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A Message from Michele
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Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904553
09/26/20 11:46 PM
09/26/20 11:46 PM
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Hoch Offline OP
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This is great advice.

What about later in the day, when she comes back and chats like nothing happened? Am I amiable and listen casually, or do I politely decline to engage in conversation and find something else to do?

It seems like any indication that Iím still bothered by her behavior is handing control back, but then again, do I want to have a conversation with someone when they treat me that way?

Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904554
09/27/20 12:28 AM
09/27/20 12:28 AM
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Valeska19 Offline
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Originally Posted by Hoch
What about later in the day, when she comes back and chats like nothing happened? Am I amiable and listen casually, or do I politely decline to engage in conversation and find something else to do?

Do what won't cause Resentment in your heart. If you don't want to engage... then don't. If she gets p!ssed.. oh well. I know that's easier said than done but you keep expecting her to treat you in a way that she isn't. You don't have to be mean about it but its okay to want to be treated differently and to enforce that (in a loving way)

Originally Posted by Hoch
It seems like any indication that Iím still bothered by her behavior is handing control back, but then again, do I want to have a conversation with someone when they treat me that way?
So how do you take control of your own life? Of how you want to be treated? You can't keep getting upset with your w for doing the same behavior if you just stand there and take it.

Are you in any kind of IC to help with resentment and setting boundaries? The sooner you can see that this dance is as much your doing as hers - the sooner you can be on your way to changing it.


M(f): 38
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.
Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904576
09/27/20 04:11 PM
09/27/20 04:11 PM
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Wow.... do whatever wonít leave resentment in my heart. Itís so obvious but so profound. I have a lot to learn.

Well, I did a 180 and kindly said, ďI need you to know that I didnít like how you spoke to me earlier. For my own sake, I need to tell you Iím not ok with that.Ē

I got a snotty reply back, and honestly expected to wake up to her threatening divorce. Thatís how it usually goes. ďI donít think I can stay in this marriage if youíre going to be so controlling and critical.Ē

But.... this morning so far sheís been a little withdrawn but generally amicable. Color me surprised. She may have the capacity to change, we shall see. Which means I have set the stage for continuing to stand up for myself.

Iíve been reading up on emotional abuse and emotional blackmail. Iím going to start putting those learnings into effect. She has deep insecurities and control issues, thatís clear. Whatís also clear is that me being understanding and kind is not going to fix the situation. So my behavior will change to something that leaves me stronger. I certainly had a thought after I stood up to her, bordering on elation: ďold, demure me is dead. Iím taking control!Ē

Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904595
09/28/20 01:33 AM
09/28/20 01:33 AM
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Valeska19 Offline
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Originally Posted by Hoch
Wow.... do whatever wonít leave resentment in my heart. Itís so obvious but so profound. I have a lot to learn.

It really can be. Not easy.. but a total game changer.

Originally Posted by Hoch
Well, I did a 180 and kindly said, ďI need you to know that I didnít like how you spoke to me earlier. For my own sake, I need to tell you Iím not ok with that.Ē

Great first step. Setting boundaries can be a lil clunky at first when you aren't used to setting them. Now that you have spoken up.. they key will be to reinforce if/when it happens... and it won't be in the form of words. It will be in the form of actions. Leave the room. End the conversation. Whatever works for you BUT it is key that you follow through now.


Originally Posted by Hoch
But.... this morning so far sheís been a little withdrawn but generally amicable. Color me surprised. She may have the capacity to change, we shall see. Which means I have set the stage for continuing to stand up for myself.

Well when one changes the dance - the other must change. Of course it's uncomfortable. She may push back. You may give in. It's not a change that's done overnight... but keep with it.

Originally Posted by Hoch
Iíve been reading up on emotional abuse and emotional blackmail. Iím going to start putting those learnings into effect. She has deep insecurities and control issues, thatís clear. Whatís also clear is that me being understanding and kind is not going to fix the situation. So my behavior will change to something that leaves me stronger. I certainly had a thought after I stood up to her, bordering on elation: ďold, demure me is dead. Iím taking control!Ē


Here is my lil 2x4. Try not to focus on your wife so much with the emotional abuse/blackmail. Not that it doesn't matter - but it's definitely out of your control. You can't change your w... only yourself so don't focus on it.

Also - my guess (and it's only a guess) is that you probably developed this boundaryless behavior prior to your marriage. Think back to when you were a kid. How were boundaries treated in your family. What has been people's response when you set a boundary. Do you get push back? A guilt trip?

Dig deep Hoch. I suspect the answers you find will provide the roadmap to the relief you are searching for.


M(f): 38
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.
Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904597
09/28/20 02:05 AM
09/28/20 02:05 AM
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Hoch - Read this post from Valeska. Every word is truth. And then re-read it over and over again.

Youíre getting incredible advice.

It wonít be easy, it wonít be smooth, it wonít be fast.

Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904607
09/28/20 09:34 AM
09/28/20 09:34 AM
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Hi Hoch,

You are looking for a ďsign.Ē That is very clear as you have a tendency to analyze every interaction. Stop. You will go crazy. If you continue to analyze each interaction, you will continue to feel like you are on one of a roller coaster with no restraint bar or belt. Your wife is going to behave the way she behaves. You have exactly zero control over how she behaves. However, you DO control how you react and behave. Thatís why you will keep hearing how important it is for you to focus and work on yourself. That exchange about the car seats made my head spin.

I know you are scared and feeling out of control. Thatís a really difficult feeling to deal with-particularly in a stressful situation. You want to save this marriage. But like others have stated (you have gotten great advice) that marriage is dead. Put. A. Fork. In. It. Look at this as a new chapter in your life. Why? Because it is.

We keep reading your wife was nice at 9am. Cranky at 1:30 pm and snippy at 4. Iím not being snarky. I swear. Iíve been there. Weíve all been there. Those ESPN style hourly analysis will make you feel even more off kilter. So, what did you do this weekend? I understand your life is a bit chaotic 2 young kids-mine are older now but I relate to that crazy :-). Do you exercise? What are your hobbies? And apologies if I missed any of that.

Hang in there and happy Monday.


Me-42 xh-41
3 kids
BD 12/15/13 (IDKIILY. )
Rope dropped Cirque du Soleil style
D final 9-9-14
"Some people are born on 3rd base and go through life thinking they hit a triple." Barry Switzer
Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Georgiabelle] #2904656
09/28/20 04:06 PM
09/28/20 04:06 PM
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Hoch Offline OP
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Thank you all for this information. I am soaking up every bit of it, and I am re-reading anything I can find that is applicable.

Iím just... Iím very lost right now. Reading both The Solo Partner and the DR book, and while I normally have a plan... my approach is just scrambled right now. Both books call for an approach that is consistent, to hold a line and maintain a position. The DR book is definitely more hopeful towards reconciliation (or as the great advice has been, building something new instead of resurrecting the old), the SP has a more realist approach.

I just donít know what my approach is right now, and itís leaving me very empty. We are in this strange nowhere land, where weíre married, living together, we have small kids, but almost no relationship. She is as distant as ever, and only calls for my attention when the kids do something cute. And Iím finding that even that fills me with such resentment that I donít even want to come when called anymore, it just cuts so deep that thatís all she wants of me.

But then the DR book says to look for small positive changes, and isnít being called to see something joyful positive? While the pursuer in me reading SP just feels thrown away each time, and I feel compelled not to respond because it hurts so much.

TL,DR; Iím vacillating wildly between looking for positive indicators and acting ďas ifĒ we have a future together, and pulling away and feeling like my marriage is over. I just donít know what to feel. But I am taking everything said here to heart, and am so very grateful for it.

Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904657
09/28/20 04:13 PM
09/28/20 04:13 PM
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Georgiabelle -

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I did start doing some ďmeĒ stuff this weekend. I spent time with my kids, lots of hammock time, visited my parents, took the kids for a drive to get ice cream, light exercise.

What was said about the play-by-play interactions hit home. I definitely do analyze every interaction. Iím realizing I always have, and in digging deep, yes thatís exactly how my childhood went. My mother was off the rails (emotionally disregulated) and my dad was always oblivious and angry. Every boundary set was negotiated away, yelled over, or obliviously ignored. I never knew the emotional storm Iíd be in for, so I had to be very sensitive to the barometric pressure.

This is why I synced up with what the DR book preached, to watch every interaction for positive or negative signals. But I donít know if that is just feeding the fire. Itís so hard to swing from hope to despair so fast.

Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904668
09/28/20 05:44 PM
09/28/20 05:44 PM
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Valeska19 Offline
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Hoch,
There is so much I relate to when it comes to your sitch. I too grew up in a household where boundaries weren't respected. Ultimatums, demands, my parents couldn't express their emotions in a healthy way in turn leaving little room for 9 year old Val to express her anger to their behavior. Over time - I just learned that suppressing my feelings was what I needed to do or when my feelings got too strong to express them in the same way my parents did (Blame, Criticitze, or put others in charge of my happiness). I also learned to pick up the burden that if I just acted in a certain way, worked super hard at, be perfect... I could get that relationship I wanted.

Needless to say... it failed. Because at the end of the day... it doesn't matter how hard you work at... you can't change someone else. People will leave you, reject you, and abandon you. That is part of life and it's really hard choosing yourself knowing that it may mean that people may leave you, abandon you, reject you.

I know you want to save your M... but Hoch... you can't do that until you save YOURSELF friend. Put on your own oxygen mask. It seems like you have been working on trying to save your M for a long time... but the one approach that you haven't tried is saving yourself and seeing if that saves your marriage. You are feeling confused because at this stage - you have tried so many things. "Worked on it for so many years". Man - it's exhausting. You got nothing left in the tank... so you turn to your wife and she's got nothing left in her tank either... so she definitely doesn't have anything left for you. So Hoch - how do you fill your own tank??

I really think IC would do a world of good for you. You have so much pain going on and it seeps out in the form of resentment. Don't you see that you are doing more of the same by suppressing your anger as an adult just as you did as a child? I'm not saying to take it out on W... but Hoch... your pain is coming out whether you want it to or not. You've hit that critical threshold. It's doesn't give a rats a$$ if it's convenient for you - its been too long... too hard. It's gonna make itself heard. So IC would give you that safe space to let it out. Cry your eyes out, punch a pillow, whatever.

The interesting thing when you finally give your pain a voice... it stops needing to control your life. It has been given the voice and respect it deserves... and then... and only then.. you can make choices that come from your place of integrity.

I really think setting these little boundaries around behavior is a great first step. IMHO - I really think another big step would be finding support around those kiddos. I know Covid makes it tough but I thought that was a BIG reason why you moved home. I really think that it would help with your emotions.. and honestly... even if your w bucks against it at first... I feel like it would help hers too.

You are not powerless here. Think outside the box. Push yourself. You can do this!

((Hoch))


M(f): 38
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.
Re: Confused but committed, Part 1 [Re: Hoch] #2904672
09/28/20 06:19 PM
09/28/20 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoch
Ok. Iím feeling extremely teachable at the moment. I want to learn.... I could use advice on what I did wrong or how to proceed.
Perfect. I will give my 2 cents. I don't remember most of the details of your sitch...forgive me.


Quote

* brought me breakfast while working
* bought me a desk plant as a gift

I assume you know the 5 love languages. Most people "give" what they want to "receive".
So in this example, she is doing little things for you that you did not directly ask for. Most likely she wants you to do little things for her without her having to ask. The tricky part for you is the state of the R. Maybe a test here and there and observe her response.


Quote

* voluntarily discussed her day and previous nightís dreams
* joined me in my home-work office to fold clothes under the guise of ďbeing closer to the kids to keep an eye on them.Ē

These are STFU and listen times. Validate how she FEELS. Make it ALL ABOUT how SHE feels.

Quote

As soon as I sounded intrigued and asked for more details, she backpedaled out with a ďwell whatever, itís not important.Ē She is EXTREMELY reactive to my engagement, it seems.


W:"Talk Talk Talk Talk" Pause
H:"I would have been angry. Is that how you felt?" (Or whatever emotion you would have felt if it happened to you)

Frustrated, Scared, Happy, Angry, Frightened, Confused, Sad


Quote
Me: Hey I'd like to ask something. On saturdays you go out and work (on laptop, I watch the kids for 8 hrs). You normally take [nice car w carseats]. I would like [nice car] to take the kids on drives, could you take [crappy car w no carseats] those days? [once a week - she has nice car 6 days a week, I literally never get to drive it].
Less words = Almost always better:
H:"I will be taking the kids in [nice car] this Saturday to "XYZ place" from "Start time" to "end time".

Her: why donít you take [crappy car] and we will move the car seats?

Me: no, Iíd prefer [nice car] because -
"[Nice car] is safer for the kids."


Quote

Her: fine.

Fine does not mean fine. Next time she says fine, look her directly in the eyes...hold eye contact and say "Are your frustrated?" Then STFU and validate. Do not argue. Do not share your beliefs.


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Me: please donít cut me off. óbecause [crappy car] is unreliable and -

Another option: Hold eye contact. Wait until she is done talking. Wait for the pause. Then:
"Are you done?" Wait until she says "yes".
"Would you like to know my thoughts?" Hold eye contact, wait for "yes"
H: [Nice Car] is safer for the kids. (If this is the first opportunity to make this statement.)

Quote

Her: ok fine itís all my fault, everything is my fault.
H:"I am sorry you feel that way."

Quote

I simply stay calm and ignore her verbal abuse. Help me learn. I want out of this loop.
I did not see any verbal abuse in this example. Was she calling you derogatory names?

I am the "safe one" where my lady can express some of her emotions. You want to be the "safe one". We are emotional beings and most people stuff down the emotions. This is not healthy. We all need safe places to express our emotions.




"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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