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#2250416 - 06/01/12 11:18 AM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: adinva]
RoRoinMD Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 871
Originally Posted By: adinva
Try this on for size. What if you built that bridge simply for you, to prove you can, just to try to love him a little more and practice loving in case there's someone else in your future.


I'm posting this on my own thread. Definitely something I need to think about.

CV, your analogy is interesting. There's something niggling at my brain but I'm not sure how to put it into words. I'll be back once I've read through it a few more times.
_________________________
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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#2250436 - 06/01/12 12:03 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: RoRoinMD]
Crazyville Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 1046
Originally Posted By: adinva
Try this on for size. What if you built that bridge simply for you, to prove you can, just to try to love him a little more and practice loving in case there's someone else in your future.
I already know that I can. I did that last weekend when I went with him to visit his family. The whole weekend was about his agenda and my accommodating it with a positive and pleasant attitude. He was pleased and grateful. He responded by anticipating how he might get even more out of me (re: sex), rather than having the desire to reciprocate. (I know this because this is what he told me.)

I probably could, but I just don't want to go through the rest of my life with no toys because H has to have absolutely every one of them, or snipe at me because he doesn't.
_________________________
Me:49 WAW H:59
T:19.5 M:19
S:13

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#2250444 - 06/01/12 12:22 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: Crazyville]
adinva Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2739
Loc: VA
Hey CV, many of our sitches seem impossible the way we define them. Your perception is your reality. The way you think creates the way you feel.

But in reading your story I wonder why you've been beating your head against this wall for so long. How does he feel about being with someone who down inside doesn't like or respect him? What are each of you getting from being married that isn't worse than being alone?

All of your questions come down to how you can change him, and unfortunately you can't. You can change you. But, you ask, how can you change you in a way that will change him? You can't.

He might change, on his own. But there are no answers here that I've ever seen that tell you how to change your spouse.

What can you focus on about you?
_________________________
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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#2250454 - 06/01/12 01:00 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: adinva]
Crazyville Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 1046
Adinva, I believe my hope on this board came from seeing all the men that had such insightful and introspective posts. I knew that it wasn't an insurmountable gender issue as my H claims.

I also saw all the LBS's making such effort, willing to acknowledge all the things they did wrong and work desperately to get their WAS's back. I hoped to glean something I could do to get my H's attention.

I can work on me in all sorts of ways, and will do so regardless of my M, always have. But as Accuray said, this is a two-person relationship and H bears some responsibility in it. I can't force him to change, but nor am I wrong in expecting him to do his part. It takes two to make a healthy M work and only one to make it crash and burn. I can't do it alone.

The M commitment (or not D'ing) is complicated, part of which is not wanting to put S through what you're going through re: your kids. If H doesn't step up, I plan to do my time, probably much like Accuray described his parents' R, until S is on his own. Then I'll just disappear into my own life, career, activities etc. and avoid being with H as much as possible. My search here will at least contribute to my knowing I've tried everything I could.

Honestly, there's a part of me that figures I won't have that long to deal with it anyway. H is 9 years older, has already had one heart attack, doesn't take care of myself or exercise or eat right. I wouldn't wish his death, but the writing is on the wall. If it happens, part of me will consider it a blessing. I know that might sound cruel, but I'm not causing it or wishing it, I've even tried to get him to do better. I'm just being honest. I will be very sad, because I do love him, and because just like a D, it's the end of what could have/should have been something beautiful. But it doesn't leave the mess behind that a D does. Heck, who knows, maybe I'll die first, then that becomes a win for H.
_________________________
Me:49 WAW H:59
T:19.5 M:19
S:13

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#2250458 - 06/01/12 01:10 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: adinva]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2088
CV,

I like your story.

Adinva, DB says that you can change your *relationship* by changing yourself. That's different than changing the other person, but maybe the distinction isn't that meaningful because it's the relationship that's probably more important.

i.e. someone can't fight with you if you don't take the bait. It's hard for someone to be mean to you if you're consistently nice to them, etc. etc.

I think that's what's behind the "build a bridge" suggestion right? That it might improve the relationship through CV's actions.

I was just listening to a marriage radio program where the H was doing what some people are suggesting what CV should do. They were telling him to "build the bridge" -- be the best husband you can be, complain about nothing, don't criticize his wife in any way, address her complaints, don't get defensive, be a model husband. That's almost impossible to execute and retain your humanity IMO, but in any case, he was complaining that he's been doing that for 8 months, and his W is still not reciprocating, she's not meeting his needs. His frustration and weariness were coming through in his voice. He said that this process has just left him with "no love left for her". He said his blood pressure is at an all time high, he feels physically ill, and just wants the pain to end. Interestingly, the doctor said that he hasn't been doing it nearly long enough -- he said to expect to do it for 2 years. He said that eventually you'll see a change, and it will be overnight. You'll pass some threshold and your spouse will start to engage. If you sabotage yourself however by backsliding, you keep pushing the end date out. The guy said "Two years! no way, no way, just not going to happen"

The problem I have with that advice is that people don't do well with long feedback cycles. If I flip the switch, I expect the light to come on. If the system is designed so that the light turns on 12 hours after I flip the switch, chances are I'm going to run in circles, replace the lightbulb and try to completely rewire it instead of waiting. That's why I think your sitch is so admirable, you've been at it for at least a year, and are trying to model "great wife".

It feels to me like the amount of pain that CV would have to push through to build that bridge for up to 2 years is something she doesn't see herself having the strength or desire to do.

The cruel irony is that you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you don't build the bridge, you're guaranteed 2 years of suffering anyway, and then as many more years of suffering as you stay in the marriage.

If you DO build the bridge, your 2 year pain is even worse, but there's a chance things will be MUCH better later.

To me it's like someone saying to me "If you go to prison for 2 years, when you get out I'll give you a coin. If you flip the coin and it lands on heads, I'll give you one hundred million dollars. If you flip tails, you get nothing"

Boy, two years in prison is going to be unimaginably painful, but one hundred million dollars would be life changing for me, my family, and our future generations -- but I could also walk away with nothing.

I feel for you on that CV. My sitch has some of the same themes, but my pain level is not as great.

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
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014

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#2250476 - 06/01/12 02:09 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: Accuray]
adinva Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2739
Loc: VA
If someone said Hey Ad, your husband is being a rotten jerk and the way to get happiness in your life is to be a model wife to him, to love and understand him, to find and fix all of your problems, and to let him be how he is...for one year (or two, or anything more than a couple of weeks)...without seeing or expecting to see any change in him. I would have said, forget it. And that's what you see all over the boards when people first come in.

I see the choice as: (a) my husband is being a rotten jerk and I can tolerate it and deal with it by hating him, demeaning him, and wishing him dead for the rest of my life...without seeing or expecting him to change...so my kids aren't from a broken home and so I'm not stygmatized as divorced. Or...
b) my husband is being a rotten jerk and regardless of him I'd like to be a gentle, forgiving and loving person. I'd like to be someone who overlooks small things and isn't eaten away by medium and large things. I want to release my anger and resentment and act like the wife I'd like to be...without seeing or expecting him to change...so I like who I am.

In both cases H may never change, but in case (b) I get to feel better and happier in my own skin and H MIGHT too, and might want to be with me. In case (a) I just figured H would never divorce me so I'd live with it.

Because (a) is exactly where I was pre-bomb. I didn't strive for (b) right away and sometimes I still have some trouble with it. But in my logical mind (b) is the right choice, hands down, and I don't see a better one anywhere.

Choice (c) was where I leave him, because we were certainly making each other miserable and frankly he deserved better as much as I did. I was dedicated to marriage and would rather suffer forever than choose (c). I have read enough on these boards in real, personal stories, to know that there are worse things than divorce.
_________________________
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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#2250508 - 06/01/12 03:32 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: adinva]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2088
The debate I've been reading up on lately is whether or not (b) is truly sustainable long term. Can you really live with someone over the long term who (1) you have feelings for and (2) is a "rotten jerk" and STILL manage to find happiness for yourself?

My MC said "no, that's fiction", that while it's healthy to work on yourself and to see to your own needs, it's not realistic to expect to find happiness in a marriage where your needs are not being met.

The "Marriage Builders" website effectively says the same thing -- dropping expectations and focusing on you doesn't work long term. I believe it ABSOLUTELY works short term when your marriage is in crisis and you need to prevent divorce, but it doesn't seem like a sustainable way to live, particularly when you know it can be better -- ignorance can be bliss in that regard. Instead, dropping your expectations of your spouse and focusing on you feels like a transition strategy to get to something better.

I'm 100% convinced that I'm drawn to the "Marriage Builders" philosophy because it's what I want to hear -- it supports my preconceived notions and "let's me off the hook" by making W at least in part directly responsible for my happiness. I know why I like it, it's an easier way out. I'm just not sure it's right, and I'm still wrestling with that.

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
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014

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#2250510 - 06/01/12 03:46 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: Accuray]
Crazyville Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 1046
Quote:
I'm 100% convinced that I'm drawn to the "Marriage Builders" philosophy because it's what I want to hear -- it supports my preconceived notions and "let's me off the hook" by making W at least in part directly responsible for my happiness. I know why I like it, it's an easier way out. I'm just not sure it's right, and I'm still wrestling with that.
Accuray, my question is this: If this ISN'T true, then why would people get M'd in the first place? They can do all that other stuff single without the hassle of being M'd? Sex is available outside of M. It can't be just to have kids because not everybody wants to have kids but they still get M'd. And I can tell you honestly, if anyone had presented this formula as a long-term M OP, I would have declined. I already had it all otherwise.
_________________________
Me:49 WAW H:59
T:19.5 M:19
S:13

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#2250517 - 06/01/12 03:58 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: Crazyville]
Crazyville Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 1046
I guess I have a second question.

Quote:
Can you really live with someone over the long term who (1) you have feelings for and (2) is a "rotten jerk" and STILL manage to find happiness for yourself?
Isn't this promoting a sort of narcissist/co-dependent R?
_________________________
Me:49 WAW H:59
T:19.5 M:19
S:13

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#2250546 - 06/01/12 05:07 PM Re: When it's a one-way street...part 6 [Re: Crazyville]
Accuray Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 2088
CV, I agree with you. W feels we should each be 100% self-sufficient and the marriage is like a bonus over the top. From my perspective, if I were 100% self-sufficient then why would I get married?

She's very dedicated to her view of things and lives by it to her credit, she's consistent. She's not a "rotten jerk", she's nice to me, like a friend would be nice to you. She just doesn't act like she's "in love" with me, and that bothers me. Should 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
ILYBINILWY (again) 7/12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014

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