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Our Community / Re: Parting Still Waters ..Making A path For Me .
« Last post by Ausgatorgirl on Today at 09:42:16 PM »
W o w Barbie, thank you for posting that.....much to digest.
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Our Community / Re: Parting Still Waters ..Making A path For Me .
« Last post by RedStar on Today at 09:37:18 PM »
Wow, barbiedoll.

That was an amazing post and I really feel for you both! Can't help but feel that many of our male MLCers, including mine, are in a similar spot and my heart breaks for them. I think maybe though your H had a tougher time in early life than mine did (but who but him really even knows)...either way, they all seem so broken, I just want to hug them.

This is also fabulous info for any of us or our partners who look into counseling, so thank you for that! So many of us have been there with counselors who are just not a good fit for what we are dealing with.

You are really giving your H (and yourself) an incredible gift of love here. It is really hard when people rely only on their own wits to navigate relationship waters when almost none of us were ever trained to use a damn paddle! Just yesterday I again tried to get at the concept of outside resources with my STBX, saying that we actually did really well without them for so long, it's a wonder. But of course he is closed-minded to the idea that there's any way to improve communication meaningfully. I'm sorry he feels that way...

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Our Community / Re: Parting Still Waters ..Making A path For Me .
« Last post by Mae on Today at 09:32:58 PM »
Thank you Barbie for your generosity in sharing that session with us.

She made great headway with your H.

A lot to digest, hope the next session goes just as well.
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Our Community / Re: The Best Revenge
« Last post by Reinventing on Today at 08:48:25 PM »
Agree with Offroad.
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Our Community / Re: Parting Still Waters ..Making A path For Me .
« Last post by barbiedoll on Today at 08:47:00 PM »
So ( before it becomes a blurr) I want to talk about what this therapist had to say . It was the 1st meeting , so that seems like rapid fire interrogation at times. It does provoke anxiety in me , so that interferes with remembering. Let me say that there are only 2 types of therapists that I will see. Period. An EFT trained therapist or a Gottman Therapist . That's it , that's all. Any "generic " therapist that can treat 900 conditions and pull a rabbit out of a hat is wasting my time . This I have discovered. I need specialist in marriage and infidelity recovery ...not the entire list of human ailments. UGH. The 1st therapists we saw had no "specialty" , she could counsel from a long list of conditions ( including infidelity ) but was overwhelmed by me and my pain. This therapist yesterday is both. She is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy ( based on attachment theory ) and is a Gottman Trained Therapist. That is the reason I contacted her specifically ... and I didn't ruffle her feathers for 1 second. She stuck with me and my emotions like the professional her credentials state she is. So, with caution, I say it was a very positive start. And to add to rather attractive package ...she understood and accepted that my husband had an "identity crisis".

So, she of course asked "why are you here and what can I help you with ?". I tried to prepare for that question the night before and that was another dismal adventure in communication. He speaks in generalized terms ..."I want peace, I want to fix this situation, I want us to be happy", but will not specifically identify any issues or concerns. If I start the conversation first , he will simply "copy" what I say . He has always done that . He is like my "parrott-husband " and I need his own original thoughts. Anyway, frustrating and pointless and not completed.  So ( of course ) when she asks why we are there , he stares at me and says " you go ahead ". SPIT.

I give her a very brief history ( how long married , kids , etc ) and of course the "event". The abandonment , separation , things said...and the struggle to recover. And wallah... that's is why we are hear. This is the last stop and last attempt to save this war torn marriage. I am not able to recover in ways I imagined. We do not have the "even stronger marriage and deeper bond " that some couples attest to after an affair. I am not sure what exactly is keeping such a painfull grip on me and why I cannot move on. Why can others recover from this and we simply cannot ...or I cannot is likely more to the truth. I became entensely emotional which just shocked me .... She validated how deep a trauma this is, how many get "stuck" in a spots and are not able to move past etc etc ...She was really very connected to what I had to say .

Then to him . Now he is very uncomfortable, red faced and slit eyed ...taken aback by the emotion ( as was I ). She asked him "what are you feeling right now ? How do you feel about that raw emotion and pain your wife expressed ?". Silence. Now this is where I always want to "protect " him. I just am so uncomfortable when I see ...he has no words that come easily to him . And he is in "flee" mode...extreme emotions shut him down involuntarily and the struggle is so apparent . UGH .. So I try to intervene and she asks me to "not talk right now please". And she is on him for the rest of the session. He says he " stepped outside of the marriage "  5 years ago , he made a huge mistake and sees it is impossible to fix, and PTSD and his history etc etc ...  However, she brings him back to " what is he feeling in the face of these emotions". She is saying " stay with me, stay here in this moment, in this room ...and he says he is full of shame . He has a tear trickling down his cheek and he brushes it away and wipes it on his pants.. She softens ...tells him how society has let men down , programmed them to run from emotion, to not be vulnerable and struggle with showing themselves emotionally and intimately ... she validated his struggle and talked about shame . She asked about the OW. WHY did you do that ? ( the million dollar question) . He tells her he has been in therapy for 4 years and knows all the reasons why ...he had an identity crisis, he imploded . She accepts that, but pushes ... "tell me more, about your identity crisis ..talk to me about that ". And he did. About witnessing his mother being beaten when he was 3 and never seeing her again, about being raised the oldest of 5 boys to a raging alcoholic father, about sexual abuse and moving twice a year his entire life , about his battle with shame and work addiction ...about "performance" and not being able to express his emotions or ask for what he needed, about being avoidant ... she is madly writing all this down. She asks him if it is fair to say that " he had absolutely no childhood whatsoever ". Did he ever experience carefree times of play ? Did he know moments of safety " Did he ever belly-laugh and wrestle in the grass with his dad or enjoy calmness as a child? Can he remember moments of pure happiness and the joy and freedom of being a boy ?. Silence .  Finally ... he says "no... not ever ". He is crying now . And says "thank you " to her .. as if she spoke from HIS heart. She is warm towards him... She went back to the OW. What did she mean to you ". He says " absolutely nothing... zero ". She does not accept this answer and pushes him again .... "of course she meant something, or she would not have happened ".  He finally says ... " she asked no questions, I had no responsibility to her , she asked nothing of me , I felt free. ". HE has never once ever spoke of "freedom" in the past . Ever. I cannot really digest that just yet ... even today. She talked about experiencing a childhood that he never had ... that yearning or longing for freedom from responsibility, expectations, demands etc...like "shedding" these things.  .I missed some of the conversation after that really ... I went somewhere else mentally. She asked him again..." what did she mean to you ? ". He said he truly believes she could have been anyone ... that he felt nothing emotionally for her , that he felt nothing for anything ".  Perhaps you experienced freedom?  Is that a fair statement ?.  He said "maybe ...yes". There is more to your journey ..she says ...but YOU paid a very very high price  ... haven't you ?  He said "yes..

The session ended there. I basically was a spectator for the majority of the time. She says there is much to explore if we choose to continue working with her . She smiled at me ... she says " I think that this man means the absolute world to you , that's what I think ". She says  " now, do not badger him when you leave here ... just leave him think. If you question him you will get nothing   ... because he is learning a new language and he is just not there ...yet". Imagine ????  So... I have been silent . Drains the life out of a person.

This is indeed , my very last attempt to get what I need ... and to be able to give what he needs.
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Our Community / Re: More Good Wolf for a Good Life...
« Last post by Reinventing on Today at 08:19:13 PM »
A vet pm’d me and suggested that I should force myself now to think about the past less, including MLC and posting here. And I understand the wisdom of that hard-won advice. I guess what is hard is that often I feel very alone and have few RL friends who get this enough that I can talk out loud when I need to, and I don’t want to overburden my small RL support team...so that is why I come here.

I agree. There is comfort in a community who gets it.
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Our Community / Re: The real inside look of a BPD relationship
« Last post by Velika on Today at 07:52:21 PM »
I am one of the LBS whose self esteem has been shattered by the affair and not by being abandoned. The two have caused me trauma, but it is the affair that destroyed me as a person. The OW in my story sounded like such a perfect woman, ex model, tall, skinny, no cellulite as my D23 told me, very sweet as H said, supportive of him, plays his sports with him, skinny dips with him, very beautiful as multiple people in my village told me. To hear that she's a scam really does help me. To hear that my H is probably living a life on egg shells, scared to leave her, controlled, full of drama, continuous fights helps me. It's not the schmoopie land that my shattered self esteem feared.

Milly, I just want to caution you that in a state of trauma, you may not be correctly perceiving OW.

When I first realized who the OW was I was shocked. She didn't seem like his type and I didn't find her attractive. But then my mind started to play tricks on me and I began to see her as "beautiful." In a traumatized state, I just wanted to make sense of what was happening.

Big hugs.
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Our Community / Re: Not Broken Just Bent
« Last post by Ropeburn on Today at 07:17:17 PM »
Kit
  Sounds like you got a lot of people to vivisection on east coast. I am in the mountains so I think a beach trip sounds good

Hugs friend
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Our Community / Re: Beauty into Beast 7
« Last post by Kitty on Today at 07:14:43 PM »
Wow, that’s quite the update Morte.

Congratulations on getting through exams with all the MLC crazy going on.

I’m glad to hear your daughter is going to be talking to someone to help her get through this.

As for your “rambling”, don’t apologize, that’s what the board is for.

Make sure you let MIl have it, if she ever schedules a time for you to talk.

Hopefully you will take this bit of downtime and get some self care in. You deserve it.
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Our Community / Re: And the band played on
« Last post by FaithWalker on Today at 07:00:56 PM »
I can identify with a lot of this too Kai.


I came across something the other day that proved so clearly how MLCers rewrite history. It was really shocking to me to try and reconcile the two memories.
When H and I had our tenth wedding anniversary, the two of us, our parents, and some of our family members flew to Mexico and we renewed our vows on the beach. It was a beautiful, fun day.

Fast forward four or five years to BD, either #1 or #2, I can't remember which. H tells me how miserable and unhappy and forced into it he felt on the day of our vow renewal. He said he hated every minute of the whole thing and felt like he was made to do it.

You can imagine how much that hurt me. This beautiful day, this beautiful happy memory of our married life....torched to t crisp in a few nasty sentences.

The other day I was digging through a drawer looking for something. I came across a greeting card. I pulled it out and opened it up and my heart stopped when I read the message.

It was dated the day of our vow renewal. It said: "I'm still crazy about you sweetie! I love you so much. Where are we going on our 20th wedding anniversary?"

I mean how different can you get? One extreme to the other from one man. One through the lens of a normal loving husband, the other through the lens of a man deep in MLC. It just goes to show how skewed their memories get!

It upset me so much to read that card the other day, but at the same time I also felt like it offered some proof of the MLC.
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