My wife is taking stress out on me and killing our marriage
I have been married to my wife for 11 year. For most of the time she has had an inability to deal with any stress. In our courting stage it seemed to be simple complaining, and never got out of hand. I wasn't around her 24/7 and she seemed to have other outlets. As our like together moved forward I became her sole outlet for all stress.
She works a good job, and has since we have been together. So it expected that there will be situations that are angering, or difficult. I have brought up the issue that she is deflecting all the stress to me in bickering, angered comments, complaining and she says I am overreacting and it doesn't happen that often. I kept track for the last 90 days, and on every single one there was at least one negative comment directed at me that began with mention of stress from somewhere else.
She sees a therapist for last 7 years, and I can see no difference. I have not found any method of deflecting the stress/anger in 11 years of trying. Hand holding doesn't work, agreeing just eggs it on, offering a more constructive method of dealing with it gets anger, I have run out of ideas.
It has driven such a wedge between us that we devolved into a sexless marriage. My wife thinks I have a performance issue, or am withholding sex out of spite. The truth is in her constant mental state of distress I find her unattractive and do not know how to remedy that.
I am by no means perfect, and there are plenty of things to pick at. I am hopelessly forgetful, and not handy by any stretch of the imagination. But small things like buying the wrong type of deoderant shouldn't be hour long rants.
I am hoping for advice on minimally how to even approach the subject with her. She has a blame and get angry first conversational style, and I know I shouldn't but I start getting defensive. I am afraid that I will do something that will dissolve our marriage. Either just say screw it one day and get a divorce, or fall for someone that is kind to me.
Hello. So, from what I've read it seems like you have tried approaching your wife on your own. You say she's been seeing a therapist for 7 years. One idea that came into my mind after reading this, was that maybe you should go see the therapist and explain your side and how you view this situation. Then ask to have a therapy session that includes both you and your wife.
Sometimes having a 3rd person, especially a professional therapist, there as a mediator can make discussing things much easier.
Another idea: Sometimes being in the same routine every day can just make the tension worse. Perhaps try a weekend away at the beach. (Or if you live by the beach, maybe go skiing). Just try to get out of the rut and take a breather and see if it helps her and you.
Wow, I can't imagine seeing a therapist that long without bringing in my partner at some time.
You and your wife have conflicting personalities. She seems almost anal and you may have ADD or just be very sanguine. In any case, you seem to be like vinegar and oil.
Insist that you, her and the therapist meet and hammer this out.
No need for both of you to live like this.
Thank you Everlasting and Susiedq for responding.
We have gone to therapy together, though it was short lived. It became another place for my wife to vent. Maybe we need to see someone else together. I have no desire to simply walk from the problem, I love my wife and she is worth the investment of my energy to get by this.
We are different in how we handle things. She is conflict driven, and I am a peace keeper. On a small level this is probably what got us together, we both have a need to have our part in life and being together fulfills that. It has just gotten out of hand, and I bear some of the blame for enabling the behavior. You gain emotional closeness by being able to be there for a partner in times of stress, and I contributed to creating this environment by always telling myself this is just a product of the individual crisis at the moment and not accepting that it is our relationship not the environment.
As far as getting away we just got back from Vegas. It was not what I was hoping for. I had a conference to speak at. It involved two very intense days of running workshops for 12 hours a day, but I invited my wife along and extended the trip. We agreed that it would be nice to get away, and my wife could have two days of de-stress at the pool time while I was tied up and then we would have three days to do what ever we wanted together. My wife spent the three days together with sarcastic comments about me not being available the first two days, and then complaining about how her work email was piling up.
I do not think this is an environmental problem, it is a problem of perspective.
A business trip is not what I'd call 'getting away'. So I'm not sure what you thought you were hoping for? Do you always try to meet need B with remedy A like this? Did you even make it clear BEFORE she agreed to join you what the stay would entail exactly?
No matter, these are just details, really.
She obviously hasn't ever been taught or forced by people/events to teach herself better self-containment and control. I call it cat-kicking. It is a form of disrespect, although that doesn't mean it's that personal. It usually comes from having grown up in a family who saw it as perfectly acceptable to expect to take their problems out on each other. Because it's been situation normal since childhood, the attitude and behaviour is deeply ingrained. But it can also be a sign that the cat-kicker feels overly secure in the relationship and the 'victim's' affections, seeing it that you'll always tolerate it no matter what because that's just part and parcel of living with other people who loves you and wouldn't ever leave you (bit like a toddler who's beelzebub for mum and a little angel for the teachers). You obviously came from a family who dealt with their issues however much more independently.
You hinted at the causal nucleus of this dynamic when you said, "I am AFRAID that I will do something that will dissolve our marriage. Either just say screw it one day and get a divorce, or fall for someone that is kind to me."
Really? Wouldn't it be a whole lot less hassle in the long run to confront this habitual bad behaviour of hers head-on, today?
Compared to her, you're under-assertive - which she's taking full advantage of. She's too used to being on the end of it so, added to having insufficient incentive to stop, she won't appreciate how you're not and how your nerves aren't likewise numb to it.
However, neither is SHE used to getting it FROM YOU. Think about it. So I imagine if you ever dared to come down really heavy on her, she'd crumple into a mewling little heap (and then hopefully realise her hypocrisy in one great PINGGGG!). However, why SHOULD you get deliberately down and dirty? Answer: because it's preferable to doing ten times dirtier as illustrated by your two passive-aggressive, overdue, self-harming back-up actions up there.
Now, then, you're the one who doesn't like having to live with this ongoing situation. Think about it - it's no skin off her nose if she kicks you and sees no real first-hand consequence (and it's only hard consequence that poses as future deterrent). So the onus is on you to deal with it, to defend yourself and your rights about how you, not just her, wish your marriage to be conducted. Short, sharp, deep shock - that's the only way to put paid to and overlay bad conditioning with new. You have these choices/methods open to you:
[a] You prefer to speak English, but could speak Russian if you dared and really had to. (Trust me, considering you're nearing the end of your wick to point of conceiving of cheating, you have to.) She speaks Russian, but clearly CAN'T/WON'T (same thing) speak English. So you can either keep talking foreign languages at each other as gets both of you nowhere fast or you yourself can switch to Russian, just this once. If someone lacks the ability to empathise over your dislike of the medicine they keep force-feeding you, it can work wonders to force them to have a taste for once, too. Now note: The LESS she likes it, the more likely she'll stop and think about what you've had to endure day-in-day-out all these years.
Start deliberately whinging at her and picking fault. And the minute she starts properly objecting, blow up at her. Think Taz of Tasmania. Watch her crumple, let her stew in it for a while, and then sit her down to quietly explain that that's exactly how she's made YOU feel - DAILY - and that you did it deliberately to make her finally see how intolerably unkind and unloving it feels thus how widely unacceptable it is (to point of Emotional Abuse). Or don't confess; instead let her believe you're from now on joining in with HER little game (and beating her at it) so that she thinks twice from then on (- walking somewhat on eggshells, which in this case is badly needed and warranted).
If that doesn't work, she's not unaware/caught in a bad habit so much as just a spoiled little princess who believes other people or at least one's life partner are put here purely for her toddler-tantruming/venting benefit, including being a without-warning head target for her My Little Pony's 30mph trajectory, in which case at that point you should cede defeat rather than resign yourself to a lifetime of drip-drip-style emotional abuse or allowing yourself to commit shoddy personal crimes that long-term damage your self-esteem and self-trust. After all, only context determines whether and when walking away is a sign of weakness versus strength. In this case, at that point, it would be indisputably the latter.
[b] Write her a letter. Sound formal. No terms of endearment, no apologies or excuses or concessions and no guilt noises. In it, make it crystal clear that you need - repeat, NEED - this behaviour to stop-full-stop TODAY, no excuses, or else you'll feel forced to instigate a formal (2-month minimum) separation featuring zero contact of any personal, intimate nature, just household business in cool, formal tones. (The, comparatively-speaking, COLDNESS of your letter will serve as a sample.)
It's a lot to ask of someone to cease an hard-grained habit in one fell swoop (if that's what it is), however, so secretly what you're expecting to see is a *concerted effort*, which, if sustained, will inevitably take over as the new habit. If, however, you admit this truthful, lesser expectation, she might fail to take you seriously.
[c] Do nothing and end up in such a reduced/animalistic state that you do do too much too late and divorce her or become a dirty, low-down adulterer.
YES, a and b take bravery on your part (where c takes nothing but cowardice) and a willingness/openness to lose in order to gain another day in another place with another partner. Not that the risk of losing is in reality greater than that of succeeding. (because look how much her inability to feel bad and deal with her emotional state on her own shows she relies on you!). This is just a fear. But in order to win, you must NEVER let fear impede or stop you (which is clearly what you've always made the mistake of doing). Feeling the fear but doing it anyway - and while it's still your CHOICE rather than merely having been pushed into it by circumstance - is what separates your losers from your winners.
I'm betting she needs you way more than you need her, anyway. The needy, insecure partner is always the one constantly acting-out. Always, always testing, pushing, testing, pushing,.. YES, they have a genuine problem/feel upset. But they use it as their handy tool to test, push, test, push...which just translates as this: "Do you really love me? What about if I do THIS!? Aaaand THIS?!" (ad nauseum, sometimes). Attention and reassurance seeking.
Think you have the round ones to take the bull by the horns this time round?
Thanks for weighing in Soulmate. You obviously took some time/thought and I appreciate it.
To your first comment I was very clear about the time we had on the trip, and she was the one who initially brought up the idea of going together. You are right that it was not an ideal way to get away, and maybe I was hoping for more from it than was possible.
I have no desire to wimp out on the relationship, but I also know everything has a breaking point. It scares me that I have even thought about these things in our future. I have read a bunch of places that these thoughts are natural in tough times in a marriage, but it is a slippery slope and I am chatting to help me get perspective.
I am not sure I am on board with the fight fire with fire. Her previous marriage was a vicious cycle of back and forth anger that didn't and well. I am prepared to lay things on the line with her, and much of why I posted is to hear from other people how to start this process. I feel very guilty for letting things go on this long, and not fighting harder to right the ship.
As far as the affair comment, and your very correct statement that is a complete dirty violation, I am human. People much better than me, with noble intentions in their marriage have succumbed to affairs. I think the second you are in denial to the possibility is when you become susceptible to it happening.
"As far as the affair comment, and your very correct statement that is a complete dirty violation, I am human. People much better than me, with noble intentions in their marriage have succumbed to affairs. I think the second you are in denial to the possibility is when you become susceptible to it happening."
True, but not applicable, anyway, because I could tell you in fact were just venting. And at least it wasn't directed at anyone but you yourself, you just creating an imaginery future escape hatch to ease your current pressure.
"To your first comment I was very clear about the time we had on the trip, and she was the one who initially brought up the idea of going together."
"You are right that it was not an ideal way to get away, and maybe I was hoping for more from it than was possible."
But you made what to expect clear to her, anyway, so, again, not applicable.
Here - are you ALWAYS this hard on yourself and easy on others?
"I am not sure I am on board with the fight fire with fire. Her previous marriage was a vicious cycle of back and forth anger that didn't and well. I am prepared to lay things on the line with her, and much of why I posted is to hear from other people how to start this process. I feel very guilty for letting things go on this long, and not fighting harder to right the ship."
No. People who aren't used to asserting themselves anywhere near that degree generally don't find it appealing. But I'm not talking fighting fire with fire, I'm talking fighting fire with a nuclear explosion. I think you'll find that tends to snuff a fire in one fell swoop.
I did SAY it takes bravery.
Can you detach your feelings whenever she whinges, niggles and vents? IOW, are you super-human? You're not, are you, or you wouldn't be here. So, given that you've so far tried everything BUT - what do YOU think are your remaining options? Oh, and doing eff-all and hoping things will miraculously cure themselves isn't one of them. ;-p
What about the letter? Is THAT do-able?
Or are you just here to let off steam? Because, in that case, I think you should do it properly and start saying the unsayable about how you REALLY feel about her unacceptable behaviour, expletives included (albeit, asterisk them in case the kiddies at home are watching, obviously).
I'll start you off: I think it's downright sh*tty AND emotionally thick and short-sighted and self-destructive and I HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHATE cat-kickers WITH A VENGEANCE, what's the matter with the bloody stupid idiots!!!!
(Oh, aye, we all know one (two, three, four,... LOL).)
Yup - he's got "learned helplessness" down to a "T"
I doubt if anything will be done about this.
He's looking for permission to have an affair, I'd guess.
Anyone else in the picture, ILove Books? Be honest, now.
Nobody in the picture, and I do not want an affair. I travel and speak so if that is what I wanted it would have happened already. It is almost a culture among the traveling crowd.
Soulmate, not that it is funny, but lmao about the rant/vent. You are much better at it than I could ever be.
I want to find a way to start talking to my wife about this. I would love to hear someone that has sat down with their partner, and what they said.
I might be very wrong but a letter, or ultimatum feels cowardly to me. It would be very easy to just put the entire relationship in her hands and take away my responsibility if it ends. "I tried, but she wouldn't change to save us". I need help channeling from sympathy to empathy. To stop feeling for her predicament/ issues and start understanding them in a more objective way.
It is hard I am in it. This is a person I love, and at its core the thing that is even hardest is I know she is unhappy and hurting herself. I think she even knows deep down inside that her behavior is self destructive. I owe her as my partner more than withdrawing and waiting. I owe myself more than that, I need guidance as to how to get there.
Even if I could somehow change her venting at me, I don't think I would feel any better knowing she is still wrapped up in stress related anger and just finding other self destructive means to channel it. This is about us, not just me.
Well, I don't think so, myself, and hope you're wrong, Susie, but, just in case:
ILOVEBOOKS, you said:
"People much better than me, with noble intentions in their marriage have succumbed to affairs."
And our survey said:
Oh, no, they HAVE NOT. Don't be fooled. Those people were the weak-moralled and -character-ed type with a falsely glossy public image, PRETENDING to be good and noble. A bit too much challenge and/or pressure (by their standards) and suddenly the previously well-hidden inner rottenness get squeezed out of them and onto the floor for all to see ("ugh!").
A decent, noble, emotionally mature, RESPONSIBLE person does this when all else (properly tried) has failed: Initiates a formal, zero-emotional-contact separation; sticks to it; tries a reconciliation; if seeing no improvement, files for a divorce (played fair); spends a decent length of time on his own reflecting on what went wrong and how and who was to blame (if anyone, rather than simple incompatibility/lack of a suitable 'test-drive'); waits until it no longer hurts or scares, and THEN goes back onto the market ground to seek a more compatible partner.
Listen, it makes no sense for you to say that because the quality of the relationship thus its survivability is ALREADY in her hands - and not equally in yours where it half-and-half belongs. And writing the letter IS you embracing your responsibility.
"To stop feeling for her predicament/ issues and start understanding them in a more objective way."
I can't tonight but I'll be back later or tomorrow. Meanwhile, the others can obviously all pitch in.
"Even if I could somehow change her venting at me, I don't think I would feel any better knowing she is still wrapped up in stress related anger and just finding other self destructive means to channel it. This is about us, not just me."
Yes, you would feel better. Certainly enough to gain that very OBJECTIVITY you're after (which you called empathy), which would be nine tenths of the problem solved, anyway.
What you wrote makes perfect sense. I really am not looking for an exit strategy. I am certainly not justifying poor moral behavior.
My parents split over an affair, so I have first hand knowledge of its consequences, and the weakness it takes to do it.
I suggest that you do this "confrontation" - or whatever you want to name it - with a professional third party in attendance.
Wife uses anger to control you. You don't want to push the issue lest she blows up. Hence, no real communication happens.
Why not a fresh, new couples counselor to get the ball rolling? Maybe even a male? You need a safe place to state your case and to learn how to communicate with her when she pulls out her angry self to get control of the conversation.
A third party will help. You and your wife have a dance going and someone needs to stop the music.
I have been researching counselors in my area. You are probably right.
As much as is does not excite me to talk in that type of format, we probably need someone setting boundaries and guiding the conversation. Not liking the idea of going to a therapist is a guy thing I guess. The way my brain is wired is to identify the problem and just solve it. Sit, talk, pick a logical solution. I am not naive enough to think a one on one chat about this with my wife will go that way, but it still is what my instincts tell me to do. Going to a therapist feels like admitting failure, I know that is stupid, but it still feels that way.
There probably isn't any method of talking about a failing marriage that is going to feel overly comfortable to either of us.
Thank you Soulmate, Everlasting, and Susiedq. I was really hesitant to air this on a forum but there just isn't any place to just talk about these things. It is a warm feeling to know people care enough to listen and say something.
You're welcome, ILOVEBOOKS. And problems *aren't* generally exciting, no. No genuine work is. It's a lot like housework: you dislike the process but adore the results, and that's what spurs you into doing it again and again. You'd be surprised how many more men than women can get hooked on counselling, actually.
And there isn't ANY shame in seeking face-to-face counselling. Au contraire! The mark of a successful human being is that they have the intelligence to know to use, including how and when, all the available tools that have been laid on for their benefit by their environment. It's not only self-harmingly arrogant to go through life thinking you're an island, but it's also self-delusional when you consider how patent evidence abounds regarding our being PACK animals whom accordingly are inter-dependent and meant to be cooperative.
Counsellors were once just your wise woman/man of the woods. It's only this modern-day societal set-up as hinges/centres on money that necessitated the process becoming elevated and formal. Back in medieval times you'd have, as far as you and your wife were concerned, just been chatting over a brew, and would have gratefully given him/her one of your chickens for his/her trouble, LOL.
But we also have to have enough in common to enable us to relate to one another. Seeking a counsellor is no different. If you're not on the same wavelengths, all three of you, it WON'T be as helpful as it should be. So rather than give up, you should always just try the next until you DO experience a mental click. Any decent counsellor (and I'm talking one with a psychoanalytical background, preferably) should be willing to give you the benefit of an initial phone conversation wherein you can ask to know, roughly, their own personal background and experiences. Theory is one thing but it's when it's married with close experience that you REALLY start cooking on gas.
Well, I'm glad we've eased that sense of intimidation for you, anyway. And you know where we are, now, don't you, if you need us again.
On a side note, spending today calling marriage counselors. I am going to broach the subject tonight.
This is a humbling, terrifying, experience. I am torn between being hopeful that we will find peace, guilty for letting it get to the point where I am scared for our relationship, and terrified that the only thing we may figure out in counseling is that we can't make each other happy.
Well, that's very interesting and very telling, ILB, because, what with your statement that went "there just isn't any place to just talk about these things", it should show you that all you actually needed to bite the bullet was some moral support and to know you AREN'T the unreasonable one or someone expecting and asking too much.
You should take this as a huge sign that you lack a best male buddy (or at least one who's open to honestly and unpretentiously discussing emotional problems with you), and make this a priority goal of yours, whether that be to get closer to an existing acquaintance or forge a new one.
Do us a favour and let us know how it went? I imagine if you can speak this frankly to your wife - "This is a humbling, terrifying, experience. I am torn between being hopeful that we will find peace, guilty for letting it get to the point where I am scared for our relationship, and terrified that the only thing we may figure out in counseling is that we can't make each other happy." - it can't fail to yield success.
One warning, though: just as you yourself needed time to get your head around these new ideas, so might she. So don't take her first, knee-jerk reaction as her final feelings on the matter. Let her chew it over and really digest it.
For now, however, what woman still intrinsically in love with her man wouldn't swoon on hearing that precise statement?
Okay, swoon was not how I would describe my wife's reaction. I think she was expecting me to say I wanted a divorce, but she wasn't relieved when I asked about counseling.
Even the dogs knew to find a hiding place. She agreed to go in the end, though you can cut the tension in this house with a knife.
I have a really close male buddy, but his wife is also tight friends with my wife. Feels very uncomfortable to choose to unload to him. He has spoken openly to me about his marriage before, so I have to start trusting his confidence. Really more my hang up.
LOL to the dogs comment! Glad to see you still have your sense of humour about you (tick!). And - what - wasn't there room in the basket for you?
Back to seriousness...
Then in my opinion, the situation is one of two possibilities:
1. She's too chronically stressed/unhappy to more fully see the woods for the trees just yet and reacted ego-first, which does mean she needs time for it to settle down so that normal sensible thinking can resume.
2. She doesn't like the idea of the status quo getting fixed because SHE'S "happy" with it so why is it even a problem? (It's always a very telling Red flag when one partner isn't willing despite the obvious problems.)
Not sure about point 2, however, considering her ACTION: despite her surface reaction, *she agreed*. Actions speak louder than (whingy/petulant) words. So I think it's more point 1. I say 'more' because we're not simple creatures, meaning feelings and emotions come in cocktails.
Cat kicking is a sign of emotional clueless-ness and/or laziness (which may be the straight negative variety or down to mere, innocent, emotional exhaustion/depression).
Tell me what you said and what she said? E.g. what made you believe she was expecting you to say you wanted a divorce? I'm wondering, you see, whether she wants out but would rather get fired than, one-two-three-jump!, resign.
Also, you said 'in the end'. So you obviously stood your ground better than you usually do, correct?
Is she maintaining her normal standards over, say, the housework?
Normally a really close buddy cannot BE a really close buddy due to any such circumstance that inhibits you. However, you've just dropped a huge Scooby Clue about potentially one of the roots of the plant problem in your marriage: despite this guy opens up to you, thereby showing he trusts YOU, you've never returned that sign of desired mental intimacy. WHY NOT? Why isn't HIS demonstration of trust enough to make you feel relaxed enough with him to reciprocate? Has he ever betrayed a confidence, do you know or suspect? Or do you find it hard to trust other people, generally? ...including this woman who's supposed to be the one person in the world you should be able to tell ANYTHING to? And is that itself based on bad past experience with her or previous people in your life?
Do you see why I'm getting this picture by now about your ability to communicate with people your innermost thoughts and feelings?
Sorry - should have said, SUSPECTS she MIGHT want out. Because obviously we have to keep focused on the purest, in fact, the ONLY truth there is - the action (agreement), particularly when it's a meaty one like that.
Also, have you ever considered her cat-kicking was her way of signalling helplessness/despair and a cry for you to take control of her/everything, just without having to expose herself to vulnerability?
...which brings us back to whether you've over the years made her feel too scared to speak openly and honestly to you because you don't (normally) to her?
To the buddy deal, we had an instance where my friend talked to his wife and then it bled back to mine and it started a month long argument in the house here. I vented about my wife constantly saying angry things about this couple that is in our circle of friends. I find them annoying myself at times, but my wife's reaction to them is borderline hatred. I told my friend that we couldn't come for any couple things that this other couple was coming to, and told him how I thought it was irrational but I needed to stand by my wife's feelings towards them. It came up because I had turned down a few invites. My friend must have mentioned to his wife in some way our reason for not coming to a few events, and then she made a comment to my wife.
As for last night, I tried to just say what I wanted in a clear way. I said, "I want us to be better, we are both unhappy, I want us to go to counseling." She just stared at me for a number of minutes. Then she asked me if that was all I had to say.
From there it all went downhill. She started grilling me about why now, why not years ago. I explained that it wasn't now, I had been working up to being able to do this. I said the comment about my fear and guilt about the process of going to a counselor. I admitted to getting in a funk of thinking that change was hopeless, and told her I couldn't point to an event or time that started my towards the decision to go to counseling.
Then it took the sharp turn, I told her I had been researching trying to figure out and understand the therapy process. Reading and trying to understand my feelings and get comfortable with therapy being a path to helping get us on track. She got angry saying that by researching without her I made the therapy process not about us, but something I had to have control over. Initially I started explaining that I couldn't get to the point of asking without wrapping my head around the concept.
From there she just started moving from venting on one topic to the next. I bit my tongue and let her run out of steam. It was really hard, I have a very stubborn side. I desperately wanted to lash back out, tell her this is exactly why we are where we are. I just kept telling myself this is more of her stress and anxiety coping mechanism, and if I really want the end goal to be going to therapy and getting to a place of happiness I need to not say or do something to end things here. "Serenity Now!" if you are a Seinfeld fan.
She finally saw she wasn't going to bait me into one of our battles, and we settled into a tense silence that is still going on now. We have a couple days to to calm things, she is gone until late tonight and I have a client to drive to tomorrow that will keep me until Saturday night. I am hoping we can settle back into our denial routine until we are in front of a professional.
Lastly, life without humor is not worth living. Losing my sense of humor in the house was probably my biggest wake up call.
Okay, you typed more while I was composing my essay.
This is the first relationship I have ever been in that I haven't shared, been open about my feelings. I have thought a ton about it. The relationship didn't start that way.
I know that for this marriage to survive I have to get back to being who I should. Open, receptive, talkative, intimate. If I can't do that I know I also have to honest with myself and my wife, because without those qualities we are going to continue to suffer as we have for years. Sounds easy enough right?
(Did your friend learn his lesson since snitching on you?)
Re your convo with your wife: 'If that was ALL you had to say?' ALL?? And this, evidently after several minutes thinking about it? Sorry, but who does she think she is, talking to you like that? It's hardly a cooperative attitude, is it.
Ah! Wait up...
"From there it all went downhill. She started grilling me about WHY NOW, WHY NOT YEARS AGO."
Okay, that is definitely resentment talking. So what she's implying is that she'd tried plenty of times herself to tell you, Houston we have a problem, only you didn't take it on board or react appropriately? Why didn't you? Do we have a case of, boy who cried wolf, as in, you were so used to her venting you couldn't tell which was merely that or genuine signalling attempt?
(Good answer to her grilling, btw. Albeit, it might have been somewhat more honest to admit that you were loath to confront the issue head-on until now when you'd realised you *really* have to.)
"Then it took the sharp turn, I told her I had been researching trying to figure out and understand the therapy process. Reading and trying to understand my feelings and get comfortable with therapy being a path to helping get us on track. She got angry saying that by researching without her I made the therapy process not about us, but something I had to have control over. Initially I started explaining that I couldn't get to the point of asking without wrapping my head around the concept."
Sounds like, no, she DOESN'T want you to take control. The opposite, in fact. So why, do you think, are you two STILL after 11 years stuck in the power struggle phase? Did you never come to negotiations and compromise? If not, why not?
For now, however, I can't hand-on-heart say I'm impressed with her attitude. But there again, years of built-up resentment will have that effect.
"From there she just started moving from venting on one topic to the next. I bit my tongue and let her run out of steam. It was really hard, I have a very stubborn side. I desperately wanted to lash back out, tell her this is exactly why we are where we are. I just kept telling myself this is more of her stress and anxiety coping mechanism, and if I really want the end goal to be going to therapy and getting to a place of happiness I need to not say or do something to end things here. "Serenity Now!" if you are a Seinfeld fan."
You shouldn't have to live like that, mate. Really. You shouldn't. She's not cooperating. Being married is about being firm teammates. It can't work, otherwise. And here she is, using even your last-ditch beseechment exercise - something you'd think was sacrosanct - as yet MORE fodder for a whinge and barney. She has anger management (i.e. anger hugging and hoarding) problems. She's a grudge holder. It's her tool and she isn't going to be giving that up without a bit of a tantrum, it appears.
"She finally saw she wasn't going to bait me into one of our battles, and we settled into a tense silence that is still going on now."
Well, that is just belligerence in another format, isn't it. It's called The Silent Treatment and it's a formal feature of emotional abuse (albeit, granted, you can't label them AN abuser with just that one criteria).
Having checked more thoroughly, I have to agree with Susie yet go even further. Mate, never mind vinegar - it sounds thus far like you're married to a My Little Pony merchant. A bully with a distinct and not straight-orthodox style (and it includes passive-aggression). Are you sure she was even happy back when you first knew her?
But let's see, if you get a good counsellor this time, whether you two can be fixed or whether you need to find the mettle to walk away. It MAY be a case of too little too late.
But it bears mentioning that people treat you only as bad as you LET them, and I think the trouble with you is you've not, until now, been a good self-representative. By biting your lip, absorbing and tolerating for so long you've come across as a limp lettuce leaf who's easily bossed around and dominated, which is like honey to an unhappy bee who needs (scuse mixed similes and metaphors) something to regularly take her bad moods and frustrations out on.
"I am hoping we can settle back into our denial routine until we are in front of a professional."
That made me gaffaw! Nice one!
PS: Your second post: no, not easy. And that is part of the beauty of the process called coming out stronger and soaring forevermore higher. Because only those who truly deserve to rise from such ashes, do so. I'm talking, your emotionally hard-working individuals.
PPS: Gone late til tonight WHERE?
My wife is meeting some friends from her last job, planned it a while ago. Her previous job they have a conference once a year, so a lot of people she would only see yearly are there. Give her some other people to vent to about how much she hated her old boss.
We went to counseling years ago, and at the time she asked. It was a horrible experience and I dropped it, hence the why now I wanted this a long time ago rant. We went to her therapist, who she has still been seeing for the last 8 years. It felt like an extended therapy session for my wife and not a healthy one at that. It all centered around her voicing concerns and me either committing to change to fit, or apologizing for prior perceived slights. Nothing ran the other way, and none of the therapy was about co-finding solutions. She wasn't crying wolf, there were problems; I knew it; she knew it.
I at that stage decided therapy was a waste of time/useless and walked into the semi-sleep walk stage I continue to be in now. Of large concern in this area is also the fact that my wife has visited this therapist for years with no marked improvement. My wife does not talk about the substance of the sessions, but from small pieces here and there the thrust of the subject matter revolves around my wife having an inability to reconcile her vision of the world and how it really is. Leading to anger, stress, anxiety.
Getting to where we are now, and signs in the beginning? When we met she had a lot of unresolved issues with her divorce (it was 6 years before we met, yes red flag) and an inability to coparent with the ex. She would vent, get angry and I wrote it off to the situation and the stress of us considering marriage. I fell into a consoling role with her feelings. Where is the line when you go from support when your partner is begging for it, to limp lettuce leaf?
A short time into our marriage we lost a child during pregnancy, and it was even more devastating as it pretty well ended our ability to even try afterwards. We both took that very hard, a lot of our shared values centered around building a family. Her anger at other mothers, inability to even babysit for other couples (which I love doing, my friends daughter still calls me her bff) I attributed to this traumatic event.
From there, there were other life events like job changes, or tense situations over custody with the ex. Tons of denial on my part. Always attributing the behavior to the environment, not associating our relationship and its dynamic. It just got to be the way we lived. At a certain point I did the worst most betraying thing you can do in a relationship I got resentful of the situation and checked out. Didn't see hope of change, didn't want to face pushing our marriage over the brink. Here we are.
I have been trying to be somewhat introspective to get a handle on what I have done, and how my feelings and actions are creating what is going on. I needed to stop this transfer of negative energy cold early in our relationship. My rational brain must have been on vacation those first few years. Then inertia just took over. Everyone always asks why you didn't off the bus before the accident.
You are right, we don't and shouldn't live like this. My wife is unhappy, but will never leave, comes from a Catholic family that has a large stigma with divorce. Again red flag, she is still angry at how they treated her during her divorce earlier in life. If the marriage is going to end I am going to have to initiate it, and need to give us a fair fight for our relationship in counseling before I will do that.
It seems that each piece is a little longer. If my grease-fire of an attempt at therapy lasts too much longer I will be writing War and Peace on here.
Short note, to the comment about ADD, who knows maybe? Never been diagnosed.
Might be what started the "Bought the wrong milk" hurricane of 2013.
Hates her old boss, huh? And hates this other couple you used to socialise with? So it's NOT just you she directs her unhappiness and anger to, then. You just bear the brunt, what with living with her.
So the prior so-called couples counselling to sort BOTH your problems from each of your individual points of view just ended up her being treated as the victim and you the entire problem? What kind of counsellor WAS this? The kerching-kerching type? I mean - 7 years? If I were that therapist I'd be bloody ashamed of myself for having made zero progress within 2 years ideally or 5 years at the very outset, as well as for having encouraged the woman to become patently over-dependent on me. For starters, it's not even POSSIBLE in a two-person team for only one person to be entirely to blame. Sure, one can be responsible for creating an action, but the precise way in which you, the other, react can have a huge bearing because there are such things as taking the wind out of someone's sails or refusing to rise to the bait or engage full-stop (and sometimes, even being passive-aggressive is not only called for but downright necessary!). There's no such thing as a rally without two tennis players each hitting the ball across the net, albeit that's not to say there's no such thing as being a brick wall. But even then, the human variety of brick wall still has legs and an independent centre of initiative.
So was it the case that the counsellor automatically took her side or was that just your perception of it? Can you give me a specific example of where you were held totally responsible for something and denied the concept of co-creation? And what's this about buying the wrong milk as allegedly caused yet another giant paddy?
Understand, I'm just trying to dig deeper in playing Devil's Advocate because - I have to be frank: I'm not finding you uncommunicative, avoidant, slippery or uncooperative in the slightest. Is this how you are normally or is it just easier because your ego isn't engaged with mine as opposed to hers?
"the thrust of the subject matter revolves around my wife having an inability to reconcile her vision of the world and how it really is. Leading to anger, stress, anxiety."
What's she like with tidiness and housework and routines? Is the house clean and tidy or whatever degree of chaotic?
"Where is the line when you go from support when your partner is begging for it, to limp lettuce leaf?"
When support feels more like being their personal punching bag yet you never make a firm enough stand to say NO, I AM NOT HAVING THIS. And this: "Tons of denial on my part." Next question?
Why do you think the workplace features two written warnings and one verbal prior to outright dismissal? How many verbal warnings have you ever given your wife on the understanding that the process has a definite limit? Do you think it's at all possible you have a problem with setting and highlighting your boundaries because in the past before you met this woman, the people you grew up with GAVE you boundaries via always respectfully stopping short of encroaching into them themselves?
Do you have problems at work with colleagues or bosses always taking liberties or are you quite firmly assertive there?
Acid question: considering you've always tolerated this behaviour of hers (and, never mind leaving emotionally - staying put physically still counts as minimising and tolerating), how come only now, do you think, are you no longer prepared to take it? Did something happen to you recently that posed as a catalyst or crunch situation? (How old are you if you don't mind my asking?)
"You are right, we don't and shouldn't live like this. My wife is unhappy, but will never leave, comes from a Catholic family that has a large stigma with divorce. Again red flag, she is still angry at how they treated her during her divorce earlier in life."
There it is! Oh, and I'm pretty damn certain it would have started before then. Yup, her parents tucked her up.
Explains why she's so resentful and whinging about why now, doesn't it. She feels trapped and has felt this way since you were seen to quit (emphasis on seem because she clearly can't see past the end of her own nose).
"If the marriage is going to end I am going to have to initiate it, and need to give us a fair fight for our relationship in counseling before I will do that."
Want my honest advice? You don't have to take it, but I think you'd see more success with the counselling if it were conducted during an official separation. Past events suggest that whilst she believes you ain't going anywhere no matter what, she lacks the incentive to switch her attitude. If someone constantly has the upper hand and won't meet you half way, the best and sometimes only thing to do is walk away from them; give them a real sample of how serious you really are and what's to come if they don't start playing ball. Then their mind is set to a climate of Want You Back where cooperation ensues (rather than, Oh, this old going-nowhere chestnut again). OR NOT. But at least then you know perfectly well without question where you stand.
What do you think? Because I think whilst you're too scared to face losing her and/or uprooting your whole lifestyle as you know it (which she'll obviously sense), you're on a hiding to nothing. You need to sample this very set-up that you fear so that you can see how a lot of the fear is just mainly in your head. Otherwise, to me, and logically therefore to her, this second bout of counselling doesn't feel any different.
Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. If you want change you have to do something different. And if the status quo is extreme then so does the change have to be relatively extreme.
So what do you think?
Soulmate before I answer you back, you are awesome to sit and chat back and forth like this. I can get very introspective when I do not have an outlet, not healthy to stew on ones problems.
The therapy session.... it started with my wife having an opportunity to explain why we were there. This was not fix the marriage, etc.. It was a rant on the things she felt were injustices. The therapist never stopped this, or tried to even steer the subject matter. One of the first primary ones was I wasn't listening enough and validating her opinions/ points of view. These are feelings so they are not wrong, but they are a perception. We were 30 minutes into the 50 minute session before I had an opportunity to say anything substantial. When I finally spoke this whole session was out of kilter. Instead of talking about what I wanted to get out of coming in, I started my own declaration of injustice (not right, but I wasn't rational at the moment). My end was entirely about anger issues. Instead of turning to my wife for a response to the subject, the therapist asked me if it was a product of the lack of listening. Steam was coming out of my ears at that moment.
I am a big boy, and I do not come close to perfection, so I accept that there are a host of things for my wife to be legitimately peeved about. For me this doesn't revolve around complaints, insults, etc.. my wife might lob at me. It is the greater self-destructive pattern of behavior, and I am forced to be around for all of it. From anger about small slights from someone we meet, to unresolved anger about her previous marriage, lingering childhood issues, displaced anger from work related stress, the list goes on and all comes from the same place. It not only is mind numbing to be the dumping ground for all of this, whether about me or dropped on me, but it goes against every fiber of my personal perspective in life. To make matters worse it is hurting my wife even physically, borderline insomnia, back aches (been going to a chiropractor for years never gets better), teeth grinding, weight gain.
You said it doesn't seem like I have a problem communicating, absolutely not. I have never in my life had this type of issue with expression. I am 43 and have had other long term relationships and the two things we could always count on were sex and talking. This is completely alien to me. The last relationship I had before my wife was a long distance deal (about three hour drive). We were together for a year, and there wasn't a day we didn't keep ourselves up, almost without sleep talking on the phone when we couldn't be together. Everything else was wrong with that relationship, in different towns, she was in love with her ex still, I was working 70 hours a week, but communication and intimacy were still there.
Education wise, I graduated with a double major in English and Psychology. I cannot imagine anything that could better prepare me to be an active communicator. It bears out in what I do for a living. I am a sales trainer and motivator. I speak to crowds and small groups about how to be positive. In my work life whole rooms get silent when I start speaking. I benefit from having a deep radio voice, tends to command respect. I have run businesses, help others lead their businesses.
This complete breakdown is an extremely unhealthy dynamic, that is particular to this relationship. When I look at it rationally the course that any of this has taken is ridiculous. I know better; I know couples need to start relationships on equal emotional footing; mutual respect and active listening are the cornerstones of marriage; intimacy is a right like air; happiness is a cooperative event. There, unfortunately, is nothing rational about how I have waded into my marriage, and handled its tough issues.
As for why now, I think it is related to the new business I am helping to open. We are creating an actual brick and mortar office with a call center staff (I have worked from home and traveled up to now). I am not originally from Upstate New York, and probably would have moved if I wasn't with my wife. With the new office I just signed a three year commitment on a lease, so I have an obligation and tie to this area I didn't before. The act of having to commit to definitively stay living here probably was the catalyst. Nothing like signing long legal documents to force your brain to take stock of your life.
Your last comment about the counseling... There are a very limited number of outcomes; stay in a positive environment; leave to find a positive environment. I do not have it in me to sit on the fence waiting for the wind to change. As for separation to work on the marriage, I know myself, I would never try to reconcile. With the difficulty I have with being disloyal in any form (not saying it is rational) if I broke that mental barrier I would never go back, might as well call it a divorce.
Crap, I took so long I got logged out...
I feel like a guy that owns a health food store, but secretly has an addiction to kit kats.
"you are awesome to sit and chat back and forth like this." ROFL, do you want cash or will a cheque do?
It's perfectly fine. I prefer the long-hauls. And since I have to sit here to work day-in-day-out (hubs and I own our own biz together - first year - which is taking off majorly) it gives me a bit of respite in between constant client and supplier correspondenzzzzz... So I'm not going anywhere, I'm going to end up with a chair-shaped a*se whichever way, LOL. Plus I type at an unbelievable speed, so it's not as much effort as you'd think - nay worries. I do have to put the biz first, though, so if ever I go quiet, know I'm just busy and will be back anon, sure as eggs is eggs.
"The therapy session.... it started with my wife having an opportunity to explain why we were there. This was not fix the marriage, etc.. It was a rant on the things she felt were injustices. The therapist never stopped this, or tried to even steer the subject matter. One of the first primary ones was I wasn't listening enough and validating her opinions/ points of view. These are feelings so they are not wrong, but they are a perception."
Well, you listen to me and everyone else so... could her gripe, in her inarticulate-ness, have more correctly been that in her opinion you weren't *reasoning and intuiting* enough based on the mere CLUES she tends to give? Did she, do you believe, have pre-emptive parents who constantly pre-guessed and anticipated her needs?
"We were 30 minutes into the 50 minute session before I had an opportunity to say anything substantial."
Yep. That's crap couples counselling, sorry.
"When I finally spoke this whole session was out of kilter. Instead of talking about what I wanted to get out of coming in, I started my own declaration of injustice (not right, but I wasn't rational at the moment)."
"My end was entirely about anger issues. Instead of turning to my wife for a response to the subject, the therapist asked me if it was a product of the lack of listening. Steam was coming out of my ears at that moment."
Uh-huh, yup. Sounds like you were guilty until proven innocent yet were denied a proper defense or trial. Was she a one-on-one counsellor with you and mrs her first ever couple?
Me, I'd have walked out at that point and insisted she and I seek a dedicated couples counsellor with zero pre-conceptions and -bias about us. But you didn't, you just dropped the whole exercise itself. Easy mistake to make, but you've since paid for it.
"I am a big boy, and I do not come close to perfection, so I accept that there are a host of things for my wife to be legitimately peeved about. For me this doesn't revolve around complaints, insults, etc.. my wife might lob at me. It is the greater self-destructive pattern of behavior, and I am forced to be around for all of it. From anger about small slights from someone we meet, to unresolved anger about her previous marriage, lingering childhood issues, displaced anger from work related stress, the list goes on and all comes from the same place. It not only is mind numbing to be the dumping ground for all of this, whether about me or dropped on me, but it goes against every fiber of my personal perspective in life. To make matters worse it is hurting my wife even physically, borderline insomnia, back aches (been going to a chiropractor for years never gets better), teeth grinding, weight gain."
And, yes, of COURSE her inwardly turned negative energy is, when devoid for so long of any proper remedy or, meantime, an outlet, going to get turned inward and start attacking her and leaking out of any available 'hole'. She's going to get something terminal if she doesn't watch it. She's not angry AT anyone/thing current or recent past, she came that way (childhood and everything else thus-tainted since) and is labelling anything and everything to blame, simply because she doesn't KNOW what's behind it (and no-one's enlightening her). She needs to change her therapist to one preferably under referral of her GP. Would she, though?, that is the burning question after so many years and what is clearly now an addiction.
This, all of it, is HER problem and you got into the deep, cold, muddy pit with her. Due to having been denied via rearing the very ladder she needs for getting OUT of that pit, AND the mental wherewithal to know how to climb out, the onus falls on whomever gets involved with her to offer her an arm. But, ironically enough, Alanis, she's also been stripped of the ability to know to use that proffered arm to pull herself OUT and instead ends up pulling everyone - you, especially - IN. So now YOU'RE in that deep, dark, muddy pit wailing 'Help meeee!' too. Because although you DO have the skill for climbing out, even sans ladder, you can't carry her on your back because the sides are too slippery and she too heavy. And neither can you bring yourself to exit it without her, leaving her in there.
You have to stop trying to fix or manage her. You certainly can't help her from in there. The kindest thing you could do is climb out yourself, leave her totally be for long enough until she accepts EITHER only she can work out the fact she has to help herself out and how, or finds a new, better therapist who can know to coax and guide her out (not sit there in there with her, merrily milking her for spondoolicks).
Unlikable though she allows herself to be, I feel very sorry for your wife. And I'd like to throttle her so-called therapist for helping to give an otherwise highly effective god-send a bad name. But where therapy isn't an option, the sheep in wolf's clothing called SEPARATION works just as well, if not better.
As for you, you've become overly desensitized where it's all to a large extent become normalised. You don't see how bad it really is. That's why you need a break. You also need to cease trying to be this woman's rescuer. It's not your job. She's your WIFE, not your quasi-patient. You're too close to it to be of any good, anyway (as explained above). But this - " I speak to crowds and small groups about how to be positive." would have been one of the major attractions for your negative wife. These helpless types think what you've got will surely rub off on them. Only often it DOESN'T, it just provides a negative contrast...bit like a normal weight person stood in front of the mirror beside an obese person. Now the fat person feels EVEN FATTER (and behaves accordingly). Hell, you know this, you know all about contrasts and comparisons, right? So she's subconsciously either trying to fatten you up to her size or is trying to make you exit the changing room altogether. See it?
And "I know better" - no, you DON'T know better. Your LEFT hemisphere knows better but you didn't fall in love with your left hemi, you're not conducting your closest-ever relationship with your left hemi, and neither did you ever get to practise putting that knowledge and skill to application using your RIGHT hemi - which is the very hemisphere that dominates whenever things get negatively emotional with your wife (i.e. all the bloody time, LOL). 'Phsician heal thyself'. You're now part of the problem, making this tantamount to healing thyself. You've got to be VERY thick-skinned, including under fire, to be able to that. But you're not. You're a sensitive chappie who relies on his left-brained skills and his voice timbre to command respect from those who know the rules of play regarding always ensuring to stay respectful (work environment).
You cannot deem yourself and take pride in being a rescuer until you have proven to the world that you can RESCUE YOURSELF. 'Own oxygen mask FIRST before helping others on with theirs'. Right?
You've tried. Tried, tried, tried, tried, tried. And it's failed. This next couples course is your last-ditch attempt. So for goodness' sake DO IT PROPERLY THIS TIME. Make it feel different, as I say. Majorly. Show your wife you're putting on your own mask FIRST - BEFORE then trying one last time to help her on with hers. Get the couples counselling date firmly in the diary and then tell her you're going to go stay elsewhere duringtime, at least for the first 6 weeks (if you can't face 2 months). As I say, then she'll know you really mean business this time, that you did NOT quit at the last attempt, you were given no other self-respecting choice (thanks to her inept counsellor).
It is NOT that hard to completely transform a dynamic if the two parties are committed to making serious strides, finally. But it does take bravery, which means taking brave, meaty actions.
And - "As for separation to work on the marriage, I know myself, I would never try to reconcile. With the difficulty I have with being disloyal in any form (not saying it is rational) if I broke that mental barrier I would never go back, might as well call it a divorce." - no, you DON'T know that. You know nothing. Once you were convinced you'd never go from nappies to potty and potty to big boy's toilet or leave home ("I'm NEVER going to leave you, mummy!" - they all say it, including you). Are you still in nappies, still living with mum and dad? NO. So cease talking nonsense. Because it IS nonsense for a present-day self to act like he has a crystal ball into the future including how his future self feels about *anything*. Or shall I start calling you Mystic Meg? ;-p
Things change = feelings change = attitudes change = outcome changes. Eat the green eggs and ham and THEN confidently state whether or not you like them and would ever eat them again, Sam-I-Am. Until then, it's mere arrogance talking.
"I feel like a guy that owns a health food store, but secretly has an addiction to kit kats."
ROFL, don't we all!
Anything to report, Mr (eh-HEUGH!) Communicative?
Opening a new office, and traveling to a couple different clients, so it has been quiet. I guess the best term is frosty, but little contact.
As of now we are still on track to go to our counseling appointment in a couple weeks. I asked that we try and avoid having any heavy discussions until someone is there to keep us kind to each other. She is holding up her end of the bargain the best way she knows how.
I do keep thinking about everything wayyyy too much. It is like staring at a car wreck.
Not as much time as I would like to communicate.
I'm not sure anyone could stop themselves mulling it all over, actually. And in fact, although my knee-jerk reaction would have been to suggest you beg the counsellor for an earlier appointment because of this low-simmering hostility situation, it may not be a bad thing that you ARE getting copious time to think through everything. After all, *preparation* - in this case, by mentally reviewing, comprehending and destination-marking every emotional data sheet per file name ready for the big meeting - is key!
Also, unless it's because she's enjoying a reason to sulk, the fact your wife is complying is an encouraging sign. Not as encouraging as following the request to the tacit letter, however...because you didn't ask anything untoward, did you - just that neither of you try to discuss anything emotionally loaded until sat in front of the counsellor - which is just sensible...It certainly doesn't automatically necessitate frostiness in the entire interim. But we know she's not a compartmentaliser, don't we. So in my mind that means she's trying to combine complying with an excuse to sneak in yet more aggro whilst she still can, just in a less obvious and open-to-reproach format.
Why is it, do you think, that I keep wishing I could put your wife over my knee and give her arse a damn good overdue spanking? :-p (And, no comments about my 'leanings', thanks - *I* ain't "confused" LOL.)
But, anyway, medefinitelythinks wifey's peed off because her My Little Pony's been locked in the naughty cupboard for 2 weeks (meaning this sulking is her attempting to squeeze her little chubby fingers through the gap in the back and stroke it's mane), and she's not used to that from anyone, least of all you.
New-found respect, here you come!
Heh...My arse wants to tell you you should start whistling Frosty The Snowman or Joe Dolce's 'Shuttuppa you face' every evening. But, noooo, that wouldn't be productive (whoops, 10 mins on the naughty chair pour moi).
You gotta laugh, though, eh.
lol, you seem to have punishment on your mind.
I really wanted a sooner appointment, but this was the earliest. As much as I am dreading the actual therapy, I want to get it started. I am tired of where we have been sitting, and am ready to move in a positive direction.
Hopefully the quiet treatment is her trying to process things. I cannot say I am sure what she thinks about our relationship at this point. For all I know she could be ready to divorce and just is too conditioned by her family to ask for one. At least I know I won't have to wait long to hear her opinion once we start therapy.
No need to bait my wife to get a rise out of her, she had a root canal today. I was already trying to be a little humorous about it, and she was having none of it. She has never dealt with any type of physical pain well.
Yep, got the basement all set up and ready. DHL her (small box, please), I'll keep a special eye out for her. LOL
Nah. Only joking. (Or AM I? LOL)
Question: When YOU'RE trying to process things, do YOU find you're incapable of concentrating unless you get coldly hostile with it? I'll answer that FOR you, shall I? *NO*.
NO MORE MINIMISING, you! :-p
"She has never dealt with any type of physical pain well."
LOL. (You'll have to guess the rest of my comment. Already my arse is naughty chair shaped. NOT a good look!)
"I was already trying to be a little humorous about it, and she was having none of it."
I think you'll find that's called teasing. Ordinarily, I'd frown on that at this point in the proceedings. But I have to be honest, I think in this case the 'worm turning' is just what the doctor ordered because it counts as yet another element of the new but overdue [understatement!] campaign to stand up for yourself and thereby close off once and for all her option to cat-kick you so that she has to find a better, more well-behaved and person-friendly way of dealing with her woes. Again, people treat you only as badly as you let them.
Why are you dreading the session?
The humor wasn't meant to stick a knife in a wound, simply trying to get her mind off the root canal. She can get fairly fixated on things like that. Just wanted her to laugh.
I can have issues listening for extended periods of time, and I am exceedingly forgetful. Nothing I do on purpose. I have thought more than a few times that I have a mild undiagnosed case of ADD. That might be the worst complex to couple with a wife that feels that people do not listen to her. Now that is perverse punishment
Ooooh dreading the sessions. It is going to be a negativity fest for starters. I also know that the issue of forgiveness is going to be an extreme hotbed. I have learned in life to forgive those they might of committed a harm or injustice without needing an apology, or reconciliation. Forgiving is about self healing. My wife has not forgiven anyone that I know of, including herself. It means there are lingering issues from way before our marriage that we will need to slog through to even get ourselves to dealing with the true feelings about our relationship.
My brain is really wired to look for immediate solution, and I can really see myself having a hard time being patient with the process that is necessary. See ADD comment above... and now imagine my wife in our counseling session noticing that I am having a hard time patiently listening to her talking through problems. Absolute recipe for an explosion.
Oh, I see. Sorry. When you said she was having none of it, I naturally (ass, you, me) concluded it was because it was a bit on the ribbing side. But, yep, I forgot, this isn't your regular Joanna Schmoe we're dealing with.
Re the session:
1. Take a pad and pen. You're allowed to make notes. Use abbreviations and key words to prompt and remind you about what you want to say in response once your wife or therapist has finished talking so that you're largely non-distracted, free to pay attention to the real-time conversation content.
2. When you turn up, ensure you're the one to say hello first and proffer a handshake. This will unconsciously communicate the fact that you're the initiator (thereby, by logical extension, the plaintiff). This will counter-balance any potential gender and stereotypification bias of the unconscious variety.
3. DON'T try to be on your best behaviour, albeit neither let rip uncharacteristically out of the artificial sense of safety and bravado. Be yourself, biz as usual. That includes letting your wife talk over you, interrupt you, correct you and answer your questions for you. A good counsellor should adjudicate.
Don't rile her by counter-asserting yourself using words, use your facial and body language to signal frustration or objection (or sigh through your nose), *without* looking to the counsellor as you do so. S/he'll do the looking for such pointers, no worries.
4. Don't prepare yourself a mental script aside from refreshing your mind in terms of all your usual (justifiably-) self-defensive retorts, or, again, you'll lose track of the conversation by being too busy trying to recall said script.
5. If you're lost for words and don't know what to say, show your lack of hubris by SAYING SO. Also, it's perfectly acceptable to buy yourself thinking time by repeating the question asked of you and then saying such things as, 'Um... good question...I need to think about that for a second...'.
Other than those tips - RELAX. This is not a case of you and she having gone back to the same counsellor as before, courtesy of a time-machine. For starters, YOU feel differently this time, and now, thanks to you of late, so does wifey - ergo, the session will be different, too.
"I have thought more than a few times that I have a mild undiagnosed case of ADD. That might be the worst complex to couple with a wife that feels that people do not listen to her. Now that is perverse punishment
I said, no minimising and that includes taking all the responsibility. It's not possible to have ADD to any degree of concern yet still succeed at your kind and level of job, nor to be good at extended communication to the point of you and past exes counting on it, like you priorly described.
You're just mentally and emotionally overloaded and have been for too long, plain and simple. And the inability you describe about being able to undergo protracted emotionally-loaded conversation is actually down to a little-known condition, described in the trade as: EEZAMAAAN. ;-p
It's called being solutions-orientated, and, more to the point susceptible to *flooding*. Go google. The solution is to regularly hand over control to your right hemisphere in order to give the left a quick re-charging breather (go Google, Black Humour and stress). The note-taking should help in the 'opposite direction'. Otherwise, I suggest you recite some or all of the alphabet backwards (in your head, obviously) or start counting down from 100 using only odd numbers in order to emotionally de-stress.
ADD, my naughty-chair-shaped arse. And obviously part of your wife's problem is understanding diddly-squat about how men tick thus treating them LIKE WOMEN whilst expecting, nay DEMANDING they behave accordingly.
PS - nearly forgot: Commando Breathing: IN (two, three, four), HOLD (two, three, four), OUT (two, three, four). Bloody works. Just ask the SAS.
..Appositely enough. LOL
Lol, deep breathing will save your marriage.
I am not being self-deprecating with the ADD mention. Have always needed tremendous focus to be in deep conversations, or work on long involved topics.
I am excellent at high energy, engaging tasks. I have never been able to sit in an office for any appreciable amount of time. I fidget, pace, and am a constant procrastinator unless I create strict time tables. I am so bad at remembering things when I travel that I have had to start listing everything I pack and checking off the list before I leave the hotel.
I have succeeded based on energy and intelligence, I was never the organized detail oriented person. Hurts my chess game too
The advice for during the session is good, though I do not have a vindictive bone in body. There is no chance I will take pot shots during our sessions.
What you're describing there is a typical male (ask any co-ed teacher), especially one who'd ideally be better suited to a physical career or is mentally overloaded.
Writing constant to-do and don't-forget lists is quite common, to. They're called Post-It Notes.
Now stop it because my sides are starting to hurt.
"I do not have a vindictive bone in body. There is no chance I will take pot shots during our sessions. "
Oh, yes, you do because you're human. All it takes is enough pressure for that self-suppression attempt to fail and WHOOPS! You're simply lucky if you've never been pushed to that tether-end before. Not that I'm suggesting this could be the case in the session, just saying.
You ain't getting exempted through cop-out labels, nope, sorry. But EXCELLENT try! LOL
Lmao, just dumb guy syndrome...
I got us an earlier appointment, tomorrow night. Never been big on waiting for anything, so feels better to get this moving.
I'll be sure to update when there is something to talk about, other than my obsessing about my marriage.
Not dumb (far from it), but wired (still) to be a physical hunter who's constantly on the move, involving strategising, stalking, chasing (short-ish sprints) and 'bagging'...followed by a snooze.
Great news that you've managed to put paid to the limbo!
Other than obsessing about your marriage? Whatchoo gonna talk about? Knitting patterns? You're on a problems (including marital) forum, you 'nana. LOL
(I don't even know how to knit anyway, haven't got a pigging clue!)
Let me know asap how it all went.
Figured I would give an update....
Went to our first counseling session, I guess could have been worse. My wife was shaking mad during the session a few times, especially when the therapist was paying a lot more attention to me than her in the beginning of the session.
She seemed to settle in and feel better when she had an opportunity to vent what she wanted me to improve for our marriage. Mostly revolving around forgetting constantly, inattentiveness, inability to listen, not finishing chores. That actually matched up with issues I had written down that I wanted for self-improvement areas to work on.
Was a little unusual to me that the therapist spent a considerable period of time at the end of the session explaining how it was okay if we wanted our therapy to be more about how we can split amicably, and that we have a lot of life left and should make sure we are happy. Then we sent individual appointments with the therapist.
The therapist asked us each to say one thing we wanted from our partner to make our marriage work, I asked for kindness and understanding.
I'll give an update when I have my individual session. Still not positive this is the right therapist but he seemed friendly, attentive, and caring.
Side note: I am going to have a more extensive test for adult adhd, I scored off the chart for it in the written testing they gave to myself and my wife.
"I guess could have been worse."
Ironically enough, that, for you guys, is actually a distinct improvement, is it not!
And she'd be shaking mad even if a fairy godmother appeared before her, promising to grant her a wish, and had the cheek to be sporting a gold wand instead of a silver one! Any excuse.
Trust me, your wife is not unique and her issue is not gender-restricted. LOADS of people have been married to your wife. Including me, as it happens!
Okay, so you're annoying to some because you're absent-minded/overloaded and don't always finish home projects. SO WHAT. SO IS MY HUSBAND, I practically CLOTHE him in post-it notes! It's called, focus on the POSITIVES! She, on the other hand, is focusing on the negatives.
But that's the trouble when someone isn't in love with you or has lost love with you or (in what I suspect is her case) can't connect to the love they have for you BECAUSE *THEY* ARE UNHAPPY (and were before you met them). All they're doing is trying to make you responsible for their unhappiness so that YOU will fix them so that they don't have to ("meh, too TIIIIIRED"). I mean - delegation is a skill in some contexts, but not in this one!
All she's doing is listing SYMPTOMS. And they're not even PRIMARY or causal. They're just things to focus on.
Am I making sense here?
"Was a little unusual to me that the therapist spent a considerable period of time at the end of the session explaining how it was okay if we wanted our therapy to be more about how we can split amicably, and that we have a lot of life left and should make sure we are happy. Then we sent individual appointments with the therapist."
I'm not surprised, I have to be honest. But that's the infuriating thing, here. If you two DID split - sooner or later your wife WOULD get a handle on why she was constantly so unhappy with the world and would then realise it was NEVER about you. And then she'd realise what a huge mistake she'd made.
Mid Life Crisis. Your wife is *definitely* in MLC, I think.
Saying that, however, your therapist could be mentioning the big D as a scare tactic to make your wife wake up and smell the coffee. Depends on how clever/manipulative (for the power of good) he is. Remains to be seen.
"The therapist asked us each to say one thing we wanted from our partner to make our marriage work, I asked for kindness and understanding."
What did your wife ask for? How did she nutshell it?
"Still not positive this is the right therapist but he seemed friendly, attentive, and caring."
Why aren't you sure? Try to pinpoint and articulate it for me.
"Side note: I am going to have a more extensive test for adult adhd, I scored off the chart for it in the written testing they gave to myself and my wife."
Yes, but you WOULD. There is innate ADHD and then there is REACTIVE ADHD (same for any condition). What I'm saying is, IMO it's a symptom, not a 'disease'. And a symptom of something else, something perfectly commonplace. Brain Cram!
I mean, it is a LOT to be starting a new venture AND to have ongoing problems in your marriage. It would make *anyone* absent-minded and forgetful and 'all over the place'. But you have NOT - NOTABLY! - been like that on here with me. If you were truly ADHD, you would have been.
My husband is ADHD. I've never SEEN such hyperactive-ness! And I've known others as well as studied up on it. NONE of them would have been able to sit at a computer writing coherently and articulatley on a forum. Not one.
Again, you are too hard on yourself and you need to start cutting yourself some slack. It's no good asking for your WIFE to deliver kindness and understanding if you're not showing her that you deserve it enough to be giving it to yourself in the first instance. You da man. No matter any 'sisms', deeper down she takes your cue.
Start showing her that you're so damn special you can't even stop yourself from risking association with Narcissm by loving YOURSELF! That's how it works... other people take *your* cue.
Tsk. I meant 'isms'.
(It's a keyboard conspiracy to take over the wold, I tell you!)
(LOL, did you see what I did there? Ey thenk hyo, youbinnawonnerfulaudience.
Lol, I fat finger just about everything. Soulmate, I see you are in rant mode... have a lot of conviction, good trait.
Let's start with the therapist. This is going to sound silly, but thinking back the thing that probably irritated me more than anything was his cadence. Extremely slow speaker, I started squirming in my chair waiting to speak while he was talking. I know I interrupted him twice, he was pleasant about it but I could tell I was out of turn after I started talking. I have never been good waiting for people to meander around to the end of a story. I am sure he uses it as a calming mechanism when he has two tense people in the room with him, but it made me want to climb the walls. I even went so far as to stop him and go use the bathroom, and I truthfully could not wait to get out of my chair.
As for my thoughts on ADHD. I was called motormouth as a child, and have always been the must be doing something person. I almost got left back in third grade, and although I got excellent grades going forward it was always more a case of testing well. I was the student that never studied and got A's on tests.
I found work that fits what and who I am. I started as a salesperson, where I met multiple people all the time, got immediate gratification, and we always had admins to chase around all the mundane things that needed to get done. Owner always wanted the salespeople free to be selling and that suited me fine. When I moved into management I had people to take care of meeting agendas, reports, etc.. I was the manager that was always out selling with the sales people. Then I moved into traveling, training, and speaking. This could not be more perfect for me. I never have to sit. I will run training classes or seminars from when I wake up until I fall asleep. I usually tell my clients to book my day for 12 plus hours, and I am happy to not sit for the entire time. I get to talk and pace until I completely run myself out of steam. Even on the breaks between workshops I book phone calls, use my bluetooth and walk around while I take calls.
All the things that make me, me, are perfect in my work environment. From doing a bunch of research it seems most people with ADHD tend to fall into occupations that are in sales, or high volume long hour jobs like being a chef. This type of work that requires high energy, creative thinking, multitasking, and lots of personal interaction fit the best of my traits. The people with ADHD that have continued success learn to find ways to eliminate the need to rely on the weaker skills. Having others responsible for planning, organization, paperwork, and other non-energy based tasks.
Now that I have an office open, and have to actually be in all the time it is driving me nuts already. Quick example, when I have to be on phone for any period of time I use a headset and pace the training room while I talk. It is just another way I have learned to work with what I am, and I haven't done any of this consciously. Only reason I noticed it was one of the call center agents had actually moved the tables in the training room to one side to make space for me to pace.
I know ADHD is hereditary, and I think that makes me saddest of all right now. I never really knew my father, and he has passed now. From everyone that has ever talked about him, he was the most irresponsible human being on the planet. New job all time, multiple marriages, always a new hobby. The shame of it is that he probably had ADHD also, and if it was diagnosed might have made all the difference in how he lived his life, and changed many of the relationships he had including with me.
I do not think my issues are any type of justification for my wife being verbally abusive. She has a major problem with empathy and forgiveness. It is what keeps her venting and angry. All this toxic energy built up that she will not let go of that is just screaming to get out. It is painful to watch, even when it isn't about me, and I can tell she is getting worked up about someone else. She holds on to this stuff for sooooo long that the pain, or guilt she has never let go over start to bleed into issues that are new. It has this compounding effect, so it not only makes her reaction to smaller things now worse, but also perpetuates her inability to deal with older things. This well predated our marriage, but it ours now.
The thing that scares me about the combination of us together is our individual issues really don't work well together. My wife has this very idealistic view of everything being either right or wrong, black or white. It is what keeps her from being able to tackle forgiveness and blocks empathy. They are wrong, they have to apologize, atone, correct this. Life, unfortunately, rarely gives us answers, or gets other people to atone for their mistakes. When I forget things, just flat out don't do things, say things, or get twitchy I don't have reason. It just is. She can't handle it, my wife needs to be able to label something as right or wrong. I have no way to give her that.
Small example is grocery shipping last week. My wife called me while I was at the store and asked me to pick up vitamins. Easy thing, and I told her I was right in the aisle with the vitamins, no problem I will throw them in the cart. Needless to say, I came home without them. Something must have caught my attention in the time it took me to cross the aisle, and the thought was gone. Vitamins weren't written on my grocery list, so nothing reminded me to go back (I have learned to go through the entire store twice). When I got home and my wife asked about the vitamins I just stared at her. She wasn't mad or screaming, but I could tell she was confused. She asked if I really was in the aisle when we spoke, I said I guess so, and then she just had a puzzled look on her face and asked how I could forget them. I told her I have no idea, and couldn't even remember needing them.
Things like this have many times turned into full blown fits. They are rarely about the individual incident. She gets much more upset when I cannot give her any kind of reasonable explanation. This even gets more volatile when I lose parts of our conversations. She will be venting to me about friends, work, family and I will regularly lose place in the conversation, or (and this completely turns her into a rage monster) start on a completely unrelated track of thought before she is anywhere near done venting.
With ADHD I am going to need a lot of patience, understanding, and willingness to compromise from my partner. Someone willing to forgive easily, and focus on the positive things we have. That is exactly my wife's difficulty with everyone.
My wife needs a lot of stability and relief of stress if she is going to ever conquer her struggles with stress and anger. These are the only things I am not positive I can give my wife. I have lived my whole life completing things at crunch time personally and professionally. I have learned to not sweat the small things I lose, or forget, but these things do not relieve stress or breed stability.
This is not being hard on myself. I truly am happy with myself and who I am. I am quick to love, forgive people, and treat everyone in my life with compassion.
It scares me that being good, moral, loving might just not be enough.
PS.. As far as writing on this forum, I counted the number of times I got up and did something else while writing this out just for you Soulmate... Ten
You will never have to worry about me getting a "naughty chair shaped arse". I would never wit that long
and of course I took so long getting up and down that this site logged me out...
"As far as writing on this forum, I counted the number of times I got up and did something else while writing this out just for you Soulmate... Ten"
I'm not surprised. It was a very long and involved one (for a man ;-p) which would have taken a lot of mental concentration and energy (from one who's already knackered) in order to keep it from going off tangent or ending up missing something vital. So you're not a natural writer and are currently experiencing a modicum of brain-frazzle - big deal. That doesn't make you officially ADHD. Only a psychiatric assessment can decide that. Ask your GP for one by all means, however. At least then you'll know where you stand and have a clearer frame of reference with which to judge this whole current life situation.
(PS: "I took so long getting up and down that this site logged me out..." I told you - it's a conspiracy. LOL)
Now to the important bits...
"Let's start with the therapist. This is going to sound silly, but thinking back the thing that probably irritated me more than anything was his cadence. Extremely slow speaker, I started squirming in my chair waiting to speak while he was talking."
That makes him patient, cautious and considered. That's good.
"I know I interrupted him twice,"
I imagine he's used to that, hence, " he was pleasant about it".
"but I could tell I was out of turn after I started talking. I have never been good waiting for people to meander around to the end of a story."
If you're a Speedy Gonzalez, no, you WOULDN'T have the patience for gelling that well with a sloth. (Is your wife a sloth type? Are the very opposites as attracted you together initially now repelling?)
Me neither, I process veryveryveryfast as well as very deep, to the point where some more honest friends fully admit I can often force them to think too hard as wears them out (poor dears, LOL). I'm intense and dogged. So sue me.
(..I'll win, though.
"I am sure he uses it as a calming mechanism when he has two tense people in the room with him, but it made me want to climb the walls. I even went so far as to stop him and go use the bathroom, and I truthfully could not wait to get out of my chair."
Naturally, you're impatient. This whole dysfunctional shebang has been going on for AGES already. It's perfectly natural.
"As for my thoughts on ADHD. I was called motormouth as a child, and have always been the must be doing something person. I almost got left back in third grade, and although I got excellent grades going forward it was always more a case of testing well. I was the student that never studied and got A's on tests."
You're hyperactive. But that doesn't mean you are "a" hyperactive or attention deficit. Something is only considerable as a disorder if it impedes to a critical degree your ability to function overall normally in all or any one crucial sector of life. Again, you have a successful career which involves time-portion management which you seem to excel at and which is known to require an organised mind DESPITE those pockets are more condensed and fast than others'. So I don't think you're disorganised, I just think you're "too" fast for the people and mechanisms that naturally surround you.
"I know ADHD is hereditary, and I think that makes me saddest of all right now. I never really knew my father, and he has passed now. From everyone that has ever talked about him, he was the most irresponsible human being on the planet. New job all time, multiple marriages, always a new hobby. The shame of it is that he probably had ADHD also, and if it was diagnosed might have made all the difference in how he lived his life, and changed many of the relationships he had including with me."
Lemons are lemons and we all have them. What distinguishes between a lemonade-maker and someone who instead drowns in bitterness under the weight and juice of them comes down to whether one has an innately positive or negative attitude to life and/or whether that innateness of nature gets beaten out of them or cultivated during their formative years.
"I do not think my issues are any type of justification for my wife being verbally abusive."
GOOD. Nor do I.
"She has a major problem with empathy and forgiveness. It is what keeps her venting and angry. All this toxic energy built up that she will not let go of that is just screaming to get out. It is painful to watch, even when it isn't about me, and I can tell she is getting worked up about someone else. She holds on to this stuff for sooooo long that the pain, or guilt she has never let go over start to bleed into issues that are new. It has this compounding effect, so it not only makes her reaction to smaller things now worse, but also perpetuates her inability to deal with older things. This well predated our marriage, but it ours now."
And meanwhile, things that cry out for getting done DON'T GET DONE. She's always too busy with this/that problem, big fat eh.
It sounds to me like this is her cunning little way of avoiding life.
Sounds like maybe you married your dad, doesn't it? Perhaps you'd be better suited to someone who has mostly the GOOD parts of your dad AND the best parts of your mum, including not too many of the parts that tend to absolutely not suit you?
"The thing that scares me about the combination of us together is our individual issues really don't work well together. My wife has this very idealistic view of everything being either right or wrong, black or white."
Could she be Aspergic?...with you having JUST ENOUGH of the condition that originates from the same spectrum area to have attracted you to one another?
Tell me what you two have IN COMMON.
"It is what keeps her from being able to tackle forgiveness and blocks empathy. They are wrong, they have to apologize, atone, correct this. Life, unfortunately, rarely gives us answers, or gets other people to atone for their mistakes. When I forget things, just flat out don't do things, say things, or get twitchy I don't have reason. It just is. She can't handle it, my wife needs to be able to label something as right or wrong. I have no way to give her that."
Then maybe the two of you are intrinsically incompatible?
"Small example is grocery shipping last week. My wife called me while I was at the store and asked me to pick up vitamins. Easy thing, and I told her I was right in the aisle with the vitamins, no problem I will throw them in the cart. Needless to say, I came home without them. Something must have caught my attention in the time it took me to cross the aisle, and the thought was gone. Vitamins weren't written on my grocery list, so nothing reminded me to go back (I have learned to go through the entire store twice). When I got home and my wife asked about the vitamins I just stared at her. She wasn't mad or screaming, but I could tell she was confused. She asked if I really was in the aisle when we spoke, I said I guess so, and then she just had a puzzled look on her face and asked how I could forget them. I told her I have no idea, and couldn't even remember needing them."
Again, this is not uncommon in someone who's got too much on their mind and you definitely do, particularly as you're the type generates his OWN 'incoming' stimulus (ideas and involved chains of thought), meaning you never have an available enough mind to begin with?
You won't get a correct diagnosis of ADHD if you're so foolish as to get tested whilst all of THIS is going on, though. It'd be an artificial or exaggerated one due to the stressful climate you're in.
"Things like this have many times turned into full blown fits. They are rarely about the individual incident. She gets much more upset when I cannot give her any kind of reasonable explanation. This even gets more volatile when I lose parts of our conversations. She will be venting to me about friends, work, family and I will regularly lose place in the conversation, or (and this completely turns her into a rage monster) start on a completely unrelated track of thought before she is anywhere near done venting."
Well, so would I. It's BORING when someone keeps repeatedly whinging on and on about basically the same ol' same ol'. Who *wouldn't* zone outzzzzz?
It sounds like she doesn't understand you enough to trust where you're coming from. But that, logically, would be a two-way situation as well as a negative self-fulfilling prophesy.
"With ADHD I am going to need a lot of patience, understanding, and willingness to compromise from my partner. Someone willing to forgive easily, and focus on the positive things we have. That is exactly my wife's difficulty with everyone."
Whereas it's not your difficulty. So this is merely your problem byproxially. Does this make her a weight around your ankle? That's the question you're going to have to find answers to with the counsellor's help.
"My wife needs a lot of stability and relief of stress if she is going to ever conquer her struggles with stress and anger. These are the only things I am not positive I can give my wife. I have lived my whole life completing things at crunch time personally and professionally. I have learned to not sweat the small things I lose, or forget, but these things do not relieve stress or breed stability.
This is not being hard on myself. I truly am happy with myself and who I am. I am quick to love, forgive people, and treat everyone in my life with compassion.
It scares me that being good, moral, loving might just not be enough."
Yes, but if it turns out you and your wife ARE oil and water when no longer in the isolating Honeymoon bubble, and trying to forever more stay in that bubble just isn't do-able (because we have to get on with LIFE, our third relationship partner), then this isn't bona fide fear you're feeling. It's fear of the unknown...a psychological design fault in motion. For example, if I had a crystal ball and could see that bringing this marriage to a close would send you onto a path that led to you meeting a woman who had all your wife's best parts but none or too little of the parts that causes clashes, i.e. a woman that ENHANCES your life, you'd be saying: LEMMIE AT IT!, and fear wouldn't even feature.
Your wife may not be your terminus, just a stepping stone that was meant to ready you for the real deal as well as make you want the real deal that more more.
That's not cause for misery and fear, it's cause for inspiration and celebration.
Trust in this whole process called major life crisis because pain equals gain. It's just 'childbirth'. You get a great big bundle of joy at the end of it. What helps, though, is NOT thinking 'Ow, there's another contraction' whereby you dread the next. Instead you imagine a bucket containing a finite number of contractions so that with each pain-wave, you say, 'Yipee, one less!'.
But, anyway, this is all conjecture at this point because you don't know what your wife is capable of until you've seen how she is under the influence of a really meaningful incentive/disincentive like that which she's never before known. Try to have more trust in life and go with the flow more. Que sera.
You're just a leaf blowing in the wind, anyway. We all are. Some of us kid ourselves that we have influence over whichever direction we move in. The control delusion. But the reality is, we don't. All we have control over is which way we TWIST ourselves as we're blown from Point A to Point B. You're going to go there anyway whether you like it or not. May as well like it.
Realising this fact is another vital ingredient that goes to making True Grown-Up Pie (and sod the arrogant, man-made nonsense about reaching 21 meaning achieving adulthood, IT IS NOT). And the mechanism, the oven, is called, Mid Life Crisis.
Hurrah for mid-life-crisis - yours or yours by proxy of your team-mate's!
Now, if that doesn't help you to relax a bit, bloody nothing will, LOL.
First, your reply came in to my email with no paragraph breaks... OMG it took me ten tries to get through reading it!
Relaxing a bit is not me, it is more like must hyper-focus until I have beat an idea to death. At some point I will run out of steam constantly thinking through our relationship, but I don't think I am near that point at the moment.
I agree that a thorough diagnosis should be done, referring to ADHD, and now is not an ideal time. Stress takes the strongest parts of you and brings them forward.
I do think I owe it to myself and my marriage to fully investigate my own issues. My wife is either going to face her own demons or not, and I doubt that anything I say or do will alter that. The only thing I can do is decide that I am willing to exhaust all I have in the tank before settling on ending our relationship. I believe in personal ownership.
The question of what we have in common gets so convoluted when the relationship is so broken and disconnected. We used to have fun together, hike, be active. As new couples a lot of what brings you together is the process of learning about each other. We are both love children (losing a child was a knife in both our hearts) and a large part of what brought us together was love of her as a mother, and me as a father. We used to have a sense of humor with each other, and both of us can be exceedingly social.
We are not the same people we were when we met 13 years ago. I do not know right now what we would have in common. We are so mentally invested in our problems, we unfortunately aren't in tune with our happiness. Our sex life was never great for me, even in our early days. It was always more of an emotional extension for me, than out of sight pleasure in the physical act with my wife. This is honestly the first relationship I have been in that was like that. All my previous partners have been adventurous, being honest with myself that is something I really like. Nothing harmful, but there was always some novelty involved (before you ask, always monogamous).
So I guess best I can answer the incompatibility question is, I have no idea what we would be like without the issues...probably sounds crazy.
Please read Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. You two could be case studies in her book!
Now I know your choleric/sanguine temperament will not allow you wait to get the book, sit and read it, so just google her name and get the jest of her writing.
Your wife's melancholy/phlegmatic temperament is being driven crazy by your temperament. The vitamin story is a good example.
PS All your (self-praised) attributes you have at work don't always transfer into success at home. How does that ego fit into the front door?
ILB, I'm off out for the day but I'll respond later or tomorrow morning latest.
SusieDQ, I will read the book you suggest. You can probably tell from my handle that is my favorite hobby. You are right, I am exceedingly impatient when something is on my mind, so I am positive I will Google the author first and read a bio.
Not understanding the hostility in the comments though. Earlier you accused me of either being, or looking for an excuse to be an adulterer. Now I am a megalomaniac. I am neither. I am happy to hear anything constructive, yes even criticism, but I do not need any assistance right now with negative thoughts about my part in our marriage. I have enough of those swirling around in my own head.
I get deep satisfaction from my work, both for what I do for people, and how my success at it makes me feel. I am by no means the greatest, but I gain a lot of confidence from work. I think everyone needs a place they feel successful and confident. I read back, and I cannot find one thing I have said that would precipitate claiming I had a giant ego, and I am certainly not going to apologize for finding a career that fits my personality type.
I am acutely aware of my failures on the home front. My wife is not the cause of all our problems, we are both in the relationship and have unfortunately both worked to make it what it is. I came on to this forum because I do not feel like I have any other place to let out anything I have on my mind, and I can tend to have endless internal conversation about things when I hyper-focus on them. I didn't put the post on to have people help me figure out a right and wrong in my marriage. My shortcomings are a frustration to me and my wife, and she is already an expert at pointing them out.
BTW, my wife is the choleric/sanguine. We always joke that she is running for mayor, and she even refers to herself as a fire breathing dragon at home sometimes and her nickname at work is bitch detective and she revels in it. There is no mousy shrinking violet in my wife. I would be the sanguine/melancholy. I am always the calm one in our relationship and we share being outgoing. Probably the place that we operate the best together is out with groups of people.
"I get deep satisfaction from my work, both for what I do for people, and how my success at it makes me feel. I am by no means the greatest, but I gain a lot of confidence from work. I think everyone needs a place they feel successful and confident. I read back, and I cannot find one thing I have said that would precipitate claiming I had a giant ego, and I am certainly not going to apologize for finding a career that fits my personality type."
All this means SH*T when you walk thru the front door. Strip down and talk about how things are in the HOME.
SusieDQ - That doesn't sound like, "I am sorry for personally insulting you by assailing your character, but would really like you to share something deeper."
It is more like, "I hope you don't mind if I make this feel hostile and cheaply voyeuristic."
From my own experience (a person who, without fail, notes and examines every single little *action* - in isolation, en masse, in context - *not* just the words), I would have said I feel I have this entire time been dealing with an utter GENTLEMAN. And then, today, here you are PROVING MY VERY POINT, and with APLOMB!
VERY much noted.
Anyway, back to biz...
"First, your reply came in to my email with no paragraph breaks... OMG it took me ten tries to get through reading it!"
How on earth did that happen??
"Relaxing a bit is not me, it is more like must hyper-focus until I have beat an idea to death. At some point I will run out of steam constantly thinking through our relationship, but I don't think I am near that point at the moment.
I agree that a thorough diagnosis should be done, referring to ADHD, and now is not an ideal time. Stress takes the strongest parts of you and brings them forward.
I do think I owe it to myself and my marriage to fully investigate my own issues. My wife is either going to face her own demons or not, and I doubt that anything I say or do will alter that. The only thing I can do is decide that I am willing to exhaust all I have in the tank before settling on ending our relationship. I believe in personal ownership."
Yes, but, ref that last sentance: you must make sure you don't in the process own other people's exclusive issues, those that are independent of you (and I've already accordingly established that your wife whinges about MANY more people than you).
I understand that it makes you feel more in control (because "my problem too equals my right to deal with it/fix it rather than be at the other person's mercy thus forced into passivity"), but you still have watch that it isn't a subconscious avoidance tactic against the biting of a bullet that demands to be bit.
Any quality lives on a spectrum, you see, meaning, walking away too soon as equals weakness/cowardice/failure crosses over at some critical point into strength/bravery/success of sensibly accepting defeat, beyond which kicks in a third definite form of weakness/cowardice/failure called not walking away *soon enough*. The spectrum is CIRCULAR, you see, but gets cut at its apex. It gets cut because humans prefer a definite beginning, middle and end (think plots belonging to your most mainstream-popular films) to a never-ending cycle, so they feel the need to snip that circle and lay it flat into a STICK. But if you then bend the stick and glue the two seemingly extreme opposite ends together back into a circle, you can now suddenly appreciate what close neighbours walking away too soon and walking away too late, are. Right? See it?
Leave some left in the tank, in other words. If your marriage ends, you're going to need that reserve. Meeting your truer soulmate may be hard work of the *positive* variety, but it's still hard work that takes strength and a calm head.
Let's not head for intensive care with this, okay? Just merely 'break a leg' (ha-ha).
"The question of what we have in common gets so convoluted when the relationship is so broken and disconnected. We used to have fun together, hike, be active. As new couples a lot of what brings you together is the process of learning about each other. We are both love children (losing a child was a knife in both our hearts) and a large part of what brought us together was love of her as a mother, and me as a father. We used to have a sense of humor with each other, and both of us can be exceedingly social."
So - bear with me here: it could be said that you both chose your partner with a THIRD PERSON'S needs (future ones) in mind, rather than having stuck solely to what pleased you each as an individual?
Have a think about what compromises that might have forced you each to make, as could be the original mistake which led you both 'here'.
You sadly don't HAVE that third party in your relationship, meaning qualities chosen for him/her are getting missed and dismissed and going to waste as justifiably useless to one another...which means less to impress and be loved with. So if you now *discount* those qualities that would have pleased Mini You and, by extension of parental co-gratitude, each other - what are you left with? Enough to build a PURELY 2-personed love relationship on? Logic says not, doesn't it? ...which would have been instrumental in THIS:
"We are not the same people we were when we met 13 years ago. I do not know right now what we would have in common. We are so mentally invested in our problems, we unfortunately aren't in tune with our happiness. Our sex life was never great for me, even in our early days."
Because underneath it all the act carried no purpose? Or do you mean even before you tried to get pregnant? If the latter then it absolutely begs the question, did you not realise what a HUGE Red Flag that under-par situation posed???
"It was always more of an emotional extension for me, than out of sight pleasure in the physical act with my wife. This is honestly the first relationship I have been in that was like that. All my previous partners have been adventurous, being honest with myself that is something I really like. Nothing harmful, but there was always some novelty involved (before you ask, always monogamous)."
(I wasn't about to, mleugh, LOL.)
"So I guess best I can answer the incompatibility question is, I have no idea what we would be like without the issues...probably sounds crazy."
Nope. The total opposite of crazy. So (apex cut), yes, a bit crazy, absolutely. (LOL - did you see what I just did there?)
Anyway, looking forward to your answers to my questions, Sir Pracealot.
(PS: You can call me Lady Grin'nbear.
So I guess we are at the round table having a chat.
I do not know what trying too hard to repair our relationship is, but I know we have both done too little. The cycle has been running so long now, I am not even sure it is important where it originates. At some point we have to decide we are going to lay everything on the table and get over our own individual axes to grind. Waiting for change never works.
Hopefully the work at the therapist is the beginning of communicating enough to break the cycle. I am trying my best to treat this as a fresh start and not an extension of the things we have done wrong.
I have questioned if everything was right from the start a bunch of times recently. We had each been in serious relationships directly before we met each other, and they were the opposite of who we ended up with.
For my part I had a relationship that was long distance with a woman I loved passionately. We were lustful for each other, talked for hours on the phone when we couldn't be together, and loved a lot of the same things. Ultimately she ended up getting back with her child's father. I was never sure she was completely over him, and I know she always felt she was letting her daughter down raising her as a single mom. I am not a big "what if" person, but she would be my "one that got away".
On my wife's side, she had been with a blue collar heavy drinking guy. Totally unromantic, but reliable. She had tired of him being out with the boys, and feeling like there wasn't any focus on her and their relationship.
When we met it was a breath of fresh air for each of us. I was attentive and romantic. She was outgoing but grounded, definitely not a follow your heart at all costs person. She was safe, loving, good mother. I had been in a number of relationships that felt great for the little head, at the expense of everything else (including the one that had just ended). I was able to love her for all the other things, I guess I figured we would get better together in the bedroom as we grew as a couple. In this area we never really got any better as a couple.
From her side I know she was still guilty about her divorce. Not about cutting things with her ex, but what it meant for her son. She had this vision of being a stay at home mom for her son with a gaggle of siblings for her son. She has mentioned feeling guilty about taking that away, and I think I seemed like an opportunity to recreate that. Losing a child and then finding out we couldn't even try again ended that. The ensuing medical problems that went on for years certainly didn't help our intimacy.
If we can bridge a lot of built up resentment, and take a real try at revitalizing our relationship, I have no idea what the real underpinnings are. Over the course of our time together we have each accumulated individual interests, because we were spending our time avoiding each other. This doesn't make it easier to be with each other. I am willing to see what we look like as a fresh couple, and risk it.
It is not in my wife's nature to let anything go, so if she can really do that it is a pretty serious show of desire to make our marriage work. I think this is what I am looking for more than anything. If I have a person that understands me, and accepts me for who and what I am everything else is secondary. But if she is just holding on because the idea of divorce is too painful and is just going to be resentful that I can't be what and who she wants, then you are right we are over the apex.
Make sense Lady Grin'nbear
11 years is a long time and during this time you both change (physically and mentally). I feel over the years you both have not been able to keep in touch and accept the changes happening in each other. Also when we enter the 40's there are a lot of health issues coming in with it. You both will need to understand those in each other.
The anger, ranting, complaining are the by products of lack of love and understanding. You feel you are understanding her but she doesn't feel so. She is reciprocating the same lack of understanding which is why you both are at this point.
By going into the past, picking out the complaints against each other might only increase resentment. Its like when you pick at the hurt more and more, it gets more sore.
What I suggest is, for a while play a game. Pretend that you both don't know each other. Pretend you are dating. The basic rule is you will not talk about what you don't like in each other. Talk about your day outside the house, share jokes, do fun stuff you both enjoy (something new preffered). In this period, try understanding each other once again in a new light. In this period try surprising her with things she normally wouldn't expect you to do for her (like may be prepare a surprise dinner for her?, buy her something that she has just randomly mentioned she would like to have? etc.)
In a long term relationship, one of the major problem starter is the familiarity which kills the surprise element. If you can manage to recreate the surprise element, you may be can change the direction this is heading to.
Yes, you should obviously aim for a fresh start (and Shivangi's suggestions are ace), but what I was just trying to warn you about was the fact that, proactivity during that whole time or not, you've still sat and endured a non-stop negative climate for too many years, whereas human endurance has a limit, meaning, how much longer can you manage to hold out without wearing yourself completely out? And, the crux: are you holding on for reasons of optimism or fear over closing a chapter?
Trust me, if you really do want this marriage to turn a corner and continue until death, you HAVE to first get rid of your fear of potentially failing. If there seems too little work incentive on the rewards side, the key is to see it that you have very little to LOSE in trying your hardest. Understand? But never TOO hard where it constitutes flogging a dead horse and yourself in the process.
I'm trying to establish what's mainly powering you - optimism or fear.
Again, why on earth would a person - PARTICULARLY a man - dismiss in the relatively early years the fact that his relationship featured a sex-life that was so dissatisfactory compared to the standard potential/already experienced, and do anything between not rocking the boat and persevering with the relationship regardless?
It was a glaring sign - either that something was very wrong and direly needed fixing or that the two of you weren't as compatible as you thought and should part company.
So at the point where you both realised that, no, it was NOT going to just get better with more practise and familiarity - why did you EACH ignore that ruddy great Red flag? How come no-one dared say, 'Houston, we clearly have a problem'?
Did the fact that all other major differences between you and your respective exes mean so much more to you both at the time than the bog-standard of a great sex life?
Shivangi, what you are saying is completely true. We aren't going to move forward as a couple until we decide to make a fresh start at some point. I can say at this time, we have to address our "deal breakers" in the relationship. Simply burying them, and moving forward as if they don't exist is a recipe for disaster. I think that is what got us to this point in the first place.
Soulmate, yes red flag...houston there is a problem...WTF...any other way you can put it. Our sex life is a giant issue, and I have no idea if and how I can reconcile it. It sounds simple, everyone deserves a rich sex life. It is going to take me time to process what is workable for me in that department. Right now physical intimacy feels like a chore. I hate myself for feeling that way, particularly because my wife doesn't see it the same way.
I would like to think optimism is what is moving me forward at this time. But it is more complicated than that. There is a swirl of motives and emotions. Desperately wanting to believe in our happiness, being unable to hurt the person I have been with all this time, this deep ingrained belief that you don't walk from the greatest commitment you can make in life, guilt over my lack of action to correct things up to now.
There it is. The fact it came last after all the initial excuses or after the initial scrabbling around before reaching the deepest recesses was noted:
"this deep ingrained belief that you don't walk from the greatest commitment you can make in life, guilt over my lack of action to correct things up to now"
Fear and guilt.
1. Says WHO, you don't walk? You think you have to remain committed to a mistake despite you were given the human intelligence and means to try again, get it right and experience far weightier success with someone new and better suited (and her, too)?
Marriage happens in the head and heart (and expresses in ways that include quality of sexual relations). The ceremony is purely a man-made ritual, which also, note, was created when our life expectancy was 35-40 years of age. It's not nature's glue. CHEMISTRY is. And chemistry makes itself known through amazing lust which naturally is the bedrock of great sex.
Are you religious? If so, I suggest you add in some philosophy (religion macro). For example: Thou shalt not steal.
You may not shoplift food in good times but what if in dire times the choice was between committing that so-called sin (shoplifting being the one and only way to get food) or letting your little kids starve to death? Surely failing to steal in order only to keep your children alive, thereby contradicting the claim that you would DIE for them (ergo something lesser would be even more easy to do), would be the greater sin? Surely, then, context influences whether something is a sin or not, meaning the INTENTION BEHIND THE ACT is what ultimately defines sinful or good deed?
2. Consider this: had it been a correct pairbonding in the first place, TAKING action to correct things would have come automatically naturally... no conscious thought needed, nothing stopping you nor allowing you to stop yourself.
Soulmate, you are an idealist...and I do not mean that in a negative way.
Your thought process assumes I know that I am staying in my marriage for guilt. There is more to it than that, I do not completely know my own thoughts entirely. It isn't some all or nothing proposition.
So much of this is the prism we choose to look through, and I haven't found my focus yet. If I had everything emotionally together we wouldn't be going to the marriage counselor.
I can only take things one step at a time. First see if my wife and I can even find our way through the things clouding our marriage, then see how we feel about each other without all the crap in the middle.
I am a romantic and would like nothing more than to have that "must have her" feeling. I am praying that my wife and I can create that, I ache for it. When it comes to this I do not have a rational bone in my body.
Logic tells me this wasn't perfect to start even in our honeymoon phase, so what can I expect now. My heart isn't agreeing. Haven't you ever wanted something to work out and pursued it, even when your head said no, no, no...
You are a passionate, idealist....I know you have.
Nobody who's ever in my entire life known me has called me an idealist, they say I'm a firm realist. And I agree for the simple reason that my reality wholly substantiates and supports it. Plus, I think you'll find idealists don't tend, unlike myself, to have much luck with cultivating healthy, fully-working relationships because relationships require *flexibility* (none more so than the most intense version known to mankind).
And, no, my thought processes don't assume you know your innermost feelings and desires. Nine times out of 10 on here I'm referring to *unconscious, hidden* states (which are what I'm trying to help you uncover in order to pre-deal with them). Plus, just because I don't mention urges and attitudes that are bit-part players in the overall cocktail of conflictual urges, doesn't mean I'm not fully aware they're there. I can't, however, be relaying and explaining every single analysis every time I talk to you or we'd be here all day. So I contain my mentions to those things most pertinent to your current situation.
Neither am I suggesting you should be emotionally together, I'm merely talking about ridding yourself of (or at least taking into strong account) main emotional states that are well known for anywhere between influencing and inhibiting or downright preventing decisions getting taken that may be all-round healthiest for all concerned. It's a simple fact of life that your more long-lastingly sensible and productive decisions don't tend to get chosen under the influence of fear and guilt any more than they do under drugs and alcohol. So the point I'm merely trying to make is that you have to try to grasp, articulate, examine then rid yourself of those two in order to know that any choices you go on to make are for the long-term right reasons. It's not rocket science.
Plus winners are ALWAYS aware of any particular fears. What makes them winners despite this, however, is that they don't let fear impede them, they 'feel the fear and do it anyway'. If you, on the other hand, are going into this counselling with the possibility of it ending being absolutely not an option, nor even something to allow yourself to consider and become acquainted with - your sole option being staying together - then you're not entering into the exercise with an OPEN MIND.
Closed-mindedness is what breeds idealism as well as non-receptivity generally (including to attempts to shift perceptions). And seeing it that a vow made to self and society means more in the grand scheme of things than your continued happiness and that of your wife's and any other people whose lives get influenced by your union and its state? That's what you call idealism made manifest.
Now, then, when I ask someone to do something sensible, productive and altogether harmless, like simply face and consider something that might ordinarily be painful to even conceive of, and they come back with 'accusations' about what I am or am not, whilst failing to address my propositions by raising new ones (this case, about grey areas), that tells me they're on the defensive, trying to hide from/avoid the issue. So ironically enough, all you've managed to do via your answer is to confirm my observation about your fear correct, as well as newly revealing your associative dislike of feeling 'pressured' about facing a scary concept. And THAT, in my opinion, is one of the very things (on BOTH your parts) that could well have been, to coin your own phrase, clouding your marriage.
"Haven't you ever wanted something to work out and pursued it, even when your head said no, no, no..."
I don't listen to my head in isolation. Amongst other skills, I use insight, intuition, instinct, knowledge AND logic as my decision-making teammates/advisers, meanwhile remaining willing to observe and understand all the external and internal signs provided courtesy of life in unison with my own all-round intellect, whether those transmitters send self-flattering or comfortable signals *or not*. I just want the truth, and everything else be damned. Because if you always pursue and stick with the truth, everything else favourable tends naturally and automatically to fall into place.
Out of interest, what do you tend to do when your wife asks you to consider some feeling or other, or, indeed, whether you even possess it, which she believes is proving a barrier in some way? Do you tend to come back with statements along the lines of 'Ah, it's not as simple as all that, because x, y, z', and/or start telling her what she is or isn't? Do you even realise that this kind of response, aka fudging and hedging, comes under passive-aggressive-defensiveness?
ILB, those two questions up there were laughably simple to comprehend as well as all-too-easily answerable (which you don't even need 'focus' for). If you really can't bring yourself to answer them then either I'm too dogged in my quest for finding out the truth (this case, on your behalf) for your palate or you're just not ready, meaning either I should leave you alone until you are or wait until your face-to-face counsellor inevitably gets around to challenging you over them.
I have to think about my response, though I wanted to apologize.
Though I do not find idealism to be a bad thing, and we all are in the right situation. I do not know you well enough at all to make a supposition. You seem to have strong conviction.
Lmao, I guess most people have conviction when someone pisses them off.
Okay, had total brain freeze last night. No chance to sit and post anything of any thought.
I am not going to stay in this relationship if it is damaging both of us. I have the right to be happy, and if my wife came to me and said she truly would be better off emotionally if we were apart I wouldn't stand in her way. This isn't hedging, I have no way to know this from where I am sitting. There are two things my wife could have done that would have finalized my ending the relationship.
First, if she had refused to go to counseling with me that would have been the end right there. The next thing is, and we haven't gotten to needing to decide this, denying her need to change how she is dealing with her stress and anger issues. I am not looking for a temporary fix for the marriage so we can get lulled into a false sense of security and then settle into another decade of my wife being verbally abusive and me avoiding being around her as soon as we settle back into our present situation.
Second, about the initial bond in our relationship and just staying out of guilt. This is a flat and single-minded ideal. I honestly have thought of both, but they are not the primary driving forces involved in my marriage. I have too much distance and hurt from the start of our relationship. It feels like light years ago, and emotionally it is. The problems we are having are coloring my views of everything, so I can't allow myself to look backward because I am likely to simply hold on to the parts of my memory that fit my desire to have an answer for myself now.
Part of what makes the answer to your questions has nothing to do with lining up an equation. A lot of how everything ends up is going to be dependent on whether my wife and I search for the answers together or apart. If my wife and I try and solve our marriage separately then we won't be together, and this is a distinct possibility. If this becomes a discovery of our feelings together, I can see us making it.
I guess my final thought is the the journey towards finding inner thoughts is at least or even more important than the actual answers they bring about.
"I have to think about my response, though I wanted to apologize.
Though I do not find idealism to be a bad thing, and we all are in the right situation. I do not know you well enough at all to make a supposition. You seem to have strong conviction.
Lmao, I guess most people have conviction when someone pisses them off."
Nice second try - and thanks for the slightly damp a-hole... STILL won't work.
I want you to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR on a few things:
1. You could find idealism a STRAWBERRY thing if you liked (although conviction still doesn't equal idealism, plus I had conviction *before* you, quote, "pissed me off"). What I am or am not or what tenets or perceptory settings I may hold, are immaterial. A simple question is a simple question and were it even way off base (which it wasn't), that wouldn't matter one iota because it'd still prove useful from having provoked a disagreement in your mind, thereby firmly established what is, courtesy of now knowing what is not. For example, had I, the first person ever to make your ethnicity even have to occur to you, accused you of being Chinese and you heard yourself denying it vehemently, presuming you weren't lying through your teeth, you would now be that much clearer and firmer about being whatever else ethnic persuasion you were).
2. There's no call for 'forgiveness', though, because I take nothing on here personally, being impervious to everything aside from mild frustration if ever I'm apparently not getting cooperation all of a sudden. So there's no need to start kowtowing; you didn't run over my granny with your 4x4. Asking me to EXCUSE you will suffice.
3. Insults don't work on me, flattery doesn't work on me, playing overly sincere or pitiful or cutesy or whatever, doesn't work on me. I'm either impressed or unimpressed by attitudes and behaviour, and that's it. If ever I "like" you it's because you're being well behaved, including cooperative.
4. I don't buy your claim about why you didn't answer my questions at the time because if you were going to take the thought and effort required to post the particular content you did (i.e. demonstrate the opposite to brain freeze), you could have in that time already answered the questions I asked you to address, and more easily.
Consciously or otherwise, you can try going over my radar or under my radar or to either side of my radar or straight through its middle whilst dressed as the Sugar Plum Fairy going yadder-yadder-yadder at the rate of knotts... It won't work because I've got eyes and ears at the back of my head. That's what makes me special...and I ain't talking in a licky-white-minibus-windows-num-num way.
You can run but you can't hide. You can't kid a kidder. And you can try it on, but, as you've just seen - I'll just take it straight off again. There are no emperors in the this world, let alone clothed ones.
So thank-you for finally answering my questions. Presuming you're now clear about what you're dealing with (moi), and have the requisite round-objects NOT to waste your time by in the first (and almost second) instances trying your typically male, wriggling-out-of-it/pulling-the-wool tactics (albeit, nice try!) - I'll get to addressing it (haven't even looked at it yet).
(...albeit I did spot the first 'brain freeze' line, obviously.)
1. "I am not going to stay in this relationship if it is damaging both of us. I have the right to be happy, and if my wife came to me and said she truly would be better off emotionally if we were apart I wouldn't stand in her way. This isn't hedging, I have no way to know this from where I am sitting."
Fair enough, but you're still not quite getting it: wouldn't stand in OUR way: If your wife didn't want to remain as such, she would *automatically and irrefutably* be proving to you that you would be as better off as her in going your separate ways. Can you see how this would work?
2. "There are two things my wife could have done that would have finalized my ending the relationship."
"Finalized" your ending it? You mean you'd already started ending it - either in reality or in your head? RSvP.
3. "First, if she had refused to go to counseling with me that would have been the end right there."
Of course. It would have been a refusal to row the marital two-rower rowboat, a glaring dealbreaker (unless one fancied a life of going forevermore round and round in circles).
4. "The next thing is, and we haven't gotten to needing to decide this, denying her need to change how she is dealing with her stress and anger issues. I am not looking for a temporary fix for the marriage so we can get lulled into a false sense of security and then settle into another decade of my wife being verbally abusive and me avoiding being around her as soon as we settle back into our present situation."
5. "Second, about the initial bond in our relationship and just staying out of guilt. This is a flat and single-minded ideal. I honestly have thought of both, but they are not the primary driving forces involved in my marriage. I have too much distance and hurt from the start of our relationship. It feels like light years ago, and emotionally it is. The problems we are having are coloring my views of everything, so I can't allow myself to look backward because I am likely to simply hold on to the parts of my memory that fit my desire to have an answer for myself now."
Then don't LET yourself. And how you achieve such objectivity is (earwigoagain) by TRUSTING LIFE/FATE including the fact we all come out of the wash okay. And that's because of our ancestry - all those individuals who went through trials and tribulations FAR severer than we modern people ever tend to encounter, thus produced ever more tough replicants.
6. "Part of what makes the answer to your questions has nothing to do with lining up an equation. A lot of how everything ends up is going to be dependent on whether my wife and I search for the answers together or apart. If my wife and I try and solve our marriage separately then we won't be together, and this is a distinct possibility. If this becomes a discovery of our feelings together, I can see us making it."
Whether you sit down together to achieve enlightenment or separately in a clearly finite Time Out situation (e.g. 6 months) is neither here nor there if, as you've implied (and I've agreed) the issues for you are mainly byproxial/reactive whilst for her direct/active. A separation would just bring evidence of that to the fore.
I say 'mainly' because only yesterday I got to sample being your wife. It was no biggie, your fudging, and might only have been due to your being tired at the time rather than unwilling to cooperate per se. But if I were like HER - already constantly fit to bust with banked-up frustration no matter whom at or what over - I could have experienced far greater ire at your non-cooperativeness and, KERBOOM! So with this the case, it in fact might well be more sensible if you and she WERE to do your mulling, reflecting and analysing independently of and separated from each other, so that you don't drag out and muddy the process.
Liken every interaction to a new sheet of data getting added to an emotional in-tray. Yours and your wife's problems stem from the bottom of that file, meaning you have to sift through the pile sat atop it before you can DEAL with the root cause. If meanwhile you're each adding NEW sheets, it's going to take longer and exhaust you both needlessly.
Again, the illogic in this your assertion (that trying to crack this case can only prove fruitful if done in each other's company), smacks heavily of too much fear about the thought of allowing you and she to be separated for however long and what it might lead to. It's perfectly natural to worry about what separation might bring about. Almost everybody fears the big S. But that's because until you've experienced it, you have no idea what an utter GODSEND it is. It doesn't "cause" a thing! All it does is bring to the surface that much more quickly and calmly whatever had all along been the pending inevitable.
You've got to face this fear of a break so that you can, if presented with it, run through it instead of letting it influence what choices and decisions you make to the point where you end up making the wrong ones.
Try to sit and imagine what life would be like after this marriage - and not the 'lonely, poverty-stricken victim in the desolate bedsit' version, either...something akin to back when you were single, but the one where you're beyond the initial recovery period and sharing your life and home with a woman who 95% lights your candle and snuffs it out only 5% of the time. And then imagine a much better reunion situation in direct thanks to the very levelling and acid-testing separation period. And then all other potential scenarios. Using your imagination to 'pre-live' all possible positive AND negative outcomes from every possible angle is the very way in which take the power to scare out of them, whereupon there is nothing left to force you to compromise over whatever reasonable things you expect and demand from any marriage of yours.
7. "I guess my final thought is the the journey towards finding inner thoughts is at least or even more important than the actual answers they bring about."
Yep. Answers are easy. The question is always the hard part.
So, anyway, find that quiet moment to contemplate life beyond (and before) this woman/this marriage or life beyond this current relationship dynamic with the SAME woman (but one with a fresh attitude and renewed conviction).
Dats der way de do id, Punch!
I apologize when I am rude to someone, not say excuse me. Can't help it, it is who I am. You burp, you say excuse me. Was partially raised by a my Grand Mother who made a point to let everyone know she was a proper English Lady, and manners are important. Plus I am a feeling person with a lot of empathy. When I think I hurt someones feelings I feel it.
""Finalized" your ending it? You mean you'd already started ending it - either in reality or in your head?"
I was so close to asking to separate, instead of visit a counselor. It took me weeks to decide that. I needed to decide that I could move into counseling optimistically. If I believe it won't work, it won't. Sucks that it took that long just to motivate myself (yes, don't type it back, red-flag).
I have absolutely no fear of being on my own. I am not a negatively motivated person. When I choose to be I am extremely outgoing, so meeting people isn't an issue. I have been traveling enough that I lived more out of the house than in it. So taking care of myself, and not having anyone around doesn't bother me. I do not hold much value in money or things, so being broke doesn't scare me either. I have been there before, and was able to be happy.
We made each other happy at one point. I can live happily with what we were when we were a real couple. When things were right I wouldn't trade my wife for anyone, even with the lackluster intimacy. The hesitancy to work through with the counselor stems back to feeling that we are never getting back there again. I emotionally walked out on this marriage years ago, and wasn't honest enough to just physically leave. That is a large betrayal, and I do not think my wife will ever forgive me for it.
It doesn't matter that I withdrew because she was verbally abusive and negative. I owed it to both of us to make the actual full decision. Only thing I am actually positive of is that either this will be right, or over. Nothing in between.
Okay tag you are it.
You weren't rude, you were merely uncooperative, meaning apologising AND saying 'forgive me' was too much. It's called beating yourself up, and is pre-emptive (control by a subtler method). You beat the other person to it (it being where you think it might end up in extremis) in order to instantly placate them, yet simultaneously, by going OTT, you subtly imply that their ticking off was far more severe than it actually was, thus was moreover unwarranted, meaning they then usually end up feeling guilty for having done nothing more than reasonably called you to account over something. It's a defensive form of punishment for criticism.
To those not in the know, it comes over as self-victimisation, martyrdom... Call it what you will, I call it doormat-dom.
Maybe you aren't aware you do it? You can call it etiquette befitting a lady, but I've got you there as well...cos I are one :-p (- listed in Burke's Landed Gentry, ey thenk hyo). But funnily enough, whenever *I* burp, I laugh my face off. In fact, in lifts, as I exit, I turn around to the asphyxiating crowd and say, 'It was me...but there but for the grace of The Fart God, go you'. I'm not going to apologise for being a naked ape at the mercy as much as anyone for involuntary biological events.
So let's you and I BOTH drop the airs and graces, shall we?
And, yes, you *can* help it. It's called, stop it at once. For starters, it doesn't help with the situation you've long-term found yourself in with wife. In fact, the opposite. You keep showing your belly to that degree and prematurity and, a person with banked-up anger and frustration who sees anyone as a fair game target (i.e. wifey) will accordingly be unable to resist striking it... BIFF!...BOFF!....KAPOW!...
Now think back to all such sore tum occasions and ask yourself if you behaved in that pathetic way in the the run-up.
This phase of your life is about making changes to all things that have traditionally hampered you in your life journey, particularly the romantic leg, si? And, given your reported impressions about your sloooooow counsellor, you'd prefer things speeded up some, da? Well, I'm now wearing an, 'I am your wife' hat so it'd be useful for you to heed all such feedback, oui?
Back to the details/moving on...
"I was so close to asking to separate, instead of visit a counselor. It took me weeks to decide that. I needed to decide that I could move into counseling optimistically. If I believe it won't work, it won't. Sucks that it took that long just to motivate myself (yes, don't type it back, red-flag)."
(Two Ls in counsellor.
Interesting. You didn't mention that before.
But I'm not ASKING you to become pessimistic, just REALISTIC, whereby you *believe* it can work but are aware it might not and ready for it should it not. No shackles called fear = a lighter gait and wider stride = less time spent.
I see what this is really about, though. Your optimism is false thus tenuous and precarious thus cannot withstand any prodding as might unbalance it and...CRASH!
Fine, then. Go into it DOUBTING it'll work and allow your wife with the aid of the counsellor to change your mind. What's wrong with that? Why SHOULD you be full of love, hope and inspiration after years and years of battering? Doesn't that communicate to her that what she did - the very thing you're so unhappy about, the over-frequent buckets of ice-cold water chucked over you - wasn't that much of a big deal?
It WAS a big deal so ACT ACCORDINGLY.
You? What you're doing is giving mixed messages because, on the one hand we have you currently behaving like you're still as keen as mustard over this woman yet on the other hand abstaining from sex. See what I'm saying? BE CONSISTENT. Consistency is a definite thing and a definite thing requires a definite response rather than a half-baked, wishy-washy, TIME CONSUMING one. Or do you want to be in couples counselling until next Christmas?
"I have absolutely no fear of being on my own. I am not a negatively motivated person. When I choose to be I am extremely outgoing, so meeting people isn't an issue. I have been traveling enough that I lived more out of the house than in it. So taking care of myself, and not having anyone around doesn't bother me. I do not hold much value in money or things, so being broke doesn't scare me either. I have been there before, and was able to be happy."
So where does your fear come from? Having to start over from scratch, particularly at a time (new biz) when you need a settled home life and like-clockwork routines? (See what you do here? You list all the things that are *not*, without going beyond that to the thing or things it *is*.)
"We made each other happy at one point. I can live happily with what we were when we were a real couple. When things were right I wouldn't trade my wife for anyone, even with the lackluster intimacy. The hesitancy to work through with the counselor stems back to feeling that we are never getting back there again. I emotionally walked out on this marriage years ago, and wasn't honest enough to just physically leave. That is a large betrayal, and I do not think my wife will ever forgive me for it."
No, the hesitancy to work through with the counsellor (2 Ls) stems from the counsellor having been an over-biased, surface-swallower thus automatically unhelpful.
What I hear there is what ALL victims of in-whatever-way abusive relationships come out with: But s/he wasn't LIKE this before! This isn't the REAL her?!
Course she wasn't. You wouldn't have married her if she had or if you'd known she would or could progress to that, would you.
HOWEVER, your wife's *seeming* saving grace here is that she herself did try to get you two to counselling. So let's examine that more closely, yes?
Apparently, she didn't LIKE how things had become between you. But then that begs the question, why not STOP taking her moodies out on you? What - she couldn't ever work out for herself that that sort of behaviour is unacceptable and damaging (as in, kicks the love out of a person) without a counsellor to point it out to her? What is she - thick? Would she have you believe or you have me believe that you never once said to her during any such episode, 'PLEASE stop treating me like this/talking to me in that fashion. It's not fair and it's not right.'?
You MUST have, surely? So what did she need a counsellor for?
Furthermore, irrespective of whether you communicated your marital unhappiness and its main cause via the primary channel (speech), you *did* still communicate it (and actions speak loudest, anyway). To wit:
"I emotionally walked out on this marriage years ago".
You think she couldn't sense that? Again, what is she - thick?
Know what I think? I think she managed to get that sole counsellor of hers wrapped around her little finger courtesy of a consistently one-sided account which went constantly UNCHALLENGED, and seeing she had, thought that was the perfect time to bring you in so that a *third party* could basically tell you what a git you were in order that you'd believe it more. No *wonder* you were secretly climbing the walls with fury and (tantamountedly via your refusal to go again) walked out. Justice transgressed will have that effect.
So, no: "That is a large betrayal, and I do not think my wife will ever forgive me for it.", that is *not* a large betrayal. Betrayal is where there are other, better options open to you yet you choose to take the route easiest/most convenient for you and most painful for the other, without just cause. I'm SORRY, but having someone whinge constantly at or to or in front of you you at every and any available opportunity does NOT constitute no just cause. SHE had better options if she would have us believe you're so hard to live peacefully with. It's called, 'This relationship isn't working, I want a divorce'. Or insisting on couples counselling LONG before individual counselling that lasted years. And so WHAT if she felt restrained against that option because of her parents/religion/public image. Is that YOUR problem? Is it something *you* can do a thing about?
And no, it wasn't YOUR onus to call it quits. Because you weren't the one constantly whinging, nagging, moaning and b*tching. That makes her the plaintiff. That makes it HER onus. She failed to take it, and we know why (Amen).
I laughed my tits off at a certain someone's message. Because you, mate, are not the perpetrator, you're a doormat. A victim. Happens to the best of us. ONLY the best of us, actually. And that sense of betrayal you feel? It's just OVER-RESPONSIBILITY, aka a certain brand of control-freakery. THAT is your 'crime' - to yourself first and foremost - and is what you've been paying for ever since. It's what makes you a perfect foil to types like that. An enabler.
Now, I suggest you go into the counselling thinking the way you SHOULD be thinking, which is this: Having given me one million lashes with your nasty little tongue, you can damn well sit there and CONVINCE me if you can, why I should stay with you and not view it that I'm potentially risking subjecting myself to ANOTHER million!
Say it with me: Nobody puts *Baby* in the corner of the basement, tied to a post and covered in electrodes!
(PS: I don't do running, not even for fun. I get carried everywhere.) (mwa-ha)
Soulmate, this is picky but I live in the US and counselor has one "l" here. I know we are butchering the language
I will use two l's just for you.
I have had the worst day. It started this morning with my wife attacking me about a fan left in a room. It then moved to screaming at me, because I mentioned to the COUNSELLOR that she has insomnia. She says she has no issue with us each talking to him separately, now she is steaming that I say anything.
It came up in her solo session because he had asked each of us how often we were sleeping in the same bed. I told him maybe 50% of the time, and that I snore and my wife has insomnia. He then asked about sleep routine, and amount I sleep. I had also mentioned having a difficult time actually going to sleep, this has been a problem for me since my childhood. I used to sit up reading books by whatever light I could get in from my bedroom window since I could remember. He then asked my wife the same questions, brought up the insomnia, and then she unloaded on me this morning.
It went from there to, "you are lucky I am even going to COUNSELLING", as nasty and angry as she could say it. Might have been the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me. I responded with I am not forcing you, this can all stop now. That is how things got left this morning.
She came home from work tonight like nothing even happened, and we haven't spoken all day. I waited for her to sit and watch a TV show and be a bit relaxed and asked if we could finish our conversation from this morning.
I told her she might have said the most hurtful things to me I have ever experienced. She told me that she doesn't see it that way. I forgot another thing (the fan), because I don't care about her. I told her she was demeaning and I wouldn't be spoken to as if I am a child, she then said again that she was justified.
Then we talked about my solo therapy session and i asked how I could talk to the therapist about our relationship, and not be allowed to talk about her. She got silent for a while, knowing there was no way to justify her anger over this and said go and say whatever you want under her breath.
Lastly I got to the comment on the marriage counselling, and how I was lucky she was even doing. I asked what she thought we were doing there. "Do you think this is a spruce up the marriage session?" I told her we are there to either fix or end our marriage, nothing in between.
This started her on a rant about how she is the one who has wanted to improve things, she is in counselling herself to be able to deal with staying in our marriage. I need to work on fixing myself, she has been working on being better for the last years, while I have done nothing.
I told her that whatever she is doing in therapy isn't doing anything to help us, and that things are just getting worse year to year. I told her they either we go to counselling with the proper attitude or I am out. I asked her why she is still here, if this is so untenable. What are you hanging around for? She wouldn't answer.
Last I told her that I think separation and counselling might at least stop us from hurting one another, and give us some perspective. She said she needs time to think about it. I am not sure how much time is fair? For now I am moving out of the bedroom.
I am a wreck. We said a lot of other things, her mostly unpleasantries, but I will leave that up to the imagination. I stayed calm and just kept coming back to the separating. My stomach is still in knots.
("I'm your wife" hat on)
"Soulmate, this is picky but I live in the US and counselor has one "l" here. I know we are butchering the language
I will use two l's just for you."
Now witness this below difference:
"Soulmate, this is picky but I live in the US and counselor has one "l" here."
You don't have to automatically roll over just because I had no idea you were American (you sound English - probably due to Gran-Grans' influence). Had you given my version, I'd have simply said, 'Well, I didn't realise that, you carry on, then!
Cease being a person-pleaser to that extent unless you want the life you live to please everyone else around you whilst not suiting you one iota =
That's what got you INTO this mess, Stanley!
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with having a certain definite quality like being naturally very accommodating. But there is if you get with the wrong recipient, someone who takes niceness and generosity as a *weakness*. That way leads to getting taken advantage of - your proffered inch somehow, before you know it, having become a mile. And you can SAY, but it's just a word, not *much* of an accommodation. But it's what it represents - a symptom of an underlying, much larger state.
Always know what type you're dealing with in life and MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO SUIT (flexibility). Concrete can be cracked, chipped away at, and smashed by a wrecking ball. Water can't.
It's the same with 'picky-ness' or any other seeming or so-called trivial: "Look after the pennies and THE POUNDS TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES". Life is made UP of so-called trivial details. So it's NOT picky, it's a larger value/awareness just showing its ankle (which you should always try to defend).
You stick with 1 L, I'll stick with 2. That way we're BOTH happy, NEITHER of us having to bend over backwards.
See how that works?
Now to the next part...
"I have had the worst day. It started this morning with my wife attacking me about a fan left in a room. It then moved to screaming at me, because I mentioned to the COUNSELLOR that she has insomnia. She says she has no issue with us each talking to him separately, now she is steaming that I say anything."
1. What was wife's specific grip about the fan?
2. Why would she be upset just because the counsellor now knew/thought that she has her own form of sleep problem?
"It came up in her solo session because he had asked each of us how often we were sleeping in the same bed. I told him maybe 50% of the time, and that I snore and my wife has insomnia."
3. Does your wife have insomnia per se or just the 'my partner snores' variety?
"He then asked about sleep routine, and amount I sleep. I had also mentioned having a difficult time actually going to sleep, this has been a problem for me since my childhood. I used to sit up reading books by whatever light I could get in from my bedroom window since I could remember. "
Why am I getting the very distinct impression at this point, that you're whatever degree of high-functional Asperger's whilst your wife has whatever degree of Asperger's (but with a very different personality refracting through it) or some form of Personality Disorder?...
...4. Do you regularly crave solitude and get 'peopled out'? Does your wife, or is she the type can't stand solitude and, if forced into it, fills that time with being on the phone?
"He then asked my wife the same questions, brought up the insomnia, and then she unloaded on me this morning."
5. So, for starters, it was just a question on his part, not a concrete assumption, and she still got upset?
"It went from there to, "you are lucky I am even going to COUNSELLING", as nasty and angry as she could say it. Might have been the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me. I responded with I am not forcing you, this can all stop now. That is how things got left this morning."
GOOD FOR YOU FOR THAT CONFIDENT SELF-ASSERTION - GOLD STAR! And you're quite correct..
...6. I mean, isn't SHE just as lucky that YOU'RE going? What is this - The Her Show?
"She came home from work tonight like nothing even happened,"
7. Is that how she tends to 'apologise'? Or is it her typical way of trying to avoid her culpability?
"and we haven't spoken all day. I waited for her to sit and watch a TV show and be a bit relaxed and asked if we could finish our conversation from this morning.
I told her she might have said the most hurtful things to me I have ever experienced. She told me that she doesn't see it that way."
8. Did she say what way she DOES see it?
"I forgot another thing (the fan), because I don't care about her."
Yep, that's what I was getting at earlier about her not understanding thus not trusting where you're coming from, and taking everything too personally.
9. Is true to say her parents or ex-boyfriends would have ensured to put the fan away, either because they were worried what would result if they didn't (tantrum) or because they were constantly trying to win or win back her approval?
"I told her she was demeaning and I wouldn't be spoken to as if I am a child, she then said again that she was justified."
10. Did she provide substantiation to show how she was justified, or just said that and nothing further?
"Then we talked about my solo therapy session and i asked how I could talk to the therapist about our relationship, and not be allowed to talk about her."
EXCELLENTLY salient point! Have a Barrister-style Gold Star!
"She got silent for a while, knowing there was no way to justify her anger over this and said go and say whatever you want under her breath."
11. What - not, 'Actually, that's true, you're right. Sorry.'?
12. Is it true to say she can't stand you being right and her being in the wrong?
"Lastly I got to the comment on the marriage counselling, and how I was lucky she was even doing. I asked what she thought we were doing there. "Do you think this is a spruce up the marriage session?" I told her we are there to either fix or end our marriage, nothing in between."
13. Woah! Another Gold Star!
How did defending your corner like that make you feel?
"This started her on a rant about how she is the one who has wanted to improve things, she is in counselling herself to be able to deal with staying in our marriage."
Yes, but this is the bit where she doesn't make any SENSE. Surely you don't attend counselling just to have a regular pressure valve for letting off steam? Surely if you're going to BOTHER with counselling it should be focussed wholly on FIXING the things that so irk you - either via learning to view them with a more benign attitude or by asking for a negotiations sit-down towards striking deals and finding compromises - so that you no longer even HAVE to keep letting off steam???
I can only presume at this point that you're somehow a procrastinatory aid for her: as long as she's too busy being bothered by the things you constantly do or don't do and how, she can hide from the REAL To-Do List.
14. Does what I've just said resonate with you?
"I need to work on fixing myself, she has been working on being better for the last years, while I have done nothing. I told her that whatever she is doing in therapy isn't doing anything to help us, and that things are just getting worse year to year."
Agree! Sorry - I'll just repeat that to make sure you can't miss it: I EFFING AGREE!!!!!
So - assuming she's not thick and does have eyes and ears thus knows HERSELF that nothing's improved thanks to this so-called marital improvements measure of hers - what are we to presume was her reason for continuing to go for so many years?
Answer: SELF-INDULGENCE and The Wifey Show: getting to endlessly talk about herself AND WHINGE ON AND ON ABOUT WHAT A POOR VICTIM SHE IS to someone who is PAID to listen thus is a CAPTIVE AUDIENCE (thanks in part to her ever-increasing bank-balance) where you yourself had meanwhile reached a point when you'd EMOTIONALLY (including being an ear) WITHDRAWN. Berbom!
Your wife and her prior counsellor had an implicit deal: "I'll pay you to pretend you're interested and agree with me over everything I claim / I'll pretend I'm interested and agree with you over everything you claim if you'll be a regular, reliable source of income / Deal! / Deal!
As far as I'm concerned, they should BOTH be 'struck off'! There are millions of people with genuine problems out there who could badly do with counselling but can't afford it or are restrained against attending, yet here we have two people - who should BOTH know better in their own separate and individual ways - MAKING A MOCKERY OUT OF THE MEDICINE FOR THE POWER OF GOOD BY USING IT AS IF IT WERE NOTHING THAN A RECREATIONAL, SELF-GRATIFICATION AND MONEY-ACCRUING TOOL!
PASS ME THE SICK BUCKET OR GIMMIE THE GUN!
"I told her they either we go to counselling with the proper attitude or I am out."
"I asked her why she is still here, if this is so untenable. What are you hanging around for? She wouldn't answer."
She can't/doesn't want to (same thing). Because then she'd have to STOP.
"Last I told her that I think separation and counselling might at least stop us from hurting one another, and give us some perspective. She said she needs time to think about it. I am not sure how much time is fair? For now I am moving out of the bedroom."
About time, too!
"I am a wreck. We said a lot of other things, her mostly unpleasantries, but I will leave that up to the imagination. I stayed calm and just kept coming back to the separating. My stomach is still in knots."
Doesn't take much imagination - I know these types inside and out. And whilst my first choice is always to preserve a marriage with the outcome a win/win situation, it is NOT to preserve a servant-master, win/lose set-up between female child of 9 in a grown-up suit and a grown man who takes relationships SERIOUSLY LIKE THEY SHOULD BE.
You go, ILB! If what you need is help in leaving this....thing (it's not a marriage, is it), I'm here as back-up to your counsellor.
Saying that, however, it's still early days, and sometimes people surprise (or in her case, gobsmack) you. But you have the right attitude now, and that's the important bit. So please don't touch that dial.
PS: Ignore the questions, I have her number. 100%. Even to the 9th-place fraction!
...although you still can if you want.
In fact, do. It's still useful to hear your own feedback.
By the way - here's what *I* would do were I you, based on this true simplication of the situation:
Your wife has a knife. She's been constantly holding it against your throat.
That knife is your fear of starting over and of binning something without first having tried to fix it (gran-gran's, post-war "make do" influence again).
"Do as I say and take my bashings or else!"
You've become desensitized to the threat (finally). You're ready to wrest the knife from her.
So do continue and don't stop - not even for a breather.
Once you've GOT that knife, put it to HER throat - like you're instinctively starting to. (Now bear with me...)
Bully HER for a while. She'll be fine with that, these types always are, and I'll tell you why:
Healthy, moreover happy, life-long-workable relationships are a see-saw in a playground. The ideal is, both parties always LEVEL. But in reality, that's not achievable because it means zero movement, zero interest and variety...."yawn". What makes for an interesting, fair, satisfying and fulfilling ride is where both parties take it in turns to go up and down so that OVERALL the ride feels equal.
What should determine who gets to be up or down at any given moment, is LIFE'S DEMANDS & SH*T. Example: She's poorly? She's incapable of being up. You swing up in reaction to her swinging down (become nursemaid and take over her chores and responsibilities meanwhile). Next time you're down? She takes the up position. Fair's fair.
(Why do you think fairgrounds are called Fairs? Coincidence? NAY - human expression of instinctual (inherited memory) knowledge made manifest (like a representational painting) in the environment based on background sensing of how our minds work, including what they expect and how they'd like the world to work.)
The master was once a servant, made to constantly be in either the up or down position. They have no idea of what it's like to live a life taking it in turns to go up and down. If they were kept down during childhood and adolescence - and/or ever since they flew the nest - they'll either stick to their uncomfortable comfort zone of being down or will vow to next time always be the one in the up position. The middle ground - level or takesie-turnsies - is alien to them.
Therefore, if someone is bullying you - is hoarding the up position - although they might put INITIALLY up a fight against getting relegated to the down position - not MUCH of one...because it's still one of their sole two comfort zones.
Sometimes, in fact, a once down person won't LIKE being in the constantly up position and wished they'd never chosen/stolen it to begin with, yet don't know how to 'back down' without looking silly or like they're admitting DEFEAT. So they stay there BUT WHINGE/ACT-OUT CONSTANTLY ABOUT IT. Their whinging/bullying is a secret cry for a swapping of roles. They know your toleration of being capable being in the constantly down position can't last forever and that sooner or later you'll REBEL. So they keep up with the bullying or even increase it so that rebel you will. Then it wasn't THEIR idea = no egg on face, no admission of being WEAK (and not a leader). And this is because with power comes RESPONSIBILITY - something they were always denied familiarity with. So instead of resigning, they act-out until demoted. (The same process can happen with one who gets sick of their chosen constantly down position: they whinge until you can't take it any more and give them the up position.)
But back to the point: tipping the power dynamic with a bully is therefore laughably EASY.
Whether the act-outer wants demotion or actual dismissal is the burning question as dictates whether you should try-try again. But the answer comes to light soon after you've wrested the knife out of their hands and put it against their neck.
Once they've ceded defeat over that switching of roles and have begun adapting to it, that's when you GIVE THEM THEIR *HALF* SHARE OF POWER STRAIGHT BACK. You give them HALF a knife (half each)....and then watch what they do with it.
This is why I said, identify then disempower your fears. Your fears are the knife. No fears = no knife.
If they immediately try to wrest your half-knife off you whilst putting their own half back to your neck again - this time using OTHER fears of yours as their knife or merely out of not realising the knife is now devoid of a sharp edge - you know you've got a chocolate teapot...someone who LITERALLY cannot abide a relationship that's equal or equitous, meaning you're wasting your time if you try to give them a THIRD chance.
That's when you get out... leave them to their problem where it can no longer infect and affect YOU.
A merely good person behaving temporarily badly will 'get it' - Ping!!! - the instant you voluntarily by your own initiative give them half of the power back, and will willingly and either instantly or pretty soon (after an initial period of getting comfortable) settle down, til death do you part, into the new equal-share power dynamic. And they'll remain happy and forevermore grateful/appreciative towards you for having shown them another way to relate/live (unlike their parents and/or exes before you).
Assuming you understood that well enough (on the emotional level, I mean)?... Is that a magic wand or is that a magic wand?
Trust me - it is. I've used it myself more times than you've had hot dinners.
Equally, however, if you fail after that initial interim period to give them back their rightful 50% power, you've identified yourself as an intrinsic bully who merely happened to have got with another bully who was bigger/better/cleverer at it than you. (I'd eat my hat if that described you, though, so...just saying.)
What do you think? As I say, you seem to have instinctively done this anyway, so...?
(sorry - instinctively STARTED to do this anyway)
You must have carpal tunnel now.
"Why am I getting the very distinct impression at this point, that you're whatever degree of high-functional Asperger's whilst your wife has whatever degree of Asperger's (but with a very different personality refracting through it) or some form of Personality Disorder?..."
I told you I think I have ADHD, and the therapist is of the same mind. I did some more digging with my mother, as you don't grow out of it, so there must have been indications as a child. This is typical of my mother, she says nothing I can think of, then begins to ramble off a laundry list. My memory of my childhood is shoddy at best. I guess I almost got left back in third grade for speaking out, and refusing to complete work. Numerous notes after about being unable to wait my turn to answer, blah, blah, blah. I was called motormouth for the better part of my childhood. This was by my parents, mother admitted to never being able to shut me up. My mother told me it can't be ADHD because I was able to occupy myself for hours on end. Talking with the therapist he said that is very indicative of ADHD, it is hyper-focus. That is what got us on going to sleep, I have a very hard time get completely wired.
"Does your wife have insomnia per se or just the 'my partner snores' variety?"
She says it is my snoring, but when I travel she doesn't sleep well then either. She also grinds her teeth, has headaches, and backaches. This is all stress related.
"I can only presume at this point that you're somehow a procrastinatory aid for her: as long as she's too busy being bothered by the things you constantly do or don't do and how, she can hide from the REAL To-Do List."
She cannot deal with pain, guilt, or shame. Anger is a shielding mechanism, so we do not have to actually deal with internal pain. It is healthy for a short time to get ourselves in order, and blow off any excess of toxic energy, but not as a long term solution for setting aside deeper pains.
I hear what you are saying about wresting back a dominant role to balance everything, but why should I have to devalue every fiber of who I am and sink down into the muck?
I am proud that I have compassion, empathy, and love for almost everyone I know. I forgive without reason, because it is who I am. I love that person. I have no desire to spend the rest of my life keeping her in line by being the bigger dog on the street. If she cannot find her way to kindness and understanding I am not going to be in this.
"Have a Barrister-style Gold Star!
I know you mean well, but I do not want a gold star. This isn't a great watershed moment. Needing to threaten our marriage to get things in perspective is sad in every way.
"My mother told me it can't be ADHD because I was able to occupy myself for hours on end."
As do virtually all Aspie kids. It's one of their most classic, 'textbook' characteristics.
"Talking with the therapist he said that is very indicative of ADHD, it is hyper-focus. That is what got us on going to sleep, I have a very hard time get completely wired."
The therapist was obviously neurotypical and no expert in neuro-psychiatry (which would explain why he was only a counsellor, eh).
ADHD is a common co-morbidity with Asperger's. There are far many more Aspies with ADHD than are straight ADHD-ers, and even when separate issues - define separate, given how they're said to hail from the same spectrum. Here, see if you can find yourself on this blog written by a now well-known male Aspie (high functioning) whom for years has been showing in well-explained how ASD translates on a day-to-day, real-life basis:
""Does your wife have insomnia per se or just the 'my partner snores' variety?"
She says it is my snoring, but when I travel she doesn't sleep well then either. She also grinds her teeth, has headaches, and backaches. This is all stress related."
Then she has sleep problems all her own, meaning, yet again, she starts out with a problem from within but then immediately searches around for something OUTSIDE of herself to blame it on (enter muggins as the routinely closest person in her crosshairs). Cause thereby misattributed, the control to do anything about it is no longer hers.
"I hear what you are saying about wresting back a dominant role to balance everything, but why should I have to devalue every fiber of who I am and sink down into the muck?"
Let me give you my Loftie & Shortie analogy:
Loftie & Shortie have to find a way to relate to one another and see eye-to-eye - *without* artificial heightening aids (to ensure the relationship is authentic) and to prevent all communication featuring yelling and mis-hearings...which is difficult given Shortie's only 4ft tall and Loftie 6ft. Shortie cannot be expected to stretch up to Loftie's level because Shortie's spatial remit is only 4ft Xins at most (stood on tip-toe) down to 0ft whereas Loftie's is 6ft+ to 0ft, meaning Loftie CAN occupy the 4ft zone (where Shortie can't do likewise with Loftie's zone). If Loftie refuses to bend down, no relational level can take place. With that the case, Loftie has no other option if he wants himself and Shortie to be able to sort out problems via the human-civilised process of communication, than to stoop to Shortie's level.
There IS no other option open to Lofty. He either stoops or gives up on the relationship altogether.
(That's why. Next question? :-p)
The happy news is that Shortie is still developing/growing..can be stretched taller.
The danger for Lofty lays in stooping FOR TOO LONG - bad back = pain and rigidity setting in. (Some Lofties don't know when to stop and end up with actual spine curvature, or some Shorties are too slow to respond.) So the idea is to be self-disciplined about it and stoop only for as long as it takes to engage Shortie's full attention, curiosity, aspirations and ambition, and then to bit-by-bit, almost imperceptibly straighten back up again so that, like a basket-ball player in training whose spine and limbs get constantly stretched to their limit and beyond (but where the timescale is comparably fractional), Shortie bit-by-bit, day-by-day grows taller.
If Shortie fails ever to grow in response to this sure-fire exercise, you can finally know you have a bona fide midget on your hands with none of the usable potential you'd presumed and hoped had always existed.
So, it's just as well you have no desire to spend the rest of your life keeping her in line by being the bigger dog, because that is definitely not what's being recommended here, seeing as how it takes enabling and turns it into self-disabling.
"I know you mean well, but I do not want a gold star. This isn't a great watershed moment. Needing to threaten our marriage to get things in perspective is sad in every way. "
I SAID GOLD STAR, not glass of Champagne and party popper, so - tough, you're getting one. If you don't like it, stick it on your bum cheek where no-one will see it. ;-p
Lofty is a GENUINELY very kind and generous soul because he has the balls and unselfishness for meting out TOUGH love as (in the shorter term) leaves his OWN needs (this case, for approval and popularity) right OUT of it. Where concerns trying to convert the unhappy spouse one claimed to love and be loath to give up on into a happier one - who WOULDN'T aspire to being Lofty? And why the hell wouldn't you deserve recognition and reward for having learned a way to be kinder to YOURSELF as a starting mechanism for being, in the longer run, kinder to AND capable of rescuing your own wife? Did it even occur to you that all this whinging was a twisted cry for help but that your wife is just more stubborn than the average in accepting it unless it's MASTERFUL enough by her standards?
Whether she is or not obviously remains to be seen. But it COULD be. And what decides whether any experiment proves successful or not is whether the experimenter in turn-turn-turn (i.e. thoroughly) tries ALL angles.
Careful or you're going to start reminding me of those certain parents who claim they would DIE for their kids yet, when it boils down to it, prove they darn well wouldn't, by showing they can't even swallow their pride or discomfort enough to just be civil with their despised ex-spouse for said kiddie's sake.
It's called, put your money where your mouth is. Or, either piss or get off the pot. Innit.
"ADHD is a common co-morbidity with Asperger's. There are far many more Aspies with ADHD than are straight ADHD-ers, and even when separate issues - define separate, given how they're said to hail from the same spectrum. Here, see if you can find yourself on this blog written by a now well-known male Aspie (high functioning) whom for years has been showing in well-explained how ASD translates on a day-to-day, real-life basis:"
Very true, but I do not have any of the difficulty picking up social cues. I am comfortable and adept at being outgoing in groups of people, and always have been. The only caveat to that is I can occasionally lose small bits of conversations, and over time have learned to be able to pick back up easily and quickly. Almost no one can tell when I have those momentary lapses and have to take a second to catch back up. That all said, this is why I am keen on having a formal diagnosis. I am not even sure what course or action I would take with it.
The only real corrective actions I would be motivated to take would be ones that helped enhance my marriage. I am pretty comfortable with my foibles in all other aspects of my life. My wife does not seem overly interested in whether I get diagnosed or not, or its possible present effect on our relationship.
Even without the ADHD consideration I have asked repeatedly for assistance in how I am asked to do household chores, tasks, etc.. I have told her that I cannot be trusted to remember or finish things without some type of reminder system. Her answer to that is that is unfair that she has to have responsibility for this, that I should be able to take care of things without her having to think of them. Always relates it to a caring issue.
At work I solved this long ago, but I have always been able to enlist my coworkers or employees as part of the solution. Everyone at work understands that as long as they are polite and professional it is okay to ask more than once for something they want, and that I do not take it personally. They also know that they can ask me to repeat, or confirm things that they ask for without insulting or offending me. All my employees learn in short order that verbal requests of me are a bad idea, simply email with a reminder for my calendar, no matter how small the issue (actually definitely for a small issue).
Home is a completely different animal. Small example that is representative of the entire problem. The fan that kicked off the hell storm the other morning. I am sure my wife was not lying about asking me previously to remove the fan from the bedroom, that it is in the way. I cannot tell you when she might have asked, in truth I am completely unreliable in remembering those things.
One of the few times in the day we speak is in the morning getting ready for work. This is also when said request would have happened previously, and seeing the fan at the same time of day triggered her remembering that she had requested that the fan was dealt with on some other morning. She gets upset and asks me why the fan is still sitting there, I tell her I have no recollection of her asking me to get rid of it, and hadn't even taken notice that it had to go. This starts the "if you cared about me you would hear and retain these things".
Here is where it gets back to the need help on this stuff. At the end of the hell storm session, I go to grab the fan and get rid of it. She stops me and says I do not need to do that right now, why don't I take care of the dogs going out instead, that would be more helpful right now. WTF!!???
There is no chance I can remember that fan at any future moment. I tell my wife that I cannot retain things like that, and I need to deal with them immediately or they will not happen. Here she is asking me to ignore something she asked for and remember to do it later.
These kinds of things come up in our life daily.
They used to think Asperger's was a personality itself, citing the characteristics of just the one type of Aspie - the bookish, geeky loner/recluse. But no, whatever personality you have gets refracted and magnified through the condition, which is how both Einstein and Marilyn Monroe were retro-identified as Aspies (she the sociable type). Obsessive interest was hers and Albert's quality in common.
The 'losing bits of conversation' you mention is another typical AS trait known as Zoning Out.
Keep reading the blog. You'd be most surprised just what huge number of un-diagnosed Aspie adults there are out there, who are not only functioning very well but excel at their particular careers/interests/expertise.
Uber-tenacity and -determination is another classic trait.
But whatever condition you do or don't have, still doesn't justify your wife's long-term behaviour.
"Even without the ADHD consideration I have asked repeatedly for assistance in how I am asked to do household chores, tasks, etc.. I have told her that I cannot be trusted to remember or finish things without some type of reminder system. Her answer to that is that is unfair that she has to have responsibility for this, that I should be able to take care of things without her having to think of them. Always relates it to a caring issue."
No, but as you pointed out earlier and I agreed with: there is such a thing as being a helpful TEAM MATE. If you really care (noun), you tend to really CARE (verb), particularly as it appears you asked nicely. Is she your teammate or isn't she.
"I cannot tell you when she might have asked, in truth I am completely unreliable in remembering those things.
One of the few times in the day we speak is in the morning getting ready for work. This is also when said request would have happened previously, and seeing the fan at the same time of day triggered her remembering that she had requested that the fan was dealt with on some other morning. She gets upset and asks me why the fan is still sitting there, I tell her I have no recollection of her asking me to get rid of it, and hadn't even taken notice that it had to go. This starts the "if you cared about me you would hear and retain these things"."
And we come full circle back to, her just not getting you or where you're coming from = incompatibility too chasmic.
"Here is where it gets back to the need help on this stuff. At the end of the hell storm session, I go to grab the fan and get rid of it. She stops me and says I do not need to do that right now, why don't I take care of the dogs going out instead, that would be more helpful right now. WTF!!???"
Yes, WTF, indeed. I TOLD YOU - THESE IRRITANTS ARE *NOT* IRRITANTS, THEY ARE THE GREAT EXCUSES SHE USES TO TAKE HER BAD FEELINGS OUT ON YOU. Fan, schman, dog, schmog; if you handed her a briefcase full of $100 bills she'd probably find something to bitch and moan about THERE, too (like, some of them were a bit crinkled)! Do you get it?
Why do you have to be the one to put the damn fan away, anyway? What - did her arms and legs drop off during her last paddy? :-p
Sorry. But REALLY. The woman's driving *me* nuts now!
Any update, ILB?
Nothing productive. We had an on and off four hour conversation a couple nights ago. It boiled down to I am over sensitive and that her yelling, complaining, criticizing is normal, and I have caused all the problems in our relationship. I kind of knew these were her feelings already.
This will make you laugh, highlight of the talk was "you are condescending, constantly using 50 cent words". I just stared at her.
I have a meeting with the counselor tomorrow, by myself. She will not go to her solo appointment, but says she will go when it is for both of us. It doesn't seem like she is going to be responsive to this therapist, but we will have to wait and let it play out.
Since our marathon talk, where she took no ownership of our issues she has been nice as pie. No complaining, whining, yelling. I am honestly so used to all the negativity and yelling I do not know how to take it.
To say 'nothing productive' in response to her having been 'nice as pie' for a couple of days straight would seem to be a giant contradiction. Only it's not, is it....Because I've noticed what I suspect you yourself have noticed, despite you possibly haven't finished articulating it in your mind and have instead put it down to the discomfort of unexpected novelty. Allow me:
The actual contradiction is between her uncharacteristic, total cease-fire (to the point where you call it NICE) and the abject refusal to go under the microscope in a one-on-one situation (her solo session), thereby shedding a different light on the first action and rendering it as less an about-turn in attitude and more a laying-low-until-the-dust-has-settled exercise... the dust being [wait for it....] *YOUR* NEXT SOLO SESSION.
"How have things been since our last session?", says the counsellor.
"Quite good, actually..wife's been nice as pie", says you.
Or, I suspect, that's what she's hoping will be said as will set the tone, AND the counsellor's attitude towards her, ready for the next dual session followed by her next solo one.
After all, why on EARTH wouldn't she who loves one-on-one counselling want to do so (let alone someone who wanted via her joint cooperation to save her marriage, late exercise or not)? I suspect it's because he's more 'worryingly' astute than she's used to. You did report that he was slow and considered, right? Well, figuratively-speaking, the pedestrian has more time to sightsee as well as look leisurely to his left and right than the driver.
With this contradiction between surface and deeper, meatier action, and what it can only mean, i.e. yet MORE denial and dismissal over her part in the decline of your marriage, you sound to me like you've inched that bit closer to losing hope and the end of your tether and have accordingly lessened or lost your ability to minimise and normalise. Is that right?
SM, to be honest not completely sure on her intentions right now.
"With this contradiction between surface and deeper, meatier action, and what it can only mean, i.e. yet MORE denial and dismissal over her part in the decline of your marriage, you sound to me like you've inched that bit closer to losing hope and the end of your tether and have accordingly lessened or lost your ability to minimise and normalise. Is that right?"
I haven't lost hope in the process of trying to save our marriage. Still way too early. We spent over a decade learning how to be what we are as a couple, it is going to take more than a few weeks and a couple counselor visits to get anywhere.
I think I have a pretty good handle on my feelings now, and to me everything hinges on one thing. My wife needs to own up to her behavior, decide it is a problem, accept that she has hurt my feelings and damaged my ability to trust her, and say she wants to be better. I don't think I would care how long it took for us to make things right together, as long as I felt we were working together on the same issue.
At this point I willing to simply enjoy the lack of tension in the house, and play the waiting game without jumping to any conclusions. In pretty short order my wife will have to make a decision as to whether she is going to deal with how I have been hurt. The calm before that storm is probably best for both of us.
Way too early? To do WHAT? Put *both* of her feet onto the path to marital rescue instead of just the one? Sorry, but it's not too early. It's the opposite.
Listen, there is a procedure involved in counselling towards saving a marriage apparently already on the skids. You say he's slow but clearly it's only an interactional mannerism of his. Seeing both spouses together interspersed with individually is a method by which to speed things up considerably (usually reserved, say, for when infidelity has featured). So evidently your counsellor was astute enough to detect that patience was already at a premium, hence this, his remedy. Not only that, but I can detect a distinct, positive attitudinal change in you already in terms of your self-assurance (hurrah!), so as far as I'm concerned, you struck lucky; this guy knows his onions and is a keeper. There again, maybe the double-pincer of he and I both going at you from separate ends is the winning forumula? Who even cares! Progress is progress.
Nobody was suggesting 'a few weeks', don't be silly. Yet neither, to be reasonable, should it take over 6 months with that frequency of sessions on offer. But in terms of actions - speaking behaviourally - this refusal to have the one-on-one means your wife is deliberately dragging her feet, for reasons, when devoid of any satisfactory explanation, that smack wholly to me of avoidance, meaning (ref 'and say she wants to be better') what she's SAYING is, Yes (joint) *and* No (individual).
Yes and No equals Maybe/Not that bothered/In two minds.
Yet now note: ***She STARTED OFF agreeing (through her actions) to both joint and individual.
What did I say up there? That it's a giant Red flag if one spouse seems not to WANT to do all - repeat, ALL - that's all in his/her power based on whatever's openly available - repeat, OPENLY AVAILABLE - to alter the status quo when said status is describable as 'stormy'. It suggests they at least are (perversely) happy with how things stood. (And trust me, some people aren't happy unless they have something to constantly moan about, for procrastination and avoidance reasons already explained.) Refusing WHATSOEVER to visit a counsellor, therefore, is not the only fruit.
Yet as you rightly say, the viability of this marriage continuing hinges on your wife because - you? You've *taken* your responsibility...even tried to take *too* much. I refer specifically to your hope that you have ADHD. But not just that: Your *actions* of for so overly long (compared to most men) having tolerated this marriage and, to boot, even a wholly dissatisfactory sex life constitutes over-excuses, over-allowances, over-accommodation, over-responsibility made manifest.
The upshot of this is, in your little rowing boat, you're using both oars whereas wife's using only one. Repeat: YOU'RE USING BOTH OARS WHILST WIFE'S USING ONLY ONE.
***SHE HAS THROWN ONE OAR AWAY.
= YOU have improved, she has taken a BACKWARD step. And you cannot logically say she hasn't taken to this counsellor because she's still agreeing to the joint sessions (and you KNOW FIRST-HAND what a body does when they dislike the person and/or his/her style).
Round and round, just in wider circles, you now, as spouses, go.
So, 'ref I don't think I would care how long it took': you damn well SHOULD care because this - her refusal to use both oars - is not what I call 'working together' nor every power openly available to her.
Question: Is it really *your* definition of working together?
There is no such thing as half a relationship, it's all or it's nothing going nowhere (and that, even when both parties are consensual to 50/50). Anyone who thinks there is ends up sorely disappointed (- take a look around this forum and you'll see). We are ambitious beings first and foremost which gets applied even to our personal relationships, using landmarks to chart our progress. And that includes attempting to reverse prior demotions. Your wife is refusing restorative promotion and is thereby voting to stay demoted for however much longer (for all you know, possibly forever. Again - face the fears, don't hide from them.)
Believe me when I say I understand all too well, both theoretically and first-hand, that you wish to enjoy your fill of seeming calm as opposed to storm - not least because of your new company start-up. But here's another life truism: Procrastination/delay/suspension just begets that same workload now GREATER/HARDER than if you'd tackled it at the time. Your 'happiness' will likely be short-lived. You're supposed to have your eye on the PRIZE, not the damn starter gun or end-of-first-lap marker.
So what are you going to do if the point where she kicks off again coincides with some pressing and vitally important business obligation that relies on you being fresh and full-cylindered for? Or what if equally everything, in dawning style, comes crashing down on you as lays you totally out for the count at that precise point?
Sorry if this comes across as pessimistic, but your over-optimism come head-in-sand attitude needs that counter-adjustment.
Back to the practical...
Question: Why haven't you outright ASKED your wife for a reason that explains why she's okay about attending the joint sessions yet not the intermediary one-on-ones? Wouldn't that clear up this matter over whomsoever out of the two of us is being the realist, optimist or pessimist, and in one fell swoop?
In other words: shut me up, go on (you know you want to
Update, I am confused, therapist seems downright pessimistic.
My wife has now decided to attend her solo session. Didn't tell me she changed her mind just made an appointment. Just odd....it is like she is just moving forward like we haven't spoken at all about this.
Counselor and I had our session and I gave him a run down of the last ten days, including the two heavy talks my wife and I had. Counselor was not impressed with the outcome of our talks and seems to be of the mind that we (my wife and I) need to mutually decide on the problems to tackle or stop kidding ourselves.
We (counselor and I) spent time on what I was willing to work on myself to help put the marriage back together, and then moved on to what I needed to stay in the marriage. My answer was my wife to admit that she has a serious issue holding on to anger, and be willing to work towards changing that. That many of the issues predate our marriage and I feel like I am drowning in them.
The counselor said that holding on to anger around old issues is something my wife needs to decide she doesn't want in her life before any therapy can help her change it. That if she is insistent in her right to hold grudges that we are wasting our time visiting with him separately or together.
As for the answer to why no one on one...(though now it is moot) my wife said because the counselor had brought up the insomnia issue that I mentioned in my session. Yeah, that sounds like a load of crap even to an eternal optimist like me.
So, my cheeky friend, I am as I said in the beginning confused at this point. I think the best thing I can do is let my wife have her session, where it seems the therapist is intending to tell her the same thing I did; decide you want the same thing your husband does or be honest and walk. I think after that I might have a better idea of what is in front of me.
(LOL - Cheeky? Moi? Yeah, alright, then, although I prefer irrepressible, incorrigible, pressuring, nagging, dog-with-bone know-it-all, impossible to ignore and say no to, with an answer for absolutely everything. LOL)
"Update, I am confused, therapist seems downright pessimistic."
Yes, well, so am I, aren't I. And that's simply because, unlike you, he and I have seen it all before and recognise all indications and implications towards either a positive or negative outcome (albeit those are purely subjective labels at the time and often what was considered negative turns out to be majorly positive).
"My wife has now decided to attend her solo session. Didn't tell me she changed her mind just made an appointment. Just odd....it is like she is just moving forward like we haven't spoken at all about this."
It's very, very simple/I'll say it again: the success or this case repair of a relationship requires TEAM SPIRIT, including constantly updated communication and information based on a need to know. It's your business to know she'd changed her mind about the solo session and whether her reason for doing so was pro or anti repair, and yet here she is taking linear decisions and then reversing that decision YET AGAIN linearly.
Aside from proof she at this point no longer sees herself and you as teammates, who KNOWS what her motivation for acting like that was? Perhaps her way of admitting you were right without having to suffer the humiliation of saying so to your face? (Even so, that's not a good sign/team spirit.) Perhaps so she could discuss ending the relationship? (Ditto.) Or maybe in her warped mind it was to pre-empt the possibility of you during your own solo session tainting the counsellor's opinion of her prior to seeing her (- if SHE thinks and operates like that, she'd naturally presume you likewise do/could/would).
But that's HER failing, not yours. Your responsibility was, like I said up there, to ASK HER why she'd decided against going to her solo session....and yet you didn't...and that appears strange. Not to me, I should stress. I know you've become primed to feel too loath to 'disturb the monster'. So would I be if I'd spent the last XX years tip-toeing around her like you have. But to those not in the know, it would strike as incredible between so-called spouses (albeit there for the grace of The Marital Bliss god go they, eh.) But that's why I said this campaign would take bravery and used phrases like biting the bullet; I wasn't just spouting empty platitudes, you know. I was warning you about what I could see up ahead based on the current data at the time.
Let me speak more bluntly: you are an emotionally battered husband (the shame for which belongs to her not you). Victimhood is not gender-biased. To have tolerated that persistent climate, year-in-year-out, took minimising and other major mental adjustments. (Had you not, had you faced up to how damn MISERABLE your marriage was, you might have topped yourself or gone slowly depressed then mad with despair and despondency). That adjustment got made gradually, incrementally. Liken it to having spent years in a dark dungeon. Just because you've found a way OUT of that dungeon and dared look up to the sky, doesn't mean your eyes aren't going to need time to cope with the sudden onslaught of drastically increased light level. Sight comes back SLOWLY. That's where you're at - finally opening your eyes that bit more, that bit more, that bit more.... Trust me, if you'd chosen to do the separation under zero emotional contact apart from counselling session meetings (meaning zero emotional sheets being added atop the intray pile) you would have found yourself week by week reflecting on all that had gone on between you and reacting with ever more outrage, a la, 'The ways she behaved was NOT RIGHT........The ways she behaved were DOWNRIGHT SH*TTY, actually!..... all the way to, OH MY GOD, WHY ON EARTH DID I ENDLESSLY PUT UP WITH *THAT* FOR, WHO DID SHE THINK SHE WAS/WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME!!? And all the while getting increasingly angry and outraged thanks to it now being safe, you now having the freedom, to finally do so.
*Nothing's* wrong with you. You're just human, stuck for too long in a low-level war zone and having had to change your perceptory level to suit for the sake of your survival. It means you're adaptable (- adapt or perish, said Darwin).
"The counselor said that holding on to anger around old issues is something my wife needs to decide she doesn't want in her life before any therapy can help her change it. That if she is insistent in her right to hold grudges that we are wasting our time visiting with him separately or together."
Yes, note his choice of words: if she's INSISTENT. RIGHT to hold grudges (he means her sense of entitlement). What he's overall saying is that where fixing takes recognition of the truth, no progress can happen without that.
Sad for you, but at the same time, glad you could ketchup and finally join me, Baby Tomato. Here's where I and my failsafe measures come back in (at the ready):
She needs a great enough incentive to throw away those grudges and what's behind her need to hold them. The incentive must be great enough to put those urges into a newly negative light whereby they strike as detrimental to her. She needs a bigger fear. She needs that Zero Contact Separation period. She needs to SAMPLE the life she'll receive if she keeps refusing to properly row the boat. She needs to either hate that life apart and start promising to row AND ACCORDINGLY, IMMEDIATELY DELIVER IT STRAIGHT, or she needs to love it, dare to ask for a divorce and cease wasting your one precious life. And if the latter IS what she decides, you have to have faith in the giant signal this represents about there being a better marriage thus a better life - a Happyville - lined up for you.
"my wife said because the counselor had brought up the insomnia issue that I mentioned in my session. Yeah, that sounds like a load of crap even to an eternal optimist like me."
Yep, and especially to an eternal realist like me. But - more than that, me, I'm looking at YOU:
"Sounds like a load of crap".
EUREKA! FINALLY! PRAISE DEE LAWD!
Houston, he's finally getting angry.
(PS: good job you didn't tell him about that zit she once had on her nose, eh, or all hell would REALLY have let loose. ;-p)
"I think the best thing I can do is let my wife have her session, where it seems the therapist is intending to tell her the same thing I did; decide you want the same thing your husband does or be honest and walk. I think after that I might have a better idea of what is in front of me."
I don't have a crystal ball but I do know which bet I'd be placing my money on. After all, if she doesn't jump to attention and cooperation when her own husband tells her that, why does the counsellor think his saying it will have any better effect? (Does anyone here have a loudhailer ILB could borrow??)
(Sorry. Black humour.)
Seriously, I do know what you're going through right now. Been there, done that, worn the t-shirt, helped others to wear their own t-shirts... No, it's definitely not pretty and beeping, effing hairy-scary. But pain equals gain as sure as eggs is eggs - too much evidence says so. So - CHIN UP?
Yeah, I know, that won't work, either. Just have a damn good cry (better out than in and all that) and then grit your teeth for that bit longer, then. This is a test. Of your faith in life and that 'wash' I was talking about. I promise you, though - you will either be just fine, living same but different (without the really bad bits, I mean), or you will be REBORN AND ECSTATIC!!! Which one depends wholly on said faith. (Am I making any sense?)
Know what your *actual* problem is, deep down - same as everyone's in this situation? CHANGE. We beans "dunlike chaaange". Berbom. But once forced to leave a step we've outgrown (to the point where it's rejecting *us*) or that's fast becoming obsolete, for the next step, we're always very glad the decision was seemingly taken out of our hands as forced us there. Trust me, the next step up the life staircase isn't just better, it's TEN times better! Aside from the initial few hours whilst we're too busy kicking ourselves for not having made the stride earlier off our own bats, that is.
How do I know you're going to be that fine or markedly happier and springier? Simple. You're one the THE most emotionally intelligent and humble men I've ever met over a forum. And isn't it ironic, Alanis, that this very humility and adaptability as made you such a great foil and target for an issue-ridden woman with a rifle, is the very thing which guarantees you'll end up a pheonix rising from the ashes.
Panic not, it's all good.
Just doesn't feel like it at the time.
BTW, forgot to say: Can you, when you next get a mo, re-read this entire thread, please? It'll help you to recognise and catch up with yourself and your progress. Ta.
Oy, Prancealot, why is it that lately I'm the one having to knock for YOU? What's going on, what's the latest? Stop leaving me in suspenders, you. :-p
They don't sthuit me, anyway. I prefer thongs.
...Like thisth one: Thwinkle, thwinkle, litthle thstar, how I wondther HOW YOU ARE.
(mwa-ha, I'm so funny!!)
I have been out of my brain busy at the new office. Exactly how I like it, but it has monopolized my time.
Okay tried to read back through The Odyssey that is this thread of posts, and found myself starting to just scroll. Good lord am I verbose when something is on my mind
Soooo update.... my wife is still in the denial, I am going to make like we are a perfect couple, no strings on me mode. Doesn't mention anything relating to counseling, issues to work out, and says everything with a smile on her face. It is kind of creeping me out. If i didn't know her better I would start looking through the medicine cabinet for happy pills
"Houston, he's finally getting angry.
Believe it or not I am not angry about a thing. Sad, confused, anxious to be moving in a direction...yes. Anywhere near the point where I can trust my wife with my feelings, no. Do I pity my wife and the mud pit of hurt she won't accept help to climb out of....yes.
Counselor told me that I am more content in my own skin than anyone he has ever met. This was in reference to my ability to forgive people almost immediately, and in contrast my wife holding on to a grudge like a bum with a baloney sandwich.
Now that leaves me in limbo, with a few things in my wife's court. I have been working on the things that I can be better at for our relationship. Being loving and forgiving isn't among the fix pile. My wife has to decide to own up to her anger/grudge holding/controlling and be willing to allow us to work on it as a couple. Seems like it is all going to come to a head soon enough, one way or another.
Once we hit that decision point, whatever it is, then I will cry, scream, let out my first clean breath in forever.
Do you Brits have Halloween there? Well Happy Halloween anyway, even if you don't
Ah, so you liked my thong then? Good thtuff, excthellent.
Well, whatever you reckon, that 'crap' comment was definitely an, what I call, "I AIN'T 'AVIN; IT!' tone of phrase so...maybe you've suppressed your indignant side for so long that you can't even feel it any more?
My turn to lmao when I read this:
"and says everything with a smile on her face. It is kind of creeping me out. If i didn't know her better I would start looking through the medicine cabinet for happy pills
So what's brought about this dramatic change, do you think? Did it follow her solo session or was it the things you lately said that finally got through her cloth ears to her more sensible side? I.e. has she finally managed to accept that this time you're deadly serious?
"Counselor told me that I am more content in my own skin than anyone he has ever met."
Yup - absolutely 100% agree. (Aside from me, that is) (- race ya! LOL)
"Being loving and forgiving isn't among the fix pile."
Course not. The horse has to go BEFORE the cart because the cart having got put first was what initially CAUSED all this mess, and to reverse an erroneous procedure requires just that - things being gone through in reverse, meaning regaining that loving feeling (wo-oah, that looooo-ving fee-ee-ling) will get met later back down the line. Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey - Rome doesn't get rebuilt in a day, right? But, if this moreover honey-coated wifey act gets sustained - emphasis on 'if' - then that'll be cause for celebration.
...assuming that is, you DIDN'T leave it too late at where the resentment actually DIGESTED anything vital on your part? Hopefully not. And I say hopefully with all sincerity because, frankly, I have to admit, I wasn't expecting you to report that your wife had slept with a coathanger in her mouth quite so early on as this.
Fingers crossed she can keep it up, then... after which, maybe that won't be the ONLY thing that gets kept up (cough, nudge, wink!), LOL. Won't THAT be nice!
"Once we hit that decision point, whatever it is, then I will cry, scream, let out my first clean breath in forever."
Yup. Or like Whitney put it: waiting to exhale.
Let's see if that exhalation gets accompanied by a big fat smile, then, yes? Again, keep me posted (unless, of course, you want to have to hear me sing again...And no, that's not a threat. It's a promise, LOL.
PS: What if the bum were a vegan?? ()
PPS: Yes, we do have Halloween, thanks. Yet *another* import from you meddling kids.
We got Led Zepplin, you got Halloween... fair exchange
Yes, the smiling denial is because she knows I am serious about moving us to an emotionally healthy place or stopping everything. Last night she came home late from work, she is a finance director at the arena in town and sometimes has to work until shows are finished to settle with promoters, and I had left some dishes in the sink and she simply said she would get them in the morning. I almost fell off the couch, this usually would have been an occasion for her to get rippin' mad.
The solo session with the counselor never happened. Actually not her fault, mistake in the counselors office with the schedule. They had both of our appointments registered under my name, and cancelled hers when I made mine, thinking I was changing an appointment not making a new one. When I mentioned my appointment to my wife, she went through a long explanation about how she tried to go. She was nervous about making sure I understood.
I felt horrible for her. Probably not for why most people would think. It is good that she is concerned about doing her part in repairing things. What made me sad is that in her mind I would assume she was willfully doing this to be spiteful. Furthest thing from how I look at life, all she had to say was appointment got screwed up and I wouldn't have given it another thought. It has to be so emotionally damaging to always think the person you love is out to hurt you. The only reason for her to assume I am thinking that way is that is how she views things like this.
My wife has had four life events that seem to be leading to most of the behavior that is driving me away. If we can ever turn the corner, and she lets us deal with these things together it is going to be a long uncomfortable ride. I better enjoy this smooth sailing while I have it.
Here are the events:
Her prior marriage. She never talks much about the actual marriage, only her anger towards her ex and his present wife. She can spout for hours about what horrible people they are. The only thing she has ever said about the actual marriage is that her ex was verbally abusive and she had to get out. All her pain, hurt, and guilt are never dealt with, just keeps replaying in anger towards anything that relates to the prior marriage.
Her father's passing. This happened not long after her divorce. I never met him, but by all accounts he was the glue that held her family together. Once he passed there was a lot of squabbling about who was there for him more, who would get this keepsake or that, etc.. Lot of hard feelings between the siblings that has never been ironed out. Just seems to bubble up any time there is any type of disagreement.
Our losing a child. Not sure if you have heard of a molar pregnancy, but that is what we had. It is fairly rare, the fetus turns into a cancer in the womb. Fairly awful, and has lasting complications. Not only had we lost the child, but we weren't even allowed to try again for two years. The odds of having another molar pregnancy, once the first happens, goes up a thousand fold. The doctors said we couldn't risk getting pregnant until they knew that there was no spread of the first molar pregnancy and that would take two years of watching.
The last issue was the continued issues after with fibroid tumors that eventually lead to a hysterectomy. The doctors claimed the fibroid tumors where unrelated to the molar pregnancy, but I have to say I don't buy that. Over a seven year period my wife ended up having six different small surgeries, that also necessitated us completely stopping our love life for long periods of time.
Each of these events contribute to how she is dealing with things now. None of them have been put in any healthy prospective. Just continually buried, and bubbling up in the form of anger somewhere else. It is not going to be easy for my wife, after all this time, to face her internal pain. She has spent years using outward anger to avoid them.
So you asked if I am choking down resentment? Absolutely not. I truly meant it when I said I am sad, not angry at my wife for her behavior. It doesn't change the fact that I can't live with it for the rest of my life. I need something from her, and it won't be easy and I cannot guarantee she is even willing to do it.
Face each of these things that she has held inside and made magnitudes worse to deal with. Stop deciding that they are hers to handle alone. Once we married they became my problems too, whether she wanted them to be or not. This is where I have issue with her therapist spending years building coping mechanisms. It is just another avoidance technique. I need my wife to live in the here and now so we can love each other.
One last thing then I must dash...
"after which, maybe that won't be the ONLY thing that gets kept up (cough, nudge, wink!), LOL"
I think about "IT" all the time. Literally night and day. That finally happens it is going to be about as short as a cough, nudge wink. lmao
"We got Led Zepplin, you got Halloween... fair exchange
TOU-CHE!!! I don't mind comedy touches, you can comedy touche me as often as you like because I'm a big fat comedy slut.
I made an error, though - you didn't introduce Halloween to us, per se, just the Trick Or Treat-ing bit. Trust you Mericans to slide candy in there somewhere (as that slutty Bishop said to the poor, innocent actress).
Son went out Trick or Treating in a Jesus outfit last night (long-haired wig and beard included). Not sure how that's supposed to be scary but, well, maybe these days IT IS? :-o
"Yes, the smiling denial is because she knows I am serious about moving us to an emotionally healthy place or stopping everything."
Bit prematurely cynical to call it 'denial', I'd have thought (albeit it is understandable all things considered). But, that aside.. Doesn't that show to go ya that she can't have been taking you even remotely seriously all those other past times? Actions, innit...those lovely-lovely actions. God love 'em, where would we be without 'em.
"and I had left some dishes in the sink and she simply said she would get them in the morning. I almost fell off the couch, this usually would have been an occasion for her to get rippin' mad. "
(Bit about nervousness also noted.)
Blimey, that makes two of us nearly falling off our chairs! You SURE she was at a show and not secretly in after-work guidance talks with some wiser, older colleague who's recently taken pity on her and stepped in to help or something?
Hey! She can't read your emails or these posts, can she??? :-o RSVP!
"What made me sad is that in her mind I would assume she was willfully doing this to be spiteful. Furthest thing from how I look at life, all she had to say was appointment got screwed up and I wouldn't have given it another thought."
HMMMM, not sure that's true any more, given your cynical 'load of crap' comment recently. Women CAN SENSE these secret thoughts, you know. Comes out in your vibes and all the tiny little gaits, movements, facial sets and gestures - even their timings - that people aren't aware they're displaying as are getting unconsciously read. I think she's all-round picked up on this secret switch in attitude to cynicism of yours, you know. Once it'd peaked, I mean. It'd explain this whole about-turn of hers perfectly, as well, wouldn't it. But other than that, yes, constantly thinking your own partner's out to stick it to you MUST be a horrid way to live. You do know what causes this type of giant misunderstanding, though, I presume? LACK OF CONSTANT, ONGOING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION, having been allowed to prevail for too long. You end up leaving the other (negative/insecure) person to jump to negative conclusions because humans despise not knowing what's what yet most haven't been taught to know or have the patience to STAY on that thought-chains train, go BEYOND what I call the MacStation (the first thus most convenient stop on that line) until they arrive at a more benign place of belief. Simple que ca.
Somebody forgot to teach her how to think investigatively or her run of traumas since have kept her too stuck in DefCon3 to think more clearly and rationally. Seems she is or has become a surface viewer and overly eager spoon-feeder, swallows whatever's proffered without grabbing the hand to take a closer look and sniff at whatever's really on it, just - here comes the spoon, open wide, "ahhhh"... Lazy thinking. That and ridiculously over-busy lives these days. What price progress, eh.
Obviously, though, she goes around feeling far more vulnerable than you do. And this, her newly more expansively revealed history goes a long way to explaining why, doesn't it just. But her prior counsellor should have been effective enough to have DEALT with all of this baggage after 7 long years, INCLUDING her over-defensive(-aggressive) attitude towards you. I mean, JEEZUZ - sorry to keep going on about it but if it took me 7 years to make basically zero progress with someone - AND a woman (typically less stubborn than men) - I'd bloody TOP myself, never mind hang up my hat!
As for the molar pregnancy, it does ring a faint bell, but, jeez, no WONDER this woman's so unhappy. That and a hysterectomy, mate, is tantamount to how you'd feel following a castration [gulp!].
(PS: "The doctors claimed the fibroid tumors where unrelated to the molar pregnancy, but I have to say I don't buy that." Could be that the non-health of her repro equipment generally as showed itself through fibroids is what also then showed itself through the molar pregnancy, i.e. a case of chicken versus egg? So, yeah, I don't believe in coincidences, either. For starters, they don't exist.)
So anyway, that explains why she 'arrived' whingy, way back when. And the upshot demonstration after all of this is:  she is absolutely NOT a Weeble (go Google) and  you understand her and where she's coming from, but she doesn't (or daren't) understand you and where YOU'RE coming from. You SURE-sure-sure you're as communicative at home as you think or as female-friendly-communicative (i.e. 10 sentances where a male would think 1 which leaves some work to the imagination would do)? Or is it that she has too much scar-tissue over her eyes and ears (meaning, 10 sentances spoken *right up against her ear)? Or did she become a shy, shtum clam and you understand her simply through your insight and perceptiveness? Or a combo, even?
Personally, I can't see it - you being under-communicative - because you've been nothing like that on here. But again, is that because your ego isn't tied up with mine?
Although, saying that, I guess I can see it because... yes, you've been far more emotionally articulate and eloquent than your average male, I can't fail to notice how only now that things feel a lot safer for you, have you suddenly dared to pour out all these more personal and enlightening details. [wiggles eyebrows pointedly]
(Excellent post, though, and - more like that, please, Bartender.)
Otherwise, or additionally-inclusively, what you've got is a woman who was too tired/couldn't be arsed to put in any harder mental effort to see and hear *through* this scar tissue, and only now after having received PROPER deterrent/incentive (courtesy of said altered vibes you've been exuding), has finally sat up to attention and realised what she stood to lose... AND, more to the point, that loss was even possible with one as limpet-like as you (compliment).
"I need something from her, and it won't be easy and I cannot guarantee she is even willing to do it"
Washing-up says she is (actions!). Because it's a damn good start. Well, look no further than the proof (actions!) of you having nearly fallen off your couch because it was such a giant, stark difference and - nuff said/case closed. I mean, that's too proper and distinct an effort to suggest mere empty gesture, wouldn't you say?
I'd say, what with her visible nervousness about convincing you ref the appointment mix-up, that Cheshire grin of her is ALSO a symptom of nervousness. Long may that rein, then. Certainly where an eventual resting plateau is concerned, anyway, because it's also another word for:
("Arr-ee ess-pee ee-cee-tee, find oud whadd-it means to me, arr-ee ess-pee EEE-cee-tee, take-care, soome-thing something!...Sockittomesockittomeso-" yeah, alright, since you yelled so nicely. LOL)
But - "It is not going to be easy for my wife, after all this time": Yeah, it will. She's got you... now that you've finally got her full attention. She wants to try being married to your typical ham-fisted CLOD and THEN she'd know all about it! Lucky for her she got a man with as well developed a female side as male, eh (- nice one, gran-gran).
Oh, and as for this: "Once we married they became my problems too, whether she wanted them to be or not." ABSOBLOODYLUTELY! (and now you're sounding exactly like me!) Ain't no 'I' in Team, never was, never will be.
And I'll tell you THIS for nothing (in case I don't get a chance in any of our next chattipoos): I'm tempted to keep this thread bumped up daily to the top of the list, just so's all the women who constantly blame absolutely every relationship problem on men and/or seem to think the nice guys are the boring guys can read it and weep (in shame).
"That finally happens it is going to be about as short as a cough, nudge wink. lmao"
Chortle-chortle! But it's called Intermission... you know, like when the ice-cream lady comes round with her little tray and torch selling Fabs and Choc-Ices? (Not literally, obviously. I mean there are some occasions - following a huge abstinence, I mean - during which you *don't* necessarily include candy, American or not, LOL, touch-touche.)
But in all seriousness, that leads me to my next and for-the-mo final question: What are you going to do to *reward* and *further encourage* that Cheshire Cat smile and willingness to get her hands soapy whilst zipping her cat o' nine tails tongue? For instance: what plans do you and she have for tonight? Any? If not - CANDLELIT RESTAURANT. Oh, and change the sheets and duvet before you go, won't you. (It's Pavlovian, Jim, just not as we know it.
) Ignore this stellar advice at your peril (you have been warned, andfailuretokeepupwithpaymentscouldresultinyourhousebeingrepossessed).
PS: "DASH-ing through the snoooow, on a one horse open somethinggggg, la-la-la-la-laaaa, LA-LA-LA-LA-LAAAA...."
Doncha just LOVE Saturdays?
"Hey! She can't read your emails or these posts, can she??? :-o RSVP!"
If she could read these posts you would have heard it straight across the pond
"HMMMM, not sure that's true any more, given your cynical 'load of crap' comment recently. Women CAN SENSE these secret thoughts"
I definitely am not looking for negative intent in anything. Maybe I am displaying some bad body language or something. I don't think so, but who knows. I did tell her I didn't need any more explanation, and wasn't thinking it was any more than a botched appointment.
"Or a combo, even?"
Positive it is a mix of us not dealing with things in the same way. I have always been able to understand my feelings and work through them. She uses anger to shield herself from actual pain, guilt, shame. I do not think either of us early in our relationship could understand how the other processes things. Not easy to understand displaced anger when you don't have any. This was evident in our different methods in handling the molar pregnancy.
"What are you going to do to *reward* and *further encourage* "
I am working on mentally ditching any negative thoughts and just taking in her current positive state. I have had a few devilish thoughts about it. Plan on cooking a candlelit dinner and already had sheets on the list.
"If she could read these posts you would have heard it straight across the pond
FALL OFF MY CHAIR LAUGHING WHILST PISSING MYSELF! You're wicked, you are.
"Maybe I am displaying some bad body language or something. I don't think so, but who knows."
Put it this way: verbal communication is miniscule in comparison to vibe and body-lingo, meaning trying NOT to display these subtly self-consciously-elusive signals is nigh-on impossible. It's not a conscious awareness thing, it's as automatic as breathing.
"I have had a few devilish thoughts about it. "
Good lad. Guessed you might. Just wanted to anally cover my arse, though, so that you couldn't reproach me over it in however many months time, a la, Why didn't you warn me!
I'm pre-emptive. (Eat yer Greens)
hey soulmate and ilovebooks,this has been goin on for awhile now!Are you both sure its the wife with problems here and not two people looking for attention?looks as if something more is happening here?when a person consistently talks about her arse or ass,or the fact that she likes wearing thongs with another man,who has marital issues and is DESPRATE to hear back from him on his outcome with his wife,it usually means something more is about to happen!I think soulmate your looking for someone who is as intellectually inclined as yourself and that you are in fact preying on the vulnerable people or men rather,on this site. although you do look random in the people you choose to talk to,the length in who you talk to kinda gives it away next to comments about your arse.I think what your doing is wrong and your taking away from peoples issues when they really are asking for help.they do have dating sites which are free for women.and you can actually get on the phone and talk rather then look as though your giving the helping hand.and if I were the wife of that husband damn rights I'd have something to bitch about on a daily bases.if he can do that to her whats stopping him in doing that to you when he wants to vent.its women with LOOSE acting conduct that make men do the things they do,cant you just leave him to his wife so that they can figure it out together?its not for you to know their outcome!You certinaly talk like you got a lot of game,but looks as though you got too much idle time on your hands,so what is it lack in looks?lack of money?your definatley lacking something or is it just lack of attention from men who care about what you have to say?cause who knows you could actually be just as over analytical and bitchy as this mans wife,then what purpose would you be to him.
It's a lot simpler and less sinister than that, actually. Sorry to have to disappoint, total stranger possessing equally strange supposed concern for my business and ILB's welfare:
1. At the same time as posting on here last night, I was private-emailing back and forth with friends. 'xoxo' is my habitual sign-off to them that, no doubt thanks to the large glass of wine I'd had, got accidentally carried over into my mail to ILB. Big deal.
I realised my typo as soon as I'd pressed Click To Submit, but unfortunately there's no Edit facility (for reasons of preventing a covering of tracks, in terms of ban-able insults, that you find happening via such a facility on other forums, as well as because it would interfere with the 'New Post Added' alerts that registered members can opt to receive). On opening this thread I was just about to offer my sheepish apologies and clarification to ILB when I saw this, your message.
2. Not that I don't feel an affinity with ILB. I do. But because he reminds me more and more of my son (that's right, I'm old enough to be ILB's mother, meaning your narrow- and mealy-minded aspersion becomes all the more unpalatable and perverse for it).
The hugely glaring clue about that context - which you'd have spotted had you been paying better attention instead of being so patently hell-bent on creating unnecessary drama and negativity - exists, amongst other similar, weighty clues, in the fact that I've just called him 'good lad', alongside the pre-emptively motherly advice of 'eat yer greens'.
Believe you me, were flirting my aim - WHICH it is not, given that I've consistently, to-date, been highly vocal all over this forum about how besotted I and my husband still are with each other - my technique, *with* men of my age-group, tends to be a lot more impressively, sophisticatedly sexy than that, thanks very much. I don't know *many* men who are turned on by an overtly motherly approach - do you?
Perhaps you do, perhaps that's your own style of approach. If so, that's your mistake.
3. If you were to take as much trouble looking into my posting history both past and past-recent as you have trying to sh*t-stir, you'd see 'arse' mentioned COPIOUSLY - as a bog-standard, English turn of phrase of mine (e.g. "he loves you, my ARSE!").
4. CLEARLY to anyone of any intelligence, thongs was a double-entendre fashioned to mean SONGS spoken with a lisp, intended as a comedy backdrop to my b*stardisation of Twinkle Twinkle, the purpose of which was to - again in motherly, tongue-in-cheek fashion - *nag* ILB about being more forthcoming in future with updates, seeing as how he tacitly chose me to as his confidante on this emotional journey of his as has permitted me to feel involved and invested in his story. It's called, whistle while you work.
5. Repeat - EMOTIONAL JOURNEY. Not everyone here is a drop and run, insta-fix merchant. Some of us are here to offer a deeper level of adviser commitment according to any deeper- and longevitous-than-normal issue on the part of the boardie. It's called emotional management.
Again, if you were concerned with dealing with the TRUTH rather than gratifying your own love of trouble-making, you would see too easily from my posting history how I have spent equally or greater time with other posters, most of whom in fact are *women*.
Given that substantiation, would you now accuse me of being bi-sexual or lesbian? Wouldn't put it past you.
6. ILB is indeed an intelligent young man whom I am sure was under no such confusion or illusion about the nature of our thread relationship (advisee and adviser). So please don't tar him with *your* filthy-minded, grossly over-assumptive brush.
TAKES one to think you know one, doesn't it?
7. Not that it or any of this is your business, but I have a lot of *interim* time on my hands, which yet again you would know had you done your research - because it's explained in some detail further up this very thread.
Don't give up your day-job and go into detective work, will you.
8. You sit and dare lecture and reprimand me over what you think is MY conduct and its implications in terms of ILB's spouse's sensitivities (and thereby my own), based on nothing but short-sightedly vindictive, gross mis-assumptions and jumping to conclusions? WHAT IS IT YOU THINK *YOU'RE* DOING RIGHT NOW!
What I *don't* have time for is making unfounded, unintelligent, potentially relationship- or whole-life-jeopardising accusations. Seemingly, you DO have the time. *Make* time, evidently. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.
In summary, that post of yours speaks far greater and clearer volumes about the type of person *you* are than it does even a *modicum* of who I - or ILB - or our respective spouses - are.
This is obviously a higher-classed forum than would appear you're used to. Perhaps you ought consider that you somewhere along your journey to Ask.fm you took a wrong turn. And perhaps at the same time you ought remember that there are such things as LIBEL, TROLLING and FLAMING.
I always, however, allow room for personal errors on the part of another, in case that's all they are. Lucky you that I do. You now owe myself and ILB, *and* our spouses in absentia, *and* all present on this forum, a huge apology. If you have a decent bone in your body, you'll concede to that fact, and do so, not least in attempted reparation of this, your less than flattering self-ambassadorship.
No i doubt that i owe the apology in this particular situation,the fact that ilb didnt come back online for the couple days and that it you pissed you off kinda gives the bigger picture,and as for trolling my guess is that ya your right,except that your the one doing the trolling!i believe its you who owes your husband and his wife the apology.he didnt ask you 98 times to continue on his so called journey as you put it!all u did was ask him questions to be able to continue your conversation,and your need to either be someones soulmate,or think that your soulmate material,and either way says TROLL loud and clear.as for time on your hands sure looks like you do have it!and id be careful cause everyones time comes to an end,which we in the end have to answer to.it really looked like a good conversation with 98 replys till u see its only a coversation with the 2 same people,just looked strange thats all!as for this being a higher class forum jus cause it includes you doesnt mean it makes it into any class,as i said before there are FREE dating sites.slow your roll,and pump your breaks,jus cause i can read between the lines and see the truth still doesnt make what your doing right,and it definately doesnt make me wrong.guess that would make me the second person youve cut from this conversation,by all means HIS problems are all yours!!!lmao
Oh, good grief.
How I pity people like you whose brand of reality doesn't support the concept of there being types in this world who would take greater pains than the average to help out their fellow human beings. I imagine quite a number of things tend to look strange to a stunted mind like yours, yes.
Go away and grow a brain, or find another forum to try to pick a fight on. (And learn how to spell and string a written sentence together whilst you're at it.) Alternatively, remember it's a school-, sorry, skool-night and ask mummy to come cover for you so you can go sleepy-bye-byes.
Over AND OUT.
Actually, saying that... on second thoughts, before you *do* go to Sleepybyes Land...
"guess that would make me the second person youve cut from this conversation, by all means HIS problems are all yours!!!"
The *second* person cut from this conversation, eh? And his problems are all mine, are they?... as in, not someone else's?
I wasn't aware I *had* cut anyone from this conversation. Certainly, I saw ILB do what I suppose could (using a warped view) be construed as cutting someone out, but not me.
That minor detail of responsibility aside - tell me, seeming complete newbie out of nowhere: why would this be of any concern of yours, much less as could cause such seeming bitterness?
well Im glad you asked,seeing as how it seemingly bothers you (y,IDK).its called a cause for the greater good!Last I heard this was a classy forum for people who can are able to lay out facts,opinions,and advise!how you take it is your problem,seems to me like your in the right forum for it. so as I asked before what is it you lack,besides male attention???
O n u don't have to answer the last question,it is what it is!
Been ever so busy so really did not get a chance to give much feedback recently but but but! did feel I had to on this one.
Soulmate...I do not know why you even gave neigbor the time of day to even explain and justify yourself!!!!! There was no need. She is clearly NOT well, is unable to give out good advice, very judgmental/critical and clearly needs to go back to the school playground.
You on the other hand give great advice (most of the time
), are very intelligent, have a great humour, classy and carry yourself like a real lady. The time and effort you put on other peoples problems is priceless and you should be given a reward!!!! because honestly, you are class.
Just remember..You can't throw stones at every dog that barks at you therefore just see it as Neighbor is one of them
Now let her carry on with her irrelevant bullshit...And you carry on with your great advice.
Ps..I was cringing whilst reading her unecessary attack on you. And I am sure I will cringe again on her next attack. But but but!!!! Just bear in mind the thing I said about dogs and dont give her the satisfaction of replying.
Thank-you for that sweetly supportive message, K.
As to your 'why' - amongst other reasons, it's called, giving them enough rope to hang themselves with and bringing evidence to the fore.
If you now log out before then re-entering this thread, and scroll back down to my boardname, all should become instantly clear. I'd have preferred to have stayed undercover, but, sadly... needs must.
Thanks to your having used that extra rope to further play with, there's now enough evidence both behind scenes and on the boards (including the below paste-ins) to strongly suggest you're none other than Ceeceemk, and that the purpose of your attempt to flame on ILB's thread was down to nothing but sour grapes over the fact of my having gently queried your needlessly disparaging remark aimed at Gwendo over on "Parenting Problems".
One could say that my having until now remained 'undercover' as Moderator denied you the opportunity to think twice about your conduct on this forum, but, presuming one is a fully-grown adult, one shouldn't have to need that kind of advance warning just to remain respectful of other forum users and to post only productively and altruistically.
Please consider this an official forum warning to henceforth heed normal social etiquettes, as well as desist from using more than one board identity. Thank-you.
[from "Parenting Problems" as Ceeceemk]
"first of all great advise GWENDO!you are so nooo help,send the girl back to her mother for a bit see if money has gone missing during the time shes gone.make sure you have money,even have it laying around!that narrows down the WHO done it.tell the grand parents NO!no they cant have her go there not unless they take all of them.give your man the throw down if your going to be with him he has to agree with your decisions either for a short time jus to show him your right or for the whole time your with him.if he loves you he should agree!and if you decide to break up make him take the kid you have together,he'll have no choice to intergrate the child you have together into the grandparents life.take the phone and internet away and anything else she loves,she should earn it crack the whip on all of them.stand your ground."
[from "Ladies..." as Ceeceemk]
it doesn't really matter if youve said it kills you jus thinking shes been with other men,if your looking at other ways to fill the void(other women).then what are you worried about it, killing you for?More then likely these other women have been with other men which in turn means your always going to be worried about it killing you,all over again, which is still elastoplast!then all of which has been done outside of marriage is still adultery.Then you have a whole lot of other things to worry about like guilt,shame,new expectations,omg STD's.why put yourself out there in the line of fire to have to deal with it all over again?I also think that the fact that you stated performance first, rather then the thoughts of it killing you first, is what the real problem is!dont get confused by other people about marriage.we need more people in the world with morals rather then self indulging individuals,thats what makes the world a better place.Now go get your kitty,n make her purr!and yes if you need to whip out the ruler jus to tell yourself ITS YOU shes with no matter what size you are,then make sure ur usin it to spank that ass!!after all she is still with you and is asking IF shes doin it right!!Now answer her,with your needs!
[from this thread as Neighbor]
No i doubt that i owe the apology in this particular situation,the fact that ilb didnt come back online for the couple days and that it you pissed you off kinda gives the bigger picture,and as for trolling my guess is that ya your right,except that your the one doing the trolling!i believe its you who owes your husband and his wife the apology.he didnt ask you 98 times to continue on his so called journey as you put it!all u did was ask him questions to be able to continue your conversation,and your need to either be someones soulmate,or think that your soulmate material,and either way says TROLL loud and clear.as for time on your hands sure looks like you do have it!and id be careful cause everyones time comes to an end,which we in the end have to answer to.it really looked like a good conversation with 98 replys till u see its only a coversation with the 2 same people,just looked strange thats all!as for this being a higher class forum jus cause it includes you doesnt mean it makes it into any class,as i said before there are FREE dating sites.slow your roll,and pump your breaks,jus cause i can read between the lines and see the truth still doesnt make what your doing right,and it definately doesnt make me wrong.guess that would make me the second person youve cut from this conversation,by all means HIS problems are all yours!!!lmao
Hi, I haven't read even half of this epic saga, but I am very curious. Just based on the first post (and apologies if it was addressed anywhere between there and this post) do you and your wife have or had any regular activity together? I am not implying there is a correlation or if it helps or not at all but I am very fascinated by this dynamic and was wondering (if you don't mind) how it was in your situation.
Best of luck to you both
...And I'll add to Sixstringseraph's tap on your door, as well, ILB. Any update? (...now that it's safe to come out again?
Did not see that one coming Soulmate. Thanks for the revelation.
Ceeceemk aka Neighbor...You just got owned girlfriend!
"Did not see that one coming Soulmate. Thanks for the revelation."
What, you thought I was just *naturally* a bossy ol' moo who sticks her nose into everyone's business?
(Well, YES, actually, LOL)
Anyway, let's all put it behind us and move on, and just hope ILB gives us an update at some point.
bump (i.e. nag)