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post #106 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:19 AM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Weak for clamping down because of my own hurt and/or fear. Going forward, I should probably take much greater care to not show how such activity affects me personally/emotionally.
What!? No! Why would you want her to think you don't care about her? That you won't mate guard her?

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post #107 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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What!? No! Why would you want her to think you don't care about her? That you won't mate guard her?
Clamping down because I require respect, from a place of strength, not because what she does threatens or hurts me.

Women (especially my wife) despise weakness and emotionalism, and respect strength and fortitude.

It can't be personal.
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post #108 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:08 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Women love and respect their husbands when they show they care for them enough to protect their marriage.
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post #109 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Women love and respect their husbands when they show they care for them enough to protect their marriage.
That's why I said it can't be personal. It's not about *me* (or her), my pain, or my worry. It's about what I will and won't allow in my marriage. It's about principle and integrity.

If I ask her not to do it because it hurts *me*, I'm showing more weakness and vulnerability and 'neediness.' She may feel badly for me, but she will also lose respect.
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post #110 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 06:09 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Weak for clamping down because of my own hurt and/or fear. Going forward, I should probably take much greater care to not show how such activity affects me personally/emotionally.
Why?

Hide your true self? That is deceptive enables her to not see the real you.

Do not...Do not...DO NOT be something you are not to win the girl. Then once you've won, and you have to be who you naturally are, she will want the person you were when you were winning her.

Sound familiar?

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #111 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 06:10 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Clamping down because I require respect, from a place of strength, not because what she does threatens or hurts me.

Women (especially my wife) despise weakness and emotionalism, and respect strength and fortitude.

It can't be personal.
Never be afraid to show your hurt.

You are falling into the Nice Guy trap.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #112 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 06:11 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Dazed:

This is why it matters so much as to who you want to be. Be the man you want to be, and let the chips fall where they may.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #113 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Why?

Hide your true self? That is deceptive enables her to not see the real you.
If it was my 'true self', I would agree with you.

However, since I know that I want to be and need to be stronger, tougher, and more indepedent/less dependent, I see it more as a 'fake it until you make it' thing.

Being sensitive, needy, and vulnerable isn't something I aspire to be.

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Do not...Do not...DO NOT be something you are not to win the girl. Then once you've won, and you have to be who you naturally are, she will want the person you were when you were winning her.

Sound familiar?
Well, it could be argued that I was a strong, independent, DGAF kind of guy - a rock, if you will. The kind of guy who could command respect, rather than having to demand it. *That's* the kind of guy I want to 'naturally' be again, instead of someone who is so tied into another that these sorts of issues arise. And I don't think any girl worth her salt wants to be with a guy who comes off as hurt or insecure in their relationships.

Last edited by Dazedconfuzed; 04-08-2017 at 01:59 PM.
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post #114 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Never be afraid to show your hurt.
While I appreciate the sentiment, I feel like my reality just doesn't support this.

I feel like I've gone through a lot of hurt in recent years. 'Showing my hurt' has done nothing but cause me to lose the respect of those around me, especially women. It's unnerving and alienating to them, and it makes me look weak and out of control.

Now I try to save such 'shows' for a therapist. I joke that at least they get paid for having to deal with my pain, lol...

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You are falling into the Nice Guy trap.
Interesting. Why would you say that? I feel like I've already fallen into the 'Nice Guy' trap, and I'm trying to extricate myself through becoming less needy, less sensitive, and more emotionally self-sufficient.
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post #115 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 03:03 PM
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Dazed, is it possible you're depressed? I get what you're saying- depression/anxiety is VERY difficult for a marriage, and I've read it can be especially difficult for wives whose husband's are depressed.

Yes, she needs you to be her rock. I love that my husband is my rock. But she also needs to know that you care deeply for her. Showing her that her sexting/lack of intimacy/disinterest in spending more time w you is hurting you is NOT weak.

If my husband showed no emotion while I was sexting/texting privately with a former lover and he was texting privately with women he slept with, I'd think he simply doesn't care about me.

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post #116 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Dazed, is it possible you're depressed? I get what you're saying- depression/anxiety is VERY difficult for a marriage, and I've read it can be especially difficult for wives whose husband's are depressed.
Not just possible, but confirmed. It got bad enough at one point that I started taking antidepressants for about a year and a half. I feel like I'm finally starting to come out of it, but I know that I'm not fully clear by any means.

Though, as I've learned a lot about depression in the past couple of years, I did take heart that I'm doing a lot better in a lot of ways than many others in my situation/circumstances. From what I've read, I should be in way worse shape. That has allowed me to see myself as stronger than I might give myself credit for.

My wife has also been on antidepressants (still is, I think) for a much longer time, but I think more for anxiety than for actual depression. We're both struggling, but I know that she had a particularly hard time dealing with my emotional state..[/QUOTE]

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If my husband showed no emotion while I was sexting/texting privately with a former lover and he was texting privately with women he slept with, I'd think he simply doesn't care about me.
While I didn't handle it as perfectly as I would have liked (I was terribly sleep deprived when I talked with her about it), I think I did show I cared *a lot*. I let her know that what she did was in no way acceptable or excusable and that I took it *very* seriously. This was one marital blowup where I felt like I was really on solid ground (something I often don't feel), and I was able to mostly stand tall and firm in the face of the ensuing chaos.

I say mostly, because I also allowed myself to be overcome by pain and sadness and frustration and confusion and self-doubt and guilt. I got quite emotional at times (tears, even), and was definitely not consistently fearsome or rock-like. And, unfortunately, that's not the first time that I've responded like that to our troubles or conflicts (otherwise, I think it may have been less damaging). It's just, uh, *depressing*, lol...

I am still, however, committed to fulfilling on the personal goals I established above.

I think the incident did serve to snap both of us back into a bit of reality. I can see that we are both more engaged than we've been in a while (the family vacation helped with that). She took opportunities to be with me and talk with me while on the trip, and she initiated sex on our one child-free night at the end of our trip (first time having sex in almost a year), despite us both being exhausted from the week and driving all day. She has also seems much more aware of how important it is that we make time to talk and spend adult time together. I mentioned the need again this morning, and for the first time in a long time I feel like she heard me and took my request seriously.

On my end, we had family in from out of town shortly after our return (nothing like burning candles at both ends, lol), and she had a freak out about how we neglected to have a few things ready for them prior to their arrival and how much it makes 'her heart hurt.' Normally, I would have felt bad and ashamed and apologized (since taking care of things around the house - like making sure the beds have clean sheets on for company - is generally my domain) and generally gone into 'my wife is hurting and I suck' mode, but not this time. I simply stood in the fact that everything was fine and being handled, that there are more important things to consider than whether everything is perfect, that our family in no way feels unwelcome or unappreciated, and that, while I certainly didn't want her heart to hurt, there is really no reason to hurt over something so ultimately insignificant and easily remedied.

This happened on her way out the door to get groceries for dinner (we both had to work that day and neither of us had time to do the necessary last minute shopping), and while she was out, I got a text thanking me for supporting her, apologizing for her freak out, and even poking a little fun at her ridiculousness. When she got home, she told me she was floored by our interaction. She just couldn't believe it went the way it did, and was effusive about how grateful she was for me and how much she appreciated my strong and calm response. She added that she knows that she needs to work on not being a perfectionist in so many ways. I swear she was almost in tears (which is unusual for her).

So that was really encouraging, and has me energized in becoming 'rock-like' again.
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post #117 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 04:24 PM
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While I didn't handle it as perfectly as I would have liked (I was terribly sleep deprived when I talked with her about it), I think I did show I cared *a lot*. I let her know that what she did was in no way acceptable or excusable and that I took it *very* seriously. This was one marital blowup where I felt like I was really on solid ground (something I often don't feel), and I was able to mostly stand tall and firm in the face of the ensuing chaos.

I say mostly, because I also allowed myself to be overcome by pain and sadness and frustration and confusion and self-doubt and guilt. I got quite emotional at times (tears, even), and was definitely not consistently fearsome or rock-like. And, unfortunately, that's not the first time that I've responded like that to our troubles or conflicts (otherwise, I think it may have been less damaging). It's just, uh, *depressing*, lol...

I am still, however, committed to fulfilling on the personal goals I established above.

I think the incident did serve to snap both of us back into a bit of reality. I can see that we are both more engaged than we've been in a while (the family vacation helped with that). She took opportunities to be with me and talk with me while on the trip, and she initiated sex on our one child-free night at the end of our trip (first time having sex in almost a year), despite us both being exhausted from the week and driving all day. She has also seems much more aware of how important it is that we make time to talk and spend adult time together. I mentioned the need again this morning, and for the first time in a long time I feel like she heard me and took my request seriously.

On my end, we had family in from out of town shortly after our return (nothing like burning candles at both ends, lol), and she had a freak out about how we neglected to have a few things ready for them prior to their arrival and how much it makes 'her heart hurt.' Normally, I would have felt bad and ashamed and apologized (since taking care of things around the house - like making sure the beds have clean sheets on for company - is generally my domain) and generally gone into 'my wife is hurting and I suck' mode, but not this time. I simply stood in the fact that everything was fine and being handled, that there are more important things to consider than whether everything is perfect, that our family in no way feels unwelcome or unappreciated, and that, while I certainly didn't want her heart to hurt, there is really no reason to hurt over something so ultimately insignificant and easily remedied.

This happened on her way out the door to get groceries for dinner (we both had to work that day and neither of us had time to do the necessary last minute shopping), and while she was out, I got a text thanking me for supporting her, apologizing for her freak out, and even poking a little fun at her ridiculousness. When she got home, she told me she was floored by our interaction. She just couldn't believe it went the way it did, and was effusive about how grateful she was for me and how much she appreciated my strong and calm response. She added that she knows that she needs to work on not being a perfectionist in so many ways. I swear she was almost in tears (which is unusual for her).

So that was really encouraging, and has me energized in becoming 'rock-like' again.
I still see nothing wrong with showing/telling her she hurt you. What she did WAS hurtful.

I'm glad things are improving between you two. Do you think it will last? What is your plan going forward to improve the intimacy? it sounds like becoming stronger and working on yourself IS the plan and while I understand why, that's not going to improve your emotional connection to your wife. That takes 15 hours/week quality time with her where you both meet each other's intimate needs (conversation, affection, recreational companionship, and sex). Your wife isn't willing to do that right now. Unless you're hoping that by being more attractive to her she will be more motivated to do that?

I see where you're coming from, if so. But I'd give that a time limit before expecting her to step up too.

It's ok to expect your spouse to meet your emotional needs. I still suggest that while working on yourself you reach out to her to let her know you also want to work on the marriage. Schedule 15 hours/week of fun time w her. It goes a long way to not only show her the stronger you, but to make her feel more connected to you. The lack of intimacy is likely a big part of why you're depressed in the first place (and the job situation).
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post #118 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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I still see nothing wrong with showing/telling her she hurt you. What she did WAS hurtful.
While I agree that what she did was hurtful, I think that my reacting like a wounded puppy every time something hurtful happens isn't doing me any favors.

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I'm glad things are improving between you two. Do you think it will last?
We had a good week, but we were also on vacation. I would say that an opening may have been created, but I wouldn't look at is as 'improving' quite yet. That's something that will take time, and will take effort on both our parts.

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it sounds like becoming stronger and working on yourself IS the plan and while I understand why, that's not going to improve your emotional connection to your wife.
I think my being stronger and more independent (emotionally at minimum - physically as well, if I can find productive ways to do so) so that I am able to handle the blows ups and freak outs (like the example I gave above) will both allow me to more directly and powerfully advocate for what I need, as well as creating the necessary conditions for her to feel safer connecting emotionally again (as well as eliminating a lot of the bull**** that goes down that makes me withdraw).

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Unless you're hoping that by being more attractive to her she will be more motivated to do that?
That certainly would help motivate her to become more interested in *us*, rather than having everything be about her family.

But more importantly, it will also give me the sense of strength, confidence, and clear-mindedness I need to advocate for both myself and for our marriage, as well as allowing me to make powerful choices with regards to my marriage and my future.

Quote:
It's ok to expect your spouse to meet your emotional needs.
And how does one do that without coming off as 'needy'? Even our marriage counselor has cautioned my wife that I need to find ways to meet my own needs instead of looking to her to make everythign 'okay.'

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Schedule 15 hours/week of fun time w her.
I am looking at how I can do this and inspire her to want to do it, too. It's hard when we both seem to just be focused on surviving and getting through the day, and when there isn't a lot of 'play money' laying around to make the fun happen more easily (kids are so dang expensive, lol). Like I said before, we have about two hours together as a family in the evening before it's bedtime (a significant amount of which is spent on stuff like dinner), so there isn't much time during the week, and then on weekends, my wife either wants her much needed alone time (she's an introvert, so she needs time to recharge by herself) or wants to spend time with our son.

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It goes a long way to not only show her the stronger you, but to make her feel more connected to you.
Yep. My coming up with ways to make that happen, and to make her feel relaxed enough to want to join me, would probably make me at least partially a badass in her eyes again.

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The lack of intimacy is likely a big part of why you're depressed in the first place (and the job situation).
I'm glad to find someone who says that. I've felt like that for a long time, and I feel like the only response I find to that assertion is that I'm codependent and broken.

Even our marriage counselor has said that I need to find a way to make myself happy and break my depression, and that it's all on me. That only I can make myself happy, and to look to anyone else for my happiness is a mistake. It's not my partners job to make me happy. But what if being in an intimate partnership is something that contributes significantly to my happiness? Is that really so unreasonable? Why *shouldn't* living with someone who is mostly disconnected from me, often/sometimes antagonistic towards and critical of me, and with whom I don't feel particularly 'safe' or comfortable with *not* adversely affect my mental well-being?

I know I am the only person who can make me happy, but does that mean that my partner has no responsibility in that direction? I feel so confused by it all...
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post #119 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:16 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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While I agree that what she did was hurtful, I think that my reacting like a wounded puppy every time something hurtful happens isn't doing me any favors.



We had a good week, but we were also on vacation. I would say that an opening may have been created, but I wouldn't look at is as 'improving' quite yet. That's something that will take time, and will take effort on both our parts.



I think my being stronger and more independent (emotionally at minimum - physically as well, if I can find productive ways to do so) so that I am able to handle the blows ups and freak outs (like the example I gave above) will both allow me to more directly and powerfully advocate for what I need, as well as creating the necessary conditions for her to feel safer connecting emotionally again (as well as eliminating a lot of the bull**** that goes down that makes me withdraw).



That certainly would help motivate her to become more interested in *us*, rather than having everything be about her family.

But more importantly, it will also give me the sense of strength, confidence, and clear-mindedness I need to advocate for both myself and for our marriage, as well as allowing me to make powerful choices with regards to my marriage and my future.



And how does one do that without coming off as 'needy'? Even our marriage counselor has cautioned my wife that I need to find ways to meet my own needs instead of looking to her to make everythign 'okay.'



I am looking at how I can do this and inspire her to want to do it, too. It's hard when we both seem to just be focused on surviving and getting through the day, and when there isn't a lot of 'play money' laying around to make the fun happen more easily (kids are so dang expensive, lol). Like I said before, we have about two hours together as a family in the evening before it's bedtime (a significant amount of which is spent on stuff like dinner), so there isn't much time during the week, and then on weekends, my wife either wants her much needed alone time (she's an introvert, so she needs time to recharge by herself) or wants to spend time with our son.



Yep. My coming up with ways to make that happen, and to make her feel relaxed enough to want to join me, would probably make me at least partially a badass in her eyes again.



I'm glad to find someone who says that. I've felt like that for a long time, and I feel like the only response I find to that assertion is that I'm codependent and broken.

Even our marriage counselor has said that I need to find a way to make myself happy and break my depression, and that it's all on me. That only I can make myself happy, and to look to anyone else for my happiness is a mistake. It's not my partners job to make me happy. But what if being in an intimate partnership is something that contributes significantly to my happiness? Is that really so unreasonable? Why *shouldn't* living with someone who is mostly disconnected from me, often/sometimes antagonistic towards and critical of me, and with whom I don't feel particularly 'safe' or comfortable with *not* adversely affect my mental well-being?

I know I am the only person who can make me happy, but does that mean that my partner has no responsibility in that direction? I feel so confused by it all...
Your MC doesn't sound very helpful, TBH. I think we're sold the party line that we're supposed to make ourselves happy independently but then we get married for the purpose of sharing our lives with our spouse and meeting each other's intimate needs. When our spouse no longer meets those needs....we get depressed. For most people, their marriage is the most important relationship in their life (or it should be). How can we not get depressed when that person is no longer interested in meeting needs that ONLY they should meet? If we turn to others to meet our needs for affection, intimate conversation, sex, and companionship, we're being unfaithful.

I think you'd find a lot of help in Marriage Builders. His Needs, Her Needs covers this. Bottom line: You're not being needy for wanting your wife to meet the needs only she is supposed to meet. Your wife does not want to do this because she's not in love with you. You think that is all your fault. It's not.

You said a while back that your wife just wants you to be happy. If this is true, and the only issue she has with the marriage, then why won't she meet your needs?

I think you might need to investigate an EA. To many, sexting is enough evidence of an EA. Have you considered that? Are you sure they're no longer in contact? I'm concerned that you are not willing to tell your wife to end all contact with the guy she was sexting with, but simply to stop with the sexting. If that's the case, she might have feelings for this guy that she is not telling you about (most don't) and that could also be another BIG issue affecting your marriage. In fact, it might be the biggest one, aside from her overwhelm with being the breadwinner right now.

If that's the case, NO WONDER you're depressed. What man wouldn't be if his wife is having an EA?
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post #120 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:03 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

I don't think she's inspired.

Keep meeting her needs, like reassuring her the other day when she was worried. That should get some interest going.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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