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#2230374 - 03/14/12 03:08 AM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: 2thepoint]
bustorama Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/10
Posts: 519
Originally Posted By: 2thepoint
So I get to the house and W is asleep. She rises about 10:15 or so and she is gathering things for S13's paintball. I ask her when are you leaving to take S13 to paintball. She immediately gets pissed and says "we talked about this and you said you ere going to take him! I have to be at the Dr's at 11:30!"

I respond, "I thought your appointment isn't until 12." She says, "they want me here at 11:30." I said, "Oh, I didn't realize they wanted you there early."

She throws some money on the counter and storms out of the kitchen and into her room, slamming the door. The exchange lasted exactly as long as it took you to read it. About 15-20 seconds.


Imagine W's frame of mind,

W: "OK, LBS said he is taking care of boys. I am totally stressed out about getting to AND the possible outcome of my medical appointment which I only have an hour or so until i am DUE there?!?!"

LBS (what W hears in her anxious state): "What time are you taking boy to paintball? Don't you almost have a couple of hours to get to your thing?"

W: "SERIOUSLY?!??!?! NOW?!?!?! Oh no you didn't"

Me - Sorry you are upset. [lots of EXPLAINING deleted]

Explaining OFTEN comes across as defensiveness regardless of tone or intent. Now, think about this, WHY are you explaining? It's VERY common for guys to do this. Perhaps you want W to see your side thinking that will make her less angry at you if she understands where you are coming from [her being angry at you is a scary thought, especially now], perhaps you don't want to be wrong for your own reasons? Both of those reasons are more about you than about her feelings really. And the explaining could be interpreted by someone in an alarm state as you trying to attribute some kind of fault to them.

The "but" at the end about her needing to communicate with you about logistics can come off as oppositional and also as you TALKING DOWN to her. (don't tell her what she needs to do! she's a grown woman!)

Alternative response:

2PAC: W, I'm sorry for my misunderstanding you, and how it upset you, especially before your appointment. I've got things covered with the boys. Good luck with the appointment.....

[b]W - .....And FYI, these are the logistics I work out all the time.


Me - Either no response or "Lot of logistics to work out!"
_________________________
Me-41
W-37
D10, D6, D3
T-Since 12/2001
Married-9/2004
She Moved Out-5/28/2010
Piecing begins-04/2011
Now-back together
My Thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2079304

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#2230376 - 03/14/12 03:13 AM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: bustorama]
bustorama Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/10
Posts: 519
One more thing, I think it is very anxiety provoking or upsetting for you (especially now) for your W to be angry at you (or for you to be perceived as wrong by her).

It's ok if she gets angry at you. Let her be angry at you (instead of trying to explain why she should not be angry at you). If you give her time, as in this case, you may find that she volunteers an I'm sorry for her anger because she can figure out later, that she was (partly) in the wrong. Let her have her feelings and even accept and validate them.
_________________________
Me-41
W-37
D10, D6, D3
T-Since 12/2001
Married-9/2004
She Moved Out-5/28/2010
Piecing begins-04/2011
Now-back together
My Thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2079304

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#2230397 - 03/14/12 05:50 AM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: bustorama]
Valeska19 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 1241
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
My advice is to look at Busto's advice.

Sure.. we can all talk about how you could handle these interactions differently...

... but he is asking you to look at your heart.

If you can change your heart, then the interactions will by default, change also.

PS. Have fun in Spain!!
_________________________
M(f): 31
XW: 33
M: 5
D'ed: 8/12

Show empathy when there's pain. Show grace when warranted. Kindness in the midst of anger. Faith in the face of fear.

Love at all costs because you are loved well.

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#2230423 - 03/14/12 01:21 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: Valeska19]
nhmom Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 345
Your conversation yesterday was missing some important details, which led both of you to assume.

Misunderstandings can happen, and you handled it well. I agree about not needing to explain yourself in great detail. If a misunderstanding happens, say "I'm sorry, I misunderstood" and leave it at that.

"W - .....And FYI, these are the logistics I work out all the time."

Your boys are at an age where they might have a lot going on and need to be driven around. Your W's statement sounds like she feels that she "always" makes sure they get to where they need to be.

What if you offered your help in figuring out the logistics. Tell her you've given it some thought and you want to help out more playing taxi driver. Maybe suggest having a calendar with their activities written down, but also add your or your W' name underneath to clarify logistics. If things come up and one of you can't take them, then you work it out as they come. If your name shows up on the calendar many times, then she can't later claim that "she" has to figure it all out.

Or, when you know that someone needs to go somewhere, go the extra step and ask who's taking them, especially if W doesn't say "I'm taking S".
_________________________
Me:32 H:34 T:14.5 M:9.5 S:5 BD: 11/25/11



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#2230472 - 03/14/12 03:29 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: nhmom]
workinghardguy Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 982
Loc: Wisconsin
W and I have set up an online calendar using Google docs. We post kid activities, her work schedule, and any out of town trips I have (my work schedule doesn't change).

I won't say it's a perfect system... my W doesn't update as often as she should but it's a start.
_________________________
Married 6 together 8
Me:38 W:31 second marriage for both
SS12, SD10, S6
Bomb: 9/8/11 (day before our 5 yr ann)
W moved out: 2/18/12
D final: 11/12/12
Share S 50/50. Spend as much time as I can with SS & SD

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#2230479 - 03/14/12 03:40 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: nhmom]
purgatory Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/11
Posts: 825
Loc: Virginia
I like what Labug said on the previous page about women/men expectations.

I know that when I am going to the docs for some tests or results, There's an underlying anxiety to all of my words and actions. I used to get really mad when H wouldn't offer any comfort or calming words- then I'd spend a while being mad at him.... And he never understood why. I've learned to say in advance: "H, I'm really anxious about my appointment, I'm sorry if I seem short-tempered. I'm could really use some support." H always steps up and he doesn't take it personally if I snap at him (although he points it out to me.)

Would it have made a difference if your wife had told you what she was feeling? Would you have seen her words and actions through a different filter? Although you can't make her *see* that she has some underlying feelings motivating her actions, maybe just say to her: "I'm sure you've got some anxiety about what the doctor is going to tell you, that's understandable. Don't stress about the boys, I've got them covered. Please let me know how I can support you." (of course this will only be applicable when the doctor is involved)

But, I do think it's important to be as detailed as possible when coordinating together. It sounds really stupid to say, but I always ask for clarification when making plans with H. And at the end, I repeat back my understanding of the arrangements- usually this showcases a misunderstanding, or H will say: "yep, that's what I think too." I felt really stupid the first few times, and H seemed to be annoyed that I was repeating the conversation, after a few times where we both ended on the same page- he seemed to grasp the value.

Sadly, we think that we know our spouses so well, that we think we can mind read them.... But we've all learned the hard way that we can't. Go into the talks with no expectation that she can read in between the lines of what your saying (the little details that you run through your head that you assume she is too) and vice versa.

These communications skills should be taught in HS. Instead, we had to learn them through trial and error (lots of errors) with someone that we love. Had we come into M with a full toolbox, maybe we could have all avoided fights and breakups.

PS: your interviews sound promising!!! Don't want to jinx it, but sounds like it's in the bag!!
_________________________
M-31, H-31
T-9, M-7
S-6, s-20mth
sep 8/1/11
ILYNILWY 11/29/11
Creating separation papers.
Discover H has feelings for BFF, she does too 1/11/12
H moves out 1.20.12

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#2230811 - 03/15/12 01:55 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: purgatory]
sayitaintso Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/11
Posts: 951
2 days left for 2Pac!!!
_________________________
Me- 34 W-33
S15 S10 S6
Married- 11 Together- 18
Bomb- 6-2011
WAW moves out- 8-2011

"Nothing in the Universe can stop you from letting go and starting over at anytime"- Guy Finley

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#2230813 - 03/15/12 01:59 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: bustorama]
2thepoint Online
Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1692
Quote:
And there are two big relationship problems that can develop if we "give" in these co-dependent ways. One is the person that we are trying to subconsciously influence/elicit a reaction from may not like being controlled (if they perceive it that way). The other is that we can become sad/resentful/withdrawn/angry that we didn't subconsciously get the tit that we were hoping to get for our tat. And that negative emotion may further hamper the R dynamic.


I understand your point. To be clear, my W's LL is Acts of Service. Clearly I had been failing in that department for quite some time. And so I am working to make up for that.

I have found that the more I do, the more I enjoy it and the better is makes me feel. Not because I'm am hoping to elicit a response or reaction from her, but because it makes me feel good to be able to do things for another person, namely my W but others too.

It is in my nature to want to help others and do acts of service for others. What was missing was that I had been doing these things for others and not my W. Essentially putting others needs above that of my W. So now I am tryng to rectify that and am finding that I enjoy doing these things for my W just as much as I do helping others.

I will admit that if we do get a chance to R, I am really going to need my W to step up in the delivery of actions that feed my LL, specifically physical touch (not so much sexual but in other ways - hold my hand, rub my neck, willingly kiss me when I get home from work, etc.). And so I do hope that by continually filling her tank, she will become open to filling mine at some point in the future and after we have an opportunity to discuss if we get to a point where piecing can begin.

I hope this is making sense.

Quote:
A solution is to really work on giving unconditionally and without expectation -- this is a process of being truly honest with yourself re: WHY you are doing the behavior (is it to show her something, or with hopes that it will change something in her? or is it simply to give to her?). Acts of service ARE very important in relationships; you just need to get to the point when they are motivated as JUST acts of service FOR your partner and not acts of service (partly) FOR 2pac.


See my post above. I also would say that getting into the habit of doing acts of service regularly goes a long way towards ensuring they are motivated as actions directed for the benefit of my partner and not me.

Quote:
A second solution (for when you are in an R) is to ask or openly talk about whatever it is that you might otherwise be trying to achieve covertly through your behavior.


This is where my desire for reciprocation (i.e. physical touch) would come into play. I hope we get here because for years, that has been missing from our R.

Quote:
And a third solution is to assess or work on whatever feelings in you are motivating the behavior. In your case, it might be the great fear that your W may not notice your changes or, at its base, that she will not come back to you and be lost to you. It is hard not to act on such strong feelings. But, it is possible to by cognitive methods and detachment.


I think I touched on this above.
_________________________
Me48 W50 S15 S11
M20 T23
Bomb-9/11; A-11/11; I move out 11/11

It's easy to find our bottom, it is our top that requires cultivation.

Every rough spot adds to our emotional constitution. -Barney Fife

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#2230820 - 03/15/12 02:12 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: bustorama]
2thepoint Online
Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1692
Originally Posted By: bustorama
One more thing, I think it is very anxiety provoking or upsetting for you (especially now) for your W to be angry at you (or for you to be perceived as wrong by her).


I think this is true! She had to be pissed enough to want to end the M. The idea that I would continue to make her angry is not something that I want to do and would hope to avoid.

Originally Posted By: bustorama
It's ok if she gets angry at you. Let her be angry at you (instead of trying to explain why she should not be angry at you). If you give her time, as in this case, you may find that she volunteers an I'm sorry for her anger because she can figure out later, that she was (partly) in the wrong. Let her have her feelings and even accept and validate them.


Good reminder and this has happened before as I have talked about in a previous post when W said she was sorry for being a crab. That was unsolicited and I need to remember that she is capable of recognizing and apologizing for her offensive behavior.
_________________________
Me48 W50 S15 S11
M20 T23
Bomb-9/11; A-11/11; I move out 11/11

It's easy to find our bottom, it is our top that requires cultivation.

Every rough spot adds to our emotional constitution. -Barney Fife

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#2230837 - 03/15/12 02:50 PM Re: Finding my way through the fog [Re: purgatory]
2thepoint Online
Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1692
Everyone who opined on my question on how to better handle communication and logistics and reactions to bitchy attitude, thank you. All good perspective and I will see what I can apply and where/when in the future.

So here is an update:

So after W and I have our little conversation about needing to be very clear on communicating expectations and where she apologized; I later sent her a text message. I was feeling bad that she felt the need to apologize when that wasn't what I was looking for, I just needed for us to communicate our needs a little better.

Anyway, I sent the the following text, (I can already hear the wind passing by the 2x4's as they are being wound up for their delivery upside my head):

Me - I'm sorry. I will try to do better in anticipating when we need to clarify things so we don't have disagreements or misunderstandings. I have a role to play here. Trying....

W - I will do better


I was going to respond to her last text but decided to drop it.

Interesting thing occurred though. Yesterday, she sends me a text inviting me to join her and the boys for burgers with a family friend and her kids. I can't recall the last time I got such an invitation to do something with the family AND someone else.

Now as it turned out, W was pretty worn out yesterday and she ultimately ended up not going but she encouraged me to go anyway and said she would try to get together with this family friend at another time.

So anyway I thought this was a positive development. Which leads me to another point which ties in with a point Busto and Pergatory were making.....

When W informed me that she wasn't going to go out for burgers, I went to her room to see if she was ok. She was lying in bed with her eyes closed but she was awake. I asked her if she was ok.

She tells me that she doesn't feel like going because she is tired and her emotions are getting the best of her. So here is where I think... time to validate! And so I tell her that with all that has gone on, I can definitely see how her emotions can be running pretty high.

And with that she starts to open up a bit. She said that although she is feeling tons better and really doesn't anticipate long term complications from her illness, she has been starting to come to the realization of just how sick she had been and really how close she came to dying.

Apparently when she went to see her cardiologist on Tuesday, he reminded her of all the things I have mentioned in previous posts but which she apparently forgot or didn't understand, (i.e. she had pneumonia in both lungs and a viral infection in her heart, her heart was enlarged, she had a leaking heart valve, and was suffering from heart failure while she was in the hospital and that the "defib paddles" were with her at all times when she was being wheeled about for various tests).

So now all this is starting to set in and is really throwing her for an emotional loop.

I share this because it ties in perfectly with previous comments about my W's frame of mind and how that may be fueling some of what I interpreted as bitchy behavior but was really probably fueled by fear and anxiety.

As I reflect back on our conversations since her release from the hospital 3 weeks ago, my W had me convinced that she was "fine" and was very confident of her full recovery. I guess I was taking her at her word and so all my actions and interpretations of her actions were from a place of "everything is normal" when in fact they are not!

So, really good observations from the other posters. Thanks for bringing me back down to earth in this regard!
_________________________
Me48 W50 S15 S11
M20 T23
Bomb-9/11; A-11/11; I move out 11/11

It's easy to find our bottom, it is our top that requires cultivation.

Every rough spot adds to our emotional constitution. -Barney Fife

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