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#2220091 - 02/08/12 10:45 PM MC says to call it quits
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2090
If you haven't read my sitch, the short story is that my W had a couple EA's that were headed toward physical and dropped the bomb, asking for divorce. I was able to DB pretty effectively and have been piecing for some time.

We've been stuck in a dynamic where I would like more from the marriage, but my W would just like to be accepted for what she's willing to bring and to be asked for no more.

My W feels she has a very unhappy part of her personality that she has accepted and is not willing to work on. She tends to feel inadequate, and views any request that I might make as a veiled complaint. She believes that she disappoints me and makes me sad, and that makes her sad.

For my part, I really want this to work! I do love my W, we have a great life together outside of our current difficulties, and a great family with 3 kids. I'm very attracted to her and like spending time with her.

If I could wave a magic wand, I would like her to address her unhappiness and self-esteem issues, and work on getting to a happier place for herself. I would also like her to get more comfortable sexually, and to find a way to enjoy having sex for herself, to find a way to let herself be pleased. I would also like her to be honest about what she wants from the relationship and what she needs from me, so that I understand her expectations and know the landscape.

Selfishly, I would like to feel needed and wanted. I would like to feel that she's chosen to stay in the marriage because she enjoys being with me versus liking the "package" I represent (lifestyle, intact family, finances, etc.) I don't want to be the path of least resistance, or for her to secretly feel she'd be happier with someone else.

I met individually with my MC today and oddly enough he was encouraging me to consider ending the marriage. He said that I'm willing to do the work, I'm willing to put things on the table and deal with them. He said that W has taken a critical self-healing mechanism off the table -- she's not willing to change or work on the marriage, she just wants to be accepted as she is and for what she's bringing.

He said that if she's not meeting what I need to receive, and is telling me plainly that she's not willing to work on it, then I should seriously consider leaving.

We have a joint appt next Monday night. I'm really not sure how I should think about this latest advice or what direction I should take the MC session in. The advice was unexpected, and I really don't know what to think.

The MC suggested that I come up with a "contract" that specifies what needs to happen in the marriage for me to be happy. He said that if we accept that W will not change sexually, will not give me "words of affirmation" and otherwise will not work on improving things, what *can* she do to allow me to accept the situation and stay.

I've been feeling lately that W is "assigning" unhappiness to me when I don't feel unhappy. I don't believe that I am now, or have historically walked around complaining or presenting a list of demands. Most of my recent angst has been an inner dialog and on this board. My W tends to tell me that I'm feeling unhappy, then not accept it when I tell her I'm not, or that it doesn't have to do with her. I guess one item for the contract would be that she needs to stop looking for dissatisfaction and instead focus on happiness.

Thoughts? I'm pretty shaken up.

Accuray
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014
Divorced 8/2014

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#2220303 - 02/09/12 05:49 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Accuray]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5279
Have you considered that the MC is just trying to shake things up too?

Kind of RISKY but it might be what is needed to bring your wife into her 50% of the marriage.

I have seen some of your sich but have not read every post, MC only works when both parties are committed to making the marriage work.

Right now it seems to me only you are committed to it.

Your wife is in lala land somewhere, so what the MC is suggesting is that he/she can not do their job unless she commits to take some action for herself.

FWIW I went to six months worth of MC/IC that my wife used to validate her desire to divorce.

As far as your marriage being over, you need to LET GO, however it is only really over when YOU decide, not anyone else.

I am assuming that you have read the MLC resources. Your sich sounds very familiar.

Hope that helps.
_________________________
Me-60, D28,S27

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#2220308 - 02/09/12 05:59 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Cadet]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2090
Thanks Cadet,

I was with MC one-on-one and I don't think he was trying to "game" me.

He also said that the sentiment "you have to be responsible for your own happiness" is fiction. He said that the relationship has such a significant impact on the individual that to imply that one partner is in no way responsible for the other's happiness is wishful thinking.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
Right now it seems to me only you are committed to it.


The interesting thing is that what my W says and what she does are two different things. It's not fair to say that she's not committed. She just wants her level of commitment to be enough.

It's more like "I'll do A, B, and C, but if you also want D and E, I'm not going to do that. I need you to accept the fact that A, B and C are all I will give and that needs to be enough"

MC's point is that if D and E are on my critical list, and W says they are off the table, then I should consider ending the relationship, because W has closed the door on them and said she's not even willing to consider working on those things.

(I used letters on purpose, because otherwise people get hung up on "why do you need D & E" -- just assume those are not unreasonable expectations of marriage. I reviewed that at length with more than one IC/MC.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
I am assuming that you have read the MLC resources. Your sich sounds very familiar.


It sounds like I'm having the MLC, or W is, or both?

Thanks Cadet!
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014
Divorced 8/2014

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#2220347 - 02/09/12 07:27 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Accuray]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: Accuray
The interesting thing is that what my W says and what she does are two different things.
So her actions do not match her words.
Is she confused?


Originally Posted By: Accuray

MC's point is that if D and E are on my critical list, and W says they are off the table, then I should consider ending the relationship, because W has closed the door on them and said she's not even willing to consider working on those things.
My point would be that she is not interested at this time.
Has it been that way from day 1 of your relationship?

Originally Posted By: Accuray

Originally Posted By: Cadet
I am assuming that you have read the MLC resources. Your sich sounds very familiar.


It sounds like I'm having the MLC, or W is, or both?

No not YOU, but maybe your wife.
_________________________
Me-60, D28,S27

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#2220353 - 02/09/12 07:42 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Cadet]
TeaEarlGreyHot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/09
Posts: 313
Loc: SE US
The Captain is with the Cadet on this...it sounds like your wife is rolling through the MLC. However, her actions and their effects on you can trigger your own MLC.

I think you've summarized your situation quite nicely. Put another way she wants you to accept her (and her limitations) she just doesn't want to reciprocate.

The Captain
_________________________
Last sex: 04/06/1997
Last attempt: 11/11/1997
W Issues "No Means No" Declaration: 11/11/1997
W chooses to terminate sex 05/1998
I gained 60, then lost 85 pounds.
Start running again (marathons)

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#2220356 - 02/09/12 07:55 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: TeaEarlGreyHot]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: TeaEarlGreyHot
The Captain is with the Cadet on this...

The Captain


HIJACK

I used to be a CAPTAIN after I was a CADET.

LOL

Sorry I couldn't resist smile smile smile
now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
_________________________
Me-60, D28,S27

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#2220403 - 02/09/12 09:54 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Cadet]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2090
Levity is always welcomed!

Captain, she says she does accept me -- she accepts that I will want more and will be dissatisfied.

Her latest catch phrase is "that's our dynamic -- I don't do the things that make you happy so you feel badly, then I feel badly -- I've accepted that"

I discussed that with MC and he said that's absolutely not sustainable.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
So her actions do not match her words. Is she confused?


She doesn't think she's confused, she doesn't see her own contradictions. I haven't been letting her get away with that lately. When she makes statements like "I need very little", I point out that she makes it very clear when she's not getting what she needs, and she in fact needs quite a bit.

She really things she has everything completely figured out, and she's very stubborn. Once she makes up her mind that she understands something, she starts to "live it" if you will, or at least convince herself she's living it. Pointing out the contradictions usually doesn't get any response.

Originally Posted By: Cadet
My point would be that she is not interested at this time. Has it been that way from day 1 of your relationship?


I wish that had a simple answer! When I got married I was 15 years younger. What I wanted at the time was someone who was not going to be codependent, need my validation, or rely upon me to make her happy. I was looking for someone independent, who wanted to share their life with me, would enjoy being with me, but if we each decided to do our own thing, that would be OK too. One of the big attractions to my W was that initially we shared many interests that were important to me, including biking, skating, skiing, swimming, etc.

Over time W disengaged from all the shared interests we had when we got married. When things were at their worst I was convinced that the only interests she had were watching TV, talking on the phone, and shopping, because she didn't do anything else. I continued to pursue my interests, because I believed our marriage contract was that "we'll do things together we enjoy and pursue them separately if we don't".

I learned that W wasn't as independent or as self-actualized as she represented. A lot of it was a front born of pride and stubbornness, but deep down she felt rejected by the fact that I continued to pursue my interests without her, instead of choosing to stay home and watch TV with her or talk to her. She never told me that, she just bottled it up and tried to be a dutiful wife until she blew up.

So now it's on the table -- the marriage contract I thought we were signing up for originally is now null and void. We now have a new marriage contract. The new contract says that we're more connected, more engaged, and spend more time together.

OK, I can do that, I can dispense with hobbies and sports, and I can take joy from our marriage. Let's do it! This will be great. To me, here's what a more connected marriage looks like... But she doesn't want to do her part in that -- she seems to want the old distance on her part, but the engagement on my part, and those two desires are at odds, which is creating our current tension.

So did she ever do the things I'm looking for now? No, but I wasn't looking for them, and the things I'm now being asked for are completely different.

After the bomb, this has literally been a "reset button push" and the landscape is being redefined, so her historic behavior (or mine), while it may provide insight into her capacities, from my perspective is no longer the rule.

Accuray
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014
Divorced 8/2014

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#2220656 - 02/10/12 05:00 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Accuray]
TeaEarlGreyHot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/09
Posts: 313
Loc: SE US
Originally Posted By: Accuray
Captain, she says she does accept me -- she accepts that I will want more and will be dissatisfied.

Her latest catch phrase is "that's our dynamic -- I don't do the things that make you happy so you feel badly, then I feel badly -- I've accepted that"


It's time to call "BS" on that. She hasn't acceoted you or your needs or your wants at all. She's accepted her {limited} interpretation and the limits she imposes upon you (and her limitations that she holds onto "stubbornly") as if that was "acceptance."

IT ISN'T!!!

The Captain
_________________________
Last sex: 04/06/1997
Last attempt: 11/11/1997
W Issues "No Means No" Declaration: 11/11/1997
W chooses to terminate sex 05/1998
I gained 60, then lost 85 pounds.
Start running again (marathons)

Top
#2220666 - 02/10/12 05:19 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: TeaEarlGreyHot]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2090
Provided she isn't going to work on herself, what would acceptance of me look like?
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014
Divorced 8/2014

Top
#2220708 - 02/10/12 06:57 PM Re: MC says to call it quits [Re: Accuray]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5279
Originally Posted By: Accuray
She doesn't think she's confused, she doesn't see her own contradictions. I haven't been letting her get away with that lately. When she makes statements like "I need very little", I point out that she makes it very clear when she's not getting what she needs, and she in fact needs quite a bit.

Well if you make the presumption that she is still in crisis then - of course she will not admit to being wrong.
More likely it is all YOUR fault.
And while I am sure that you are not perfect(no one is), she needs to have at least 50% of the blame as well as you having 50%.

I think that is why the counselor is saying that this is not sustainable.

Now I do not agree with the counselor that you should terminate the marriage.

Set enforceable boundaries and live with those.

Originally Posted By: Accuray
When things were at their worst I was convinced that the only interests she had were watching TV, talking on the phone, and shopping, because she didn't do anything else.

These sound like depression characteristics to me. Again perfectly normal for a MLC.

Accuray maybe what I am trying to say is their might not be anything you can DO that is going to FIX this.

Until she wants to be part of the marriage you are in limbo.

Contracts, talks, agreements are all just words.
Actions need to match the words.
She must want to get better before she will.
When the PAIN of changing is less than the PAIN of staying the same then you will see movement.
Not until then.


Quote:
After the bomb, this has literally been a "reset button push" and the landscape is being redefined, so her historic behavior (or mine), while it may provide insight into her capacities, from my perspective is no longer the rule.
You will need to build a new marriage, the old one was destroyed by the bomb, don't try to go back to the old one.
It is gone.
_________________________
Me-60, D28,S27

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