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Author Topic: My Story Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 15: "Who's the Master? Sho'Nuff!!!"

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Great update SS,

I look forward to reading your updates and it’s so interesting to read the progress your W is making (and your continuing upward trajectory too of course).
Glad the pinball machine is operational - what fun. We had our works Xmas party at a vintage arcade / diner and the pinball machine was by far the biggest draw. I didn’t get a single go on it!

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The pinball machine workssssss!!  Very exciting. Interesting you see it as therapy for your wife as well.  I can see that in how she is handling frustrations and things “not going her way” etc…  I also think the way we look at the glass half empty or full is an important thing to view. I wish there was a way to explain how to get to a place of contentment within yourself. I have seen your wife use many outside sources to distract and fill voids. Specially that apartment! What is it about the distraction?  The next purchase or trip to occupy and look forward to? 

I will never forget the actual moment I came out of my grief from
The death of my daughter. I tried to explain it to my XH so he could understand that even in the depths of despair others have it worse. Things could be worse and you just have to appreciate the good. It isn’t explainable enough to help someone. It like blah blah blah in their ears and I get it. You have to have your own moment. I like the fact your wife is talking through her disappointments with you again. It is absolutely sharing. Also, that she even told you that you are scared of her. Opening the door for you ( if you want) to be more honest when needed.

She may not see it, but I do think she is headed in a great direction. I do think a negative mind is a hard thing the change. That is probably going to be her biggest hurdle.
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

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Hi Standing,

I really appreciate your being forthcoming about the preoccupation many other men share with you. I am a straight woman that has been thinking about how my ex-H operated, and I think your point about (some?) women changing their priorities and its impact on men like yourselves is important for me to hear personally. Here is a Reddit post that I think furnishes some background to the point you make which I find enlightening. Am still turning this over in my mind. (I may of course be wrong and the post may have little relevance to your point. If so I hope you'll overlook it.)

At any rate, I want to say that your constancy seems a marvel to me. Your wife has celestial luck. Bless.


I don't mean to say that men have it hard, or that being a guy sucks, or anything like that, but one of the worst things to come out of gender roles in general is the idea that men are supposed to be stoic and emotionless. We are supposed to be free from pain and heartache and loss, and always be strong and powerful.

We can be enthusiastic. If a new movie comes out that's awesome, I can tell my friends how much it's awesome. If my favorite sports team loses, I can get mad or mopey, and my friends can rib me over it. If I'm stressed out by college or my job or something, I can let off steam by talking $h!te about someone with my friends. But when I'm sad, or upset, when I really feel down, I can't talk with most of them about it.

In many cases, we have to go it alone. Guys internalize pain because we don't have an outlet for sadness or depression or hardship. "Blowing off steam" is great in the short term, but it sucks for dealing with big, long-term problems. I spent my senior year of high school going to therapy for my depression. A few of my friends knew about it, but we couldn't talk about it. I couldn't reach out to them for that kind of emotional support, and they couldn't try to help me. I know they wanted to, and I know I wanted them to, but the barriers that we've grown up with stopped us.

Generalizing, girls can have conversations about their feelings and emotions with most of their friends, and it's expected, but guys can't do that. Even from our closest friends, we can feel isolated from the rest of the world, and it really feels like we have to go through everything alone. Falling in love means we don't have to go through it alone anymore. We have someone who we care for, who cares for us and won't judge us for being honest and open and real, instead of a steely-eyed caricature of stoic masculinity.

Of course it's not like this for everyone, and there are lots of other things as well (some people have mentioned some negatives, and there are lots of other positives), but what sticks out to me as something that is experienced by far more men than women in love is that emotional life-preserver feeling, the freedom to talk and think and feel complex emotions.

Reddit link:
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Hi Sach, ML and B  :D

That was a neat thread/link Sach..... that's one of the things I feel very strongly about: understanding the difference between the sexes. I think men don't understand women and women don't understand men...... but I know a whole lot more now than I ever have before.  ;D
I also believe that both men and women don't understand themselves: only able to identify with how they "feel" but not the real "why" behind those feelings...... thus women don't understand women and men don't really understand themselves either.... HA!!!!  :P

It is such an important subject - how a man's heart (and brain) work.... there's been a couple times when I've written about that and a lady will say "that's interesting, and so different than me"...... when to a man, it's like "well, of course it's like that..... how could it be otherwise?" (LOL!!!!) when it's just how a man processes and feels automatically vs. how a woman naturally feels and processes naturally. The difference when we "see" how each other works is magnetic because of our being polar opposites.  :D

It is true..... by and large what a man receives in love often times is someone to confide in, share with, and express feelings when there is nowhere else in life he shares these things. Unfortunately men have been conditioned to be this way, and relationships become a dumping ground for his insecurities, frustrations, and troubles (something women don't want exposure to ALL THE TIME). But why is this? Because men have nowhere to go otherwise.

In my "real" life  ;D I'm the leader of a technical unit, within the legal field. I worked from the very bottom to the very top (as it should be IMO), and am at the apex of my career. I've been the leader for five years now..... My unit consists of men, and all men..... and I've been under fire for not hiring a woman (at times) as we've grown. I'm not opposed to having a female on the team but I have been very resistant for very specific's VERY interesting to observe my guys (but not surprising, because I understand men). I'll explain. During Covid (and before/after) other units have had turnover of 100% and higher...... people leave, people were headhunted, people get mad, etc. I've never lost a single guy. Never. Complete retention. At a place with 500+ people, my unit is the only one, and the only one in its history to have 100% retention for five years..... it's unheard of. Heck, no other units have had 100% retention for one year, let alone five. I don't share this to pat myself on the back..... I want people to understand (and appreciate) the male condition.
My guys, they're amazing...... and the thing about it is: they're just normal, average, good, men. The thing about men is if you take away fear (the fear of being reprimanded for trying), give them something simple (and fair) to look look forward to (advancement), and also lift them up with their accomplishments and labors as a matter of course (recognition in private and in public)..... they gel and will move mountains not just for the job, but for each other. In that created environment (especially if it's high stress - which I my case it is), they become brothers not co-workers. It is beautiful. Not only do they survive in such an environment, they thrive in it. They love it. While the work is hard, they love the work, they love the team.... they retreat to work from their lives at home  8) and at work they are at ease because they are surrounded by men and not looking over their shoulder in the presence of women.
I have older men, younger men, and men in the middle..... and something wonderful and magical happens..... they begin teaching, mentoring and supporting one another. All of it is natural, and happens organically.... effortlessly.
I've had almost all of them turn down more money elsewhere, refuse job offers..... all to remain with the team. Our reputation is such that other men have requested repeatedly to join us.... and contractors, temps and even vendors who are exposed to us want to leave their employers to join us.
So that's how men work (in part)..... how we need a refuge for connection, for comradery, for support. Men will turn down lots of things just to have it..... it's very rare in general, and especially in the current setup of society to have such an environment. I have to say, they have all become better men because of it. It is both beautiful, unknown and unappreciated in today's makeup to understand these mechanics. It is also politically incorrect, and some would actively seek to undermine and destroy it (and at my work people have tried - every time the person has been a woman looking in at my insular unit with the jealousy of exclusion)..... each time I have to point at the results (which are undeniable and multiples higher than all industry standards). Each of my guys is recognized as a hero in the organization instead of some worker, or a nobody.... and from that, they derive great self-worth, satisfaction and value. Men just want a pat on the back from their peers and those they work to support...... and they don't want to ever be attacked for doing their best..... even in failure I applaud their efforts and tell them "try again" (in private) until they get it right.... and then they are congratulated publicly in front of all to share in their success. Thus men are "built" and my greatest personal success is in building men.

If women could be taught (and understand) this about men..... then their marriages in general could be so much better. Men need very little, and they'll go to the ends of the earth, sacrifice and endure....... just for a morsel of what they need to feel most of all: appreciated and needed. Women would see the weakness of men dissolve when they are reinforced to be strong..... and THAT is what men actually need/want from a woman.

Men also would be so much better if they were sent off to be with other (good) men. We rub off on one another, help one another, and build each other up...... but those environments have been stripped away, and what you see in it's place are men being islands unto themselves and hermits. It is not good for man to be alone. 


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M - 46
Together 28 years, M 25
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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Wow- it appears from that post that you knowingly discriminate against women in the hiring process in order to preserve your male team as a refuge.
It´s called discrimination and it´s illegal.
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me 51
H 51
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BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

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I agree. Thanks for reminding us how these sexist attitudes, beliefs and illegal actions are alive and well in the work place. Not surprised on the one hand, but to hear it so clearly explained as a "rational" reason was interesting to read in this day and age.
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I smell a sexual discrimination lawsuit looking for a place to happen....

Even the US Military (one of the last bastions of male machismo and bravado) has realized that women, when provided equivalent training to their male counterparts, can and do perform equally well in most combat units where things other than sheer physical strength are required....

I work with some of the best engineers in the field of astrodynamics and astrophysics, both men and women. This team managed to pull off the equivalent of shooting a 9mm bullet into the air in New York City, having it travel around the world 14 times and landing it in the center hub of the steering wheel of a Formula 1 Race Car moving at 200 mph on a race track in Japan. I can tell you from personal experience I can get more issues solved and solutions in place in 10 minutes around the table in the coffee shop with 2 of my favorite female flight dynamics engineers than I could in 10 meetings, 400 e-mails, 25 telephone calls and 3 weeks of discussions with their male counterparts.... Why? Because the men were interested in competition and preserving their status while the women were interested in solutions and getting the spacecraft in orbit.... so the generalizations described are, at least in my experience and in my field of work, nonsense.
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Me - 61, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 17, D - 13
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Thus men are "built" and my greatest personal success is in building men.

If women could be taught (and understand) this about men..... then their marriages in general could be so much better. Men need very little, and they'll go to the ends of the earth, sacrifice and endure....... just for a morsel of what they need to feel most of all: appreciated and needed. Women would see the weakness of men dissolve when they are reinforced to be strong..... and THAT is what men actually need/want from a woman.

Hmmm, interesting.
Why do you see women as a threat to this work cohesion? (Or what my Aussie friends might call ‘mate-ship’  :) ) Do you see any potential disadvantages to it in a world which has a small majority of women and indeed a more fluid take on gender writ large? Do you see the ‘fault’ lying more with the way women might approach the job or with how the men might react? And what do you think about others’ concerns about discrimation and your legal obligations as a manager?

I find myself having a mixed bag of reactions to what you say tbh.
Like many other female LBS, I am now rather allergic (to the point of light outrage) about how often we seem to shift the responsibility to ‘build a man’ onto women’s shoulders in our society. I suspect, based on anecdotal evidence, most ow types speak to that very need in men….it’s a kind of Achille’s Heel in many men, I think, and a lot of we female LBS here paid a damned high price for our husband’s desire to be ‘appreciated and needed’…..grrr.

I find myself often bewildered by how crappy a lot of men are as humans, partners, fathers and citizens and their seeming avoidance of the responsibility to build themselves without rage or victimhood in relationship with women. And I grew up rather liking men  :)….but something seems to have gone rather awry with the way men do grown up and the way we women adult on their behalf overall. I have no idea why this seems to be so but I see it in everyday life, big and small. We seem to expect so much of women and so little conversely of men.

So I am personally happy to lay down any ‘build a man’ habits I may have had  :) and can only hope that more men get a bit more competent at taking responsibility for their own growing up.

Having said that, I recognise something in what you describe. My father would have recognised it and, in many ways, as a forces veteran and in his own managerial life in a male dominated environment, it described a lot of how he lived his life. (Although of course he was forty odd years older than you, a different generation in a different time.) But still I recognise it and I see that many men don’t have it and feel the lack of that kind of ‘mateship’ with other men….although imho in a work environment it can come with some other spins as UM described, if only a tendency to treat work as life to the exclusion of other parts of life.

I find some of the aggressive and misogynistic views of modern influencers on young men like Andrew Tate rather troubling….and yet I recognise something that seems to speak to a vacuum in young men that I can intellectually understand. The only difference I can see is something about, idk, a kind of rage towards women and the absence of what, for the lack of a better term, I might call a kind of chivalry where the measure of a man who not just his strength but also his decency towards women, children, the elderly, the more vulnerable perhaps. It’s as if the pendulum has swung towards a kind of male entitlement without much responsibility while for some women perhaps it is swinging towards a kind of detachment from men who are all puff and no substance, who make life harder not easier, where partnership seems to be simply not reciprocal enough tbh.

I have no idea what to do with any of these thoughts in my real life.
But I work hard to remind myself that there are decent grown up men out there just getting on with their lives and stepping up to their obligations as an adult human. I know some in RL. I see some here on this forum and I am grateful that I still see that bc it would be easy to not see that as a female LBS.
Maybe the not so decent ones just make more noise in our society, MLC or not  ::)
But sadly, I think I know more women of all ages who seem to show more grit, generosity of spirit and less self-centred entitlement than I do men. And I find that puzzling and rather sad.
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2023, 01:53:05 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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SS, is it possible for you to look at this differently. The idea that it is somehow the role of women to appreciate and make men feel needed is exactly the thing that needs to change. Women are equal contributors to the workforce (and I include parenting and keeping home in this) - we already have jobs - we don't need an extra job in the Male Appreciation Club. It suggests a hierarchy, where men must be continually praised. What they do is 'more praiseworthy'. That is unhealthy and needs to be demolished. I venture that we ALL might like to feel appreciated and needed. I'm not speaking for all women, I will speak for myself - I feel appreciated when I do something well and it has an impact. I feel needed when I am asked for input or support, and what I give has a positive effect. I don't need someone to give me a round of applause. In our marriages and partnerships, yes, absolutely, we should be mindful of making our loved ones feel wanted (I make the distinction between need and want here) and I hope I always show gratitude to my loved ones. But this is not a gendered thing.

I agree with what others have written, and add a recommendation -  Sherry Ortner's  'Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?'(written over 40 years ago now)
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2023, 09:52:12 AM by KayDee »

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  • Back to being #1 for my daughters!!!!

I have been recovering from knee surgery and at a conference to boot so my stamina and time to respond has been limited as well as my mental capacity to think. Funny when you spend a lot of time thinking about how you are going to get out of bed or into the car or deal with little steps.

My unit consists of men, and all men..... and I've been under fire for not hiring a woman (at times) as we've grown. I'm not opposed to having a female on the team but I have been very resistant for very specific reasons....

Research has shown that a team that is built with like minded people will start out of the gate faster then a diverse team. However, over time, the like minded group will plateau and the diverse group will outperform. 

If women could be taught (and understand) this about men..... then their marriages in general could be so much better. Men need very little, and they'll go to the ends of the earth, sacrifice and endure....... just for a morsel of what they need to feel most of all: appreciated and needed.

From my seat in the house, this goes both ways. I think as a man, I need to be just as encouraging and supportive of the females in my life at work and at home.  In many ways, the patriarchy that dominates our society leaves many women on the sidelines even to this day. In the US, females have 59 that have been in the Senate and 25 currently serve and in the House, 375 have been elected and currently 125 serve. This is approximately 25% of all seats. While this is low compared to the general population, it is an increase over time. On the corporate side of the US, 53 women are CEOs in the Fortune 500 which is a little over 10%. So I am not as concerned about lonely men at the top.

The other concern is that I don't want our newbies to walk away from this conversation thinking that if they had only appreciated their spouse more, they would not have had MLC or gone after the alienator. It took me a long, long time to realize that MLC had nothing to do with me or my marriage. You are not going to "love and encourage" your spouse through the tunnel.

My goal is not to attack or try to alienate your posts as I think you are doing very well on living your life as you deal with your spouse. From what you post, she has come a long way and you are still pursuing things that interest you. (Pinball machine sounds so much fun right now). I just think we walk onto thin ice when we speak in absolutes about any groups of people without understanding that on most areas we all fall on a continuum some more extreme than others on certain subjects. It is what makes all of us unique.

Have an amazing day,


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