In a number of your posts you talk about finally coming to understand that you keep repeating behaviors hoping for a different outcome but now are accepting that a different outcome isn't going to come to you. Unfortunately IMHO, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE in your NPD's case.
A while back in C'ing my IC talked about the concept of "repetition compulsion." I think this is similar to what you have been describing in your posts.
I found the following definition in Wikepedia and hope it is helpful:
"Repetition compulsion is a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again. . . The term can also be used to cover the repetition of behaviour or life patterns more broadly: a "key component in Freud's understanding of mental life, 'repetition compulsion' ...describes the pattern whereby people endlessly repeat patterns of behaviour which were difficult or distressing in earlier life."
I understand this because my own mother had (mild) npd traits and I would endlessly try to please her in hope that she would reward me with the tiniest tidbit of affection.
It didn't change until I realized that I wasn't going to change her. I had to change me!! In essence, I had to stop needing her affection and find others (as well as to love myself) to fill the void that her indifference created in me. I was fortunate of course because I had a twin sister who more than compensated for any lack of affection I felt from my mother. Interesting and thankfully, my mother did change very slowly over time and whether it was because I had stopped trying to please her, or that her NPD traits were very minimal, we now do have a healthier relationship.
In the case of your NPDH, I have to agree with all the others here. IMHO, I think his NPD personality is on the extreme end of the scale and he is totally incapable of change. I say this because of his current health condition. He has faced his own mortality with his open heart surgery and if anything could change a person with this disorder I would think and hope that this would do that for him. Instead, he has taken all of the love, care, endless hours of devotion and I am sure sleepless and/or restless nights you have had on his behalf, and turned on you. It is unthinkable and truly unbelievable. He has isolated you from those who do love you and made you feel guilty for what? going to the store to buy the things he needs and wants while you wait on him and nurse him back to health. Worse to me is that he made you feel guilty to the extent that you spent ONE hour with your own children celebrating your holiday, Christmas, only to come home to his displeasure and "silent treatment." Really it is so unbelievable.
This is something I hope you will think about. When we give so much of ourselves to someone who returns so very little (if anything) then, for our own sanity and salvation, we really must be the one to make the change. One of the things I hope you will put at the top of your game plan is this: to spend more time with those who do love you, who do "fill up your love tank" and I believe those would be your 4 loving sons. Now you haven't mentioned this in a while but I'm wondering if your 2 older sons even come to the house since your NPD has come here to be nursed back to health. Also, if they are not coming and you are made to feel guilty if you go to see them, how little time do you have to be with those you love and who love you in return? My advice to you is to make this one of the top priorities on the list of changes you need to make.
When I discovered my H's 8 year LTA it was the love of my 3 children, my sister and yes my mother, my SIL and DIL, and my beautiful grandchildren that truly were responsible for filling up my depleted love tank. Surrounding myself with all them frequently and for hours on end, gave me the strength, self-confidence and belief in myself that I thought I had lost following d-day. Without their constant and unwavering love and support (and of course the love & support of everyone here) I don't know that I would have recovered. YOU NEED LOVE AROUND YOU NOW!!!!! Yes, it is true that you need to plan for your financial well being, and you need to think about how you are going to do that, but before you can begin the tough road ahead you need to surround yourself with loving and supportive people, IRL and here as well.
One last thought has to do with the following (also from that article in Wikipedia):
" a purpose...[in] the repetition compulsion': thus 'unconscious hope may be found in repetition compulsion, when unresolved conflicts continue to generate attempts at solutions which do not really work...[until] a genuine solution is found'.
My thought here is - now that you have finally reached the place where the original solution you have sought over the years was a change in your NPD H you can accept as not possible, can you define what a realistic solution to your situation might be?
If you could name a solution (other than a changed H) for yourself, Honest what would that be?? What else could bring you peace and contentment and return joy to your life??
A million hugs to you Honest and may I repeat what Miracle has said too, NO MORE APOLOGIES. That is what this board is all about. Being here for one another.
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 3:26 PM, January 17th (Thursday)]
DP - I am just amazed by your perseverance. Your ability to try to do right in the face of so much wrong. I wish I had 1% of your strength. Right now I am just a depressed fool who is my own worst problem.
forgivenotforget - thanks for the thinking around repetitive compulsion...
Brandon - yes he had an A before we were M'd. He blows it off to being young and "a guy", and even more loudly he will say..."WE WERE'T MARRIED!!!" which in my boat...I choose not to rock, considering my actions. I also agree that my BH is depressed, and that he needs IC, but my problem is how to I get him to see that. I know I can't fix him, I can only fix myself.
You say you know you can't control him, that you can only control yourself... so, what can you do to make YOUR life better... to take yourself out of the cycle? Have you talked with your IC about that?
fnf and miracle,
When you wrote:
You say you know you can't control him, that you can only control yourself... so, what can you do to make YOUR life better
Yes I have spoken about it, and the answer is complex to me, mostly because of my feeling of guilt. I feel like he is a lost little boy who has lost his puppy, and he doesn't know how to feel better. So I continue to get on the same roller coaster ride with him. Our MC has said she does worry for me, because not many WS would give everything but blood, so consistantly every day for 3 years without the other person in some way trying to take a step in R toward me as well. Our MC has told my BH she is afraid for us that I will give up. I couldn't really respond at that point because I was crying uncontrollably becuase my BH had just gone on a rampage in our session about how he doesn't love me anymore, that I should get that I need to learn to live with that. That I had everything before and I ruined it, now I just have him, someone who doesn't love me and every once in a while I should be grateful when he "tricks himself" into thinking he loves me for a few minutes and I shoiuld lap it up like a puppy.
My guilt and love for him leaves me frozen many a time.
i am so sorry for all you are goin through...damn it just totally sucks....
fnf, damned good post...
yup, yup and yup.....its amazing how humans keep repeating the same and expecting different......
missed you too nell.....
i was in a dr off today and had some readin time and i read an article which really really struck me....and in it was the following:
"free yourself from dysfunctional people by refusing to control them"
"unhook from their system by refusing to try and change or influence them"
totally profound to me......another way of saying they are who they are, and thats who they ever will be!!!!
I am going to print out everyone's responses and read them over and over.
DP: My thoughts and prayers are with you. I truly don't understand how the courts would expect you to give more money than you have? This is not your fault. I wish there was some way you could fight for custody or at least joint custody.
Welcome RSEB. I agree with the others that your BH needs IC yesterday. Perhaps your MC can suggest this to him. He sounds like he is having symptoms of PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:
1. "Reliving" the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity
Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
Repeated upsetting memories of the event
Repeated nightmares of the event
Strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event
Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you don't care about anything
Being unable to remember important aspects of the trauma
Having a lack of interest in normal activities
Showing less of your moods
Avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event
Feeling like you have no future
Having an exaggerated response to things that startle you
Feeling more aware (hypervigilance)
Feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger
Having trouble falling or staying asleep
You might feel guilt about the event (including "survivor guilt"). You might also have some of the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension:
Agitation or excitability
Feeling your heart beat in your chest
I had many of these symptoms after d-day and they continued for about 4 yrs.
I am now 6 yrs post d-dayand am feeling much happier, more peaceful etc. but...... I still think about the LTA and have occasional triggers.
It really does take a long time to get over a LTA.
I do think that your BH needs to try to do something to relieve his anxiety, distress, depression etc.
I went to IC for 4 yrs and did need meds after d-day (anti anxiety and anti-depressants).
Later, some de-stressing strategies included-yoga, meditation, exercise,massage,and a renewed spirituality that included lots of prayer.
A book that I found helpful was: Transcending Post Infidelity Stress Disorder by Dr. Ortman. The author gives the BS strategies for dealing with PISD.
deep- I'm so sorry that you are dealing with so much trouble and turmoil! You certainly do not deserve this.
Hopefully, when the divorce is official the courts will hand down a decision that is fair and reasonable.I can't imagine that they would want to bankrupt you.
I am keeping you in my prayers.
Nigal, I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT agree that my BH had PTSD. He has many of the symptoms, especially in the second catagory, he has become SO good at distance and numbing.
For example lsst night. He worked late til about 730pm. He got home, gave me the niceities etc, when we both got into bed, he didn't say anything. We went to sleep, he fell asleep right away (since this happened most nights I wind up waiting to make sure he falls alseep by listening for his breathing pattern, because many times he DOES wind up going back downstairs, and I do mean MANY). But last night I couldn't fall asleep, so I stayed in bed and started reading on SI on my tablet. I did hear him turn, but I thought he might have stirred but managed to stay sleeping. Next thing I know he grabbed his pillow and got up, I said Hey where are you going babe? All he said was downstairs to watch TV.
This has pretty much been our week. I didn't follow him becuase I KNOW he won't talk about it. This is his almost weekly pattern...shutting down. The blow up will happen in the next day or so, then we will be okay for a day...if I'm lucky, maybe two.
I would LOVE for him to read the book you mentioned. I have bought and read, Not Just Friends, After the Affair and a few other books. I have left them for my BH to read, guess what he hasn't...IN THREE YEARS HE HASN'T READ ANYTHING. He won't go on here, he doesn't really want MC, IC is definately out, he tried EMDR after I suggested it to our MC, he tried it TWO TIMES and gave up.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE!!!!...I WANT MY HUSBAND, I WANT OUR FAMILY. I have begged, I have cried, I have tried to give him his space, I have not gone ANYWHERE. I went to meet my BF last week for the first time in OVER A YEAR!!!...and that was WITH my kids, because I don't want my BH to worry and be afraid.
I NEED YOUR GUIDANCE...I don't want to give up, but it feels like he is STUCK, has been for a very long time and I don't know what to do anymore. I know I had a SIX year affair. I lied and cheated FOR SIX YEARS. I have tried now for THREE years EVERY SINGLE DAY to make ammends for the destruction I caused. I know and LTA takes MUCH longer, but at three years my BH isn't doing anything to move forward. Even if he had been going to IC this whole time, I know he would still be struggling, but I hope with all I have that we would be better off then this.
I know I can only work on myself, but I get so upset and then I get angry, because there were MANY issues prior to my A for years, things we need to work on as a team if we are to make it, because he hasn't worked on anything, better communication, not snapping at me about every little thing. He tells me he is who he is, and he's 43 and not changing. That all he did for his family was obviously not good enough before and he is not changing now. To me, it ALWAYS feels like if we were to go to MC on a consistant basis, or for him to go to IC, and he would work on changing himself a bit, it would be the same as him admitting that I had a reason to have my A. He has thrown around the word "justification" quite a few times. I tell him that there is NO justification for my actions. I have tried to keep the A conversations seperate from talking about our pre A issues, but he always throws it back in my face and combines the two. My goal has been to deal with and work through his pain first, to make him feel safe and "ok", and then at some point deal with the M, but at three years he hasn't allowed us to deal with him.
I am so afraid and I am even more afraid to say I can't live like this. Our kids can't live like this. I don't want it to be over. I am hoping Someone can help me.
I NEED YOUR GUIDANCE
Hey RSEB… I think you have posted here before?
I once drew this chart on grief….
I have no doubt your H is in a PTSD because he continues to be stuck in his own grief. Your problem is about as tough as it comes in life and I am sorry you are in this postion.
What are things you can do that can help him get unstuck?
We can look our spouses and always think, this is about him, not me. This is about YOU and your own happiness and has nothing to do with your H. My point is to look at yourself and stop looking at your H. Don’t even try to fix your H. You can’t. You cannot control him, true, but what YOU do may force him to make choice. A person in any situation makes a make the choice to end their own grief.
You want your M. Let me tell you that there are “Givens” in life. One given is that Things don’t always go according to plan. Another “given” in life is that all things change and end.
Fear is within you I know. You may feel you have failed you H, failed your kids, your family. To be human is to be flawed. You are a flawed woman just like I am a flawed man. Every poster on this board has flaws. All we can do be the best quality person possible TODAY. This is our own choices and nobody else. IMO, You must now prepare yourself to end your marriage. GET ready emotionally. No it is not what you want. It is not in your control. You going to make this choice for you own happiness... and it not by your choice, it will be by your H's choice. It takes great courage.
Life is a mystery. Nobody knows the future. Fear not because if you become a quality woman in every way, keep working on attractive behaviors, keep improving yourself by changing yourself, I can assure you.. YOU will find happiness.
This is not about your H. This is about YOU.
This is my recommendation. Today is a new reset for you. You might have already done some of the things I am about to mention but You are going to start again. The only thing now is in about 3-4 months things are going to really change.
You are going invite your H to leave you or invite your H to love you. You are going to invite your H to be a masculine attractive man and join your happy world or he can pay the consequences of his OWN CHOICE… he can live in his own misery.
Love is patient. So give this a few months. You must now form a plan and execute it. The plan should be totally on this following theme.
I will be a quality woman in every way. I will read books, I will get third party help, I will find other quality woman to mentor me, and for all the days of my life improve on my attractiveness, behavior, and BE A QUALITY Woman. I made a post in this LTA board about who is a quality woman. Page 15.
Then plan is that I will no longer get rattled, I will work hard on my own emotions, control my own thoughts and control my behavior during the process that is about to start.
These following things are going to be done very slowly, some every few days, or some even just once a week.
To start, everything is about what YOU and what good your H have together. NO PRESSURE.
It is going to start with YOU making a box of all GOOD memories, trinkets, pictures. good things in your Marriage.. ALL good. You will need to get creative. Ask for help from friends, family, and others. You are going to give him this good box and you can always add to it in the future. You have a foundation. Show it.
A very powerful thing.. You grab his hand and tell him you want to say a prayer. “God, please forgive US for all we have done to you God and to our M. Give us strength to move FORWARD and live in happiness. Give US both strength to forgive each other”
Practice your prayer and DO IT.
You are for the last time.. Going to ask for Forgiveness. It is going to be a very planned, very sincere, maybe a gift.. AND THIS IS YOUR final time you accept feelings guilty about your sin. It’s OVER! NEVER again.. You paid your Penance. YOU apologize for the last time… forever about this!
Everyday, you are going to think about ways YOU BUILD your H up. It will be words, with touch, with gifts and services.
After a couple weeks of pure positive, nothing negative, do not let him draw you into any negative.. try to think before you react (in fact, don't react.. he is going to now react to YOU) and say only positive things.. If you cannot say anything positive.. DON’T.. You just say something like.. I make a choice to love you. Make this positive response YOU, and mean it.
In about 3 to 4 weeks, If you still see him feeling sorry for himself.. You will start the next 4 weeks with light pressure.
This will come with words, gifts, and whatever you can come up with. It needs to come in a positive tone… matter of fact.. simple. NEVER get into any long deep discussions. These will be simple phrases, simple on liners… They will have implied consequences. WANT is always the keep word. Never and words that are not firm any more.. Most all woman make thier men read signals.. This is no longer going to be YOU. He is going to get this message. Love me or don't. You had better be happy because that is attractive to me. Be attractive or...
“honey, we both deserve to be happy. I want us both to be happy. I want only YOU. I WANT you to be my H. I WANT you to be HAPPY. You must be happy with us or maybe YOU DO NEED A CHANGE.”
“honey, I see you are hurt. I WANT YOU TO STOP being unhappy.. If you cannot be Happy with me, I understand… now what do you want for dinner?”
I have given you a few examples but you need to make them YOU. Give it much thought and be ready when your H begins these behaviors of a victim.
4 -5 weeks and he is not improving.. You are going add even more pressure.
“Honey, I want us, I want our marriage but YOUR crying is not attractive. STOP IT”
“Honey, A quality man forgives. If YOU cannot Forgive me, then lets just call it what it is… You need something I want to give you but if YOU cannot accept what many marriage go thourgh… Then I will make a choice You cannot… For both of US”
Can you understand what I am trying to say? I am not the best writer. This is going to be a progression and if you H continues to stay in his grief.. HE MAKES HIS OWN CHOICE, not YOU.
[This message edited by trynhard at 8:06 AM, January 18th (Friday)]
I view you a good strong man. A quality man does everything possible to take care of his kids. If that mean bankrupt, so be it. Bankrupt is not the end of the world. It may be the best strategy to freeing yourself from your marriage and working toward you own happiness. I know many good men who have declared bankrupt.
A quality man always seeks help, advice, he listens, he evaluates, he makes the best choice he can make for his current situation and NEVER looks back.
A quality man sacrifices his own comfort for his kids. Even if that mean bunking in a friends house for awhile.
A quality man will always know light is at the end of a tunnel..
Yep.. You seem quality to me.
“cant stop the child support payments”
I cannot help but think any government would allow any man to pay more than he can make to survive? How is that divorce coming. Once things are set, you will be in a much better position to budget, plan, etc.
Honest.. Plan girl!
FNF.. I thank you for making me a better man today! I am living one post you made years ago...
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
njgal480.. good post... as always.
[This message edited by trynhard at 7:41 AM, January 18th (Friday)]
Tryin has given some great advice. Read it, process it, read it again and act on it. Now, consider this.
For six years, you had an LTA and both indirectly and directly (my WW has trouble seeing this) his heart and soul was slashed by your choices. Everytime you were spoke with, tested, and had sex with your AP, you showed you had no respect for your H or your M. And reflect on it, you treated your H differently, ignoringh him, not giving him affetion, not truly conversing with him (my W insisted to our MC that she treated me the same during her A as she did during the rest of our M. Really, why did I feel like crap during her A, whey did we have our worst fights, and why was I looking for D advice during her A?). Think about it! And now that you made that choice for SIX years and you have decided to R (because you got caught? this was my W case) and it has been only three years since, you are hurting because your H has not recovered. Harsh, but it is probably his perspective.
The Compact Guide to helping your Spouse Heal from Your Affair. Get a copy. Read it. Implement it. Read it again. Do it. The book is very short, to the point and practical.
EMDR. Did you go to the sessions with H? Support him? EMDR was very, very beneficial in helping me grieve about the likfe and love I had lost due to my W affair. It took me at least 3 sessions to prepare for EMDR before the processing started. And probably 3 more sessions before my emotions truly began to flow. And it took 3 months of weekly sessions for the processing to occur. During most of these sessions, my W was in the session (she was not allowed to speak, she was not allowed to touch me, she was to my side where I did not see her) and witnessed my pain / grief first hand. This was as valuable for our M as the EMDR was for me individually. (Grieving was difficult because my kids were at home and they did / do not know about the affair. I had no other private places to go to grieve openly.)
For me, it was very important that my W actively acknowledge her affair and the trauma it coaused. Example. During her A, she had texted OM 42 times on our wedding anniversary. Post DDay, on our wedding anniversary she stold me "this is such a special day in our lives" and I had to conciously keep my self from puking. A better response (for me) would have been "Honey, I love you and this is such a special day in our life, the day we committed our lives to each other. I am sorry that I did not appreciate this when I chose to have an affair and spent our last anniversary away from you. I want to make it up to you and enjoy this anniversary with you and the many more to come" or someting to that affect. It is not a penance but an acknowledgement of the past, present and future.
Pre marital issues. Yes, when you raise things that say "oh, you need to change" it does come across as justification for your affair no matter how many times you say the words "the affair was my choice and mine alone with all the consequences". So, if you had pre affair communication issues then you need to work on being a better communicator. If your H has a quick and negative reaction to things (temper?), learn to apologize (when appropriate), learn ways to soothe the anger (touch, "honey I am sorry you are upset - how can we deal with this better", etc.
Five Love Languages. Read it. Practice it. Read it. Practice it. You can nag, complain, bring up your marital issues. It did not work to fix them in the past or present, did it? Or as tryin has pointed out, you can take charge of imporving yourself and being a better wife. Then maybe, your H will start to develop that inner desire to change himself as well.
Best wishes for improving yourself, your marriage, and the happiness of those you love every day.
I read your post and it made me sob uncontrollably the minute you said that I had to prepare to end my M. It took me a bit to regroup.
I do agree with your chart and my BH state.
My question is this. Considering I had a 6 year LTA, do I have the right to ask him for his forgiveness now, at only 3 years in? Do I have the right to not apologize EVER again? I feel like I would be doing the exact opposite of being a quality person to him.
I ask all of you because I don't know IF I am in the situation that I feel like this is normal and all part of my BH healing process. Is it? It scares me to think the only choice I have left is to prepare to end it, but then again, is this the WS version of the 180? Because I could very easily do the loving gestures and reaffermations for my BH, but to also know in the back of my head that if he doesn't "get on board" then we are over
To answer your question. Yes I did attend EMDR with my BH, only for the first session, to meet the therapist. The therapist said he needed to come alone for the actual EMDR sessions. She also charged $175 a session, which turned my BH off and he has recently told our MC that it is a bunch of bologna. I wish I could have held his hand or been there for him when he went.
I also hear you when you say that you have no where to grieve at home, I always thought the same of my BH, which is why I thought IC would be a good thing, that he would have a place to process and get all his different feelings out. Unfortunately our DD does know about my A. She was 12 when I told her and it was on the night when she saw my BH toss a wicker basket in my direction and it hit me in the head, my DD got scared and dialed 911 from her closet, becuase 3 years prior after DDay my Bh got very enraged often and threw things, at one point he broke a lamp or two in our spare room and then he threw a VERY HEAVY SOLID lead vase in my direction and it hit me in the ankle. She was 9 at that point and she later told me she wanted to call 911 but was too scared (which still horrifies me to this day, among other things)
So when she called the police this past time She was SO upset and crying after they left. I had told her 3 years ago that mommy did some hurtful "grown up stuff" to Daddy and that he is going through some things. BUt I told her clearly this time that although Daddy is still very hurt he DOES NOT have the right to act this way. She asked me again what it was that I did, so I told her. I told her because in many of me and my BH's arguements he would often threaten to tell our DD what a "slut Mommy is and how Mommy ruined our family", and I truly believe he would have done that.
However, all this aside, I wish my BH would get the tools he needs to get through this.
I have tried to redirect and lessen my BH anger when he gets upset, with SO many different tactics, but when he is truly angry, he has no holds barred and it doesn't matter what I try to do, he will yell from the other room, which my IC has said to do, walk out of the room brcause he cant argue with himself. I also tell him that I know you are angry/hurt etc, but I it hurts me when you talk to me in this way.
Sometimes that works, but other times I am just so angry at how he feels he has the right to turn a one sentence conversation into an immediate fighting yelling match. Then he gets more angry because I stand my ground. His famous saying for as long as I know him. Do not engage and argue back "you will lose".
In my case I ultimately decided to file but his advice was needed because it prepared me to be okay with whatever decision I ultimately made. I am so sorry that you and your BH are still stuck. If you gave it your all and I do believe you have been ALL IN on trying to R you can't do it by yourself.
Looking at Tryn's graph I myself was stuck right before acceptance for a very long time. Once I reacehd acceptance I could start to let go and live my life. No one deserves to torture themselves or allow themselves to be tortured indefinitely. Yes this whole mess just sucks but at the end of the day following Tryn's advice will make you strong enough to accept whatever happens and also has the added advantage of possibly showing your H a way out of his depression. As he sees you moving on he may be able to follow into his own healing. You begin to make positive changes in your life and hope they follow the lead.
Also please understand that violence is never acceptable. With all the craziness in the world and your child in the house please make sure you are safe. If his anger gets the best of him he has always had the option to leave versus lashing out. His outbursts are having an affect on your child. Please always think of your and your childs safety. I don't care what you did, no one deserves to have violence committed against them. I wish you the best.
As for the rest of the relationship, I suggest you do your best to improve it, without an ultimatum that H needs to do certain things - just invite him to do them. If you reach a point where you feel you have done your best, H has not moved for the better, tell him you are sorry for what you have done, you are sorry that the two of you were not able to repair the damange, that he (and you) deserve a better life than what you have today and D is now our best alternative, and how can we work together to make the D work for H, you and your children.
Hoping you both heal quickly and completely.
And it is the actions that matter. What goes on in the brain for motivation does not matter as it is unkonwn to anyone but the person themselves (and sometimes unknow even to them).
Others have given you great advice. Keep posting and let them share their wisdom and support.