Bill: Little Magpie: In the midst of your own struggles, I am always amazed at how aware you are of what is happening in other's lives. Your comment about Swan's computer is one more example of the gift God gave you of noticing what is going on.
Little Magpie: Bill - I feel so worthless and unnecessary. I keep trying to forge a verbally satisfactory relationship with spouse and friendships. It is so hard. I don't know if I will ever get the knack.
Swan: Bill - I had to learn boundaries, my childhood opened me up to be completely reactive and for years it was a factor, but minor in our family. My husband had his own issues with boundaries and we both allowed each other and others to be in control too often. When MLC hit and I found Jim, he recommended Boundaries and as I read those books it started to really make sense to me and once I practiced boundaries, it became so much easier for me to be proactive and far less reactive.
Bill: Swan: Boundaries are one of the primary skills us wounded warriors need to be good at. I am encouraged that you understand boundaries are all about what you will do not what you expect others to do. When you said to your boss, "he needed to remove himself from me or I would leave," you demonstrated the power of always having something you can do regardless of how the other person is acting. This is a brilliant example of what boundaries truly look like.
Bill: Brin: at the risk of prying - I noticed you said, "he should see that I distance myself more when he does this." This is a good example of what happens to all of us who have been wounded. We have a tendency to focus on what others "ought" to be doing, "should" be doing, and “could" do to make things better. Logically, it is correct but they are all statements we have no control over. As a result, we deepen our sense of powerlessness as we focus on situations that ought to be different but never change. Learning to think and act in ways that actually cause real change is one of the most challenging skills to develop.
Brin: Bill, what would you suggest then in this situation? I agree - learning to think/act in ways that can cause change is very challenging - after so many decades.
Little Magpie: Bill- how do we convince them?
Bill: Little Magpie: You don't. You just represent what is best and ask God to convince them.
Swan: Bill - My husband did this to our grandson a few times when he still lived in the San Diego area, after so many times our son told his dad that when he makes plans to either follow through or don't say anything to the grandson, just show or don't, but he wasn't going to allow his father to continue to break this little boys heart by promising and then not caring enough to do it. We all thought my husband was going to get really upset and do the disown thing, but he actually said he understood and complied with our son's rules, at least for a couple years, then did the no show thing again, but at least called two days later with the excuse that the other woman wouldn't let him visit with them. Before MLC, one thing my husband was, was a man of his word, after MLC his word seems to mean nothing but air coming out of his mouth.
Bill: Swan: It is confusing because our beloved MLCers love their family members. They are just too scared of their influence to build solid connections. Confusion and undependable actions give them the out they are looking for without having to admit they are weak. I find it interesting your H blamed the OW - sounds like the garden all over again.
Swan: Bill - I agree with being tired of the "I deserve to be happy" comments, especially when it hurts so many people. I know my husband told me that as well and in just a matter of months after he married the other woman he was telling friends that he was miserable. I don't know details, but my husband has apparently moved to Texas and the other woman is not with him and from what he is telling people she isn't going to join him at anytime. It is so sad how these MLCer's spiral down in their pursuits to be happy and most of the times become more unhappy.
Bill: Swan: Exactly, the "happy" pursuit is just code for selfish, self-centered choices that make everyone else pay a price for my agenda. Life is not a "happy" experience. It is a comprehensive journey that includes success and failure, joys and pains, growth and maturity, tragedies and grieving and the discovery of eternal hope that makes things right for eternity. To boil it down to simply be happy, we are missing the point. As a result, anyone who settles for the pursuit of happiness at the expense of the other realities, does damage on all fronts.
buttons: bill yes, churches should be the places people can go for growth and healing, where they can find support challenge is that churches are also made up of humans who exhibit human nature and free choice and sometimes exude their own self rather than God's being. I have found love and caring in churches, I have also found those who love God but don't understand things too.
Bill: button: well said about the church as any collection of people are prone to bad behavior. The church is, however, covered by God's promise and His grace so there is more to work with in churches than any other institution.
HopinginHim1: Bill - I completely agree. My study of scripture has spoken very clearly to me. My H has not abandoned me. His financial resources are completely available to me and the children. We see each other quite regularly and he is very involved in my life and in the children's. So I feel that until the Lord directs me otherwise, I am called to remain a faithful wife and to wait upon the Lord for His clear direction and for the heart change in my H that only the Lord can enable. I see our vows as a covenant and marriage as a reflection of the Lord's faithfulness to His church. Despite our rebellion, the Lord sacrificially chose to die for His bride. Although I am not Christ, I feel called to live sacrificially for the potential restoration of my H to the Lord and as an example of marriage commitment before my children.
Bill: HopinginHim1 the other thing I would remind you of is the nature of marriage and restoration. It is the only relationship in the Bible that reflects the gospel and demonstrates the intimacy that exists in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). As a result, it is a journey of the heart. This can be difficult news because the heart can be stubborn. It can be good news, however, because the heart changes quickly when it changes. You and your H can go months and years without being connected and then it can suddenly change and restoration can be accomplished quickly. This is challenging because as we wait, we can get to a place where we think it will never happen and then it kicks into gear catching us off guard. Waiting is a very mature skill!
Swan: Bill - I have found over the years of dealing with bullies, that they are actual very insecure people. My husband was a great Marine and could be so effective as a military leader, but the other areas of his life he really didn't know how to be secure and attempted to be in control and if anything didn't go exactly as he wanted his reaction was to try to overpower through aggression and intimidation. Coming from a step father that used abuse to control, I accepted my husband's actions as normal. It was went MLC took over our lives and I found this site (Jim) and reading books by Cloud and Townsend that helped me understand that is was not only OK to have boundaries, but to enforce them with love was beneficial for all concerned. I do find it helps me much more to have boundaries, I have far less resentments.
Bill: Swan: What you just described is information everyone ought to know and every parent ought to teach these skills to their kids. I am convinced that pride and insecurity are cousins. Those who feel a need to control are painfully aware that life is bigger than them but they don't want to admit it. As a result, they bully others and manipulate circumstances all the while feeling they are going to fail at any moment. Knowing how to set boundaries and choosing calm strength is a vital skill that everyone needs at some point in their lives. As a result, those of us who have these skills must keep sharing them with others. thanks for being on the journey.
Swan: Bill - I know people that are in second or more marriages and they say they never think of their ex spouse unless someone brings them up, I just don't understand how anyone can just not think of a person they once shared so much with, especially when there are children. My mother was like that, or so she claimed, we would ask her about our father as we got older and she often said, she couldn't remember as an answer. When I did meet my father as an adult, he often said the same thing. How do you just forget?
Bill: Swan: Weird isn't it? I think people "forget" as a defense mechanism. They actually remember and it is traumatic so their soul causes a fog to roll in to protect them feeling all the pain.
Bill: Swan: Pam and I are working on a proposal for a new book on midlife that will include both men and women in our modern context.
Swan: Bill - that will be great, a modern context is really needed. A couple years back we had a few people in chat that would make comments like "Jim's books were great back then, but..." We would try to tell them that MLC doesn't really change, society does, but if they would read the material they would see that foundation is still relevant. So a book that is more modern and includes both men and women could really be what many are looking for. My opinion is that personal experience is the best wisdom anyone could have, I am glad people like Pam, you, Jim and Sally share that, it helps so much. I thought I was going crazy and everything was falling apart (and I am a compartmental person), just knowing that others had gone through it and sharing it gave me some insight that guided me to the path I am now on.