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Re: Sometimes... [Re: Fiddler] #407716
04/08/16 04:04 PM
04/08/16 04:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,655
L
LadyGrey Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Fiddler
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think at that moment I was more surprised and embarrassed than scared so maybe that's not a good example.
This realization is a part of why this kind of process can be valuable.


Yes, it is.

Should such a thing happen again-- public humiliation-- what do you think is the appropriate response?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
It was just so shocking because we were discussing educational policy and who gets twisted up about that? The only explanation I've ever been able to come up with is that I was "winning" and he wanted to shut me up. It worked.
Originally Posted By: fiddler
In that moment, this is what you were believing, and that is what you now believe as well. Can you absolutely know that it is true that he wanted to shut you up?


I can't absolutely know anything about another person. I really don't know why he did it. He claimed after the fact that he thought the glass was empty but I don't believe him -- it was a lot of wine.

I will confess that my reaction to those kinds of events is "see, I was right -- angry men are unpredictable terrifying." I use those events as data points to confirm my bias.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I have seldom been physically scared of my husband.
Originally Posted By: fiddler
"Seldom" suggests that there have been at least a few times that you were. What I'm attempting to do is to inquire into the belief "I am afraid of angry men."


Certainly there have been a few times when I was physically scared of my husband. I have a hard time believing there is a wife on the planet who hasn't experienced physical fear at one time or another.

I don't, however, consider it an issue.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
To give another more benign example, one time I got a speeding ticket (I really am a terrible driver) and I tried to hide it because I was scared of his anger. When he found out, he was furious about the ticket and the cover up. Since I was clearly in the wrong (although I don't think going 80 in the Texas panhandle is really wrong) there was nothing I could say. I felt I had to sit there and take it.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
So being in the "wrong," you see the sense in his being upset. Given how you prize honesty, you would probably feel the same way if the positions were reversed. So you understand and perhaps even empathize with what he was feeling.


I really don't see the sense in him being upset about the ticket. He's driven 80 in the panhandle plenty of times. Just bad luck I got caught.

I see why he might be upset by the cover up because I have a history with "the secret life of Lady Grey" as he calls it.

Quote:
Now, what was the "it" that you believed you had to "sit and take"?


His rage.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I was scared of what he might do next that might make me feel even worse. So I Fled.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
I thought you drove home together (albeit "in silence")? Thinking back to that moment, was there something in particular you believed he might do and were afraid of? And did he do something next that you felt threatened by?


No, we drove separately. He stayed and I went home to bed. We didn't discuss it for years.

In retrospect, I was afraid *I* would escalate. I think I was also afraid that he would apologize and try to make it right and I was mad

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I don't think my friends knew what to think. I am certain they didn't approve of his behavior because who would?

Quote:
So is it possible that he was the one who should have been embarrassed?


He may well have been. I have no idea.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think this plays into my tendency to be the victim. Rather than fighting back, I will figure out a way that I was in the wrong and deserved the treatment.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
And you are content with this approach.


Well, if nothing else it simplifies life. If something is my fault it remains in my control to fix it by changing my behavior.

My husband is aware that I live something of a tortured, guilt driven inner life. I think it wears him out sometimes.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
Given what you have described about you FOO, these kind of defense mechanisms are not only understandable, but in a sense almost inevitable. Are you okay with that millstone ever tied around your neck?


I'd prefer not but haven't found the route to ridding myself of the millstone.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407731
04/08/16 06:42 PM
04/08/16 06:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 657
MaidUpName Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

Well, if nothing else it simplifies life. If something is my fault it remains in my control to fix it by changing my behavior.


Eeeek, you have an uncanny ability to verbalise so much of how I have lived over the last 20 years.

It astonishes me how similar the experience of both faithful and unfaithful partners can be.

As always, I'm learning a lot from you LG - thank you for your introspection and honesty.

MUN


You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know
And YOU are the one who'll decide where you go
Dr Seuss
Re: Sometimes... [Re: MaidUpName] #407732
04/08/16 06:44 PM
04/08/16 06:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,405
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Truly the difference between faithful and unfaithful is a single momentary choice. That's all that separates them in some cases.

We're a lot more alike than we are different.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Sometimes... [Re: Miranda] #407734
04/08/16 06:47 PM
04/08/16 06:47 PM
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wiser_now Offline
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Without sounding like a parent, I hope: Good work you're doing here, LG! I love talking to Fiddler!

PS: I'm with Miranda. More alike than different for me, too.


A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. --Andre Maurois

Re: Sometimes... [Re: Miranda] #407739
04/08/16 07:02 PM
04/08/16 07:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 10,071
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SmilingWife Offline
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Originally Posted By: Miranda
Truly the difference between faithful and unfaithful is a single momentary choice. That's all that separates them in some cases.

We're a lot more alike than we are different.


QFT Sister.

I have often said I am surprised I did not have an affair.

Re: Sometimes... [Re: SmilingWife] #407748
04/08/16 07:15 PM
04/08/16 07:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
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holdingontoit Offline
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Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
I have often said I am surprised I did not have an affair.


I am not surprised when people do not have an affair. They embody an ironic truth: typically you can get away with deep deep betrayal a whole lot longer if you never have the affair.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: SmilingWife] #407752
04/08/16 07:28 PM
04/08/16 07:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
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MaidUpName Offline
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Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
Originally Posted By: Miranda
Truly the difference between faithful and unfaithful is a single momentary choice. That's all that separates them in some cases.

We're a lot more alike than we are different.


QFT Sister.

I have often said I am surprised I did not have an affair.


Yep,

So what stopped me?

Fear?
lack of opportunity?
The belief that I wasn't worth having an affair with?

or whatever....

A single momentary choice/opportunity and we could all be in the same place

Food for thought

MUN

Last edited by MaidUpName; 04/08/16 07:28 PM.

You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know
And YOU are the one who'll decide where you go
Dr Seuss
Re: Sometimes... [Re: MaidUpName] #407754
04/08/16 07:53 PM
04/08/16 07:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 10,071
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SmilingWife Offline
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What stopped me?

Not lack of opportunity.

Not fear of then husband.

Mostly I didn't want to violate my own moral values and answer to my religion.

After ds was born it was a fear of sorts....that xh would somehow paint me as bad to ds and or try to take him away from me.

Oh, wait this is LGs thread! Sorry for the threadjack!

Re: Sometimes... [Re: SmilingWife] #407756
04/08/16 08:02 PM
04/08/16 08:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 657
MaidUpName Offline
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Sorry LG, I didn't mean to thread jack.

This is your thread and I've a lot to learn from you.

MUN


You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know
And YOU are the one who'll decide where you go
Dr Seuss
Re: Sometimes... [Re: MaidUpName] #407759
04/08/16 09:06 PM
04/08/16 09:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,655
L
LadyGrey Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: MaidUpName
Sorry LG, I didn't mean to thread jack.

This is your thread and I've a lot to learn from you.

MUN


I don't believe that thread jacking is a thing. I think all good conversation meanders.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407761
04/08/16 09:54 PM
04/08/16 09:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,208
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Should such a thing happen again-- public humiliation-- what do you think is the appropriate response?
I don't have a good answer for that - I am stuck on the word "appropriate" - to be honest, I don't know what it means in such a situation. In any event, what I'm hoping to do here is facilitate inquiry into the thoughts and beliefs that led to your reaction to this, and other situations. I believe that once these thoughts - are rather the beliefs in them - are dealt with, then an effective response would arise organically.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I really don't know why he did it.
From the sound of it, neither did he. Can you consider the possibility of filing it under the "known unknowns"1?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I will confess that my reaction to those kinds of events is "see, I was right -- angry men are unpredictable terrifying." I use those events as data points to confirm my bias.
For the sake of this dialogue, let's make it specific: "My angry husband is unpredictable and terrifying."

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Certainly there have been a few times when I was physically scared of my husband. I have a hard time believing there is a wife on the planet who hasn't experienced physical fear at one time or another.

I don't, however, consider it an issue.
That's good to know that physical violence is not what is being dealt with, since that's a whole other thing. So we're talking then about mostly a fear of emotional violence.

Originally Posted By: LdayGrey
I really don't see the sense in him being upset about the ticket. He's driven 80 in the panhandle plenty of times. Just bad luck I got caught.

I see why he might be upset by the cover up because I have a history with "the secret life of Lady Grey" as he calls it.
So then you recognize the part you played, and can see the "sense" in his reaction to at least part of it.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Quote:
Now, what was the "it" that you believed you had to "sit and take"?


His rage.
Was it his feelings of rage or the loud, criticizing words? And feeling you had to "take it," perhaps there was a part of you that felt you deserved to be spoken to that way.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
In retrospect, I was afraid *I* would escalate. I think I was also afraid that he would apologize and try to make it right and I was mad
That's quite an insight! Although in the moment you might not have realized it, your fears included both your own possible behaviors as well as a determination to stay angry. So in that moment, with wine dripping down you face, who was doing more violence to you - him or yourself?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Quote:
So is it possible that he was the one who should have been embarrassed?

He may well have been. I have no idea.
So if you saw another couple and this happened, you're not sure which one you would perceive as having committed a faux pas?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think this plays into my tendency to be the victim. Rather than fighting back, I will figure out a way that I was in the wrong and deserved the treatment.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
And you are content with this approach.


Well, if nothing else it simplifies life. If something is my fault it remains in my control to fix it by changing my behavior.
The implicit thesis with which I'm operating here is that when our beliefs about our thoughts are questioned, then our behavior naturally changes. There is also the implicit assumption that is those beliefs in our thoughts that are the cause of our suffering.2

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: fiddler
Given what you have described about you FOO, these kind of defense mechanisms are not only understandable, but in a sense almost inevitable. Are you okay with that millstone ever tied around your neck?


I'd prefer not but haven't found the route to ridding myself of the millstone.
I'm sure you have tried a number of things. The process I'm suggesting here - inquiry, questioning thoughts, questioning belief in thoughts - is one that I have found personally helpful, and believe it can be helpful for you as well. My hope is that you find it a useful endeavor, and very much appreciate you willingness to be vulnerable with it.
__________________________
1This file has been growing larger and larger for me these days.
2I am not unaware that these are not uncontroversial assumptions (sorry, that's all the negatives I could fit in...).

Last edited by Fiddler; 04/08/16 10:01 PM. Reason: typos & grammar

"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Sometimes... [Re: Fiddler] #407780
04/09/16 03:06 AM
04/09/16 03:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,655
L
LadyGrey Offline OP
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As an aside, my husband and I had a really fun day today and we have a plan for a fun day tomorrow surrounding the Masters.

We are both huge Jordan Spieth fans. He is as classy as it gets and came from Dallas Jesuit (note to MUN). He has a disabled sister and the way he deals with her will make you weep -- this kid from no where who makes it big -- HUGE-- and retains his humanity and integrity.

I also love Jason Day. His father was a trash man and found a golf club in the trash and gave it to his son shortly before he died. A family friend took on Jason after his father's death and now that Jason is a world class golfer that man is still his caddy.

So we are going to hike at Loveland Pass then come back and open the back porch for spring, clean it up, carry the TV out there and watch the Masters.

You never hear about the good stuff, but there's lots of it. And since I told Lizzie to shut up because "he's just another PERSON" things have gotten almost imperceptibly better.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407781
04/09/16 04:33 AM
04/09/16 04:33 AM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Quote:
They embody an ironic truth: typically you can get away with deep deep betrayal a whole lot longer if you never have the affair.


I don't understand, what is the betrayal you refer to? Financial? Neglect? Or do you mean it varies?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Sometimes... [Re: NewEveryDay] #407822
04/10/16 02:03 AM
04/10/16 02:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,655
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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LadyGrey  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
Quote:
They embody an ironic truth: typically you can get away with deep deep betrayal a whole lot longer if you never have the affair.


I don't understand, what is the betrayal you refer to? Financial? Neglect? Or do you mean it varies?


All of the above.

And so sadly true.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: Fiddler] #407824
04/10/16 02:33 AM
04/10/16 02:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,655
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I really don't know why he did it.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
From the sound of it, neither did he. Can you consider the possibility of filing it under the "known unknowns"1?


No, I'm not.

I think I am WAY better off if I assume it was a gesture of contempt. That feels safer to me.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I will confess that my reaction to those kinds of events is "see, I was right -- angry men are unpredictable terrifying." I use those events as data points to confirm my bias.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
For the sake of this dialogue, let's make it specific: "My angry husband is unpredictable and terrifying."


No, I am not willing to reframe the issue. I'm scared of angry men. All of them. 100% of the population of angry men terrifies me.

Even my brother -- my best friend-- freaks me out when he gets mad and he never gets mad at me. Just being in the same room with an angry man makes Lizzie nuts.

I have a man who occasionally gets angry living in my house. He's no different from the lawyer who used his anger to manipulate me on fees. I want to get to the point where I don't freak out just because another person who happens to have different plumbing from me gets mad.

Originally Posted By: LdayGrey
I really don't see the sense in him being upset about the ticket. He's driven 80 in the panhandle plenty of times. Just bad luck I got caught.

I see why he might be upset by the cover up because I have a history with "the secret life of Lady Grey" as he calls it.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
So then you recognize the part you played, and can see the "sense" in his reaction to at least part of it.


No, I don't. He may perceive I have some secret life, but he would be tres disappointed if he actually investigated.

His perceptions are based upon a history and there is truth there. I am proud that when I wrecked my dad's car, he was the first person I told and he just shook his head and said, "you really are a terrible driver." Progress.

I think this is a case of punishing honesty -- when I have been honest with him in the past, he would blow up.

The kids used to help me with the cover ups when I made a mistake. I'm not proud of that.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
Now, what was the "it" that you believed you had to "sit and take"?

His rage.
Originally Posted By: fiddler
]Was it his feelings of rage or the loud, criticizing words? And feeling you had to "take it," perhaps there was a part of you that felt you deserved to be spoken to that way.


At the time, I was used to being spoken to that way.

On May 5, early 2000's he got mad because the kids got a basketball caught in the rafters in a construction site next to where we were having dinner. I said, "enough" and told him if he didn't get his anger under control I was going to leave him. Then I did.

I don't want things to ever be that acute again. I want the tools to talk him down off the ledge when he gets mad rather than folding or fleeing.

Look, he's not the only one who gets mad. I get mad at him too, but he doesn't seem to have the same reaction.

I think this is also a case of me replaying old tapes. Certainly, there was a time when his anger dominated my life but it doesn't anymore except when the tapes start rolling at a trigger.

I can't distinguish between his rage and his words. It's all the same when you are on the receiving end.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
n retrospect, I was afraid *I* would escalate. I think I was also afraid that he would apologize and try to make it right and I was mad


Originally Posted By: fiddler
That's quite an insight! Although in the moment you might not have realized it, your fears included both your own possible behaviors as well as a determination to stay angry. So in that moment, with wine dripping down you face, who was doing more violence to you - him or yourself?


Him. Like no contest.

At that moment.

In time, probably me because I took on the burden of excusing his behavior by blaming myself and I didn't fight back which cost me to lose self respect and lowered my self esteem.

Intellectually, I know I'm worth more than that. Emotionally, I'm not so sure.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Quote:
So is it possible that he was the one who should have been embarrassed?

He may well have been. I have no idea.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
So if you saw another couple and this happened, you're not sure which one you would perceive as having committed a faux pas?


I'd think the guy was a complete ass and hope I would have come to my friend's defense. But I probably wouldn't have because I'm scared of angry men.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think this plays into my tendency to be the victim. Rather than fighting back, I will figure out a way that I was in the wrong and deserved the treatment.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
And you are content with this approach.


Well, if nothing else it simplifies life. If something is my fault it remains in my control to fix it by changing my behavior.


Originally Posted By: fiddler
The implicit thesis with which I'm operating here is that when our beliefs about our thoughts are questioned, then our behavior naturally changes. There is also the implicit assumption that is those beliefs in our thoughts that are the cause of our suffering.2


I think I agree with this thesis. I think happiness is a decision that is influenced by the beliefs that drive emotions -- the "but......"

I think I don't deserve to be happy -- that I am too flawed and sinful to merit peace. I think if I let myself be happy, someone will come grab it away from me like happened with the Stuff with my daughter. That lack of control FREAKS ME OUT. I don't seem to understand the rules well enough so I've withdrawn from the game.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: fiddler
Given what you have described about you FOO, these kind of defense mechanisms are not only understandable, but in a sense almost inevitable. Are you okay with that millstone ever tied around your neck?


I'd prefer not but haven't found the route to ridding myself of the millstone.
Originally Posted By: fiddler
I'm sure you have tried a number of things. The process I'm suggesting here - inquiry, questioning thoughts, questioning belief in thoughts - is one that I have found personally helpful, and believe it can be helpful for you as well. My hope is that you find it a useful endeavor, and very much appreciate you willingness to be vulnerable with it.


So the belief we are questioning here is that angry men will annihilate me? One of the things I have done to manage this fear is the "what's the worst thing that can happen?" analysis.

I think another belief that I'm challenging here is the notion that I don't deserve to be content. I am in large part the architect of my own distress.

__________________________
1This file has been growing larger and larger for me these days.
2I am not unaware that these are not uncontroversial assumptions (sorry, that's all the negatives I could fit in...). [/quote]

Last edited by LadyGrey; 04/10/16 03:48 PM.

Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407825
04/10/16 06:52 AM
04/10/16 06:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline
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Not quite here
Hey Lady Grey,

So you are angry. Very angry with him. An intelligent angry woman. A woman with a wonderful grasp of the English language. A woman that can use it to express exactly how she feels and a woman that can use language to litter her dialogue with ambiguity and passive aggression. Not saying that you do.

I know this is a blog and I know you're not looking for advice, but Anatomy of Peace is worth a revision every now and again.


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407828
04/10/16 02:30 PM
04/10/16 02:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,208
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'll do the second half tomorrow
It's now 'tomorrow' (technically speaking, it's never "tomorrow"...) and I'll await Part II before responding.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Sometimes... [Re: Squeaky Tree] #407831
04/10/16 03:22 PM
04/10/16 03:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,655
L
LadyGrey Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Squeaky Tree
Hey Lady Grey,

So you are angry. Very angry with him. An intelligent angry woman. A woman with a wonderful grasp of the English language. A woman that can use it to express exactly how she feels and a woman that can use language to litter her dialogue with ambiguity and passive aggression. Not saying that you do.

I know this is a blog and I know you're not looking for advice, but Anatomy of Peace is worth a revision every now and again.


Squeaky, it is SO GOOD to see you back! We've missed your perspective.

I am actually not angry with him at the moment. I'm working through my conviction than angry men are terrifying rather than just angry.

We are getting along brilliantly at the moment. Every time Lizzie gets agitated around him I remind her that (1) he loves me, (2) he's just a PERSON and (3) he wants to be my friend.

The angry man fear that I have has real world consequences for me. I got in a dispute with my attorney over his fees, he got mad and I backed down instantly. ;

I'd like to get to the point where an angry man is just that.

Good idea to revisit the Anatomy of Peace -- a remarkable book.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: Fiddler] #407834
04/10/16 03:52 PM
04/10/16 03:52 PM
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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LadyGrey  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Fiddler
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'll do the second half tomorrow
It's now 'tomorrow' (technically speaking, it's never "tomorrow"...) and I'll await Part II before responding.


I edited last night's post and added the balance.

This is a very valuable process to me and I appreciate your willingness to take your time to work with me on it.

I'm starting to think "what if I'm wrong about my assumptions? How does that change the playing field?'


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407839
04/10/16 09:09 PM
04/10/16 09:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,128
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EarningIt Offline
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EarningIt  Offline
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Do you have the same response to angry women?


Remember to hope.

Re: Sometimes... [Re: LadyGrey] #407841
04/10/16 10:43 PM
04/10/16 10:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,208
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Fiddler  Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I really don't know why he did it.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
From the sound of it, neither did he. Can you consider the possibility of filing it under the "known unknowns"1?
No, I'm not.

I think I am WAY better off if I assume it was a gesture of contempt. That feels safer to me.
It may feel "safer," but is it really safer for you? In general, it can feel very unsafe to inquire and question beliefs. Can you absolutely know that it is true that he had contempt for you in that moment?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: fiddler
For the sake of this dialogue, let's make it specific: "My angry husband is unpredictable and terrifying."


No, I am not willing to reframe the issue. I'm scared of angry men. All of them. 100% of the population of angry men terrifies me.
Here's the thing - there's no such thing as "men" or even "all men" - just individual men. And as you have realized, each interaction reinforces that global belief. As long as you stick to an abstraction ("all men"), then your belief will be eternally resistant to questioning - and you will continue to experience the terror whenever a male in your presence expresses anger. On the other hand, inquiring into specific situations with specific people holds the possibility of making incremental steps. Like the answer to the proverbial question "how do you eat an elephant?"

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Even my brother -- my best friend-- freaks me out when he gets mad and he never gets mad at me. Just being in the same room with an angry man makes Lizzie nuts.
So with your brother, can you recognize that Lizzie's fears are not consistent with the reality of the situation?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I want to get to the point where I don't freak out just because another person who happens to have different plumbing from me gets mad.
(emphasis added) The path I'm proposing has a very good likelihood of leading to that state for you. That is, to address specific situations with specific men and inquire into the thoughts you were believing in that moment that were the cause of your stress.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I really don't see the sense in him being upset about the ticket. He's driven 80 in the panhandle plenty of times. Just bad luck I got caught.

I see why he might be upset by the cover up because I have a history with "the secret life of Lady Grey" as he calls it.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
So then you recognize the part you played, and can see the "sense" in his reaction to at least part of it.

No, I don't. He may perceive I have some secret life, but he would be tres disappointed if he actually investigated.
I'm sure he would - and given that he believes you do, can you then see the sense in his reaction? In other words, it is what he is believing that is causing him stress and anger. While he doesn't sound like the kind of guy who would go for this kind of work, if he were I would work on some of those beliefs of his and the connection between those and his anger. Likewise for the wine incident. The point being that the cause of our violence against ourselves (and even others) stems from thoughts that we believe that may not be true.
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: fiddler
Now, what was the "it" that you believed you had to "sit and take"?
His rage.
There is an important distinction between what he was feeling and how he was expressing them. Bear with me for a moment. "His rage" - meaning his extreme feelings of anger - can harm nobody (but him). If he expresses them via physical violence, then it is his actions that can harm someone else (like yourself). If it is angry words alone, and if you feel hurt by them, then it is your own beliefs about them that is causing you to hurt. While this may sound as if it is leading to being a "doormat," in fact it is the opposite - it leads to boundaries actually.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I can't distinguish between his rage and his words. It's all the same when you are on the receiving end.
If you can stay with me in this process, you will discover the difference.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
In retrospect, I was afraid *I* would escalate. I think I was also afraid that he would apologize and try to make it right and I was mad


Originally Posted By: fiddler
That's quite an insight! Although in the moment you might not have realized it, your fears included both your own possible behaviors as well as a determination to stay angry. So in that moment, with wine dripping down you face, who was doing more violence to you - him or yourself?

Him. Like no contest.

At that moment.
So in that moment, you felt the humiliation, when (as we've discovered), he was the one who ought to have felt ashamed. Having already done the deed, he did nothing more to you in that moment. And yet you took on his shame in that moment. So I ask you to reconsider who was doing more violence to you in that very moment?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Intellectually, I know I'm worth more than that. Emotionally, I'm not so sure.
It is my hope that this process will help the two become more in sync.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think this plays into my tendency to be the victim. Rather than fighting back, I will figure out a way that I was in the wrong and deserved the treatment.

Originally Posted By: fiddler
And you are content with this approach.


Well, if nothing else it simplifies life. If something is my fault it remains in my control to fix it by changing my behavior.
It may "simplify" one aspect - and it seems to be harming other aspects of your life. Regardless, the very concept of "fault" is not a useful one - at least I have not found it to be so. We are all doing our very best in every situation - and that includes you. So if you are doing your best, then how could "fault" play any role in making things better?

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: fiddler
The implicit thesis with which I'm operating here is that when our beliefs about our thoughts are questioned, then our behavior naturally changes. There is also the implicit assumption that is those beliefs in our thoughts that are the cause of our suffering.2


I think I agree with this thesis. I think happiness is a decision that is influenced by the beliefs that drive emotions -- the "but......"
Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that the process of inquiry will (or will not) lead to any particular state, including "happiness." The idea is to identify the thoughts and beliefs that cause unhappiness and to simply inquire as to whether or not they are indeed true. A part that we will hopefully be dealing with involves exploring whether or not several "opposites" of these stressful beliefs are just as true if not "truer" than the beliefs themselves. As with the elephant, these need to be done one bite at a time.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think I don't deserve to be happy -- that I am too flawed and sinful to merit peace. I think if I let myself be happy, someone will come grab it away from me like happened with the Stuff with my daughter. That lack of control FREAKS ME OUT. I don't seem to understand the rules well enough so I've withdrawn from the game.
This is something that deserves its own line of inquiry.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
So the belief we are questioning here is that angry men will annihilate me? One of the things I have done to manage this fear is the "what's the worst thing that can happen?" analysis.
Yes, exactly. Inquiry however goes deeper than "what's the worst" analysis in that it addresses the underlying beliefs that create the fear in the first place.

Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I think another belief that I'm challenging here is the notion that I don't deserve to be content. I am in large part the architect of my own distress.
That's obviously a very heavy one, and no doubt somewhat connected to the fear of angry men belief we are working on. Nevertheless, there is a part of you that does believe you deserve peace, else you would not have been willing to continue this dialogue.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: Sometimes... [Re: EarningIt] #407842
04/10/16 10:50 PM
04/10/16 10:50 PM
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Posts: 10,860
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Orchid2 Online
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Originally Posted By: EarningIt
Do you have the same response to angry women?


Yes, smile and walk away. Then ponder, seriously ponder if there is any validation to that person's anger. If so and it is within your power to fix, fix it. If not, walk away.

Btw, that works for either gender.

However, if you are just around a person whose internal mechanism is stuck on angry (there are a lot of those), then it is maybe better to stay away. If that is not possible, then address it and be prepared for an onslaught of anger or maybe, just maybe a realization that they (the angry ones) never perceive their anger is just that, anger.

Example: H came in the house via the front door. He almost never closes the front door. He is one who has a problem (not being mean, just realistic) of not putting things away and not closing drawers or most any doors. That is his norm.

When it used to be brought to his attention, he would get defensive. After many years of his angry defensive yet totally unwarranted anger, our family just goes to close drawers, pick up his mess and close doors, plus hundreds of other functions around the home and yes sometimes when we work with him on his jobs. He is much better on his jobs though, so we are aware this is a choice on his part (to be messy at home but not on the job).

Ok back to the example, he came through the front door and walked into the living room, I was crossing over from the living room to the hallway passing the front door. I diverted and closed the door. Now remember, when he used to be asked to close the door, he used to grumble. Now he grumbled that I didn't ask him to close the door.

I had the option not to reply or to reply. Let me tell you, those seconds ran those scenarios through my head and it made me a bit nauseous. So I said, 'I was afraid to ask'. Yep right on cue, regardless of what I did or didn't say, he got more angry.

See? In some cases there is never a win. I married an angry man. I didn't realize at the time (over 25 years ago) and have felt the level of betrayal at so many degrees.

Sometimes there is no easy way out. Many may think, leave him. That is an option. Not a feasible one at this time but an option that is still on the books.

Some might think, oh that's just Orchid making a big deal of stuff. No, that's Orchid giving a sliver of an example of how our daily lives manifest themselves. I work with men who think their wives are nuts yet those same men have rude work habits while carrying their businesses on their backs. No excuse though. You own your own business, it will have it's stress points but being an angry man towards your workers, clients, family, spouses, even your computer, printer, cell phone, etc. is not acceptable.

Life isn't easy and we should all strive to make things better for each other. Look for the good in each other and work together. Evidently though, it is easier said than done. That makes me sad. frown

Have you noticed though that those same angry folks get angry when they see another angry person get angry at the same folks they get angry at? Mind boggling? Yes. That's probably a subject for a whole 'nuther thread. eek

I need to get my MBM membership going. wink

jmo,
Orchid

Re: Sometimes... [Re: Orchid2] #407844
04/10/16 11:01 PM
04/10/16 11:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,405
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Miranda  Offline
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Orchid.

I know exactly what you mean. frown


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Sometimes... [Re: Miranda] #407845
04/11/16 01:43 AM
04/11/16 01:43 AM
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Posts: 10,860
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Orchid2 Online
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LG & Miranda,

LG, your concerns and fears are real. The important thing is to keep it perspective while looking for a solution.

The question was asked about 'angry folks', some of us deal with such angry folks on a regular basis and it is exhausting. I believe you raise a good point worthy of this discussion.

I think if we brainstorm enough, there may just be some solutions we can share which will work in some situations, thereby lessening the 'angry folks population'. It isn't just about angry men vs angry women, it's about a cultural acceptance of such anger in our lives.

I'd like to hear more input about how we can reduce that angry folks population and increase the happy folks population. smile If this can be done without drugs and done with motivation and perseverance, that would be a good thing.

Miranda, obviously we are not alone in our experiences. I hope we can find solutions that can help some of us get out of these experiences and help us move forward in our lives. Life is too short to have to live with so much anger.

jmo,
Orchid

Re: Sometimes... [Re: Orchid2] #407888
04/12/16 01:03 AM
04/12/16 01:03 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,208
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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Fiddler  Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'm starting to think "what if I'm wrong about my assumptions? How does that change the playing field?'
It changes everything! Consider what you reported on the other day...
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
As an aside, my husband and I had a really fun day today and we have a plan for a fun day tomorrow surrounding the Masters.
...
You never hear about the good stuff, but there's lots of it. And since I told Lizzie to shut up because "he's just another PERSON" things have gotten almost imperceptibly better.
Although I'm not advocating the "shut up" approach to Lizzie, what you did here had many of the elements we're going for regarding beliefs. How do you think the day would have gone had Lizzie been front & center?

When you question your beliefs, there opens the possibility of different opportunities not available when they are not questioned.

Furthermore, this process typically leads to identifying the true source of pain and discomfort, namely our own stressful thoughts. When we can see another person as simply another person rather than an "angry person," then there is an opportunity for empathy and compassion that is not there when we believe our thoughts about the "angry" person.

So the way to rid the world of "angry people" is to work on our thoughts and beliefs! Every person who has the standard issue of emotions experiences anger - and it's just a feeling. If I can experience anger without being an "angry person," then it is also the case that any other person can likewise experience anger without being judged an "angry person." And the one who suffers by labeling the other as "angry" is, of course, the one doing the labeling.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
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