Why isn’t today Wednesday!

To read the full debate please click on the replies

It’s been an odd sort of week!  I usually work from home on a Wednesday (gives me a break from the 140 mile round trip to work). But this week I turned up at the office – taking everyone, including myself, by surprise, un-nerving those who work for me, who no doubt see Wednesday as a respite from my presence, and generally causing confusion all round!!

So although today is Friday it feels like a Wednesday as I’m working from home today!  Friday home working is viewed as ‘cheating’ – adding a day to the weekend! I shall have to put in some ‘terrifying’ effort and keep emailing and ringing at moments when my co–workers think they’re safe!

Add to the mix:

  • that I’ve had no Life Coaching this week (slightly scarey);
  • that I’ve now blocked ‘B’s emails and am ignoring the texts, voicemails, phone calls etc.(good move I think – I was beginning to feel as if I was being stalked – and he’d become dangerously controlling – no wonder his wife has the issues she has – she may need a new hip and be in pain but I can understand why she’s not doing it – he can’t control what she does with her body!);
  • that I’ve now returned to the local Amateur Dramatics club and I’ve several small roles (small parts sounded faintly worrying! – No-one wants to have small parts – be they male or female!) in the production of Oh What a Lovely War,  which now requires me to go to rehearsals twice a week!
  • that AJ’s butterfly whacked him round the head with her wings and nearly extinguished him  – which thank god she didn’t (sorry AJ but to me that butterfly was definitely female, predatory and slightly vindictive – and how she managed to also carry a bedpan is amazing – but as she appears to have brought you back to the blogging world I like to think her intentions were – ultimately – benevolent!! – And by the way AJ that’s two links to your blog I’ve incorporated here – which is a sort of   welcoming you back thing – you’ve been greatly missed here!);

and it feels like all change and get on a new train!

I know I still sometimes wish a certain passenger was experiencing all this with me but if the silly sod got on the wrong train then that’s his fault not mine.  I just hope his train takes him to the wrong destination – preferably a dead-end!  And  – NO – I’m not going to go and pick him up when he realises how truly lost he’s become.  He can go and enroll in Life School and he can walk there and back!  (OK I do know I haven’t truly ‘let go’ yet – but hey I’m getting there!)

Enjoy your ‘Wednesday’!

159 thoughts on “Why isn’t today Wednesday!

  1. “I know I still sometimes wish a certain passenger was experiencing all this with me but if the silly sod got on the wrong train then that’s his fault not mine. ” Yep….he is the silly sod. No you have not let go. You may never completely let go because you had so many years that were so good and you can’t figure out what the hell was so bad that he forgot all of that. (at least I’m guessing that’s what you think)

    Someone told me tonight that i’m not in love with X…just the idea of what we had (or what i thought we had).
    The therapist recently said that she just didn’t have the same idea about marriage and committment that I did
    She had either 2 affairs with J separated by 4 years ….or one big long affair in her head for that whole time.
    My girlfriend (when I called X a duplicitous cheating liar on the phone) …came to her defense and said I need to let go of that thought in my head and just get to a point of not caring. She said that X had good qualities too (and believe me the girlfriend has real reason to hate her)

    and still……There is a part of me that misses her everyday and wants her back and my family whole.

    Damn brain chemicals!!!

    So, at least from my viewm what you are doing, the anger that arises, the sadness…is all a part of this journey that we are on.

    Peace to you
    LFBA

      • Just a quick one! If you can remember this it might help with the “LOVE” question

        “I love how I feel about me, when I’m with you.”

        The love you experience are feelings within you, and those feelings are created by you.

        So this means, when someone takes actions it is you that translates those actions into feelings that equals love.

        So it is you creating the love not them. BUT because we feel our partners are giving us love we attach those feelings to our partners.

        So if they decide to leave us, we assume the love has gone, of course it hasn’t.

        The thing that has gone is the trigger to the love within you.

        It is you that holds the power of your love not them!

      • So in response to Stephen.
        One is never in love with someone…only in love with the feelings that one makes based on their choice of who to attribute that love too.
        It is LC stuff…and even part of Buddhist philiosophy. A place of detachment. Is it correct?? Who knows.
        Having been a life coach, and incorporating a lot of that into my practice, I only buy this in part.
        It IS a way to take back responsibility for feelings. It IS a way to heal and recover. But any conviction in any belief system is too.
        If we want to break it down to basics, it’s a bunch of chemicals in our brain doing their thing (ahhhhhh….the wonderful serotonin)…..
        So, who really knows.

  2. I still reeling from the idea of a 140 mile round commute. Is poor you a relevant expression. I’m sure you’re a lovely boss to work for. I’m glad you’re giving B a hard time. He’s one of those passive agreesive types which don’t necessarily enrich your life. Perhaps you should put his wifre in touch with your life coach. sounds as though she needs the support. Lastly you will not be surprised to learn that I don’t know what LFBA means ( LOL) but I’m sure it’s nice.

  3. *waves*

    Of course, there’s always that confusion where you mix up close friendship with love. That rarely ends well. *sigh*

    Still, as the spammers say, nice blog, I’ve bookmarked you! 😛

    • About 3 hours! It’s OK in the morning, it’s the evenings which can be a pain. Especially when someone decides to crash on the motorway!! I just wish they’d all stay on their wheels, leave the central reservation alone (it isn’t harming anyone) and not run into each other!!

  4. Thank you, Stephen for your comment above. I did feel I’d ‘got it right’ – I just couldn’t find all the words!

    I hope this helps “looking for buddha again”

  5. I’m not sure I ‘get’ that love is just a feeling we give ourselves because someone makes us feel a certain way. If that is the case why is all love so different? Different in family love, romantic love, friendship love, it’s all love.

    Does this mean that all we do is project our own feelings towards a person? How does this work with unrequited love? When the ‘lovee’ has never shown any affection towards the ‘lover’?

  6. But that is it isn’t it. We give ourselves the feeling. Different for family, a child, a parent, a friend, a lover – we experience the feeling when we are with the person. It has to be us that gives us the feeling – or not. The trigger comes within ourselves when with that person.

    Thank you for adding to this discussion. It’s all very interesting, hard to get one’s head round and useful for all of us piecing our lives back together – whatever stage we’ve reached.

    Maybe Stephen and others will add more views here today!

    • “the motive behind is always love”
      I’ll stand in front of a speeding bullet to protect my child. Why…because I love him.
      or….could it be that I love me so much that I love the feeling I get when i am with him.
      But wait…I love him no matter where he is. I loved him before he was born. That love grew when I cut the umbilical cord.
      Is it valid to say that we love what we feel when we are around them? I think so. But I love him. (and my daughter that I took on with the marriage).
      Did I love being around her?? yep. Did I love that she called me Daddy when she was six and testing the waters?? yep. Did I love her when she was a brat. Yes.
      Did I love X even after the first affair? Yes.
      or did I only love what I wanted to feel from her?
      Gosh it’s all a big mind bender.
      So I’ll stick with my own opinion.
      I loved X. For who she was. For how we were. For how she made me feel. For the commonality that we had. For our shared experiences. For lots of stuff. That’s why this is all so difficult.
      She does not make me feel good anymore….and I can not look at her. Yet, I still love her. My son was a whiny bastard for much of the day. yet I love him with all of my heart. My daughter has put her share of crap on my plate..and I love her with all of my heart.

      • Do we stop loving someone if they have an affair? Of course not, we experience a confusion of hating them and loving them. We struggle to switch off that love because we have so much proof of the love because it historically sits within us as memories. So the love we feel about ourselves when we think of our loved ones (the triggers to our feelings of love) does not go just because they do.

        Our memories keep the feelings of love alive.

        Plus we don’t define our loved ones by their behaviours, such as “crap on my plate” we love them because of what they mean to us.

        Love is about our internal emotions and the meanings we give it.

        Think about what it means to you to be a parent? What does it mean to be a partner? What do you get that you like about you, when you imagine you in those roles and when you get those meanings, what further meanings are then created for you? What are your higher meanings for you in those roles you like.

        The love you experience feels great because of the meanings you attach to it.

        I have spoken to fathers and mothers who don’t have great feelings within them about what it means to be a parent and reject their own children, but feel guilty they don’t feel love towards them.

        What do you think is happening within them, could it be their own meanings to their new role?

        To think that others have some power to give us our feelings is a wonderful illusion, but it is just that.

        Yes we can influence others by our behaviours, but we can’t tell people to love us, they have to do that in their own time, because they are the one creating it.

      • I agree…the confusion of hating them is paramount. Love and Hate are simply the two sides of the same emotion. Yes the memories keep the love alive. No…we can not force someone to love us.
        But…we can keep promises to work through things. We can recognize that after time, passion can wax and wane. We can realize that it takes work to keep growing together. We can, if we want to exit a marriage…do so on the basis of the marriage and not via betrayal.
        There is always some “selfish” emotion associated with the “good” feeling about ourselves. I am by nature a protector. I love it when my kids are in my arms and they feel safe. But that is not why I love them. That is something that they do that I love.
        So…we will probably continue to disagree about the nature of this and that’s ok.
        Other’s do not have the power to give us feelings. We have to be capable of those feelings in the first place. For some they are buried. For others they do not exist. For pyscopaths, they are irrelevent.
        X’s partner claims he has so much love for everyone when the ONLY thing he truly loves is the “adoration” he receives when he can manipulate the situation accordingly. Is he right because he truly is all about how he feels about the situation?? Is/was it “right” of him to enter a marriage and help X completely disregard the trust I had in her? Simply so she could feel good about herself with his lies?
        Was it right of her to abandon all of her responsibilities to the path we were on (an on by agreement)?
        and yes…I know that by holding to this anger at least I get to be “right” and prove how much i loved her in my own self righteousness. (I blogged about this subject way back)
        I’ll agree that we can not force love. But I don’t agree on the full nature of it via your definition.

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  8. I wish I could tell you the answer. They are all over the board…and the story and reasons have changed over time. One of the reasons is that she said we wanted different things in life. But when examined, it seems like we were on the same page as to what we wanted. She also claimed I wanted more material things because I told her how much i wanted my business to gross. She always failed to understand the difference between what a business grosses and what we take out of that which was relatively modest. The Purpose of the business succeeding though was so that I/We could have more freedom to do what we wanted.
    She talked to me about clutter….yet her new guy is a hoarder. So that makes no sense.
    She blogs about the same topics and her struggles that we talked about when together. So that part of her life has not changed. She IS going more places now with him….cramming in trips that were not feasible with the whole family present. So in that sense, being a half-time parent is advantageous.
    She talked about romance and said I was not her romantic partner going forward, but months before that she claimed I was.
    So….it appears that her internal confusion and search for the “bad” stuff in any situation is what took over. She always seemed to want to find what was wrong rather than what was right…and for this I partly blame J who “helped her” figure out all that she deserved that was missing from her life. Yet…she was always fully supported by me in her endeavors and hobbies. She also developed a group of friends who gave her “unlimited” support and told her that she needed to spread her wings to fly. Funny…because we always planned on flying together and they never seemed to grasp the support she had from me to do all of this. Instead, they seemed to romanticise the life with her and support her by living vicariously through her “amazing life choices”.
    She also fantasized a lot about a free-er life ( if that is a word). Books like “Eat, Pray Love” also “helped” her in this.
    She touts Buddhism as a driving influence but interprets those teachings as “do whatever you feel like in the moment and that’s how you live life fully” rather than the true meanings of the teachings which are to appreciate what you have and continue to work.
    So Stephen…one of the problems I have with all of this is that I really don’t know the answer to your question. The answer and the targets keep changing.
    I wish I could say that I wish her happiness….but i don’t. I wish that she finds reality instead.

  9. Thank you for such a comprehensive and honest answer, again you may not want to answer this or even know the answer, but… what has to happen within people who are looking for happiness and fulfillment, but are not sure what to do or feel after a confusing and highly emotional event that leaves them feeling wronged in some way.

    What do you think those people have to do within them to create a life they deserve. What advice would you give to those people?

    • Stephen…Would you like me to reply like a Sicilian or a Buddhist. LOL
      Ahh…so you want me to put on my former LC hat on and take my own advice?
      Shall we talk about blueprinting? or Creating a mission statement?
      How about envisioning a future…what it looks like, sounds like, smells like.
      Does anyone “deserve” a life that is better? Or do we deserve only that which we can create.
      Not really sure what you would like.
      And….the advice I would give would in part depend on the sitiuation.
      Is it approproate to find a new future…let go of the past?
      Or….hold on to the future of a past when the going gets rough so that the goal is still in view when the path dips below the horizon?
      Is anyone truly “wronged” by someone else? From the tolerance world there is no right or wrong…and we all have to take responsibility for our own feelings.
      But in the contractural world, breach of an agreement does constitute the creation of an injured party. A marriage has both elements.

      So please clarify for me some specifics that you would like me to address and I will try to accomodate you.
      Peace to you Stephen

  10. As one who has battled with this question over Alex I frequently search for this answer. I’ve decided, in Alex’s case, he has to find the person he truly wants to be.

    He has to love himself first before he has any hope of truly, deeply and totally honestly loving anyone else. After all if the feeling of love is what we give ourselves when we are ‘with you’ surely we need to give that feeling to ourselves about ourselves first.

    • By the LC definition though…do we ever really love someone else? Or do we only love the feelings WE have about them.
      When X was stressed, I used to tell her that she had to put the mask on first (airplane instructions in case of cabin pressure loss) and then she’d be able to be there for others.

  11. Maybe this isn’t possible, to go into your heart and share with us what you know is the real answer.

    What do you think those people have to do within them to create a life they deserve. What advice would you give to those people?

    • So the pat answer to this would be…
      That no one deserves anything. The life we want is theirs to create. Define if they can their passion and purpose and place that as a vision-stop and focal point. The set about the tasks in order to accomplish this. With activities, there can be a binary question….”does this activity or process take you closer or farther away from your goal”
      What you do from their is neither wrong nor right, but at least it lets you live in a more conscious state to keep you aware of your direction.

      • You’ve seen Goodfellas right? or the Godfather? The Sicilian in me would say think vengeance. (this is the romanticised hollywood version of Sicilian’s anyway). Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride doesn’t really cut it.
        But the Sicilian would not really ask the question. They would just react to being wronged.

      • i apologize for the typos in the above response too. It was very late here. Here is the proofread version.

        So the pat answer to this would be…
        That no one deserves anything. The life they want is theirs to create. Define if they can their passion and purpose and place that as a vision-stop and focal point. Then set about the tasks in order to accomplish this. With activities, there can be a binary question….”does this activity or process take you closer or farther away from your goal”
        What you do from there is neither wrong nor right, but at least it lets you live in a more conscious state to keep you aware of your direction.

  12. You’re gonna push aren’t you??

    It’s a buddhist adage.
    Q. What does a Buddhist do before enlightenment. A. Chops wood and carries water.
    Q. What does a Buddhist do after enlightenment. A. Chops wood and carries water

    Does that help you?
    The road to mastery is in the work and dedication. The preparation. The appreciation of what there is and the ability to do the work for what there will be…both before and after it is achieved.

    • That’s wonderful thank you, you are really helping others understand what they have to do to help themselves, I know they will value your wisdom

      So there is a part of you that is fun and lighthearted and this part can see the easy answers to all the challenges in life especially when someone has wronged us.

      What do you advice do you think that part of you would give to others?

      • Very good Stephen. Draw me out with a compliment. 😉

        So…the answer is it depends on who has wronged us….and what attachment we had to them.
        and….whether it was intentional or not.
        and…how much damage it did.
        and and and…..

  13. 🙂 I not coaching you I’m just interested in your thoughts. You see lots of people have internal fights and they use these different versions of themselves to cope with the situations they find themselves in.

    Your experience and knowledge is really helpful to those watching this conversation today?

    The answer you just gave was from the other versions of you. The version I want you to engage with is the one where nothing is a problem and everything is easy.

    What answer would he give to help others when they feel they have been wronged.

    • Sounds like coaching to me….but i’ll play.
      Here is one of my main mantra’s in life.
      “Don’t take it personally. Usually offense is not meant. If it is, it’s not worth the mental effort to agrandize the situation”
      But, that is from a place of detachment. So, I was not avoiding your question, but the query about who wronged them and the degree of damage are pertinent to how things should be dealt with.

    • Now that’s one I can’t answer,,,these are waters I have not treaded before nor did i plan for this outcome.
      The Platitude of “forgiveness” is what one reads. In my case, I forgave once before…and trusted again once before.
      The betrayal of that trust again, is where I get hung up as I don’t know the reasons behind that motivation.
      Supposition abounds though…all contradictory.
      I can say that mostly people act from their own insecurities when they wrong someone in the manner of infidelity and betrayal.
      But that is an easy thing to say and much harder to believe from the “injured party side”

  14. The lover within you only knows “love” and how to give it. If you were to connect to him alone, what advice would he give to those who have been wronged.

    Maybe the lighthearted no problem version of you could help the lover to speak the truth.

  15. Dear Buddha

    Thank you for yesterdays chat it was so valuable. I wonder if you know which version of you is running you everyday out of the Sicilian, the Buddha, the Lover and the lighthearted you?

    To recap:
    The lover says: Now that’s one I can’t answer,,,these are waters I have not treaded before
    The Buddha says: chop wood and carry water
    The Light Hearted you says: Don’t take it personally. Usually offense is not meant.
    The Sicilian says: The Sicilian in me would say think vengeance

    When you look at what those versions within you say. What version do you think is running you and how can you use those other versions to help that part that has taken over?

    Can you see it, looking for buddha again?

    • Stephen…of course I can see it. Hence the first question to you of which part of me do you want to answer.
      Now…who drives??? It depends on the minute…sometimes the second.
      The Light hearted me is also the logical me. Almost Vulcan. Able to enjoy in a true way, but seeing things from a logical point of view.
      The Buddhist looks at the Lover and Light-hearted versions and goes…”well done. seek to understand before being understood”
      After X’s 1st affair with J, these three were in Lockstep and led the way. The Sicilian at that time was only in the background and all of the venom was directed only at J.
      Now…as betrayal and lies seem to have been what my marriage was, the Sicilian is the lead horse some of the time. Not always. The problem with the first three is that they rely on truth. But now that what they were told was true turns to a lie, they remain confused. They want to see, but can no longer trust their eyes.
      The nice thing about the Sicilian is that there is no gray (I blogged about this subject some time ago too…)
      http://divorcedandangry.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/the-truth-is-gray/

      When my son, as he did tonight says, “I wish my kitty lived at the big house again.” and I said, “you don’t want the cat to live in your momma’s house” and he said…”I just want all of us to live together again”
      Then the Sicilian really comes out with regard to X and J….for doing this to my boy, for ruining the promise, for the lies that were told to my face while I was being stabbed in the back.

      At other times, if it is just me and him, or me and my daughter or all three of us together…and we can just “be”…then the first three are paramount.

      If you are asking me how I would counsel people (oh wait…gosh I do that)….then I call upon the first three. I had to stop for awhile as I felt disingenuos. But I’m getting back.

      That’s a long-winded way of saying that the jury is out on who drives because it changes frequently throughout the day.

  16. Totally fascinating reading. Sadly, I don’t really understand this talk of all of the ‘people within you’. We are who we are, one person, not a multitude. How can we have different versions of ourselves?

    I am more confused now than I was before. In my mind I know forgiveness is the supposed way forward, but who do I forgive? Him? Me? All the versions of me that I don’t know I have? Or none of those. Continue to carry the hate and disappointment forward an make the best of it?

    Even after 18 months I can’t forgive someone’s lies and cruel words. So I expect, for me, it will be the latter.

  17. Dear Katie

    You are not alone, socitey does not teach us how we work and so we live with the illusion that we are just one person within us.

    You have already shown us you have a figther within you and a part that wants to explore the possibility of how to forgive.

    What you are not yet aware of is how to use these versions of you to get the future you desire.

    Why would you know? But now you are aware, that just maybe there are things you are not aware of and these things just might be the key to freedom for you.

    I don’t know if it is possible for you today or even tomorrow, but what does your true heart tell you to do to give you the life your deserve?

  18. wow. That was one hell of a debate. It’s great to see two sensibilities and outlooks examining the same question. Possibly the feelings of love may come from ourselves but the way some people treat us allows us to release and explore these emotions without fear and we feel a natural gratitude. When these people vanish from our lives , sometimes roughly, that permission seems invalidated and we are left with doubts about wether it was given in the first place etc. Certainly knowing yourself and being friends with yourself is a good start to any new relationship

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  20. Funny…I did not feel that it was a debate. I think Stephen and I probably would agree about a whole lot of things, with a few different views on the nature and reasons for certain aspects.
    Love is such a mystical thing anyway.
    My son and I were having a debate today. Loudly. He is 7, so sometimes that makes me very unknowledgeable.
    A few minutes after our discussion, he said (as he has done so many times before) “Daddy…even though we were upset with each other, I know that you love me and I still love you”
    Now…believe me, I did not like the feelings I had when I was with him during our discussion…but I always know that I love him. Of course that feeling comes from me, but I think the nature of the discussion between Stephen and I was more where does that feeling stop. In other words which “self boundaries” does it cross.
    I wish there were double-blind ways to study and measure this, but there are not. So…we all get to have a “feeling” about what it means to us.

  21. Dear Buddha great to see you back I had a question that you might have missed so here it is again to follow on from our chat.

    Thank you for Sunday’s chat it was so valuable. I wonder if you know which version of you is running you everyday out of the Sicilian, the Buddha, the Lover and the lighthearted you?

    To recap:
    The lover says: Now that’s one I can’t answer,,,these are waters I have not treaded before
    The Buddha says: chop wood and carry water
    The Light Hearted you says: Don’t take it personally. Usually offense is not meant.
    The Sicilian says: The Sicilian in me would say think vengeance

    When you look at what those versions within you say. What version do you think is running you and how can you use those other versions to help that part that has taken over?

  22. So what happens to someone who has a conflict within them where the message that person gives themselves is so out of line with the other versions.

    What advice do you normally give those people?

    • Hey…I thought you weren’t coaching!! LMAO

      I said can’t. Not won’t.
      Because my own advice makes no internal sense at the moment. I’m an empricist by nature (and training). I have had so many confliciting stories about why I’m getting divorced. Well…actually, snippets of allusions to stories (although snippets of illusions may also work in this situation)…
      that the gray areas are so gray, that they change shade depending on which shadow falls their way.
      What would happen to me?? Dunno. Have not tread these waters….usually took my own advice. Gosh…look where that got me in my marriage. Being the understanding nice guy seems to have been a contraindication to the health of my marriage (said in part tongue in cheek but as a LC I’m sure you can find relevence in there somewhere).
      😉

      • I’m not coaching you i’m coaching those that are watching I know you know that?

        The reason I changed “can’t” to “won’t” is because “can’t” would suggest there is an outside force stopping you from taking your own advice, like something or someone?

        So the thing that is stopping you must be you.

        So why not be brave and take your own advice and see what happens, I can see that you have lost trust in you (usually took my own advice. Gosh…look where that got me in my marriage). But there are wonderful parts of you wanting to give you a life of freedom and peace.

        Tell us if you live a life where you feel that you can’t trust you, to look after you what would that life look like to you?

  23. “So why not be brave ” You didn’t just call out the Sicilian as a coward right?? 😉

    and, “can’t” was deliberate on my part.

    with regard to what the life would look like, the truth is that I can no longer see it. It has become a blind spot for me. I HAD that life before. I had the family I loved and wanted. (yes…I said wanted, no need to go into that right now).
    I had my wife, who apparently loved me so much that she wanted to work with me after her 1st affair. (oh….yeah. that didn’t work out so well because apparently she didn’t love me)
    I can logically see that this is within her and had virtually nothing to do with me. But…my heart is shattered into a billion fragments and right now, that trumps logic.

    I’ll search and see if I can find enough of a vision to answer your question.
    How many times have I asked the very same one. Hmmm.
    But for right now, I have no vision of a future.
    and…timezones are going to get us again. I have to get up in 2.5 hrs, so I think i should probably engage in the activity I must get up from.

    Let’s play again sometime, shall we? 🙂

      • I didn’t say i have no future. I said that I can not envision the future anymore. It’s like climbing a big hill with lots of turns on a bike. I often can not see the top. Every turn feels like a false summit when I crest it and then see more climbing.
        That is my life right now. The first time on any hill is like that. Not knowing where the top is or what it looks like. I know there is one, but it feels like I’ll never get there.
        But to get there, one chops wood and carries water. Hard, painful work sometimes.

  24. The Buddhist recognizes the Sicilian as the protector. He would be the first in line for defense of the realm. He was always in the background ready to protect my family. He took many bullets after X’s fisst affair but the buddhist kept him in line and moved forward with love and compassion. The Buddhist accetped almost all of the responsibility ….apologizing to X for giving her any reason to think that an affair was an option.
    Now he is back there going “SEE, SEE what did being understanding get you!!!!” He is a protector, but the thing he protected most is gone.
    Now he is in line to protect the other 3 (or 37) parts of me. The Buddhist keeps him in check, but when the Buddhist looks to forgive, the Sicilian reminds him of the lies and betrayals and lets him know that forgiveness is not an option again. The lover is deeply wounded and the other parts are still in shock. All of us wake everymorning thinking WTF happened.
    We also see that X is really no happier now. We all understand that she battles her own insecurities. We all wanted to help her. But that enrages the Sicilian even more because he sees that the family being broken was unnecessary and the green grass she left for is turning brown and brittle, but there is no lawn to return to.

    So the Buddhist will push forward to teach his children about chopping wood and carrying water in times of adversity. They will see that this is seems to be the harder path and does not get one what they want in the moment all the time (unless what one realizes is that the path is the beautiful part too).

    That will be the Buddhist’s goal. He realizes that forgiveness is probably not an option, but acceptance is.

    The problem with goals is that they create obstacles. the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacle. Right now we are climbing mount everest without oxygen or guides. The view may be cool once we get there though, but the climb is a bitch. We have heard of the summit, but have never seen it. Waters untread. Sharks roaming, Yetties lurking. Thin air…no grasp for the wings. Parachute packed incorrectly so no room to fall. So, one handhold at a time with bleeding, blistered and frostbit fingers. Carrying the dead weight of the past…and that past is dead along with parts of me. But the only thing to do is keep moving, even if there is no direction at the moment.

      • I do understand how it feels. Climbing Everest is what it feels like – and without oxygen (not that I’ve ever actually done it!). But I think what I finally discovered is that dragging the weight of all this with me wasn’t getting ME anywhere. It wasn’t benefiting me in anyway (and it certainly isn’t benefiting anyone else – least of all Alex – as he doesn’t even know).

        That if I stick to my Values and apply the Rules I have for those Values – firstly and most importantly to me and for me, then I begin to see a better future for myself. I’ve found I can begin to protect ME.

        After all what other choice do I have?

        None of this removes the sadness of the situation. But I now find I’m more in control of me. To be in action mode rather than reaction mode is what I’m aiming for – and I hope I’m beginning to get there.

        (I do hope I’m on the right track – I know if I’m not Stephen will encourage me to work out where I may have ‘fallen off” and where a better ‘track’ might be and could lead to!!)

  25. If you say you can’t see a future, as a fellow coach you know what that will do to your focus.
    It will keep you in poor states and living in reaction, fighting the world which is what we all see.

    So if you know this is true then my question goes to what do you get that’s good for you if you stay in this hopeless place?

    I know you may say nothing? But all actions have a reason even if we don’t know instantly.

    We know from the tile of your blog you want to feel significant maybe this is how you used to get love?

    We know that love is what you want, but your fears are blocking your future.

    A desire for certainty and significance are at play within you here, but the current approach will never get them in a way that feels good.

    I know you know this, so if you were your own client what higher purpose can you connect with within you that will give you all you need?

    What is more important than certainty and significance for you?

  26. Interesting question at the end. “What is important about ____________ for you?” This is a question I often pose. Do you know Bill Bachrach??

    So Stephen…as a Life coach you also realize trauma and what it does. My future and vision were ripped from me by the person I trusted the most. (well 2nd most next to me). So, now I get to question my own judgement about trust.

    My values system is still in place. But the endpoint is out of view.
    How does the title of my blog say to you that I want significance?
    Interesting take you have on that. Observant and somewhat accurate.

    So let’s clarify a bit too. The place I am in is not hopeless. If it were I would not exist anymore. But it is way out of focus. The life I had planned everything around is gone. My financial structure, my plans (our plans)…all disappeared with the words “I’ve been seeing J again…in our first marriage counseling session and 6 weeks after the fact.”

    Yes, staying here is unfocused. But there is now a complete re-evaluation of my life going on. Staying here gives me some time.
    Time to sort through the pain of betrayal.
    As I said before, my own advice feels disconnected to me right now.
    I understand that this is a process. it is neccessary that I grieve. I would say the same to people I counsel.
    So I chop wood and carry water until I have cleared enough of a path to see again.

    My roadmap was about significance. Being an example by deeds and not just words to my family. Being whole with them Sharing with them. Giving freely of my love for them. Those were the top values. There has been such a disconnect between the path I was on and the crevice I have been forced into, that the focus now is on survival. Survival is gray.
    First we survive and then we thrive. I have emotional chemotherapy right now. it is killing off the parts of me that need to die completely. But it is just survival at the moment.

    Although as a LC…part of your role (and my role) is to be significant in influence to help people. There is also the natural desire when on that side of the couch, to “wish” for progress faster. That validates your role. (not a knock by the way) My therapist cops to the same thing too. We all do upon self examination.

    I am deliberate in my responses here. The “goal’ of my blog was to be of service and if one marriage can be helped by it, then it was a success.

    The Buddhist and the Vulcan care nothing about “being loved”. It is nice but not necessary. The lover, of course desires that, and once tasted that fruit is sweet. The Sicilian desires vengeance for having it ripped away.

    Fear blocking the way going forward? not necessarily. But, there is a need for the certainty of the handhold and foothold right now. Reaching still, but grasping securely first.

    I appreciate your thoughts, and you have obviously become invested in this “debate”….So Stephen….What’s important about continuing this discussion for you?

    • What’s important is my love of helping those who are suffering. I too had to learn how to stop living in reaction to the world, once you really know how everything changes.

      It’s great you are living true to your values, what are the top 5 for you?

      What I see is a man who is meeting his needs, but in conflict with his values.

      But I’m happy to be corrected.

      • ” What’s important is my love of helping those who are suffering. I too had to learn how to stop living in reaction to the world, once you really know how everything changes.”

        I see. So we have similar deisres in life quests.
        The Buddhist way is one of detachment, It is one of the beauties of the philosophy; The Buddhist way is one of detachment. It is one of the worst things about the philisophy.

        Trust _____!, put your faith in __________, There is a reason for _______. Let _____ sort it out.

        These are all versions of the same thing, Ways in which to “not react”. Full blown belief in these ways is a mode of protection too. They are all ways to detach and accept.

        There becomes a fine line between detaching and experiencing. Between reactive or proactive.

        Is anyone completely immucne to being reactive to the world?? I have never met anyone. We sublimate, we overcompensate somewhere else, but I don’t think we become non-reactive. We simply transfer that reaction to something else. Sometimes it is constructive, at other times it is destructive.

        RE: What you see. Well…all of my needs are not currently being met. As I said, I am surviving. My values are not necessarily in conflict with me… But the manifestation of them in my new reality is.

        RE: top 5 values. I don’t rank them. But, being able to look back on my life and know that I did the best I could with the tools I had at the time, is way up there.

        Being whole with my family was also way up there…and that is gone. So I have to find a way to make the family I have left, whole. X is not my friend, she chose not to be my wife and by that she chose to no longer be a part of my family. But…she was a major player. She did not die…in some respects that would have been easier. She left and treated me and us with malice, derision and contempt. I “know” this is part of her defense mechanism. It sitll hurts.
        She does “flaunt” her new love at me…and I am working on making that a “non-entity” in my existence.

        Again…all things I would “help” other’s do. I did live non-reactively. Every straw will find it’s camel though, and this big freakin straw found me.

  27. Pingback: Reference to a Discussion. « divorcedandangry

  28. “RE: top 5 values. I don’t rank them. But, being able to look back on my life and know that I did the best I could with the tools I had at the time, is way up there. ”

    I understand you don’t rank your values, but you must be able to share just 5 that feel important?

  29. Hell, this is intense. You asked me a question many questions and replies back.

    You were correct in stating that I could not answer it. I have no fancy words or deep explanations for that, other than I closed down that part of my ‘hear’ that does not beat to keep me alive and it is still closed. I have very few emotions other than sadness and the odd smile because I find it better not to feel anything for anyone other than my immediate family. No emotion, no more pain.

    • Dear Katie……………….. “If”… you could find away to help you to feel safe to find the real you, that real loving you. A you that could understand who is right for your life and who isn’t…What would that life feel like?

      Could you share what that life would look and feel like with us?

    • I’ll accept that I have inadvertently mislead you with my answer above.
      I’ll accept trust is a value and part of a values system.
      and although #2 is important, it is really a goal. Now… there are values that drive it.
      Can you “see” what those may be?

  30. Yes I can see for you what values could drive what you say is a goal for you, but I just wanted to help you get started, not give you your values. You values and what they mean are personal to you.

    So now I can see you understand values, When you were in your relationship with X what were your top ten values for a having a relationship?

    • Top 10?? again I don’t rank things. I just integrate things into core belief systems. Nor do I advocate values for a situation as in values for having a relationship. I believe that core values are there in every aspect and should be carried over.
      Here are a few
      Integtriy
      Honesty
      Loyalty
      Fidelity
      Charity
      Trust
      Expressing love

  31. It interesting that you don’t see your values changing based on your life conditions, so to follow your model, you would use the same values in a passionate moment as you would at work?

    Thank you for that list we can grow it to ten as we go.

    I can see that honesty is on your list so I would like to engage that for that the follow questions. Please give the first thing that comes to mind.

    What has to happen for you to give yourself:
    Integtriy
    Honesty
    Loyalty
    Fidelity
    Charity
    Trust
    Expressing love

    Eg: Integrity: What has to happen is….

    • My values are my values. They may manifest more or less in given situations, but they themselves are not situational.

      RE: your question. What has to happen….. I don’t follow your thinking here.
      Nothing has to happen. I have integrity., and honesty and loyalty etc.

      Why do you ask?

  32. That’s a different question. Trust is a value. That does not mean that it can manifest as an action all the time. X has proven to be untrustworthy. I did trust her completely. After her first affair, she asked for my trust again, and I trusted her again. Completely. The only way to trust is to trust.
    But, she lied.
    Trust is one of my core values. That has not changed. But her actions have shown me that I can no longer trust her. That does not change my values system.

  33. So as you can see something had to “happen” for you to no longer trust her?

    The what has to “happen” are the rules you attach to meeting your values. She broke your rules and now you don’t trust her. That’s fair enough!

    Now you know something has to “happen” my question stands…

    You have told us that you live true to your own values, but if you are unaware of what has to happen for those values to be met for you, by you. You could be causing you problems without knowing. In other words you may have a problem being consistent with your values.

    We have already seen that with the different versions of you. Even the Buddha is confused he sees the Sicillian as a protector. Any part of you that is after vengeance is not going to be very safe to be around so is going to cause problems and not protect you at all.

    ————————————–
    I can see that honesty is on your list so I would like to engage that for that the follow questions. Please give the first thing that comes to mind.

    What has to happen for you to give yourself:
    Integrity
    Honesty
    Loyalty
    Fidelity
    Charity
    Trust
    Expressing love

    Eg: Integrity: What has to happen is….

    • Still don’t get you on this. Give me an example please.
      I don’t see any problem with consistency of the values. The Sicilian wants vengeance (nee justice)…but the values and ethics do not allow that.
      The Buddhist can look objectively and see that the Sicilian has a role. I disagree with you that there is conflict there, Is he safe?? Depends. If someone tried to mug me, came after me with a knife…a goal would be self preservation. The Buddhist would not have time to negotiate a logical conclusion. The Sicilian would take care of the problem. Then the Buddhist can come back to work. Would self defense be vengeance or justice?? What about defense of my family?
      Simply because there has been an emotional trauma which causes pain and that pain is paramount, it does not mean that the values have gone away.
      It may mean that they are questioned. It may be that the 5 yr old in me needs to be heard, but it does not conflict with anything.

      • Here is another example which may clarify.
        In many martial art forms, we train to fight….so that we don’t have to and if we do it is only when necessary.
        It would seem contradictory, but it is not.
        Buddhist by practice are pacifists, yet kung fu was developed by Buddhist monks. (ok…maybe a Sicilian went over and sired many children who became Buddhist monks)

  34. Note from the blog owner!

    The time is now 0915am UK time.

    There will be at least a 2 hr lull in the debate as Stephen has just emailed to say he is now giving a coaching session. I am sure he will respond when he is available.

    Caroline

  35. Caroline.
    In 2 hrs it will be 3:30am my time…and with any luck I will be partaking of blissfull slumber in my own bed. I have spent only one night in my (residence) house in the past 22 days. I have been up at the other house for 10 days, but amazingly what one owns, one must also maintain and after missing 1 ferry and 2 flights, I’m dog-tired. So my part of the “debate” will have to wait also.
    Why do I get the impression that I’m getting scolded sometimes?? LOL

  36. Wow…Thank you both for such an interesting discussion. And thank you Caroline for providing the forum for this.
    I can see so much of my own trajectory in what LFBA describes, this inner struggle between what you know would be better for you because you would be living by your values, and something I see as a scared, wounded child (my personal Sicilian I guess) who takes over control and makes your life miserable.
    Excellent stuff, great help. x

  37. The what will happen question is critical, without it the value has no meaning.

    For example:
    RESPECT

    Most of us would agree it is a great value.

    BUT What if the rule for “respect” was unless they believe what I say I won’t feel respected.

    Now the value respect is not so great.

    So as you can see unless you know what has to happen for your values to be met they are just words.

    The result is life becomes one that cannot be won. Also the order is critical too, there are times in life when different values become more important. One day you may need courage, when another you may need love, another day success, or flexibility becomes more important.

    Not understanding this combined with rules that a person is not aware of means he or she is very likely to live a life in reaction and confused. This can mean someone could become angry, depressed, sad, lonely, frustrated, unloved, every one is different.

    So it’s very likely that someone who has no idea of the rules they use to meet their values will live in conflict with themselves and feel out of control of their emotions and their life.

    • I’m about to work and have a full day of catch-up to do it.
      But let’s discuss your example.
      Respect. Being respected I believe is a goal. Being respectful is a value.
      So in your example, if someone does not believe you, then they do not respect what you are saying and they may not respect you. No matter what you do in life, you will offend somebody. If one’s value system is so fragile that they can not believe the value based on another’s opinion, then yes they are in trouble.
      In your example, I believe the attachment to the manifestiation of what you want is the problem, not the value. And in the example above, the goal is not being met. But it never can be 100%. Also, they may respect one part of you, but not another. Again, a goal breaker but not necessarily a value breaker.
      In my example, being respectful…the belief of my value by someone else is of little consequence. There is only a problem if I go against the value…and then only on a consistent basis. An occasional lapse does not change the “feeling I have about me” when I am respectful.

  38. Thank you for your reply, your responses are very interesting… you say “There is only a problem if I go against the value…”

    Maybe you have missed the point so I’m sorry if it was not clear. How will you know it you have met your values? Im not talking about goals just values in other words what is important to you.

    How you know there is going to be problem, if there is no way of knowing what you have to do to meet the value in this case “respect”?

    We would really value knowing how you work?

    • I have re read your comment and you say…In your example, I believe the attachment to the manifestiation of what you want is the problem

      The attachment is the “rule” (in my words) so you are saying when the attachment (rules) cause problems, they need to change?

      I agree totally… so now we agree that the attachments (rules) can be the cause of the problems.

      Now we are back on the same page what attachments do you have for the following. I’m talking about how you meet your own values, not goals just values.

      Integrity
      Honesty
      Loyalty
      Fidelity
      Charity
      Trust
      Expressing love

  39. We may be splitting hairs here…but my answer is talking about an attachment to the resolution or opinion of a goal…not an internal value system.

    For example…I am respectful. At least I have the intention of being respectful. That is a value. 99% of the time I manifest that value (no I have not actually done a statistical study nor measuerd the error).
    That value does not depend on the outcome or response from someone else.

  40. You have decided that either you can’t or won’t answer my question, I respect that totally.

    I can see that you are smart, so I know you get my question. It’s a shame, because I can see the pain you are putting you through and others could learn from your experience.

    At the moment you are unhappy and you are blaming X. As we all know there are always two sides to every story.

    When any person leaves a relationship there is always a “needs” problem for that person. It’s always the hardest thing to accept if you are the one that’s left that you didn’t meet your partner’s needs. So taking responsibility for your part in the split would go along way to helping you heal.

    I hope you find the answer to that “needs” question. If there is a destructive pattern in there for you, I’m sure you won’t want to run it again in the next relationship.

    May I wish you all the success…

    BTW I was also aware that children are involved in your situation, they pick up on everything and I mean everything, that was another motivator to help you and share this session with others who also have families.

    Children effected by their parents’ problems years later end up in my sessions and one of my missions is help parents today make sure that does not happen to them.

  41. In truth…I am not “not” anwering your question.
    I am trying to figure out where you are coming from.

    SO…we have talked about being respectful as being a value. Please use this as an example to give me about how to answer your question.

    I do believe there is a fundamental difference between a goal and a value although a goal can be driven by a value.

    With regard to my part in the marriage….I have investigated that so many times it is unbelievable. Obviously some of her needs were not being met….but the truth is that she admits to not telling me the truth about what she needed or wanted. AND…in a marriage, there is a committment to work through things. This is a WHOLE other discussion. I can tell you that the marriage counselor said that she sandbagged the relationship. So…yes, I put primary blame on her for this. Not that we did not work, but the manner in which it happened. BIG attachment to that.
    So Stephen…we now know more of your motivation. Now if you would, please help me to answer your questions with an example to my “being respectful’ value.

  42. With respect to you and the readers here and their time, I need convincing that you really want to know your truth…

    1. So can you please share with us what you wish to change about you?
    2. Why that change is important to you?
    3. What will life will be like for you and your children if you don’t make these changes?
    4. How will we know that your changes have been made?
    5. Plus when you imagine your future with a new you after these changes have been made what will life look like for you and the children.

    I am also curious about your vision of what a man’s role is in a relationship.

    If you wish to stop here, Myself and everyone will understand and respect that decision.

    Again to your success….

    • Ahhhh …I respect the time you have taken. This has evolved into some coaching vs just discussion. There also appears to be some doubt about my veracity.
      I will begin on this list and finish at another time…and I will still ask you for an example to my “being respectful ” value. SO that I can see what you mean. please answer for me What has to happen about being respectful is __________. It does not matter if it is something you feel I agree with. I am looking for the intent and nature of the type of answer you want. As I’m sure the readers have guessed, we have some definition differences and rather than continue “stuck”, an increase in communication would be beneficial. So, Once again, please help me to answer the question with an example.

      Your newest list are all very good questions.
      I’ll start with # 1…recognizing that I am also in the middle of my workday and can not fully investigate this right now.
      1. So can you please share with us what you wish to change about you?
      I would change nothing about my core belief system. I believe in trust until it is proven that I can not trust someone. This has gotten me burned a few times (with X BIG time)…but I would rather go through life trusting and getting burned on occasion than becoming a cynical bastard. Mind you, that does not mean I throw away skepticism. I am honest. I am caring. I am a great Dad. I am generous with time and resources. I listen well. I was a loving husband. So, although there are struggles and pain at the moment, the core is not something I wish to change. I know that the struggles are temporary and I must process and fight through them. Being an empiricist though and not really knowing why I am getting divorced is slightly maddening. I am working on accepting that I will probably never really know. I am generally very calm and easy going. The last year has found that aspect of me to be more challenging. The measure of a man is not what he does in good times, but what he does in bad times. I was hit on many fronts, emotional, financial, health….and the smooth corners got sharpened a bit over the past year.
      With regard to things I would change…transitions are sometimes difficult for me. not in the fact that there is a transition, but in the inertia that is built around the current state. Part of that is the big picture view I have of things….and I (often because of loyalty) will stay on the path even when I can not see the end.
      But…it has some detriments. I learned how to work hard…I sometimes need to work better. I also need to re-engage with my physical health and exercise. I have been inconsistent with those for a while…and at one point was a good athlete. Not by genetics, but by perseverance.
      I wish I were a better multitasker, but I have more singular focus.

      Well that’s a start.

  43. Thank you LFBA but I feel the readers are going to get a bit bogged down now.

    From my point of view I was willing you on to give Stephen some short succinct responses to his questions – but I totally respect and understand that at this time you may find that too difficult.

    I feel this is now a good place to call a halt! For now at least!

    Again thank you for your honesty and integrity in your part in the debate and for being so open with your feelings and thoughts. A large number of readers have followed this and I hope it has given them food for thought.

    I would also like to thank Stephen for his part in this fascinating discussion.

    Caroline

    • Thank you LFBA for taking part, What I noticed about others that I work with is the more they discover about what they don’t know about how they work , the faster they feel happier and safer within themselves. They find that what they are feeling today drifts away and they quickly become more successful and they don’t even notice how fast you can change.

  44. Pingback: I’d love some feedback | I've Survived! And I'm about to "fly"!!

    • Sorry it took so long to get back.
      My wife had an affair a year and a half ago and I had been fighting an uphill battle to find something to trust in her.
      Right now,
      I don’t trust her.

      My blog sums up most of it. But aks away if you want.

  45. Hi Michael

    Affairs are so destructive on many levels and so an affair is never the right decision no matter what is going on. Now having said all that whilst I know the decision was wrong, there were for her reasons why she did it?

    You could have decided to walked away, but you didn’t…

    …Michael “you” chose to continue with the relationship because I assume you want to keep it (please correct me if I’m wrong).

    For this relationship to work it needs to grow. If you can’t trust her, then that will block the growth and make the relationship fail. So my question goes to what’s really going on here for both of you.

    Your question was “How do I trust someone who refuses to work on trust issues.”

    My thoughts are…

    1. Help us understand what you want that you are not getting from her now that would equal trust to you?

    2. Why did she say that she took that decision to have an affair, was she unhappy in the relationship? I am interested in what she said at the time not what you think her reason was. (Maybe she could answer this question for us it could be important to hear it from her) please invite her to join the discussion so we can hear her side. I’m sure she is not a horrible person, you would not have had her back if she was.

    3. What has to happen within you to trust her again?

    4. What do you really fear here?

    5. Do you both want to work towards rebuilding this relationship, or do you have different goals today?

    Lets find out the truth for you both, only if you want to…

  46. Pingback: Am I A Good Husband?

  47. Hi Michael

    I see that you have already moved the question before I had a chance to answer. I’m sure your intention was good.

    But I wonder if “YOU” were Caroline, what would you be thinking and feeling?

    • No as a matter of fact I overthink my actions before I make them.
      My intentions were to free up her from having to approve responses to me. She emailed me to ask if I was going to respond in public or privately and said privatly was ok as well. The time difference between us is a lot.
      Any other questions or I wasted your time?

      Hi Michael

      Affairs are so destructive on many levels and so an affair is never the right decision no matter what is going on. Now having said all that whilst I know the decision was wrong, there were for her reasons why she did it?

      You could have decided to walked away, but you didn’t…

      …Michael “you” chose to continue with the relationship because I assume you want to keep it (please correct me if I’m wrong).

      You are correct.

      For this relationship to work it needs to grow. If you can’t trust her, then that will block the growth and make the relationship fail. So my question goes to what’s really going on here for both of you.

      Your question was “How do I trust someone who refuses to work on trust issues.”

      My thoughts are…

      1. Help us understand what you want that you are not getting from her now that would equal trust to you?

      I don’t have a “thing” that will equal trust for me. I guess I’ll know when I begin to feel it. I know that trust has to come from me and not her. But I’m still unwilling to trust someone who has lied and continued to lie, and hides things from me. I’ve never hit my wife or verbally abused her for backing into a pole, getting a ticket, not paying her bills. I even gave her the option of leaving when she didnt know what she wanted to do. I know I’ve expressed how disappointed I was in having to find out on my own something that should have been told to me. So maybe that’s it. Maybe I need to, for once in our marriage, be told about something instead of having to ask and ask or discover on my own something that should have been said. Obviously she doesn’t trust me, and maybe she doesn’t know that she does not, or doesn’t know why, but she doesn’t.

      2. Why did she say that she took that decision to have an affair, was she unhappy in the relationship? I am interested in what she said at the time not what you think her reason was. (Maybe she could answer this question for us it could be important to hear it from her) please invite her to join the discussion so we can hear her side. I’m sure she is not a horrible person, you would not have had her back if she was.

      That changed from it’s just talking to an old boyfriend for hours on the phone to me discovering that she made trips t se him, that he wanted her to leave her family. that even when i showed her how he talked about her behind her back she continued to talk to him for months behind my back. Telling me and our therapist that she wasnt. Anc continuing to plan to spend the weekend with him in his home town. I’ve invited her to several blogs, to my blog. Except for two post on Emotionalaffair.org and a few post on her own hiddeninmypast.blogspot.com. She hasn’t answered that question for me or anyone else. Shes not a horrible person, she made a mistake and refuses to learn from it.

      Read A couple old emails Dec 14 and Dec 15

      3. What has to happen within you to trust her again?

      Disclosure, honesty, therapy, anything that might make me feel like we’re more than roommates.

      4. What do you really fear here?

      I fear that my life will follow the same pattern as my best friends marriage. That it Will happen again. That I’ve wasted all my time for a year and a half and I will never get the things I need from her. That we will never have the communication skills required to make our marriage last past our children leaving our home.

      5. Do you both want to work towards rebuilding this relationship, or do you have different goals today?

      I don’t believe that she wants to do the work to rebuild the relations ship. I know she would rather just pretend it didn’t happen and move on. In a fashion I think she has learned well before I met her. My current goal are about me. I’m trying to come to rational feelings about an irrational person. I couldn’t begin to tell you what goals she has in mind because we don’t talk about us at all. We talk about the kids. She will tell me thing from time to time. But just like before her affair we have stopped texting and talking for most of the day while we work.

      Lets find out the truth for you both, only if you want to.

      Hope That Helps….

  48. Hi Michael. Privately didn’t mean on your blog!! As you will have noticed I don’t have to approve your comments – I only approve on the first comment – you can then comment away to your heart’s content without any intervention from me!
    best wishes

    Caroline

  49. Hi Michael

    Thank you for your reply, I am curious what do you think has to happen for a relationship to become successful? You have said you want this relationship to work and we all think that is an amazing quality in anyone, and very brave in the circumstances.

    Coach us all on your vision, what does a man have to do, to make a relationship successful?

  50. I think the affair is proof that what I thought would make a successful marriag was not what she envisioned. I’m going to work, so I will have to write more and find a wifi to upload later.

  51. The comments above are painting a picture of a commincation problem, but I don’t want to assume anything at this stage unless you provide more proof, I want to help you so…

    My question was…. “what does a man have to do, to make a relationship successful?”

    Your last comment does not answer my question, I am going to assume you are in a rush so need to think about this.

    You see it’s critical that if having a successful relationship is the goal, then you know what you have to do to create that.

    The question…. “what does a man have to do, to make a relationship successful?”

    Kind regards

  52. Just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in here and give my answer to Stephen’s question too…but feel free Caroline to remove this if you don’t want any influence for Michael’s answers.

    Q. “what does a man have to do, to make a relationship successful?”

    A. What a person has to do to make a relationship successful is IMHO (and this goes equally for both parties)
    1. Be committed to the relationship and it’s success.
    2. Realize that a relationship is based on shared success, not always individual wants or immediate desires.
    3. Look for the good stuff and don’t sweat the small stuff.
    4. Communicate. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
    5. Allow space. Couples do not have to be in lockstep. There is room and beauty in individual interests.
    6. Be honest.
    7 Realizing that a relationship, especially with family, often involves many aspects. The individuals, the union, the family….and not all can be fed equally at the same time. That being said, make time and space for the union aside from the other aspects. Intimacy is paramount.
    8. Be kind. Be respectful.
    9. Express love. Take notice of the small acts of love.
    10. Be loyal and faithful in the marriage. Do not encourage other’s romantic interest.
    11. Be Secure with oneself but be able to express fears, needs etc.
    12. Be supportive
    13. Trust the other partner.
    14. Accept responsibility and acknowledge mistakes.
    15. Look to give benefit of the doubt. This falls under, “don’t take things personally”
    16. Be kind to the extended family one married in to. (I love my in-laws…they are still my family)
    17. Shared chores. Shared kid duty.
    18. Recognize and accept that marriage is a division of labor. That means that all aspects of the mechanics will not be equally distributed…and that is ok.
    19. When it get’s tough, remember the reasons you are together.
    20. Hold hands…just because.
    21. Laugh together and often. Especially with kids, something funny will always happen even in times of stress.

  53. A few things I think a man is responsible for in a relationship. Realy they are for either spouse.

    Support her in things that are important to her. She just became the region commissioner for our kids soccer league.
    To provide for her.
    To be Honest and truthful to her.
    Try and pick her up when she is down.
    Be compassionate about her feelings.
    To give her space when she needs it.
    To challenge her to be the best she can be.
    To show her affection and remind her how I feel about her.

    I’m not sure if that is what your looking for but its what came to mind right now.

    • Thank you Michael That helps me understand where you are.

      I understand that your wife has had a traumatic past is that correct? If so would you say that certainty and security is high on her needs list?

      If not, what would you say her actions and behaviours suggest she needs most?

  54. I almost with I had read LFBA’s response before I sent mine. I see similar themes and a few I didn’t come up with. But right now I’m finding it difficult to do most because I feel Selfish.
    I don’t think that we have evolved as a couple from this. I feel that I’m starting to see how far apart we have been for so long.

    • Sorry. Michael. i thought you said you were working for awhile and so would not see mine right away.
      Anyway, your list is for you. A relationship takes two. Believe me, I know how hard it is when it appears that only one person is really in the relationship.
      Retrospect “how far apart we have been for so long”, can either be enlightening or eat you up with the what if’s.
      Your wife’s letter is very telling…if she is being truthful to herself she feels pushed. This leaves you caught in a hard spot. You want the relationship to work, but if you say this too much, she withdraws while letting the other person in.
      Been there….done that.
      Counseling I think is imperitive for you both. But that’s just me speaking from my own remorse and experience.
      I have seen breakthroughs though with others in counseling that seemed to have similarities to your situation and I wish you well. It will take work and honesty and a lot of other things.
      If I may ask…”what is important about continuing the marriage to you.?’
      after this though, I’ll butt out for awhile and look forward to reading your dialogue with Stephen if it transpires.
      Peace to you
      LFBA

  55. I’ll repeat the question here Michael….

    Thank you Michael That helps me understand where you are.

    I understand that your wife has had a traumatic past is that correct? If so would you say that certainty and security is high on her needs list?

    If not, what would you say her actions and behaviours suggest she needs most?

  56. LFBA,
    No, no, you know I have read some of your blog. Its a big what if for me right now.
    I took a late lunch, wrote a few things down, and when I refreshed it I saw yours and said “well put” but it almost felt too text book to me.
    I hope you know I welcome any and all questions. And I don’t believe counseling is an option that she is willing to do yet. She has said many time that she wanted to go on her own, but hasn’t. That she wanted to do the couples retreat but is too busy. So I’m not sure how much she doesn’t want to do it only that something in her keeps her from it.
    What is important to me about continuing the marriage?
    I don’t want to feel like I failed my children.
    If I let that take me I will have broken my vows.
    I love my wife because I know there is good there.
    I will not abandon her.
    Right now, I’m not at a place where I think its necessary.

  57. Stephen,
    Yes you are correct.
    And yes I believe the thought of me leaving is one reason she returned to secretly talking to him.
    Her actions lead me to believe she wants freedom and anonymity from her past. And security and stability at home. But she still wants to keep her thoughts and feelings private and safe so she won’t have to feel threatened because of them.
    Just a thought.

  58. And I’m sorry to get distracted, I’ll leave any interactions with LFBA to my blog, unless you don’t mind him asking questions. But I do feel it distracted me from your questions.

  59. Michael this is your challenge at a time when you might not want to…

    You job is to keep her secure and help her to understand that you will be there for her and look after her forever. This is critical for her.

    If you want to get your trust back, you have to trust you to give her what she needs.

    If you stay in the selfish place, how secure will she feel with you, and what do you think she will attach to you within her?

    You may want to punish her, but all she will do is go internal and attach bad thoughts to you.

    What you need to do is what equals growth.

    What do you think?

  60. Stephen,
    I have tried, forgiven, given another chance, trusted her that she was telling the truth. But just when I think its all behind us, I find out something else. And its like a big slap in the face. To try and show someone that you will be there forever when inside you image they aren’t going to be is tough.
    Its been a year and a half of multiple times my trust has been broken. And I don’t know if I have it in me to accept that she will never tell me how she truly feels.
    and communication is a big problem in our relationship.

  61. Stephen,
    So what your saying is I have to put aside my hurt, my insecurities, and my fears and do all the work to get her to a place where she may or may not reciprocate? Blind faith that some day she will?

  62. Michael

    What you have described is what you expect from her thats not what I am talking about at all.

    What I described is what you need to expect from you. Only when she trusts you will she feel safe to open up to you.

    What you are currently doing is not working, is it?

    So be brave and take the consistent action to help her feel secure with you again…

    What are you thoughts now?

    • She needs your help, if you keep punishing her you will fail to get your goal which is to get this relationship back.

      You seem like a great guy, and I know you are hurt, but if you want this back on track you have to be brave and take control.

      TRUST YOU to put this right!

      You see, if anyone changes who they are, when someone does them a wrong they disconnet with who they really are. This actually results in them hurting themselves.

  63. Michael is clearly now going to think about what was discussed above.

    Michael had fallen victim to the three behaviours that society teaches us, that consistently equal destruction in our relationships.

    1. If your partner does you a wrong you punish them. – If you do punish them they will attach bad feelings to you. In relationships punishment does not work ever!
    2. Judge your partners actions – You can only judge how you feel, you would have to be them to judge them, you’re not so you are not qualified!
    3. Take what you need from a relationship. – Taking from a relationship turns the relationship into a trade. If you do this for me, I will do this for you. This never works and kills the intimacy/growth turns passionate relationships into friends at best.

    If Michael changes all of the above into giving and loving her again, he reconnects with his true self and his trust in himself will return. This is what he lost through fear.

    From that great place for him, he has the best chance to get his relationship back on track, the way it was going it was going to fail because they were both distorted versions of themselves and living in fear. This way he has a chance, but he has to be consistent, in understanding her true needs.

    The reason she was unhappy was because her core needs were not being met by the relationship. It went on for so long for her, that she totally disconnected with who she was and went against her own beliefs and values.

    An affair became possible.

    There will be tough times ahead, but if Michael can break through, the rewards are massive, because the growth in relationships is built when things go wrong.

    I would like to thank Michael for asking the question and taking part so positively.

    • Oooh, blast, I did exactly that 1., 2., 3…
      In a way, I envy you Michael, I’m not pretending it’s easy or anything, but least your relationship is given another chance. Good on you for hanging in there.

      • After X’s 1st affair, I did none of those. By her writings, I showed her unconditional love. When I found out she had beend seeing him again, the hurt was doubly huge…especially the way she told me and even then couched in lies about it. So…I did (and still do) judge her actions. I was not punishing her…but I want to now. I was not taking what I need from the relationship though…I was still trying to listen and understand, and we had established a dialogue. She was turning back to me again…but after every conversation with me she had 20 with him and he “helped” her in figuring out all the ways i could not have possibly loved her like he could. The full accounting is too long to comment on Lady E’s comment….but yes, these are all valid points and even when one knows what to do…it can become very difficult especially when answered again with deception because that rips the security away too.

  64. Hi Michael

    That’s a great question.

    The answer is always tough to accept, it is to take responsibility for the relationship and your part in creating one that she has not been happy in.

    Whilst you are not responsible for her action to have an affair you are part of her journey to that point.

    By taking responsibility you take back control for you.

    From here you are being honest with yourself and you can trust you to put this right.

  65. How do I find out what I need to correct if she won’t talk to me about it. The two things that she did mention early on I have corrected, apologized for, tried to make up for. One of them she told a friend of hers that she had corrected it for me.
    So does that mean in her mind that she doesn’t see me as working on it. But I come back to if I don’t know what she needs from me how can I give it to her?

  66. Again great question thank you…
    When anyone starts a relationship and they don’t know how to give their partner what they really need, trouble on some level is never far away.

    The needs structure to help you…

    You need to find out what will help her feel secure in this relationship and certain that her future with you will be safe.
    You need to discover what will help her feel like the most important person in the world to you.
    You need to help her feel loved in the way she wants.
    You need her to understand that you are passionate about helping her become the woman she wants to be in the life she wants to live.

    She needs to know she is with a man who’s mission is to serve and protect her in the way she wants.

    If you can help her feel great about herself she will attach those feelings to you. This is what she did within herself when you first met and decided a relationship together was a great idea.

    Your mission is to find out all of the above, to think, to get creative and take off the thought about what you are going to get in return. Your love for her is not a trade, you are giving because you are a giving and loving man.

    A successful man says no problem, in other words he finds a way.

  67. Pingback: My wish for 2012 | I've Survived! and I'm "Flying"!!

  68. What a fantastic post and the debate that you triggered is wonderful. I’m so glad you highlighted to this post. There are some interesting questions that come up in the discussion. The other thing I really enjoyed was that in the middle of this philosophical debate someone comments – “I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that you drive 140 miles to work” – just classic. If anyone wants to know why people blog as an answer I’m just going to direct them to this post 😆

  69. Pingback: The marathon debate! | I've Survived! and I'm "Flying"!!

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