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Author Topic: Mirror-Work Resources: Mirror Work & Paving the Way

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Mirror-Work Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#30: June 22, 2011, 09:41:37 PM
I was going to wait until I had finished the book and then do a proper book report, but I just had to jump in to say that anyone who is struggling with forgiveness and detachment needs to pick up a copy of "Forgive for Love" by Dr. Fred Luskin.

Amazon link for physical book
Amazon link for Kindle ebook

I've been trying to write a forum post about the necessity for forgiveness in healing and dealing with MLC, but I've scrapped at least two attempts because I couldn't get my point across. Then I started reading this book and I feel that Luskin hits every point I wanted to make, and then some.

Here are a couple of choice quotes; emphasized parts are mine...

Quote
Forgiveness reminds you that it is not just what your partner does, or does not do, that causes you pain. Much of your suffering comes from having wanted your partner to do something different from what he or she actually did. You wanted the garbage to be taken out and got garbage staying inside instead. You wanted peace and quiet and got a rude awakening. You wanted a neat house and came home to a mess. When you want something different from what you actually get, you are always in a position of struggle. That struggle often shows up as anger or despair or a sense of helplessness. The good news is that you can get over those negative emotional reactions and learn to be at peace.

Quote
One of the great misconceptions about forgiveness is that it is the same as reconciliation. Reconciliation is deciding whether or not to talk to your lover again after an infidelity. Forgiveness is deciding whether or not to let go of the anger and despair you feel because you did not get the loyal partnership you wanted. Reconciliation means reestablishing a relationship with the person who hurt you. Forgiveness means making peace with a bitter part of your past and no longer blaming your experiences on the offender. You can forgive even if you don’t want to have any further relationship with the person who hurt you. In fact, you do this every time you forgive someone who is dead or someone who has left, never to be seen again. Every time you forgive someone you knew for only a short painful moment (like the driver in a hit-and-run accident that killed a loved one) you do this. With forgiveness you have a choice. You can forgive and give the relationship another chance, or you can forgive and move on to a new relationship. The choice is yours.

Quote
To make things worse, Debbie told everyone she met what an unfeeling louse she was married to. She would call her friends to tell them every time Sal did not meet her expectations, and she described in minute detail how uncommunicative he was. She took what her husband did personally and then blamed him for her distress and unhappiness. Debbie felt angry, abandoned, lonely, and scared, and she felt that these feelings were Sal’s fault. Blame is not the same as asking someone to change his behavior. By blaming Sal, Debbie gave him responsibility for how hurt and angry she was. Since she often felt bad, that gave Sal an enormous amount of power and made Debbie feel small and helpless. Debbie worsened the situation by creating a hostile grievance story about Sal’s failings and how helpless she felt. She told this story over and over.
Every time Debbie complained about her husband her stomach would hurt and her body would tense. That is the sort of thing that happens when we blame other people for our physical and emotional experience. To Debbie, her suffering was Sal’s fault. Like many of the people I work with, Debbie did not know how to deal with her disappointment without complaining about her partner. Debbie felt that if she constantly complained about Sal and let everyone know what a louse he was, then she would not be held responsible for their marital woes. The temporary glee she felt when recounting her travails was dwarfed by the power it gave her husband to make her miserable. Rather than successfully resolving her marital troubles, Debbie remained fully in her husband’s thrall—a helpless victim of unkindness and lack of care.
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Me: 45, Her: 40. Married 16 1/2 years, together(-ish) 20.
Status: BD 8/25/09, she moved out 8/28/10. No talk of D.

Every day is another chance to get it right.
http://www.vachss.com/mission/behavior.html

"Counting days won't buy us years" —Wings by HAERTS
"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."  —Lily Tomlin
"When we commit to our lovers, we implicitly promise to forgive them. There is no other way we can live with someone for better or worse or until death do us part." —Dr. Frederic Luskin

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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#31: June 23, 2011, 01:50:32 AM
StillStanding,
Forgiveness is at the heart of the LBS journey in my view - but it's not just forgiving our MLCers for their behaviour it is also about truly forgiving ourselves but the people we've had issues with or who have had a nagtive impact on our life along with the people who's actions in our MLCers pasts meant they are in crisis today.

Learning about and how to fogive has been the most amazing part of my journey and I now incorporate forgiveness in raising of my children - I was never taught how to forgive or say sorry....and that is such a sad thing to say.

The book which was invaluable to me is 'Fogiveness is a Choice' by Dr Robert Enright and he details the scientific process which leads to fogiveness (if you choose that path).

I have found inner peace from a huge range of issues - most of which i didn't even realise I had an issue with - I ma less tense and more deliberate in my choices and I feel the positive impact of chosing forgiveness - but it's like a lot of things with our journey you have to do it every single day - there are no short cuts in this journey if we are to benefit truly from it.

((hugs))

P
xx
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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#32: June 23, 2011, 08:15:18 AM
MF

I would agree forgiveness is at the heart of the LBS journey as it gives us peace to move forward in our own journey whatever the outcome might be with our MLC.  Holding the mirror up and recognizing my own patterns, struggles and part of myself which I have been holding on to has empowered me to begin to release the toxicity within. 

It's interesting this topic is brought up as I was reading some of the articles yesterday and hit on the piece on forgiveness and forgetting by James Messina.  RCR listed it at the beginning of this thread. 

http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforrelationships/forgivingforgetting.html

IMO Forgiveness is a two-way street.  It is a process which is to be embraced and incorporated into our lives if we are to become healthy and whole.  I realize this now more than I did when first starting on this journey.  Part of our growing up.  Never too old to learn.   ;) ;)

Thank you SS and MF for the book recommendations.  I'll have to check into them both. 
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"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches."
Author Unknown

"STOP IT. JUST STOP IT. DON’T GIVE THE ENEMY THAT MUCH CREDIT!"
Matthew

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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#33: June 23, 2011, 10:35:11 AM
The book which was invaluable to me is 'Forgiveness is a Choice' by Dr Robert Enright and he details the scientific process which leads to fogiveness (if you choose that path).

"Forgive for Love" also gives evidence that both situational forgiveness (forgiving a specific act) and dispositional forgiveness (becoming a more forgiving person) not only improves for relationships but provides actual health benefits from the decreased stress on your body. Luskin has conducted a number of studies that show people who learn to practice real forgiveness reporting a decrease in stress; overall improvement in mood, both toward their SO and people in general; and more positive outlook on life.
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Me: 45, Her: 40. Married 16 1/2 years, together(-ish) 20.
Status: BD 8/25/09, she moved out 8/28/10. No talk of D.

Every day is another chance to get it right.
http://www.vachss.com/mission/behavior.html

"Counting days won't buy us years" —Wings by HAERTS
"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."  —Lily Tomlin
"When we commit to our lovers, we implicitly promise to forgive them. There is no other way we can live with someone for better or worse or until death do us part." —Dr. Frederic Luskin

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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#34: June 23, 2011, 12:29:17 PM
I will look at those recommendations; I've been given "Forgiveness is Healing" by Russ Parker; it's from a Christian viewpoint. 
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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#35: June 25, 2011, 08:04:22 PM
I will look at those recommendations; I've been given "Forgiveness is Healing" by Russ Parker; it's from a Christian viewpoint. 

While I don't know anything about Fred Luskin's religious beliefs and he doesn't explicitly write "Forgive for Love" from a Christian viewpoint, I've seen the book listed on several online Christian bookstores. I think my church has a copy in its reading library as well.

EDIT: Here's a link to the discussion thread I started: http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1965.0
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 10:12:32 AM by StillStanding »
Me: 45, Her: 40. Married 16 1/2 years, together(-ish) 20.
Status: BD 8/25/09, she moved out 8/28/10. No talk of D.

Every day is another chance to get it right.
http://www.vachss.com/mission/behavior.html

"Counting days won't buy us years" —Wings by HAERTS
"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."  —Lily Tomlin
"When we commit to our lovers, we implicitly promise to forgive them. There is no other way we can live with someone for better or worse or until death do us part." —Dr. Frederic Luskin

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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#36: June 27, 2011, 05:40:59 PM
For those of you (like me) who just get angry, whose buttons are easily pushed...

http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforangerworkout.html
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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#37: August 16, 2011, 10:04:52 AM
http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id=1221

Saying "No" To Selflessness
How putting your spouse’s needs and interests without voicing your own can lead to a complete loss of love for one another.

BY EDWIN LOCKE PH.D AND ELLEN KENNER PH.D
"My partner means the world to me. I would do anything for him. I want nothing for myself. I want only to please him."

This is something you might hear or say when you first fall in love; the whole world seems to fade into the background. Your lover is center stage. When you’re apart, you intensely long for this person. You imagine being in one another’s arms. You plan wonderful events to surprise or please your spouse. You feel complete.

Fast forward five years and now it’s more like, "I wish they would give me a break!" You no longer feel complete, but instead feel depleted. Your days revolve around catering to your spouse. You long for the few moments you can get away from the "ol’ lady" or "ol’ man," whether it be grabbing a drink with buddies or taking a "breather" when your spouse visits relatives or has to travel for business. Why do most romantic relationships sour so fast? What mental policy is guaranteed to destroy any marital paradise? And what mental policy can rescue your romance?

Try an exercise: Look at the quote at the outset of this article, and see if you find a clue in it. The death knell to a great relationship is in that quote. Don’t read further till you try this.

Did you identify the death knell? If you pulled out these sentences: "I would do anything for him. I want nothing for myself. I want only to please him," you are well on your way to a more rewarding romance. Becoming a doormat in a relationship destroys love. Selflessness, or altruism, is the romance-killer policy.

To see the selfless pattern clearly, let’s take a trip into the life of Mandy and Dan. Dan is Mandy’s dream companion: smart, handsome, ambitious, caring and passionate about their lovemaking. Secretly, Mandy doesn’t feel as though she’s completely worthy of him. She’s always felt a tad insecure. To make sure he stays around, she tells herself that she must make him happy. That thought is soothing to her. "At least I’m not selfish," she muses, "I’ll be the best wife I can be."

Dan and Mandy go apartment hunting. Dan loves the city; Mandy loves the country, but she feels guilty letting Dan know how strongly she feels about this. So when he suggests looking only at apartments in city, she meekly says, "Okay." As they check out apartments he’s chosen, she’s silently at war with herself: Yes, they are all decent apartments, but in the city! She coaches herself to believe that her needs are not that important. What matters is that Dan is happy, so she feigns approval of Dan’s top choice. Dan senses her hesitancy and encourages her to voice her opinion. She adamantly insists, "Oh no! I really like the place!" and feels shaky and a bit nauseous inside. This becomes their home.

This selfless pattern continues with their hobbies: Dan enjoys skiing. Mandy doesn’t like the cold but doesn’t dare tell Dan her preferences (dancing and playing volleyball). So they spend a few weekends every winter on the slopes. Dan can’t understand why it takes Mandy so long to pack for these trips, and why she seems to catch colds when they arrive at the lodge, leaving him to ski alone.

Mandy’s selfless, altruistic policy is multiplied in countless daily choices. No wonder Mandy wants a "break" from Dan. He’s not a bad guy, but increasingly she sees him as selfish and feels resentful. He is baffled. He senses something is very wrong with his wife but can’t quite put it into words.

Of course, men often make the same mistake, and in many marriages both partners try to sacrifice for one another, ending in mutual insecurity and mutual resentment.

Self-valuing, not selflessness—nor a "my way or the highway" narcissism—is essential for romance. When both partners learn to value themselves and learn how to communicate well with one another their romance flourishes.
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Me: 45, Her: 40. Married 16 1/2 years, together(-ish) 20.
Status: BD 8/25/09, she moved out 8/28/10. No talk of D.

Every day is another chance to get it right.
http://www.vachss.com/mission/behavior.html

"Counting days won't buy us years" —Wings by HAERTS
"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."  —Lily Tomlin
"When we commit to our lovers, we implicitly promise to forgive them. There is no other way we can live with someone for better or worse or until death do us part." —Dr. Frederic Luskin

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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#38: October 30, 2011, 04:26:42 AM
Found this site today, some good stuff free.

http://www.empoweredwithin.com/main%20info/freestuff.html

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Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
#39: November 18, 2011, 12:16:15 PM
http://www.divorcebusting.com/a_why_change.htm

Quote
Why Should I Be the One To Change?
By Michele Weiner-Davis

You're really mad at your partner. You've explained your point of view a million times. S/he never listens. You can't believe that a person can be so insensitive. So, you wait. You're convinced that eventually s/he will have to see the light; that you're right and s/he's wrong. In the meantime, there's silence. But the tension is so thick in your house, you can cut it with a knife. You hate the distance, but there's nothing you can do about it because you're mad. You're really mad.

You try to make yourself feel better by getting involved in other things. Sometimes this even works. But you wake up every morning facing the fact that nothing's changed at all. A feeling of dissatisfaction permeates everything you do. From time to time, you ask yourself, "Is there something I should do differently,?" but you quickly dismiss this thought because you know that, in your heart of hearts, you're not the one to blame. So the distance between you and your partner persists.

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you and your partner been so angry with each other that you've gone your separate ways and stopped interacting with each other? Have you convinced yourself that, until s/he initiates making up, there will be no peace in your house? If so, I have few things I want to tell you.

You are wasting precious energy holding on to your anger. It's exhausting to feel resentment day in and day out. It takes a toll on your body and soul. It's bad for your health and hard on your spirit. It's awful for your relationship. Anger imprisons you. It casts a gray cloud over your days. It prevents you from feeling real joy in any part of your life. Each day you drown yourself in resentment is another day lost out of your life. What a waste!

I have worked with so many people who live in quiet desperation because they are utterly convinced that their way of seeing things is right and their partner's is wrong. They spend a lifetime trying to get their partners to share their views. I hear, "I'll change if s/he changes," a philosophy that ultimately leads to a stalemate. There are many variations of this position. For example, "I'd be nicer to her, if she were nicer to me," or "I'd be more physical and affectionate if he were more communicative with me," or "I'd be more considerate and tell her about my plans if she wouldn't hound me all the time about what I do." You get the picture… "I'll be different if you start being different first." Trust me when I tell you that this can be a very, very long wait.

There's a much better way to view things when you and your partner get stuck like this. I've been working with couples for years and I've learned a lot about how change occurs in relationships. It's like a chain reaction. If one person changes, the other one does too. It really doesn't matter who starts first. It's simply a matter of tipping over the first domino. Change is reciprocal. Let me give you an example.

I worked with a woman who was very distressed about her husband's long hours at work. She felt they spent very little time together as a couple and that he was of little help at home. This infuriated her. Every evening when he returned home from work, her anger got the best of her and she criticized him for bailing out on her. Inevitably, the evening would be ruined. The last thing he wanted to do after a long day at work was to deal with problems the moment he walked in the door. Although she understood this, she was so hurt and angry about his long absences that she felt her anger was justified. She wanted a suggestion from me about how to get her husband to be more attentive and loving. She was at her wit's end.

I told her that I could completely understand why she was frustrated and that, if I were in her shoes, I would feel exactly the same way. However, I wondered if she could imagine how her husband might feel about her nightly barrage of complaints. "He probably wishes he didn't have to come home," she said. "Precisely," I thought to myself, and I knew she was ready to switch gears. I suggested that she try an experiment. "Tonight when he comes home, surprise him with an affectionate greeting. Don't complain, just tell him you're happy to see him. Do something kind or thoughtful that you haven't done in a long time…even if you don't feel like it." "You mean like fixing him his favorite meal or giving him a warm hug? I used to do that a lot." "That's exactly what I mean," I told her, and we discussed other things she might do as well. She agreed to give it a try.

Two weeks later she returned to my office and told me about the results of her "experiment."

"That first night after I talked with you I met him at the door and, without a word, gave him a huge hug. He looked astounded, but curious. I made him his favorite pasta dish, which was heavy on the garlic, so he smelled the aroma the moment he walked in. Immediately, he commented on it and looked pleased. We had a great evening together, the first in months. I was so pleased and surprised by his positive reaction that I felt motivated to keep being 'the new me.' Since then things between us have been so much better, it's amazing. He's come home earlier and he's even calling me from work just to say hello. I can't believe the change in him. I'm so much happier this way."

The moral of this story is obvious. When one partner changes, the other partner changes too. It's a law of relationships. If you aren't getting what you need or want from your loved one, instead of trying to convince him or her to change, why not change your approach to the situation? Why not be more pragmatic? If what you're doing (talking to your partner about the error of his/her ways) hasn't been working, no matter how sterling your logic, you're not going to get very far. Be more flexible and creative. Be more strategic. Spend more time trying to figure out what might work as opposed to being hell bent on driving your point home. You might be pleasantly surprised. Remember, insanity has been defined as doing the same old thing over and over and expecting different results.

Look, life is short. We only have one go-around. Make your relationship the best it can possibly be. Stop waiting for your partner to change in order for things to be better. When you decide to change first, it will be the beginning of a solution avalanche. Try it, you'll like it!
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Me: 45, Her: 40. Married 16 1/2 years, together(-ish) 20.
Status: BD 8/25/09, she moved out 8/28/10. No talk of D.

Every day is another chance to get it right.
http://www.vachss.com/mission/behavior.html

"Counting days won't buy us years" —Wings by HAERTS
"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."  —Lily Tomlin
"When we commit to our lovers, we implicitly promise to forgive them. There is no other way we can live with someone for better or worse or until death do us part." —Dr. Frederic Luskin

 

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