Author Topic: My Story One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…  (Read 1697 times)

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
My Story One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:19:56 PM »
I was told that it's time for a new thread, so here it is!  :)

The plot up until this point: My husband and I have been married for many years, the last several of which we have been separated. There was a very brief affair years ago, and at least an attempt at a more recent one, which inexplicably caused him to want to spend more time with ME. Because of his availability nearly every night, especially on Friday and Saturday, I'm reasonably certain that that affair is over or never really got off the ground; I'm not asking him about it, because my apparent lack of interest will puzzle him greatly… and because it's not like I can trust anything he says anyways. I'm currently not letting him into my home unless he's doing chores for me; he's confused by this, and has been making an increasing issue of trying to get into the house that he once was so passionate about running away from.

We have been in daily contact, and seen each other most days, throughout the separation. Our contact is pleasant and friendly; we're getting along better than we have since before we got married. Building on that, I'm using psychological principles, and decades of knowledge about him, to get him to like me more and be more interested in me:

1) Eliminating every possible negative from our interactions, and adding in every possible positive, because people are drawn to positive and repelled by negative.

2) Leading him to think that we have as much in common as possible, both in opinions and in things we like, because the more we think we have in common with someone, the more we like them.

3) Carefully tailoring his interactions with me so that what he observes are the things that will most garner his respect, admiration, approval, and, particularly important to a man who thinks that most people are boring, make me seem as interesting as possible (by his unique standards).

4) Using one of the most powerful psychological motivators, intermittent reinforcement, to increase my perceived value in his eyes, and his desire for my company.

These things are producing excellent results; in recent weeks, he and I have been on our first few dates in this century. Why is this working? Psychological principles apply to everyone, including MLCers; however, part of psychology is that if someone is a raving psycho, spewing hate, running away in panic, or practicing total avoidance, they can't be influenced, at least not by the source of those emotions, so if your MLCer is in monster mode, probably the best you can do is eliminate every possible thing that you think might trigger him, and then just focus on healing and making the best possible life for yourself.

Why am I making all this effort for someone who abandoned and cheated on me? Because I'm a hard-core Christian, a stander and covenant keeper; marriage was created by God, God loves marriage and hates divorce and marital separation, and this is the man I'm married to. I'm long past the point of having anything to heal, I'm maxed out on creating a quality life alone, and personal growth, so my sole focus and priority at this time is the restoration of my marriage.

A note to those who disrupted my previous thread: I remind you that this is supposed to be a SUPPORT forum, so please take your negativity and defeatism elsewhere.

(Previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10759.0)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 11:54:52 PM by Silver »

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 08:05:03 AM »
My husband was here doing some stuff for me yesterday; note that this was the day before the 4th of July, and, although he has come to the celebration my church participates in the last couple of years, although not interacting much with me except during the fireworks, I had not said a word to him about doing anything this year, because I don't want to be inviting him to do things until he admits that he's no longer involved with that woman, and didn't want to risk being in a situation where he would have to turn me down with no explanation in case there is still enough involvement with her that she had already invited him to something.

He listens to a very unusually wide variety of types of music, so I made sure to have some music on of a genre that he had never heard me play when he got to the house, knowing that this would draw him into conversation, gain his approval, and make him see me as like him to a greater degree, which would in turn caused him to like me more… and, on the off chance that he's still having some contact or hope of any with the OW, it would make her look even worse by comparison, because he's contemptuous of people who like only one kind of music like she does. And how did he respond to this ploy? By asking me if I wanted to do something for the 4th of July!!!!

This is the first time that he has initiated something with me out of a clear blue sky in this century!!!!

As fantastic as our recent dates have been, they have come from me discovering that a local independent theater is playing some of the oddball movies he loves that he has never seen on the big screen but I knew he would really want to; he has been responding with immediate eagerness to go, and wanting to go with me even though since he's paying for me it's costing him twice as much, but there is a whole universe of difference between that and something that is 100% his own idea… And this was it!

It's almost impossible to believe, even though the path we've been on has been leading in this direction. He's been ducking and dodging me for so long, always with a million excuses why he somehow never has any time to do anything with me, while having time to go out and do things by himself, with friends, and then at least briefly with the OW. I wondered for years how I would get him to overcome seeing me as someone he only interacts with in my home, who isn't part of his life of going out and doing things… but suddenly, effortlessly, that's been handled. As passive, and passive-aggressive, as he is, I was at a total loss trying to imagine how I'd ever be able to get him to initiate ANYTHING, EVER… And now he has! I was assuming that this would be an issue to be handled long after he had expressed a desire to reunite, because he'd sit on his hands and refuse to make an effort, expecting me to carry him along and be the whole relationship by myself… But suddenly it's DONE!

It's like an example I gave in my previous thread, about how performers work their butts off for 20 years, finally gain some success, and get called an overnight success. I'm sure that they feel as stunned when it finally happens as I do now.

And I think it IS finally happening. It sounds crazy to me every time I say it. My family and friends are just as astounded as I am. He's been so irrational for so long, refusing to make any progress towards reunion no matter how well things were going between us, that I guess at some level we all expected him to go on for more years like that… but here we are!

All I can point to here is the hand of God. Only God could have made these breakthroughs happen like this, not more gradual improvement but sudden leaps of progress. Only God. God is good, ALL the time, and ALL the time, God is good!

Offline seahorse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 08:54:27 AM »
Laugh -

Attaching.
So happy that there is a breakthrough with your H.
Prayers and putting God first does work -- in His time...

Enjoy your dates an keep us posted on the progress.

BTW - I think you're right.  The psychology and your "rules" only work if they're not in High Replay Monster mode, as my efforts to be nice only result in H finding something to argue about.  I'll keep trying, WHEN the opportunities present themselves.

Happy 4th!

Sea
Seahorses have one mate for life...

Offline Anon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 769
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 09:07:04 AM »
Hi LC, interesting approach but I can't help thinking it must be exhausting.  Everything you do or say to your h seems calculated to obtain a desired result even if it's not the natural or usual way for you.  It seems that you are figuring out first how you want your h to feel or act, and then working backwards to figure out how you have to be or behave to bring that about.   

When do you get to be just you,,, your authentic self,,, regardless of how that affects your h or not?   Do you plan to approach interactions with your h this way forever?   Probably not, that would be terribly tiring and pretty impossible as well.   So when do you lay down this approach to woo him back to you and just be your natural self?   Do you wonder if,,,when you do eventually lay it down,,, your h might feel like he's been manipulated because he will notice.  This approach may be drawing him closer now but eventually it would be tough for him to wonder if you didn't do a bait and switch on him.




Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 08:10:30 PM »
Our 4th of July went flawlessly, so he has no reason to feel anything but great about asking me to do something for the first time in a couple of decades!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2019, 06:55:20 AM »
Laugh -

Attaching.
So happy that there is a breakthrough with your H.
Prayers and putting God first does work -- in His time...

Enjoy your dates an keep us posted on the progress.

BTW - I think you're right.  The psychology and your "rules" only work if they're not in High Replay Monster mode, as my efforts to be nice only result in H finding something to argue about.  I'll keep trying, WHEN the opportunities present themselves.

Happy 4th!

Sea

Thank you, Seahorse! Focusing on God has been the most important part of my journey. God wants us to do what we can, but then He'll come and do what we can't!

There are few things as stressful as a man who wants to pick a fight about everything, right? And unfortunately, when you have legal, financial, and family entanglements with a man, and he's refusing to get anywhere near the zone of correct behavior in these areas, you HAVE to argue sometimes, rather than just being a helpless victim letting him spew destruction into your life. All I can suggest is to pick your battles, and if he's picking fights about something that's not crucial to your life, just cut him off. Walk away from him, hang up the phone, turn off Facebook messenger, whatever it takes to disengage from him. If you can't because you still have crucial topics to discuss, say, "Yeah, whatever," or, if you feel like being infuriating, "I'm sure you're right," and then instantly move on to the necessary topic. He's trying to push your buttons; call on Jesus for help if you have to, he'll give it, but don't let your husband see that he's getting to you! Remember, you are the righteous in Christ, and God will help you prevail!


Offline seahorse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2019, 07:08:57 AM »
Laugh -

So that that the 4th went well for you both.
Hope that he's happy, and more importantly you're happy.

Anon's post is interesting, and I can see the points being made.
You can't be someone you're not to please your husband but maybe a better way to put it is that we can try to enjoy the things that they like (explore that option) to try to make ourselves more compatible.  People change and sometimes we need to also follow them --  to a degree. 

I'm not saying to like satanic music if that's not what you believe in.
The beauty of having a great relationship is being able to do "your own thing" and know that your spouse is comfortable with it and that it doesn't take away from the quality of the relationship.

After all, I know I wasn't happy that my H started bike riding and should have just let it go.  But I harped and harped about the time spent, the money spent, I wanted to go with him.  Controlling?  IDK.  Probably felt him slipping away and tried to do everything within my power to keep it from happening.  In a healthy relationship, it's okay for them to develop hobbies away from us.  Makes us both stronger.

Sorry - got off on a tangent, but trying to maybe explain the difference between changing FOR someone or exploring new things for the sake of the relationship.

I'm in a good spot right now.
I've learned to walk away, or change the subject, or whatever is necessary when he monsters.
Strangely, it seems to be less and less lately, over the last few weeks.

If we keep our focuses, we'll all be fine in the end...

Hugs,
Sea
Seahorses have one mate for life...

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2019, 09:14:49 AM »
Hi LC, interesting approach but I can't help thinking it must be exhausting.  Everything you do or say to your h seems calculated to obtain a desired result even if it's not the natural or usual way for you.  It seems that you are figuring out first how you want your h to feel or act, and then working backwards to figure out how you have to be or behave to bring that about.   

When do you get to be just you,,, your authentic self,,, regardless of how that affects your h or not?   Do you plan to approach interactions with your h this way forever?   Probably not, that would be terribly tiring and pretty impossible as well.   So when do you lay down this approach to woo him back to you and just be your natural self?   Do you wonder if,,,when you do eventually lay it down,,, your h might feel like he's been manipulated because he will notice.  This approach may be drawing him closer now but eventually it would be tough for him to wonder if you didn't do a bait and switch on him.

Hi Anon! I can see how it could look difficult or exhausting to adopt a different mental strategy. It required some mental discipline and force of will at first, but that decreased rapidly, and before long it came second nature. Think of it as similar to how you would alter what you say and how you say it if you were speaking to a small child or an infirm elderly person; yes, it takes a little bit more effort to choose your words carefully to be appropriate for those situations, but it's not a big deal.

Everything I do or say with ANYONE is calculated to obtain a desired result. With family and friends, I want to maintain those relationships, and that requires that I not pass on every thought or opinion that I have, that I keep what my mother would have called a civil tongue in my mouth at all times, carefully modulate my tone of voice to be pleasant and gracious, and pretend to be interested in everything that they do or say. I assume I don't need to elaborate on the formal politeness with which pretty much everyone treats people in the work sphere, and acquaintances and strangers, as opposed to doing or saying whatever we feel like doing or saying. Somehow in our culture, we've decided that we don't need to extend these courtesies to our husbands… and then we wonder why they run away from us into the arms of women who treat them with pure sweetness and light.

Yes, I am in fact figuring out how I want my husband to at least feel, I'm not quite to the point of trying to make him act any particular way YET, and then modulating my own behavior to achieve that goal. It's working extremely well so far.

I'm not my authentic self with anybody, because if I was, I would be totally alone, rejected and despised by everyone; oddly enough, that's not how I want to live my life. There is no self-esteem issue here, it's simply acknowledging that if I honestly told people how stupid and wrong many things about them and their behavior are, they would react like any other sane human beings and remove themselves from our relationships. With my husband specifically, my intention is to restore my marriage, not to be my authentic self; there are infinite benefits to a restored marriage, and zero benefits to being my authentic self, so that's not a hard decision to make.

Yes, I intend to handle my interactions with my husband like this forever, as the women I know and respect who are in happy decades-long marriages do. What little my husband experienced of my "authentic self" is a significant part of how we ended up separated, and him cheating on me. Using my authentic self, I was complaining about and criticizing him all the time. He absolutely deserved all those complaints and criticisms, and 1000 times worse, because he was a worthless scumbag on many levels, but that doesn't change how it FELT to him. What he felt was that every interaction with me was negative, while none of his interactions with any of the other people in the world were. Have you ever wondered how some of the husbands described on this forum get to the point where they believe that they are perfect angels and their wives are demons, at fault for everything? Here is one way that it happens, based on what my husband has said; the man thinks:

Everyone in the world is nice to me all the time except for my wife, who criticizes, complains, nags, etc, all the time

Therefore, everyone in the world is nice except my wife, who is bad

Since I'm a great guy who everyone likes, and my wife is bad, any problem between us must be because of her, because she's the bad one

And then it's a short step to the questions that can lead to him acting out:

Why am I wasting my life away living with and being married to the only person in the world who is mean to me, the only bad person in the world?

Why don't I focus my time and attention on a nice woman instead?

Now certainly, any sane and logical man would remember his own behavior, how his actions are to blame for negative behavior from his wife, all the benefits he receives from her, and all the history they have together, to counterbalance these sorts of thoughts… but if our husbands were sane and logical, we wouldn't be here, would we?

If I were to return to the same behavior that led to my husband leaving me in the first place, in other words being even a little bit of my "authentic self," expecting it to work out differently this time, that would make me the stupidest person on this planet… which I'm pleased to say that I'm NOT. If I expect my marriage to work, I have to handle him in a majorly different way than I did the first time. They say that you can only control your own behavior, not the behavior of others, and that's mostly true as long as you're talking about non-abusive situations, but you CAN exert powerful indirect influence, altering their thoughts and feelings about you, which will cause them to choose the behaviors that you would control them into doing if you could.

It's possible that over time, as I became more secure, I might become a little bit lax in my dedication to Christian graciousness, but if I did, why would that be a problem? Everyone is on their best behavior when they first get involved with someone, and then they go a million miles beyond their best behavior when they become infatuated/fall in love and treat their partner as if they were so wonderful and perfect, doing and giving every possible thing for them… but over time, their best behavior and in-love treatment fades away, leaving whatever their everyday behavior is, and they suddenly realize that their mate is riddled with imperfections, and start criticizing and complaining. I'm sure that nobody loves getting less-wonderful treatment, even if that's what they themselves are doling out, but we all understand that this is normal.

What I think we all need to consider on this website is that we have husbands for whom normal didn't work. That doesn't mean that we were in the wrong or did anything wrong, but in some cases, such as my own, what we did with the best of intentions might not have been optimal for our specific husbands. My husband is the very unfortunate combination of someone who sulks and stews for ages if he is subjected to even the mildest criticism or complaint, along with being someone who screws up constantly; even though I was only confronting him about a tiny % of what he was doing, it put him in a situation where he was literally sulking and stewing every single second of every single day for YEARS, because he would always hear new complaints or criticisms before he "recovered" from the previous ones. You could say that he is too screwed up to be married, and you would be right, but it's a moot point, because he already is married, to me, and as a Christian woman, my duty is to make our marriage work somehow. The only way that marriage or any long-term relationship can work for ANYONE with this man is to handle it exactly the way I am now, and intend to continue doing; with perfect sweetness and light no matter what he does, excepting only life or death legal or financial issues. This is the only way I'll ever get him back, and the only way I'll be able to keep him. I understand and accept that this is not something many other people would want to do or even could do, but that doesn't change the fact that this is the only path available to me.

Offline Finding Joy

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 616
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2019, 05:07:08 PM »
I do wonder if part of the issue is your wording.  For instance, my husband likes watching sports.  For years I complained if he watched too often.  But, because he liked it I found a way to get on board(so long as it was not in excess).  I began to make fun food(dips, chili etc), and though I did not sit down to watch the games, I would read a book in the same room etc...and more importantly not complain.

I think what people are saying is, you can get involved in your h’s hobbies without manipulating or lying.  Also, there has to be a balance between what you like and they like.  A one sided relationship breeds resentment.  I am a Christian, and try to be kind to my husband even in this MLC.  I chose love(though it is hard to love who he currently is).  But, I can be kind and gracious without lying, pretending, or manipulating.  It takes two people for a marriage to work.  It seems to me we do our part and give the rest to God.  Your h has free will.  We can not control our spouses, or outcomes. 

You may get him back, but at what cost.  You are lying to yourself and him.  If we truly leave it in God’s hands and trust him, there is no need to sin in order to achieve God’s will.  Because of course it is not God’s will for us to sin.

I do agree completely that it is important to be kind, to be polite, to be light(as much as possible), to not be the complaining, nagging wife.  I also agree that we can participate in hobbies, movies etc that are more suited to them and look for enjoyment.  But, your wording comes off as manipulative and controlling. 
Married 19 years
Husband is 42
I am 39

BD1-April 2018-Unrecognized by me until way later, he is unhappy, wants counseling.
BD2-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, this after I found out about OW 1(EA), Unsure if he and OW2(PA) are still together?
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.

4 kids 5-14 years

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 10:44:33 PM »
Laugh -

So that that the 4th went well for you both.
Hope that he's happy, and more importantly you're happy.

Anon's post is interesting, and I can see the points being made.
You can't be someone you're not to please your husband but maybe a better way to put it is that we can try to enjoy the things that they like (explore that option) to try to make ourselves more compatible.  People change and sometimes we need to also follow them --  to a degree. 

I'm not saying to like satanic music if that's not what you believe in.
The beauty of having a great relationship is being able to do "your own thing" and know that your spouse is comfortable with it and that it doesn't take away from the quality of the relationship.

After all, I know I wasn't happy that my H started bike riding and should have just let it go.  But I harped and harped about the time spent, the money spent, I wanted to go with him.  Controlling?  IDK.  Probably felt him slipping away and tried to do everything within my power to keep it from happening.  In a healthy relationship, it's okay for them to develop hobbies away from us.  Makes us both stronger.

Sorry - got off on a tangent, but trying to maybe explain the difference between changing FOR someone or exploring new things for the sake of the relationship.

I'm in a good spot right now.
I've learned to walk away, or change the subject, or whatever is necessary when he monsters.
Strangely, it seems to be less and less lately, over the last few weeks.

If we keep our focuses, we'll all be fine in the end...

Hugs,
Sea


Thanks, Seahorse! I don't know how my husband feels, and probably neither does he, LOL, but this was certainly the best 4th I'VE had in years!

You CAN be someone you're not to please your husband! Every woman I know with a successful marriage does it. But movies, music and TV shows are trivial things that have nothing to do with who we are as people; pretending to like those things is an incredibly minor effort to make, especially considering when the reward is getting your marriage back, and has no effect on who we are.

The way you phrase it would undoubtedly be more palatable to people, but it wouldn't apply to my situation. The things my husband likes aren't things that are new to me, they are things that I've been familiar with for decades; if I was ever going to like them, it would've happened 30 years ago. Because my husband has had years of friendship with a woman who is virtually his clone in the area of preferences, that he cheated on me with briefly years ago (it was brief because she couldn't stand dealing with him on that level, LOL), now he has a high bar set in his head and heart as to the level of things he can and should have in common with a woman. Unless God suddenly radically changes everything in my brain, it is absolutely impossible for me to ever genuinely like any of these things my husband likes, much less enough of them that he would consider being with me full-time; my only options are to fake it, or to lose my marriage... And my choice between those two has been made.

I wouldn't know anything about great relationships, never having had one, but being comfortable with doing things apart was never a problem for my husband or I; maybe if it had been, we wouldn't have ended up living completely separate lives, leading inevitably to physical separation. I don't think that you need to necessarily clutch at your husband's heels and demand to be involved in everything he does, but consider: If your husband suddenly develops a passion for tennis, and you're not playing with him, what's to keep him from meeting a woman who shares his passion, and cheating with her, or leaving you for what to him will look like a more enjoyable and compatible relationship? That idea might seem paranoid for the average marriage, but it is a perfectly valid concern for the people on this forum, since our husbands have already proved themselves to be perfectly capable of cheating and leaving us.

The standard reason given for divorce in longer-term marriages is that they grew apart; what that means is, they were doing more and more things that did not include the other person. Every new activity that a marital partner does that does not include the other creates space between them that never existed before, and in many cases new opportunities to meet new women who share their passions… Just saying. And even beyond that, we have so little free time these days, and there's a certain minimum amount of enjoyable time you need to spend with your spouse to keep the spark alive, and every separate activity you engage in leaves you with less time and energy to do something with your spouse… Does anyone in the modern world really have time to seriously pursue something that doesn't include their spouse AND spend enough quality time with their spouse to keep them happy?

Yes, I agree, harping on your husband's bike riding was probably a bad idea. That's the problem with being your authentic self and expressing your authentic opinions with someone whose actions you have a problem with; that's an unpleasant experience for them, and can lead to them withdrawing, maybe all the way. I have to wonder, though, why he wasn't automatically inviting or encouraging you to participate with him? It's not like he was doing something with power tools, which he might pursue to assert his manhood. In the good long-term marriages I know, activities that aren't gender-specific they do together; whoever thinks of it first gets the other one involved. Is it possible that your husband taking up an activity and then refusing to include you was a warning sign?

I'm glad that his monstering seems to be declining! As always, you have to be prepared for it to be a phase, but if it's a genuine decline, that would mean that what you're doing is working, so congratulations!




Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 06:29:04 AM »
I do wonder if part of the issue is your wording.  For instance, my husband likes watching sports.  For years I complained if he watched too often.  But, because he liked it I found a way to get on board(so long as it was not in excess).  I began to make fun food(dips, chili etc), and though I did not sit down to watch the games, I would read a book in the same room etc...and more importantly not complain.

I think what people are saying is, you can get involved in your h’s hobbies without manipulating or lying.  Also, there has to be a balance between what you like and they like.  A one sided relationship breeds resentment.  I am a Christian, and try to be kind to my husband even in this MLC.  I chose love(though it is hard to love who he currently is).  But, I can be kind and gracious without lying, pretending, or manipulating.  It takes two people for a marriage to work.  It seems to me we do our part and give the rest to God.  Your h has free will.  We can not control our spouses, or outcomes. 

You may get him back, but at what cost.  You are lying to yourself and him.  If we truly leave it in God’s hands and trust him, there is no need to sin in order to achieve God’s will.  Because of course it is not God’s will for us to sin.

I do agree completely that it is important to be kind, to be polite, to be light(as much as possible), to not be the complaining, nagging wife.  I also agree that we can participate in hobbies, movies etc that are more suited to them and look for enjoyment.  But, your wording comes off as manipulative and controlling.


Replacing complaining with any kind of positive interaction will nearly always work in our favor, I think; your decision to make fun food was an excellent one!

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't have any hobbies, but if he did, getting involved would still require pretending to like them, since adopting hobbies without appearing to like them would make him think I was a psycho, not someone with stuff in common with him.

And just out of curiosity; when you switched from complaining to providing your husband food and hanging out in the room with him, were you letting your face and voice show the anger, frustration, or whatever the negative emotions were that led to complaining, or did you FAKE being pleasant and friendly?

There actually DOESN'T have to be a balance between what I like and what my husband likes. The friend I've mentioned before, who although disliking sports, has been watching them with her husband, wearing matching sports jerseys, for over 20 years? He in return shows no shred of interest in the knickknacks she collects, shoes, or anything else that she likes. She doesn't expect him to like what she likes, because he's a man. Every other woman I know in a 20+ year happy marriage has a similar story. None of them have ever displayed the slightest hint of resentment, any more than they express resentment of the things they need to do for their children while their children do nothing for them in return; that's just how family works.

But even if I would somehow be different from them, I'm good with that; I would infinitely rather feel resentment with my husband in the house than be resentment-free and alone.

It's a common saying that it takes 2 people for a marriage to work, but that's not actually true. There are marriages where neither person does any particular work, they just drift along doing whatever, and it seems to work for them. In a traditional marriage, the woman did 100% of the relationship work herself; the man brought home a paycheck, washed the cars, mowed the lawn, cleaned the gutters, and if she was lucky, might remember her birthday... but he didn't validate her feelings, support her personhood, pay any attention to her hobbies other than to express contempt, or any of the other things we demand of men nowadays that they were never expected to do for the rest of human history.

It turns out that we CAN control our spouses and outcomes to a certain extent. I'm proving that right now.

This isn't the proper place to discuss religion, but I will say that everything I'm doing is directly in line with what is taught in my church, and what the wives in successful long-term marriages there do. It is considered part of respect and honor for your husband to be meek, in other words controlling your thoughts, feelings, and behavior completely, and indicating to him at all times that his likes, wants, preferences, actions and words are all good and right, as long as he's not sinning, and sometimes even then, especially if he's a nonbeliever like my husband is.

"Manipulative" is a loaded word, because it suggests that something harmful is being done; that's not the case here. I'm not trying to harm my husband, take something from him, bilk him of his money, take away his children (a moot point, since he doesn't have any), or anything else negative; I'm attempting to get him to take hold of the absolute best thing he will ever have available to him in his life outside of a relationship with Jesus… his WIFE. And as for controlling, I hope I'm coming across that way, because I'm making it clear over and over that I AM controlling things with my husband, rather than the other way around... At long, LONG last! There is no possible relationship of equals under these circumstances, and since someone has to be in control, I would certainly prefer that it be ME! He has had control of my life, to my infinite detriment, for more years than I care to remember; now, I'M controlling things for his infinite benefit. I'm deliberately using psychological principles to alter how he thinks and feels about me, with the intention that the altered thoughts and feelings will change his behavior towards me… And IT'S WORKING!!!!

Sorry, I'm not going to drape myself on my fainting couch and say that there's nothing I can do, that I just have to wait helplessly for him to become a radically different person although he has no incentive to do so, and come back to a situation that he thinks and feels is the same as it was when he left, and give up his newfound freedom for… from his former perspective, nothing. There is a great deal I can do, I'm doing it, and as a result my husband and I are now making astonishing progress towards what all observers declare to be inevitable reunion.

I'm not going into other people's threads and trying to argue them into doing things my way.
If everyone else here wants to just get on with their lives with the other side of the bed empty, more power to them. If you think that taking back some control is so terrible, that pretending to like movies that you don't like is just unbearable, then by all means, don't do those things. Everyone needs to decide for themselves how much their husband and their marriage are worth. I've made MY decisions. I'm sticking by them.




Offline hopeandfaith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Gender: Female
    • Clare Brown Life Coach
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 05:10:06 PM »
You make some very interesting points LOC.  You are most definitely in the drivers seat of your life at the moment and I think that is a common wish across this board even if people wouldn't necessarily choose your approach as their own.

There really has been a big shift in traditions throughout a fairly short time in history and I often wonder if men feel like they have just come out of the spin cycle of a washing machine.  What is expected of them and what is not?  Maybe its just my impression of things but it seems like we have gone from expecting them to having no feelings or emotions to thinking just like women.  Neither of these things are true.  We are different creatures.

Your marriage is your own and I wish you much success.
BD's in May 09, Sept 12 - suspected OW
Left home Jan 12 2013
OW confirmed Feb 2013
Moved home April 11 2014
BD again in April 2017 - clinging. 
Moved out July 2017
D19, D17 and S15

Offline Silver

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2168
  • Gender: Male
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 01:19:56 AM »

It's a common saying that it takes 2 people for a marriage to work, but that's not actually true. There are marriages where neither person does any particular work, they just drift along doing whatever, and it seems to work for them. In a traditional marriage, the woman did 100% of the relationship work herself; the man brought home a paycheck, washed the cars, mowed the lawn, cleaned the gutters, and if she was lucky, might remember her birthday... but he didn't validate her feelings, support her personhood, pay any attention to her hobbies other than to express contempt, or any of the other things we demand of men nowadays that they were never expected to do for the rest of human history.

It turns out that we CAN control our spouses and outcomes to a certain extent. I'm proving that right now.


Isn't it all about how you define "good marriage"?  Marriage can "work" without either being happy in it, if it's defined as you just did.
OR you can be perfectly happy in it that way, if that's reflecting your personal values. I believe for most it isn't and that's why manipulating your spouse to come back wouldn't probably lead to the wanted result.

In my personal opinion, what you wrote above is underestimating men in general and is far from what good husband is, in my values.


 

"I've seen dreams that move the mountains, hope that doesn't ever end even when the sky is falling. I've seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new. That's what faith can do." Kutless

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2019, 10:47:51 PM »
You make some very interesting points LOC.  You are most definitely in the drivers seat of your life at the moment and I think that is a common wish across this board even if people wouldn't necessarily choose your approach as their own.

There really has been a big shift in traditions throughout a fairly short time in history and I often wonder if men feel like they have just come out of the spin cycle of a washing machine.  What is expected of them and what is not?  Maybe its just my impression of things but it seems like we have gone from expecting them to having no feelings or emotions to thinking just like women.  Neither of these things are true.  We are different creatures.

Your marriage is your own and I wish you much success.

Thank you, Hopeandfaith!

Being in the driver's seat is certainly a welcome change, believe me! I agree that there are probably plenty of other people here who wish for that; given the consistent resistance to something as simple as pretending to like a movie that you don't like, I'm guessing that many people won't choose my approach… but on the other hand, since my approach seems to be the only one that actively alters a husband's level of liking and approval, maybe some people will start to reconsider.

You're totally right about how much expectations of marriage have changed in a very short time! A man used to be able to come home from work to a clean house, a cooked-from-scratch dinner, all the other chores and errands handled, and a wife ready to focus on him. Total fulfillment of his duties as husband were limited to bringing in a paycheck and a handful of manly tasks such as lawn mowing. Today, radically more is asked of a man in every area, and not only is he not compensated for his extra effort, he receives significantly LESS than he did before. My husband is old enough to have had a father who received all the benefits of traditional marriage, compared to which modern marriage looks woefully inadequate, even if we had a perfect relationship. I'm hoping to make up for that gap as much as I can now.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Because I was listening to music my husband likes when he came over today, he was eager to share a song with me that may literally be the worst song I've ever heard, LOL… but after we listened to it and discussed the many ways it was wonderful, he asked me to go out with him Saturday night!  :)


Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 02:25:57 AM »

It's a common saying that it takes 2 people for a marriage to work, but that's not actually true. There are marriages where neither person does any particular work, they just drift along doing whatever, and it seems to work for them. In a traditional marriage, the woman did 100% of the relationship work herself; the man brought home a paycheck, washed the cars, mowed the lawn, cleaned the gutters, and if she was lucky, might remember her birthday... but he didn't validate her feelings, support her personhood, pay any attention to her hobbies other than to express contempt, or any of the other things we demand of men nowadays that they were never expected to do for the rest of human history.

It turns out that we CAN control our spouses and outcomes to a certain extent. I'm proving that right now.


Isn't it all about how you define "good marriage"?  Marriage can "work" without either being happy in it, if it's defined as you just did.
OR you can be perfectly happy in it that way, if that's reflecting your personal values. I believe for most it isn't and that's why manipulating your spouse to come back wouldn't probably lead to the wanted result.

In my personal opinion, what you wrote above is underestimating men in general and is far from what good husband is, in my values.
 

I think the best definition of a good marriage is that both participants are satisfied with it.

For everyone I have ever encountered outside of this forum, that includes numerous little white lies told to keep from hurting the other person's feelings, and to maintain marital harmony. Perhaps the fact that everyone on this forum has been abandoned by their husbands, and everyone on this forum rejects little white lies, is not a coincidence? Perhaps we have discovered an important psychological truth here, that if you're not willing to tell any little white lies to make your husband feel better, you have a high probability that he will be unhappy enough to leave you?

"Manipulating" is a loaded word; it suggests ugly tactics like high pressure, threats, or guilt-tripping to force someone to do something that is contrary to their best interest. Nothing could be further from the truth in my situation. I'm using psychology to act in ways that will cause my husband to like and value me more, leading to an improved quality and quantity of relationship interactions that appear at this point to be leading towards a reunion… and reunion is 100% in his best interest!

What I'm doing IS leading to the wanted result, in fact I'm one of just a tiny % of people on this forum who is getting the wanted result; clear progress to marital restoration. There is every reason to believe that continuing to use the same psychological principles will continue to give the same results, and no reason whatsoever to think that it will suddenly give a different result. Since it appears to be the goal of most people on here to get back together with their husbands, at some point maybe you'll stop trying to claim that what already IS working can't possibly work, and instead start figuring out how and why it works so that other people can use the same method?


Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2019, 04:19:48 AM »
Saturday night was another problem-free date!!!!

A friend who is even more into psychology than I am gave me another useful psychological term; reactance. This is what they call it when you ask someone to do something, and they refuse to do it because you asked them to, even if they were already planning to do it; it has a lot of overlap with passive aggressiveness. I did a little research, and reactance, which like passive aggressiveness is extraordinarily difficult to combat much less overcome, can be successfully battled with… our old friend similarity! That's right, the same process that causes someone to like us more also disarms reactance tendencies. Similarity is so powerful, that in an experiment they discovered that something as trivial as causing the test subject to believe that the one who wanted them to do something shared their same birthday made them much more willing to comply.

How do you make that work for you? If you want someone to like you more, and be less reactant aka less of a passive aggressive jerk, let them believe that they have more in common with you than they actually do. Or, you can keep on doing nothing, and hope that your husband is one of the 1% or so that eventually decides all by themselves that they want to return to the wife they have so much ugly history with, rather than having a baggage-free relationship with somebody new and exciting. Totally up to you.  :)

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2019, 09:11:16 PM »
We had another effortless date night!! At one point, he was resting his hand on my back, which he hasn't done in so long that I nearly jumped out of my skin when he touched me, LOL. I continue to be cautiously optimistic.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2019, 10:45:23 PM »
And another one! We had sort of a romantic hug, and at one point, I think if I tilted my head we might've kissed… But I'm not ready for that yet!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2019, 01:31:38 AM »
TWO dates this past week. At the end of the second one, I DID let him kiss me.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2019, 05:52:12 AM »
Two dates again this past week. Something resembling making out is now occurring.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2019, 08:47:21 PM »
We had a mid-week date, and then he came over Friday and never left… he ran to the store for ice cream, which is the first break I've had in 2 days! I'm assuming that he'll go back to his place by the end of the night, or maybe he won't, he brought a ton of his stuff…

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2019, 10:36:12 PM »
He did eventually go home, briefly, and now he's back, with even more of his stuff…

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2019, 07:39:15 PM »
He's now staying here every day. I'm biting my tongue to keep from prompting him about giving his 30 days notice; if he feels a little less stressed knowing he has that safety net, that's fine for now.

Offline hopeandfaith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Gender: Female
    • Clare Brown Life Coach
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2019, 07:49:30 PM »
Wow Laugh or cry.  Sounds like you are having a lot of fun and things are progressing very nicely with your H.  Cheering!
BD's in May 09, Sept 12 - suspected OW
Left home Jan 12 2013
OW confirmed Feb 2013
Moved home April 11 2014
BD again in April 2017 - clinging. 
Moved out July 2017
D19, D17 and S15

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2019, 05:33:57 PM »
Wow Laugh or cry.  Sounds like you are having a lot of fun and things are progressing very nicely with your H.  Cheering!

Thanks so much! I don't know if I'd call it FUN, exactly, since my husband is a disaster area under the best of circumstances, and there are plenty of elements of disruption and aggravation to having him here along with the pleasure and relief of the end finally being in sight… but it's certainly overall an excellent thing! At least we don't have that walking on egg shells thing that I've read about in some threads by people whose husbands have recently returned to their marriages; the perceived commonality that I have created between us, and continue to steadily escalate, has made him EAGER to be around me, rather than having just exhausted his other options and having no choice but to come limping back.

I wasn't able to locate your new thread, but I did find your most recent one where it looks like your husband is finally taking some steps in the right direction, although you are very wisely not rolling out the welcome mat for him yet, an excellent precaution since you have kids who have been struggling and need your support! I'd be willing to bet that you will soon be in the enviable position, or as enviable of a position as we can have after enduring a husband cheating and MLC and such, to decide whether or not you want to try to make it work with him, or whether you just want to be friends and co-parents but finally be able to move on with your life and explore new options. So here's some cheering right back at you!

Offline hopeandfaith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Gender: Female
    • Clare Brown Life Coach
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2019, 02:05:04 AM »
I don't know if I'd call it FUN, exactly, since my husband is a disaster area under the best of circumstances, and there are plenty of elements of disruption and aggravation to having him here along with the pleasure and relief of the end finally being in sight… but it's certainly overall an excellent thing! At least we don't have that walking on egg shells thing that I've read about in some threads by people whose husbands have recently returned to their marriages; the perceived commonality that I have created between us, and continue to steadily escalate, has made him EAGER to be around me, rather than having just exhausted his other options and having no choice but to come limping back.


That was really well described or at least very easy for me to understand.  I can understand the relief but also the challenge of having a hot mess around too ;D.

I am still yet to start a new thread and I will when things settle a bit.  H has continued to move forward but the pressure has escalated ten fold from the ow.  He is in her town as we speak for work. As far as I am aware he has not seen her since they broke up in early July.  He is really going to have to be strong to end this with her.  She knows he's there and knows where he's staying - what could possibly go wrong??

He also knows that a return to her, is a move to her town and I don't believe for one second that he really wants that.  The pull is strong though.  Thanks for your cheering, I really needed it  :)
BD's in May 09, Sept 12 - suspected OW
Left home Jan 12 2013
OW confirmed Feb 2013
Moved home April 11 2014
BD again in April 2017 - clinging. 
Moved out July 2017
D19, D17 and S15

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2019, 11:01:45 PM »

That was really well described or at least very easy for me to understand.  I can understand the relief but also the challenge of having a hot mess around too ;D.

I am still yet to start a new thread and I will when things settle a bit.  H has continued to move forward but the pressure has escalated ten fold from the ow.  He is in her town as we speak for work. As far as I am aware he has not seen her since they broke up in early July.  He is really going to have to be strong to end this with her.  She knows he's there and knows where he's staying - what could possibly go wrong??

He also knows that a return to her, is a move to her town and I don't believe for one second that he really wants that.  The pull is strong though.  Thanks for your cheering, I really needed it  :)

I'm glad that something I said made some sense! I don't know how often that happens, LOL!

It's definitely a weird, mixed-feelings situation here with my husband. It's not just that he's a train wreck, but that it's been so many years, not just since we were separated but since we had anything resembling a marriage, or even a relationship; it's just surreal.

I'm glad that I wasn't just somehow failing to find your thread! I don't know how similar your husband is to mine, but my husband's reaction to being pressured is to run and hide, ignore and avoid, drag his feet, and become more passive-aggressive. Does any of that sound familiar? I think that even if the OW succeeds in badgering your husband into doing what she wants, he'll be unhappy and resentful, and start planning to sprint for the horizon sooner rather than later… and he's had plenty of practice in THAT, right?

My best advice, and I give it being well aware that it could be seen as sort of a blind leading the blind situation, is to be the opposite of the OW; she's pushing and badgering and pressuring, so you model the sweet, relaxed, and undemanding. When he compares the two of you, and you know he is, you will always come out the winner… and eventually you'll win the war as well as the battles… at which point you can decide which way you want to go!

Offline hopeandfaith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Gender: Female
    • Clare Brown Life Coach
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2019, 01:29:04 AM »
Totally agree with you. Your assessment of how he reacts to her pressure is spot on.  He doesn't talk about her much but the little he has said has indicated a toxic relationship.  I have heard him say quite a few times "she would have lost her $h!te about that" He has been quite cruel to her and treated her in ways that he has never treated me. I also think this is because I have never behaved the way she has. 

It actually feels like I am winning tiny battles on a weekly basis right now.  He went quiet on the whole family while in ow town this week at a time when we knew he wasn't working.  Not sure what he did with his time and I sure as heck didn't ask him.  It was bright, cheerful business as usual from me when he called later that night - almost as if I hadn't noticed he hadn't been in touch. 

I was really expecting him to call today to say that he was staying on in her town for the weekend because he has done this in the past.  He was being pressured to fly over a few weekends ago and confessed that he thought, for a brief time, that he would.  So staying there when he was already there would have been even easier but he called this afternoon after he finished work to chat (again, business as usual) and talked about his flights back to our town.  Phew!  That would have really upset our D17 and put back his relationship with the kids which is something that has really been improving lately.
BD's in May 09, Sept 12 - suspected OW
Left home Jan 12 2013
OW confirmed Feb 2013
Moved home April 11 2014
BD again in April 2017 - clinging. 
Moved out July 2017
D19, D17 and S15

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2019, 12:01:40 AM »
Totally agree with you. Your assessment of how he reacts to her pressure is spot on.  He doesn't talk about her much but the little he has said has indicated a toxic relationship.  I have heard him say quite a few times "she would have lost her $h!te about that" He has been quite cruel to her and treated her in ways that he has never treated me. I also think this is because I have never behaved the way she has. 

It actually feels like I am winning tiny battles on a weekly basis right now.  He went quiet on the whole family while in ow town this week at a time when we knew he wasn't working.  Not sure what he did with his time and I sure as heck didn't ask him.  It was bright, cheerful business as usual from me when he called later that night - almost as if I hadn't noticed he hadn't been in touch. 

I was really expecting him to call today to say that he was staying on in her town for the weekend because he has done this in the past.  He was being pressured to fly over a few weekends ago and confessed that he thought, for a brief time, that he would.  So staying there when he was already there would have been even easier but he called this afternoon after he finished work to chat (again, business as usual) and talked about his flights back to our town.  Phew!  That would have really upset our D17 and put back his relationship with the kids which is something that has really been improving lately.

It sounds like your husband is very similar to mine; sorry to hear that, LOL! I hope that he will extend that similarity to wanting to return home, giving you the chance to choose what would be best for yourself and your kids.

I have no sympathy whatever for that OW; anyone who knowingly gets involved with a married person deserves whatever they get, and she has been free to walk away from him at any time. I'm very glad that he's never treated YOU the way he's treated HER, and of course I hope that he will NEVER bring that sort of behavior to you or your family!

It's unfortunately possible for men to be both turned on by and repelled by certain types of women. Weak and passive aggressive men are typically attracted to women who are much stronger than they are, and this often leads to them sneakily sabotaging the relationship, taking it to a place that is no longer bringing joy for anyone, and then spewing ugliness and seeing themselves as the victims. Again, I have zero support or sympathy for the OW… but she might have started out perfectly nice to him, and escalated to "losing her $h!te" as a direct result of his behavior, attitude, and treatment of her. I'm not saying that this is definitely the case, obviously I didn't have a spy cam monitoring the early stages of their relationship, but just fair warning to keep in mind, that just because he makes it sound like everything negative started because of HER behavior while he was being a perfect angel doesn't necessarily make it so.

I'm glad that he decided to not stay on in her town! But, this could be more about torturing her than doing what's right for you and your kids. That he's still in contact with her, and was even for one moment considering staying there, demonstrates that their relationship is not quite as over as would be ideal. It does seem like he's moving back towards you, but I'm willing to bet that he is still hedging his bets a little bit. Maybe that's to be expected at this juncture, but it's something to keep an eye open for in the future… And believe me, I'm growing eyes in the back of my head keeping tabs on MY husband and looking for any evidence that he's trying to have his cake and eat it too.

Modeling perfect sweetness and light seems to me to still be the best bet for both of us at this time. If you find something else that seems to be working with your husband, please let me know, so that I can have more available options for when my husband and I hit the first rocky patch, which just with common sense has to come at some point in the not too distant future. Stay strong!

Offline hopeandfaith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
  • Gender: Female
    • Clare Brown Life Coach
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2019, 12:00:57 AM »
It's unfortunately possible for men to be both turned on by and repelled by certain types of women. Weak and passive aggressive men are typically attracted to women who are much stronger than they are, and this often leads to them sneakily sabotaging the relationship, taking it to a place that is no longer bringing joy for anyone, and then spewing ugliness and seeing themselves as the victims. Again, I have zero support or sympathy for the OW… but she might have started out perfectly nice to him, and escalated to "losing her $h!te" as a direct result of his behavior, attitude, and treatment of her. I'm not saying that this is definitely the case, obviously I didn't have a spy cam monitoring the early stages of their relationship, but just fair warning to keep in mind, that just because he makes it sound like everything negative started because of HER behavior while he was being a perfect angel doesn't necessarily make it so.

H is pretty accountable about having driven her mad.  I actually suggested the same when he last said she would have lost her $h!te over his actions.  I said "I am too old to lose my $h!te over what you do - you will do what you will do and you will get whatever consequences come from that".  I now recognise that I was invited into a controller position and then rebelled against.  I have no interest in being his controller ever again and that is the new dance that he is now finding quite uncomfortable.  The decisions he is making on his own so far are very good ones though.  I don't like hearing that she is a nice person but I think I would feel less respect for him if he just sledged her.

I agree that he is still sort of keeping his options open.  For example, he told me that he was going to text her a couple of weeks ago to let her know that his feelings were fading and he didn't want to re-flare them as they had broken up several weeks earlier. (I think this was his reasoning for not going to see her). He decided to call her instead.  I am not sure what he said but the result was a request to talk to me and a move in my direction.  He seems to be ending this relationship with quite a lot of communication which I am sure makes him feels like he is being less of a ba$tard but is actually just dragging things out.  Time will tell I suppose.  Me = :-X

I don't know if I mentioned that she applied for a job overseas after they broke up and she got it.  I am betting that she is waiting for H to tell her not to go but I don't think he will.  She is torturing him by rejecting him for a job overseas and he is torturing her by not saying "stay".  As toxic as that all sounds, I actually do see a more grown up version that is running his show at the moment.  Hopefully it lasts until she is actually gone.  There might be a fresh round of grief for him when that happens so I will prepare myself for that.

Thanks for your support.  Not quite sure I have any tips to add myself.  I seem to be flying by the seat of my pants a bit at the moment which is actually quite perfect - if I was more sure, it would probably indicate that I was trying to control things again.  Weirdly, I have more control over him when I don't try to control him and just do my thang (taking some pages out of his playbook if you will).
BD's in May 09, Sept 12 - suspected OW
Left home Jan 12 2013
OW confirmed Feb 2013
Moved home April 11 2014
BD again in April 2017 - clinging. 
Moved out July 2017
D19, D17 and S15

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2019, 07:49:03 PM »

H is pretty accountable about having driven her mad.  I actually suggested the same when he last said she would have lost her $h!te over his actions.  I said "I am too old to lose my $h!te over what you do - you will do what you will do and you will get whatever consequences come from that".  I now recognise that I was invited into a controller position and then rebelled against.  I have no interest in being his controller ever again and that is the new dance that he is now finding quite uncomfortable.  The decisions he is making on his own so far are very good ones though.  I don't like hearing that she is a nice person but I think I would feel less respect for him if he just sledged her.

I agree that he is still sort of keeping his options open.  For example, he told me that he was going to text her a couple of weeks ago to let her know that his feelings were fading and he didn't want to re-flare them as they had broken up several weeks earlier. (I think this was his reasoning for not going to see her). He decided to call her instead.  I am not sure what he said but the result was a request to talk to me and a move in my direction.  He seems to be ending this relationship with quite a lot of communication which I am sure makes him feels like he is being less of a ba$tard but is actually just dragging things out.  Time will tell I suppose.  Me = :-X

I don't know if I mentioned that she applied for a job overseas after they broke up and she got it.  I am betting that she is waiting for H to tell her not to go but I don't think he will.  She is torturing him by rejecting him for a job overseas and he is torturing her by not saying "stay".  As toxic as that all sounds, I actually do see a more grown up version that is running his show at the moment.  Hopefully it lasts until she is actually gone.  There might be a fresh round of grief for him when that happens so I will prepare myself for that.

Thanks for your support.  Not quite sure I have any tips to add myself.  I seem to be flying by the seat of my pants a bit at the moment which is actually quite perfect - if I was more sure, it would probably indicate that I was trying to control things again.  Weirdly, I have more control over him when I don't try to control him and just do my thang (taking some pages out of his playbook if you will).

Your husband gets credit for being accountable… although of course, some people will admit accountability, whether they actually feel it or not, just for that reason, to get that credit, so there's always a gray area. That's part of why MLCers drive us crazy, I think, is because we can never be sure if what we're getting from them is honest communication, or faking it as a manipulative tactic. It's encouraging that he's making some good decisions, but his overall decision to continue to have ANY contact with the OW when they have supposedly been broken up for months doesn't earn him any points.

My husband and I also had that controller/rebellion pattern; I described it as him making me be his mommy and then having teenaged rebellion against me. Once you get to a place of sufficient emotional strength, it's easy enough to just shrug off whatever stupid things a man is doing, as long as they don't directly impact your life; the $64,000 question is, what do you do if/when the man is living with you again, and suddenly is directly harming you, your family, your home, your possessions, your finances, by his stupid behavior and decisions? That's my biggest concern, as my husband gets closer to officially moving in with me. Do you feel any confidence that your husband would demonstrate mature adult decision-making if he moved back in with you? If not, how have you determined to deal with that? In other words, what do you do when the screwing up starts?

Since it seems pretty obvious that the OW in your situation knows that your husband is married by this point, by definition she's a horrible person; even a horrible person is capable of treating chosen people with sweetness and light, though, and that's typically how an OW lures a man away from his wife in the first place. Your husband can't criticize her for being an adulterer without being a hypocrite, of course, and so in his twisted reasoning, I'm sure he saw her as very nice at the beginning. I wouldn't even try to guess what he's feeling… he probably doesn't even know that himself… but regardless of what he's telling himself, it seems to me that he isn't quite ready to let go of his "sure thing" yet. It's a process, I guess. Hopefully, she takes the job overseas, and once she can no longer offer him a place to hide out and a bed to jump into, that will be the end of it!

Thanks for YOUR support! I can see by the # of reads that other people are following along, but you are the only one to actually be offering any encouragement! That's an excellent point about the connection between sureness and control! I'll be keeping that in mind as things progress here! I'm still exerting "indirect control" by continuing to build perceived commonality between my husband and I, which continues to increase his liking for, interest in, and approval of me, and keeps moving him towards me, but I'm trying to avoid anything that looks like direct attempts to control him... and I'm seeing some of what you're seeing, that after all these years of playing the opposite game, of just blindly doing the opposite of whatever I want, or asked for, or even makes common sense, he's more interested in doing what I want. It's frustrating to not be able to just have a mature adult discussion about what each person needs and wants, with each person fulfilling their responsibilities and doing what they say they will; he just doesn't have the personality for that, though, so I'm stuck with it until God decides to do something different. Was your husband ever able to do that much? That would give you a much easier battle!

Offline Notinlimbo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2019, 02:24:30 PM »
Following along laugh :)
Me 60
H 59
D 27
BD March 15
OW ex from 34 years ago

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2019, 06:25:33 PM »
Following along laugh :)

Thanks for letting me know, Notinlimbo! My husband is doing the weirdest thing now; it's as if he decided that every day he would share some sort of story about what happened to him that day. After all these years of ridiculous secrecy just for the sake of proving that he didn't have to tell me anything, he's now deliberately telling me something every day…?

Offline Notinlimbo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2019, 06:12:31 AM »
Hi laugh.
It just shows you how well your perceived commonality is working.  :D He can’t wait to share.

Seriously I love your smart but detached outlook about it all. Really helpful.
I think a lot of us LBS have fallen into the mommy carer trap over the years.

Btw I’m not a big poster so you probably won’t hear from me that often. I follow hope &faith and that led me to your thread and I’m glad it did. Interesting reading  :)
Not

Me 60
H 59
D 27
BD March 15
OW ex from 34 years ago

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2019, 11:32:15 PM »
Hi laugh.
It just shows you how well your perceived commonality is working.  :D He can’t wait to share.

Seriously I love your smart but detached outlook about it all. Really helpful.
I think a lot of us LBS have fallen into the mommy carer trap over the years.

Btw I’m not a big poster so you probably won’t hear from me that often. I follow hope &faith and that led me to your thread and I’m glad it did. Interesting reading  :)
Not

Thanks for hopping aboard, Not! Sorry for the delay in responding, but it's become much more difficult to post stuff that he doesn't see… Pretty nice problem to have! My husband has astounded me several times in the past few days. The first time was when he announced completely out of nowhere that he had wanted to marry me in part because I was "amazing" and "MAGIC"… so help me God, MAGIC…  and that I still was! That's a pretty big change from being the most evil person to ever live, right?!! And then just this evening, the man with whom I actually have virtually nothing in common bought a frozen meal that he thought I'd like, even though objectively 3/4 of it is stuff I really hate, because, he said, "I didn't really think about it, I just assumed that because I like it that you would like it"… LOL! We used to say jokingly that if he picked the OPPOSITE of what he liked, that's what I would like, and now I've got him so convinced that we have everything in common that he has done a total flip-flop!! The power of psychology, and the blessing of the Lord!

Offline Couragedearheart

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 308
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2019, 05:51:49 AM »
Laugh,

I just want to let you know, I’m turning this quote into a wall decal. 😂😂😂

Quote
it's easy enough to just shrug off whatever stupid things a man is doing, as long as they don't directly impact your life
Me 36
H 36
S15
Wallower?
EA discovered 5/31/2019
BD May 31 2019
EA ongoing? 🤷‍♀️ (Who knows?)
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

Offline Finding Joy

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 616
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2019, 11:08:05 AM »
Laugh and Courage!  I’m feeling that quote today!
Married 19 years
Husband is 42
I am 39

BD1-April 2018-Unrecognized by me until way later, he is unhappy, wants counseling.
BD2-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, this after I found out about OW 1(EA), Unsure if he and OW2(PA) are still together?
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.

4 kids 5-14 years

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2019, 07:07:10 PM »
Laugh,

I just want to let you know, I’m turning this quote into a wall decal. 😂😂😂

Quote
it's easy enough to just shrug off whatever stupid things a man is doing, as long as they don't directly impact your life

LOL!! It's a concept that all of us can relate to, right? Here's a perfect example from my husband that's becoming a big issue now. A while back, his car had died, and he needed to call AAA. The guy that showed up had no idea what he was doing, and damaged my husband's car attempting to get it loaded on what turned out to be the wrong kind of tow truck. My husband claims that he thought to take some pictures with his phone, but of course he had gone out that evening with a nearly dead phone, and without his battery backup or the car charger. When they finally got to his place, an hour-long process of getting the car back off the tow truck it was jammed into began, with his roommate coming to help out. It never occurred to my husband to get some charge on his phone so he could take pictures as evidence. He didn't borrow his roommate's phone to get photos. He didn't get paper and pen to write down the license plate number of the tow truck, the name of the driver, any kind of evidence or proof whatsoever… even though his roommate had worked for that company long ago and warned him that they were crooks! When he eventually got around to trying to recover damages from AAA to repair his car, he discovered that the tow company had reported the tow as canceled, in other words that their guy was never there, and so could not possibly have damaged my husband's car! Most horrifying of all, he was actually texting me during the struggle to get his car unloaded, and I PROMPTED him about getting some photos, and he had brushed me off and failed to do it! I'm biting my tongue just about out of my head to NOT remind him that if he had just listened to ME… I'm confining myself to being sympathetic and supportive, because he's very unlikely to learn anything from having it pointed out to him where he went wrong, but even if he did, I'd then become an evil person for criticizing his handling of something. It's not MY car that got damaged, our finances are not combined yet, and no time or effort is required of me to handle this, so I can simply keep giving him sweetness and light, proving what a great gal I am, and leave it at that.

I'm EXTREMELY grateful that this nightmare situation happened BEFORE our official reconciliation… But what do I do the first time he does something this stupid AFTER we're fully reconciled, when it DOES involve me and my time and my $?

Offline Notinlimbo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2019, 05:09:28 AM »
Hi laugh.
I had thought for a while that if my H and I ever reconciled I would ask for our finances to stay separate at least for a fair while. Like dating I suppose.
Now I’m working full time, adding to my $ gradually so once the farm where I live is sold I can get a nice place with no debt. Hopefully work part time and live comfortably. I’ve managed a couple of good holidays and still saving. Overseas too.

 H was offered full time work by the people who bought our business. Nope he thought he would be on easy street working part time. He didn’t factor in lots of medical bills, cigarettes and alcohol.  ::)
My H has been busy going through his share of our money. The guy who said one of the things wrong in our relationship was I didn’t want to travel hasn’t even renewed his passport.

To his credit he is always fair and very generous. He would be ok with keeping things separate.
Xxx not
Me 60
H 59
D 27
BD March 15
OW ex from 34 years ago

Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2019, 08:57:24 AM »

I'm EXTREMELY grateful that this nightmare situation happened BEFORE our official reconciliation… But what do I do the first time he does something this stupid AFTER we're fully reconciled, when it DOES involve me and my time and my $?

How do you plan on having a reconciliation with a man you don't respect, think is stupid, mock behind his back, and you have to fake everything to just be with him? I don't see how you get from fooling this man every day to reconciliation, to be perfectly honest.
Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Notinlimbo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2019, 02:29:25 PM »
She plans that because she believes marriage is a lifetime commitment.

My h I know he has some big faults and weaknesses. I love him in spite of that.

On hs aren’t we encouraged to fake it at least a little to pave the way. The 180 always seemed pretty contrived to me. Though that’s from DB. I thought just laughing theories about commonality and hot and cold and Intermittent reinforcement was really interesting. My husbands ow uses the hot and cold.  I think that’s just her. I couldn’t keep that up. I prefer the joe beam PIES because you do that for you and it should be genuine.

Your comment comes across as really aggressive monkey. I don’t know why some people are having a reaction to this thread.

I think the use of capitals in a post really increases the likelihood of it being taken in a forceful way.  I always thought Stayed came across like that because she uses them a AWFUL LOT.  :)

Not
Me 60
H 59
D 27
BD March 15
OW ex from 34 years ago

Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2019, 04:35:40 AM »
She plans that because she believes marriage is a lifetime commitment.


As is a life sentence to prison. But unlike marriage, that isn't a choice. Religion is a choice. Following one's religion or not is a choice.

She also has the choice not to complain and mock him behind his back. That's not loving someone for they are and accepting their faults (and having a different taste in movies is not a fault). That's simply considering the institution of marriage more important than the human being you are married to in my opinion.



Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Couragedearheart

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 308
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2019, 06:23:04 AM »
I don’t know about the rest of you but I pretty much read the majority of Laughs comments that are being called insulting as sarcasm. You know kind of the better to laugh than cry sort of thing.

And as a person currently parenting a teenager sometimes you have to have a sense of humor with the black&white, all good all bad, always never sort of language they tend to use.

Laugh,

As far as the car goes....well teenage thinking is exactly right, I often say. “ they want all the freedom of being and adult with none of the responsibilities or consequences.”

The assuming you like something just because he does....that’s clearly assuming you are a projection of him....if you are an extension of myself instead of your own whole individual autonomous person than we are going to be great right up until we disagree.....then I am going to be so mad...because how could part of me go against what I want?

Look up splitting, it’s basically where a person with black and white thinking can’t hold the thought that people have good and bad parts so they either only acknowledge the good parts of someone and label you good...or only the bad parts and label you bad.

So draw some personal boundaries, you don’t think the same, he cannot guess or know your thoughts and emotions and you cannot guess or know his....you have to ask. He is responsible for his actions and the consequences of them....you are not riding in on a white horse to save him.  People are individuals they have parts we like and parts we don’t like, to accept the person we must accept the whole person the good and bad parts.
Me 36
H 36
S15
Wallower?
EA discovered 5/31/2019
BD May 31 2019
EA ongoing? 🤷‍♀️ (Who knows?)
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2019, 06:35:54 PM »
Hi laugh.
I had thought for a while that if my H and I ever reconciled I would ask for our finances to stay separate at least for a fair while. Like dating I suppose.
Now I’m working full time, adding to my $ gradually so once the farm where I live is sold I can get a nice place with no debt. Hopefully work part time and live comfortably. I’ve managed a couple of good holidays and still saving. Overseas too.

 H was offered full time work by the people who bought our business. Nope he thought he would be on easy street working part time. He didn’t factor in lots of medical bills, cigarettes and alcohol.  ::)
My H has been busy going through his share of our money. The guy who said one of the things wrong in our relationship was I didn’t want to travel hasn’t even renewed his passport.

To his credit he is always fair and very generous. He would be ok with keeping things separate.
Xxx not

Good job on creating such a strong financial foundation for yourself! And you're fortunate that your husband has a history of fairness; sadly, mine does not, he goes through life with a sense of entitlement that he does not extend to anybody else. You could probably do well with separate finances with your husband; with my husband, separate finances just means that I have no access to any of his $ to pay bills, and he needs to not be given any opportunity to play effortless financial games against me. Because he's effectively living here now, he's giving me $ for bills, which is good so far, but he may feel differently once he gives up his other place that he really can't afford now, and his escape hatch is closed.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2019, 07:07:09 PM »
How do you plan on having a reconciliation with a man you don't respect, think is stupid, mock behind his back, and you have to fake everything to just be with him? I don't see how you get from fooling this man every day to reconciliation, to be perfectly honest.

All that is required for reconciliation to occur is for both parties to decide to do it; respect, thinking the other is intelligent, never mocking or saying anything behind their back, and never faking anything, are NOT requirements. I'm sure they'd be nice to have, even preferable, but that's not in the cards for me; all I can do is go with what I've got, which as it turns out has been perfectly adequate.

The vast majority of posts on this forum that refer to a husband are full of rightful criticism; are you going around telling everyone that they can't reconcile with their husbands because they're criticizing them, or am I the sole recipient of this honor? Or, are you suggesting that the specific wording or tone of criticisms that the husband will never see somehow makes a magical difference? If so, I recommend that everyone else on this forum adopt my wording and tone immediately, since what I'm doing works!

I planned on reconciliation in exactly the way I've described on this forum, and at this point my husband is living with me, has all his stuff here, and is paying bills, which I'd call 99% reconciled, so obviously what I planned worked. Are you saying that you don't see how he's going to go from living here, having his stuff here, and paying bills, to 100% reconciliation, when he gives up the rented room that he can no longer afford? Your prediction is that we're going to go from 99% reconciliation back to 0% sometime soon?

Offline Thunder

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22170
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2019, 08:27:59 PM »
Laughing we try to watch for changing icons to light or dark purple on here when people have reconnected or reconciled.

There is a time span before an icon is turned purple..6 months minimum of reconnection/being home for light purple, and 18 months at least for dark purple/reconciliation.

I hope you two make it to reconciliation.   :)
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2019, 10:07:54 PM »


The vast majority of posts on this forum that refer to a husband are full of rightful criticism; are you going around telling everyone that they can't reconcile with their husbands because they're criticizing them, or am I the sole recipient of this honor? Or, are you suggesting that the specific wording or tone of criticisms that the husband will never see somehow makes a magical difference? If so, I recommend that everyone else on this forum adopt my wording and tone immediately, since what I'm doing works!

I planned on reconciliation in exactly the way I've described on this forum, and at this point my husband is living with me, has all his stuff here, and is paying bills, which I'd call 99% reconciled, so obviously what I planned worked. Are you saying that you don't see how he's going to go from living here, having his stuff here, and paying bills, to 100% reconciliation, when he gives up the rented room that he can no longer afford? Your prediction is that we're going to go from 99% reconciliation back to 0% sometime soon?

Yes, the vast majority of the posters here rightfully criticize their spouses for things they did during MLC, things they would not have done before MLC. You don't seem so bothered by that stuff as long as he is back, but you are bothered by behavior and differences that you seem to have been bothered by your entire marriage. If you want to take someone back you already thought was seriously flawed 20 years ago, that's your choice, but I do not understand why you come to this forum and complain about the general dynamics of your marriage that were always there and continue to be there yet tell us you are 99% reconciled.

If that's your idea of 99% reconciled, then your idea of MLC and reconciliation is completely different from what most people on here would call reconciliation. I'd say you've got back a roommate who annoys you, nothing more. But if it makes you feel good to call it 99% reconciliation, by all means do it. I wish it were so easy.

I guess you just have taken "no expectations" to a new level of low.

If you are 99% reconciled, then I would expect your complaints to have stopped. The positives to be emphasized. But hey, you don't need any of those in your life.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 10:09:18 PM by Not Your Monkey »
Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2019, 10:39:45 PM »
She plans that because she believes marriage is a lifetime commitment.

My h I know he has some big faults and weaknesses. I love him in spite of that.

On hs aren’t we encouraged to fake it at least a little to pave the way. The 180 always seemed pretty contrived to me. Though that’s from DB. I thought just laughing theories about commonality and hot and cold and Intermittent reinforcement was really interesting. My husbands ow uses the hot and cold.  I think that’s just her. I couldn’t keep that up. I prefer the joe beam PIES because you do that for you and it should be genuine.

Your comment comes across as really aggressive monkey. I don’t know why some people are having a reaction to this thread.

I think the use of capitals in a post really increases the likelihood of it being taken in a forceful way.  I always thought Stayed came across like that because she uses them a AWFUL LOT.  :)

Not

What a relief to see that I'm not the only person here whose husband wasn't a perfect angel before the MLC, LOL! Seeing significant flaws in a man doesn't mean that you shouldn't be with him, just that you're not clueless about what he's really like; knowledge is power!

The men being discussed in this forum have for the most part exhibited hideously evil behavior, and even if they did seem to be great guys before, is it really realistic to think that they can spew evil for years and then the evil completely vanishes, leaving no imprint on their personalities, attitudes, and future behaviors? Maybe that happens sometimes, but I sure wouldn't be counting on that!

And as for men like my husband who were objectively below average before the MLC; below average people get married or otherwise coupled up at the same rate as other people, as far as I can determine. The world is full of stupid people, lazy people, irresponsible people, etc; the people they have relationships with aren't imported here from Mars or Venus, they are just regular people… like me. In my case, if I had had anything remotely like a satisfactory married life, I would never have found my way to God; I'd rather be DEAD than have missed out on that! If I hadn't found my way to God, there would be no way for my husband to find his way back to God, since everyone else he associates with is an idiot and/or a moral midget like him. So, there are compensations.

If you think you've seen aggression on THIS thread, go back to the previous one with PAGES of rants against me and everything I was saying or doing. One of the foundational beliefs on this forum is that there's nothing you can do to influence your husband during an MLC. Well, it turns out that psychology applies to everyone, including those psychological principles that make someone like you more, but instead of eagerly accepting and implementing them, some people responded with fury and outrage and abuse instead... quite extraordinary on what's supposed to be a support forum. Some people feel very threatened at the idea that there ARE things that you can do, because they're very emotionally invested in believing that everything that happens with the MLCer is beyond their control and there's nothing they could have done. In my mind, that's helpless mentality, victim mentality, and letting the man have total control of the situation… I have no idea why this is considered desirable to so many people.

And yes, of course, much of the advice given on this form includes faking. Anytime you do or say something different than what you want to do or say, that's faking. Not begging the man to return when you want to beg him to return is faking. Having no contact with him when you're desperate to talk to him is faking. Not responding when he calls so that he'll think you're busy is faking. Carefully filtering what you say to him so that he doesn't get angry or criticize you is faking. Pretending that you're emotionally fine when you want to scream or cry or kill him is faking. Get a life, to the extent that it's being done to make you and being in a relationship with you seem more desirable, is faking. These things and many others are recommended because they WORK; faking WORKS. It seems to me that faking that you're happy and fine when you're ready to jump off a bridge is a much larger and more serious kind of faking than pretending to like a movie that you don't like in order to get the man to like you more, but apparently nobody here agrees with that.

I can't speak for anyone else, but my use of all-caps words and ellipses (…) is to give the reader an idea of what my post would sound like if I was speaking to them, including which ideas I thought were more important, and how things are connected to each other. Everyone stresses some words more than others when they speak, especially when they're talking about something with emotional content for them, so it's a more natural pattern; it's not like entire all-caps sentences, which can be difficult to read (there's no volume involved and so it's not "shouting.") Anyone who doesn't like the way my posts look has many other threads to choose from on this forum. :-)


Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #48 on: October 01, 2019, 11:09:19 PM »


And yes, of course, much of the advice given on this form includes faking. Anytime you do or say something different than what you want to do or say, that's faking. Not begging the man to return when you want to beg him to return is faking.
We all wish we could simply beg and get them back. But it doesn't work. So why bang our heads against the wall? That's not faking. That's not wasting our time doing something that has no benefit.
Having no contact with him when you're desperate to talk to him is faking.
Again, you can try talking, but it doesn't mean he will respond or even say something you really want to hear. Your desperation is irrelevant when he simply can't give you what you want.
Not responding when he calls so that he'll think you're busy is faking.
Never done that.
Carefully filtering what you say to him so that he doesn't get angry or criticize you is faking.
So you are suggesting we should go around baiting and doing things that will get us criticized? Who is that stupid?

Pretending that you're emotionally fine when you want to scream or cry or kill him is faking.
I think refraining from picking up a kitchen knife and stabbing your H while he sleeps is a prudent choice that keeps you out of prison. If we all went around killing people we had a beef with it would be like a Mexican cartel or a Quentin Tarantino film and there wouldn't be many people left. It's clear the vast majority of people in society have self-control that you call fake.
Get a life, to the extent that it's being done to make you and being in a relationship with you seem more desirable, is faking.
Get a life is an insulting piece of advice in my opinion. It suggests that you didn't have one to begin with.

These things and many others are recommended because they WORK; faking WORKS. It seems to me that faking that you're happy and fine when you're ready to jump off a bridge is a much larger and more serious kind of faking than pretending to like a movie that you don't like in order to get the man to like you more, but apparently nobody here agrees with that.
Faking you are fine if it keeps you from jumping off a bridge is self-preservation or else we would all be dead (either from the knife wounds above or suicide). Watching movies you hate just because you need a specific man to like you more is an act of desperation and control. If watching movies together was so important to him, why didn't you walk away before you married him and allow him the freedom to marry someone more compatible?

Yes, your faking may or may not got your H to hang out with you (it could simply be correlation, not causation). But it is clear from your previous post that you aren't even interested in what anyone else on here would call reconciliation.

Don't you realize if you are faking reconciliation, then it isn't actually reconciliation?  ;D
Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #49 on: October 01, 2019, 11:11:25 PM »
She plans that because she believes marriage is a lifetime commitment.


As is a life sentence to prison. But unlike marriage, that isn't a choice. Religion is a choice. Following one's religion or not is a choice.

She also has the choice not to complain and mock him behind his back. That's not loving someone for they are and accepting their faults (and having a different taste in movies is not a fault). That's simply considering the institution of marriage more important than the human being you are married to in my opinion.

You really must be desperate to try to find some way to argue and be offensive when you're reduced to comments like this. Marriage is not a choice if you're a hard-core Christian. Religion is not a choice. Following a religion is not a choice. Be careful, there are other religious people here on this forum, and you're going to end up offending a wide spectrum of people while missing your target entirely. You can't offend me; I enjoy you making a fool out of yourself trying to argue that I'm so terrible and wrong when I'm one of the few on this forum whose marriage is actually being restored. Are you going to make some wine out of all those sour grapes, LOL?

Everyone on this forum has the choice to not complain about their husband… and I don't think a single person on this forum has made that choice. In large part the entire reason for the existence of this forum is so that people CAN complain about their husbands, especially given that we are one of the groups that has the most to complain about. Why is it OK for everyone else to complain about their husbands, but not OK for me to do so?

This is a forum for women whose husbands are for the most part monsters; is that what we're supposed to be doing here, loving these men for who they are, in other words loving them for being monsters, LOL? Love either exists within you or it does not; when it does, you can come up with any explanations for why it's there that you want to, rightly or wrongly, but it's the same emotion regardless of how you describe it.

And of course the institution of marriage is more important than the person! All the ideas about how you're supposed to think and feel about your spouse didn't even exist until a few decades ago, and still don't exist in the majority of cultures in the world. If I looked at my husband as a person rather than as my husband within the covenant of marriage, I would see a worthless creature who willfully destroyed my life, and who deserves to live in poverty in squalor the rest of his life, which is the best he'll ever manage without the umbrella of my financial security. Oh right, but I forgot, by pretending to like some movies that I don't like to make him happy, that erases all the evil he did, and makes him a saint, and me the bad guy for offering him a situation that he enjoys. {eyeroll}

Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #50 on: October 01, 2019, 11:23:58 PM »
Believing in and following a religion is always a choice for a sane adult, even in a country where changing your religion or having none at all can get you the death penalty. It just may have worldly consequences. If following a religion was not a choice then everyone would have the same religion and be perfect angels who never did anything wrong. How do you explain the diversity of religion in the world otherwise? How do you explain sin?

If I recall correctly, you have stated that your H doesn't share your religious views. If he did, you wouldn't need to manipulate him into staying with you, would you? Because you would both share the same views on the sanctity of marriage and both be committed to marriage without the need to fake anything.

You are free to complain all you want to strangers about your H's inadequacies, but I would not hide behind religion to explain your choice to do that.

I believe all religions preach people to do good. But people aren't perfect and people do offensive things.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 11:29:38 PM by Not Your Monkey »
Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #51 on: October 01, 2019, 11:41:43 PM »
I don’t know about the rest of you but I pretty much read the majority of Laughs comments that are being called insulting as sarcasm. You know kind of the better to laugh than cry sort of thing.

And as a person currently parenting a teenager sometimes you have to have a sense of humor with the black&white, all good all bad, always never sort of language they tend to use.

Laugh,

As far as the car goes....well teenage thinking is exactly right, I often say. “ they want all the freedom of being and adult with none of the responsibilities or consequences.”

The assuming you like something just because he does....that’s clearly assuming you are a projection of him....if you are an extension of myself instead of your own whole individual autonomous person than we are going to be great right up until we disagree.....then I am going to be so mad...because how could part of me go against what I want?

Look up splitting, it’s basically where a person with black and white thinking can’t hold the thought that people have good and bad parts so they either only acknowledge the good parts of someone and label you good...or only the bad parts and label you bad.

So draw some personal boundaries, you don’t think the same, he cannot guess or know your thoughts and emotions and you cannot guess or know his....you have to ask. He is responsible for his actions and the consequences of them....you are not riding in on a white horse to save him.  People are individuals they have parts we like and parts we don’t like, to accept the person we must accept the whole person the good and bad parts.

Some of what I say is sarcasm, and some of it is designed to produce comedic effect, yes… but more to the point, there's no wrongdoing involved in criticizing (I believe a comment has to be made directly to someone for it to be an insult) someone who willfully destroyed your life. There are countless "insults" to husbands on this forum; it would be pretty odd if there weren't, considering the reason we're all here, right? Monkey is just wildly throwing things out, saying anything she can think of to try to distract from the fact that my marriage is 1% away from total restoration. If I was singing my husband's praises instead, Monkey would still be attacking me, calling me a blind fool or somesuch; she just wants to spew, not to say anything constructive.

I have often described my husband as acting like a teenager and having teenage rebellion against me, so you're right on about that!

I'm aware of splitting, and I have seen it in action before… but not from my husband. He has never shown evidence of black-and-white thinking. I'm a hard-core Christian and he's a non-believer, so even just based on that, it wouldn't be possible for him to be viewing me as an extension of himself even if that WAS his personality. He's assuming that I like what he likes because he's viewing me as someone with whom he has a great deal in common; that's a GOOD thing, and evidence of just how well my tactics have worked.

It's lucky that he can't guess my thoughts or emotions, or he'd drop dead, LOL! Seriously, though, when you've been together as long as we have, if you're just minimally observant, you'll know a lot of what the other person thanks and feels under a variety of circumstances. It's a moot point, though, because he's not particularly concerned about other people's thoughts and feelings, and his own remain a mystery to HIM, much less anybody else. This is not one of those relationships where people have to know everything inside the other person; I don't care about that sort of thing much more than he does, beyond what I need to know to keep things running smoothly. So, there's something we actually DO have in common, go figure.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #52 on: October 01, 2019, 11:45:42 PM »
Laughing we try to watch for changing icons to light or dark purple on here when people have reconnected or reconciled.

There is a time span before an icon is turned purple..6 months minimum of reconnection/being home for light purple, and 18 months at least for dark purple/reconciliation.

I hope you two make it to reconciliation.   :)

Thanks for the heads up, Thunder! It seems like this won't be an issue, though, because according to Monkey, I can never have a "real reconciliation," LOL! Is there an official policy on this forum for how to handle something that looks exactly like a reconciliation but isn't one according to Monkey's analysis? Maybe we get a different color of icon or something?

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2019, 12:39:11 AM »
Yes, the vast majority of the posters here rightfully criticize their spouses for things they did during MLC, things they would not have done before MLC. You don't seem so bothered by that stuff as long as he is back, but you are bothered by behavior and differences that you seem to have been bothered by your entire marriage. If you want to take someone back you already thought was seriously flawed 20 years ago, that's your choice, but I do not understand why you come to this forum and complain about the general dynamics of your marriage that were always there and continue to be there yet tell us you are 99% reconciled.

If that's your idea of 99% reconciled, then your idea of MLC and reconciliation is completely different from what most people on here would call reconciliation. I'd say you've got back a roommate who annoys you, nothing more. But if it makes you feel good to call it 99% reconciliation, by all means do it. I wish it were so easy.

I guess you just have taken "no expectations" to a new level of low.

If you are 99% reconciled, then I would expect your complaints to have stopped. The positives to be emphasized. But hey, you don't need any of those in your life.

Now you're just being silly in your desperation to keep criticizing. What reason would you have to call my relationship with my husband "roommates"? What is there about my husband living under the same roof with me, with us acting in every way exactly like a married couple, that you think that nameless other people would not see as reconciliation?  I'm sure you've noticed the post from Thunder about what it takes to get the six-month reconciliation icon; why do you suppose that was posted on this thread?

While there are certainly many criticisms of husbands on this forum talking about things that they would NOT have done before the MLC, they are by no means limited to that, nor is there any rule stating otherwise… so what's your beef? Other than trying as hard as you can to kick dirt on my relationship because you can't stand it that my tactics have worked and my reconciliation is nearly complete, I mean.

I've had people on this forum tell me that no one could possibly give me any input without every minuscule detail about the marriage, including things that could have no objective impact on giving helpful advice, but making factual statements about the many significant problems with my husband as a human being is somehow NOT important? More to the point, a significant part of the purpose of this forum is for us to vent about our husbands… does that not apply to me as well? Is it not necessary for me to give a clear idea about his personality outside of the MLC in order for anyone to advise me on how best to handle the reconciliation?

Whether or not I, or anyone else, complains about their husband, or how much they complain, has no bearing whatsoever on what level of reconciliation or togetherness their relationship has. Every married woman I know complains about her husband all the time, including those who have the best marriages that have been happy for decades… and I do mean EVERYONE, even my pastor's wife, who objectively has far less to complain about than the average woman. If you believe that being married means that you never complain about your spouse, whether you think it's because no one has a need or desire to vent or share, or because being married makes you blind to someone's faults, you're living in a fantasy world.

What a wonderful life it would be for me if my husband had "positives" that I could emphasize, LOL! What might those be, I wonder? "He's not a serial killer, isn't that fantastic?" "Look how he walked across that floor, putting one foot in the other without stumbling, isn't he marvelous?" lol

All that is necessary for a couple to be reconciled is for both of them to believe that they are reconciled. If I believe that my husband and I have been reconciled, and he believes that we have been reconciled, then we are. It doesn't matter what anyone else says, least of all an anonymous stranger on a forum. Once you've gotten a man to the point where he wants to return, then as long as you can tolerate whatever it is he does, you're home free!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2019, 12:55:33 AM »
Yes, your faking may or may not got your H to hang out with you (it could simply be correlation, not causation). But it is clear from your previous post that you aren't even interested in what anyone else on here would call reconciliation.

Don't you realize if you are faking reconciliation, then it isn't actually reconciliation?  ;D

Yes, of course, it could be a complete coincidence that after years of ducking and dodging me, my husband suddenly got interested in me once I started using psychology on him, and coincidentally increased his interest every time I increased my game. lol

Please refrain from suggesting that you are a spokesperson for everyone else on this forum, unless you can direct me to the thread where everyone authorized you to speak for then. You are speaking only for yourself. What I'm calling reconciliation is my husband moving back into the house with me and resuming the relationship that no one who knew us ever doubted was a marriage for nearly 2 decades. How does that differ from "real reconciliation" in your mind?

There is no faking of reconciliation here. Reconciliation just requires him to be living in this house and seeing us as a full-on married couple again... assuming of course that I see us as that as well, and am not just luring him back in to throw him back out a month later as some sort of a game, which is obviously not the case here.

He has already made some references to giving his 30 days notice. I've casually acknowledged it without any further reaction or discussion; I'm going to make him make the jump 100% on his own, so that he's totally clear in that his mind that this was 100% his idea. I'd be amazed if it doesn't happen in the next couple of weeks; stay tuned!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2019, 01:09:58 AM »
Believing in and following a religion is always a choice for a sane adult, even in a country where changing your religion or having none at all can get you the death penalty. It just may have worldly consequences. If following a religion was not a choice then everyone would have the same religion and be perfect angels who never did anything wrong. How do you explain the diversity of religion in the world otherwise? How do you explain sin?

If I recall correctly, you have stated that your H doesn't share your religious views. If he did, you wouldn't need to manipulate him into staying with you, would you? Because you would both share the same views on the sanctity of marriage and both be committed to marriage without the need to fake anything.

You are free to complain all you want to strangers about your H's inadequacies, but I would not hide behind religion to explain your choice to do that.

I believe all religions preach people to do good. But people aren't perfect and people do offensive things.

I'm not going to be drawn into a religious discussion on a forum that is not about religion. Your confusion, or perhaps willful misunderstanding, about religious topics is for someone in your real life to straighten you out on, not me.

If my husband was a hard-core Christian, you are correct, no "manipulation" would be necessary here, because he would never have moved out. However, in order for him to be anything other than a miserable and withdrawn robot forcing himself to mouth courtesies at me, which is not the ideal situation to maximize MY happiness either, I would still have to be faking enormously so that he would believe I was sharing the things that he likes with him.

There is no need for me to "explain" my choice to criticize my husband, because explanation is only necessary when there is wrongdoing involved, and there is no wrongdoing here. There is no hiding, and there is no need to involve religion in this area. My husband has a long list of grossly suboptimal qualities; I'd kind of be wasting my time on a relationship forum if I didn't bring them up.

Yes, sometimes people do offensive things. Sometimes people even go out of their way to seek out situations in which to be offensive. I feel very sad for them.

Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2019, 04:14:28 AM »
I don't think there is a succinct definition of reconciliation anywhere.

But if you go read the light purple and dark purple threads on here, I think you will get a good idea about what others have considered it to be vis-a-vis reconnection only. I'm not acting as a spokesperson for the other members of this forum. I am simply extrapolating from the many reconnection and reconciliation threads I have read plus the hopes expressed by others who have yet to reach reconciliation. I'm not going to speak for those others so I refer you to those threads to read for yourself. One that comes to mind that has wrestled with this issue a lot is SongandDance and you might get some insight if you read her thread, but I would not limit myself to hers as she only represents one person's views.

What you describe is no doubt reconnection as described by others. He's present in the home with you. But if what everyone else has described as reconnection is to you 99% of reconciliation, and all that you need for full reconciliation is for him to give up his flat, then I feel pretty confident that no one here will disagree with me that you have a very very different view of what reconciliation is than the vast majority of the forum (and even then I would say I have never seen anyone else describe reconciliation as you do so vast majority is maybe just me being diplomatic here). And it seems you don't even care whether you ever have what others would consider full reconciliation. That's fine. You don't need to expect what others expect. It certainly makes it easier for you if you don't expect your spouse to do the hard self-reflection and have the humility needed to reconcile with you as others want their spouses to do.

I only stress the point because there are people who want a reconciliation that goes far beyond what you expect a reconciliation to look like. So for you to say all one needs to do to reconcile is simply play a game of psychological manipulation and you will get something called reconciliation out of your spouse is grossly deceptive and misleading toward every single person on here who wants a deeper, more meaningful, and mutually respectful relationship with their spouse that they call reconciliation.

I also think that the purple threads require moderator approval so perhaps some of the moderators can chime in with information about what criteria they use to determine who is worthy of that or not. It's definitely not simply a matter of 6/18 months at home and I am sure any moderator will confirm that for you.

You are right, there is no need to involve religion here. Someone else brought your religious views into the thread in response to me and I was responding to them. I won't bring it up again as really I don't share your religious views and so it is best to agree to disagree and leave it aside.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 04:24:13 AM by Not Your Monkey »
Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2019, 08:38:42 AM »
I don't think there is a succinct definition of reconciliation anywhere.

But if you go read the light purple and dark purple threads on here, I think you will get a good idea about what others have considered it to be vis-a-vis reconnection only. I'm not acting as a spokesperson for the other members of this forum. I am simply extrapolating from the many reconnection and reconciliation threads I have read plus the hopes expressed by others who have yet to reach reconciliation. I'm not going to speak for those others so I refer you to those threads to read for yourself. One that comes to mind that has wrestled with this issue a lot is SongandDance and you might get some insight if you read her thread, but I would not limit myself to hers as she only represents one person's views.

What you describe is no doubt reconnection as described by others. He's present in the home with you. But if what everyone else has described as reconnection is to you 99% of reconciliation, and all that you need for full reconciliation is for him to give up his flat, then I feel pretty confident that no one here will disagree with me that you have a very very different view of what reconciliation is than the vast majority of the forum (and even then I would say I have never seen anyone else describe reconciliation as you do so vast majority is maybe just me being diplomatic here). And it seems you don't even care whether you ever have what others would consider full reconciliation. That's fine. You don't need to expect what others expect. It certainly makes it easier for you if you don't expect your spouse to do the hard self-reflection and have the humility needed to reconcile with you as others want their spouses to do.

I only stress the point because there are people who want a reconciliation that goes far beyond what you expect a reconciliation to look like. So for you to say all one needs to do to reconcile is simply play a game of psychological manipulation and you will get something called reconciliation out of your spouse is grossly deceptive and misleading toward every single person on here who wants a deeper, more meaningful, and mutually respectful relationship with their spouse that they call reconciliation.

I also think that the purple threads require moderator approval so perhaps some of the moderators can chime in with information about what criteria they use to determine who is worthy of that or not. It's definitely not simply a matter of 6/18 months at home and I am sure any moderator will confirm that for you.

You are right, there is no need to involve religion here. Someone else brought your religious views into the thread in response to me and I was responding to them. I won't bring it up again as really I don't share your religious views and so it is best to agree to disagree and leave it aside.


I've read through some of the few purple threads on here, and have been frankly appalled. Perhaps I just stumbled upon an unfortunate minority, but every single one of them talked about walking on egg shells, worrying about triggering, and similar things that I'd call the opposite of being fully reconciled. One of them where they've been back living together for years was talking about going through this kind of stuff for years! I'd certainly do that if I had to, but I infinitely prefer the situation that I have.

I don't spend enough time on this forum to read enough threads to be able to judge accurately what the majority of people think, but I do know what not just the majority but 100% of the people involved in my real life, family, friends, and church community, whose opinions I've respected and trusted for decades, think, and 100% of THEM say that all that's required to be reconciled is to be in the house together and to see ourselves as having returned to our marriage. All the additional "qualifications" that get tossed around on this forum are not seen as requirements in the wider world, or even as possibilities. People are free to want what they want… although I'd be interested to know how often someone had a husband eager to come home and she has refused him because he wasn't demonstrating sufficient humility yet… but none of that is binding on me, or a replacement for the opinions of people who have infinitely better marriages than anyone on this forum, and therefore know by experience what a good marriage, or even a great marriage, actually looks and feels like.

So no, I DON'T care whether I have what online strangers have decided is necessary for reconciliation. I'm not creating impossible obstacles to reconciliation in my home. My husband has never had a single moment of even the slightest self-reflection in his entire life, and I'd have to be a barking lunatic to think that he will ever do so. It's a wonderful fantasy to have a deep, meaningful, mutually respectful relationship with your spouse, but in the real world, that's the exception rather than the rule. Neither I nor my husband have ever had anything in the universe of such a relationship with each other or anyone else, so it's a little bit silly to imagine, much less insist, that we must have one now or anytime in the future. Maybe this is a generational thing, but we older folks scratch our heads and wonder what a deep relationship is supposed to be anyways, does that mean you study philosophy together or something? Our marriages are life, not think tanks. You eat, you sleep, you run errands, you clean the house, you raise your kids, you feed your pets, and if you're lucky you get to talk about something other than these things for 5 minutes per day before you get into your shared bed together... and fall instantly asleep 99% of the time. If you prefer to have no marriage rather than the standard one, that's your privilege, but it's a monumental waste of your time to try to convince me that that's what I have to want or demand.

And it's grossly deceptive and misleading to tell the emotionally devastated people on this forum that your way is the only valid way. I'm glad I'm here to point out that it's not. Wasn't the fact that your man loved you and wanted to be with you enough for you to marry him in the first place? Then why wouldn't it be enough now? Why would you expect your husband to become a radically different person than he ever was before, or for your relationship to be radically different than the one he gave up his freedom to marry you to obtain? Again, go for and demand whatever you want, but anyone who really sticks to that is seriously risking missing out on reconciling with a husband who would've been happy to do so but doesn't want to follow a bunch of new rules and requirements.

It's very puzzling why a mod would come onto this thread talking about how many months it takes to get purple icons, which I had never asked about, when I'm making it very clear that I'm not enforcing any of these extra requirements in my marriage, if those requirements are part of what's necessary to get a purple icon. I don't know what I'd still be here talking about at 6 months anyways, much less 18 months… "Yeah, he's still here, we're eating, we're sleeping, we're watching movies that he thinks I like…" who would want to read that over and over again, but it would be interesting to know what the official forum definition of reconciliation as evidenced by the awarding of the purple icons might be.

Meanwhile, I'm looking with inexpressible joy at the rapid approach of the holiday season, knowing that I'll be having real holiday celebrations for the first time in years, with my husband by my side!

Offline Not Your Monkey

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2322
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2019, 09:11:53 AM »
Wasn't the fact that your man loved you and wanted to be with you enough for you to marry him in the first place? Then why wouldn't it be enough now? Why would you expect your husband to become a radically different person than he ever was before, or for your relationship to be radically different than the one he gave up his freedom to marry you to obtain? Again, go for and demand whatever you want, but anyone who really sticks to that is seriously risking missing out on reconciling with a husband who would've been happy to do so but doesn't want to follow a bunch of new rules and requirements.


I take it your H left during his MLC so you didn't see the major transformations that likely took place in his personality while he was gone.

Mine didn't leave. But he became a radically different person from the one he was before MLC and that has been patently obvious every day. Radically worse. Now, I would say we are reconnecting. Hell, you would even say we are reconciled probably by your definition. He is "here" but he isn't here, he isn't himself, neither emotionally, mentally or even physically. It's like living with a giant blow up doll that looks like your H. I'm not upset about that. He's created a mess of his life during his MLC and right now he is trying to sort that out and he needs to focus on that so I am not going to complain as he can't give anymore than he is right now. I'm not looking for a radically different person from the one I married, but he needs to find that man again because he's not him right now.

It sounds like there was something that simply was never there in your marriage to begin with that was there for a lot of us that went missing during MLC that we would like back. Or maybe you suffer from alexithymia or some other condition that makes you simply not feel the same emotions most people do. You also don't seem to see anything wrong with his abandoning you for all those years. IF he isn't sorry he did it, if he does't feel any remorse, if he feels no need to make it up to you, he can do it again. I'm not saying it is guaranteed he will. But if you trust this man to be there forever without any self-reflection then you are just playing Russian roulette with your life.
Beware "MLCers" telling lies.

Offline Treasur

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8757
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2019, 10:52:56 AM »
Seems to me, Laugh, that you have the right to want what you want and determine what price you are prepared to pay for it. Your success measure is your own and your assement of your h's character or any changes in him is your own too. If your life now feels as if it is closer to what you want, I am happy for you.

Some of the LBS here, as NYM describes, struggle to deal with a spouse who has become radically different from the spouse they had before. And part of their perspective on reconciliation is about what kind of version of their spouse they might be reconnecting with maybe. Or how high the cost seems to be in doing so. This seems not to be your situation or perspective on your h as he was/is, so understandable that your path is different perhaps.
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.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2019, 05:41:40 PM »
I take it your H left during his MLC so you didn't see the major transformations that likely took place in his personality while he was gone.

Mine didn't leave. But he became a radically different person from the one he was before MLC and that has been patently obvious every day. Radically worse. Now, I would say we are reconnecting. Hell, you would even say we are reconciled probably by your definition. He is "here" but he isn't here, he isn't himself, neither emotionally, mentally or even physically. It's like living with a giant blow up doll that looks like your H. I'm not upset about that. He's created a mess of his life during his MLC and right now he is trying to sort that out and he needs to focus on that so I am not going to complain as he can't give anymore than he is right now. I'm not looking for a radically different person from the one I married, but he needs to find that man again because he's not him right now.

It sounds like there was something that simply was never there in your marriage to begin with that was there for a lot of us that went missing during MLC that we would like back. Or maybe you suffer from alexithymia or some other condition that makes you simply not feel the same emotions most people do. You also don't seem to see anything wrong with his abandoning you for all those years. IF he isn't sorry he did it, if he does't feel any remorse, if he feels no need to make it up to you, he can do it again. I'm not saying it is guaranteed he will. But if you trust this man to be there forever without any self-reflection then you are just playing Russian roulette with your life.

My husband's progress from his original low baseline to the depths of evil that he eventually attained was gradual enough that I couldn't tell you when his MLC started. However, he was never "gone," he's been in my home pretty much every day of our separation, so there are no unnoticed transformations here; the change in your husband and most of the husbands of the women here were probably even more radical than his, because I appear to be the only one whose husband was pretty worthless to begin with, but over the years it's gone from horrifying to a better relationship than we had ever had.

Good for you that you and your husband are reconnecting! I hope that the man you married re-inhabits his body sometime soon! Might I suggest that certain aspects of your personality that you have displayed on my thread, such as your eagerness to argue, launch personal attacks, twist what has been said to you, and cast a negative light over everything, not be carried forward into your relationship with your husband? In other words; fake it.

Unless you have a degree in psychiatry to show me, please refrain from spewing nonsensical theories about my emotions or what I think. Claiming that I don't see anything wrong with my husband abandoning me when I'm on this specific forum is about as ridiculous as it gets.

Certainly, my husband could leave again; any man can leave any woman at any time, regardless of the situation, regardless of what she does or says or doesn't do or doesn't say, regardless of what he is doing or saying, regardless of what the relationship looks like or feels like to the woman. Anyone who hasn't learned that while participating on this forum is not paying attention. You're kidding yourself if you think there's anything you can do that will prevent a man from leaving or wanting to leave ever again. Once a man has experienced leaving and/or cheating, it's infinitely easier for him to do it a second time, a third time, whatever. A man is only as good as his worst behavior. It doesn't matter how a man acts once he returns, the reality is that he is capable of a lot of ugly things that you didn't think he was capable of before… and he will continue to be capable of those things for the rest of his life. A decent man does not cheat or leave his family, EVER. None of us have decent husbands. Most of you believe that you used to have a decent husband, and somehow magically he'll become decent again… but I don't believe that for a minute. If a man has a religious conversion, or dedicates himself to therapy and has astonishing breakthroughs, he could transform from a scumbag to a decent man… but how often does that happen, really? I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but honesty is the only way I know to go.

I never trusted my husband before, and I'm certainly not going to start trusting him now. Anyone who trusts a man who has left and/or cheated without that religious conversion or verified radical breakthrough in a therapeutic setting is kidding themselves.

Until my husband dies, my choices are him or nothing. I was very tired of nothing. The worst that could happen is that he might leave again, and all that would do is bring me back to where I am right now, so basically I'm risking nothing by having him come back. And even if I was, the rewards would be worth it!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2019, 02:05:17 AM »
Seems to me, Laugh, that you have the right to want what you want and determine what price you are prepared to pay for it. Your success measure is your own and your assement of your h's character or any changes in him is your own too. If your life now feels as if it is closer to what you want, I am happy for you.

Some of the LBS here, as NYM describes, struggle to deal with a spouse who has become radically different from the spouse they had before. And part of their perspective on reconciliation is about what kind of version of their spouse they might be reconnecting with maybe. Or how high the cost seems to be in doing so. This seems not to be your situation or perspective on your h as he was/is, so understandable that your path is different perhaps.

Thanks, Treasur! My husband certainly became radically different, but he also clearly had a different starting point than most of the other husbands did; he was NEVER a great guy, a good person, or whatever. It seems to me that by definition a lower than average man would be substantially more likely to cheat and leave than an average or above average man, so there would have to be SOME other husbands at his level represented here; maybe no one likes to admit that the best they could get was a substandard man? In any case, I have accepted the reality that my husband will be at a lower level than he was before, because now he has been verified as someone who is capable of cheating, carrying on deception such that he had an entire secret life, and leaving me; this will be the case unless and until he accepts Jesus back into his heart, or has really hard-core therapy to which he dedicates himself in a way totally contrary to his personality.

Thank you for describing your perspective on this issue without personal attacks, argument, or nonsensical conclusions!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #62 on: October 15, 2019, 07:14:15 PM »
He has given his 30 days notice! I'm bracing myself for the radical increase in screwups that will come with having him fully incorporated back here with me. As grateful as I am for this day, my joy at the restoration of my marriage is tempered by the understanding that I'm not used to the nonstop problems that come with the territory anymore, although recent months have helped, but somehow I need to handle it with extraordinary grace so that he doesn't start regretting being back here right from the start. God is good, ALL the time!!

Offline Just LaughingTopic starterTopic starter

  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Gender: Female
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #63 on: November 04, 2019, 12:34:05 AM »
He is now 100% moved in, to leave time for repairing the walls and general cleaning in the hopes of getting his deposit back.

Offline Anon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 769
Re: One step at a time… or half step, or quarter step…
« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2019, 06:52:09 AM »
Great update JL.   I’ve read the reconnection/reconciliation stage are worse than all the previous stages so wishing you strength and wisdom for the difficult challenges ahead.  Looking forward to more updates! 

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk
Legal Disclaimer

The information contained within The Hero's Spouse website family (www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com, http://theherosspouse.com and associated subdomains), (collectively 'website') is provided as general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal, medical or mental health advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The Hero's Spouse cannot be held responsible for the use of the information provided. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a trained medical or mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a legal professional for specific legal advice.

Any information, stories, examples, articles, or testimonials on this website do not constitute a guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual situation. Reading and/or posting at this website does not constitute a professional relationship between you and the website author, volunteer moderators or mentors or other community members. The moderators and mentors are peer-volunteers, and not functioning in a professional capacity and are therefore offering support and advice based solely upon their own experience and not upon legal, medical, or mental health training.