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Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316051
09/26/13 06:13 PM
09/26/13 06:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
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Sim54 Offline
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TC Manhatten, thanks for the kind attention. It was well received! I actually ended up having 'the talk' with her last night. I didn't really want to keep holding out against it. I had disappeared, and there was no way to really continue to avoid it, in light of how we have been up till now.

A couple of things. We live in different countries, so, only see each other every few months, and mostly, communicate via skype video. I wanted to talk face to face but couldn't.

I agree with most of what you say. Certainly it would be great for me to have mastered these skills before talking. Not possible. Also, as much as I see I should learn to listen well, before talking, this issue with us, involved all 'my stuff' and little of 'her stuff'. I can't really invite her to share, when I'm the one with the problem that needs explaining.

I was right about how it would go. She was pretty invalidating.
I explained that I didn't feel safe opening up to her and often I felt belittled and patronised by her and that she always had to be right.
Her response?
'So, why do you want to be friends with me if you feel like that?'

I think I managed it all pretty well, she got angry quickly, at hearing how upset I was, and that I had festered for 6 weeks rather than speak straight away. As she got angry, I pointed out that she was doing the very thing that made me not open up to her, by getting angry with me.

In the end, the conversation was hard. She was upset. She reitterated that she had no desire what so ever to get back with me and was happy just being friends.

She felt my emotions were an over reaction, and if we were just friends it wouldn't matter to bring up the relationship as It wouldn't bother us/me. I pointed out she was emotional when she mentioned it, and perhaps she was still hurt and felt the need to express things. I told he I was happy to hear this, but she needed to not just drop it on me, when she felt like it.
She denied being emotional when she talked about the past. (total denial of what was happening at the time).

She felt that I wanted to repair things between us, regarding the past.
I said I did.
She said she didn't.

All told, it went as expected.
I don't regret this.
It wasn't going to go any other way.

She is in a totally different place than me. Sees no need to learn from her behaviour, and prefers to reject the person, and try again with the next one.
'I haven't met the right guy yet.' her words.


Originally Posted By: TC Manhatten

You can't make your partner make you feel safe. And there are no "shoulds" about it. Insisting they allow for your safety before you can fully engage is just another demonstration of the power struggle between parties. You can only work on YOU. For me, that means two steps:


I like this. I was trying to work out how to get her to make me safe.
Not gonna work.
I saw that last night. She perceived even my talking about safety as an issue between us as threatening.

I have to get working on those steps, but first things first, is to let go off her, and my desire to get her back. Not going to happen any day soon. My feeling with her, and I know her well, is, until she gets the wakeup call that she is the one responsible for messing her relationships up, then nothing is going to change. I still get the feeling that throwing away the person is the best solution for her. Can't blame her. I felt the same for years too. You get it when you get it, or you don't. Not my business.

I have SOOOO much to learn, practise, and implement. And you're right, doing it with my last image partner, who runs scared from me, is not a good way to start.

I'm practising not interrupting people at the moment. It's one of my hates when it's done to me, and I know I do it to. Wonder why? Probably don't feel heard.

Originally Posted By: TC Manhatten

As above, it's not in what YOU say to HER. It IS all about what you encourage HER to share with YOU. (First step, and it's a biggie.)


Yeah, I hear you. Wasn't possible this time. I needed this skill when she mentioned how undesired she felt with me. I was too busy managing my lizard to hear her. Lot's to do!

Originally Posted By: TC Manhatten

Well, you've had a prime example that she feels the same with you, i.e. she doesn't want to be with a guy who invalidates her the way you do, either. So, who's gonna be the one to take the first steps and lead the way out of this nightmare of the power struggle and start developing safety and trust?


Not sure she sees it like this. Not sure she feels invalidated by me. She felt unwanted and unloved, so she rejected me, and moved on. Can't say I blame her really. Would be nice for her to recognise how unlovable and undesirable she behaved. Then perhaps she would say 'hmmm, can't blame him for leaving'.
Doubt that's coming any time soon. :-)

Originally Posted By: TC Manhetten

While her words say she doesn't want to be with you, the reality is that she keeps making attempts to come back and re-test you, so... I'm guessing her words belie her attraction to you, while at the same time highlighting her lack of trust. She'll be ambivalent until she is convinced you have changed. It will take time to convince her, and that is only once your approach HAS changed.


Not sure where you're getting this from?
Let's run through some key points with her.
-happy to be friends and spend time together.
-came to see me in my home last year, Nov, and stayed with me a couple of times, firstly in my bed, but freaked out, so moved her to second mattress, but she insisted I stay close in case she had a panic attack. We ended up in each others arms a few times, in just her knickers and t-shirt, but finally panicked, then told me she could never come back to me, never sleep with me. (this was our first real time together after over 2 years apart.
-since then lot's of chats on skype, no more attempts by her to visit me.
-Missed my birthday.
-Comes on holiday with me in Aug, but makes many references to not seeing me as a potential partner. Talks about me moving to a new city when I meet the right woman.

I have to say, that apart from last Nov, she has made no more attempts to test me out.

Can you elaborate on why you think she does?

Originally Posted By: TC Manhatten

Originally Posted By: Sim54
I think that is deep imago stuff.
I have a history of chasing women who reject me.
I have a burning need to 'prove' I am loveable.


This is why I think you don't want to give up. It's where the gold is. Keep digging!


Doesn't this mean I should give up chasing unavailable women?

Thanks Al, also, for your short but sweet input. :-)




Last edited by Sim54; 09/26/13 06:18 PM.
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316052
09/26/13 06:13 PM
09/26/13 06:13 PM
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Sim54 Offline
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Damn, think that post was waaaay too long! haha

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316058
09/26/13 06:33 PM
09/26/13 06:33 PM
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Sim54 Offline
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Oh, sorry, one more thing.
She told me she was aware she could be 'verbally dominant'.
I pointed out that when she is like that, she pushes her friend into a submissive place.

She told me she was aware it was a problem, and was working on it.
Wasn't convinced, but at least it's data.

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316337
09/30/13 04:44 PM
09/30/13 04:44 PM
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Sim54 Offline
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This conversation is a bit slow. I wanted to post some more, but didn't want to keep writing and writing...

It seems the Whiteboard is a rather quiet place these days.
:-(

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316449
10/01/13 07:47 AM
10/01/13 07:47 AM
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Sim54 Offline
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Well, I'll just keep posting.

Al, I have a question.
My ex is very controlling.
She admits this.

I think I may well be very controlling too.
I am always trying to influence or 'change' people.
I think that I probably know best what is right for others to do.

My question is this:

If I stop controlling and allow others to just be, how can I defend against someone controlling me back?
It seems that my controlling is in part, a defence against being controlled.
I can imagine that if I stop allowing someone to control me, I will have to set very strong boundaries, and that the controlling person may become extremely angry at not being allowed to continue to control.
They may well reject me quite harshly.

It seems that people are heavily invested in the way they 'do things' and won't give that up easily.

It's one thing to try to lead a relationship to a better place, but i can imagine the resistance to this could be very high.

What do you think?

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316589
10/01/13 07:46 PM
10/01/13 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sim54
Well, I'll just keep posting.

Al, I have a question.
My ex is very controlling.
She admits this.

I think I may well be very controlling too.
I am always trying to influence or 'change' people.
I think that I probably know best what is right for others to do.

My question is this:

If I stop controlling and allow others to just be, how can I defend against someone controlling me back?
It seems that my controlling is in part, a defence against being controlled.
I can imagine that if I stop allowing someone to control me, I will have to set very strong boundaries, and that the controlling person may become extremely angry at not being allowed to continue to control.
They may well reject me quite harshly.

It seems that people are heavily invested in the way they 'do things' and won't give that up easily.

It's one thing to try to lead a relationship to a better place, but i can imagine the resistance to this could be very high.

What do you think?



Are You a Controller? Sure you are.

Read this. ^^^

And this: Pulling Back, Not Pushing, Yet Wanting To Talk

Last edited by TC_Manhattan; 10/01/13 07:50 PM. Reason: Added more.
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #316594
10/01/13 08:02 PM
10/01/13 08:02 PM
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Sim54 Offline
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Haha, funny, I've just come from that article to check to see if someone had posted.
Thanks for the link, it was a good essay.

Just quickly, I asked you a question above about why you thought my ex was coming back to re test me.

I was curious what gave you that impression.

Hope you're doing well by the way. :-)

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316602
10/01/13 08:45 PM
10/01/13 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sim54
Haha, funny, I've just come from that article to check to see if someone had posted.
Thanks for the link, it was a good essay.


I posted links to two articles. Hope you read each of them.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Just quickly, I asked you a question above about why you thought my ex was coming back to re test me.

I was curious what gave you that impression.


YOU did. At least everything you posted about regarding your interactions with your partner gave me that distinct impression. If she were over and done with you, you would likely never have heard from her. At all.

Likewise, from all you've shared earlier, this shadow dance between you two is driving you nuts. Yes, there is a big part of you that hurts and feels resentment in having what you expect (of her behaviors) not being met. That's where I hear a great deal of MasterTalk in your iteration of your beliefs and position statement. But there is also that other part of you that, quite frankly, is just not ready or willing to "drop the rope" on her or the promise of a relationship.

And I don't think you need to, either. (Drop the rope, that is.) As long as you are willing to pursue learning about better communication and better relating and all this University of Life stuff, I say go for it! That need can be the motivation to keep working at learning better.

As I see it, you can either use this relationship to push yourself into learning better, or you can drop this one and start all over with someone new, and likely end up repeating the same scenario all over again until you push through your resistance to learning how to relate dialogically with folks.

After all, in the words of Al Turtle, don't drop the person, drop the (old) relationship (habits).

Oh, and he (Al) also suggests starting with MasterTalk and learning and recognizing when you are using it (and thinking it), as well as recognizing when others are using it on you. Then you can learn how best to respond when you hear it aimed at you (thereby protecting your lizard from being so scared and defensive in turn.)

At least this is how I see it.

Good luck. Keep reading and learning. There is gold in them there hills!

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: TC_Manhattan] #316853
10/03/13 05:58 AM
10/03/13 05:58 AM
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Sim54 Offline
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Thanks TC.
I agree with you, I am full of Master Talk, i'm starting to notice it throughout my day. Even mentioned it with someone last night, when I saw myself using it.
So, I am growing more aware daily.

Just one thing. My ex isn't my partner. Both you and Al have referred to her as my partner. We actually broke up over 3 1/2 years ago and have only been friends for the last 1 1/2 years. It does make me feel a bit unheard when you refer to her like that when I have already stated we aren't together.

What I am noticing, that as far as learning these new skills, It is very much harder to do so with a very unwilling person, like my ex, where there is a lot of triggering and hurt on both sides, and it is very easy to slip to old ways of relating. So whilst I hear you that leaving her behind and trying with someone else will likely lead to the same issues, I do think that practicing this stuff with a new partner from day one would allow both people to grow together, and avoid the more painful aspects of the inevitable power struggle.

Sometimes, I think it's easier to let something that has died, stay dead, and move on. Also, just because someone is my imago doesn't mean they are ready for all this stuff.
I was a total nightmare 10 years ago, and not avaialble for learning ANY of this. An awful NP as Al would put it. I've had to do a lot of growing to get to being open to self evaluation and learning new skills.

My ex seems extremely resistant to seeing her faults. I understand why, and she makes sense. She is a very very hurt girl, going back into her history. I would be very willing to help heal her wounds, and have her do the same to me. She is totally against this idea in every way.

Now, as far as I can see we are no longer speaking. No doubt we will again some day.

I am feeling much happier since I was open with her last week, and have let go the desire to reconcile. I feel like I can start to live my life again, and meet some new people. Staying hoping to rekindle with her was hurting me, and allowing me to slowly enmesh with her again. Not pleasant.

Well, I am enjoying becoming more aware of my behaviour, and am practising some of this with people at work.
My big thing at the moment is letting people finish what they are saying.

Anyway, thanks and have a good day.

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #316869
10/03/13 03:09 PM
10/03/13 03:09 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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I hear your thoughts around the word "partner." I prefer to use it not to refer to some amorphous state of being. I prefer it as a term of intention by one person -"this is the current person I want to partner with."

Anyway I hear you and will try to respect your preference.

One way to look at "letting people finish their sentences" is to see it as stopping pushing them into secrecy - keeping their thoughts and feelings hidden from you.

Darn I am looking forward to getting home tomorrow and having a full keyboard. Working on my iphone. smile


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #316889
10/03/13 06:10 PM
10/03/13 06:10 PM
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Sim54 Offline
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Hi Al, always a little rush of excitement in seeing you've written something.
Hmm, I wonder if I need 'Dad's' attention? :-)

Thanks for sharing your definition of what partner meant.
I think I only started using this term just after me and my ex split.
She told me:
'my next boyfriend will be a REAL partner to me.'
This said with a strong stare at me, to see if I was wounded.

I'm reading up on lot's of stuff.
I'm particularly interested in validation and mirroring.
The validation, I think I'm getting, slowly.
I've started to use the phrase 'I hear that you....'
I like that.

The mirroring I'm not so sure about.
I can see it becoming very annoying very quickly.
Part of me thinks, it's a way of just parroting back someones words, to show you've heard them, but not absorbed them (their words). In fact, it seems that is exactly what it is.
But if I want someone to absorb my words, then, perhaps I am trying to have control over them?
Hmm, scary thought.

I am currently wondering how I come across to people.
I'd be curious to know how my ex see's me.
If I was to guess, then I think I can come across as always arguing my point, and disagreeing with her views, especially where us and our past is concerned.
I think she spent a lot of time with me, trying to get me to notice her, and failing.


My BIG fear is that in validating her view, I sound like I am agreeing with it, and therefore I enter into a win/lose. She wins, I lose. She get's to be right, which further enforces her decision to not be with me.

It's very difficult to validate something as painful as rejection.
And in any case, how can I disagree with her choice? It's not subjective.

I can't wait till you get back to a real keyboard and deluge this board with your musings! (we can only hope).
;-)

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #317180
10/05/13 07:38 PM
10/05/13 07:38 PM
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Sim, you're not in an exclusive relationship with her, but you're not dating anyone else, either, correct? Maybe if you put yourself back out there you'll meet another Imago match who is more interested on taking this journey with you. But in the meantime this could be a good springboard for growth. You are more candid and open with her than you are with anyone else right now? If you're feeling more pain than growth, then there is the What to Do When They Leave article for a gentle way to ease out of this.

Quote:
My BIG fear is that in validating her view, I sound like I am agreeing with it, and therefore I enter into a win/lose. She wins, I lose. She get's to be right, which further enforces her decision to not be with me.


But it's not a win-lose. There is connection and lack of connection. Prevalidating is not agreeing with someone, but believing in them that they make sense. And it doesn't sound like you do think that she makes sense. It sounds like you think she's not looking at things clearly. But she may just be looking at a different set of pieces of the puzzle than you. And if you want to connect with her that has to be okay with you, that she gets to choose what pieces are relevant to her.

I undersand TC though. As fruitless as this looks, the power struggle with the next one is inevitable, too.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #317237
10/06/13 03:04 PM
10/06/13 03:04 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Sim54
Hi Al, always a little rush of excitement in seeing you've written something.
Hmm, I wonder if I need 'Dad's' attention? :-)
I imagine that lots of us, me included, like that "Dad" or "Mom" attention all our lives. Particularly if we didn't get enough when we were little.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Thanks for sharing your definition of what partner meant.
I think I only started using this term just after me and my ex split.
She told me:
'my next boyfriend will be a REAL partner to me.'
This said with a strong stare at me, to see if I was wounded.
Even the smallest bit from her seems such a beautiful clue. Sounds as if she clearly wanted some things from you. Her concept of partnership was one of them. And sounds as if she's gonna work on that partnership. Wonder which parts of her concept of partnership it would be useful for you to work on first.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
I'm reading up on lot's of stuff.
I'm particularly interested in validation and mirroring.
The validation, I think I'm getting, slowly.
I've started to use the phrase 'I hear that you....'
I like that.

The mirroring I'm not so sure about.
I can see it becoming very annoying very quickly.
Part of me thinks, it's a way of just parroting back someones words, to show you've heard them, but not absorbed them (their words). In fact, it seems that is exactly what it is.
I think your phrase "I hear that you" may be kind of mirroring anyway. For me there is a huge distinction between mirroring and validation. I see mirroring as a "skill teaching tool" which teaches you/people perhaps 400 different skills over time. One skill is to pay attention. Other skills are to interrupt when appropriate, to encourage to "say more" when appropriate, to ask to go deeper when appropriate, to be clear when it is your turn. One skill is to mirror when appropriate. Another is to do it in a fashion that is not irritating. The goal of all the skills is to create an environment for that other person so they trust you are a good listener and hear them when they want to be heard.

While I see mirroring about satisfying "their" need to feel heard, I see validation about satisfying "their" need to feel understood.


Originally Posted By: Sim54
But if I want someone to absorb my words, then, perhaps I am trying to have control over them?
Hmm, scary thought.
Not so scary. If you take turns with this "control" thing and it seems fair to both of you. When I talk, the listener is I think allowing me to have some control over them. When I listen, I am allowing the speaker to have some control over me. Not all control. Tis one of the challenges, creating this sense of fairness.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
I am currently wondering how I come across to people.
I'd be curious to know how my ex see's me.
If I was to guess, then I think I can come across as always arguing my point, and disagreeing with her views, especially where us and our past is concerned.
I think she spent a lot of time with me, trying to get me to notice her, and failing.
Well, each of us has to start somewhere. Sounds like the old NP stance. Glad you've identified it, at least as a guess. Remember, if you acted that way a) you were taught to do all those things by someone, b) you probably remember how obnoxious they were, c) and you certainly can guess that you will continue to drive people away if you don't learn new habits. By the way, I believe you are designed to learn those new habits.


Originally Posted By: Sim54
My BIG fear is that in validating her view, I sound like I am agreeing with it, and therefore I enter into a win/lose. She wins, I lose. She get's to be right, which further enforces her decision to not be with me.

It's very difficult to validate something as painful as rejection.
I like your fear cuz for me it reminds me that you are still working on grasping how validation works. If anything validation strengthens your beliefs and values as well has "the other's" in a very Win-Win way.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
And in any case, how can I disagree with her choice? It's not subjective.
Not sure what the hell you mean here.

Some people note that I like to extensively "quote" what people write here. I do. To me quoting is closer to mirroring that I use in real life. Lets the writer know I am focusing on their message, closely. It does take time. Good communication can be slow. Fast communication can be lousy.

I say this somewhere on my website. There is a short way that becomes the long way, and a long way that becomes the short way.

Keep a going.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #317590
10/08/13 06:44 PM
10/08/13 06:44 PM
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Hi Al, and Neweveryday. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
I'm having trouble figuring out the quoting system here, so for now, I just write a response. Perhaps someone can explain how I can quote passages without having to go back and forth over pages?

NED, no, we're not in an exclusive relationship, but I have started to very casually date a girl. We've been for drinks only, no 'physical' stuff. I've been single and practically celibate for a long while, and we get along well. I need a little tender attention in my life right now.

I'm not sure I'm so candid and open with my ex right now. We just had a bit of a bust up because I tried to open up to her after months of stuffing my feelings down. I feel censored by her.

I will try the article you mentioned.

I absolutely agree that I have to change, and now is the time to start. I will practise with her for sure, but with others around me also. I know that I will meet all these same problems with my next image match. But I can't force my ex into joining me in this. As for me creating safety, I can't even talk to her about THAT! Anything that suggests I am somehow trying to change, or heal our 'broken' romantic relationship freaks her out. We are just 'friends'. Done deal.

Well, it's a big project to start to try to validate her, but it starts with me validating myself, and taking my own pain and fear seriously.

Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #317600
10/08/13 07:08 PM
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Al, thank you very much.

I want to say how much I appreciate your time and thoughts.

I agree, even small data from her is invaluable. I am not in a position right now to ask her for new data. As a guess, I would say that right now, she really wants me to take her rejection of me seriously. That I take her stance seriously. That's just a hunch. The partner stuff. Well, she says she doesn't see me like that anymore. I think for now, these questions are for further down the line.

My primary goal is to learn validation and to make myself a source of safety. That means I have to tread carefully. It sometimes feels like i"m walking on eggshells though.

I have a strong impulse to 'abandon' myself. I think I've been doing that in the previous months, in the face of her rejection.
I think I need to get myself back to firmer footing before I can make any improvements in the way we relate. My lizard can go crazy when talking to her.

I wrote to her today, first time since we 'fell out' over 2 weeks ago. I was very anxious, but once we were 'chatting' (text chat, not talking), my lizard calmed down. I was happy. Not long after we stopped speaking, I became very anxious again. I see this as a cycle. It feels addictive. Contact makes me feel very warm and good, but it can quickly fade once I realise she is not around, and we are not intimate. I think this needs work.

I have been an awful NP in the past. I have to say, that I'm a much nicer person than I was in my 20's (I'm 41 now). I was simply horrendous: verbally abusive, drink, drugs, theft, arrogance, suicide attempts, horror. I've been through a lot, and am in a much better place. At least, in a place where I can see quite clearly what needs work! :-)

My comment about her choice not being subjective means that I can't argue with her desires. I can validate her desire: I understand you don't want to be with me any more. But I can't say: I have a different opinion about that. It's not up for debate. Does that make sense?

I've just read up, and then printed off your Getting To Work article. I really like it, especially the Shift bits at the end: Shift from complaining know-it-all to student.
BOY can I be a complaining know-it-all!! hahahaha.

My lizard FREAKS over this. I think that, actually, the more I complain and blame someone else for my problem, the worst the critter feels. Kind of makes sense. Someone else being responsible for my pain robs me of any agency, and my lizard of any belief that I am in control, and capable of keeping him safe.

On a side note, I've just had a very long chat with my mum. It was lovely, as we rarely talk. I noticed at the beginning, she asked me how I was, and I started to tell her. I got about 3 sentences out before she interrupted me and proceeded to tell me how she thought I must be feeling right now, since I graduated with my Masters. She talked for about 3 mins not stop, telling me how I was. I was actually bemused!! But was good to see where I've learnt to butt in, and why I've been desperate for attention all my life.

I hope you're having a lovely day, whatever you are doing.

Last edited by Sim54; 10/08/13 07:11 PM.
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #317617
10/08/13 09:48 PM
10/08/13 09:48 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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I was reading through your post and I realized I wanted to share a bit to probably each paragraph, maybe sentence. Tis too much, too fast. We'd have to slow this conversation way down. I believe Clingers often write/talk close to the speed that they think and that is way (way, way) too fast for a) quality thinking, b) problem solving and c) for sharing with others. Best I've found is for using phone calls or face-to-face chatting for teaching a clinger to slow down.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Al, thank you very much. I want to say how much I appreciate your time and thoughts. I agree, even small data from her is invaluable.
I think she's giving you lots of data that you are ignoring.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
I am not in a position right now to ask her for new data.
Sure you are. Just depends on how you ask and whether she's in the mood to share.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
As a guess, I would say that right now, she really wants me to take her rejection of me seriously. That I take her stance seriously. That's just a hunch.
That's a whole pile of data. If she wants you to take her stance seriously tis probably that she's telling you that you don't or haven't come across as taking her serious for a long time. Not so much about the "stance" of rejection, but the "stance" of "take me seriously or you are history." My guess is she's telling you she's tried for a long time to feel taken seriously. My guess is, from what I've known about Imago, that this has been a theme in her life for decades, with lots of people in her life, that is not becoming vital to her. And she picked you cuz your not too good, yet, at coming across as if you take people seriously. So you are a good "lab partner" for both her learning to get others to take her seriously and you learning to take people seriously. WIN-WIN.

Beautiful piece of data. You want her, or anyone like her, then get rid of habits that come across as "not taking other people seriously." Become a model of empathic skills. Go for it.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
The partner stuff. Well, she says she doesn't see me like that anymore. I think for now, these questions are for further down the line.
Horse pucky. These questions are right in your face, now. Be curious about what she is trying to say and not doing it very well. Wonder about who she is and how she uses words. Theres a lot here. What did she see you like? What dozens of things made her change her mind? What does she think of "partnerships" now? What does she want in her future? She probably won't answer those question cuz your communication channel sucks. But the answers, fragments, guesses, hunches, etc. are inside of her waiting to come out when the process of her thinking and sharing is freed up. You want to position yourself to be there, I think.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
My primary goal is to learn validation and to make myself a source of safety.
Sounds good - familiar.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
That means I have to tread carefully. It sometimes feels like i"m walking on eggshells though.
Sure, anything new feels kind of scary. How would you feel learning to ride a bike? How would you go about it? Never learn by just thinking about it. Got to climb on === and fall off.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
I have a strong impulse to 'abandon' myself. I think I've been doing that in the previous months, in the face of her rejection.
What the hell does that mean, "abandon" yourself. You can move into paralysis, but the task is to move forward. Find friends, therapists, clergy etc to move you forward. Don't look for NPs to help. They don't know. Look for one or more recovered NPs. NPs who have learned empathy. Don't do this alone. It relationship stuff and can only be learned in relationship with friends, partners, professionals, etc.

Nuff. Keep a going.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #317897
10/10/13 06:27 PM
10/10/13 06:27 PM
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Ok, I hear you about the speed and intensity and amount of communication.
I've already thought about how much I've written. I could probably write a lot more at any given moment. I have actually restrained myself! :-)

I am already thinking about arranging a chat with you.
I think it will go much smoother if we speak.

Just one thing:
Originally Posted By: Al Turtle
What the hell does that mean, "abandon" yourself.


Firstly, are you angry with me here? I read the 'Hell' as anger. Kind of made my lizard twitch.
What I mean be abandon myself, is not have clear boundaries, and so allow my self to enmesh with someone else. I would also call ignoring my lizards attempts at getting my attention as abandoning myself. (I prefer the term enmeshment than emotional symbiosis, but they mean the same to me).
In the face of my ex's withdrawal from me, and in the face of her rejection, I have tried to 'get her back'. This pursuit has slowly dragged me back to where I was with her when we broke up, although not as deeply. Still, I was allowing myself to place my centre in her, and make her my source of happiness. Have to pull back from that now, and I have. It makes me feel a lot calmer to detach from her.

I here what you are saying about avoiding NP's.

So far, the only two men I've met who seem trustworthy are my therapist, back in the UK, and you (not met you properly, but you know what I mean).

Well, I'll leave it at that.

I will arrange a chat with you near the end of the month, when I have some more money.

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #317964
10/10/13 09:28 PM
10/10/13 09:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Sim54
Ok, I hear you about the speed and intensity and amount of communication. I've already thought about how much I've written. I could probably write a lot more at any given moment. I have actually restrained myself!

Me too! The problem for me was that my chatty-cathy, which I think is just a rapid verbalizing brain coupled with ability to get those words out, can come across as incredibly abusive to others. Kinda word diarrhea to them. I needed a firm slower "listening" intimate partner to teach me to gear down my mouth. Now, while I can say it "long", it's fun to be concise.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Firstly, are you angry with me here? I read the 'Hell' as anger. Kind of made my lizard twitch.
Yeah I was a bit abrupt. No, not angry. You'd done so well expressing yourself and then you shared that abstract bit about "abandoning" and I was lost and a bit frustrated. Thanks for handling my crudity.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
What I mean be abandon myself, is not have clear boundaries, and so allow my self to enmesh with someone else. I would also call ignoring my lizards attempts at getting my attention as abandoning myself. (I prefer the term enmeshment than emotional symbiosis, but they mean the same to me).

Much clearer. Thanks. I call this "losing myself" and "being panicked". My lizard just goes crazy. Number 1 thing is to get it calmed down. My job.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
In the face of my ex's withdrawal from me, and in the face of her rejection, I have tried to 'get her back'. This pursuit has slowly dragged me back to where I was with her when we broke up, although not as deeply. Still, I was allowing myself to place my centre in her, and make her my source of happiness. Have to pull back from that now, and I have. It makes me feel a lot calmer to detach from her.
Clinger panic. Yup. Me very familiar with it. "Never get love by chasing a Lizard." Put that sign up at home for many years cuz I would forget.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
So far, the only two men I've met who seem trustworthy are my therapist, back in the UK, and you (not met you properly, but you know what I mean).
Chances are you need a few, perhaps 4 or more, in your area that are in your support team. Keep you balanced.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #318452
10/14/13 07:19 PM
10/14/13 07:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
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I'll keep it short.
I think the best part of these last two posts, is the 'Hell' bit.
I like that I allowed my panic feeling at your use of that word to surface enough for me to ask you about it.
And I like your response.
This little exchange seems brim with good dialogue.
At least, for me, it was a fairly new experience.
Some raised blood pressure was not pushed aside, but talked about, and resolved amicably.

That show's me a lot.

On another note, I've been thinking about Pre-validation.
I've noticed that whenever I pre-validate my ex, my Master talk internal blame/shame monologue dissolves, and is replaced with calm and love.
Pre-validating someone is good for you! It calms down your own anguish.
It has allowed me to observe my behaviour and I can see my Mastertalk as a defence mechanism, one that doesn't work. But defence from what? That's a tough question. I'll work on it.

Whilst I like the idea of learning new skills a lot, I am very drawn to healing the root causes of why we practise 'things that don't work'.

I just read your article on talking too much, and I like it a lot.
I remember my school reports when I was very young.
Every teacher said the same thing:
'Could do better, talks too much.'

Would of been nice of someone to try to figure out why I talked 'too' much.

Thanks.

Last edited by Sim54; 10/14/13 07:24 PM.
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #318472
10/14/13 08:20 PM
10/14/13 08:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Sim54
Would of been nice of someone to try to figure out why I talked 'too' much.


Would have been nice, but then the adults didn't know to do that. Would have been great if they could have Validated you and guided you to learning how to slow down the communicating. (Can't slow down the brain, I fear.) So now it's left up to you.

Me, I talked fast cuz I needed attention and connection vitally. And my parents taught not to interrupt. So I learned to talk so fast that no one could interrupt and thus got all the attention. Kind of a bummer of a birthmark. Pix

Last edited by AlTurtle; 10/14/13 08:22 PM. Reason: Add quote
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #318754
10/15/13 08:04 PM
10/15/13 08:04 PM
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I have a question that's been bugging me for a bit, over the last month or so whilst reading your articles. I guess i've needed to slow down my deluge of 'sharing' before I could find a space to ask it.

You don't seem to discuss attraction much, or re attraction.

My ex appears, and claims to no longer 'see me like that'.
I have got no attraction signs from her in the last year. Admittedly, I've only seen her twice. Did I mention we live in different countries?

I've always kind of believed that once you're attracted to someone significant, then it doesn't really go away, but it might be pushed aside, or drop away depending on circumstance and behaviour: I think clinging is a huge attraction killer for eg.

If I had to guess, I would say that attraction also falls under the playful aspect of safety and that when someone doesn't feel safe, they don't feel free to allow their attraction to flourish.

But, well, a lot of people seem to be very attracted to unsafe people.

Do you think attraction plays a significant role in returning to an old imago partner?

Also, I have the thought that, if your imago partner grows out of displaying behaviour that fits your imago, then you will lose attraction for them. For example, if my imago is a woman who is unavailable, then if she grows out of being distant, and learns to connect and be present, then won't I lose interest in her?

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #318851
10/16/13 02:13 AM
10/16/13 02:13 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Sim54
You don't seem to discuss attraction much, or re attraction. ---- Do you think attraction plays a significant role in returning to an old imago partner?


WARNING: MY POINT OF VIEW:

I don't write much about "attraction" cuz I fear much emphasis on it is based on marketing, cosmetic sellers, advertising, and is in the long run bull$%&t.

Being attracted to someone, liking to be with them, delighting at the sight of them has to be a durable issue. Remember it has to work even with both people are 90 and look like oak trees.

When most people talk about attraction they are usually talking about the first tiny events in the Romantic Period, a period that is involved with 10s of thousands of factors. Looks are a small fraction. People selling hairgel would want you to think it is all about looks. But then they are selling product.

Attraction in Vintage Love seems more about the inner soul in you pushing toward the inner soul in the other no matter how those souls are wrapped up.

I would look more at the inner urges no matter how triggered than the outer ploys.

Maybe a bit harsh here, but I'm feeling blunt.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #319506
10/19/13 09:23 AM
10/19/13 09:23 AM
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Sim54 Offline
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Sim54  Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Originally Posted By: Sim54
You don't seem to discuss attraction much, or re attraction. ---- Do you think attraction plays a significant role in returning to an old imago partner?



I would look more at the inner urges no matter how triggered than the outer ploys.

Maybe a bit harsh here, but I'm feeling blunt.


Blunt is good! :-)

I am more interested in the internal aspects of attraction.
I wasn't really talking about external factors.

My ex has a history of being attracted to emotionally unavailable men, guys who give a little, then disappear. They are all usually pining for old loves, or want other women as well as her. She tends to leave guys who love her, or 'cling' to her.

I have the same problem.

This seems an impossible problem.
Now that I am available to my ex, she feels no attraction for me.

I don't know.
We are at an all time low now.
communication is all but gone I think.
Since I told her how upset I was with her behaviour and that I didn't want to be friends with her anymore, she has retreated.
Guess that makes sense!
I retracted all that in a letter 2 days later, apologising, and saying I still wanted to be friends, but I got no reply to that.

Everything I do doesn't work! Time to learn new things? Maybe. I tried validating her in the letter I sent.
Didn't seem to work much.

I fear it will take a couple of years before I could reliably 'make' her feel safe.
In the mean time, I will just keep messing it up.

Not feeling very happy today. :-(

Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: Sim54] #319526
10/19/13 02:59 PM
10/19/13 02:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: Sim54
I am more interested in the internal aspects of attraction. My ex has a history of being attracted to emotionally unavailable men, guys who give a little, then disappear. They are all usually pining for old loves, or want other women as well as her. She tends to leave guys who love her, or 'cling' to her.
Now, seems more clear what you are saying. I think that there are lots of internal reasons for attraction. However, who a person is interested in, what kind of person they are interested in, is more a study in a) cultural trainings b) the Lizard and c) tangentially the influence of the Imago. On the surface I think it looks as if the Lizard and the Imago are the two biggies.

"Lizard" means I am specifically and unconsciously attracted to situations that are familiar to my Lizard. Those situations are enormously specific. E.g. A gal can be attracted to "people" who pull away (one of thousands of factors) because that feels safe - familiar, predictive information etc. When their partner turns around an starts to cling, that attraction stops. Pretty normal.

Might be worth remembering the boundary issue that "attraction" is not caused by the other, but is caused by the self. The word "attraction" might be replaces by "interested in", to avoid the crazy phrase "She attracts me" as though "she" has power or responsibility in this situation. Common myth, I fear. "I am interested in her" places the focus more correctly in looking at "me" and understanding "me". (Gotta be a better phrase than "interested in"!)

During this attraction period the whole thing is fairly quick. Same thing is kinda happening in the Power Struggle. But the overriding principle seems to me is "Deep down I want someone familiar (particularly like the worst parts of my mom and dad) with whom I can experience change away from Traditional Family behaviors toward Biological Dream behaviors - Vintage Love. It might be worth considering that you are in the Power Struggle with this gal and your goal might then become "heading for the University of Life".

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Now that I am available to my ex, she feels no attraction for me.
Probably more like, "Now I am/have come across as overwhelming in my behavior, she's consistently seeking getting away from me." She probably still has some "attraction factors" but the "get away from overwhelming" is much stronger.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
communication is all but gone I think. Since I told her how upset I was with her behaviour and that I didn't want to be friends with her anymore, she has retreated.
Guess that makes sense!
I wish I had seen that transaction. Sounds as if you came across judgemental and controlling and maybe overwhelming all at once.

Originally Posted By: Sim54
I retracted all that in a letter 2 days later, apologising, and saying I still wanted to be friends, but I got no reply to that.
Hey. I've found you can't retract. Doesn't work. People are not built to forget. You can "metabolize" something you've done, though. I wrote this up in Making Amends .

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Everything I do doesn't work! Time to learn new things? Maybe. I tried validating her in the letter I sent.
Didn't seem to work much. I fear it will take a couple of years before I could reliably 'make' her feel safe.
In the mean time, I will just keep messing it up.
Very discouraging at first, but it's at least the right direction. Good luck.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 2: "Stop chasing your partner away!" - Building Trust [Re: AlTurtle] #320819
10/27/13 08:07 PM
10/27/13 08:07 PM
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Sim54 Offline
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Hi Al,
I've taken some time to think a bit about some of the things you said above.
I've realised that this forum is also a pretty low bandwidth mode of communication.

Originally Posted By: Al Turtle

Originally Posted By: Sim54

Originally Posted By: Sim54
Now that I am available to my ex, she feels no attraction for me.


Probably more like, "Now I am/have come across as overwhelming in my behavior, she's consistently seeking getting away from me." She probably still has some "attraction factors" but the "get away from overwhelming" is much stronger.


Well, I spent a long time discussing the twin poles of invasion/withdrawal with my analyst. He told me that these two poles are anti relationship, as they invalidate the other, and are basically selfish in nature. Relationship, he told me, consists of two separate people. I have aimed to be that separate person, neither invading, nor withdrawing, but merely present. I don't believe I have come over as overwhelming. I have been extremely careful to not invade her, nor push. We have spoken on skype, chatting amicably about stuff. I never brought us up, never pushed, never tried to get closer. About a year ago, we had a hug when she stayed with me, and I saw that I was pushing then, and it scared her so I vowed to be very careful with her. This however has left me walking on eggshells. She is terrified of people shouting at her, or even near her, due to her past, so I never do it. (i haven't had a reason to shout at her anyway!) That doesn't stop her shouting at me though, even though I too have issues with raised voices from my childhood. I am careful not to trigger her, she doesn't afford me the same respect.

Although I have been in a more 'clinger' mode of late, I was in fact the avoider during our RS. She was unbearable needy and invasive. I kept seeking the space wall, then eventually took the leaving wall.

Originally Posted By: Al Turtle

Originally Posted By: Sim54

Originally Posted By: Sim54
communication is all but gone I think. Since I told her how upset I was with her behaviour and that I didn't want to be friends with her anymore, she has retreated.
Guess that makes sense!

I wish I had seen that transaction. Sounds as if you came across judgemental and controlling and maybe overwhelming all at once.


I wished you had. I did make more of her bringing up our past, and not bothering to check if I was ok with it, but I was basically very scared to open up to her. I spoke quietly, and tried to simply tell her how I felt, rather than judge or blame her. I told her I was afraid to open up to her, as she had taught me that in doing that, I would be invalidated, shouted at, and rejected. She did all three.

I must say, I felt a bit invalidated by you, with your assumptions on how I have been behaving with her. I am no saint, but I have made the first tentative steps into the University of Life. She doesn't even think there is a problem. She believes her relationships have failed by choosing 'Turkeys'. I understand that you can only go by what I say here, so it's fair that you might miss in your assumptions. And of course, I may well see my behaviour in a more positive light than you might, if you were able to witness it! :-)

In any case, I have realised that I have to let go completely any desire to get her back, until I can keep my lizard calm. Any attempt to talk with her about our past, or us, leads straight to anger and rejection from her. Whether that is triggered by my bad communication, or is simply her projection doesn't really matter, as I am unable to handle that hostility at present. It is liberating to let go, and I have been feeling much better recently. No anxiety.

So, I have decided to give up on retrieving anything with her.

I have started dating someone in the town I live in right now.
I don't thing she is an imago match, but we get on well, and I am able to start to practise better relating with her, without fear of hair trigger reactions, and all the incumbent drama around me and my ex.

I think, my absolute first goal is to create safety for myself, and my lizard, before even attempting to re-enter the fray with my ex. Until I can handle myself, and her hostility, and can better learn to communicate and to help her feel heard, then it is pointless.

I can see that I could write, and write, and write!! But, also, if I don't write enough, I fear that I will not be understood. Well, I will arrange a chat with you soon, to discuss some steps I can take to communicate better. I find mirroring appears scary. However, I was talking with my current date, and she was talking about some anxiety issues she has, I gently pulled, using the statement, 'please say more about that', and it didn't feel awkward.

Hope you're well.

Last edited by Sim54; 10/27/13 08:15 PM.
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