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March 8, 2010 / with Jim Conway

6:39 Still: Jim at 6:37. I have always felt that my marriage could be saved. H has never left because of our young children. I work very hard to provide the most comfortable environment, free of relationship talks. Patience is my downfall.

6:47 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:39 Still: There are many sides to this problem. Part of you may be saying, "why should I be patient when he is such a jerk?" But I suspect that he may be trying your patience so that you will look like the bad person, or that you might become so discouraged that you will kick him out of the marriage. There probably are some areas which specifically disturb him about your marriage relationship. It's crucial that you discover what these are and do what you can to correct them.
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5:49 LisaK [Programmer]: Hi Chat Room Guests. I’m Lisa, the Office Manager for Midlife Dimensions. I enjoy serving the Lord through our Chat Room Ministry which has helped so many people through the tough times of midlife crisis. Remember, Jim always offers his live counseling in the chat room without cost. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to our ministry to support the Website/Chat Room upkeep, please do so at www.Midlife.com. Thank you. Jim will be online with us momentarily, he will read your questions and dictate his replies to me so I can type them for you to read. Jim has time for all questions that are posted before the end of the hour. Thanks for understanding.

5:58 LisaK [Programmer]: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105). Heavenly Father, we come together and pray now that you would heal the hurts of everyone here tonight, and everyone reading this for encouragement and advice. We ask you to be the lamp to our feet, and the light for our paths. Help us to simply remember to obey Your Word. Help us to simply trust You, and that You know the big picture and what's best for our lives. Help us to stand for You and You alone, as You are the only One worthy of or praise and worship. Thank you for teaching us lessons and growing us stronger in Christ. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.

6:01 LisaK [Programmer]: Jim will be with us soon. He's quite tired tonight, as he's dealing with a drastic time change and major jet lag. He may not make it through the entire session. Please keep your questions short and to the point so we can get to everyone's questions a fast as possible. Thank you for understanding.

6:01 LisaK [Programmer]: Sure, feel free to stay in blue. Thanks.

6:02 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hi sadwife, how are you tonight?

6:02 sadwife1: I’m okay. How are you doing?

6:02 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hey BlueSky good to see you tonight as well.

6:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Please trust me that things get easier in time.

6:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hey Still, Swan and Ndakmom - good to see you all.

6:03 sadwife1: Cricket: I can imagine they do.

6:03 BlueSky: Hi Lisa, Cricket, all

6:04 Still: Hello

6:04 ndakmom: Hi Cricket and everyone!

6:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - I’m smiling because you probably thing - It MUST get better, can't get harder right? Really day by day we get stronger and as we learn, we realize how much hope there is

6:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hey MAS & Ro828 - good to see you both

6:05 ndakmom: All- my H stopped by after work tonight, he didn't stay more then maybe 5 minutes, he said he was just stopping to say hi, then left. LOL Not sure what to think of that, he has never done that before.

6:05 sadwife1: Cricket: I have hope. it's so much better than it was in the early months. I do get weary though

6:05 Still: I agree, sadwife.

6:05 Still: Sometimes when I having a bad day, I have to remember how much better these

6:06 MAS: Hi Cricket. Hello everyone.

6:06 Still: bad days are compared to the past. wow, I keep hitting the wrong button.

6:06 sadwife1: All: He's practically living here again so I just get frustrated with not being able to push him. I have to be so patient and I’m pretty good but some days, not so good.

6:06 Ro828: Hey Cricket.

6:06 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Yes, we understand and even that gets better and better. The more we learn and the more progress we make in us, it gets better and better.

6:06 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: All: THIS IS LISA. Jim is on the line with me now, but he's having trouble getting his computer to connect to the chat room. Bear with us another moment for him to try and connect. If he can't, I'll have to read your questions to him, which causes us to be a little slower, but it's doable. We'll really need you to keep your questions short and to the point, no continuations.

6:07 sadwife1: Cricket: I hope so. I don't give in to my desire to push him to make a decision but my feelings and emotions get hard to handle sometimes

6:07 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still & Sad - Yes it helps to keep a journal to help us remember praises & see our growth

6:07 Cricket [Facilitator]: Lisa/Jim - Not a problem, gives us time to say hello to each other.

6:08 Still: Cricket, I went back to an old forum I used to post on to read my old posts. It actually made me sad to remember how bad I felt in the early months.

6:08 ndakmom: sadwife- when you say practically living there, is he sleeping there or just comes by frequently and acting like he lives there?

6:08 sadwife1: Ndakmom: He is here all the time and acting like he lives here. He stayed Friday night

6:08 BlueSky: Hey MAS, did you get my phone message

6:08 MAS: sadwife: You're very fortunate your H is home. You can use the tools you have learned to work on things that way.

6:09 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife & Still - I’m taking a Bible Study through my church called Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed - A story of David - It's wonderful with Pricilla Shirer, Beth Moore & Kay Arthur - fits so well with our journey. I recommend it if there is a church near you doing this.

6:09 Ro828: Still: 6:08. I started a journal when all this went down. When I reread it, it's amazing what I’ve gone thru. I see the growth, but I still feel the same pain of the overall experience.

6:09 ndakmom: sadwife- that's what my H does and some days are good, others I feel like I’m walking on eggshells, it's so frustrating

6:09 sadwife1: Mas: I agree that it's a positive thing but I feel he's still depressed and still a shell of his old self. It's just sometimes sad to deal with him. I don't let it show too much though.

6:09 MAS: BlueSky: No, did you leave a message? I'll have to check again. I just got home a little while ago. Had some errands to do.

6:10 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - You are right but I do know that there is so much stress walking on eggs and trying to avoid their emotional mine fields.

6:10 Still: Cricket, my Sunday School just finished an 18 month study on David's life. It is an amazing story.

6:10 BlueSky: MAS, well that is great news to hear you were out and about

6:10 Ro828: Sadwife: I agree with MAS. Your H is home. Even though it's tough you can still use the tools. If I knew then what I know now maybe H wouldn't have left for good.

6:10 sadwife1: Cricket: We're about to start our second Angela Thomas study on becoming a woman of righteous confidence. Every study I take fits well with this journey.

6:10 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: OK, Jim JUST CAN NOT GET INTO THE CHAT ROOM. I WILL HAVE TO READ YOUR QUESTIONS TO HIM. AND, LIKE I SAID EARLIER, HE'S EXHAUSTED AND CAN'T STAY THE ENTIRE TIME. SO PLEASE KEEP YOUR QUESTIONS SHORT TONIGHT. LET'S GET STARTED. ADDRESS YOUR QUESTIONS TO "JIM" AND WE'LL BE READY.

6:11 Ro828: All: Yes, walking on eggshells was the worst. Did keep my weight down though.

6:11 MAS: sadwife: Just try to be positive, loving, and upbeat ,and maybe that will help to pull him out of his depression.

6:11 BlueSky: Cricket, you know when you say once home it could take up to 2 years or so to feel restored? Do they come home still broken and wanting help?

6:11 Cricket [Facilitator]: sadwife - I know how hard it is to be patient, we want to fix things but I have learned that whenever we try to fix things, ask questions, or help... it really makes matters worse. They pull away more and feel trapped.

6:12 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - Yes but hopefully showed you how much you've grown.

6:12 sadwife1: Cricket: Yes I’m convinced that is true so I stay as strong as possible and smile and shut my mouth. I’m glad I can vent here because I just get tired of it sometimes.

6:12 Ro828: Jim: No contact for 3 years. His bday is coming end of march. should I send card? again, we've no contact so I’m not sure opening this can of worms would be the right thing to do. Not knowing how he is.

6:13 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:12 Ro828: Wow, 3 years?! That's a long time with no contact. Are you legally divorced?

6:12 MAS: BlueSky: Yes, sometimes I’m actually forced to go out even though I might not want to.

6:12 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - YEs it is and this study is only 7 weeks but the ladies who teach it are incredible.

6:12 Still: Jim, my H has never left the home and has been in MLC about 2 observable years. We are simply roommates/co-parents. How do we ever move past that (though he is not showing any interest at this time)?

6:15 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:12 Still: Usually when there is a stale-mate like this, one or both of the partners feel that nothing will ever change. Let me ask you how you are doing in the three areas that midlife men complain about. 1. Midlife Men complain that their wives are naggy, controlling, and often boss them around like children (sometimes men do act like children). 2. Midlife Men complain that their wives are overweight, out of shape, and do not care about physical appearance. Men are very visual, & when their wife looks good to them, that translates that she is interested in sex. A high priority in a man’s life is regular, exciting sex for which he doesn’t have to beg. 3. Midlife Men complain that their wives have not had a new thought since they got married. They complain that their wives are not growing intellectually or in their careers, which makes them very dependent and clingy -- which is often negative to a midlife man. How are you doing in these three areas?

6:12 BlueSky: all, Cricket 6:11, I did just that this past weekend. Ugh.

6:13 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Yes we can tell God gives us what we need when we need it.

6:13 Plumcrazy: JIM-----Please give Jan and her father our love. Hope he continues to improve. I know it has been an exhausting time for you ALL!!!!

6:15 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:13 Plumcrazy: Thanks very much for your encouragement and prayer support.

6:13 MAS: Ro828/Sadwife: I would have done so many things differently if only my H had just given me the chance.

6:14 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - YES this is where to vent and we understand, then you can re-energize to be patient with your H. I KNOW how hard this is.

6:14 sadwife1: Cricket: I definitely feel strength at times that can only be from above because it's not humanly possible

6:14 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Sadly it usually takes going through this to learn and to get our attention, but we are learning now.

6:14 Plumcrazy: JIM----A while back H and I talked. I asked when his next Dr. appt was. He asked "Why do you want to go?

6:17 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:14 Plumcrazy: Apparently he feels that you are too controlling or too pushy - is that true - could that be why he is having trouble connecting to you?

6:15 MAS: Ro828 @6:11: It is a quick way to lose weight, isn't it? LOL

6:15 Ro828: Jim: Yes.

6:19 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:15 Ro828: If you are legally divorced, it's important that you don't start acting as an affair person in his life. If he has remarried, then your contacts with him could be very threatening to the new wife.

6:15 sadwife1: All: I will pray for all of you this week. My h is due any minute and I’m going to jump off. I feel for every one of you and I know God has great plans for each of you.

6:15 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Jim Conway has taught all of us so much. Feel free to ask him any questions you have. I’ve done counseling with him so this is so wonderful that he shares with us here voluntarily.

6:15 Still: All, I had an emotional day...hormonal. I was cleaning out a cabinet and found a floral tag from flowers that said "I love you just because" from my husband....quite some time ago. I just broke down in tears.

6:15 Ro828: MAS: 6:13. I say this all the time. I did what I thought was the right thing but with OW in the picture it made it all the more difficult.

6:16 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Is there something we can ask for you from Jim?

6:16 Ro828: MAS 6:15. Yeah....too bad I gained it all back. Of course I wasn't expecting to keep it off considering the unhealthy way I lost it.

6:16 sadwife1: Cricket: I can't think of anything specific at this time. I’m just a bit worn down tonight so I appreciate everyone's encouragement.

6:16 Plumcrazy: Jim---I said maybe. I asked him if he had told Dr about a problem he had and he said it must have been an infection it had went away. Appt is Thurs. Took day off from work. I am not telling him till the day of appt. He didn’t say I couldn’t go

6:20 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:16 Plumcrazy: I think you have given him adequate information, let him make the decision.

6:16 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - That is so understandable. I remember finding some cards my H gave me that touched me like that.

6:17 Still: Jim, I have been working on all those areas for months. My h has told me numerous times that he knows how hard I try, but he doesn't have the desire to "try" to make things better.

6:23 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:17 Still: It sounds to me as if he is depressed. The next time he says that he notices how much you are trying, ask him if he has ever considered that perhaps he has normal midlife male aging depression problems. If he is willing to consider that, he might also be willing to see his doctor for some low level anti-depressant therapy, or he might be willing to try taking 1 capsule of St. John's wort in the morning, and 1 in the evening (2 a day).

6:17 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - That's okay, please feel free to stay and chat and if you have to jump out quickly we understand

6:18 MAS: Cricket: Sometimes it takes awhile, and it might take a few of us longer than others, but yes, eventually, we do learn.

6:18 Cricket [Facilitator]: Sadwife - Do keep reminding yourself to say a silent prayer when you feel your H push your buttons or when you feel tempted to ask questions. The biggest advice I can give is NO questions. THey are too confused and there is no answer they can give us that will help. When we try to ask, they feel like a caged animal & pull away even worse. When you tell yourself that they are out of their head, not able to give answers it helps not to ask.

6:19 BlueSky: MAS, did someone force you to go out today?

6:19 Plumcrazy: Jim@6:17--Not either one , problem is that I care about him , he says it makes him uncomfortable.

6:25 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:19 Plumcrazy: What specifically makes him feel uncomfortable?

6:19 sadwife1: Thanks Cricket

6:19 Ro828: Jim 6:19. Not sure what his status is. So basically you are saying let it go and let him reach out if he ever chooses to do so?

6:26 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:19 Ro828: It's probably better to let him reach out, because you don't know whether your friendly contact could cause a problem if he is married.

6:20 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - What - did you go outside and not tell me... Remember we want to happy dance with you when you are able to go outside... :o)

6:20 Cricket [Facilitator]: Hi Kmkrn & Faithfull

6:20 BlueSky: Sadwife, Cricket 6:16, when I said I did this just Sat, my h reacted very defensively, by saying "how do you know I am not happy", "how do you know what my mother and I talk about"? It was bad

6:21 MAS: Still@6:15: I know just how you feel. I was looking through some important papers yesterday, and I came across my marriage license. I quickly put it away and refused to let myself cry, though.

6:21 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - My goodness and you know better than most. It just shows how anyone can slip if not careful.

6:22 Ro828: Jim: 6:19. Just thinking of your affair person statement. I mean, is it possible that he could get into another affair if he was married?

6:28 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:22 Ro828: I’m not sure what you mean. Try rephrasing the question for me please.

6:22 BlueSky: Cricket, thanks for being gentle with me, I know I blew it!!

6:22 kmkrn1: Hi Cricket/ALL--just thought I'd pop in for a minute--I'm usually not even home on Mondays, so this is an opportunity to say "Hi!"

6:22 faithfull: Hello everyone just got back from getting my kiddos a haircut.

6:23 MAS: Ro828: Yes, the OW does make things a lot harder. In my case, however, she didn't enter the picture until quite recently.

6:23 Still: MAS at 6::21...good for you. Normally, I can cope pretty well with things, but that card just struck me...it was just a reminder that he did feel so differently not that long ago.

6:23 Plumcrazy: JIm@620---Would it be wrong for me to tell H I have the day off from work the morning of his appt and ask if he minds if I come with him. He has been saying the buzzing in his head is constant now. Pounding his temples and between eyes with fist

6:30 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:23 Plumcrazy: Your comment sounds very non-threatening and might help him to take the steps needed to see the doctor.

6:23 BlueSky: Kmkrn, hi to you too, glad you could pop in.

6:23 Ro828: MAS 6:23. Sorry to hear that.

6:24 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - I always say that the Lord has a 2 x 4 that he uses to get my attention. Even when we learn after all this time, we can slip once in a while.

6:25 Plumcrazy: Jim----I know he hasn’t told Dr. about the buzzing and he has been saying he really doesn’t want to go on with his life now, that it is to much of a struggle

6:30 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:25 Plumcrazy: His comments definitely indicate depression, and it would be worthwhile for him to get medical help.

6:25 BlueSky: MAS, tell us more about you getting out today

6:25 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - My career actually helped me in that I learned a lot working with others and as a hostage negotiator and still it was hard.

6:25 Still: Jim, I sure wish he would consider talking to the doctor. His mlc was brought on by medical problems at a sporting event all kinds of problems from dehydration. Was on AD's for period of time..hated them swore never again. Do you feel that most marriages that are touched by midlife crisis can ultimately be saved? What would hinder this?

6:37 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:25 Still: In working with midlife marriages for almost 30 years now, I have found that most midlife marriages can be saved as the couple returns to the pattern of meeting each other's needs. However, meeting a mate's need is a choice and some mates are unwilling to do that. There are also other issues that may occur at midlife, which might be thought of as a midlife crisis for which are really some other physical or emotional issue, such as a brain tumor, or other disability.

6:26 BlueSky: Cricket, well, Satan has taken our h's hostage, so do your stuff girl!

6:26 MAS: BlueSky@6:19: Oh no, what I meant was that sometimes I have no choice because I have to shop for food, go to the doctor, get to the bank, etc....

6:26 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - Often our H's feel that things we do to nurture is controlling or smothering. I know my H felt very smothered when I tried to help due to health issues.

6:26 kmkrn1: Cricket - Sure wish you could negotiate for all the MLC people who have been taken hostage by the enemy! :-)

6:27 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - I could tell you did... You used your own 2 x 4 on yourself didn't you...:o)

6:27 MAS: Cricket@6:20: Oh! I thought that was only if I walked to the chapel! :)

6:27 Plumcrazy: Jim---That I care for him. He says he doesn’t like it when people care about him, that it makes him feel he owes them something. He asked me if I could love him a few months ago without showing it so much. I have been working on that

6:40 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:27 Plumcrazy: It is likely that your husband has some long term unresolved childhood issues related to abandonment or rejection, so if anyone expresses love toward him, he feels that he is being manipulated. You might try expressing love toward him in a way that helps him to feel more comfortable - he may think that your love expression is too feminine for example.

6:28 MAS: BlueSky: Yes, we all tend to backslide. It is so easy to do.

6:28 ndakmom: cricket and all- I messed up tonight, you know about that new job H took that will have him away for 3 weeks at a time, tonight I asked him if he was sure this was the job he wanted, I don't know why I asked, it just slipped.

6:29 MAS: Hi faithfull.

6:29 faithfull: Hi MAS how are you doing?

6:29 kmkrn1: ndakmom - why would asking that question be a problem? (@ 6:28)

6:30 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - Boy wouldn't I like to set up a Hostage Negotiation Center and use everything I’ve ever learned... wow that would feel good. AND we could have the SWAT guys all ready for the signal if the enemy wouldn't negotiate... You made me excited just thinking about it! LOL

6:30 Plumcrazy: JIM-----I have only asked him what was wrong when he was moaning in bed like he was in pain or pounding his head? I can’t ignore those things I am worried about him

6:41 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:30 Plumcrazy: It bothers me that he is pounding his head, because it suggests that there is some medical problems that should be addressed.

6:30 ndakmom: kmkrn- he seemed agitated that I asked, like I was questioning his choice

6:31 Cricket [Facilitator]: 6:28 ndakmom: Let me guess - he was offended and got angry?

6:31 BlueSky: cricket, you're hired!!

6:31 Ro828: Jim: 6:19. you said it's important that you don't start acting as an affair person in his life. If he's remarried, then your contacts with him could be very threatening to the new wife. If he's remarried to OW he might consider an affair with me??

6:44 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:31 Ro828: Sometimes men who have been involved in affairs find it easy to start another affair.

6:31 Swanlake: Cricket - count me in @6:30

6:32 BlueSky: ndak. that urging to ask is so darn strong isn't it?

6:32 Cricket [Facilitator]: ndakmom - Yes we have to be very careful - their self esteem is so low and especially having lost his job. That's why I was saying to use active listening techniques to let him bounce ideas off you so he works out his answers - but I know it's hard to get them to talk to us about it.

6:32 MAS: Still: I understand. I have a whole pile of cards that are sitting in a basket , and once in awhile, I'll come across some that my H had given me. The ones that really get to me are the ones from Valentine's Day because now he doesn't even

6:32 ndakmom: cricket- he was a bit agitated, he didn't erupt, but he was agitated, I said it was going to be hard on the boys and he got testy and said he would make it up to them, that he couldn't continue to work for the pay and hours he was doing

6:32 kmkrn1: ndakmom - everything negative can be "rephrased" into positive (or at least a non-negative)--maybe you could ask what interests him about this new job most?

6:32 faithfull: all is just so hard when you do not hear from them. You have no idea what is going on.

6:32 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - Hey you could be on my tactical support team, I’m liking this idea a lot!

6:33 MAS: Still: acknowledge that day at all. That's when I start to cry.

6:33 Plumcrazy: JIm@6:30-----Would it be out of line for me to say something to Dr. if H doesn’t. I am concerned about him. talked to H about it. He said his Dr. isn’t a psychiatrist don’t think H knows that M..D. can prescribe AD's

6:45 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:33 Plumcrazy: It's important for him to see any doctor so that he can be referred to someone who could help with this buzzing in his head.

6:33 Swanlake: Cricket - you negotiate and I will interrogate! I know it has been several years, but I still remember the basics.

6:33 ndakmom: bluesky- I was so certain I was not going to ask or say anything, I could have just smacked myself after I said it. Ugh!

6:34 Cricket [Facilitator]: Jim - MAS hasn't been able to face going outside as makes her sad/miss H. I’ve been encouraging her to walk, a little at a time, hopefully to walk to church nearby. Not sure how to help her take those 1st steps.

6:34 Cricket [Facilitator]: Jim - MAS is working on eating, I just want her to be able to go outside.

6:34 BlueSky: ndak, yep, know the feeling well

6:35 ndakmom: kmkrn- I'll have to remember that, that's good advice

6:35 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - Like a bicycle, you never forget - it would come right back.

6:35 Still: MAS , I know Valentine's Day is hard.....silly celebration anyway, but it does hurt.

6:36 faithfull: MAS next month will be a year that h left. I cannot believe it has been that long. It still feels like just yesterday.

6:36 kmkrn1: Swan/Cricket - that sounds like the perfect plan to me! (@ 6:33)

6:36 Swanlake: Cricket - my children can confirm that, they used to always say it was terrible having a mom who was trained by the Marine Corps to interrogate the enemy.

6:36 Still: All, I have noticed that I am starting to freely laugh again. It seems like it has been such a long time since I would just laugh without having rebound sadness. It is such a good feeling.

6:37 MAS: BlueSky: Not much to tell, really. I got a ride with someone and she dropped me off so I could take care of some business this afternoon. Then she had to stop at the store and she asked if I needed anything, so I said yes and was able to get some

6:37 Cricket [Facilitator]: Jim -sbky thought about asking her H about his childhood hoping it would help him work thru problems. I worried she shouldn't initiate this discussion as he'd feels he was fixing? Your thoughts?

6:37 MAS: BlueSky: shopping done, which was nice.

6:38 BlueSky: Cricket or Swan, I asked a question back at 6:11, would you mind checking it out please? Or did I miss something?

6:38 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - Yes my co-workers kids complained the same thing - never knew how we knew things & felt they could never get away with anything. I always told them they couldn't!

6:38 kmkrn1: ndakmom - it takes practice, but after I think about the comment I would like to make (but don't)--then the one that comes out is much nicer or non-threatening.

6:39 Swanlake: Still - once of the best things that happened for me was my church had hosted a comedy night with local Christian comics and I laughed so hard, it became easier after that to laugh again at the little things.

6:39 Still: Jim at 6:37. I have always felt that my marriage could be saved. H has never left because of our young children. I work very hard to provide the most comfortable environment, free of relationship talks. Patience is my downfall.

6:47 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:39 Still: There are many sides to this problem. Part of you may be saying, "why should I be patient when he is such a jerk?" But I suspect that he may be trying your patience so that you will look like the bad person, or that you might become so discouraged that you will kick him out of the marriage. There probably are some areas which specifically disturb him about your marriage relationship. It's crucial that you discover what these are and do what you can to correct them.

6:39 BlueSky: MAS, it may seem like not much to you, but it is great nonetheless

6:40 faithfull: all I have to go son just got from work and have to get the little one ready for bed. Goodnight.

6:40 Still: That is great, Swan. I would love to see Christian comics.

6:40 Cricket [Facilitator]: 6:11 BlueSky: I’m told that it takes 1 - 2 yrs to work thru things. Some of it can depend on if they come home too soon (like Grace/SLO) so they are more broken. Others I know of, were better but still took time to open up, kind of finding a comfort zone again but not as broken as before.

6:41 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - I know what you mean about laughing - it's like we need to find our funny bone or get back into practice of laughing...

6:41 Swanlake: BlueSky - more often than not, they come home broken, not always wanting help. Some have gone home simply because they had no where else to go, some think they just need to give us more time to adjust then they can leave, they don't always come home

6:41 MAS: Jim: I have a question that is sort of similar to Ro828's @6:31. A counselor had mentioned to me that we should consider becoming the "OW" in our H's life. Is this something that you would recommend?

6:53 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:41 MAS: I would never encourage people to become the other woman in the situation where the husband has left and is involved with someone else. However, the counselors suggestion of the other woman may mean that they want you to be more carefree, more fun, more available, and more interesting and attractive to your husband. As if you were a new woman working in his office. Obviously this would mean that the husband is still living at home and the couple is trying to restore the marriage. The counselor is probably trying to get the woman to be more like a playmate to her husband rather then a midlife mom.

6:42 Swanlake: BlueSky - continued - with reconciliation in mind.

6:42 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS/Still - Valentines Day & Anniversaries are days that we really need to make plans to be busy. They are hard so we need to anticipate that an plan something for that day.

6:42 Still: Cricket, I would have no problem working through it.....if we would just begin that path. I keep having dreams over and over of my h wanting to reconnect. Then I wake up.....not happening.

6:44 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - When they come back, we still can't ask questions. They need to find out they can be forgiven, we won't interrogate them. Little by little they open up and watch our reaction and hear more as they find they can without us coming unglued or breaking down. Others say some things they share are not easy, about OW, but it is so important that we listen & not judge or blow up.

6:44 Swanlake: Cricket - my daughter once told her friend that I was a human lie detector, that I would know they were lying just by looking at them. She told her this just before they asked her friends mom if daughter could spend the night, the mom called me to

6:44 Ro828: Jim: 6:44. Even if they've never had an affair before their crisis?

6:54 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:44 Ro828: As soon as the man leaves the marriage and gets involved with some other woman, he is having an affair and find it easier then to repeat that pattern.

6:44 MAS: faithfull@6:32: Not knowing is almost worse than knowing. That's when my imagination always seems to get the best of me.

6:45 Plumcrazy: Jim@6:40----H says everyone in his life sent him away. Really doesn’t understand why his mother sent him to another country when he was a baby

6:56 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:45 Plumcrazy, 6:47 Plumcrazy, 6:49 Plumcrazy: Your information explains why he is having trouble accepting your love. Hopefully, when he sees the doctor on Thursday, there will be some breakthrough.

6:46 Swanlake: Cricket - continued - to let me know they were up to something, so when daughter called me about spending the night, I told her I could tell by her breathing she had done something. It scared both of them for months.

6:46 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - Tell Jim about your H banging his head too..

6:46 Still: Cricket, H and I were having a discussion about people not following through on things. I said, "lately human beings in general have been disappointing me." My h said, "don't go there, I know I am top on that list." Interesting realization I thought.

6:46 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - YES and we never tell them how we know... keep them guessing.

6:46 kmkrn1: MAS - You are right (@ 6:44)--that's when you need to turn up the Christian music, exercise, read the Bible, go out with friends, etc. Fill in those times with positives for YOU.

6:47 MAS: Still@6:35: It IS a silly holiday, and we never really did anything special to celebrate, but he always remembered to give me a card, at the very least.

6:47 BlueSky: Swan that is funny!

6:47 Plumcrazy: JIM----It has been over a yr with the buzzing. I waited for him to say something and he hasn’t and it has gotten worse. I did say something 18 months ago to Dr about H's depression but I did it behind H's back

6:48 Swanlake: Cricket - I hadn't laughed in so long then and that night once I started, I almost couldn't stop, needless to say I found the comic funnier than anyone else, but I needed to laugh and I believe God put me there to get my laugh back

6:48 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - Yes I was worried when I saw what you said - they are filled with guilt and they jump to conclusions EVEN IF we don't mean them. They take things like that personally so we do have to be very careful. Also why we need to affirm when we can point to something specific as it is so needed.

6:48 MAS: faithfull@636: 3 years for me next week. I still can't believe it.

6:49 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - I agree - I also heard that our H's really miss our laugh & humor. It was something I found my H appreciated when he was reconnecting - bantering in a fun way. Such a stress relief to laugh.

6:49 MAS: Still@6:36 That's wonderful, Still!

6:49 Plumcrazy: Jim---So I thought I would do it in from of him. Better H is pissed at me and healthy than the kids having to deal with major health issues or death of their Dad. I just want him to be healthy and enjoy life again whether it is with or without me

6:50 Still: Jim at 6:47, I have asked him what changes he feels need to be made. My physical appearance was one and our growing apart was the other. I am now in the best physical shape I have ever been and try repeatedly to join him in his interests...he rejects

6:58 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:50 Still: I strongly urge you to keep working at the issues that he has identified, and realize that he may feel you are only temporarily changing just to win him back. So patience and consistency is going to be necessary for you.

6:50 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - I always told parents not to tell their kids how they or we found out things... that ole refrain - WE have ways! Never give up our sources.

6:50 Swanlake: BlueSky - my kids always said they got messed over worse than any of their friends, their mom had been a military interrogator and their dad was a military intelligence officer, they couldn't get away with anything.

6:51 BlueSky: Swan, are your kids super casual parents now?

6:51 MAS: BlueSky@6:39: Thank you!

6:51 Still: Cricket at 6:48. The end of that discussion was that I told h "i don't put you on that list at all for many reasons."

6:51 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Jim does say to flirt with our Hs as long as they haven't married the OW. Flirt & act like a girlfriend (like what your counselor said about OW_

6:52 Cricket [Facilitator]: Still - GOOD ANSWER but I’m sure it took convincing as he knows he belongs on the list.

6:52 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - I love it! Yeah they better be good or else.

6:52 Swanlake: Cricket - I agree with that, the last time I talked with my husband we laughed. My daughter asked about his call to me and when I told her it must have been good, he was laughing. She said he didn't laugh anymore. Then she later commented to him

6:54 Swanlake: Cricket - continued - that she questioned me and I told her it was ok because we had been laughing, he told her it had felt good to laugh, he couldn't help it when I laughed he just found himself responding.

6:54 kmkrn1: Goodnight ALL - I’m going to go and pray for everyone here tonight and finish some things before bedtime! My "baby" boy turns 20 tomorrow--time sure flies! God bless!

6:54 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - Yes my H used to have a wonderful sense of humor, it turned so dark in mlc and everyone missed his nice laugh... instead of the "sick" kind of laugh

6:54 Still: bye kmkrn

6:55 ndakmom: Jim- when my H is at the house and being critical and nitpicking things, should I stand my ground and say something or just ignore it

6:59 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:55 ndakmom: Ask yourself every time "is this an issue I want to go to war over?". You'll probably find that many of these things can be ignored. Sometimes, nitpicking is an attempt to get someone to change. Is that the case with you? Think about that.

6:55 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - That really was a huge praise, I know you realize that but couldn't help but noticing too. PTL

6:56 Swanlake: BlueSky - my son has a son, my daughter doesn't have children, but no they are not casual at all, not too strict but firm, have rules and boundaries.

6:56 Plumcrazy: Jim---@ weeks ago H initiated intimacy 3 nites in a row 2-3 times in a nite. Took breaks as H was having issues.(his idea) Was nice lots of cuddling which hadn’t happened in a very long time. Then after that he became very cold to me. H says that I am the ONLY one who has ever ALWAYS been there for him! He has told me he is not sure he can ever really love me like a H should love his wife

7:01 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:56 Plumcrazy: He probably withdrew because he was feeling like he was using you and felt guilty.

6:56 kmkrn1: ndakmom - did you forget what I said already??? NO negative! Zip you lips if you have to and just LISTEN. Every negative needs to be turned into a positive!

6:58 MAS: Cricket@6:51: Thanks! I thought that would be a good idea.

6:58 Cricket [Facilitator]: Jim - sbky wanted to ask her H about his childhood, thinking it may help him to talk about it. I worried he may think she's trying to blame others/fix him. He's been out of the home for some time but around lately to help with repairs.

6:58 ndakmom: kmkrn- so even if he's criticizing me for no reason, just zip the lip?

6:59 Still: Thanks, Jim. I will keep the path....God's word must be a lamp unto my feet.

6:59 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Yes when he hasn't had contact with you for a while, be a little careful. Tell him he looks really good, dress up a little more like when you are meeting someone new. Start with a little flirting. As Swan & I were talking, if you are able to joke & get them to laugh, it is huge.

7:00 Swanlake: Cricket - my husband had such a contagious laugh, from the belly funny laugh, but both kids say he just doesn't laugh anymore at all. When he is with grandson, he will smile, but no laughing.

7:00 MAS: Jim@6:53: But if I’m legally still his wife, what's wrong with becoming like the OW?

7:00 kmkrn1: ndakmom - Yes, but ask how you could improve what he is complaining about......nothing but LOVE & RESPECT! I pretend that when I am talking with my H that if he were Jesus, then how would I respond??? That puts it in perspective for me.

7:00 Cricket [Facilitator]: Swan - YES it's a sure sign that they aren't happy. So may here believe what they say, but when they stop laughing - we know!

7:01 ndakmom: Jim- most are little dumb things, last time he was here he was nitpicking on the brand of soda I had bought

7:01 Cricket [Facilitator]: MAS - Maybe ask him if it's wrong to flirt & be friendly since still married.

7:02 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: Thanks everyone for being in the chat room today. If you got lost during the chat process, check back later to find the edited chat dialogue posted in the archives, there you can read it at your own pace. It's been fun talking with you today. We, at Midlife Dimensions, will remember you and your marriages in prayer throughout the week. Warmly in Christ, Jim. James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

7:02 Cricket [Facilitator]: SWAN - I think they really crave laughing again. My H's sense of humor turned so dark in past years.

7:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: ndakmom - They nitpick on that type stuff just because they are just miserable and lashing out at everything around them. They also try to push our buttons to get us to react & lash back.

7:03 ndakmom: kmkrn- the other day he was complaining on the soda I had in the house, so the next time he was over I bought soda I knew he liked and offered him some, would that be the right move?

7:03 Cricket [Facilitator]: Ndakmom - Best to just let those nitpicking things go, act like you don't notice

7:03 Plumcrazy: Jim----2 weeks ago, H was backing out of drive, I warned him there was a truck flying up the street. He got very angry I said "I didn’t think you saw it you didn’t have to get so mad.

7:04 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - Jim left, it's after 7 so doesn't take more questions after 7

7:04 BlueSky: cricket, you have said their self esteem is low, my h doesn't seem that way at all. What am I missing?

7:04 Plumcrazy: JIM----Then I told H "I am not as bad as you make me out to be I don’t deserve to be treated so shitty by you" sorry for the language I was upset!

7:05 Swanlake: Well all I am going to say goodnight, see you later this week.

7:05 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - They put on false front, act like they have all the answers but Jim has said & I’ve seen that in reality they feel terrible about all they've done and in mlc, they feel old & undesirable, low self esteem which makes them vulnerable to OW. Like them saying they are SOOO HAPPY when we can see they aren’t

7:06 Plumcrazy: Cricket---OOOPS wasn’t paying attention. I have to look at my fingers when I type LOL

7:06 ndakmom: cricket- thanks on 7:03, I have been doing that a lot in not saying anything and letting it go, but every once in awhile he hits a nerve and I reply back

7:06 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - Just remember when it turns on the hour, our questions need to stop.

7:06 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - I knew you didn't see him leave

7:06 Plumcrazy: Cricket----But what Jim said at 7:01 H had told me before

7:07 BlueSky: Cricket, thanks,

7:07 LisaK [Programmer]: This is Lisa, MLD office manager. If you feel you didn’t get enough time with Jim in the room today, or have a private question you don’t wish to discuss here, please consider scheduling a 1-on-1 phone counseling session with Jim. Call/email us at 714-768-1777 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set up a session. I’ll go over the suggested donation and provide you with ways to make the most of your time during the private call. I’ll need a list of dates/times that work for you to compare to Jim’s schedule and let you know the best one. When it’s time for the session, Jim calls you on the phone number of your choice. Remember, Jim always offers his live counseling in the chat room without cost. If you wish to donate to our ministry to support the Website/Chat Room upkeep, please do so at www.Midlife.com. Thank you.

7:08 LisaK [Programmer]: "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8).

7:09 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - I understand. Jim meant that he was enjoying this with you but then felt guilty because he still thinks about leaving so felt like he wasn't right, he was using you. In my experience - they also worry they are giving us false hope.

7:10 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - My H practically yelled at people saying he was so happy. I remember one good friend turning and saying, Wow if that's happy, I don't want it. Much the same about putting on the act of having it all together.

7:10 Plumcrazy: Cricket---Thanks for the explanation---I know my H doesn’t want to give me false hope.

7:10 LisaK [Programmer]: Thank you, Jesus, for Your free gift of grace. You love us more than we can comprehend. Teach us to walk with a full assurance of Your love whenever we fellowship in Your chat room and walk with You throughout the week. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

7:11 Plumcrazy: AMEN

7:11 Jo2: Plumcrazy - I learned to avoid responding to what my h said, by saying "Oh," or "Hmmm" "I see," "Uhhumm" so that he did not realize that I thought he was talking to me in a disrespectful way. As far as he could tell we were getting along famously!

7:11 Cricket [Facilitator]: Plum - They begin to feel themselves connecting and it scares them & they pull away. I’ve always thought it was really a good sign as it meant he felt something happening

7:11 Cricket [Facilitator]: Thank you Lisa - AMEN

7:12 Cricket [Facilitator]: All - I should go, good to see you all. Will be praying with everyone after chat.

7:12 LisaK [Programmer]: Please, say your goodbyes everyone. Time to close for the evening. Join our great Facilitators on Wednesday and Friday nights, 6-7 pm PST. Saturday afternoon, 1-2 pm PST. Sunday 6-7 pm PST. And then with Jim again, Monday 6-7 pm PST. Thanks.

7:13 BlueSky: Cricket, always with the best answer.

7:13 Jo2: Lisa -- AMEN

7:13 BlueSky: Goodnight and thank you all.

7:13 Cricket [Facilitator]: BlueSky - I’ve learned from the best

7:13 ndakmom: Good night everyone!

7:13 Plumcrazy: Cricket---Just rolling with the flow. take care thank you for all your wonderful advice Love You

7:13 MAS: Thank you Cricket and Lisa. Goodnight everyone.

7:14 LisaK [Programmer]: Please do take time to be alone with God once you log out of the Chat Room. Open your heart to His lead, trust Him, love Him, talk with Him, He is your Heavenly Daddy and loves you more than you can ever imagine.

7:14 LisaK [Programmer]: Good night.

7:14 Plumcrazy: goodnight Lisa!!!1'

7:14 Cricket [Facilitator]: Good night all.

6:39 Still: Jim at 6:37. I have always felt that my marriage could be saved. H has never left because of our young children. I work very hard to provide the most comfortable environment, free of relationship talks. Patience is my downfall.

6:47 Dr. Jim Conway [Administrator]: 6:39 Still: There are many sides to this problem. Part of you may be saying, "why should I be patient when he is such a jerk?" But I suspect that he may be trying your patience so that you will look like the bad person, or that you might become so discouraged that you will kick him out of the marriage. There probably are some areas which specifically disturb him about your marriage relationship. It's crucial that you discover what these are and do what you can to correct them.

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