I started looking for help on the 'net a week or so after d-day. It took me a couple of weeks in 2011 to find a forum. I needed to name myself to post. Inexplicably, 'soon' was available. I looked for that because I wanted the pain to stop 'soon'.
The main voices recommended things that made no sense to me. They were really nasty to a WS who asked for help. Eventually, one of the posters contemptuously told the WS to go to SI where they liked WSes.
I wanted to R, so/because I liked my WS, so I looked at SI, where I found a lot of voices that made sense. I read for a while, then saw a post I wanted to respond to. (Fuck the preposition rule!) I needed to name musoef, so I became SI's 'soon'. I'm lazy, and I'm a hunt and peck typist, so I chose 'sisoon' - no shift key.
-I want a note hung on the bathroom mirror that reads "Giving your husband what he needs, in addition to what you want to give, is not being controlled." The note needs to stay there until I remove it.
OK. As an aside, I would never have thought of this as any BS's desire (even though it's a reasonable desire). Your W can't read your mind. You need to ask for this, whether you think it's silly or not. (Hint: I think BSes need to demand a lot of themselves in R, and I don't think this is silly.)
-I want a discussion about the Linda MacDonald book, chapters 6-13
-I want to have a discussion about R. I don't want this to be a "lecture", I want you to participate in it without defensiveness.
Do you want a discussion, or do you want her behavior to change?
My reco is to ask directly for what you want. WSes are stupid; BSes need to be very exlicit with them.
-At least three times a week I want a comfort break. This is a hug or hand-holding, closeness for at least 10 seconds, accompanied by the words "I regret hurting you. It won't happen again." Any words to make amends for the A are acceptable.
I think it's good to talk about guidelines about what you want to hear. I think it would be better for you to ask for emotional support when you want it, even if it's once an hour. Trust me on this.
If your W is a good candidate for R, and if you ask for a lot of support, my guess is she'll start offering it, if only to do more when she wants to do it rather than getting interrupted.
But the main reason asking when you want support is that it exercises your 'you' muscles.
Asking does bear the risk of hearing 'no'. You need to learn you can live with that. Also, too many 'noes' tell you you don't have a good fit with your W or that she's not a good candidate for R.
-I want to share emotions with you and I want you to respond with a comfort break. When I have an emotional flare, I want you to ask about it, explore it with me. No defensiveness.
Do you mean 'share' or do you mean you want to hear about her emotions or do you mean something else? Be clear.
I suggest limiting feeling words to sad, glad, mad, scared, ashamed, and desire. The first 4 are the most important. Keep it simple.
And distinguish between thoughts and feelings. If a statement doesn't parse down to mad, sad, glad, scared, ashamed, or desire, it's a thought. If you want feelings, don't offer or accept thoughts.
BTW, is there a man who shares enough of his emotions to satisfy a woman?
-Once every couple weeks I want you to initiate a discussion on progress, how you're feeling, how I'm feeling.
Sounds good. My W would have loved this, but we did it in MC, because we found a great MC.
-On your phone, change my name from "Husband" to "Husband who at this moment is uncomfortable and a little scared" so that when you see it while travelling, you will remember "Oh yeah, I remember, he's not cool yet with this and I need to acknowledge it and get ahead of it.
You know that's too many words, right? Fewer words are stronger.
My reco is to engage her in deciding how to stay connected while she's on the road. I suggest something like Zoom, Facetime, etc. - sound and vision is better than sound alone, IMO.
...they feel silly to me to write down.
Fuck that! Just stop! You get to want what you want. You get to ask for what you want. Your W gets to say 'yes' or 'no'. If she doesn't like too much of what you want, she's free to end your M, but she also has the option of working with you to resolve any conflicts.
These are things I wouldn't have to tell her if she is all-in.
IMO, you DO have to tell her and ansk her to deliver what you want. She can't read your mind. At this point, she can't read your non-verbal communications, either. You have to ask clearly for what you want.
That means asking in a way that a 6 year old would understand. TBH, a former therapist (former because she retired from therapy and moved away) really wanted me to ask so a 4 year old could understand, but I never could do that.
You're a tough nut to crack. One of the reasons people keep writing to you is that we hope to get through to you and see changed behavior. Another reason for the responses is to communicate with lurkers. I hope you see some humor in that.
OTOH, coming up with your list of requirements is good work. I think you're getting some place - I wouldn't have commented if I thought otherwise.
[This message edited by sisoon at 7:06 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]