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#2236205 - 04/07/12 02:26 PM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: 2chiquitos]
Crimson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 1274
So here's a fun little wrinkle - I'll tell you, this DB stuff is a strange, strange ride.

So w picks me and s up to take us to the mechanic to get my 4Runner. On the way there I asked if she wouldn't mind stopping at Starbucks to get some coffee. She kindly did. As we were pulling into the parking lot she says in a somewhat contrite voice "I kind of regret saying I didn't want to go to the comedy show tonight - I just didn't want there to be pressure like it was a date". So now she wants to go - fortunately, I still have access to the tickets and a babysitter available.

So weird. I think as others have pointed out she is a little confused and still "day by day", which is fine. I'll still take her - but it isn't a "date". I am OK with that. Furthermore, I will have no expectations spare having a good time. We both love this comic so it should be good. And, oddly enough, the two of us have been getting along fine. I will never understand this, but maybe there is merit to just taking this day by day.

Crimson

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#2236221 - 04/07/12 04:20 PM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: Crimson]
sandi2 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 10768
Quote:
I just didn't want there to be pressure like it was a date".


Tried to tell ya.
_________________________
It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!

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#2236237 - 04/07/12 05:34 PM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: sandi2]
Crimson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 1274
Yep, Sandi. And somehow I thought I was listening. Live and learn.

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#2236294 - 04/08/12 02:13 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: Crimson]
Crimson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 1274
Well, if one day ever contained more mixed signals I don't know if I remember it. I'll just recap and any insight would be greatly appreciated as I am kind of confused and, well - to be honest, I don't know how to feel about myself.

So I picked her up for the show at 5:30 at her condo. She looked great as always. We had a nice pleasant chat on the way downtown. Got to the comedy club early and had a drink and a decent little bite to eat.

We laughed our a$$es off during the show...even the opener was hysterical the main act (Cedric The Entertainer) killed - it was great. They made a few relationship jokes and we just kind of looked at each other and laughed. He even made a joke about how when men wear hats to look younger (i.e. not bald or grey). I looked at her and frowned jokingly and she just smiled and rubbed my head.

When the show was over we walk out together and for the first time in forever she held my arm. I didn't ask for it, push for it....nothing. All the way back to the car she held on to my arm and we laughed about the show.

So as we are leaving the parking garage, we started talking about our son - lovingly. How great he is, and so on. Then she starts talking about a second one. And I said before I die he will have a sibling. And THAT was a turning point that I did not see coming. She said "that isn't very encouraging" or something like that. Basically saying that I always talk that I am going to be a father again, a better husband, this and that.....and I never mention HER as being part of it. Soooo odd to me. So I told her that I don't talk about her in that regard because I know where we are right now and I don't want to freak her about talking about a future she might not be thinking of. WHY IN THE WORLD would she want me to talk about her in those kinds of plans?! She just said she is going through with D last week!

She launched into how hurt she felt when I was not willing to work on baby #2 - saying I just said "nope". How that was such a deal breaker for her in our marriage. She went on to talk about all of these things that I said in arguments - some that I remember, some that I did not. I did my DB best and said I don't remember saying some of those things but I am not saying that it did NOT happen. I said that I apologize if it was hurtful. She would not really let it go....wanting me to say that I REMEMBER saying things and that I agree that she should have been angry....agree that it was reason enough to leave the marriage. I did my best 25yearsmlc and said that there is nothing I can do about the past but regret my actions and learn from them. I told her that two people that love each other will not always agree about what happened in the past. The best that I could do was try to hang on the the loving memories of the past and take away the life lessons that it brought.

She was stunned that I didn't remember saying things. She asked why is it that I didn't. I didn't have answers....I told her that I was not saying that these things didn't happen....I just didn't remember them. I told her that I believe her when she says she remembers that she did.

Then she went into all of these things she said I said when she said that she wanted a D. She said I said that I wasn't going to give her a dime, that I was dropping her off of my insurance the next day. I remember variations of some of those things....but I do NOT remember them the way that she does. Again, she asked me why. I said at that moment we were BOTH hurt and deeply sad - I was probably lashing out and trying to defend myself somehow. She said "so you see why I got a lawyer based on the things you said?! Wouldn't you do the same?!".

It went on like that for awhile. I never yelled, I never raised my voice, I never pointed fingers, I never lost my cool. I listened, I responded, I tried to validate. She did not seem to believe much of anything I said.

When we got to her condo, she said "happy people attract happy people - and you were miserable in out marriage!". I told her that I never felt miserable, that I enjoyed coming home to her and s every day. She said "yeah, and then you would never talk to us.....you would disconnect......you would pick up the house". I told her that one of the things that I learned was that men feel connected to their families just BEING in the house, and women need engagement, interaction (from How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It). She just shook her head.

Again, I never lost my cool. I just calmly said that the irony now is that NOW is when I feel miserable....with her being gone....with my son being gone. That I wasn't miserable when she thought I was.

She just seemed so angry and so determined to get me to believe I was miserable, that I did and said all of these terrible things relating to have a second baby that drove her to leave. That I made it so she couldn't be herself, that my FAMILY made it so she couldn't be herself. She got out of the car and walked to her condo.

I left feeling that all I wanted to do was show her a nice evening. And I DID that until we left the show and drove home. I left feeling like a terrible husband and father.

As it relates to me being miserable in our marriage, she recalled all of the times that I said I was happy....and I was. Then she said "YOU are the one that told me that when words and actions don't match then there is something wrong - and your words didn't match your actions!". I told her I thought they did....that I did feel happy and thought I didn't present miserable. She just doesn't see it that way.

SOOOO confused guys - how did a great night take such a negative turn at the end? Did she have fun with me and then realize "hey....I'm mad at you!!!". Was it the Ketel One and tonics?? She wasn't wasted. Why did all of this anger come out?? Everything was going so nicely during the evening.

Seems like she is not willing to believe anything I say about the past and that she is not ready to not be angry at me. BUT - she get's offend when I talked about being a better dad...a better husband....and I don't say "to her" when I mention it in.

Confused....feeling crappy about myself.....and feeling rather beat up. Anyone have any thoughts? I am wide open.....

Crimson

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#2236299 - 04/08/12 02:58 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: Crimson]
~ kd ~ Offline
Member

Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 4866
Loc: Canoe'k-land
Based on the way you relate your experience of the evening, it does sound like your W was trying to blame you and sounded like she was trying to get you to admit you drove her away and that she had just cause to want and continue to want a D.

And I suspect that your W would relate HER experience of the evening in a different way.

My recommendation? Let it go. Let everything you believe she said, go...

Stop trying to remember the fine details... how you could have or should have responded to how you felt attacked by her...

Based on your post, you did well in responding. And, you had an enjoyable evening at the comedy show.

Perhaps... that will be all that she remembers of the evening...

Until and unless she chooses to have another conversation with you, like that one... in which she will remember what you said in a different way than YOU remember it...

Today is another day to keep doing the good work...

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#2236305 - 04/08/12 03:38 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: Crimson]
bustorama Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/10
Posts: 519
Crimson,

The good news is that she felt connected enough with you and safe enough with you to unload her hurt on you.

The bad news is you need to do a better job of validating her feelings -- stop defending yourself the way you are or being defensive about it or justifying or explaining.

Here's what I mean (look where I bold):

Originally Posted By: Crimson
Then she starts talking about a second one. And I said before I die he will have a sibling. And THAT was a turning point that I did not see coming. She said "that isn't very encouraging" or something like that. Basically saying that I always talk that I am going to be a father again, a better husband, this and that.....and I never mention HER as being part of it. Soooo odd to me. So I told her that I don't talk about her in that regard because I know where we are right now and I don't want to freak her about talking about a future she might not be thinking of.


You are defending/explaining yourself. We (men) do this all the time. It seems logical. Stop doing that. The real issue is how your W feels at that moment (not whether what you did or said makes sense). A better response would be something like, "It bothers you when I talk and it sounds like I don't see you as part of my future? Tell me about that hon? How does it make you feel?"

Originally Posted By: Crimson
She launched into how hurt she felt when I was not willing to work on baby #2 - saying I just said "nope". How that was such a deal breaker for her in our marriage. She went on to talk about all of these things that I said in arguments - some that I remember, some that I did not. I did my DB best and said I don't remember saying some of those things but I am not saying that it did NOT happen.


You might as well shoot yourself in the foot, Crimson! She tells you a list of things that really hurt her. That were DEAL BREAKERS her for her (and that still hurt her when she thinks about them). And you tell her you don't even remember it? (and she hears it was that insignificant to you to hurt her like that that you don't remember).

Again, focus on her feelings and don't try to explain or justify yourself or even determine if her feelings have what you would recollect as a reasonable basis. They are how she feels right now and therefore her pressing reality. A better answer would have been, "I see now how hurt you were and still are by it. That not working on a 2nd baby was a deal breaker for you then. I am sorry I hurt you by not seeing it then when I had the chance.

Originally Posted By: Crimson
I said that I apologize if it was hurtful.


Don't say "if it was" hurtful. She told you it was hurtful (and still hurts her). You qualifying your apology with "if it was hurtful" essentially invalidates her feelings again because she just told you it was hurtful. You might get a book called The Five Love Languages of Apology (or something like that) to help you not self-sabotage your apologies.

Originally Posted By: Crimson
She would not really let it go....wanting me to say that I REMEMBER saying things and that I agree that she should have been angry....agree that it was reason enough to leave the marriage. I did my best 25yearsmlc and said that there is nothing I can do about the past but regret my actions and learn from them. I told her that two people that love each other will not always agree about what happened in the past. The best that I could do was try to hang on the the loving memories of the past and take away the life lessons that it brought.


What she is really after emotionally is not for you to remember HOW you hurt her, but for you to acknowledge that she was hurt (and is still hurting) and that you were the one who hurt her. You may not have intended to do so, but she experienced you as hurting her. Therefore, in her reality (which is what matters), you hurt her. When you don't validate her hurt without qualification (she is telling you she you hurt her, why deny that she is hurt? do you know her feelings better than she does?). It doesn't MATTER whether you recollect that you hurt her that way or whether she may have misinterpreted things you did or said. What MATTERS is that she felt hurt by you, that her hurt was never validated (and is still not being validated). That you didn't figuratively hold her tight then or now and amend for hurting her.

How can she trust you not to hurt her again when you deny her feelings and say you remember things differently or (worse?) don't remember the multitude of ways you hurt her? Accept what she says at face value that she was (and is) hurt and act accordingly, without explanation, justification or defensiveness.

Quote:
Then she went into all of these things she said I said when she said that she wanted a D. She said I said that I wasn't going to give her a dime, that I was dropping her off of my insurance the next day. I remember variations of some of those things....but I do NOT remember them the way that she does. Again, she asked me why. I said at that moment we were BOTH hurt and deeply sad - I was probably lashing out and trying to defend myself somehow. She said "so you see why I got a lawyer based on the things you said?! Wouldn't you do the same?!".


LEAD with validating her, not defending yourself, seeing if you can connect. "Yes, W, I can totally see how you would have felt very unsafe and that you wanted to defend yourself. To tell you the truth, that's probably what was driving my behavior at the time, fear and hurt. Is that how you felt too?"

Originally Posted By: Crimson
It went on like that for awhile. I never yelled, I never raised my voice, I never pointed fingers, I never lost my cool. I listened, I responded, I tried to validate. She did not seem to believe much of anything I said.


Less responding (defending/justifying/explaining), MUCH more validating.

Quote:
When we got to her condo, she said "happy people attract happy people - and you were miserable in out marriage!". I told her that I never felt miserable, that I enjoyed coming home to her and s every day.


Stop invalidating her. Better response, Did you feel that I was miserable in our marriage, W? That must have been so hard for you to believe that all those years. What things made you feel that way?

Because if a partner thinks their partner is unhappy in the marriage, it is one of the hardest things on that partner -- my W told me the exact same thing and it ate her inside for years.

Originally Posted By: Crimson
She said "yeah, and then you would never talk to us.....you would disconnect......you would pick up the house". I told her that one of the things that I learned was that men feel connected to their families just BEING in the house, and women need engagement, interaction (from How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It). She just shook her head.


STOP INVALIDATING HER and telling her why her view is wrong. Better answer, W, you felt like I shut you out and disconnected from you?? I can see how that would have been terrible for you, feeling alone and that I did not want to connect with you guys. Is that how you felt, hon? I can totally see why you would want to leave the M if that is how you felt.

Crimson, the connection she misses and wants from you is from being heard and understood. Not from you producing the right explanation of why you acted a certain way.
_________________________
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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#2236309 - 04/08/12 06:57 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: bustorama]
YankeeCandle Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 335
Bustorama, you hit the nail on the head! My H and I would get into these types of arguments, and it would just infuriate me further when he just wasn't big enough to validate what I was feeling, or my perspective. In fact, the first time (and only time) I separated from him was for this very reason. I was sick to death of him NOT standing up for the relationship and seeing any other perspective but his own. These types of arguments would therefore last forever and ever, and it all built up to a point that I left. He still doesn't get it to this day frown

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#2236329 - 04/08/12 10:17 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: YankeeCandle]
Crimson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 1274
Busto -

I will absolutely defer to your knowledge in this - you've actually been able to do what I have not. The things is, I was TRYING not to be defensive - probably just not hard enough. She would ask me questions about things that happened, and I tried to explain to her where my head was at that time. I DID stress that I was wrong about a lot of things that I believed or thought at the time and that I was regretful that my actions and/or words hurt her. It didn't feel as if I was invalidating, but to read your synopsis I guess I was. I feel like I dug myself even deeper into the hole last night.

She texted me this AM and said:

"Thank you for the show. I'm sorry I ended last night so poorly. That's why I try to avoid these situations. Raw emotions still come out."

I tried to validate and simply said "you are justified in feeling the way that you do - getting things out is part of the healing process, I'm glad you expressed your feelings last night".

All in all, I am glad we had last night - the show was great and....she held my arm. For a guy that used to not do PDA well, that made my night. Hopefully I didn't do too much damage during out conversation on the way home. Hopefully, on some level it was constructive more than destructive - I honestly don't know.

Next time I will try to be more validating.


Crimson

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#2236333 - 04/08/12 10:58 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: YankeeCandle]
labug Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/11
Posts: 8408
Loc: Sonoran Desert
I agree^^^. H and I also had many of these which lead to anger and resentment on my part and more shutting down on his part.

She's not trying to put blame on you, she's trying to get you to see her as person with feelings, someone who was hurt and is still hurting.

She wants what we all want,both men and women, to be understood.
_________________________
Me 57/H 58
M35 S24 S21
Bomb 3/11 Sep 3/11
Piecing 9/13 12/13 Reconciling

"We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same"~Carlos Castenada

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#2236334 - 04/08/12 10:59 AM Re: Never thought I'd be here.........part 13 [Re: Crimson]
bustorama Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/10
Posts: 519
Yes, her emotions are extremely raw. Pure, unqualified validation from you is what will help her heal. I know sometimes it sounds like she is asking for the reasons, "why" but the why she asking isn't really why did you do this/what were you thinking?

It's why did you, the person I most trusted, hurt me? how could you hurt me like this?

And the best answer is simply, I'm sorry I hurt you like that, W. You did not deserve that. I can now see how hurt you were and still are by it.

If you "stand still" and let her work through your emotions at her pace, simply acknowledging that you get them and how hurt she was and is, you may find that she gradually works through them. You don't need to defend or justify yourself from them. Let her anger and sadness and raw emotions wash over you. Be strong enough to take them and accept them with the I'm sorry and perhaps an added, Is there anything you want me to do now to help you heal?

She needs to trust that you are sorry and won't hurt her again.
_________________________
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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