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#2232132 - 03/20/12 03:23 PM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: adinva]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2080
Honestly I was thinking "big time MLC", all that's missing is the new sports car. The dog tags, guns and playing police officer seems very juvenile for someone who is smart and successful -- is he happy with what he's accomplished in his career and his life, or does he feel he's come up short?

The super-competitive and obsessive things might indicate narcissism which is also extremely hard to deal with, my MIL is an over the top narcissist so I see that first hand.

Basically if he has super-high standards for himself, he'll often have high expectations for his family members and that can be exhausting or impossible to live up to. He can also have a very hard time with empathy.

When I asked if people consider him likeable, I was trying to gauge how well he manages this stuff. I have some old friends who are super competitive and basically lack humility. People respect their abilities, but they don't necessarily "like" them. You'll invite them to play basketball with you, but you won't want to invite them for a beer afterwards. If your H doesn't have that problem, then he probably manages his competitive/obsessive qualities well and is able to be approachable and likeable.

To make friends, you basically need to let your guard down at some point and make yourself vulnerable to rejection. If he had a huge pile of insecurities he may not ever be able to do that, which would mean he'd have a lot of friendly acquaintances, but a lack of real friends who really "know" him.

It certainly shines more light on your sitch. Cadet directed me to a bunch of archive MLC resources which were great. I appreciated them, although I don't think my W's issues are MLC related.

What do you think? Do you think H has more than average insecurity issues? Do you think that H's behavior fits the MLC profile? Do you think H has impossible standards for you and the kids?

Honestly, you write very well, so to the degree I can "know the person" by reading your journaling, I feel like I know you to some degree. I respect how you look at things. Some of these sitches you can really understand what went wrong and why, but your case is very frustrating to me, because I don't understand what H is doing and why, unless there is OW. I just don't get it, and I would like to.

Accuray
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Good Piecing 9/11 - 6/12
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Piecing Again 9/12

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#2232276 - 03/21/12 12:35 AM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: Accuray]
adinva Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2596
Loc: VA
I initially thought H was a MLC case, and I spent a couple of months lurking in the MLC forum. It just didn't strike a chord for me. I couldn't chalk this sitch up to something on H's side that was beyond my control. He's not spinning, not confused, not crazy sounding. I think a lot of his recent changes do have to do with resisting getting older, and taking stock at midlife, but that is not necessarily a crisis - most people do that I think. I feel pretty sure that looking at H as a MLC is a dead end, a cheeseless tunnel for me.

In counseling I've become aware that H has frailties I had never considered before, because he presents as a super man. His perfectionism masks anxiety, his quick temper masks fears, his joking is a way to hold people at arms' length, and it's a new way of looking at him that gives me more compassion for some of his more difficult behaviors, like criticizing and nagging. H does not get vulnerable, but I feel more open to loving him as a more complex and imperfect person in a more authentic relationship. He may not join me in that, but I'm prepared for it if I get a chance.

I don't know much about narcissism as a diagnosis. H usually thinks he's right about everything, and he has little empathy for others, but I would not have said it was a personality disorder. He is right about a lot, and a healthy lack of empathy is great for a splinter-remover and first-aid provider. I'm so squeamish I feel others' pain. H just seems to me like a stereotypical masculine guys' guy.

It just seems kind of like he switched off at some point. Everything he did in recent years was an obligation, from his work to his hobbies, to the vacations we'd get invited on with friends. He seemed to find no joy in anything, not even the kids - or I'd say especially not the kids. And then one day he was just done.

I read a lot that resonates and helps me understand my sitch. The Dance of Anger was eye opening and showed me our pattern where the more I pleaded for connection the more withdrawn he'd get. The Family Communication book I read made it clear how common it is that marriages are destroyed by passive aggressive, confusing communication, which was certainly true for us. DB has helped me regain my dignity and focus, and the forums have given me perspective. Counseling helped to get H talking about things that were bothering him that I could then work on. My faults were real and significant, and I'm nowhere near perfect yet.

There could be an OW, but that's not the source of our trouble. There was a definite EA in H's past, really blatant but he acted like he didn't think there was anything wrong. I was mad about that for a year, and when we should have probably been in counseling to deal with the fallout from that I was instead stewing silently.

I have thought that H just sort of snapped this past year and shut down or went crazy or is depressed and won't deal with it. But these are things I can't do anything about if they're true.

I expect there to be more movement in my sitch as we close in on the year separation that Virginia requires when there are kids involved. That would be in June. For now we're in a holding pattern so things are pretty complacent.

I just started reading Hold Me Tight on the recommendation of my friend who's a psychologist. So far, it's just OK. The basic theory is that all the problem-solving skills and communication skills are just addressing a symptom of the real problem in troubled couples. The real problem is the loss of attachment - that couples are supposed to take care of each other, to have each other's back, and to provide comfort and security to one another like a mother does for her baby.

I believe there's something to that, but working on attachment without fixing the communication and problem solving issues seems like fixing the engine but the brakes are still bad. Also in the scenarios supposedly based on aggregated real patients, the husband always seems to just break out of his funk and ask for a hug, and then things can get better. NOT realistic. Not in my situation.

But the couples' breakdowns do sound a lot like mine. I'm only about a third of the way through the book.

If I were to diagnose my husband, I would say that he is very angry that his father left their family, and he is angry at me that I haven't been what he needed. He has no road map for what a dad does other than leave the family. He has no experience of a relationship weathering a storm and getting better. He just wants an amicable divorce, and is excited about the trappings of bachelorhood. He envies his friends' hot young girlfriends and the cavalier way they treat these girls, who are utterly replaceable to them.

Others here have said that I won't see progress until he really believes he'll lose me, and that may happen this summer as the paperwork starts to happen.

I'm not sure I'll see progress at all. H has so many more examples of divorced couples than lifelong couples, and the grass must look greener.

I'm taking it less personally than I did at first, and I'm doing all I think I can do within the confines of what I know he can handle and what I'm brave enough to try. I'm willing to let him go, but I don't think I'll be one who stands through and following a divorce. When the paperwork goes through I expect to set out to find a better partner and will be glad for the second chance. But - as I have thought many times, I'd like another chance with H, he's my first choice for a second husband, if he's willing to try and open up.

ok all this time s11 has been stomping around and crying about a writing assignment he can't do that should be really easy, and yes it is 12:30 at night. I better go. G'nite.
_________________________
Adinva 47 H48
T22 M19 S16 S14
6/15/11 IDLY
6/11-12/12 in-home sep
12/16/12 H moved out
Nothing signed yet
____
Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)

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#2232291 - 03/21/12 02:07 AM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: adinva]
barely floating Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/11
Posts: 750
adinva,

when you talk about your H not finding joy in things like family vacations and the kids.. it hits home. my H won't say it, but i feel he has the lure of the single life as well. once he's a bachelor.. everything will be all rosy.

H has not had very examples for weathering the storm of M as well. his father cheated numerous times during his childhood. H was fully aware of this as well. in fact, i remember my FIL telling me how he was going to leave his wife and had the OW in the car. when he announced he was leaving, MIL told him she was pregnant (w/ H) so he turned around and told OW he couldn't leave.

just wanted to let you know i'm thinking of you. (((( ))))
_________________________
Me:38.. H:33.
Two beautiful kids S:6 D:3
M:8.. together for 11.
Bomb dropped:10/17/11
Separated:11/07/11

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#2232317 - 03/21/12 08:23 AM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: barely floating]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2080
Barely,

That's a crazy story! Who are these people?

One of my college roommates said that when he was in grammar school, his family went on vacation with another family for a week. After three days, his mother left with the other father and that was that.

I don't understand what gets into people's heads. Do they really think bachelor life is going to be fun in their mid-40's? I have three friends who were never married, are now in their mid 40's, and I can promise you they are not happy about it or having fun.

Accuray
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Good Piecing 9/11 - 6/12
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Piecing Again 9/12

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#2232321 - 03/21/12 09:01 AM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: Accuray]
adinva Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2596
Loc: VA
One of h's best friends is a super achiever too, buys and sells companies and has a cool apartment in downtown Chicago. Model good looks, very smart, great conversationalist, money to burn. He brought his 19yo gf on our three-family vacation and there was lots of talk about how much sex they were having. Plus his sexy pictures of her were on the batch of trip photos he downloaded from his ipad for us. At dinner she told me she thought my son was hot - they're 8 years apart and she's 26 years apart from her bf. Ew. This guy and his ex successfully coparent an 11yo girl.

H's best friend from high school had a wife who got pregnant immediately and left him 8 weeks after the baby was born. He's pretty cynical about women. He's dating a 27yo who acts like a 15yo (she's the hello kitty sock girl). She told me she knows he slept with the wife of a doctor he works with and is friends with, as well as other married women.

These are two of the three closest male friends he has. I believe single life looks good to him.

I have come to realize that he just may not value family life and didn't realize it until he was knee deep in it. I took it as a given that what we have is wonderful, but that's from my perspective and he has a right to his. I don't know for sure what his perspective is. At this point, I'm just sure I'm not going to add support to his position by fighting, getting upset, arguing with him and whatever. He's going to have to walk away from the best I have to offer and if he does, then he does.

One of the biggest things I learned through all this, from my viewpoint, was to suspect my own outrage. Whenever I start to fall into outrage I question myself. It seems to come from a set of assumptions and a sense of entitlement. I can frame what he's doing as a cowardly abandonment of his family, or as a desperate need to correct a mistake and live authentically. I'm not in his head. Life can suck and be unfair but it's unhealthy to wallow in that.
_________________________
Adinva 47 H48
T22 M19 S16 S14
6/15/11 IDLY
6/11-12/12 in-home sep
12/16/12 H moved out
Nothing signed yet
____
Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)

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#2232323 - 03/21/12 09:04 AM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: adinva]
adinva Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2596
Loc: VA
Hey Barely! (((()))) back to you. I've been thinking of you a lot but not posting. Basically ditto what everyone else says. I hope you are having a great escape with your munchkins. Cool mommy points for you for taking them on a trip with you.

Was sorry when you were feeling sad. H's words can really hurt. Hope you're feeling better now!
_________________________
Adinva 47 H48
T22 M19 S16 S14
6/15/11 IDLY
6/11-12/12 in-home sep
12/16/12 H moved out
Nothing signed yet
____
Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)

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#2232379 - 03/21/12 12:11 PM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: adinva]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2080
I'd love to have him talk to my three single friends. They're not bad looking guys, they make good money, etc. What they would tell H is that the dating scene sux and to prepare for lots of loneliness. One of the guys says that with Internet dating, "the crazy" seems to always come out on the 3rd date.

These guys are very, very lonely. Maybe the only way H realizes that is to live it.

Accuray
_________________________
Married 18, Together 20
M: 45, W: 47, D: 15, S: 13, D: 9
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Good Piecing 9/11 - 6/12
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Piecing Again 9/12

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#2232392 - 03/21/12 01:09 PM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: adinva]
barely floating Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/11
Posts: 750
adinva,

i have those exact thoughts of H and family life! i need to find the strength you do!

as for H's friend and his 19 yr old gf.. yuck! but maybe he's found the secret to happiness in a relationship.. maybe i need to start dating a 63 yr old then maybe i'll be happy! lol. good luck w/ that relationship.

i believe happiness is still a choice. although our Hs may have found themselves knee-deep in family life when it was too late.. it is what it is. and rather than focusing on what they don't have.. they forget to focus on what they do have. loving wife.. beautiful children.. i didn't expect to find myself at 37.. heading towards D w/ 2 small kids but that is where i am. although some days seem overwhelmingly sad.. i still find the joy and beauty that is in the lives of my babies. and finding happiness there is my choice. wish our Hs could do the same.

i love how you have taken on the challenge of really looking within yourself and admitting your own weaknesses. the ability to do that is one of your biggest strengths. i really admire that. smile
_________________________
Me:38.. H:33.
Two beautiful kids S:6 D:3
M:8.. together for 11.
Bomb dropped:10/17/11
Separated:11/07/11

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#2232393 - 03/21/12 01:11 PM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: barely floating]
RoRoinMD Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 871
Originally Posted By: adinva
One of the biggest things I learned through all this, from my viewpoint, was to suspect my own outrage. Whenever I start to fall into outrage I question myself. It seems to come from a set of assumptions and a sense of entitlement. I can frame what he's doing as a cowardly abandonment of his family, or as a desperate need to correct a mistake and live authentically. I'm not in his head. Life can suck and be unfair but it's unhealthy to wallow in that.


We’ve had “conversations” about my anger, so you know I needed to read it. This is something I haven’t been doing. I’ve just been accepting my anger, and basically using it as fuel against my H, even if I don’t say a word to him. I haven’t done any REAL work to figure out my anger and how to let it go. But my work starts today.

Thank you for saying this.
_________________________
Me:34
H:38
SS:19 - lives in NC with his mom
M:3
Bomb #1: 1/3/12 - We're not compatible. I want out.
Bomb #2: 1/12/12 - Found out about EA/PA
H moves out 10/2/12

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#2232418 - 03/21/12 03:21 PM Re: Hoping 4 [Re: RoRoinMD]
adinva Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2596
Loc: VA
Thanks you too! You know what one thing is that gives me strength?

For a few years now I've been more and more aware that my marriage wasn't perfect anymore. My H did not cherish me, and he did not have my back, and he wasn't going to hold me just right when life got hard, or let me hold him. I accepted that as my life that I built, and accommodated it.

But now when I look to the future I feel excited that I might have a chance at being really cherished by someone. Or at least not wondering why the one I'm with doesn't feel that way about me. I don't feel unlovable anymore. We had problems; some people work through theirs and maybe we will. If we don't, I can move on to a better life. I get a lot of peace from that.

Barely and Ro, you are BEAUTIFUL, strong and intelligent women! You have so much going for you! Give H enough time and space, and if he never gets to where he wants to come back, you'll go get a better life too.
_________________________
Adinva 47 H48
T22 M19 S16 S14
6/15/11 IDLY
6/11-12/12 in-home sep
12/16/12 H moved out
Nothing signed yet
____
Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)

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