September 29, 2010
For a few months now I've been slowly reconnecting emotionally with my wife. I had reached a point where all of the good memories in our 12 year marriage had been replaced with anger and obssesions and negative thoughts. I'm making some progress but my enthusiasm gets shot down fairly quickly when we have an argument or I go through the what "might have beens" if I had opted out of this relationship three or so years ago. Does anyone who's married have advice on how to rid myself of the negative thoughts I have about my past and move on positively towards the future?
September 30, 2010
The might have beens, like the coulda woulda shoulda's are a danger zone, that no matter what the subject matter , its definately a bad place. We make the only choices that we can at the time, impossible to second guess our selves. I guess the best way to look at it some times is learning to be greatful, trying to keep the focus with a loving heart, and knowing that this is not a dress rehursal. We just want it all don't we, and we want it our way, and darn those around us for not getting with our program. Even if peace and harmony is all that there is to our agenda. The best analogy of marriage I have heard is imagine two boats in rough seas trying to float side by side with out taking in water. Its impossible, but we keep trying to make it happen don't we. We can forgive, but unfortunately we never forget. I have tried so hard, sometimes the pattern shows, the voice tone is there, and I go into automatic pilot, and then so does he, so all our effort goes out the window, but we both can see the "what happened" at this point. We are both a bit more callous, but also know that this too shall pass. I have recently wondered about marriage period. If you messed up, then live with it, around it over or under it, keep the focus and ride the ride, especially if you share children. Other than that I am having a hard time keeping the benifits of the dream alive. That dream of partnership, mutual respect, yada yada yada. There is to much baggage in blended families, and when you have blended families with lots and lots of baggage, before and after, I am having a hard time with the reconcilliation process, there is just to much stuff to trip over all the time, and you end up blowing off every thing, so you sink further into emotional detachment. Sorta of a set up for dissappointment, and the burnt out factor. Then there is the trust issue, whether its yours or theirs it is always there isn't it. Life in general is tough, and when your constantly striving for harmony in the home, where is the light? So you keep that focus on the good, the love,the security, and the hope, it isn't any better with a different person, and ultimately you go live in a cave, or continue with the quest of the difficult dream, or work it out with in your self, and the mate that you committed to. Learn to look at some of the situations as do I want to die on this hill or just let it pass. We own the power to choose what we empower, if it is words or actions, or intent. Empower your intent to have a beautiful loving marriage, like there was no option. Be romantic, be lustful, be your dream, and don't let the other options get in your way. Now to follow my own advice
September 29, 2010
Thoughtfully said Molly. It is amazing the amount of time and energy I spend mulling over the what could have beens and not focus that energy on making my marriage better. Perhaps I'm afraid to go to bat and take a stand for what I want my relationship to be...i don't know. But the ball is in my court and my wife is waiting for me to serve. Thanks Again!!!!
September 30, 2010
So much can be handled by only one, she must return the serve, Isn't it odd, what is 00 Love love, I guess I am in a synical place. But I do know that we feed off each other's energy, it is so easy to go down, and so hard to stay up, as you suggested earlier. The only thing I have seen for sure, is that the couples, families that did manage to endur, are so much more successful, even if some of them for the time stayed for the kids. There is something about that endurance race, that pays off, financially, emotionally, for all involved. Sometimes we fake it until we make it, as long as it is not damaging along the way. There seems to be a low pain threshold today, no one has the stick to it nose to the grind stone approach any more, and truthfully marriage is a business thing a partnership, the lust dies to quickly to look at it as other than that and if you get lust some times, companionship sometimes what a blessing, but the ultimate payoff is the self gratifing knowledge that you have integrity, are reliable,and loyal. I think that most who talk of divorce forget about that stuff, and if they break one then the next is easier, and what do the kids learn? So I know it is not easy, and I am trying my hardest, and am hopeful that my efforts will pan out as well as yours, good love to you.
September 27, 2010
It might be helpful to realize that your wife might also have those same would have should have thoughts. In 12 years you've probably both changed so much you don't even know each other especially if you have kids. Why not try to fall in love with the new improved more mature version of your wife. If she still has any spark at all left for you once she sees the sparks in your eyes chances are she'll be returning positive instead of negative energy. Women are so easy to figure out, we just want to be valued for who we are, respected for what we bring to the relationship, and even with equal rights I still believe most of us want to feel protected.
Just remember it's worth working on because of all the past years good and bad. No matter who else you would end up with it would still take them at least 12 years to know you as well as she does.
Good Luck !!
September 30, 2010
I wish there were more people like you , committed to work things out! This is the main ingredient to success. I think you already do know the answer when you speak of how you lose your enthusiasm. You can condition yourself to think positivly.
Think about this: Imagine someone telling you NOT to think of a red car. What did you think of? actually by telling ourselves what we shouldn't be thinking of draws us to do so.All things are first thought out in the mind and then followed by actions. So daydream a little. positively !Imagine yourself being a thoughtfull caring husband, a forgiving husband, a fun , humorous husband. I bet you will like yourself more and more. I know the things I loved about my husband
was his forgiving attitude and his sense of humor.And giving me attention. Making me feel I was number one in his life. He listened to my concerns,without always giving advice, he comforted me when I was down, He not only told me I was beautiful , He made me feel like I was just by the way he looked into my eyes. Remember when you first met? We all are drawn to people who are happy with themselves. I feel best by those who notice my good qualities and overlook my not so appealing side. I'll bet she would appreciate this too. The best advice I ever got was: you get love by giving love, not by straining to attract it. You are already on the right track! let me know of your progress. Take care!
September 29, 2010
cd, good point. My wife probably does reviews the past with the "should of's". I have felt the urge to ask her about this because so how, if she does go through it, it would reduce perhaps the guilt that I feel about "reviewing the past" in the first place.
To Smiley's point it really is a process of changing my mind frame of the future to a more positive one. I have trouble with this approach, although I think it is one of the keys my marital stability. I find myself so wrapped up in guilt about the negative feelings I've had about my wife and the fantasies I've had about other women who would, assumably, would be the better mate for me. i know my mind has the fantastic ability to create a flawless mate for me. But the reality is that I have a wife who wants her husband back. I have been a faithful husband and wonderful and dedicated stay-at-home dad to my daughter. But despite my steadfastness and accomplishments in the realms of husband and father, my past choices, many times, reek havoc on my present in terms of being in the moment with my wife. Sometimes I think she really questions my sincerity in this marriage....mostly because I find my self questioning it and feeling guilty about it. Guilt is a horrible thing to live with. I suppose I have to find ways to manage it and find forgiveness in my heart for myself and wife and just chalk up these feelings of uncertainty as being by-products of being human. Thank you both for your thoughtful comments. You to Molly....
September 30, 2010
September 27, 2010
Asa, you should try talking to your wife not as someone you need to work problems out with but as a friend. You might just be surprised at the things you find, maybe even some common ground.
I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but how could you wife not question your sincerity if instead of being in the moment with her your comparing her to a flawless mate, which by the way would have flaws after the first couple of years. If your really honest about working on this there is no "I suppose I have to" you just have to do it. If your really upset with memories of your past then decide right now at this moment that you'll start making new memories. If you start today then by the time you wake up tomorrow you'll already have begun building a better past.
If your not sincere about making an honest effort, please honor those 12 years by at least ending them with honesty instead of tearing down any good memories that may be left. If your only partially trying you will only make things more bitter in the end.
September 24, 2010
I always tell this to people who ask me for advice about relationships:
The key to a good realtionship is communication. The VAST majority of couples mistake good conversation for communication. What is the difference?
Good conversation is talking about your kids. Talking about work, family, house stuff. Talking about religion, morality, movies. Even discussing personal philosophy.
Good communication involves three steps: assessing your current emotional position in the relationship. Assessing your partner's status. Discussing your views and through questioning and active listening ascertaining your partner's real emotional position.
Do you ever lay in bed on weekend mornings and talk about how you met, how you felt then and how you feel now? Do you ever spend nights alone, without your children there, and drink a bottle of wine and get to know the constantly changing person that your wife is?
To often we make the mistake of assuming that personality is static. We take our impression of our partner's behavior and superimpose that over a static image of who that person is. Personality is the most fluid and dynamic psychological construction of all.
We let the stresses of every day overtake our hierarchy of needs to be met, to use Maslow's terminology.
Men are socialized to avoid, women are socialized to be passive. So we have an avoidant husband and wife who wiats for her husband to initiate a connection. We have to work beyond our impulses, our embarrassment and our tentative fears. Stop overanalyzing each and every moment. Relax.
As my Dad, who has been happily married for 30 years, always says: "It will all come out in the wash."
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