Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Resources => Topic started by: Rollercoasterider on April 17, 2010, 01:33:18 PM

Title: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Rollercoasterider on April 17, 2010, 01:33:18 PM
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Rollercoasterider on May 04, 2010, 07:01:36 AM
Al Turtle: http://www.alturtle.com//
Check out all of the articles. Here are just a few.

Validation: The Skill and the Art

Diversity and PreValidation: A Chart

Diversity and Pre-Validation: "The Two Icebergs"

PreValidation: More Thoughts

The Road to EMPATHY

What To Do When She (He) Leaves
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Rollercoasterider on May 04, 2010, 07:41:36 AM
Setting Boundaries Appropriately

Begin to Set Personal Boundaries

What’s Wrong With My Boundaries?
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on July 29, 2010, 05:19:46 AM
Don't Give Up
Do you feel like giving up on your marriage? I've been counseling people with marital struggles for over thirty-five years. And, often they have no hope. They are living in very difficult marriages. I am under no illusion that I can give a magic formula to bring healing to all such marriages, but I do believe that in every troubled marriage, steps can be taken by one partner, that have the potential for changing the emotional climate between the two of them. The first step is to make the decision not to give up.

The Problems with Divorce
There are three radical and negative approaches to a troubled marriage: suicide, homicide, and divorce. The first two are considered unthinkable by intelligent, mentally healthy people. On the other hand, divorce is often seen as a humane way of ending the pain of an unhealthy marriage. Some have divorced two, three or more times and are still in search of a happy marriage. 

When I did the research for my book: Desperate Marriages, I discovered that divorce does not solve problems; it creates problems. Problems that never go away. The answer is not found in running, but in learning. Learn what is behind your spouse's bad behavior. Then you can ask God for wisdom on how to respond. You can be a part of the solution.

Dr. Judith Wallerstein has studied the topic of divorce for more than 20 years. Here are her conclusions. "People want to believe that divorce will relieve all their stresses - back we go to square one and begin our lives anew. But divorce does not wipe the slate clean...Few adults anticipate accurately what lies ahead when they decide to divorce.  Life is almost always more arduous and more complicated than they expect."

Generational Effects
When parents divorce, typically children feel intensely rejected. Children get angry at their parents for violating the basic rule of parenthood - parents are supposed to make sacrifices for children, not the other way around. Because we are creatures of memory, we may carry the pain of broken relationships for a lifetime.

After the divorce, most parents plan to continue good relationships with their children, but parent-child relationships are forever altered by divorce. As adults, they often fear that their own marriage will fail. And in fact, the divorce rate for 'children of divorce' is higher than for those whose parents stay together. By continuing to work on your marriage, you could actually save your children much relational baggage.
From Bad to Worse
Does divorce seem like the best alternative to you? If so, I hope you'll read my book - Desperate Marriages. Divorce, unlike death, does not end contact with the other person, especially if you have children. Nor is divorce a pretty picture financially. Research indicates that 73 % of divorced women experience a decline in standard of living.

One wife said, "Our marriage was bad, but our divorce is even worse. I still have all the responsibilities I had when we were married, but now I have less time and less money."  The effects of divorce linger for a lifetime.

Are you in a desperate marriage? If the answer is yes, do yourself a favor...read a book, talk with a counselor or pastor, share with a trusted friend, but refuse to give up.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on August 23, 2010, 02:46:58 PM
I came across this today; this is something that I recognize in my wife and her family, and to a lesser extent in myself and my family:

Emotional Cutoff
The concept of emotional cutoff describes people managing their unresolved emotional issues with parents, siblings, and other family members by reducing or totally cutting off emotional contact with them. Emotional contact can be reduced by people moving away from their families and rarely going home, or it can be reduced by people staying in physical contact with their families but avoiding sensitive issues. Relationships may look "better" if people cutoff to manage them, but the problems are dormant and not resolved.

People reduce the tensions of family interactions by cutting off, but risk making their new relationships too important. For example, the more a man cuts off from his family of origin, the more he looks to his spouse, children, and friends to meet his needs. This makes him vulnerable to pressuring them to be certain ways for him or accommodating too much to their expectations of him out of fear of jeopardizing the relationship. New relationships are typically smooth in the beginning, but the patterns people are trying to escape eventually emerge and generate tensions. People who are cut off may try to stabilize their intimate relationships by creating substitute "families" with social and work relationships.

Everyone has some degree of unresolved attachment to his or her original family, but well-differentiated people have much more resolution than less differentiated people. An unresolved attachment can take many forms. For example, (1) a person feels more like a child when he is home and looks to his parents to make decisions for him that he can make for himself, or (2) a person feels guilty when he is in more contact with his parents and that he must solve their conflicts or distresses, or (3) a person feels enraged that his parents do not seem to understand or approve of him. An unresolved attachment relates to the immaturity of both the parents and the adult child, but people typically blame themselves or others for the problems.

People often look forward to going home, hoping things will be different this time, but the old interactions usually surface within hours. It may take the form of surface harmony with powerful emotional undercurrents or it may deteriorate into shouting matches and hysterics. Both the person and his family may feel exhausted even after a brief visit. It may be easier for the parents if an adult child keeps his distance. The family gets so anxious and reactive when he is home that they are relieved when he leaves. The siblings of a highly cutoff member often get furious at him when he is home and blame him for upsetting the parents. People do not want it to be this way, but the sensitivities of all parties preclude comfortable contact.

Neither Michael nor Martha wanted to live near their families. When Michael got a good job offer on the East coast, both of them were eager to move east. They told their families they were moving away because of Michael's great job offer, but they welcomed the physical distance from their families. Michael felt guilty about living far away from his parents and his parents were upset about it, especially Michael's mother. Michael called home every weekend and managed to combine business trips with brief stays with his parents. He did not look forward to the phone calls and usually felt depressed after them. He felt as if his mother deliberately put him on "guilt trips" by emphasizing how poorly she was doing and how much she missed seeing him. She never failed to ask if his company could transfer him closer to home. It was much less depressing for Michael to talk to his father, but they talked mostly about Michael's job and what his Dad was doing in retirement.

[Analysis: Michael blamed his mother for the problems in their relationship and, despite his guilt, felt justified distancing from her. People commonly have a "stickier" unresolved emotional attachment with their mothers than with their fathers because the way a parental triangle usually operates is that the mother is too involved with the child and the father is in the outside position.] In the early years, Martha would sometimes participate in Michael's phone calls home but, as her problems mounted, she usually left the calls to Michael. Michael did not say much to his parents about Martha's drinking or about the tensions in their marriage. He would report on how the kids were doing. Michael, Martha, and the kids usually made one visit to Michael's parents each year. They did not look forward to the four days they would spend there, but Michael's mother thrived on having them. Martha never said anything to Michael's parents about her drinking or the marital tensions, but she talked at length about Amy to Michael's mother. Amy often developed middle ear infections during or soon after these trips.

[Analysis: Frequently one or more family members get sick leading up to, during, or soon after trips home. Amy was more vulnerable because of the anxious focus on her.] Martha followed a pattern similar to Michael's in dealing with her family. One difference was that her parents came east fairly often. When they came, Martha's mother would get more worried about Martha and critical of both her drinking and of how she was raising Amy. Martha dreaded these exchanges with her mother and complained to Michael for days after her parents returned home. Deep down, however, Martha felt her mother was right about her deficiencies. Martha's mother pumped Michael for information about Martha when Martha was reluctant to talk. Michael was all too willing to discuss Martha's perceived shortcomings with her mother.

[Analysis: Given the striking parallels between the unresolved issues in Michael's relationship with his family, Martha's relationship with her family, and the issues in their marriage, emotional cutoff clearly did not solve any problems. It simply shifted the problems to their marital relationship and to Amy.]
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: OldPilot on October 07, 2010, 05:21:16 AM
The Lighthouse

Your spouse is in huge conflict. The good news is; and the truth is that they are totally incapable of a healthy relationship with anyone right now. The competition that we believe exists with the Other Person is a shallow, empty reflection of God's light in this world. It is empty and lonely no matter how good the rush.

Their actions are actions that they themselves do not like in themselves right now. Though the need to go back again and again and attempt to prove themselves wrong or right is strong, they do not like what they are doing.

Their actions toward you, the children, the Other Person, and themselves, as well as God, keep them from engaging in any type of real interaction with any real depth and truth.

All they offer are misguided attempts to fill the void that has appeared in their life. Yet the filling is way too fleeting to sustain them and the truth is with them each night he or she lies down, regardless of whom is next to them.

They are the living cliche of 'no matter where you go, there you are.'

They are lost to themselves.

And you stand at that point of being the lighthouse home, even though they create the waves that block their vision from seeing the beacon.

You become the lighthouse. You fill your home with light, calmness and sanctuary.

Just visualize yourself as a lighthouse.

You offer them glimpses into that sanctuary at every chance you get. You invite them toward it. Let them know it is there as much as you can in a most subtle way.

You cannot trust them right now, but you know that, so they can't hurt you right now. They will spend great energy to convince others differently...but you know better.

You show the path by also protecting the children from their painful actions. Set clear boundaries that the Other Person is not part of your children's lives...without Love Busting. Offer alternatives that let them see the children, but be clear that the Other Person is to have no access to them. You fill the children's lives with stability. They deserve it and need it more than anything else.

Do not discuss or powerstruggle with them on irrational movements. Seek out and validate the rational ones with lots of praise for when he or she chooses correctly.

Your spouse is very lonely and sad right now, but that is ok. No one can stay very long in that chaos. Remove yourself from any aspect of participating or adding to the chaos, and eventually they will see that you are the only one who stood with clarity and reason when they needed it most.

Be the lighthouse.

This is from the DB website.
I do not think we have this posted anywhere but if we do please, make me aware of it and I will remove this.

I also belive this is written from someone else not on the DB website.

EDIT - I just found the source of this post.
This link is from 2004


Edit - 9/2/2013

edit 06/07/2014
Just found another link for the original time this post was made.

I am going to add to this as more research has unearthed another post from this lady
Some of the most painful posts to read here ....is the confusion and turmoil of betrayed spouses....

those post D-day days weeks and sadly months in which so many things are left unanswered, unaddressed and emtpy...

be still.....

In our turmoil and chaos and the gnawing need to fix and address.....bs bring into their hearts more pain and crisis....

be still...

There was once a saying I read somewhere that went something like to really ever understand someone else we must crawl inside of them and feel the gentle beat of their heart....

easier probably for a BS to move a mountain than to grasp and work from that realm....

but be still...
each moment of stillness you can buy grab or gobble is a moment in which you are free from the pain and free from the fear..

fear of doing the wrong thing
fear of saying the wrong thing...

the goal is not marriage rebuilding at any cost...
the goal is guiding yourself to a place of stillness...no matter the outcome....

the anatomy of a WS is that they changed and molded their own thought processes so that they could engage in a affair....

they did this....
they did this....over time and in a way in which they can barely see the reality of this...but they did do it...

be still

it takes time.....

too many posts are from BS with unrealistic EXPECTATIONS which will harm you...

it is unrealistic to think that the thought processes needed to engage in such vile actions....vanishes over night

working through affair issues takes time...gobs and gobs of it...
and if you find yourself standing in a place of demanding change and specified responses, introspection, apologies, and instant change...

be still

for you are causing more grief that you need to burdon....

they did this...and they must undo this...

will they?
the truth is we don't know..
but to ever be a whole person again they darn well better...otherwise they carry their chaos on and on..and in the end no BS needs to burdon that.....

WS, though hard to see when they have used you as a weapon are very very damaged inside.....

they can not face that damage...and since that damage is YOU the BS...they often can not face you..

so they continue to waffle and wallow in the path that brought them to this place...

the way of rationalizing and justifying downright no two ways about it dispicable behavior acts....

force them to the face and process at once..
they will withdrawal
they will deny
they will retaliate

or even worse they will self destruct themselves....

be still....

don't force responses and actions and answers...be still and know that their non-responses , non actions and non answers ARE their answers....and you can hold them accountable to that

be still
and then make your moves....


Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: stayed on January 12, 2011, 02:08:56 PM

I'm going to say something here that many of you may not like.  I am going to issue a CAUTION about reading too much into your MLCer's demeanor, withdrawal and sadness.  I agree, I would not want to be an MLC, it must be a horrible place to be.  That being said, I want to warn you all about being TOO SYMPATHETIC to their plight. 

An MLCer is very manipulative and will play you very effectively.  My h would sound sad, be tearful, begging me to wait and let him "sort this out" (his fav. phrase during that time), then return to OW and act like EVERYTHING in his world was wonderful.  MLCer's ARE sly as a fox.  They in most cases are afraid of being alone, very few of them move into apartments on their own, you might have notice, they almost always move in with OP, parents, single sibling or a friend who encourages them to pursue their own happiness.

In most cases they try very hard to keep us "attached" to them.  Why else the touch and goes?  I do not believe that most times that is an "attraction" to us, or an "attempt" to maintain contact with the kids, I honestly believe that is simply to give us enough hope to continue hanging on.  I have discussed with my h many times, how he rationalized his behavior in regards to the children.  He has told me quite clearly, that he honestly believed that because they were blood of his blood, that he would be able to reconnect with them at any point, later on.  Surprise, surprise, it has been almost 6 yrs. now and the children are still not TOO TRUSTING of their dear old dad.  I know he resents this, although he doesn't say much, but I hear the bitterness in his voice at times when he is discussing them. 

I do agree Justasking that we confuse them.  That is for sure, afterall, we are the ones who have been "dumped", we are the cause of their unhappiness, we are suppose to be the ones that are MISERABLE and instead, we grow stronger and more confident as the time goes on.  That really does confuse them and also gives them pause for thought.  I also think it makes us very attractive to them.

All that being said.... I still believe they want us to be miserable.  Not in the sense that they are being mean but in the sense that we are suppose to be pining for them, missing them terribly and instead, most of us grow and learn, becoming strong, confident and capable. 

Then they resort to being sad and lost looking.  My h did that REALLY well, oh my, the guy should have been an actor.  He sucked me in so many times with his sad, lost, confused puppy dog appeal, it was scary.  It was when I stopped reacting to that, that he pulled his head out of his a@@ and got busy fixing the damage he had done.

So please folks.... be careful.  Don't let them rope you back into their drama.... or you will be doing this 10 yrs. from now.


Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: HeartsBlessing on February 04, 2011, 10:53:51 AM
The time for the "coming down hard" on the MLC'er VARIES in each INDIVIDUAL circumstance.

In my case, this didn't come until my husband recommitted to the marriage; and I saw that he was still in a pity party; it was STILL all about him; and had nothing to do with me.

Before then, the Lord instructed me to help him along, be his friend; and continue to wait  for him to navigate through to the point of recommitting to me, and our marriage.

And at that time, because I had feelings that he was unwilling to help me with; he got the sharp side of my tongue more than once.

But that was ME..push too hard too soon; and they will run; but you have to be in a place where you KNOW that you will be fine no matter what happens to be able to take this possibility.

You always NEED to set boundaries against bad behavior, that is a given; and VERY different, but the other things sometimes will have to wait; as the MLC'er's ARE fragile; and prone, because of all the head work that is going on within their minds, to a nervous breakdown.

Mine got very close at one point; and the Lord drew me back to keep from pushing him off the edge...I did NOT want to have to deal in that way; knowing IF he had gone over, I would have been at fault for pushing him before he was ready.

For some reconciliation can start as soon as the OW/OM Withdrawal is finished, but for some, it comes later; depending on their strength.

But for some; it doesn't happen until the MLC'er recommits to the marriage, you'll know when this happens...follow your intuition to the letter; as you KNOW your spouse better than anyone, except God.

As each person is different, each crisis is different; what one will do, another won't.  What works for one, will NOT work for another.

Bear the above statement in mind as you go along in each individual situation.  :)

Just so you know, it has been a rare circumstance that I have been instructed to advise a poster to come down hard on their MLC'er...that didn't come until later on after recommitment happened for the couple in question.

Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: HeartsBlessing on February 05, 2011, 12:10:44 AM

NEVER, EVER, allow the MLC'er to "bargain" with you to try and get out of accountability for their actions toward you and the marriage, adultery is included, if committed.

Some or most MLC'ers will ask the LBS sometime during the crisis; this seems to come not long after OW Withdrawal, or even during a period of rebellion,  if they as a couple can "go back" to what they once were; or they will say they don't want to talk about it, or they will get very upset when the subject is brought up,  and either directly, or INDIRECTLY threaten the LBS with leaving or divorce, if the LBS doesn't "drop" the subject and let  the MLC'er "off the hook".

So sorry, but this can't happen; if this is allowed to be swept under the rug, and never faced; and worked through; it is only a matter of time before the crisis will pick up where it left off; and the unrest begins again; possibly another affair, or multiple affairs..and this second time will be worse than the first.

So, if they are not forthcoming in making themselves totally accountable, and try what I outlined above; they may not say the same things, but you'll know what they are getting at, give them a little time, THEN;  start pushing, and hard...remember to stay calm, and do NOT throw the MLC'er out; let them go to do what they think is best; keeping the decision on THEM.   There is no need in further feeding their justification for the bad treatment of the LBS; nor is there any need in giving them something else to blame the LBS.

Remember you are bringing them to accountability for THEIR actions, and you have a right to make them accountable to you....by the time you get finished with them, they will wish they'd been more forthcoming, or they will leave on their own...THEIR CHOICE.

This is a time when you are willing to lose all in order to possible regain the respect of the MLC'er; and hopefully, starting to regain your marriage in the process.

IF you push them into a tantrum; let them throw a fit; some people need to get angry in order to get better; and this can clear their heads, but under NO circumstances, do you need to try and calm them down...stand back and watch; engage them as they scream about unfairly they are being treated, and all that THEY are going through, firmly remind them that YOU did NOT start this; THEY did.

Now, as I've outlined, this could go several ways, amongst others, they may go on and leave; or they will breakdown, OR they may argue it out, throw their fit; and nothing is said until later on when they make the decision to recommit to the marriage. 

The last was what happened to me...my husband had said some things before hand that I didn't know were "red flags"; as in wanting to "go back" to what we were before..and I wasn't having it..he got pissed and stomped off.

It wasn't long before the Lord began to deal with me to bring him to accountability, simply because he was trying to avoid his issues and not face them. In that process, he was trying to leave behind what he had done..it was one thing if I did something and he didn't like it, but he had walked all over me, not only during the crisis, but during the whole of our marriage; and all of it had to come out...and a boundary was set that day.

There came a time when I was instructed to begin; and my pushing resulted in a tantrum; and an ongoing fight that lasted three days; he threatened to leave, but I took the wind out of his sails, by reminding him that it was his decision; and he knew where the door was IF that was what he wanted to do......after that was all over and done, he began to try and get close to me; I was instructed by the Lord to allow him to do that; also to wait on him.

After a period of time, he broke; recommitting to the marriage; but was STILL trying to get out of total accountability; and I unloaded on him a week or so, later.

In time, I pushed him into remorse; and a true facing of what he'd done.....I was at a time when I didn't care if he left or stayed; but if he stayed, he would respect me.

I had almost forgotten about that but a post I was reading reminded me of this..and it did happen to me. :)

There's a time to have sympathy for their pain; but understand, they KNEW exactly what they were doing when they were dishonoring their marriage; and if they can't "man" or "woman" up; and face their wrongs; being accountable in that process; something is very wrong; and it must be addressed by the LBS, before too much time passes.

Don't be fooled by their attempts to make nice; when you KNOW they are trying escape this necessary time in the MLC...and they will try...just so they don't have to face themselves...what they don't know, is they would be making a grave mistake that would definitely result in a reoccurence at a later time, of the original crisis; and who knows what kind of damaging behavior would start that second time..as it would seem to be a running type behavior of some sort.

In their minds, it would seem to be this way; they got "away" with it once; why not again?

If this should happen to you, you want to stop it at the pass the first time.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: stayed on February 05, 2011, 03:59:55 AM
HeartsBlessing, this is PERFECT!  You have said it ALL!  Please ladies and gentlemen, listen well to these words, as they are the whole POINT of this exercise.  ACOUNTABILITY! 

This is about RESPECT, HONOR AND LOYALTY!This is not about who controls the remote for the TV, without respect, honor and loyalty.... YOU HAVE NOTHING!

Please remember this. 

Excellent post heartsblessing, dang, I wish I had said this... hehehe. 
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: hampc0cv on March 16, 2011, 11:07:58 AM
Does this work for the spouses that have divorced you?  Do they ever come back after a divorce?
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: LoveMeMyself on March 16, 2011, 11:21:57 AM
Good question, Hamp.  I'd like to know that too.........being divorced already.  I guess if we had all the answers we wouldn't be here needing each other.  It's just a "wait and see" game at this point.  Hang in there.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Shantilly Lace on March 17, 2011, 12:59:22 AM
Yep on my thread just this past week I heard 2 stories. One work mates H was terrible to her slep around with male or female. They are divorced but he still wants to reconcile wih her 8 years later.

The second were apart 13 years married to others but came back together and have been for 30 or so years. It does happen just not in OUR time but in time
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: stayed on March 17, 2011, 03:01:45 AM
I agree Shantilly, I have been amazed at how many couples DIVORCED and reconciled years later.

Just no way of knowing... I wouldn't put my life on HOLD though.  Just get with your lives.  Let it go where it leads you.  Just no telling what you might find.

hugs Stayed...
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on July 18, 2011, 02:21:05 PM
I posted this in the FB group during the Great Migration, so I'm adding it here:

[..]For me, the Stockdale Paradox carries an important lesson in personal development, a lesson in faith and honesty: Never doubt that you can achieve your goals, no matter how lofty they may be and no matter how many critics and naysayers you may have. But at the same time, always take honest stock of your current situation. Don’t lie to yourself for fear of short-term embarrassment or discomfort, because such deception will only come back to defeat you in the end. [...]

Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on September 05, 2011, 05:51:55 PM
Back after the bomb drop, I bought and paid for a couple of counseling sessions with one of Michele Weiner-Davis' "divorce busting" coaches. This is some of the advice she gave me; I got this before the possibility of MLC came up, but I think much of this is still relevant...

1. Let the dust settle. Stop saying "I love you", don't discuss the marriage or separation or divorce. If she brings it up, try to change the subject as best as you can.

2. Don't try to capture her, try to attract her. This is probably not the best advice when it comes to MLCing spouses, but the important thing to take away from this is that marriages, regardless of the vows and promises you made to each other, are voluntary. No one wants to feel pressured or trapped. The example the coach used was dating: when people are first dating and getting to know each other, they don't spend a lot of time discussing commitment or what their future plans are; they enjoy the time they spend together. And the main reason they enjoy being together is because they find the other person interesting!

3. Three attitudes you need to convey. This isn't about talk, this is action. We all know that talk is cheap, and we regularly counsel people do not believe anything of what they say and only half of what they do. She will respond more to what you actually do than what you say. The three attitudes you need to convey are:

* "I get it." This is not something that is going to blow over; she has real issues she's dealing with. Maybe you didn't pay enough attention to her, maybe you let other things get in the way. If so, now is the time to apologize for that.
* "You need breathing room." Again, no pursuing or R talk! This is an opportunity for the two of you to figure things out.
* "I am working on myself." This is where the GAL and 180s are necessary. She should see that there are things you can (and are!) doing to be healthier, happier, etc.

4. Your new attitude. You need to be confident, you need to be casual, and you should strive to be consistently friendly when possible. If you need to "act as if", then do it. She shouldn't be able to reach you whenever she wants; maybe your phone is turned off for a couple of hours because you went to see a movie with a buddy. If she texts or emails you? I'm sorry, I didn't have my phone on me so I didn't see them. This also leads back into point 2; if you are doing things and happy, you are more attractive than someone who is sitting around the house moping.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Silmarion on September 13, 2011, 03:14:46 PM
Thanks to all those who took time to research and post resources here.

I'm reading everything!

Sil x
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on September 19, 2011, 12:45:25 PM
Michele Weiner-Davis posts a new copy of her "Marriage Map":

Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: unbroken on September 19, 2011, 09:08:20 PM
Retrouvaille has a similar philospohy

Retrouvaille's 4 Stages of Marriage

There are 4 Stages of Marriage: (1) Romance, (2) Disillusionment, (3) Misery, and (4) Awakening. Due to the high divorce rate many couples never make it to the 4th Stage of Awakening.

Most are familiar with the 1st Stage of Romance. Life was so wonderful we couldn't stand to live without the other. Our thoughts often turned to the other when we were not with them. We had fallen in love and knew that this was the person we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. Little differences between us were cute and endearing.

At some point those little differences started to annoy us. We felt bothered by some of those same things that may have been cute a short time earlier. The self-talk in the back of our mind started wondering why our spouse couldn't be more like us. We had entered into the 2nd Stage of Marriage, the Disillusionment Stage. During the Disillusionment Stage we start to realize that our spouse is not the perfect person that we had envisioned him or her to be. Sometimes, especially if our Romance Stage had been particularly intense, we are hurt deeply by this Disillusionment. We realize that the expectations we had of the perfect marriage were not going to happen. For some this realization is too heart wrenching and they give up on the marriage and divorce during this 2nd Stage of Disillusionment.

Many people stick with and try to work through their problems during Disillusionment. They seek the counsel of family, friends, clergy and marriage family counselors. Some of these people find the key they are looking for from these resources. Many others continue to struggle and their troubles worsen. Often the marriage deteriorates more deeply due to drug, alcohol or other addictions. Sometimes a third party relationship in the form of extramarital affairs result. As the couple finds themselves in this 3rd Stage of Marriage they know they have entered the Misery Stage.

The Misery Stage is where many couples find themselves considering a marriage separation or divorce. When children are involved this 3rd Stage of Misery is particularly difficult on them. Regardless of whether the couple stays together in misery or divorce the children often believe it is their fault regardless of assurances to the contrary. The effects of divorce on a child cannot be over emphasized. The pain is so intense during the Misery Stage that it is common to only want it to STOP. Much like the pain of a toothache that consumes your whole being you cannot seem to think of anything else besides stopping the pain. One spouse may be pushing hard for the divorce while the other wants to stop divorce.

If the couple ends the marriage at this point and remarry other partners they are more likely to experience the effects of divorce with their second or third spouse.

Most people whose marriages end in divorce are not bad people. Rather, they are often people who never learned the proper tools for a happy marriage. This is where Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) can help. Teams of couples who have experienced all 4 Stages of Marriage present the Retrouvaille program. Instead of giving up they found solutions. In Retrouvaille they learned the tools they needed to live a happy marriage. They learned that marriage does not follow the Romance and Happily Ever After formula portrayed in literature and media. Rather, they learn that there are certain learnable skills, attitudes and tools that they can use to deal with the inevitable problems of the real world.

These skills, attitudes and tools give them what they need to move from the 3rd Stage of Misery into the 4th Stage of Awakening.

Whether you are in the Disillusionment Stage grieving the loss of that magical Romance or if you have moved firmly into the Misery Stage Retrouvaille can give you the marriage help you need to rebuild your marriage. Many tens of thousands of couples have turned their marriages around by giving this program a chance.

Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Stillpraying on September 19, 2011, 10:23:16 PM
I've read another similar explanation of the stages of Marriage on the 'Marriage Missions' website too.

It's great stuff.  Stuff we LBS'ers are receptive to.

What gets me is we know this now, but our MLC'ers (well mine anyway) are NOT receptive to learning or hearing anything like this.  And ultimately, it takes two.  I would have thought that H would have learnt this after having already been married once before.  But I was naive then.

Well, I'll take it into any future relationship I have because I don't want to be left at stage 2 again!
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on September 30, 2011, 08:06:48 AM

While it is true that some people do experience immediate changes in their relationships, it’s also true that, in most marriages, change takes much longer.  How much longer? It depends on many factors: the severity of the problems, personalities of the spouses, length of time people have been experiencing difficulties, each spouse’s level of motivation to do what it takes to make a marriage work, outside influences from extended family and friends, and the level of both partners’ problem-solving skills.  Every marriage is different.

But the consistent message I’ve gotten from those in the trenches is that patience is not only a virtue, it’s an absolute necessity.  Resign yourself to the fact that improving your marriage might take weeks rather than days, or months rather than weeks.  This will help you avoid becoming disappointed if results aren’t as immediate as you had hoped.  Furthermore, you need to know that you can expect your good days and your bad days, good weeks and bad weeks.  Sometimes, you’ll feel as if you are really out of the woods, and then a day later, you’ll feel as though you are back to square one.  That’s how change happens.  You must expect these hills and valleys and teach yourself not to get despondent.  Resist feeling sorry for yourself.  Just remember that, chances are, tomorrow will be a better day.

You also need to keep in mind that even if you’ve been doing everything right, your spouse is likely to be suspicious if you’ve changed a great deal.  S/he might think that you are just putting on an act to try to win him/her over.  This is natural, and if your spouse expresses this doubt, don’t be reactive.  Just quietly tell your partner that is the new you, and that you plan on remaining this new person no matter what happens to your marriage.  Reassure your spouse that you can fully understand his/her skepticism.  As long as you keep on track, your spouse will eventually see that this is the “new you,” and not some impostor.

The bottom line is that you should take comfort in the fact that you are being proactive about improving your marriage.  Even if you have a ways to go, at least you’ve started the journey, and that’s more than a lot of people can say.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on October 18, 2011, 05:46:30 PM
This is just a handy tip: when my wife started her touch and goes, I started a calendar on my smartphone.

When we have a particularly good exchange, like meeting for lunch or if she just drops by to visit, I make a note on the calendar. It helps sometimes to look back over the past few months and see the red flags becoming more frequent...
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: WarriorPriestess on October 18, 2011, 05:53:02 PM
I also kept notes in my day planner on encounters with my H starting after BD.  I slacked off a bit after the first year (jeez!) but am trying to get back into it now.  I note things like date, time, length of interaction, means of contact, anything new or relevant, his mood, etc.  It does help to look back and see things in B&W, and it doesn't have to be a lot of writing.  I usually just jot down a few key words, or even draw a happy or sad face.  Sometimes our memories can be tricky.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on October 18, 2011, 07:22:17 PM
I don't go that far; IMO, chronicling her state of mind doesn't help my situation. It leads to anticipation, which leads to expectations.

I note the time and date and what it was: lunch, visit, going to see mutual friends, etc. I only do this for the positive interactions (not that there have been a lot of negative interactions of late) because I want to see the bright spots when I look back.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on January 18, 2012, 11:31:23 AM
I don't know if this should be under Standing Actions or Self-Focus (or is just completely off-topic), but if your MLCer has moved out or is filing for divorce and you need to get a handle on your finances, Mint.com is a free website/service. I've only been using it for a couple of days, but I like it so far.


You can enter your online banking information and it will help you record expenses, plan budgets and track investments. It can also do email and/or text alerts for low bank balances, large transactions, bill pay notifications, etc. (It can also offer general financial advice (like refinancing your mortgage if your interest rate is high) and refer you to financial services, which is where I suspect it makes its money.)
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Mamma Bear on April 13, 2012, 12:41:45 PM
  RCR  The Limbo article is under the Doubt and Confusion Article in the Standing Actions and Articles. Not sure about Awakening. ???  I do need coffee though that would be an awakening. ::) :P ;D
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: StillStanding on June 25, 2013, 08:27:23 AM
From their page:
Marriage Friendly Therapists is the only Pro-Commitment, Experience Required Marriage Counseling Resource in the Nation.


This will be a good place to start looking for a marriage counselor when the time comes for reconciliation; some of them may be willing to see individual spouses as well.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: OldPilot on September 02, 2013, 09:35:02 AM
I have just edited post #5 on this thread as I unearthed the author of The Lighthouse Post and she also made another post called "Be Still"

You can read it at the bottom of post #5 here.
Title: Re: Resources: Standing Actions
Post by: Shadow on September 03, 2013, 07:22:11 PM
I keep hearing detach......but how do you detach if your committed to Standing????

answered on your thread.