Newest Member: bluecoaster

SerJR

Me: BH - Happily remarried.
Hope is never lost. It exists within you - it is real. It is not a force in and of itself - it is something that you create with every thought, action, and choice you make. It is a gift that you create for yourself.

Living with uncertainty...

Through our journey in life...
Change is the ever-present, and sometimes relentless, force that drives us.
Just as the seasons change from summer to winter and back again...
So too does our journey through life evolve, and us along with it.

It can be daunting...
Up against the unknown with uncertainty as our only guide...
Where all we wish for is the familiar and the secure.

But it is precisely within these transitions that we find our greatest opportunity...
For growth...
For transformation...
And for renewal.

It is in embracing all of these facets that we find not just strength...
But a truly profound sense of self-discovery and freedom.

Change is the one constant in life.
Every experience colours our existence.
Joy and sorrow...
Triumph and failure...
Love and loss...
Are all what make it both vibrant and deeply meaningful.

We must face each experience head on.
Accepting that the good won’t erase the bad...
And that the bad will make the good no less meaningful.

With each change...
We learn...
we adapt...
And we heal.

Living with uncertainty is what sets us free.
In those moments of doubt and confusion...
We can find peace in that we don't need to have all the answers.

It's in embracing uncertainty...
That we open ourselves.
To new possibilities...
To growth...
And to the freedom that comes from not being confined by the limitations of our own expectations.

When you're feeling lost and afraid...
Remember that deep in your heart...
There's always something there.
A beacon of light...
A wellspring of courage...
And a reservoir of strength.

Trust it to guide you...
For it will lead you back to your true path.
To find that sense of balance...
To find that sense of of purpose...
To find that sense of serenity.

It is where we can find our true selves...
Where we can understand the boundless capacity of the human spirit...
And where we discover the strength to continue on with our own unique and remarkable journey.

2 comments posted: Saturday, October 28th, 2023

The Official Absolute Badass Signup Thread

This one's pretty easy. All you have to do is sign up here, and recite the following oath. Print it off and fold it up to put it in your wallet if you need to. Pick a badass theme song if it helps. But most importantly - remember who you fucking are.

All are welcome, but badasses only need apply wink


--- --- --- ---

I <<< insert name >>> do solemnly swear to be an absolute badass and to honour the strength that lies hidden within me. I pledge to live life on my own terms and to channel that power with authenticity and purpose.

I promise to face challenges and adversity head on and with unrelenting courage. For I am a fighter who understands that through every trial I have the opportunity for growth and my own betterment. I will not be beaten, but rather emerge stronger every time. I will not be defined by my setbacks, but in how I rise to meet them.

I will respect and love myself, knowing that my worth can only be determined by me and the choices I make. I will embrace my individuality and my genuine self, for my confidence shines from within. And I am a fucking force.

I will stand up for truth, for courage, and for love. I will be a beacon of wisdom, of compassion, and of integrity. I will do what is right and advocate for what is best. I will work tirelessly to protect what is important to me. I will be steadfast to those I hold dear, and to those that need my help in their darkest hour. I will help them find their inner badass.

I promise to live passionately, cherishing every moment, and making every day count. I will live with purpose, making the most out of every opportunity.

And when all has subsided, I promise to never forget the true badass that lies within me. That when the call next falls upon me, that though my badass may sleep, it lies ever ready.

With unwavering determination, I take this oath to be an absolute badass, and I will stay true to myself and my values.

11 comments posted: Wednesday, October 25th, 2023

Let me tell you a story...

The other night I had a dream...

I was traveling through the forest, in the mountains. It was cold, and wet, and dark, and the stars were unfamiliar to my eyes. I had been hiking for miles, for days, and I was weary and despaired. As I walked through the trees I saw a campfire ahead in a clearing.

"Hello there" called the old man, "please come and share the warmth of my fire and rest."

As I sat down to shake off the dampness he asked, "To where do your journeys take you, my son?"

"I don’t know", I remarked, "I’ve lost my way and I suspect I’ve been walking in circles. I can’t seem to find my way."

The campfire danced in his youthful eyes. "Are you so certain?" he asked, "Let me tell you a story..."

There are two wolves that dwell within the souls of every person...

"I’ve heard this one" I said.
"Have you?" he asked, and then continued...

The first wolf is the White Wolf. A fiery and passionate creature, representing our hearts and emotions. It is the embodiment of love, of empathy, of compassion and creativity. She wants to guide us towards kind and heartfelt actions, nurturing the connections we have with others. The White Wolf is strong and powerful, but lacks vision and can be susceptible to anger and fear.

The second wolf is the Black Wolf. A cold and calculating figure, symbolizing our mind and intellect. It stands for logic, for reason, and for critical thinking. He aims to lead us down the path of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The Black Wolf is careful and cunning, but is timid and callous, and lacks conviction.

These two wolves are constantly vying to influence our choices and actions. They offer us different perspectives, and neither should dominate the other.

"So, which one wins, old man?" I smirked.

They must work together, for in harmony, they lead us towards a life of wisdom and kindness. The wolf that wins is the one you choose to follow in each moment. Sometimes our heart’s passion propels us forward, and at other times, our mind’s thoughtful reasoning finds the way. The true victory is in understanding when to let each wolf guide you on your journey for a balanced and fulfilling life.

That is where we find the third wolf. The Grey Wolf. When both the White Wolf and the Black Wolf can find harmony in their stride. The Grey Wolf understands the necessity of both sides and strives to make peace between them.

The Grey Wolf teaches us that there is balance between our darker tendencies and our virtue. That there is passion, yet peace; that there is serenity, yet emotion; that in the chaos there is order; and that in loss there is rebirth. By finding balance and by making fully conscious choices, we can forge our own path that leads to harmony, understanding, and fulfillment.

The next morning when I awoke, the campfire had been doused and was gently smoking.

The old man was nowhere to be found.

But the sky was clearer...

And at the edge of the clearing was a path that I had not seen the night before.

"Thank you father" I whispered, as I packed up my gear to continue along my way.

5 comments posted: Saturday, October 14th, 2023

It's okay to be irrational...

A lot of times we have to deal with the expectation of being completely rational in the face of everything.

But the roller coaster of life comes with the ebb and flow of emotions, and it's okay to be emotional and even irrational at times. Our mind provides the framework, but it's our emotions that paint in all the areas of our lives, making it vibrant, and sorrowful, and beautiful, and deeply meaningful.

Our hearts and minds can often seem like conflicting forces, pulling us in different directions. The heart yearns and the mind seeks. Even when we rationally know the path or even the outcome, it's okay to still be afraid, anxious, excited, insecure, or confused.

It's this duality that makes us human, makes our lives multi-dimensional, and makes the incredible possible. Here's the thing - it's perfectly okay for our hearts and minds to be in conflict sometimes. In those moments of emotional turbulence, remember - it's a testament to your capability and a reminder than you are living. Sometimes you have to hurt in the moment, to see the path forward.

There is a profound beauty in the eventual alignment of heart and mind. As we walk our paths, we learn, we gain wisdom and insight, and we grow to where the strength of our heart can be harnessed and guided by the wisdom of our mind. This is where we find our clarity, our purpose, and balance within. We become an architect within our own life, capable of making those decisions that resonate with your inner core of emotions and values, yet grounded in reason.

Embrace the crazy! It's part of your own unique journey. And trust that with time and effort, you will find that balance in life and in yourself and you will find the peace and wellbeing you seek. Be your authentic self, and stay true to who you are.

5 comments posted: Sunday, October 1st, 2023

When the going gets tough...

I want you to know about the strength that resides within each and every one of us – the strength the endure, to preserve, and to rise above adversity.

We have to face the fact – life isn’t a smooth journey paved with sunshine. It’s a winding path that often presents us with unforeseen hardship, challenges, and moments of darkness and self-doubt. But it is precisely within those moments that our true strength shines.

When we have nothing but ourselves… we have exactly everything we need!

Adversity is not the end of our journey. It teaches us about resilience, about determination, and about the indomitable human spirit. When we face any challenge foolish enough to cross our paths, we prove ourselves stronger… wiser… and capable of growth beyond. Fear is not the enemy. It is a sign that we stand upon the precipice of growth. And tears are not to be shunned. They are a warning to the world stand back because we are about to do something awesome.

We all have our unique battles to fight. Our own mountains to climb. And it’s in these moments in which we find out who we truly are. We are not defined by the circumstance that surrounds us. We are defined by the choices we make. It’s about the courage to stand up once again when you keep getting knocked down. It’s about the resilience to keep moving forward when the path is dark, obscured, and difficult. It is about the faith to believe in yourself when all odds are against you. It is about choosing to be the best version of yourself.

Stand strong and believe. Trust in your inner strength to guide you on your journey.

And if you find yourself up against the gates of hell despite your best efforts, there’s only one thing left to do. Kick down that door, sucker punch the fat bastard in the big chair, and calmly tell everyone that you’re in charge now.

Trust me…

You’re gonna be okay wink

8 comments posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Dune 2020

So... anyone else excited about the upcoming movie?

I'm wondering if we will finally get the film the fans deserve. I can respect the 1984 version, for what it was and given the constraints, but the plot was rushed and kept getting farther and farther away from the point as it went on. I much preferred the miniseries (along with the Messiah/Children adaption), and although it had some pacing and production value challenges, feel that it at least hit the right notes.

So, will we get something that hits the right notes, but has its own unique interpretation? I think they have some strong casting choices... but there were a couple that I'm scratching my head at.

I'm going to have to go hit the bookstore as it's been a number of years since I've read it. I'll have to find the time so that I can get around to some of the later books (by Frank Herbert... I'm not sure if I'll bother with the ones written by his son and Anderson).

4 comments posted: Saturday, August 31st, 2019

New Year's Eve Bar!

Here we go, once more again

Break out the drinks and the champagne!

Time for friends, let's have a blast...

oh-18 is here at last!

So grab a drink, grab some food

Beer is foamy and freshly brewed.

Light 'em up and show some class

And show 'em how to have a bash!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN9i5Z01kFI

130 comments posted: Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Opening the bar

Well... I think they've finally finished cleaning up and repairing all damages since our new years bash. The bill came in at just over $18K!

Fortunately, I had the foresight to take out an insurance policy the night before and buy some stock in TryingToSmile Cleaning Co., so I've made out like a bandit and I'm opening this bad boy up again!

Let's get those tunes going...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN9i5Z01kFI

And start passing out the food and drink!

206 comments posted: Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Congrats WalkinOnEggshelz!

Thanks for everything you do! Your 'promotion' is well deserved.

Just don't let those other mods bully you into taking over The Book Club with all the riff-raff and troublemakers in there!

24 comments posted: Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Post the poster above

This is a fun game we used to play back in the day...

The rules are simple:

Post a picture that you feel embodies the poster above you with a little description of why. Be serious or be funny - just have fun with it!

To give a few examples...

We'll start it off with a serious one...

WH5 - A good ol' class act and inspiration who strives to live up to his ideals in every way. The kind of guy who challenges us all just to be a little bit better.

And now for a funny one...

BrokenRoad - Showing off her martial arts skillz... "Their dragon-style kung fu is strong, but our kitteh-style kung fu will defeat it!"

32 comments posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The Simplified 180

The Simplified 180

It's been a few years since I've read through the 180 bullet list, despite understanding the basic fundamental point to detach from a hurtful situation and focus on moving forward independently. Looking through the thirty-odd points in the list... I can see how it gets confusing and possibly even contradictory if taken out of context. The following is what I believe a distilled version of the 180 looks like with just a few simple guiding principles to keep in mind.

Principle #1 Don’t reward their behaviour.

A common game that the betrayed spouse will play is the “pick me” game where they try to win back the wayward spouse. When terrible things happen, it’s natural to want to feel a sense of control and if we can find fault with ourselves, then one could reasonably assume that you could fix things by just trying harder. The problem with this codependent thinking is that you didn’t cause your partner to cheat and you can’t control the choices that they make. Cheating is fuelled by a sense of entitlement and when you try to compete you just reinforce that entitlement. If you refuse to live with infidelity in your marriage, then don’t reward your partner for their cheating or try to manipulate them into staying with you. You deserve better.

Principle #2 Don’t shield them from consequences.

Don’t feel that you have to passively endure the mistreatment of your wayward partner’s infidelity. Doing nothing grants passive approval and gives up your own power to take charge and make your own choices. If a situation isn’t changing, then action is required to make it change. You have a right and a responsibility to protect what is important to you. Be clear with these boundaries and let your wayward spouse know if you would prefer to work on your relationship, but that without a doubt you will not accept staying in a relationship if their behaviour continues. Don’t sugar-coat it for them, call it as it is. If their behaviour is continuing, take the necessary steps to protect yourself such as consulting an attorney to educate yourself on options and separating resources and finances. It is not up to you to bear the burden for your wayward partner’s selfish choices. Take action and take charge.

Principle #3 Let go of the emotional strings.

Oftentimes, the wayward spouse will go on the offensive – arguing, blame-shifting, minimising or justifying their actions, projecting untruths, lying, making threats, and so forth. Engaging in these arguments serves to meet their negative emotional needs and further entrench their delusion. By changing how you behave or interact you can remove yourself from a manipulative situation and detach to preserve your emotional wellbeing. By practising control over your feelings, thoughts, and actions you can maintain a calm and steady centre of being and speak truthfully and directly with quiet assertiveness. If your wayward partner tries to pull your emotional strings, you simply let them go in order to avoid being dragged back down into the mire. You regain control of your life by refusing to be played for a puppet – you are the one who is in control of yourself.

Principle #4 Take care of yourself and get involved in your life.

Whatever happens and whatever path you walk, you need to be at your best. Pay attention to your mental, emotional, and physical health. Don’t deny yourself the right to feel your emotions, but at the same time create that picture of who you ultimately want to be and keep that end-goal in mind. Focus on your personal self improvement. Take some time to think about what your emotional needs are, how to simplify the clutter in your life, and how to surround yourself with healthy and enriching relationships and get involved in activities that you enjoy.

Principle #5 Stay true to yourself.

Above all, you need to keep faith in yourself and be authentic with yourself. You deserve your self-respect and you have to be willing to stand up for it. You put the focus on your choices and empowerment to nurture yourself to grow and evolve and live out your values to create a healthier and more balanced life for you and those you care about. You live your life understanding that you can navigate through change and adversity to create that brighter future for yourself.

The Spectrum of the 180

It's important to realise too, that the 180 isn't an all or nothing endeavour, but that it exists within a spectrum. It's important to understand the position that you are in, and to adapt the particulars to best meet the situation.

The Soft 180 creates some space to help you find clarity and perspective. It is a reminder to focus on yourself, your peace of mind, your choices, and letting go of things that are inhibiting your emotional health. You focus on reinforcing your independence over codependence through healthy, but not dismissive, detachment while still allowing your needs to be met by your partner. It’s about realising that it is okay to think about and identify what you need in and want from life, and to express those things to your partner. It is okay to allow others to be responsible for themselves (actually it's even in their best interest) and to let go of situations and outcomes that you can't control. In fact, it’s healthy because you let go of the unnecessary stress and allow yourself to move forward unencumbered by it. You make it clear that there are limits to what conduct you will accept in your relationship, but you don't have to feel guilty about things that aren't your issue. When someone violates your boundaries, you still have a responsibility to yourself to challenge it or else you are the one to compromise your own values. The soft 180 is still very productive if you’re both all in and working to reconcile, because you gain some objective distance to help reset and focus on behaviour in the relationship and decide what you are willing and not willing to accept. It’s about understanding the past, living in the present, and building for the future.

The Hard 180 is a cold dose of reality for everyone involved, but most especially for you, when you are in a situation in which you are continuing to be actively or passively hurt. In effect, you are saying "I am hurt by this behaviour and if/as it continues I will evaluate all of my options to take care of myself". You must be willing to uphold your boundaries and step away from the situation to move forward on your own when that is the only thing that you are able to change and control. Not only that, but you put up protective walls to cut off emotional ties to toxic relationships. You recognise that the healthiest choice, for everyone involved, is to leave others to be responsible for their actions and for the consequences of the choices they are making. It’s about standing up for yourself to make a decision. It doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind in the future if the situation changes, but it does mean you refuse to be a part of the current situation and you refuse to live with it. You want to focus on the critical aspects of the situation to deal with reality, while letting go of the emotional ballast that weighs you down. You have to stay smart and think rationally without being controlled by anger or thoughts of revenge – it’s a focus on eliminating problems, not on creating them. The priority is protecting your emotional, mental, and physical health by protecting what is important to you and setting yourself free so that you can move forward unimpeded.

[This message edited by SerJR at 8:25 PM, January 18th (Wednesday)]

144 comments posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Twenty Questions

You all know how to play...

Ask "yes or no" questions and try to figure out the secret object/subject. You have up to twenty questions (please number them as you ask) to get it right.

If you guess correctly, congrats! You get to pick the next secret object/subject. If you guess wrong, you've wasted a precious question.

Let's get this going - what's your first question?

82 comments posted: Thursday, January 12th, 2017

New Years Eve Bar!

Alright... some of us may be staying in tonight, but no reason we can't tear it up in here!

Plenty of food, plenty of drink, let's crank up the tunes and welcome in the new year

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT4RainY-lY

[This message edited by SerJR at 5:26 PM, December 31st (Saturday)]

328 comments posted: Saturday, December 31st, 2016

44000 posts for WH5!!!

Dude...

Thanks for all you do here, friend!

[This message edited by SerJR at 11:19 AM, December 30th (Friday)]

20 comments posted: Friday, December 30th, 2016

Tactical Primer

Tactical Primer:

This primer is intended for betrayed spouses that have just arrived to the site looking for a quick-start guide of advice and what to do.

The first important thing to note is that there is no instant gratification, recovery, or magic bullet. Recovering from an affair takes hard work, sacrifice, patience, commitment, and time. Right now you are confused, in pain, and feeling helpless. Most of us have gone through the same.

This will likely be the worst experience in your life. You are a prime candidate for depression and should see a doctor (get checked for STDs) and counselor if you are having trouble coping and carefully monitor your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns to ensure that you are at your best.

An interesting fact is that most affairs resemble each other very closely. The words, actions, attitudes, and beliefs of the wayward partner come from a common script. This similarity allows for a general plan that can be modified according to the specifics of the situation.

It is important to realize that the wayward spouse has entered a realm of irrational thinking. They have done something that does not agree with their core belief and value system. What happens is that they enter a fantasy world and will repeatedly rationalize and justify what they are doing to avoid ownership and responsibility for their decisions. They will use many psychological self defense mechanisms to deny reality. Likely, they will shift the blame for their choices onto you or the marriage, rewrite the marital history, exaggerate trivial issues, and engage in lies and deceit to lessen their guilt and justify their actions. Right now, they are unreasonable and no amount of logic or explanation from you will sink in – in fact it will entrench them further in their irrational thinking. This is commonly referred to as ‘the fog’.

Don’t buy into you causing the affair. Both partners are 100% responsible for their part in the marriage. You may need to critically examine yourself to see what changes you need to make, but you are not responsible for your spouse’s decision.

It is also imperative to realize that you cannot control your spouse. You cannot control the circumstances that you will face. You can, however, exercise the power of discernment in these situations and control the situation that you allow yourself to be in and your contribution to it. You have the ability to apply motivating factors to your spouse by:

i) Making the marriage a good place to be

ii) Making the affair a bad place to be

iii) Making the marriage difficult to leave

The affair serves as a way to siphon off underlying tension and fear that they probably have from not really knowing what their needs are or how to get them met. Since they have quite a bit "invested" in both relationships and the impact of the consequences will hit hard, it's probably become difficult for them to make a decision. Your wayward spouse likely won't make a definitive decision and will waffle back and forth depending on their selfish desires as well as their true needs. This is fence-sitting and you'll spin your wheels and run over the same territory time and time again. So, address those polar pushes and pulls your wayward spouse is feeling and kick them off the fence.

The worst thing you can do is to do nothing. Your wayward spouse will see this as passive approval of what they're doing and it will embolden them to continue their behaviour. Worst of all though... it is giving up your power to chose. Realise that there is a very high risk to reward ratio with any forward action you take. Your wayward spouse is having an affair and most likely blaming you for this. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a stand and not tolerating this behaviour.

From this stage forward you will want to bring a new approach to your communication and interaction with your wayward partner and anyone else that knows. You will still be connected to your partner but you want to have your feelings, thoughts, and actions under control. Speak the truth, directly and with quiet assertiveness and let your silence speak volumes. Be calm, steady, and in control with both your voice and your body. This technique carries power because it comes from your centre and illustrates your dignity and confidence.

Here is a summary of the general tactical plan:

Step 1) Gather intelligence on your spouse’s activities, even is your spouse has admitted to an affair (don’t be fooled into thinking it is over). Use a journal to record and document all suspicious behavior and keep it factual with times and dates and the activities. Consider reviewing cell phone records, internet history, etc to get as much evidence as possible. This is necessary research and if caught you will likely be accused of invading privacy to which the response would be “I was revealing your secrecy”. You will also want to have an informational visit with a lawyer to educate yourself about your rights so that you can make informed decisions.

Step 2) Confront your wayward spouse with the fact that you know about the affair and ask your spouse to stop. Do not give away all of your sources if possible – that will educate your spouse and allow them to hide the affair better in the future. They may not admit to it, and will likely deny and come up with wild explanations and minimize the relationship, but they need to know deep down they’ve been caught. You will be able to see it in their eyes.

Step 3) Lay out your boundaries to your wayward partner and let them know they are not open to debate. Healthy personal boundaries are a way to protect and take good care of ourselves. We all have a right and responsibility to protect our dignity and defend ourselves, and those boundaries let others know when their behaviour is not acceptable to us. Boundaries are about not allowing ourselves to be in a situation to be further hurt, not about manipulating another. You have to be willing to enforce them and the consequences. A simple boundary composition consists of “I want…”, “If you…”, “I will”. For example, “I want to be in a committed, open, and honest relationship. If you cannot respect me or my needs, then I will evaluate my desire to stay in this relationship.” Other vital boundaries include that the spouse has no contact with the affair partner, is willing to provide emails, passwords, cell-phone bills, etc to rebuild trust, as well as counseling or others depending on the situation. Make sure you don't take up a position but instead express your fundamental interests to your wayward partner. Positions become go or no-go points while expressing your interests allows you to come up with mutually acceptable alternatives. Make sure you are aware of which are needs and which are wants. We have to be able to judge that our own self worth is more important than the final outcome. Boundaries are a way to take ownership of our personal empowerment and avoid being a victim.

Step 4) Judicious Application of Reality:

If your wayward spouse has not broken off the affair and committed to the marriage then expose the affair to anyone who can apply pressure and influence to end it. If the other person involved is married inform the other betrayed spouse – they have a right to address the problems in their marriage as well. Also, if the affair is work related expose it to coworkers, supervisors, and the HR department. You may also decide to expose it to your and your spouse’s family and friends at your discretion or anyone else who can reasonably be expected to apply pressure. Be careful of the advice given by others and do not attempt to recruit your spouses family to your side - If they ask questions, answer honestly, but in the long run, do not expect their support. Exposure is a strong weapon to end the adultery. Affairs thrive on disrespect, deceit, and fantasy. Once they are revealed for what they are the fantasy world starts to crumble. Your wayward spouse will be furious and blame you because you’ve wrecked their little fairy-tale, but you are letting your spouse receive the consequences of their actions. Don’t try to bear the burden without exposure – that would be condoning the disrespect shown to you.

Consult a lawyer and find out where you stand. This will give you the information you need to start planning your contingencies. You may not want to walk that road now, but it makes sense to have it paved beforehand. Deactivate your wayward spouse and shut down their resource supply. Cancel their cell phone. Disconnect the internet. Consider emptying out half of the bank/retirement accounts (believe me that a wayward spouse is already thinking about this). Cancel joint credit cards. Make sure your insurance/retirement information is all up to date. Change your beneficiary to your children in trust of a relative on that and any other accounts you have. Draw up a new will, change the power of attorney to someone trusted. Get together all bank statements, statements of income, proof of the affair, etc so that it's readily available for the lawyer. Make certain that if you want to reconcile, you consistently explain to your wayward spouse that once they cut off contact with their affair partner and stick to it (and is transparent and honest so that you can verify compliance - handing over emails, passwords, etc), you are willing to resume your marriage and to recover without making them pay for their mistakes for the rest of their life. Show them a way back. Once your wayward spouse sees that the consequences of their actions will impact the quality of their life, there exists a chance that they may start to take responsibility for their choices.

Step 5) If the confrontation did not end the affair, it is time to make the marriage a good place to be and work on yourself. Read up on the 180 in the BS FAQ section of the Healing Library. It is a mechanism for you to retake control of your life, rebuild your self esteem, move forward with confidence, and show your partner that you respect yourself. Stay dignified and the class act the whole time. This is about personal empowerment through monitoring your thoughts, adjusting your attitude and nurturing yourself. This will also show your spouse that you can be an attractive partner in a revitalized marriage. Typically, this will last for 3 to 6 months depending before your next steps.

Step 6) If the previous steps have done nothing, then it is time to show to show your partner the reality of the situation and what they will be missing without you in their life. Tell them “Honey, I would prefer that the marriage would work and that’s what I’m willing to do, but I can see that it’s impossible now. Ending it is not what I want, but the present situation is something that I want less. So ending it, for me, is moving forward.” In this stage you cut off all communication with your wayward partner. This prevents the wayward partner from getting positive or negative emotional needs met from you. This will facilitate your spouse making a decision and also provide you with emotional detachment. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney to protect yourself, your children, and your assets - do not let your wayward partner know this as you want to get all of your ducks in a row - hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. This will protect you regardless of the outcome. This stage can last again anywhere from 3 to 12 months. Looking at the first 6 months though (steps 5 and 6) should give you enough information about where things stand with your WS.

Step 7) There is no guarantee – sometimes all that you can do will not result in your spouse returning and being a committed partner. Sometimes, regretfully, you will have to cut your losses, protect yourself and your children, and move forward and onto divorce. If this does happen though, you will have the comfort of knowing that you did everything possible to salvage your marriage.

Reconciliation:

Should the affair end and the wayward spouse return to the marriage, reconciliation will be a difficult road to travel. You will know that your spouse is committed when they:

- Take responsibility for their choices and actions (without blaming you).

- Recognise the pain you were made to suffer because of their choices and are remorseful and empathetic for you (not just feeling sorry for themselves).

- Set up plans to ensure that this doesn't happen again. This includes no contact with the affair partner or other potential partners and taking measures such as blocking them from phone/email access, constructing a No Contact Letter, commitment to finding another job if appropriate, and so forth.

- Are 100% honest and transparent and willing to answer any questions and provide any information to rebuild the trust. This includes giving you access to the tools of the affair such as emails, phone, etc in order to verify their compliance.

- Are actively trying to make amends to the marriage.

You will have both built up walls to protect yourselves. Those same walls will prevent you from connecting emotionally. They have to be taken down very carefully. Some tips for successful reconciliation include:

- Avoid spending too much time together to try and force recovery.

- Don’t just try to move forward and forget – this issue must be addressed although not the exclusion of everyday life.

- Avoid bringing up the affair repeatedly for anything not related to the affair, and do not belittle your spouse.

- Exhibit trust to the wayward partner only where trustworthiness has been shown. Continue to monitor the wayward partners activities to ensure the affair is over.

- Do spend more time together doing things that you both enjoy.

- Do seek professional counseling.

- Do ensure that you try to meet their emotional needs and not engage in destructive behaviours or habits.

Above all else, make sure that you keep faith in yourself and take care of you. That faith will nurture the natural honesty, compassion, and courage within you to carry you through. Stay true to the standards, morals, ethics, and beliefs that you hold yourself to. And know that you're gonna be okay.

[This message edited by SerJR at 1:12 PM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]

939 comments posted: Saturday, May 24th, 2008

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