ...

Quote:
Do you believe there are healthy ways to recover a marriage after infidelity?


... and I suppose my short answer is NO. This isn't something you really "recover" from ... you learn to accept it, but you don't recover ... it is a permanent scar. You learn to cope, but that requires some form of denial, rug sweeping or simply training your mind to not dwell on it.

Not to brag, but we really have a very good thing going. We are empty nesters that spend a ton of time together, have a lot of mutual interests and friends, and as cliché as it sounds, really are each others best friends, BUT (and you knew it was coming) ... it will never again be what it was or what it could have been. Something died in me on July 25, 2007. I had to face something as FACT that I never thought was possible from the last place I would have expected it.

It's like being served a big s*^# sandwich. Over time, you may learn not to gag on each bite, but there's a lingering after taste that remains. Some times its worse than others ... other times its barely perceptible.

I understand I'm more "hardline" than most, but I've earned the right to that opinion. I KNOW how hard it is to deal with a relatively minor infidelity, with a remorseful W, and a solid pre-A M to use as a foundation. I also know what it's like to D (previous M without the above) and put those problems in the rear view mirror. That's why when some newbie BH comes here without the above, I tend to share my experiences to move-on and don't look back.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 09/30/13 10:06 PM

Originally Posted By: MyRevelation

Not to brag, but we really have a very good thing going. We are empty nesters that spend a ton of time together, have a lot of mutual interests and friends, and as cliché as it sounds, really are each others best friends, BUT (and you knew it was coming) ... it will never again be what it was or what it could have been. Something died in me on July 25, 2007. I had to face something as FACT that I never thought was possible from the last place I would have expected it.


Except for the particular differences in our sitches, this is the best description of what life is like, years after d-day and recovery, that I've ever seen (or given).

One might be able 2 "build a marriage 2 last a lifetime" using romantic love until your brain becomes numb 2 the chemicals, but the facts don't change. You can chalk it all up 2 experience and live in the present, but the facts won't change. You can spend a 42ne on phone coaching and maybe even get some outside validation, but the facts...

Our life is pretty good and pretty fun 2. And though there are few triggers anymore, I do still get reminded of the affair once in a while.

-ol' 2long
Posted By: Validate

Re: MA Core values - 09/30/13 10:16 PM

In my opinion, I think when people ask for advice, they are really asking for empathy. I think we generally do what we want and we are wired to be disobedient.

This is why, to me, the first validation seems a better road. Any support, in my opinion, can take the form of "helping the person ride their emotional waves" To me, a person must ride that emotional wave of anger, resentment, confusion, fear, feelings of betrayal.

Let's ride with them to the shore of recovery...sharing ideas while we surf. And, most importantly, trying our best to to help them stay on the board and help them get out of the water and, at the same time, releasing our helping grip when they start to surf again.

I'll also add, sometimes we can let them get out of the water on their own. I don't think we can get to attached to the outcome of their "ride"

We, ultimately, can't get the to the shore.

My opinions...
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 12:11 AM

myrev,

Quote:
Thanks for the time and the insights. The last two paragraphs quoted above have led to quite a bit to ponder about over the weekend, and it finally hit me what the difference was this time.


Again...it is I who is thankful for the opportunity to understand...you have no idea!

Quote:
After past life screw ups, I was able to accept my lack of perfection and poor choices and move on determined not to make the same mistake again, but this time I just can't seem to shake it. Then it occurred to me what the difference was ... the past mistakes remained in the past, but I live with this one every day.


Is it partly because you have to forgive someone else as well as yourself? I think that there are many past mistakes that haunt people, not just infidelity, but I know as well as anybody what you mean by living it everyday. This pain has not gone away...and I'm not sure it ever will. It's less often, but still constant.

Quote:
After 6+ years, the triggers have lessened, but they still pop up every few days.


Not only do the triggers pop up daily (sometimes hourly) for me, but the doubts about how I responded pop up as well. I am actually surprised by how much I still think about this, and how sick it still can make me. It has changed the way I think of my husband, but it has also changed the way I think of myself.

Originally Posted By: myrev
Then that brings us back to the real question ...

Originally Posted By: starfish
Do you believe there are healthy ways to recover a marriage after infidelity?


... and I suppose my short answer is NO. This isn't something you really "recover" from ... you learn to accept it, but you don't recover ... it is a permanent scar. You learn to cope, but that requires some form of denial, rug sweeping or simply training your mind to not dwell on it.


Yes, but I think personal recovery and marital recovery are different. In many ways, my marriage is actually better...but I am not the same. I actually wouldn't want the same marriage...because unlike you...mine was not good.

Would *I* be personally better if I had left?...I don't know...but I honestly don't think so. If I thought I would have been healthier/happier...I do believe I would have left. I filed for divorce. I had the resources to support myself. I'm still healthy and have taken care of myself. I could have started over....but I wanted my life and my family. And I still cared about my husband.

I'm not in denial...I know what I did and why I did it. I made a choice to stay and I don't regret that choice...even if I do live with the consequences. There are many other attributes besides denial that might keep somebody invested in the face of betrayal: stubbornness, perseverance, dedication, fear, hope, tenacity, resolution, etc. Some of the motivation is good, some bad, but denial is only one possibility.

Quote:
Not to brag, but we really have a very good thing going. We are empty nesters that spend a ton of time together, have a lot of mutual interests and friends, and as cliché as it sounds, really are each others best friends,


I always assumed you must have something going....or you could not withstand so much doubt and lingering anger. I am guessing that you don't express those things to your wife? My husband and I still have a young son at home, but we have had more fun, and done more things together in the last two years than we ever have. That part has been wonderful. I do grieve for how wonderful it COULD have been, but there are no guarantees that a new life would come without heartbreak either.

Quote:
BUT (and you knew it was coming) ... it will never again be what it was or what it could have been. Something died in me on July 25, 2007. I had to face something as FACT that I never thought was possible from the last place I would have expected it.


Sadly, I identify very strongly with this feeling. I have remarked many times that something inside of me was broken and it can't ever be fixed. Perhaps it was my innocence/idealism. Maybe it was my belief in the general goodness of people. Some of it is my inability to trust anyone...including even myself. But what I did feel sure about was that leaving my H, going out on my own, or moving on to a different relationship wouldn't have fixed it either. The reality is that it simply can't be fixed...by anybody. It is the legacy of betrayal, and self betrayal is the hardest pill to swallow.

There is a part of me that thinks this loss is part of the process of reaching adult reality...but I still grieve for it. The "magical" element of love is now missing. For so many years, I swear...was infatuated with my own husband. Most of that is gone...and I hate that it's gone.

Quote:
It's like being served a big s*^# sandwich. Over time, you may learn not to gag on each bite, but there's a lingering after taste that remains. Some times its worse than others ... other times its barely perceptible.


Do you think maybe that sandwich is stuck in your throat? Maybe in the back of your mind...you know it's s%^* and refuse to swallow it?

I do believe both personal and marital recovery are possible, but the former is a much longer process. Some of that depends on the definition of recovery I know...but I don't want to have a happy marriage if I'm not happy personally, you know? But that's my deal. My H really has done all he can to make it up to me...this part of the journey is mine alone. Can I stay with my husband and still reach that destination? I don't know yet...but I promise not to use denial in it's place.

I do find it impossible to think of my husband the same way I used to. That won't change. I still love him in spite of the betrayal, but like you, there is a lingering sadness about what has happened. I cannot ever UNknow that he is capable of not just deception and selfishness...but cruelty. The last...was something I would not have believed. But I truly like the man...both husband and father he has become. His dedication to his family has finally surpassed his dedication to his career...and that's HUGE and completely unexpected. My children have the involved father they've always wanted, and the grand children adore him. I believe my infatuation all those years was the true denial. Now, I know everything about him and his life has become a complete open book. It's much scarier than denial, but it's real. I am optimistic about the future.

Quote:
I understand I'm more "hardline" than most, but I've earned the right to that opinion. I KNOW how hard it is to deal with a relatively minor infidelity, with a remorseful W, and a solid pre-A M to use as a foundation. I also know what it's like to D (previous M without the above) and put those problems in the rear view mirror. That's why when some newbie BH comes here without the above, I tend to share my experiences to move-on and don't look back.


I agree that you have earned your stripes. I have too. I'm not sure there IS a "minor" infidelity. I know people whose lives have been changed forever after just an EA. Along gender lines....for men, sex is more unforgivable, but for women, it's the emotional feelings of love for the AP that are hardest to overcome.

If a WS is never remorseful, then recovery is impossible, but sometimes that doesn't happen right away. I know you don't believe in "the fog", but I know from the research that the chemistry of infatuation can really get in the way of clear thinking. Time and distance from an affair can restore some sanity as well as clear the way for real guilt and remorse. I think that's when marriage counseling can be helpful. It's not terrible idea to wait a short amount of time for sanity to return and real remorse to follow.

I don't expect other people to choose the same path I did. I did what was right for me, but it might not be what's right for other people. I think there is a huge need for a hard-line approach, but I think the BSs need to make the decision on when to go there.

One thing I have noticed is that men seem to respond better to a Plan A than women do. Women seem to respond better to a short and direct approach with firm boundaries. You mention that when a "BH" comes here, you tend to share "move on" advice. What's wrong with initially some hard-line advice that might save the marriage first, and then the move on advice? This is a marriage advocacy site, and part of the core belief is that marriage is not disposable. An attempt to save a marriage is a worthy endeavor because it is the foundation of our society and our children's lives.

And I don't just see that response to BHs...I see BWs getting the same advice, when some WH's may actually respond better to a different approach.

I think that the most important question we can ask a new member is "What is your goal at this point in time?" We need to know if they want help moving on...or if they want help first to fight the affair? Goals can change, and usually do, but I'd like the member to be able chart their own course until they're ready to get help with the navigation.

Anyway...thanks for the discussion.
Posted By: Ace

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 01:34 AM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I'm not sure there IS a "minor" infidelity. I know people whose lives have been changed forever after just an EA. Along gender lines....for men, sex is more unforgivable, but for women, it's the emotional feelings of love for the AP that are hardest to overcome.


Star & MyRev (and everyone else along for the ride),

Thank you so much for your insightful discussion. The above paragraph especially jumped out for me as my H had what I (and many others) would call a "minor infidelity" for two reasons: 1) they never met IRL and the fact that they did not exchange bodily fluids is a huge factor in my ability to choose the recovery rollercoaster, and 2) I had a huge case of BS fog before infidelity in that I actually hoped my H would cheat so I would have a justifiable reason to dump him after decades of a dysfunctional M.

If I knew then what I know now I would have hoped for, done and said far different things. I guess that's one reason I'm still involved in posting....it helps me as much as I may be of help to others --- including your FWW, FogFree, MyRev. (BTW, tell her I said 'hey.')

I think I understand what you're feeling MyRev, as far as what has been broken cannot ever be fixed. It's worse in my case because I had the audacity to hope for what my H actually did. <sigh> I can attest to the fact that the condition commonly referred to as "fog" exists for BS's as well as WS's and it does blur one's thinking in a different way.

For me, the worse thing that can't be fixed is the breach of trust. The triggers have subsided over the years but they still exist and possibly always will.

That's one of the many reasons I believe in the MA mission Star and others have established. The core value of "try to save the M first by making a plan (and checking it twice)" could go a long way in helping the many newbies who are coming ashore on the beaches of MA.

Again, thanks for the discussion. I truly appreciate the different perspectives and the respectful ways in which they've been shared.

Ace
Posted By: Rich57

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 11:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Ace
For me, the worse thing that can't be fixed is the breach of trust.

Very good discussion here, I am really enjoying this.

Seems that trust is the common theme on all recovering/recovered marriages.

Some of my other friends seem to indicate the same thing.
I think that the fact that the rose is off the bloom might be a good thing.
So I am watching all of you to see if you can move forward past the "trust" issue or if you will forever stay "stuck".

Maybe someone smarter than me will figure out how this is an MA core value, cause I think it is.
Posted By: Squeaky Tree

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 01:56 PM

Just too sad. We just have to learn to unsee.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 02:09 PM

We have to learn that part of life is the loss of illusion. Trust is in large part illusion and denial. Now some folks DO get to maintain that for a lifetime, but it's not a better life, just a different one. I'd propose that a more full life is one where we understand how to have boundaries, where we learn to keep ourselves safe, while still being vulnerable. A life where we know the risk of being vulnerable and do it anyway, because it's worth while and because we know we have the skills and resilience necessary to rise up even if we do get struck down.

Wow, I'm sort of feeling epic today... Sorry about that.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 03:56 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I always assumed you must have something going....or you could not withstand so much doubt and lingering anger. I am guessing that you don't express those things to your wife?


And you would be correct. Neither of us can change the past, and she is holding up her end of the bargain in the present. This is my issue to deal with the best I can.

As you say:

Quote:
The reality is that it simply can't be fixed...by anybody. It is the legacy of betrayal, and self betrayal is the hardest pill to swallow.


*****

Quote:
Do you think maybe that sandwich is stuck in your throat? Maybe in the back of your mind...you know it's s%^* and refuse to swallow it?


Now there's another thought I'll have to ponder on some more. Your analogy may be much more accurate, as I'm not doing too well with the "acquiring a taste for it" aspect.

Quote:
You mention that when a "BH" comes here, you tend to share "move on" advice. What's wrong with initially some hard-line advice that might save the marriage first, and then the move on advice?


Here's where we may part ways a bit. First, I think I do offer hard line marriage advice, when the situation warrants. Hell, that's the exact path I chose for myself, with its own consequences that we've discussed. Why wouldn't I advocate that for others in similar situations.

However, many of these cases lend themselves to D first advice, when the M is just too dysfunctional and/or the BH has an opportunity to use the WW's "fog" (for lack of a better word) to secure a better custody and property settlement for themselves.

We don't seem to take offense at some of the extreme bo peep and/or doormat type advice, but I start getting flagged when the mention of true hardline advice is offered. Where's the equal treatment? ... or "give the BH his options and let him decide what best suits his situation"?

I know the mod staff will disagree, and this is not a criticism, but a discussion about how our own experiences color the advice offered, and it is clear (to me and other male posters, past and present) that a double standard exists.

For this site to live up to its initial ideals, men simply must be able to speak to other men as MEN, and not have their words subject to being run through some feminine sensitivity filter.

Star* ... when we actually discuss these issues individually, it's pretty clear that we have many more views in common than not. In addition, you clearly see differences in the way men and women process, dwell on certain aspects, and deal with the fallout from infidelity. Why then, is the concept of gender differences in communication, especially on controversial / emotional topics, challenged at MA?

I have never challenged female to female advice here at MA, even when it sounded so wrong to my ears, as I recognize that my views and delivery are not received well by or applicable to many females. However, the opposite has NOT been my experience at MA, and I'll cite my flag/PB history as evidence, although I have currently regained neutral status due in large part to my overall lack of recent posting for this exact reason.

This forum has a lot of potential. It has the support and activity that most of the spinoffs do not. However, it is gaining reputation as a enabling support group, rather than what I think you intended.

I could go on, but I'm going to stop now. If I've offended, it was not my intent, but merely the natural course of discussing differences of opinion.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 05:05 PM

This has been a wonderful discussion. Just wonderful.

FWIW, few males are more doormatish than I, and even I see the disparity in treatment of hardline advice to BHs vs advice to be more accomodating.

Also, I think there is a justification for giving hardline advice to the typical BH who shows up here. Usually it is the correct advice. razz wink

Here is why I think so. We do not get many "too strong" BHs. That is, we do not get many BHs showing up here saying "I treated her like crap, I took advantage of her, she treated me like gold, and only after years of neglect did she cheat on me with the nice guy who respected her more than I did." In that case, I don't think you would see many posters, not even MyRev, suggest "go straight to Plan D".

On the other hand, in most cases where a BH shows up here, the basic story is "I was too nice, I kissed her butt, she has no respect for me, she treated me like crap and I took it, and then cheated on me with a player." In the latter case, many of us feel that pretty much the only chance the BH has to recover his marriage is to go hardline. ASAP. Not only does that prevent her from cake eating (and hence shorten the life expentancy of the A), but it is addressing one of the core problems in their marriage. Her lack of respect for him. His lack of strong masculine energy.

And timing matters. If the goal is to appear stronger than she expected, much more impact from a quick "I do not share my wife with other men" than to wait a long time until he finally and reluctantly says "I just can't tolerate this any longer".

Finally, as MyRev pointed out, the fact that it also moves the "line of scrimmage" on child custody is another bonus which is hugely gender specific. And where timing matters. A female can wait to file for D and still be confident she will get at least 50% custody of the kids. The longer the BH waits, the more likely he will get stuck with "every other weekend" notwithstanding that his wife was the WS. Not gender neutral in the least.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 06:36 PM

myrev,

Quote:
Here's where we may part ways a bit. First, I think I do offer hard line marriage advice, when the situation warrants. Hell, that's the exact path I chose for myself, with its own consequences that we've discussed. Why wouldn't I advocate that for others in similar situations.


Without spending hours on research, I'm going to take you at your word...but in this discussion we're having...it sounds to me like you're second-guessing the path you chose. Maybe you don't think you were hard enough, or fast enough. Maybe you think that even though your marriage is really good, that you "settled" and might have done better walking away. Maybe you think that you compromised your own self-respect too much. This is why I'm not sure that you would necessarily advocate the same thing to someone else.

Quote:
However, many of these cases lend themselves to D first advice, when the M is just too dysfunctional and/or the BH has an opportunity to use the WW's "fog" (for lack of a better word) to secure a better custody and property settlement for themselves.


Ok...so let's say you decide a marriage is just too dysfunctional to save, but the poster wants to save it anyway....is adamant about it. Whose rights do you think (as a board of directors)we have the first responsibility to protect in that scenario? Who gets to decide if their marriage is too dysfunctional to be saved? Your advice can take your assessment into account, but if the poster insists on working on their marriage...that is their right. We won't keep many new posters....the life blood of this forum....if we disrespect them the minute they arrive.

First, let me say that hardline advice is perfectly okay, but the hard part is resisting the temptation to call the poster an imbecile when they don't take it....and they very often don't...at least not right away. I think the only way we differ in our thinking about this is that getting the pitbull lawyer and filing for divorce needs to be done immediately. Even with the BH's...we could give them a week or two to get used to the idea.

Quote:
We don't seem to take offense at some of the extreme Pollyanna and/or doormat type advice, but I start getting flagged when the mention of true hardline advice is offered. Where's the equal treatment? ... or "give the BH his options and let him decide what best suits his situation"?


I just do not see a lot of pollyanna/doormat advice here. I'm going to give a really good example a little farther down, but I think hardline advice gets plenty of play here. The last line of your paragraph is where I think the problems arise. You say "let him decide", but I think that only applies if he takes the hardline advice. And if anybody tries to help him with stuff like a Plan A (because he's asking for it) then they're enablers, and he's not a man. The mods don't go searching for stuff to moderate, they depend on the complaints from posters, not their own sensibilities.

Quote:
I know the mod staff will disagree, and this is not a criticism, but a discussion about how our own experiences color the advice offered, and it is clear (to me and other male posters, past and present) that a double standard exists.


Could you be more specific? Are you saying that "female" advice is more acceptable than "male" advice? I see plenty of females on this site who support the hardline advice and the male perspective. I see lots of strong women period.

Quote:
For this site to live up to its initial ideals, men simply must be able to speak to other men as MEN, and not have their words subject to being run through some feminine sensitivity filter.


We've knocked around ideas for a hardline forum. I had visions of something like the TD where there's a minimum of moderation (or moderation by men), but I've had trouble selling it. The reason is because the hardline advice often deteriorates to personal attacks so quickly, and that's a big issue. "Manly" often gets confused with insulting. Also, because we're a marriage advocacy site and the hardline advice is almost always divorce-centric..it poses a problem for our mission. I wonder if we did a similar posting rule...like the 25 posts to get into the TD...so that at least a short time was reserved for the possibility that a marriage can be saved...if that would help.

The other problem that arose was that some of y'all felt as though if we had a separate board for the hardline advice...one that a poster would enter voluntarily, that it would be too limiting and give you guys even less freedom to post. It was viewed as some kind of trickery to "contain" you all somewhere...though it was no such thing. Y'all didn't want to be restricted to one corner of the forum, and so we tried the next best thing.

We compromised with the "enough is enough" forum....which didn't work as hoped. You guys wanted the freedom to post the hardline advice there, without challenge and little moderation, but you still wanted the freedom to challenge other advice all over the board. It's the whole "cake and eat it too" problem. We have wracked our brains trying to find a way to honor the male voices, but unfortunately, there's been so much hostility towards the forum...it's hard to stay motivated. We have the impression that y'all would rather criticize than work together.

Generally speaking, the mod staff takes a look when a notification comes in. In most cases, the poster who notifies is the one receiving the advice in a way that they find disrespectful. There are some MEN who don't respond to the hardline or just want to get help with their own decision making process and the path they want to take. Usually the notification will come in and the poster will state their reasons for notifying, then the moderators take a look and see if there's evidence to support their complaint. The mods don't go looking for this stuff...they let the posters be their guide.

Quote:
Star* ... when we actually discuss these issues individually, it's pretty clear that we have many more views in common than not.


agreed

Quote:
In addition, you clearly see differences in the way men and women process, dwell on certain aspects, and deal with the fallout from infidelity.


Very much so!

Quote:
Why then, is the concept of gender differences in communication, especially on controversial / emotional topics, challenged at MA?


What you call a "gender difference in communication" is often a breach of TOS.

Should only women have to follow TOS?

Either we have to define a "zone" where you and other hardliners are free to speak as bluntly as you'd like (which would protect you from softer sensibilities...but also limit your freedom to attack other POVs on the rest of the board) OR you have to figure out a way to be blunt without breaking TOS.

Quote:
I have never challenged female to female advice here at MA, even when it sounded so wrong to my ears, as I recognize that my views and delivery are not received well by or applicable to many females. However, the opposite has NOT been my experience at MA, and I'll cite my flag/PB history as evidence, although I have currently regained neutral status due in large part to my overall lack of recent posting for this exact reason.


Here is where I'm going to give an excellent example of what goes down. I didn't have the time to really research your entire flag history...so I simply looked at the most recent one. We had a new poster arrive, he related his story. Not just you...but every single person who posted to this guy said...you've got nothing to "save", you need to walk away. There was no pollyanna advice for ten pages, and guys and girls alike stood together. Still, the poster insisted he wanted to save his marriage, was not ready for divorce.

You, on the other hand, started giving him a hard time about posting on MB, how terrible MB is for BH's, and as the thread went on, frustrated with his doormat-mentality, your post became more about what was wrong with both him and MB than it was about advice at all. The poster spent ten pages begging for help with a marriage he wanted to try and save first before going to divorce. Even I thought the guy was making a mistake, but it's not about me...and it's not about you either.

Your last post to him...the one that got you the warning flag...really didn't contain advice about his marriage...it was just a post about how clueless you thought he was. Now if he was on a hardline forum and he wanted that kind of advice...that would be different. However, he was specific and consistent about the advice he wanted. That doesn't mean anyone has to agree with the path he wants to take...and obviously everyone was trying to get him to change his mind. After a while though, it starts to look like battering. There needs to be some balance, and if someone isn't receptive to certain advice *at that time*, then maybe a breather is order.

Quote:
This forum has a lot of potential. It has the support and activity that most of the spinoffs do not. However, it is gaining reputation as a enabling support group, rather than what I think you intended.


Gaining a reputation with whom? The only place I see that happening is with the small group of hardliners who feel as though they don't have the freedom to use their communication techniques. And yet, what motivation do we (as a board) have to empower a group of people who try to undermine the integrity and reputation of this forum all the time? Is there some reason in particular that people seem hellbent on undermining the success of the forum? I just don't get it.

Even in spite of all of that....we didn't ban anybody or kick anyone out. Our forum has activity because we put in a whole lot of work and thought into making it better. We'd like to do the same thing with the strong male voices, but it's been a challenge to come up with something that is satisfactory to you. In the meantime...we shouldn't have to tolerate the effort to tear down what we've worked so hard to build.

Quote:
I could go on, but I'm going to stop now. If I've offended, it was not my intent, but merely the natural course of discussing differences of opinion.


This may be the least offensive conversation we've ever had....and probably overdue too. I am very open to hearing your side of these issues. I am honestly trying to understand and brainstorm, because as you suspect....I agree with many of the things that are at the "core" of what you value. Sadly, we haven't yet figured out how to combine our effort to make this place stronger.

Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 07:08 PM

And this ^^^ is what "gender differences in communication" looks like.

Star* ... in the past few days, I've made a genuine effort to answer your questions and engage in a conversation. However, in just one post, you have summarily dismissed the premise of what I've posted, and it appears to me due to a complete misreading of my intent.

With your example about your perceptions concerning L&S's thread, it is CLEAR we speak completely different languages, and you don't understand how men communicate with each other. In addition, L&S was soooo dysfunctional that the whole forum, women and men, were giving him the same advice, but apparently mine was the one that was "too much".

Hold and I have very different personalities, but he understood perfectly my intent with my previous post on this thread ... but as they say on the State Farm commercial ... "Well, he's a guy".

I'll back away on my own now.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 07:26 PM

Hold,

Quote:
This has been a wonderful discussion. Just wonderful.


LOL....I'm trying to figure out if this is sarcastic or not. I just don't know.

Quote:
FWIW, few males are more doormatish than I,


There are been a few men who have doggedly remained in their marriages in the face of poor odds and even abuse from their wives.

Quote:
and even I see the disparity in treatment of hardline advice to BHs vs advice to be more accomodating.


Okay...but I'm going to push back just a little. Is it disparity in the advice? Or disparity in the delivery?

This is the challenge! The problem is that the hard delivery of the advice for hardliners is critical to giving the advice. So they get stuck all the time. It is a desire on anyone's part to limit advice, but as a board we have an obligation to apply TOS across the board. The "softer" approach is less likely to break TOS...and yes, that gives the hardliners a bit of a disadvantage. So how do we fix that? Is it possible?

Quote:
Also, I think there is a justification for giving hardline advice to the typical BH who shows up here. Usually it is the correct advice. razz wink


I agree with this statement. I also believe there are exceptions and that one size does not fit all (one of the core values we used to build this place). So cookie-cutter advice for BH's (or anyone else) isn't the answer.

Quote:
Here is why I think so. We do not get many "too strong" BHs. That is, we do not get many BHs showing up here saying "I treated her like crap, I took advantage of her, she treated me like gold, and only after years of neglect did she cheat on me with the nice guy who respected her more than I did." In that case, I don't think you would see many posters, not even MyRev, suggest "go straight to Plan D".


I agree...which is what I was talking about in my last paragraph. But even if we have a "whimp" show up...if the hardline crosses the boundary between advice and insult, we have to apply TOS consistently. Just because it's a MAN talking smack, doesn't mean he's going to get a pass because the advice is "right". We can't operate that way.

Quote:
On the other hand, in most cases where a BH shows up here, the basic story is "I was too nice, I kissed her butt, she has no respect for me, she treated me like crap and I took it, and then cheated on me with a player." In the latter case, many of us feel that pretty much the only chance the BH has to recover his marriage is to go hardline. ASAP. Not only does that prevent her from cake eating (and hence shorten the life expentancy of the A), but it is addressing one of the core problems in their marriage. Her lack of respect for him. His lack of strong masculine energy.


Yep...I won't argue with this at all.

Quote:
And timing matters. If the goal is to appear stronger than she expected, much more impact from a quick "I do not share my wife with other men" than to wait a long time until he finally and reluctantly says "I just can't tolerate this any longer".


Okay...but what is "quick"? Isn't that subjective? When someone has been married for 25 years...a couple of weeks to get their head on straight ought to be quick enough. If for a short time they want to try a few last ditch efforts to turn things around...shouldn't that be their choice?

Marriage problems are like cancer....they can all kill you, but no matter what kind of cancer you've got, or how low the odds for survival...somebody has recovered from it. People have hope and it's a powerful thing. I hate to see anyone acting on false hope, but I also hate to see all hope destroyed as well. My hope is that we can give people the best information we can....and let them decide what treatment they want to follow.

Quote:
Finally, as MyRev pointed out, the fact that it also moves the "line of scrimmage" on child custody is another bonus which is hugely gender specific. And where timing matters. A female can wait to file for D and still be confident she will get at least 50% custody of the kids. The longer the BH waits, the more likely he will get stuck with "every other weekend" notwithstanding that his wife was the WS. Not gender neutral in the least.


This is HUGE huge. Yes...it's one of the big reasons I think that there we need a man cave, but if you read my response to myrev...you see the challenges about making something like that work. We're going to have to get creative, and if that's going to happen then, it's going to take help from both sides.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 07:34 PM

Quote:
Star* ... in the past few days, I've made a genuine effort to answer your questions and engage in a conversation. However, in just one post, you have summarily dismissed the premise of what I've posted, and it appears to me due to a complete misreading of my intent.


Well hell and damnation! How can you say I've dismissed what you've posted?

Quote:
With your example about your perceptions concerning L&S's thread, it is CLEAR we speak completely different languages, and you don't understand how men communicate with each other. In addition, L&S was soooo dysfunctional that the whole forum, women and men, were giving him the same advice, but apparently mine was the one that was "too much".


It wasn't YOUR post that was too much...that's what you're missing. It was your post that got the notification. The mods didn't think it was too much....someone notified that post and you were given a "warning" (slap on the wrist).

Why are you so sensitive about this? Maybe I don't understand how men talk to each other (being a female and all that)....but I'm hanging in here trying to "get" it. You don't understand me either if all you got out of that post is what you've written here. So we're even.

Are you going to take your ball and go home?
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 07:56 PM

"What hurts the most...is getting so close"

You know, a lot of this ground has been covered before. Many times. What was new...was we were talking about it...and I really thought we were making some progress!

I thought that a real discussion was on the board that showed a willingness to acknowledge the differences (not deny them), respect the differences, celebrate the differences and come up with a way to honor different perspectives.

Why can't we do that?
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 07:57 PM

I agree with hold's statement "and even I see the disparity in treatment of hardline advice to BHs vs advice to be more accomodating."

I think there was a great deal of baiting of posters and of advice. Many of the "softer" posters were good at baiting or responding to baiting within the confines of the TOS. Many of the "harder" posters were not so good at staying within the TOS when they responded to the frustration.

To many of us watching, the penalties seemed MUCH harsher for the hardline posters (I think of 2 in particular) than the softer posters (2-3 in particular). It felt like a witch hunt.

I've had this problem in other online communities too - that one side can drive off another side and still stay within the TOS so they don't get penalized for it. The only thing I've seen that works is a) banning those who are causing the "nice" problems (which is against the goals of this site) or b) everyone gets mad and leaves.

In this case, I think most of those posters on both sides have stopped posting much.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
Are you going to take your ball and go home?


Just to be clear ... it's your ball and your rules ... always has been. I just got reminded of that.

... and to be honest, it is better for me to step away from this discussion right now, as I'm very pissed at myself for spending this amount of time and emotional energy on this thread.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 08:23 PM

Quote:
I think there was a great deal of baiting of posters and of advice. Many of the "softer" posters were good at baiting or responding to baiting within the confines of the TOS. Many of the "harder" posters were not so good at staying within the TOS when they responded to the frustration.

To many of us watching, the penalties seemed MUCH harsher for the hardline posters (I think of 2 in particular) than the softer posters (2-3 in particular). It felt like a witch hunt.

I've had this problem in other online communities too - that one side can drive off another side and still stay within the TOS so they don't get penalized for it. The only thing I've seen that works is a) banning those who are causing the "nice" problems (which is against the goals of this site) or b) everyone gets mad and leaves.

In this case, I think most of those posters on both sides have stopped posting much.


Thanks for your comments CR....I really appreciate your perspective.

I think that by far, most of the problems on forums is the work of very few people. Most forums just ban trouble makers no matter which side they fall on. Having come from MB...the "banning" thing wasn't the way we wanted to go. Might have been a mistake. And yes, maybe the "baiters" can more easily work the system...still there has to BE a system for this to work at all. We've worked hard to find the best balance...and it's super hard.

I would like to say however, that the very few posters who really got the harshest penalties, had pushed the limits of what would be acceptable on any forum. It wasn't simply their hardline advice on the board or just TOS violations. There was much more that wasn't visible on the board. At some point, we have to respect ourselves enough to say....enough! We don't just have a responsibility to our posters...as a board we have a responsibility to the forum as a whole. Everyone else can look at the board and how it affects themselves, or their small group. We don't have that luxury.

And it's really important to remember that most people on this forum NEVER go to PB....never.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 08:29 PM

Nope, was not meant sarcastically. I love this place, and I have very much enjoyed this thread. Not just you andf MyRev. Mark, Ace, LadyGrey. Everything (apologies to those not mentioned by name).

Star, I am all in favor of giving people a choice of when and how to implement various steps in their recovery. And I agree that hard-liners should not violate TOS. Nevertheless, there is a fine line between (i) how men tend to encourage other men to take action and (ii) abuse. That is to say, humiliation is a time-tested male device for motivating other men to get off their butt and get moving. And I can see how some might say "humiliation is abusive and won't be tolerated. The ends don't justify the means." I get it. And yet.

Part of me thinks that the board and the mods aren't doing these "too soft" men (and I include myself in that group) any favors by protecting them from hardliners. It is like Mommy running to protect her son from a bully. In the long run, that is not so great for the kid. Unlike the school yard (where maybe the bully can do real lasting physical harm to the kid), when a BH shows up here, how much more damage can we do to the guy's ego than what his wife has already done? She had sex with another man! Does anyone really think that a guy is going to recover form that, but not from MyRev calling him a wimp?

OK, I can understand if a BH states that he wants to reconcile, and is not ready for hardline advice, and does not appreciate the tone being expressed toward him, then the mods should clearly step in to muzzle anyone who doesn't cut it out. Because we want the BH to feel respected here. Even if some of us disagree with his choice in behavior. But to step in and muzzle a hardliner before the BH complains is, to me, being too politically correct and nanny-statish.

I guess much of this difference of opinion stems from our respective views of risk - reward. To me, the downside harm of allowing a BH to get "excessively bashed" is minimal. His wife just cut his balls off. Compared to that, anything we do to hurt hs feelings is hardly gong to register. Whereas the downside risk from his not implementing hard line soon enough is huge. He risks recovery working, and he risks losing custody of his kids. To me, that argues in favor of drawing the line pretty far toward "shaking the guy out of his comfort zone".

To me, the same analysis applies on the upside a well. What is the best result of muzzling the hard liners? The guy is spared some embarrassment and hurt feelings. Like I said, his wife just cut his balls off. How much better do you think he feels when we prevent MyRev from "piling on". Whereas, if MyRev's "bashing" actually works to get the guy to "man up", the potential upside is enormous. Again, the risk / reward is so unbalanced it argues in favor of tilting the balance a long way toward allowing "straight talk" instead of requiring the hardliners to water down their message.

Yes, we can verbalize arguments on both sides. That does not mean the weight of the arguments on both sides is anything close to equal.

I also think this is another area of gender differences. I can imagine that woman place a high priority on safety. Mrs. Hold has stressed this in our MC discussions. Many women are going to shut down and not be open to taking in advice if they don't feel they are in a "safe" environment. If I raise my voice at all, Mrs. Hold gets anxious and tunes me out. All she hears is the tone.

In my experience, guys are different. We raise our voice toward other guys, and they keep listening. We tend not to flee toward safety. And if a guy is "too soft", his reflex to flee toward safety is exactly the WRONG reaction if he wants to recover his marriage. He isn't going to save his marriage by creating a zone of safety. He is going to save his marriage by showing his wife that he can tolerate conflict and emerge stronger. She wants to see that he will be her champion and keep her safe from the outside world. If he can't defend himself from her, how can she trust him to defend her from other people? We do more to help him by giving him experience tolerating conflict than we do by creating a safe haven in which he can lick his wounds.

At some point, the "too soft" guy has to stand up to his wife and say "enough is enough". He might as well practice that here first. If the mods "protect" the BH from the hard
liners, the BH is not forced to find his voice to defend himself. Hard to see how that benefits him.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 08:48 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
We do not get many "too strong" BHs. That is, we do not get many BHs showing up here saying "I treated her like crap, I took advantage of her, she treated me like gold, and only after years of neglect did she cheat on me with the nice guy who respected her more than I did." In that case, I don't think you would see many posters, not even MyRev, suggest "go straight to Plan D".


I won't speak for MyRev, but I *have* given plan D advice in more than one si2ation described exactly as you state with this example. Not here (I don't think), but on loveshack (before they booted me for something I said 2 a proud OW) and on survivinginfidelity. And the reason is, because I don't believe the si2ation as it's described, even by the BH himself. It's not that it might not be partially or even entirely true, but the BH isn't a "reliable witness" in their own si2ation, and the WW is definitely not trustworthy.

The affair must end before recovery can start. And I believe it has a much better chance of starting if the BH (but any BS) stands firm that they won't tolerate infidelity in their marriage, and that if the WS wants 2 recover, they'd better take responsibility for their own behavior sooner rather than later.

Becoming a doormat does nobody any good. Taking responsibility for one's choices and lot in life and standing firm for what you believe in - BS or WS - always does everybody good.

-ol' 2long
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 08:52 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit


FWIW, few males are more doormatish than I, and even I see the disparity in treatment of hardline advice to BHs vs advice to be more accomodating.


FWIW, I'm female, I usually give "Plan A"-type advice especially if the poster wants to try to save their marriage, but like hold says, "even I see the disparity in treatment of hardline advice to BHs vs advice to be more accomodating."

star*, I can see a lot of your points. But this:

Originally Posted By: star*fish

We've knocked around ideas for a hardline forum. I had visions of something like the TD where there's a minimum of moderation (or moderation by men), but I've had trouble selling it. The reason is because the hardline advice often deteriorates to personal attacks so quickly, and that's a big issue. "Manly" often gets confused with insulting. Also, because we're a marriage advocacy site and the hardline advice is almost always divorce-centric..it poses a problem for our mission. I wonder if we did a similar posting rule...like the 25 posts to get into the TD...so that at least a short time was reserved for the possibility that a marriage can be saved...if that would help.

The other problem that arose was that some of y'all felt as though if we had a separate board for the hardline advice...one that a poster would enter voluntarily, that it would be too limiting and give you guys even less freedom to post. It was viewed as some kind of trickery to "contain" you all somewhere...though it was no such thing. Y'all didn't want to be restricted to one corner of the forum, and so we tried the next best thing.

We compromised with the "enough is enough" forum....which didn't work as hoped. You guys wanted the freedom to post the hardline advice there, without challenge and little moderation, but you still wanted the freedom to challenge other advice all over the board. It's the whole "cake and eat it too" problem. We have wracked our brains trying to find a way to honor the male voices, but unfortunately, there's been so much hostility towards the forum...it's hard to stay motivated. We have the impression that y'all would rather criticize than work together.


I tried sending some BHs to the Enough is Enough forum because I thought it was supposed to be a place where men could give hardline advice in stronger language. I thought it was supposed to be what you describe above. Presumably if a poster went to that forum, they were seeking "stronger, harsher" (for lack of a better word) advice. But it became clear that the EiE forum would be moderated just the same as any other forum.

Plus, the two comments I bolded above contradict each other. On one hand you say the "hardliners" (for lack of a better word) were wrong when they thought the formation of a separate hardline forum would restrict their freedom to post elsewhere. But then you go on to say that after the EiE forum was formed, they wrongly "still wanted the freedom to challenge other advice all over the board."

I don't see why someone posting on the EiE forum should give up their right to post elsewhere, on whatever they want, as long as they stayed within the TOS for that forum.

The EiE forum has become just a "philosophical discussion" forum to discuss the pros and cons of "hardline" advice. It is certainly not limited to posters who agree with hardline advice. It might as well be merged with the Peer Counseling forum or at least be put in the Creative Discussions section.


Originally Posted By: star*fish
Quote:
Star* ... in the past few days, I've made a genuine effort to answer your questions and engage in a conversation. However, in just one post, you have summarily dismissed the premise of what I've posted, and it appears to me due to a complete misreading of my intent.


Well hell and damnation! How can you say I've dismissed what you've posted?


I can see why he might say that. In reading your reply, I got the impression that every point he made was being countered, parried, not accepted as a valid viewpoint with a goal of seeking a solution. As a wife, if my H parried every complaint I mentioned that way, I would feel very minimized, unheard, frustrated. I would react by shutting down, not continuing to try to engage.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: CajunRose
I agree with hold's statement "and even I see the disparity in treatment of hardline advice to BHs vs advice to be more accomodating."

I think there was a great deal of baiting of posters and of advice. Many of the "softer" posters were good at baiting or responding to baiting within the confines of the TOS. Many of the "harder" posters were not so good at staying within the TOS when they responded to the frustration.

To many of us watching, the penalties seemed MUCH harsher for the hardline posters (I think of 2 in particular) than the softer posters (2-3 in particular). It felt like a witch hunt.

I've had this problem in other online communities too - that one side can drive off another side and still stay within the TOS so they don't get penalized for it. The only thing I've seen that works is a) banning those who are causing the "nice" problems (which is against the goals of this site) or b) everyone gets mad and leaves.

In this case, I think most of those posters on both sides have stopped posting much.


ITA.

<CR, is one of us a sock puppet for the other??? Because I always seem to agree with everything you say!>

<PTB: That was a joke.>
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 09:21 PM

Hold,

Quote:
Star, I am all in favor of giving people a choice of when and how to implement various steps in their recovery. And I agree that hard-liners should not violate TOS. Nevertheless, there is a fine line between (i) how men tend to encourage other men to take action and (ii) abuse. That is to say, humiliation is a time-tested male device for motivating other men to get off their butt and get moving. And I can see how some might say "humiliation is abusive and won't be tolerated. The ends don't justify the means." I get it. And yet.

Part of me thinks that the board and the mods aren't doing these "too soft" men (and I include myself in that group) any favors by protecting them from hardliners. It is like Mommy running to protect her son from a bully. In the long run, that is not so great for the kid. Unlike the school yard (where maybe the bully can do real lasting physical harm to the kid), when a BH shows up here, how much more damage can we do to the guy's ego than what his wife has already done? She had sex with another man! Does anyone really think that a guy is going to recover form that, but not from MyRev calling him a wimp?


I completely get this and agree. I thought we had at least established that I understood the need for hardline advice. But I'll repeat myself again...I agree with the need for gender specific advice. I'm a little worried about taking it as far as "humiliation" but I do agree that tearing down (like in the Marines) is an enduring strategy in male circles.

Quote:
OK, I can understand if a BH states that he wants to reconcile, and is not ready for hardline advice, and does not appreciate the tone being expressed toward him, then the mods should clearly step in to muzzle anyone who doesn't cut it out. Because we want the BH to feel safe here. And to feel that his feelings are being respected. Even if some of us disagree with his choice in behavior. But to step in and muzzle a hardliner before the BH complains is, to me, being too politically correct and nanny-statish.


OK...but that's exactly what happened on L&S's thread. He consistently asked for different advice. I brought it up as an example of how we need to find the right balance and how to decide when a line is crossed, but myrev took it personally...even though he told me to look at his flags. I thought it was a good example of how a new poster was run off when we was pushed too hard too soon.

Quote:
I guess much of this difference of opinion stems from our respective views of risk - reward. To me, the downside harm of allowing a BH to get "excessively bashed" is minimal. His wife just cut his balls off. Compared to that, anything we do to hurt hs feelings is hardly gong to register. Whereas the downside risk from his not implementing hard line soon enough is huge. He risks recovery working, and he risks losing custody of his kids. To me, that argues in favor of drawing the line pretty far toward "shaking the guy out of his comfort zone".


It's hard to know when "excessively bashed" will have a good outcome or not. It can also be seen as "kicking somebody when they're down". Maybe a guy who just got his balls cut off isn't ready to be bashed right after that. But seems to me...he's the one who has the right to decide that. If he's says outright..."stop it"...then I think we have to respect that too.

Quote:
To me, the same analysis applies on the upside a well. What is the best result of muzzling the hard liners? The guy is spared some embarrassment and hurt feelings. Like I said, his wife just cut his balls off. How much better do you think he feels when we prevent MyRev from "piling on". Whereas, if MyRev's "bashing" actually works to get the guy to "man up", the potential upside is enormous. Again, the risk / reward is so unbalanced it argues in favor of tilting the balance a long way toward allowing "straight talk" instead of requiring the hardliners to water down their message.


Muzzling? Y'all lose me when you use that kind of exaggeration. There is more freedom on this forum....even to bash the forum...then I've seen on any other established marriage forum.

Besides...you guys continue to forget that we are a 501(c) We really REALLY have rules about what we can allow or not! Read it yourself.

Straight talk does not have to equal bashing...but that's not the problem anyway. The problem is coming up with a solution that gives the hardliners the freedom to bash away with minimum moderation....when they don't want to be limited from bashing all over the forum. We can make room for that perspective, but it would need to be in a place that was designed with special rules...and that's been rejected.

Quote:
Yes, we can verbalize arguments on both sides. That does not mean the weight of the arguments on both sides is anything close to equal.

I also think this is another area of gender differences. I can imagine that woman place a high priority on safety. Mrs. Hold has stressed this in our MC discussions. Many women are going to shut down and not be open to taking in advice if they don't feel they are in a "safe" environment. If I raise my voice at all, Mrs. Hold gets anxious and tunes me out. All she hears is the tone.


I concede that women are probably far more interested in safety than men, but I've seen a fair share of men who've come here and asked folks to "back off".

Quote:
In my experience, guys are different. We raise our voice toward other guys, and they keep listening. We tend not to flee toward safety. And if a guy is "too soft", his reflex to flee toward safety is exactly the WRONG reaction if he wants to recover his marriage. He isn't going to save his marriage by creating a zone of safety. He is going to save his marriage by showing his wife that he can tolerate conflict and emerge stronger. She wants to see that he will be her champion and keep her safe from the outside world. If he can't defend himself from her, how can she trust him to defend her from other people? We do more to help him by giving him experience tolerating conflict than we do by creating a safe haven in which he can lick his wounds.


Again....I get it. The challenge is to implement something that works for everyone....men and women...soft and hard....safe and in your face. And not only implement something, but something that can be defined well enough to have structure and rules that can be enforced...and still maintain our 501(c) status.

I understand the need....but not the means. What isn't going to happen is that "bashing for a good cause" is going to be allowed all over the board, because then we'll have another rebellion on our hands, and we'll risk our non-profit status as an "educational" site.

I was willing to erect a "man cave"....but the "roaring" would have had to be done there and not all over the board. Hardline advice within TOS would still be allowed on the open board, but not strategies like bashing, badgering, humiliation or emasculation for instance. Those would be limited to a place where folks were warned before entering...like the TD. That way, if some posters are not receptive or ready...they have the ability to choose a higher level of moderation.

But that wasn't enough. If you have another idea...I'm open to hearing it.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 09:35 PM

jayne,

You've misunderstood. The original idea for a hardline forum WAS so that harsher advice could be given with looser moderation standards. Not NO standards (because we are a 501(c)...just like the TD still has some standards...but certainly looser to accommodate the strong male perspective.

But the hardliners decided that if we designed a specific place, that they would somehow lose their freedom to post that advice elsewhere. The only thing that would have been different elsewhere was the moderation standards, but it was seen as a way to "contain" the advice, and not well recieved.

When that idea fell through...the EE forum went up instead. It was kept in the general forum and therefore had the same moderation standards. So the hardline advice could be given, but not with the freedom from moderation that was desired.

In a place where we loosen moderation, a poster has to agree to enter...like we do for TD. There can't be so called "good bashing" board-wide because it would violate our non-profit guidelines.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 10:00 PM

jayne,

Quote:
I can see why he might say that. In reading your reply, I got the impression that every point he made was being countered, parried, not accepted as a valid viewpoint with a goal of seeking a solution. As a wife, if my H parried every complaint I mentioned that way, I would feel very minimized, unheard, frustrated. I would react by shutting down, not continuing to try to engage.


Hmmmm....but this is someone who is advocating a very "in your face" style. Comparatively, I thought I was very respectful. I did address every point...because I honestly thought they were all important. I wanted him to know I was really paying attention. I validated his perspective many times along with presenting a different perspective.

I doubt that myrev is that fragile...he would consider it wimpy, but if he is...that would would be counter to the very argument he is making. He wants guys to challenge other guys who come here...in the strongest way possible, and yet you're suggesting that this very civil discussion would wound him and make him "shut down". I do believe he's frustrated, and I'm sorry about that, but he can hardly fight for a hardline if he wants kid gloves.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 10/01/13 10:53 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish

OK...but that's exactly what happened on L&S's thread. He consistently asked for different advice. I brought it up as an example of how we need to find the right balance and how to decide when a line is crossed, but myrev took it personally...even though he told me to look at his flags. I thought it was a good example of how a new poster was run off when we was pushed too hard too soon.


He held out for about a week and a half longer on MB, because it seemed he was getting more of the kind of advice he seemed 2 want. But he seems 2 have left MB as well (but its only been a couple weeks). I don't think he got run off here any more than he was run off there, though they gave more "go ahead and send flowers, texts and FB messages 2 your wife who's ignoring you, taking stuff from your house and living with a convict" advice 2 help him feel better, rather than accepting that she's gone and not someone he'll want back in the long run anyway.

-ol' 2long
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 12:14 AM

Originally Posted By: star
In fact, more times than not lately…I’ve worried that MA sounds like a divorce site rather than a marriage site. I see new members getting divorce advice almost immediately….sometimes even before getting their history down.


I wanted to go back to this comment just a bit. I think there may be more instances of members advocating for divorce more quickly and I'm most likely one of them. We all know it's very rare for a marriage to recover from certain situations, and I think some of us don't see much point in trying.

I don't think this is a bad thing, since we aren't, as you say, a marriage-at-all-costs website.

I think the important thing is to balance the talk of divorce and/or Plan B with introspection on the part of the betrayed spouse.

The marriage I came here to save ended, and by the time the papers were signed I was glad of it. Yet what I learned here has given me the tools to find someone who was a better fit for me, and to help us create a relationship that is much more healthy than what either of us had before.

In my mind, even advocating for divorce in a particular situation does not mean that we are not advocating for marriage. We may be advocating for the next marriage instead.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 12:19 AM

2long,

Quote:
He held out for about a week and a half longer on MB, because it seemed he was getting more of the kind of advice he seemed 2 want. But he seems 2 have left MB as well (but its only been a couple weeks). I don't think he got run off here any more than he was run off there, though they gave more "go ahead and send flowers, texts and FB messages 2 your wife who's ignoring you, taking stuff from your house and living with a convict" advice 2 help him feel better, rather than accepting that she's gone and not someone he'll want back in the long run anyway.


Of course you're right about his sitch...and everyone agreed. He probably would have left no matter what...I concede that. However, I did think he was clear about what he wanted. Smart or not...it is still his right to decide the timing.

You know, at first I was confused about why both you and Hold started giving hardline advice....but then it made sense. Both of you spent so much time feeling like doormats that it shouldn't be surprising that your advice now is much more hardline than either of you was willing to follow. And yet...I also wonder if there isn't some "over-correction" and quite a bit of "do as I say-not as I do(did)" I "get" that after all of the humiliation you suffered, that you'd like to spare others from the same state of powerlessness and limbo. I think it's very valid. But I also think that both of you had your own personal reasons for how things went down. I think as peer counselors, we may need to recognize that each person has a whole host of items we may never know or understand and that pushing them to do the thing we believe we "should" have done...is not necessarily right for them.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 12:21 AM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
[quote]I think that by far, most of the problems on forums is the work of very few people.

I agree.
Originally Posted By: star
We've worked hard to find the best balance...and it's super hard.
I agree it's super hard. I also think there is at least one baiter who "got away with it" and is still baiting other posters, albeit in a way that falls within the TOS.

Originally Posted By: star
I would like to say however, that the very few posters who really got the harshest penalties, had pushed the limits of what would be acceptable on any forum. It wasn't simply their hardline advice on the board or just TOS violations. There was much more that wasn't visible on the board. At some point, we have to respect ourselves enough to say....enough! We don't just have a responsibility to our posters...as a board we have a responsibility to the forum as a whole.

I read this as saying that people were given harsher penalties or otherwise encouraged to go away because they were doing things off of the board (which TOS says we should not consider). This is what I suspected and is not really a surprise - I agree that at some point enough is enough. The issue that I have - and that I think a few others hear share - is that other posters who were causing problems in PMs or off-board to MA members, but possibly not to the BOD, were given essentially a free pass. This is what causes the perception that the hardline advocates were treated differently.

Originally Posted By: star
And it's really important to remember that most people on this forum NEVER go to PB....never.

That was never in doubt. It only takes a handful to destroy what the rest have tried to build.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 12:35 AM

Children first, always

To prioritize healthy reconciliation recognizing that marriage is the bedrock of society and that the interests of the children are always better served by a healthy, intact family.

I believe that folks on forums are all too willing – sometimes sickeningly willing -- to throw the nameless faceless children under the proverbial bus when the faithful spouse is dealing with a cheating spouse who isn't yet genuflecting.

In my opinion, we should fight like rabid dogs to support reconciliation where there are minor children involved.

In my view, “life is short and you deserve to be happy” left the room the minute sperm met egg.

A forty year old with an eight year old and a ten year old has 30 to 40 years left to potentially be miserable. That eight and ten year old have 60 to 70 years to live with the damage caused by divorce, the fruits of which their spouses and children will also get to enjoy. I've lived it.

Studies show that no matter how miserable a couple is, 5 years later the vast majority report they are much happier.

Life isn’t static.

There are without question cases in which divorce is the healthiest option – herf and CR come to mind – but no one could ever accuse either of giving up without a soul destroying fight.

The poster matters

To respect and honor each poster as an autonomous adult responsible for his own well-being.

This is where I think we sometimes run into trouble on the “hardline” front. To me, sometimes the language used sounds dismissive, emasculating and mean spirited. Since it isn’t directed at me and I get my fair share of that stuff, I confess I’m not much bothered.

I don't buy the whole “men talk different to men” line, but I do know that I address people in different contexts in ways that could be viewed as dismissive and mean spirited. So much is lost in the written word. I could detail a conversation I had with my son where I said, “WTF is WRONG with you? How could you be so….whatever” and people here would, understandably think I’m being awful.

Tone and history aren’t readily communicated in writing. My assumption has always been that there is some male tone and history to which I am not privy that governs the whole hardline debate, which, frankly, I’ve never understood but not from lack of effort.

The problem as I see it is that the poster stays as long as he wants to stay. We aren't all gluttons for punishment and this isn’t your brother-in-law or next door neighbor where you’ll get another shot if you cross a line. If the poster gets to feeling too bad, they leave, and who can blame them?

It may be a problem without a solution, but I’ve always thought a grace period would be helpful -- get to know someone a little bit before you tell him he has no balls, but of course, I am all about grace…..

The Marriage

To inform, encourage and support each poster in discerning and articulating his* values, establish personal boundaries consistent with those values to govern both his behavior and behavior he will tolerate from his spouse, and to enforce those boundaries in a manner consistent with his values and respectful of both spouses.

To me, any discussion about the absent spouse is kind of pointless. He isn’t here and he is going to do what he wants to do, and I think it is in general a waste of time and energy to talk about him and what he could/should/may do.

I think that the mission is best served by focusing on grounding, orienting and supporting the poster in determining the matters set forth above without reference to the behavior of their spouse.

I strongly believe that whatever your personal views are, if your efforts are focused on empowering the poster to make the decisions based upon their own values it is extremely difficult to impose your own agenda.

The problem with this is that it is not a week long or month long or year long process. You have to be willing to be present and wait and deal with a whole bunch of stuff in between that is whacked out. And the poster has to be willing to be present and wait and share a bunch of whacked out stuff. It isn't easy, but it is worth it.

To my understanding, this site was established for the purpose of allowing discussion of different viewpoints about how to create a healthy marriage.

However – and I FINALLY figured out what has bugged me so much about this debate – the fact that there is not a clearly delineated path on which one side lies success and the other side lies failure doesn’t mean that there are no parameters. This isn't a free for all.

There are parameters: this site advocates in favor of supporting healthy marriages. The path to that goal may look very different for different couples and the definition of success will be both elusive and not static, but the fact that the target moves doesn’t mean there isn’t a target.

Target=Advocating for Marriage.

*The masculine pronoun is gramatically correct.

FTR, I didn't tell L&S to walk away. I spent a lot of time on those posts trying to get him to look at himself.


Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:08 AM

Originally Posted By: CajunRose
I read this as saying that people were given harsher penalties or otherwise encouraged to go away because they were doing things off of the board (which TOS says we should not consider). This is what I suspected and is not really a surprise - I agree that at some point enough is enough. The issue that I have - and that I think a few others hear share - is that other posters who were causing problems in PMs or off-board to MA members, but possibly not to the BOD, were given essentially a free pass. This is what causes the perception that the hardline advocates were treated differently.


From what I gather is being said here, I would call this a complete misunderstanding not only of what has been said, but of what transpired.

1.) No one has been encouraged to go away. People have earned penalties, which are given regardless of the content of people's advice. In response to those penalties, some have chosen to go away. That is each person's freely made choice, and we respect it.

2.) As I have said from the beginning, there is no service that MA provides for which TOS does not apply. None of the "hardliners", as they are being called here, were penalized for anything other than what was done using MA's services.

3.) Anyone can report a violation in PM and it will be investigated. No one is treated any differently.

Some have behaved differently, and so have incurred the same penalties that any member who engaged in the behavior would be receive.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:24 AM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
2long,

Quote:
He held out for about a week and a half longer on MB, because it seemed he was getting more of the kind of advice he seemed 2 want. But he seems 2 have left MB as well (but its only been a couple weeks). I don't think he got run off here any more than he was run off there, though they gave more "go ahead and send flowers, texts and FB messages 2 your wife who's ignoring you, taking stuff from your house and living with a convict" advice 2 help him feel better, rather than accepting that she's gone and not someone he'll want back in the long run anyway.


Of course you're right about his sitch...and everyone agreed. He probably would have left no matter what...I concede that. However, I did think he was clear about what he wanted. Smart or not...it is still his right to decide the timing.


I had ac2ally hoped he would stick around. I still would like 2 see him come back, though it's obviously his decision.

Quote:
You know, at first I was confused about why both you and Hold started giving hardline advice....but then it made sense. Both of you spent so much time feeling like doormats that it shouldn't be surprising that your advice now is much more hardline than either of you was willing to follow. And yet...I also wonder if there isn't some "over-correction" and quite a bit of "do as I say-not as I do(did)"


I never tell anyone 2 do as I say, not as I did. That's why I said, above that the best advice I can give someone is 2 never take advice. I believe that. Advice is cheap. But even paid-for advice (the kind of thing coaches do but therapists - and rightly so - do not) needs 2 be weighed by the recipient for content and value from their perspective. And always, it's the recipient's *responsibility* 2 make their own decisions. It can certainly consider advice received and books read, therapists consulted. And this is also why I always say that the "program" (e.g., MB, but not just them) doesn't deserve the credit for a marriage recovering, only the spouses do.

Quote:
I "get" that after all of the humiliation you suffered,


Interesting choice of words. I don't think I ever felt humiliated. I felt hurt, and a lot of wild emotions ran through my head on several occasions, not just right after d-day. But humiliation? I honestly don't think so. My wife's affair embarrassed her more than it did me.

Quote:
that you'd like to spare others from the same state of powerlessness and limbo. I think it's very valid. But I also think that both of you had your own personal reasons for how things went down.


In my case, there were 2 big reasons I didn't end my marriage. When I discovered the affair, we'd recently celebrated our 26th anniversary. And maybe more importantly, my wife never left me 2 be with Rat Meat. If she had, I would not have wanted her back, period. What held our marriage 2gether after d-day, while she continued her "professional contact" with RM for the next several years, was all the conciliatory things she DID do 2 make it up 2 me for her betrayal.

I *know* how I felt 39 years ago, before we got engaged and my best friend tried 2 renew a relationship with my wife while I was away in college. If she had wanted 2 be with him, I would have not wanted 2 be with her. No hard feelings 2ward either one of them, I would just have been done, and chalked the experience up 2 gaining a little wisdom.

Most newbies I post hardline advice 2 are in si2ations like L&S' - short marriage, no kids, not much in the way of assets (stuff anyway), and their whole lives ahead of them. Or, like one or 2 others I've been posting 2 recently - WW has been gone for a long time, drinks like a fish or otherwise has been living a separate life for a long time, so why hang on2 a cold, dead marriage and miss out on the good things in life?

Quote:
I think as peer counselors, we may need to recognize that each person has a whole host of items we may never know or understand and that pushing them to do the thing we believe we "should" have done...is not necessarily right for them.


I don't disagree, as I said above.

-ol' 2long
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:44 AM

CR,

Quote:
I read this as saying that people were given harsher penalties or otherwise encouraged to go away because they were doing things off of the board (which TOS says we should not consider). This is what I suspected and is not really a surprise - I agree that at some point enough is enough. The issue that I have - and that I think a few others hear share - is that other posters who were causing problems in PMs or off-board to MA members, but possibly not to the BOD, were given essentially a free pass. This is what causes the perception that the hardline advocates were treated differently.


I said "not visible" (to the normal poster)...not "off board". What was off board was off board...period. Nobody was penalized for any of that. And nobody (contrary to your assumptions) was given a free pass either. There were consequences...there always are.

This is a whole lot of conjecture and assumptions. I don't know how else to say this except that...you're so incorrect that it's sad to know anyone will read this and possibly believe it.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:59 AM

CR,

I had worked on a response to your earlier post, but after reading your last post...I'm sorry...I've lost the heart for it. You say you "know of at least one baiter who got away with it". One? Even if it's a few more....it's still a very very small percentage. I'll say again: The vast majority of our membership never sees the inside of the PB, posts respectfully, and follows TOS. A few people (baiters and others) "get away with it" from time to time and get penalized sometimes. That actually sounds like we're doing pretty good.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 02:11 AM

2long,

When the description of someone's wife having an affair is likened to having one's balls cut off...the word "humiliation" came to mind. That was Hold's description....not yours, so I shouldn't have extrapolated. I didn't mean to insult you in any way. Sorry.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 02:17 AM

No worries.

Maybe I should advise Hold 2 try a hardline approach? Because nobody can castrate you without your permission... ...I hope. wink
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 02:35 AM

Lorena Bobbit?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
It's hard to know when "excessively bashed" will have a good outcome or not. It can also be seen as "kicking somebody when they're down". Maybe a guy who just got his balls cut off isn't ready to be bashed right after that. But seems to me...he's the one who has the right to decide that. If he's says outright..."stop it"...then I think we have to respect that too.


I agree with the second point, not so much with the first. I think this is the core of where gender differences come into play. I think your concern over excessive bashing is misplaced. To me, you are concerning yourself with whether he cheek will be red for a few minutes, or bruised for a week, or cut and bloody and might take even longer to heal. From my perspective, none of that matters. Like I said, she just cut off his balls. The condition of his cheek is pretty much irrelevant to his future success or happiness in life.

I think it is almost impossible for our bashing a "too soft" BH to be "excessive". Unless and until he turns around and gets angry and starts posting "hey, you guys are out of line, I will not tolerate being addressd in that tone", he is doomed. He won't be able to regain his wife's respect. And he won't have much chance of attracting a quality woman.

Like I said, the attitude from female posters, "there there, let Mommy take a look at your cheek, let me put on some antiseptic and a band-aid" is counter-productive. it keeps him wimpy and weak and infantilized. What he needs is a guy slapping him in the face, grabbing him by the shoulders, shaking him, and screaming "wake up you idiot".

Too often, the BH is saying something like "maybe if I rotate my tongue counter-clockwise instead of clockwise, she will enjoy me kissing her butt enough that she will appreciate all I do for her, and come back to me". When we all know that what he really needs to do is retract his tongue. /end rant/

Star, you may be right that part of why I am so hardline these days is because I regret not taking a harder line in my own life. But I am not sure you understand why I feel so strongly about this. Not because it robbed me of a chance for a happy marriage. As you know, I never felt there was any chance of that even if I left. No, what bothers me is what it has done to me as a person. I am not trying for happiness. I am not working toward positive goals for myself. I have gone over to the dark side. I don't want that for other men. I don't want them to become so negative that they stop trying to improve life for themselves and their spouse. And I know that most BHs who wallow in self-pity are going to be very tempted to turn. It is like being vulnerable for an affair. When you comfort a BH in his pity-party, you are doing the work of the dark side. You just don't realize it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:24 PM

And Star, just to highlight that for me this really is gender based, look at the fairly harsh advice I gave to MTTB. Her husband is cheating, and my advice was not "get tough and dump his butt". I asked her to look inside herself and decide whether she was capable of meeting his need for SF. I encouraged her to work toward a mutually fulfilling marriage.

I am not anti-marriage. If a guy showed up here and I thought what he needed to do was Plan A, I would suggest that. As I said, the reason for my advice being one sided toward men is that we keep getting men facing the same issue. Not surprising, since that is the type of guy more likely to seek a solution on an internet discussion forum.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Originally Posted By: star*fish
It's hard to know when "excessively bashed" will have a good outcome or not. It can also be seen as "kicking somebody when they're down". Maybe a guy who just got his balls cut off isn't ready to be bashed right after that. But seems to me...he's the one who has the right to decide that. If he's says outright..."stop it"...then I think we have to respect that too.


I agree with the second point, not so much with the first. I think this is the core of where gender differences come into play. I think your concern over excessive bashing is misplaced.


I agree with this.

I can see a time and place for "kinder, gentler", like when dealing with survivors of sexual assault. But starting in grad school, I've been in a predominately male environment. That is changing in recent years, but for years the only women I would talk to for months would be waitresses if I went out to eat. And I've tried to attest to the fact that there is a time and place for a "more challenging" atmosphere as well.

I deal a lot with high school teachers, and most of my male teachers are also coaches. I've seen how football coaches treat their players. I may not agree with it, but I'm not going to say that whole culture is wrong. If it isn't illegal, and participation is voluntary, and people attest to the fact that it is acceptable, I will accept it.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
jayne,

Quote:
I can see why he might say that. In reading your reply, I got the impression that every point he made was being countered, parried, not accepted as a valid viewpoint with a goal of seeking a solution. As a wife, if my H parried every complaint I mentioned that way, I would feel very minimized, unheard, frustrated. I would react by shutting down, not continuing to try to engage.


Hmmmm....but this is someone who is advocating a very "in your face" style. Comparatively, I thought I was very respectful. I did address every point...because I honestly thought they were all important. I wanted him to know I was really paying attention. I validated his perspective many times along with presenting a different perspective.

I doubt that myrev is that fragile...he would consider it wimpy, but if he is...that would would be counter to the very argument he is making. He wants guys to challenge other guys who come here...in the strongest way possible, and yet you're suggesting that this very civil discussion would wound him and make him "shut down". I do believe he's frustrated, and I'm sorry about that, but he can hardly fight for a hardline if he wants kid gloves.



Now it's my turn to say you've misunderstood. I wasn't at all saying MyRev was fragile. I was just trying to point out that IMHO there was a lot more dismissing than validation, and that it wasn't conducive to furthering the discussion unless the person felt like responding adversarially. Given the history, I can understand why MyRev might decide not to continue the conversation.

A person might very well be able to hold his own in a barroom brawl with his peers. That doesn't mean he should respond in kind to a police officer. It would just be stupid to say anything other than "yes sir" and "no sir" to the police who show up. ETA: That would go double for speaking to the judge.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:46 PM

I just don't see any kind of solution that would have rules that apply when we need them, but just sort of disintegrate when we don't.

I mean if you want to create a supportive educational environment, allowing name calling and emasculating language and badgering is NOT going to create that environment. And if you allow it for some things, you can't enforce the rules to stop it when it needs to be stopped.

I'll give you a for instance. If when I turned up here and started reading, the forums had been filled with hateful speech, and name calling and badgering folks to "toughen up" and "kick em to the curb" I would never have posted at all. I wouldn't have felt like I'd come to the right place to support my desire to save my relationship, I wouldn't have felt safe, and I wouldn't have felt like there was anything here for me to learn.

I think most folks who come here read a bit before they post, so it's important that what they read is representing the kind of community with the kind of goals and values we want to have.

If a forum just for hardliners isn't good enough, then what solution is going to work without subverting the rules to the point where they are worthless?
Posted By: Rich57

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I think it is almost impossible for our bashing a "too soft" BH to be "excessive". Unless and until he turns around and gets angry and starts posting "hey, you guys are out of line, I will not tolerate being addressd in that tone", he is doomed.

So you are saying that he needs to Punch them in the nose.

I dont think if you Punched the hardliners in the nose that would accomplish anything except getting charged with assault.

I do see the logic of your post and I wonder if we need some other mechanism to let someone know that bullying is not great advice.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
I just don't see any kind of solution that would have rules that apply when we need them, but just sort of disintegrate when we don't.


Which is precisely why a separate section was proposed.

Quote:

I mean if you want to create a supportive educational environment, allowing name calling and emasculating language and badgering is NOT going to create that environment. And if you allow it for some things, you can't enforce the rules to stop it when it needs to be stopped.

I'll give you a for instance. If when I turned up here and started reading, the forums had been filled with hateful speech, and name calling and badgering folks to "toughen up" and "kick em to the curb" I would never have posted at all. I wouldn't have felt like I'd come to the right place to support my desire to save my relationship, I wouldn't have felt safe, and I wouldn't have felt like there was anything here for me to learn.

I think most folks who come here read a bit before they post, so it's important that what they read is representing the kind of community with the kind of goals and values we want to have.

If a forum just for hardliners isn't good enough, then what solution is going to work without subverting the rules to the point where they are worthless?


But there isn't a separate forum just for hardliners. The EiE forum is for anyone to post, and the posts are held to the exact same standards as the main part of the forums.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 02:54 PM

I thought they were offered a forum just for them and they didn't want it?

Maybe I misread...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Rich57
So you are saying that he needs to Punch them in the nose.


No, BH does not need to punch hardliners in the nose. He just needs to say to them "knock it off" in the same calm but forceful tone that we hope he uses to tell his wife "I do not share my wife with other men".

Originally Posted By: Rich57
I wonder if we need some other mechanism to let someone know that bullying is not great advice


The key is how you define "bullying". I am suggesting that language and tone that appear to Star* to be bullying in all cases (and which I would agree would be bullying if directed toward most female posters) should not be seen as bullying when directed toward a "too soft" BH.

Imagine the BH as a turtle pulled into his shell. If our basic stance is to stroke his shell gently and reduce the level of noise to try to coax him out of his shell, we aren't preparing him for life outside the forum. His WS wife isn't likely to create a safe haven for him at home, and if he moves out to seek quiet and safety, he is likely to destroy his chance for custody over his kids. Very different than the dynamic for a female. So for a "too soft" guy, whether he likes it or not, his only real chance for (i) recovery, (ii) self-respect, and (iii) custody over his kids is to learn to tolerate conflict. To learn to defend himself from attack. And to keep his head in the midst of fighting. I wish it were otherwise, but it isn't.

This is another area where, as Star* suggests, my personal experience colors things. I don't do calm, cool and collected well. Probably why I chose to be an intellectual tax lawyer who sits in his office researching arcane tax law issues and writing memos. Because I did not like the me who comes out during conflict. I was afraid I would hurt people when I became "loud me".

When I was younger, I used to try to fight my nature, and stay calm during conflict. But I found myself being a pushover. Now, when I attempt to be reasonable and I see the other side is trying to take advantage, I let myself become belligerent. I don't try to stop myself from raising my voice. Because I have learned I protect my clients best when I let the loud me out.

So that colors my advice to BHs. If they seem to me to be too quiet and too passive and not forceful enough in protecting themselves against intolerable behavior from their wife, then I conclude they don't do "calm, cool and collected" well (because they are too wimpy), and my instinct is to get them angry enough and see if I can get their inner Hulk to come out.

Like I said, I don't find that effective with women, and I don't think it is necessary with guys who have no difficulty defending themselves. But for guys who are being trampled, and don't know how to get out of the way, this may be what they need.

Especially in our PC culture where many men are taught to fear their own anger. To be ashamed of getting angry. OK, maybe when your wife drops a dish and breaks it, anger is not helpful. But when she is having sex with another man, anger is a reasonable and appropriate reaction. When someone is threatening your children's well-being, you are supposed to get angry. When a guy appears to not be angry at all, I worry that he is so afraid of his anger he won't allow himself to feel his true feelings. And a guy who won't allow himself to feel angry when his wife is cheating is never going to be sufficiently integrated to succeed in life.
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
I thought they were offered a forum just for them and they didn't want it?

Maybe I misread...


Here's what star* said:

Originally Posted By: star*fish

We've knocked around ideas for a hardline forum. I had visions of something like the TD where there's a minimum of moderation (or moderation by men), but I've had trouble selling it. The reason is because the hardline advice often deteriorates to personal attacks so quickly, and that's a big issue. "Manly" often gets confused with insulting. Also, because we're a marriage advocacy site and the hardline advice is almost always divorce-centric..it poses a problem for our mission. I wonder if we did a similar posting rule...like the 25 posts to get into the TD...so that at least a short time was reserved for the possibility that a marriage can be saved...if that would help.

The other problem that arose was that some of y'all felt as though if we had a separate board for the hardline advice...one that a poster would enter voluntarily, that it would be too limiting and give you guys even less freedom to post. It was viewed as some kind of trickery to "contain" you all somewhere...though it was no such thing. Y'all didn't want to be restricted to one corner of the forum, and so we tried the next best thing.


So, the PTB had difficulties agreeing to set up a section that would hardline advice without having it turn into personal attacks, which is of course subject to interpretation. One person's "personal attack" *IS* another person's last-down motivational speech.

And it would appear the folks the PTB were offering the separate section to were concerned that it would mean they would be limited to posting only in that section. IMHO, rightly so, based on other things that have been said.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: MyRevelation
Originally Posted By: star*fish
Are you going to take your ball and go home?


Just to be clear ... it's your ball and your rules ... always has been. I just got reminded of that.

... and to be honest, it is better for me to step away from this discussion right now, as I'm very pissed at myself for spending this amount of time and emotional energy on this thread.


It was time for me to step away from the discussion yesterday after the change in direction this thread took.

This discussion is disappointing, but not unexpected. Once again, this issue seems to fall squarely along "colored name" vs. non-colored name lines, with one side either dismissing the other or taking cover behind the TOS, while the other side tries to point out the unworkability of the current TOS for BH/WW scenarios.

Star* ... I've got to be straight with you here. I don't appreciate how I was treated here yesterday, and decided to walk away rather than escalate. We were having (what I thought was) a good faith exchange of the differences in perceptions/attitudes between the genders, but as soon as it got the least bit controversial, your whole tone changed and the shields went up immediately and the good faith exchange of ideas ceased.

Relative to this topic, it appears I'm not the only one who sees a disconnect between MA's words vs. actions, and that is troublesome on a basic level for those of us with way too much experience dealing with words vs. actions.

This was one of the best discussions this forum has seen in months, if not longer, and it is a shame that the administration has chosen to completely discount the good faith opinions and input of those who have spent so much time and shared so much on MA. Again, disappointing, but not unexpected, which is why I got upset with myself and stepped away.

Based on the turn this thread has taken, I'm sure my comments will be summarily dismissed as the unfounded opinions of an angry BH, and if so ... so be it ... I defended a personal boundary and will accept any consequences you see fit, as we've already established it's your ball and your rules.

I will make one final good faith request ... PLEASE take a big step back and look at the direction this path is leading and see if it doesn't look familiar to you?
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 03:47 PM

MyRev, is your thinking that there should be a different TOS for the betrayed husband context, or that the TOS as a whole should be loosened to allow more, shall we say, colorful exchanges?

I'm sincerely curious. I've never really understood what the issue is. I got tagged once for "personal attack," an assessment with which I disagreed. I don't notify and I don't appeal, but in a conversation later it was suggested I use my fairly extensive vocabulary rather than calling someone a jerk. Since I tell my kids that all the time, I couldn't disagree.

But my sense is that the issue is more than just choice of language. Is that correct?
Posted By: Jayne241

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 04:09 PM

Would you talk to someone who had recently been a victim of sexual assault the same way you'd talk to your son if he was about to give up on Mt. Everest?






ETA: Maybe that's the approach that can best convey it to women. If I understand correctly, the goal *is* to trigger an adrenaline response.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
MyRev, is your thinking that there should be a different TOS for the betrayed husband context, or that the TOS as a whole should be loosened to allow more, shall we say, colorful exchanges?


I suppose the latter, but not really.

True, I view MA TOS as overly restrictive (moreso than any other forum I've ever visited). However, my real issue today is being told by Star* that she recognizes the gender differences, and basically agrees with my perceptions, right up to the point to when someone actually suggests posting to a BH in a manner that the feminine PTB continue to find objectionable for purely subjective reasons contrary to what they just said.

Basically, MA "says" they understand that men talk to other men differently than women do each other, but the feminine PTB are offended by it, so men won't be allowed under the TOS to talk to men, like we've talked to each other for centuries.
Posted By: SFB

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 05:36 PM

MyRev:

You posted this:
Originally Posted By: MyRev
Basically, MA "says" they understand that men talk to other men differently than women do each other, but the feminine PTB are offended by it, so men won't be allowed under the TOS to talk to men, like we've talked to each other for centuries.


Yes, and this is one of the "colored" people talking....

I see the actions the Mods have to take after someone notifies on someone, for whatever reason. They do not take it lightly. There are more notifies then there are flags...

If you can't find a way, to say what you have to say, within TOS, around here, that isn't our fault.

Sorry, I have to talk to you like a man now.

I spent 4 years in the military. I do NOT have to call you an A$$hole to get you to pay attention. It is a device used by men to get attention. "Hey!, A$$hole!, get diggin that ditch/foxhole/whatever" It is also used to try to create greater awareness that there is problem to be addressed. "Hey!, A$$hole, STOP THAT LEAK!"

But, in the forum, it doesn't have to be used. You are typing. Type it, then mod it to fit TOS. Pretty straight forward.

I thought that *fish was very polite in her responses to you, and I was pleased that you really took an effort to respond, thoughtfully, to her posts/questions/comments.

Somehow, that ends up being treated as if she discounted everything. And muzzled you.

Where is your strong male voice that you so strongly advocate with go when challenged by Mrs *fish?

Becasue those "strong" arguments just DO NOT hold up after awhile and upon inspection.

Sorry, you are just not allowed the post something rude and walk away and think that its ok. That is what is wanted, and it ain't gonna happen.

The "Core Value" of MA is that we are "Marriage Advocates" and we are going to bias towards advice that recovers a marriage, from whatever trauma it may have suffered. After reading thousands of threads, I like to think I can guess whether a M is going to recover from those trauma's on the posters first couple of posts. But that is a presumption on my part, and does a HUGE dis-service to what the poster may need from me/this forum going forward.

And BTW, I think Kentucky basketball sucks.

SFB
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
CR,

Quote:
I read this as saying that people were given harsher penalties or otherwise encouraged to go away because they were doing things off of the board (which TOS says we should not consider). This is what I suspected and is not really a surprise - I agree that at some point enough is enough. The issue that I have - and that I think a few others hear share - is that other posters who were causing problems in PMs or off-board to MA members, but possibly not to the BOD, were given essentially a free pass. This is what causes the perception that the hardline advocates were treated differently.


I said "not visible" (to the normal poster)...not "off board". What was off board was off board...period. Nobody was penalized for any of that.


Thank you for clarifying. I was shocked at what it seemed like you were saying.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 06:27 PM

Makes me wish I was a straw broker.

Such a person could get rich around here providing the raw materials used to defend MA's position on this issue. ROFL
Posted By: SFB

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 07:15 PM

Originally Posted By: MyRevelation
Makes me wish I was a straw broker.

Such a person could get rich around here providing the raw materials used to defend MA's position on this issue. ROFL


Are you looking for: Acceptance? Approval? Understanding?

What are you looking for?

Because I see ALOT more straw being stuffed around here by others than I do with the staff of MA.

The mere fact that we can talk about it openly on MA is testimony to HOW this place is different. (BTW, that is another "Core value" of MA)

NOBODY as of yet, has ever been banned permenantly from MA. There may have been long term PB attendees, but that was for clearly defined serious (not a mean post, for example)violations of TOS. However, among several of that group, many have been booted out of other places. So, maybe the problem isn't here, maybe is that we let them back out?

Several, if not a number, have taken the attitude, well if I can't post, I won't, and that's OK. That is thier choice.

You SO want to help. That's why you keep coming back. And its the only game in town left.

And you even get to complain about it, and we try to listen and understand. And don't think that things haven't moved because of some of these complaints, because they have.

But its NEVER going to be a free for all.

SFB
Posted By: Mark1952

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 07:21 PM

I think a lot of this is missing the point.

If we begin with the assumption that any of us actually knows what is the right course of action for someone seeking help, then we might construct all sorts of reasons why our advice is critical to their situation. I find, however, that such an assumption assumes much more than that in most cases. Not insignificant to me, is the assumption must first be made that we actually know enough about their situation to be able to make that determination.

Another assumption I think we too easily make is that we must somehow get a person to act in the way we feel might be best, whether that actually is what is best for them being left out of it. This, too, I find a bit of a stretch at times.

If y'all look back at my earlier post in this thread, I attempted to use the idea of core values to suggest ways we might actually help. Maybe I just didn't make my point very well. Nobody has picked up on that yet, but let me try to bring those concepts of core values and core beliefs into this discussion.

When people are struggling to resolve long held beliefs and define their personal values to fit some new reality that seems to contradict what they have always just assumed to be true, they are in a personal crisis. That crisis lasts and long as they suffer that contradiction between what they believe and what they are experiencing. During this time, anything they do must fit their core values and beliefs, even if that does not actually fit their current conditions very well. It isn't that they don't want to act in ways that might help themselves, merely that they must first find a way for what they will do to not cause more internal conflict with what they hold as truth - their core values and beliefs.

How emphatically, forcefully or sincerely we try to get them to act before they resolve this internal struggle is pointless and accomplishes very little except for one thing. When a person's core values are being challenged, they feel threatened at a personal level and that is exactly why they are so lost and looking for answers to begin with. It is that what they believe is not fitting with what they are experiencing that causes them to be in crisis and that crisis is what causes them to become non-actors until that conflict within themselves is resolved. To act in contradiction to what you believe is not something people do willingly, even if it might actually be the best thing for themselves, even in the short term as well as the long term.

So any time any of us try to get someone to do anything at all that they are not willing to try because they don't believe it is right, based on their core values and beliefs, no matter what we do to try to get them to act will be experienced as a threat. Any threat will result in certain behaviors that are well known. Men tend to be trigger3ed to fight to defend themselves. In this case, what they are defending is what they believe, their core values. This makes convincing them to act contrary to those core values even more difficult. It isn't just a matter of delivery at this point, it is that we simply can't act in contradiction to our core values without it causing us the kind of stress we really can;t deal with when something else is even more stressful. We find ourselves in that cognitive dissonant state often mentioned at The Other Place, but seldom considered as part of how to go about helping someone who is afraid to act because to act means to deny what he or she believes.

The second possible reaction to feeling threatened is, of course, to flee from the threat. This is what many will do and both men and women will do it. The harder we push for a person to act without first resolving that conflict between core values and the action, the more likely they will just go away. They will either float along without any sort of plan to solve the crisis or they will seek out support for methods that match up with what they believe to be true.

A third possible reaction to feeling threatened is what Al refers to as freezing. This can manifest itself as changing the subject, pretending to go along with the suggestions or simply looking for other ways to blend in. If nobody notices me, nobody will attack me. If nobody sees me as being different, then no one will try to change me. Think about how this works in terms of the person who struggled against something at The Other Place for a long time who one day became the most ardent of supporters for that very idea. Some might have actually changed their core beliefs and now buy into it. I fear that many simply began to go along with the group in order to stop being thought of as a target. BTW, people feel they are being targeted without anyone actually even seeing them, but that is but another part of the crisis of cognitive dissonance.

Until a person can resolve this internal conflict, doing anything is going to be a stretch. Ultimately, if what we actually think they should do will actually benefit them in some way, the best we can hope for is to help resolve the conflict between what we think they can do and what we expect or want them to do. That means, that until they change what they believe, not much of what we tell them will even be seen as advice, let alone good advice. They have to think differently about it in order to do it and as long as our efforts are entirely focused on the doing part, they only become more entrenched in the way they think AND they become more defensive surrounding that part of what they believe.

This means that in order to get someone to act in opposition to what they believe, we must first find a way to get them to change what they think and believe to be true. If it were just a matter of not knowing what to do, getting them to act would be a matter of telling them what to do and helping them implement our advice. But that isn't what prevents them from acting. It is that their core values have been blown apart and must be rebuilt and tested in order to understand and accept what is happening in their lives. Their reality doesn't fit what they believe any more and that means that their core values are invalid or the reality is not real.

Some begin by testing the reality and dropping what they believe until some leaner and more functional set of values remains. These people are the first to be willing to act and learn new things as values. Others will try to resolve each conflict between core values and reality one at a time and seek explanation as to how the reality fits the core values structure they believe. These folks are less likely to be ready to change what they believe right away and will exhaust every possible explanation that lets their core beliefs remain as they were.

Now, assuming we actually believe that we should try to change someone else to think and believe differently than they do, that might be the only way we can actually get someone resistant to acting based on a contradiction with their core values stopping them from taking that action. This requires first convincing them that their core values are in error or that their core values allow for what we suggest that they do. We have to understand them first and know why they are reluctant in order to know how we can encourage them to act.

The process for this can seem daunting at first and might seem like it is impossible when in a crisis. Yet the crisis is resolved, once the core values and reality match so this might be one of the biggest steps to resoltuion of the crisis for most. The process is related to the two parts of helping someone change and grow. Growth is uncomfortable and if we are comfortable, we aren't growing, just standing still. So the trick is to get someone to stop feeling comfortable and do what makes him or her uncomfortable.

The first part is what women are good at. That is validation. Actually, like almost everything except for physical differences, the range among men or women in most ares is greater than the mean difference between the sexes. This means that some men are better at validation than some women and some women are not as good at validating as some of the men but women, by and large are better at it than most men. The differences between men and women however, are not so significant that either group is the antithesis or counter to the other. This is part of where the gender difference argument misses the mark entirely.

Men are usually better at the other half of the equation, that is, empowerment. Empowerment is little more than helping someone change and applies to what they know, what they believe and what they do. In order to change, a person, whether man or women, needs to be empowered or they remain stuck and incapable of action. The default is inaction. This is not dependent on which sex the person is. Men and women both need empowerment to act on their own. Until they feel empowered, they will not act at all or act according to old values and old habits.

The problem arises because men ad women also both need validation in order to be open to understanding what to do or what we are telling them to do. Without validation any challenge to their core values is seen as a threat and they return to that instinctive reaction to threat model. It isn't unless we try harder that they stay stuck at this point but more that until they feel understood, not much effort will be focused on understanding what we suggest to them.

The two parts of the equation are validation and empowerment. Men tend to validate less and empower more while women validate more and empower less. The actual problem is that men validate too little while women empower too little. It isn't that men empower too much or that women validate too much. The difference is that neither does both equally well and is short in one category or the other. Current training models for counselors include a shift in practices to encourage women to empower more and men to validate more. Most men are more reluctant to m,ake the shift and is why so much work is showing up encouraging validation. Validation isn't the solution, BTW, it is part of the solution. Both validation and empowerment are necessary in order to get someone to change what they think, say or are willing to do.

Now it might at first appear that men can empower without bothering to validate while women can validate all they want and let the men deal with empowerment. This only works when the man and woman work as a team and both validation and empowerment lead to the same places. Who is being helped has almost no bearing on which part is required. Men and women both need to feel understood before being willing to try to understand why what is being suggested is the best choice for them. The sex of the hearer doesn't matter and the sex of the one validating doesn't matter even a little. They must feel validated in order to permit empowerment. If they feel threatened they turn defensive, more entrenched or simply go where they feel welcomed in spite of being an emotional mess.

So while men and women both must be challenged to make a change, neither has the monopoly on refusing to change. The motivation each requires might differ but isn't always gender specific. Before men or women can even consider the argument to change, both must feel understood and that is the point of validation. Simply focusing on empowerment while letting someone else validate takes a really long time and really only works when coordinated between the advice givers, because the road to the right to empowering someone leads through validation as to what makes them open to advice.

The military training idea already mentioned works for both men and women and spends no time at all on validation but isn't meant to help anyone. It has as its main purpose breaking the individual will of the recruits and building a team first mentality that allows all decisions to be made by someone up the food chain who might understand the reasons better for doing something without having the time to explain it all. The point of boot camp is for the person to stop being their own person entirely and submit his or her will to that of the folks in charge. It does not apply to helping people here because nobody has signed up to become part of our army. They are free to leave any time they want to and that means that if they don't feel accepted, they will leave, though some seem intent upon complaining about not being accepted rather than leave. BTW, nobody who has contributed to this dialog comes to mind as my first choice as to who fits this category. This motivation for change might work in the military, in business or in daily home life, at least on the surface. But people tend to go where they feel safe, understood and accepted for who and what they are. The "my way or the highway" deal is part of the shift that occurred at The Other Place that brought so many of us here, though many more simply stopped trying or found other places more in line with their values and beliefs. There is a reason why refusal to follow orders on the field of battle is subject to execution on the spot under certain circumstances. Execution does not allow for anyone to change at all.

The argument that not liking what we say being the other person;s problem is likely here. We offer the advice we like and what anyone thinks doesn't matter. We can;t make someone like it or us and so if they leave, that is on them. But this assumes a couple of things, one of which is that that they left in spite of us being right and that means we were right to begin with and might be an assumption of the highest order most of the time.

This also assumes something else I would like folks to consider. If the point is to offer specific advice as being acceptable, isn't that what most of us were fleeing when we came here? What the advice might be really doesn't matter here. If we have advice that we offer and only accepting that advice is the path to acceptance, then how, exactly, are we any different than some other place where only one sort of advice is allowed? Making someone feel so uncomfortable that they leave is a strategy, not to help them, but to drive away conflicting ideas. If the point is to help people and maybe as many people as possible, then driving them away because they don't like our advice doesn't seem to fit very well.

Consider too that being free to give any specific or general advice, does not preclude others being able to give their own. Conflicts exist between strategies and methods and some cannot be reconciled. If you believe you are right, then you might need to prove you are right. The problem is that it is much simpler for most of us to prove that someone else is wrong that to explain why we are right. In fact, we know that we don't have to prove anything at all if we can drive away those who oppose us. But being free to express our own opinion is not the same as suppressing those of others and who is in charge or which way they might lean isn't actually the point.

I have to tell you that many times I am pretty sure that I might offer some real help to someone but the whole thread is simply going in another direction. Sometimes I might watch for a while to see if an opportunity to suggest a change in direction might appear. Most often, the opportunity never shows itself until it is much too late. What I might have suggested might have made a difference but if the person is already headlong down the path that contradicts that, most of what I can offer will be met with proof from others that my advice is wrong. It seems most of us are unwilling to allow for our own advice to be incorrect more often than we might even consider in the process.

Here's the problem with inclusion as a way of life. If we wish to include all other possible points of view, then we must allow those other points of view to be freely expressed. While I get that delivery is part of the equation here, unless the delivery is dependent on something other than where everyone participates, the delivery might actually hurt our ability to help if it causes someone to run off or become resistant to change because they feel threatened. The EiE forum might be the least understood forum of all because most see hardline vs doormat as the basis for some sort of conflict when those are not the poles of a continuum at all. Hardline is often valid while I think doormat never is. But hard line doesn't necessitate that you stop being agreeable, even caring. It also does not demand that punishment be enacted in response to every injustice or hurt feelings.

My own situation might have resolved itself in record time. Once confronted, she never again saw OM in person, though phone calls were frequent and longer in duration after confrontation. Her first declaration was that she wanted a divorce. My core values told me that this was her opening argument to keep the affair by threatening me with divorce. I believed this because I had read it and seen it play out in the stories of others. It wasn't part of a plan or book but an observation I made reading what others experienced. and some suggested it might be the case without even directly saying it to me.

So my strategy was to demonstrate daily that I might be the man of her dreams while also confronting the affair. It meant I had to stop myself from trying to punish her and that I ha to actually look at what I might have been doing that was counter to her wanting to be married to me. I was actually pretty lucky because our marriage wasn't as lopsided or screwed up as many might assume in these instances. My main issue was that I tended to let my anger build and then show itself in a burst rather than speak up and deal with stuff as those things happened. I was more of a doormat most of the time and then because a bear when my limit was reached. Had I beat my chest and demanded she submit to my demands at once, we'd have been done whether OM ended up with her or not. I know this is true because she has told me this to be true, and not in the heat of battle during that time, but much later, in fact while she spoke to one of our classes we have taught.

\But I was not willing to share her with OM. That presented a problem for me. As you can see from this missive, taking the time to make my point is not something I shy away from very much. So I made my point for about six weeks and then I made the choice she seemed unwilling to make. She wanted OM and keep me around. I wanted her to pick me and get rid of OM. She would not decide, so I literally threw her clothes onto the lawn and told her to leave unless she gave up OM. She began saying divorce, shifted to keeping OM but not divorcing and found herself having to give up OM or being divorced.

For those trying to force this day of reckoning, I must tell you that it was a process rather than an event. My dual strategy of confronting the affair when I could do it rationally or by just refusing to accept her rationalizations for it while showing her what kind of husband she would be losing if we divorced was a specific effort I had settled upon. My final act was the deciding for her but it was something that was part of the deal from the beginning.

BTW, like her threat of divorce was really a way to pressure me to let her keep OM in her life, my throwing her out was not at first my final offer either. Having already figured out how to quickly separate finances, protect any assets and stop trying to chase her down at all and see how long it took me to give up entirely was another piece of my plan to save my marriage. I did not do it to punish her as much as to prevent me from hating her so much I wanted to beat her senseless. The thing is, I was actually willing to stop chasing her down and let things run as they would until some future date when I might be more willing to just give up and move on. Maybe my age matters here because a year is not that much of my life and since we had 33 years invested in the marriage at the time, another year or so wasn't that big of a deal to me. No part of my plan by then was to do anything and see how she reacted. By then, my plan was to do certain things that should result in her wanting to fix the marriage instead of end it and would make her be willing to give up OM in order to do it. It was a plan and not just a bunch of random things I would try and then try something else without ever knowing why I did the first one to begin with.

In the end, she tells people that she decided to stay and work things out. I tell people that I gave her a reason to stay and work things out. I think we are both right.

Just so you know, I tried to build this single post through all the stages and processes I think apply around here. I tried to use validation as a precursor to empowerment and used alternate explanations in response to specific criticism. I probably offended almost everyone and might have made friends among the same folks along the way. My point is that none of us has a monopoly on truth or good advice. Even context doesn't always suggest one path over another very often. Hardline and being an ass aren't the same things and being frank, even invoking anger for a purpose are not likely to get someone to act in a way they can't accept because they don't feel accepted. When I started my journey, I read everything everywhere. Most don't and have no clue what to expect.

The hurting need to know we care and understand how they feel before they are willing to let us change the way they think and process stuff. Women validate better and so end up being the default advisers as even men resist the men pushing for change they haven't come to grips with yet. To become the go to resource for someone requires building a relationship first so they are willing to look at your advice at all. It isn't fast, doesn't lead to immediate action and takes more time than most of us are really willing to invest. The one sentence, SMS style of doing this stuff annoys me no end because it actually takes longer to reach some sort of connection with a poster that allows them to listen to me enough to get my message across in a single post.

And maybe we all need to be reminded from time to time that doing nothing is usually better than what most of us end up doing when this stuff happens. We do very little that makes it better and a lot that makes it harder and worse. Since most first advice is centered around learning to stop pursuing, taking the time to get that right first might be the best advice of all. The one time offer might resolve the crisis very quickly as to content, but until a person is ready to actually do that, not much convincing will lead them to that choice. Making them feel enough shame to do it rather than acting from their core values won't make them do it any sooner.

And just so people understand my point, men might empower each other differently than women might, but making men feel shame seldom actually helps them change anything very much. They may submit temporarily, but will eventually rebel or simply seek escape. Nobody is motivated for real change by shame. Guilt maybe, but shame does not change people for the better, only for the worse. In fact, enough shame prevents action rather than promoting it because it removes hope for the future by staying stuck in the past. Most guys who even show up are already drowning in shame. Before we can get them to act from integrity, we have to help them find that part of themselves again and for some, maybe for the first time in their lives. As much as we might know they should do anything at all, until they are open to what we say, we won;t be able to mo9tivate or empower them at all. Unfortunately this means taking the time to validate them and build some sort of trust with them first (remember that trust is maybe a HUGE deal for most at this moment).

It also helps if we all realize that not much of this is such a bright line deal that only one choice is an option. That is the real cookie cutter deal right there, that only one solution is possible. This isn't a math problem with a single and simple to define answer. It is a complex and intertwined bunch of problems that can only even be examined for an answer once clearly defined. The best or easiest or most likely to succeed in what the person wants are not always the same things and how the problem is defined, by them and by us as advice givers, determines what the best course of action might be. They set the table and we apply our own point of view to come up with advice. Most often we miss the clues as to what might actually matter by focusing on the wrong part of the deal. We define it as men and women, in power and not in power, left and right, liberal and conservative, educated and uneducated, mature and acting like a kid. As time goes on we deteriorate even more and the terms become more insulting or more polarizing and we become even more determined to win than to help someone find their own solutions to a problem only caused by their circumstances but not being the circumstances itself. The crisis remains even after the circumstances have changed and that part takes a long time for many to come to grips with.

There might be clear differences as to what advice works best in certain situations. What works to save a marriage from an exit affair might be more investment than the marriage is worth for most and an intimacy avoidance affair might require a different strategy than a parallel lives affair. What I have a hard time with is that we all scream about cookie cutters but forget that ending up with cookies requires following a recipe that yields cookies and not cakes or mashed potatoes. I might prefer mashed potatoes enough to try to convince someone to not make cookies at all, but if they still want cookies making they feel ashamed for wanting to make them still isn't likely to convert them to mashed potatoes.

Most people come here broken. Breaking them further to get them to act is not merely breaking them down, but having to then build them back up so they can act. That's the problem we face with empowerment alone. It tells them what to do but never gives them the ability to do it. In fact, removing their power to choose what to do (or appearing to be doing that) makes them even more hesitant to act the way we wish they would. The harder push, upping the stakes kind of motivation works with people already in the game and does not make them change from soccer to real football no matter how hard we try. It is self defeating as a motivation because it causes them to tune us out.

And I took so long doing this so I would say it in one place, because like the parts of an affair and dealing with one, stuff interconnects and is interrelated in ways that aren't always so obvious and even when they are seen as connected, the connection isn't always what we assume it to be.

A final point, and I am done with his for today...

Saying "Man up and act." is not the same as telling someone, "If you don't act, then you are not a man (or less of a man or not a real man or not a good man or whatever flips your switch.) Empowerment and validation are not opposite extremes of a scale from one to the other. They are parts of the same process of motivating for change and growth. The opposite of empowerment is not validation, it is developing dependence and codependence. The opposite of validation is invalidation. You don't need to invalidate in order to empower and you don't need to coddle in order to validate. You actually help more people by helping them grow than by convincing them to do what you believe is right.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 08:17 PM

SFB,

Right after D-Day, 6+ years ago, I adopted the name MyRevelation to use on MB. From D-Day for the next several days, I read everything I could find on the subject of infidelity and during that time, I ran across an article that contained The Serenity Prayer ... remember:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.


... and as strange as it may seem, that was My Revelation. I understood that the ONLY person I had any control over was ME. I threw myself into the 180 model and reconnected with the person I used to be that I liked a lot better than the person looking back at me in the mirror. I understood that I was going to be OK, regardless of what happened. I was just fine before I was M'd, and I'd be just fine if I found myself UN-M'd again.

Well, this just may be another "MyRev" moment. I have no ability to change MA, and I'm not comfortable sharing my experiences, if I have to water it down to comply with "someone else's" version of what they think MyRev should be.

Kudos to Hold for the way he articulated this issue. He said what needed to be said better than I have been able, and if his words and experiences are so easily dismissed, then we've made it full circle in this thread back to one of the original "core values" of MA being discussed ... DENIAL of the obvious.

While the "colored" ones continue to deny, deny, DENY the points being expressed by the others, I'm reminded of what we often tell a newly betrayed spouse that is apprehensive over whether they have enough evidence to confront the wayward spouse ... "The ONLY person you have to convince is yourself. They already know what they're doing whether they admit it or not, and that fact doesn't change what you need to do".
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 09:41 PM

No offense, but could you post this in bullet form in a quad chart? wink

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
I think a lot of this is missing the point.

If we begin with the assumption that any of us actually knows what is the right course of action for someone seeking help, then we might construct all sorts of reasons why our advice is critical to their situation. I find, however, that such an assumption assumes much more than that in most cases. Not insignificant to me, is the assumption must first be made that we actually know enough about their situation to be able to make that determination.

Another assumption I think we too easily make is that we must somehow get a person to act in the way we feel might be best, whether that actually is what is best for them being left out of it. This, too, I find a bit of a stretch at times.

If y'all look back at my earlier post in this thread, I attempted to use the idea of core values to suggest ways we might actually help. Maybe I just didn't make my point very well. Nobody has picked up on that yet, but let me try to bring those concepts of core values and core beliefs into this discussion.

When people are struggling to resolve long held beliefs and define their personal values to fit some new reality that seems to contradict what they have always just assumed to be true, they are in a personal crisis. That crisis lasts and long as they suffer that contradiction between what they believe and what they are experiencing. During this time, anything they do must fit their core values and beliefs, even if that does not actually fit their current conditions very well. It isn't that they don't want to act in ways that might help themselves, merely that they must first find a way for what they will do to not cause more internal conflict with what they hold as truth - their core values and beliefs.

How emphatically, forcefully or sincerely we try to get them to act before they resolve this internal struggle is pointless and accomplishes very little except for one thing. When a person's core values are being challenged, they feel threatened at a personal level and that is exactly why they are so lost and looking for answers to begin with. It is that what they believe is not fitting with what they are experiencing that causes them to be in crisis and that crisis is what causes them to become non-actors until that conflict within themselves is resolved. To act in contradiction to what you believe is not something people do willingly, even if it might actually be the best thing for themselves, even in the short term as well as the long term.

So any time any of us try to get someone to do anything at all that they are not willing to try because they don't believe it is right, based on their core values and beliefs, no matter what we do to try to get them to act will be experienced as a threat. Any threat will result in certain behaviors that are well known. Men tend to be trigger3ed to fight to defend themselves. In this case, what they are defending is what they believe, their core values. This makes convincing them to act contrary to those core values even more difficult. It isn't just a matter of delivery at this point, it is that we simply can't act in contradiction to our core values without it causing us the kind of stress we really can;t deal with when something else is even more stressful. We find ourselves in that cognitive dissonant state often mentioned at The Other Place, but seldom considered as part of how to go about helping someone who is afraid to act because to act means to deny what he or she believes.

The second possible reaction to feeling threatened is, of course, to flee from the threat. This is what many will do and both men and women will do it. The harder we push for a person to act without first resolving that conflict between core values and the action, the more likely they will just go away. They will either float along without any sort of plan to solve the crisis or they will seek out support for methods that match up with what they believe to be true.

A third possible reaction to feeling threatened is what Al refers to as freezing. This can manifest itself as changing the subject, pretending to go along with the suggestions or simply looking for other ways to blend in. If nobody notices me, nobody will attack me. If nobody sees me as being different, then no one will try to change me. Think about how this works in terms of the person who struggled against something at The Other Place for a long time who one day became the most ardent of supporters for that very idea. Some might have actually changed their core beliefs and now buy into it. I fear that many simply began to go along with the group in order to stop being thought of as a target. BTW, people feel they are being targeted without anyone actually even seeing them, but that is but another part of the crisis of cognitive dissonance.

Until a person can resolve this internal conflict, doing anything is going to be a stretch. Ultimately, if what we actually think they should do will actually benefit them in some way, the best we can hope for is to help resolve the conflict between what we think they can do and what we expect or want them to do. That means, that until they change what they believe, not much of what we tell them will even be seen as advice, let alone good advice. They have to think differently about it in order to do it and as long as our efforts are entirely focused on the doing part, they only become more entrenched in the way they think AND they become more defensive surrounding that part of what they believe.

This means that in order to get someone to act in opposition to what they believe, we must first find a way to get them to change what they think and believe to be true. If it were just a matter of not knowing what to do, getting them to act would be a matter of telling them what to do and helping them implement our advice. But that isn't what prevents them from acting. It is that their core values have been blown apart and must be rebuilt and tested in order to understand and accept what is happening in their lives. Their reality doesn't fit what they believe any more and that means that their core values are invalid or the reality is not real.

Some begin by testing the reality and dropping what they believe until some leaner and more functional set of values remains. These people are the first to be willing to act and learn new things as values. Others will try to resolve each conflict between core values and reality one at a time and seek explanation as to how the reality fits the core values structure they believe. These folks are less likely to be ready to change what they believe right away and will exhaust every possible explanation that lets their core beliefs remain as they were.

Now, assuming we actually believe that we should try to change someone else to think and believe differently than they do, that might be the only way we can actually get someone resistant to acting based on a contradiction with their core values stopping them from taking that action. This requires first convincing them that their core values are in error or that their core values allow for what we suggest that they do. We have to understand them first and know why they are reluctant in order to know how we can encourage them to act.

The process for this can seem daunting at first and might seem like it is impossible when in a crisis. Yet the crisis is resolved, once the core values and reality match so this might be one of the biggest steps to resoltuion of the crisis for most. The process is related to the two parts of helping someone change and grow. Growth is uncomfortable and if we are comfortable, we aren't growing, just standing still. So the trick is to get someone to stop feeling comfortable and do what makes him or her uncomfortable.

The first part is what women are good at. That is validation. Actually, like almost everything except for physical differences, the range among men or women in most ares is greater than the mean difference between the sexes. This means that some men are better at validation than some women and some women are not as good at validating as some of the men but women, by and large are better at it than most men. The differences between men and women however, are not so significant that either group is the antithesis or counter to the other. This is part of where the gender difference argument misses the mark entirely.

Men are usually better at the other half of the equation, that is, empowerment. Empowerment is little more than helping someone change and applies to what they know, what they believe and what they do. In order to change, a person, whether man or women, needs to be empowered or they remain stuck and incapable of action. The default is inaction. This is not dependent on which sex the person is. Men and women both need empowerment to act on their own. Until they feel empowered, they will not act at all or act according to old values and old habits.

The problem arises because men ad women also both need validation in order to be open to understanding what to do or what we are telling them to do. Without validation any challenge to their core values is seen as a threat and they return to that instinctive reaction to threat model. It isn't unless we try harder that they stay stuck at this point but more that until they feel understood, not much effort will be focused on understanding what we suggest to them.

The two parts of the equation are validation and empowerment. Men tend to validate less and empower more while women validate more and empower less. The actual problem is that men validate too little while women empower too little. It isn't that men empower too much or that women validate too much. The difference is that neither does both equally well and is short in one category or the other. Current training models for counselors include a shift in practices to encourage women to empower more and men to validate more. Most men are more reluctant to m,ake the shift and is why so much work is showing up encouraging validation. Validation isn't the solution, BTW, it is part of the solution. Both validation and empowerment are necessary in order to get someone to change what they think, say or are willing to do.

Now it might at first appear that men can empower without bothering to validate while women can validate all they want and let the men deal with empowerment. This only works when the man and woman work as a team and both validation and empowerment lead to the same places. Who is being helped has almost no bearing on which part is required. Men and women both need to feel understood before being willing to try to understand why what is being suggested is the best choice for them. The sex of the hearer doesn't matter and the sex of the one validating doesn't matter even a little. They must feel validated in order to permit empowerment. If they feel threatened they turn defensive, more entrenched or simply go where they feel welcomed in spite of being an emotional mess.

So while men and women both must be challenged to make a change, neither has the monopoly on refusing to change. The motivation each requires might differ but isn't always gender specific. Before men or women can even consider the argument to change, both must feel understood and that is the point of validation. Simply focusing on empowerment while letting someone else validate takes a really long time and really only works when coordinated between the advice givers, because the road to the right to empowering someone leads through validation as to what makes them open to advice.

The military training idea already mentioned works for both men and women and spends no time at all on validation but isn't meant to help anyone. It has as its main purpose breaking the individual will of the recruits and building a team first mentality that allows all decisions to be made by someone up the food chain who might understand the reasons better for doing something without having the time to explain it all. The point of boot camp is for the person to stop being their own person entirely and submit his or her will to that of the folks in charge. It does not apply to helping people here because nobody has signed up to become part of our army. They are free to leave any time they want to and that means that if they don't feel accepted, they will leave, though some seem intent upon complaining about not being accepted rather than leave. BTW, nobody who has contributed to this dialog comes to mind as my first choice as to who fits this category. This motivation for change might work in the military, in business or in daily home life, at least on the surface. But people tend to go where they feel safe, understood and accepted for who and what they are. The "my way or the highway" deal is part of the shift that occurred at The Other Place that brought so many of us here, though many more simply stopped trying or found other places more in line with their values and beliefs. There is a reason why refusal to follow orders on the field of battle is subject to execution on the spot under certain circumstances. Execution does not allow for anyone to change at all.

The argument that not liking what we say being the other person;s problem is likely here. We offer the advice we like and what anyone thinks doesn't matter. We can;t make someone like it or us and so if they leave, that is on them. But this assumes a couple of things, one of which is that that they left in spite of us being right and that means we were right to begin with and might be an assumption of the highest order most of the time.

This also assumes something else I would like folks to consider. If the point is to offer specific advice as being acceptable, isn't that what most of us were fleeing when we came here? What the advice might be really doesn't matter here. If we have advice that we offer and only accepting that advice is the path to acceptance, then how, exactly, are we any different than some other place where only one sort of advice is allowed? Making someone feel so uncomfortable that they leave is a strategy, not to help them, but to drive away conflicting ideas. If the point is to help people and maybe as many people as possible, then driving them away because they don't like our advice doesn't seem to fit very well.

Consider too that being free to give any specific or general advice, does not preclude others being able to give their own. Conflicts exist between strategies and methods and some cannot be reconciled. If you believe you are right, then you might need to prove you are right. The problem is that it is much simpler for most of us to prove that someone else is wrong that to explain why we are right. In fact, we know that we don't have to prove anything at all if we can drive away those who oppose us. But being free to express our own opinion is not the same as suppressing those of others and who is in charge or which way they might lean isn't actually the point.

I have to tell you that many times I am pretty sure that I might offer some real help to someone but the whole thread is simply going in another direction. Sometimes I might watch for a while to see if an opportunity to suggest a change in direction might appear. Most often, the opportunity never shows itself until it is much too late. What I might have suggested might have made a difference but if the person is already headlong down the path that contradicts that, most of what I can offer will be met with proof from others that my advice is wrong. It seems most of us are unwilling to allow for our own advice to be incorrect more often than we might even consider in the process.

Here's the problem with inclusion as a way of life. If we wish to include all other possible points of view, then we must allow those other points of view to be freely expressed. While I get that delivery is part of the equation here, unless the delivery is dependent on something other than where everyone participates, the delivery might actually hurt our ability to help if it causes someone to run off or become resistant to change because they feel threatened. The EiE forum might be the least understood forum of all because most see hardline vs doormat as the basis for some sort of conflict when those are not the poles of a continuum at all. Hardline is often valid while I think doormat never is. But hard line doesn't necessitate that you stop being agreeable, even caring. It also does not demand that punishment be enacted in response to every injustice or hurt feelings.

My own situation might have resolved itself in record time. Once confronted, she never again saw OM in person, though phone calls were frequent and longer in duration after confrontation. Her first declaration was that she wanted a divorce. My core values told me that this was her opening argument to keep the affair by threatening me with divorce. I believed this because I had read it and seen it play out in the stories of others. It wasn't part of a plan or book but an observation I made reading what others experienced. and some suggested it might be the case without even directly saying it to me.

So my strategy was to demonstrate daily that I might be the man of her dreams while also confronting the affair. It meant I had to stop myself from trying to punish her and that I ha to actually look at what I might have been doing that was counter to her wanting to be married to me. I was actually pretty lucky because our marriage wasn't as lopsided or screwed up as many might assume in these instances. My main issue was that I tended to let my anger build and then show itself in a burst rather than speak up and deal with stuff as those things happened. I was more of a doormat most of the time and then because a bear when my limit was reached. Had I beat my chest and demanded she submit to my demands at once, we'd have been done whether OM ended up with her or not. I know this is true because she has told me this to be true, and not in the heat of battle during that time, but much later, in fact while she spoke to one of our classes we have taught.

\But I was not willing to share her with OM. That presented a problem for me. As you can see from this missive, taking the time to make my point is not something I shy away from very much. So I made my point for about six weeks and then I made the choice she seemed unwilling to make. She wanted OM and keep me around. I wanted her to pick me and get rid of OM. She would not decide, so I literally threw her clothes onto the lawn and told her to leave unless she gave up OM. She began saying divorce, shifted to keeping OM but not divorcing and found herself having to give up OM or being divorced.

For those trying to force this day of reckoning, I must tell you that it was a process rather than an event. My dual strategy of confronting the affair when I could do it rationally or by just refusing to accept her rationalizations for it while showing her what kind of husband she would be losing if we divorced was a specific effort I had settled upon. My final act was the deciding for her but it was something that was part of the deal from the beginning.

BTW, like her threat of divorce was really a way to pressure me to let her keep OM in her life, my throwing her out was not at first my final offer either. Having already figured out how to quickly separate finances, protect any assets and stop trying to chase her down at all and see how long it took me to give up entirely was another piece of my plan to save my marriage. I did not do it to punish her as much as to prevent me from hating her so much I wanted to beat her senseless. The thing is, I was actually willing to stop chasing her down and let things run as they would until some future date when I might be more willing to just give up and move on. Maybe my age matters here because a year is not that much of my life and since we had 33 years invested in the marriage at the time, another year or so wasn't that big of a deal to me. No part of my plan by then was to do anything and see how she reacted. By then, my plan was to do certain things that should result in her wanting to fix the marriage instead of end it and would make her be willing to give up OM in order to do it. It was a plan and not just a bunch of random things I would try and then try something else without ever knowing why I did the first one to begin with.

In the end, she tells people that she decided to stay and work things out. I tell people that I gave her a reason to stay and work things out. I think we are both right.

Just so you know, I tried to build this single post through all the stages and processes I think apply around here. I tried to use validation as a precursor to empowerment and used alternate explanations in response to specific criticism. I probably offended almost everyone and might have made friends among the same folks along the way. My point is that none of us has a monopoly on truth or good advice. Even context doesn't always suggest one path over another very often. Hardline and being an ass aren't the same things and being frank, even invoking anger for a purpose are not likely to get someone to act in a way they can't accept because they don't feel accepted. When I started my journey, I read everything everywhere. Most don't and have no clue what to expect.

The hurting need to know we care and understand how they feel before they are willing to let us change the way they think and process stuff. Women validate better and so end up being the default advisers as even men resist the men pushing for change they haven't come to grips with yet. To become the go to resource for someone requires building a relationship first so they are willing to look at your advice at all. It isn't fast, doesn't lead to immediate action and takes more time than most of us are really willing to invest. The one sentence, SMS style of doing this stuff annoys me no end because it actually takes longer to reach some sort of connection with a poster that allows them to listen to me enough to get my message across in a single post.

And maybe we all need to be reminded from time to time that doing nothing is usually better than what most of us end up doing when this stuff happens. We do very little that makes it better and a lot that makes it harder and worse. Since most first advice is centered around learning to stop pursuing, taking the time to get that right first might be the best advice of all. The one time offer might resolve the crisis very quickly as to content, but until a person is ready to actually do that, not much convincing will lead them to that choice. Making them feel enough shame to do it rather than acting from their core values won't make them do it any sooner.

And just so people understand my point, men might empower each other differently than women might, but making men feel shame seldom actually helps them change anything very much. They may submit temporarily, but will eventually rebel or simply seek escape. Nobody is motivated for real change by shame. Guilt maybe, but shame does not change people for the better, only for the worse. In fact, enough shame prevents action rather than promoting it because it removes hope for the future by staying stuck in the past. Most guys who even show up are already drowning in shame. Before we can get them to act from integrity, we have to help them find that part of themselves again and for some, maybe for the first time in their lives. As much as we might know they should do anything at all, until they are open to what we say, we won;t be able to mo9tivate or empower them at all. Unfortunately this means taking the time to validate them and build some sort of trust with them first (remember that trust is maybe a HUGE deal for most at this moment).

It also helps if we all realize that not much of this is such a bright line deal that only one choice is an option. That is the real cookie cutter deal right there, that only one solution is possible. This isn't a math problem with a single and simple to define answer. It is a complex and intertwined bunch of problems that can only even be examined for an answer once clearly defined. The best or easiest or most likely to succeed in what the person wants are not always the same things and how the problem is defined, by them and by us as advice givers, determines what the best course of action might be. They set the table and we apply our own point of view to come up with advice. Most often we miss the clues as to what might actually matter by focusing on the wrong part of the deal. We define it as men and women, in power and not in power, left and right, liberal and conservative, educated and uneducated, mature and acting like a kid. As time goes on we deteriorate even more and the terms become more insulting or more polarizing and we become even more determined to win than to help someone find their own solutions to a problem only caused by their circumstances but not being the circumstances itself. The crisis remains even after the circumstances have changed and that part takes a long time for many to come to grips with.

There might be clear differences as to what advice works best in certain situations. What works to save a marriage from an exit affair might be more investment than the marriage is worth for most and an intimacy avoidance affair might require a different strategy than a parallel lives affair. What I have a hard time with is that we all scream about cookie cutters but forget that ending up with cookies requires following a recipe that yields cookies and not cakes or mashed potatoes. I might prefer mashed potatoes enough to try to convince someone to not make cookies at all, but if they still want cookies making they feel ashamed for wanting to make them still isn't likely to convert them to mashed potatoes.

Most people come here broken. Breaking them further to get them to act is not merely breaking them down, but having to then build them back up so they can act. That's the problem we face with empowerment alone. It tells them what to do but never gives them the ability to do it. In fact, removing their power to choose what to do (or appearing to be doing that) makes them even more hesitant to act the way we wish they would. The harder push, upping the stakes kind of motivation works with people already in the game and does not make them change from soccer to real football no matter how hard we try. It is self defeating as a motivation because it causes them to tune us out.

And I took so long doing this so I would say it in one place, because like the parts of an affair and dealing with one, stuff interconnects and is interrelated in ways that aren't always so obvious and even when they are seen as connected, the connection isn't always what we assume it to be.

A final point, and I am done with his for today...

Saying "Man up and act." is not the same as telling someone, "If you don't act, then you are not a man (or less of a man or not a real man or not a good man or whatever flips your switch.) Empowerment and validation are not opposite extremes of a scale from one to the other. They are parts of the same process of motivating for change and growth. The opposite of empowerment is not validation, it is developing dependence and codependence. The opposite of validation is invalidation. You don't need to invalidate in order to empower and you don't need to coddle in order to validate. You actually help more people by helping them grow than by convincing them to do what you believe is right.


I went 2 bed 2night and 2morrow night, and got up Friday morning and I still hadn't finished it by then. you'll make FH jealous!

-ol' 2long
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 09:46 PM

2long, Mark's post was great, but did you really have to quote the whole thing? wink

And while I agree with most of Mark's discussion, to me there was an implication that needs teasing out. I read Mark to be implying that when a man refuses to take advice, it is almost always because the advice conflicts with the man's core values. I do not agree that this is overwhelmingly the mechanism. In many cases, the advice being offered very much lines up with the guy's core values, he is simply too afraid of the potential consequences to act in accordance with his values.

Few married men have a core value other than "I do not share my wife with other men". Many more men are afraid of what might happen if they say those words to their wife while she is in an active A. So if he responds along the lines of "I could never say that to my wife", then I think we owe it to him to explain in no uncertain terms how UNlikely recovery is (either personal or marital) if he never says them.
Posted By: Mark1952

Re: MA Core values - 10/02/13 11:51 PM

I said I was done for today, but I guess I am not.

I'd like to explain how those PTB are structured and how TOS is interpreted or enforced. Being one of those whose name is in color, sort of makes me the person being accused of what amounts to denying a problem in order to further a person agenda. The agenda part might be true, but denial isn't my method not my purpose. In fact, that this conversation is taking place pretty much negates that argument logically, since addressing or trying to explain why things are as they are, is not denying the problem, but an attempt to address it or explain why it is the way it is.

The first thing people should understand is that no one on the BoD tells any of the moderators when to flag someone or has any more power to single someone out than any other member. WE do set policy, but publish that policy and along with TOS, those determine what we have determined to be the most inclusive way to try to help people. The TOS at most other places is less complicated, but far from less stifling and restrictive. One marriage forum even has as it's explanation of TOS that if you piss me off, I will ban you. No other options or interpretations are permitted. The Other Place does not state things that way, but the mods determine policy as much as anyone else and apply TOS to maintain purity of their shared love of authority as any core values beyond being in charge. We made great effort here, and continue to strive toward that end, to avoid such a condition even being established.

Moderators do the moderation. When there were few bodies, that was not always so. Now, however, BoD does not moderate and seldom even interacts with the mods. We have an internal policy that says that moderators moderate and BoD does not. We also have a stated policy that anyone with a dog in a particular fight cannot take official action by using their powers as moderator in any way on threads in which they might be part of the problem. This is why some moderators join in debates but at least one or more will refrain.

When someone notifies on a post or thread, what the notify is about determines what happens next. Most notifies are actually requests to move a thread, edit a post beyond the time allowed for it or to change the title of the thread or post. Any of the moderators and any admin or BoD member can take care of this since it they are not related to TOS and we have until know granted and accommodated all such requests. Usually whoever is on line first or at the time, takes care of such requests. We don;t like moving a thread to storage because of the way posts just vanished at The Other Place, but when we move them, they are still kept around, just not left where they were. Nobodies posts disappear around here. WE even leave things that get warned on or that might be personal attacks in an effort to prevent abuse by creatively editing a series of posts. Only the most offensive, egregious or vulgar of comments even get edited out when a flag is thrown. Even mean and nasty comments get left where they are when we might be able to disarm the combatants by deleting them. Those who are offended feel this endorses the comments and are unhappy that we let those things stand. At the same time, those flagged feel that we are picking on them, even though they still got their licks in and their point is usually left as they made it.

When someone violates TOS or someone notifies the mods to look at a post for a violation, the only unilateral action any moderator can take is to lock the thread pending review. BoD does not review the thread, BTW. The mods must decide what the outcome will be. The mods first seek agreement from other mods before they start throwing flags. Some might have no opinion while others might have a strong opinion one way or the other. Still, the mods as a group find ways to take a specific action or they don't throw flags or throw their favorite perps in jail for the duration.

Unlike any other place I have found or been a part of (I go back to Usenet days and BBS days, so I have seen at least a few) we have a published method of appealing any moderator4 action except in the TD realm where it is more wild west than care for newbies that drives the whole deal. We handle appeals at the BoD level and though a mod might be asked for clarification or to make a case,for what they did as moderator, only BoD members determine the outcome of the appeal. We even process appeals that are not presented according to the published policy and will often take on something that comes by way of PM or a phone call or personal email rather than as an email sent to the email we set up solely for that purpose and no other.

At least two BoD members look at all appeals. We do not always have the same two doing that job, nor do we take input from the rest of the BoD. Two people look at the appeal and based on making the case for actual TOS violation will rule on whether or not we feel the flag or action was justified. If you read the published policy, we even allow for appeal of warnings.

In case anyone thinks we all stand as some united block, I have overturned more moderator actions on appeal than I have upheld when I have been part of the process. Being handled by two members of Bod means that both of us must agree before any decision is made inability to agree does not stop the clock on our deadline for making one. The last appeal I was involved in was from MyRev and the action taken against him was overturned.

When a mod action is overturned, the flag log is reset, the posted action is removed and we let the person know what we have decided. We let them know regardless of what we decide during the appeal. As much as possible, we try to keep the whole thing completely business in nature and don't spend a lot of energy admonishing anyone or trying to change the way they post. Not once have we upheld a moderator action because of specific advice being offered except the published policy that we do not allow advice to date someone else as part of the strategy to save a marriage and we even allow that to be discussed in TD.

The point of the tiered flag and penalty structure is to try to prevent passing judgment on individual posters for either as to seriousness or content of what gets flagged. The only history that counts is the time since the last flag was thrown. How many flags came outside of that time frame is not considered either to throw a flag, how long PB is mandated or what happens on appeal. I have way better things to do with my time than to carry that kind of grudge and animosity around all the time.

The time spent in PB might be hoped to persuade some to change tactics or more closely follow TOS. Some break TOS, get flagged and never break TOS again. Some get flagged, get flagged again and spend a day not being able to post. Some break TOS after many months or weeks have passed and so do not spend time in PB. But the point of PB is not meant to punish the TOS violation based on content or seriousness of the violation. It simply removes the person from the mix of posts and allows time for things to settle down before they reengage. Most cool off and life goes on.

Repeat violations bring a longer stay in PB, again, not to punish the perp, but to give things more time to settle back down. Hopefully both the person in PB and the rest of the members have let it slip into the past by then.

PB time also gives the mods a break. These folks are volunteers. Except for their powers related to being mods, they get no special privileges and no special treatment. When emotions are running high, they run high all around and when someone must deal repeatedly with the same arguments day after day, they can get frustrated. Either they snap and lash out themselves or they walk away because they are tired of dealing with it. The less often they must rehash the same stuff, the less likely they are to get burned out and the less more likely they are to participate on the forums as contributors rather than playing cops and robbers with the ungrateful. The mods make this place possible. Without them, this place would have to be much more finely controlled and even more serious actions would be required in order to continue. It would then be a select few passing judgment with no room for appeal or discussion and questioning actions of staff would simply result in being sent on your way, much like happens most other places around the web.

We even have a structure for addressing the mods as members of the BoD. Communication regarding policy or specific actions taken are through a chain of command type of structure and the BoD refrains from just making our preferences known on a daily basis though we are under the mandate to read the moderator discussions as often as possible so we are aware of possible issues or problems that we might have to address.

Most interaction between BoD members takes place on the open forums, just like the rest of y'all. We have those hidden and secret places where we hash things out and come to some sort of agreement related to policy or management of the forums and website. We try to meet officially often enough that we don;t have a bunch of stuff to solve the rest of the time an we record what we talk about, and believe me when I tell you, we spend way less time talking about y'all than you might suspect. We have to set aside time to catch up on what is happening in each others lives because we spend so little time communicating beyond the realm of business related topics. Once we stated clearly that dating as a marriage saving strategy was not going to be permitted (even that is allowed in TD) we have spent about as close to zero time discussing specific advice or who offers what advice to whom other than in open forums where y'all can see it as to be pointless to even add up. Sorry, but y'all just ain't that fascinating or important that we agonize over your every word. That ain't denial, just self preservation.

Character is what you do when other people are watching you. Integrity is what you do when nobody is. I have found our BoD, even former members, to be of good character and show strength of integrity at every turn. If there is a pattern that can be linked to the BoD as the source or reason, it isn't by design and a link does not indicate a cause under our control. If you believe that the BoD or mods bother to conspire to stifle conflicting opinions, you need a different explanation for your data because that ain't the way it happens.

Having been in business for many years, I know that men don't always use the same communication techniques to motivate each other in professional circles as they do on a construction site. I have worked both places. Those who were most effective at communicating seldom used profanity or shame in either place. I don;t talk to y'all the same way I talk to a guy in private either. It isn't just the message that matters. A message worth communicating oils probably worth expressing in ways that no one (ore a minimum) of folks are offended by.

And just so y'all know, it was the men on BoD (at the time) who drove the attacks on manhood issue and not women. It was actually a hard sell since the gals didn't get that either. Right now we have three men and three women on the board. We all get the same vote. It sort of works that way on purpose, gang. We try to not do much by accident.

And just to pose a question, why not come to an agreed upon definition of hardline that doesn't require saying it isn't being a doormat? I gotta tell you, I don't see the hardline question even being much of a question at all. I suggest divorce, getting a lawyer, transferring joint funds to a private account and a lot of stuff that would get me banned (including directed exposure to those who might influence the outcome) from at least one other forum (that shall remain nameless) that some of you are familiar with. About the only disagreement you and I ever have, My Rev, at least as it relates to advice, is whether or not there should be anything more tried if the opening offer for reconciliation is refused. I'll even say that in most cases, it isn't worth the effort.

Don't believe you have it about as good as it gets? Go to almost any other marriage forum and criticize those who make it available to you publicly and see where your argument ends up. None of y'all that came from other places ever had the ability to speak your mind the way you can here. That is WHY this place exists, because they don't allow that to happen over there, at The Other Place or at the nameless place with initials instead of a name... Even un-moderated Usenet groups drove away those who annoyed them. Y'all have it pretty good here. Our only motive is to give you a place to speak your minds. We don't make money, don't get paid, sell nothing, don't have practices to feed clients into and don't have a weekend seminar or retreat that costs more than a trip to Las Vegas for the weekend. We (BoD and Mods) all sacrifice to make this place happen. We do it so y'all can say what you want to say on the subject of marriage. We don't take or allow advertising in exchange for money and it costs us money at times just to be around here, not to mention the time involved.

If you find a place that is better, please let me know. If you can find one that is more tolerant or more inclusive, I want to see how that works. If there is one that nobody governs and actually makes a difference in anybody's lives, please, show it to me. Does anybody actually believe this conversation would even take place at MB or DB or TAM or SI or LS? They don't even tolerate criticism at TOW. The only denial I will live up to is that this is actually about advice and not who gets to decide.

Somebody go try to appeal your being banned from Harley's or MWD's website forums. Let me know how that works out for ya... Or go criticize Peggy Vaughn on her forums or Mort Fertel on his and see what influence you have over the advice offered to newbies. This is the only place that happens and remains on the forums and y'all know it. It's also the only place you get to do it more than twice.

There are things we don't allow here. Be thankful! What we don't allow is stuff most of you wouldn't even be able to deal with if we let it get through. Our security and safety ratings (web content safety stuff) are the highest possible. That doesn't happen by accident and isn't that way everywhere else. Most people can't even read their email without ending up chasing down a virus or other problem. The PTB and people in colors are the ones that make this place happen at all. Criticize us if you must, but give me something besides a vague premise based on assumptions that probably are untrue at best and down right misleading in some cases. Show me the data and the pattern and see if I can't offer another possible reason for that pattern that explains it at least as well as the BoD and mods picking on one POV over another. It needs to be more of a pattern than that I don't just settle for being attacked for no reason beyond being part of the people who run the place.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: MA Core values - 10/03/13 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: hold
Few married men have a core value other than "I do not share my wife with other men".


I am supremely confident that 99% of women have that exact value.

I am also supremely confident that my husband has one core value: "I will act with integrity as I see it."

Originally Posted By: hold
Many more men are afraid of what might happen if they say those words to their wife while she is in an active A.


What are they afraid of?

Seriously?

That she is going to get mad and leave?

She already did that.

I think what they are afraid of is that they won't be given the opportunity to prove their care for their wife if they say that.

Like Mrs.Mark, I'd have been gone like a flash had the initial response been to kick me to the curb.

The first time he said "we are getting divorced" I said, "Yahoo! How quick do you think we can get this done and in the meantime I'll be living elsewhere. The kids get to decide who they want to live with and they can go back and forth all they like, but you already know they will choose to spend 90% of their free time with me. Is there any furniture you feel strongly about having? On second thought, never mind 'cuz that sort of discussion is going to slow me down so I'll make due with whatever. Now where is that champagne I have been saving for a special occasion? Got it! See ya!"

You hardliners say we don't get the man talk.

I suggest that you don't get the fed up wife talk.

You assume that, "him or me" is always the decision.

Not so.

Sometimes the decision is "him or single." When that's the dynamic, your "hardline/kick em to the curb/locate your testicles" approach is going to land the poster in divorce court.

That may be where you think he should be but that may not be where he wants to be.

And the reason he may not want to be there is because he has the humility to recognize that possibly there are some things he did that damaged the marriage and he would like an opportunity to demonstrate that things might be different going forward.

Like, to pick an example out of nowhere, blow up indiscriminately, without due notice and an opportunity to be heard, about whatever, wherever he likes.

Or, to pick another example out of nowhere, leave his family at every opportunity to pursue expensive hobbies like hunting and golfing.

Just one more example that I'm conjuring up so you can understand what I'm saying, blow up at his wife every time she got so sick she needed help because it, say, screwed up his golf game.

But when a poster says, "hey -- I screwed some stuff up too" the "an affair is the worst thing you can ever do to your spouse, period, end of discussion" card gets played so man up and kick her sorry ass to the curb!

It is disrespectful to suggest that your all wise self knows what is best for the poster, it is disrespectful to ignore the poster's stated goal because you don't agree with it, it is disrespectful to bully the poster into implementing advise that doesn't comport with their understanding of their life and their values, it is disrespectful to diss different points of view, it is disrespectful to violate TOS, it is disrespectful to personally attack your fellow forum members.

And it is HUGELY disrespectful to even imply that women have a cavalier "whatever rocks his boat so long as he brings in the money" attitude towards infidelity.

An affair is hugely disrespectful, yet your solution is to pile disrespect on top because that helps exactly how?

My theory is that it is done in hopes that the poster caves altogether and leaves the marriage you wish you had left.

Except it isn't your marriage. It isn't your family. It isn't your children. It isn't your job. It isn't your future.

It isn't your life.

To be clear hold -- that wasn't directed solely at you.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/03/13 06:03 AM

There's lots of ground to cover and I don't have the time to do it. There was a serious family emergency today, and it's going to keep me tied up...so I want to give a very abbreviated version of what I hope to come back and post about more completely later.

*I think this discussion has been mainly productive. I appreciate the honesty and time invested from every poster.

*There is so incredible and well articulated thoughts and ideas to digest, and I'm amazed at how have some incredible writers on this forum.

*I'd love to see more brainstorming than blame...this may seem like a problem with no solution, but I see it as an opportunity to be more creative.

*I think we're stuck in details of every point of view, and what we really need to consider is where we have common ground that we can build on.

I'm too tired to type...but I'll be back.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/03/13 03:39 PM

LG, what you described is the biggest reason I have stayed. I know if I made her choose between what I wanted her to do, and being single, there was a good chance she would choose single. And as far as I know, there has never been a OM in our marriage. I get that high risk strategies are called high risk strategies for a reason.

And in a calm moment, I know it is not my place to suggest to another guy that he take the high risk I never had the guts to take. Thankfully, I am now reaping the benefits of having stayed. Not so much with Mrs. Hold as with the kids.

Still and all, I hate seeing people get walked on. I hate it when women get walked on too. As you probably know, I raise money for the local crisis center. So I know there are lots of really evil guys out there. That is part of why I bleed so profusely for the nice guys. There are plenty of guys who DESERVE to get cheated on.

Also, I know that nice guys aren't so nice. We lie. We play games. We are passive-aggressive. We drive our partners crazy. Just in different ways than the bad boys do.

Please know that you and I see many things in the the same light. I got my annual physical today. My blood pressure is in a good zone. I told my wife she is slacking off and needs to do a better job of stressing me out. She said not to hope for high blood pressure or a heart attack, because it is not going to happen. She isn't done torturing me yet, and there is no early release program. Darn.
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/03/13 05:58 PM

I have been all over the map in the three years since MA's inception. I have been on this side, that side, both sides, and some sides that I couldn't identify because I was so emotional. smile

There is a saying that "you are either part of the problem or part of the solution." I think that is too simplistic because I see three types:

Those who are part of the problem

Those who are part of the solution

Those who just want to pontificate about all the problems but can't be bothered to figure out any solutions because they just really need to.....well, I don't know because thankfully I try to avoid that category.

I can respect those who want to be part of the solution. In my mind, people who want to be part of the solution have the greatest amount of integrity - that is just how I see it.

But I can also respect those who are part of the problem because I assume there is some principle that they believe in strongly enough to make waves.

I have no respect for the third group because they are basically just whiners who want to sound smarter than everyone else - again, that is how I see it.

I do not agree with everything that is ever posted on MA. I also do not disagree with everything that is ever posted on MA. There are people on MA who I just really "like" as people in general even if I don't always agree with what they post. There are people who I don't particularly "like" in some warm fuzzy way from whom I can still learn because they DO say some profound things from time to time. I don't think that makes me special; I just think it means A)I like to think for myself and B)since I graduated from high school over 25 years ago I don't feel I have to "belong" to some "group" in order to have value.

I said all that to say:

I think MA should just BE MA. There are plenty of places to go if MA doesn't float someone's boat. Other than the fact that I have posted here for awhile and have received a good deal of support, I don't feel so invested in MA that I feel I have to try to control it. Or be obsessed with it. Or sabotage it. Or anything else.

It's a forum. It is made up of fallible people. There have been some good things accomplished. There have been times I have scratched my head.

That is how normal life works.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 12:36 AM

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
I have been all over the map in the three years since MA's inception. I have been on this side, that side, both sides, and some sides that I couldn't identify because I was so emotional. smile

There is a saying that "you are either part of the problem or part of the solution." I think that is too simplistic because I see three types:

Those who are part of the problem

Those who are part of the solution

Those who just want to pontificate about all the problems but can't be bothered to figure out any solutions because they just really need to.....well, I don't know because thankfully I try to avoid that category.

I can respect those who want to be part of the solution. In my mind, people who want to be part of the solution have the greatest amount of integrity - that is just how I see it.

But I can also respect those who are part of the problem because I assume there is some principle that they believe in strongly enough to make waves.

I have no respect for the third group because they are basically just whiners who want to sound smarter than everyone else - again, that is how I see it.

I do not agree with everything that is ever posted on MA. I also do not disagree with everything that is ever posted on MA. There are people on MA who I just really "like" as people in general even if I don't always agree with what they post. There are people who I don't particularly "like" in some warm fuzzy way from whom I can still learn because they DO say some profound things from time to time. I don't think that makes me special; I just think it means A)I like to think for myself and B)since I graduated from high school over 25 years ago I don't feel I have to "belong" to some "group" in order to have value.

I said all that to say:

I think MA should just BE MA. There are plenty of places to go if MA doesn't float someone's boat. Other than the fact that I have posted here for awhile and have received a good deal of support, I don't feel so invested in MA that I feel I have to try to control it. Or be obsessed with it. Or sabotage it. Or anything else.

It's a forum. It is made up of fallible people. There have been some good things accomplished. There have been times I have scratched my head.

That is how normal life works.

Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 01:31 AM

Quote:
I have been all over the map in the three years since MA's inception. I have been on this side, that side, both sides, and some sides that I couldn't identify because I was so emotional.


I'm quoting this not to call you out specifically, but because I think this mindset has existed in quite a few people and I want to respond to it in general.

I think this mindset is problematic. "Us" vs. "Them" and groups, factions, etc...and identification with one or more. Basically, viewing interaction here on this small internet help forum as a gang war. Who are you for? Who are you against? Who is with you? Who is against you? Who can be converted?

To be honest, it reminds me of not-so-great dynamics when I was in school.

Myself, I am an individual. I have my own opinions, which may or may not overlap with any number of people's. They may be the opposite of any number of people's, but they are my own. I form them independently based upon evidence (research and observation) and experience. I don't feel any need to identify with a group. I'm on the side of those who need help. Due to my position at MA, I am on the side of growing this site into a helpful resource for those in need of help and in ensuring the organization's stability.

Some agree with me on some number of things. More power to them. Some disagree with me on some number of things. More power to them. Some disagree with me on everything. More power to them.

I'm not that fussed about it, to tell you the truth.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 03:04 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Also, I know that nice guys aren't so nice. We lie. We play games. We are passive-aggressive. We drive our partners crazy. Just in different ways than the bad boys do.


Don't sell yourself short, Hold.

I own and read the same book. Your motives are pure, if not your methods. The same can never be said of the bad boys.

Trust me. Don't put yourself in the same comparison.

--F.
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 04:26 AM

[quote][I'm quoting this not to call you out specifically, but because I think this mindset has existed in quite a few people and I want to respond to it in general.

I think this mindset is problematic. "Us" vs. "Them" and groups, factions, etc...and identification with one or more. Basically, viewing interaction here on this small internet help forum as a gang war. Who are you for? Who are you against? Who is with you? Who is against you? Who can be converted?

To be honest, it reminds me of not-so-great dynamics when I was in school./quote]

My phoe hats that tent space between the quotes.

The pack thingisn't just a foru thing. It happens everywhere. Churches, organizations, neighborhoods, offices. It too me 45 years to se it in myth without the rose colored glasse that made it seem like belonging. There is a Wayne Watson song that talks about bye fine line. In spiritual/faith terms, itcdoes't take any faith to just do whatever OR to depend on 1,000 deliniated rules. It takes the most faith to walk step by step. I think it takes the mot self awareness and integrity to see each person as a person whether they all fit into the same box or not.

I have enough to do living MY life without dissecting other peoples'
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 04:28 AM

If you can read that u r amazing
Posted By: Fergie

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 05:33 AM

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
[quote][I'm quoting this not to call you out specifically, but because I think this mindset has existed in quite a few people and I want to respond to it in general.

I think this mindset is problematic. "Us" vs. "Them" and groups, factions, etc...and identification with one or more. Basically, viewing interaction here on this small internet help forum as a gang war. Who are you for? Who are you against? Who is with you? Who is against you? Who can be converted?

To be honest, it reminds me of not-so-great dynamics when I was in school./quote]

My phoe hats that tent space between the quotes.

The pack thingisn't just a foru thing. It happens everywhere. Churches, organizations, neighborhoods, offices. It too me 45 years to se it in myth without the rose colored glasse that made it seem like belonging. There is a Wayne Watson song that talks about bye fine line. In spiritual/faith terms, itcdoes't take any faith to just do whatever OR to depend on 1,000 deliniated rules. It takes the most faith to walk step by step. I think it takes the mot self awareness and integrity to see each person as a person whether they all fit into the same box or not.

I have enough to do living MY life without dissecting other peoples'

Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 12:46 PM

lol, I have never seen you before, Fergie, but you're hilarious!

It also seems like you're smart and compassionate. Can we be friends?
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 02:26 PM

Fergalicious is da bomb.

I wish I knew a moderator who is good at correcting mistakes who could fix that (hint hint)
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
Fergalicious is da bomb.

I wish I knew a moderator who is good at correcting mistakes who could fix that (hint hint)


But if I fix it, then Fergie's post doesn't make sense. That's not fair.

If I had seen it before then I'd have been happy to clean it up though.
Posted By: Squeaky Tree

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 02:39 PM

{ cor lummy, I wouldn't know where to start with correcting that !!! :D}
Posted By: Rich57

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 03:00 PM

You could start with adding a bracket [ in at the end of both posts so the quote would read correctly.
Posted By: Mark1952

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 03:01 PM

I almost offered to fix it when I first read it, but since you'd already made a funny about it decided that if I could read it, most people could...

If you think your phone hates the quotes, try posting a YouTube video with the thing...

BTW, the solution to the phone changing the formatting on you is to type it rather than trying to use the full reply screen.
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 03:28 PM

Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
[quote][I'm quoting this not to call you out specifically, but because I think this mindset has existed in quite a few people and I want to respond to it in general.

I think this mindset is problematic. "Us" vs. "Them" and groups, factions, etc...and identification with one or more. Basically, viewing interaction here on this small internet help forum as a gang war. Who are you for? Who are you against? Who is with you? Who is against you? Who can be converted?

To be honest, it reminds me of not-so-great dynamics when I was in school./quote]

My phoe hats that tent space between the quotes.

The pack thingisn't just a foru thing. It happens everywhere. Churches, organizations, neighborhoods, offices. It too me 45 years to se it in myth without the rose colored glasse that made it seem like belonging. There is a Wayne Watson song that talks about bye fine line. In spiritual/faith terms, itcdoes't take any faith to just do whatever OR to depend on 1,000 deliniated rules. It takes the most faith to walk step by step. I think it takes the mot self awareness and integrity to see each person as a person whether they all fit into the same box or not.

I have enough to do living MY life without dissecting other peoples'


I've never seen anyone slur their words in writing. Thanks for the chuckle!
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 03:56 PM

sad thing was, I wasn't drunk....I hate that teeny keyboard!

But it was past my bedtime....I usually turn into a pumpkin at 10.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 05:13 PM

The above explains why I am a dinosaur. I use a phone with a physical keyboard, and I turned spell correct off.
Posted By: 2long

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 05:28 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
The above explains why I am a dinosaur. I use a phone with a physical keyboard, and I turned spell correct off.


Well, at least that means you're no older than 10,000 years, if you were 2 ask FH.

Don't ask me, though! shocked

-ol' 2long
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/04/13 06:06 PM

Great, now I have Walk the Dinosaur in my head....
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: MA Core values - 10/05/13 09:18 PM

i have the red soled shoes ... but where do they sell the phoe hats? pretty sure they're gonna be the next big thing. wink
Posted By: ohmy_marie

Re: MA Core values - 10/05/13 09:46 PM

star* ... thank you for advocating for marriage. thank you for having core values. thank you for being here. i'm still way super lost, but i have faith in certain things, and you are one of those things.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: MA Core values - 10/07/13 12:48 PM

marie,

I have thought about this thread all weekend, and things that I need to say. But first I need to tell you that your post reminds me to keep my own faith strong in spite of the challenges I face as an individual and we face as a forum. Blessings to you.
Posted By: Lil

Re: MA Core values - 10/18/13 08:51 PM

Well,

abandon a thread for 3 weeks while you go overseas, and look at what happens.

Thank you to those who took the time to give thoughtful answers. Those who didnt - I reject your reality, and insert my own! laugh

Since we have a new bunch of advocates, I am torn between teasing out the good stuff on here and write something up, or leave it and see how MA changes from the large scale assimulation, like it did when all the Dbers came here.

Would love to hear your futher thoughts, Star*
Posted By: Rich57

Re: MA Core values - 10/19/13 09:03 PM

When in doubt "Be Still"
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: MA Core values - 10/24/13 08:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Rich57
When in doubt "Be Still"


No, no, no, blow things up. Creates more drama for us to read about on the forum.

Oops, sorry, forgot there are real marriages facing real problems involving real people that might be harmed by my sarcasm.

Listen to Rich. He be wisdomical. Or is it wisdolicious? I always get those confused. crazy
Posted By: LadyGrey

Re: MA Core values - 10/24/13 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Creates more drama for us to read about on the forum.


I'm really good at this. Just say when.
Posted By: herfuturesbright

Re: MA Core values - 10/26/13 01:05 PM

Quote:
He be wisdomical. Or is it wisdolicious? I always get those confused.


Since one of our core values is to encourage authentic sharing or something, I will share.....

My son is a tall skinny quiet geeky white boy. His school is 75% minority (African American) which bothers me not one bt, but I just wanted to set the stage smile

In one of his classes they had a sub, and as she was calling roll, some of the other boys were saying "here, but you can call me MC," or "here, but you can call me Rolo," and such. Now DS15 is pretty unassuming and low key, so no one excpected it when she called his name: XXXX

And he very casually answered:

"Here, but you can call me thugnificent."

It took almost a minute for everyone, including the sub, to stop laughing. This would be like Mark coming on here and saying "you can call me thugnificent."

I love that boy.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: MA Core values - 10/26/13 01:47 PM

Too cute!
Posted By: Gladstone

Re: MA Core values - 11/13/13 03:17 PM

That was great!!
© 2021 Marriage Advocates