I was very surprised that you offered to move back into the bedroom and consented to sex so quickly. Why do you need to be "all in" or "all out?"
It's good that you're giving him little opportunities to feel good about what he's doing, but you could just stay in that mode for a few months.
It does seem that you tend not to enforce your boundaries in the minute -- why do you let H eat food off your plate for instance? You don't have to.
As others have pointed out, the minute H doesn't wear his sleeping device, you leave.
I think you need to treat him with a zero tolerance policy. He crosses your boundary, there is a consequence, and that consequence is applied every time.
Interestingly, one of my IC's was a family therapist who specialized in parenting. She said that the most effective form of punishment is not complete deprivation. She said that if your son likes to play video games an hour a day and you take it away cold turkey, it's not as effective a punishment as cutting him down to 10 minutes. If you leave a little, they are motivated to get more.
So quickly? It had probably been 4 months. I can guarantee that my H didn't think it was "so quickly." With the encouragement I was getting to engage, and the criticism I was getting for not doing so, it was the most obvious thing that I could do -- certainly HIS priorities anyway. (There's also the undying hope that someday,I'll actually get some sexual satisfaction in this M.)
I don't know what the "all in" or "all out" is referring to.
Re: the cpap, leave until when? The next night? I'm not sure what the consequence is for him in that. If he's already asleep, he doesn't know if I'm there or not. We don't touch while we're sleeping, so I don't get the need in the first place. He could probably go on like that indefinitely (it might just be a control thing with him.) I'm the one that would be inconvenienced. At least in the same bed, I can disturb his sleep every time he does mine, rather than have to walk down a cold hallway and climb into a cold bed in the middle of the night. I could tell HIM to leave, but he just wouldn't, even if he had previously agreed.
The "eating off my plate" issue is a little more complex. I wouldn't usually go out with him unless there are other people with us (remember, he's bored easily with my company alone.) I feel it's simply too awkward for my friends even for me to say, "Please don't help yourself to food off my plate." H would act all humble and apologetic and say he didn't know, didn't think it was a big deal, etc. It makes me look like a controlling, mothering biotch, he comes off as a poor, abused nice guy, and it makes my friends feel uncomfortable, I'm sure. Who wants to watch two people having a conflict over a casual dinner that's supposed to be fun? So I simply don't go out to dinner with him anymore and meet my GF's for lunch instead.
She said that the most effective form of punishment is not complete deprivation. She said that if your son likes to play video games an hour a day and you take it away cold turkey, it's not as effective a punishment as cutting him down to 10 minutes. If you leave a little, they are motivated to get more.
So apply this to my sitch? Foreplay but no climax? Appetizers but no main course? I'm not sure how you're suggesting this applies to my issues.
CV, I read Accuray's question of "so quickly" to mean that moving back into the bed didn't have to also include sex "so quickly".
I have been one of the people who has tried to encourage to re-engage with your H... but I was thinking more in the lines of setting up a garden "test plot" for him to play in, while you taught him the ropes. Or go for a ride, a movie, a walk, dinner...
From what I could tell, you were far and away not ready for intimacy, yet...
Re-engaging with your H would be getting to know him again... "first date" if we were to use a metaphor. Connecting with him to some degree.
Many of the people I've "fallen in love with" I was never physically intimate with... I felt (became) connected to them...
Got it! I'm not sure H would have been cooperative for that. His repeated complaint was that I wouldn't have sex with him. He talked about gardening, but I'm convinced it was only for the end goal of sex.
I also read The Sex-Starved Marriage, which sort of implied that everything is going to be tainted if someone is sexually starved. I just wanted to get it "off the plate" so it wasn't an excuse.
Nyeh ... I tried it, it didn't work. We're not having sex now anyway, so somewhat of a moot point. Honestly, I'd rather know up-front how my H is going to be in bed, rather than put all the other effort into it and have it all ruined by his humiliation of me. Are you suggesting his actions would somehow have been acceptable if we had gardened together? I don't think so. And sex will never be a back-burner item for him. He thinks it's my unquestionable obligation.
Are you suggesting his actions would somehow have been acceptable if we had gardened together?
lol... no, of course not...
Again, it would depend on how he thought sex was your "obligation". I'm guessing it's from a biblical perspective.
Honestly, I think the old school way of thinking... (even though I do really enjoy the old testament and feel some of the most powerful lessons are in it...) was not intended to be taken literally... at the very best, it should be interpreted in the context of time and translated to current social understandings...
My perspective would be, as you re-engage and connect with your H... WITH APPROPRIATE (and appropriately enforced) boundaries... your H will learn to have more respect for you and will not take your "obligations" quite so lightly or cavalierly...
He means it in the Biblical sense. It's just not worth it to me to have a conversation about it with him. The OT says a lot of things; you can't just pick and choose.
Well, I think at this point, I'm going to stick with my motto. If H wants to improve the M, it's up to him to put the effort into it. He doesn't appreciate mine, so I don't see that I have much choice. I'll keep doing basic things, like not criticizing, but beyond that, I just don't care. I am the WAS, afterall.
Yes, it felt like you went from deciding to be a little nice to H to giving yourself to him completely. You have to build up to that for yourself too.
WRT eating in restaurants, YES get up and leave H with the friends. Call them after the fact to explain if you want. Leave him sitting there with your friends. How many times do you think you'll have to do that to change his behavior forever? I would bet no more than twice, then the issue is forever put to bed.
For your mantra, a great book is "Mindful Loving". It describes exactly how to achieve what your mantra implies. It's strange and new age style so you have to give it a chance, but great stuff in there mixed in with some craziness
In terms of my other comments, you seem to swing between cutting off H completely emotionally, and then trying to give him all you've got. Is there a path where you give him a little (kindness, opportunity to step up, whatever) and then dial back if you need to, or give a little more if he is stepping up and being respectful.
I assume at some point you told him exactly what YOU expect from this marriage and what you will not tolerate, right? He's clear on the path to success and is choosing not to take it versus being bad at mind reading?
Yes, I've told him what I want. I believe I've been specific.
For the eating out issue, I'm just not comfortable doing what you're suggesting. He would come out looking good and I would look bad. In light of that, it would not be a deterrent for him. Maybe an alternative is to go out with him, but just not sit next to him so he can't reach my plate. I've actually reduced this significantly over time by ordering something I like that I know he doesn't like. But there's other things, too. Nyeh ... whatever. It's not an issue right now.
I can see how you might think that I over-invested, but I don't know. I mean people have sex even when they fight. Or like your sitch, your W does even if it's not her thing. Hard to have partial sex, and more convenient if you're in the same bed so that's the reason for that. We went to dinner once with our S, but other than that, all I was really doing was adjusting my OWN stuff (ie. criticism, compliments, letting him do repairs, etc.) Am I missing anything? That doesn't seem all-in. I refused to do a number of things he was suggesting because I knew we weren't ready for it (eg. 3-day two-party vacation.)
I do have a few questions for the guys here. My BFF picked me up a copy of a book she was reading (Have a New Husband by Friday by Kevin Leman. Seems there should be a W version, but there's not.) Anyway, I was reading it previously, and there were several things that really struck me and made me feel like maybe I'm not cut out for M.
One of the things he said was that men occasionally like to act like a child, but they don't like to be treated like one. My response when I read it was, "If you're going to occasionally act like a child, then I'm going to occasionally treat you like a child. Don't want to be treated that way, don't act that way." Am I missing something? Is this true? I mean, I would very much like to act like a millionaire occasionally, but I don't want to receive the bill. Is this a true concept for men?
Another bit was about a woman that was very stressed because she woke up late, had to get the kids ready, make lunches, prepare for a meeting she had at 9:00, etc., and she looks over at her H (who has the day off) who is giving her his best bedroom eyes. The suggested approach was that the W was supposed to interrupt her rush, go over to her H, give him 5 minutes of superficial gratification, and promise more of that later, and tell him that she is soooo lucky to have him for a H. Personally, I can't even imagine doing that. I'm sure it would be wonderful for the H, but what is HE doing for HER? She's dealing with requirements and he's not helping at all, but he wants to add more to her plate? My response wouldn't have been so nice. So just wondering, is this really how a W NEEDS to act to keep a H happy?
And another was a repeated point that men have a deep desire to feel needed and respected. It also spent alot of time emphasizing that men are stupid. So how is a W supposed to respect her H when it's apparently a well-known fact that men are stupid? In that light, it talked about men laying on the couch watching TV because they're too stupid to figure out that the baby is crying and needs changing, but if the W would only ask.... Okay, fine, that gets the job done, but where is the respect supposed to come into play? Does a H expect to be respected because he can sit his but on the sofa for 8 hours straight? If he wants to feel needed and respected, what are men doing to create that need and respect?
This is sort of fun, because these points aren't my issues and aren't affecting me at all right now. But I would LOVE to have some feedback. It was written by a guy, and my H has been reading it and says it's right on (curious that he's reading it, since it's written for women.) So I'm just curious on your take. I know the obvious "well men need to help, too," but that wasn't mentioned much in the book (well, because it was written for women.)