Education For New Women





By: Queenie

One of the most frequently asked questions by our members here has been: HOW DO I GET RID OF MY LW-TAPE? Some years ago, I asked this very question myself (on another site). I can’t say I was ever offered any sort of “concrete” answer to this question…but over the years, based on my own experience as well as through ‘meeting’ hundreds (!) of GOWs and WOWs, I certainly have come to recognize that I can get closer to offering others a “concrete” answer to this question.

Here's my Reader's Digest condensed version of What It Takes to Heal from the LW-tape:

I need to begin this discussion by telling you all that I continue to stand firm on what I’ve posted so many times before: that the man must love his new woman AT LEAST AS MUCH as he ever did his LW before he stops doing/saying EVERYTHING-WIDOWER that ever upset his new woman. But let me assure you that there are certain "conditions" that must be in place before he SHUTS UP about LW (if you haven't read that thread check it out, it's interesting) or there will be no such thing as any woman being able to heal from her LW-tape.

Now, about those Conditions...

First, we need to be talking about a guy who really LISTENS to his new woman. This is the guy who takes to heart everything that his new woman tells him about what upsets (or has upset) her. After such a discussion, he may not do everything exactly as she wants, and he may not even do anything differently at all AT FIRST...but he clearly lets her know that he's thinking over, carefully, everything she'd just told him ===this is the guy who then quickly ("quickly" = typically within a few days to a few weeks following their conversation) accomplishes at least something of what she's asked him to accomplish (I'm including the fact that often this "accomplishing" works as a step-by-step process --- but, don’t kid yourself, a step-by-step process doesn’t mean it takes YEARS!!!).

The kind of man that I'm talking about, the guy who really LISTENS, is NOT:

* the guy who gets all weepy or whiney over what his new woman's telling him she's upset about; like some man who defensively reminds his new woman of his promises to his LW that he swears (again! and to you!) to uphold forever (ie., I'll never, ever, ever, take off my necklace o' wedding rings)...

* he's NOT the guy who gets pissed off as he, for example, throws some LW-object in a closet just to shut the woman up; like some guy who makes a big "display" of removing an LW-something from the environment as he shouts at his new woman: THERE, see, I did it! Happy now? (this literally had happened for a couple of our members)...

* he's NOT the guy who is dismissive toward his new woman's feelings; like the kind of guy who essentially begs her to put up and shut up about whatever-LW and all-things-widower he wants to maintain. This is the man who asks (and expects her to agree to) his new woman essentially sacrificing her own precious life's time for his sake; that she put her life on hold in the name of being Patient with him, staying with him as he continues to mourn the love that he no longer has (LW). Think of someone who you’ve known, a person who had you feeling that they’re the kind of person who “wants their cake and to eat it, too” – that’s this man!

So, OK, let's assume we're talking about a guy who LISTENS. What's next? Along with a brief summary of what I’ve said so far, these steps are next:

1. We start with a guy who listens. (of course he only listens because he truly does CARE about his new woman!!)

2. Next, he actually follows through on what he's heard (in the conversations that his new woman has with him about what's been upsetting to her)...he's making changes... which amounts to his progress in regaining his ability to fully function in the world he's feeling better, in general, than he used to feel, and more connected to his new woman, as a result...

3. He WANTS to be educated...about what it means (to his new woman) to FULLY SHUT UP about his LW (again, read that thread, I’m not going to provide my definition for “shutting up about LW” here) He wants, just as much as his new woman does, a peaceful, loving, NORMAL relationship. He doesn't want to make the same "mistakes" he’s already made which, should he, he knows will (again) upset his new woman. He doesn't want to make any new "mistakes" either. He turns to his new woman for this education...and her frank discussions with him opens his eyes to what it feels like for her to have an LW-tape...the issues that make up her tape. (Can I give any woman here who is fearful of speaking her mind to her guy a better reason to get over her fear than this article?) This is a time where there are more "good" days than "bad" days for both people in the relationship. Truthfully, what these days are are "practice makes perfect" days.

4. He finally does SHUT UP about LW!  But you know what his new woman's left with...right?  Her LW-tape!  Remember all those “good” days she’d been having?…she’s loved those, of course! Remember those “bad” days she’d been having, too?…those sure are confusing for her! The new woman is typically surprised that she has been left, “stuck” with her LW-tape while her guy is good-to-go! This is the time that the new woman learns EXACTLY what her “triggers” are; each painful item that comprises her LW tape, and how one (or more) of her "triggers" can get "tripped." So, her “good” days have been good, yes…but her “bad” days have been TERRIBLE! Like a person with post-traumatic stress disorder having a flashback kind of TERRIBLE! Naturally, she turns toward the source of her pain: her guy…

5. So his education gets kicked into high gear (like grad school for dummies )! The new woman is now at the point where she can comfortably share her deepest feelings - sharing with him just how deeply hurt she's been - and she tells him, item for item, what makes up her LW-tape. This time is, typically, ripe for ARGUING...intense, no-holds-barred type of arguing. This is the time when the new woman is acutely aware that her guy has healed and that she's played a major role his healing...and that she's paid a huge emotional price for playing that major role...and she is very ANGRY (at him and herself)...because she's so RESENTFUL (toward him)…and this is why she becomes so “comfortable” sharing her deepest feelings with him! He, when he was in his widower/LW-mode, created her LW-tape, and boy, does she know it!!! And boy, she does a very good job of letting him know she knows it!!! Here's the pivot point in the relationship…(drum roll).... aka: the process of healing from the LW-tape!…{remember, this is a process!}

6. The man who loves his new woman...and I mean TRULY loves her...will sit there and let his "ass get kicked" by her as many times as it takes her (verbally kicking his ass) to erase an LW-tape-maker issue. Item by item, these tape-makers get erased. So, woe to the man who defensively (ignorantly) says something to her, during an ass-kicking, like: But I haven't done anything wrong for (insert: the timeframe of his last memory of doing something wrong)...I'm all-good NOW! Am I going to have to pay the price for how Stupid I used to be with this LW/widower stuff --- forever?! (and typically, these guys eventually do ask that question) If he thought she kicked his ass before...well, he finds out mighty quickly how much better of a job she can do to kick his ass NOW for having said that...

7. Each "ass kicking" is necessary - and as strange as that sounds, it is still the truth. She needs him to understand, with every cell in his body UNDERSTAND, how deeply she's been hurt...(to repeat, her pain is why she’s kicking his ass) But the new woman also feels vulnerable (confused, guilty) WHILE she’s kicking-his-ass, because she realizes that she can’t heal from her LW-tape all on her own because if she could do it all on her own she wouldn’t be kicking his ass – AGAIN! She comes to know that she needs his help to heal. And she asks him for his help, and typically she feels strongly that he should want to help her heal and that he WILL help her to heal just as she helped him heal. By this time she knows she can count on him – his sitting through all the ass-kickings has made her feel that she can count on him for help in healing. (Now you know why I said, ass-kickings are necessary for both people!)
A man in love will jump through virtual hoops of fire to prove his love to her; that he does understand the mistakes he's made in the past. He reinforces that he understands why she'd been upset, and sometimes still gets upset (he reinforces for her that he understands EXACTLY what her "triggers" are all about; what he said/did to create them, that all of that is over and done with). They reiterate to one another that neither of them wants UPSET of any sort to exist between them...and he also proves his love for her, fortifies it, if you will, by not EVER repeating any of his prior mistakes (tape-makers!)...or by making any LW/widower new mistakes (tape-makers!). She proves her continuing love for him by assuring him that she's working to rid herself of her triggers and acknowledging his efforts in assisting her to heal. The result of their joint effort, the fact that they are a UNITED front in the quest for healing, will, eventually, lead to a full erasure of her LW-tape.

8. Life gets to NORMAL - because they each make every day NORMAL. Both continue to work, their JOINT effort, to bring about the new woman's trigger/LW-tape healing. When you hear the old adage: "give it time".....this is the time when the couple is, in all practical terms, living that adage!

9. Sustained "normal" = both people in the relationship come to have the same the attitude of: LW, who? Both people in the relationship can viably say that they are healed…or, if you prefer that I state this another way, they BOTH can say they’re good to go!

Safety Check: (you didn’t think I’d leave you without a CONCRETE safety check, did you?)

10. The woman knows that she's completely healed from her LW-tape when she can hear and/or see ANYTHING that has to do with LW/widower "stuff" in general (in other words, no matter the source) and not give any of *that* any thought whatsoever.

Copyright 2007 - WLW




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